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Laun. Turn up on your right hand, at the next turning, but, at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at the very next turning, turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's house.
Gob. By God's sonties,2 'twill be a hard way to hit. Can you tell me whether one Launce
Turn up on your right hand, &c.] This arch and perplexed direction to puzzle the enquirer, seems to imitate that of Syrus to Demea, in the Brothers of Terence:
ubi eas præterieris, “ Ad sinistram hac recta platea : ubi ad
“ Dianæ veneris, “ Ito ad dextram: prius quam ad portam
“ venias," &c. THEOBALD. 2 God's sonties,] I know not exactly of what oath this is a corruption. I meet with God's santy in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635 :
Again, in The longer thou livest the more Fool thou art, a comedy, bl. I. without date:
“ God's santie, this is a goodly book indeed.” Perhaps it was once customary to swear by the santé, i. e. health, of the Supreme Being, or by his saints; or, as Mr. Ritson observes to me, by his sanctity. Oaths of such a turn are not unfrequent among our ancient writers. All, however, seem to have been so thoroughly convinced of the crime of prophane swearing, that they were content to disguise their meaning by abbreviations which were permitted silently to terminate in irremediable corruptions.
STEEVENS. “ God's sonties,” means, offenders against God, -sinners. Sontis, Lat. We now say, as I am a sinner. CONCORDANCE TO SHAKSP.
lot, that dwells with him, dwell with him, or
Laun. Talk you of young master Launcelot ?—Mark me now; [Aside.] 3 now will I raise the waters :- Talk you of young master Launcelot?
Gob. No master, sir, but a poor man's son ; his father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man, and, God be thanked, well to live.
Laun. Well, let his father be what he will, we talk of young master Launcelot.
Gob. Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir.4
Laun. But I pray you ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech
young master Launcelot ?
Gob. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership?
Laun. Ergo, master Launcelot ; talk not of master Launcelot, father ; for the young gentleman (according to fates and destinies, and such odd sayings, the sisters three, and such branches of learning,) is, indeed, deceased ;
3 now will I raise the waters :] i.e. draw forth the old man's tears. E.
4 Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir.] i.e. Plain Launcelot; and not, as you term him, master Launcelot. MALONE,
or, as you would say, in plain terms, gone to heaven.
Gob. Marry, God forbid ! the boy was the very staff of my age, my very prop.
Laun. Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel. post, a staff, or a prop ?-Do you know me, father?
Gob. Alack the day! I know you not, young gentleman : but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy, (God rest his soul !) alive, or dead ?
Laun. Do you not know me, father?
you news of
Laun. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise father, that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell
your son: Give me your blessing: truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long, a man's son may; but in the end, truth will out.
Gob. Pray you, sir, stand up; I am sure, you are not Launcelot, my boy.
Laun. Prav you, let's have no more fooling about it, but give me your blessing ; I am Launcelot, your boy that was, your son that is, your child that shall be.5
-your child that shall be.] Launcelot, by your child that shall be,” may mean, that his duty
Gob. I cannot think, you are ny son.
Laun. I know not what I shall think of that: but I am Launcelot, the Jew's man; and, I am sure, Margery, your wife, is my mother.
Gob. Her name is Margery, indeed : I'll be sworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art mine own flesh and blood. Lord worshipp'd might he be! what a beard hast thou got! thou hast got more hair on thy chin, than Dobbin, my thill-horse, has on his tail.
to his father shall, for the future, shew him to be his child. It became necessary for him to say something of that sort, after all the tricks he had been playing him; or, perhaps, by "child that shall be," he alludes to the proverb, « Once a man and twice
a child.” STEEVENS.
The latter of the opinions advanced in the foregoing note is so likely to be right, that I am surprised there should have been any hesitation as to its
pro priety, and still more that it should have been omitted in all the editions subsequent to that of 1778. It is not, however, impossible that Launcelot, in a sportive and quibbling vein, in order to vary and contrast the terms of his speech, and, at the same time, to give it a more preposterous and enigmatical air, uses the word child in a more extensive sense to sig. nify son. E.
-my thill-horse] Thill or fill, means the shafts of a cart or waggon. So, in A Woman never Vered, 1632:
I will “ Give you the fore-horse place, and I will be 6 ľ' the fills.”
Laun. It should seem then, that Dobbin's tail grows backward ; I am sure, he had more hair on his tail, than I have on my face, when I last saw him.
Gob. Lord, how art thou chang'd! How dost thou and thy master agree? I have brought him a present ; how agree you now?
Laun. Well, well; but, for mine own part, as I have set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I have run some ground: my master 's a very Jew : Give him a present ! give him a halter: I am famish'd in his service; you may tell every finger I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come ; give me your present to one master Bassanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries ; if I serve not him, I will run as far as God has any ground.
Again, in Fortune by Land and Sea, 1655, by Thos. Heywood and W. Rowley :
“ -acquaint you
with Jock the fore-horse, and Fibb the fil“ horse," &c. STEEVENS.
All the ancient copies have phil-horse, but no dictionary that I have met with acknowledges the word. "It is, I am informed, a corruption used in some counties for the proper term, thill-horse. MALONE.
See Christie's Catalogue of the effects of FP- Esq.” 1794, p. 6, lot 50: “ Chain-harness “ for two horses, and phill-harness for two horses."
STEEVENS. Phill or fill is the term in all the midland counties; —thill would not be understood. HARRIS,