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Luc. How hast thou lost thy breath?
By running fast. Adr. Where is thy master, Dromio? is he well?
Dro. S. No, he's in Tartar limbo, worse than hell: A devil in an everlasting garments hath him, One, whose hard heart is button'd up with steel; A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough; A wolf, nay, worse, a fellow all in buff; A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, one that counter
mands The passages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands;?
an everlasting garment -] The sergeants, in those days, were clad in buff, as Dromio tells us the man was who arrested Antipholus. Buff is also a cant expression for a man's skin, a covering which lasts him as long as his life. Dromio therefore calls buff an everlasting garment: and in pursuance of this quibble he word buff, he calls the sergeant,
the next scene, the « Picture of old Adam;" that is, of Adam before his fall, whilst he remained unclad: " - What, have you got the pieture of old Adam new apparelled?”
So, in The Woman- Hater, Pandar says,—“Were it not for my smooth citizen, I'd quit tliis transitory trade, get me an everlasting robe, and turn scrgeant.” M. Mason.
6 A fiend, a fairy, pitiless and rough;] Dromio here bringing word in haste that his master is arrested, describes the bailiff by names proper to raise horror and detestation of such a creature, such as, a devil, a fiend, a wolf, &c. But how does fairy come up to these terrible ideas? we should read, a fiend, a fury, &c.
Theobald. There were fairies like hobgoblins, pitiless and rough, and de. scribed as malevolent and mischievous. Johnson. So, Milton:
“No goblin, or swart fairy of the mine,
“ Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity.” Malone. It is true that there is a species of malevolent and mischievous Fairies; but Fairy, as it here stands, is generical. T. Warton.
7 A back-friend, a shoulder-clapper, &c. of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands;] It should be written, I think, narrow lanes, as he has the same expression in King Richard II, Act V, sc. vi:
“Even such they say as stand in narrow lanes.” Grey. The preceding rhyme forbids us to read-lanes. Lan's, I be. lieve, in the present instance, mean, what we now call landingplaces at the water-side.
A shoulder-clapper is a bailiff. So, in Decker's Satiromastix, 1602: fear none but these same shoulder-clappers."
A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well;& One that, before the judgment, carries poor souls to
Narrow lands is certainly the true reading, as not only the rhyme points out, but the sense ; for as a creek is a narrow water, forming an inlet from the main body into the neighbouring shore, so a narrow-land is an outlet or tongue of the shore that runs into the water. Besides, narrow Lanes and Alleys are synonymous.
Henley. 8 A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well;] To run counter is to run backwart, by mistaking the course of the animal pursued; to draw dry-foot is, I believe, to pursue by the track or prick of the foot; to run counter and draw dry-foot well are, therefore, inconsistent. The jest consists in the ambiguity of the word counter, which means the wrong way in the chace, and a prison in London. The officer that a rested him was a sergeant of the counter For the congruity of this jest with the scene of action, let our author answer. Fohnson.
Ben Jonson has the same expression- Every Man in his Humour, Act II, sc. iv: “Well, the truth is, my old master intends to follow my young, dry-foot over Moorfields to London this morning,” &c.
To draw dry-foot, is when the dog pursues the game by the scent of the foot: for which the blood-hound is famed. Grey. So, in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks :
“A hunting, Sir Oliver, and dry-foot too!" Again, in The Dumb Knight, 1633:
“ I care not for dri-foot hunting.” Steevens. A hound that draws dry.foot, means what is usually called a blood-hound, trained to follow men by the scent. The expression occurs in an Irish statụte of the 10th of William III, for preservation of the game, which enacts, that all persons licensed for making and training up of setting dogs, shall, in every two years, during the continuance of their license, be compelled to train up, teach, and make, one or more hounds, to hunt on dryfoot. The practice of keeping blood-hounds was long continued in Ireland, and they were found of great use in detecting murderers and robbers. M. Mason.
poor souls to hell. Hell was the cant term for an obscure dungeon in any of our prisons. It is mentioned in The CounterRat, a poem, 1658:
“In Wood-street's-hole, or Poultry's hell." The dark place into which a tailor throws his shreds, is still in possession of this title. So, in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612:
66 Tavlors 'tis known
“ They scorn thy hell, having better of their own.” There was likewise a place of this name under the Exchequer Chamber, where the king's debtors were confined till they had “paid the uttermost farthing." Steevens.
Adr. Why, man, what is the matter?
the case. 1 Adr. What, is he arrested? tell me, at whose suit.
Dro. S. I know not at whose suit he is arrested, well; But he's in a suit of buff, which 'rested him, that can
I tell: Will you send him, mistress, redemption, the money in
the desk? Adr. Go fetch it, sister. This I wonder at,
[Exit Luc. That he, 4 unknown to me, should be in debt:Tell me, was he arrested on a band? 5
An account of the local situation of Hell may be found in the Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. X, p. 83, as the Commons passed through it to King William and Queen Mary's Coronation, and gave directions concerning it. In Queen Elizabeth's time, the office of Clerk of the Treasury was situated there, as I find in Sir James Dyer's Reports, fol. 245, A, where mention is made of “one Christopher Hole Secondary del Treasurie, et un auncient attorney and practiser in le office del Clerke del Treasurie al HELL."
