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And welcome merry shrove-tide 5. Be
&c. Fal. I did not think, master Silence had been a man of this mettle.
Sil. Who I ? I have been merry twice and once, ere now.
you. [Setting them before BARDOLPH. Shal. Davy,
Davy. Your worship?—I'll be with you straight. [To BARD.)- A cup of wine, sir?
Sil. A cup of wine, that's brisk and fine,
And a merrg heart lives long-a.
Sil. And we shall be merry;—now comes in the sweet of the night.
Fal. Health and long life to you, master Silence.
Shal. Honest Bardolph, welcome: if thou wantest any thing, and wilt not call, beshrew thy heart.Welcome, my little tiny thief; [To the Page.] and welcome, indeed, too.—I'll drink to master Bardolph, and to all the cavaleroes about London.
Davy. I hope to see London once ere I die. 5 Shrovetide was the ancient carnival ; 'In most places where the Romish religion is generally professed, it is a time wherein more than ordinary liberty is tolerated, as it were in recompense of the abstinence (penance which is to be undergone for a time) for the future: whence by a metaphor it may be taken for any time of rioting or licence.'—Philips's World of Words. T. Warton does not seem to have known that shrovetide and carnival were the same, or that carniscapium and carnisprivium were the Jow Latin terms for the latter. Shrovetide was a season of such mirth that shroving, or to shrove, signified to be merry.
• Apples commonly called russetines.
Bard. An I might see you there, Davy,
Shal. By the mass, you'll crack a quart together. Ha! will you not, master Bardolph?
Bard. Yes, sir, in a pottle pot.
Shal. I thank thee:—The knave will stick by thee, I can assure thee that: he will not out; he is true bred.
Bard. And I'll stick by him, sir.
Shal. Why, there spoke a king. Lack nothing: be merry. [Knocking heard.] Look who's at door there: Ho! who knocks?
[Exit Davy. Fal. Why, now you have done me right.
[To SILENCE, who drinks a bumper. Sil. Do me right?,
[Singing. And dub me knight 8 :
Samingo. Is't not so?
Fal. 'Tis so. 7 To do a man right and to do him reason were formerly the usual expressions in pledging healths; he who drank a bumper expected that a bumper should be drunk to his toast. To this Bishop Hall alludes in his Quo Vadis :— Those formes of ceremonious quafing, in which men have learned to make gods of others and beasts of themselves : and lose their reason, whiles they pretend to do reason.'
8 He who drank a bumper on his knees to the health of his mistress was dubbed a knight for the evening.
9 In Nashe's play called Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600, Bacchus sings the following catch :
• Monsieur Mingo for quaffing doth surpass
Domingo. In Rowland's Epigrams, 1600, Monsieur Domingo is celebrated as a toper. It has been supposed that the introduction of Domingo as a burthen to a drinking song was intended as a satire on the luxury of the Dominicans; but whether the change to Samingo was a blunder of Silence in his cups, or was a real contraction of San Domingo, is uncertain. Why Saint Dominick should be the patron of topers does not appear.
Sil. Is't so? Why, then say, an old man can do somewhat.
Re-enter Davy. Davy. An it please your worship, there's one Pistol come from the court with news. Fal. From the court, let him come in.
Pist. Not the ill wind which blows no man to good 10.—Sweet knight, thou art now one of the greatest men in the realm.
Sil. By’r lady, I think ’a be; but goodman Puff of Barson 11.
Pist. Puff ?
Fal. I pr’ythee now, deliver them like a man of this world.
Pist. A foutra for the world, and worldlings base! I speak of Africa, and golden joys.
Fal. O base Assyrian knight, what is thy news? Let king Cophetua know the truth thereof.
Sil. And Robin Hood, Scarlet, and John. [Sings.
Pist. Shall dunghill curs confront the Helicons ? And shall good news be baffled ? Then, Pistol, lay thy head in Furies' lap. 10 So in Bulleine's Dialogue of the Fever Pestilence, 1564:-
* No winde but it doth turn some man to good.' 11 Barston is a village in Warwickshire, lying between Coventry and Solyhull.
Shal. Honest gentleman, I know not your breeding.
Shal. Give me pardon, sir :-If, sir, you come with news from the court, I take it, there is but two ways; either to utter them, or to conceal them. I am, sir, under the king, in some authority.
Pist. Under which king, Bezonian 12? speak, ordie.
Harry the Fourth ? or Fifth ?
A foutra for thine office!
Fal. What! is the old king dead ?
12 Bezonian, according to Florio a bisogno, is 'a new levied souldier, such as comes needy to the wars.' Cotgrave, in bisongne, says 'a filthie knave, or clowne, a raskall, a bisonian, base humoured scoundrel.' Its original sense is a beggar, a needy person; it is often met with very differently spelt in the old comedies. • Bisoño,' says Minshew, ' a fresh water soldier, one that is not well acquainted with militarie affairs; a novice.' Covarruvias asserts that the term originated from some Spanish soldiers in Italy, who, not knowing the language, expressed their wants by the word bisogno; as bisogno pan, bisogno carne, and that hence they received the appellation of bisogni. That the word was used among us in this sense sometimes, appears from Churchyard's Challenge, 1593, p. 85.
13. An expression of contempt or insult by putting the thumb between the fore and middle finger, and forming a coarse representation of a disease to which the name of ficus has always been given. The custom has been regarded as originally Spanish, but without foundation, they most probably had it from the Romans. Pistol seems to accompany the phrase with an appropriate gesticulation. In explaining the higas dar of the Spaniards, Minshew says, after describing it, ' a manner as they use in England to bore the nose with the finger, as in disgrace. The phrase is amply explained in Mr. Douce's Illustrations of Shakspeare, vol. i. p. 492. · 14 Steevens remarks that this proverbial expression is oftener used than understood. The door nail is the nail in ancient doors
Fal. Away, Bardolph; saddle my horse.—Master Robert Shallow, choose what office thou wilt in the land, 'tis thine.-Pistol, I will double charge thee with dignities.
Bard. O joyful day!—I would not take a knighthood for
fortune. Pist. What? I do bring good news ?
Fal. Carry master Silence to bed.—Master Shallow, my Lord Shallow, be what thou wilt, I fortune's steward. Get on thy boots; we'll ride all night:40, sweet Pistol :-Away, Bardolph. [Exit BARD.]—Come, Pistol, utter more to me; and, withal, devise something to do thyself good.-Boot, boot, master Shallow; I know, the young king is sick for me. Let us take any man's horses; the laws of England are at my commandment. Happy are they which have been my friends; and woe to my lord chief justice!
Pist. Let vultures vile seize on his lungs also!
SCENE IV. London.
Enter Beadles, dragging in Hostess QUICKLY, and
DOLL TEAR-SHEET1. Host. No, thou arrant knave; I would I might die, that I might have thee hanged: thou hast drawn my shoulder out of joint.
on which the knocker strikes. It is therefore used as a com, parison for one irrecoverably dead, one who has fallen (as Virgil says) multa morte, i. e. with abundant death, such as reiterated strokes on the head would produce.
In the quarto, 1600, we have ` Enter Sincklo, and three or four officers.' And the name of Sincklo is prefixed to the Beadle's speeches. Sincklo is also introduced in The Taming of the Shrew, he was an actor in the same company with Sbakspeare. .,