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80. How will this fadge?] To fadge, is to suit, to fit. So, in Decker's comedy of Old Fortunatus, 1600: "I shall never fadge with the humour, because I cannot lie."

So, in Mother Bombie, 1594:


"I'll have thy advice, and if it fadge, thou shalt


"But how will it fadge in the end?~

"All this fadges well.

"We are about a matter of legerdemain, how

will this fadge?

-in good time it fadges."


-I think, it rather consists of eating and drinking.] A ridicule on the medical theory of that time, which supposed health to consist in the just tempera→ ment and balance of these elements in the human WARBURTON,



-a stoop- -] In a Catalogue of the Rarities in the Anatomy Hall at Leyden, printed there in 4to. 1701, is "The bladder of a man containing four stoop "(which is something above rwo English gallons) of "water."


104. -Did you never see the picture of we three ?] An allusion to an old print, sometimes pasted on the wall of a country ale-house, representing Two, but under which the spectator reads,

"We three are asses."


107. By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast.Breast, voice. Breath, has been here proposed: but many instances may be brought to justify the old



reading beyond a doubt. In the statutes of Stockcollege, founded by archbishop Parker, 1535, Strype's Parker, P. 9. "Which said queristers, after their breasts are changed," &c. i. e. after their voices are broken. In Fiddes' Life of Wolsey, Append. p. 128. "Singingmen well-breasted." In Tusser's Husbandrie, P. 155. edit. P. Short:

"The better brest, the lesser rest,

"To serve the queer now there now heere." Tusser in this piece, called The Author's Life, tells us, that he was a choir-boy in the collegiate chapel of Wallingford castle: and that, on account of the excellence of his voice, he was successively removed to various choirs. WARTON.

Ben Jonson uses the breast in the same manner, in his Masques of Gypsies, p. 623, edit. 1692. In an old play called the 4 P's, written by J. Heywood, 1569, is this passage:

"Poticary. I pray you, tell me, can you sing?
"Pedler. Sir, I have some sight in singing.
"Poticary. But is your breast any thing sweet?
"Pedler. Whatever my breast is, my voice is

I suppose this cant term to have been current among the musicians of the age. All professions have in some degree their jargon; and the remoter they are from liberal science, and the less consequential to the general interests of life, the more they strive to hide themselves behind affected terms and barbarous phrascology. STEEVENS.

113. I sent thee six-pence for thy leman; hadst it?] Leman, i. e. I send thee sixpence to spend on thy mistress. THEOBALD.

Leman is frequently used by the ancient writers, and Spenser in particular. So again, in The Noble Soldier, 1643:

"Fright him as he's embracing his new leman." The money was given him for his leman, i. e. his mistress. He says he did impetticoat the gratuity, i. e. he gave it to his petticoat companion; for (says he) Malvolio's nose is no whipstock, i. e. Malvolio may smell out our connection, but his suspicion will not prove the instrument of our punishment. My mistress has a white hand, and the myrmidons are no bottle ale-houses, i. e. my mistress is handsome, but the houses kept by officers of justice are no places to make merry and entertain her at. Such may be the meaning of this whimsical speech, A whipstock is, I believe, the handle of a whip, round which a strap of leather is usually twisted, and is sometimes put for the whip itself. So, in Albumazar, 1616: -out, Carter.

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Again, in the Two Angry women of Abingdon, 1599: -the coach-man sit!

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"His duty is before you to stand,

Having a lusty whipstock in his hand.”

The word occurs again in the The Spanish Tragedy, 1605 :

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Bought you a whistle and a whipstock too?”

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of good life?] I do not suppose that by a song of good life, the Clown means a song of a moral turn; though Sir Andrew answers to it in that signification: Good life, I believe, is harmless mirth and jollity. It may be a Gallicism: we call a jolly fellow a bon vivant. STEEVENS.

139. In delay there lies no plenty ;] No man will ever be worth much, who delays the advantages offered by the present hours, in hopes that the future will offer more. So, in K. Richard III. act. iv. scene iii..

"Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary." Again, in K. Henry VI. Part I.

"Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends."

Again, in a Scotch proverb;

"After a delay comes a let.'

See Kelly's Collection, p. 52.


140. Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,] This line is obscure; we might read:

Come, a kiss then, sweet and twenty.

Yet I know not whether the present reading be not right; for in some counties sweet and twenty, whatever be the meaning, is a phrase of endearment. JOHNSON. So, in Wit of a Woman, 1604:

"Sweet and twenty: all sweet and sweet."


Again, in Rowley's When you see me you know Me, 1632:

"God ye good night and twenty, sir."

Again, in the Merry Wives of Windsor:

"Good even and twenty."


146.make the welkin dance] i. e. drink till the sky seems to turn round.

Thus, Mr. Pope :

"Ridotto sips and dances, till she see


"The doubling lustres dance as fast as she."


148. -draw three souls out of one weaver ?-] Our author represents weavers as much given to harmony in his time. I have shewn the cause of it elsewhere. This expression of the power of musick is familiar with our author. Much ado about Nothing :" Now is his soul ravished. Is it not strange that sheep's-guts should hale souls out of men's bodies ?”- -Why, he says, three souls, is because he is speaking of a catch of three parts. And the peripatetick philosophy, then in vogue, very liberally gave every man three souls. The vegetative or plastick, the animal and the rational. To this too, Jonson alludes in his Poetaster: “What will I turn shark upon my friends? or my friends' friends? I scorn it with my three souls." By the mention of these three, therefore, we may suppose it was Shakspere's purpose, to hint to us those surprizing effects of musick, which the ancients speak of. When they tell us of Amphion, who moved stones and trees; Orpheus and Arion, who tamed savage beasts; and Timotheus who governed, as he pleased, the passions of his human auditors. So noble an observation has our author conveyed in the ribaldry of this buffoon character.


In a popular book of the time, Carew's translation


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