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Title: Illustrations of Shakspeare, and of Ancient Manners: - with Dissertations on the Clowns and Fools of Shakspeare; - on a Collection of Popular Tales Entitled Gesta Romanorum; - and on the English Morris dance.
Author: Douce, Francis
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Illustrations of Shakspeare, and of Ancient Manners: - with Dissertations on the Clowns and Fools of Shakspeare; - on a Collection of Popular Tales Entitled Gesta Romanorum; - and on the English Morris dance." ***

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[Illustration: _Published by T. Tegg Cheapside, Sept.ʳ 1839._]




                                AND OF

                           ANCIENT MANNERS:






                           By FRANCIS DOUCE.


                            A NEW EDITION.



               J. & S. A. TEGG, SYDNEY AND HOBART TOWN.




The practice, and also the necessity of explaining the writings of
Shakspeare, have already been so ably defended by former commentators,
that no other apology on the part of those who may elect to persevere
in this kind of labour seems to be necessary than with regard to the
qualifications of the writer: but as no one in this case perhaps ever
thought, or at least should think, himself incompetent to the task
assumed of instructing or amusing others, it may be as well, on the
present occasion, to waive altogether such a common-place intrusion
on the reader's time. It is enough to state that accident had given
birth to a considerable portion of the following pages, and that design
supplied the rest. The late Mr. Steevens had already in a manner too
careless for his own reputation, and abundantly too favourable to his
friend, presented to public view such of the author's remarks as were
solely put together for the private use and consideration of that
able critic. The former wish of their compiler has, with the present
opportunity, been accomplished; that is, some of them withdrawn, and
others, it is hoped, rendered less exceptionable.

The readers of Shakspeare may be properly divided into three classes.
The first, as they travel through the text, appeal to each explanation
of a word or passage as it occurs. The second read a large portion of
the text, or perhaps the whole, uninterruptedly, and then consult the
notes; and the third reject the illustrations altogether. Of these
the second appear to be the most rational. The last, with all their
affectation, are probably the least learned, but will undoubtedly
remain so; and it may be justly remarked on this occasion, in the
language of the writer who has best illustrated the principles of
taste, that "the pride of science is always meek and humble compared
with the pride of ignorance." He, who at this day can entirely
comprehend the writings of Shakspeare without the aid of a comment, and
frequently of laborious illustration, may be said to possess a degree
of inspiration almost commensurate with that of the great bard himself.
Mr. Steevens has indeed summed up every necessary argument in his
assertion that "if Shakspeare is worth reading, he is worth explaining;
and the researches used for so valuable and elegant a purpose, merit
the thanks of genius and candour, not the satire of prejudice and

The indefatigable exertions of Messrs. Steevens, Malone, Tyrwhitt, and
Mason, will ever be duly appreciated by the true and zealous admirers
of Shakspeare's pages. If the name of a celebrated critic and moralist
be not included on this occasion, it is because he was certainly
unskilled in the knowledge of obsolete customs and expressions.
His explanatory notes therefore are, generally speaking, the most
controvertible of any; but no future editor will discharge his duty to
the public who shall omit a single sentence of this writer's masterly
preface, or of his sound and tasteful characters of the plays of
Shakspeare. Of all the commentators Dr. Warburton was surely the worst.
His sentiments indeed have been seldom exhibited in modern editions but
for the purpose of confuting them.

The wide dispersion of those materials which are essential to the
illustration of inquiries like the present, will necessarily frustrate
every endeavour at perfection; a circumstance that alone should teach
every one discussing these difficult and obscure subjects, to speak
of them with becoming diffidence. The present writer cannot flatter
himself that he has uniformly paid a strict attention to this rule; the
ardour of conjecture may have sometimes led him, in common with others,
to forget the precepts he had himself laid down.

It may be thought by some, and even with great justice, that several
of the corrections are trifling and unimportant; but even these may
perhaps be endured wherever it shall be manifest that their object,
and it is hoped their effect, has been to remove error and establish
truth; a matter undoubtedly of some consequence in the school of
criticism. One design of this volume has been to augment the knowledge
of our popular customs and antiquities, in which respect alone the
writings of Shakspeare have suggested better hints, and furnished
ampler materials than those of any one besides. Other digressions too
have been introduced, as it was conceived that they might operate in
diminishing that tedium which usually results from an attention to
matters purely critical; and that whilst there was almost a certainty
of supplying some amusement, there might even be a chance of conveying
instruction. Sometimes there has been a necessity for stepping in
between two contending critics; and for showing, as in the case of many
other disputes, that both parties are in the wrong.

Some excuse may seem necessary for obtruding on the reader so many
passages from what Mr. Steevens has somewhere called "books too mean
to be formally quoted." And yet the wisest among us may be often
benefited by the meanest productions of human intellect, if, like
medicinal poisons, they be administered with skill. It had escaped the
recollection of the learned and accomplished commentator that he had
himself condescended to examine a multitude of volumes of the above
class, and even to use them with advantage to his readers in the course
of his notes.

With respect to what is often absurdly denominated _black letter_
learning, the taste which prevails in the present times for this sort
of reading, wherever true scholarship and a laudable curiosity are
found united, will afford the best reply to the hyper-criticisms and
impotent sarcasms of those who, having from indolence or ignorance
neglected to cultivate so rich a field of knowledge, exert the whole of
their endeavours to depreciate its value. Are the earlier labours of
our countrymen, and especially the copious stores of information that
enriched the long and flourishing reign of Elizabeth, to be rejected
because they are recorded in a particular typography?

Others again have complained of the redundancy of the commentators,
and of an affected display of learning to explain terms and illustrate
matters of obvious and easy comprehension. This may sometimes have
been the case; but it were easier to show that too little, and not
too much, has been attempted on many of these occasions. An eminent
critic has declared that "if every line of Shakspeare's plays were
accompanied with a comment, every intelligent reader would be indebted
to the industry of him who produced it." Shakspeare indeed is not more
obscure than contemporary writers; but he is certainly much better
worth illustrating. The above objectors, affectedly zealous to detect
the errors of other men, but more frequently betraying their own
self-sufficiency and over-weening importance, seem to forget that
comments and illustrations are designed for the more ignorant class of
readers, who are always the most numerous; and that very few possess
the happiness and advantage of being wise or learned.

It might be thought that in the following pages exemplifications of
the senses of words have been sometimes unnecessarily introduced where
others had already been given; but this has only been done where the
new ones were deemed of greater force or utility than the others, or
where they were supposed to be really and intrinsically curious. Some
of the notes will require that the _whole_ of others which they advert
to, should be examined in Mr. Steevens's edition; but these were not
reprinted, as they would have occupied a space much too unreasonable.

At the end of every play in which a fool or clown is introduced there
will be found particular and discriminative notice of a character which
some may regard as by no means unworthy of such attention.

The Dissertations which accompany this work will, it is hoped, not
be found misplaced nor altogether uninteresting. The subject of the
first of them, though often introduced into former notes on the plays
of Shakspeare and other dramatic writers, had been but partially and
imperfectly illustrated. The _Gesta Romanorum_, to which _The Merchant
of Venice_ has been so much indebted for the construction of its
story, had, it is true, been already disserted on by Mr. Warton with
his accustomed elegance; but it will be found that he had by no means
exhausted the subject. The _morris dance_, so frequently alluded to in
our old plays, seemed to require and deserve additional researches.

This preface shall not be concluded without embracing the opportunity
of submitting a very few hints to the consideration of all future
editors of Shakspeare.

It were much to be wished that the text of an author, and more
especially that of our greatest dramatic writer, could be altered as
seldom as possible by conjectural emendation, or only where it is
manifestly erroneous from typographical causes. The readers of Dr.
Bentley's notes on Milton will soon be convinced of the inexpediency
of the former of these practices, and of what little importance are
the conjectures of the mere scholar, when unaccompanied by skill and
judgement to direct them.

As the information on a particular subject has been hitherto frequently
dispersed in separate notes, and consequently remains imperfect in each
of them, would it not be more desirable to concentrate this scattered
intelligence, or even to reduce it to a new form, to be referred to
whenever necessary?

Although the strict restitution of the old orthography is not meant to
be insisted on, nor would indeed accommodate the generality of readers,
there are many instances in which it should be stated in the notes; and
such will occur to every skilful editor.

Every word or passage that may be substituted in the text in the
room of others to be found in any of the old editions should be
printed in Italics, and assigned to its proper owner, with a reason
for its preference to the originals. The mention of variations in
the old copies must of course be left to an editor's discretion. No
disparagement is meant to the memory or talents of one of the greatest
of men, when a protest is here entered against "the text of Dr.
Johnson." It is to be regretted that all editions of Shakspeare, as
well as of other dramatic writers, have not marginal references to the
acts and scenes of each play. Those of Bell and Stockdale are, in this
respect, preeminently useful. The time and trouble that would be saved
in consulting them would be very considerable.

The Edition of Shakspeare used in the compilation of this volume, and
to which the pages cited refer, is the last published by Mr. Steevens
himself, in fifteen volumes 8vo, 1793; but in order to facilitate a
reference to most other editions, the acts and scenes of the plays are






                            SCENE 1. Page 9.

    ANT. We are _merely_ cheated of our lives----

Mr. Steevens has remarked that _merely_ in this place signifies
_absolutely_. His interpretation is confirmed by the word _merus_ in
Littelton's dictionary, where it is rendered _downright_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 10.

    MIRA. ... a brave vessel,
    Who had, no doubt, some _noble creatures_ in her.

There is a peculiar propriety in this expression that has escaped the
notice it deserved. Miranda had as yet seen no other _man_ than her
father. She had perceived, but indistinctly, some living creatures
perish in the shipwreck; and she supposes they might be of her father's
species. Thus she afterwards, when speaking of Ferdinand, calls him

                           SCENE 2. Page 11.

    MIRA. ... or _e'er_
    It should the good ship, &c.

This word should always be written _ere_, and not _ever_, nor
contractedly _e'er_, with which it has no connection. It is pure Saxon,
æꞃ. The corruption in Ecclesiastes cited in the note, is as old as the
time of Henry the Eighth; but in Wicliffe we have properly "_er_ be to
broke the silveren corde," and so it is given by Chaucer.

                           SCENE 2. Page 20.

    PRO. Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepar'd
    A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg'd,
    Nor tackle, sail, nor mast----

The present note is more particularly offered to the admirers of
ancient romances, and to which class Shakspeare himself, no doubt,
belonged. It is well known that the earliest English specimen of these
singular and fascinating compositions is the _Geste of king Horn_,
which has been faithfully published by the late Mr. Ritson, who has
given some account of a French copy in the British Museum. He did not
live to know that another manuscript of this interesting romance, in
the same language, is still remaining in private hands, very different
in substance and construction from the other. One might almost conclude
that some English translation of it existed in Shakspeare's time, and
that he had in the above passage imitated the following description of
the boat in which Horn and his companions were put by king Rodmund at
the suggestion of Browans,

    "Sire, fet il purnez un de vos vielz chalanz
    Metez icels valez ki jo vei ici estanz
    Kil naient avirum dunt aseient aidanz
    Sigle ne guvernad dunt il seint vaianz."

                                                                 l. 58.

That is,

    "Sir, said he, take one of your old boats, put into it these
    varlets whom I see here; let them have no oars to help them, sail
    nor rudder to put them in motion."

                           SCENE 2. Page 26.

    ARI. ... sometimes I'd _divide_
    And burn in many places; on the top-mast,
    The yards and bowsprit, would I flame distinctly,
    Then _meet and join_----

This is a very elegant description of a meteor well known to sailors.
It has been called by the several names of the fire of _Saint Helen_,
_Saint Elm_, _Saint Herm_, _Saint Clare_, _Saint Peter_, and _Saint
Nicholas_. Whenever it appeared as a single flame it was supposed by
the ancients to be _Helena_, the sister of Castor and Pollux, and in
this state to bring ill luck, from the calamities which this lady
is known to have caused in the Trojan war. When it came double it
was called Castor and Pollux, and accounted a good omen. It has been
described as a little blaze of fire, sometimes appearing by night
on the tops of soldiers' lances, or at sea on masts and sail-yards
whirling and leaping in a moment from one place to another. Some have
said, but erroneously, that it never appears but _after_ a tempest. It
is also supposed to lead people to suicide by drowning.

Further information on the subject may be collected from Plin. _Hist.
nat._ 1. ii. c. 37. Seneca _Quæst. nat._ c. 1. Erasm. _Colloq. in
naufragio._ Schotti. _Physica curiosa_, p. 1209. Menage _Dict. etym._
v. _Saint Telme._ Cotgrave _Dict._ v. _feu_, _furole_. Trevoux _Dict._
v. _furole_. _Lettres de_ Bergerac, p. 45. Eden's _Hist. of travayle_,
fo. 432 b. 433 b. Camerarii _Horæ subsecivæ_ iii. 53. Cambray _Voy.
dans la Finisterre_ ii. 296. Swan's _Speculum mundi_ p. 89. Shakspeare
seems to have consulted Stephen Batman's _Golden books of the leaden
goddes_, who, speaking of Castor and Pollux, says "they were figured
like two lampes or cresset lightes, one on the toppe of a maste, the
other on the stemme or foreshippe." He adds that if the light first
appears in the stem or foreship and ascends upwards, it is good luck;
if _either lights begin at the top-mast, bowsprit_ or foreship, and
descend towards the sea, _it is a sign of tempest_. In taking therefore
the latter position, Ariel had fulfilled the commands of Prospero to
raise a storm.

                           SCENE 2. Page 28.

    ARI. From the still-vext _Bermoothes_----

_The voyage of Sir George Sommers_ to the Bermudas in the year 1609
has been already noticed with a view of ascertaining the _time_ in
which _The tempest_ was written; but the important particulars of his
_shipwreck_, from which it is exceedingly probable that the outline of
a considerable part of this play was borrowed, has been unaccountably
overlooked. Several contemporary narratives of the above event were
published, which Shakspeare might have consulted; and the conversation
of the time might have furnished, or at least suggested, some
particulars that are not to be found in any of the printed accounts. In
1610 Silvester Jourdan, an eyewitness, published _A discovery of the
Barmudas, otherwise called the_ ISLE OF DIVELS: _By Sir Thomas Gates,
Sir Geo. Sommers, and Captayne Newport, with divers others._ Next
followed Strachey's _Proceedings of the English colonie in Virginia_
1612, 4to, and some other pamphlets of less moment. From these accounts
it appears that the Bermudas had never been inhabited, but regarded
as _under the influence of inchantment_; though an addition to a
subsequent edition of Jourdan's work gravely states that they are _not
inchanted_; that Sommers's ship had been _split_ between two rocks;
that during his stay on the island several _conspiracies_ had taken
place; and that a _sea-monster in shape like a man_ had been seen, who
had been so called after the _monstrous tempests_ that often happened
at Bermuda. In Stowe's Annals we have also an account of Sommers's
shipwreck, in which this important passage occurs, "Sir George Sommers
sitting at the stearne, seeing the ship desperate of reliefe, looking
every minute when the ship would sinke, hee espied land, which
according to his and Captaine Newport's opinion, they judged it should
be that dreadfull coast of the _Bermodes_, which iland were of all
nations said and supposed to bee _inchanted and inhabited with witches
and devills_, which grew by reason of accustomed monstrous thunder,
storm, and _tempest_, neere unto those ilands, also for that the whole
coast is so wonderous dangerous of rockes, that few can approach them,
but with unspeakable hazard of _ship-wrack_." Now if some of these
circumstances in the shipwreck of Sir George Sommers be considered,
it may possibly turn out that _they_ are "the particular and recent
event which determined Shakspeare to call his play _The tempest_,"[1]
instead of "the great tempest of 1612," which has already been supposed
to have suggested its name, and which might have happened after its
composition. If this be the fact the play was written between 1609
and 1614 when it was so illiberally and invidiously alluded to in Ben
Jonson's Bartholomew-fair.

                           SCENE 2. Page 30.

    PRO. What is't thou can'st demand?

    ARI. ... My liberty.

    PRO. Before the time be out? no more.

The spirits or familiars attending on magicians were always impatient
of confinement. Thus we are told that the spirit Balkin is wearied if
the action wherein he is employed continue longer than an hour; and
therefore the magician must be careful to dismiss him. The form of such
a dismission may be seen in Scot's _Discovery of witchcraft_, edit.
1665, folio, p. 228.

                           SCENE 2. Page 35.

    PRO. ... My _quaint_ Ariel.

Quaint here means _brisk_, _spruce_, _dexterous_. From the French

                           SCENE 2. Page 35.

    CAL. As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd
    With raven's feather from unwholsome fen,
    Drop on you both! a south-west blow on you,
    And blister you all o'er!

The following passage in Batman _uppon Bartholome his booke De
proprietatibus rerum_, 1582, folio, will not only throw considerable
light on these lines, but furnish at the same time grounds for
a conjecture that Shakspeare was indebted to it, with a slight
alteration, for the name of Caliban's mother Sycorax the witch. "The
raven is called corvus of CORAX ... it is said that _ravens birdes_
be fed with _deaw_ of heaven all the time that they have no black
_feathers_ by benefite of age." Lib. xii. c. 10. The same author will
also account for the choice which is made, in the monster's speech,
of the _South-west wind_. "This _Southern wind_ is hot and moyst....
_Southern winds_ corrupt and destroy; they heat and maketh men fall
into sicknesse." Lib. xi. c. 3. It will be seen in the course of these
notes that Shakspeare was extremely well acquainted with this work; and
as it is likely hereafter to form an article in a Shakspearean library,
it may be worth adding that in a private diary written at the time, the
original price of the volume appears to have been eight shillings.

                           SCENE 2. Page 36.

    PRO. ... _urchins_
    Shall, for that vast of night that they may work,
    All exercise on thee.

Although _urchins_ sometimes means hedge-hogs, it is more probable
that in this place they denote fairies or spirits, and that Mr. Malone
is right in the explanation which he has given. The present writer's
former note must therefore be cancelled, as should, according to his
conception, such part of Mr. Steevens's as relates to the hedge-hog.
The same term both in the next act, and in the _Merry Wives of
Windsor_, is used in a similar sense.

Mr. Steevens in a note on this word in the last mentioned play has
observed that the _primitive_ sense of _urchin_ is a hedge-hog, whence
it came, says he, to signify any thing dwarfish. There is however
good reason for supposing it of Celtic origin. _Erch_ in Welsh, is
_terrible_, and _urzen_, a _superior intelligence_. In the Bas Breton
language _urcha_ signifies to _howl_. "_Urthinwad Elgin_," says Scot in
his _Discovery of witchcraft_, p. 224, edit. 1665, "was a spirit in the
days of King Solomon, came over with Julius Cæsar, and remained many
hundred years in Wales, where he got the above name."

The _urchin_ or _irchin_, in the sense of a hedge-hog, is certainly
derived from the Latin _ericeus_; and whoever is desirous of more
information concerning the radical of _ericeus_ may be gratified by
consulting Vossius's _Etymologicon_ v. _erinaceus_. With respect to the
application of urchin to any thing dwarfish, for we still say a _little
urchin_, this sense of the word seems to have originated rather from
the circumstance of its having once signified a fairy, who is always
supposed to be a diminutive being, than from the cause assigned by Mr.

It is true that in the ensuing act Caliban speaks of Prospero's
_spirits_ as attacking him _in the shape of hedge-hogs_, for which
another reason will be offered presently; and yet the word in question
is only one out of many used by Shakspeare, which may be best disposed
of by concluding that he designed they should be taken in both or
either of their senses.

In a very rare old collection of songs set to music by John Bennett,
Edward Piers or Peirce, and Thomas Ravenscroft, composers in the
time of Shakspeare, and entitled _Hunting_, _hawking_, _dauncing_,
_drinking_, _enamoring_, 4to, no date, there are, the _fairies_ dance,
the _elves_ dance, and the _urchins_ dance. This is the latter:

    "By the moone we sport and play,
      With the night begins our day;
    As we friske the dew doth fall,
      Trip it little _urchins_ all,
    Lightly as the little bee,
      Two by two, and three by three,
     And about goe wee, goe wee."

                           SCENE 2. Page 40.

    CAL. It would control my dam's God _Setebos_.

In Dr. Farmer's note it should have been added that the passage from
Eden's _History of travayle_ was part of Magellan's _Voyage_; or in Mr.
Tollet's, that Magellan was included in Eden's collection.

                           SCENE 2. Page 42.

    ARI. Those are pearls, that were his eyes.

We had already had this image in King Richard the third, where
Clarence, describing his dream, says:

    "... in those holes
    Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
    (As 'twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems."

                           SCENE 2. Page 44.

    MIRA ... What is't, a spirit?
    Lord, how it looks about! Believe me, sir,
    It carries a brave form.

The incident of Miranda's surprise at the first sight of Ferdinand, and
of her falling in love with him, might have been suggested by some lost
translation of the 13th tale in the _Cento novelle antiche_, and which
is in fact the subject of _father Philip's geese_, so admirably told by
Boccaccio and Lafontaine. It seems to have been originally taken from
the life of Saint Barlaam in _The golden legend_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 54.

    GON. How _lush_ and lusty the grass looks!

_Lush_, as Mr. Malone observes, has not yet been rightly interpreted.
It is, after all, an old word synonymous with _loose_. In the
_Promptuarium parvulorum_ 1516, 4to, we find "_lushe or slacke,
laxus_." The quotation from Golding, who renders _turget_ by this word,
confirms the foregoing definition, and demonstrates that as applied
to grass, it means _loose or swollen_, thereby expressing the state
of that vegetable when, the fibres being relaxed, it expands to its
fullest growth.

                           SCENE 2. Page 76.

    CAL. Sometime like _apes_, that moe and chatter at me
    And after bite me; then like _hedge-hogs_, which
    Lie _tumbling_ in my barefoot way----

Shakspeare, who seems to have been well acquainted with Bishop
Harsnet's _Declaration of Popish impostures_, has here recollected that
part of the work where the author, speaking of the supposed possession
of young girls, says, "they make anticke faces, _girn, mow and mop
like an ape, tumble like a hedge-hogge_, &c." Another reason for the
introduction of urchins or hedge-hogs into this speech is, that on the
first discovery of the Bermudas, which, as has been already stated,
gave rise in part to this play, they were supposed to be "haunted
as all men know with _hogs_ and hobgoblings." See Dekkar's _Strange
horserace_, &c. sign. f. 3. b. and Mr. Steevens's note in p. 28.

                           SCENE 2. Page 77.

    TRIN. A strange fish! Were I in England now (as once I was) and had
    but this fish painted, not a holiday fool there but would give a
    piece of silver: there would this monster make a man; any strange
    beast there makes a man: when they will not give a doit to relieve
    a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian.

This speech happily ridicules the mania that appears to have always
existed among our countrymen for beholding strange sights, however
trifling. A contemporary writer and professor of divinity has been no
less severe. Speaking of the crocodile, he says, "Of late years there
hath been brought into England, the cases or skinnes of such crocodiles
to be seene, and much money given for the sight thereof; the policy of
strangers laugh at our folly, either that we are too wealthy, or else
that we know not how to bestow our money." Batman _uppon Bartholome_,
fo. 359 b.

                           SCENE 2. Page 82.

    STE. This _mooncalf_.

The best account of this fabulous substance may be found in Drayton's
poem with that title.

                           SCENE 2. Page 83.

    STE. I was the _man in the moon_.

This is a very old superstition founded, as Mr. Ritson has observed,
on _Numbers_ xv. 32. See _Ancient songs_, p. 34. So far the tradition
is still preserved among nurses and schoolboys; but how the culprit
came to be imprisoned in the moon, has not yet been accounted for. It
should seem that he had not merely gathered sticks on the sabbath, but
that he had _stolen_ what he gathered, as appears from the following
lines in Chaucer's _Testament of Creseid_, where the poet, describing
the moon, informs us that she had

    "On her brest a chorle painted ful even,
    Bearing a bush of thorns on his backe,
    Which for his _theft_ might clime no ner the heven."

We are to suppose that he was doomed to perpetual confinement in this
planet, and precluded from every possibility of inhabiting the mansions
of the just. With the Italians Cain appears to have been the offender,
and he is alluded to in a very extraordinary manner by Dante in the
twentieth canto of the _Inferno_, where the moon is described by the
periphrasis _Caino e le spine_. One of the commentators on that poet
says, that this alludes to the popular opinion of Cain loaded with the
bundle of faggots, but how he procured them we are not informed. The
Jews have some Talmudical story that Jacob is in the moon, and they
believe that his face is visible. The natives of Ceylon, instead of a
man, have placed a hare in the moon; and it is said to have got there
in the following manner. Their great Deity Budha when a hermit on
earth lost himself one day in a forest. After wandering about in great
distress he met a hare, who thus addressed him: "It is in my power to
extricate you from your difficulty; take the path on your right hand,
and it will lead you out of the forest." "I am greatly obliged to you,
Mr. Hare," said Budha, "but I am unfortunately very poor and very
hungry, and have nothing to offer you in reward for your kindness." "If
you are hungry," returned the hare, "I am again at your service; make a
fire, kill me, roast me, and eat me." Budha made the fire, and the hare
instantly jumped into it. Budha now exerted his miraculous powers,
snatched the animal from the flames, and threw him into the moon,
where he has ever since remained. This is from the information of a
learned and intelligent French gentleman recently arrived from Ceylon,
who adds that the Cingalese would often request of him to permit them
to look for the hare through his telescope, and exclaim in raptures,
that they saw it. It is remarkable that the Chinese represent the moon
by a rabbit pounding rice in a mortar. Their mythological moon Jut-ho
is figured by a beautiful young woman with a double sphere behind her
head, and a rabbit at her feet. The period of this animal's gestation
is thirty days; may it not therefore typify the moon's revolution round
the earth?

                           SCENE 2. Page 86.

    CAL. Nor _scrape-trenchering_, nor wash-dish.

_Scraping trenchers_ was likewise a scholastic employment at college,
if we may believe the illiterate parson in the pleasant comedy of
_Cornelianum dolium_, where speaking of his haughty treatment of the
poor scholars whom he had distanced in getting possession of a fat
living, he says, "Illi inquam, qui ut mihi narrârunt, quadras adipe
illitas deglubere sunt coacti, quamdiu inter academicas ulnas manent,
dapsili more à me nutriti sunt, saginati imò &c." It was the office too
of apprentices. In _The life of a satirical puppy called Nim_, 1657,
12mo, a citizen describes how long "he bore the water tankard, _scrap't
trenchers_, and made clean shoes."


                           SCENE 1. Page 91.

    FER. This wooden slavery, than _I would_ suffer.

The old copy reads _than to suffer_, which, however ungrammatical,
is justly maintained by Mr. Malone to be Shakspeare's language, and
ought therefore to be restored. Mr. Steevens objects on the score of
_defective_ metre: but this is not the case; the metre, however rugged,
is certainly _perfect_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 92.

    MIRA. I am your wife, if you will marry me;
    If not, I'll die your maid: to be your fellow
    You may deny me; but I'll be your servant
    Whether you will or no.

Mr. Malone has cited a very apposite passage from Catullus, but
Shakspeare had probably on this occasion the pathetic old poem of _The
nut-brown maid_ in his recollection.

                           SCENE 2. Page 94.

    STE. Thy eyes are almost set in thy head.

    TRIN. Where should they be set else? he were a brave monster
    indeed, if they were set in his tail.

The curious reader may nevertheless be gratified with a ludicrous
instance of _eyes set in the tail_, if he can procure a sight of the
first cut in Caxton's edition of _Æsop's fables_. In the mean time
he is referred to the _genuine_ chap. xx. of Planudes's life of that
fabulist, which is generally omitted in the modern editions.

                           SCENE 2. Page 97.

    CAL. What a py'd ninny's this? thou scurvy patch!

Dr. Johnson would transfer this speech to Stephano, on the ground that
Caliban could know nothing of the costume of fools. This objection is
fairly removed by Mr. Malone; besides which it may be remarked that at
the end of the play Caliban specifically calls Trinculo a _fool_. The
modern managers will perhaps be inclined for the future to dress this
character in the proper habit.

                           SCENE 2. Page 100.

    CAL. Will you _troll_ the catch----

_Troll_ is from the French _trôler_, to _lead_, _draw_, or _drag_,
and this sense particularly applies to a catch, in which one part
is sung after the other, one of the singers leading off. The term is
_sometimes_ used as Mr. Steevens has explained it. Littelton renders
_to troll along his words_, by _volubiliter loqui sive rotundè_.
_Trolling_ for fish, is drawing the bait along in the water, to imitate
the swimming of a real fish.

                           SCENE 2. Page 104.

    SEB. ... in _Arabia_
    There is one tree, the Phœnix' throne, _one phœnix_
    At this hour reigning there.

Bartholomæus _De propriet. rerum_, speaking of _Arabia_, says, "there
breedeth a birde that is called _Phœnix_;" and from what has already
been said of this book, it was probably one of Shakspeare's authorities
on the occasion.

                           SCENE 2. Page 106.

    GON. Who would believe that there were mountaineers,
    Dewlapp'd like bulls, whose throats had hanging at them
    Wallets of flesh? or that there were such men,
    _Whose heads stood in their breasts?_

The "dewlapp'd mountaineers" are shown to have been borrowed from
Maundeville's travels, and the same author doubtless supplied the other
monsters. In the edition printed by Thomas Este, without date, is
the following passage: "In another ile dwell men that have no heads,
and their eyes are in their shoulders, _and their mouth is on their
breast_." A cut however which occurs in this place is more to the
purpose, and might have saved our poet the trouble of consulting the
text, for it represents a complete head with eyes, nose, and mouth,
placed on the breast and stomach.


                           SCENE 1. Page 122.

    CER. Hail many-coloured messenger, that ne'er
    Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
    Who with thy saffron wings upon my flowers
    Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers;
    And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
    My bosky acres----

An elegant expansion of these lines in Phaer's _Virgil. Æn._ end of
book 4.

    "Dame rainbow down therefore with safron wings of dropping showres.
    Whose face a thousand sundry hewes against the sunne devoures,
    From heaven descending came----"

                           SCENE 1. Page 131.

    ARI. ... so I charm'd their ears,
    That calf-like, they my lowing follow'd through
    Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, pricking goss and thorns
    Which enter'd their frail skins.

Dr. Johnson has introduced a passage from Drayton's _Nymphidia_, as
resembling the above description. It is still more like an incident in
the well known story of the _friar and the boy_.

    "Jacke toke his pype and began to blowe
    Then the frere, as I trowe,
    Began to daunce soone;
    The breres scratched hym in the face
    And in many another place
    That the blode brast out,
    He daunced among thornes thycke
    In many places they dyde hym prycke, &c."

                           SCENE 1. Page 136.

    CAL. And all be turn'd to _barnacles_, or apes.

Mr. Collins's note, it is presumed, will not be thought worth retaining
in any future edition. His account of the barnacle is extremely
confused and imperfect. He makes Gerarde responsible for an opinion not
his own; he substitutes the name of Holinshed for that of Harrison,
whose statement is not so ridiculous as Mr. Collins would make it, and
who might certainly have seen the feathers of the barnacles hanging
out of the shells, as the _fish barnacle_ or _Lepas anatifera_ is
undoubtedly furnished with a _feathered_ beard. The real absurdity was
the credulity of Gerarde and Harrison in supposing that the barnacle
goose was really produced from the shell of the fish. Dr. Bullein
not only believed this himself, but bestows the epithets, _ignorant_
and _incredulous_ on those who did not; and in the same breath he
maintains that crystal is nothing more than ice. See his _Bulwarke of
defence_, &c. 1562, Folio, fo. 12. Caliban's barnacle is the _clakis_
or tree-goose. Every kind of information on the subject may be found
in the _Physica curiosa_ of Gaspar Schot the Jesuit, who with great
industry has collected from a multitude of authors whatever they
had written concerning it. See lib. ix. c. 22. The works of Pennant
and Bewick will supply every deficiency with respect to _rational_


                           SCENE 1. Page 140.

    PRO. Ye _elves_ of hills----

The different species of the fairy tribe are called in the Northern
languages _ælfen_, _elfen_, and _alpen_, words of remote and uncertain
etymology. The Greek ολβιος, _felix_, is not so plausible an original
as the Teutonic _helfen_, _juvare_; because many of these supernatural
beings were supposed to be of a mischievous nature, but all of them
might very properly be invoked to assist mankind. Some of the northern
nations regarded them as the souls of men who in this world had given
themselves up to corporeal pleasures, and trespasses against human
laws. It was conceived therefore that they were doomed to wander for a
certain time about the earth, and to be bound in a kind of servitude
to mortals. One of their occupations was that of protecting horses in
the stable. See Olaus Magnus _de gentibus septentrionalibus_, lib.
iii. cap. xi. It is probable that our fairy system is originally
derived from the Fates, Fauns, Nymphs, Dryads, Deæ matres, &c., of the
ancients, in like manner as other Pagan superstitions were corruptedly
retained after the promulgation of Christianity. The general stock
might have been augmented and improved by means of the crusades and
other causes of intercourse with the nations of the East.

                           SCENE 1. Page 141.

    PRO. ... you demy-puppets, that
    By moonshine do the _green-sour_ ringlets make,
    Whereof the ewe not bites----

_Green sour_, if the genuine reading, should be given, as in the
first folio, without a hyphen; for such a _compound_ epithet will not
elsewhere be easily discovered. Though a real or supposed acidity in
this kind of grass will certainly warrant the use of _sour_, it is not
improbable that Shakspeare might have written _greensward_, i. e. the
green surface of the ground, from the Saxon ꞅƿeaꞃꝺ, skin.

                           SCENE 1. Page 158.

    PRO. His mother was a witch; and one so strong
    _That could control the moon_.

So in a former scene, Gonzalo had said, "You are gentlemen of
brave mettle; you would _lift the moon out of her sphere_, &c." In
Adlington's translation of _Apuleius_ 1596, 4to, a book well known to
Shakspeare, a marginal note says, "Witches in old time were supposed
to be of such power that they could pul downe _the moone by their
inchauntment_." In Fleminge's _Virgil's Bucolics_ is this line, "Charms
able are from heaven high to fetch the moone adowne;" and see Scot's
_Discoverie of witchcraft_ 1584, 4to, pp. 174, 226, 227, 250.

But all the above authorities are from the ancients, the system of
modern witchcraft not affording any similar instances of its power. The
Jesuit Delrio is willing to put up with any notice of this superstition
among heathen writers, but is extremely indignant to find it mentioned
by a Christian; contending that it exclusively belongs to the ancients.
_Disquis. magic._ lib. ii. quæst. xi. The following classical
references may not be unacceptable. The earliest on the list will be
that in Aristophanes's _Clouds_, where Strepsiades proposes the hiring
of a Thessalian witch to bring down the moon and shut her in a box that
he might thus evade paying his debts by the month.

    "Quæ sidera excantata voce Thessalâ
      _Lunamque cœlo deripit_."

                                                     Horat. _epod._ v.

    "_Deripere lunam_ vocibus possum meis."

                                                  Horat. _epod._ xvii.

    "Et jam _luna negat toties descendere cœlo_."

                                                Propert. II. _el._ 28.

    "Cantus et _é curru lunam deducere_ tentat
      Et faceret, si non ære repuisa sonent."

                             Tibull. I. _el._ 8. and see _el._ 2.

    ... "_Phœbeque serena_
    Non aliter diris verborum obsessa venenis
    Palluit, et nigris, terrenisque ignibus arsit,
    Et patitur tantos _cantu depressa_ labores
    Donec suppositas propior despumet in herbas."[2]

                                                                  Lucan vi.

    "Mater erat Mycale; quam _deduxisse canendo_
    Sæpe reluctanti constabat _cornua lunæ_."

                                                Ovid. _Metam._ I. xii.

    "Illa reluctantem _curru deducere lunam_

                                                    Ovid. _epist._ vi.

    "Sic _te_ regentem frena nocturni ætheris
    _Detrahere_ nunquam _Thessali cantus_ queant."

                                            Senec. _Hippolyt._ Act. 2.

    "Mulieres etiam lunam deducunt."

                                                    Petron. Hadrianid. 468.

In the same author the witch Enothea, describing her power, says,
"_Lunæ descendit imago, carminibus deducta meis._" p. 489.

It is said that Menanda wrote a play called _the Thessalian_, in which
were contained the several incantations used by witches to draw the
moon from the heavens.

So when the moon was eclipsed, the Romans supposed it was from the
influence of magical charms; to counteract which, as well as those
already enumerated, they had recourse to the sound of brazen implements
of all kinds. Juvenal alludes to this practice when he describes his
talkative woman.

    "... Jam nemo tubas, nemo æra fatiget,
    Una laboranti _poterit succurrere lunæ_."

                                                        _Sat._ vi. 441.

And see particularly Macrob. _Saturna._ l. v. c. 19. It is not
improbable that the rattling of the sistrum by the priests of Isis, or
the moon, may be in some way or other connected with this practice, or
have even been its origin.

In proportion to the advance of science, it will, no doubt, be found
that the Greeks and Romans borrowed more than is commonly imagined
from the nations of the East, where the present practice seems to have
been universal. Thus the Chinese believe that during eclipses of the
sun and moon these celestial bodies are attacked by a great serpent,
to drive away which they strike their gongs or brazen drums; the Turks
and even some of the American Indians entertain the same opinion. This
is perhaps a solution of the common subject on Chinese porcelain, of
a dragon pursuing a ball of fire, the symbol of the sun. The Hindoos
suppose that a serpent, born from the head of a giant slain by Vishnu,
is permitted by that deity to attack the sun. Krishna the Hindoo sun is
sometimes represented combating this monster, whence the Greek story of
Apollo and the serpent Python may have been derived.


The character of Trinculo, who in the _dramatis personæ_ is called a
_jester_, is not very well discriminated in the course of the play
itself. As he is only associated with Caliban and the drunken butler,
there was no opportunity of exhibiting him in the legitimate character
of a professed fool; but at the conclusion of the play it appears that
he was in the service of the king of Naples as well as Stephano. On
this account therefore, and for the reasons already offered in page
20, he must be regarded as an allowed domestic buffoon, and should be
habited on the stage in the usual manner.


[1] See Malone's _Shaksp._ vol. i. part i. p. 379.

[2] The last line is a good comment on the "lunam despumari" of
Apuleius speaking of the effects of magical mutterings.



                           SCENE 1. Page 170.

    PRO. For I will be thy _beadsman_, Valentine.

A beadsman is one who offers up prayers to heaven for the welfare of
another. Many of the ancient petitions to great men were addressed
to them by their "poor daily orators and beadsmen." _To count one's
beads_, means, in the Romish church, to offer up as many prayers to
God and the Virgin Mary as the priest or some voluntary penance or
obligation shall have enjoined; and that no mistake may happen in the
number, they are reckoned by means of certain balls strung in a kind
of chaplet, and hence in the English language termed _beads_, from
the Saxon beaꝺ, a prayer. There is much difference of opinion among
ecclesiastical writers as to the origin of this practice. Some ascribe
its invention to Peter the hermit in the eleventh century, others to
Venerable Bede, misled probably by the affinity of the name. Monsieur
Fleury more rationally conceives it to be not older than the eleventh
century; but the probability is, that it was imported into Europe by
the crusaders, who found it among the Mahometans. The latter use it
wherever their religion has been planted, and there is even reason for
supposing that it originated among the natives of Hindostan. These
chaplets made of beads are called _rosaries_ when they are used in
prayers to the Virgin. The term _bead_, as applied to the materials of
which necklaces, &c. are made, seems therefore to have been borrowed
from the chaplet of rosaries in question.

                           SCENE 1. Page 171.

    PRO. Over the boots? Nay, _give me not the boots_.

An allusion, as it is supposed, to the diabolical torture of the boot.
Not a great while before this play was written, it had been inflicted
in the presence of King James on one Dr. Fian, a supposed wizard,
who was charged with raising the storms that the King encountered in
his return from Denmark. In the very curious pamphlet which contains
the account of this transaction it is stated that "hee was with all
convenient speed, by commandement, convaied againe to the _torment of
the bootes_, wherein he continued a long time, and did abide so many
blowes in them, that his legges were crushte and beaten togeather
as small as might bee, and the bones and flesh so brused, that the
bloud and marrowe spouted forth in great abundance, whereby they were
made unserviceable for ever." The unfortunate man was afterwards
burned. But the above instrument of torture was not, as suggested in
one of the notes on this occasion, "used only in Scotland;" it was
known in France, and in all probability imported from that country.
The following representation of it is copied from Millæus's _Praxis
criminis persequendi_, Paris, 1541, folio. This instrument of torture
continued to be used in Scotland so late as the end of the 17th
century. See _A hind let loose_, 1687, 8vo, pp. 186, 198, in the
frontispiece to which work there is an indistinct representation of the
boot. It is said to have been imported from Russia by a Scotchman. See
Maclaurin's _Arguments in remarkable cases_, 4to, p. xxxvii.


                           SCENE 1. Page 171.

    VAL. ... To be
    In love, where scorn is bought with groans: coy looks,
    With heart-sore sighs; one fading moment's mirth,
    With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights:
    If haply won, perhaps a hapless gain;
    If lost, why then a grievous labour won;
    However, but a folly bought with wit,
    Or else a wit by folly vanquished.

Thus explained by Dr. Johnson. "This love will end in a _foolish
action_, to produce which you are long to spend your _wit_, or it will
end in the loss of your wit, which will be overpowered by the folly
of love;" an explanation that is in part very questionable. The poet
simply means that love itself is sometimes a foolish object dearly
attained in exchange for reason; at others the human judgment subdued
by folly. He is speaking of love abstractedly, and not alluding to that
of Proteus.

                           SCENE 1. Page 178.

    SPEED. I thank you, you have _testern'd_ me.

Mr. Holt White's information from a passage in Latimer's sermons, that
the tester was then worth _more_ than _six-pence_, is so far correct;
but as an inference might be drawn from the quotation that it was
actually worth _ten-pence_, it becomes necessary to state that at that
time, viz. in 1550, the tester was worth _twelve-pence_. It is presumed
that no accurate account of this piece of coin has been hitherto given;
and therefore the following attempt, which has been attended with no
small labour, may not be unacceptable.

The term, variously written, _teston_, _tester_, _testern_, and, in
_Twelfth night_, _testril_, is from the French _teston_, and so called
from the king's head, which first appeared on this coin in the reign
of Louis XII. A. D. 1513, though the Italians seem previously to have
had a coin of the same denomination. In our own country the name was
first applied to the English shilling (originally coined by Henry the
Seventh) at the beginning of the reign of Henry the Eighth, probably
because it resembled in value the French coin above described; so that
_shilling_ and _teston_ were at that time synonymous terms. Although
the teston underwent several reductions in value, it appears to have
been worth twelve-pence at the beginning of Edward the Sixth's reign,
from three several proclamations in his second and third years for
calling in, and at length annihilating, this coin, on account of the
forgeries that had been committed; Sir William Sharington having
falsified it to the amount of 12,000_l._, for which by an express act
of parliament he was attainted of treason. In the above proclamations
the testons are specifically described as "pieces of xiid commonly
called testons;" and in the last of them, the possessors are allowed
twelve-pence apiece on bringing them to the mint. Sir Henry Spelman,
who has asserted in his glossary that the teston was reduced to
nine-pence in the _first_ year of King Edward, must be mistaken. Stowe
more correctly informs us that on the 9th of July 1551 (the _fifth_
year of the King's reign), the base shillings of Henry VIII. and
Edward VI. were called down to _nine_-pence, and on the 17th of August
following to _six_-pence. He afterwards, under the year 1559, cites a
proclamation for reducing it still lower, viz. to fourpence halfpenny.
We must conclude that it again rose in value as the coin became
improved; for it appears from _Twelfth night_, Act II. Scene 3, that it
was in Shakspeare's time the same as the six-pence, and it has probably
continued ever since as another name for that coin.

                           SCENE 2. Page 185.

    JUL. I see you have a _month's mind_ to them.

There is a great deal of quotation given in the notes, but nothing
after all that amounts to an explanation of the term. It alludes to
the mind or _remembrance_ days of our Popish ancestors. Persons in
their wills often directed that in a _month_, or any other specific
time, from the day of their decease, some solemn office for the repose
of their souls, as a mass or dirge, should be performed in the parish
church, with a suitable charity or benevolence on the occasion.
Polydore Vergil has shown that the custom is of Roman origin; and
he seems to speak of the month's mind as a ceremony peculiar to the
English. _De rer. invent._ lib. vi. c. 10.


                           SCENE 2. Page 201.

    JUL. Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake.

                                                     [_giving a ring._

    PRO. Why then we'll make exchange; here, take you this.

    JUL. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.

This was the mode of plighting troth between lovers in private. It was
sometimes done in the church with great solemnity, and the service on
this occasion is preserved in some of the old rituals. To the latter
ceremony the priest alludes in _Twelfth night_, Act V. Scene 1.

    "A contract of eternal bond of love
    Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands,
    Attested by the holy close of lips,
    Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings, &c."

                           SCENE 4. Page 210.

    SIL. That you are welcome?

    PRO. ... _No_; that you are worthless.

Dr. Johnson has here inserted the particle _no_, "to fill up the
_measure_;" but the measure is not defective though the harmony is.
Mr. Steevens, disputing the suggestion of a brother critic, that
_worthless_ might have been designed as a trisyllable, asks whether
_worthless_ in the preceding speech of Sylvia is a trisyllable?
Certainly not; but he should have remembered the want of uniformity of
metre in many words among the poets of this period. Thus in p. 223,
lines 8 and 9, the word _fire_ is alternately used as a monosyllable
and dissyllable; and where the quantity is complete, as in the present
instance, the harmony is often left to shift for itself.


                           SCENE 1. Page 232.

    DUKE. Why Phaeton, (for thou _art_ Merop's son)

It is far more likely that Shakspeare found this at the end of the
first book of Golding's _Ovid's metamorphosis_, than in the authorities
referred to in Mr. Steevens's note.

                           SCENE 1. Page 239.

    LAUN. There; and _Saint Nicholas_ be thy speed.

The true reason why this Saint was chosen to be the patron of Scholars
may be gathered from the following story in his life, composed in
French verse by _Maitre Wace_, chaplain to Henry the Second, remaining
in manuscript but never printed. It appears from a passage in
Ordericus Vitalis, p. 598, that the metrical legends of Saints were
sung by the Norman minstrels to the common people.

    "Treis clers aloent a escole,
    Nen frai mie longe parole;
    Lor ostes par nuit les oscieit,
    Les cors musca, la ...[3]prenoit
    Saint Nicolas par Deu le sout,
    Sempris fut la si cum Deu plut,
    Les clers al oste demanda,
    Nes peut muscier einz lui mustra.
    Seint Nicolas par sa priere
    Les ames mist el cors ariere.
    Por ceo qe as clers fist tiel honor
    Font li clerc feste a icel jor."

That is, "Three scholars were on their way to school, (I shall not make
a long story of it,) their host murdered them in the night, and hid
their bodies; their ... he reserved. Saint Nicholas was informed of it
by God Almighty, and according to his pleasure went to the place. He
demanded the scholars of the host, who was not able to conceal them,
and therefore showed them to him. Saint Nicholas, by his prayers,
restored the souls to their bodies. Because he conferred such honour on
scholars, they at this day celebrate a festival."

It is remarkable, that although the above story explains the common
representation of the Saint, with three children in a tub, it is not to
be found in that grand repertory of Monkish lies, _The Golden Legend_.
It occurs, however, in an Italian life of Saint Nicholas, printed in
1645, whence it is extracted into the Gentleman's Magazine for 1777,
p. 158. There is a note by Mr. Whalley on _Saint Nicholas's clerks_,
as applied to _highwaymen_, in King Henry the Fourth, part the first,
vol. viii. p. 418, which, though erroneously conceived, would have been
more properly introduced on the present occasion. Standing where it
does, the worthy author is made responsible for having converted the
parish clerks of London into a nest of thieves, which he certainly
never intended. Those respectable persons, finding that scholars, more
usually termed clerks, had placed themselves under the patronage of
Saint Nicholas, conceived that _clerks_ of any kind might have the same
right, and accordingly took this saint as _their_ patron; much in the
same way as the wool-combers did Saint Blaise, who was martyred with an
instrument resembling a curry-_comb_, the nail-makers Saint _Clou_, and
the booksellers Saint John Port-_Latin_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 246.

    PRO. Especially against his _very_ friend.

Mr. Steevens explains _very_ to be _immediate_. Is it not rather _true,
verus_? Thus Massinger calls one of his plays _A_ very _woman_. See
likewise the beginning of the Nicene creed.


                           SCENE 2. Page 257.

    HOST. ... the musick _likes_ you not.

i. e. _pleases_, in which sense it is used by Chaucer. This is the
genuine Saxon meaning of the word, however it might have been corrupted
in early times from its Latin original _licet_. In the next speech
Julietta plays upon the word.

                           SCENE 2. Page 258.

    SIL. What is your will?

    PRO. That I may compass yours.

    SIL. You have your wish; my will is even this;--

On which Dr. Johnson observes, "The word _will_ is here ambiguous. He
wishes to _gain_ her _will_; she tells him, if he wants her _will_ he
has it." The learned critic seems to have mistaken the sense of the
word _compass_, when he says it means _to gain_. If it did, his remark
would be just. But to _compass_ in this place signifies, to _perform_,
_accomplish_, _take measures for doing a thing_. Thus in _Twelfth
night_, Act I. Scene 2, "that were hard to _compass_;" and in _1 Hen._
VI. Act V. Scene 5, "You judge it impossible to _compass_ wonders."
Accordingly Sylvia proceeds to instruct Proteus _how_ he may perform
her will. _Wish_ and _will_ are here used, as in many other places,
though inaccurately, as synonymous. If however Shakspeare really
designed to make Proteus say that he was desirous of _gaining_ Sylvia's
good will, she must be supposed, in her reply, purposely to mistake his

                           SCENE 2. Page 260.

    SIL. But since your falshood shall _become_ you well
    To worship shadows, and adore false shapes.

Dr. Johnson objects to the sense of this passage, and the other
commentators offer conjectural interpretations; yet surely nothing is
more clear than the sense, and even the grammar may be defended. It
is simply, "since your falsehood shall _adapt or render you fit_ to
worship shadows." _Become_ here answers to the Latin _convenire_, and
is used according to its genuine Saxon meaning.

                           SCENE 2. Page 260.

    HOST. By my HALLIDOM, I was fast asleep.

This Mr. Ritson explains, _by my holy doom_, or _sentence at the
resurrection_, from the Saxon halɩᵹꝺom; but the word does not appear
to have had such a meaning. It rather signifies holiness or honesty.
It likewise denoted a sacrament, a sanctuary, relics of saints, or
anything holy. It seems in later times to have been corrupted into
_holidame_, as if it expressed the holy virgin. Thus we have _so help
me God and hollidame_. See Bullein's _Book of the use of sicke men_,
1579, in folio, fo. 2 b.

                           SCENE 4. Page 270.

    JUL. But since she did neglect her looking-glass,
    And threw her _sun-expelling mask_ away.

It was the fashion at this time for the ladies to wear masks, which are
thus described by the puritanical Stubs in his _Anatomie of abuses_,
1595, 4to, p. 59. "When they use to ride abroad they have _masks and
visors made of velvet_ wherewith they cover all their faces, having
holes made in them against their eyes, whereout they looke. So that if
a man that knew not their guise before, should chaunce to meet one of
them, he would think he met a monster or a Devil, for face he can shew
(see) none, but two broad holes against their eyes, with glasses in
them." More will be said on the subject of this mode of disguising the
female face in a remark on _The merry wives of Windsor_, Act IV. Scene

                           SCENE 4. Page 271.

    JUL. ... 'twas Ariadne, passioning
    For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight.

A note is here inserted, "not" says its learned and classical author,
"on the business of Shakspeare," but to introduce a conjecture relating
to one of Guido's paintings commonly supposed to represent Ariadne as
deserted by Theseus and courted by Bacchus, but which he conceives to
have been intended for Bacchus's desertion of this lady for an Indian
captive. An attentive examination of the print from Guido's picture
will, it is presumed, incline any one to hesitate much before he shall
decide on having discerned any traces of an Indian princess; and
this supposed character may rather turn out to be Venus introducing
the amorous Deity, attended by his followers, to Ariadne, forlorn
and abandoned by Theseus in the isle of Chios, according to Ovid,
or Naxos according to Lactantius. Nor is the female who accompanies
Bacchus "hanging on his arm," as stated by the critic. It is impossible
likewise to perceive in this figure the modest looks or demeanour
of a female captive, or in the supposed Bacchus the character of a
lover, insulting, according to Ovid's description, his former mistress
by displaying the beauties of another. Boccaccio has very comically
accounted for Ariadne's desertion by Theseus, and her subsequent
transfer to Bacchus. He supposes the lady to have been too fond of
the juice of the grape, and that on her continuing to indulge this
propensity, she was therefore called the wife of Bacchus. See _Geneal.
deor._ lib. xi. c. 29.

                           SCENE 4. Page 274.

    JUL. Her eyes are _grey as glass_.

This was in old times the favourite colour of the eyes in both sexes:

    "His eyen are _gray_ as any _glasse_."

                                            _Romance of Sir Isenbras._

    "Her eyen gray as glas."

                                        _Romance of Libeaus desconus._

    "Les iex _vairs_ et rians com un faucon."

                                  _Roman de Guerin de Montglaive. MS._

And to come nearer to Shakspeare's time:--In the interlude of _Marie
Magdalene_, a song in praise of her says, "your eyes as _gray_ as
glasse and right amiable." The French term _ver_ or _vair_ has induced
some of their antiquaries to suppose that it meant _green_; but it
has been very satisfactorily shown to signify in general the colour
still called by heralds _vair_. It is certain however that the French
romances and other authorities allude occasionally to _green_ eyes.

                           SCENE 4. Page 274.

    JUL. My substance should be _statue_ in thy stead.

In confirmation of Mr. M. Mason's note, it may be observed that in the
comedy of _Cornelianum dolium_, Act I. Scene 5, _statua_ is twice used
for a picture. They were synonymous terms, and sometimes a statue was
called a picture. Thus Stowe, speaking of Elizabeth's funeral, says
that when the people beheld "her _statue or picture_ lying upon the
coffin" there was a general sighing, &c. _Annals_, p. 815, edit. 1631.
In the glossary to Speght's _Chaucer_, 1598, _statue_ is explained
_picture_; and in one of the inventories of King Henry the Eighth's
furniture at Greenwich, several _pictures of earth_ are mentioned.
These were busts in _terra cotta_ like those still remaining in
Wolsey's palace at Hampton Court.


                           SCENE 1. Page 276.

    EGL. That Silvia _at Patrick's cell_ should meet me.

The old copy reads "at _friar_ Patrick's cell," which Mr. Steevens
calls a redundance, justifying his alteration by a passage in the next
scene, where "At Patrick's cell" occurs. But the old reading is right,
and should not have been disturbed, there being no redundance when it
is judiciously read. Silvia is often used as a dissyllable, and must
here be read elliptically. Besides, we had "_friar_ Patrick's cell"
before in p. 263.

                           SCENE 4. Page 280.

    VAL. And to the nightingale's complaining notes
    Tune my distresses, and _record_ my woes.

It has been already observed that this term refers to the _singing
of birds_. It should have been added that it was formed from the
_recorder_, a sort of flute by which they were taught to sing.

                           SCENE 4. Page 286.

    JUL. How oft hast thou with perjury _cleft_ the root?

The speech had been begun with a metaphor from archery, and is here
continued in the same strain. _To cleave the pin_, was to break the
nail which attached the mark to the butt.

                           SCENE 4. Page 290.

    Mr. Ritson's reply to Mr. Tyrwhitt.

However ingenious and even just the system in this reply may be, it is
evident that Shakspeare was not governed by it; but, on the contrary,
that he _has_ taken the liberties pointed out by Mr. Tyrwhitt.
The proof is, 1. From the circumstance that none of Shakspeare's
contemporaries have used similar words in such a protracted form.
2. Because he has used other words in the same manner which are not
reducible to Mr. Ritson's system; such as _country_, _assembly_, &c.
He never troubled himself about establishing a canon of which he was,
in all likelihood, altogether ignorant; but occasionally took such
liberties as his verses required. This is clearly manifested by his
various use, in many instances, of the selfsame words.


The character of Speed is that of a shrewd witty servant. Launce is
something different, exhibiting a mixture of archness and rustic
simplicity. There is no allusion to dress, nor any other circumstance,
that marks either of them as the domestic fool or jester.


[3] A word defaced in the manuscript.



                           SCENE 1. Page 309.

    SLEN. She has brown hair, and _speaks small like a woman_.

It may be doubted whether the _real humour_ of this speech has been
pointed out. Does it not consist in Slender's characterizing Ann Page
by a property belonging to himself, and which renders him ridiculous?
The audience would naturally smile at hearing him deliver the speech in
an effeminate tone of voice.

                           SCENE 1. Page 314.

    FAL. But not kiss'd your keeper's daughter.

This has the appearance of a fragment of some old ballad.

                           SCENE 1. Page 317.

    PIST. He hears with ears.

    EVA. The tevil and his tarn! what phrase is this, _he hears with ear_?
        Why it is affectations.

If, according to Mr. Henderson, Sir Hugh be justified in his censure
of this phrase as a pleonasm, we must also censure the parson in his
turn for having forgot that the common prayer would have furnished an
example of Pistol's language. See also _Jerem._ xxvi. 11.

                           SCENE 1. Page 317.

    SLEN. Seven groats in _mill-sixpences_, and two _Edward
    shovel-boards_ that cost me two shillings and twopence apiece.

These sixpences were coined in 1561, and are the first milled money
used in this kingdom. The invention is due to the French, and was
introduced here by a native of France, who misapplied his talents by
private coining, and suffered the penalty of the law. That seven
groats could be lost in sixpences must be placed to the account of
Master Slender's simplicity of wit.

With respect to the _Edward shovel-boards_:--Mr. Malone's inference
from the reading in the old quarto that "Slender means the broad
_shilling_ of _one of our kings_," is sufficiently maintained by the
other notes; but that it was the shilling of _Edward the Sixth_ there
is no doubt, no _other_ Edward having coined such a piece of money. It
still remains to explain how these shillings could have cost Master
Slender two and twopence apiece; because, if Dr. Farmer's quotation
from Folkes had gone far enough, it would have appeared that the
thick shillings mentioned by that writer were _pattern-pieces_, even
originally of great rarity, and never in circulation. Folkes could have
seen very few of such pieces, and it would be extremely difficult at
present to find a single one; whereas the common shillings of Edward
the Sixth remain in great numbers. We must suppose then that the
shillings purchased of the miller had been hoarded by him, and were
in high preservation, and heavier than those which had been worn in
circulation. These would consequently be of greater importance to a
nice player at the game of shovel-board, and induce him, especially if
an opulent man, to procure them at a price far beyond their original

                           SCENE 1. Page 321.

    BARD. ... And so conclusions _pass'd the careires_.

We are told that this is a technical term in the _manege_; but no
explanation is given. It was the same as _running a career_, or
galloping a horse violently backwards and forwards, stopping him
suddenly at the end of the career; "which career the more seldom it be
used and with the lesse fury, the better mouth shall your horse have,"
says Master Blundeville in his _Arte of ryding_, b. l. 4to, where
there is a whole chapter on the subject, as well as in "_The art of
riding_," translated by Thomas Bedingfield from the Italian of Claudio
Corte, 1584, 4to.

                           SCENE 1. Page 325.

    SLEN. I hope upon familiarity will grow more contempt.

This is no more than a perversion of the common proverb, _Familiarity
breeds contempt_. Slender's school learning had furnished him on the
occasion. The phrase is still used in copy-books for children.

                           SCENE 1. Page 327.

    SLEN. I bruis'd my shin the other day with playing at sword and
    dagger with a _master of fence_.

"_Master of defence_, on the present occasion, does not simply
mean a professor of the art of fencing, but a person who had taken
his _master's degree_ in it," says Mr. Steevens, whose readers are
under great obligations to him for pointing out one of the greatest
curiosities extant on the ancient science of defence, in support of
his position. Yet it may be doubted whether the expression _master of
defence_ does not very often, and even on the present occasion, signify
merely a _professor of the art_. Numerous authorities might be adduced
on this side of the question, but perhaps a single one that is apposite
may suffice. In Eden's _History of travayle_, 1577, 4to, speaking of
Calecut in the East Indies, he says, "they have in the citie certayne
_maisters of fence_ that teach them how to use the swoord, &c." The
original Latin from which Eden translates has _lanista_. Now it is
not to be presumed that the last-mentioned _maisters of fence_ had
taken any degree. It must be owned that the evidence of the manuscript
cited by Mr. Steevens goes very far to show that none were allowed
to practise as professors who had not taken a degree in some fencing
school; an honour once conferred by king Edward the Sixth, and
generally granted, though not till after many years' experience, by one
who was himself a _master_. Yet a person who had only a _provost's_
degree might be allowed to teach, and _he_ would be termed a _master
of defence_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 330.

    HOST. What says my _bully-rook_?

Messrs. Steevens and Whalley maintain that the above term (a cant one)
derives its origin from the _rook_ in the game of chess; but it is
very improbable that that noble game, never the amusement of gamblers,
should have been ransacked on this occasion. It means _a hectoring,
cheating sharper_, as appears from _A new dictionary of the terms
of the canting crew_, no date, 12mo, and from the lines prefixed to
_The compleat gamester_, 1680, 12mo, in both which places it is spelt
_bully-rock_. Nor is Mr. Whalley correct in stating that _rock_ and not
_rook_ is the _true_ name of the chess piece, if he mean that it is
equivalent to the Latin _rupes_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 333.

    PIST. O base _Gongarian_ wight!

It is already shown that this is the same as _Hungarian_. It simply
means a _gipsy_. The parts of Europe in which it is supposed that the
gipsies originally appeared were Hungary and Bohemia. In Act IV. Scene
5, of this play, the host in the like cant language calls Simple a
_Bohemian Tartar_; and Munster in his _Cosmography_ informs us that the
Germans denominated the _gipsies Tartars_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 333.

    FAL. I am glad I am so acquit of this _tinder box_.

There is a great deal of humour in this appellation. Falstaff alludes
to Pistol's rubicund nose, which, like the above utensil, carried fire
in it.

                           SCENE 3. Page 333.

    PIST. Young ravens must have food.

Either Shakspeare or the adage, if it be one, has borrowed from
scripture. See _Psalm_ cxlvii. 9. or _Job_ xxxviii. 41.

                       SCENE 3. Page 337. Note 4.

To the instances adduced by Mr. Steevens in this note, of particular
phrases in old theatrical characters, may be added that of Murley
in _Sir John Oldcastle_, who is continually prefacing his speeches
with "fye paltry, paltry, in and out, to and fro upon occasion." This
practice has been revived in our modern comedies.

                           SCENE 4. Page 347.

    CAIUS. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby: come take-a your
    rapier, and come after my heel to de court.

It was the custom, in Shakspeare's time, for physicians to be attended
by their servants when visiting their patients. This appears from
the _second part_ of Stubs's _Anatomie of abuses_, sign. H. 4 b.,
where, speaking of physicians, he says, "For now they ruffle it out
in silckes and velvets, with _their men attending upon them_, whereas
many a poor man (God wot) smarteth for it." Servants also carried
their masters' rapiers: "Yf a man can place a dysh, fyll a boule and
_carrie his maister's rapier_, what more is or can be required at
his handes?"--Markham's _Health to the gentlemanly profession of a
serving-man_, sign. F. 3.


                           SCENE 1. Page 357.

    MRS. FORD. ... to the tune of _Green sleeves_.

Another ballad with this title, and which has an equally good claim
to be the one alluded to as those already quoted, may be seen in Mr.
Ellis's elegant _Specimens of the early English poets_, vol. iii. p.
327, edit. 1801.

                           SCENE 1. Page 358.

    MRS. PAGE. ... for sure, unless he knew some _strain_ in me that I
    know not myself----

The note seem to have wrested from this word its plain and obvious
meaning of _turn_, _humour_, _tendency_, in which it is often used by

                           SCENE 1. Page 359.

    PIST. Hope is a _curtail dog_ in some affairs.

A curtail or curtal dog is placed by Howel in the vocabulary at the
end of his _Dictionary of four languages_ among hunting-dogs, and is
defined to be _a dog without a tail good for any service_. Yet we are
not to suppose that the word uniformly signifies an animal with its
tail cut off. It is in fact derived from _tailler court_, and applied
to _any_ animals that are defective, man not excepted. Thus in Greene's
_Quip for an upstart courtier_, a collier is made to say, "I am made a
_curtall_: for the pillory hath eaten off both my _eares_," sign. E.
2. Nashe, in his _Prayse of the red herring_, speaks of the "_curtaild
skinclipping pagans_." fo. 20. Dr. Stukeley, in a manuscript note in
his copy of Robin Hood's garland, states that "the _curtal_ fryer of
Fountain's abby is _Cordelier_, from the cord or rope which they wore
round their wast, to whip themselves with. They were of the Franciscan
order." But this is a mistake; and the opinion of Staveley much more
probable, who, in chap. xxv. of his _Romish horseleech_, says, that
in some countries where the Franciscan friars, conformably to the
injunction of their founder, wore short habits, the order was presently
contemned and derided, and men called them _curtailed friars_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 360.

    FORD. Love my wife?

    PIST. With _liver burning hot_.

It is here observed by Mr. Steevens, and elsewhere by Dr. Johnson,
that the liver was anciently supposed to be the inspirer of
amorous passions, and the seat of love. In conformity with this
opinion, we are told in the English translation of Bartholomæus _De
proprietatibus rerum_, lib. v. cap. 39, that "the lyver is the place
of voluptuousnesse and lyking of the flesh;" and again, "the liver is
a member, _hot_, &c." There is some reason for thinking that the idea
was borrowed from the Arabian physicians, or at least adopted by them;
for in the _Turkish tales_, an amorous tailor is made to address his
wife by the titles of "thou _corner of my liver_, and soul of my life!"
and in another place the king of Syria, who had sustained a temporary
privation of his mistress, is said to have had "his liver, which had
been _burnt up_ by the loss of her, cooled and refreshed at the sight
of her." In _Twelfth night_, Fabian, speaking of Olivia's supposed
letter to Malvolio, says, "This wins him, _liver and all_."

                        SCENE 2. Page 367, 368.

    PAGE. I have heard the Frenchman hath good skill in his _rapier_.

    SHAL. In these times you stand on distance, your passes stoccadoes
    and I know not what. I have seen the time with my long sword I
    would have made you four tall fellows skip like rats.

The notes on these speeches are at variance on a supposed anachronism
committed by Shakspeare in introducing the _rapier_ in the time of
Henry the Fourth. The same weapon is likewise found in _Richard II._
Act IV. Scene 1, where the controversy is renewed; and therefore it
will be proper in considering this question to state the evidence
and arguments in both places. It is maintained on one side that the
_rapier_ was not used in England before the reign of Elizabeth;
and in support of this opinion a passage from Carleton's _Thankful
remembrance of God's mercy_ is offered; which, being only a second-hand
and inaccurate statement from Darcie's _Annals of Elizabeth_, is not
deserving of further notice. Darcie himself informs us that one Rowland
York (who appears to have betrayed Deventer to the Spaniards in 1587)
was the _first_ that brought into England "that wicked and pernicious
fashion to fight in the fields in duels with _a rapier called a tucke_
onely for the thrust, &c." On this passage it may be remarked, that
the _rapier_ is not _generally_ spoken of, but only a particular sort,
the _tucke for the thrust_. On the same side Stowe is next cited, who
mentions that the mode of fighting with the sword and buckler was
frequent with all men till that of _the rapier and dagger_ took place,
when _suddenly the general quarrel of fighting abated_, which began
about the 20th of Elizabeth (1578). Now here the date seems rather
applicable to the cessation of the very popular combats with sword and
buckler, and the substitution only, and, as it will presently appear,
the revival of the rapier and dagger, as a more limited manner of
fighting, from its superior danger. There is another passage in Stowe,
p. 869, which not being already cited, and throwing some light on the
nature of the rapier, may deserve notice. The historian relates that
"Shortly after (referring to the 12th or 13th year of Elizabeth) began
_long tucks_ and _long rapiers_, and he was held the greatest gallant
that had the deepest ruffe and longest rapier: the offence to the eye
of the one, and the hurt unto the life of the subject that came by
the other, caused her majesty to make proclamation against them both,
and to place selected grave citizens at every gate to cut the ruffes,
and breake the rapiers points of all passengers that exceeded a yeard
in length of their rapiers, and a nayle of a yeard in depth of their
ruffes." But this is likewise no evidence in favour of the _general_
introduction of the _rapier_ in the reign of Elizabeth, as Stowe merely
refers to the _long foining or thrusting rapier_. The last quotation
on this side of the question is from Bulleine's _Dialogue between
soarnesse and chirurgi_, 1579, where the _long foining rapier_ is also
mentioned as "a _new_ kind of instrument to let blood withall."

On the opposite side, Mr. Ritson produces a quotation from Nashe's
_Life of Jacke Wilton_, who lived in the reign of Henry the Eighth, to
show that _rapiers_ were used at that period. This sort of evidence
might appear, on a first view, inadmissible, on the ground that Nashe
had committed an error, very common with Shakspeare, in ascribing a
custom of his own time to a preceding one, if it were not supported by
the manuscript cited by Mr. Steevens in vol. iii. p. 327, in which, but
not in the quotation from it, it appears that the _rapier_ actually was
in use in the time of Henry the Eighth; and therefore it is impossible
to decide that this weapon, which, with its name, we received from the
French, might not have been known as early as the reign of Henry the
Fourth, or even of Richard the Second. Shallow's ridicule of _passes
and stoccadoes_ seems more objectionable, and may possibly deserve the
appellation of anachronism. It is not a little remarkable that the
_rapier_ was an article of exportation from this country in Cromwell's
time. See _Oliverian acts_, A.D. 1657.

                           SCENE 1. Page 369.

    FORD. Though Page be a secure fool, and stands so firmly on _his_
    wife's frailty, yet I cannot put off _my_ opinion so easily: she
    was in his company, &c.

This speech is surely not so obscure as the notes seem to consider
it. Ford says that _Page_ makes a firm stand with respect to, or on
the question of, _his_ wife's frailty. What follows better deserves
explanation, because the grammatical construction of the last sentence
is, that _Page's_ wife was in Falstaff's company; whereas Ford means
to say, "I cannot put off _my_ opinion, i. e. of _my own wife_, so
easily; as _she_ was in Falstaff's company," &c. The emphasis should be
laid on the words _his_ and _my_, and then the whole will be far more

                           SCENE 2. Page 375.

    FAL. Your _cat-a-mountain_ looks.

A term borrowed from the Spaniards, who call the wild cat

                           SCENE 2. Page 375.

    FAL. Your _red lattice_ phrases.

Mr. Steevens, speaking of this external mark of an alehouse, says,
"Hence the present chequers." But in reality the _lattice_ is the
younger of the two, as the reference in the note to the Pompeii plate
in _Archæologia_ demonstrates. Although the Romans were not acquainted
with the game of chess, they certainly were with such a one as required
a board with squares; and in all probability this sign of a house of
entertainment where table games were played, has been handed down to
us from the ancients. The resemblance of _lattice_ work, or _laths_
crossing each other, to a chess or backgammon board, might induce some
ignorant painters to exhibit the former; but the _chequers_ have once
more reassumed their station. Nor was _red_ always the colour; for, in
the cant language of jolly fellows, a red or _blue_ lattice was termed
_a free school for all comers_. See Heywood's _Philocothonista_, 1635,

                           SCENE 2. Page 376.

    QUICK. There is one mistress Ford, sir:--I pray come a little
    nearer this ways:--I myself dwell with master Doctor Caius.

    FAL. Well, on: mistress Ford, you say----

Is it not more natural that Falstaff should, in this first instance,
repeat the dame's own words, and say, "Well, one mistress Ford, you

                           SCENE 2. Page 389.

    FORD. ... an Irishman with my _aqua vitæ_ bottle----

_Irish aqua vitæ_ was certainly _usquebaugh_, and not _brandy_, as
Mr. Malone has observed; but Ford is here speaking of _English aqua
vitæ_, which was very different from the other so called from the Irish
words _uisge_, aqua, and _beatha_, vita. That the curious reader may
judge for himself, and at the same time be furnished with the means of
indulging any wish that he may have for tasting the respective sorts
in their genuine form, the following receipts for making them are
subjoined:--The first is from a manuscript monkish common-place book,
written about the reign of Henry the Sixth. "For to make water of lyff,
that ys clepyd aqua vitæ. Take and fylle thy violle fulle of lyes of
stronge vine, and put therto these powdrys. First powder of canel,
powder of clowes, powdyr of gyngevir, powdyr of notemugys, powder of
galyngale and powdyr of quibibis, poudyr of greyn de parys, poudyr of
longe pepyr, powdyr of blacke pepir, carewey, cirmowitteyn, comyn,
fenyl, smallache, persile, sawge, myntys, rewe, calamente, origaun, one
ounce or more or lesse as ye lykyth; stampe hem a lytill for it will be
bettyr, and put hem to these powdrys, than set thy glas on the fyre set
on the hovel and kepe it wel that the eyre come not owte and set ther
undyr a viole and kepe the watyr." The next is from _Cogan's Haven of
health_, 1612, 4to, chap. 222. "To make aqua vitæ. Take of strong ale,
or strong wine, or the lees of strong wine and ale together, a gallon
or two as you please, and take half a pound or more of good liquorice,
and as much annise seedes; scrape off the bark from the liquorice,
and cut it into thin slices, and punne the annise grosse, and steepe
altogether close covered twelve houres, then distill it with a limbecke
or serpentine. And of every gallon of the liquor you may draw a quart
of reasonable good _aqua vitæ_, that is of two galons two quarts. But
see that your fire be temperate, and that the heade of your limbecke
bee kept colde continually with fresh water, and that the bottome of
your limbecke bee fast luted with rye dough, that no ayre issue out.
The best ale to make _aqua vitæ_ of, is to be made of wheate malte, and
the next of cleane barley malte, and the best wine for that purpose
is sacke." The last is a receipt for making "Usquebath, or Irish
aqua vitæ. To every gallon of good aqua composita, put two ounces of
chosen liquorice bruised and cut into small peeces, but first cleansed
from all his filth, and two ounces of annis seedes that are cleane
and bruised; let them macerate five or six days in a wodden vessell,
stopping the same close, and then draw off as much as will runne
cleere, dissolving in that cleere aqua vitæ five or sixe spoonefulls
of the best malassoes you can get: Spanish cute if you can get it, is
thought better than malassoes: then put this into another vessell, and
after three or foure dayes (the more the better) when the liquor hath
fined itselfe, you maie use the same: some adde dates and raisins of
the sun to this receipt; those grounds which remaine you maie redistill
and make more aqua composita of them, and of that aqua composita you
maie make more _usquebath_."--Plat's _Delightes for ladies_, 1611,
24to. It is to be observed, that _aqua composita_ is wine of any kind
distilled with spices and sweet herbs. _Brandy_, or _burnt_ wine, seems
first to occur in Skinner's _Etymologicon_, 1671, under the name of
_Brandewin_, from the Dutch or German, and soon after in its present
form; yet _aqua vitæ_ was continued a long while afterwards.

                           SCENE 3. Page 395.

    HOST. _Cry'd game_, said I well?

The evidence, and indeed the sense, in favour of the phrase to _cry
aim_, preponderates so greatly, that one cannot hesitate in discarding
the nonsensical expression of _cry'd game_, which derives not the least
support from any of Mr. Steevens's quotations. The probability is very
great that there was an error of the press, and that the words should
have been printed according to the orthography of the time, "Cry'd I
_ayme_, said I well?" A _g_ might easily have crept in instead of a _y_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 398.

    SIM. Marry, sir, the _city-ward_----

"The old editions read _pittie-ward_, the modern editors _pitty-wary_,"
says Mr. Steevens, who in this edition has abandoned the best part
of a former note where he had proposed to read _petty-ward_, which
is the right word, and of the same import as the old one. That such
a word formerly existed is demonstrable from its still remaining as
a proper name, and near Wimbledon is a wood so called, probably from
the owner. Mr. Steevens mistakes in supposing _ward_ to mean _towards_
in this instance, where it is put for the division of a city; nor
does his quotation from William of Worcester assist him. The _via
de Petty_ and the _Pyttey gate_ might be named after the hundred of
Pyttey in Somersetshire. In Lyne's Map of Cambridge, 1574, we find the

                           SCENE 1. Page 399.

    EVANS. I will knog his _urinals_ about his knave's costard----

This utensil was the usual concomitant of physicians in former times,
as appears from most of the frontispieces to old medical books and
other ancient prints.

                           SCENE 2. Page 410.

    HOST. ... he smells April and May.

The same as if he had said he smells of _youth and courtship_,
symbolized by these months, the former of which in old calendars is
described in these lines:

    "The next vi yere maketh foure and twenty,
    And fygured is to joly Apryll;
    That tyme of pleasures man hath moost plenty
    Fresshe and lovyng his lustes to fulfyll----"

and the latter in the following:

    "As in the month of Maye all thyng is in myght,
    So at xxx yeres man is in chyef lykyng;
    Pleasaunt and lusty, to every mannes syght,
    In beaute and strength to women pleasyng."

                           SCENE 2. Page 412.

    HOST. I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink _canary_ with him.

    FORD. I think I shall drink-in _pipe-wine_ first with him; I'll make
        him dance.

It may be doubted whether the exact meaning of this cluster of puns
has already been given. Mr. Tyrwhitt says he cannot understand the
phrase _to drink in pipe-wine_, and suggests that Shakspeare might
have written _horn-pipe wine_. Now Ford terms canary _pipe-wine_, both
because the _canary_ dance is performed to a tabor and _pipe_, and
because the canary _bird_ is said to _pipe_ his tunes. Ford is speaking
of Falstaff, not of Page, as Mr. Tyrwhitt's note implies when it refers
to horns. He says he will make him pipe and dance too.

                           SCENE 3. Page 414.

    MRS. FORD. How now, my _eyas-musket_?

There was no reason for disturbing the etymology of this word given
by Dr. Warburton, by substituting that of Dame Juliana Bernes, which
for ingenuity and veracity may be well classed with many of those in
_Isidore of Seville_, or _The golden legend_. Take an example from the
latter. "Felix is sayd of _fero fers_, that is to saye, to bere, and of
this word _lis_, _litis_, whiche is as moche to say as stryfe, for he
bare stryfe for the fayth of our lorde." Turberville tells us that "the
first name and terme that they bestowe on a falcon is an _eyesse_, and
this name doth laste as long as she is in the eyrie and for that she
is taken from the _eyrie_." This is almost as bad as the lady abbess's
account. _Eyrie_ is simply the nest or _eggery_, and has no connexion
with the name of the bird. _Eyas_ or _nias_, is a term borrowed from
the French _niais_, which means any young bird in the nest, _avis in
nido_. It is the first of five several names by which a falcon is
called during its first year. The best account of this bird is in _La
fauconnerie de Charles d'Arcussa de Capre, seigneur d'Esparron_, 1643,
4to. A _musket_ is a sparrow-hawk, and is derived from the French
_mouchet_, and the latter probably from _musca_, on account of its
diminutive form. The humour therefore lies in comparing the page to a
young male sparrow-hawk, an emblem of his tender years and activity.


                           SCENE 2. Page 448.

    MRS. FORD. ... and her _muffler_ too.

It would oppress the reader by citing authorities to prove that the
muffler was a contrivance of various kinds to conceal a part of the
face, and that even a _mask_ was occasionally so denominated. From
an examination of several ancient prints and paintings, it appears
that when the muffler was made of linen, it only covered the lower
part of the face; such it was in the present instance, for the old
woman of Brentford would not want to conceal her eyes. It is otherwise
in _King Henry V._ Act III. Scene 1, where Fortune's _blindness_ is
described, and there a linen bandage would be meant, but perhaps not
very correctly called a muffler. The term is connected with the old
French _musser_ or _muçer_, to hide, or with _amuseler_, to cover the
_museau_ or _mufle_, a word which has been indiscriminately used for
the mouth, nose, and even the whole of the face; hence our _muzzle_. It
was enacted by a Scotish statute in 1457, that "na woman cum to kirk,
nor mercat, with her face _mussaled_ or covered that scho may not be
kend." Notwithstanding this interposition of the legislature, says
Mr. Warton, the ladies of Scotland continued _muzzled_ during three
reigns; and he cites Sir David Lyndsay's poem _In contemptioun of syde
taillis_, in which the author advises the king to issue a proclamation
that the women should show their faces as they did in France. _Hist. of
Eng. poetry_, ii. 324.

The annexed cuts exhibit different sorts of mufflers. The first and
third figures are copied from Jost Amman's _Theatrum mulierum_,
Francof. 1586, 4to; the second, from Speed's Map of England, is the
_costume_ of an English countrywoman in the reign of James I.; the
fourth is from an old German print; and the others from Weigel's
_Habitus præcipuorum populorum_, Nuremb. 1577, folio; a work which, for
the beauty of the wood-cuts, has never been surpassed.


In the reign of Charles I. the ladies wore masks which covered the
eye-brows and nose, holes being left for the eyes. Sometimes, but not
always, the mouth was covered, and the chin guarded with a sort of
muffler then called a _chin-cloth_; these were chiefly used to keep
off the sun. See Hollar's print of _Winter_. The velvet masks probably
came from France, as they are mentioned in the _Book of values of
merchandize imported_, under the administration of Oliver Cromwell.
There was another sort called _visard masks_, that covered all the
face, having holes only for the eyes, a case for the nose, and a slit
for the mouth. They were easily disengaged, being held in the teeth by
means of a round bead fastened in the inside. These masks were usually
made of leather, covered with black velvet. Randle Holme, from whose
_Academy of armory_, book iii. c. 5, their description is extracted,
adds, that the devil invented them, and that none about court except
w----s, bawds, and the devil's imps, used them, being ashamed to show
their faces.

                           SCENE 2. Page 450.

    PAGE. Why this _passes_!----

The word had been already explained by Warburton in p. 329. Page,
astonished at Ford's conduct, says it _exceeds every thing_. Such is
the sense in the New Testament, "the love of Christ, which _passeth_
knowledge," _Ephes._ iii. 19. The French often use _passer_ in the same
manner; and in _Hamlet_ we have this expression, "I have that within
which _passeth_ show."

                           SCENE 2. Page 452.

    FORD. ... his wife's _leman_.

Mr. Steevens derives it from the Dutch, a language whence we have
borrowed few, if any words. The term is of Saxon origin, and _leveman_
can be traced to an Anglo-Norman period. This was afterwards contracted
into _leman_. The etymology is perhaps from leoꝼe, amabilis, and man,
homo. The latter in Saxon denoted both man and woman; so that _leman_
was formerly applied to both sexes as a _person beloved_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 455.

    MRS. PAGE. ... in the way of _waste_----

This expression is from the same _law_ manufactory referred to by Mr.
Ritson in the preceding note. The incident in the present scene, of
Falstaff's threshing in the habit of a woman, might have been suggested
by the story of the beaten and contented cuckold in Boccaccio's
_Decameron_, day 7. ver. 7.

                           SCENE 5. Page 466.

    SIMP. Pray you, sir, was't not the _wise woman of Brentford_?

Mr. Steevens cites _Judges_ v. 29, on this occasion: but the _wise
ladies_ there were of a very different character from the old woman
of Brentford, even according to the Hebrew text: see the Vulgate and
Septuagint versions, where the expression is still more remote. The
subject of these wise women will be resumed in a note on _Twelfth
night_, Act III. Scene 4.


                           SCENE 1. Page 475.

    FAL. Hold up your head, and _mince_.

The word is properly explained by Mr. Steevens. Thus in _Isaiah_ iii.
16, "walking and _mincing_ as they go." Wicliffe has "with their feet
in curious goyng;" and Tindale, "tryppyng so nicely with their feet."
_To mince_ is likewise to walk in a stately, or, as Littelton expresses
it, _Junonian_ step.

                           SCENE 2. Page 477.

    SLEN. I come to her in white, and cry _mum_, she cries, _budget_.

The word _mumbudget_, here divided, is used by Nashe in his _Have with
you to Saffron Walden_, where, speaking of Gabriel Harvey, he says, "no
villaine, no atheist, no murderer, but hee hath likened me too, for no
other reason in the earth, but because I would not let him go beyond
me, or _be won to put my finger in my mouth and crie mumbudget_ when
he had baffuld mee in print throughout England." To _play mumbudget_,
is rendered _demeurer court, ne sonner mot_, in Sherwood's _English
and French dictionary_, 1632, folio. _Mumchance_ is silence; and a
_mummery_ was a silent masquerade. _Mumbudget_ may be _silence in a
budget_, a something _closed_ or stopped up, Fr. _bouché_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 479.

    MRS. PAGE.... hard by _Herne's oak_----

The tree in Windsor forest referred to in Mr. Steevens's note, was
said, on newspaper authority in 1795, to have been cut down by his
majesty's order, on account of its being totally decayed.

                           SCENE 5. Page 490.

    PIST. _Vile_ worm!

Old copy _vild_, which Mr. Malone shows to have been the _old_
pronunciation. It may be added that it is likewise the _modern_ in some
of the provinces.

                           SCENE 5. Page 492.

    [_Stage direction._] "During this song, the fairies _pinch_

In the old collection of songs already cited in p. 7, there is one
entitled "The fayries daunce," which bearing some resemblance to that
by Shakspeare, may be entitled to the reader's notice:

    "Dare you haunt our hallowed greene?
    None but fayries here are seene.
        Downe and sleepe,
        Wake and weepe,
    Pinch him black, and pinch him blew,
    That seekes to steale a lover true.
    When you come to heare us sing,
    Or to tread our fayrie ring,
    Pinch him black, and pinch him blew,
    O thus our nayles shall handle you."

                           SCENE 5. Page 500.

    PAGE. What cannot be eschew'd must be embrac'd.

This is either a proverbial saying now lost, or borrowed from one of
the following, "What cannot be altered must be borne not blamed;" "What
cannot be cured must be endured."



                            SCENE 1. Page 8.

    DUKE. How will she love, when the rich _golden shaft_
    Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
    That live in her.

This _golden shaft_ was supplied either from a description of Cupid
in Sidney's _Arcadia_, book ii., or from Ovid's _Metamorphoses_,
translated by Golding, 4to, fo. 8, where, speaking of Cupid's arrows,
he says,

    "_That causeth love_ is all of _golde_ with point full sharp and
    That chaseth love, is blunt, whose steele with leaden head is dight."

Milton seems to have forgotten that Love had only _one_ shaft of
_gold_. See _Parad. Lost_, iv. 1. 763.

                           SCENE 2. Page 11.

    CAP. ... she hath abjur'd the company
    And sight of men.

This necessary and justifiable change in the _ordo verborum_ from the
reading in the old copy, and to which Mr. Steevens lays claim, had been
already made by Sir Thomas Hanmer.

                           SCENE 3. Page 21.

    SIR TO. ... Wherefore have these gifts a _curtain_ before them? are
    they like to take dust, like mistress Mall's picture?

Mr. Malone's conjecture that curtains were at this time frequently
hung before pictures of value, is further supported in Scene 5 of this
Act, where Olivia, in unveiling her face, mentions the practice. In
Deloney's _Pleasant history of Jack of Newbery_, printed before 1597,
it is recorded that "in a faire large parlour, which was wainscotted
round about, Jacke of Newbery had fifteene faire pictures hanging,
_which were covered with curtaines of greene silke_, frienged with
gold, which he would often shew to his friends and servants."

                           SCENE 3. Page 23.

    SIR AND. Taurus? that's _sides and heart_.

    SIR TO. No, sir, it is _legs and thighs_.

Both the knights are wrong in their astrology, according to the
almanacs of the time, which make Taurus govern _the neck and throat_.
Their ignorance is perhaps intentional.

                           SCENE 5. Page 31.

    SIR TO. ... How now, _sot_?

There is great humour in this ambiguous word, which applies equally to
the fool and the knight himself, in his _drunken condition_.


                           SCENE 3. Page 51.

    CLOWN. How now, my hearts? Did you never see _the picture of we

The original picture, or sign as it sometimes was, seems to have
been two _fools_. Thus in Shirley's _Bird in cage_, Morello, who
counterfeits a _fool_, says, "_We be three of old_, without exception
to your lordship, only with this difference, I am the wisest fool."
In Day's comedy of _Law tricks_, 1608, Jul. says, "appoint the place
prest." To which Em. answers, "At the _three fools_." Sometimes, as Mr.
Henley has stated, it was two asses. Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's
_Queen of Corinth_, Act III. Scene 1,

    "NEAN. He is another _ass_, he says, I believe him.

    UNCLE. _We be three_, heroical prince.

    NEAN. Nay then we must have the _picture_ of 'em, and the word _nos

                           SCENE 3. Page. 53.

    CLO. I did impeticos thy gratility.

This is undoubtedly the true reading, for the reason assigned by Mr.
Malone. From the discordant notes on the passage, a question has arisen
whether the fool means to say that he had put the six-pence into his
own petticoats, or given it to his petticoat companion, his _leman_.
Mr. Steevens has observed that "petticoats were not _always_ a part of
the dress of fools, though they were of idiots;" and on this assertion,
coupled with another by Dr. Johnson, that "fools were kept in long
coats to which the allusion is made," Mr. Ritson maintains that "it
is a very gross mistake to imagine that this character (_i. e._ our
clown's) was habited like an _idiot_." Now it is very certain, that
although the idiot fools were generally dressed in petticoats, the
allowed fool was occasionally habited in like manner, as is shown more
at large in another part of this volume; which circumstance, though it
may strengthen the opinion that the clown has alluded to his own dress,
by no means decides the above question, which remains very equally

                           SCENE 3. Page 63.

    SIR TO. Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall beno
    more _cakes and ale_?

The holiday cakes referred to in Mr. Letherland's note were the yule or
Christmas cakes; those on the lying-in of the Virgin; cross-buns, and
twelfth cakes. Mr. Lysons, in his account of Twickenham, mentions an
ancient custom of dividing two great cakes in the church on Easter-day
among the young people. This was regarded as a superstitious relic; and
it was ordered by the parliament in 1645, that the parishioners should
forbear that custom, and instead thereof buy loaves of bread for the
poor of the parish.

                           SCENE 4. Page 70.

    DUKE. And the _free_ maids that weave their threads with bones.

The private memoirs of Peter the wild boy, if they could be disclosed,
would afford the best comment on the above disputed epithet, as applied
to the _websters_ in question.

                           SCENE 4. Page 71.

    CLO. And in _sad cypress_ let me be laid.

Mr. Steevens has in this edition cancelled a brother commentator's
note, which ought on every account to have been retained, and has
himself attempted to show that a _shroud_ and not a _coffin_ of cypress
or cyprus is intended. It is no easy matter, from the ambiguity of the
word, to decide the question. The cypress tree was used by the ancients
for funeral purposes, and dedicated to Pluto. As it was not liable
to perish from rottenness, it appears to have been used for coffins.
See Mr. Gough's Introduction to _Sepulchral monuments_, p. lxvi. In
Quarles's _Argalus and Parthenia_, book iii., a knight is introduced,

    "... horse was black as jet,
    His furniture was round about beset
    With branches, slipt from the _sad cypresse tree_."

In further behalf of the wood, it may be worth remarking that the
expression _laid_ seems more applicable to a coffin than to a shroud,
in which a party may with greater propriety be said to be _wrapped_;
and also that the shroud is afterwards expressly mentioned by itself.
It is nevertheless very certain that the fine linen called Cyprus,
perhaps from being originally manufactured in the island of that name,
was used for shrouds. In the churchwardens' accounts of St. Mary's,
Cambridge, mention is made of _a sypyrs kyrcher belonging to the
cross_. In this instance there being the figure of a dead body on the
cross, the cyprus was designed as a shroud.

                           SCENE 5. Page 88.

    MAL. By my life, this is my lady's hand: these be her very C's, her
    U's, and her T's, and thus makes she her great P's.

Mr. Ritson having with great probability supplied the _whole_ direction
of the letter, there seems to be no foundation left for Blackstone's
conjecture. Malvolio had no motive for any _coarse_ allusion. With
respect to the instance of the letter in _All's well that ends well_
not being recited literally by Helen, it must be recollected that there
was no reason for making her do so, as she talks in _blank verse_; and
it would therefore have been improper that she should have given more
than the _substance_ of the letter.

                           SCENE 5. Page 93.

    MAL. ... and wish'd to see thee _cross-gartered_.

Of this fashion but few vestiges remain; a circumstance the more
remarkable, as it must have been at one time extremely common among
the beaux in Elizabeth's reign. In the English edition of Junius's
_Nomenclator_, 1585, 12mo, mention is made of "hose garters, going
_acrosse_, or over-thwart, both above and below the knee." In the
old comedy of _The two angrie women of Abingdon_, 1599, 4to, a
_serving-man_ is thus described:

    "... hee's a fine neate fellow,
    A spruce slave, I warrant ye, he'ele have
    His cruell _garters crosse about the knee_."

                           SCENE 5. Page 94.

    MAL. I will be _point-de-vice_ [_device_].

As the instances of this expression are of rare occurrence, those
which follow are offered as likely to be useful to the author of any
future work that may resemble the well-planned, but unfinished glossary
of _obsolete and provincial words_ by the late Dr. Boucher. In the
interlude of _The nature of the four elements_, Sensuality, one of the
_dramatis personæ_, promises a banquet

    "Of metys that be most delycate,
    Which shall be in a chamber feyre
    Replete with sote and fragrāt eyre
    Prepared _poynt-deryse_."

In _Newes from the North_, 1579, 4to, mention is made of "costly
banqueting houses, galleries, bowling-allees, straunge toies of
_point-devise_ and woorkmanship," sign. G. In an old and very rare
satirical poem against married ladies, entitled, _The proude wyves
paternoster that wold go gaye, and undyd her husbande and went her
waye_, 1560, 4to, one of the gossips recommends her companion to wear

    "Rybandes of sylke that be full longe and large,
    With tryangles _trymly made poyntdevyse_."

Some further account of this piece may not be unacceptable. It is
described in Laneham's _Letter from Killingworth_ as forming part
of Captain Cox the mason's curious library. In the appendix to
Baker's _Biographia dramatica_, p. 433, a play under the same title
is mentioned as entered on the Stationers' books in 1559; but from
the correspondence in the date, it was, most likely, the present
work, which cannot be regarded as a dramatic one. It describes the
hypocritical behaviour of women at church, who, instead of attending
to their devotions, are more anxious to show their gay apparel. One
of these, observing a neighbour much better clothed than herself,
begins her _paternoster_, wherein she complains of her husband's
restrictions, and prays that she may be enabled to dress as gaily as
the rest of her acquaintance. She afterwards enters into conversation
with a female gossip, by whose mischievous instigation she is seduced
to rebel against her husband's authority. In consequence of this, the
poor man is first entreated, next threatened, and finally ruined. The
author of this poem is not the first who has irreligiously made use
of the present vehicle of his satire. One of the old Norman minstrels
had preceded him in _The usurer's paternoster_, which Mons. Le Grand
has inserted among his entertaining _fabliaux_, and at the same time
described some other similar compositions.

