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hammer; come off and on · swifter than he that gibbets on the brewer's bucket. And this same halffac'd fellow Shadow, give me this man; he presents no mark to the enemy; the foe-man may with as great aim level at the edge of a pen-knife. And, for a retreat, how swiftly will this Feeble, the woman's taylor, run off? O give me the spare men, and spare me the great ones. Put me a ? caliver into Wart's hand, Bardolph.
Bard. Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus.
Fal. Come, manage me your caliver. So; very well, go to; very good; exceeding good. O give me always a little, lean, old, chopp’d, 3 bald, shot, Well said, Wart; thou art a good scab. Hold, there is a tester for thee.
Shal. He is not his craft-master; he doth not do it right. I remember at Mile-End-Green, when I lay at Clement’s-Inn (4 I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's
swifter than be that gibbets on the brewer's bucket.] Swifter than he that carries beer from the vat to the barrel, in buckets hung upon a gibbet or beam crossing his Moulders.
JOHNSON. caliver-] A hand-gun. JOHNSON.
bald, foot. Shot is used for shooter, one who is to fight by shooting. JOHNSON.
(I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's show)--) The only intelligence I have gleaned of this worthy wight Sir Dagonet, is from Beaumont and Fletcher in their Knight of the Burning Peftle:
“ Boy. Besides, it will shew ill-favouredly to have a grocer's “prentice to court a king's daughter. is Cit. Will it so, Sir? You are well read in histories; I
you, what was Sir Dagonet? Was he not prentice to a grocer in London ? Read the play of The Four Prentices of “ London, where they toss their pikes so," &c. THEOBALD.
The sory of Sir Dagonet is to be found in La Mort d’Artlure, an old romance much celebrated in our author's time, or a little before it. " When papistry,” says Afcham in his Schools master, “ as a standing pool, overfowed all England, few books
were read in our tongue saving certain books of chivalry, as " they faid, for pastime and pleasure ; which books, as some
show) there was a little quiver fellow, and a' would manage you his piece thus : and he would about, and
" say, were made in monasteries by idle monks. As one for
example, La Mort d’Arthurei” In this romance Sir Dagonet is king Arthur's fool. Shakespeare would not have thewn his justice capable of representing any higher character.
JOHNSON. Arthur's show seems to have been a theatrical representation made out of the old romance of Morte Arthure, the most popular one of our author's age. Sir Dagonet is king Arthur's squire.
Theobald remarks on this passage, “ The only intelligence “ I have gleaned of this worthy knight (Sir Dagonet) is from “ Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Knight of the Burning Peale."
The commentators on Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle have not observed that the design of that play is founded upon a comedy called The Four Prentices of London, with the Conqueft of Jerusalem; as it hath been diverse Times a&ted at the Red Bull, by the Queen's Majesty's Servants. Written by Tho. Heywood, 1612. For as in Beaumont and Fletcher's play, a grocer in the Strand turns knight-errant, making his apprentice his squire, &c. fo in Heywood's play four apprentices accoutre themselves as knights, and go to Jerusalem in quest of adventures. One of them, the most important character, is a goldsmith, another a grocer, another a mercer, and a fourth an haberdasher. But Beaumont and Fletcher's play, though founded upon it, contains many satyrical strokes againft Heywcod's comedy; the force of which is entirely lost to those who have not seen that comedy.
Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's prologue, or first scene, a citizen is introduced declaring that, in the play, he “ will “ have a grocer, and he shall do admirable things.”
Again, act i. scene 1. Rafe says, “ Amongst all the worthy « books of archievements, I do not call to mind that I have yet “ read of a grocer-errant: I will be the said knight. Have
you heard of any that hath wandered unfurnised of his squire • and dwarf? My elder brother Tim shall be my trusty squire, " and George my dwarf.”
In the following passage the allufion to Heywood's comedy is demonstrably manifeft, a&t iv. scene i.
“ L'ay. It will thew ill-favouredly to have a grocer's prentice "court a king's daughter.
" Cit. Will it so, Sir? You are well read in histories; I
pray you who was Sir Dagonet? Was he not prentice to a “ grocer in London? Read the play of The Four Prentices, “ where they tofs their pikes fo."
about, and come you in, and come you in; rah, tab, tah, would he say; bounce, would he say; and away again would he go, and again would he come. I shall never see such a fellow.
Fal. These fellows will do well, master Shallow. God keep you, master Silence: I will not use many words with you : fare you well, gentlemen both. I thank you ; I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give the soldiers coats.
Shal. Sir John, heaven bless you, and prosper your affairs, and send us peace! As you return, visit my house. Let our old acquaintance be renewed : peradventure, I will with you to the court.
Fal. I would you would, master Shallow.
Shal. Go to; I have spoke at a word. well.
