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whatever be the meaning, is a phrase of endear.
JOHNSON, P. 26, 1. g. Shall we rouse the night owl in a catch, that will draw three, souls out of one weaver?] Our author represents weavers as much given to harmony in his time. I have shewn the cause of it elsewhere. This expression of the power of musick is familiar with. our author. Much ado about Nothing: „Now is his soub ravished. Is it not strange that sheep's-guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?" Why, he says, three souls, is because he is speaking of a catch of three parts; and the peripatetic philo. sophy, then in vogue, very liberally gave every man three souls. The vegetative or plastic, the animal, and the rational. To this, too, Jonson alludes, in his Poetaster: „What, will I turn shark upon my friends? or my friends ? friends? I scorn it with my three souls. By the mention of these three, therefore, we may supposé it was, Shakspeare's purpose, to hint to us those surprize ing effects of musick, which the ancients speak of, when they tell us of Amphion, who moved stones and trees; Orpheus and Arion, who tamed savage beasts; and Timotheus, who governed, as he pleased, the passions of his human auditors: So noble an observation has our author conveyed in the ribaldry of this buffoon character.
WARBURTON. In a popular book of the time, Carew's translation of Huarte's Trial of Wits, 2594, there is a curious chapter concerning the three souls, vegetative, sensitive, and reasonable...
FARMER I doubt whether, our author intended any allı.. sion to this division of souls. Dr. Warburton's
supposition that there is an allusion to the catch being in three parts , 'appears' to me one of his , unfounded refinements. MALONE. · P. 26, l, 24. They sing a Catch.] This catch is lost. JOHNSON.
A catch is a species of vocal harmony to be bung by three or more personis; and is so contri
that though each - sings precisely the same notes as his fellows, yet "by beginning at stated periods of time from each other, there results from the performance a harmony of as many parts as there are singers. Compositions of this kind arc,
in strictness, called Canons in the, unison; 'and as property, Catches, when the words in the different parts are made to catch or answer each "other. One of the niost remarkable examples of a true catch is that of Purcel, Let's live good honest lives, in which, immediately after one person has uttered these words , „What need we fear the Pope ?“ another in the course of his singing fills up à rest which the first' makes, with the words, „The devil."
The catch above - mentioned to be sung by Sir Toby,' Sir Andrew, and the Clown, . from the hints given of it, appears to be so contrived as that each of the singers calls the other knave in turn; and for this the clown means to apologize to the knight, when he says, that he shall be constrained to call him knave. I have here suhjoined the very catch; with the musical notes to which it was sung in the time of Shak
speare , and at the original performance of this Comedy:
The evidence of its authenticity is as follows. There 16 extant a book entitled, „PAMMELIA, Musickes Miscellanie, or mixed Varietie of pleasant Roundelays and delightful catches of 3. 4. 15. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10 parts in one.“ . Of this book there are at least two editions, the second printed in 1618. In 1609., a second part of this book was published with the title of DEUTEROMELIA, and in this book is contained the catch above given. SIR J. HAWKINS.
P. 26, l. 30. — a Cataian,] It, is in vain to seek the precise meaning of this term of reproach. I have already attempted to explain it in a note on The Merry Wives of Windsor. used again in Love and Honour, by Sir W. D' Ayenant, 1649:
„Hang him, bold Cataian.“ STEEVENS.
P. 36, 1. 31.
a Peg-a-Ramsey,] In Durfey's Pills to purgé Melancholy is a very obsce. nc old song, entitled Peg-a-Ramsey. See also Ward's Lives of the Professors of Gresham Col. lege, p. 207.
PERCY.. Nash mentious Peg af Ramsey among several other ballads, viz. Rogero, Basilino, Turkelony, All the flowers of the Broom, Pepper is Black, Green Sleeves, Peggie Ransie. It appears from the same author, that it was likewise a dance performed to the music of a song of that name.
STEEVENS. Peggy Ramsey, is the name of some old song; the following is the tune to it:
This is a conclusion common to many old songs. One of the most humoroits that I can recollect, is the following:
„The wise men were but seaven, nor more
shall be for me ; „The muses were but nine, the worthies
three times three; „And three merry boyes, and three merry
boyes, and three merry boyes are wee. „The vertues they were seven, and three the
greater bee; „The Caesars they were twelve, and the fatal
sisters three. „And three merry girles ; and three merry
girles, and three merry girles are wee.“ There are ale houses in some of the villages in this kingdom, that have the sign of The Three Merry Boys; there was one as Highgate in my memory. SIR J. HAWKINS.
Three merry men he we, may, perhaps, have been taken originally from the song of Robin Hood and the Tanner. TYRWHITT.
P. 26, 1. 33. Tilly-valley was an interjection of contempt, which Sir Thomas More's lady is recorded to have had very often in her mouth.
JOHNSON Tilly-valley is used as an interjection of con. tenipt in the old play of Sir John Oldcastle ; and is likewise a character in a comedy intituled Lady Alimony. Tillie - vallie may be a corrnption of the Roman word (withont a precise mean: ing, but indicative of contempt) Titivilicium. See the Casina of Plautus, 2. 5. 39. STEEVENS.
Tilly-valley is a hunting phrase borrowed from the French. In the Venerie de Jacques Fouil Loux, 1585, 4to. fo. 12. the following cry is men.