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AUT. Here's one to a very doleful tune, How a usurer's wife was brought to bed of twenty moneybags at a burden; and how she longed to eat adders' heads, and toads carbonadoed.
MOP. Is it true, think you?
AUT. Very true; and but a month old.
AUT. Here's the midwife's name to't, one mistress Taleporter; and five or six honest wives' that were present: Why should I carry lies abroad? 5
MOP. 'Pray you now, buy it.
CLO. Come on, lay it by: And let's first see more ballads; we'll buy the other things anon.
AUT. Here's another ballad, Of a fish, that ap
It is the abbreviation, I suppose, of-at life; as a'-work is, of at work. TYRWHITT.
This restoration is certainly proper. So, in The Isle of Gulls, 1606: "Now in good deed I love them a'-life too." Again, in A Trick to catch the Old One, 1619: "I love that sport a'-life, i'faith." A-life is the reading of the eldest copies of The Winter's Tale, viz. fol. 1623, and 1632. STEEVENS.
5 Why should I carry lies abroad?] Perhaps Shakspeare. remembered the following lines, which are found in Golding's translation of Ovid, 1587, in the same page in which he read the story of Baucis and Philemon, to which he has alluded in Much Ado about Nothing. They conclude the tale:
"These things did ancient men report of credite very good,
"For why, there was no cause that they should lie. As I there stood," &c. MALONE.
ballad, Of a fish, &c.] Perhaps in later times prose has obtained a triumph over poetry, though in one of its meanest departments; for all dying speeches, confessions, narratives of' murders, executions, &c. seem anciently to have been written in verse. Whoever was hanged or burnt, a merry, or a lamentable ballad (for both epithets are occasionally bestowed on these
peared upon the coast, on Wednesday the fourscore of April, forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids it was thought, she was a woman, and was turned into a cold fish, for she would not exchange flesh with one that loved her: The ballad is very pitiful, and as true.
DOR. Is it true too, think you?
AUT. Five justices hands at it; and witnesses, more than my pack will hold.
CLO. Lay it by too: Another.
AUT. This is a merry ballad; but a very pretty
MOP. Let's have some merry ones.
AUT. Why, this is a passing merry one; and goes to the tune of, Two maids wooing a man: there's scarce a maid westward, but she sings it; 'tis in request, I can tell you.
MOP. We can both sing it; if thou'lt bear a part, thou shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.
compositions,) was immediately entered on the books of the Company of Stationers. Thus, in a subsequent scene of this play: Such a deal of wonder is broken out within this hour, that ballad-makers cannot be able to express it." STEEVENS. Of a fish, that appeared upon the coast,-it was thought, she was a woman,] In 1604 was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company: "A strange reporte of a monstrous fish that appeared in the form of a woman, from her waist upward, seene in the sea." To this it is highly probable that Shakspeare alludes. MALONE.
See The Tempest, Vol. IV. p. 83, n. 7. STEEVENS.
for she would not exchange flesh-] i. e. because.
So, in Othello: "Haply, for I am black." MALOne.
DOR. We had the tune on't a month ago.
AUT. I can bear my part; you must know, 'tis my occupation: have at it with you.
A. Get you hence, for I must go;
D. Whither? M. O, whither? D. Whither?
D. Me too, let me go thither.
M. Or thou go'st to the grange, or mill:
A. Neither. D. What, neither? A. Neither.
CLO. We'll have this song out anon by ourselves; My father and the gentlemen are in sad* talk, and we'll not trouble them: Come, bring away thy pack after me. Wenches, I'll buy for you both:-Pedler, let's have the first choice.-Follow me, girls.
AUT. And you shall pay
well for 'em, [Aside.
sad-] For serious. JOHNSON.
So, in Much Ado about Nothing:-" hand in hand, in sad conference." STEEVENS.
Will you buy any tape,
That doth utter all men's ware-a,"
[Exeunt Clown, AUTOLYCUS, DORCAS, and MOPSA.
Enter a Servant.
SERV. Master, there is three carters, three shepherds, three neat-herds, three swine-herds, 'that have
• That doth utter all men's ware-a.] To utter. To bring out, or produce. JOHNSON.
To utter is a legal phrase often made use of in law proceedings and Acts of Parliament, and signifies to vend by retail. From many instances I shall select the first which occurs. Stat. 21 Jac. I. c. 3, declares that the provisions therein contained shall not prejudice certain letters patent or commission granted to a corporation" concerning the licensing of the keeping of any tavern or taverns, or selling, uttering, or retailing of wines to be drunk or spent in the mansion-house of the party so selling or uttering the same." REED.
See Minshieu's DICT. 1617: "An utterance, or sale."
1 Master, there are three carters, three shepherds, three neatherds, and three swine-herds,] Thus all the printed copies hither. Now, in two speeches after this, these are called four threes of herdsmen. But could the carters properly be called herdsmen? At least, they have not the final syllable, herd, in their names; which, I believe, Shakspeare intended all the four threes should have. I therefore guess he wrote:-Master, there are three goat-herds, &c. And so, I think, we take in the four species of cattle usually tended by herdsmen. THEOBALD.
made themselves all men of hair ; they call them
all men of hair;] Men of hair, are hairy men, or satyrs. A dance of satyrs was no unusual entertainment in the middle ages. At a great festival celebrated in France, the king and some of the nobles personated satyrs dressed in close habits, tufted or shagged all over, to imitate hair. They began a wild dance, and in the tumult of their merriment one of them went too near a candle and set fire to his satyr's garb, the flame ran instantly over the loose tufts, and spread itself to the dress of those that were next hini; a great number of the dancers were cruelly scorched, being neither able to throw off their coats nor extinguish them. The king had set himself in the lap of the dutchess of Burgundy, who threw her robe over him and saved him. JOHNSON.
The curious reader, who wishes for more exact information relative to the foregoing occurrence in the year 1392, may consult the translation of Froissart's Chronicle, by Johan Bourchier knyght, lorde Berners, &c. 1525, Vol. II. cap. C.xcii. fo. CCxliii: "Of the aduenture of a daunce that was made at Parys in lykenesse of wodehowses, wherein the Frenche kynge was in parell of dethe." STEEVENS.
Melvil's Memoirs, p. 152, edit. 1735, bear additional testimony to the prevalence of this species of mummery:
"During their abode, [that of the embassadors who assembled to congratulate Mary Queen of Scots on the birth of her son,] at Stirling, there was daily banqueting, dancing, and triumph. And at the principal banquet there fell out a great grudge among the Englishmen: for a Frenchman called Bastian devised a number of men formed like satyrs, with long tails, and whips in their hands, running before the meat, which was brought through the great hall upon a machine or engine, marching as appeared alone, with musicians clothed like maids, singing, and playing upon all sorts of instruments. But the satyrs were not content only to make way or room, but put their hands behind them to their tails, which they wagged with their hands in such sort, as the Englishmen supposed it had been devised and done in derision of them; weakly apprehending that which they should not have appeared to understand. For Mr. Hatton, Mr. Lignish, and the most part of the gentlemen desired to sup before the queen and great banquet, that they might see the better the order and ceremonies of the triumph: but so soon as they perceived the satyrs wagging their tails, they all sat down upon the bare floor behind the back of the table, that they might not see themselves derided, as they thought. Mr. Hatton said unto me, if it were not in the queen's presence, he would put a dagger to