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MOTH. Master, will you win your love with a French brawl?$
ARM. How mean'ft thou? brawling in French?
MOTH. No, my complete mafter: but to jig off a tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet, humour it with turning up your eye-lids; figh a note, and fing a note; fometime through the throat, as if you fwallowed love with finging love; fometime through the nofe, as if you fnuff'd up love by fmelling love; with your hat penthouselike, o'er the fhop of your eyes; with your arms cross'd on your thin belly-doublet, like a rabbit on a fpit; or your hands in your pocket, like a man after the old painting;7 and keep not too long in
a French brawl] A brawl is a kind of dance, and (as Mr. M. Mason observes) feems to be what we now call a cotillon.
In The Malcontent of Marfton, I meet with the following account of it: The brawl! why 'tis but two fingles to the left, two on the right, three doubles forwards, a traverfe of fix rounds: do this twice, three fingles fide galliard trick of twenty coranto pace; figure of eight, three fingles broken down, come up, meet two doubles, fall back, and then honour. "
Again, in Ben Jonfon's mafque of Time Vindicated:
"And, at the old Idalian brawls,
"They danc'd your mother down. STEEVENS.
So, in Malfinger's Pidure, A& II. fc. ii:
'Tis a French brawl, an apith imitation
"Of what you really perform in battle.”
canary to it with your feet,] Canary was the name of a fpritely nimble dance. THEOBALD,
like a man after the old painting,] It was a common trick among fome of the most indolent of the ancient matters, to place the hands in the bofom or the pockets, or conceal them in fome other part of the drapery, to avoid the labour of reprefenting them, or to difguife their own want of fkill to employ them with grace and propriety. STEEVENS.
one tune, but a snip and away: These are complements, thefe are humours; thefe betray nice wenches that would be betray'd without thefe; and make them men of note, (do you note, men?) that most are affected to thefe.
ARM. How haft thou purchafed this experience?
ARM. But 0,- but O,
the hobby-horfe is forgot."
8 Thefe are complements,] Dr. Warburton has here changed omplements to complishments, for accomplishments, but unnecessarily. JOHNSON.
thefe betray, &c.] The former editors:-thefe betray nice wenches, that would be betray'd without thefe, and make them men of note. But who will ever believe, that the old attitudes and affectations of lovers, by which they betray young wenches, should have power to make these young wenches, men of note? His meaning is, that they not only inveigle the young girls, but make the men taken notice of too, who affed them. THEOBALD.
and make them men of note, (do you note, men?) that are most affected to thefe.] i. e. and make thofe men who are most affeded to such accomplishments, men of note. Mr. Theobald, without any neceffity, reads and make the men of note, &c. which was, I think, too haftily adopted in the subsequent editions. of the modern editors, inflead of "do you note, men?" with great probability reads do you note me?" MALONE.
3 By my penny of obfervation.] Thus Sir T. Hanmer, and his reading is certainly right. The allusion is to the famous old piece, called a Penniworth of Wit. The old copy reads pen. FARMER. The ftory Dr. Farmer refers to, was certainly printed before Shakspeare's time. See Langham's Letter, &c. RITSON.
4 Arm. But 0, but 0,
Moth. the hobby-horfe is forgot.] In the celebration of Mayday, befides the fports now ufed of hanging a pole with garlands, and dancing round it, formerly a boy was dreffed up reprefenting Maid Marian; another like a friar; and another rode on a hobbyhorse, with bells jingling, and painted fireamers. After the Reformation took place, and precifians multiplied, thefe latter rites were looked upon to favour of paganifm; and then Maid Marian, the friar, and the poor hobby-hoife, were turned out of the games.
ARM. Call'st thou my love, hobby horfe? MOTH. No mafter; the hobby-horfe is but a colt, and your love, perhaps, a hackney. But have you forgot your love?
ARM. Almoft I had.
MOTH. Negligent ftudent! learn her by heart. ARM. By heart, and in heart, boy.
MOTH. And out of heart, mafter; all thofe three I will prove.
ARM. What wilt thou prove?