But to return to _point-device_:--There was no occasion for separating
the two last syllables of this term, as in the quotation from Mr.
Steevens's text, nor is it done when it occurs elsewhere in his
edition. It has been properly stated that _point-device_ signifies
_exact, nicely finical_; but nothing has been offered concerning the
etymology, except that we got the expression from the French. It
has in fact been supplied from the labours of the needle. _Poinet_
in the French language denotes a _stitch_; _devisé_ any thing
_invented_, _disposed_, or _arranged_. _Point-devisé_ was therefore
a particular sort of patterned lace worked with the needle; and the
term _point-lace_ is still familiar to every female. They had likewise
their _point-coupé_, _point-compté_, _dentelle au point devant
l'aiguille_, &c., &c. The various kinds of needle-work practised by
our indefatigable grandmothers, if enumerated, would astonish even
the most industrious of our modern ladies. Many curious books of
patterns for lace and all sorts of needle-work were formerly published,
some of which are worth pointing out to the curious collector. The
earliest on the list is an Italian book under the title of _Esemplario
di lavori: dove le tenere fanciulle & altre donne nobile potranno
facilmente imparare il modo & ordine di lavorare, cusire, raccamare,
& finalmente far tutte quelle gentillezze & lodevili opere, le quali
pò fare una donna virtuosa con laco in mano, con li suoi compasse
& misure. Vinegia, per Nicolo D'Aristotile detto Zoppino_, MDXXIX.
8vo. The next that occurs was likewise set forth by an Italian, and
entitled, _Les singuliers et nouveaux pourtraicts du seigneur Federic
de Vinciolo Venitien, pour toutes sortes d'ouvrages de lingerie_.
Paris, 1588, 4to. It is dedicated to the queen of France, and had been
already twice published. In 1599 a second part came out, which is much
more difficult to be met with than the former, and sometimes contains
a neat portrait, by Gaultier, of Catherine de Bourbon, the sister of
Henry the Fourth. The next is _Nouveaux pourtraicts de point coupé et
dantelles en petite moyenne et grande forme, nouvellement inventez et
mis en lumiere. Imprimé à Montbeliard_, 1598, 4to. It has an address to
the ladies, and a poem exhorting young damsels to be industrious; but
the author's name does not appear. Vincentio's work was published in
England, and printed by John Wolf, under the title of _New and singular
patternes and workes of linnen, serving for paternes to make all sortes
of lace, edginges and cut-workes. Newly invented for the profite and
contentment of ladies, gentilwomen, and others that are desireous of
this art._ 1591, 4to. He seems also to have printed it with a French
title. We have then another English book of which this is the title:
_Here foloweth certaine Patternes of Cut-workes: newly invented and
never published before. Also sundry sortes of spots, as flowers, birdes
and fishes, &c. and will fitly serve to be wrought, some with gould,
some with silke, and some with crewell in coullers: or otherwise at
your pleasure. And never but once published before. Printed by Rich.
Shorleyker._ No date, in oblong 4to. And, lastly, another oblong
quarto entitled _The needles excellency, a new booke wherin are divers
admirable workes wrought with the needle. Newly invented and cut in
copper for the pleasure and profit of the industrious._ Printed for
James Boler, &c. 1640. Beneath this title is a neat engraving of three
ladies in a flower garden, under the names of Wisdom, Industrie, and
Follie. Prefixed to the patterns are sundry poems in commendation of
the needle, and describing the characters of ladies who have been
eminent for their skill in needle-work, among whom are Queen Elizabeth
and the Countess of Pembroke. These poems were composed by John Taylor
the water poet. It appears that the work had gone through twelve
impressions, and yet a copy is now scarcely to be met with. This may
be accounted for by supposing that such books were generally cut to
pieces, and used by women to work upon or transfer to their samplers.
From the dress of a lady and gentleman on one of the patterns in the
last mentioned book, it appears to have been originally published
in the reign of James the First. All the others are embellished with
a multitude of patterns elegantly cut in wood, several of which are
eminently conspicuous for their taste and beauty.

It is therefore apparent that the expression _point-devise_ became
applicable, in a secondary sense, to whatever was uncommonly exact, or
constructed with the nicety and precision of _stitches made or devised
by the needle_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 97.

    VIO. Dost thou live by thy _tabor_?

This instrument is found in the hands of fools long before the time
of Shakspeare. With respect to _the sign of the tabor_ mentioned in
the notes, it might, as stated, have been _the designation of a musick
shop_; but that it was _the sign of an eating-house kept by Tarleton_
is a mistake into which a learned commentator has been inadvertently
betrayed. It appears from Tarleton's _Jests_, 1611, 4to, that he kept
a tavern in Gracious [Gracechurch] street, at the sign of the _Saba_.
This is the person who in our _modern_ bibles is called the _queen of
Sheba_, and the sign has been corrupted into that of the _bell-savage_,
as may be gathered from the inedited metrical _romance of Alexander_,
supposed to have been written at the beginning of the fourteenth
century by Adam Davie, who, in describing the countries visited by his
hero, mentions that of _Macropy_ (the _Macropii_ of Pliny), and adds,

    "In heore[4] lond is a cité
    On of the noblest in Christianté[5];
    Hit hotith[6] _Sabba_ in langage.
    Thennes cam _Sibely savage_,
    Of al theo world theo fairest quene,
    To Jerusalem, Salamon to seone[7]
    For hire fairhed[8], and for hire love,
    Salamon forsok his God above."

_Sibely savage_, as a proper name, is another perversion of _si belle
sauvage_; and though the lady was supposed to have come from the
remotest parts of Africa, and might have been as black as a Negro,
we are not now to dispute the superlative beauty of the mistress of
Salomon, here converted into a Savage. It must be admitted that the
queen of Sheba was as well adapted to a sign as the wise men of the
East, afterwards metamorphosed into the three kings of Cologne.

Mr. Pegge, in his _Anecdotes of the English language_, p. 291, informs
us that a friend had seen a lease of the Bell Savage inn to _Isabella
Savage_; "which," says he, "overthrows the conjectures about a bell
and a savage, _la belle sauvage_, &c." It is probable that the learned
writer's friend was in some way or other deceived. The date of the
instrument is not mentioned; and if the above name really appeared in
the lease, it might have been an accidental circumstance at a period
not very distant. Mr. Pegge was likewise not aware that the same sign,
corrupted in like manner, was used on the continent.

                           SCENE 2. Page 109.

    SIR TO. Go write it in a martial hand; be _curst_ and _brief_.

Of the latter sentence Dr. Johnson has not given the exact explanation.
It alludes to the proverb, "A curst _cur_ must be tied _short_."

                           SCENE 4. Page 120.

    SIR TO. What, man! defy the Devil: consider, he's an _enemy_ to

It was very much the practice with old writers, both French and
English, to call the Devil, _the enemy_, by way of pre-eminence,
founded perhaps on the words of Christ in _Luke_ x. 19. Thus at the
beginning of the _Roman de Merlin, MS._ "Mult fu iriez _li anemis_
quant nre sires ot este en anfer;" and see other examples in Barbasan's
glossary to the _Ordene de chevalerie_, 1759, 12mo, in v. _Anemi_. The
cause of the Devil's wrath in the above instance, was the liberation of
Adam, Noah, and many other saints and patriarchs from the purgatorial
torments which they had endured. In a most curious description of
hell in _Examples howe mortall synne maketh the synners inobedyentes
to have many paynes and doloures within the fyre of hell_, b. l. no
date, 12mo, the Devil is thus referred to: "Come than after me, and
I shal shewe unto the _the ryght cursed enemye_ of humayne lygnage."
And again, "About _the enemy_ there were so many devyls and of cursed
and myserable soules that no man myght beleve that of all the worlde
from the begynnynge myght be yssued and brought forth so many soules."
Sometimes he was called the _enemy of hell_, as in Larke's _Boke of
wisdome_, b. l. no date, 12mo, where it is said that "_the enemye of
hell_ ought to be doubted of every wise man." This note may serve also
in further explanation of the line in _Macbeth_, Act III. Scene 1,

    "Given to the common _enemy_ of man."

It is remarkable that the Devil should be likewise called _the enemy of
mankind_ in the East. See Gladwin's _Persian moon-shee_, part ii. p. 23.

                           SCENE 4. Page 120.

    FAB. Carry his water to _the wise woman_.

Here may be a direct allusion to one of the two ladies of this
description mentioned in the following passage from Heywood's play of
_The wise woman of Hogsdon_; "You have heard of _Mother Notingham_,
who for her time was prettily well skill'd in _casting of waters_: and
after her, _Mother Bombye_." The latter is sometimes alluded to by
Gerarde the Herbalist, who, speaking of the properties of vervain,
says, "you must observe _mother Bumbies_ rules to take just so many
knots or sprigs, and no more, least it fall out so that it do you no
good, if you catch no harme by it." _Historie of plants_, p. 581.

Lilly's comedy of _Mother Bombie_ is well known. The several
occupations of these impostors are thus described in the above play by
Heywood: "Let me see how many trades have I to live by: First, I am _a
wise-woman_, and a fortuneteller, and under that I deale in physicke
and forespeaking, in palmistry, and recovering of things lost. Next,
I undertake to cure madd folkes. Then I keepe gentlewomen lodgers, to
furnish such chambers as I let out by the night: Then I am provided for
bringing young wenches to bed; and, for a need, you see I can play the
match-maker. Shee that is but one, and professeth so many, may well be
tearmed _a wise-woman_, if there bee any." Such another character was
_Julian of Brentford_, mentioned in the _Merry wives of Windsor_. These
persons were sometimes called _cunning_ and _looming_ women.

                           SCENE 4. Page 121.

    SIR TO. Come, we'll have him in a _dark room_, and bound. My niece
    is already in the belief that he is _mad_.

The reason for putting Malvolio into a _dark room_ was to make _him_
believe that he was _mad_; for a _madhouse_ seems formerly to have
been called a _dark-house_. In the next act Malvolio says, "Good Sir
Topas, do not think I am _mad_, they have laid me here in _hideous
darkness_." And again, "I say this _house is dark_." In Act V. he asks,
"Why have you suffer'd me to be imprison'd, kept in _a dark-house_?"
In _As you like it_, Act III. Scene 1, Rosalind says that "love is a
_madness_, and deserves as well _a dark-house_ and a whip, as madmen
do." Edward Blount, in the second dedication to his _Hospitall of
incurable fooles_, 1600, 4to, a translation from the Italian, requests
of the person whom he addresses to take on him the office of patron
or treasurer to the hospital; and that if any desperate censurer shall
stab him for assigning his office or place, he presently take him into
_the dark ward_: and in the same work, certain idle fools are consigned
to the _darksome guesthouse of their madness_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 124.

    OLI. I have said too much unto a heart of stone, and laid mine
    honour too unchary _on't_.

This is the reading of the old copy, which has been unnecessarily
disturbed at Theobald's suggestion by substituting _out_. It might be
urged that _laying honour out_ is but an awkward phrase. The old text
simply means, I have _placed_ my honour too incautiously _upon_ a heart
of stone. The preceding note had shown that adjectives are often used
adverbially by Shakspeare.

                           SCENE 4. Page 127.

    SIR TO. He is a knight, dubb'd with _unhack'd rapier_, and on
    _carpet_ consideration.

The original word is _unhatch'd_, and if any alteration be admitted it
should be _an hatch'd_, for the first reason assigned in Mr. Malone's
ingenious note. Sir Toby says that his brother knight was no hero
dubbed in the field of battle, but a carpet knight made at home in time
of peace with a sword of ceremony richly _gilt or engraved_. In _Don
Quixote_, the damsel whom Sancho finds wandering in the streets of
Barataria disguised as a man, is furnished with "a very faire _hatched_
dagger," chap. 49 of Shelton's translation. In _The tragical history of
Jetzer_, 1683, 18mo, mention is made of "a sword richly _hatcht_ with
silver." Thus much in support of the above slight alteration of the old
reading. The second conjecture of Mr. Malone, that _unhatcht_ might
have been used in the sense of _unhack'd_, deserves much attention;
but there was no necessity for introducing the latter word into the
text. To _hatch_ a sword has been thought to signify to _engrave_ it;
but it appears from Holme's _Academy of armory_, B. iii. p. 91, that
"_hatching_, is _to silver or gild_ the hilt and pomell of a sword or

With respect to _carpet_ knights, they were sometimes called knights
of the _green cloth_. For this information we are also indebted to
Holme, who, in his above cited work, B. iii. p. 57, informs us that
"all such as have studied law, physic, or any other arts and sciences
whereby they have become famous and serviceable to the court, city,
or state, and thereby have merited honour, worship, or dignity, from
the sovereign and fountain of honour; if it be the King's pleasure to
knight any such persons, seeing they are not knighted as soldiers,
they are not therefore to use the horseman's title or spurs; they are
only termed simply _miles et milites, knights of the carpet or knights
of the green cloth_, to distinguish them from knights that are dubbed
as soldiers in the field; though in these our days they are created
or dubbed with the like ceremony as the others are, by the stroak of
a naked sword upon their shoulder, with the words, _Rise up Sir T. A.


                           SCENE 1. Page 136.

    CLO. I am afraid this great _lubber the world_ will prove a cockney.

A typographical corruption seems to have crept into this place from
similitude of sound; but a very slight alteration will restore the
sense. The clown is speaking of _vent_ as an affected word; and
we should therefore read "this great _lubberly word_ will prove a
cockney," i. e. will turn out to be cockney language.

                           SCENE 2. Page 140.

    CLO. For as _the old hermit of Prague_----

Not the celebrated heresiarch Jerome of Prague, but another of that
name born likewise at Prague, and called _the hermit of Camaldoli_ in

                           SCENE 2. Page 141.

    CLO. Say'st thou that _house_ is dark?

This Mr. Malone conceives to be _a pompous appellation for the small
room_ in which Malvolio was confined; but it seems to be merely the
designation of a madhouse. See the preceding note on Act III. Scene 4,
p. 121.


                           SCENE 1. Page 157.

    PRIEST. A contract of eternal bond of love
    Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands,
    Attested by the holy close of lips,
    Strengthened by interchangement of your rings;
    And all the ceremony of this compact
    Seal'd in my function, by my testimony.

It will be necessary, for the better illustration of these lines, to
connect them with what Olivia had said to Sebastian at the end of the
preceding act:

    "Now go with me, and with this holy man,
    Into the chantry by: there _before him_
    And underneath that consecrated roof
    _Plight me the full assurance of your faith_;
    That my most jealous and too doubtful soul
    May live at peace. He shall conceal it
    Whiles you are willing it shall come to note;
    What time we will our _celebration_ keep
    According to my birth."

Now the whole has been hitherto regarded as relating to _an actual
marriage_ that had been solemnized between the parties; whereas it is
manifest that nothing more is meant than a _betrothing_, _affiancing_
or _promise of future marriage_, anciently distinguished by the name
of _espousals_, a term which was for a long time confounded with
_matrimony_, and at length came exclusively to denote it. The form of
betrothing at church in this country, has not been handed down to us
in any of its ancient ecclesiastical service books; but it is to be
remembered that Shakspeare is here making use of foreign materials,
and the ceremony is preserved in a few of the French and Italian

The custom of betrothing appears to have been known in ancient times
to almost all the civilized nations among whom marriage was considered
as a sacred engagement. Our northern ancestors were well acquainted
with it. With them the process was as follows: 1. _Procatio_, or
wooing. 2. _Impetratio_, or demanding of the parents or guardian. 3.
The conditions of the contract. All these were sealed by joining the
right hands, by a certain form of words, and a confirmation before
witnesses. The length of the time between espousals and marriage was
uncertain, and governed by the convenience of the parties; it generally
extended to a few months. Sometimes in cases of necessity, such as the
parties living in different countries, and where the interference of
proxies had been necessary, the time was protracted to three years.
The contract of the affiancing party was called _handsaul_; (whence
our _hansel_) of the agreeing party, _handfastening_. See Thorlacius
_De borealium veterum matrimonio_, 1785, 4to, pp. 33, 42. Vincent de
Beauvais, a writer of the 13th century, in his _Speculum historiale_,
lib. ix. c. 70, has defined _espousals_ to be _a contract of future
marriage_, made either by a simple promise, by earnest or security
given, by a ring, or by an oath. During the same period, and the
following centuries, we may trace several other modes of betrothing,
some of which it may be worth while to describe more at large.

I. The interchangement of rings.--Thus in Chaucer's _Troilus and
Creseide_, book 3.

    "Sone after this they spake of sondry things
    As fill to purpose of this aventure,
    And playing _enterchaungeden her rings_
    Of which I can not tellen no scripture.
    But well I wot, a broche of gold and assure
    In which a rubie set was like an herte
    Creseide him yave, and stacke it on his sherte."

When espousals took place at church, rings were also interchanged.
According to the ritual of the Greek church, the priest first placed
the rings on the fingers of the parties, who afterwards exchanged them.
Sometimes the man only gave a ring. In the life of Saint Leobard, who
is said to have flourished about the year 580, written by Gregory of
Tours he gives a ring, a kiss, and a pair of shoes to his affianced.
The ring and shoes were a symbol of securing the lady's hands and
feet in the trammels of conjugal obedience; but the ring of itself
was sufficient to confirm the contract. In _The miracles of the
Virgin Mary_, compiled in the twelfth century by a French monk, there
is a story of a young man who, falling in love with an image of the
Virgin, inadvertently placed on one of its fingers a ring which he had
received from his mistress, accompanying the gift with the most tender
language of respect and affection. A miracle instantly took place, and
the ring remained immoveable. The young man, greatly alarmed for the
consequences of his rashness, consulted his friends, who advised him by
all means to devote himself entirely to the service of the Madonna. His
love for his former mistress prevailing over their remonstrances: he
married her; but on the wedding night the newly-betrothed lady appeared
to him, and urged her claim with so many dreadful menaces that the poor
man felt himself compelled to abandon his bride, and that very night
to retire privately to a hermitage, where he became a _monk_ for the
rest of his life. This story has been translated by Mons. Le Grand in
his entertaining collection of _fabliaux_, where the ring is called
a _marriage ring_: but this is probably a mistake in the translator,
as appears from several copies of the above _Miracles_ that have been
consulted. The giving of rings was likewise a _pledge of love_ in cases
where no marriage could possibly happen. In The _lay of Equitan_, a
married woman and her gallant exchange rings,

    "Par lur anels sentresaísirent
    Lur _fiaunce_ sentreplevirent."

In a romance written by Raimond Vidal, a Provençal poet of the
thirteenth century, a knight devotes himself to the service of a lady,
who promises him a kiss in a year's time when she shall be married.
They ratify the contract by an exchange of rings. Mr. Steevens has
on the present occasion introduced a note, wherein a ludicrous
superstition is mentioned, in order to prove that "in our ancient
_marriage ceremony_, the man received as well as gave a ring." But the
passage which he cites from Lupton is wrongly translated from Mizaldus,
who only speaks of _the_ marriage ring: and so it is in Scott's
_Discovery of witchcraft_, fo. 82. edit. 1584, 4to, where a similar
receipt is given. Mr. Steevens was indeed convinced of this by the
author of these observations, and in a note on _All's well that ends
well_ has retracted his opinion. No instance has occurred where rings
were _interchanged_ at a _marriage_.

II. The kiss that was mutually given. When this ceremony took place at
church, the lady of course withdrew the veil which was usually worn
on the occasion; when in private, the drinking of healths generally

III. The joining of hands. This is often alluded to by Shakspeare
himself. See a note in the _Winter's tale_, p. 17, Steevens's edition,

IV. The testimony of witnesses. That of the priest alone was generally
sufficient, though we often find many other persons attending the
ceremony. The words "there before him," and "he shall conceal it,"
in Olivia's speech, sufficiently demonstrate that betrothing and not
marriage is intended; for in the latter the presence of the priest
alone would not have sufficed. In later times, espousals in the church
were often prohibited in France, because instances frequently occurred
where the parties, relying on the testimony of the priest, scrupled not
to live together as man and wife; which gave rise to much scandal and
disorder. Excesses were likewise often committed by the celebration
of espousals in taverns and alehouses, and some of the synodal
decrees expressly enjoin that the parties shall not get drunk on these

The ceremony, generally speaking, was performed by the priest demanding
of the parties if they had entered into a contract with any other
person, or made a vow of chastity or religion; whether they had acted
for each other, or for any child they might have had, in the capacity
of godfather or godmother, or whether they had committed incontinence
with any near relation of the other party; but the latter questions
might be dispensed with at the discretion of the priest. Then this
oath was administered--"You swear by God and his holy saints herein
and by all the saints of Paradise, that you will take this woman whose
name is N. to wife within forty days, if holy church will permit."
The priest then joined their hands, and said,--"And thus you affiance
yourselves;" to which the parties answered,--"Yes, sir." They then
received a suitable exhortation on the nature and design of marriage,
and an injunction to live piously and chastely until that event should
take place. They were not permitted, at least by the church, to
reside in the same house, but were nevertheless regarded as man and
wife independently of the usual privileges: and this will account for
Olivia's calling Cesario "husband;" and when she speaks of "keeping
_celebration_ according to her birth," it alludes to _future marriage_.
This took place in a reasonable time after betrothing, but was seldom
protracted in modern times beyond forty days. So in _Measure for
measure_, Claudio calls Julietta his _wife_, and says he got possession
of her bed upon a true _contract_. The duke likewise, in addressing
Mariana who had been _affianced_ to Angelo, says, "he is your _husband_
on a pre-contract."

Before we quit the subject, it may be necessary to observe that
betrothing was not an essential preliminary to marriage, but might be
dispensed with. The practice in this respect varied in different times
and places. The desuetude of espousals in England seems to have given
rise to the action at law for damages on breach of promise of marriage.
And thus much may suffice for a general idea of this ancient custom;
the legal niceties must be sought for in the works of the civilians.

                           SCENE 1. Page 159.

    SIR TO. Then he's a rogue. After a _passy-measure_, or a _pavin_, I
    hate a drunken rogue.

Florio, in his Italian dictionary, 1598, has "_passamezzo_, a
_passameasure_ in dancing, a cinque pace;" and although the English
word is corrupt, the other contributes to show a part, at least, of
the figure of this dance, which is said to have consisted in making
several steps round the ball-room and then _crossing it in the middle_.
Brantôme calls it "le _pazzameno_ d'Italie," and it appears to have
been more particularly used by the Venetians. It was much in vogue with
us during Shakspeare's time, as well as the _Pavan_; and both were
imported either from France, Spain, or Italy. In a book of instructions
for the lute, translated from the French by J. Alford, 1568, 4to, there
are two _passameze_ tunes printed in letters according to the lute

As to the _Pavan_, there is some doubt whether it originally belongs
to Spain or Italy. _Spanish pavans_ are certainly mentioned by Ben
Jonson in the _Alchymist_, and by Brantôme in his _Dames illustres_,
who adds that he had seen it danced by Francis I. and his sister,
the celebrated Margaret of Navarre, and also by Mary Queen of Scots.
There is good reason, however, for thinking the term is Italian, and
derived from the city of _Padua_, where the dance is said to have
been invented. Massa Gallesi, a civilian of the sixteenth century,
calls it _saltatio Paduana_. In a catalogue of books that were exposed
to sale at Frankfort fair, from 1564 to 1592, the following are
mentioned: "Chorearum molliorum collectanea omnis fere generis tripudia
complectens, utpote _Padoanas_, _passemezos_, allemandas, galliardas,
branles, et id genus alia, tam vivæ voci quam instrumentis musicis
accommodata. Antverpiæ, 1583, 4to." "Cantiones _Italicæ_ quas _Paduana_
Itali vocant, quatuor vocum. Venetiis, 1565, 4to." "Sixti Kargen,
renovata cythara, hoc est, novi et commodissimi exercendæ cytharæ modi,
constantes cantionibus musicis, _passomezo_, _podoanis_, gaillardis,
Alemanicis et aliis ejusmodi pulchris exemplis, ad tabulaturam communem
redactis. Argentorati, 1575, et Moguntiæ, 1569, folio." In Alford's
_Instructions for the lute_, above mentioned, there is a _Paduane_ and
a _Pavane_. Randle Holme, in his _Academy of armory_, 1688, folio,
book iii. c. 3, speaking of the _Pavan_ as a tune, describes it as
"the height of composition made only to delight the ear: be it of 2,
3, 4, 5, or 6 parts [it] doth commonly consist of three straines, each
straine to be played twice over." In an old MS. collection of lessons
for the virginals, there is one called "Dr. Bull's _melancholy_ pavin."
Mr. Tyrwhitt, therefore, is right in supposing that a jovial blade
like Sir Toby would be naturally averse to these grave dances, and the
dullness of the tunes belonging to them.

                           SCENE 1. Page 162.

    DUKE. One face, one voice, one habit and two persons;
    A natural _perspective_, that is, and is not.

The several kinds of perspective glasses that were used in Shakspeare's
time, may be found collected together in Scot's _Discoverie of
witchcraft_, 1584, 4to, book xiii. ch. 19. They cannot be exceeded in
number by any modern optician's shop in England. Among these, that
alluded to by the Duke is thus described: "There be glasses also
wherein one man may see another man's image, and not his own." It is to
be observed that a _perspective_ formerly meant a _glass_ that assisted
the sight in any way.

                           SCENE 1. Page 169.

    MAL. And made the most notorious _geck_, and gull.

Dr. Johnson rightly explains geck, a fool. It is so in all the Northern
languages. In Saxon, ᵹæc is a cuckow, whence _gouk_, _gawk_, and
_gawky_. Mr. Steevens's quotations seem to exhibit the word in another
sense, viz. a _mock_ or _mockery_.


The clown in this play is a domestic or hired fool, in the service
of Olivia. He is specifically termed "an _allowed_ fool," and "Feste
the jester, a fool that the lady Olivia's father took much delight
in." Malvolio likewise speaks of him as "a set fool." Of his dress it
is impossible to speak correctly. If the fool's expression, "I will
_impeticoat_ thy gratility," be the original language, he must have
been habited accordingly. Mr. Ritson has asserted that he has neither
coxcomb nor bauble, deducing his argument from the want of any allusion
to them. Yet such an omission may be a very fallacious guide in
judging of the habit of this character on the stage. It must, however,
be admitted, that where this happens there can be no clue as to the
precise manner in which the fool was dressed.


[4] their.

[5] The mention of the region of Christianity is a whimsical
anachronism as connected with the story of Alexander; but we must do
our author the justice to admit that in _his_ time the Ethiopians were

[6] is called.

[7] to see.

[8] fairness, beauty.



                           SCENE 1. Page 180.

    DUKE. ... Then no more remains,
    But that to your _sufficiency_, as your worth is able,
    And let them work.

_Sufficiency_ is, no doubt, _ability_, and not _authority_, as
Warburton conceives; and this shows that there is an omission in the
speech of what the duke would have added concerning the authority which
he meant to delegate. The most rational addition is that suggested by
Mr. Tyrwhitt. It is remarkable that Dr. Johnson should contend for the
introduction of a line of _thirteen_ syllables!

                           SCENE 1. Page 186.

    DUKE. _Mortality_ and _mercy_ in Vienna
    Live in thy _tongue_ and _heart_.

That is, "I delegate to thy tongue the power of pronouncing sentence of
death, and to thy heart the privilege of exercising mercy." These are
words of great import, and ought to be made clear, as on them depends
the chief incident of the play.

                           SCENE 2. Page 191.

    LUCIO. Behold, behold, &c.

This speech should have been given to the _first gentleman_, in order
to correspond with the note, which is probably right.

                           SCENE 2. Page 191.

    LUCIO. A _French crown_ more.

The quotations already given sufficiently exemplify the meaning;
yet that which follows being remarkably illustrative, is offered in
addition. "More seeming friendship [is] to be had in _an house of
transgression_ for a _French crown_, though it be a _bald one_, than
at Belinsgate for a boxe o' th'eare." _Vox graculi, or Jack Dawe's
prognostication_, 1623, 4to, p. 60.

                           SCENE 2. Page 192.

    I. GENT. How now, which of your _hips_ has the most profound

A most appropriate question to the bawd. The author of the facetious
Latin comedy of _Cornelianum dolium_ has named one of Cornelius's
strumpets _Sciatica_. She thus speaks of herself; "In lectulo meo ægrè
me vertere potui; podagram, chiragram, et _hip_-agram (si ita dicere
liceat) nocte quotidie sensi."

                           SCENE 2. Page 195.

    BAWD. What's to do here, _Thomas_ Tapster?

Why does she call the clown by this name, when it appears from his own
showing that his name was _Pompey_? Perhaps she is only quoting some
old saying or ballad.

                           SCENE 3. Page 201.

    CLAUD. ... for in her youth
    There is a _prone_ and speechless dialect.

One of the old significations of this word appears to have been _easily
moving_, which is evidently the sense required in this place. See
Cotgrave's _Dictionary_, in _prone_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 203.

    DUKE. Where youth and cost and witless bravery _keeps_.

Mr. Reed's explanation of this word as used for _dwells_, is confirmed
by another passage in this play, Act IV. Scene 1.

    "... a breath thou art
    That dost this _habitation_ where thou _keep'st_
    Hourly afflict."

                           SCENE 5. Page 208.

    LUCIO. _For that, which_ if myself might be his judge,
    He should receive his punishment in thanks.

It has been conceived that there is here a transposition at the
press for "that for which." The emendation is more grammatical than
_harmonious_; but the expression is quite in Shakspeare's manner. A few
pages further on we have this similar phraseology:

    "Whether you had not sometime in your life
    Err'd in this point _which now you censure him_."

                           SCENE 5. Page 211.

    LUCIO. Your brother and his _lover_.

This term was applied to the female sex not only in Shakspeare's time,
but even to a very late period. Lady Wortley Montagu in a letter to her
husband, speaking of a young girl who forbade the bans of marriage at
Huntingdon, calls her _lover_. See her works, vol. i. p. 238.


                           SCENE 1. Page 216.

    ESCAL. Let us be keen, and rather cut a little
    Than _fall_ and bruise to death.

On the very plausible authority of a passage in _As you like it_,
where the executioner is said to "fall his axe," the present metaphor
has been supposed to refer also to the punishment of decapitation. If
it be so, there is a manifest impropriety in the expression "cut a
little," as we are not to imagine that Escalus would intend to chop
off a criminal's hand, or to deprive him of his ears; both modes
of punishment, which though frequently practised in the reign of
Elizabeth, seem exclusively adapted to a community of barbarians. May
not the metaphor be rather borrowed from the cutting down of timber,
and Escalus mean to say, "Is it not better to lop off a few branches,
than to _fall_ the whole tree?"

                           SCENE 1. Page 217.

    ANG. The jury, passing on the prisoner's life
    May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two, &c.

We have here one of Shakspeare's trips; an English jury in a German
court of justice.

                           SCENE 1. Page 223.

    CLO. Your honours have seen such dishes; they are not _China
    dishes_, but very good dishes.

We must not conclude with Mr Steevens that a _China dish_ was such
an uncommon thing in the age of Shakspeare. In the first act of
Massinger's _Renegado_, this article is mentioned, together with
crystal glasses and pictures, as composing the furniture of a broker's
shop; and it appears from other authorities that China dishes were used
at banquets. During the reign of Elizabeth several Spanish carracks
were taken, a part of whose cargoes was _China ware of porcelaine_. The
recent seizure by Philip II. of Portugal and its colonies led to this
sort of commerce in the East Indies. In Minsheu's _Spanish dialogues_,
1623, folio, p. 12, _China mettall_ is explained to be "the fine dishes
of earth painted, such as are brought from Venice." It is very probable
that we had this commodity by means of our traffic with Italy, which
also supplied the term _porcelaine_. China ware was so called from its
resemblance to the polished exterior of the _concha Veneris_ or some
other similar shell, which, for reasons that cannot here be given, was
called _porcellana_. The curious reader may find a clue by consulting
Florio's Italian dictionary, 1598, under the word _porcile_. In the
time of Cromwell a duty of twenty shillings was paid on every dozen
_China dishes_ under a quart, and of sixty on those of a quart and
upwards. See _Oliverian acts_, A. D. 1657.

                           SCENE 2. Page 238.

    ISAB. ... spare him, spare him;
    He's not prepar'd for death! Even for our kitchens
    We kill the fowl _of season_.

She means "not _before_ it is in season; not _prematurely_, as you
would kill my brother."

                           SCENE 2. Page 240.

    ISAB. Could great men thunder
    As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
    For ev'ry pelting petty officer
    Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but thunder.

This fine sentiment, which nevertheless contains a very obvious fault
in the mode of expressing it, appears to have been suggested by the
following lines in Ovid's _Tristia_, lib. ii., that Shakspeare might
have read in Churchyard's translation:

    "Si quoties peccant homines sua fulmina mittat
    Jupiter, exiguo tempore inermis erit."

                           SCENE 2. Page 240.

    ISAB.. Merciful heaven!
    Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
    Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak,
    Than the soft myrtle.

There is much affinity between the above lines and these in Persius,
sat. ii.:

    "Ignovisse putas, quia, cum tonat, ocyus ilex
    Sulfure discutitur sacro, quam tuque domusque?"

But although there were two or three editions of that author published
in England in the reign of Elizabeth, he does not appear to have been
then translated.

                           SCENE 2. Page 243.

    ISAB. ... prayers from _preserved_ souls,
    From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
    To nothing temporal.

Here is no metaphor from _preserved fruits_, as Warburton fancifully
conceives. _Preserved_ is used in its common and obvious acceptation.
Isabella alludes to the prayers of her fellow nuns in addition to her

                           SCENE 2. Page 246.

    ANG. O cunning _enemy_, that, to catch a saint,
    With saints dost bait thy hook!

_Enemy_ is here used for the _Devil_. See before in p. 62, 63.

                           SCENE 4. Page 260.

    ISAB. ... Sir, believe this,
    I had rather give my body than my soul.

It is Isabella's purpose to give an evasive or ambiguous answer to
Angelo's strange question, and she accordingly does so. Or, if it have
any meaning, it may be "I would even consent to your terms if I could
save my soul, or if my soul did not thereby incur perdition."


                           SCENE 1. Page 272.

    DUKE. ... merely thou art _Death's fool_;
    For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
    And yet run'st toward him still.

And in _Pericles_, Act III. Scene 2, "to please the _fool and death_."
One note may serve for both these passages.

Dr. Warburton had conceived an allusion in the first speech to certain
characters of _death and the fool_ in the old _moralities_, in which,
most unquestionably, they are not to be found, at least, in any which
now remain. It is in this place that the latter part of Mr. Steevens's
note on the passage in _Pericles_ should have been introduced, with
the following additional circumstances that had probably escaped the
learned commentator's recollection; that his informant concerning
the skeleton character at the fair remembered also to have seen
another personage in the habit of a fool: and that arriving when the
performances at the booth were finished for the evening, he could
not succeed in procuring a repetition of the piece, losing thereby
the means of all further information on the subject. It is therefore
probable that the remainder of Dr. Warburton's note is correct,
although he may have erred in his designation of this mummery. What
connection the subject in question has with the old initial letter of
_death and the fool_, and the _dance of death_, is shown in a note to
_Love's labour lost_, vol. v. p. 316, and in another on the passage
in _Pericles_, both of which should have been incorporated with the

Mr. Ritson, in correcting a remark made by the ingenious continuator
of Ben Jonson's _Sad shepherd_, has inaccurately stated that the
figures in the initial letter were "actually copied from the margin of
an old missal." The letter that occurs in Stowe's _Survey of London_,
edit. 1618, 4to, is only an enlarged but imperfect copy from another
belonging to a regular dance of death used as initials by some of
the Basil printers in the sixteenth century, and which, from the
extraordinary skill that accompanies their execution, will ever rank
amongst the finest efforts in the art of engraving on blocks of wood
or metal. Most of the subjects in this dance of death have undoubtedly
been supplied by that curious pageant of mortality which, during the
middle ages, was so great a favourite as to be perpetually exhibited
to the people either in the sculpture and painting of ecclesiastical
buildings, or in the books adapted to the service of the church: yet
some of them but ill accord with those serious ideas which the nature
of the subject is calculated to inspire. In these the artist has
indulged a vein of broad and satirical humour which was not wholly
reserved for the caricaturists of modern times; and in one or two
instances he has even overleaped the bounds of decency. The letter in
Stowe's _Survey_ is the only one that appears to have been imitated
from the above alphabet; and as it throws some light on that part of
the Duke's speech which occasioned the present note, it is here very
accurately copied. It is to be remembered that in most of the old
_dances of death_ the subject of the fool is introduced: and it is, on
the whole, extremely probable that some such representation might have
suggested the image before us.


                           SCENE 1. Page 285.

    CLAUD. ... and the delighted spirit
    To bathe in _fiery floods_, or to reside
    In thrilling regions of _thick-ribbed ice_;
    To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
    And _blown with restless violence_ round about
    The pendant world; or to be worse than worst
    Of those that lawless and incertain thoughts
    Imagine _howling_!----

It is difficult to decide whether Shakspeare is here alluding to the
pains of hell or purgatory. May not the whole be a mere poetical
rhapsody originating in the recollection of what he had read in books
of Catholic divinity? for it is very certain that some of these were
extremely familiar to him. Among them he might have seen a compilation
on the pains of hell, entitled _Examples howe mortall synne maketh
the synners inobedyentes to have many paynes and dolours within the
fyre of hell_; black letter, no date, 12mo, and chiefly extracted from
that once popular work, the _Sermones discipuli_, which contains at
the end a promptuary of examples for the use of preachers. From this
little volume it may be worth while to select the following passage,
as according in some degree with the matter of Claudio's speech:--"he
tolde that he sawe in hell a torment of an _yzye ponde_ where the
soules the whiche therin were tormented cryed so horryble that they
were herde unto heven," sign. B. iij. "And the sayde beest was upon a
ponde full of _strong yse_, the which beest devoured the soules within
his wombe in suche maner that they became as unto nothynge by the
tormentes that they suffred. Afterwarde he put them out of his wombe
_within the yse of the sayde ponde_," sign. G. iij. "The caytyve was in
syke wyse, for she myght not helpe herself, the whiche herde terryble
cryes and _howlynges of soules_," sign. H. And again, "And the devyll
was bounde by every joynture of all his membres with great chaynes of
yron and of copre brennyng. And of great torment and vehement woodnes
whereof he was full he turned hym from the one syde unto the other, and
stretched out his handes in the multytude of the sayde soules, and toke
them, and strayned them in lykewyse as men may do a clustre of grapes
in theyr handes for to make the wyne come forth. And in such maner
he strayned them that he eyther brake theyr heedes, or theyr fete,
or handes, or some other membres. Afterward _he syghed and blewe and
dysperpeled the sayde soules_ into many of the tormentes of the fyre of
hell," sign. H. iiij.

The following lines from the sixth book of Phaer's Virgil might have
furnished some materials on the occasion:

    "... some _hie in ayer_ doth hang in pinnes
    Some fleeting ben in _floods_, and deepe in gulfes themselves they tier
    Till sinnes away be _washt, or clensed cleer with purgin fire_."

In the old legend of _Saint Patrick's purgatory_ mention is made
of a lake of ice and snow, into which persons were plunged up to
their necks; and in the _Shepherd's calendar_, chap, xviii. there
is a description of hell as "the rewarde of them that kepen the X
comaundements of the Devyll," in in which these lines occur:

    "... a _great froste_ in a water rounes
    And after a _bytter wynde_ comes
    Whiche gothe through the soules with yre;
    Fendes with pokes pulle theyr flesshe ysondre,
    They fyght and curse, and eche on other wonder."

Chaucer, in his _Assemblie of foules_, has given an abridgement of
Cicero's dream of Scipio; and speaking of souls in hell, he says:

    "And breakers of the lawe, sothe to saine
    And likerous folke, after that they been dede
    _Shull whirle about the world_ alway in paine
    Till many a world be passed."

It was not until the seventh century that the doctrine of purgatory was
confirmed, when "they held that departed souls expiated their sins by
_baths_, _ice_, _hanging in the air_, &c.," says a curious writer on
this subject. See Douglas's _Vitis degeneris_, 1668, 12mo, p. 77.

With respect to the much contested and obscure expression of _bathing
the delighted spirit in fiery floods_, Milton appears to have felt less
difficulty in its construction than we do at present; for he certainly
remembered it when he made Comus say,

    "... one sip of this
    Will _bathe_ the drooping _spirits in delight_
    Beyond the bliss of dreams."

                           SCENE 2. Page 295.

    ELB. Bless you good _father friar_.

    DUKE. And you good _brother father_.

Mr. Tyrwhitt remarks that _father friar_ is a blunder, and so indeed
the Duke from his answer seems to consider it. Yet friars have often
been addressed in this way; and a few pages further Escalus calls the
Duke _father_, who had just been introduced to him as a _friar_. The
Duke, indeed, soon after uses the term _brother_ when speaking of
himself. Whilst the passage quoted by Mr. Steevens gives support to
Mr. Tyrwhitt's observation that _friar_ is a corruption of the French
_frere_, it seems to disprove his assertion that Elbow's phrase is

                           SCENE 2. Page 298.

    LUCIO. What, is there none of _Pygmalion's images, newly made
    woman_, to be had now, for putting the hand in the pocket, and
    extracting it clutch'd?

None of the explanations of this speech are satisfactory, but least of
all such part of a note by the author of these remarks, as refers to
the _picklock_, which has been better accounted for by Mr. Ritson. It
is probable, after all, that Lucio simply means to ask the clown if _he
has no newly-coined money wherewith to bribe_ the officers of justice,
alluding to the portrait of the queen.

                           SCENE 2. Page 308.

    ESCAL. This would make mercy _swear and play the tyrant_.

The old belief certainly was that tyrants in general swore lustily;
but here seems to be a particular allusion to the character of Herod,
in the mystery of _The slaughter of the innocents_, formerly acted by
the city companies in their pageants, and of which those for Chester
and Coventry are still preserved in the British Museum. In this curious
specimen of our early drama, Herod is made to swear by Mahound, by
cockes blood, &c. He is uniformly in a passion throughout the piece;
and this, according to the stage direction, "Here Erode ragis," is
exemplified by some extraordinary gesticulation. See the notes of
Messrs. Steevens and Malone on a passage in _Hamlet_, Act III. Scene 2.

                           SCENE 2. Page 310.

    DUKE. ... and now is he _resolved_ to die.

Mr. Reed has certainly adduced an instance which proves that _resolved_
occasionally means _satisfied_, and we still talk of resolving
difficulties, or a question in arithmetic; but in the passage before
us it seems rather to signify _resolute_, _firm_, _determined_. Thus
the allegorical romance of _Le chevalier deliberé_ was translated
into English in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, under the title of
_The resolved gentleman_; and into Spanish by that of _Il cavalero


                           SCENE 1. Page 318.

    ISAB. And that I have _possess'd_ him.

In the same sense Shylock says

    "I have _possess'd_ your grace of what I purpose."

It were better that Shakspeare should be thus made his own commentator
where it can be done, than that he should be explained by quotations
from other authors.

                           SCENE 1. Page 319.

    DUKE. ... volumes of report
    Run with these false and most contrarious _quests_
    Upon thy doings.

It is presumed that the sense of _messengers_ annexed to this word by
Mr. Ritson cannot be maintained, but that the very line he refers to
establishes it to be _searches_, _inquiries_. Mr. Malone's note is,
of the others, the most satisfactory. The Duke alludes to the false
and various conclusions that result from investigating the actions of
men high in office. There is an old pamphlet with the whimsical title
of _Jacke of Dover, his quest of inquiry, or his privy search for the
veriest foole in England_, 1604, 4to.

                           SCENE 1. Page 321.

    DUKE. Sith that the justice of your title to him
    Doth _flourish_ the deceit.

That is, _decorate an action that would otherwise seem ugly_. Two
metaphors have already been suggested; a third remains to be stated.
_Flourish_ may, perhaps, allude to the ornaments that embellish the
_ancient_ as well as modern books of penmanship. There are no finer
specimens of beautiful writing extant than some of the reign of
Elizabeth, who herself wrote a very elegant Italian hand in the early
part of her life.

                           SCENE 2. Page 322.

    PROV. ... and your deliverance with an _unpitied_ whipping; for you
    have been a notorious bawd.

Mr. Steevens makes _unpitied_, _unmerciful_; it is rather _a whipping
that none shall pity_, for the reason that immediately follows.

                           SCENE 2. Page 334.

    PROV. Pardon me, good father, it is against my oath.

This is a very different provost from one of whom Fabian in his
_Chronicle_, p. 187, relates the following story: "In the thyrde yere
of the reigne of this Philip, _the provost of Paris_, having in his
prison a Picard, a man of greate riches, whiche for felony or like
crime, was judged to be hanged. The sayde provost for great benefit
to him done and payment of great summes by the sayd Pycard, tooke an
other poore innocent man, and put him to death, in steede of the sayd
Pycarde. Of the whiche offence whan due proofe of it was made before
the kynges counsayle, the sayde provoste for the same dede was put unto
like judgement."

                           SCENE 3. Page 335.

    CLO. First, here's young master Rash, he's in for _a commodity of
    brown paper and old ginger_.

The nefarious practice of lending young men money in the shape of goods
which are afterwards sold at a great loss, appears to have been more
prevalent in the reign of Elizabeth than even at present. It is very
strongly marked in Lodge's _Looking glasse for London and Englande_,
1598, where a usurer being very urgent for the repayment of his debt
is thus answered, "I pray you, sir, consider that my losse was great
by the commoditie I tooke up; you know, sir, I borrowed of you forty
pounds, whereof I had ten pounds in money, and thirtie pounds in _lute
strings_, which when I came to sell againe, I could get but five
pounds for them, so had I, sir, but fifteene pounds for my fortie:
In consideration of this ill bargaine, I pray you, sir, give me a
month longer." But this sort of usury is much older than Shakspeare's
time, and is thus curiously described in one of the sermons of Father
Maillard, a celebrated preacher at Paris at the end of the fifteenth
century, and whose style very much resembles that of John Whitfield.
"Quidam indigens pecunia venit ad thesaurarium supra quem fuerunt
assignata mille scuta; dicit thesaurarius, Ego dabo tibi, sed pro nunc
non habeo argentum; sed expectes usque ad quindecim dies. Pauper dicit,
Non possum expectare; respondet thesaurarius, Dabo tibi unam partem
in argento et alia in mercantiis: et illud quod valebit centum scuta,
faciet valere ducenta. Hic est usura palliata." _Sermo in feriam_,
iiii. _de passione_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 337.

    CLO. ... _ginger_ was not much in request, for the old women were
    all dead.

This spice was formerly held in very great repute, and especially among
elderly persons. Sir Thomas Elyot in his _Castle of health_, 1580,
12mo, says, it comforts the head and stomach, and being green and
well confectioned, quickens remembrance, if it be taken in a morning
fasting. Henry Buttes, who wrote a whimsical book entitled _Dyet's dry
dinner_, 1599, 12mo, speaks much in its praise, and says that being
condite with honey it "warmes olde mens bellyes." In Ben Jonson's
masque of _The metamorphosed gipsies_, a country wench laments the
being robbed of "a dainty race of _ginger_;" and in the old play of
_The famous victories of Henry the fifth_, a clown charges a thief
with having "taken the great race of ginger, that bouncing _Besse_
with the jolly buttocks should have had." In Beaumont and Fletcher's
_Knight of the burning pestle_, the citizen's wife gives a man who
had been soundly beaten some _green ginger_ to comfort him. Ginger
was used likewise to spice ale. In Lodge's _Looking glasse for London
and England_, the clown says, "Ile tell you, sir, if you did taste of
the ale, all _Ninivie_ hath not such a cup of ale, it floures in the
cup, sir, by my troth I spent eleven pence, besides _three rases of
ginger_." The numerous virtues of this root are likewise detailed in
Vennor's _Via recta ad vitam longam_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 342.

    PROV. One _Ragozine_, a most notorious pirate.

Some attempt to elucidate this name has been made in the first note to
the Merchant of Venice, into which it is rather improperly introduced.
Mr. Heath had supposed that _Ragozine_ was put for _Ragusan_, _i. e._
a native of the city of _Ragusa_ on the gulf of Venice, famous for
its trading vessels; but it was incumbent on that gentleman to have
shown that the inhabitants of the above city were _pirates_. This
however would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible; for,
on the contrary, Rycaut, in his _State of the Ottoman empire_, has
expressly declared that the _Ragusans_ never offered injury; but that,
on receiving any, they very patiently supported it. Wherever Shakspeare
met with the name of _Ragozine_, it should seem to be a _metathesis_ of
the French _Argousin_, or the Italian _Argosino_, _i. e._ an officer or
lieutenant on board a galley; and, as Menage conjectures, a corruption
of the Spanish _Alguasil_. See Carpentier, _Suppl. ad gloss. Dufresne_,
under the word _Argoisillo_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 358.

    ISAB. ... but let your reason serve
    To make the truth appear, where it seems hid;
    _And hide the false, seems true_.

The apparent difficulty in the last line proceeds from its elliptical
construction; yet the meaning is sufficiently obvious. Isabella
requests of the Duke to exert his reason _to discover_ truth where it
seems hid, and _to suppress_ falsehood _where it_ has the semblance of
truth. _Hide_ is, doubtless, a licentious word, but was used for the
reason suggested by Mr. Malone.

                           SCENE 1. Page 375.

    LUCIO. Show your sheep-biting face, and be _hang'd an hour_.

There would have been little reason for dissenting from Mr. Henley's
ingenious note, in which he supposes that this expression refers to
the _pillory_, but for the subsequent remark by Lucio, "this may
prove worse than _hanging_." It seems therefore more probable that
"hang'd an hour" alludes to the _time_ usually allotted for torturing
the miserable object of the barbarous punishment by suspension,
which is justly execrated by Randle Holme as "a dog's death," and
always excites in the spectator a strange mixture of ludicrous and
shocking sensations. It dishonours the living more than it degrades
the criminal. The Turkish bowstring were much less offensive to the
feelings of humanity: but the more solemn and decorous infliction of
death, (if inflicted it must be,) would, as in military cases, be
the stroke of the bullet, provided such a measure could be adopted
without offending the soldier's honour. The pre-eminent mercy of the
English law disdains to augment the horrors of premature dissolution
by personal pain and torture; its object is to prevent or diminish
the commission of the crime. On this principle, one could wish that,
on the close of the usual necessary and consolatory preparation for
death, some mode of stupefying the offender were adopted; that no
sensation of torture on his part might be felt, nor any other on that
of the spectator, than a satisfaction that the sentence of the law
had been fulfilled. For this digression no apology can be necessary.
As to Mr. Daines Barrington's supposition, that "the criminal was
_suspended in the air by the collistrigium or stretch-neck_," a very
little reflection will suffice to show that it is founded in error.
Such a process would in _half an hour's_ time most effectually prevent
a repetition of the ceremony. The _collistrigium_ was so called from
the _stretching out or projection of the neck_ through a hole made in
the pillory for that purpose, or through an iron collar or _carcan_
that was sometimes attached to the _pillar_ itself. No punishment
has been inflicted in so many different ways as that of the pillory;
and therefore the following varieties of it have been thought worth




The first is from a manuscript of the Chronicle of Saint Denis, in the
British Museum, Bibl. Reg. 16. G. vi. It was written in the thirteenth
century. The second occurs in a manuscript of Froissart, preserved in
the same collection. The third is copied from a print in Comenius's
_Orbis pictus_, and furnishes a specimen of the _carcan_, the woman
being confined to the pillar by an iron ring or collar. The fourth is
from a table of the standard of ancient weights and measures in the
exchequer, and shows the mode of punishing a forestaller or regrator
in the time of Henry the Seventh. The fifth exhibits Robert Ockam
in the pillory for perjury. The fact happened in the reign of Henry
the Eighth, but the cut is copied from Fox's _Martyrs_, published
long afterwards. The sixth and last figure represents an ancient
pillory that formerly stood in the market-place of the village of
Paulmy in Touraine. It is copied from a view of the castle of Paulmy
in Belleforest's _Cosmographie universelle_, 1575, folio. Not long
since there was remaining in the Section des halles at Paris an old
hexangular building of stone, with open Gothic windows, through which
appeared an iron circle or _carcan_, with holes for placing the hands
and necks of several persons at the same time, in like manner as in
the first and last figures. There is an engraving of it in Millin's
_Antiquités nationales_, tom. iii. no. 34.

                           SCENE 1. Page 378.

    DUKE. Being criminal in _double_ violation
    Of sacred chastity, and of promise-breach.

Mr. Malone thinks _double_ refers to Angelo's conduct to _Mariana_ and
Isabel; but surely, however inaccurate the expression, it alludes to
Angelo's _double_ misconduct to _Isabella_, in having attempted _her_
chastity, and violated his promise with respect to her brother. Thus in
_Promos and Cassandra_:

    "Thou wycked man, might it not thee suffice
    By worse than force to spoyle her chastitie,
    But heaping sinne on sinne against thy othe,
    Hast cruelly her brother done to death."

In Cinthio Giraldi's novel, it is "Vous avez commis _deux crimes_ fort
grans, l'un d'avoir diffamé cette jeune femme, par telle tromperie que
l'on peut dire que vous l'avez forcée: l'autre d'avoir fait mourir son
frere contre la foy à elle donnée." Transl. by Chappuys, 1584.

                           SCENE 1. Page 385.

    DUKE. Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
    Remit thy other _forfeits_: Take him to prison.

Mr. Steevens has refined too much in supposing this word to mean
_carnal offences_. It is simply _penalties_. The Duke remits all
Lucio's offences except the injury done to the woman, and he is ordered
to remain in prison until he marry her. _Forfeit_ was also used in the
French sense of the word, _crime_, _transgression_.


The clown in this play officiates as the tapster of a brothel; whence
it has been concluded that he is not a domestic fool, nor ought
to appear in the dress of that character. A little consideration
will serve to show that the opinion is erroneous, that _this_ clown
is _altogether_ a domestic fool, and that he should be habited
accordingly. In Act II. Scene 1, Escalus calls him a _tedious fool_,
and _Iniquity_, a name for one of the old stage buffoons. He tells
him that he will have him _whipt_, a punishment that was very often
inflicted on fools. In _Timon of Athens_ we have a _strumpet's fool_,
and a similar character is mentioned in the first speech in _Antony
and Cleopatra_. But if any one should still entertain a doubt on the
subject, he may receive the most complete satisfaction by an attentive
examination of ancient prints, many of which will furnish instances of
the common use of the domestic fool in brothels. In _Twelfth Night_,
Act IV. Scene 1, Sebastian mistakes the clown for such a character as
that before us, and calls him a _foolish Greek_, a term that is very
happily explained by Dr. Warburton, whose note both communicates and
receives support on the present occasion.


Three sources whence the plot of this play might have been extracted,
have already been mentioned, viz. Whetstone's _Heptameron_, 1582,
4to; his _Promos and Cassandra_, 1578, 4to; and novel 5, decad.
8, in Cinthio Giraldi. It is probable that the general outline of
the story is founded on fact, as it is related, with some variety
of circumstance, by several writers, and appears to have been very
popular. It has therefore been thought worth while to point out the
following works in which it occurs.

In Lipsii _Monita et exempla politica_, Antverp. 1613, 4to, cap. viii.
Charles the bold duke of Burgundy causes one of his noblemen to be put
to death for offending in the manner that Angelo would have done; but
he is first compelled to marry the lady. This story has been copied
from Lipsius into Wanley's _Wonders of the little world_, book iii.
ch. 29, edit. 1678, folio; and from Wanley into that favourite little
chap book, Burton's _Unparalleled varieties_, p. 42. See likewise
_The spectator_, No. 491. This event was made the subject of a French
play by Antoine Maréchal, called _Le jugement équitable de Charles le
hardy_, 1646, 4to. Here the offender is called Rodolph governor of
Maestrick, and by theatrical licence turns out to be the duke's own
son. Another similar story of Charles's upright judgment may be found
in the third volume of Goulart's _Thrésor d'histoires admirables_,
1628, 8vo, p. 373.

Much about the time when the above events are supposed to have
happened, Olivier le Dain, for his wickedness surnamed the Devil,
originally the barber, and afterwards the favourite of Louis XI., is
said to have committed a similar offence, for which he was deservedly
hanged. See Godefroy's edition of the _Memoirs of Philip de Comines_,
Brussels, 1723, 8vo, tom. v. p. 55.

At the end of Belleforest's translation of Bandello's novels, there
are three additional of his own invention. The first of these relates
to a captain, who, having seduced the wife of one of his soldiers
under a promise to save the life of her husband, exhibited him soon
afterwards _through the window of his apartment_ suspended on a gibbet.
His commander, the marshal de Brissac, after compelling him to marry
the widow, adjudges him to death. The striking similitude of a part
of this story to what Mr. Hume has related of colonel Kirke, will
present itself to every reader, and perhaps induce some to think with
Mr. Ritson, (however they will differ in _his mode_ of expressing the
sentiment,) that Mr. Hume's narration is "an impudent and barefaced
lie." See _The quip modest_, p. 30. A defence also of Kirke may be
seen in the _Monthly magazine_, vol. ii. p. 544. Yet though we may
be inclined to adopt this side of the question, it will only serve
to diminish, in a single instance, the atrocities of that sanguinary

In Lupton's _Siuqila. Too good to be true_, 1580, 4to, there is a long
story of a woman, who, her husband having slain his adversary in a
duel, goes to the judge for the purpose of prevailing on him to remit
the sentence of the law. He obtains of her, in the first place, a
large sum of money, and afterwards the reluctant prostitution of her
person, under a solemn promise to save her husband. The rest, as in
Belleforest's novel.

In vol. i. of Goulart's _Thrésor d'histoires admirables_, above cited,
there are two stories on this subject. The first, in p. 300, is of
a citizen of Como in Italy, who in 1547 was detained prisoner by a
Spanish _captain_ on a charge of murder. The wife pleads for him as
before, and obtains a promise of favour on the same terms. The husband
recommends her compliance, after which the Spaniard beheads him.
Complaint is made to the _Duke of Ferrara_, who compels the captain to
marry the widow, and then orders him to be hanged. The other, in p.
304, is of a provost named _La Vouste_, whose conduct resembles that
of the other villain's, with this addition; he says to the woman, "I
promised to restore your husband; I have not kept him, here he is." No
punishment is inflicted on this fellow.

The last example to be mentioned on this occasion occurs in Cooke's
_Vindication of the professors and profession of the law_, 1646, 4to,
p. 61. During the wars between Charles the Fifth and Francis the First,
one Raynucio had been imprisoned at Milan for betraying a fort to the
French. His wife petitions the governor Don Garcias in his favour, who
refuses to listen but on dishonourable terms, which are indignantly
rejected. The husband, like Claudio in _Measure for measure_, at first
commends the magnanimity of his wife, and submits to his sentence; but
when the time for his execution approaches, his courage fails him, and
he prevails on his wife to acquiesce in the governor's demands. A sum
of ten thousand crowns is likewise extorted from the unhappy woman,
and she receives in return the dead body of her husband. The Duke of
Ferrara, Hercules of Este, who was general for the Emperor, is informed
of the circumstance. He first persuades the governor to marry the lady,
and then orders him to be beheaded.

Towards the conclusion of this play Dr. Johnson has observed, that
"every reader feels some indignation when he finds Angelo spared." This
remark is rigorously just, and calculated to satisfy those moralists
who would have preferred the catastrophe in some of the preceding
stories. But in the construction of a play theatrical effect was to
be attended to; on which ground alone the poet may be defended. The
other charge against him in Dr. Johnson's note is doubtless unfounded,
and even laboriously strained. Shakspeare has been likewise hastily
censured by a female writer of great ingenuity, for almost every
supposed deviation from the plot of Cinthio's novel, and even for
adhering to it in sparing Angelo.[9] It might however be contended,
that, if our author really used this novel,[10] he has, with some
exceptions, exerted a considerable degree of skill and contrivance
in his alterations; and that he has consequently furnished a rich
and diversified repast for his readers, instead of serving up the
simple story in the shape of such a tragedy as might have suited
a Greek audience, but certainly would not have pleased an English
one in his time. In the novel, the sister, when she solicits mercy
for her brother's murderer and her own seducer, (in the play Angelo
is neither but in intention,) justly urges that _excess of justice
becomes cruelty_. He therefore who would refuse mercy to Angelo for
an intentional offence, has no right to censure him for severity to
Claudio who had committed a real one. In the novel, the sister is
actually seduced, and her brother murdered; and yet she pleads for
the offender. In the play, though Isabella believes her brother to be
dead, she reconciles herself to the sad event, inasmuch as she knows
that he suffered by course of law, as well as by the cruelty of Angelo,
from whose iniquity she herself has happily escaped. She is stimulated
to solicit this man's life, from the suggestion and situation of
her friend the innocent Mariana, who would have felt more distress
from the death of Angelo, than the other parties discontent from his
acquittal. The female critic has likewise observed that "_Measure for
measure_ ought not to be the title, since justice is not the virtue
it inculcates." But surely, if Angelo had died, it would have been
_outmeasuring measure_; as it is, the administration of justice is duly
balanced, and both he and Claudio are equally punished in imagination.
The Duke too, who knew all the circumstances, deserves credit for some
ingenuity in his arrangements to protect the innocent, and, if not
rigidly to punish the guilty, at least to save a sinner. Nor will any
one contend that Angelo has escaped punishment: the agonizing state
of uncertainty in which he long remained after the mock sentence, the
bitter reproof of his colleague, and the still severer language of the
Duke, will, it is to be hoped, conduce to satisfy every feeling and
humane spectator of this fine play, that the poet has done enough to
content even the rigorous moralist, and to exemplify, in his own divine
words, that "earthly power doth then seem likest heaven's, when mercy
seasons justice."


[9] Dr. Johnson in his dedication to the above lady's work, speaking of
Shakspeare, says, "he lived in an age when the minds of his auditors
were not accustomed to balance probabilities, or to examine nicely the
proportion between causes and effects. It was sufficient to recommend a
story that it was far removed from common life, that its changes were
frequent, and its close pathetic." How much at variance is all this
with the sentiments that follow on our play, and how it serves to mark
the folly and absurdity of hireling dedications!

[10] It may well be doubted whether Shakspeare ever saw the story as
related by Cinthio. There was not, as far as we know at present, any
English translation of it in his time. He might indeed have seen the
French version by Gabriel Chappuys, printed at Paris, 1583, 8vo; but
it is certain that his chief model for the plot was the old play of
_Promos and Cassandra_, a circumstance unknown to Mrs. Lenox. All must
admit that the mode of saving the deputy's life is much better managed
by Shakspeare than by Whetstone.



                           SCENE 1. Page 395.

    Enter LEONATO....

This is the name of the injured lady's father in the novel of
Belleforest which Mr. Steevens supposes to have furnished the plot of
the play; a circumstance that tends very much to prove the justness of
that gentleman's opinion.

                           SCENE 1. Page 396.

    MESS. Without a _badge_ of bitterness.

See a future note on _The taming of the shrew_, Act IV. Scene 1.

                           SCENE 1. Page 397.

    BEAT. He _set up his bills_ here in Messina.

This mode of expression will admit of a little more illustration than
it has already received. The practice to which it refers was calculated
to advertise the public of any matters which concerned itself or the
party whose bills were set up; and it is the more necessary to state
this, because the passages which have been used in explanation might
induce the reader to suppose that challenges and prize-fightings were
the exclusive objects of these bills. This however was not the case.
In Northbrooke's _Treatise against dicing, dauncing, vaine plaies,
&c._, 1579, 4to, a work much resembling that extremely curious volume
Stubbes's _Anatomie of abuses_, we are told that they used "to _set
up their billes_ upon postes certain dayes before, to admonish the
people to make resort unto their _theatres_, that they may thereby
be the better furnished, and the people prepared to fill their
purses with their treasures." In the play of _Histriomastix_, a
man is introduced setting up _text billes for playes_; and William
Rankins, another puritanical writer against plays, which he calls _the
instruments of Satan_, in his _Mirrour of monsters_, 1587, 4to, p. 6,
says, that "players by _sticking of their bils_ in London, defile the
streetes with their infectious filthines." Mountebanks likewise set up
their bills. "Upon this scaffold also might bee mounted a number of
_quacksalving emperickes_, who arriving in some country towne, clap up
their _terrible billes_ in the market place, and filling the paper with
such horrible names of diseases, as if every disease were a divell,
and that they could conjure them out of any towne at their pleasure."
Dekkar's _Villanies discovered by lanthorne and candle-light, &c._,
1616, 4to, sign. H. Again, in _Tales and quick answeres_, printed by
Berthelette, b. l. n. d. 4to, a man having lost his purse in London
"_sette up bylles_ in divers places that if any man of the cyte had
founde the purse and woulde brynge it agayn to him he shulde have
welle for his laboure. A gentyllman of the Temple _wrote under one of
the byls_ howe the man shulde come to his chambers and told where."
It appears from a very rare little piece entitled _Questions of
profitable and pleasant concernings talked of by two olde seniors,
&c._, 1594, 4to, that Saint Paul's was a place in which these bills or
advertisements were posted up. Thomas Nashe in his _Pierce Pennilesse
his supplication to the divell_, 1595, 4to, sign. E. speaks of the
"maisterlessemen that _set up theyr bills in Paules for services_,
and such as paste up their papers on every post, for arithmetique
and writing schooles:" we may therefore suppose that several of the
walks about Saint Paul's cathedral then resembled the present Royal
Exchange with respect to the business that was there transacted; and
it appears indeed, from many allusions in our old plays, to have been
as well the resort of the idle, as the busy. The phrase of _setting up
bills_ continued long after the time of Shakspeare and is used in a
translation of Suetonius published in 1677, 8vo, p. 227.

                           SCENE 1. Page 399.

    BEAT. ... challenged him at the _bird-bolt_.

In further exemplification of this sort of arrow, the following
representations have been collected. A very sagacious _modern_ editor
of King James's _Christ's kirk on the green_ has stated that the line
"the bolt flew o'er the bire" is a metaphor of a _thunderbolt_ flying
over the cowhouse!


                           SCENE 1. Page 412.

    BENE. Prove that ever I lose more blood with love, &c.

There is a covert allusion in this speech that will not admit of a
particular explanation. Debauchees imagine that wine recruits the loss
of animal spirits. _Love_ is used here in its very worst sense, and the
whole is extremely gross and indelicate.


                           SCENE 1. Page 429.

    BEAT. ... that I had my good wit out of _the hundred merry tales_.

From the unfortunate loss of these _Merry tales_, a doubt has arisen
from whence they were translated, it being pretty clear that they were
not originally written in English. Two authorities have been produced
on this occasion, the _Cent nouvelles nouvelles_, and the _Decameron_
of Boccaccio.

Mr. Steevens is an advocate for the first of these, and refers to an
edition of them mentioned by Ames. This, it is to be presumed, is the
_Hundred merry tales_ noticed under the article for James Roberts. To
this opinion an objection has been taken by Mr. Ritson, on the ground
that _many_ of the tales in the _Cent nouvelles nouvelles_ are "very
tragical, and none of them calculated to furnish a lady with good
wit." Now it appears that out of these hundred stories _only five are
tragical_, viz. novels 32, 47, 55, 56, and 98. In the old editions they
are entitled _Comptes plaisans et recreatiz pour deviser en toutes
compaignies_, and _Moult plaisans á raconter par maniere de joyeuseté_.

Mr. Reed has "but little doubt that Boccace's _Decameron_ was the book
here alluded to." If this gentleman's quotation from Guazzo's _Civile
conversation_, 1586, be meant to establish the existence of the above
work in an English dress it certainly falls short of the purpose;
because it is no more than a translation of an author, who is speaking
of the _original Decameron_. But there is a more forcible objection
to Mr. Reed's opinion, which is, that the first _complete_ English
translation of Boccaccio's novels was not published till 1620, and
after Shakspeare's death. The dedication states indeed, that _many_
of the tales had long since been published; but this may allude to
those which had appeared in Painter's _Palace of pleasure_, or in
some other similar work not now remaining. There are likewise two or
three of Boccaccio's novels in Tarlton's _Newes out of purgatory_,
which might be alluded to in the above dedication, if the work which
now remains under the date of 1630 was really printed in 1589, as may
be suspected from a license granted to Thomas Gubbin. There seems to
have been some prior attempt to publish the _Decameron_ in English,
but it was "recalled by my Lord of Canterbury's commands." See a note
by Mr. Steevens prefixed to _The two gentlemen of Verona_. There is a
remarkable fact however that deserves to be mentioned in this place,
which is, that in the proem to Sacchetti's _Novelle_, written about
the year 1360, it appears that Boccaccio's novels had been _then_
translated into English, not a single vestige of which translation is
elsewhere to be traced.

A third work that may appear to possess some right to assert its claim
on the present occasion is the _Cento novelle antiche_, which might
have been translated before or in Shakspeare's time, as it has been
already shown in a note on the story of _Twelfth night_ that he had
probably seen the 13th novel in that collection. It may likewise be
worth mentioning that Nashe in his _Pappe with an hatchet_, speaks of
a book then coming out under the title of _A hundred merrie tales_, in
which Martin Marprelate, _i. e._ John Penry, and his friends were to be

On the whole, the evidence seems to preponderate in favour of the _Cent
nouvelles nouvelles_. As the _greatest portion_ of this work consists
of _merry stories_, there is no impropriety in calling it _The hundred
merry tales_; the term _hundred_ being part of the original title, and
the epithet _merry_ in all probability an addition for the purpose of
designating the _general quality_ of the stories. The _Decameron_ of
Boccaccio, which contains more tragical subjects than the other, is
called in the English translation _A hundred_ PLEASANT _novels_.

Whatever the _hundred merry tales_ really were, we find them in
existence so late as 1659, and the entire loss of them to the present
age might have been occasioned by the devastation in the great fire of

                               SCENE 1. Page 432.

    BENE. Come, will you go with me?

    CLAUD. Whither?

    BENE. Even to _the next willow_, about your own business, Count. What
    fashion will you wear the _garland_ of?

It was the custom for those who were _forsaken in love_ to wear willow
garlands. This tree might have been chosen as the symbol of sadness
from the verse in psalm 137, "We hanged our harps upon the willows, in
the midst thereof;" or else from a coincidence between the _weeping_
willow and falling _tears_. Another reason has been assigned. The
_Agnus castus_ or _vitex_, was supposed by the ancients to promote
chastity, "and the willow being of a much like nature," says an old
writer, "it is yet a custom that he which is deprived of his love must
wear a willow garland." Swan's _Speculum mundi_, chap. 6. sect. 4.
edit. 1635. Bona, the sister of the king of France, on receiving news
of Edward the Fourth's marriage with Elizabeth Grey, exclaims, "In hope
he'll prove a widower shortly, I'll wear a _willow garland_ for his
sake." See _Henry the Sixth_, part iii. and Desdemona's willow song in
_Othello_, Act IV. Two more ballads of a similar nature may be found in
Playford's _Select ayres_, 1659, folio, pp. 19, 21.

                           SCENE 1. Page 438.

    BEAT. Civil as an _orange_, and something of _that_ jealous

This reading of the older copy has been judiciously preferred to _a_
jealous complexion. _Yellow_ is an epithet often applied to jealousy
by the old writers. In _The merry wives of Windsor_, Nym says he will
possess Ford with _yellowness_. Shakspeare more usually terms it

                           SCENE 3. Page 447.

    BENE. ... now will he lie ten nights awake, _carving the fashion of
    a new doublet_.

The print in Borde of the Englishman with a pair of shears, seems
to have been borrowed from some Italian or other foreign picture in
ridicule of our countrymen's folly. Coryat, in his _Crudities_, p.
260, has this remark; "we weare more phantasticall fashions than any
nation under the sunne doth, the French onely excepted; which hath
given occasion both to the Venetian and other Italians to brand the
Englishman with a notable marke of levity, by painting him starke naked
with a paire of shears in his hand, _making his fashion of attire_
according to the vaine invention of his braine-sicke head, not to
comelinesse and decorum." Purchas, in his _Pilgrim_, 1619, 8vo, speaks
of "a naked man with sheeres in one hand and cloth in the other," as a
general emblem of fashion. Many other allusions to such a figure might
be cited, but it was not peculiar to the English. In _La geographie
Françoise_, by P. Du Val d'Abbeville, 1663, 12mo, the author, speaking
of the _Frenchman's_ versatility in dress, adds, "dans la peinture des
nations on met pres de luy _le cizeau_."

The inconstancy of our own countrymen in the article of dress is
described in the following verses from John Halle's _Courte of vertue_,
1565, 12mo.

    "As fast as God's word one synne doth blame
    They devyse other as yll as the same,
    And this varietie of Englyshe folke,
    Dothe cause all wyse people us for to mocke.

    For all discrete nations under the sonne,
    Do use at thys day as they fyrst begonne:
    And never doo change, but styll do frequent,
    Theyr old guyse, what ever fond folkes do invent.

    But we here in England lyke fooles and apes,
    Do by our vayne fangles deserve mocks and japes,
    For all kynde of countreys dooe us deryde,
    In no constant custome sythe we abyde
    For we never knowe howe in our aray,
    We may in fyrme fashion stedfastly stay."

Randle Holme complained that in his time (1680) Englishmen were as
changeable as the moon in their dress, "in which respect," says he, "we
are termed the Frenchmen's apes, imitating them in all their fantastick
devised fashions of garbs." _Acad. of armory_, book iii. ch. 5.

                           SCENE 3. Page 452.

    CLAUD. _Stalk on, stalk on_, the fowl sits.

It has been already shown that the _stalking bull_ was equally
common with the stalking _horse_. It was sometimes used for decoying
partridges into a _tunnelling net_, or cage of net work, in the form
of a tun, with doors. The process is described at large, with a print,
in Willughby's _Ornithology_, 1678, folio, p. 34, where an account is
also given of the _stalking-horse_, _ox_, _stag_, &c.

Howel in his _Vocabulary_, sect. xxxv. seems to have mistaken the _tun_
or net into which the birds were driven, for the stalking bull itself.
Sometimes, as in hunting the wolf, an artificial bush and a wooden
screen were used to stalk with. See Clamorgan, _Chasse du loup_, 1595,
4to, p. 29.

                           SCENE 3. Page 455.

    LEON. She tore the letter into a thousand _halfpence_.

Mr. Theobald explains this "into a thousand pieces of the same
bigness," as if Beatrice had torn the letter by rule and compass. Mr.
Steevens more properly supposes halfpence to mean _small pieces_;
but his note would have been less imperfect if he had added that the
halfpence of Elizabeth were of _silver_, and about the size of a modern
silver penny.


                           SCENE 1. Page 469.

    D. PEDRO. ... the little _hangman_ dare not shoot at him.

Dr. Farmer has illustrated this term by citing a passage from Sidney's
_Arcadia_; but he has omitted a previous description in which Cupid is
metamorphosed into a strange old monster, sitting on a _gallows_ with a
crown of laurel in one hand, and a purse of money in the other, as if
he would persuade folks by these allurements _to hang_ themselves. It
is certainly possible that this might have been Shakspeare's prototype;
we should otherwise have supposed that he had called Cupid a hangman
metaphorically, from the remedy sometimes adopted by desparing lovers.

                           SCENE 4. Page 488.

    MARG. Clap us into _light o'love_.

When Margaret adds that this tune "goes without a burden," she does
not mean that it never had words to it, but only that it wanted a
very common appendage to the ballads of that time. The name itself
may be illustrated by the following extract from _The glasse of man's
follie_, 1615, 4to. "There be wealthy houswives, and good house-keepers
that use no starch, but faire water: their linnen is white, and they
looke more Christian-like in small ruffes, then _Light of love_ lookes
in her great starched ruffs, looke she never so hie, with eye-lids
awrye." This anonymous work is written much in the manner of Stubbes's
_Anatomie of abuses_, and for the same purpose.


                           SCENE 1. Page 510.

    BENE. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

    BEAT. _I am gone, though I am here._ There is no love in you--Nay,
    I pray you let me go.

Though three explanations have been already offered, there is room
for further conjecture. From the latter words of Beatrice it is clear
that Benedick had stopped her from going. She may therefore intend to
say that notwithstanding she is detained by force, she is in reality
absent; her heart is no longer Benedick's.


                           SCENE 1. Page 524.

    LEON. His _May of youth_, and bloom of _lustyhood_.

An allusion to these lines in the old calendars that describe the state
of man:

    "As in the month of _Maye_ all thyng is in myght
    So at xxx yeres man is in chyef lykyng.
    Pleasaunt and _lusty_, to every mannes syght
    In beaute and strength, to women pleasyng."

In the _Notbrowne mayde_ we have the expression _lusty May_. Capel's
edit. p. 6. Roger Ascham, speaking of young men, says; "It availeth not
to see them well taught in yong yeares, and after when they come to
_lust and youthfull dayes_, to give them licence to live as they _lust_
themselves." _Scholemaster_, 1571, fo. 13. See a former note in p. 45.

                           SCENE 1. Page 529.

    CLAUD. If he be, [angry] he knows how to turn his girdle.

Mr. Holt White's ingenious note may be supported by the following
passage in Carew's _Survey of Cornwall_, 1602, 4to. p. 76: the author
is speaking of wrestling. "This hath also his lawes, of taking hold
onely above girdle, wearing a girdle to take hold by, playing three
pulles, for tryall of the mastery, &c."

                           SCENE 4. Page 554.

    BENE. Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife; there
    is no _staff_ more reverend than one _tipp'd with horn_.

In this comparison the prince is the staff, and the question is
what sort of a one is here alluded to. Messrs. Steevens, Reed, and
Malone, conceive it to be the staff used in the ancient trial by wager
of battle; but this seems to have but small claim to be entitled
_reverend_. On the contrary, as the combatants were of the meaner
class of people, who were not allowed to make use of edged weapons,
the higher ranks usually deciding the business by hired champions, it
cannot well be maintained that much, if any, reverence belongs to such
a staff. It is possible, therefore, that Shakspeare, whose allusions
to _archery_ are almost as frequent as they are to cuckoldom, might
refer to the _bowstaff_, which was usually tipped with a piece of horn
at each end, to make such a notch for the string as would not wear,
and at the same time to strengthen the bow, and prevent the extremities
from breaking. It is equally possible that the walking-sticks or staves
used by _elderly_ people might be intended, which were often headed or
_tipped_ with a cross piece of _horn_, or sometimes amber. They seem
to have been imitated from the _crutched_ sticks, or _potences_, as
they were called, used by the friars, and by them borrowed from the
celebrated _tau_ of St. Anthony. Thus in _The Canterbury tales_, the
Sompnour describes one of his friars as having "a scrippe and _tipped
staf_," and he adds that

    "His felaw had _a staf tipped with horn_."

In these instances the epithet _reverend_ is much more appropriate than
in the others.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Lenox, assuming, with the same inaccuracy as had been manifested
in her critique on _Measure for measure_, that Shakspeare borrowed his
plot from Ariosto, proceeds to censure him for "poverty of invention,
want of judgment, and wild conceits," deducing all her reasoning from
false premises. This is certainly but a bad method of _illustrating_



                            SCENE 1. Page 6.

    EGE. Happy be Theseus, our renowned _duke_.

This is in reality no "misapplication of a modern title," as Mr.
Steevens conceived, but a legitimate use of the word in its primitive
Latin sense of _leader_; and so it is often used in the Bible. Not so
the instance adduced of _sheriffs of the provinces_, which might have
been avoided in our printed bibles. Wicliffe had most properly used
_prefectis_. Shakspeare might have found _Duke_ Theseus in the _book of
Troy_, or in Turbervile's _Ovid's Epistles_. See the argument to that
of Phædra to Hippolytus.

                            SCENE 1. Page 9.

    THE. You can endure the livery of a _nun_,
    For aye to be in shady _cloister_ mew'd.

The threatening to make a nun of poor Hermia is as whimsical an
anachronism as any in Shakspeare.

                           SCENE 1. Page 13.

    LYS. Making it _momentany_ as a sound.

_Momentany_ and _momentary_ were indiscriminately used in Shakspeare's
time. The former corresponds with the French _momentaine_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 30.

    FAI. And I serve the fairy queen,
    _To dew her orbs upon the green_.

Mr. Steevens in the happy and elegant remark at the end of his note
on the last line, has made a slight mistake in substituting _Puck_
for the _fairy_. When the damsels of old gathered the May dew on the
grass, and which they made use of to improve their complexions, they
left undisturbed such of it as they perceived on the fairy-rings;
apprehensive that the fairies should in revenge destroy their beauty.
Nor was it reckoned safe to put the foot within the rings, lest they
should be liable to the fairies' power.

                           SCENE 1. Page 32.

    _Puck._ But they do _square_.

Dr. Johnson has very justly observed that to _square_ here is to
quarrel. In investigating the reason, we must previously take it for
granted that our verb _to quarrel_ is from the French _quereller_, or
perhaps both from the common source, the Latin _querela_. Blackstone
has remarked that the glaziers use the words _square_ and _quarrel_
as synonymous terms for a pane of glass, and he might have added for
the instrument with which they cut it. This, he says, is somewhat
whimsical; but had he been acquainted with the reason, he might have
been disposed to waive his opinion, at least on the present occasion.
The glazier's instrument is a _diamond_, usually cut into such a
_square_ form as the _supposed diamonds_ on the French and English
cards, in the former of which it is still properly called _carreau_,
from its _original_. This was the _square_ iron head of the arrow used
for the cross-bow. In English it was called a _quarrel_, and hence
the glazier's diamond and the pane of glass have received their names
of _square_ and _quarrel_. Now we may suppose without straining the
point very violently, that these words being evidently synonymous in
one sense, have corruptedly become so in another; and that the verb
_to square_, which correctly and metaphorically, even at this time,
signifies _to agree_ or _accord_, has been carelessly and ignorantly
wrested from its true sense, and from frequent use become a legitimate
word. The French have avoided this error, and to express a meaning very
similar to that of _to quarrel_ or _dispute_, make use of the word

                           SCENE 1. Page 37.

    PUCK. The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale,
    Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
    Then slip I from her bum, down-topples she.

The celebrated duchess of Newcastle, in a poem of some fancy, entitled
_The queen of fairies_, makes Puck or hobgoblin the queen of fairies'
fool, and alludes to the above prank in the following lines:

    "The goodwife sad squats down upon a stool,
    Not at all thinking it was Hob the fool,
    And frowning sits, then Hob gives her a slip,
    And down she falls, whereby she hurts her hip."

The above dame is a farmer's wife who has been scolding because she was
unable to procure any butter or cheese, and at Puck's holding up the
hens' rumps to prevent their laying eggs too fast.

With respect to the word _aunt_, it has been usually derived from the
French _tante_; but the original Norman term is _ante_. See examples in
Carpentier _Suppl._ ad Ducang. v. _avuncula_. So the author of the old
and excellent farce of _Maistre Patelin_,

                   "Vostre belle ante, mourut-elle?"

                           SCENE 2. Page 39.

    Enter OBERON and TITANIA.

Mr. Tyrwhitt's remark that the Pluto and Proserpine of Chaucer were the
true progenitors of Oberon and Titania, may be perfectly true; but the
name of Oberon as king of the fairies, must have been exceedingly well
known from the romance of Huon of Bourdeaux, in which this Oberon makes
a very conspicuous figure.

                           SCENE 2. Page 41.

    TITA. Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
    By paved fountain.

Milton, doubtless, had these lines in recollection when he wrote,

    "To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade."

                                             _Par. lost_, b. v. l. 203.

                           SCENE 2. Page 41.

    TITA. _To dance our ringlets_ to the whistling wind.

An allusion to what the country people call _fairy rings_, which they
suppose to be the tracks of the dances of those diminutive beings.

                           SCENE 2. Page 43.

    TITA. The _nine mens morris_ is fill'd up with mud.

This game was sometimes called _the nine mens merrils_, from _merelles_
or _mereaux_, an ancient French word for the jettons or counters, with
which it was played. The other term _morris_ is probably a corruption
suggested by the sort of _dance_ which in the progress of the game
the counters performed. In the French _merelles_ each party had three
counters only, which were to be placed in a line in order to win the
game. It appears to have been the _Tremerel_ mentioned in an old
fabliau. See Le Grand _Fabliaux et contes_, tom. ii. p. 208.

Dr. Hyde thinks the morris or merrils was known during the time that
the Normans continued in possession of England, and that the name was
afterwards corrupted into _three mens morals_, or _nine mens morals_.
If this be true, the conversion of _morals_ into _morris_, a term so
very familiar to the country people, was extremely natural. The doctor
adds, that it was likewise called _nine-penny_, or _nine-pin miracle_,
_three-penny morris_, _five-penny morris_, _nine-penny morris_, or
_three-pin_, _five-pin_, and _nine-pin morris_, all corruptions of
_three-pin_, &c. _merels_. Hyde _Hist. Nerdiludii_, p. 202.

                           SCENE 2. Page 44.

    TITA. The _human mortals_ want their winter here.

In the controversy respecting the immortality of fairies, Mr. Ritson's
ingenious and _decisive_ reply in his _Quip modest_ ought on every
account to have been introduced. A few pages further Titania evidently
alludes to the _immortality_ of fairies, when, speaking of the
changeling's mother, she says, "but she, _being mortal_, of that boy
did die." Spenser's fairy system and his pedigree were allegorical,
invented by himself, and not coinciding with the popular superstitions
on the subject. _Human mortals_ is merely a pleonasm, and neither put
in opposition to _fairy mortals_, according to Mr. Steevens, nor to
_human immortals_, according to Ritson; it is simply the language of a
fairy speaking of men.

A posthumous note by Mr. Steevens has not contributed to strengthen
his former arguments, as the authors therein mentioned do not,
strictly speaking, allude to the sort of fairies in question, but to
spirits, devils, and angels. Shakspeare, however, would certainly
be more influenced by popular opinion than by the dreams of the
casuists. There is a curious instance of the nature of fairies,
according to the belief of more ancient times, in the romance of
Lancelot of the lake. "En celui temps," (the author is speaking of
the days of king Arthur,) "estoient appellees faees toutes selles qui
sentremettoient denchantemens et de charmes, et moult en estoit pour
lors principalement en la Grande Bretaigne, et savoient la force et la
vertu des paroles, des pierres, et des herbes, parquoy _elles estoient
tenues en jeunesse et en beaulte_, et en grandes richesses comme elles
devisoient." This perpetual youth and beauty cannot well be separated
from a state of immortality. Nor would it be difficult to controvert
the sentiments of those who have maintained the mortality of _devils_,
by means of authorities as valid as their own. The above interesting
romance will furnish one at least that may not be unacceptable.
Speaking of the birth of the prophet and enchanter Merlin, it informs
us that his mother would not consent to the embraces of any man who
should be visible; and therefore it was by some means ordained that a
_devil_ should be her lover. When he approached her, to use the words
of the romance, "la damoiselle le tasta et sentit quil avoit le corps
moult bien fait; non pourtant les dyables n'ont ne corps ne membres
que l'en puisse veoir ne toucher, _car spirituelle chose ne peut estre
touchée, et tous diables sont choses spirituelles_." The fruit of this
amour was Merlin; but he, being born of woman, was but a semi-devil,
and subject to mortality. A damsel with whom he had fallen in love,
prevailed on him to disclose some of his magical arts to her, by means
of which she deceived him, and preserved her chastity by casting him
into a deep sleep whenever he importuned her. The romance adds, "si
le decevoit ainsi _pource qu'il estoit mortel_; mais s'il eust este
_du tout dyable_, elle ne l'eust peu decepvoir; car ung dyable ne peut

                           SCENE 2. Page 45.

    TITA. Therefore the moon, _the governess of floods_,
    _Pale_ in her anger, _washes all the air_,
    That rheumatic diseases do abound.

Thus in Newton's _Direction for the health of magistrates and
studentes_, 1574, 12mo, we are told that "the moone is _ladie of
moysture_;" and in Hamlet, Act I. Scene 1, she is called "the _moist_
star." In Bartholomæus _De propriet. rerum_, by Batman, lib. 8. c.
29, the moon is described to be "mother of all _humours_, minister
and _lady of the sea_." But in Lydgate's prologue to his _Storie of
Thebes_, there are two lines which Shakspeare seems closely to have

    "Of Lucina the moone, _moist and pale_,
    That many _showre fro heaven_ made availe."

The same mode of expression occurs in Parkes's _Curtaine drawer of the
world_, 1612, 4to, p. 48: "the centinels of the season ordained to
marke the _queen of floods_ how she lends her borrowed light." This
book deserves to be noticed for the good sense which it contains, and
the merit of some occasional pieces of poetry.

                           SCENE 2. Page 50.

    OBE. I do but beg a little changeling boy
    To be my _henchman_.

Of all the opinions concerning the origin of this word, that of Sir
William Spelman alone can be maintained. If instead of deriving it
from the _German_, he had stated that it came to us through the _Saxon_
Henᵹeꞅꞇ, a _horse_, his information had been more correct. Although in
more modern times the pages or henchmen might have walked on foot, it
is very certain that they were originally _horsemen_, according to the
term. Thus in Chaucer's _Floure and the leafe_:

    "And every knight had after him _riding_
    Three _henshmen_, on him awaiting."

If the old orthography _henxmen_ had not been unfortunately disturbed,
we should have heard nothing of the conjectures about _haunch_ and

                           SCENE 2. Page 58.

    Enter DEMETRIUS, _Helena following him_.

However forward and indecorous the conduct of Helena in pursuing
Demetrius may appear to modern readers, such examples are very frequent
in old romances of chivalry, wherein Shakspeare was undoubtedly well
read. The beautiful ballad of the Nut-brown maid might have been more
immediately in his recollection, many parts of this scene having a very
strong resemblance to it.

                           SCENE 2. Page 61.

    HEL. I'll follow thee, and _make a heaven of hell_.

Imitated by Milton:

    "The mind is its own place, and in itself
    Can make a _heav'n of hell_, a hell of heaven."

                                             _Par. lost_, b. i. l. 254.

                           SCENE 2. Page 62.

    OBE. Quite overcanopied with _lush_ woodbine.

See what has been already said on this word in p. 8; the meaning is
the same as there. Theobald's amendment from _luscious_ was probably
in conformity with that passage; and the printers of the old editions
not comprehending the meaning of _lush_, which even in their time was
an antiquated word, ignorantly, as well as unharmoniously, substituted

                           SCENE 3. Page 68.

    HER. ... in human modesty
    Such separation, as, may well be said,
    Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid.

That is, "_let there be_ such separation," &c. A comma should be placed
after _modesty_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 77.

    QUIN. When you have spoken your speech, enter into that _brake_.

It is submitted that _brake_ cannot _in this instance_ signify _a large
extent of ground, overgrown with furze_, but merely the hawthorn bush
or _tyring-house_ as Quince had already called it.

                           SCENE 1. Page 83.

    BOT. Nay I can _gleek_ upon occasion.

Again, in _Romeo and Juliet_, Act IV. Scene 5:

    "1. MUS. What will you _give us_?

    _Pet._ No money, on my faith; but the _gleek_."

On which consult Mr. Steevens's posthumous note in Mr. Reed's last

Mr. Pope had justly remarked that to _gleek_ is to _scoff_. In some
of the notes on this word it has been supposed to be connected
with the card game of _gleek_; but it was not recollected that the
Saxon language supplied the term Glɩᵹ, _ludibrium_, and doubtless a
corresponding verb. Thus _glee_ signifies _mirth_ and _jocularity_;
and _gleeman_ or _gligman_, a minstrel or _joculator_. _Gleek_ was
therefore used to express a stronger sort of joke, a _scoffing_. It
does not appear that the phrase _to give the gleek_ was ever introduced
in the above game, which was borrowed by us from the French, and
derived from an original of very different import from the word in

                           SCENE 1. Page 84.

    TITA. And light them at the fiery glow-worms _eyes_.

Dr. Johnson's objection to the word eyes, has been very skilfully
removed by Mr. Monck Mason; but this gentleman appears to have
misconceived the meaning of Shakspeare's most appropriate epithet of
_ineffectual_, in the passage from _Hamlet_. The glow-worm's fire was
_ineffectual_ only at the approach of morn, in like manner as the light
of a candle would be at mid-day.

                           SCENE 1. Page 88.

    OBE. What night-_rule_ now about this haunted grove?

Mr. Steevens has properly explained _night-rule_. _Rule_ in this word
has the same meaning as in the Christmas lord of mis-_rule_, and is a
corruption of _revel_, formerly written _reuel_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 89.

    PUCK. An _ass's nowl_ I fixed on his head.

The receipt for making a man resemble an ass, already given in a
former note, must give place to the following in Scot's _Discoverie of
witchcraft_, b. 13. c. xix. "Cutt off the head of a horsse or an asse
(before they be dead), otherwise the vertue or strength thereof will be
the lesse effectuall, and make an earthern vessell of fit capacitie to
conteine the same, and let it be filled with the oile and fat thereof;
cover it close, and dawbe it over with lome: let it boile over a soft
fier three daies continuallie, that the flesh boiled may run into oile,
so as the bare bones may be seene: beate the haire into powder, and
mingle the same with the oile; and annoint the _heads of the standers
by_, and they shall seem to have horsses or _asses_ heads."

                           SCENE 2. Page 95.

    OBE. All fancy-sick she is, and pale of _cheer_.

Mr. Steevens deduces this word from the Italian _cara_; but it is from
the old French _chere_, face. Lydgate finishes the prologue to his
_Storie of Thebes_ with these lines:

    "And as I coud, with a pale _cheare_,
    My tale I gan anone, as ye shall heare."

                           SCENE 2. Page 103.

    HEL. So with two seeming _bodies_, but one _heart_;
    Two of the _first_, like coats in heraldry,
    Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.

It may be doubted whether this passage has been rightly explained,
and whether the commentators have not given Shakspeare credit for
more skill in heraldry than he really possessed, or at least than he
intended to exhibit on the present occasion. Helen says, "we had two
seeming bodies, but only one heart." She then exemplifies her position
by a simile--"we had _two of the first_, i. e. _bodies_, like the
double coats in heraldry that belong to man and wife as _one person_,
but which, like our _single heart_, have but _one crest_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 112.

    PUCK. And yonder shines _Aurora's harbinger_,
    At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
    Troop home to church-yards.

Aurora's harbinger is Lucifer, the morning star.

    "Now the bright morning star, _day's harbinger_,
    Comes dancing from the East----"[11]

It was the popular belief that ghosts retired at the approach of day.
Thus the spirit of Hamlet's father exclaims,

    "But soft, methinks I scent the morning air."

In further illustration see a subsequent note on _Hamlet_, Act I. Scene

                           SCENE 2. Page 117.

    HEL. And, sleep, that sometime shuts up sorrow's eye.

Again, in Macbeth:

    "Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care." #/


                           SCENE 1. Page 145.

    PHILOST. ... I have heard _it_ over,
    And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
    Unless you can find sport in their _intents_,
    Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain,
    To do you service.

Dr. Johnson suspects a line to be lost, as he "knows not what it is to
_stretch_ and _con_ an _intent_;" but it is surely not _intents_ that
are _stretch'd and conn'd_ but the _play_, of which Philostrate is
speaking. If the line

    "Unless you can find sport, &c."

were printed in a parenthesis, all would be right. Mr. Steevens, not
perceiving this, has endeavoured to wrest from the word _intents_,
its plain and usual meaning, and would unnecessarily convert it to
_attention_, which might undoubtedly be _stretch'd_, but could not well
be _conn'd_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 148.

    PHILOST. The prologue is _addrest_.

We have borrowed this sense of the word (_ready_) from the French

                           SCENE 1. Page 157.

    MOON. This lantern doth the _horned_ moon present.

But why _horned_? He evidently refers to the _materials_ of which the
_lantern_ was made.

                           SCENE 2. Page 168.

    PUCK. By the triple _Hecat's team_.

By this team is meant the chariot of the moon, said to be drawn by two
horses, the one black, the other white. It is probable that Shakspeare
might have consulted some translation of Boccaccio's _Genealogy of
the gods_, which, as has been already remarked, appears to have
occasionally supplied him with his mythological information. As this
is the first time we meet with the name of _Hecate_ in our author, it
may be proper to notice the error he has committed in making it a word
of two syllables, which he has done in several other places, though in
one (viz. I. _Henry Sixth_, if he wrote that play) it is rightly made a

    "I speak not to that railing Hĕcătē."

                                                      Act III. Scene 2.

His contemporaries have usually given it properly. Thus Spenser in the
_Fairy queen_,

    "As Hĕcătē, in whose almighty hand."

                                                       B. vii. Canto 6.

Ben Jonson has, of course, always been correct. Mr. Malone observes, in
a note on _Macbeth_, Act III. Scene 5, that Marlowe, though a scholar,
has used the word _Hecate_ as a dissyllable. It may be added that
Middelton and Golding have done the same; the latter in his translation
of Ovid, book vii. has used it in both ways.

                           SCENE 2. Page 168.

    PUCK. I am sent with broom before,
    To sweep the dust behind the door.

In confirmation of Dr. Johnson's remark that fairies delight in
cleanliness, two other poems shall be quoted. The first is the _Fairy
queen_, printed in Percy's Ancient Ballads, iii. 207, edit. 1775.

    "But if the house be swept,
    And from uncleanness kept,
    We praise the household maid," &c.

The other is the _Fairies farewell_, by Bishop Corbet, printed also in
Percy's collection, iii. 210, from his _Poetica stromata_, 1648, 18mo.
It is also in a preceding edition of the bishop's poems, 1647, 18mo.

    "Farewell rewards and fairies!
    Good housewives now may say;
    For now foule sluts in dairies
    Doe fare as well as they:
    And though they sweepe their hearths no less
     Than mayds were wont to doe,
    Yet who of late for cleanliness
     Finds sixepence in her shoe?"

                           SCENE 2. Page 170.

    OBE. To the best _bride bed_ will we,
    Which by us shall _blessed_ be.

