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ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of, not of the newest, Poor-John. A strange fish!
A strange fish! Were I in England now, (as once I was,) and had but this fish painted”, not a holiday fool there but would give a piece of silver : there would this monster make a man®; any strange beast there makes a man: when they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indiano. Legg’d like a man! and his fins like arms! Warm, o'my
this fish painted,] To exhibit fishes, either real or imaginary, was very common about the time of our author. So, in Jasper Maine's comedy of the City Match : « Enter Bright, &c. hanging out the picture of a strange fish.
“ This is the fifth fish now
“ That he hath shewn thus." It appears from the books at Stationers' Hall, that in 1604 was published, “ A strange reporte of a monstrous fish, that appeared in the form of a woman from her waist upward, seene in the sea.”
So likewise, in Churchyard's Prayse and Reporte of Maister Martyne Frobisher's Voyage to Meta Incognita, &c. bl. 1. 12mo. 1578: “And marchyng backe, they found a straunge Fish dead, that had been caste from the sea on the shore, who had a boane in his head like an Unicorne, which they brought awaye and presented to our Prince, when thei came home.” STEEVENS.
So, in the office book of Sir Henry Herbert, MS. we find : “A license to James Seale to shew a strange fish for half a yeare, the 3d of September, 1632.” MALONE.
- MAKE a man ;] That is, make a man's fortune. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : we are all made men.”
Johnson. Again, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
She's a wench “ Was born to make us all." STEEVENS. 9-a dead IndiAN.] In a subsequent speech of Stephano, we have: “
- savages and men of Inde; " in Love's Labour's Lost, a rude and savage man of Inde ; ” and in K. Henry VIII. the porter asks the mob, if they “ think some strange Indian, &c. is come to court.” Perhaps all these passages allude to the Indians brought home by Sir Martin Frobisher.
Queen Elizabeth's original instructions to him (MS. now before me) “ concerning his voyage to Cathaia," &c. contain the following article:
“ You shall not bring aboue iïi or iiii persons of that countrey,
troth! I do now let loose my opinion', hold it no longer ; this is no fish, but an islander, that hath lately suffered by a thunder-bolt. [Thunder.] Alas! the storm is come again: my best way is to creep under his gaberdine? ; there is no other shelter hereabout: Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows'. I will here shroud, till the dregs of the storm be past.
the which shall be of diuers ages, and shall be taken in such sort as you may best avoyde offence of that people.”
In the year 1577, "A description of the portrayture and shape of those strange kinde of people which the wurthie Mr. Martin Fourbosier brought into England in Ao. 1576,” was entered on the books of the Stationers
' Company. By Frobisher's First Voyage for the Discoverie of Cataya, bl. 1. 4to. 1278, the fate of the first savage taken by him is ascertained.--"
Whereupon when he founde himself in captiuitie, for very choler and disdain he bit his tong in twaine within his mouth : notwithstanding, he died not thereof, but liued untill he came in Englande, and then he died of colde which he had taken at sea.”
STEEVENS. LET Loose my opinion, &c.] So, in Love's Labour's Lost : -Now
will be my purgation, and let me loose.” Steevens. - his GABERDINE ;] A gaberdine is properly the coarse frock or outward garment of a peasant. Spanish, Gaberdina. So, in Look About You, 1600:
« I'll conjure his gaberdine." The gaberdine is still worn by the peasants in Sussex.
STEEVENS. It here however means, I believe, a loose felt cloak. Minsheu in his Dict. 17, calls it " a rough Irish mantle, or horseman's coat. Gaban, Span. and Fr.-Læna, i. e. vestis quæ super cætera vestimenta imponebatur.” See also Cotgrave's Dict. in v. gaban, and galleverdine. MALONE.
a very ancient and fish-like smell-misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.] One would almost think that Shakspeare had not been unacquainted with a passage in the fourth book of Homer's Odyssey, as translated by Chapman :
The sea-calves savour was
STEEVENS. Chapman's Odyssey did not appear till 1614. Malone.
Enter Stephano, singing ; a bottle in his hand. Sre. I shall no more to sea, to sea,
Here shall I dye a-shore ; This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man's
funeral : Well, here's
[Drinks. The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
The gunner, and his mate,
But none of us card for Kate:
Would cry to a sailor, Go, hang:
itch: Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang. This is a scurvy tune too: But here's my comfort.