MOTH. A man, if I live; and this, by, in, and without, upon the inftant: By heart you love her, because your heart cannot come by her: in heart you love her, because your heart is in love with her; and out of heart you love her, being out of heart that you cannot enjoy her.
ARM. I am all these three.
MOTH. And three times as much more, and yet nothing at all.'
ARM. Fetch hither the fwain; he muft carry me a letter.
MOTH. A meffage well fympathifed; a horfe to be embaffador for an afs!
Some who were not fo wifely precife, but regretted the difuse of the hobby-horse, no doubt, 'fatirized this fufpicion of idolatry, and archly wrote the epitaph above alluded to. Now Moth, hearing Armado groan ridiculously, and cry out But oh! but oh! humoroully pieces out his exclamation with the fequel of this epitaph. THEOBALD.
The fame line is repeated in Hamlet. See note on A& HI. fc. ii. STEEVENS.
but a colt,] Colt is a hot, mad-brained, unbroken young fellow; or fometimes an old fellow with youthful defires. JOHNSON.
ARM. Ha, ha! what fayeft thou?
MOTH. Marry, fir, you must send the ass upon the horfe, for he is very flow-gaited: But I go. ARM. The way is but fhort; away. MOTH. As fwift as lead, fir.
ARM. Thy meaning, pretty ingenious? Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and flow? MOTH. Minimè, honeft mafter; or rather, mas
ARM. I fay, lead is flow.
You are too fwift, fir to fay fo:" Is that lead flow which is fir'd from a gun?
ARM. Sweet fmoke of rhetorick! Hereputes me a cannon; and the bullet, that's he :
6 You are too fwift, fir, to say fo:] How is he too fwift for saying that lead is flow? I fancy we fhould read, as well to fupply the rhyme as the fenfe:
You are too swift, fir, to say so so foon:
The meaning, I believe, is, if you fay fo; or, as Mr. M. are too hafty in saying that: ed it."
JOHNSON. You do not give yourself time to think, Mafon explains the paffage, "You you have not fufficiently confider
Swift, however, means ready at replies. So, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604:
"I have eaten but two fpoonfuls, and methinks I could difcourfe both fwiftly and wittily, already." STEEVENS.
Swift is here ufed, as in other places, fynonymously with witty. I fuppofe the meaning of Atalanta's better part, in As You Like It, is her wit the fwiftnefs of her mind.
So, in As you like it: "He is very fwift and fententious." Again in Much ado about nothing:
Having fo fwift and excellent a wit."
On reading the letter which contained an intimation of the Gunpowder-plot in 1605, King James faid, that the ftyle was more quick and pithic than was ufual in pafquils and libels."
I fhoot thee at the fwain.
Thump then, and I flee. [Exit. ARM. A most acute juvenal; voluble and free of
By thy favour, sweet welkin,' I must sigh in thy face:
Moft rude melancholy, valour, gives thee place.
Re-enter MOTH. and COSTARD.
MOTH. A wonder, master; here's a Coftard broken in a fhin.
ARM. Some enigma, fome riddle: come,―thy l'envoy ;—begin.
COST. No egma, no riddle, no l'envoy; no falve in the mail, fir: O fir, plantain, a plain plan
7 By thy favour, fweet welkin,] Welkin is the sky, to which Armado, with the falfe dignity of a Spaniard, makes an apology for fighing in its face. JOHNSON.
here's a Costard broken-] i. e. a head. So, in Hycke
"I wyll rappe you on the coftard with my horne.
no l'envoy;] The l'envoy is a term borrowed from the old French poetry. It appeared always at the head of a few concluding verfes to each piece, which either ferved to convey the moral, or to addrefs the poem to fome particular perfon. It was frequently adopted by the ancient English writers.
So, in Monfieur D'Olive, 1606:
"Well faid: now to the L'Envoy." All the Tragedies of John Bochas, tranflated by Lidgate, are followed by a L'Envoy.
no falve in the mail, fir:] The old folio reads -no falve in thee male, fir, which, in another folio, is, no falve in the male, fir. What it can mean, is not eafily difcovered: if mail for a packet or bug was a word then in ufe, no falve in the mail may mean, no