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as Tib's rush for Tom's fore-finger', as a pancake for Shrove-tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail
3 - TIB's RUSH for Tom's FORE-FINGER] Tom is the man, and by Tib we are to understand the woman, and therefore, more properly, we might read—“ Tom's rush for,” &c. The allusion is to an ancient practice of marrying with a rush ring, as well in other countries as in England. Breval, in his Antiquities of Paris, mentions it as a kind of espousal used in France, by such persons as meant to live together in a state of concubinage : but in England it was scarce ever practised except by designing men, for the purpose of corrupting those young women to whom they pretended love.
Richard Poore, bishop of Salisbury, in his Constitutions, anni 1217, forbids the putting of rush rings, or any the like matter, on women's fingers, in order to the debauching them more readily: and he insinuates, as the reason for the prohibition, that there were some people weak enough to believe, that what was thus done in jest, was a real marriage.
But, notwithstanding this censure on it, the practice was not abolished; for it is alluded to in a song in a play written by Sir William D'Avenant, called The Rivals :
“ I'll crown thee with a garland of straw then,
“ And I'll marry thee with a rush ring.” Which song, by the way, was first sung by Miss Davis ; she acted the part of Celania in the play; and King Charles II. upon hearing it, was so pleased with her voice and action, that he took her from the stage, and made her his mistress.
Again, in the song called The Winchester Wedding, in D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, vol. i. p. 276:
“ Pert Strephon was kind to Betty,
“ And blithe as a bird in the spring ;
SIR J. HAWKINS. Tib and Tom are generally coupled by our old writers. Tib Coles renders in his Latin Dict. 1679, by mulier sordida.
“ He struck at Tib, and down fell Tom;" is, I think, one of Ray's Proverbial Sentences. MALONE,
Tib and Tom, in plain English, I believe, stand for wanton and rogue. So, in Churchyard's Choise :
“Tushe, that's a toye ; let Tomkin talke of Tibb." Again, in the Queenes Majesties Entertainment in Suffolk and Norfolk, &c. by Tho. Churchyard, 4to. no date :
"Cupid. “ And doth not Jove and Mars bear sway? Tush, that is true.” to his hole, the cuckold' to his horn, as a scolding quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth; nay, as the pudding to his skin.
Count. Have you, I say, an answer of such fitness for all questions ?
Clo. From below your duke, to beneath your constable, it will fit any question.
Count. It must be an answer of most monstrous size, that must fit all demands.
Clo. But a trifle neither, in good faith, if the learned should speak truth of it: here it is, and all that belongs to't: Ask me, if I am a courtier; it shall do you no harm to learn.
Count. To be young again 4, if we could : I will
stezom and Tuilosophie
“ Then put in Tom and Tibbe, and all bears sway as much as
you." Steevens. The practice of marrying with a rush ring, mentioned by Sir John Hawkins, is very questionable, and it might be difficult to find any authority in support of this opinion. Douce.
Sir John Hawkins's alteration is unnecessary. It was the practice, in former times, for the woman to give the man a ring, as well as for the man to give her one. So, in the last scene of Twelfth-Night, the priest, giving an account of Olivia's marriage, says, it was
“ Attested by the holy close of lips,
M. Mason. I believe what some of us have asserted respecting the exchange of rings in the marriage ceremony, is only true of the marriage contract, in which such a practice undoubtedly prevailed. STEEVENS.
A rush ring seems to have been often a rural gift without any reference either to a marriage or a marriage contract. So, in Spenser's Pastorals, November, 1. 113:
“ () thou great shepheard, Lobbin, how great is thy griefe !
“ The knotted rush ringes, and gilt rosmarie ?” Boswell. 4 To be young again,] The lady censures her own levity in trifling with her jester, as a ridiculous attempt to return back to youth. Johnson.
be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer. I pray you, sir, are you a courtier ?
Clo. O Lord, sir 4,- There's a simple putting off ;-more, more, a hundred of them.
Count. Sir, I am a poor friend of yours, that loves you.