Mr. Steevens remarks that the ceremony of blessing the bed was observed
at the marriage of a _princess_. It was used at _all_ marriages. This
was the form, copied from the Manual for the use of Salisbury. "Nocte
vero sequente cum sponsus et sponsa _ad lectum pervenerint_, accedat
sacerdos et benedicat thalamum, dicens: Benedic, Domine, thalamum
istum et omnes habitantes in eo; ut in tua pace consistant, et in
tua voluntate permaneant: et in amore tuo vivant et senescant et
multiplicentur in longitudine dierum. Per Dominum.--Item _benedictio
super lectum_. Benedic, Domine, hoc _cubiculum_, respice, quinon dormis
neque dormitas. Qui custodis Israel, custodi famulos tuos in hoc lecto
quiescentes _ab omnibus fantasmaticis demonum illusionibus_: custodi
eos vigilantes ut in preceptis tuis meditentur dormientes, et te per
soporem sentiant: ut hic et ubique defensionis tuæ muniantur auxilio.
Per Dominum.--Deinde fiat benedictio _super eos in lecto_ tantum cum
Oremus. Benedicat Deus corpora vestra et animas vestras; et det super
vos benedictionem sicut benedixit Abraham, Isaac, et Jacob, Amen.--His
peractis _aspergat eos aqua benedicta_, et sic discedat et dimittat eos
in pace." We may observe on this strange ceremony, that the purity of
modern times stands not in need of these holy aspersions to lull the
senses and dissipate the illusions of the Devil. The married couple
would, no doubt, rejoice when the benediction was ended. In the French
romance of _Melusine_, the bishop who marries her to Raymondin blesses
the nuptial bed. The ceremony is there represented in a very ancient
cut, of which a copy is subjoined. The good prelate is sprinkling
the parties with holy water. Sometimes during the benediction the
married couple only _sat_ upon the bed; but they generally received
a portion of consecrated bread and wine. It is recorded in France,
that on frequent occasions the priest was improperly detained till the
hour of midnight, whilst the wedding guests rioted in the luxuries
of the table, and made use of language that was extremely offensive
to the clergy, and injurious to the salvation of the parties. It was
therefore, in the year 1577, ordained by Pierre de Gondi, archbishop
of Paris, that the ceremony of blessing the nuptial bed should for the
future be performed in the day time, or at least _before supper_, and
in the presence only of the bride and bridegroom, and of their nearest


There is a singularity in this cut which may well excuse a short
digression. This is the _horned_ head-dress of the bride, a fashion
that prevailed in England during the reign of Henry the Sixth, and for
a short time afterwards. Lydgate has left us an unpublished ditty, in
which he complains of it. As it is, like most of his other poetry, very
dull and very tedious, a couple of stanzas may suffice; each concludes
with a line to recommend the _casting away of these horns_.

    "Clerkys recorde by gret auctorite,
    Hornys were yove to beestys for diffence;
    A thyng contrary to femynyte
    To be made sturdy of resistence.
    But arche wyves egre in ther violence,
    Fers as tygre for to make affray,
    They have despyt and ageyn conscience
    Lyst nat of pryde ther _hornys cast away_.

    Noble pryncessys, this litel shoort ditee
    Rewdly compiled lat it be noon offence
    To your womanly merciful pitie,
    Thouh it be rad in your audience;
    Peysed ech thyng in your just advertence,
    So it be no displesaunce to your pay,
    Undir support of your patience
    Yevyth example _hornys to cast away_."

                                                  _Harl. MS._ No. 2255.

In France, this part of female dress was a frequent subject of clerical
reprehension. Nicholas de Claminges, a doctor of the Sorbonne, and
contemporary with Lydgate, compares it to the horns of oxen. "Tenduntur
hinc et inde mira et inaudita deformitate gemina cornua bipedali
prope intervallo à se distantia, majorique latitudine caput fœmineum
diffundunt quam bubalinum longitudine distenditur. Auro ac gemmis omnia
rutilant. Stibio et cerusa pinguntur facies; patent colla; nudantur
pectora." Nicolai de Clemangiis _opera_, Lugd. Batavor. 1613, 4to, p.
144. And again, in his letters, "quid de _cornibus_ et caudis loquar,
quas illic jam vulgo matronæ gestant, qua in re naturam videntur
humanam reliquisse, bestialemque sibi ultro adscivisse. Adde quod _in
effigie cornutæ fœminæ Diabolus plerumque pingitur_." We cannot but
admire the pious writer's ingenuity in the latter declaration, and how
well it was calculated to terrify the ladies out of this preposterous

                           SCENE 2. Page 171.

    OBE. With this field-dew _consecrate_
    Every fairy take his gait;
    And _each several chamber bless_,
    Through this palace with sweet peace.

Thus in the _Merry wives of Windsor_, Act V. Scene 5:

    "Search Windsor castle, elves, within and out:
    Strew good luck, ouphes, on every sacred room."

In the first line of Oberon's speech there seems to be a covert
satire against holy water. Whilst the popular confidence in the power
of fairies existed, they had obtained the credit of occasionally
performing much good service to mankind; and the great influence which
they possessed gave so much offence to the holy monks and friars, that
they determined to exert all their power to expel the above imaginary
beings from the minds of the people, by taking the office of the
fairies' benedictions entirely into their own hands. Of this we have a
curious proof in the beginning of Chaucer's admirable tale of the _Wife
of Bath_:

    "I speke of many hundred yeres ago;
    But now can no man see non elves mo,
    For now the grete charitee and prayeres
    Of limitoures and other holy freres
    That serchen every land and every streme.
    As thikke as motes in the sonne beme,
    _Blissing halles, chambres, kichenes, and boures,
    Citees and burghes, castles highe and toures,
    Thropes and bernes, shepenes and dairies,
    This maketh that ther ben no faeries:
    For ther as wont to walken was an elf,
    Ther walketh now the limitour himself_."

The other quotation from Chaucer, which Mr. Steevens has given, is not
to the present purpose. The _fairies' blessing_ was to bring _peace_
upon the house of Theseus; the _night-spell_ in the _Miller's tale_,
is pronounced _against the influence of elves_, and those demons,
or evil spirits, that were supposed to occasion the night-mare, and
other nocturnal illusions. As this is a subject that has never been
professedly handled, it may be worth while to bring together a few
facts that relate to it; to do it ample justice would require an
express dissertation.

A belief in the influence of evil spirits has been common to all
nations, and in the remotest periods of the human history. The gross
superstitions of the middle ages, which even exceeded those in Pagan
times, had given birth to a variety of imaginary beings, who were
supposed to be perpetually occupied in doing mischief to mankind.
The chief of these were the _Incubus_, or _night-mare_, and certain
_fairies of a malignant nature_. It therefore became necessary to check
and counteract their operations by spells, charms, and invocations to
saints. Some of these have been preserved. The lines given to Mad Tom
in _Lear_, beginning

    "Saint Withold footed thrice the wold,"

is one of them; and in the notes belonging to it, as well as in those
by Mr. Tyrwhitt on the _Canterbury tales_, vol. iv. 242, others have
been collected. To these may be added the following in Cartwright's
play of _The Ordinary_, Act III. Scene 1:

    "Saint Francis, and Saint Benedight,
    Blesse this house from wicked wight,
    From the night-mare and the goblin,
    That is hight _good fellow Robin_.
    Keep it from all evil spirits,
    Fayries, weezels, rats and ferrets,
        From curfew time
        To the next prime."

This indeed may be rather considered as satirical, but it is a parody
on those which were genuine. Sinclair, in his _Satan's invisible
world discovered_, informs us that "At night, in the time of popery,
when folks went to bed, they believed the repetition of this following
prayer was effectual to preserve them from danger, and the house too."

    "Who sains the house the night,
    They that sains it ilka night.
    Saint Bryde and her brate,
    Saint Colme and his hat,
    Saint Michael and his spear,
    Keep this house from the weir;
    From running thief,
    And burning thief;
    And from an ill Rea,
    That be the gate can gae;
    And from an ill weight,
    That be the gate can light
    Nine reeds about the house;
    Keep it all the night,
    What is that, what I see
    So red, so bright, beyond the sea?
    'Tis he was pierc'd through the hands,
    Through the feet, through the throat,
    Through the tongue;
    Through the liver and the lung.
    Well is them that well may
    Fast on Good-friday."

As darkness was supposed to be more immediately adapted to the
machinations of these malicious spirits, it was natural that, on
retiring to rest, certain prayers should be chosen to deprecate their
influence, which was often regarded as of a _particular kind_. To this
Imogen alludes when she exclaims,

    "To your protection I commend me, Gods!
    From fairies, and the _tempters of the night_
    Guard me, beseech ye!"

                                          _Cymbeline_, Act II. Scene 2.

So Banquo in _Macbeth_:

    "Restrain in me the _cursed thoughts that nature
    Gives way to in repose_."

An ancient hymn by Saint Ambrose goes to the same point:

    "Procul recedant somnia
    Et noctium phantasmata:
    Hostemque nostrum comprime
    Ne _polluantur corpora_."

The demon who was supposed to have particular influence in these
nocturnal illusions, was Asmodeus, the lame devil of whom Mons. Le Sage
has made such admirable use. In expelling him, the sign of the cross
was most efficacious; a very old practice on similar occasions, as we
learn from the following lines in Prudentius:--

    "Fac, cum _vocante somno
    Castum petis cubile_
    Frontem, locumque cordis
    _Crucis_ figura signes.
    Crux pellit omne crimen,
    Fugunt crucem tenebræ:
    Tali dicata signo
    Mens fluctuare nescit.
    Procul, ô procul _vagantum
    Portenta somniorum_,
    Procul esto pervicaci
    Præstigiator astu."

Relics of saints, images of the holy Virgin, sanctified girdles, and
a variety of other amulets were resorted to on the same occasion,
exhibiting a lamentable proof of the imbecility of human nature.

                           SCENE 2. Page 172.

    PUCK. _Give me your hands_, if we be friends.

Thus in the _epilogue_ to Stubbes's excellent play of _Senile odium_,

    "... jam _vestræ quid valeant manus_
    Nimis velim experiri: ab illis enim vapulare, munus erit."


[11] It has not been recollected to what poet these lines belong.



                           SCENE 1. Page 181.

    KING. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
    Live register'd upon our _brazen tombs_.

It was the fashion in Shakspeare's time, and had been so from the
thirteenth century, to ornament the tombs of eminent persons with
figures and inscriptions on _plates of brass_: to these the allusion
seems rather to be made, than to monuments that were entirely of brass,
such being of very rare occurrence.

                           SCENE 1. Page 182.

    _Long._ Fat paunches have lean pates.

From the Latin _pinguis venter non gignit sensum tenuem_. See Ray's
_Proverbs_. The rest of Longaville's speech, "and dainty bits," &c.
merely repeats the same sentiment for the sake of a rhime.

                           SCENE 1. Page 183.

    BIRON. If study's gain be _thus_, and this be so.

Mr. Ritson would read, _If study's gain be this_. There is no occasion
for any change. _Thus_ means _after this manner_; but the poet would
not write _this_, in order to avoid a cacophony.

                           SCENE 1. Page 191.

    KING. This _child of fancy_, that Armado hight,
      For interim to our studies shall relate,
    In high-horn words, the worth of many a knight
      From _tawny_ Spain, lost in the world's debate.

The context seems to indicate that _child of fancy_ is here used
precisely in the sense in which Milton applied it to Shakspeare, from
whom he probably borrowed it. The meaning of this controverted speech
may be as follows: "this child of _invention_ shall relate to us, in
his bombastic language, the worthy deeds of many a Spanish knight
which are now forgotten amidst those topics that engage the attention
of mankind." The expression _tawny Spain_ may refer to the Moors in
that country; for although they had been expelled from thence almost a
century before the time of Shakspeare, it was allowable on the present
occasion to refer to the period when they flourished in Spain; or he
might only copy what he found in the original story of the play.

                           SCENE 2. Page 198.

    ARM. Why, sadness is one and the self same thing, dear _imp_.

This word, which is well explained by Mr. Ritson, was often, as in the
present instance, used to _pages_. Thus Urquhart in his _Discovery of a
jewel_, &c. p. 133, calls a person of this description "a hopeful youth
and tender _imp_ of great expectation."

                           SCENE 2. Page 200.

    MOTH ... the _dancing horse_ will tell you.

The best account of Banks and his famous horse Morocco is to be found
in the notes to a French translation of Apuleius's _Golden ass_ by
Jean de Montlyard, Sieur de Melleray, counsellor to the Prince of
Condé. This work was first printed in 1602, 8vo, and several times
afterwards. The author himself had seen the horse, whose master he
calls a _Scotishman_, at Paris, where he was exhibited in 1601, at the
Golden Lion, Rue Saint Jaques. He is described as a _middle-sized bay
English gelding, about 14 years old_. A few quotations from the work
itself may not be unacceptable. "Son maistre l'appelle _Moraco_....
Nous avons vu son maistre l'interroger combien de francs vaut l'escu:
et luy, donner trois fois du pied en terre. Mais chose plus estrange,
parce que l'escu d'or sol et de poids vaut encor maintenant au mois de
Mars 1601, plus que trois francs: l'Escossois luy demanda combien de
sols valoit cest escu _outre_ les trois francs; et Moraco frappa quatre
coups, pour denoter les quatre sols que vaut lescu de surcroist." In
which remark the counsellor shows himself less sagacious than the
horse he is describing. He proceeds: "Après un infinité de tours de
passe-passe, il luy fait danser les _Canaries_ avec beaucoup d'art et
de dexterité." The rest of the numerous tricks performed by this animal
are much the same as those practised by the horses educated under
the ingenious Mr. Astley. We also learn from this French work, that
the magistrates, conceiving that all this could not be done without
the aid of magic, had some time before imprisoned the master, and
put the horse under sequestration; but having since discovered that
every thing was effected by mere art and the making of signs, they
had liberated the parties and permitted an exhibition. The Scotchman
had undertaken to teach any horse the same tricks in a twelvemonth.
It is said that both the horse and his master were afterwards burned
at Rome as magicians; nor is this the only instance of the kind. In a
little book entitled _Le diable bossu_, Nancy, 1708, 18mo, there is an
obscure allusion to an English horse, whose master had taught him to
know the cards, and which was burned alive at Lisbon in 1707; and Mr.
Granger, in his _Biographical history of England_, vol. iii. p. 164,
edit. 1779, has informed us that within his remembrance a horse which
had been taught to perform several tricks was, with his owner, put into
the Inquisition. The author of the life of Mal Cutpurse, 1662, 12mo,
mentions her "fellow humourist _Banks the vintner in Cheapside_, who
taught his horse to dance and shooed him with silver." In the eighth
book of Markham's _Cavalarice or the English horseman_, 1607, 4to,
there is a chapter "how a horse may be taught to doe and tricke done
by _Bankes his curtall_." It is extremely curious, and towards the end
throws light upon the second line of Bastard's epigram quoted by Mr.

                           SCENE 2. Page 203.

    ARM. _Green_, indeed, is the colour of _lovers_.

_Green eyes_, _jealousy_, and _the willow_, have been mentioned as
the subjects of this allusion; but it is, perhaps, to _melancholy_,
the frequent concomitant of love. Thus in _Twelfth night_, "And with
a _green_ and yellow _melancholy_;" certainly in that instance, the
effect of love.

                           SCENE 2. Page 206.

    DULL. She is allowed for the _day_-woman.

See more on the word _dey_ in Mr. Tyrwhitt's edition of _The Canterbury
tales_, iii. 287, who supposes that a _dey_ originally meant a day
labourer, however it came afterwards to be applied to the _dairy_: yet
this conjecture must give way to Dr. Johnson's statement that _day_ is
an old word for milk. The doctor has not indeed produced any authority,
and the original Saxon word seems lost; but in the Swedish language,
which bears the greatest affinity to our own of any other, as far as
regards the Teutonic part of it, _dia_ signifies _to milk_, and _deie_,
in Polish, the same. _Die_, in Danish, is _the breast_. The nearest
Saxon word that remains is _diende_, _sucklings_; and there can be
no doubt that we have the term in question from some of our northern
ancestors. The _dey_ or dairy maid is mentioned in the old statutes
that relate to working people; and in that of 12 Ric. II. the annual
wages of this person are settled at six shillings.


                           SCENE 1. Page 221.

    PRIN. Good wits will be jangling: but gentles agree.

These alliterative and anapæstic lines are in the manner of Tusser, who
has many such; for example,

    "At Christmas of Christ many carols we sing."

It will be admitted that the construction of this sort of verse is
rather less adapted to a court than a cottage; but it is presumed that
none will be inclined to find Shakspeare guilty of such poetry, which a
good deal resembles the halfpenny book style of

    "Here's N. with a nag that is prancing with pride,
    And O. with an owl hooping close by his side."

                           SCENE 1. Page 222.

    BOVET. His heart like an agate with your print impressed.

An allusion either to the figures of the human face often found in
agates and other stones, or to an engraved gem.


                           SCENE 1. Page 225.

    MOTH. Master, will you win your love with a French _brawl_.

The word _brawl_ in its signification of a dance is from the French
_branle_, indicating a shaking or swinging motion. The following
accounts of this dance may be found more intelligible than that cited
from Marston. It was performed by several persons uniting hands in a
circle, and giving each other continual shakes, the steps changing with
the tune. It usually consisted of three _pas_ and a _pied-joint_, to
the time of four strokes of the bow; which being repeated was termed a
_double brawl_. With this dance balls were usually opened. _Le branle
du bouquet_ is thus described in _Deux dialogues du nouveau langage
François, Italianizé_, &c. Anvers, 1579, 24mo:--"Un des gentilhommes
et une des dames, estans les premiers en la danse, laissent les autres
(qui cependant continuent la danse) et se mettans dedans la dicte
compagnie, _vont baisans par ordre toutes les personnes qui y sont_: à
sçavoir le gentil-homme les dames, et la dame les gentils-hommes. Puis
ayans achevé leurs baisemens, au lieu qu'ils estoyent les premiers en
la danse, se mettent les derniers. Et ceste façon de faire se continue
par le gentilhomme et la dame qui sont les plus prochains, jusques à
ce qu'on vienne aux derniers."--P. 385. It is probably to this dance
that the puritan Stubbes alludes in the following words: "for what
clipping, what culling, what _kissing and bussing, what smouching and
slabbering one of another_: what filthy groping and unclean handling
is not practised every where in these dauncings? Yea the very deed
and action itselfe which I will not name for offending chaste eares,
shall bee purtrayed and shadowed foorth in their bawdy gestures of one
to another."--_Anatomie of abuses_, p. 114, edit. 1595, 4to. And John
Northbrooke, another writer _ejusdem farinæ_, in his invective called
_A treatise wherein dicing, dauncing, vaine plaies or enterludes_, &c.
1579, 4to, exclaims that "the Pagans were better and more sad than
wee be, they never knewe this newe fashion of dauncing of ours, and
uncleanely handling and groping, and _kissings_, and a very kindling
of lechery: whereto serveth all that _bassing_, as were pigeons the
birdes of Venus?" And again; "they daunce with disordinate gestures,
and with monstrous thumping of the feete, to pleasant soundes,
to wanton songues, to dishonest verses, maidens and matrons are
groped and handled with unchaste hands, _and kissed and dishonestly
embraced_," fo. 64, 66. Amidst a great variety of _brawls_ mentioned
in the very curious treatise on dancing by Thoinot Arbeau, entitled
_Orchesographie_, Lengres, 1588, 4to, there is a _Scotish brawl_, with
the music, which is here given as a specimen of an old Scotish tune.


The facetious macaronic poet Antony Sablon, or de Arena, whose work
Camden says he "kept as a jewel," has left the following description of
a brawl:--

              _Modus dansandi branlos._

    "Ipse modis branlos debes dansare duobus,
      Simplos et duplos usus habere solet.
    Sed branlos duplos, passus tibi quinque laborent.
      Tres fac avantum, sed reculando duos,
    Quattuor in mensura ictus marchabis eundo,
      Atque retornando quattuor ipse dabis."

This dance continued in fashion in our own country so late as the
year 1693, when Playford published a book of tunes in which a _brawl_
composed by Mons. Paisable occurs; and see many of the little French
pieces in the _Theatre de la foire_, 1721.

                           SCENE 1. Page 225.

    MOTH. _Canary_ it with your feet.

The _canary_ was another very favourite dance. In the translation
of Leo's _Description of Africa_, by Pory, 1600, folio, there is an
additional account of the _Canary islands_, in which the author,
speaking of the inhabitants, says, "They were and are at this day
delighted with a kind of dance which they use also in Spain, and in
other places, and because it took originall from thence, it is called
_the Canaries_." Thoinot Arbeau likewise mentions this opinion, but
is himself, in common with some others, inclined to think that the
dance originated from a ballet composed for a masquerade, in which the
performers were habited as kings and queens of Morocco, or as savages
with feathers of different colours. He then describes it as follows:--A
lady is taken out by a gentleman, and after dancing together to the
cadences of the proper air, he leads her to the end of the hall; this
done he retreats back to the original spot, always looking at the lady.
Then he makes up to her again, with certain steps, and retreats as
before. His partner performs the same ceremony, which is several times
repeated by both parties, with various strange fantastic steps, very
much in the savage style. This dance was sometimes accompanied by the
castagnets. The following _Canary_ tune is from Arbeau.


                           SCENE 1. Page 236.

    COST. Guerdon,--O sweet guerdon!

Mr. Steevens deduces this word from the middle age Latin _regardum_.
It is presumed that few, if any, words are derived from the Latin of
that period, which itself was rather corrupted by the introduction of
terms from the living languages of Europe Latinized by the Monkish
writers. _Guerdon_, as used by us, is immediately from the French: not
equivalent, as some have imagined, with _don_ de _guerre_, but formed
from the Teutonic _werd_ or _wurth_, i. e. _price_, _value_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 237.

    BIRON. This _wimpled_, whining, purblind, wayward boy.

If, as Mr. Steevens observes, the advocates for Shakspeare's learning,
on a presumption that he might have been acquainted with the Roman
_flammeum_, or seen the celebrated gem of the marriage of Cupid
and Psyche, had applauded the choice of his epithet, it is certain
they would have shown very little skill or critical judgment on the
occasion. By _wimpled_, Shakspeare means no more than that Cupid was
hood-winked, alluding to the usual representation in paintings where he
is exhibited with a bandage over his eyes. It may be observed here that
the blindness of the God of love is not warranted by the authority of
any ancient classic author, but appears to have been the invention of
some writer of the middle ages; not improbably Boccaccio, who in his
_Genealogy of the Gods_ gives the following account: "Oculos autem illi
fascia tegunt, ut advertamus amantes ignorare quo tendant; nulla eorum
esse indicia, nullæ rerum distinctiones, sed sola passione duci."--Lib.
ix. c. 4.

The oldest English writer who has noticed the blindness of love is
Chaucer, in his translation of the _Roman de la rose_:

    "The God of love, _blind as stone_."

But this line is not in the French original. Shakspeare himself has
well accounted for Cupid's blindness:

    "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
    And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind."

                                         _M. N. Dream_, Act I. Scene 1.

                          SCENE 1. Page 240.

    BIRON. And I to be a corporal of the field.

Dr. Farmer's quotation of the line from Ben Jonson, "As corporal of
the field, maestro del campo," has the appearance, without perhaps
the intention, of suggesting that these officers were the same:
this, however, was not the fact. In Styward's _Pathway to martiall
discipline_, 1581, 4to, there is a chapter on the office of _maister
of the campe_, and another on _the electing and office of the foure
corporalls of the fields_; from which it appears that "two of the
latter were appointed for placing and ordering of shot, and the other
two for embattailing of the pikes and billes, who according to their
worthinesse, if death hapneth, are to succeede the great sergeant or
sergeant major."

                           SCENE 1. Page 241.

    BIRON. ... like a _German clock_.

Such part of Mr. Steevens's note as relates to the invention of clocks
may, in a future edition, be rendered more correct by consulting
Beckman's _History of inventions_. It is certain that we had clocks in
England before the reign of Elizabeth; but they were not in general
use till that time, when most, if not all, of them were imported from
Germany. These clocks resembled what are still made for the use of the
lower classes of people by several ingenious Germans established in

                           SCENE 1. Page 242.

    BIRON. Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.

Alluding to the homely proverb, "Joan's as good as my lady in the
dark:" and in Markham's _Health to the gentlemanly profession of
serving men_, sign. I. 3, we have, "What hath Joan to do with my lady?"


                           SCENE 1. Page 243.

    PRIN. ... my friend, where is the bush
    That we must stand and play the murderer in?

The practice of ladies shooting at deer in this passage alluded to,
is of great antiquity, as may be collected from Strutt's _Sports and
pastimes of the people of England_, p. 9. The old romances abound with
such incidents; but one of the most diverting is recorded in _The
history of prince Arthur_, part 3, chap. cxxiv. where a lady huntress
wounds Sir Lancelot of the Lake, instead of a deer, in a manner most
"comically tragical."

                           SCENE 1. Page 246.

    COST. God-dig-you-den all.

"A corruption," says Mr. Malone very justly, "of God give you good
even." Howel, at the end of his _Parley of the beasts_, has an
advertisement relating to orthography, in which, after giving several
examples that the French do not speak as they write, he observes that
"the English come not short of him (the Frenchman); for whereas he
writes, _God give you good evening_, he often saies, _Godi_, _godin_."
But the whole of what Howel has said on this subject is unfairly
pillaged from _Claude de Sainliens_, or, as he chose to call himself
in this country, _Hollyband_; who after very successfully retorting a
charge made by the English, that Frenchmen do not sound their words as
they spell them, is nevertheless content to admit that his countrymen
do _sometimes_ err, as when they say _avoo disné_, for _avez vous
disné_? See his treatise _De pronuntiatione linguæ Gallicæ_, Lond.
1580, 12mo, p. 81. This person was a teacher of languages in London,
and wrote several ingenious works, among which is the _first_ French
and English dictionary, 1580, and 1593, 4to; afterwards much amplified
by Randle Cotgrave, and by him rendered the best repertory of old
French that is extant. It is in other respects an extremely valuable

                           SCENE 1. Page 49.

    BOVET. A phantasm, a _Monarcho_.

Another trait of this person's character is preserved in Scot's
_Discoverie of witchcraft_, edit. 1584, p. 54, where, speaking of the
influence of melancholy on the imagination, he says, "the Italian, whom
we call here in England _the Monarch_, was possessed of the like spirit
or conceipt." This conceit was, that all the ships which came into port
belonged to him.

                           SCENE 2. Page 526.


A part of Mr. Steevens's note requires the following
correction:--Florio's _First fruites_ were _printed_ in 1578, 4to, by
Thomas Dawson. In 1598 he dedicated his Italian and English dictionary
to Roger Earl of Rutland, Henry Earl of Southampton, and Lucy Countess
of Bedford. As to the edition of 1595, mentioned by Mr. Steevens, does
it really exist, or has not too much confidence been placed in the
elegant but inaccurate historian of English poetry? See vol. iii. p.
465, note (h).

                           SCENE 2. Page 262.

    HOL. _Dictynna_, goodman Dull; _Dictynna_, goodman Dull.

It is possible, as Mr. Steevens has remarked, that Shakspeare might
have found Diana's title of _Dictynna_ in Golding's Ovid; but there
is reason for supposing that he had seen an English translation of
Boccaccio's _Genealogy of the Gods_, though we have it not at present.
E. Kerke, in his notes on Spenser's _Shepherd's calendar_, quotes this
work; yet he might have used the original. From the same source it
was possible for Shakspeare to have acquired the present information,
as well as what other mythology he stood in need of. The Latin
dictionaries of Eliot and Cooper would likewise supply him with similar

                           SCENE 3. Page 274.

    BIRON. Thou mak'st the _triumviry_, the corner-cap of society,
    _The shape of love's Tyburn_ that hangs up simplicity.

An allusion to the gallows of the time, which was occasionally
_triangular_. Such a one is seen in some of the cuts to the first
edition of Holinshed's _Chronicle_, and in other ancient prints.

                           SCENE 3. Page 276.

    BIRON. By earth she is _but corporal_; there you lie.

This is Theobald's alteration from the old reading, which was, "She
is not, Corporal, there you lie," and has been adopted by the modern
editors from its apparent ingenuity. A little attention may serve to
show that no change was necessary, and that the original text should
be restored. Theobald says that Dumain had _no post in the army_, and
asks what wit there is in calling him corporal. The answer is, As much
as there had already been in Biron's calling himself _a corporal of
Cupid's field_; a title equally appropriate to Dumain on the present
occasion. To render the matter still clearer, it may be observed that
Biron does not give the lie to Dumain's assertion that his mistress
was a _divinity_, as presumed by the amended reading, but to that of
her being _the wonder of a mortal eye_. Dumain is answered sentence by

                           SCENE 3. Page 276.

    DUM. Her amber hairs for foul have amber _coted_.

Mr. Steevens's explanation of _coted_, and of the whole line, is
inadmissible. _Foulness_ or _cloudiness_ is no criterion of the
_beauty_ of amber. Mr. Malone has partly explained _coted_, by
_marked_, but has apparently missed the sense of it here when he adds
_written down_. Mr. Mason has given the true construction of the line,
but he mistakes the meaning of _coted_, which, after all, merely
signifies to _mark_ or _note_. The word is from the French _coter_,
which, in like manner as Mr. Malone has well observed of the English
term, is the old orthography of _quoter_. The grammatical construction
is, "her amber hairs have marked or shown that [real] amber is foul in
comparison of themselves."

                          SCENE. 3. Page 291.

    LONG. Some tricks, some _quillets_, how to cheat the Devil.

The objection to Warburton's derivation of _quillet_ from the _French_
is, that there is no such term in the language: nor is it exclusively
applicable to law-chicane, though generally so used by Shakspeare. It
strictly means a _subtilty_, and seems to have originated among the
schoolmen of the middle ages, by whom it was called a _quidlibet_.
They had likewise their _quodlibets_ and their _quiddities_. From the
schoolmen these terms were properly enough transferred to the lawyers.
Hamlet says, "Why may not that be the scull of a lawyer? where be
his _quiddits_ now, his _quillets_, his cases, his tenures and his
tricks?" The conjectures of Peck, and after him of Dr. Grey in a note
to Hudibras, seem to merit but little attention.

                           SCENE 3. Page 294.

    BIRON. Still climbing trees in the _Hesperides_.

An error is here laid to Shakspeare's charge, of which he is not
perhaps guilty. The expression _trees in the Hesperides_ must be
regarded as elliptical, and signifies _trees in the gardens of the
Hesperides_. Shakspeare is seldom wrong in his mythology, and, if
he had doubted on the present occasion, the dictionaries of Eliot
or Cooper would have supplied him with the necessary information.
The first quotation in the note from Greene, is equally elliptical;
for this writer was too good a scholar to have committed the mistake
ascribed to Shakspeare: so that the passage, instead of convicting
the latter, does in reality support him. As to the other quotation
from _Orpheus and Eurydice_, the learned critic himself lays but
little stress on it; or indeed might, on reconsideration, be disposed
to think the expression correct. It would not be difficult to trace
instances in modern authors of the use of _Hesperides_ for _gardens of
the Hesperides_. See Lempriere's excellent classical dictionary, edit.
1792, 8vo.


                           SCENE 1. Page 302.

    HOL. His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his _tongue

Mr Steevens has remarked that Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser are
frequent in their use of this phrase, but he has offered no
explanation. It signifies _polished language_; thus Turbervile, in his
translation of _Ovid's epistles_, makes Phyllis say to her lover--

    "Thy many smooth and _filed_ wordes
    Did purchase credites place."

                           SCENE 1. Page 306.

    ARM. ... a sweet touch, a quick _venew_ of wit.

The _cut and thrust_ notes on this occasion exhibit a complete _match_
between the two great Shakspearean _maisters of defence_. "A venew,"
says Mr. Steevens, "is the technical term for a _bout_ (or _set-to_,
as he had before called it in vol. iii. p. 317,) at the fencing
school." On the other hand, Mr. Malone maintains that "a venue is _not_
a _bout_ at fencing, but a _hit_;" and his opponent retorts on the
ground of _positiveness_ of denial. As the present writer has himself
been an amateur and practitioner of the noble science of defence, he
undertakes on this occasion the office of umpire between the sturdy

The quotations adduced on either side are not calculated to ascertain
the clear and genuine sense of the word _venew_, and it is therefore
necessary to seek for more decisive evidence respecting its meaning.
Howel in his _Lexicon tetraglotton_, 1660, mentions "a veny in fencing;
venue, _touche_, toca;" and afterwards more fully in his vocabulary,
sect. xxxii. "A foin, _veny_, or stoccado; la botta; la _touche_, le
_coup_." In Sir John Harrington's _Life of Dr. Still_, is the following
expression, "he would not sticke to warne them in the arguments to
take heede to their answers, like a perfect fencer that will tell
afore-hand in which button he will give the _venew_." _Nugæ antiquæ_,
vol. ii. p. 158, edit. 1804, by Park. In Ben Jonson's _Every man in
his humour_, Act I. Scene 5, Bobadil, in answer to Master Matthew's
request for _one venue_, says, "Venue! fie: most gross denomination as
ever I heard; O, the _stoccata_, while you live, sir, note that." On
this passage, Mr. Reed, in a note on the play of _The widow's tears_,
Dodsley's _Old plays_, vol. vi. 152, observes that "the word appears to
have been out of fashion with the fantastic gallants of the time very
early." Its occurrence however so late as the time in which Howel's
dictionary was published seems to render this ingenious remark very
questionable, and suggests another explanation of Bobadil's wish to
change the word, namely, his coxcombly preference of the terms of the
Spanish and Italian schools of fencing to those used in the English,
which, it is presumed, were more immediately borrowed from our Gallic
neighbours. That the terms _stoccado_ and _imbrocato_ denoted a _hit_
or thrust, may be collected from many passages in Vincent Saviolo's
_Use of the rapier and dagger_, 1595, 4to; and in Florio's Italian
dictionary, 1598, folio, _stoccata_ is rendered, _a foyne, a thrust
given in fence_; and _tocco, a venie at fence, a hit_. All the above
circumstances considered, one should feel inclined to adjudge the palm
of victory to Mr. Malone.

It is however remarkable enough that Mr. Steevens is accidentally
right in defining a _venew_ a _bout_, without being aware of the
signification of the latter word. Florio renders _botta_, a _blowe_,
a _stroake_. In the best of all the ancient French treatises on the
art of fencing, entitled _Traicté sur l'espée seule, mere de toutes
armes_, &c., by Henry De Sainct Didier, Paris, 1573, 4to, it is said,
"_bottes_ en Napollitain, vaut autant à dire, que _coups_ en François."
He then mentions five sorts of _bottes_, viz. _maindrette_, _renverse_,
_fendante_, _estoccade_, and _imbroucade_. Nevertheless the word _bout_
had been used in the sense of a _set-to_ in Shakspeare's time. In _The
first part of King Henry the Sixth_, Act I. Scene 5, Talbot says to
the Pucelle, "I'll have a _bout_ with thee." It retained, however, its
original meaning long afterwards. Howel, and Sherwood likewise in his
English dictionary at the end of Cotgrave have "a boute, coup," and so
it is defined by Skinner: but the following passage from the account
given by Sir Thomas Urquhart in his singular book entitled _A discovery
of a most exquisite jewel found in the kennel of Worcester streets_,
&c. 1652, 12mo, of the combat between the admirable Crichton and the
celebrated Mantuan duellist, will put the matter beyond all doubt.
"Then was it that to vindicate the reputation of the duke's family and
to expiate the blood of the three vanquished gentlemen, he alonged a
_stoccade de pied ferme_; then recoyling, he advanced another thrust,
and lodged it home; after which retiring again, his right foot did beat
the cadence of the blow that pierced the belly of this Italian, whose
heart and throat being hit with the two former stroaks, these _three
franch bouts_ given in upon the back of other ... by them he was to be
made a sacrifice of atonement for the slaughter of the three aforesaid
gentlemen who were wounded in the very same parts of their bodies by
other such _three venees_ as these." The same mode of expression is
also used by the same writer in a subsequent account of a duel between
Francis Sinclair, a natural son of the Earl of Caithness, and a German,
at Vienna; where it was agreed that he who should give the other the
first _three bouts_, should have a pair of golden spurs, in the event
of which combat Sinclair "gave in two _venees_ more than he was obliged

On the whole therefore it appears that _venew_ and _bout_ equally
denote a _hit_ in fencing; that both Mr. Steevens and Mr. Malone are
right in this respect; but that the former gentleman is inaccurate in
supposing a _venew_ to mean a _set-to_, and the latter equally so in
asserting that "a _venew_ is _not_ a _bout_."

                           SCENE 1. Page 311.

    DULL. I will play on the tabor to the worthies, and let them dance
    the _hay_.

This dance was borrowed by us from the French. It is classed among the
_brawls_ in Thoinot Arbeau's _Orchesographie_, already mentioned in
page 135.

                           SCENE 2. Page 312.

    ROS. For he hath been five thousand years a boy.

    KATH. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.

This description of Cupid is borrowed from some lines in Sidney's
_Arcadia_, B. ii. See them already quoted on another occasion by Dr.
Farmer in _Much ado about nothing_, Act III. Scene 2.

                           SCENE 2. Page 316.

    ROS. That he should be my _fool_, and I his _fate_.

Dr. Warburton's conclusion that _fate_ here signifies _death_ is not
satisfactory. Death would be an awkward character for Rosaline to
assume, but that of _dame fortune_ infinitely more natural.

It must be owned that destiny and fortune are, strictly speaking, very
different characters; yet they have sometimes been confounded. Even
Pindar, as Pausanias observes, has made fortune one of the _Parcæ_. In
_Julius Cæsar_, the expression, "he is but fortune's _knave_," seems
to resemble the present, and to mean, "he is the servant of fortune
and _bound to obey her_." Shakspeare is very fond of alluding to the
_mockery_ of fortune. Thus we have

    "O I am fortune's fool."

                                                    _Romeo and Juliet._

    "Ye fools of fortune."

                                                     _Timon of Athens._

    "I am the natural fool of fortune."

                                                           _King Lear._

In the last of which passages a pointed allusion is made to the _idiot
fool_. Sir J. Suckling uses the same expression in his play of _The
goblins_; and Hamlet speaks of "the fools of nature," precisely in the
same sense.

                           SCENE 2. Page 327.

    BOVET. Fleeter than arrows, _bullets_, wind, thought, swifter

The word _bullets_ is doubtless an interpolation in the manuscript by
some ignorant person who thought it more appropriate than _arrows_, on
account of the substitution of fire-arms for archery. It might very
properly be omitted in the text, without any diminution of editorial

                           SCENE 2. Page 330.

    BOVET. Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud;
    Dismask'd their damask sweet commixture shown,
    Are _angels vailing clouds_, or roses blown.

Of the several explanations here offered of _vailing_, Dr. Johnson's
is the best. The poet compares a lady unmasking to an angel dispelling
the clouds in his descent from heaven to earth. The term is from the
old French _avaler_ to _put_ or _let down_; the true etymology of which
appears in the phrase _à mont et à val_, from top to bottom, from
_mountain_ to _valley_, which very often occurs in old romances. In
that of the _Saint Graal_, MS. we have "et avalerent aval le vessel."
In Spenser's _Shepherd's calendar_, under January, "By that the welked
Phœbus gan _availe_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 339.

    BIRON. _Three pil'd_ hyperboles.

So in Fennor's _Compter's commonwealth_, 1617, 4to, p. 14, we
have "_three pil'd_, huge Basilisco oaths, that would have torne a
roring-boyes eares in a thousand shatters."

                           SCENE 2. Page 345.

    COST. You cannot _beg us_, sir.

It has been already stated that it was not the next relation only who
begged the wardship of _idiots_ in order to obtain possession of their
property, but any person who could make interest with the sovereign
to whom the legal guardianship belongs. Frequent allusions to this
practice occur in the old comedies. In illustration of it, Mr. Ritson
has given a curious story, which, as it is mutilated in the authority
which he has used, is here subjoined from a more original source, a
collection of tales, &c., compiled about the time of Charles the First,
preserved among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, No. 6395. "The
Lord North begg'd old Bladwell for a foole (though he could never prove
him so), and having him in his custodie as a lunaticke, he carried
him to a gentleman's house, one day, that was his neighbour. The L.
North and the gentleman retir'd awhile to private discourse, and left
Bladwell in the dining roome, which was hung with a faire hanging;
Bladwell walking up and downe, and viewing the imagerie, spyed a foole
at last in the hanging, and without delay drawes his knife, flyes at
the foole, cutts him cleane out, and layes him on the floore; my L. and
the gentl. coming in againe, and finding the tapestrie thus defac'd, he
ask'd Bladwell what he meant by such a rude uncivill act; he answered
Sʳ. be content, I have rather done you a courtesie than a wrong, for if
ever my L. N. had seene the foole there, he would have begg'd him, and
so you might have lost your whole suite." The same story, but without
the parties' names, is related in Fuller's _Holy state_, p. 182. Powel,
in his _Attourney's academy_, 1630, 4to, says, "I shall neede to give
you this monitorie instruction touching an _ideot_; that you be assured
that yourselfe is somewhat the wiser man before you goe about to _beg
him_, or else never meddle with him at all, lest you chance to play
at handy-dandy, which is the guardian or which is the foole? and the
case alter, _è converso_, _ad conversum_." In _A treatise of taxes_,
1667, 4to, p. 43, there is the following passage: "Now because the
world abounds with this kind of fools, (Lottery fools,) it is not fit
that every man that will may cheat every man that would be cheated; but
it is rather ordained that the sovereign should have the guardianship
of these fools, _or that some favourite should beg the sovereign's
right of taking advantage of such men's folly, even as in the case
of lunatics and ideots_." To this practice too, Butler alludes, in
_Hudibras_, part iii. canto I, l. 590.

    "Beg one another idiot
    To guardians, ere they are begot."

Mr. Justice Blackstone, in treating of idiots, has spoken of it; and
adds in a note, that the king's power of delegating the custody of them
to some subject who has interest enough on the occasion, has of late
been very rarely exerted.

                           SCENE 2. Page 350.

    BIRON. The Pedant, the Braggart, the Hedge-priest, the Fool And the
    Abate a throw at _novum_; and the whole world again,
    Cannot prick out _five_ such, take each one in his vein.

The game of _novum_ or _novem_, here alluded to, requires further
illustration to render the _whole_ of the above passage intelligible.
It is therefore necessary to state that it was _properly_ called _novum
quinque_, from the two principal throws of the dice, nine and five; and
then Biron's meaning becomes perfectly clear, according to the reading
of the old editions. The above game was called in French _quinquenove_,
and is said to have been invented in Flanders.

                           SCENE 2. Page 351.

    Pageant of the nine worthies.

The _genuine_ worthies were Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus, Hector,
Alexander, Julius Cæsar, Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of
Bulloigne, or sometimes in his room Guy of Warwick. Why Shakspeare, in
the _five_ of them only whom he has introduced by name, has included
Hercules and Pompey, remains to be accounted for. It was a great pity
to omit, on this occasion, the very curious specimen of an ancient
pageant given by Mr. Ritson, who, in stating that nothing of the kind
had ever appeared in print, seems to have forgotten the pageants of
Dekker, Middleton, and others, a list of which may be found in Baker's
_Biographia dramatica_, vol. ii. 270.

                           SCENE 2. Page 353.

    BIRON. Your nose _smells_ no, in this, most _tender smelling_

He is addressing, or rather ridiculing Alexander. Plutarch in his life
of that hero relates, on the authority of Aristoxenus, that his skin
"had a marvellous good savour, and that his breath was very sweet,
in so much that _his body had so sweet a smell_ of itselfe that all
the apparell he wore next unto his body, tooke thereof a passing
delightfull savour, as if it had been perfumed." This Shakspeare had
read in Sir Thomas North's translation.

                           SCENE 2. Page 353.

    COST. Your lion, that holds his _poll-ax_ sitting, &c.

The clown's Cloacinian allusion to the arms of Alexander is a wilful
_blunder_, for the purpose of introducing his subsequent joke about
Ajax. These are the arms themselves copied from the _Roman des neuf
preux_, Abbeville, 1487, folio, showing that the chair is not a


The modern _patent Bramahs_ were in Shakspeare's time called _Ajaxes_.
Thus in _The hospitall of incurable fooles_, 1600, 4to, fo. 7:
"Whoever saw so many odd mechanicks as are at this day, who not with
a geometricall spirite like Archimedes, but even with arte surpassing
the profoundest Cabalistes, who instead of a pigeon loft, place in the
garrets of houses, _portable_ and commodious _Ajaxes_." The marginal
explanation comes _closer_ to the point. Again, "the Romans might well
be numbered amongst those three-elbowed fooles in adoring Stercutio for
a God, shamefully constituting him a patron and protector of _Ajax_ and
his commodities," fo. 6.

                           SCENE 2. Page 360.

    COST. I will not fight with a _pole_, like a _northern man_.

On this passage Dr. Farmer says, "_Vir borealis_, a clown, See glossary
to Urry's Chaucer." The Doctor's notes are generally clear and
instructive, but in this instance he is obscure. It is presumed that
he intends to refer the reader to the word _borel_ in Urry's glossary,
where it is properly explained _a clown_. Whether _borel_ be derived
from _borealis_ may be questioned; but Shakspeare in all probability
was unacquainted with this word and its etymology. Does he not refer to
the particular use of the quarter staff in the Northern counties?

                           SCENE 2. Page 367.

    PRIN. As _bombast_, and as lining to the time.

_Bombast_ is from the Italian _bombagia_, which signifies all sorts
of cotton wool. Hence the stuff called _bombasine_. The cotton put
into ink was called _bombase_. "Need you any inke and _bombase_?"
Hollyband's _Italian schole-maister_, 1579, 12mo, sign. E. 3.


The clown in this play is a mere country fellow. The term _fool_
applied to him in Act V. Scene 2, means nothing more than a _silly
fellow_. He has not sufficient simplicity for a natural fool, nor wit
enough for an artificial one.

It will probably be discovered at some future time that this play was
borrowed from a French novel. The _dramatis personæ_ in a great measure
demonstrate this, as well as a palpable Gallicism in Act IV. Scene 1,
viz. the terming a _letter_ a _capon_.



                           SCENE 1. Page 397.

    SALAR. There, where your _argosies_, with portly sail
    Like signiors and rich burghers _of_ the flood,
    Or as it were the _Pageants_ of the sea,
    Do overpeer the petty traffickers.

Argosies are properly defined to be "ships of great burthen," and so
they are described almost wherever they are mentioned. Mr. Steevens
has quoted Rycaut's _Maxims of Turkish polity_, to show that the term
originated in a corruption of _Ragosies_, i. e. ships of _Ragusa_.
However specious this may appear, it is to be observed that Rycaut,
a writer at the end of the seventeenth century, only states it as _a
matter of report_, not as a _fact_; and he seems to have followed the
slight authority of Roberts's _Marchant's map of commerce_. If any
instance shall be produced of the use of such a word as _ragosie_, the
objection must be given up. In the mean time it may be permitted to
hazard another opinion, which is, that the word in question derives
its origin from the famous ship _Argo_: and indeed Shakspeare himself
appears to have hinted as much; for the story of Jason is twice
adverted to in the course of this play. On one of these occasions
Gratiano certainly alludes to Antonio's argosie when he says,

    "We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece."

                                                      Act III. Scene 2.

Gregory of Tours has more than once made use of _Argis_ to express a
ship generally. With respect to _Ragozine_, it has been contended in a
former note, page 89, that this name ought not to have been introduced
in the discussion of the present subject.

Mr. Steevens remarks that both ancient and modern editors have hitherto
been content to read "burghers _on_ the flood;" and, on the authority
of a line in which we have "burghers _of a city_," he has substituted
"burghers _of_ the flood." He might have been less inclined to this
new reading, had he recollected that the "signiors and rich burghers
_on_ the flood" are the Venetians, who may well be said to live _on_
the sea. It would be difficult to discover who are the signiors and
burghers _of_ the flood, unless they be whales and porpoises.

In calling argosies _the pageants of the sea_, Shakspeare alludes to
those enormous machines, in the shapes of castles, dragons, ships,
giants, &c., that were drawn about the streets in the ancient shows or
pageants, and which often constituted the most important part of them.

                           SCENE 1. Page 399.

    SALAN. Now, by _two-headed Janus_.

Dr. Warburton's note may well be spared in all future editions. If
Shakspeare have shown a knowledge of the antique, which he might have
obtained from his dictionary at school, the Doctor has, unluckily, on
this occasion proved himself less profound in it than Shakspeare, or he
would not have ventured to assert that the heads of Janus were those of
Pan and Bacchus, Saturn and Apollo, &c. It is presumed that these heads
will continue to perplex the learned for many generations.

                           SCENE 2. Page 410.

    POR. If a _throstle_ sing.

Notwithstanding the apparent difference in opinion between Messrs.
Steevens and Malone respecting this bird, they are both right. The
throstle is only a variety of the thrush, as will be seen by consulting
Mr. Pennant's Account of English birds. In _The new general history
of birds_, 1745, 12mo, there is an account of "the song-thrush, or
throstle;" and see Randle Holme's _Academy of armory_, book ii. ch. 12,
no. lxxiii.

                           SCENE 3. Page 413.

    Enter SHYLOCK.

His stage dress should be _a scarlet hat lined with black taffeta_.
This is the manner in which the Jews of Venice were formerly
distinguished. See Saint Didier _Histoire de Venise_. In the year 1581
they wore _red caps_ for distinction's sake, as appears from Hakluyt's
_Voyages_, p. 179, edit. 1589. Lord Verulam, in his Essay on usury,
speaking of the witty invectives that men have made against usury,
states one of them to be "that usurers should have _orange-tawny
bonnets_, because they do _Judaize_."

