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406. Let vultures gripe thy guts !---] This hemistich is a burlesque on a passage in Tamburlaine, or The Scythian Shepherd, of which play a more particular account is given in one of the notes to Henry the IV. p. ii. act ii. sc. iv.
STEEVENS. 406. --for gourd, and fullam holds;
And high and low beguiles the rich and poor :] Fullam is a cant term for false dice, high and low. Torriano, in his Italian dictionary, interprets Pise by false dice, high and low men, high fullams and low fullams. Jonson, in his Every Man out of his Humour, quibbles upon this cant term: “ Who, he serve? He keeps high men and low men, he has a fair living at fullam.”—As for gourd, or rather gord, it was another instrument of gaming, as appears from Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady: “ -and thy dry bones can reach at nothing now,
but gords or inne-pins." WARBURTON. In the London Prodigal I find the following enumeration of false dice. -“ I bequeath two bale of false dice, videlicet, high men and low men, fulloms, stop cater-traies, and other bones of function.” Steevens.
410. I have operations in my head, -] The words in Roman, which are omitted in the folio, were recovered from the early quarto.
MALONE. 416. I will discuss the humour of this love to Ford.] The very reverse of this happens. See act ii. where Nym makes the discovery to Page, and not to Ford, as here promised; and Pistol, on the other hand, to Ford, and not to Page. Shakspere is frequently guilty of these little forgetfulnesses.
Though Shakspere is sometimes forgetful, it appears from the first copy of this play that the editors of the folio alone are answerable for the present inaccuracy. In the early quarto Nym declares, he will make the discovery to Page; and Pistol says, " And I to Ford will likewise tell,” &c. And so without doubt these speeches ought to be printed.
MALONE. 423. yellowness,-) Yellowness is jealousy.
JOHNSON. So, in Law Tricks, &c. 1608 :
“ If you have me you must not put on yellow.” Again, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584:
-Flora well, perdie,
-the revolt of mien -] The revolt of mine is the old reading. Revolt of mien, is change of countenance, one of the effects he has just been ascribing to jealousy
STEEVENS. This, Mr. Steevens truly observes to be the old reading, and it is authority enough for the revolt of mien in modern orthography. “ Know you that fellow that walketh there?" says Eliot, 1593—“he is alchymist by his mien, and hath multiplied all to moonshine.”
-at the latter end, &c.] i. e. when my maser is in bed.
JOHNSON 437 -no breed bate:
--] Bate is an obsolete word signifying strife, contention. So, in the Coun
tess of Pembroke's Antonius, 1530 :
" Shall ever civil bate
(6 Gnaw and devour our state!” Again, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: “ We shall not fall at bate, or stryve for this
matter." Stanyhurst, in his translation of Virgil, 1582, calls Erinnys a make bate.
STEEVENS. 438. He's somewhat peevish that way:] I believe this is one of Dame Quickly's blunders, and she meanis precise.
MALONE. -peevish] Peevish is foolish.
So in Cymbeline, act ii. -he's strange and peevish.”
STEEVENS. a little wee face,---] Wee, in the northern dialect, signifies very little. Thus in the Scottish proverb, that apoligizes for a little woman's marriage with a big man: "-A wee mouse will
under a mickle cornstack.'
COLLINS. So in Heywood's Fair Maid of the West, com. 1631 : 6. He was nothing so tall as I, but a little wee man, and somewhat hutch-back.” Again, in The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll, 1600:
“ Some two miles, and a wee bit, Sir.” Wee is derived from wenig. Dutch. On the authority of the 4to, 1619, we might be led to read whey-face : "Somewhat of a weakly man, and has as it were a whay-coloured beard.”' Macbeth calls one of the mes. sengers Whey-face.
STEEVENS. Little wee is certainly the right reading; it implies
something extremely diminutive, and is a very common vulgar idiom in the North. Wee alone has only the signification of little. Thus Cleiveland:
“ A Yorkshire wee bitt, longer than a mile." The proverb is a mile and a wee bit; i.e. about a league and a half.
REMARKS. 447 a Cain-colour'd beard.] Cain and Judas, in the tapestries and pictures of old, were represented with yellow beards.
THEOBALD. Theobald's conjecture may be countenanced by a parrallel expression in an old play called Blurt Master Constable, or, The Spariard's Night-Walk, 1602 :
Lover all, “ A goodly, long, thick, Abraham-coloured beard.”: Again, in Soliman and Perseda, 1599, Basilisco says:
where is the eldest son of Priam, “ That Abraham-colour'd Trojan?"I am not however certain, but that Abraham may be a corruption of Auburn. Again, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1605:
“ And let their beards be of Judas his own colour.” Again, in A Christian turn'd Turk, 1612:
“ That's he in the Judas beard.”. Again, in the Insatiate Countess, 1613: “ l'ever thought by his red beard he would prove
a Judas.” In an age, when but a small part of the nation could read, ideas were frequently borrowed from presentations in painting or tapestry. A cane-coloured beard, however, might signify a beard of the colour of cane,
i.e. a sickly yellow; for straw-coloured beards are mentioned in the Midsummer Night's Dream.
STEEVENS. The new edition of Leland's Collectanea, vol. v. p. 295, asserts, that painters constantly represented Judas the traytor with a red head. Dr. Plot's Oxfordshire, p. 153, says the same. This conceit is thought to have arrisen in England, from our ancient grudge to the red-haired Danes.
TOLLET. See my quotation in K. Henry VIII. act. v.
STEEVENS. 450. -as tall a man of his hands, -] Perhaps this is an allusion to the jockey measure, so many hands high, used by grooms when speaking of horses. Tall, in our author's time, signified not only height of stature, but stoutness of body. The ambiguity of the phrase seems intended.
PERCY. Whatever be the origin of this phrase, is very ancient, being used by Gower :
“ A worthie knight was of his honde,
STEEVENS. 461. we shall be shent -] 2. e. Scolded, roughly treated. So in the old Interlude of Nature, bl. l. no date :
-I can tell thee one thyng, “ In fayth you wyll be shent.” STEEVENS. 466, and down, down, a-down-a, &c.] To de. ceive her master , slie sings as if at her work.
Sir J HAWKINS.