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LONDON CRIES. No. 251.
P. 90, 1. 6. frights, we now say 'frightens.' Cries, used in advertising things for sale.
1. 10. Ramage de la Ville, the warbling of town birds. Cotgrave gives "Ramage: boughs, branches, branching; or any. thing that belongs thereto; hence, the warbling of birds recorded, or learnt, as they sit on boughs."
1. 13. leave... of it, leave it as it stands without any comment. 1. 16. out of all business, out of work; with no kind of occupation.
1. 17. turn my head, give my attention to, engage in; the modern phrase is 'turn my hand to.'
1. 18. raising, sc. on behalf of Government.
1. 20. a crack, a crack-brained, or mad, person..
1. 21. a projector, a word of sinister import in those days, used of the impostors who were always 'projecting' impossible schemes by means of which they fleeced credulous persons; much the same as 'promoters' of companies in the present day. They were vigorously satirized by the dramatists, as in Ben Jonson's Alchemist and Brome's Court Beggar.
1. 26. cities... Westminster, London and Westminster being then separate cities.
1. 27. Comptroller-general, superintendent; an old spelling of 'controller,' from O.F. contre-rôle, a duplicate register, used to verify the official or first roll; not connected with 'compt' ='count.'
P. 91, ll. 4, 5. under ... disorder, under no control. A freeman, one who enjoys the freedom of the borough, is entitled to vote in the election of representatives.
1. 7. twanking, beating so as to cause them to resound; in order to make known that he is ready to mend them; a weakened form of 'twang.'
11. 7, 8. The watchman's thump, of his staff as he walks his rounds.
1. 9. sow-gelder's horn, with which he advertises himself.
11. 10, 1. the liberties, the limits within which certain immunities are enjoyed, or jurisdiction is exercised.
1. 19. ela, the highest note in the musical scale; a term frequently used in the old dramatists for anything extreme; e.g. Middleton, Blurt, Master Constable, iii. 3. 81, "it shall be your first and finest praise to sing the note of every new fashion at first sight, and, if you can, to stretch that note above ela."
1. 20. sets... edge, produces a grating feeling, like that of something sour or harsh to the teeth.
1. 21. pitch, sc. in the vocal scale.
1. 24. gamut, the musical scale; from y, the Gk. letter gamma, used to mark the last of the seven notes of the musical scale, and the Lat. ut, the old name for the first note. retailers, sellers by retail as opposed to wholesale; from O.F. retail, a shred, paring, from retailler, to shred, pare, clip.
1. 32. card-matches, pieces of card dipped in sulphur and used for lighting candles, fires, etc.
1. 33. Much... wool,' great promises with scanty performance; literally a great noise made about wool for sale though the quantity was trifling.
1. 34. musicians, used ironically.
1. 36. splenetic, morose, sour-tempered; the spleen being regarded as the seat of ill-temper as well as of other passions.
P. 92, 1. 4, bought off, bribed to go away.
1. 8. quick time, used in a musical sense.
1. 9. will not keep cold, loses all its value if kept till it is cold, if not circulated at once; a figure from meat which will not keep (i.e. remain wholesome) if not eaten when fresh.
11. 12, 3. Every motion... French, hostilities with the French not yet being at end.
1. 16. the spreading, the spreading the news of, etc.
1. 18. mail, post bringing news; literally a bag for carrying letters.
1. 20. in turnip season, at the season of the year when the turnip crop is for sale.
11. 21, 2. of cooling... hands, of losing their value if not sold at once, the turnip being a vegetable that will keep for months.
1. 23. affect, are fond of using.
1. 24. tuneable, tuneful; properly capable of producing a tune; cp. M. N. D. i. 1. 184, iv. 1. 129. cooper, basket-maker.
11. 28, 9. if they have... mend, a very common cry in former days with menders of all sorts.
1. 30. ditties, chants; literally anything dictated for writing, from Lat. dictatum, pp. of dictare, to dictate; more usually applied to songs of a plaintive character.
134. dill, the name of a garden herb.
1. 36. above, for a longer period.
P. 93, 1. 8. colly-molly-puff, "This little man was but just able to support the basket of pastry which he carried on his
head, and sung in a very peculiar tone the cant words which passed into his name, Colly-Molly-Puff" (Ferguson).
11. 9, 10. wash-balls, cakes of cosmetic for washing the face. 1. 11. Watt, short for Walter.'
1. 13. this whole... generation, this whole breed, tribe, of criers of their goods for sale.
1. 14. incommodious, annoying.
1. 16. of crying... understood, of slurring their words together so that it is impossible to make out what are the wares they sell.
11. 17, 8. Whether ... singers, a sarcasm on the affectation of public singers who slurred over their words so that they could not be distinguished.
1. 33. to overcome, by the superior strength of their lungs.
P. 94, 1. 4. emolument, profit, advantage; now used of gain in money or that which brings in money; from Lat. emoliri, to work out, accomplish.
1. 6. Crotchet, i.e. whimsical; properly "a term in music; a whim. The sense of whim' seems derived from that of 'tune,' or 'air,' from the arrangement of crotchets composing the air -F. crochet, 'a small hooke... also, a quaver in music'; Cotgrave"... (Skeat, Ety. Dict.).
