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Stay till my beard shal sweepe mine aged brest,
While now my rimes rellish of the ferule still,
OLD driveling Lolio drudges all he can
Nought spendeth he for feare, nor spares for cost;
24 But my sixe cords beene of too loose a twine: Stay till my beard shul sweepe mine aged brest, Then shall I seeme an awfull Satyrist.
-Ah, si fas dicere! sed fas
Tunc, cùm ad canitiem, et nostrum istud vivere triste,
Pers. Sat. 1. E.
25 And thrise rehears'd them in his TRIVIALL FLOARE.
Triviall floare, from Trivium, a common resort, may mean his School-Room.
26 Who can despayre that sees another thrive.
The Oxford edition reads to see. I have restored the genuine reading from the editions of 1598, and 1599.
27 By lone of twelve-pence to an oyster-wive.
Probably by lending small sums to oyster-women for the purchase of their daily stock, for which an oppressive and usurious interest was demanded. Mr. Colquhoun, in his Treatise on the Police of the Metropolis, states this practice to be carried to a great extent, at this day, in London: many persons supporting themselves by lending enough to improvident barrow-women to purchase the stock of the day, for which they receive after the rate of six-pence for five shillings.
28 When a craz'd scaffold, and a rotten stage.
See Note 27, p. 287.
Let giddy Cosmius change his choyce aray,
From spightfull mothes, and frets, and hoary mold;
Guilded with drops that downe the bosome ran;
With a maund" charg'd with houshold merchandise,
With browne-bread crusts soften'd in sodden whay;
— or those paups of meale,
That Maro makes his Simule and Cybeale.
Simula is used in ancient Latin Deeds for a manchet, or white-loaf. I can explain the passage no farther,
Reex'd bacon soords-i. e. reechy remnants of bacon. Soord is still used in Warwickshire at least, and probably elsewhere, to denote the rind or thick skin of bacon.
34 list not spend-i. e. list not to spend,
35 In quinsing plovers, or in winning quailes.
Quinsing-descriptive of the noise made by the plover, similar to the effect of the quinsy on the organs of speech :-winning means whining.
6 Nor toot in Cheap-side baskets earne and late,
To set the first tooth in some novell-cate.
Tooting means searching. See Todd's Spenser, vol. i. p. 53. Earne, is early. Novell-cate means New-cake.
Let sweet-mouth'd Mercia bid what crowns she please
Some starved pullen" scoures the rusted spitt.
There to learne law, and courtly carriage,
With tissued panes to prancke each peasant's breech" ?
ruffling as he can.
The tailor stays thy leisure,
To deck thy body with his RUFFLING treasure.
Mr. Malone says "A ruffler in our author's time signified a noisy and turbulent swaggerer; and the word ruffling may here be applied in a kindred sense to dress." See his Note on the passage in the Taming of the Shrew, Act xiv. Sc. 3.
40 With tissued panes to prancke each peasant's breech.
Probably with squares of tissue (a rich stuff made of silk, and silver or gold thread, woven together) to dress out, or ornament, &c. The Oxford Editor, not understanding the word panes in this sense, spells it pains, having found it paines in the
edition of 1599.
Probably, some homely clad inhabitant of the Parish where he was born.
Could never man worke thee a worser shame,
There, soone as he can kisse his hand in gree",
And shake his head, and cringe his necke and side,
Nay then his Hodge shall leave the plough and waine,
Fooles! they may feede with words and live by ayre,
minge-Qu. should not this be minde, to remind?
44 Or a Hos EGO from old Petrarch's spright Unto a plagiarie sonnet-wright.
Qu. what is the allusion here?
45 There, soone as he can kisse his hand in GREE.
i. e. in expression of liking or satisfaction: from the Italian "prendi in grado.” Frequently used by Spenser, See Todd's Spenser, vol. ii. p. 158.
46 Of strange Moroccoe's dumbe arithmetike, &c. &c.
Alluding to a Horse exhibited by one Bankes, and taught to perform a variety of tricks. Shakespeare and many other writers of his day allude to his feats. Both Bankes and his Horse were, at length, to the disgrace of the age, burnt at Rome, as magicians, by order of the pope. See a curious Note, with a coarse representation of the horse exhibiting his tricks, in Reed's Shakespeare, vol. vii. p. 26.-The other lines refer to popular exhibitions of the author's time.
47 steere-a young bullock.
48 Why mought not he, as well as others done,
Rise from his fescue to his Littleton ?
Fescue was restored by the Oxford Editor: the early editions reading Festue. It means "a small wire, by which those who teach to read point out the letters." Johnson. By Littleton is probably intended the great lawyer. The sense is, "Why might not he, as others have done, rise from the first rudiments of learning to great attainments and high reputation ?"
49 To win some patched shreds of Minivere.
The hood of a Master of Arts in the Universities. W. Minivere is "a skin with specks of white." AINSWORTH.
And seven more plod at a patron's tayle,
When Lolioe's caytive name is quite defa'st,
Thine heyre, thine heyre's heyre, and his heire againe
Shall climbe up to the chancell pewes on hie,
And hedge in all the neighbour common lands,
And praise his gentle soule and wish it well,
Did come in long since with the Conquerour.
Nor hath some bribed herald first assign'd
50 To get a gelded chappel's cheaper sayle.
I believe the true reading is gelded chapel: i. e, a benefice robbed of its tythes &c. So, in the Return from Parnassus: Act. iii. Sc. 1. He hath a proper GELDED parsonage. W. Warton's correction is of the Oxford edition: for gelded is in reality the reading of those of 1598 and 1599. This application of the word occurs several times in Shakespeare.-Sayle means sale.
51 And hedge in all the neighbour common lands.
Enclosures of waste lands were among the great and national grievances in our author's age. It may be presumed the practice was then carried on with the most arbitrary spirit of oppression and monopoly. W. Book v. Sat. 1. 1. 4. has a similar allusion: and great part of the Third Satire of that Book turns on the same idea. E.