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"Then Robin Hood took them by the hands,

"With a hey, &c.

"And danced about the oak-tree;

"For three merry men, and three merry men,

"And three merry men we be." TYRWHITT. But perhaps the following, in The Old Wives Tale, by George Peele, 1595, may be the original. Antiche, one of the characters, " says, -let us rehearse the

old proverb,

Three merrie men, and three merrie men

"And three merrie men be wee:

"I in the wood and thou on the the ground,

"And Jack sleepes in the tree."


See An Antidote against Melancholy, made up in Pills, compounded of Witty Ballads, Jovial Songs, and merry Catches," quarto 1661, p. 69. REED.

168. Tilley valley, lady! There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!] Malvolio's use of the word lady, brings the ballad to Sir Toby's remembrance: Lady, lady, is the burthen, and should be printed as such. My very ingenious friend, Dr. Percy, has given a stanza of it in his Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. p. 204. Just the same may be said where Mercutio applies it, in Romeo and Juliet, act ii. sc. iv,


I found what I once supposed to be a part of this song, in All's lost by Lust, a tragedy, by William Row. ley, 1633:

"There was a nobleman of Spain, lady, lady,

"That went abroad and came not again

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"To his poor lady.

"Oh, cruel age, when one brother, lady, lady,
"Shall scorn to look upon another

"Of his poor lady."


168. There dwelt a man in Babylon-Lady, lady!] This song, or at least, one with the same burthen, is alluded to in Ben Jonson's Magnetic Lady, vol. iv. P. 449.

"Com. As true it is, lady, lady, i'the song."

TYRWHITT. The oldest song that I have seen with this burthen is in the old Morality, intituled, The Trial of Trea

sure, quarto, 1567.

180. —coziers


-] A cozier is a taylor, from

coudre to sew, part. cousu, French.

JOHNSON. The word is used by Hall in his Virgidemiarum, lib. iv. sat. 2.

"Himself goes patch'd like some bare Cotyer,
"Lest he might ought his future stock impair."

Ye squeak out your coziers catches.] Mr. Steevens retains Dr. Johnson's interpretation, which, I apprehend, is not the proper one. Minshew tells us, that cozier is a cobler or sowter; and, in Northamptonshire, the waxed thread which a cobler uses in mending shoes, we call a codger's end. If Mr. Steevens will take the trouble to read over again the passage he adduces from Hall, he will find cottyer is neither a taylor, nor a cobler, but the law English of the law Latin Cotarius, a cottager.


A cozier's

A cozier's end is still used in Devonshire for a cob.


ler's end. 184. -Sneck up!] The modern editors seem to have regarded this unintelligible expression as the designation of a hiccup. It is however used in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, as it should seem, on another occasion:

"let thy father go sneck up, he shall never come between a pair of sheets with me again while he lives." Again, in the same play :

"Give him his money, George, and let him go sneck up."

Again, in Heywood's Fair Maid of the West, 1631:

She shall not rise: go let your master snick up.”

Again, in Blurt, Master Constable, 1602:

"I have been believed of your betters, marry snick up."

Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599: 66 -if they be not, let them go snick up.” Perhaps, in the two former of these instances, the words may be corrupted. In Hen. IV. p. I. Falstaff says: "The Prince is a Jack, á Sneak-cup.” i.`e. one who takes his glass in a sneaking manner. I think we might safely read sneak-cup, at least in Sir Toby's reply to Malvolio, I should not however omit to mention, that sneck the door is a north country expression for latch the door. STEEVENS.

192. Farewell, dear heart, &c.] This entire song, with some variations, is published by Dr. Percy, in

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the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poe



205. -Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale ?] It was the custom on holidays or saints' days to make cakes in honour of the day. The Puritans called this superstition, and in the next page Maria says, that Malvolio is sometimes a kind of Puritan. See Quarlous's Account of Rabbi Busy, act i. sc. iii. in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair. LETHERLAND.

209. rub your chain with crums: -] That stewards anciently wore a chain as a mark of superiority over other servants, may be proved from the "following passage in the Martial Maid of Beaumont and Fletcher :

"Dost thou think I shall become the steward's chair? Will not these slender haunches shew well in a chain?'

Again :

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"Pia. Is your chain right?

"Bob. It is both right and just, Sir;

"For though I am a steward, I did gei it

"With no man's wrong."

The best method of cleaning any gilt plate, is by

rubbing it with crums.

Nash in his piece intituled

Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1595, taxes Gabriel Harvey with "having stolen a nobleman's steward's chain, at his lord's installing at Windsor.”

To conclude with the most apposite instance of all, See Webster's Dutches of Malfy, 1623:


"Yes, and the chippings of the buttery fly after


"To scower his gold chain.”


213.-rule,-] Rule, occasionally means the arrangement or conduct of a festival or merry-making, as well as behaviour in general. So, in the 27th song of Drayton's Polyolbion:

"Cast in a gallant round about the hearth they


"And at each pause they kiss; was never seen such rule

"In any place but here,at bon-fire or at Yeule." Again, in Heywood's English Traveller, 1633:

"What guests we harbour, and what rule we keep."

Again, in Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub :.

"And set him in the stocks for his ill rule." In this last instance it signifies behaviour.

There was formerly an officer belonging to the court, called Lord of Misrule, So, in Decker's Satiromastix" I have some cousins german at court shall beget you the reversion of the master of the king's revels, or else be lord of his Misrule now at Christmas." So, in the Return from Parnassus, 1606: "We are fully bent to be lords of Misrule in the world's wild heath." In the country, at all periods of festivity, an officer of the same kind was elected. STEEVENS.


-a nayword,

-] A nayword is what



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