DISSECTION OF A BEAU'S HEAD. No. 275.
1. 8. hellebore, a plant used by the ancients as a specific for many illnesses, especially for madness.
1. 9. virtuosos, men of taste, men skilled in the fine arts.
1. 14. very fine glasses, microscopes.
1. 20. composed, occasioned by being mixed together.
1. 22. a beau, a fop, a dandy, one who prides himself on his personal attractions; F. beau, handsome.
1. 25. nicety, delicate skill.
1. 29-P. 95, 1. 1. wound up... texture, wound up like a ball of thread or twine, into the resemblance of a brain.
11. 2, 3. as Homer tells us, the 'ichor' or ethereal juice that flows in the veins of gods, spoken of by Homer, Iliad, v. 340.
1. 6. The pineal gland, a gland in the brain, so called from its resemblance to a pine cone; once popularly imagined to be the seat of the soul.
1. 9. faces, facets, such as those cut upon the surface of a precious stone, or those in the eye of the common fly, which cannot be seen without a magnifying glass.
beauties, a reference to the egotistical
1. 13. sinciput, fore part of the head, in which the organs of intelligence are supposed to be situated; the literal sense of the word is half-head."
11. 10, 2. insomuch vanity of the beau.
1. 17. billet-doux, much the same as 'love-letters'; literally 'sweet letters.'
1. 18. pricked dances, dances pricked down on a card in token of engagements with ladies for those dances; cp. J. C. iii. 1. 216, "Will you be pricked in number of our friends?"
1. 19. kind of powder, snuff, then taken in large quantities.
1. 21. right Spanish, genuine Spanish, snuff originally coming from the Spanish possessions in America.
1. 28. a duct, small channel; cp. Tennyson, The Two Voices, 328, "Before the little ducts began To feed thy bones with lime, and ran Their course, till thou wert also man.'
Il. 33, 4. One of them extended... instruments, i.e. at the end of one of these ducts was a bundle of sonnets and little musical instruments with which the brain was occupied; the writing of sonnets and playing upon. musical instruments having been favourite occupations of the beau while alive.
P. 96, 1. 3. galimatias, Cotgrave gives "Galimatais, Jargon de Gal. Gibbrish. Fustian language, Pedlers French."
1. 5. The skins... thick, i.e. indicated the effrontery, unabashed impudence, of the owner.
1. 11. The os cribriforme, the sieve-shaped bone of the nose, so called from being perforated like a sieve, Lat. cribrum, a sieve.
1. 19. cocking his nose, turning up his nose, sneering.
11. 19, 20. playing the rhinoceros, imitating the upturned snout of the rhinoceros, hence sneering; nasum rhinocerotis habere, Martial, i. 3. 6.
1. 22. musculi amatorii, the muscle scientifically known as the orbicularis palpebrarum, the muscle enabling the eye to wink.
1. 23. ogling, literally looking sideways, then looking in an
1. 24. the elevator, in scientific phraseology the levator palpebræ superioris, the muscle by which the upper eyelid is raised.
1. 34. had passed for a man, had been supposed to be a man. Cp. M. V. i. 2. 58-61, "Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur le Bon? Port. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man.'
P. 97, 1. 2. knot, circle, coterie, band.
1. 4. a paring-shovel, the large flat spade used to pare turf, either for burning or for turfing gardens, etc. Markham's Way to Get Wealth, 1631, says, With the paring shovel you shall first pare off all the upper surface of the ground." In the South of Scotland, where turf or surface dry peat is sometimes used as fuel, this is called a 'flauchter-spade.' The edge is very sharp all round.
11. 5, 6. tendering... wife, in plain language, making love to her; to tender' in the sense of to offer is from the Lat. tendere, to hold out; to 'tender' in the sense of to hold dear, from the Lat. tener, tender, delicate.
1. 8. apartments, divisions, cells.
1. 10. prepared, in a medical sense, for being kept as a specimen. 11. 14, 5. were already... substance, sc. and therefore would not require the injections necessary for its preservation.
1. 16. quicksilver, mercury; literally 'lively silver,' A.S. cwic, alive, lively. The allusion is of course to the mercurial, volatile, nature of the beau when alive.
1. 28. Enter upon, begin my description of.
DISSECTION OF A COQUETTE'S HEART. No. 281.
P. 98, 1. 1. have waived, have laid aside, passed by.
1. 6. the minutes, the particulars jotted down, small notes made at the time to be elaborated afterwards.
1. 17. little scars, of the wounds caused by the darts and arrows of Cupid, the god of love.
11. 19-21. though we could not... substance, i.e. though, as far as we could discover, the coquette had never suffered seriously from an attack of love.
11. 27, 8. all the qualities... weather, all the volatile properties of the alcohol or mercury in the thermometer; the thermometer properly measures the variations of temperature, and weather here must be taken in that sense.
P. 99, 11. 1-4. rose... house, i.e. that the appearance of a welldressed, sprightly-looking man caused the coquette's heart to be in high spirits, while that of an ill-dressed, boorish-looking fellow greatly depressed it.
1. 13. extremely slippery, indicating a nature that never kept faith for any time, that eluded the grasp if you attempted to hold it to a promise. the mucro, the point; not now used as an anatomical term.