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THE SILENT WOMAN.
Some for your waiting-wench, and city-wires."
This term, which seems to designate the matrons of the city in opposition to the White-Friars' nation' (see p. 275,) is new to me. In the stiff and formal dresses of those days, wire indeed was much used; but I know not that it was peculiar to the city dames. Perhaps I have missed the sense." GIFFORD.
"These flaming heads with staring haire,
These wyers twinde like hornes of ram," &c.
Gosson's Pleasant Quippes for Vpstart Newfangled
"This wire mine own hair covers."
Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, act ii. sc. 2.
Their wires, their partlets, pins, and perriwigs," &c.
Deuisors of new fashions and strange wyers."
Daniel's Queenes Arcadia,-Workes, p. 337, ed. 1623.
And Summer birds in Towne, that once a yeare
Marmyon's Hollands Leaguer, 1632, sig. E.
"Excellent, exceeding, i' faith! a narrow-eared wire sets out a cheek so fat and so full," &c.
Works, i. 461, ed. Dyce.
Middleton's Michaelmas Term,
SCENE 1.-P. 346.
A new foundation, sir, here in the town, of ladies, that call themselves the collegiates, an order between courtiers and countrymadams, that live from their husbands," &c.
They are alluded to in Maine's City-Match, 1639;
His loves too, and his mistresses; was enter'd
Among the philosophical madams; was
As great with them as their concerners; and, I hear,
Kept one of them in pension."
Act i. sc. 1.
SCENE 1.-P. 352.
“A brasier is not suffer'd to dwell in the parish, nor an armourer. He would have hang'd a pewterer's prentice once upon a Shrovetuesday's riot, for being of that trade, when the rest were quit."
Quit, as Whalley observes, means discharged from work." GIF
An erroneous explanation certainly. "Quit" means 'acquitted.' He would have hanged the pewterer's apprentice for being of that noisy trade, when the rest of the prisoners, being of other professions, were acquitted.
SCENE 2.-P. 408.
"notwithstanding all the dangers I laid afore you, in the voice of a night-crow," &c.
"Jonson literally translates the Greek word vUKTIKоpak, a species of owl, with which we are not acquainted." GIFFord.
The English word night-crow was common enough before the production of the present play: a tract, printed in 1590, is entitled Newnams Nightcrowe; a Bird that breedeth Braules in many Families and Householdes, &c.; and see Shakespeare's King Henry VI. (Third Part), act v. sc. 6.
There is a Greek epigram on this bird which is worth quoting for its lively humour;
Νυκτικόραξ ᾄδει θανατηφόρον· ἀλλ ̓ ὅταν ἄσῃ
Δημόφιλος, θνήσκει καὐτὸς ὁ νυκτικόραξ.
NIKAPXOY, Anth. Gr. t. iii. 66, ed. Jacobs.
THE INDUCTION.-P. 362.
"nor a little Davy, to take toll o' the bawds there, as in my time ; nor a Kindheart, if any body's teeth should chance to ache, in his play."
"I can say nothing of this person, nor of Kindheart: both were well known at the time, and probably regular frequenters of the Fair. The latter was, I suppose, a jack-pudding to a quack, and Fletcher seems to play upon his name, when he makes the clown say to his juggling master, 'An you had any mercy, you would not use a Kindheart thus,' Maid in the Mill." GIFFORD.
Little Davy appears to have been a bully on the town, a kind of Pistol ;
'At sword and buckler little Dauy was no bodie to him." Dekker's Newes from Hell, &c. 1606, sig. B.
(Dekker has the very same passage again in his Knights Coniuring, 1607, sig. c.)
Roughman. Had you but staid the crossing of one field,
You had beheld a Hector, the boldest Trojan
That euer Roughman met with.
Forset. Pray what was he?
Roughman. You talke of Little Davy, Cutting Dick,
And diuers such, but tush, this hath no fellow."
Heywood's Fair Maid of the West, 1631,
As to Kindheart, who seems to have been an itinerant tooth-drawer, it will be sufficient to refer the reader to a tract by Chettle, entitled Kind-Hearts Dream, which has been lately reprinted, with an Introduction, for the Percy Society.
SCENE 1.-P. 414.
"Urs. Vapours! never tusk, nor twirl your dibble, good Jordan, I know what you'll take to a very drop. Though you be captain of the roarers, and fight well at the case of piss-pots, you shall not fright me with your lion-chap, sir, nor your tusks."
"A boar is said to tusk, when he is irritated and shews his fangs. Ursula's next expression is not quite so intelligible. It may mean, (and I have nothing but conjecture to offer the reader,) never twist or play with your beard; as Blake was said to do, when he was angry. In this fantastic age, beards were of all shapes; we have the tile beard,' the dagger beard,' the spade beard,' &c. the dibble beard might possibly be a variety of the latter." GIFFORD.
I suspect, that by "dibble" and "tusks" Ursula means the same thing: that "tusks" are mustachoes," is certain from the following passages;
his tuskes tickle his nose." The Wandering Jew (Description of a Courtier), 1640, (a date considerably later than that of its composition), sig. c.
Perfum'd my louzy thatch here, and poak'd out
S. Rowley's Noble Spanish Soldier, 1634, sig. c.
SCENE 1.-P. 415.
Mouse. Buy a mousetrap, a mousetrap, or a tormentor for a
In The Trauels of Twelve-pence by Taylor the water-poet, Twelve-pence, after giving a prodigiously long list of the various masters whom he had served, is made to say,
"I could name more, if so my Muse did please,
P. 71,-Workes, ed. 1630.
and that the articles in question were formerly hawked about the streets of the metropolis, we learn from "The Cries of Rome [London]" appended to Heywood's Rape of Lucrece;