Clo. O Lord, sir,—Thick, thick, spare not me.
Count. I think, sir, you can eat none of this homely meat.
: Clo. O Lord, sir,-Nay, put me to't, I warrant you.
Count. You were lately whipped, sir, as I think. Clo. O Lord, sir, -Spare not me.
Count. Do you cry, O Lord, sir, at your whipping, and spare not me? Indeed, your O Lord, sir, is very sequent to your whipping ; you would answer very well to a whipping, if you were but bound to't.
Clo. I ne'er had worse luck in my life, in myO Lord, sir : I see, things may serve long, but not serve ever. · Count. I play the noble housewife with the time, to entertain it so merrily with a fool.
Clo. O Lord, sir,—why, there't serves well again.
Clo. Not much commendation to them.
Count. Not much employment for you: You understand me?
4 O Lord, sir,] A ridicule on that foolish expletive of speech then in vogue at court. WARBURTON. Thus Clove and Orange, in Every Man out of his Humour :
“ You conceive me, sir ? O Lord, sir!” Cleiveland, in one of his songs, makes his Gentleman“Answer, O Lord, sir ? and talk play-book oaths.”
Clo. Most fruitfully; I am there before my legs.
A Room in the King's Palace.
Enter BERTRAM, LAFEU, and PAROLLES. LAF. They say, miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar things, supernatural and causeless. Hence is it, that we make trifles of terrors; ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge o, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear?.
Par. Why, 'tis the rarest argument of wonder, that hath shot out in our latter times.
BER. And so 'tis.
5 – modern -] i. e. common, ordinary. So, in As You Like It:
“ Full of wise saws, and modern instances.” Again, in the last Act of this play, Sc. III. “ with her modern grace,” MALONE..
6 ~ ENSCONCING ourselves into seeming knowledge,] To ensconce literally signifies to secure as in a fort. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : “ I will ensconce me behind the arras.” Into (a frequent practice with old writers) is used for in..
Steevens. 7 – unknown Fear.] Fear is here an object of fear.
JOHNSON. 8 Par. So I say ; both of Galen and Paracelsus.
Laf. Of all the LEARNED and AUTHENTICK fellows,] Shakspeare, as I have often observed, never throws out his words at random. Paracelsus, though no better than an ignorant and knavish enthusiast, was at this time in such vogue, even amongst the learned, that he had almost justled Galen and the ancients out of credit. On this account learned is applied to Galen, and
Par. Right, so I say.
authentick or fashionable to Paracelsus. Sancy, in his Confession Catholique, p. 301, Ed. Col. 1720, is made to say : “ Je trouve la Riviere premier medecin, de meilleure humeur que ces gens-la. Il est bon Galeniste, et tres bon Paracelsiste. Il dit que la doctrine de Galien est honorable, et non mesprisable pour la pathologie, et profitable pour les boutiques. L'autre, pourveu que ce soit de vrais preceptes de Paracelse, est bonne à suivre pour la verité, pour la subtilité, pour l'espargne ; en somme pour la Therapeutique.” WARBURTON.
As the whole merriment of this scene consists in the pretensions of Parolles to knowledge and sentiments which he has not, I believe here are two passages in which the words and sense are bestowed upon him by the copies, which the author gave to Lafeu. I read this passage thus :
“ Laf. To be relinquished of the artists “ Par. So I say.,
“ Laf. Both of Galen and Paracelsus, of all the learned and authentick fellows
“ Par. Right, so I say.” Johnson.
“ — authentick fellows." The phrase of the diploma is, “ authenticè licentiatus.” MUSGRAVE.
The epithet authentick was in our author's time particularly applied to the learned. So, in Drayton's Owle, 4to. 1604 :
“ For which those grave and still authentick sages,
MALONE. Again, in Troilus and Cressida :
“ As truth's authentick author to be cited.” Again, in Chapman's version of the eighth Iliad :
" Nestor cut the geres
STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens would have made himself very merry with this note, had it been written by any other person, in which authentique is quoted in the sense of learned when applied to a sword.