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Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst4?
Sly. No, not a denier: Go by, says Jeronimy ;Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee 5.
Host. I know my remedy, I must go fetch the thirdborough
[Erit. Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy; let him come, and kindly.
[Lies down on the ground, and falls asleep. Wind Horns. Enter a Lord from Hunting, with
Huntsmen and Servants. Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my
hounds: Brach Merriman,—the poor cur is emboss’d, And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach8.
5 This line and the scrap of Spanish is used in burlesque from an old play called Hieronymo, or the Spanish Tragedy. The old copy reads : ‘S. Jeronimy. The emendation is Mason's.
• An officer whose authority equals that of a constable.
7. Emboss'd,' says Philips in his World of Words, ‘is a term in hunting, when a deer is so hard chased that she foams at the mouth; it comes from the Spanish Desembocar, and is metaphorically used for any kind of weariness. Malone has more than once given the same etymology of this word without acknowledgment, but it is erroneous. Skinner has pointed out its most probable derivation from the Italian word Ambascia or Ambastia, which signifies difficulty of breathing coming from excessive fatigue ;' and which is also used metaphorically, like the English word, for weariness. Emboss'd is used in both these senses by Shakspeare and Spenser, as well as in the more common and still usual one of swelling with protuberances. Thus an emboss'd stag is a distress'd stag foaming and panting for breath, like the brach or hound Merriman in the text.
8 Brach originally signified a particular species of dog used for the chase. It was a long eared dog, hunting by the scent. The etymology of the word has not been clearly pointed out; it is from the Gothic racke, hence the Saxon ræc, and the English rache or ratche. In the Book of St. Albans, among the names
Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
1 Hunt. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord; He cried upon
it at the merest loss,
Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
them well, and look unto them all;
lord. Lord. What's here ? one dead, or drunk? See,
doth he breathe ? 2 Hunt. He breathes, my lord: Were he not
warm’d with ale, This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord. O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies! Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
of dyvers manere houndes,' we have 'raches;' and among the companyes of bestys,' &c. 'a kenel of rachys.' And again :
all other bestes that huntyd shall be, Shall be sought and found with ratches so free.' Skelton also, in his Interlude of Magnificence, printed in the reign of Henry VIII.:
* Here is a leyshe of ratches for to renne a hare.' Hence brache and brach. A similar name for a hound is found in most European languages. It came at length to be used in England for a bitch, probably from similarity of sound, and this was a very general acceptation of the word in Shakspeare's time, as appears from Baret's Dictionary: 'a brach or biche, Canicula; Petite Chienne. The reason assigned in “The Gentleman's Recreation,' 8vo. p. 27 : ‘A brach is a mannerly name for all hound bitches.' It may be remarked that Merriman could hardly be the name of a bitch; yet there seems no reason to suppose the first brach in this passage a corruption of some other word, for connected speech is no more necessary than it is usual in such field directions.
Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
1 Hunt. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose. 2 Hunt. It would seem strange unto him when he
wak’d. Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless
fancy. Then take him up, and manage well the jest:Carry him gently to my fairest chamber, And hang it round with all my wanton pictures : Balm his foul head with warm distilled waters, And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet: Procure me musick ready when he wakes, To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound: And if he chance to speak, be ready straight, And, with a low submissive reverence, Say,– What is it your honour will command ? Let one attend him with a silver bason, Full of rose-water, and bestrew'd with flowers; Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper; And say,–Willt please your Lordship cool your
hands? Some one be ready with a costly suit, And ask him what apparel he will wear; Another tell him of his hounds and horse, And that his lady mourns at his disease: Persuade him that he hath been lunatick. And, when he says he is--, say that he dreams, For he is nothing but a mighty lord. This do, and do it kindly', gentle sirs;
It will be pastime passing excellent,
1 Hunt. My lord, I warrant you,we'll play our part, As he shall think, by our true diligence, He is no less than what we say he is.
Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him; And each one to his office when he wakes.
[Some bear out Sly. A trumpet sounds. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds :
[Exit Servant. Belike, some noble gentleman; that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
Re-enter a Servant.
An it please your honour,
Now, fellows, you are welcome. 1 Play. We thank
honour. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? 2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our
duty 11? Lord. With all my heart. This fellow I remember, Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son; 'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well: I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform’d.
1 Play. I think 'twas Soto that your honour means 12. 10 Moderation.
11 It was in old times customary for players to travel in companies and offer their service at great houses.
13 The old copy prefixes the name of Sincklo to this line, who was an actor in the same company with Shakspeare. Soto is a character in Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman Pleased; he is a farmer's eldest son, but he does not woo any gentlewoman.
Lord. 'Tis very true;—thou didst it excellent.-
modesties; Lest, over-eying of his odd behaviour, (For yet his honour never heard a play,) You break into some merry passion, And so offend him ? for I tell you, sirs, If you should smile, he grows impatient. i Play. Fear not, my lord; we can contain our
Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery 14,
[Exeunt Servant and Players. Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page
[To a Servant. And see him dress’d in all suits like a lady: That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber, And call him--madam, do him obeisance, Tell him from me (as he will win my love),
13 In the old play the dialogue is thus continued :
• San. [To the other.] Go get a dishclout to make cleyne your shooes, and Ile speak for the properties. [Exit Player.] My lord, we must have a shoulder of mutton for a property, and a little vinegre to make our divell roar.'
Upon which Steevens remarks, ‘The shoulder of mutton might indeed be necessary for the dinner of Petruchio, but there is no devil in this piece, or in the original on which Shakspeare formed it; neither was it yet determined what comedy should be represented.'
14 Pope remarks, in his Preface to Shakspeare, that the top of the profession were then mere players, not gentlemen of the stage; they were led into the buttery, not placed at the lord's table, or the lady's toilette.'