Puslapio vaizdai

tain; no l'envoy, no l'envoy, no falve, fir, but a plantain !

falve in the mountebank's budget. Or fhall we read- no enigma, no riddle, no l'envoy - in the vile, fir — O fir, plantain. The matter is not great, but one would with for fome meaning or other. JOHNSON. Male or mail was a word then in ufe. Reynard the fox fent Kayward's head in a male. So likewife, in Tamburlane, or the Scythian Shepherd, 1590:

Open the males, yet guard the treafure fure."

I believe Dr. Johnfon's first explanation to be right.


Male, which is the reading of the old copies, is only the ancient fpelling of mail. So, in Taylor the Water-Poet's Works, Character of a Bawd,) 1630: "the cloathe-bag of counsel, the capcafe, fardle, pack, male, of friendly toleration. The quarto 1598, and the first folio, have thee male.

tor of the fecond folio. MALONE.

Corrected by the edi

I can fcarcely think that Shakspeare had so far forgotten his little fchool-learning, as to fuppofe the Latin verb falve, and the English fubflantive, falve, had the fame pronunciation; and yet without this, the quibble cannot be preferved. FARMER.

The fame quibble occurs in Ariflippus, or The Jovial Philofopher, 1630:

Salve, Mafter Simplicius.

"Salve me; 'tis but a Surgeon's complement." STEEVENS.

Perhaps we fhould read -no falve in them all, fir.


This paffage appears to me to be nonfenfe as it ftands, incapable of explanation. I have therefore no doubt but we should adopt the amendment propofed by Tyrwhitt, and read No falve in them

all, Sir.

[ocr errors]

[ocr errors]

Moth tells his master, that there was a Coftard with a broken fhin: and the Knight, fuppofing that Moth has fome conceit in what he faid, calls upon him to explain it. Some riddle, fays he, fome enig ma. Come thy l'envoy, - begin. But Collard fuppofing that he was calling for these things, in order to apply them to his broken fhin, fays, he will not have them, as they were none of them falves, and begs for a plain plantain instead of them. This is clearly the meaning of Coftard's fpeech, which provokes the illuftrious Arma❤ do to laugh at the inconfiderate, who takes falve for l'envoy, and the word l'envoy for falve.

ARM. By virtue, thou enforceft laughter; thy filly thought, my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes me to ridiculous fmiling: O, pardon me. my flars! Doth the inconfiderate take falve for l'envoy, and the word, l'envoy, for a falve?

MOTH. Do the wife think them other? is not l'envoy a falve?

ARM. No, page: it is an epilogue or difcourse, to make plain

Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain. I will example it: 3

But when Moth, who is an arch and fenfible character, fays, in reply to Armado:-" Do the wife think them other? Is not l'envoy a falve?" we must not fuppofe that this question is owing to his fimplicity, but that he intended thereby either to lead the Knight on to the fubfequent explanation of the word l'envoy, or to quibble in the manner ftated in the notes upon the Englifh word falve and the Latiu falvé; a quibble which operates upon the eye, not the car:-Yet Steevens has fhown it was not

a new one.

If this quibble was intended, which does not evidently appear to be the cafe, the only way that I account for it, is this:

As the l'envoy was always in the concluding part of a play or poem, it was probably in the l'envoy that the poet or reciter took leave, of the audience, and the word itfelf appears to be derived from the verb envoyer, to fend away. Now the ufual falutation amongst the Romans at parting, as. well as meeting, was the word Jalve. Moth, therefore, confiders the l'envoy as a falutation or falve, and then quibbling on this laft word, afks if it be not a falve.

I do not offer this explanation with much confidence, but it is the only one that occurs to me. M. MASON.

3 I will example it: &c.] These words, and fome others, are not in the firft folio, but in the quarto of 1598. I fill believe the old paffage to want regulation, though it has not fuflicient merit to encourage the editor who should attempt it.

There is in Tuffer an old fong, beginning

"The ape, the lion, the fox, and the affe,
"Thus-fetts forth man in a glaffe," &c.

Perhaps fome ridicule on this ditty was intended. STEVENS.

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were ftill at odds, being but three.

There's the moral: Now the l'envoy.

MOTH. I will add the l'envoy: Say the moral


ARM. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,

Were ftill at odds, being but three:

MOTH. Until the goofe came out of door,
And stay'd the odds by adding four.
Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow
with my l'envoy.

