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we. Am not I consanguineous? am I not of her blood ? Tilly-valley, lady!? There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady 18
Sir H. Hawkins. 6 Three merry men &c.] Three merry men be we, is likewise a fragment of some old song, which I find repeated in Westward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607, and by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Knight of the Burning Pestle:
“ Three merry men
“ And three merry men be we.”
“ Three merry boys, and three merry boys,
“ All under the triple tree."
“ And three merry men, and three merry men,
"And three merry men be we a.” Steevens. This is a conclusion common to many old songs. One of the most humorous that I can recollect, is the following:
“ The wise men were but seven, nor more shall be for me;
merry boyes are wee.
merry girles are wee." There are ale-houses in some of the villages in this kingdom, that have the sign of The Three Merry Boys; there was one at Highgate in my memory. Sir 7. Hawkins.
Three merry men be we, may, perhaps, have been taken originally from the song of Robin Hood and the T'anner. Old Ballads, Vol. I, p. 89:
“ Then Robin Hood took them by the hands,
“ With a bey, &c.
: Clo. Beshrew me, the knight's in admirable fooling.
“ And danced about the oak-tree;
“ And three merry men be we." Tyrubitt.
“Three merrie men, and three merrie men,
“ And three merrie men be wee;
“ And Jack sleepes in the tree.” Steevens.
7 Tilly-valley, lady.'] Tilly-valley was an interjection of contempt, which Sir Thomas More's lady is recorded to have had very often in her mouth. Johnson.
Tilly-valley is used as an interjection of contempt in the old play of Sir John Oldcastle; and is likewise a character in a comedy intituled Lady Alimony. Tillie-vallie may be a corruption of the Roman word (without a precise meaning, but indicative of contempt) Titivilitium. See the Casina of Plautus, 2, 5, 39. Steevens.
Tilly-valley is a hunting phrase borrowed from the French. In the Venerie de Facques Fouilloux., 1585, 4to. fo. 12, the following cry is mentioned: “ Ty a hillaut & vallecy;" and is set to music in pp. 49 and 50. Douce.
8 There develt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!) The ballad of Susanna, from whence this line (There dwelt, &c.) is taken, was licensed by T. Colwell, in 1562, under the title of The goodly and constant Wyfe Susanng. There is likewise a play on this subject. T. Warton.
Tbere dwelt a man in Babylon, lady,] Maria's use of the word lady brings the ballad to Sir Toby's remembrance: Lady, lady, is the burtben, 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.
Farmer. I found what I once supposed to be a part of this song, in All's lost by Lust, a tragedy by William Rowley, 1633:
“ There was a nobleman of Spain, lady, lady,
“ Oh, cruel age, when one brother, lady, lady,
Sir And. Ay, he does well enough, if he be dispos'd, and so do I too; he does it with a better grace, but I do it more natural.
Sir To. O, the twelfth day of December, [Singing. Mar. For the love o' God, peace.
Enter MALVOLIO. Mal. My masters, are you mad? or what are you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but'to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do you make an ale-house of my lady's house, that ye squeak out your coziers' catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of places persons, nor time, in you?
Sir To. We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!1
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, entitled The Trial of Treasure, 4to. 1567. The following is one of the stanzas:
“ Helene may not compared be,
“ Nor Cressida that was so bright,
Nor yet Minerva of great might;
« Lady, lady;
'My dere lady." Malone.
coziers' catches -] A cozier is a tailor, from coudre to sew, part. Cousil, Fr. Johnson.
Our author has again alluded to their love of vocal harmony in King Henry IV, P.1:
Lady. I will not sing. “ Hot. 'Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast
teacher.” A cozier, it appears from Minshieu, signified a botcber, or mender of old clothes, and also a cobler.-Here it means the former. Malone.
Minshieu 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 couger's end. Whalley. A coziers end is still used in Devonshire for a cobler's end.
Henley. 1 Sneck up!] The modern editors seem to have regarded this unintelligible phrase as the designation of a biccup. It is how
Mal. Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady bade me tell you, that though she harbours you as her kinsman, she's nothing allied to your disorders. If you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors, you are welcome to the house; if not, an it would please you to take leave of her, she is very willing to
Mal. Nay, good sir Toby.
Sir To. Out o time? sir, ye lie. 3-Art any more than a steward? Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale ?
* An if my
cver used in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, as it should seem, on another occasion: “Let thy father gó 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 Wily Beguiled: mistress would be ruled by him, Sophos might go suick up.". Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abingdon, 1599: “ · If they be not, let them go snick up.” Again, in Heywood's Fair Maid of the West, 1631, Blurt Master Constable, no date, &c.
Perhaps in the two former of these instances, the words may be corrupted, In King Henry IV, P. L Falstaff says: “ The Prince is a Jack, a Sneak-cup." i. e. one who takes his glass in a sneaking manner. I think we might safely read sneak.co:p, 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 latcb ibe door.'
Mr. "Malone and others observe, that from the manner in which this cant phrase is employed in our ancient comedies, it seems to have been synonymous to the modern expressionGo hang yourself. Steevens.
2 Farewel, dear beart, &c.] This entire song, with some variations, is published by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Rei liques of Ancient English Poetry. Steevens.
Clo.. Yes, by Saint Anne; and ginger shall be hot i' the mouth too.
Sir To. Thou 'rt i' the right.-Go, sir, rub your chain with crums:5-A stoop of wine, Marią !
Mal. Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's favour at any thing more than contempt, you would not give means for this uncivil rule ;6 she shall know of it, by this hand.
3 Out o'time? sir, ye lie,] The old copy bas" out o tune." We should read, “out of time," as his speech evidently refers to what Malvolio said before:
“ Have you no respect of place or time in you?
M. Mason. The same correction, I find, had been silently made by Theobald, and was adopted by the three subsequent editors. Sir Toby is here repeating with indignation Malvolio's words.
In the MSS. of our author's age, tune and time are often quite undistinguishable; the second stroke of the u seeming to be the first stroke of the m, or vice versa. Hence, in Macbeth, Act IV, sc. ult. edit. 1623, we have “ This time, goes manly," instead of “This tune goes manly." Malone,
4 Dost thou think, because thoy art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?] It was the custom on holidays and saints days to make cakes in honour of the day. The Puritans called this, superstition; and in page 217 Maria says, that Mal volio is sometimes a kind of Puritan. See Quarlous's Account of Rabbi Busy, Act I, sc. iii, in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair.
Letherland. rub your chain with crums:] That stewards anciently wore a chain, as a mark of superiority over other servants, may be proyed 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:
“ Pia. Is your chain right?
“ With no man's wrong." The best method of cleaning any gilt plate, is by rubbing it with crums. Nash, in his piece entitled Have with you to Safron Walden, 1595, taxes Gabriel Harvey with having stolen a noble. man’s steward's chain, at bis lord's installing at Windsor:
To conclude with the most apposite instance of all. See Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 1623:
Yea, and the chippings of the buttery, fly after him, to scour-his gold chain." Steerens.