[Exeunt Shal. and Sil. Fal. Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. On, Bardolph ; lead the men away. As I return, I will fetch off these justices. I do see the bottom of justice Shallow. Lord, lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying! This same starv'd justice hath done nothing but prate to me of the wildness of his youth, and the feats he hath done 5 about Turnbull-street;
and In Heywood's comedy, Euftace the grocer's prentice is introduced courting the daughter of the king of France; and in the frontispiece the four prentices are represented in armour tilting with javelins. Immediately before the last quoted speeches we have the following instances of allusion.
“ Cit. Let the Sophy of Persia come, and christen him a « child.
Boy. Believe me, Sir, that will not do so well ; 'tis flat ; " it has been before at the Red Bull."
A circumstance in Heywood's comedy; which, as has been already specified, was acted at the Red Bull. Beaumont and Fletcher's play is pure burlesque. Heywood's is a mixture of the droll and serious, and was evidently intended to ridicule the. reigning fashion of reading romances.
Sir, get you gone,
and every third word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. I do remember him at Clement's-Inn, like a man made after supper of a cheeseparing. When he was naked, he was for all the world like a forked radish, with a head fantastically carv'd upon it with a knife.
He was so forlorn, that his dimensions to any thick fight were invisible. He was the very genius of fainine ; yet lecherous as a monkey; and the whores called him Mandrake. He came ever in the rere-ward of the fashion; and sung those tunes to the ? over-scutcht huswives that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his & Fancies, or
Nah, in Pierce Pennileft bis Supplication, commends the fifters of Turnbull-ftreet to the patronage of the devil. In The Inner Temple Niafque, by Middleton, 1619, “ 'Tis in your charge to pull down bawdy-houses,
cause spoil in Shore-ditch, “ And deface Turnbull.” Again, in Middleton's comedy, called Any Thing for a quict Life; a French bawd says, — J'ay une fille qui parle un
peu Franç is, elle conversera avec vous, a la Fleur de Lys, “ en Turnbull-Atreet.”
Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady — “Here “ has been such a hurry, such a din, such dismal drinking,
swearing, &c. we have all liv'd in a perpetual Turnbull“ Arect.” Again, in The Knight of the Burning Pefile,
this my lady dear, “ I stole her from her friends in Turnbull-ftreet." Turnbull or Turnmill Street is near Cow-cross; Weft Smithfield. STEEVENS.
were invisible.) The folio and quarto read, by an apparent error of the press, invincible. Mr. Rowe first made the necessary alteration. STEEVENS.
over-scutcht] That is whipt, carted. Pope. I rather think that the word means dirty or grimed. The word bufwives agrees better with this sense. Shallow crept into mean houses, and boasted his accomplihments to dirty women. JOHNS.
The explanation of either commentator is somewhat disputable. Ray, among his north country words, says, indeed, that an over-frivitch'd bufwife is a strumpet. Over-fcutch’d, I believe, is derived from something more ancient than either whips, carts, or the fumus lupanaris. STEEVENS.
Fancies, or bis Goodnights.] Fancies and Goodnights were the titles of little poems. One of Gascoigne's Goodnights is published among his Flowers. STEEVENS.
his Goodnights. 9 And now is this vice's dagger become a squire, and talks as familiarly of John of Gaunt, as if he had been sworn brother to him: and I'll be sworn, he never saw him but once in the Tiltyard; and then he burst his head for crouding among the marshal's men. I saw it; and told John of Gaunt he 2 beat his own name: for you might have truss’d him, and all his apparel, into an eelskin; the case of a treble hoboy was a mansion for him-a court :-and now hath he land and beeves. Well; I will be acquainted with him, if I return : and it shall go hard but I will make him a 3 philosopher's two stones to me. 4 If the young dace be a bait
9 And now is this vice's dagger --] By vice here the poet means that droll character in the old plays (which I have several times mentioned in the course of theie notes) equipped with asses ears and a wooden dagger. It was very fatirical in Falstaff to compare Shallow's activity and impertinence to fuch a machine as a wooden dagger in the hands and management of a buffoon. THEOBALD.
1 he burst his head - ] Thus the folio and quarto. The modern editors read brcke. To break and to burst were, in our poet's time, synonimously used. Thus B. Jonion, in his Poetafter, translates the following passage in Horace,
fratta pereuntes cuspide Gallos." “ The lances burit in Gallia's laughter'd forces." So in The Old Legend of Sir Bevis of Hampton, “ But Syr Bevis so hard him thrult, that his Moulder
« bone he burst." STEVENS.
beat his ozun name : ] That is, beat gaunt, a fellow so Tender that his name might have been guunt. JOHNSON.
philosopher's two ftones ] One of which was an universal medicine, and the other a transmuter of baser metals into gold. WARBURTON.
I believe the commentator has refined this passage too much. A philosopher's two ftones is only more than the philofopher's ftone. The universal medicine was never, so far as I know, conceived to be a stone before the time of Butler's stone.
dace -] That is, If the pike may prey upon the dace, if it be the law of nature that the stronger may seize upon the weaker, Falstaff may, with great propriety, devour Shallow. JOHNSON. Vol. V.
4 If the