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8 Word of denial in thy Labra's here;
Word of denial. Froth and scum, thou ly’st.

Slen. By these gloves, then 'twas he.

Nym. Be advis’d, Sir, and pass good humours: I will say, ' marry trap, with you,


you run the 'nuthook's humour on me; that is the very note of it.

Slen. By this hat then he in the red face had it: for though I cannot remember what I did when you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an ass.

Fal. What say you, 2 Scarlet and John?

Bard. Why, Sir, for my part, I say, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five sentences.


may signify no more than as thin as a lath. The word in some counties is still pronounced as if there was no h in it; and Ray, in his Diet. of North Country Words, affirms it to be spelt lat in the north of England.

Falstaff threatens, in another play, to drive prince Henry out of his kingdom, with a dagger of lath. A latten bilbos means therefore, I believe, no more than a blade as thin as a lath-a vice's dagger. STEVENS.

Word of denial in thy Labra's here ;] I suppose it should rather be read,

Word of denial in my Labra's hear; that is, hear the word of denial in my lips. Thou ly'A.

JOHNSON. We often talk of giving the lie in a man's teeth, or in his throat. Pistol chooses to throw the word of denial in the lips of his adversary. STEEVENS.

-marry trap, —] When a man was caught in his own ítratagem, I suppose the exclamation of insult was marry, trap!

JOHNSON. 1-nuthook's humour-]Read, pass the nuthook's humour. Nutbook was a term of reproach in the vulgar way, and in cant strain. In The Second Part of Hen. IV. Dol Tearsheet says to the beadle, Nuthook, Nuthook, you

lie. Probably it was a name given to a bailiff or catchpole, very odious to the common people. HANMER.

Nuthook is the reading of the folio, and the third quarto, The second quarto reads, base humour. Steevens.

7 - Scarlet and John?] The names of two of Robin Hood's companions; but the humour consists in the allufion to Bardolph's red face ; concerning which see The Second Part of Hen. IV. WARBURTON.


Eva. It is his five senses: fie, what the ignorance is !

Bard. And being fap, Sir, was, as they say, cashier'd; and so conclusions pass’d the 3 careires.

Slen. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no matter : I'll never be drunk whilst I live again, but in honest, civil, godly company, for this trick : if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.

Lva. So Got ’udge ine, that is a virtuous mind. Fal. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen;

you hear it.

Enter mistress Ann Page with wine. Page. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within.

[Exit Ann Page. Slen. O heaven! this is mistress Ann Page.

Enter mistress Ford and mistress Page. Page. How now, inistress Ford ?

Fal. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good mistress.

[Piling ber. Page. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome : come, we have a hot venison pasty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.

[Exe. all but Shal. Slend. and Evans. Slen. I had rather than forty shillings I had my book of songs and sonnets here.

Enter Simple. How now, Simple, where have you been? I must wait on myself, must I? You have not the book of riddles about you, have you?

3 careires] I believe this strange word is nothing but the French cariere; and the expression means, that the common bounds of good behaviour were overpassed. JOHNSON.

To pass the cariere was a military phrase. I find it in one of Sir John Smythe's Discourses, 1589. where, speaking of horses wounded, he says" they after the first thrink at the * entering of the bullet doo pass their carriere, as though they s! had verie little hurt,” STEEVENS.

Sim. Book of riddles! why, did you not lend it to Alice Shortcake + upon Allhallowmas laft, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ?

Shal. Come, coz; come, coz; we stay for you. A word with you, coz: marry, this, coz; there is, as 'twere, a tender, a kind of tender, made afar off by Sir Hugh here ;do you understand me?

Slen. Ay, Sir, you shall find me reasonable : if it be fo, I shall do that that is reason.

Shal. Nay, but understand me.
Slen. So I do, Sir.

Eva. Give ear to his motions, master Slender : I will description the matter to you, if


be capacity of it.

Slen. Nay, I will do, as my cousin Shallow says: 1

pray you, pardon me; he's a justice of peace in his country, simple though I stand here.

Eva. But that is not the question; the question is concerning your marriage.

Shal. Ay, there's the point, Sir.

Eva. Marry, is it, the very point of it; to mistress Ann Page.

