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CALLAT. Act II., Sc. 3.

"A callat

Of boundless tongue."

Callat, or Callet, as it is spelt in 'Henry VI., Part III.,' is a
Northumberland word for a scold.

Act II., Sc. 1.


See 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,’

"There lie; and there thy character."

Thy character is the description, the writing which charaeterises, describes thee.

CHILD. Act III., Sc. 3.

"A boy, or a child, I wonder?"

Steevens says that "in some of our midland counties, a female infant, in contradistinction to a male one, is still termed among the peasantry—a child." We have found no confirmation of this, though Shakspere clearly uses it in this sense. There is a vulgar joke yet of asking, on a birth being announced, is it a boy or a child?"


"In comforting your evils."

Comforting is used here as encouraging, as we still say, in legal language, "comforting and abetting.”

CREDENT. Act I., Sc. 2.

'T is very credent."

Credent is credible; probable.

CURST. Act III., Sc. 3.

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They are never curst, but when they are hungry."
Curst in the sense of mischievous.

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This was a proverbial expression, signifying may his lot (dole) be happy. Dole is from the Anglo-Saxon dælan, signifying a portion dealt out or distributed.

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"Will you take eggs for money?"

A proverbial phrase, signifying will you truckle, submit to injustice, be bullied, cheated?

EVEN. Act III., Sc. 2.

"Even to the guilt, or the purgation."

Even is equally balanced, impartial.

FADINGS. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"With such delicate burdens of dildos and fadings." The "fading" was an Irish dance, called rinca fada, and means literally the "long dance."

FANCY. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"And by my fancy."

Fancy is here used in the sense of love.

FARDEL. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"There is that in this fardel."

A fardel is a pack or bundle. The word is used more than once in this scene, and in 'Hamlet,' Act III., Sc. 1, "Who would fardels bear?"

'FEDERARY. Act II., Sc. 1.

"A federary with her."

A federary is a confederate.


Act IV., Sc. 3.

"To have a worthy feeding."

A considerable quantity of pasture land.


"To see how the sea flap-dragoned it."

The flap-dragon was some inflammable liquid to be gulped down in the wildness of a toper's revel. Falstaff says of Prince Henry (Henry IV., Part II.,' Act II., Sc. 4), that he "drinks off candles' ends for flap-dragons." There still exists a sport called snap-dragon, in which raisins are snatched and eaten from burning spirit.

FULL. Act I., Sc. 2.

"To be full like me."

To be quite, wholly like me.


"A gallimaufry of gambols."

A gallimaufry is a medley, a confused heap of things.

GEST. Act I., Sc. 2.

"Behind the gest."

Gest, according to Phillips in his 'World of Words,' is "a
lodging or stage for rest, in a progress or journey." Web-
ster uses it in this sense :-

"Like the gesse in the progress;
You know where you shall find me.'
And in the 'Lay le Freine,' we have-


"The abbess and the nonnes alle,
Fair him gret in the geste halle."


GILLY'VORS. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"Streak'd gilly'vors."

Gillyvors, still used, says Toone, in the midland counties in the form of gillivers, is the clove-pink. It is probably derived from the French giroflée, of which the usual word gillyflower is probably a corruption.

GOOD DEED. Act I., Sc. 2.

"Yet, good deed, Leontes."

Good deed is indeed.

HAVING. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"Of what having, breeding."

Having is what one has, estate or property.

HEFTS. Act II., Sc. 1.

"With violent hefts."

Hefts are heavings.

HENT. Act IV., Sc. 2.

"And merrily hent the stile-a."

Hent is to catch or lay hold of, from the Anglo-Saxon hentan.

HOXES. Act I., Sc. 2.

"Which hoxes honesty behind."

To hox is to hough, to hamstring.

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"If the importance were joy or sorrow."

The importance is here the import.

JAR-O'-THE-CLOCK. Act I., Sc. 2. The jar of the clock is the ticking of the pendulum.

