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why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be
The title of this piece is-The Roaring Girl, or Moll Cutpurse; as it hath been lately acted on the Fortune Stage, by the Prince his Players, 1611. The frontispiece to it contains a full length of her in man's clothes, smoaking tobacco. Nathaniel Field, in his Amends for Ladies, (another comedy, 1618,) gives the following character of her:
Hence lewd impudent,
“I know not what to term thee; man or woman;
"Woman and man; but I think rather neither;
"Or, man, or horse, as Centaurs old were feign'd.” A life of this woman was likewise published, 12mo. in 1662, with her portrait before it in a male habit; an ape, a lion, and an eagle by her. As this extraordinary personage appears to have partook of both sexes, the curtain which Sir Toby mentions would not have been unnecessarily drawn before such a picture of her as might have been exhibited in an age, of which neither too much delicacy or decency was the characteristick. STEEVENS.
In our author's time, I believe, curtains were frequently hung before pictures of any value. So, in Vittoria Corombona, a tragedy, by Webster, 1612: "I yet
but draw the curtain ;-now to your picture."
See a further account of this woman in Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, edit. 1780, Vol. VI. p. 1. Vol. XII. p. 398.
Mary Frith was born in 1584, and died in 1659. In a MS. letter in the British Museum, from John Chamberlain to Mr. Carleton, dated Feb. 11, 1611-12, the following account is given of this woman's doing penance: "This last Sunday Moll Cutpurse, a notorious baggage that used to go in man's apparel, and challenged the field of diverse gallants, was brought to the same place, [St. Paul's Cross,] where she wept bitterly, and seemed very penitent; but it is since doubted she was maudlin drunk, being discovered to have tippel'd of three quarts of sack before she came to her penance. She had the daintiest preacher or ghostly father that ever I saw in the pulpit, one Radcliffe of
a jig; I would not so much as make water, but in a sink-a-pace. What dost thou mean? is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.
SIR AND. Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels?
Brazen-Nose College in Oxford, a likelier man to have led the revels in some inn of court, than to be where he was. But the best is, he did extreme badly, and so wearied the audience, that the best part went away, and the rest tarried rather to hear Moll Cutpurse than him." Malone.
It is for the sake of correcting a mistake of Dr. Grey, that I observe this is the character alluded to in the second of the following lines; and not Mary Carleton, the German Princess, as he has very erroneously and unaccountably imagined :
"A bold virago stout and tall,
"As Joan of France, or English Mall."
Hudibras, P. I. c. iii. The latter of these lines is borrowed by Swift in his Baucis and Philemon. RITSON.
a sink-a-pace.] i. e. a cinque-pace; the name of a dance, the measures whereof are regulated by the number five. The word occurs elsewhere in our author. SIR J. HAWKINS.
So, in Sir John Harrington's Anatomie of the Metamorphosed Ajax: "the last verse disordered their mouthes, and was like a tricke of xvii in a sinkapace." STEEVENS.
3-flame-coloured stock.] The old copy reads-a damned coloured stock. Stockings were in Shakspeare's time called stocks. So, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601:
"Or would my silk stock should lose his gloss else." Again, in one of Heywood's Epigrams, 1562:
"Thy upper stocks, be they stuft with silke or flocks, "Never become thee like a nether paire of stocks." The same solicitude concerning the furniture of the legs makes part of master Stephen's character in Every Man in his Humour: "I think my leg would show well in a silk hose." STEEVENS.
The emendation was made by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
SIR TO. What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?
SIR AND. Taurus? that's sides and heart.* SIR TO. No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper: ha! higher: ha, ha!-excellent! [Exeunt.
A Room in the Duke's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE, and VIOLA in man's attire.
VAL. If the duke continue these favours towards you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced; he hath known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.
V10. You either fear his humour, or my negligence, that you call in question the continuance of his love: Is he inconstant, sir, in his favours? VAL. No, believe me.
Enter DUKE, CURIO, and Attendants, V10. I thank you. Here comes the count. DUKE. Who saw Cesario, ho?
VIO. On your attendance, my lord; here, DUKE. Stand you awhile aloof.-Cesario, Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd
• Taurus? that's sides and heart.] Alluding to the medical astrology still preserved in almanacks, which refers the affections of particular parts of the body to the predominance of particular constellations. JOHNSON.
To thee the book even of my secret soul: "
And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow,
Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow
As it is spoke, she never will admit me.
DUKE. Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds, Rather than make unprofited return.
V10. Say, I do speak with her, my lord; What then?
DUKE. O, then unfold the passion of my love, Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith: It shall become thee well to act my woes; She will attend it better in thy youth, Than in a nuncio of more grave aspect.
V10. I think not so, my lord.
Dear lad, believe it;
Is not more smooth, and rubious; thy small pipe
I know, thy constellation is right apt
For this affair :-Some four, or five, attend him; All, if you will; for I myself am best,
When least in company :-Prosper well in this,
To thee the book even of my secret soul:] So, in The First Part of K. Henry IV:
"And now I will unclasp a secret book." STEEVEns. a woman's part.] That is, thy proper part in a play would be a woman's. Women were then personated by boys. JOHNSON.
And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,
I'll do my best,
To woo your lady: yet, [Aside.] a barful strife!? Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.
A Room in Olivia's House.
Enter MARIA, and Clown.
MAR. Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I will not open my lips, so wide as a bristle may enter, in way of thy excuse: my lady will hang thee for thy absence.
CLO. Let her hang me: he, that is well hanged in this world, needs to fear no colours."
7 ·a barful strife !] i. e. a contest full of impediments.
Clown.] As this is the first Clown who makes his appearance in the plays of our author, it may not be amiss, from a pas sage in Tarleton's News out of Purgatory, to point out one of the ancient dresses appropriated to the character: " - I saw one attired in russet, with a button'd cap on his head, a bag by his side, and a strong bat in his hand; so artificially attired for a clowne, as I began to call Tarleton's woonted shape to remembrance." STEEVENS.
Such perhaps was the dress of the Clown in this comedy, in All's well that ends well, &c. The Clown, however, in Measure for Measure, (as an anonymous writer has observed,) is only the tapster of a brothel, and probably was not so apparelled.
-fear no colours.] This expression frequently occurs in the old plays. So, in Ben Jonson's Sejanus. The persons conversing are Sejanus, and Eudemus the physician to the Princess Livia: