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· Rom. Nay, good goose, bite not.

MER. Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting;' it is a most sharp sauce. '

ROM. And is it not well served in to a sweet goose ?

MER. O, here's a wit of cheverel, that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad!

* Rom. I stretch it out for that word-broad : which added to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose.

9- good goose, bite not.] Is a proverbial expression, to be found in Ray's Collection; and is used in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599. STEEVENS.

a very bitter sweeting;] A bittersweeting, is an apple of that name. So, in Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600:

“— as well crabs as sweetings for his summer fruits.” Again, in Fair Em, 1631 :

66 what, in displeasure gone! : “ And left me such a bitter sweet to gnaw upon ?” Again, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. VIII. fol, 174, b:

6 For all such tyme of love is lore,
“ And like unto the bitter swete ;
« For though it thinke a man fyrst swete,
" He shall well felen at laste

« That it is sower,” &c. STEEVENS. i a wit of cheverel,] Cheverel is soft leather for gloves.

Johnson. So, in The Two Maids of More-Clack, 1609 : .“ Drawing on love's white hand a glove of warmth, ..

“ Not cheveril stretching to such prophanation.” Again, in The Owl, by Drayton : “ A cheverell conscience, and a searching wit.” . .

STEEVENS. Cheveril is from chevreuil, roebuck. MusGRAVE.

i proves thee far and wide a broad goose.] To afford some meaning to this poor but intended witticism, Dr. Farmer would read " proves thee far and wide abroad, goose." ;



Mer. Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature: for this driveling love is like a great natural, that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.

BEN. Stop there, stop there. Mer. Thou desirest me to stop in my tale against the hair.5

Ben. Thou would'st else have made thy tale large.

MER. O, thou art deceived, I would have made it short: for I was come to the whole depth of my tale: and meant, indeed, to occupy the argument no longer.

Rom. Here's goodly geer!

' to hide his bauble in a hole.] It has been already observed by Sir J. Hawkins, in a note on All's well that ends well, Vol. VIII. p. 374, n. 7, that a bauble was one of the accoutrements of a licensed fool or jester. So again, in Sir William D'Avenant's Albovine, 1629 : « For such rich widows there love court fools, and use to play with their baubles.

Again, in The longer thou livest, the more Fool thou art, 1570: ::." And as stark an idiot as ever bare bable.

See the plate at the end of King Henry IV. P. I. with Mr. Tollet's observations on it. STEEVENS.

s- against the hair.] A contrepoil: Fr. An expression equivalent to one which we now use against the grain.” See Vol. V. p. 103, n. 3; and Vol. XI. p. 374, n. 7. STEEVENS.

I opine, that the commentators, in the present instance, have eschewed to seek the bottom of the poet's meaning: but tuta silentio merces, saith the Roman adage. AMNER. O t o occupy the argument no longer.] Here we have another wanton allusion. See Vol. XII. p. 88, n. 5.


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Enter Nurse and PETER.
MER. A sail, a sail,? a sail!.
BEN. Two, two; a shirt, and a smock.
NURSE. Peter!
PETER. Anon?
NURSE. My fan, Peter. 8

MER. Pr’ythee, do, good Peter, to hide her face; for her fan's the fairer of the two. · NURSE. God ye good morrow, gentlemen.

MER. God ye good den, fair gentlewoman. - NURSE. Is it good den?

MER. 'Tis no less, I tell you; for the bawdy hand of the dial" is now upon the prick of noon.?"

9 Mer. A sail, a sail,] Thus the quarto, 1597. In the subsequent ancient copies these words are erroneously given to Romeo. MALONE.

8 My fan, Peter.] The business of Peter carrying the Nurse's fan, seems ridiculous according to modern manners; but I find such was formerly the practice. In an old pamphlet called The Serving Man's Comfort, 1598, we are informed, “ The mistress must have one to carry her cloake and hood, another her fanne.”

FARMER. Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:

« To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan." -Again, in Every Man out of his Humour : “ If any lady, &c. wants an upright gentleman in the nature of a gentleman-usher, &c. who can hide his face with her fan,&c. STEEVENS.

9 God ye good' den,] i. e. God give you a good even. The first of these contractions is common among the ancient comick · writers. So, in R. Brome's Northern Lass, 1633 :

" God you good even, sir." STEEVENS. .

hand of the dial &c.] In The Puritan Widow, 1607; which has been attributed to our author, is a similar expression: " the feskewe of the diall is upon the chrisse-crosse of noon.”

STEEVENS, the prick of noon.] I marvel much that mine associates

Nurse. Out upon you! what a man are you?

ROM. One, gentlewoman, that God hath made himself to mar.

NURSE. By my troth, it is well said ;-For him. self to mar, quoth’a?-_Gentlemen, can any of you tell me where I may find the young Romeo ?

Rom. I can tell you ; but young Romeo will be older when you have found him, than he was when you sought him: I am the youngest of that name, for 'fault of a worse.

NURSE. You say well.

MER. Yea, is the worst well? very well took, i'faith ; wisely, wisely.

NURSE. If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you.

Ben. She will indite him to some supper.
MER. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho!
RoM. What hast thou found ?
MER. No hare, sir ;3 unless a hare, sir, in a len-

in the task of expounding the darker phrases of Shakspeare, should have overlooked this, which also hath already occurred in King Henry VI. P. III. Act I. sc. iv: ... “ And made an evening at the noon-tide prick.

Prick meaneth point, i. e. punctum, a note of distinction in writing, a stop. So, in Timothy Bright's Characterie, or an Arte of Shorte, &c. writing by Characters, 12mo. 1588: " If the worde, by reason of tence ende in ed, as, I loved, then make a prick in the character of the word, on the left side.”-Again : * The present tence wanteth a pricke, and so is knowen from other tences.”-Again : “ A worde of doing, that endeth in ing, as eating, drinking, &c. requireth two prickes under the bodie of the character,” &c. AMNER:

s No hare, sir;] Mercutio having roared out, So ho! the cry of the sportsmen when they start a hare, Romeo asks what he has found. And Mercutio answers, No hare, &c. The rest

ten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.

An old hare hoar,4

And an old hare hoar,
Is very good meat in lent:

But a hare that is hoar,

Is too much for a score,

When it hoars ere it be spent.-Romeo, will you come to your father's ? we'll to dinner thither.

Rom. I will follow you. · MER. Farewell, ancient lady; farewell, lady, lady,


[Exeunt MERCUTIO and BENVOLIO. NURSE. Marry, farewell ! 6– I pray you, sir, what

is a series of quibbles unworthy of explanation, which he who does not understand, needs not lament his ignorance. JOHNSON.

So ho! is the term made use of in the field when the hare is found in her seat, and not when she is started. A. C.

* An old hare hoar,] Hoar or hoary, is often used for mouldy, as things grow white from moulding. So, in Pierce Pennyless's Supplication to the Devil, 1595: “-as hoary as Dutch butter." Again, in F. Beaumont's Letter to Speght on his edition of Chaucer, 1602: “ Many of Chaucer's words are become as it were vinew'd and hoarie with over long lying.” Again, in Every Man out of his Humour:

“_ mice and rats
“ Eat up his grain; or else that it might rot

“ Within the hoary ricks e'en as it stands.” STEEVENS.. These lines appear to have been part of an old song. In the quarto, 1597, we have here this stage-direction; He walks between them. [i. e. the Nurse and Peter,] and sings." +

MALONE s l ady, lady, lady.] The burthen of an old song. See Vol. V. p. 297, n. 8. STEEVENS.

o Marry, farewell!] These words I have recovered from the quarto, 1597. MALONE.

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