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A TALE OF A TUB.
SCENE 2.-P. 185.
"Young justice Bramble has kept level coyl
Here in our quarters," &c.
"i. e. (in our old dramatists) riot or disturbance. But, properly, level coil is a game in which each of the parties strives to supplant and win the place of the other," &c. GIFFORD.
Nares (Gloss. in v.) says that he has found level-coil in no other passage of our early dramatists besides this of Jonson. But they not unfrequently employ the term: for instance;
Tav. How now! what coil is here?
Black. Level-coil, you see, every man's pot."
Beaumont and Fletcher's Faithful Friends, act 1, sc. 2.
'How easie a worke
Twere for one woman to supply 'em both,
Brome's Mad Couple well match'd, act ii. sc. 1. (Sig. c 5.)
Compare also Armin's Nest of Ninnies, 1608;
and so they did, and entered the parlour, found all this leuell coyle, and his pate broken," &c. p. 28, Shakespeare Society reprint.
(where, p. 61, the editor, not being acquainted with the term, conjectures "lewd coyl.")
And Taylor's Satyre;
"Whose soul (perhaps) in quenchlesse fire doth broile,
Whilst on the earth his sonne keepes leuell coile.”
Workes, p. 260, ed. 1630.
THE SAD SHEPHERD.
SCENE 2.-P. 268.
'Mar. You are a wanton.
Rob. One, I do confess,
I want-ed till you came."
Women are wantons, and yet men cannot want one." Rosalynde. Euphues golden legacie, &c., 1590, sig. в 2.
The fol. reads Gar, which Mr. Waldron corrects as in the text." GIFFORD.
Jonson was much better acquainted with the northern phraseology than Waldron, whose "correction" is in fact a corruption of the text. "Gar take" means 6 cause take:' to gar, i. e. to make, to cause, is still in common use among the Scotch. I am surprised that Gifford did not recollect the occurrence of the word in various Scottish ballads which he must certainly have read,—e. g. in the well-known burthen,
"Mar. My heart it is, is wounded, pretty Amie."
This is copied by Shadwell in the Lancashire Witches:
But he honestly refers to the original: See (he says) the renown'd Jonson in the second act of his Sad Shepherd." GIFFORD.
In Shirley's Constant Maid, act v. sc. 3, we find,
'Trust not a woman, they have found the herb
To open locks."
on which passage Gifford merely remarks, "See Jonson's Sad Shepherd, vol. vi. p. 295."
The herb to which this power was attributed is the lunary or moon-wort: a play called The Unfortunate Usurper, 1663, contains the following passage;
"The greatnesse of Princes Fortunes not onely forces 'um to keep open Court, but (as if the Herb Lunaria were in the Locks) makes all their Privy-Chamber doors fly open." Act i. sc. 3, p. 6.
And Gerarde, in his Herball, observes, that
hath beene used
"Small Moonewoort [lunaria minor] among the Alchymistes and witches to doe wonders withall, who say, that it will loose lockes, and make them to fall from the feet of horses that grase where it doth grow," &c.; p. 407, ed. 1633.
I may notice here, that verses by Jonson, not included in Gifford's edition of his works, are prefixed to the following books:
Coryats Crudities, &c. 1611, 4to.
The Ghost of Richard the Third. Expressing himselfe in these three Parts. 1. His Character. 2. His Legend. 3. His Tragedie,
&c. (by C. B.-qy. Christopher Brooke ?), 1614, 4to.
The Rogve; or The Life of Guzman De Alfarache, &c. The third Edition, corrected, folio, 1623.