                           SCENE 3. Page 414.

    SHY. He lends out money gratis, and brings down
    The rate of usance here with us in Venice.

"It is almost incredyble what gaine the Venetians receive by the usury
of the Jewes, both pryvately and in common. For in everye citee the
Jewes kepe open shops of usurie, taking gaiges of ordinarie for xv
in the hundred by the yere; and if at the yeres ende the gaige be
not redemed, it is forfeite, or at the least dooen away to a great
disadvantage: by reason whereof the Jewes are out of measure wealthie
in those parties."--Thomas's _Historye of Italye_, 1561, 4to, fo. 77.

                           SCENE 3. Page 416.

    SHY. He stuck them up before the _fulsome_ ewes.

_Fulsome_ has, doubtless, the same signification as the preceding
epithet _rank_, the physical reason for its application being very
generally known. "Ικτιδος _pellis_. Proverbium apud Germanos in
vilissimum quodque et maxime _fœtidum_ scortum. Nam Ictis, id est
sylvestris mustela cum graviter exarserit, male olet." Erasmi _Adagia_.
Spenser makes one of his shepherds speak thus of a kid:

    "The blossoms of lust to bud did beginne
    And spring forth _ranckly_ under his chinne."

_Fulsome_ is from the Gothic _fuls_, i. e. _foul_, _fœtid_. That it
sometimes had another root, viz. _full_, is manifest from the line in
Golding's _Ovid_, whose expression "fulsome dugs" is in the original
"_pleno_ ubere," but is of no service on the present occasion, though
quoted by Mr. Steevens.

                           SCENE 3. Page 418.

    SHY. About my money and my _usances_.

Mr. Steevens asserts that _use_ and _usance_ anciently signified
_usury_, but both his quotations show the contrary. Mr. Ritson very
properly asks whether Mr. Steevens is not mistaken; and Mr. Reed,
maintaining that he is right, adduces a passage which _proves_ him
to be _wrong_. A gentleman, says Wylson, borrowed 1000 pounds,
running still upon _usury_ and _double usury_. "The merchants termyng
it _usance_ and _double usance_, by _a more clenly name_," i. e.
_interest_, till he owed the usurer five thousand pounds, &c. The
sense was obscured by the omission of an important comma after the
word _name_. Mr. Malone's note was quite adequate to the purpose of

                           SCENE 3. Page 421.

    SHY. ... seal me there
    Your single bond; and in _a merry sport_,
    If you repay me not, &c.

Thus in the ballad of _Gernutus_:

    "But we will have _a merry jeast_
      For to be talked long;
    You shall make me _a bond_, quoth he.
      That shall be large and strong."


                           SCENE 1. Page 423.

    MOR. But let us make incision for your love,
    To prove whose blood is _reddest_, his, or mine.

Dr. Johnson's observation that "red blood is a traditionary sign
of courage" derives support from our English Pliny, Bartholomew
Glantville, who says, after Isidorus, "_Reed_ clothes ben layed upon
deed men in remembrance of theyr _hardynes_ and _boldnes_, whyle they
were in theyr bloudde." On which his commentator Batman remarks: "It
appereth in the time of the Saxons that the manner over their dead was
a _red_ cloath, as we now use black. The _red_ of _valiauncie_, and
that was over kings, lords, knights and valyaunt souldiours."

                           SCENE 2. Page 426.

    LAUN. Do not run; scorn _running with thy heels_.

Mr. Steevens calls this _absurdity_, and introduces a brother critic,
Sir Hugh Evans, who had maintained that "he hears with ears" was
_affectations_: both the parties had forgotten their Bible. As to the
proposed alteration "_withe_ thy heels," it might be asked, who ever
heard of a person _binding_ his _own heels_ to prevent running? Mr.
Malone has well defended the consistency of Launcelot's speech. It may
be added that in _King Richard II._ Act V. Scene 3, we have "_kneel_
upon my _knees_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 427.

    LAUN. Well, my _conscience_ says--Launcelot, budge not; budge,
    says the _fiend_; budge not, says my _conscience_.

It is not improbable that this curious struggle between Launcelot's
conscience and the fiend might have been suggested by some well-known
story in Shakspeare's time, grafted on the following Monkish fable. It
occurs in a collection of apologues that remain only in manuscript,
and have been severally ascribed to Hugo of Saint Victor, and Odo de
Sheriton or Shirton, an English Cistercian Monk of the 12th century.
"Multi sunt sicut mulier delicata et pigra. Talis vero mulier dum jacet
mane in lecto et audit pulsari ad missam, cogitat secum quod vadat ad
missam. Et cum _caro_, quæ pigra est, timet frigus, respondet et dicit,
Quare ires ita mane, nonne scis quod clerici pulsant campanas propter
oblationes? dormi adhuc; et sic transit pars diei. Postea iterum
_conscientia pungit eam_ quod vadat ad missam. Sed _caro_ respondet, et
dicit, Quare ires tu tam cito ad ecclesiam? certè tu destrueres corpus
tuum si ita manè surrexeris, et hoc Deus non vult ut homo destruat
seipsum; ergo quiesce et dormi. Et transit alia pars diei. Iterum
_conscientia pungit eam_ quod vadat ad ecclesiam; sed _caro_ dicit, Ut
quid ires tam cito? Ego bene scio quod talis vicina tua nondum vadit
ad ecclesiam; dormi parum adhuc. Et sic transit alia pars diei. Postea
_pungit eam conscientia_; sed _caro_ dicit, Non oportet quod adhuc
vadas, quia sacerdos est curialis et bene expectabit te; attende et
dormi. Et sic dormiendo transit tempus. Et tamen ad ultimum verecundia
tacita atque coacta, surgit et vadit ad ecclesiam, et invenit portas
clausas." Then follows the moral of the fable, in which the church
is repentance, the bells the preachers. The lazy flesh prevails over
conscience, till, on the approach of death, fear dictates the sending
for the priest. An imperfect confession of sins takes place; the party
dies, and the miserable soul finds the gates of heaven shut.

                           SCENE 5. Page 443.

    SHY. The _patch_ is kind enough.

It has been supposed that this term originated from the name of a fool
belonging to Cardinal Wolsey, and that his parti-coloured dress was
given to him in allusion to his name. The objection to this is, that
the motley habit worn by fools is much older than the time of Wolsey.
Again, it appears that _Patch_ was an appellation given not to one fool
only that belonged to Wolsey. There is an epigram by Heywood, entitled
_A saying of Patch my Lord Cardinal's foole_; but in the epigram itself
he is twice called _Sexten_, which was his real name. In a manuscript
life of Wolsey, by his gentleman usher Cavendish, there is a story
of another fool belonging to the Cardinal, and presented by him to
the King. A marginal note states that "this foole was callid _Master
Williames_, owtherwise called _Patch_."[12] In Heylin's _History of
the reformation_, mention is made of another fool called _Patch_,
belonging to Elizabeth. But the name is even older than Wolsey's time;
for in some household accounts of Henry the Seventh, there are payments
to a fool who is named _Pechie_, and _Packye_. It seems therefore more
probable on the whole that fools were nick-named _Patch_ from their
dress; unless there happen to be a nearer affinity to the Italian
_pazzo_, a word that has all the appearance of a descent from _fatuus_.
This was the opinion of Mr. Tyrwhitt in a note on _A midsummer night's
dream_, Act III. Scene 2. But although in the above instance, as well
as in a multitude of others, a _patch_ denotes a fool or simpleton,
and, by corruption, a clown, it seems to have been occasionally used
in the sense of _any low or mean person_. Thus in the passage in _A
midsummer night's dream_ just referred to, Puck calls Bottom and his
companions _a crew of patches_, _rude mechanicals_, certainly not
meaning to compare them to pampered and sleek buffoons. Whether in
this sense the term have a simple reference to that class of people
whose clothes might be pieced or _patched_ with rags; or whether it is
derived from the Saxon verb pæcan, to deceive by false appearances,
as suggested by the acute and ingenious author of _The diversions of
Purley_, must be left to the reader's own discernment.

                           SCENE 7. Page 450.

    MOR. ... They have in England
    A coin that bears the figure of an Angel
    Stamped in gold; but that's _insculp'd upon_;
    But here an angel in a golden bed
    Lies all _within_.

To _insculp_, as Mr. Steevens has observed, means _to engrave_, but is
here put in opposition to it, and simply denotes to _carve in relief_.
The angel on the coin was _raised_; on the casket _indented_. The word
_insculp_ was however formerly used with great latitude of meaning.
Shakspeare might have caught it from the casket story in the _Gesta
Romanorum_, where it is rightly used: "the third vessell was made of
lead, and thereupon was _insculpt_ this posey, &c."

                           SCENE 7. Page 450.

    MOR. _Gilded tombs_ do worms infold.

The old editions read _gilded timber_; and however specious the
alteration in the text, on the ground of redundancy of measure or
defect in grammar, it might have been dispensed with. _To infold_ is
_to inwrap or contain any thing_; and therefore, unless we conclude
that _do_ is an error of the press for _doth_, we must adopt the other
sense, however ungrammatically expressed, and suppose the sentiment
to be, that _timber though fenced or protected with gilding in still
liable to the worm's invasion_. The lines cited by Mr. Steevens from
the _Arcadia_ supports the original reading, as do the following from
Silvester's _Works_, edit. 1633, p. 649:

    "Wealth on a cottage can a palace build,
    New paint old walls, and _rotten timber guild_."

                           SCENE 8. Page 453.

    SALAR. And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me,
    Let it not enter in your _mind of love_.

Dr. Johnson suspects a corruption. Mr. Langton would place a comma
after _mind_. The expression seems equivalent to a _loving_ or
affectionate _mind_, a mind made up of love.

                           SCENE 9. Page 458.

    AR. What's here? the portrait of a blinking ideot,
    Presenting me a schedule.

This idea suggests the story of a Jew apothecary, who, to ridicule the
Mayersbachs of his time, placed in the front of his shop the figure
of a grinning fool holding out an urinal. See Pancirollus _De rebus
deperditis_, lib. ii. tit. 1.


                           SCENE 1. Page 465.

    SHY. It was my _turquoise_.

If the reason last assigned in Mr. Steevens's note for the value which
Shylock professes for the turquoise be entitled to any preference, the
information whereon it rests must be referred to the right owner, who
is Anselm de Boot, Nicols being only the translator of his work.

                           SCENE 2. Page 469.

    POR. ... he makes a _swan-like_ end.
    Fading in musick.

That the swan uttered musical sounds at the approach of death was
credited by Plato, Chrysippus, Aristotle, Euripides, Philostratus,
Cicero, Seneca, and Martial. Pliny, Ælian, and Athenæus, among the
ancients, and Sir Thomas More, among the moderns, treat this opinion
as a vulgar error. Luther believed in it. See his _Colloquia_, par. 2,
p. 125, edit. 1571, 8vo. Our countryman Bartholomew Glantville thus
mentions the singing of the swan: "And whan she shal dye and that a
fether is pyght in the brayn, then she syngethe, as Ambrose sayth," _De
propr. rer._ 1. xii. c. 11. Monsieur Morin has written a dissertation
on this subject in vol. v. of the _Mem. de l'acad. des inscript._ There
are likewise some curious remarks on it in Weston's _Specimens of the
conformity of the European languages with the Oriental_, p. 135; in
Seelen _Miscellanea_, tom. i. 298; and in Pinkerton's _Recollections of
Paris_, ii. 336.

                           SCENE 2. Page 472.

    BASS. Nor none of thee, thou _pale and common drudge_
    'Tween man and man.

The greatest part of the current coin being of _silver_, this metal
is here emphatically called the common drudge in the more frequent
transactions among men.

                           SCENE 2. Page 472.

    BASS. Thy _plainness_ moves me more than eloquence.

However elegant this emendation by Dr. Warburton, it must yield to
the decisive reasoning of Dr. Farmer and Mr. Malone, in favour of
_paleness_, which ought to have been adopted in the text.

                           SCENE 2. Page 474.

    BASS. Fair Portia's _counterfeit_?

A further illustration occurs in the beginning of Lilie's dedication
to his _Euphues_, "Parasius drawing the _counterfeit_ of Hellen, made
the attire of her head loose." In Littelton's _English and Latin
dictionary_, we have "A counterfeit of a picture, _ectypum_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 480.

    GRA. We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.

The meaning is "Antonio with his _argosie_ is not the successful Jason;
we are the persons who have won the fleece." See the note in p. 153.

                           SCENE 2. Page 480.

    POR. ... else nothing in the world
    Could turn so much the constitution
    Of any _constant_ man.

This word occasionally signified _grave_, as in the present instance.
In Withall's _Shorte dictionarie_, 1599, 4to, fo. 105, we have "sadde,
_grave_, constant,--_gravis_." So in _Twelfth night_, when Malvolio is
under confinement, he says, "I am no more mad than you are; make the
trial of it in any _constant question_."


                           SCENE 1. Page 501.

    SHY. Why he a _swollen_ bagpipe.

We have here one of the too frequent instances of _conjectural_
readings; but it is to be hoped that all future editors will restore
the original _woollen_, after weighing not only what has been already
urged in its support, but the additional and accurate testimony of
Dr. Leyden, who in his edition of _The complaynt of Scotland_, p.
149, informs us that the Lowland bagpipe commonly had the bag or sack
covered with _woollen cloth_ of a green colour, a practice which, he
adds, prevailed in the northern counties of England.

                           SCENE 1. Page 506.

    BASS. Why dost thou _whet thy knife_ so earnestly?

This incident occurs in the ballad of _Gernutus_, whence there is
reason to suppose it was borrowed. In 1597 was acted at Cambridge a
Latin play called _Machiavellus_, in which there is a Jew, but very
unlike Shylock. He is a shrewd intriguing fellow of considerable
humour, who, to obtain possession of a girl, puts a number of tricks
on the Machiavel of the piece, and generally outwits him. In one scene
he overhears his rival despairing of success with the father of his
mistress, and expressing a wish that he had some instrument wherewith
to put an end to his misery. On this he lays a _knife_ in his way,
but first takes care _to whet it_. To _The merchant of Venice_ or
to _Gernutus_ the Latin play was indebted. If to the former, then
Shakspeare's play must have been acted before 1597; if to the latter,
it strengthens the above conjecture that he borrowed from the ballad.
Should Gosson's _Jew shown at the Bull_ ever make its appearance, all
would be set right.

                           SCENE 1. Page 507.

    GRA. And, whilst thou _lay'st_ in thy unhallow'd dam.

Is not this a very common misprint for _lay'dst_, where the preterite
is intended?

                           SCENE 1. Page 509.

    POR. But mercy is above this scepter'd sway,
    It is enthroned in the hearts of _kings_,
    It is _an attribute to God_ himself,
    And earthly power doth then show likest God's
    When _mercy_ seasons justice.

This beautiful sentiment accords very much with the following speech
made by Sir James Melvil to the queen of Scots, and printed in his
_Memoirs_, p. 149, edit. 1752, 8vo. These, however, were not published
till a considerable time after his death. "For as princes are called
divine persons, so no _prince_ can pretend to this title, but he who
_draws near the nature of God_ by godliness and good government, being
slow to vengeance, and _ready to forgive_."

                           SCENE 1. Page 518.

    GRA. Had I been judge thou should'st have had _ten_ more
    To bring thee to the gallows.

We had already had an English trial by jury at Vienna. See p. 78. Here
we have one at Venice.


                           SCENE 1. Page 523.

    LOR. Stood Dido with a willow in her hand.

On this passage Mr. Steevens founds an argument that Shakspeare _was
no reader of the classics_. It is true that no classical authority for
the above circumstance relating to Dido can be found, and that other
instances of our poet's errors in classical matters might be adduced;
but this will not prove his ignorance of Greek and Roman writers. On
the contrary, do not the numerous quotations from them in the notes
of his commentators afford sufficient testimony that he had read many
ancient authors through the medium of English translations? If this
had not been the case, to what end has the useful and interesting list
of such translations been drawn up and published by the above learned
critic? Wherever Shakspeare met with the image in question, it has
reference to the popular superstitions relating to the willow, which
will be more fully illustrated in some remarks on a passage in Othello.

                           SCENE 1. Page 529.

    LOR. You shall perceive them make a mutual _stand_,
    Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest _gaze_.

This is spoken of young _colts_, but the speech is only a poetical
amplification of a phrase that seems more properly to belong to _deer_.
In the _Noble arte of venerie or hunting_, ascribed to Turbervile, the
author or translator, speaking of the hart, says, "when he stayeth to
looke at any thing, then he _standeth at gaze_;" and again, "he loveth
to hear instruments and assureth himselfe when he heareth a flute
or any other sweete noyse. He marvelleth at all things, and taketh
pleasure to _gaze_ at them." See likewise Holland's translation of
_Pliny_, tom. i. p. 213.

                           SCENE 1. Page 530.

    LOR. The man that hath no musick in himself,
    Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
    Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
    The motions of his spirit, &c.

Had the sentiments in the note on this passage been expressed by Dr.
Johnson, disorganized as he was for the enjoyment of music, it would
not have been matter to wonder at: but that such a man as Mr. Steevens,
whose ordinary speech was melody, and whose correct and elegant ear
for poetical concord is so frequently manifested in the course of his
Shakspearean labours, should have shown himself a very Timon in music,
can only be accounted for by supposing that he regarded the speech
in question as a libel on his great colleague's organization. He has
here assumed a task, which Dr. Johnson would for obvious reasons have
declined; and with the feeble aid of an illiberal passage from Lord
Chesterfield's _Letters_, has most disingenuously endeavoured to cast
an odium on a science which from its intimate and natural connexion
with poetry and painting, deserves the highest attention and respect.
He that is happily qualified to appreciate the _better parts_ of music,
will never seek them in the society so emphatically reprobated by the
noble lord, nor altogether in the way he recommends. He will not lend
an ear to the vulgarity and tumultuous roar of the tavern catch, or the
delusive sounds of martial clangour; but he will enjoy this heavenly
gift, this exquisite and soul-delighting sensation, in the temples of
his God, or in the peaceful circles of domestic happiness: he will
pursue the blessings and advantages of it with ardour, and turn aside
from its abuses.

The quotation which Mr. Steevens has given from Peacham, is in reality
an _encomium_ on music as practised in the time of Shakspeare. It
indicates that gentlemen then associated with their equals only in
the pursuit of this innocent recreation; and the same writer would
have furnished many other observations that tend to place the science
of music in an amiable, or at least in a harmless point of view.
Mr. Steevens might have also recollected that Cicero has called it
"Stabilem thesaurum, qui _mores_ instituit, componitque, ac mollit
irarum ardores." It will be readily conceded that Shakspeare has
overcharged the speech before us, and that it by no means follows
that a man who is unmusical must be a traitor, a Machiavel, a robber;
or that he is deserving of no confidence. This, however, is all
that should have occupied the commentator's notice; and herein his
castigation would have been really meritorious. The Italians too have
a proverb that is equally reprehensible: "Whom God loves not, that man
loves not music." Let such extravagancies be consigned to the censure
they deserve!

                           SCENE 1. Page 542.

    GRA. ... The first _intergatory_
    That my Nerissa shall besworn on----

This word being nothing more than a contraction of _interrogatory_,
should be elliptically printed, _inter'gatory_.


There is not a single circumstance through the whole of this play which
constitutes Lancelot an _allowed fool or jester_; and yet there is some
reason for supposing that Shakspeare intended him as such, from his
being called _a patch_, a _fool_ of Hagar's offspring, and in one place
_the_ fool. It is not reasonable, however, to conclude that a person
like Shylock would entertain a domestic of this description; and it is
possible that the foregoing terms may be merely designed as synonymous
with the appellation of _clown_, as in _Love's labour's lost_. On the
whole, we have here a proof that Shakspeare has not observed that nice
discrimination of character in his clowns for which some have given him


The present subject, notwithstanding it has been already discussed with
considerable labour and ingenuity, may still be said to rest in much
obscurity. This has partly arisen from some confusion in the mode of
stating the information conveyed in the several notes wherein it has
been discussed. To render this position the more intelligible, it will
be necessary to say a few words on each commentator's opinion: and
first on that of Dr. Farmer. He states that the _story_ was taken from
an old translation of the _Gesta Romanorum, first printed_ by Wynkyn
de Worde; and that Shakspeare has closely copied some of the language.
The Doctor's use of the word _story_ is not consistent with his usual
accuracy, because, in what follows, he speaks only of the incident
of the caskets, which forms in reality but _a part of the story_. It
is much to be wished, for reasons which will hereafter appear, that
Dr. Farmer had been more particular in his account of the edition of
the _Gesta Romanorum_ which he says was printed by Wynkyn de Worde,
none such having, after much inquiry, been discovered; and it is to be
feared that he had trusted to a previous statement of his friend the
accomplished and elegant historian of English poetry, whose accuracy is
unhappily known to have been by no means commensurate with his taste.
The Doctor's assertion, that Shakspeare "closely copied some of the
language," cannot be maintained until it be first ascertained if any
use had been made of the _Gesta Romanorum_ by the author of the old
play of the _Jew_, mentioned by Gosson, and also in what particulars
Shakspeare followed him. It is proper to take notice in this place of
the mistake that has been committed by those who speak of Shakspeare's
_imitations_ of the sources of this play, and who forget that one on
the same subject had already appeared, and which might have furnished
him with the _whole_ of the plot. It is however probable that he
improved it by means of other novels, as will be seen hereafter.

The next critic to be noticed is the truly learned and judicious Mr.
Tyrwhitt. He informs us that the _two principal incidents_ of this
play occur in the _Gesta Romanorum_, and produces some extracts from a
_Latin manuscript_ of that work in the British museum. Admitting that
the incident of the _caskets_ might have been taken from the _English
Gesta Romanorum_, as mentioned by Dr. Farmer, he cautiously gives it as
his opinion that both the stories in the _Gesta Romanorum_ quoted by
himself are the remote originals of Shakspeare's play; for he had also
forgotten the elder drama mentioned by Gosson. He thinks, however, that
the bond story might have come to Shakspeare from the _Pecorone_, but
suspects on the whole that he followed some hitherto unknown novelist,
who had saved him the trouble of working up the two stories into one.
Aware also that Shakspeare's small acquaintance with the Latin language
would scarcely enable him to consult the manuscript _Gesta Romanorum_,
he has very properly used the expression _remote originals_; and the
rather, because he had probably examined the printed English editions
without finding the story of the bond, which would hardly have escaped
the diligent researches of Dr. Farmer, had it really been there. The
fact however is, that the bond story did exist in English long before
Shakspeare's time, and it is extremely probable that the original
author of the _Jew_ used some English _Gesta Romanorum_ for the _whole_
of his plot. There is more stress to be laid on this opinion so far
as it regards the original dramatist, because it seems most probable
that Shakspeare, on account of the closer resemblance of the story
in the _Pecorone_ to _his_ incident of the bond, had, with great
advantage, made use of some translation of it now irrecoverably lost.
For this reason, with all due respect for Mr. Tyrwhitt's opinion, it
is improbable that Shakspeare followed some unknown novelist _who had
saved him the trouble of working up the two stories into one_; unless
it be conceded that such person was the author of the elder play.

The last opinion to be noticed is that of Dr. Johnson; and he remarks
that the modern translator of the _Pecorone_ thought the incident
of the caskets was borrowed from Boccaccio. This shall be examined
presently. The Doctor thinks, however, that Shakspeare had some other
novel in view, a conjecture which Mr. Malone very properly supports by
a reference to Dr. Farmer's note.

In offering some additional observations on the stories that are
connected with the _Merchant of Venice_, it will be necessary, for the
purpose of avoiding confusion, to speak separately of the two main
incidents on which that play is constructed.


The novel of Boccaccio that has been cited on this occasion, together
with some other tales that resemble it, have, it is conceived, no
manner of connexion with the play. The curious reader will find one of
these stories, and perhaps the most ancient of them, in the lives of
Barlaam and Josaphat, as related in the Golden legend, though compiled
at a period much anterior to that amusing work. Another is in Gower's
_Confessio amantis_, fo. 96, edit. 1532; and a third in the same
work, fo. 96, verso. The latter has been related in a more ample and
ingenious manner in the _Cento novelle antiche_, nov. 65.

In chap. 109 of _the Latin printed copy_ of the _Gesta Romanorum_,
a very different work from that referred to by Dr. Farmer and Mr.
Tyrwhitt, there is the following story: A smith had lost a chest of
money, which being carried by the sea to the shores of a distant
country, was taken up by an inn-keeper, who, not suspecting that it
contained any thing, threw it carelessly aside. Having occasion one day
for some fuel to warm his guests, he broke up the chest, and finding
the money, laid it by safely, till some one should arrive to claim
it. The smith soon afterwards appeared; and having publicly declared
his loss, the inn-keeper resolved to ascertain if it were the will of
Providence that he should make restitution. He therefore caused three
pasties to be made; the first he filled with earth, the second with
dead men's bones, and the third with money. He then invited the smith
to dinner, and gave him the choice of the pasties. The smith fixed on
those with the earth and bones, and relinquished the other. The host
now concluded that it was not the will of Heaven that he should restore
the money; he therefore called in the blind and the lame, opened the
other pasty in their presence, and divided the treasure between them.

But the work to which the play stands immediately indebted, is a _Gesta
Romanorum_ in English, _never printed in Latin_, and of which the
earliest edition that could be procured on the present occasion was
printed by Thomas Est, in 1595, 12mo, and several times afterwards. The
latter part only of the 32nd history has been used. This has already
been given in English by Dr. Farmer, and in Latin by Mr. Tyrwhitt. It
has undoubtedly furnished the author of the play with the incident of
the caskets; but he has transposed the mottoes of the gold and silver
ones, and substituted another for that of lead.


The character of Leti as an historian warrants an opinion that _his_
story is a mere fabrication, grafted on one of those that he had
met with on the same subject. The tale itself is most probably of
Eastern origin. Besides that given by Mr. Malone from Ensign Munro's
manuscript, a similar one is related in Gladwin's _Persian Moonshee_,
story 13; and another likewise from an oriental source, in the _British
magazine_ for 1800, page 159.

In Tyron, _Recueil de plusieures plaisantes nouvelles_, &c., Anvers,
1590, 18mo, a Christian borrows 500 ducats of a Jew at Constantinople,
on condition of paying two ounces of flesh for usury. At the expiration
of the term the Christian refuses to pay more than the principal. The
matter is brought before the Emperor Solyman, who orders a razor to
be brought, and admonishes the Jew not to cut off more or less than
the two ounces on pain of death. The Jew gives up the point. The same
story occurs in _Roger Bontemps en belle humeur_; in the _Tresor des
recreations_, Douay, 1625, 18mo, p. 27; in _Doctæ nugæ Gaudensij
Jocosi_, 1713, 12mo, p. 23; in the _Courier facetieux_, Lyon, 1650,
8vo, p. 109; in the _Chasse ennuy_, Paris, 1645, 18mo, p. 49; in
Corrozet _Divers propos memorables_, &c., 1557, 12mo, p. 77, of which
work there is an English translation under the title of _Memorable
conceits of divers noble and famous personages of Christendome_, &c.,
1602, 24mo; in _Apophthegmes, ou La recreation de la jeunesse_, p. 155.
It agrees also with the story related by Gracian in his _Hero_. See
Steevens's _Shakspeare_, V. 515.

It has been imitated by Antony Munday in his _Astræpho, being the third
part of Zelauto, or The fountaine of fame_, 1580, 4to. This writer had
found it in Silvayn's _Orator_, which, as we have already seen, he
translated. Instead of the cutting off a pound of flesh, it is agreed
that one of the party's eyes shall be pulled out. Besides the ballad of
_Gernutus the Jew of Venice_, printed in Dr. Percy's Reliques, there is
another less ancient, under the title of _The cruel Jew's garland_, in
which the story is varied, and with some ingenuity.

A part of the novel in the _Pecorone_ is most likely of Oriental
origin, and might have been transmitted to Ser Giovanni from the same
source that supplied Boccaccio and many of the French minstrels with
their stories, viz. the crusades.

As the Bond Story in the _Gesta Romanorum_ is not known to exist at
present in any printed edition, though it might in Shakspeare's time,
and as the Latin original mentioned by Mr. Tyrwhitt _has never been
printed_, it is therefore offered to the reader's notice, and will
afford besides an interesting specimen of ancient English. It occurs in
a manuscript preserved in the Harleian collection, No. 7333, written in
the reign of Henry the Sixth. The language is of the same period.

"Selestinus reignid a wyse emperoure in Rome, and he had a faire
dowter; and in his tyme ther was a knyᵹte that lovid this dowter,
but he thowte in himselfe that he dud al in veyne, for he thouᵹt as
forsothe that the emperoure wolde not late him to have hir, for he
was unworthi therto; nevertheles he thought yf he myght be any wey
have love of the damiselle it were inowe to me. He yede ofte tyme to
the damisell and aspied hir wille; and she said to him ayene that he
travaylid al in veyne, for trowist thow, quod she, with thi deseyvable
of faire wordes to begile me? Nay sir, be my soule, hit shal not be
so. Thenne saide the kniᵹte, What shal I yeve to the and late me lye
by the a nyght? Not thowh thou woldest yeve me an C marke of florens,
quod she, thou shalt not lye by me a nyght. Then hit shal be as thou
wilte, quod he. What dude he but purveyde him of so muche mony, s.
an C. marke of floreyns, and yaf hir. Whenne nyght come the kniᵹte
enterid into the bed of the mayde, and anoon he was aslepe, and she
dude of hir harnes, and come and laye downe by him. So the kniᵹte laye
slepynge al the nyght. On the morow she ros, and did on hir clothis,
and wishe hir hondes. And the kniᵹte awoke of his slepe, and thenne he
said, Come hedir to me that I may do my wille with the. Nay, by the
helth of my fadir, that wolle I not, quod she; for frende, I do the no
wronge. Thow accordiste with me that I shulde lye with the al nyght,
and so it is idon; for I lay by the al nyght, and thou sleptest and
preferdest me no solace, and therrfore blame thi selfe, and not me.
And the kniᵹte was hevy, and seide, What shal I yeve to the and lete
me lygge by the another nyght? As much, quod she, as thou did afor,
and no lesse. I assente, seide he. And the kniᵹte yede and solde alle
his movable goodes, and made redy an C. marke of floreynse. But se
now a marvelouse case; for right as hit was the furste nyght, so hit
was in the secounde. Thenne the kniᵹte mervaylid mor thanne man may
suppose, and hevy he was, and saide, Allas, for now have I spend al my
godes withoute spede; and therfore thow I shulle dye therefor I woll
make another ende, how moch shall I yeve the, and late us be togeder
the thirde nyght, quod the kniᵹte to the damisell. Sothely, she saide,
yf thou have me, as thou paide afore, _fiat voluntas tua_. I assent,
quod he, thou shalte have thin askynge and thi wille. The kniᵹte yede
into fer contree, til he come to a grete citee, in the whiche wer many
marchaunts and many philesophers, amonge the wiche was master Virgile
the philesopher. Then the kniᵹte yede to a grete marchaunt, and saide,
I have [nede] of monye, and yf thou wolt lende me an C marke unto a
certeyne day, I wolle ley to the al my londes undir this conducion
that if I holde not my day thow shalt have my londes for evere. Thenne
seyde the marchaunt, Der frend, I sette not so muche be thi londes,
but yf thow wolt make this covenaunt, that I shal sey to the, I wolle
fulfill thi wille. This saide he I am redy to do thi wille, yf thou
wolt do my petucion. Thenne, seide he, when this covenaunt is made that
I shalle seye unto the, thenne I shalle fulfille thyne askynge; and
the covenaunt shalle be this, that thou make to me a charter of thine
owne blood, in conducion that yf thowe kepe not thi day of payment, hit
shalle be lefulle to me for to draw awey alle the flesh of thi body
froo the bone with a sharp swerde, and yf thow wolt assent herto, I
shalle fulfille thi wille. The kniᵹte lovid the damisell so moch that
he grauntid al this, and made a charter of his owne bloode, and selid
it, and after the selyng this marchaunt toke him the money that he
askid. When he had the moneye, he thoute to him selfe, yf I gete my
wylle by this moneye, I am but dede; nay, nay, it may not be so. When
he harde tell of the grete name of maister Virgile, he yede to him,
and seide, Gode sir, I have previ counseill to speke a twene us too,
and I beseche yow of your wise counseill in this cas. Sey on, quod
Virgile, and I shalle telle the aftir my discrecion. Sir, I love the
dowter of the emperoure more than ye wolle trowe, and I accordid with
her for a certen sum of money. I have be disceyvid two nyghts in swiche
maner; and tolde alle the cas as welle as he coude, and sir nowe I have
borowed of a marchaunt so much moneye for the same cas to be fulfillid,
and undir this conducion, that yf I holde not my day of payment, hit
shalle thenne be lefulle to him to helde of alle the skynne of my body
with his swerde, and then I am but dede, and therfor sir, I am com to
you to have counsaill and wyt how I may bothe have helpe ayenste swiche
a parill, and also to have the love of that lovely lady. Thou hast
made a lewde covenaunt, seide Virgile, for as a man bindithe him with
his owne wille, right so he shall be servid be lawe of the emperoure;
and therefore thou shalt do wysely for to kepe the day of thi payment
alle things lefte. And towchinge the damesell I shall yeve the a tale
of truthe. Bitwene her shete and her coverlyte of hir bed is a letter
of swiche vertu, that whoso ever gothe with hir to bed, he shall anon
falle into a dede slepe; and he shalle not wake til time that hit be
put awey: and therfor when thou comest to hir bed, seche a twene the
shete and the coverlyte, and thow shalt fynde the letter; and when
thow hast founde hit caste hit fer from the bedde, and then entre into
the bed, for thou shalte not slepe til tyme that thow haste doon thi
wille with the damiselle, and that shalle torne to the gret honour and
joye. The kniᵹte toke his leve at Virgile, and thonkid him moche of his
hie counseill and yede to the damysell, and yafe hir the monye. When
nyᵹt come the kniᵹt enterid the chaumber, and preveli putte his honde
bitwene the coverlite and the shete, and there he fonde the letter;
and whenne he hadde hit he caste hit fer fro the bedde, and lay downe
and feynid as he hadde islepte, and thenne the damiselle knowing that
he had yslepte as he dude afor, she caste of hir clothis, and went to
bedde. Anon the kniᵹte sette hande to hir as is the maner of bed, and
she perceyved that, and prayd him of grace, and to save hir maydinhede,
and I shall dobble al the monye that thow hast yevin to me and yeve it
to the.... And aftur he lovid hir so muche that he drow so moche to hir
compane that he forᵹate the marchaunt and the day of payment was passid
by the space of xiiii dayes. And as he lay in a certen nyght in his
bed, hit come to his mynde the day that he made to the marchaunt, and
alle his bowells wer storid therewithe, and thenne said to her, Alas
woman that ever I saw the, for I am but dede. I borowed for thi love
swiche a some of mony for to pay at a certeyne day bi this conducion,
that yf I pay not at my day he shall have full power for to hilde
of the fleshe of my body without contradiccion; and now my day is
passid fourtenyte ago, so hih I sette myn hert in the. Then seide she,
Sorowithe not so moche, gothe to him, and debbelithe the mony to him,
and yf he wolle not, aske howe moche he wolle have, and I shalle paye
it. Tho was the kniᵹte comfortid. He yede to the citee, and there he
mette with the marchaunt in the stret, and lowly he saluid him. Tho
saide the marchaunt, So sey I not to the. Thenne seyde the kniᵹte,
Sir, for the trespas that I have made ayenste youre convencion I wolle
dowble the payment. Naye seide the marchaunt, that spake we not of, I
wolle have right as thou dudest bynde the to me. Aske of me, quod the
knight, as much mony as thou wolte, and thowe shalt be paide for my
trespas. It is veyne that thow spekist, quod the marchaunt, for thowhe
thou geve to me al the gode of thi citee, I wolle have the covenaunt I
holde, and non othere wolle I have of the than as the charter asselid
makith mencioun of; and anon he made the kniᵹt to be itake and lad to
the castell, and sette him in a safe ward, abyding the justice. When
the juge was come and satte in the dome, the kniᵹt come to barr among
other prisoners, and the marchaunt shewid his lettire afor the juge.
Anoon as the juge sawe there his owne dede, he said to alle that stode
aboute, Sirs, ye know welle it is the law of the emperour that yf enye
man bynde him by his owne freewille he shal resseyve as he servithe,
and therefore this marchaunt shalle have covenaunt as lawe wolle. Now
in al this tyme the damysell his love had sent kniᵹts for to aspie and
enquer how the law was pursued ayenst him, and whenne she harde telle
that the lawe passid ayenst him, she kytte of al the longe her of hir
hede, and cladde hir in precious clothing like to a man, and yede to
the palys there as hir lemon was to be demyd, and saluyd the justice,
and all they trowid that she had be a kniᵹte; and the juge enquerid
of what contree she was, and what she had to do ther. She said, I am
a kniᵹte, and come of fer contree, and her tithings that there is a
kniᵹte amonge yowe that shuld be demid to dethe for an obligacion that
he made to a marchaunt, and therefor I am come to deliver him. Thenne
the juge said, It is lawe of the emperoure that who so ever byndethe
him with his owne propre wille and consent withoute enye constraynynge
he shulde be servid so ayene. When the damisell harde this she turnid
to the marchaunt and saide, Der frende, what profite is it to the that
this kniᵹte that stondithe her redy to the dome be slayne? it wer
[better] to the to have monye than to have him slayne. Thou spekest al
in veyne, quod the marchaunt, for withoute doute I wolle have the lawe
sithe he bonde him so frely, and therefor he shalle have noon other
grace than lawe wolle, for he come to me, and I not to him. I desirid
him not thereto ayenste his wille. Thenne saide she, I praye the howe
moche shall I yeve to have my petucion? I shalle yeve the thi monye
double, and yf that be not plesynge to the, aske of me what thou wolte,
and Thou shalt have. Then saide he, thow harde me never seye but that I
wolde have my covenaunte kept. Sothely, seyde she, and thou shalt trowe
me afor your [you] sir juge, and afor yowe alle, I sey now sir juge
ywithe a right wisdome of that that I shal seye to yowe; ye have ihard
howe moche I have proferid this marchaunt for the lyf of this kniᵹte,
and he forsakithe all, and askithe the lawe, and that likith me moche;
and therfore lordinges that beye her, herithe me what I shalle seye.
Ye knowithe welle that the kniᵹt bonde him never by letter but that
the marchaunt shulde have power to kutte his fleshe fro the boons, but
there was no covenaunt made of sheding of blode, thereof was nothing
ispoke, and therefor late him set hond on him anoon, and yf he shede
ony bloode with his shavinge of the fleshe forsothe then shalle the
kynge have goode lawe upon him. And when the marchaunt harde this he
said, Yef me my monye, and I foryeve my accion. Fforsothe, quod she,
thou shalt not have oo penye, for afor al this companye I proferid to
the al that I myght, and thou forsoke hit, and saydist with a lowde
wyse, I shalle have my covenaunte; and therfor do thi beste with him,
but loke that thow shede no blode I charge the; for it is not thin, ne
no covenaunt was thereof. Thenne the marchaunt seynge this yede away
confus. And so was the Kniᵹt's lyf savid, and no penye ipayde. And
she yede home ayene, and dude of that clothinge, and clothid hit as
she was afor like to a woman. And the kniᵹte yede home ayene, and the
damisell turnid and met him, and askid howe he had ispedde, as thowhe
she had not knowen therof. A, lady, quod he, this day was I in poynt
to be dede for thy love, but as I was in point to be dampned, there
come in sodeynlye a knite, a fair and well ishape, the whiche I saw
never afor, and he delivirid me by his exellent wisdom bothe from dethe
and eke from payment of moneye. Thenne were thowhe, quod she, unkynde
that woldest nat bidde that kniᵹte to mete, that so faire had savid
the. He aunswerde therto, and saide that he come sodeinly and sodenly
yede. Thenne seide she, Knowiste thow him if thou seye him? Yee, quod
he, right wele. She yede up and cladde hir as she dide afore, and then
she yede forthe. And the kniᵹte knew her thenne wele, and for joye fel
doune upon hire, and said, Blessid be thow, and the houre in the whiche
I fyrste knew the. And he wepte, and aftir he weddid hir and livid and
deyde in the service of God, and yelde to God goode sowlis."

On the whole, then, it is conceived that the outline of the _bond
story_ is of Oriental origin;[13] that the author of the old play
of _The Jew_, and Shakspeare in his Merchant of Venice, have not
confined themselves to one source only in the construction of their
plot; but that the _Pecorone_, the _Gesta Romanorum_, and perhaps the
old _Ballad of Gernutus_, have been respectively resorted to. It is
however most probable that the original play was indebted chiefly, if
not altogether, to the _Gesta Romanorum_, which contained both the
main incidents; and that Shakspeare expanded and improved them, partly
from his own genius, and partly, as to the bond, from the _Pecorone_,
where the coincidences are too manifest to leave any doubt. Thus, the
scene being laid at Venice; the residence of the lady at Belmont; the
introduction of a person bound for the principal; the double infraction
of the bond, viz., the taking more or less than a pound of flesh and
the shedding of blood, together with the after-incident of the ring,
are common to the novel and the play. The whetting of the knife might
perhaps have been taken from the _Ballad of Gernutus_. Shakspeare was
likewise indebted to an authority that could not have occurred to the
original author of the play in an English form; this was, Silvayn's
_Orator_, as translated by Munday. From that work Shylock's reasoning
before the senate is evidently borrowed; but at the same time it has
been most skilfully improved.

The frequent allusions to the _different Gesta Romanorum_ may have
excited a wish to be more familiarly acquainted with that singular and
interesting work; but as the discussion of the subject in this place
would have augmented the tediousness of the note, it has been thought
better to make the attempt in a separate dissertation, where it is
hoped that any obscurity in the preceding remarks will be removed.

It is much to be lamented that this exquisitely beautiful drama can
neither be read nor performed, without exciting in every humane and
liberal mind an abhorrence of its professed design to vilify an ancient
and respectable, but persecuted, nation. It should be remembered that
contempt and intolerance must naturally excite hatred; that to provoke
revenge is, in fact, to become responsible for the crimes it may
occasion; that to those who would degrade and oppress us, it is but
justice to oppose craft; and that nature has supplied even the brute
creation with the means of resisting persecution. It will be readily
conceded that there happily exist in the present moment but few remains
of the illiberal prejudices complained of, the asperity of which has
been greatly mitigated by the laudable and successful exertions of a
modern dramatic writer, to whom the Jewish people are under the highest


[12] It may be worth remarking that the historian Stowe has made great
use of this curious and valuable Life of Wolsey, without naming the
author. It has been several times printed, but the manuscript copies
have greatly the advantage in fullness and accuracy.

[13] If the horrible incident of the cutting off the flesh had not
occurred in the several Oriental stories that have been mentioned,
one should have supposed that it had been suggested by that atrocious
decemviral law of the Twelve Tables, which empowered a creditor to
mangle the living body of his debtor without fear of punishment for
cutting more or less than the magistrate allowed. For the honour of the
Roman law, it is not recorded that the above inhuman decree was ever



                           SCENE 2. Page 16.

    CEL. This is not fortune's work neither, but _nature's_, who perceiving
    our _natural_ wits too dull to reason of such Goddesses,
    hath sent this _natural_ for our whetstone.

It must be observed that Touchstone is here called a _natural_ merely
for the sake of alliteration and a punning jingle of words; for he is
undoubtedly an artificial fool.

                           SCENE 2. Page 29.

    LE BEAU. More suits you to conceive, _than me_ to speak of.

The old copy had, _than I_. These grammatical errors in the use of
the personal pronoun should either be _uniformly_ corrected or left
entirely to themselves. Mr. Steevens in p. 9, note 7, seems to regard
them as the anomalies of the play-house editors; but Mr. Malone,
probably with more reason, is inclined to place them to the author's
own account. If the present correction by Mr. Rowe be retained in
future editions, we ought not to find such expressions as "hates
nothing more than _he_," p. 14; "no child but _I_," p. 15, and _who_
for _whom_ perpetually.


                           SCENE 1. Page 37.

    DUKE S. Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
    Wears yet a precious _jewel_ in his head.

What that stone which many people suppose to come from the head of
a toad really was, would be no easy task at present to determine.
Various conjectures have made it the _bsatrachites_, _chelonites_,
_brontia_, _ceraunia_, _glossopetra_, &c. Neither is it certain that
the text alludes to a _stone_; for Gesner informs us that in his
time, and _in England more particularly_, the common people made
superstitious uses of a _real jewel_ that always could be found in a
toad's head, viz., its _forehead bone_. To obtain this they severed
the animal in two parts, and exposed it to be devoured by ants; by
which means it presently became a skeleton. The above author carefully
distinguishes this bone from the toadstone, and from Pliny's bone
mentioned in Mr. Steevens's note. He has likewise with great industry,
as on all occasions, collected much that relates to the subject of the
toadstone. See his work _De quadrup. ovipar._ p. 65. It must be owned
that better naturalists than Shakspeare believed in the common accounts
of the toadstone. Batman in his edition to the article relating to the
_botrax_ or _rubeta_ in Bartholomæus _De propr. rerum_, informs us that
"some toads that breed in Italy and about Naples, have in their heads
a stone called a _crapo_, of bignes like a big peach, but flat, of
colour gray, with a browne spot in the midst _said to be of vertue_. In
times past they were much worne, and used in ringes, as the forewarning
against venime." Another learned divine who is often very witty, but on
this occasion perfectly grave, has told us that "some report that the
toad before her death sucks up (if not prevented with sudden surprisal)
the precious stone (as yet but a jelly) in her head, grudging mankind
the good thereof."--Fuller's _Church history_, p. 151. In a medical
work too we are informed that "in the head of a greate tode there is a
stone, which stone being stampt and geven to the pacyent to drinke in
warme wine, maketh him to pise the stone out incontinent," &c.--Lloyd's
_Treasure of helth_, pr. by Copland, n. d. 12mo. The notion of jewels
in the heads of animals is very widely spread. Mr. Wilkins has informed
us that it is a vulgar notion in India that some species of serpents
have precious stones in their heads. _Hectopades_, p. 302. The best
account of the different sorts of toadstones, so far as regards the
illustration of the above superstitious notions, is in Topsell's
_History of serpents_, 1608, folio, p. 188.

                           SCENE 1. Page 39.

    1. LORD. To the which place a poor sequester'd stag
    Did come to languish ...
    ... and _the big round tears_
    Cours'd one another down his innocent nose
    In piteous chase.

The stag is said to possess a very large secretion of tears. "When
the hart is arered, he fleethe to a ryver or ponde, and roreth cryeth
and _wepeth_ when he is take."--Bartholomæus _De propriet. rerum_,
1. xviii. c. 30. Batman, in his commentary on that work, adds, from
Gesner, that "when the hart is sick and hath eaten many serpents for
his recoverie, he is brought unto so great a heate, that he hasteth to
the water, and their covereth his body unto the very eares and eyes, at
which time _distilleth many teares_ from which the [Bezoar] stone is
gendered," &c. The translator of _The noble arte of Venerie_ makes the
hart thus address the hunter:

    "O cruell, be content, to take in worth my _teares_,
    Which growe to gumme, and fall from me; content thee with my heares,
    Content thee with my hornes, which every yeare I mew,
    Since all these three make medicines, some sicknesse to eschew.
    My _teares_ congeal'd to gumme, by peeces from me fall,
    And thee preserve from pestilence, in pomander or ball.
    Such wholesome _teares_ shedde I, when thou pursewest me so."

Compare also Virgil's description of the wounded stag in the seventh
book of the Æneid.

                           SCENE 2. Page 43.

    DUKE. And let not search and inquisition _quail_
    To bring again these foolish runaways.

"To _quail_," says Mr. Steevens, "is to _faint_, to sink into
dejection;" and so it certainly is, but not in this instance; for
neither search nor inquisition could very well faint or become
dejected. They might indeed _slacken_, _relax_, or _diminish_, and
such is really the present meaning of the word. Thus "Hunger cureth
love, for love _quaileth_ when good cheare faileth."--_The choise of
change_, 1585, 4to, sign. L. i. _To quail_ is also used in the several
senses of to _sink_, _abate_, _deaden_, _enfeeble_, _press down_, and
_oppress_; all of which might be exemplified from the writings of
authors contemporary with Shakspeare, and some of them from his own. It
seems to be a modification of to quell, i. e. to destroy altogether, to
kill, from the Saxon cƿellan.

                           SCENE 2. Page 54.

