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A similar one occurs in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
"You shall see the strange nature of an cut
"Lately brought from the land of Cataia."
Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher and Shakspere:
“The Bavian with long tail and eke long TOOL."
Fig I. in the print of Morris-dancers, at the end of King Henry IV. has a bib which extends below the doublet; and its length might be calculated for the concealment of the phallick obscenity mentioned by Beaumont and Fletcher, of which perhaps the Bavian fool exhibited an occasional view for the diversion of our indelicate ancestors. TOLLET.
498. -he should be a brasier by his face ;] A brasier signifies a man that manufactures brass, and a reservoir for charcoal, occasionally heated to convey warmth. Both these senses are here understood.
505. There was a haberdasher's wife of small wit-] Ben Jonson, whose hand Dr. Farmer thinks may be traced in different parts of this play, uses this expression in his Induction to the Magnetick Lady: "And all haberdashers of small wit, I presume." MALONE. 508. -the meteor] The fire-drake, the brasier. JOHNSON. -Fire-drake.] A fire-drake is both a serpent, anciently called a brenning-drake, or dipsas, and a name formerly
formerly given to a Will o' th' Wisp, or ignis fatuus. So, in Albertus Wallenstein, 1640:
"Your wild irregular lust, which like those firedrakes
"Misguiding nighted travellers, will lead you "Forth from the fair path," &c. Again, in Drayton's Nymphidia :
"By the hissing of the snake,
"The rustling of the fire-drake.”
Again, in Casar and Pompey, a tragedy, by Chapman, 1631:
"So have I seene a fire-drake glide along
"Before a dying man, to point his grave,
A fire-drake was likewise an artificial fire-work. So, in Your Five Gallants, by Middleton:
but like fire-drakes,
"Mounted a little, gave a crack, and fell."
512. who cried out, clubs!] Clubs! was the outcry for assistance, upon any quarrel or tumult in the streets. So, in the Renegado:
"In London among the clubs, up went his heels "For striking of a prentice."
Again, in Greene's Tu Quoque ;
-Go, y're a prating jack;
"Nor is't your hopes of crying out for clubs,
514. -the hope of the strand,] Hanmer reads, the forlorn hope.
JOHNSON. 518. —that thunder at a playhouse, and fight for bitten apples ;] The prices of seats for the vulgar in our ancient theatres were so very low, that we cannot wonder if they were filled with the tumultuous company described by Shakspere in this scene. So, in the Gul's Hornbook, by Decker, 1609:
"Your groundling and gallery commoner buys his sport by the penny.”
In Wit without Money, by Beaumont and Fletcher, is the following mention of them:
-break in at plays like prentices, for three a groat, and crack nuts with the scholars in penny rooms again.”
Again, in the Black Book, 1604: Sixpenny rooms in playhouses are spoken of.
Again, in the Bellman's Night-Walks, by Decker, 1616:
"Pay thy twopence to a player in this gallery, thou may'st sit by a harlot."
Again, in the Prologue to Beaumont and Fletcher's Mad Lover:
"How many twopences you've stow'd to day!" The prices of the boxes indeed were greater.
Again, in the Gul's Hornbook, by Decker, 1609:"At a new playe you take up the twelvepenny room next the stage, because the lords and you may seeme to be haile fellow well met," &c. In Wit without Money:
"And who extoll'd you in the half crown boxes, "Where you might sit and muster all the beau ties."
And lastly, it appears from the Induction to Bartholo mew Fair, by Ben Jonson, that tobacco was smoked in the same place:
"He looks like a fellow that I have seen ac
commodate gentlemen with tobacco at our theatres."
And from Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman-Hater, 1607, it should seem that beer was sold there: "There is no poet acquainted with more shakings and quakings towards the latter end of his new play, when he's in that case that he stands peeping between the curtains so fearfully, that a bottle of ale cannot be opened, but he thinks somebody hisses." STEEVENS.
520. the Tribulation of Tower-hill, or the limbs of Limehouse.] I suspect the Tribulation to have been a puritanical meeting-house. The limbs of Limehouse, I do not understand. JOHNSON.
Dr. Johnson's conjecture may be countenanced by the following passage in Magnificence, a goodly interlude and a mery, devised and made by mayster Skelton, poete laureate, lately deceasyd." Printed by John Rastell, fol. no date:
"Some fall to foly them selfe for to spyll,
"And some fall prechynge on toure hyll." STEEVENS.
Alliteration has given rise to many cant expressions, consisting of words paired together. Here we have
cant names for the inhabitants of these places, who were notorious puritans, coined for the humour of the alliteration. In the mean time it must not be forgotten, that "precious limbs" was a common phrase of contempt for the Puritans. WARTON. Limehouse was before the time of Shakspere, and has continued to be ever since, the residence of those who furnish stores, sails, &c. for shipping. A great number of foreigners having been constantly employed in these manufactures (many of which were introduced from other countries), they assembled themselves under their several pastors, and a number of places of different worship were built in consequence of their respective associations. As they clashed in principles, they had frequent quarrels, and the place has ever since been famous for the variety of its sects, and the turbulence of its inhabitants. It is not improbable that Shakspere wrote-the lambs of Limehouse.
A limb of the devil, is, however, a common vulgarism; and in A New Trick to cheat the Devil, 1636, the same kind of expression occurs:
"I am a Puritan; one that will eat no pork,
Again, in Every Man out of his Humour :
"I cannot abide these limbs of sattin, or rather STEEVENS. I doubt much whether Shakspere intended in this passage to describe any part of the spectators at the