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carve “too, and lisp—'A can,” LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, v. 2. 323 ; “she discourses, she carves,” THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, i. 3. 42 ; “carve her, drink to her,” THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN, iv. 3. 89. That carve is here used to describe some particular form of action,—some sign of intelligence and favour,—was first shown by the late Joseph Hunter (New Illust. of Shakespeare, vol. i. p. 215), who observed that the word “occurs in a very rare poetic tract, entitled A Prophecie of Cadwallader, last King of the Brittaines, by William Herbert, 4to, 1604, which opens with a description of Fortune, and of some who had sought to gain her favour: ‘Then did this Queene her wandering coach ascend,
Whose wheels were more inconstant than the wind:

A mighty troop this empress did attend;
There might you Caius Marius carving find,
And martial Sylla courting Venus kind.’;” To these lines adduced by Mr. Hunter I afterwards (in my Few Notes, etc., p. 20) added the following passages: “Her amorous glances are her accusers; her very lookes write sonnets in thy commendations; she carues thee at boord, and cannot sleepe for dreaming on thee in bedde.” Day's Ile of Gulls, 1606, sig. D. “And if thy rival be in presence too,
Seem not to mark, but do as others do,
Salute him friendly, give him gentle words,
Return all courtesies that he affords;
Drink to him, carve him, give him compliment;
This shall thy mistress more than thee torment.”
Beaumont's Remedy of Love,—B. and Fletcher's Works,
vol. xi. p. 483, ed. Dyce.
(Beaumont's Remedy of Love is a very free imitation of Ovid's Remedia Amoris; and, as far as I can discover, the only part of the original which answers to the preceding passages is, “Hunc quoque, quo quondam nimium rivale dolebas,
Vellem desineres hostis habere loco.
At certe, quamvis odio remanente, saluta.v. 791. ) More recently Mr. Grant White has still further illustrated the word carve. “Thus,” he says,“in A very Woman, among the Characters published with Sir Thomas Overbury's Wife: ‘ Her lightnesse gets her to swim at the top of the table, where her wrie little finger bewraies carving; her neighbours at the latter end know they are welcome, and for that purpose she quencheth her thirst.’ Sig. E 3, ed. 1632. See also Littleton's Latin-English Lexicon, 1675: ‘A Carver:—chironomus.’ ‘ Chironomus:—One that useth apish motions with his hands.’ ‘Chironomia:—A kind of gesture with the hands, either in dancing, carving of meat, or pleading,’ etc., etc.”

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