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OF you make a younker of me? 4 shall I not take mine ease in mine inn; but I shall have my pocket pick’d?s I have lost a seal-ring of my grandfather's; worth forty mark.
4 — a younker of me?] A younker is a novice, a young inexperienced man easily gulld. So, in Gascoine's Glass for Government, 1575:
*** These yonkers shall pay for the toft. See Spenser's Eclogue on May, and Sir Tho. Smith's Commok. wealth of England, Book I. ch. xxiii.
This contemptuous diftinction is likewise very common in the old plays. Thus, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Elder Brother :
'" I fear he'll make an ass of me, a yonker,” I learn, however, from Smith's Sea-Grammar, 1627, (there was an carlier edition,) that one of the senses of the term-younker, was “ the young men” employed “to take in the top-failes.” They are mentioned as distinct characters from the sailors, who are the ancient men for hoiîng the failes," &c. STEEVENS.
-Shall I not take mine ease in mine inn, but I fall have my pocket pick’d?] There is a peculiar force in these words. To take mine ease in mine inne, was an ancient proverb, not very different in its application from that maxim, “Every man's house is his castle;
for inne originally signified a house or habitation. (Sax. inne, domus, domicilium.] When the word inne began to change its meaning, and to be used to signify a house of entertainment, the proverb, ftill continuing in force, was applied in the latter sense
, as it is here used by Shakspeare: or perhaps Falstaff here húmor. ously puns upon the word inné, in order to represent the wrong done him more strongly.
In John Heywood's Works imprinted at London, 1598, quarto, bl. 1. is “ a dialogue wherein are pleasantly contrived the number of all the effectual proverbs in our English tongue, &c. together with three hundred epigrams on three hundred proverbs.” In ch. vi. is the following:
“ Refty welth willeth me the widow to winne,
“ To let the world wag, and take mine ease in mine itine," And among the epigrams is: [26. Of Ease in an Inne.]
• Thou takejt thine ease in thine inne so nye thee,
“ That no man in his inne can take ease by thee.” Otherwise :
“ Thou takest thine ease in thine inne, but I fee,
“ Thine inne taketh neither ease nor profit by thee." Now in the first of these distichs the word inne is used in its ancient meaning, being spoken by a person who is about to marry
Host. O Jesu! I have heard the prince tell him, I know not how oft, that that ring was copper.
Fal. How! the prince is a Jack, a sneak-cup; and, if he were here, I would cudgel him like a dog, if he would say so.
Enter Prince Henry and Poins, marching. Fal
staff meets the Prince, playing on bis truncheon, like a fife.
FAL. How now, lad ? is the wind in that door, j'faith? muft we all march?
a widow for the fake of a home, &c. In the two laft places, inne feems to be ufed in the sense it bears at present. PERCY.
Gabriel Harvey, in a MS. note to Speght's Chaucer, says, “ Some of Heywood's epigrams are supposed to be the conceits and devices of pleasant fir Thomas More."
Inne for a habitation, of a recefs, is frequently used by Spenfer and other ancient writers. So, in A World toss'd at Tennis, 1620: “ These great rich men must take their ease in their Inn.” Again, in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617: “ The beggar Irus that haunted the palace of Penelope, would take bis ease in his inne, as well as the peeres of Ithaca."
STEEVENS, I believe inns differed from castles, in not being of so much consequence and extent, and more particularly in not being fortified. So Inns of court, and in the universities, before the endowment of colleges. Thus, Trinity college, Cambridge, was made out of and built on the site of several inns. Lort.
6 — a seal-ring of my grandfather's, worth forty mark.] This seems to have been the usual price of such a ring about Falstaff's time. In the printed Rolls of Parliament, Vol. VI. p. 140, we meet with “ A fignet of gold, to the value of XL marcs.”
RITSON. 7 the prince is a Jack,] This term of contempt occurs frequently in our author. In The Taming of the Shrew, Katharine calls her musick-master, in derision, a twangling Jack. Malone.
This term is likewise met with in Coriolanus, The Merchant of Venice, Cymbeline, &c. &c. but is still so much in use, as scarcely to need exemplification. STEVENS.
Bard. Yea, two and two, Newgate-fashion.
P. Hen. What say'st thou, mistress Quickly? How does thy husband? I love him well, he is an honest man.
Host. Good my lord, hear me.
Fal. The other night I fell asleep here behind the arras, and had my pocket pick’d: this house is turn'd bawdy-house, they pick pockets.
P. Hen. What didst thou lose, Jack?
FAL. Wilt thou believe me, Hal? three or four bonds of forty pound a-piece, and a seal-ring of my grandfather's.
P.Hen. A trifle, some eight-penny matter.
Host. So I told him, my lord; and I said, I heard your grace say so: And, my lord, he speaks most vilely of you, like a foul-mouth'd man as he is; and said, he would cudgel you.