This I take to be the Treasury of the Court of Common Pleas, of which Sir James Dyer was Chief Justice, and which is now kept immediately under the Court of Exchequer. The Office of the Tally-Court of the Chamberlain of the Exchequer is still there, and tallies for many centuries back are piled up and preserved in this office. Two or three adjacent apartments have within a few years been converted to hold the Vouchers of the public Accounts, which had become so numerous as to overstock the place in which they were kept at Lincoln's Inn. These, therefore, belong to the Auditors of public Accounts. Other rooms are turned into coal cel. lars.--There is a pump still standing of excellent water, called HELL Pump:“And the place is to this day well known by the name of Hell Vaillant.
on the case.) An action upon the case, is a general action given for the redress of a wrong done any man without force, and not especially provided for by law. Grey.
Dromio, I believe, is still quibbling. His master's case was touched by the shoulder-clapper. See p. 378: “- in a case of leather," &c. Malone.
2 But he's in - ] The old copy reads-But is in. The emen. dation is Mr. Rowe's. Malone.
3 That he,] The original copy has-Thus he. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
was he arrested on a band?) Thus the old copy, and I be. lieve rightly: though the modern editors read-bond. A bond,
Dro. S. Not on a band, but on a stronger thing: A chain, a chain; do you not hear it ring?
Adr. What, the chain?
Dro, S. No, no, the bell: 'tis time, that I were gone. It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes one.
Adr. The hours come back! that did I never hear. Dro. S. ( yes, If any hour meet a sergeant, a' turns
back for very fear. Adr. As if time were in debt! how fondly dost thou
reason? Dro. S. Time is a very bankrupt, and owes more than
he's worth, to season. Nay, he's a thief too: Have you not heard men say, That time comes stealing on by night and day? If he be in debt, 5 and theft, and a sergeant in the way, Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day?
Enter LUCIANA. Adr. Go, Dromio; there's the money, bear it straight;
And bring thy master home immediately.Come, sister; I am press'd down with conceit; 6
Conceit, my comfort, and my injury. [Excunt.
i. e. an obligatory writing to pay a sum of money, was anciently spelt band. A band is likewise a neckcloth. On this circumstance, I believe, the humour of the passage turs. Ben Jonson, personifying the instruments of the law, says
Statute, and band, and wax shall go with me." Again, without personification:
“See here your mortgage, statute, band, and wax." Again, in Histriomastix, 1610:
tye fast your lands “In statute staple, or these merchant's bands.” Steedens. Band is used in the sense which is couched under the words, "a stronger thing,” in our author's Venus ani Adonis :
“Sometimes her arms infold him, like a band." See Minshieu's Dictionary, 1617, in v: “Band or Obligation." In the same column is found" A BAND or thong to tie withal.” Also—“ A Band for the neck, because it serves to bind about the neck.” These sufficiently explain the equivoque. Malone. 5 If he be in debt,] The old edition reads- If I be in debt.
Steevens. For the emendation now made I am answerable. Mr. Rowe reads- If time, &c. but I could not have been confounded by the ear with time, though it might with he. Malone.
conceit;] i. e. fanciful conception. So, in King Lear:
I know not how conceit may rob “ The treasury of life.” Steevens.
Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse. Ant. S. There's not a man I meet, but doth salute me As if I were their well-acquainted friend; And every one doth call me by my name. Some tender money to me, some invite me; Some other give me thanks for kindnesses; Some offer me commodities to buy: Even now a tailor callid me in his shop, And show'd me silks that he had bought for me, And, therewithal, took measure of my body. Sure, these are but imaginary wiles, And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.
Enter DROMIO of Syracuse. Dro. S. Master, here's the gold you sent me for: What, have you got the picture of old Adam new apparelled??
What, have you got the picture of old Adam new apparel. led?] A short word or two must have slipped out here, by some accident in copying, or at the press; otherwise I have no conception of the meaning of the passage. The case is this: Dromio's master had been arrested, and sent his servant home for money to redeem him : he, running back with the money, meets the twin Antipholus, whom he mistakes for his master, and seeing him clear of the officer before the money was come, he cries, in a surprize
What, have you got rid of the picture of old Adam new
apparelled? For so I have ventured to supply, by conjecture. But why is the officer called old Adam new apparelled? The allusion is to Adam, in his state of innocence, going naked; and immediately after the fall, being clothed in a frock of skins. Thus he was new apparelled: and, in like manner, the Sergeants of the Counter were formerly clad in buff, or calf's skin, as the author humourously a little lower calls it. Theobald.
The explanation is very good, but the text does not require to be amended. Fohnson.
These jests on Adam's dress are common among our old wri. ters. So, in King Edward III, 1599:
" The register of all varieties
“ Since leathern Adam, to this younger hour.” Again, in Philip Stubbes's Anatoinie of Abuses, 8vo. 1583: “Did the Lorde clothe our first parents in leather, as not hauing any thyng more precious to attire them withall.” &c. Steevens.