John Skelton - NOTES TO AGAINST VENOMOUS TONGUES

NOTES TO AGAINST VENOMOUS TONGUES

1. TERTIUS] A misprint: qy. Versus?

2. Quid detur tibi, aut quid apponatur tibi ad linguam dolosam?] "What shall be given to thee, or what shall be added to thee, to a deceitful tongue? " Ps. 119.3

3. Deus destruet te in finem; evellet te, et emigrabit te de tabernacula tuo, et radicem tuam de terra viventium.] "God will destroy you in the end; pluck thee out, and remove thee from thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living." Ps 51. 7.

4. Hoining] "Hoigner. To grumble, mutter, murmure; to repine; also, to whine as a child or dog." Cotgrave's Dict. "Hoi, a word used in driving hogs," says Minsheu; who proceeds to derive it " from Gr. Koi, quod est imitatio vocis porcellorum." ("which is an imitation of the voices of pigs"). Guide into Tongues.

5. Dilexisti omnia verba praecipitationis, lingua dolosa] "Thou hast loved all the words of ruin, O deceitful tongue." Ps. 51. 6.

6. Ad sannam hominem redigit comice et graphice] "He brings a man to mockery, derisively and cunningly."(PH)

7. Hic notat purpuraria arte intextas literas Romanas in amictibus post ambulonum ante et retro] "Here he refers to Roman letters artfully written in purple on the front and back of their gowns."

8. lack] i.e. fault, blame.

9. In your cross row nor Christ cross you speed]—cross row, i.e. alphabet; so called, it is commonly said, because a cross was prefixed to it, or perhaps because it was written in the form of a cross. See Nares's Gloss. in v. Christ-cross. [Christ cross me speed, seems to have been the beginning of an early school lesson. Such a lesson preserved in MS. Rawl. 1032, commences, "Christ cross me speede in all my work." Halliwell, Dict.]

"How long ago learned ye Christ cross me speed?"
Lydgate's
Prohemy of a marriage, &c.,— MS. Harl. 372. fol. 50.

In The Book of Courtesy we find;

"If that thou be a young infant,
And think thee schools for to haunt,
This lesson shall thy master thee mark,
Cross Christ thee speed in all thy work."
The sec. Book, p. 7. (printed for the Percy Society.)

and see title of a poem cited in note 39 to The Tunning of Elynour Rumming

10. Paedagogium meum de sublimiori Minerva constat esse: ergo, etc.] "My school is steadfast in upholding the most sublime Goddess Mineva; therefore &c."

11. Paedagogium meum male sanos maledicos sibilis complosisque manibus explodit] "My school beats off the curses of the evil with hissing and flogging."

12. Laxent ergo antennam elationis suae inflatem vento vanitatis "Therefore let them relax their sail puffed up with the winds of vanity."

13. vale a bonnet of their proud sail] vale—to lower sail: bonnet here means an additional piece of canvas laced to the foot or top of a sail to catch more wind; the sense is "let them lower their sails a little."

14. Nobilitati ignobilis cedat vilitas] "Those who are noble pay no attention to the abuse of the ignoble."

15. hay the guy of three] Perhaps an allusion to the dance called heydeguies (a word variously spelt).

16. Sicut novacula acuta fecisti dolum.] "As a sharp razor, thou hast wrought deceit" Ps. 51.4

17. Lege Philostratum de vita Tyanaei.] Read Philostratus' Life of Apollonius of Tyana.

18. Pharaotis] i.e. (I suppose) Pharaoh.

19. Venenum aspidum sub labiis eorum] "The poison of asps is under their lips." Ps. 13.3.

20. Quid peregrinis egemus exemplis? ad domestica recurramus, etc.] "Why do we need foreign examples?—let us revert to our own country" (PH)

21. Quicquid loquantur, ut effeminantur, ita effantur, etc.] "Whatever they say, they chatter like women." (PH)

22. Novarum rerum cupidissimi, captatores, delatores, adulatores, invigilatores, deliratores] "Greedy of novelty, legacy-hunters, informers, flatterers, spies, madmen."(PH)

23. Scalis Malis] i.e. Cadiz. "The towns men of Caleis, or Caleis males, suddenly rung their common bell," &c. Hall's Chronicle (Hen. viii.). fol. xiii, ed. 1548. "His fortunatest piece I esteem the taking of Cadiz Malez." A Parallel of the Earl of Essex and the Duke of Buckingham, — Reliquiae Wottonianae, p. 177. ed. 1672.

24. De more vulpine, gannientes ad aurem, fictas fabellas fabricant,] "Wolfishly, snarling in the ear, they frame their false fables." (PH)

25. Inauspicatum, male ominatum, infortunatum se fateatur habuisse horoscopum, quicunque maledixerit vati Pieria, Skeltonidi Laureato.] "Whoever has spoken ill of the Pierian poet, Skelton the Laureate, let him confess that he has an inauspicious, ill-omened horoscope." (PH

26. Although he made it never so tough] The expression, to make it tough, i.e. to make difficulties, occurs frequently, and with several shades of meaning, in our early writers; see R. of Gloucester's Chronicle, p. 510. ed. Hearne, and the various passages cited in Tyrwhitt's Gloss. to Chaucer's Cant. Tales in v. Tough. Palsgrave has "I Make it tough, I make it coy, as maidens do, or persons that be strange if they be asked a question." p. 624.

27. Cerberus horrendo barathri latrando sub antro Te rodatque voret, lingua dolosa, precor. "I pray that Cerberus, with horrid barking beneath the cave of the abyss, may bite you and devour you, deceitful tongue." (PH)

28. Recipit se scripturum opus sanctum, laudabile, acceptabile, memorabileque, et nimis honorificandum.] "He undertakes to write a book holy, laudable, acceptable, memorable and altogether honourable." (PH)

29. Disperdat Dominus universa labia dolosa et linguam magniloquam] "May God destroy all deceitful lips and boasting tongues." (PH)

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