LAND-DAMN. Act II., Sc. 1.

"I would land-damn him."

The commentators have not been able to affix a meaning to the phrase here. Zachary Jackson supposes that it has some allusion to the despotic punishment of being built up in the earth. In 'Titus Andronicus' we have

"Set him breast-deep in the earth and famish him."

LET. Act I., Sc. 2.

"To let him there a month."

To let is to hinder: and it is probably here used as a reflectie verb-to stay himself.

LEVEL. Act III., Sc. 2.

"My life stands in the level of your dreams."

Your dreams afford the level, the aim, of vour accusation, and therefore my life stands within the range of your attack.


LOZEL. Act II., Sc. 3.


"And, lozel, thou art worthy to be hang'd." Phillips in his 'World of Words,' explains lozel as a lazy lubber, a slothful looby." Verstegan says it is " one that hath lost, neglected, or cast off his own good and welfare, and so is become lewd and careless of credit and honesty." MANKIND. Act II., Sc. 3.

"A mankind witch!"

Mankind is masculine. Jonson gives us an example of this use of the word :

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Pallas, now thee I call on, mankind maid."

MANNER. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"Taken yourself with the manner."

Manner is a law term from the old French manier, caught in the fact, with the stolen property in hand or possession. MEANS. Act IV., Sc. 2.

"Means and bases."

Means are tenors-intermediate voices between the treble and bass.

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Perchance are to this business purblind?"

A mess was a company of four persons, dining together, with an apportioned provision, as now in the halls of the Inns of Court and in the navy. The lower messes are therefore, probably, the inferior servants or retainers.

MISSINGLY. Act IV., Sc. 1.

"I have, missingly, noted." I have, missing him, noted his absence.

MORT. Act I., Sc. 2.

"The mort o' the deer."

This was the prolonged note of the hunter's horn announcing the death of the deer.

MOTION. Act IV., Sc. 2.

"A motion of the prodigal son."

A motion was the ancient name for the puppet-show, in which scriptural subjects were commonly exhibited. The word is used in the 'Spectator' when speaking of Powell's puppetshow.

NEVER. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"That thou no more shalt never see."

This use of the double negative is characteristic of Shakspere's time. Most modern editions omit never.


Act I., Sc. 2. Cloths of some other colour re-dyed, or dyed over again, and so false, as impaired in quality.

PALE. Act IV., Sc. 2.

"For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale."

Pale is a boundary; the interval which divides the early spring from winter.

PASH. Act I., Sc. 2.

"Thou want'st a rough pash."

Jamieson explains the word pash as used in Scotland for the head, as a bare pash, a bare head. But in the midland counties the tuft of hair between the horns of a bull is called the pash, and the question of Leontes, "Art thon my calf?" proves that the word is here used in its local acceptation.

PERFECT. Act III., Sc. 3.

"Thou art perfect then?"

Perfect is quite assured.


PIN AND WEB. Act I., Sc. 2. Florio, in his 'New World of Words' (1611), thus interprets the Italian cataratta: a dimness of sight occasioned by tumours hardened in the eyes, called a cataract, or a pin and a web." The phrase is used also in Lear,' Act III., Sc. 4.

PINCHED. Act II., Sc. 1.

"I remain a pinch'd thing."

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A thing shrunk up, pinched, as we say, by poverty or hunger. PLACES. Act I., Sc. 2.

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"Thy places shall

Still neighbour mine."

Places is here honours, rank.


"Poking-sticks of steel."

The poking-stick which previous to the time of Elizabeth had been of bone, was used in plaiting the ruff.

POMANDER. Act IV., Sc. 3.

“Not a ribbon, glass, pomander," &c.

A pomander was an artificial ball, or an orange of which the inside had been extracted, filled with perfumes, and supposed to be an antidote against infectious diseases. The word is derived from the French pomme d'ambre.

PRANKED. Act IV., Sc. 3.

"Most goddess-like prank'd up."

Pranked-up is dressed splendidly, decorated.

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