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were ftill at odds, being but three:
ARM. Until the goofe came out of door,
Staying the odds by adding four.
MOTH. A good l'envoy, ending in the goofe;
Would you defire more?

COST. The boy hath fold him a bargain, a goofe, that's flat:

Sir, your penny-worth is good, an your goose be


To fell a bargain well, is as cunning as fast and


Let me fee a fat l'envoy; ay, that's a fat goofe. ARM. Come hither, come hither: How did this argument begin?

MOTH. By faying, that a Coftard was broken in a fhin.

Then call'd you for the l'envoy.

COST. True, and I for a plantain; Thus came your argument in:

Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goofe that you bought; And he ended the market.

✦ And he ended the market.] Alluding to the proverb


ARM. But tell me; how was there a Coftard broken in a fhin ?"

[blocks in formation]

COST. Thou haft no feeling of it, Moth; I will fpeak that l'envoy:—

I, Coftard, running out, that was fafely within,
Fell over the threshold, and broke my fhin.

ARM. We will talk no more of this matter.
COST. Till there be more matter in the fhin.
ARM. Sirrah Coftard, I will enfranchife thee.
COST. O, marry me to one Frances;-I fmell
fome l'envoy, fome goose, in this.

ARM. By my fweet foul, I mean, fetting thee at liberty, enfreedoming thy perfon; thou wert immur'd, restrained, captivated, bound.

COST. True, true; and now you will be my pur gation, and let me loose.

ARM. I give thee thy liberty, fet thee from durance; and, in lieu thereof, impofe on thee nothing but this: Bear this fignificant to the country maid Jaquenetta there is remuneration; [ Giving him money.] for the beft ward of mine honour, is, rewarding my dependants. Moth, follow. [Exit.

women and a goofe, make a market. Tre donne ed un' occa fan un mer◄ cato. Ital. Ray's Proverbs. STEEVENS.

S -how was there a Coftard broken in a fhin?] Coftard is the name of a fpecies of apple. JOHNSON.

It has been already obferved that the head was anciently called the coftard. So, in K. Richard III. "Take him over the coftard with the hilt of thy fword.' A coftard likewife fignified a crabą fick. So, in The Loyal Subject of Beaumont and Fletcher:

"I hope they'll crown his fervice.
"With a coftard." STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

MOTH. Like the fequel, I. -Signior Coftard, adieu.

COST. My fweet ounce of man's flefh! my incony Jew! 7[ Exit MOTH.

6 Like the fequel, I.] Sequele, in French, fignifies a great man's train. The joke is, that a fingle page was all his train.


I believe this joke exifts only in the apprehenfion of the commentalor. Sequelle, by the French, is never employed but in a derogatory fenfe. They use it to exprefs the gang of a highwayman, but not the train of a lord; the followers of a rebel, and not the attendants on a general. Thus Holinshed, p. 639. to the intent that by the extinction of him and his fequeale, all civil warre and inward divifion might ceafe, &c. Moth ufes fequel only in the literary acceptation.

Mr. Heath obferves that the meaning of Moth is, I follow you as close as the fequel does the premises." STEEVENS.

Moth alludes to the fequel of any ftory, which follows a preceding part, and was in the old ftory-books introduced in this manner; "Here followeth the Sequel of such a story, or adventure." Hamlet fays, "But is there no fequel at the heels of this mother's

admonition?" M. MASON.



my incony Jew!] Incony or kony in the north fignifies, fine, delicate- - as a kony thing, a fine thing. It is plain therefore, we fhould read:

[blocks in formation]

I know not whether it be right, however fpecious, to change Jew to Jewel. Jew, in our author's time, was, for whatever reafon, apparently a word of endearment, So, in The Midfummer-Night's


Moft brifky juvenal, and eke qoft lovely Jew."

The word is ufed again in the 4th act of this play:


- most incony vulgar wit."


In the old comedy called Blurt Mafler Confiable, 1602, I meet with it again. A maid is fpeaking to her miftrefs about a gown: it makes you have a most inconie body.”


Cony and incong have the fame meaning.

Jonfon's Tale of

a Tub:

So, Metaphor says in

"O fuperdainty canon, vicar inconey." Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599: "O, I have fport inconey i' faith, "

« AnkstesnisTęsti »