    JAQ. But that they call compliment, is like the encounter of two

Bartholomæus, speaking of apes, says, "some be called _cenophe_;
and be lyke to an _hounde_ in the face, and in the body lyke to an
_ape_."--Lib. xviii. c. 96.

                           SCENE 5. Page 55.

    JAQ. Ducdáme, ducdáme, ducdáme.

The stanza which the facetious old squire sang before Dr. Farmer has
occurred in the following shape; but where is the Œdipus who shall
unfold the connexion of either with Jaques's song?

    "O _damy_ what makes my _ducks_ to die?
      What can ail them, Oh!
    They eat their victuals and down they lie,
      What can ail them, Oh!"

                           SCENE 7. Page 66.

    JAQ. ... All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players.

Mr. Steevens refers to the _totus mundus exerceat histrioniam_ of
Petronius, with whom probably the sentiment originated; but this
author had not been translated in Shakspeare's time. The play of
_Damon and Pythias_, which Mr. Malone has cited, might have furnished
the observation. There are likewise two other probable sources that
are worthy of notice on this occasion. The first is Withal's _Short
dictionarie in Latine and English_, several times printed in the reign
of Elizabeth, where in fo. 69 of the edit. 1599, is the following
passage: "This life is a certain enterlude or _plaie_. _The world is a
stage_ full of chang everie way, _everie man is a plaier_." The other
is Pettie's translation of Guazzo's _Civile conversation_, 1586, 4to,
where one of the parties introduces the saying of some philosopher
"that this _world_ was a _stage_, we the _players_ which present the
comedie." Shakspeare had himself used nearly the same language in the
first act of _The merchant of Venice_:

    "I hold the world, but as the world, Gratiano,
    A stage, where every man must play a part."

A portion of Jaques's speech has been imitated in some lines by
Thomas Heywood among the commendatory verses prefixed to his _Actors
vindication_, 1658, 4to:

    "The world 's a theater, the earth a stage,
    Which God and nature doth with actors fill;
    All men have parts, and each man acts his own," &c.

                           SCENE 7. Page 66.

    JAQ. And one man in his time plays many parts,
    _His acts being seven ages_.

A print of the seven ages of men like those referred to by Messrs.
Henley and Steevens may be seen in Comenius's _Orbis pictus_, tit.
xxxvii., in which are found _the infant_, _the boy_, and _the decrepid
old man_: the rest of Shakspeare's characters seem to be of his own
invention. There is a division of the seven ages of man in Arnolde's
_Chronicle_, fo. lix. verso, agreeing, except in the arrangement of
years, with that given by Mr. Malone from _The treasury of ancient and
modern times_.

                           SCENE 7. Page 69.

JAQ. _Sans_ teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

This word, introduced into our language as early as the time of
Chaucer, has sometimes received on the stage a French pronunciation,
which in the time of Shakspeare it certainly had not. The old
orthography will serve to verify this position:

    "I none dislike, I fancie some,
      But yet of all the rest,
    _Sance_ envie, let my verdite passe,
      Lord Buckhurst is the best."

                                         Turbervile's verses before his
                                           _Tragical tales_, 1587, 4to.


                           SCENE 2. Page 82.

    ROS. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a
    medlar: then it will be the _earliest_ fruit in the country, for
    you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue
    of the medlar.

On this Mr. Steevens observes that Shakspeare had little knowledge of
gardening, the medlar being one of the latest fruits, and uneatable
till the end of November. But is not the charge, at least in this
instance, unfounded; and has not the learned commentator misunderstood
the poet's meaning? It is well known that the medlar is only edible
when _apparently_ rotten. This is what Shakspeare calls its _right
virtue_. If a fruit be fit to be eaten when rotten and _before it be
ripe_, it may in one sense be termed _the earliest_. The inaccuracy
seems to be in making the medlar rotten before it is ripe, the
rottenness being, as it is conceived, the ripeness.

                           SCENE 2. Page 93.

    ORL. I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading them

This very much resembles the _sed male cum recitas, incipit esse
tuum_, in one of Martial's epigrams, lib. i. ep. 39, of which the
following translation was made by Timothy Kendall, in his _Flowers of
epigrammes_, 1577, 12mo:

    "The booke which thou doest read, it is
      Frende Fidentinus myne;
    _But when thou ill doest read it, then
      Beginns it to bee thyne_."

                           SCENE 4. Page 111.

    CEL. He hath bought a pair of _cast_ lips of Diana: a nun of
    winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of
    chastity is in them.

Theobald explains _cast_ lips "a pair _left off_ by Diana." It is not
easy to conceive how the goddess could _leave off_ her lips; or how,
being left off, Orlando could purchase them. Celia seems rather to
allude to a statue _cast in plaister or metal_, the lips of which might
well be said to possess _the ice_ of chastity.

As to the "nun of winter's sisterhood," Warburton might have contented
himself with censuring the dullness of Theobald. His own _sisterhoods
of the seasons_ are by much too refined and pedantic, and in every
respect objectionable. Shakspeare poetically feigns a new order of
nuns, most appropriate to his subject, and wholly devoid of obscurity.

                           SCENE 5. Page 115.

    SIL. ... The common executioner
    _Falls not the axe_ upon the humbled neck.

There is no doubt that the expression _to fall the axe_ may with
propriety refer to the usual mode of decapitation; but if it could be
shown that in the reign of Elizabeth this punishment was inflicted
in England by an instrument resembling the French guillotine, which
though merciful in the discharge of its office, has justly excited
abhorrence from the number of innocent victims that have suffered by
it, the expression would perhaps seem rather more appropriate. Among
the cuts to the first edition of Holinshed's chronicle such a machine
is twice introduced; and as it does not appear that in either instance
there was any cause for the particular use of it, we may reasonably
infer that it was at least sometimes adopted. Every one has heard
of the _Halifax gibbet_, which was just such another instrument, and
certainly introduced into that town, for reasons that do not appear,
long before the time in which Holinshed was printed. It is said that
the Earl of Morton, the Scotish regent, saw it at Halifax, and that he
introduced it into Scotland, where it was used for a considerable time
afterwards.[14] In that country it was called _the maiden_, and Morton
himself actually suffered by it, when condemned as an accomplice in
the murder of Lord Darnley. In the best edition of Holinshed, Thynne's
continuation of Hector Boethius's history is printed, in which there
is an account of the conference between the Earl and the Ministers of
Edinburgh, under the title of _The examination and answers of the Earl
of Morton before his death, but after his condemnation_. Thynne seems
to say that the above account was delivered over to him, but he has
omitted to state the particulars. In a manuscript of this conference,
written at the time, and in the possession of the author of these
observations, it is called _The some of all the conferrence that was
betweene the Earle Morton and John Dury and Mr. Walker the same daye
that he suffered which was the 2 June 1581_, and differs in several
places from the other. In both, at the end, there is an account of the
Earl's last moments, in which it is stated (the MS. being here quoted)
that he "layde his head _under the axe_, his handes being unbounde,
Mr. Walker cried in his eare, Lord Jesus receive thy spirite, he saide
Jesus receive my sowle, which wordes he was speaking while _the axe
fell on his necke_." This extract would alone be sufficient to decide
on the mode in which Morton was beheaded; but in the MS. there is a
neat drawing of the machine itself, resembling the cut in the earliest
edition of Holinshed, except that in the latter the axe is suspended
to the top of the frame by a string which the executioner cuts with a
knife, whilst in the other, a peg, to which the string is attached, is
drawn out of one of the sides.

It may be worth adding that in _King Henry VI. part 2_, Eleanor says to
her husband the duke of Gloucester,

    "But be thou mild, and blush not at my shame,
    Nor stir at nothing, till the axe of death
    _Hang over thee_----"

                           SCENE 5. Page 118.

    ROS. ... What though you have _more_ beauty
    (As by my faith, I see no more in you
    Than without candle may go dark to bed)

The old copy reads _no beauty_. Mr. Malone substitutes _mo_, i. e.
_more_, and supports his alteration by making Rosalind allow that Phœbe
had _more_ beauty than her lover; but she soon afterwards asserts the
contrary in the most positive terms. The omission of the disputed
monosyllable, which in the old copy might have caught the compositor's
eye in the ensuing line and occasioned the mistake, will certainly
correct the present redundancy in the line, and perhaps restore the
author's original language. _As_ in the next line appears to have the
power of _though_; a word that could not be used on account of its
introduction in the preceding line.


                           SCENE 1. Page 130.

    ROS. I will laugh like a _hyen_, and that when thou art inclined to

"He commeth to houses _by night_, and feineth _mannes voyce_ as he
maye," &c.--Bartholomæus _De propriet. rer._ lib. xviii. c. 61. _De

                           SCENE 3. Page 142.

    OLI ... for 'tis
    The royal disposition of that beast,
    To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead.

This property of the lion, whether true or false, was acknowledged
by our forefathers. Thus in "_The choise of change containing the
divinitie, philosophie, and poetrie_," &c., 1585, 4to, a work evidently
constructed on the model of the Welsh triads, we find the following
passage: "three things shew that there is a great clemencie in lions;
_they will not hurt them that lie groveling_," &c. Bartholomæus says,
"their mercie is known by many and oft ensamples: _for they spare
them that lye on the ground_." Shakspeare again alludes to the lion's
generosity in _Troilus and Cressida_, Act V. Scene 3:

    "Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you
    Which better fits a lion than a man."


                           SCENE 2. Page 152.

    ROS. By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I say I am a

Of the two constructions of this speech, that by Mr. Steevens seems
deserving of the preference; but the grounds on which it stands require
examination. A statute against witchcraft was made in the first year
of king James. Now if, as Dr. Warburton conceives, it is to this that
Rosalind alludes, the play must have been written after 1603. Mr.
Malone, whose opinion is supported by very solid reasons, thinks it was
written in 1600; and therefore to reconcile the explanation given by
Mr. Steevens, we must suppose that the foregoing allusion is to some
prior statutes of Henry the Eighth and Elizabeth, which punished those
who practised witchcraft with death.

                           SCENE 2. Page 154.

    ROS. I will satisfy you if ever I _satisfy'd_ man.

The context seems to require that we should read _satisfy_; and it was
the genius of Shakspeare's age to write so.


Touchstone is the domestic fool of Frederick the duke's brother, and
belongs to the class of witty or allowed fools. He is threatened with
the whip, a mode of chastisement which was often inflicted on this
motley personage. His dress should be a party-coloured garment. He
should occasionally carry a bauble in his hand, and wear asses' ears
to his hood, which is probably the head dress intended by Shakspeare,
there being no allusion whatever to a cock's head or comb. The
three-cornered hat which Touchstone is made to wear on the modern stage
is an innovation, and totally unconnected with the genuine costume of
the domestic fool.


[14] See Hume's hist. of the houses of Douglas and Angus, 1644, folio,
p. 356. There are good reasons for supposing that the instrument in
question was invented in Germany.


In the _dramatis personæ_ of this play the "gentle astringer" is
omitted, who, though he says but little, has a better claim to be
inserted than Violenta, who says nothing. Mr. Steevens remarks that her
name was borrowed from an old _metrical history_ entitled _Didaco and
Violenta_; but Shakspeare more probably saw it in the running title of
Painter's _Palace of pleasure_, whence he got his plot of this play,
and where the above history occurs in _prose_. The title is borrowed
from a proverbial saying much older than the time of Shakspeare.
Knyghton has preserved some of the speeches of Jack Straw and his
brother insurgents; and in that of Jack Carter we have this expression:
_for if the ende be wele than is alle wele_. The orations of these
heroes were made up of proverbial saws, a proof of the great influence
they must have had with the common people. See the _Decem scriptores_
by Twysden, col. 2637.


                           SCENE 1. Page 187.

    LAF. A fistula, my Lord.

What Mr. Steevens calls the _inelegance_ of the king's disorder is not
to be placed to Shakspeare's account; for it is specifically mentioned
both in Painter's story of _Giletta_, and in Boccaccio himself. It is
singular that the learned critic should not have remembered this.

                           SCENE 1. Page 188.

    COUNT. Where an unclean mind carries virtuous qualities, there
    commendations go with pity; they are virtues and traitors too.

The explanations of this speech appear to be too refined; and Dr.
Warburton's, as usual, particularly so. The meaning is simply
this:--_where strong and useful talents are combined with an evil
disposition, we feel regret even in commending them; because, in such a
mind, however good in themselves, their use and application are always
to be suspected_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 217.

    CLO. A _prophet_ I madam.

A reconsideration of these words have suggested the necessity of
cancelling _both_ the notes, for the clown is not a _natural_, but an
_artificial_ fool.

                           SCENE 3. Page 224.

    HEL. Indeed, my mother! or were you _both our mothers_.

This strange and faulty language deserved notice. It should have been,
_or were you so to both_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 234.

    BER. I shall stay here the _forehorse to a smock_
    Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry
    Till honour be brought up, and _no sword worn,
    But one to dance with_.

He means that he shall remain at home to _lead out ladies_ in the
dance, till honour, &c. In _Titus Andronicus_, Act II. Scene 1,
Demetrius speaks of _a dancing rapier_. The custom of wearing swords
in the dancing schools is exemplified in a curious story related in
_Newes from the North_, 1579, 4to, where "Pierce Plowman sheweth how
his neighbour and hee went to the tavern and to _the dauncing schoole_
and what hapned there," in these words: "Now was there one man of our
company that was as deaf as a doore naile. When we were come into the
schoole; the musitions were playing and one dauncing of a galiard, and
even at our entring hee was beginning a trick as I remember of sixteens
or seventeens, I doo not very wel remember, but wunderfully hee leaped,
flung and took on, which the deaf man beholding, and not hearing any
noyse of the musick, thought verily that hee had been stark mad and out
of his wit, and of pure pittie and compassion ran to him and caught him
in his armes and held him hard and fast. The dauncer not knowing his
good meaning, and taking it to the wurst, and having _a dagger_ drew
it out, and smot the man a great blowe upon the hed, and brake his hed
very sore." Another illustration of the subject is too interesting from
the picture of ancient manners which it exhibits to stand in need of
any apology for its insertion. It is from Stafforde's _Briefe conceipt
of English pollicy_, 1581, 4to. "I thinke wee were as much dread or
more of our enemies, when our gentlemen went simply and our serving
men plainely, without cuts or gards, bearing their heavy swordes
and buckelers on their thighes insted of cuts and gardes and _light
daunsing swordes_; and when they rode carrying good speares in theyr
hands in stede of white rods, which they cary now more like ladies
or gentlewomen then men; all which delicacyes maketh our men cleane
effeminate and without strength."

                           SCENE 2. Page 249.

    CLO. As Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger.

The covert allusion mentioned by Mr. Ritson is, in all probability,
the right solution of this passage; but the practice of marrying with
a rush ring may admit of some additional remarks. Sir John Hawkins
had already, in a very curious and interesting note, illustrated the
subject; and it must appear very extraordinary that _one of the
subsequent notes_ should question the practice of marrying with a rush
ring, on the grounds that _no authority_ had been produced in support
of it. This must therefore be explained. The fact is, that the author
of the doubts had never seen Sir John Hawkins's _entire_ note, which
had originally appeared in the edition of 1778, but was injudiciously
suppressed in that of 1785. In the edition of 1790 there is only a
brief and general statement of Sir John's opinion, and this led to the
doubts expressed. In 1793 Mr. Steevens restores a note which he had
already cancelled, and _with all its authorities before him_, permits
them to be questioned; but there are many who will comprehend his

The information from Du Breul (not Breval, as misprinted) _Theâtre
des antiquitez de Paris_. 1612. 4to, is worth stating more at large.
The author tells us that in the official court of the church of Saint
Marinus, those who have lived unchastely are conducted to the church by
two officers, in case they refuse to go of their own accord, and there
married by the curate with a _rush ring_. They are likewise enjoined
to live in peace and friendship, thereby to preserve the honour of
their friends and relations, and their own souls from the danger they
had incurred. This is only practised where no other method of saving
the honour of the parties and their connexions can be devised. A
modern French writer remarks on this ceremony; "pour faire observer,
sans doute, au mari, combien etoit _fragile la vertu_ de celle qu'il

With respect to the constitutions of the bishop of Salisbury in 1217,
which forbid the putting of _rush rings_ on women's fingers, there
seems to be an _error_ in the reason for this prohibition as stated
by Sir John Hawkins, but for which he is not perhaps responsible. He
says it is insinuated by the bishop, "that there were some people
weak enough to believe, that what was thus done in jest, was a real
marriage." The original words, as in Spelman's _councils_, are these:
"ne dum jocari se putat, honoribus matrimonialibus se _abstringat_."
Now unless we read "_adstringat_" there is a difficulty in making sense
of the passage, which seems to mean, _least, whilst he thinks he is
only practising a joke, he may be tying himself in the matrimonial
noose_. It is to be observed that this consequence was not limited to
the deception of putting _a rush ring only_ on the woman's finger, but
any ring whatever, whether of vile or of precious materials.

In Greene's _Menaphon_ is this passage: "Well, 'twas a good worlde when
such simplicitie was used, sayes the old women of our time, when a
_ring of a rush_ would tie as much love together as a gimmon of golde."
But _rush rings_ were sometimes innocently used. Thus in Spenser's
_Shepherds calendar_, eclog. xi. mention is made of "the knotted _rush
rings_, and gilt rosemaree" of the deceased shepherdess. Again in
Fletcher's _Two noble kinsmen_, Act iv.;

    "... _Rings_ she made
    Of _rushes_ that grew by, and to 'em spoke
    The prettiest posies: _thus our true love's ty'd;
    This you may loose, not me_; and many a one."

_Tib_ and _Tom_ were names for any low or vulgar persons, and they are
usually mentioned together in the same manner as _Jack_ and _Gill_, &c.
In the morality of _Like will to like quoth the devil to the collier_,
Nicholas Newfangle says,

    "By the mas for thee he is so fit a mate
    As _Tom_ and _Tib_ for Kit and Kate."

In the old song of _The shepheard's holyday_, we have,

              "Jetting Gill,
              Jumping Will,
    O'r the floore will have their measure;
              Kit and Kate
              There will waite,
    _Tib_ and _Tom_ will take their pleasure."

Thomas Drant in his translation of Horace's _Arte of poetrye_, 1567,
4to, has Englished _fricti ciceris et nucis emptor_, by _Tom and
Tib_, &c.; and in _A satyr against Satyrs, or St. Peter's vision
transubstantiated_, 1680, 4to, are these lines:

    "O' th same bead-string with fryar hang'd a nun,
    What, would not you have _Tib_ to follow _Tom_?"

                           SCENE 3. Page 257.

    HEL. To each of you one fair and virtuous mistress
    Fall, when love please! _marry to each, but one!_

Mr. Tyrwhitt regards the latter exclamation as ludicrous, in
consequence of Helena's limitation of _one_ mistress to each lord, and
would therefore give it to Parolles. Mr. Mason, on the contrary, is of
opinion that the words _but one_, mean _except one_; that the person
excepted is Bertram, whose mistress Helena hoped she herself should
be; and that she makes the exception out of modesty, as otherwise it
would extend to herself. Of these two opinions the first is the most
probable, deriving considerable support from the _one_ in the preceding
line; for if Shakspeare had meant _except one_, he would have written
"_a_ fair and virtuous mistress." Helena's exception as stated by Mr.
Mason might indeed have been made on the score of modesty so far as
regarded her beauty; but she could not with propriety admit that she
had no _virtue_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 257.

    LAF. I'd give bay _Curtal_.

Mr. Steevens should have added that this was a proper name for a horse,
as well as an appellation for a dock'd one. "Their knavery is on this
manner; they have always good geldings and trusty, which they can make
_curtailes_ when they list, and againe set too large tailes, hanging
to the fetlockes at their pleasure."--_Martin Marhall's apologie to
the belman of London_, 1610, sign. G. _Curtail_ is not from _cur_ and
_tail_, as stated in some dictionaries, but from the French _tailler


                           SCENE 6. Page 298.

    2. LORD. If you give him not _John Drum's entertainment_.

The meaning of this phrase has been very well ascertained, but its
origin remains to be traced. Is it a metaphor borrowed from the
_beating_ of a drum, or does it allude to the drumming a person out of
a regiment? There can be no reference to a real person, because in many
old writers we find both _Jack_ and _Tom_ Drum.


                           SCENE 3. Page 323.

    1. LORD. _Hoodman_ comes!

An allusion to the game of blindman's buff, formerly called _hoodman

                           SCENE 3. Page 326.

    PAR. He was whipp'd for getting the _sheriff's fool_ with child.

Mr. Ritson will not admit this to be a fool kept by the sheriff for
diversion, but supposes her one of those idiots whose care, as he
says, devolved on the sheriff when they had not been begged of the
king on account of the value of their lands. Now if this was the law,
the sheriff must have usually had more than one idiot in his custody;
and had Shakspeare alluded to one of these persons, he would not
have chosen so definite an expression as that in question; he would
rather have said, "_a_ sheriff's fool." Female idiots were retained
in families for diversion as well as male, though not so commonly;
and there would be as much reason to expect one of the former in the
sheriffs household as in that of any other person. It is not impossible
that our author might have in view some real event that had just

                           SCENE 3. Page 327.

    BER. I know his brains are forfeit to the next _tile_ that falls.

In Whitney's _Emblems_, a book certainly known to Shakspeare, there is
a story of three women who threw dice to ascertain which of them should
first die. She who lost affected to laugh at the decrees of fate, when
_a tile suddenly falling_, put an end to her existence.

                           SCENE 3. Page 329.

    PAR. ... a dangerous and lascivious boy, who is _a whale to

This is an allusion to the story of _Andromeda_ in old prints, where
the monster is very frequently represented as a _whale_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 333.

    PAR. For a _quart d'ecu_ he will sell the fee simple of his

The quart d'ecu, or as it was sometimes written _cardecue_, was a
French piece of money first coined in the reign of Henry III. It was
the fourth part of the _gold_ crown, and worth fifteen sols. It is a
fact not generally known, that many foreign coins were current at this
time in England; some English coins were likewise circulated on the
continent. The French crown and its parts passed by weight only.

                           SCENE 4. Page 339.

    HEL. All's well that ends well: still _the fine's a crown_.

In _King Henry VI. part 2._ Act V. we have "la fin couronne les
œuvres." Both phrases are from the Latin _finis coronat opus_. In
this sense we still use the expression to _crown_, for to _finish_
or _make perfect_. _Coronidem imponere_ is a metaphor well known to
the ancients, and supposed to have originated from the practice of
finishing buildings by placing a crown at their top as an ornament;
and for this reason the words _crown_, _top_ and _head_ are become
synonymous in most languages.

There is reason for believing that the ancients placed a crescent at
the beginning, and a crown, or some ornament that resembled it, at the
end of their books. In support of the first usage we have a poem by
Ausonius entitled CORONIS which begins in this manner:

    "Quos legis à prima deductos _menide_ libri."

And of the other, these lines in Martial, lib. x. ep. 1:

    "Si nimius videor, seraque _coronide_ longus
    Esse liber: legito pauca, libellus ero."

The mark which was used in later times for the _coronis_ has been
preserved in the etymologies of Isidore, lib. i. c. 20. It is this,
[Illustration]; and in some manuscripts of that writer [Illustration]
and [Illustration]. In other places it has these forms, [Illustration].

                           SCENE 5. Page 343.

    CLO. But sure, he is _the prince of the world_.

The Devil is often called so by Saint John.


                           SCENE 2. Page 349.

    PAR. Good Monsieur _Lavatch_.

"This," says Mr Steevens, "is an undoubted and perhaps _irremediable_
corruption of some French word." Yet the name is obviously _La vache_,
which, whether really belonging to the clown or not, seems well adapted
to such a character.

                           SCENE 2. Page 351.

    CLO. Here is a _pur_ of fortune's sir, or of fortune's cat.

The text is perfectly intelligible, and requires no conjectural
amendment. The clown calls Parolles's letter a _pur_; because, like the
purring of the sycophant cat, it was calculated to procure favour and


He is a domestic fool of the same kind as Touchstone.



                           SCENE 1. Page 386.

    SLY. Therefore, _paucas pallabris_.

Perhaps these words are part of an old Spanish proverb, corresponding
with the Portuguese, "A o hom entendedor _poucas palavras_," i. e. to
an intelligent man, few words. Most of the modern European languages
have a proverb like our "word to the wise." In Ben Jonson's _Masque
of Augures_, Vangoose is made to exclaim "hochos-pochos, _paucos

                           SCENE 1. Page 394.

    LORD. And when he says he is ----, say that he dreams.

Of the various modes of filling up this blank suggested in the notes,
that of Dr. Johnson, who would insert _sly_, is the most probable. Mr.
Steevens asks, "how should the Lord know the beggar's name to be Sly?"
This is very true; yet Shakspeare might as well forget himself in this
place as he certainly did a few pages afterwards, where he makes the
Lord's servant talk of _Cicely_ Hacket, &c.


                           SCENE 1. Page 414.

    KATH. I pray you, sir, is it your will
    To make a _stale_ of me amongst these _mates_.

She means to say, "do you intend to make a strumpet of me among these
companions?" but the expression seems to have been suggested by the
chess-term of _stale mate_, which is used when the game is ended by
the king being alone and unchecked, and then forced into a situation
from which he is unable to move without going into check. This is a
dishonourable termination to the adversary, who thereby loses the game.
Thus in Lord Verulam's twelfth essay, "They stand still like a _stale_
at chess, where it is no _mate_, but yet the game cannot stir."

                           SCENE 2. Page 427.

    PET. Be she as foul as was Florentius' love.

Dr. Farmer's note might have been omitted, as it refers to a story
which has no manner of connection with that to which Petruchio alludes.

                           SCENE 2. Page 436.

    PET. Tush, tush, _fear_ boys with _bugs_.

To _fear_ is to frighten. In Mathews's _Bible_, psalm xci. v. 5, is
thus rendered: "Thou shalt not nede to be afraied for any _bugs_ by
night." In the Hebrew it is "_terror_ of the night;" a curious passage,
evidently alluding to that horrible sensation the night-mare, which
in all ages has been regarded as the operation of evil spirits. Thus
much seemed necessary in explanation or defence of the above most
excellent old translation, which we have retained with very little
change in the language; for the expression, from its influence on a
modern ear, might have been liable to a very ludicrous construction.
The word _bug_ is originally Celtic, _bŵg_, a ghost or goblin, and
hence _bug-bear_, _boggerd_, _bogle_, _boggy-bo_, and perhaps _pug_, an
old name for the Devil. _Boggy-bo_ seems to signify the _spirit_ Bo,
and has been thought, with some probability, to refer to a warrior of
that name, the son of Odin, and of great celebrity among the ancient
Danes and Norwegians. His name is said to have struck his enemies
with terror, and might have been used by the nurses of those times to
frighten children, as that of Marlborough was in France on the same
occasion. It is remarkable that the Italian women use _bau bau_, for
this purpose, and the French _ba-bo_. It should seem as if _bug_ had
been metaphorically applied to the _cimex_, that insect being in all
respects _a terror of the night_. Nor was the word used in this sense
till late in the seventeenth century, the old names for the house bug
being, _wall-louse_, _wig-louse_, _chinch_, _punie_, and _puneez_; the
two last from the French.


                           SCENE 1. Page 442.

    KATH. And, for your love to her, _lead apes in hell_.

It is perhaps an ill-natured, though a very common, presumption, that
the single state of old maids originates either in prudery or in real
aversion to the male sex, and that consequently they deserve some kind
of punishment in the next world. It is therefore not a matter of wonder
that some of our waggish forefathers, impressed with this idea, should
have maintained that these obdurate damsels would be condemned to lead
apes in the inferior regions, instead, as Mr. Steevens has ingeniously
suggested, of children; or perhaps with a view to compel them to bestow
such attention on these deformed animals as they had formerly denied to
men. So in Rabelais' hell, Alexander the great is condemned, for his
ambition, to mend old stockings, and Cleopatra, for her pride, to cry

It is said that homicides and adulterers were in ancient times
compelled by way of punishment to lead an ape by the neck, with their
mouths affixed in a very unseemly manner to the animal's tail. The
fact is mentioned in the early Latin dictionary entitled _Vocabularius
breviloquus_, and in the _Catholicon_ of Johannes Januensis, both
printed at the end of the fifteenth century, under the article
_anulus_. It is added, that the above punishment being found too
opprobrious was commuted for wearing a ring on the finger, which the
higher classes caused to be made of gold or silver; and this is further
stated to have been the reason why the general practice of wearing
rings declined. After all it may be a mere fabrication for the purpose
of introducing an etymology of the word _annulus_, that cannot here be

                           SCENE 1. Page 450.

    HOR. And, _twangling Jack_.

It is the author's desire to withdraw a former note on this passage,
which, as well as a few others of a confidential nature, was not
intended for publication. To _twangle_ means to make any sharp shrill
noise on a stringed instrument, as a bad player would do. A _Jack_
denotes a low or mean person, and is occasionally used as a term
of reproach. Thus Horatio is afterwards called "swearing _Jack_."
_Twangling Jack_ may sometimes allude to that little machine in
harpsichords and spinnets in which the quill is placed that strikes
the wires. The _jangling Jack_ mentioned in Mr. Steevens's note is
not connected with the other. He is a mere _prating fellow_. Thus in
Drant's translation of Horace's ninth satire, 1567, 4to:

    "A _prater_ shal becom his death,
      Therefore, let him alwayes,
    If he be wise, shun _jangling jackes_,
      After his youthful dayes."

                           SCENE 1. Page 461.

    GRE. My hangings all of _Tyrian tapestry_.

Whether the purple of Tyre be here alluded to is doubtful. There is
a Turkish city of some celebrity in Natolia called Tiria, where,
according to the account of Paul Lucas, carpets are manufactured; and
in the _Comedy of errors_, Act IV. Scene 1, mention is made of _Turkish


                           SCENE 1. Page 470.

    LUC. ... for, _but_ I be deceiv'd.

Mr. Malone has well explained this word as meaning _unless_, in which
sense it is often used by Shakspeare. It is the Saxon buꞇon, _nisi_.
Sometimes it was used with _if_, as "I wol breake thy heed _but if_
thou get the hense;" from Terence's "Diminuam ego tibi caput, _nisi_
abis," Udall's _Floures from Latine_, 1533, 12mo.

                           SCENE 2. Page 487.

    PET. Go to the feast, revel and _domineer_.

So in Tarlton's _Jests_, "T. having been _domineering_ very late at
night with two of his friends." In these instances to _domineer_ is to

                           SCENE 2. Page 487.

    PET. She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house,
    My houshold stuff, my field, my barn,
    My horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing.

In the anonymous play of _A knacke to knowe a knave_, 1594, one of
the old men says, "My house? why, 'tis my goods, my wyfe, my land, my
horse, my ass, or any thing that is his." If Mr. Malone's conjecture
respecting the date of _The taming of the shrew_ be well founded, it is
difficult to say whether Shakspeare is the borrower, in this instance,
or not.


                           SCENE 1. Page 494.

    CRU. ... their _blue coats_ brushed----

Thus in Nashe's _Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriell Harvey's
hunt is up_, when this foul-mouth'd writer has accused his adversary
Harvey of defrauding Wolfe his printer of thirty-six pounds, he adds,
that he borrowed of him a _blue coat_ for his man; "and yet Wolfe did
not so much as _brush_ it, when he lent it him, or presse out the print
where the _badge_ had been." In another place, alluding to the same
transaction, he states that Wolfe "lent him one of his prentises for
a serving creature to grace him, clapping an old _blue coate_ on his
backe, which was one of my Lord of Harford's liveries (he pulling the
_badge_ off)."

The practice of giving liveries to menial servants has not originated
in modern times. It is mentioned in some of the statutes made in the
reign of Richard the Second. In that of Edward the Fourth the terms
_livery_ and _badge_ appear to have been synonymous, the former having
no doubt been borrowed from the French language, and signifying a
thing _delivered_. The badge consisted of the master's device, crest,
or arms, on a separate piece of cloth, or sometimes silver, in the
form of a shield, fastened to the left sleeve. Greene, in his _Quip
for an upstart courtier_, speaking of some serving men, says, "their
cognizance, as I remember, was a peacocke without a tayle." In queen
Elizabeth's time the nobility gave silver badges, as appears from
Hentzner's _Travels_, p. 156, edit. Norimb. 1612, 4to. "Angli magnifici
domi forisque magna assectantium famulorum agmini secum trahunt, quibus
in _sinistro brachio scuta ex argento facta_ appendunt." But this
foolish extravagance was not limited to persons of high rank. Fynes
Moryson, speaking of the English apparel, informs us that "the servants
of _gentlemen_ were wont to weare _blew coates_, with their masters
badge of silver on the left sleeve, but now they most commonly weare
clokes garded with lace, all the servants of one family wearing the
same liverie for colour and ornament:" we are therefore to suppose that
the sleeve badge was left off in the reign of James I. Yet the badge
was at one time so general an accompaniment to a blue coat, that when
any thing wanted its usual appendage, it was _proverbially_ said to be
_like a blue coat without a badge_.

The custom of clothing persons in liveries and badges was not confined
to menial servants. Another class of men called _retainers_, who appear
to have been of no small importance among our ancestors, were habited
in a similar manner. They were a sort of servants, not residing in the
master's house like other menial domestics, but attending occasionally
for the purpose of ostentation, and _retained_ by the annual donation
of a livery consisting of a hat or hood, a badge, and a suit of
clothes. As they were frequently kept for the purpose of maintaining
quarrels and committing other excesses, it became necessary to impose
heavy penalties on the offenders, both masters and retainers. In
process of time they were licensed. Strype complains of the too great
indulgence of queen Mary in this respect. "She granted," says he,
"more by half in her short five years than her sister and successor
in thirteen. For in all that time there were but fifteen licenses of
retainer granted, whereas queen Mary had granted nine and thirty. She
was more liberal also in yielding the number of retainers to each
person, which sometimes amounted to two hundred. Whereas Q. Elizabeth
never yielded above an hundred to any person of the greatest quality,
and that rarely too. But Bishop Gardiner began that ill example, who
retained two hundred men: whereas under Q. Elizabeth the Duke of
Norfolk retained but an hundred; and Parker, archbishop of Canterbury,
but forty." He has added a list of the persons to whom Mary granted
licenses, and the number of persons retained. _Eccl. memorials_, iii.

Nor did these retainers always consist of men of low condition. The
entertaining author of a book entitled _A health to the gentlemanly
profession of serving men, or the serving man's comfort_, 1598, 4to,
(to whom these notes have occasionally been indebted, and who with good
reason is supposed to have been Jervis Markham,) has certainly alluded
to them in the following curious passage, wherein he is consoling
the objects of his labour: "Amongst what sort of people should then
this serving man be sought for? Even the duke's sonne preferred page
to the prince, the earles seconde sonne attendant upon the duke, the
knights seconde sonne the earles servant, the esquires sonne _to weare
the knightes lyverie_, and the gentlemans sonne the esquiers serving
man: Yea I know at this day, gentlemen younger brothers, that weares
their elder brothers _blew coate_ and badge, attending him with as
reverend regard and duetifull obedience, as if he were their prince or
soveraigne." Let us congratulate ourselves that we no longer endure
such insolent aggressions, the result of family pride and ignorance,
and which had been too often permitted to degrade the natural liberties
and independence of mankind. The excellent old ballad of _Times
alteration_, has the following illustrative stanza of the coats and
badges in question:

    "The nobles of our land
      Were much delighted then,
    To have at their command
      A crew of lusty men;
    Which by their coats were known
      Of tawny, red or blue,
    With crests on their sleeves shown,
      When this old cap was new."

Before we dismiss the present subject, it will be necessary to observe
that the _badge_ occurs in all the old representations of posts or
messengers. On the latter of these characters it may be seen in the
52nd plate of Mr. Strutt's first volume of _The dress and habits of
the people of England_, where, as in the most ancient instances, the
badge is affixed to the girdle; but it is often seen on the shoulder,
and even on the hat or cap. These figures extend as far back as the
thirteenth century, and many old German engravings exhibit both the
characters with a badge that has sometimes the device or arms of the
town to which the post belongs. He has generally a spear in his
hand, not only for personal security, but for repelling any nuisance
that might interrupt his progress. Among ourselves the remains of the
ancient badge are still preserved in the dresses of porters, firemen,
and watermen, and perhaps in the shoulder-knots of footmen. The blue
coat and badge still remain with the parish and hospital boys. The
following figure of a person of a higher class with a badge, is copied
from the view of Windsor in _Braunii civitates orbis terrarum_, 1573.


                           SCENE 1. Page 496.

    PET. Where be these knaves? what no man _at door_.

Although _door_ might in the _middle_ of a line be pronounced as a
dissyllable, it is submitted that it cannot, with any propriety, at the
_end_. It were better to suppose an omission at the press, and read "at
_the_ door."

                           SCENE 2. Page 506.

    TRA. That teacheth tricks _eleven and twenty_ long.

We have here a very uncommon and perhaps unique expression; but it
seems to mean no more than that the tricks were of an extraordinary
kind. _Eleven and twenty_ is the same as _eleven score_, which
signified a great length or number as applied to the exertions of a
few or even of a single person. Thus in the old ballad of _The low
country soldier_,

    "Myself and seven more
    We fought _eleven score_."

                           SCENE 3. Page 513.

    KATH. Why then the beef, and let the mustard rest, &c.

This part of the dialogue was in all probability suggested by the
following whimsical story in _Wits, fittes and fancies_, 1595, 4to:--"A
clowne having surfeited of beefe, and being therewith extreame sicke,
vow'd never whiles he liv'd to eat beefe more, if it pleas'd God he
might escape for that once: Shortlie after having his perfect health
again, he would needs have eaten beefe, and his sister putting him in
mind of his vow, hee answered: True (sister) not without mustard (good
L.) not without mustard." This is not the only use that Shakespeare
has made of this curious book, which was, in part, translated from a
Spanish work, entitled _La floresta Spagnola_, by Anthony Copley, who
was the author of a poem printed at the end, called _Love's owle: In
dialogue-wise betweene love and an olde man_. Of this poem Copley thus
speaks in his dedication: "As for my _Loves owle_, I am content that
Momus turne it to a tennis-ball if he can, and bandy it quite away:
namelie, I desire M. _Daniel_, M. _Spencer_, and other the Prime Poets
of our time, to pardon it with as easie a frowne as they please, for
that I give them to understand, that an Universitie Muse never pend it,
though humbly devoted thereunto."

                           SCENE 3. Page 514.

    PET. And all my pains is _sorted to no proof_.

This is explained by Dr. Johnson, "and all my labour has _proved_
nothing." It rather means, "all my labour is _adapted_ to no
_approof_," or "I have taken all this pains without _approbation_."
_Approof_ is used by Shakspeare in this sense, and should be here
printed with an apostrophe, _'proof_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 529.

    BION. Take your assurance of her _cum privilegio ad imprimendum

This is not the only instance in which our poet has borrowed his broad
metaphors from the typographical art.

In _The winter's tale_, Act V. Scene 1, we have, "Your mother was most
true to wedlock, prince; for she did _print_ your royal father off,
conceiving you."

       *       *       *       *       *

To the stories already mentioned in the notes to this play as
resembling that of the _induction_, the following are to be added:--1.
_The sleeper awakened_, in the Arabian nights. This is probably the
original of all the rest. 2. A similar incident in the story of
_Xailoun_ in the _Continuation of the Arabian nights_. 3. In _The
apophthegms of King James, King Charles, the marquess of Worcester_,
&c., 1658, 12mo, there is the story of an old bachelor named _Thomas
Deputy_, who at the marriage of Edward Lord Herbert taking a fancy to
one of the bride's waiting-maids, was persuaded by the old Marquess
of Worcester to marry her at the same time. Thomas, being overpowered
on this occasion with the joy he felt from the liberal donations of
the noble assistants at the wedding, and also with the good wine that
was freely circulated, became altogether incapable of consummating his
marriage; and the Marquess, after relating to the company "the story of
the begger who was made to believe he did but dream of the happiness
that was really acted," determined to make the experiment in the person
of old Thomas, and accordingly ordered that he "should be disrobed
of his new wedding garment, the rest of his fine cloaths taken from
him, and himself carried unto his old lodging in the porter's lodge,
and his wife to respite the solemnization of the marriage bed untill
his comportment should deserve so fair an admission: which was done
accordingly. The next morning made the experiment to answer the height
of all their expectations; for news was brought unto the Marquesse,
all the rest of the lords and ladies standing by, that _Thom._ took
all yesterdayes work but for a dream, or at least seemed to do so, to
humour the fancy." 4. Winstanley, in his _Historical rarities_, 1684,
8vo, has a story of Aladine the Persian, called the old man of the
mountain, who built a magnificent palace near a city called _Mulebet_,
and filled it with every sort of luxury and delight. "Hither he brought
all the lusty youths he could light on, casting them into prison, where
they endured much sorrow and woe. And when he thought good, he caused a
certain drink to be given them, which cast them into a dead sleep: then
he caused them to be carried into divers chambers of the said palaces,
where they saw the things aforesaid as soon as they awaked; each of
them having those damsels to minister meats and excellent drinks, and
all varieties of pleasures to them, insomuch, that the fools thought
themselves to be in paradise indeed. Having enjoyed this happiness
a whole day, they were in a like sleep conveyed to their irons
again; after which, he caused them to be brought into his presence,
and questioned where they had been; which answered, by your grace,
in paradise, and recounted all the particulars before mentioned."
Winstanley has also given the story of Philip duke of Burgundy. 5. A
similar incident in the penny history of _The frolicksome courtier and
the jovial tinker_.

The author of the story in the Tatler might have used a novel in the
_Piacevoli notti_ of Straparola, nott. 8, fab. 2. and the outline of
the _Taming of the shrew_ may be found in a Spanish work entitled _El
conde Lucanor_, 1643, 4to, composed by Don Juan Manuel, nephew to
Ferdinand the fourth king of _Castile_.

The character of Petruchio bears some resemblance to that of Pisardo in
Straparola's _Novels_, night 8, fab. 7.



                           SCENE 2. Page 27.

    LEON. And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour.

This is not the only gross and offensive metaphor of the kind that our
poet has used. In _Measure for measure_, we have "groping for trouts in
a peculiar river."

                           SCENE 2. Page 30.

    LEON. ... I have trusted thee Camillo,
    With all the nearest things to my _heart_----
    ... wherein, priest-like thou
    _Hast cleans'd my bosom_.

So in Macbeth we have,

    "_Cleanse the stuff'd bosom_ of that perilous stuff,
    Which weighs upon the _heart_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 39.

    CAM. ... If I could find example
    Of thousands that had struck anointed kings
    And _flourish'd after_, I'd not do't.

If, as Mr. Blackstone supposes, this be an allusion to the death of
the queen of Scots, it exhibits Shakspeare in the character of a
cringing flatterer accommodating himself to existing circumstances,
and is moreover an extremely severe one. But the perpetrator of that
atrocious murder _did flourish_ many years afterwards. May it not
rather be designed as a compliment to King James on his escape from the
Gowrie conspiracy, an event often brought to the people's recollection
during his reign, from the day on which it happened being made a day of
thanksgiving? See _Osborne's traditional memoyres_, and the almanacks
of the time under the 5th of August.

                           SCENE 2. Page 41.

    POL. In whose success we are _gentle_.

So in Act V. Scene 2, the old shepherd says, "we must be gentle now we
are gentlemen." What our ancestors conceived to be the true definition
of a gentleman may be seen at large in _The booke of honor and armes_,
1594, 4to, book iii. In Morgan's _Sphere of gentry_, the silly author
has gravely stated that _Jesus Christ_ was a _gentleman_ and bore arms.
Of the latter assertion he has given no proof, though he might have
adduced a sort of armorial bearing made up from the implements of the
passion, and often exhibited as such in some of the _horæ_ and other
service books of the church, before the reformation. Such a coat of
arms was likewise used as a stamp on the covers of old books, with the
motto REDEMPTORIS MUNDI ARMA. _Gentle gentlemen_ is an alliteration
that is very frequent in writers of the age of Shakspeare. In the
preface to Gerard Leigh's _Accedence of armorie_, 1597, 4to, three
sorts of _ungentiles_ are described, "the first whereof are _gentle
ungentle_. Such be they as wil rather sweare armes then beare armes.
Who of negligence stop mustard pots with their fathers pedegrees, or
otherwise abuse them. The second sort are _ungentle gentlemen_, who
being enhaunced to honor by their fathers, on whom (though it were
to their owne worship) yet can they not keepe so much money from the
dice, as to make worshipful obsequies for their sad fathers with any
point of armory. The third sort, and worst of all, are neither _gentle
ungentle_, or _ungentle gentile_, but verie stubble curs, and be
neither doers, sufferers, or wel speakers of honors tokens."

                           SCENE 2. Page 42.

    CAM. I am appointed _him_ to murder you.

"_i. e._" says Mr. Steevens, "I am the person appointed to murder
you." This is certainly the meaning, but the grammatical construction
is, "I am appointed the person to murder you." The lines quoted from
_King Henry VI._ are ungrammatical, and not, as is conceived, an
exemplification of the foregoing passage.

                           SCENE 2. Page 42.

    POL. ... and my name
    _Be yok'd with his that did betray the best_.

Mr. Henderson's conjecture that Judas is here meant is certainly well
founded. A clause in the sentence against excommunicated persons was,
"let them _have part with Judas that betrayed Christ_. Amen;" and this
is here imitated.


                           SCENE 3. Page 73.

    LEON. And _lozel_, thou art worthy to be hang'd.

The derivation of _lozel_ cited from Verstegan is arbitrary, and
deduced from a mere resemblance of sound. The word has been apparently
corrupted from the Saxon _lorel_, used by Chaucer for a worthless
fellow. See Mr. Tyrwhitt's glossary. The corruption may have originated
in the similitude of the letters _r_ and _z_ in ancient manuscripts.


                           SCENE 2. Page 82.

    HER. ... since he came,
    With what encounter so uncurrent I
    Have strain'd to appear thus.

Dr. Johnson, not understanding these lines, "with the licence of all
editors," pronounces them unintelligible. However strange the language
may appear in the mouth of a lady, there is hardly a doubt that it is a
metaphor taken from tilting. Hermione means to say, _I appeal to your
own conscience whether since Polixenes came, I have made any violent
or irregular encounter unlike that of a fair courser_; or, in plainer
terms, _whether I have deviated from the paths of honour and_ forcibly
_obtruded myself on this tribunal_. Those who made an encounter at
justs were called _runners_; and were said, occasionally, to _run
foul_. This may serve to explain what is meant by _uncurrent_.


                           SCENE 2. Page 107.

    AUT. When daffodils begin to peer, &c.

Mr. Steevens, to give himself an opportunity of introducing a neat
retort on an attack which his favourite author had sustained, has
quoted a remark by Dr. Burney that Autolycus "is the _true ancient
minstrel_, as described in the old fabliaux." With great deference
to this learned and elegant writer, the observation is inaccurate.
Autolycus has nothing in common with the character of a minstrel but
the singing of a song or two. He is a mere _rogue_, assuming various
shapes, and is specifically called so in the _dramatis personæ_; but it
will not surely be contended that all rogues were minstrels, because a
cruel and illiberal statute has made all minstrels rogues. It is true
that Autolycus declares he had been an _ape-bearer_; but this was no
part of the minstrel profession in Shakspeare's time, though it had
been so formerly. As this circumstance however has not been noticed,
or at least very slightly, by any of the writers on the subject of
the ancient minstrels, it may be worth while to exhibit the following
curious story from the second book of _The dialogues of Saint Gregory_,
who lived in the sixth century. At the celebration of the feast of
Saint Proculus the martyr, a nobleman named Fortunatus having prevailed
on Bishop Boniface to eat with him after celebrating the service of
the day, it happened that before the holy prelate had pronounced the
usual benediction at table, _a minstrel leading an ape and playing on
a cymbal_ arrived. This very much discomposed the good bishop, who
exclaimed, Alas! alas! the wretched man is dead; behold, I have not yet
opened my lips to praise God, and he is here with his ape and playing
on his instrument. He then desired the servants to carry some victuals
to the unhappy man, which when he had eaten, a stone fell from the
house top and killed him.

                           SCENE 2. Page 109.

    AUT. The lark that _tirra-lirra_ chants.

The tire-lire was not, it seems, peculiar to the lark. In Skelton's
_Colin Cloute_ we have,

    "... howe Cupide shaked
    His darte and bente hys bowe,
    For to shote a _crowe_,
    At her _tyrly tyrlowe_."

And in one of the Coventry pageants there is the following old song
sung by the shepherds at the birth of Christ, which is further
remarkable for its use of the very uncommon word _endenes_, from the
Saxon enꝺenehꞅꞇ, _the last_.

