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CLO. You have of these pedlers, that have more in 'em than you'd think, sister.
PER. Ay, good brother, or go about to think.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing.
Lawn, as white as driven snow;
necklace-amber,] Place only a comma after amber. "Autolycus is puffing his female wares, and says that he has got among his other rare articles for ladies, some necklace-amber, an amber of which necklaces are made, commonly called bead-amber, fit to perfume a lady's chamber. So, in The Taming of the Shrew, Act IV. sc. iii. Petruchio mentions amber-bracelets, beads," &c. Milton alludes to the fragrance of amber. See Sams. Agon. v. 720:
"An amber scent of odorous perfume,
"Her harbinger." T. WARTON.
poking-sticks of steel,] These poking-sticks were heated in the fire, and made use of to adjust the plaits of ruffs. In Marston's Malcontent, 1604, is the following instance :-"There is such a deale of pinning these ruffes, when the fine clean fall is worth them all;" and, again: "If you should chance to take a nap in an afternoon, your falling band requires no poking-stick to recover his form," &c. Again, in Middleton's comedy of Blurt Master Constable, 1602: "Your ruff must stand in print, and for that purpose get poking-sticks with fair long handles, lest they scorch your hands."
These poking-sticks are several times mentioned in Heywood's If you know not me you know Nobody, 1633, second part; and
Come, buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
Come, buy, &c.
CLO. If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou should'st take no money of me; but being enthrall'd as I am, it will also be the bondage of certain ribands and gloves.
MOP. I was promised them against the feast; but they come not too late now.
DOR. He hath promised you more than that, or there be liars.
MOP. He hath paid you all he promised you: may be, he has paid you more; which will shame you to give him again.
CLO. Is there no manners left among maids? will they wear their plackets, where they should bear their faces? Is there not milking-time, when you
in The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1619, which has been attributed to Shakspeare. In the books of the Stationers' Company, July, 1590, was entered "A ballat entitled Blewe Starche and Pokingsticks. Allowed under the hand of the Bishop of London."
Again, in the Second Part of Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 8vo. no date:
"They [poking-sticks] be made of yron and steele, and some of brasse, kept as bright as silver, yea some of silver itselfe, and it is well if in processe of time they grow not to be gold. The fashion whereafter they be made, I cannot resemble to any thing so well as to a squirt or a little squibbe which little children used to squirt out water withal; and when they come to starching and setting of their ruffes, then must this instrument be heated in the fire, the better to stiffen the ruffe," &c.
Stowe informs us, that "about the sixteenth yeare of the queene [Elizabeth] began the making of steele poking-sticks, and untill that time all lawndresses used setting stickes made of wood or bone." See Much Ado about Nothing, Act III. sc. iv.
are going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle off these secrets; but you must be tittle-tattling before all our guests? 'Tis well they are whispering: Clamour your tongues,' and not a word more.
The word is
kiln-hole,] The mouth of the oven. spelt in the old copy kill-hole, and I should have supposed it an intentional blunder, but that Mrs. Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor desires Falstaff to "creep into the kiln-hole ;" and there the same false spelling is found. Mrs. Ford was certainly not intended for a blunderer. MALONE.
Kiln-hole is the place into which coals are put under a stove, a copper, or a kiln in which lime, &c. are to be dried or burned. To watch the kiln-hole, or stoking-hole, is part of the office of female servants in farm-houses. Kiln, at least in England, is not a synonyme to oven. STEEVENS.
Kiln-hole is pronounced kill-hole, in the midland counties, and generally means the fire-place used in making malt; and is still a noted gossipping place. HARRIS.
Clamour your tongues,] The phrase is taken from ringing. When bells are at the height, in order to cease them, the repetition of the strokes becomes much quicker than before; this is called clamouring them. The allusion is humorous.
WARBURTON. The word clamour, when applied to bells, does not signify in Shakspeare a ceasing, but a continued ringing. Thus used in Much Ado about Nothing, Act V. sc. ii:
- If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb e'er he dies, he shall live no longer in monument, than the bell rings and the widow weeps.
"Beat. And how long is that, think you?
"Ben. Question? why an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rheum." GREY.
