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SHAKSPEARE AND HIS FRIENDS.
I cannot hold; good rascal, let me kiss thee :
A part to tear a cat in—to make all split.
SKV 3 - 25-43
Sir Toby. Come thy ways, Signior Fabian !
Fabian. Nay, I'll come. If I lose a scruple of this sport
We hope to make the circle of your eyes
Now must I transport the courteous reader, who hath followed me along hitherto with admirable patience, and I hope with some pleasure, into the shop of a noted barber chirurgeon, alluded to in the preceding pages, as living over against the jolly mercer's in Eastcheap. He was called Martin Lather, and sometimes Master Lather by those who would seem to hold him in some respect; and he had for an apprentice one Harry Daring-a
sturdy boy of some fifteen years or so; of both of whom more anon. First to describe the shop, which was in no little repute among the citizens. On a projecting window there were divers notices to acquaint the passengers of what Master Lather was skilled in: some of these were in rhyme, for he did pride himself mightily on his scholarship. As for instance
“ Shaving done here
By the day, month, or year.”
Or in another case
“ Beards trimmed neatly;
And teeth extracted completely.”
And mayhap close upon it would be found
6 I breathe a vein
For a little gain;
While in another place the gazer should meet
" Hair cut and curled
Whether it will or no.” About there were some few shelves, having on them bundles of herbs, jars of ointment, and the like (very famous in the cure of many disorders); and elsewhere in the shop were some drawers, shelves with gallipots, and bottles containing different coloured liquors, and some with powders in them.
A lot of ballads and broadsheets were against the
Shall pay a penny, and better manners learn.
Will keep him from talking such treason again." A large black cat was cleaning of its skin upon a three-legged stool, nigh unto a table standing by the side of the fire-place, on which were sundry combs, brushes, scissors, phials, a pestle and mortar, and instruments for the pulling out of teeth; and a little closer to the light, there sat in a huge high backed chair, an exceeding serious looking old man, rather short of stature, with some few grey
hairs on his head, and a small peaked beard of the like sort; wearing on his nose, which was of the longest and
of an excellent fine point, a pair of famous large spectacles, through which he was gazing upon what he was about. He was trimly dressed, with every thing formal and grave about him. In one hand he held a lancet, and in the other a cabbage leaf. A boy stood before him seemingly very attentive. He was thickset and short of his
with an honest plump face, and eyes that looked as if ever intent * upon some mischief or another.
In truth, it was a countenance that was not easy to be described, saving that it was a very dare-devil — care-for
— nought-full-of-tricks sort of face as ever boy had. He had on a leather jerkin and breeches of the same, partly covered with an apron of linen, that looked as if he had been rolling on the floor in itwhich was like enough. He wore yellow hose, and thick shoes of leather. These two were Master Lather, the barber chirurgeon, and his apprentice Harry Daring
“ Methinks you know pretty well by this time how to dress hair,” observed the barber to his pupil with a monstrous grave countenance, “ seeing that you have been curling of the old mop for some time påst: the which be an admirable way for the learning of that part of our craft-for if you singe it, then shall no man rate you for the burning of his pate: which maketh good the saying of Aristotle, “ Ante illum imperatorem !' which meaneth, hurt no one and he shall not cry out.'”