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Sly. I 11 pheese you, in faith.
· Pheese. Johnson says, “To pheese, or fease, is to separate a twist into single threads." He derived this explanation of the word from Sir T. Smith, who, in his book 'De Sermone Anglico,' says, “To feize means in fila deducere.” Gifford affirms that it is a common word in the west of England, meaning to beat, to chastise, to humble. In the latter sense Shakspere uses it in 'Troilus and Cressida:' "An he be proud with me, I'll pheese his pride." Shakspere found the word in the old Taming of a Shrew.'
Slys. This is ordinarily printed Slies; but such a change of the plural of a proper name is clearly wrong.
in with Richard Conquerora. Therefore, paucas pallabris b; let the world
slide: Sessa! Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst ! C Sly. No, not a denier : Go by: S. Jeronimy SGo to thy cold bed, and warm
theed Host. I know my remedy, I must go fetch the third borough.e
[Exit. 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 his Train.
LORD. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:
Brach' Merriman,—the poor cur is emboss'd;
I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
He cried upon it at the merest loss,
· The tinker was right in boasting of the antiquity of his family, though he has no precise recollection of the name of the Conqueror. Sly and sleigh are the same, corresponding with sleight. The Slys or Sleighs were skilful men-cunning of hand. We are informed that Sly was anciently a common name in Shakspere's own town.
Paucas pallabris--pocas pallabras-few words, as they have it in Spain. Sessa, in the same way, is the cessa of the Spaniards--be quiet.
Burst-broken. John of Gaunt “ burst Shallow's head for crowding in among the marshal's men."
a This sentence is generally printed, “Go by, says Jeronimy ;-Go to thy cold bed," &c. Theobald pointed out that in the old play of 'The Spanish Tragedy,' in which occurs the character of Hieronymo, there is the expression “ Go by, go by;" and that the speech of Sly was in ridicule of the passage. Mason, to confirm this, altered the “Go by S. Jeronimie” of the original copy to “ Go by, says Jeronimy.” Mr. Dyce says that the expression “Go by Jeronimo" had almost become proverbial. “To give the Go-by” is still a common expression. Sly tells the Hostess to
Go by." The term suggests the allusion to the play which it was the fashion of the old dramatists to laugh at; and he makes the matter more ridiculous by confounding Jeronimo with Saint Jerome.
Thirdborough. In the original folio this is, by mistake, printed headborough, by which the humour of Sly's answer is lost. The thirdborough was a petty constable: and, from the following passage in the Constable's Guide,' 1771, the name appears, in recent times, to have been peculiar to Warwickshire: “ There are in several counties of this realm other officers; that is, by other titles, but not much inferior to our constables; as, in Warwickshire, a thirdborough."
'Brach. In one instance ('Lear,' Act III. Scene 5) Shakspere uses this word as indicating a dog of a particular species:
“ Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,
Hound or spaniel, brach or lym." But he in other places employs it in the way indicated in an old book on sports, The Gentle. man's Recreation.'—"A brach is a mannerly-name for all hound-bitches." We should have thought that the meaning of this passage could not have been mistaken. The lord is pointing out one of his pack—“Brach Merriman,"—adding," the poor cur is emboss'd,"—that is, swollen by hard running. Ritson, however, would read~"Bathe Merriman,"—and Hanmer, “ Leech Merriman.”
And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent.
Trust me, I take him for the better dog.
I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
them well, and look unto them all;
lord. LORD. What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe ? 2 Hun. He breathes, my lord: Were he not warm'd with ale,
This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image !
Would not the beggar then forget himself?
well the jest:
And, when he says he is — The dash is here clearly intended to indicate a blank. It is as if the lord had said, “ And, when he says he is So and So," when he tells his name. Steevens would read, “ And when he says he's poor;" Johnson, · And when he says he 's Sly.”
This do, and do it kindly“, gentle sirs;
If it be husbanded with modesty.
As he shall think, by our true diligence,
He is no less than what we say he is.
[Some bear out Sly.
A trumpet sounds.
Re-enter a Servant.
How now? who is it?
An 't please your honour, players,
Bid them come near.
Now, fellows, you are welcome. PLAYERS.
We thank your
Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son ;-
Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform'd.
Well, you are come to me in happy time;
modesties; Lest, over-eyeing of his odd behaviour, (For yet his honour never heard a play,)
• Kindly, naturally.
• 1 Play. In the original this line is given to Sincklo. This was the name of a player of inferior parts in Shakspere's company. The same performer is also mentioned in the quarto edition of 'Henry IV., Part II.,' as also in 'Henry VI. Soto is the name of a character in Beaumont and Fletcher's 'Woman Pleased;' but it is very questionable whether Shakspere alluded to this play.
You break into some merry passion,
If you should smile, he grows impatient.
Were he the veriest antic in the world.
And give them friendly welcome every one :
[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, He bear himself with honourable action, Such as he hath observ'd in noble ladies Unto their lords, by them accomplished : Such duty to the drunkard let him do, With soft low tongue, and lowly courtesy; And say,—What is 't your honour will command, Wherein your lady, and your humble wife, May show her duty, and make known her love? And then, with kind embracements, tempting kisses, And with declining head into his bosom, Bid him shed tears, as being overjoy'd To see her noble lord restor'd to health, Who, for this seven years, hath esteemed him No better than a or and loathsome beggar : And if the boy have not a woman's gift, To rain a shower of commanded tears, An onion will do well for such a shift; Which in a napkin being close convey'd Shall in despite enforce a watery eye. See this despatch'd with all the haste thou canst; Anon I 'll give thee more instructions.
[Exit Servant. I know the boy will well usurp