Slen. Why, if it be so, I will marry her upon any reasonable demands.

Eva. But can you affection the 'oman ? let us com


- upon Allhallowmas laft, a fortnight afore Michaelmas ? ] Sure, Simple's a little out in his reckoning. Allhallowmas is almost five weeks after Michaelmas. But may it not be urged, it is defigned Simple should appear thus ignorant, to keep up the character ? I think not. The simplest creatures (nay, even naturals) generally are very precise in the knowledge of fettivals, and marking how the seasons run: and therefore I have ventured to suspect our poet wrote Martlemas, as the vulgar call it: which is near a fortnight after All-Saints day, i.e. eleven days, both inclusive, THEOBALD.

This corre&ion, thus seriously and wisely enforced, is received by Sir Tho. Hanmer ; but probably Shakespeare intended 2 blunder. JOHNSON,


marry her ?

mand to know that of your mouth, or of your lips ; for divers philosophers hold, that 5 the lips is parcel of the mouth; therefore, precisely, can you carry your good will to the maid?

Shal. Cousin Abraham Slender, can you love her?

Slen. I hope, Sir-I will do, as it shall become one that would do reason.

Eva. Nay, Got's lords and his ladies, you must speak possitable, if you can carry


desires towards her. Shal. That

must: will

you, upon good dowry, Slen. I will do a greater thing than that, upon your request, cousin, in


reason. Shal

. Nay, conceive me, conceive me, sweet coz ; what I do, is to pleasure you, coz: can you love the maid?

Slen. I will marry her, Sir, at your request; but if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married, and have more occasion to know one another : 6 I hope, upon familiarity will grow more contempt: but if you say, marry ber, I will marry her, that I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely.

Eva. It is a fery discretion answer ; save, the faul is in the 'ort dissolutely : the 'ort is, according to our meaning, resolutely; his meaning is good.

Shal. Ay, I think, my cousin meant well.
Slen. Ay, or else I would I might be hang'd, la.

-the lips is parcel of the mouth ;-) Thus the old copies. The modern editors read~" parcel of the mind.Steevens.

- I hope, upon familiarity will grow more content :-) Certainly, the editors in their sagacity have murdered a jest here. It is designed, no doubt, that Slender should say decrease, instead of increase ; and dissolved, disolutely, instead of resolved and resolutely : but to make him say, on the present occasion, that upon familiarity will grow more content, instead of contempt, is disarming the sentiment of all its salt and humour, and disappointing the audience of a reasonable cause for laughter.



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Re-enter Ann Page. Shal. Here comes fair mistress Ann : 'would I were young for your sake, mistress Ann!

Ann. The dinner is on the table; my father desires your worship's company.

Shal. I will wait on him, fair mistress Ann.

Eva. Od's plessed will! I will not be absence at the grace.

[Ex. Shal. and Evans. Ann. Will’t please your worship to come in, Sir ? Slen. No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am

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very well.

you, Sir.

Ann. The dinner attends

Slen. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth. Go, firrah, for all you are my man, go wait upon my cousin Shallow. [Exit Simple.] A justice of peace sometime may be beholden to his friend for a man. I keep but three men and a boy yet, till my mother be dead: but what though? yet I live like a poor gentleman born.

Ann. I may not go in without your worship: they will not fit till you come.

Slen. I'faith, I'll eat nothing: I thank you as much as though I did.

Ann. I pray you, Sir, walk in.

Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you: I bruis’d my shin the other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence, 7 three veneys for a dish


-three veneys for a dish, &c.] i.e. three venues, French. Three different set-to's, attacks, a technical term. So in B. and Fletcher’s Philofter :-" thou wouldst be loth to play half

a dozen venies at Wafters with a good fellow for a broken “ head.” So in Chapman's comedy, The Widow's Tears, 1612. So there's venie for venie, I have given it him.” So in The Tiivo Maids of More-clacke, 1609. " This was a pass, 'twas fencer's play, and for the after veny let me use my kill.” So in the famous Hif. &c. of Capt. Tho. Stukely, 1605. -" for forfeits and venneys given upon a wager at the ninth button of your doublet.' So in our author's Love's Labour Loft: "a quick venetu of wit." STEEVENS.


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