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Before an Alehoufe on a Heath.

Enter Hoftefs and SLY.

Sur. I'll pheese you,' in faith.
Hosr. A pair of stocks, you rogue!

2 I'll pheefe you,] To pheefe or feafe, is to feparate a twist into fingle threads. In the figurative fenfe it may well enough be taken, like teaze or toze, for to harrass, to plague. Perhaps I'll pheeze you, may be equivalent to I'll comb your head, a phrase vulgarly ufed by perfons of Sly's character on like occafions. The following explanation of the word is given by Sir Thomas Smith, in his book de Sermone Anglico, printed by Robert Stephens, 4to: "To feize, means in fila diducere." JOHNSON.

Shakspeare repeats his ufe of the word in Troilus and Creffida, where Ajax fays he will pheefe the pride of Achilles : and Lovewit in The Alchemist employs it in the fame fenfe. Again, in Puttenham's Arte of English Poefie, 1589:

"Your pride ferves you to feaze them all alone." Again, in Stanyhurft's verfion of the first book of Virgil's Æneid : "We are touz'd, and from Italye feaz'd."

Italis longe disjungimur oris.

Again, ibid:

"Feaze away the droane bees," &c. STEEVENS,

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SLY. Y'are a baggage; the Slies are no rogues:3 Look in the chronicles, we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallabris; let the world flide: Seffa!

HOST. You will not pay for the glaffes you have burft?"

To pheeze a man, is to beat him; to give him a pheeze, is, to give him a knock. In The Chances, Antonio fays of Don John, "I felt him in my fmall guts; I am fure he has feaz'd me."

M. MASON. To touze or toaze had the fame fignification. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: "Arruffare. To touze, to tug, to bang, or rib-baste one." MALONE.


no rogues:] That is, vagrants, no mean fellows, but gentlemen. JOHNSON.

One William Sly was a performer in the plays of Shakspeare, as appears from the lift of comedians prefixed to the folio, 1623. This Sly is likewife mentioned in Heywood's Actor's Vindication, and the Induction to Marston's Malecontent. He was alfo among thofe to whom James I. granted a licence to act at the Globe theatre in 1603. STEEVENS.

4 paucas pallabris;] Sly, as an ignorant fellow, is purpofely made to aim at languages out of his knowledge, and knock the words out of joint. The Spaniards fay, pocas palabras, i. c. few words as they do likewise, Ceffa, i. e. be quiet.


This is a burlesque on Hieronymo, which Theobald speaks of in a following note: "What new device have they devifed now? Pocas pallabras." In the comedy of The Roaring Girl, 1611, a cut-purfe makes ufe of the fame words. Again, they appear in The Wife Woman of Hogfden, 1638, and in fome others, but are always appropriated to the lowest characters. STEEVENS.

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let the world flide:] This expreffion is proverbial. It is used in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money:


will you go drink,

"And let the world flide, uncle?" STEEVENS.

-you have burft?] To burft and to break were anciently fynonymous. Falstaff fays, that "John of Gaunt barft Shallow's head for crowding in among the marshal's men.”

Again, in Soliman and Perfeda :

"God fave you, fir, you have burst your shin.”

SLY. No, not a denier: Go by, says Jeronimy ;Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.'

Again, in Dr. Philemon Holland's tranflation of Plutarch's Apophthegms, edit. 1603, p. 405. To braft and to burst have the fame meaning. So, in All for Money, a tragedy by T. Lupton, 1574:

"If you forfake our father, for forrow he will braft.” In the fame piece, burft is ufed when it fuited the rhyme. Again, in the old morality of Every Man:

"Though thou weep till thy hart to-braft." STEEVENS. Burft is ftill used for broke in the North of England. See Dodfley's Collection of Old Plays, edit. 1780, Vol. XII. p. 375.


7 Go by, fays Jeronimy ;-Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.] The old copy reads-go by S Jeronimie. STEEVENS.

All the editions have coined a Saint here, for Sly to fwear by. But the poet had no fuch intentions. The paffage has particular humour in it, and must have been very pleafing at that time of day. But I must clear up a piece of ftage hiftory to make it understood. There is a fuftian old play, called Hieronymo; or The Spanish Tragedy: which I find was the common butt of raillery to all the poets in Shakspeare's time: and a paffage, that appeared very ridiculous in that play, is here humorously alluded to. Hieronymo, thinking himself injur'd, applies to the king for juftice; but the courtiers, who did not defire his wrongs fhould be fet in a true light, attempt to hinder him from an audience:

"Hiero. Juftice! O! juftice to Hieronymo.

"Lor. Back;-feeft thou not the king is bufy? "Hiero. O, is he fo?


King. Who is he, that interrupts our business? "Hiero. Not I:-Hieronymo, beware; go by, go by."

So Sly here, not caring to be dun'd by the Hoftefs, cries to her in effect," Don't be troublesome, don't interrupt me, go by ;" and to fix the fatire in his allufion, pleafantly calls her Jeronimo.

THEOBALD. The first part of this tragedy is called Jeronimo. The Tinker therefore does not fay Jeronimo as a mistake for Hieronymo.


I believe the true reading is-Go by, Jays Jeronimo, and that thes was the beginning of the word fays, which, by mistake, the printers did not complete. The quotation from the old play proves that it is Jeronimo himself that fays, Go by. M. MASON.

I have not fcrupled to place Mr. M. Mason's judicious correction in the text. STEEVENS.

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