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Mar. He hath, indeed, -almost natural: for, besides that he's a fool, he's a great quarreller; and, but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling, 'tis thought among the prudent, he would quickly have the gift of a grave.
Sir To. By this hand they are scoundrels, and substractors, that say so of him. Who are they?
Mar. They that add moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.
Sir To. Witń drinking healths to my niece; I'll drink to her, as long as there is a passage in my throat, and drink in Illyria: He's a coward, and a coystril”, that will not drink to my niece, till his
3 A coystril is a low, mean, or worthless fellow. Holinshed classes coisterels with lacqueys and women, the unwarlike attendants on an army, vol. iii. p. 272. In another passage, speaking of the origin of esquires, he says: 'They were at the first costerels, or bearers of the arms of barons and knights, and thereby being instructed in martial knowledge, had that namesi.e. esquire], for a dignitie given to distinguish them from common soldiers. Vol. i. p. 162. The etymology of the word has been variously and erroneously stated. It is evidently from the Low Latin Coterellus. Cotæ seu tugurii habitator, a peasant : from whence the French Costerauls, or Coteraux; an association or combination of peasants; or, as Cotgrave says, “a certain crew of peasantly outlaws, who in old time did much mischief unto the nobility and clergy. It was also given as a nick-name to the emissaries employed by the Kings of England in their French wars. Nicholas Gilles, in his Chronicle, speaking of our Richard I. says: • En ce mesmes temps Richard Roy d'Angleterre feit eslever et mettre sus une armée des gens, qu'on appelle Costerauls, dont estoit chef et conducteur de par lay un nommé Mercadier. Ces Costerauls estoient gens de pied, qui servirent les roys d’Angleterre es guerres qu'ils menerent en France.'-And in another place:- Le dit Richard I. reprint la ville de Tours, et la pluspart des habitants feit par Costerauls et Satellites mettre à occision. These Costerels were, I presume, ' a rout of Brabanters,' under Mercadier, of whom Holinsbed observes that they did the French much hurt by robbing and spoiling the country. We thus see why it was used as a term of contempt. I find in one or two Dictionaries of the last century Coistrel interpreted a young lad. I know not how to account for this; unless it is because
brains turn o'the toę like a parish-top 4. What, wench? Castiliano volto 5; for here comes Sir Andrew Ague-face.
Enter Sir ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK.
Sir To. Sweet Sir Andrew !
Sir And. What's that? Kastril is the name of a boy in the Alchemist. The term Kestrel, for an inferior and cowardly kind of hawk, was evidently a corruption of the French Quercelle or Quercerelle, and had originally no connexion with Coystril, though in later times they may have been confounded. The origin of the word Coterie has been traced to the same source, yet how distinct is a rude rabblement from a Coterie.
4 A large top was formerly kept in every village, to be whipped in frosty weather, that the peasants might be kept warm by exercise, and out of mischief when they could not work. "To sleep like a Town-top' is a proverbial expression.
5 The old copy reads Castiliano vulgo. Warburton proposed reading Castiliano volto. In English, put on your Castilian countenance, i.e. 'grave serious looks. I have no doubt that Warburton was right, for that reading is required by the context, and Castiliano vulgo bas no meaning. But I have met with a passage in Hall's Satires, B. iv. S. 2, which I think places it beyond a doubt:
- he can kiss his hand in gree,
And shake his head, and cringe his neck and side,' &c. The Spaniards were in high estimation for courtesy, though the natural gravity of the national countenance was thought to be a cloak for villany. The Castiliano volto was in direct opposition to the viso sciolto which the noble Roman told Sir Henry Wootton would go safe over the world. Castiliano vulgo, besides its want of connexion or meaning in this place, could hardly have been a proverbial phrase, when we remember that Castile is the noblest part of Spain.
Sir To. My niece's chamber-maid..
Sir And. Good mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
Mar. My name is Mary, sir.'
Sir To. You mistake, knight: accost, is, front her, board her, woo her, assail her.
Sir And. By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of accost?
Mar. Fare you well, gentlemen.
Sir To. An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, 'would thou might'st never draw sword again.
Sir And. An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand ?
Mar. Sir, I have not you by the hand.
Sir And. Marry, but you shall have; and here's my hand..
Mar. Now, sir, thought is free: I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar, and let it drink.
Sir And. Wherefore, sweetheart? what's your metaphor ?
Mar. It's dry, sir.
Sir And. Why, I think so; I am not such an ass, but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?
Mar. A dry jest, sir.
Mar. Ay, sir; I have them at my fingers' ends : marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
[Exit MARIA, Sir To. O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary: When did I see thee so put down?
Sir And. Never in your life, I think; unless you see canary put me down: Methinks, sometimes I have no more wit than a christian, or an ordinary man has : but I am a great eater of beef, and, I believe, that does harm to my wit.
Sir To. No question.
Sir And. An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride home to-morrow, Sir Toby.
Sir To. Pourquoy, my dear knight?
Sir And. What is pourquoy? do or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues, that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting: 0, had I but followed the arts! .
Sir To. Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
Sir And. Why, would that have mended my hair?
Sir To. Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.
Sir And. But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
Sir To. Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off.
Sir And. 'Faith, I'll home to-morrow, Sir Toby: your niece will not be seen; or, if she be, it's four to one she'll none of me: the count himself, here hard by, wooes her.
Sir To. She'll none o' the count; she'll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her swear it. Tut, there's life in't, man.
Sir And. I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o' the strangest mind i' the world; I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.
Sir To. Art thou good at these kickshaws, knight?
Sir And. As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare with an old man. · Sir To. What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
Sir And. 'Faith, I can cut a caper.
Sir And. And, I think I have the back-trick, simply as strong as any man in Illyria.
Sir To. Wherefore are these things hid ? wherefore have these gifts a curtain before them? are they like to take dust, like mistress Mall's picture 6? why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig; I would not so much as make water, but in a sinka-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 8. Shall we set about some revels? .
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 9. Let me see thee caper; ha! higher: ha, ha!-excellent!
[Exeunt. 6 i. e. Mall Cutpurse, whose real name was Mary Frith. She was at once an hermaphrodite, a bawd, a prostitute, a bully, a thief, and a receiver of stolen goods. A book called · The Madde Prankes of Merry Mall of the Bankside, with her Walks in Man's Apparel, and to what purpose, by John Day,' was entered on the Stationer's books in 1610. Middleton and Decker wrote a Comedy, of which she is the heroine, and a life of her was published in 1662, with her portrait in male attire. As this extraordinary personage 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 nor too much decency was the characteristic.
7 Cinque-pace, the name of a dance, the measures whereof are regulated by the number 5, also called a Galliard.
9 Alluding to the medical astrology of the almanacks. Both the knights are wrong, but their ignorance is perhaps intentional. Taurus is made to govern the neck and throat.