P. Hen. What! he did not?
Host. There's neither faith, truth, nor womanhood in me else.
FAL. There's no more faith in thee than in a stew'd prune; 8 nor no more truth in thee, than in
Newgate-fashion.] As prifoners are conveyed to Newgate, fastened two and two together. Johnson.
So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1601: " Why then, come; we'll walk arm in arm, as though we were leading one another to News gate.” RED.
8 There's no more faith in thee than in a stew'd prune; &c.] The propriety of these fimiles I am not sure that I fully understand. A jew'd prune has the appearance of a prune, but has no taste. A drawn fox, that is, an exenterated fox, has the form of a fox
a drawn fox;' and for womanhood, maid Marian
without his powers. I think Dr. Warburton's explication wrong, which makes a drawn fox to mean, a fox often hunted; though to draw is a hunter's term for pursuit by the track. My interpretation makes the fox suit better to the prune. These are very llender disquisitions, but such is the task of a commentator.
JOHNSON. Dr. Lodge, in his pamphlet called Wit's Miserie, or ihe World's Madnesle, 1596, describes a bawd thus : “ This is shee that laies wait at all the carriers for wenches new come up to London ; and you shall know her dwelling by a dish of few'd prunes in the window; and two or three fleering wenches fit knitting or sowing in her shop."
In Measure for Measure, Act II. the male bawd excuses himself for having admitted Elbow's wife into his house, by saying,
" that The came in great with child, and longing for ftew'd prunes, which ftood in a difh," &c.
Slender, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, who apparently wishes to recommend himself to his mistress by a seeming propensity to love as well as war, talks of having measured weapons with a fencing-master for a dish of flew'd prunes.
In another old dramatic piece entitled, If this be not a good Play the Devil is in it, 1612, a bravo enters with money, and says, “ This is the pension of the ftewes, you need not untie it; 'tis stew-money, fir, few'd prune cash, fir.”
Among the other fins laid to the charge of the once celebrated Gabriel Harvey, by his antagonist Nath, “ to be drunk with the firrop or liquor of stew'd prunes,” is not the least insisted on.
Again, in Decker's Honeft Whore, P. II. 1630 : “ Peace! two dishes of few'd prunes, a bawd and a pander!" Again, in Northward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607, a bawd says, “I will have but fix stewed prunes in a dish, and some of mother Wall's cakes; for my best customers are tailors.” Again, in The Noble Stranger, 1640: “ to be drunk with cream and stewed prunes!
- Pox on't, bawdy-house fare.” Again, in Decker's Seven deadly Sinnes of London, 1606: “ Nay, the sober Perpetuana-suited Puritane, that dares not (so much as by moone-light) come neare the suburb shadow of a house where they set stewed prunes before you, raps as boldly at the hatch, when he knows Candlelight is within, as if he were a new chosen constable.''
The passages already quoted are sufficient to how that a dish of flew'd prunes was not only the ancient designation of a brothei, but the constant appendage to it.
From A Treatise on the Lues Venerea, written by W. Clowes, one of her majesty's furgeons, 1596, and other books of the fanie
may be the deputy's wife of the ward to thee.. Go, you thing, go.
kind, it appears that prunes were directed to be boiled in broth for those persons already infected; and that both flew'd prunes and roasted apples were commonly, though unsuccessfully, taken by way of prevention. So much for the infidelity of stew'd prunes.
STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens has fo fully discussed the subject of fewed prunes, that one can add nothing but the price. In a piece called Banks's Bay Horse in a Trance, 1595, we have “ A stock of wenches, set up with their fiew'd prunes, nine for a tester,” FARMER.
9 - a drawn fox ;]: A drawn fox may be a fox drawn over the ground, to exercise the hounds. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Tamer Tamed :
that drawn fox Moroso." Mr. Heath observes, that " a fox drawn over the ground to leave a scent, and exercise the hounds, may be said to have no truth in it, becaufe it deceives the hounds, who run with the same eagerness as if they were in pursuit of a real fox."
I am not, however, confident that this explanation is right. It was formerly supposed that a fox, when drawn out of his hole, had the fagacity to counterfeit death, that he might thereby obtain an opportunity to escape. For this information I am indebted to Mr. Tollet, who quotes Olaus Magnus, Lib. XVIII. cap. xxxix: “ Infuper fingit fe mortuam," &c. This particular and many others relative to the fabtilty of the fox, have been translated by several ancient English writers. Steevens. 2 - maid Marian may be &c.]
Maid Marian is a man dressed like a woman, who attends the dancers of the morris.
JOHNSON In the ancient Songs of Robin Hood frequent mention is made of maid Marian, who appears to have been his concubine. I could quote many passages in my old MS. to this purpose, but shall produce only one:
• Good Robin Hood was living then,
“ Which now is quite forgot,
“ And so was fayre maid Marian," &c. Percy,
• Next 'tis agreed (if therto thee agree)