Perhaps the meaning is, Give one grand peal, and then have done. "A good Clam" (as I learn from Mr. Nichols,) in some villages is used in this sense, signifying a grand peal of all the bells at once. I suspect that Dr. Warburton's is a mere gratis
In a note on Othello, Dr. Johnson says, that "to clam a bell is to cover the clapper with felt, which drowns the blow, and hinders the sound." If this be so, it affords an easy interpretation of the passage before us. MALONE.
Admitting this to be the sense, the disputed phrase may answer to the modern one of-ringing a dumb peal, i. e. with muffled bells. STEEvens.
Mo". I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry lace, and a pair of sweet gloves.3
you promised me a tawdry lace,] Tawdry lace is thus described in Skinner, by his friend Dr. Henshawe: Tawdrie lace, astrigmenta, timbriæ, seu fasciolæ, emtæ Nundinis Sæ. Etheldredæ celebratis: Ut rectè monet Doc. Thomas Henshawe." Etymol. in voce. We find it in Spenser's Pastorals, Aprill: "And gird in your wast,
"For more finenesse, with a tawdrie lace."
So, in The Life and Death of Jack Straw, a comedy, 1593: "Will you in faith, and I'll give you a tawdrie lace." Tom, the miller, offers this present to the queen, if she will procure his pardon.
It may be worth while to observe, that these tawdry laces were not the strings with which the ladies fasten their stays, but were worn about their heads, and their waists. So, in The Four P's, 1569:
"Brooches and rings, and all manner of beads,
Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion, song the second:
"Of which the Naides and the blew Nereides make
In a marginal note it is observed that tawdries are a kind of necklaces worn by country wenches.
Again, in the fourth song:
66 not the smallest beck,
"But with white pebbles makes her tawdries for her neck.”
3- a pair of sweet gloves.] Sweet, or perfumed gloves, are frequently mentioned by Shakspeare, and were very fashionable in the age of Elizabeth, and long afterwards. Thus Autolycus, in the song just preceding this passage, offers to sale:
"Gloves as sweet as damask roses.'
Stowe's Continuator, Edmund Howes, informs us, that the English could not "make any costly wash or perfume, until about the fourteenth or fifteenth of the queene [Elizabeth,] the right honourable Edward Vere earle of Oxford came from Italy, and brought with him gloves, sweet bagges, a perfumed leather jerkin, and other pleasant thinges: and that yeare the queene had a payre of perfumed gloves trimmed onlie with foure tuftes, or roses, of cullered silke. The queene took such pleasure in those gloves, that shee was pictured with those gloves upon her hands;
CLO. Have I not told thee, how I was cozened by the way, and lost all my money?
AUT. And, indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad; therefore it behoves men to be wary.
CLO. Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose nothing here.
AUT. I hope so, sir; for I have about me many parcels of charge.
CLO. What hast here? ballads?
MOP. Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print, a'-life; for then we are sure they are true.
and for many yeers after it was called the erle of Oxfordes perfume." Stowe's Annals, by Howes, edit. 1614, p. 868, col. 2. In the computus of the bursars of Trinity College, Oxford, for the year 1631, the following article occurs: fumigandis chirothecis." Gloves make a constant and considerable article of expence in the earlier accompt-books of the college here mentioned; and without doubt in those of many other societies. They were annually given (a custom still subsisting) to the college-tenants, and often presented to guests of distinction. But it appears (at least, from accompts of the said college in preceding years,) that the practice of perfuming gloves for this purpose was fallen into disuse soon after the reign of Charles the First. T. WARTON.
In the ancient metrical romance of The Sowdon of Babyloyne, (which must have been written before the year 1375,) is the following passage, from which one would suppose, (if the author has been guilty of no anti-climax,) that gloves were once a more estimable present than gold:
"Lete me thy prisoneres seen,
"I wole thee gyfe both goolde and gloves." p. 39.
"I love a ballad in print, a'-life;] Theobald reads, as it has been hitherto printed, or a life. The text, however, is right; only it should be printed thus:-a'-life. So, it is in Ben Jonson: thou lovst a'-life
"Their perfum'd judgment."