[Drinks. Cal. Do not torment me : 0!
STE. What's the matter ? Have we devils here ? Do you put tricks upon us with savages, and men of Inde ? Ha! I have not ’scap'd drowning, to be afeard now of your four legs ; for it hath been said, As
proper a man as ever went on four legs, cannot make him give ground : and it shall be said so again, while Stephano breathes at nostrils.
Cal. The spirit torments me: O!
Ste. This is some monster of the isle, with four legs ; who hath got, as I take it, an ague: Where
4 — savages,] The folio reads-salvages, and rightly. It was the spelling and pronunciation of the time. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. vi. c. 8, st. 35 :
“ There dwelt a salvage nation,” &c. Reed. VOL. XV.
the devil should he learn our language ? I will give him some relief, if it be but for that : If I can recover him, and keep him tame, and get to Naples with him, he's a present for any emperor that ever trod on neat's-leather.
Cal. Do not torment me, pr’ythee; I'll bring my wood home faster.
STE. He's in his fit now; and does not talk after the wisest. He shall taste of my bottle: if he have never drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove his fit' : if I can recover him, and keep him tame, I will not take too much for him: he shall pay for him that hath him, and that soundly.
CAL. Thou dost me yet but little hurt; thou wilt anon, I know it by thy trembling?: now Prosper works upon thee.
5- if he have never drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove his fit :) This is no impertinent hint to those who indulge themselves in a constant use of wine. When it is necessary for them as a medicine, it produces no effect. Steevens.
TOO MUCH —] Too much means, any sum, ever so much. So, in the Letters from the Paston Family, vol. ii. p. 219: “ And ye be beholdyng unto my Lady for hyr good wurde, for sche hath never preysyd yowe to much.” i. e. though she has praised you much, her praise is not above your merit.
It has, however, been observed to me, that when the vulgar mean to ask an extravagant price for any thing, they say, with a laugh, I won't make him pay twice for it. This sense sufficiently accommodates itself to Trinculo's expression. Mr. M. Mason explains the passage differently." I will not take for him even more than he is worth.” STEEVENS.
I think the meaning is, Let me take what sum I will, however great, “ I shall not take too much for him : it is impossible for me to sell him too dear. MALONE.
I apprehend it is ironically said. “ I will get as much for him as I can.
BOSWELL. 7 , I know it by thy TREMBLING :] This tremor is always represented as the effect of being possessed by the devil. So, in the Comedy of Errors, Act IV. Sc. IV.:
“ Mark how he trembles in his extacy!” Steevens.
Ste. Come on your ways; open your mouth; here is that which will give language to you, cat & open your mouth: this will shake your shaking, I can tell you, and that soundly: you cannot tell who's your friend ; open your chaps again.
Trin. I should know that voice : It should be But he is drowned ; and these are devils : 0! defend me!
Ste. Four legs, and two voices; a most delicate monster! His forward voice o now is to speak well of his friend: his backward voice is to utter foul speeches, and to detract. If all the wine in my bottle will recover him, I will help his ague : Come, Amen'! I will pour some in thy other mouth.
Ste. Doth thy other mouth call me ? Mercy ! mercy!
! This is a devil, and no monster: I will leave him, I have no long spoon?.
Trin. Stephano if thou beest Stephano, touch me, and speak to me; for I am Trinculo ;--be not afeard, thy good friend Trinculo.
Ste. If thou beest Trinculo, come forth; I'll pull thee by the lesser legs : if any be Trinculo's legs, these are they. Thou art very Trinculo, in
cat;] Alluding to an old proverb, that good liquor will make a cat speak. STEEVENS.
9 His forward voice, &c.] The person of Fame was anciently described in this manner. So, in Penelope's Web, by Greene, 1601 : “ Fame hath two faces, readie as well to back-bite as to flatter." STEEVENS.
Amen!] Means, stop your draught : come to a conclusion. “ I will pour some,” &c. STEEVENS.
2 I have no long spoon.] Alluding to the proverb, “A long spoon to eat with the devil.” STEEVENS.
See Comedy of Errors, Act IV. Sc. III. and Chaucer's Squier's Tale, 10,916 of the late edit. :
• Therefore behoveth him a full long spoone,