Monday, November 26, 2012
Cast Away Care
Cast away care, hee that Loves sorrow,Line 6: OED s.v. play, under "Phrasal Verbs," defines "to play off" as "to drain or finish (a drink, esp. an alcoholic one)." On "stiffly" cf. OED, s.v. stiff, sense 13.b "Of a drinker: 'Hard'"; one of the citations is to Thomas Heywood, Philocothonista, or, The Drunkard, Opened, Dissected, and Anatomized (London: Printed by Robert Raworth, 1635), p. 44:
Lengthens not a day, nor can buy to morrow:
Money is trash; and he that will spend it,
let him drink merrily, Fortune will send it.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, Oh ho. 5
Play it off stiffly, we may not part so: merrily &c.
Wine is a Charme, it heates the blood too,
Cowards it will arm, if the wine be good too;
quickens the wit, and makes the back able;
scornes to submit to the watch or Cunstable. 10
Pots fly about, give us more Liquor;
Brothers of a rowt, our braines will flow quicker;
emptie the Cask, score up, wee care not,
fill all the Pots again, drink on, and spare not, 15
To title a drunkard by, wee (as loath to give such a name, so grosse and harsh) strive to character him in a more mincing and modest phrase, as thus:A "stiff drink," i.e. a strong or potent one, apparently doesn't occur until the 19th century (OED s.v. stiff, sense 17).
He is a good fellow,
A boone Companion,
A mad Greeke,
A true Tojan [sic, read Trojan],
A stiffe Blade...
Lines 8-10: see Some Effects of Wine.