1893 text

The word chouse appears to have been introduced into the language at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1609, a Chiaus sent by Sir Robert Shirley, from Constantinople to London, had chiaused (or choused) the Turkish and Persian merchants out of 4,000_l._, before the arrival of his employer, and had decamped. The affair was quite recent in 1610, when Jonson’s “Alchemist” appeared, in which it is alluded to .

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

3 Annotations

TerryF  •  Link

chiaus in Jonson's "Alchemist" ACT 1. SCENE 1.1.

"DAPPER, a Lawyer's Clerk. . And will I tell then! By this hand of flesh, Would it might never write good court-hand more, If I discover. What do you think of me, That I am a chiaus?
FACE, the Housekeeper. . What's that?
DAP. The Turk was here. As one would say, do you think I am a Turk?
FACE. I'll tell the doctor so.
DAP. Do, good sweet captain.
FACE. Come, noble doctor, pray thee let's prevail; This is the gentleman, and he is no chiaus.
SUBTLE, the Alchemist. Captain, I have return'd you all my answer. I would do much, sir, for your love -- But this I neither may, nor can.
FACE. Tut, do not say so. You deal now with a noble fellow, doctor, One that will thank you richly; and he is no chiaus: Let that, sir, move you."

Bill  •  Link

A CHOWSE, a Cheat, Sham, or Trick; Also a silly Fellow that may easily be put upon.
To CHOWSE, to cheat or cozen.
---An Universal English Dictionary. N. Bailey, 1724.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.