    "As I out rode this endenes night,
    Of three joli shepherds I sawe a syght,
    And all aboute there fold a stare shone bright:
    They sang _terli terlow_,
    So mereli the sheppards there pipes can blow."

                           SCENE 2. Page 111.

    AUT. My father named me Autolycus, &c.

It is necessary on this occasion to lay before the reader Dr.
Warburton's own words. "Mr. Theobald says, _the allusion is
unquestionably to Ovid_. He is mistaken. Not only the allusion, but
the whole speech is taken from Lucian, who appears to have been one of
our poet's favourite authors, as may be collected from several places
of his works. It is from _his discourse on judicial astrology_, where
Autolycus talks much in the same manner, &c."

Now if any one will take the trouble of comparing what Ovid and Lucian
have respectively said concerning Autolycus, he will, it is presumed,
be altogether disposed to give the preference to Theobald's opinion.
Dr. Warburton must have been exclusively fortunate in discovering that
_the whole speech is taken from Lucian_; that he was _one of our poet's
favourite authors_; and that, in the _dialogue_ alluded to, _Autolycus
talks much in the same manner_. He must have used some edition of
Lucian's works vastly preferable to those which now remain. The reader
will be pleased to consult the eleventh book of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_,
in the translation (if he have it) by Golding.

                           SCENE 2. Page 113.

    CLOWN. ... _three-man_ songmen all.

"They have also _Cornish three-mens_ songs, cunningly contrived for the
ditty, and pleasantly for the note." Carew's _Survey of Cornwall_, fo.

                           SCENE 2. Page 113.

    CLOWN. ... but one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to

An allusion to a practice, common at this time among the Puritans, of
burlesquing the _plein chant_ of the Papists, by adapting vulgar and
ludicrous music to psalms and pious compositions.

                           SCENE 3. Page 123.

    PER. For you there's _rosemary_, and rue;
    _Grace_ and _remembrance_ be to you both.

The following lines are from a song entitled, _A nosegaie alwaies
sweet for lovers to send for tokens of love at newyere's tide, or for
fairings, as they in their minds shall be disposed to write_, printed
in Robinson's _Handefull of pleasant delites_, 1584, 16mo:--

    "Rosemarie is for remembrance,
    Betweene us daie and night,
    Wishing that I might alwaies have
      You present in my sight."

This plant, as being thought to strengthen the memory, was therefore
_given to friends_, as in the present instance. See Parkinson's _Flower
garden_, p. 426. Thus Ophelia says to her brother, "There's rosemary;
that's for remembrance, _pray you, love, remember_." The reason for
calling rue _herb of grace_ is best explained in the notes on a
subsequent speech of Ophelia. See vol. xv. p. 276.

                           SCENE 3. Page 124.

    PER. ... and streak'd gilliflowers,
    Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind
    Our rustick garden's barren; and I care not
    To get slips of them.

    POL.            Wherefore, gentle maiden,
    Do you neglect them?

    PER.            For I have heard it said,
    There is an art which in their piedness, shares
    With great creating nature.

The solution of the riddle in these lines that has embarrassed Mr.
Steevens is probably this: the gilly-flower or carnation is streaked,
as every one knows, with white and red. In this respect it is a proper
emblem of a _painted_ or immodest woman, and therefore Perdita declines
to meddle with it. She connects the gardener's _art_ of varying the
colours of the above flowers with the art of painting the face, a
fashion very prevalent in Shakspeare's time. This conclusion is
justified by what she says in her next speech but one.

                           SCENE 3. Page 126.

    PER. The marigold, that goes to bed with the sun
    And with him rises weeping.

"So upon occasions past, David found it true that he should not have
bene heretofore at any time, and therefore professeth, that, for the
time to come, he would be no _marigold-servant of God, to open with
the sun, and shut with the dewe_."--Prime's _Consolations of David
applied to Queene Elizabeth: in a sermon preached in Oxford the 17 of
November_, 1588, 12mo. Lord Howard, in his _Defensative against the
poyson of supposed prophecies_, 1583, 4to, says that "_the marie-golde_
dooth close and open with the sunne, &c."

                           SCENE 3. Page 131.

    PER. ... I'll swear for 'em.

Dr. Johnson would transfer this speech to the king, and Mr. Ritson
would read "swear for _one_," or at least have some alteration; but in
reality no change is necessary. Florizel had just said, "so _turtles_
pair that never mean to part," on which Perdita very naturally
observes, "I'll swear for 'em." This is no more than a common phrase of
acquiescence, as we likewise say, "I'll _warrant_ you."

                           SCENE 3. Page 137.

    AUT. ... poking-sticks of steel.

To Mr. Steevens's curious note on these implements for stiffening
the ruffs formerly worn by persons of both sexes, it may be worth
adding that this fashion being carried to a great extremity, became
the subject of many satirical prints. One of the oldest was engraved
in 1580, by Matthias Quad, and represents the Devil's ruff-shop, he
being called the _kragen-setzer_ or _ruff-setter_. A young gallant has
brought his mistress to have her ruff set. The Devil is engaged in
this operation whilst an assistant is heating fresh poking-sticks in a
brasier. Another print of this sort by Galle, is copied from a design
by Martin de Vos, and entitled _Diaboli partus superbia_. It has this
inscription relating to the _poking-sticks_: "Avec ces fers chauds
qu'on vous icy appreste, En enfer puny seras, O layde beste." Other
prints represent several monkeys habited in ruffs, and busily employed
in poking and starching them, &c.

                           SCENE 3. Page 138.

    CLOWN. _Clamour_ your tongues, and not a word more.

The word is difficult, and, it is feared, likely to afford nothing but

Dr. Warburton asserts that the phrase is from ringing; that to clamour
bells is to repeat the stroke quicker than before, previously to
_ceasing_ them. On the contrary, Dr. Grey maintains that to clamour
bells is a _continued_ ringing, and Mr. Malone, with great probability,
suspects that what Warburton has said is _gratis dictum_. Dr. Johnson
says that "to clam a bell is to cover the clapper with felt, which
drowns the blow, and hinders the sound;" and Mr. Nicholls, that _a good
clam_ is a peal of all the bells at once. According to the treatise
on ringing in _The school of recreation_, 1684, 12mo, "_clamming_ is
when each concord strikes together, which being done true, the 8 will
strike but as four bells, and make a melodious harmony." The accounts
of bell-clamming are therefore so discordant that it seems but fair to
give up entirely this sense of the word.

The clown evidently wishes to keep the damsels' tongues from wagging.
Now to _clam_, _clem_, or _cleam_ are provincial words, signifying to
glue together or fasten with glue, and, metonymically, to starve by
contraction. Thus,

    "... my entrails
    Are _clam'd_ with keeping a continual fast."

                                             Massinger's _Roman actor_.

And we still use _clammy_, for sticking together. All the Northern
languages have an equivalent term. The Germans have _klemmen_, to tie,
and in the old Icelandic we find _klæmman_ in the same sense. Ihre,
_Lexicon Suio-Goth_. In Saxon clam, ligamen, clæmɩnᵹ, a stiffening.
Somner _Gloss_. Littelton has _to clamm_, or hunger-starve, and Rider
to _clamme_, to _stop_. The latter is indeed more to the present
purpose than any or all of the others: because by supposing, what is
extremely probable, an error of the press, all will be set right. On
the other hand, _clamour_ is the reverse of what is required. Thus in
_Macbeth_, Act II. Scene 3, we have, "The obscure bird _clamour'd_ the
live-long night," and we are not to suppose that Shakspeare could have
used the same word in senses so extremely opposite.

                           SCENE 3. Page 148.

    Re-enter servant, with twelve rusticks habited like _satyrs_. They
    _dance_, and then exeunt.

In the old collection of songs set by Thomas Ravenscroft and others,
already quoted in p. 11, there is one called _The satyres daunce_. It
is for four voices, and as follows:--

    "Round a round, a rounda, keepe your ring
    To the glorious sunne we sing;
                            Hoe, hoe!

    He that weares the flaming rayes,
    And the imperiall crowne of bayes,
    Him, with him, with shoutes and songs we praise.
                            Hoe, hoe!

    That in his bountee would vouchsafe to grace
    The humble sylvanes and their shaggy race."

                           SCENE 3. Page 154.

    SHEP. Some hangman must put on my shroud, and lay me
    _Where no priest shovels in dust_.

i. e. _I must be buried as a common malefactor, out of the pale of
consecrated ground, and without the usual rites of the dead_; a
whimsical anachronism, when it is considered that the old shepherd was
a Pagan, a worshipper of Jupiter and Apollo. But Shakspeare seldom
cares about blending the manners of distant ages.

Dr. Farmer has remarked that the _priest's_ office above mentioned
might be remembered in Shakspeare's time, which is very probable: the
mention of it here is one of the numerous instances of his intimate
acquaintance with the ceremonies of the Romish church. Before the
introduction of the new form of burial service by Edward the Sixth, it
was the custom for the priest to throw earth on the body in the form of
a cross, and then to sprinkle it with holy water; but this was not done
_in pronouncing_ the words _earth to earth_, according to a learned
commentator: that part of the ceremony was postponed till after a psalm
had been sung, the body being previously covered up. An antiphone next
followed; and then the priest said these words: "I commend thy soul
to God the father omnipotent: earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to
dust," &c.


                           SCENE 1. Page 182.

    FLO. ... Good my lord,
    She came from _Libya_.

_Perdita_ is here transformed into a _Moor_; and although this play
among others affords the most unequivocal proofs of Shakspeare's want
of skill in the science of geography, it is at least possible that an
error of the press has substituted _Libya_ for _Lydia_ or _Lycia_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 194.

    CLOWN. _Give me the lie_, do; and try whether I am not now a
    _gentleman born_.

This is a satire on certain ridiculous punctilios very much in use
at this time. Thus in _The booke of honor and armes_, 1590, 4to, "In
saying _a gentleman borne_, we meane he must be descended from three
degrees of gentry, both on the mother's and father's side." The same
work has many particulars relating to the circumstances in which _the
giving the lie_ is to be resented. See likewise Vincent Saviolo _On
honor and honorable quarrels_, book ii.


He is a mere country booby.

       *       *       *       *       *

The observation by Dr. Warburton, that _The winter's tale_ with all
its absurdities is very entertaining, though stated by Dr. Johnson to
be just, must be allowed at the same time to be extremely frigid. In
point of fine writing it may be ranked among Shakspeare's best efforts.
The absurdities pointed at by Warburton, together with the whimsical
anachronisms of Whitson pastorals, Christian burial, an emperor of
Russia, and an Italian painter of the fifteenth century, are no real
drawbacks on the superlative merits of this charming drama. The
character of Perdita will remain for ages unrivalled; for where shall
such language be found as she is made to utter?



                           SCENE 1. Page 228.

    DRO. E. Will you come _home_? quoth I; my gold, quoth he.

The word _home_, which the metre requires, is said to have been
suggested by Capell, but it had been already adopted by Sir Thomas

                           SCENE 2. Page 234.

    ANT. S. If you will jest with me, know my _aspéct_.

Mr. Steevens explains this, _study my countenance_. It seems rather to
be an astrological phrase, and to mean, _ascertain whether my aspect be
malignant or benign_. He had just before mentioned the sun. Thus in _1
Henry IV._ Act I. Scene 1, "Malevolent to you in all _aspécts_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 241.

    ADR. Thou art an _elm_ my husband, I a _vine_;
    If aught possess thee from me, it is dross,
    Usurping Ivy, briar or idle moss.

So in _A midsummer night's dream_, Act IV. Scene 1, "The female
_ivy_ so enrings the barky fingers of the _elm_." There is something
extremely beautiful in making the vine the lawful spouse of the elm,
and the _parasite_ plants here named its _concubines_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 248.

    DRO. S. _Mome_, malthorse, capon, coxcomb, idiot, patch!

Sir J. Hawkins would derive _mome_ from the French _momon_, the
challenge at dice made by a mummer or silent person disguised in
masquerade. It more probably came to us from one of those similar words
that are found in many languages signifying something foolish. _Momar_
is used by Plautus for a fool, whence the French _mommeur_. The Greeks
too had μομος and μορμος in the same sense.

                           SCENE 2. Page 257.

    ANT. S. Less in your knowledge and your grace, you show not,
    Than _our earth's wonder, more than earth divine_.

This play abounds so much in anachronisms, that there will be no
impropriety in supposing the above simile to have been designed as a
compliment to the reigning sovereign. Pronounced with emphasis, it
would not fail to make a due impression on the audience.


                           SCENE 3. Page 280.

    DRO. S. What, have you got _the picture of old Adam new apparell'd_?

Here seems to be an allusion to some well-known contemporary painting,
perhaps of a sign. "Adam whom God dyd fyrst create, made the fyrst
_lether coates_ for himself and his wyfe Eve our old mother, leavyng
thereby a patron to al his posterite of that crafte." Polydore Vergil
_de rer. invent._ translated by Langley, fo. lxix. Similar instances
had before occurred in _the picture of we three_, and _Mistress Mall_.



                           SCENE 1. Page 327.

    ALL. _Paddock_ calls.

Mr. Steevens has remarked that "in Shakspeare a paddock certainly means
a toad." Indeed it _properly_ does everywhere; and when applied to the
frog, seems either to have been mistakenly used, or to have signified
the _rubeta_ or _rana bufo_, a frog of a venomous kind. The word comes
to us from the Saxon Paꝺa, and a toad is still called by a similar
term in most of the Teutonic languages. It may be likewise observed
that witches have nothing to do with frogs, an animal always regarded
as perfectly harmless, though perhaps not more so in reality than the
unjustly persecuted toad.

                           SCENE 2. Page 331.

    SOLD. And fortune on his damned _quarrel_ smiling.

The old copy has _quarry_, which Dr. Johnson has changed to _quarrel_,
a reading that had already been adopted by Hanmer. Chance may hereafter
determine that _quarry_ was an _occasional_ mode of orthography,
_euphoniæ gratiâ_, as we find _perrie_ for _perril_. See Howard's
_Defensative against the poyson of supposed prophesies_, 1583, 4to,
sig. A iij. The word too which expresses a square-headed arrow and a
pane of glass is written both _quarry_ and _quarrel_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 335.

    DUN.      Dismay'd not this
    Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?

    SOLD.                            Yes.

Mr. Steevens, adverting to the apparent defect of metre in the last
line, concludes that some word has been omitted in the old copy; and
Hanmer reads, _brave_ Macbeth, &c. No other change is necessary than
in orthography; for Shakspeare had, no doubt, written _capitaynes_, a
common mode of spelling the word in his time; and the fault lay either
in the printer or transcriber for the press.

                           SCENE 2. Page 339.

    ROSSE. Till that Bellona's _bridegroom_, lapt in proof.

Shakspeare is here accused of ignorantly making Bellona wife to the
_God of war_; but, strictly speaking, this is not the case. He has
not called Macbeth, to whom he alludes, the _God of war_; and there
seems no great impropriety in _poetically_ supposing that a warlike
hero might be _newly married_ to the Goddess of war. Mr. Steevens's
objection appears to have been founded on a conclusion that Shakspeare
meant to compare Macbeth to Mars, and that of the other learned and
ingenious critic, on the impropriety of considering Bellona as a
married goddess.

                           SCENE 3. Page 341.

    1. WITCH. _Aroint_ thee witch!

The reference to Hearne's print from an old calendar, in his edition of
Fordun, is very appositely introduced by Dr. Johnson in illustration
of _aroint_; but his explanation of the print is in many respects
erroneous. He is particularly mistaken in supposing it to represent
_Saint Patrick visiting hell_; for it is manifestly the very trite
subject of Christ delivering souls from purgatory, often painted by
Albert Durer and other ancient artists. The Doctor neglected to examine
not only the inscription on the print, but Hearne's own account of it;
and his eye having accidentally caught the name of Saint Patrick, of
whom Hearne had been speaking, his imagination suggested the common
story of the visit to purgatory (not hell). There is no doubt that
_aroint_ signifies _away_! _run_! and that it is of Saxon origin. The
original Saxon verb has not been preserved in any other way, but the
glossaries supply _ryne_ for running; and in the old Islandic, _runka_
signifies _to agitate_, _to move_. Mr. Grose is certainly wrong in his
explanation of the proverb, "_Rynt_ you witch! quoth Besse Locket to
her mother," when he says it means "by your leave, stand handsomely."
See his _Provincial glossary_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 353.

    BAN. Or have we eaten of the _insane_ root,
    That takes the _reason_ prisoner?

Mr. Steevens conceives that _hemlock_ is the root in question; whilst
Mr. Malone, after noticing the trouble which the commentators have
given themselves, introduces a quotation from Plutarch's life of
Antony, ("which," says he, "our author must have diligently read,")
that leads him to conclude the name to have been unknown even to
Shakspeare himself. There is however another book which has in the
course of these notes been shown to have been also read and even
studied by the poet, and wherein, it is presumed, he actually found
the _name_ of the above root. This will appear from the following
passage: "_Henbane_ ... is called _Insana_, mad, for the use thereof
is perillous; for if it be eate or dronke, it breedeth madnesse, or
slow lykenesse of sleepe. Therefore this hearb is called commonly
_Mirilidium_, for it taketh away wit and _reason_." Batman _Uppon
Bartholome de propriet. rerum_, lib. xvii. ch. 87.

                           SCENE 5. Page 373.

    ATTEN. One of my fellows had the speed of him;
    Who _almost dead for breath_, had scarcely more
    Than would make up his message.

    LADY M.       Give him tending,
    He brings great news. _The raven himself is hoarse
    That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan._

The last lines may appear less difficult, if the reader will suppose
that at the moment in which the attendant finishes his speech, the
raven's voice is heard on the battlements of the castle; when Lady
Macbeth, adverting to the situation in which the messenger had just
been described, most naturally exclaims, "the raven _himself_ is
hoarse," &c. _Entrance_ must be here pronounced as a trisyllable, which
is better than to read Dŭncān.

                           SCENE 5. Page 374.

    LADY M. Under my battlements. Come _come_ you spirits.

The second _come_ has been added by Mr. Steevens. On this it may be
permitted to remark, that although Shakspeare's versification is
unquestionably more smooth and melodious than that of most of his
contemporaries, he has on many occasions exhibited more carelessness
in this respect than can well be accounted for, unless by supposing
the errors to belong to the printers or editors. If the above line was
defective, many others of similar construction are still equally so; as
for example, this in p. 378,

    "This ignorant present, and I feel now,"

which Mr. Steevens strangely maintains to be complete, though
undoubtedly as discordant to the ear as the other. Both, strictly
speaking, have the full number of syllables; a mode of construction
which it is to be feared our elder poets regarded as sufficient in
general to give perfection to a line.

                           SCENE 6. Page 384.

    DUN. We cours'd him at the heels, and had a purpose
    To be his _purveyor_.

The duty of the purveyor, an officer belonging to the court, was to
make a general provision for the royal household. It was the office
also of this person to travel before the king whenever he made his
progresses to different parts of the realm, and to see that every thing
was duly provided. The right of purveyance and pre-emption having
become extremely oppressive to the subject, was included, among other
objects of regulation, under the stat. of 12 Car. II.

                           SCENE 7. Page 395.

    LADY M. But screw your courage to the _sticking-place_.

Mr. Steevens has suggested two metaphors, neither of which seems
to advance the explanation. If it could be shown that the stop
of a pile-driver, or the bed of a violin peg were ever called
_sticking-places_, one might indeed suspect a miserable pun: but it is
submitted that all the metaphor lies in the _screwing_. Another learned
commentator states that Davenant misunderstood the sense when he
supposed that _stabbing_ is alluded to; and yet there are grounds for
thinking his opinion correct. Lady Macbeth, after remarking that the
enterprise would not fail if her husband would but exert his courage
to the commission of the _murder_, proceeds to suggest the particular
manner in which it was to be accomplished. In short, if there be a
metaphor, abstractedly considered, it signifies nothing; for what would
be the use of Macbeth's courage, if, according to Mr. Steevens, _it
were to remain fast in that sticking-place from which it was not to
move_? The Scots have a proverb, "_Sticking_ goes not by strength, but
by guiding of the gooly," _i. e._ the knife.


                           SCENE 1. Page 401.

    BAN. This diamond he greets your wife withal,
    By the name of most kind hostess; _and shut up
    In measureless content_.

As the last sentence stands, it is at once ungrammatical and obscure;
and neither Mr. Steevens's construction of _shut up_ in the sense of
_to conclude_, as referring to the speaker, nor Hanmer's reading _and
is shut up_, as connected with Duncan, will render it intelligible.
It should seem as if Banquo meant to say that the king was immured in
happiness; but then it is obvious that some preceding words have been

                           SCENE 3. Page 428.

    Enter MACDUFF.

_Duff_ in the Erse language signifies a captain; _Macduff_, the son of
a captain.

                           SCENE 3. Page 433.

    MACD. Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit.

This simile has been elsewhere used by Shakspeare. Thus in _Cymbeline_,
he calls sleep _the ape of death_. In _A midsummer night's dream_, he
has _death counterfeiting sleep_. It might indeed from its extreme
obviousness have occurred to writers of weaker imagination than our
poet; yet as he is known to have borrowed so much, it is not impossible
that he might in this instance have been indebted to Marlow's
translation of a line in Ovid's _Elegies_, book ii. el. 9:

    "Foole what is sleepe, but image of cold death?"

or to another version of the same line in Cardanus's _Comfort_:

    "Is not our sleepe (O foole) of death an image playne?"

Whoever will take the trouble of reading over the whole of Cardanus's
second book as translated by Bedingfield, and printed by T. Marshe,
1576, 4to, will soon be convinced that it had been perused by

                           SCENE 3. Page 438.

    MACB. ... _their daggers
    Unmannerly breech'd_ with gore.

Mr. Steevens's explanation must be objected to. Finding that the
_lower end_ of a cannon is called its _breech_, he concludes that
the _hilt_ or _handle_ of a dagger must be here intended by the like
appellation. But is not this literally to mistake the _top_ for the
_bottom_? It is conceived that the present expression, though in itself
something _unmannerly_, simply means _covered as with breeches_.
The idea, uncouth and perhaps inaccurate as it is, might have been
suggested from the resemblance of daggers to the legs and thighs of
a man. The sentiments of Dr. Farmer on this, as on all occasions,
are ingenious, and deserving of the highest respect; but it is hardly
possible that Shakspeare could have been deceived in the way he states.
To give colour to his opinion, he is obliged in his quotation from
Erondell's _French garden_ to print the word _master's_ as a genitive
case singular, in order to apply the pronoun _their_ to _daggers_;
but without the aid of the French text, the word _their_ is _in the
original_ equally applicable to _masters_. Indeed the subsequent
mention of stockings, hose and garters, would have satisfied a person
of much less penetration than Shakspeare, that _breeches_ were there
intended as an article of dress.

The above conjecture that the term _breech'd_ might signify _cover'd_,
suggests the mention of a circumstance from which it may on the whole
be thought to derive support.

It is well known that some ridicule has been cast on one of our
translations of the Bible from the Genevan French edition, on account
of the following words, "And they sewed fig-tree leaves together and
made themselves _breeches_," Gen. iii. 7; whence it has been called the
_Breeches Bible_, and sometimes sold for a high price. It is generally
conceived that this peculiarity belongs exclusively to the above
Bible, but it is a mistake. The Saxon version by Ælfric has ⁊ ꞅɩƿoꝺon
ꝼɩcleaꝼ ⁊ ƿoꞃhꞇon hɩm ƿæꝺbꞃec, _and sewed fig-leaves and worked them_
WEED-BREECH_, or cloaths for the breech_. Wicliffe also translates
"and maden hem _breechis_;" and it is singular that Littelton in his
excellent dictionary explains _perizomata_, the word used in the
Vulgate, by _breeches_. In the manuscript French translation of Petrus
Comestor's commentary on the Bible, made by Guiars des Moulins in the
thirteenth century, we have "couvertures tout autressint comme unnes
petites _braies_."


                           SCENE 4. Page 476.

    MACB. ... Get thee gone; to-morrow
    We'll hear, _ourselves again_.

i. e. _when I have recovered from my fit, and am once more myself._ It
is an ablative absolute. _Ourselves_ is much more properly used than
_ourself_, the modern language of royalty.

                           SCENE 4. Page 482.

    MACB. If trembling I _inhibit_ thee, protest me
    The baby of girl.

Every partaker of the rational _Diversions of Purley_ will here call
to mind what has been advanced on the subject of this difficult and
much contested passage; but with all the respect and admiration that
are due to their profound and ingenious writer, will he feel himself
altogether satisfied? It were to be wished that not only the above
grammarian but another gentleman not less eminently qualified to
illustrate any subject he undertakes, had favoured us with some example
of the _neutral_ use of _inhabit_ in the sense of _to house_ or _remain
at home_. Until this be done, or even then, it may be boldly said,
and without much difficulty maintained, that _inhibit_, in point of
meaning, was Shakspeare's word. Nor is it a paradox to affirm that
_inhabit_, the _original_ reading, is also right; because this may be
only one of the numerous instances during the former unsettled state of
orthography, where the same word has been spelled in different ways.
Mr. Malone has already supplied instances of _inhabit_ for _inhibit_
in a passage from _All's well that ends well_, in all the folios
except the first, and another from Stowe's _Survey of London_. In the
edition of the _Shepherd's calendar_, printed without date by Wynkyn
de Worde in 4to, there is this sentence in chap. xxi.: "Correccyon is
for to _inhabyte_ & defende by the bridle of reason all errowres," &c.
Later editions have _inhibit_. Are we then to suppose that _all_ these
examples are typographical mistakes, rather than a varied orthography?

The difficulty remains to extract a sense from _inhibit_ adapted to the
occasion. Mr. Steevens has justly said, "to inhibit is to _forbid_;"
but this cannot be the present signification. A man cannot well be
said to _forbid_ another who has challenged him. He might indeed _keep
back or hesitate_ in such a case, which is the _neutral_ sense now
offered, but it must be confessed with nearly the same diffidence in
its accuracy which has been expressed as to that of the others.

With respect to the punctuation, it is conceived, that considering the
mode in which these plays were published, the authority of Shakspeare
is almost out of the question; and therefore a judicious modern editor
is entitled to use a great deal of discretion in corrections of this
kind. In the present instance there is no great objection to the old
pointing, though the comma should seem better _after_ "inhibit," and
may render the line more emphatic. "If trembling, I keep back, _then_
protest me," &c. After all, this is one of the many instances in which
the real meaning of the author cannot be satisfactorily obtained.

                           SCENE 5. Page 490.

    Enter HECATE.

Mr. Tollett has already vindicated Shakspeare from the supposed
impropriety of introducing Hecate among _modern_ witches. The fact
seems to be, that acquainted, as he has elsewhere shown himself to
have been, with the classical connection which this deity had with
witchcraft, but knowing also, as Mr. Tollett's quotation from Scot
indicates, that _Diana_ was the name by which she was invoked in modern
times, he has preferred the former rather than the latter name of the
goddess, for reasons that were best known to himself.

That there existed during the middle ages numerous superstitions
relating to a connection that witches were imagined to have had with
Diana, it will be no difficult task to prove. From an ecclesiastical
statute, promulgated during the reign of Louis II., king of France, it
appears that certain mischievous women professed their belief in that
goddess, obeying her as their mistress; and that accompanied by her
and a great multitude of other females, they travelled over immense
spaces of the earth at midnight, mounted upon various animals. Many
other ecclesiastical regulations, and some of the councils, notice
these superstitions, and denounce very severe vengeance against those
persons who were thought to practise them. In one we find the following
declaration: "Nulla mulier se nocturnis equitare cum _Diana_ dea
Paganorum, vel cum _Herodiade_ seu _Benzoria_ et innumera mulierum
multitudine profiteatur; hæc enim dæmoniaca est illusio."--Ducange,
_Gloss._ v. Diana. These witches sometimes assembled at the river
Jordan, the favourite spot of Diana or Herodias. The Jesuit Delrio very
gravely denies the possibility of the above pranks, remarking that
there is in reality no Diana, and that Herodias the dancer, whom he
here confounds with her daughter, is at present in hell. _Disquisit.
magic._ lib. ii. quæst. 16. Eccard, in his preface to Leibnitz's
_Collectanea etymologica_, relates that in a journey through Misnia
in Saxony, he discovered traces of the German _Hecate_ among the
peasants in their _frauholde_ or _frau faute_, i. e. _lady fate_. John
Herold or Herolt, a German friar of the fifteenth century, in one of
his Sermons exclaims against those "qui deam, quam quidam _Dianam_
nominant, in vulgari _die fraurve unhold_ dicunt cum suo exercitu
ambulare."--_Sermones discipuli_, serm. xi. He states this practice to
have taken place at Christmas time. See likewise Carpentier _Suppl. ad
Ducangii glossar_. v. holda. His majesty King James the First, author
of that most sapient work entitled _Dæmonologie_, informs his readers
that the spirits whom the gentiles called _Diana and her wandering
court_, were known among his countrymen by the name of _pharie_. Other
appellations of this personage are likewise to be met with, as _Hera_,
_Nicneven_, and _Dame Habunde_; all as the chief or queen of the
witches, whom she generally accompanied in their nocturnal dances and
excursions through the air.

For the name of _Herodias_ it is not easy to account. It may not be
deemed a very extravagant conjecture, that the common people had
converted Herod's wife into a witch from their abhorrence of her
cruelty towards Saint John the Baptist; for the old mysteries have
preserved to us the indignant manner in which they treated Pontius
Pilate. The circumstance too of her daughter's dancing, compared with
the predilection of witches for that amusement, might contribute to
the idea. The learned Schiller thinks that _Herodias_ was the same as
_Juno_. He founds this opinion on the testimony of Gobelinus Persona,
a Monk of Paderborn in the fifteenth century, who in his general
history of the world had asserted that the Saxons worshipped Juno under
the Greek name of _Hera_, and that the common people still believed
in the flight of the _lady Hera_ through the air about the time of
Christmas; a superstition which seems to have been derived from an
older notion, that Juno presided over that element. Ducange imagined he
had found the name in _Hera Diana_; but he has not brought forward any
instance of the use of such an expression. With respect to _Benzoria_
or _Bensozia_, very little is known. Carpentier, in his Supplement to
Ducange's glossary, conjectures that she was designed for the daughter
of Herodias, and to assist in the magic dances. It is not improbable
that this character is in some way or other connected with the Irish
_Banshee_ or _Benshi_, a kind of fairy. In these subjects we can
perceive many corruptions which it is impossible to account for.

Dr. Leyden, in p. 318 of the glossary to his edition of _The complaynt
of Scotland_, mentions the "gyre carling, the queen of fairies, the
great hag _Hecate_, or mother witch of peasants," and cites Polwart's
_Flyting of Montgomery_ for "_Nicneven_ and her nymphs." In the
fragment of an old Scotish poem in Lord Hyndford's manuscript, in
strict conformity with what has been just advanced concerning _Juno_,
she is termed "quene of Jowis." See _Ancient Scot. poems_, 1768, p. 231.

As _Dame Habunde_ or _Abunde_ has been classed among the names given
to the president of the witches, it becomes necessary to take some
further notice of her, though a character of an opposite description
to those already mentioned. She appears to have been _the genuine
queen of fairies_, and of a most innocuous and benevolent disposition,
bestowing happiness and _abundance_ on all her votaries. In the
passage before mentioned in Gobelinus Persona, _Hera_ is spoken of
as conferring temporal abundance; and although she is represented as
flying through the air, it is not by night, nor accompanied by others.
Ducange has therefore improperly assimilated her to Diana and her tribe
of mischief, and of course his etymology of _Herodias_ is rendered very
improbable. In an ancient fabliau by Haisiau, never _entirely_ printed,
_Dame Abunde_ is thus introduced:

    "Ceste richesce nus abonde
    Nos lavon de par _Dame Avonde_."

She is also mentioned in the works of William Auvergne, bishop of
Paris, in the fourteenth century, as a spirit enriching the houses
that she visited. Delrio adds, that on her coming with the rest of the
_good ladies_, the superstitious old women used to provide plenty of
victuals for them, leaving all the dishes and wine-vessels uncovered to
prevent any obstruction to their getting at the food, and expecting on
the occasion nothing but plenty and prosperity. See _Disquisit. magic._
1. ii. quæst. 27. sect. 2. In the life of Saint Germain, bishop of
Auxerre, we find these dames paying their respects to the holy man; and
as the story is misrepresented in its most material part by Caxton's
translation of the _Golden legend_, it shall be given from a valuable
manuscript of the same work much older than his time. "Narratio. In a
tyme he was herboured in a place wher men made redy the borde for to go
to dyner aftir he had soupid, and he was gretli merveiled, and asked
for whom the borde was sette aᵹen; and thei seide for _the good women
that walke by nyᵹte_; and than Seinte Germayne ordeyned that nyᵹte to
be waked. And than at a certeyn hour gret multitude of feendis come to
the borde in liknesse of men and of women. And than Germayn comaundid
him that thei shold not passe thens, and than he awoke al the meyne,
and asked yf thei knewe eny of thoo persones, and they seide that thei
wer her neyᵹebores, and than he sente to her housis, and thei wer alle
founde in bedde, and than thei alle had gret merveile and thouᵹte wel
that thei were feendis that had so longe scorned hem."

The _Samogitæ_, a people formerly inhabiting the shores of the Baltic,
and who remained idolaters so late as the fifteenth century, believed
in the existence of a sort of demi-fairies about a palm high, with
beards, whom they called _Kaukie_. To these little beings they made an
offering of all kinds of food to avert their displeasure. They likewise
invoked a deity called _Putscet_ to send them the _Barstuccæ_ to live
with them and make them fortunate. To effect this, they placed every
night in the barn a table covered with bread, butter, cheese, and ale;
and if these were taken away before morning, they looked for good
fortune, but if left, for nothing but ill luck. See Lasicius _De diis
Samagitarum_, 1615, 4to, pp. 51, 55. A similar superstition prevailed
in England, and is thus recorded in Browne's _Britannia's pastorals_,
book i. song 2.

    "Within one of these rounds was to be seene
    A hillocke rise, where oft the _Fairie queene_
    At twy-light sate, and did command her elves
    To pinch those maids that had not swept their shelves:
    And further, if by maidens oversight,
    _Within doores water were not brought at night_;
    _Or if they spread no table, set no bread_,
    They should have nips from toe unto the head:
    And for the maid that had perform'd each thing,
    She in the water-paile bad leave a ring."

Mr. Bell, in his _Description of the condition and manners of the Irish
peasantry_, relates that the fairies or _good people_ were supposed
to enter habitations after the family retired to rest, to indulge in
sportive gambols, and particularly to wash themselves in clean water;
but if there were no water in the house, to play some mischievous
tricks in revenge.

Fairies were also, from their supposed place of residence, denominated
_waternymphs_, in the Teutonic languages, _wasserfrauwen_,
_wassernixen_, _nocka_, _necker_, and _nicker_, terms, excepting the
first, manifestly connected with the Scotish _nicneven_, and most
probably with our _old nick_. Very great confusion seems to have arisen
in the change of sex and appellation among these supernatural beings.
This may have been occasioned by the numerous Pagan superstitions to
which the common people were still attached long after the promulgation
of Christianity, as well as from their excessive ignorance and
credulity, which led them to convert the deities of the heathens into
phantoms of their own creation. Thus Diana and Minerva were degraded
into witches, and Mercury became the prince of fairies. Neptune was
metamorphosed into a _water-fairy_, of whom a most curious account
is preserved in the _Otia imperii_ of Gervase of Tilbury, published
in Leibnitz's _Scriptores rerum Brunsvic._ p. 980, and partly copied
into Mr. Tyrwhitt's edition of Chaucer's Canterbury tales, vol. iv.
268. It seems probable that the name of Neptune is merely disguised
in the Scotish _Nicneven_. Some of the Teutonic glossaries render
the word _necker_ by _dæmon aquaticus, Neptunus_. A further account
of him may be found in Wormii _Monumenta Danica_, p. 17, and in
Keysler _Antiquitat. select. septentr._ p. 261, where the etymology
of _necker_, viz. from the Latin _necare_, strengthens the preceding
conjecture as to that of _Nicneven_, and resolves it into the
_destroying or dæmoniacal Neptune_. The reader may likewise consult
Wachter's _German glossary_ under the word _necker_, where it would
have been of some use to the learned author to have known that this
mischievous fairy was remarkable for drowning people, and was called
_Nocka_, the Danish term, as he states on another occasion, for
_suffocating_. Nor would the contrast of character between this being
and the _beneficent queen of fairy_ amount to any solid objection
against the proposed etymology. Whoever may attempt an investigation
of the fairy system will be sure of finding the greatest disorder and
confusion; nor is it possible at this time to offer any reason that
will be quite satisfactory why different qualities were ascribed to
beings of similar names by different people. We must rest contented
with possession of the fact. Thus _Dame Abunde_ has been made to
preside over the _white nymphs_, _white ladies_, or _witte wyven_,
who all appear to have been of a mischievous disposition, committing
nocturnal depredations on men and cattle, but more particularly on
pregnant women and infants, whom they shut up in their subterraneous
abodes, from which groans and lamentations, and occasionally melodious
sounds were often heard to issue. See Kempius _De orig. Frisiæ_, p.
341. Ben Jonson in his _Sad shepherd_ makes the _white faies_ to reside
in stocks of trees.

But let us now return from this digression to the subject of Hecate
or Diana. Under the reign of Hadrian, Saint Taurinus is said to have
converted the inhabitants of Evreux in Normandy to the Christian
faith, but this was not accomplished until the Devil had been fairly
expelled from Diana's temple in the above city. For this purpose, he
was with great solemnity enjoined to appear in the presence of all the
people, who, as heathens, were extremely terrified, especially as the
evil spirit came forth under the form of an Ethiopian, dark as soot,
with a long beard, and fire issuing from his mouth. An angel then
tied his hands behind him and led him away. This dæmon is believed
still to remain at Evreux, frequently appearing to the inhabitants,
but is said to be perfectly harmless. He is called _Goblin_ by the
common people, who believe that he is restrained from mischief by the
merits of Saint Taurinus. The reason why he was not at once consigned
to the infernal regions, is, that at the command of the holy bishop
he assisted in destroying the idols of the city; but he is supposed
to have received sufficient punishment in beholding those persons
in a state of salvation, whom during his power he had insultingly
regarded as his victims. See Ordericus Vitalis, p. 555. In England
it appears that the common people not only feared Diana as a witch,
but that they had on many occasions paid her reverential honours as
a goddess. This is confirmed by the remains of such animals as were
used in her sacrifices, and also by her own images found on rebuilding
Saint Paul's cathedral. These have been particularly described in Dr.
Woodward's letter to Sir Christopher Wren in the eighth volume of
Leland's _Itinerary_; from which circumstance the doctor very plausibly
inferred that a Roman temple of Diana had been formerly erected on
this spot. There is preserved a most curious sermon by Saint Maximus
bishop of Turin in the fifth century, replete with the superstitions
that existed in his time relating to the worship of Diana; nor can
it be controverted that she was equally reverenced in this country
long after the introduction of Christianity, when we find from the
testimony of Richard Sporling, a Monk of Westminster in 1450, and a
diligent collector of ancient materials, that during the persecution
of Diocletian the inhabitants of London sacrificed to Diana, whilst
those of Thorney, now Westminster, were offering incense to Apollo. Sir
William Dugdale records that a commutation grant was made in the reign
of Edward I., by Sir William Le Baud, to the dean and canons of Saint
Paul, of a doe in winter on the day of the saint's conversion, and of a
fat buck in summer on that of his commemoration, to be offered at the
high altar, and distributed among the canons. To this ceremony Erasmus
has alluded in his book _De ratione concionandi_, when he describes
the custom which the Londoners had of going in procession to St. Paul's
cathedral with a deer's head fixed upon a spear, accompanied with men
blowing hunting-horns. Mr. Strype likewise, in his _Ecclesiastical
memorials_, vol. iii. p. 378, has preserved a notice of the custom as
practised in Queen Mary's time, with this addition, that the priest of
every parish in the city arrayed in his cope, and the bishop of London
in his mitre, assisted on the occasion. Camden had likewise seen it
when a boy, and had heard that the canons of the cathedral attended in
their sacred vestments, wearing garlands of flowers on their heads. As
to Mr. Selden's _witty conceit_ on the subject, which bishop Gibson
inclines to adopt, it is enough to allude to it, being most certainly
unworthy of a serious confutation.

Some of the above remarks have been offered as hints only for a more
ample investigation of the fairy superstitions of the middle ages, _so
far as they are connected with the religion of the ancient Romans_; a
subject of intrinsic curiosity, and well deserving the attention of
those who may feel interest in the history of the human mind.


                           SCENE 1. Page 497.

    1. WITCH. Thrice the _brinded cat_ hath mew'd.

Dr. Warburton has adduced classical authority for the connexion between
Hecate and this animal, with a view to trace the reason why it was the
agent and favourite of modern witches. It may be added, that among
the Egyptians the cat was sacred to Isis or the Moon, their Hecate or
Diana, and accordingly worshipped with great honour. Many cat idols
are still preserved in the cabinets of the curious, and the sistrum
or rattle used by the priests of Isis is generally ornamented with
the figure of a cat with a crescent on its head. We know also that the
Egyptians typified the Moon by this animal, as the Chinese and some of
the people of India do now by the rabbit; but the cause is as likely
to remain a mystery as their hieroglyphic mode of writing. Some of the
ancients have amused themselves with guessing at the reason. They have
supposed that the cat became fat or lean with the increase or wane of
the Moon; that it usually brought forth as many young as there are
days in a lunar period; and that the pupils of its eyes dilated or
contracted according to the changes of the planet.

                           SCENE 1. Page 503.

    3. WITCH. ... slips of yew.

The reason for introducing this tree is, that it was reckoned
poisonous. See Batman _Uppon Bartholome_, 1. xvii. c. 161.

                           SCENE 1. Page 505.

    MACB. Though you untie the winds, and let them fight
    Against the churches.

The influence of witches over the winds had been already discussed by
Mr. Steevens in a former note on Act I. Scene 3, and it might be well
supposed that their formidable power would be occasionally directed by
these mischievous beings against _religious edifices_. It is therefore
by no means improbable that in order to counteract this imaginary
danger, the superstitious caution of our ancestors might have planted
the yew-tree in their church-yards, preferring this tree not only on
account of its vigour as an evergreen, but as independently connected,
in some now forgotten manner, with the influence of evil powers.
Accordingly in a statute made in the latter part of the reign of Edward
I., to prevent rectors from cutting down trees in church-yards, we find
the following passage: "verum arbores ipsæ, _propter ventorum impetus
ne ecclesiis noceant_, sæpe plantantur." This is at least sufficient
for the purpose of disproving what has been so often asserted
respecting the plantation of yews in church-yards for the purpose of
making bows; for although these weapons were sometimes made of English
yew, the more common materials employed were elm and hazel, either on
account of the comparative scarcity of English yew, or more probably
from its inadequacy, in point of toughness, for constructing such
bows as our robust and skilful archers were famed for using. Indeed
modern experience has proved the truth of the latter supposition; and
therefore, whenever yew was used for making the best sort of bows, it
was of foreign growth: many of our ancient statutes very carefully
provide for the importation of that commodity, which appears to have
been chiefly Italian, with other merchandise.

                           SCENE 1. Page 506.

    1. WITCH. ... grease that's sweaten
    From the murderer's gibbet.

Apuleius in describing the process used by the witch, Milo's wife, for
transforming herself into a bird, says that "she cut the lumps of flesh
of such as were hanged." See Adlington's translation, p. 49, edit.
1596, 4to, a book certainly used by Shakspeare on other occasions.

                           SCENE 3. Page 540.

    ROSSE. ... to relate the manner,
    Were, on the _quarry_ of these murder'd deer,
    To add the death of you.

"_Quarry_," says Mr. Steevens, "is a term used both in hunting and
falconry. In both sports it means the game after it is killed." So far
this is just, and serves _partly_ to explain the passage before us, as
well as this in _Coriolanus_, Act I. Scene 1:

    "And let me use my sword, I'd make a _quarry_
    With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
    As I could pitch my lance."

What follows respecting the etymology of the word may not appear quite
so correct. Mr. Steevens cites the MS. _Mayster of game_, in which
the old English term _querre_ is used for the _square_ spot wherein
the dead game was deposited. It is simply the French _carré_, but not,
as Mr. Steevens conceived, the origin of _quarry_. It is necessary to
state that _quarry_ not only signified the game that was killed, but,
in falconry, the bird that was pursued or sought after. The same term
is used to express the flight of the hawk after its prey. In these
senses it is probable that the word has been formed from the French
_querir_, _to seek after_, and that the game sought after would be
called in that language _querie_, whence our English _quarrie_, the
old and correct orthography. The more modern French term in falconry
for pursuing the game is _charrier_. See René François, _Essay des
merveilles de nature_, 1626, 4to, p. 48.

It is conceived therefore that in both the passages in Shakspeare
_quarry_ signifies the spot or _square_ in which the heaps of dead game
were placed. Not so in the quotation from Massinger's _Guardian_; for
there _quarry_ is evidently the bird pursued to death.


                           SCENE 5. Page 570.

    MACB. The way to _dusty_ death.

Perhaps no quotation can be better calculated to show the propriety of
this epithet than the following grand lines in _The vision of Pierce
Plowman_, a work which Shakspeare might have seen:

    "_Death_ came drivynge after, and all to _dust_ pashed
    Kynges and kaysers, knightes and popes."

Scriptural language and a passage in the burial service might have
likewise suggested the epithet.



                           SCENE 1. Page 19.

    BAST. _Good den_, sir Richard.

SEE former note, p. 139.

                           SCENE 1. Page 26.

    BAST. ... _Basilisco_ like.

This braggadocio character must have been very popular, as his oaths
became proverbial. Thus in Fennor's _Compter's commonwealth_, 1617,
4to, we have, "three-pil'd, huge _Basilisco_ oaths that would have torn
a roring-boyes eares in a thousand shatters."


                           SCENE 1. Page 39.

    ELL. His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.

    CONST. Now shame upon you, whether _she_ does, or no!

Mr. Ritson proposes to read, _whether_ he _does or no_! i. e. _whether
he weeps or not_; and he adds that Constance, so far from admitting,
expressly denies that she shames him. It may be answered, that this
reading is _equally_ objectionable; for Constance admits also that her
son wept. In either case there is ambiguity; but the words as they
stand are infinitely more natural, and even defensible, according to
common usage.

                           SCENE 1. Page 44.

    K. JOHN. Have brought a _countercheck_ before your gates.

Mr. Steevens thinks this one of the _old_ terms used at chess, but none
such occurs in any of the treatises on that game. It is presumed to
be simply a military word. Thus the Bastard afterwards asks, "shall a
silken wanton brave our fields and find no _check_?" and we still say,
"the enemy has received a _check_."

                           SCENE 1. Page 47.

    K. PHI. Command the rest to stand.--_God, and our right_!

An English motto is here improperly put into the mouth of a Frenchman.
Richard the First is said to have originally used DIEU ET MON DROIT.

                           SCENE 2. Page 64.

    K. PHI. ... Young princes close your hands

    AUST. _And your lips too_; for, I am well assur'd,
    That I did so, when I was first assur'd.

The kiss was a part of the ceremony of affiancing. Thus in _Twelfth

    "A contract of eternal bond of love,
    Attested by the _holy close of lips_."

See the note in page 67.


                           SCENE 4. Page 107.

    CONST. And _buss_ thee as thy wife.

In former times there was no vulgarity in this word, as the two first
quotations by Mr Steevens demonstrate; but he is peculiarly unfortunate
in his last example, which may without detriment be omitted in future
editions. The singular vulgarity of Stanihurst's language cannot with
propriety be used to exemplify the undegraded use of any word whatever.

No further proof of the justice of this remark is necessary than
the mention of his "dandiprat cockney Cupido," or the "_blubbering_
Andromache," whom he describes as "stuttering and stammering to
_fumble_ out an answer to her sweeting delicat Hector;" and numerous
expressions of a similar nature occur in his eccentric translation
of the pure and elegant Virgil. _To buss_ is either from the French
_baiser_, or from some radical word common to both languages, and was
formerly written _bass_. Thus Stanihurst, whom it may be allowable to
quote on this occasion;

    "That when Queen Dido shall col thee and smacklye _bebasse_ thee:"

And the duke of Orleans, in one of his love poems written in the time
of King Henry the Fifth;

    "Lend me your praty mouth madame
    I wis dere hart to _basse_ it swete."

                           SCENE 4. Page 115.

    PAND. No natural exhalation in the sky,
    No _scape_ of nature, no distempered day,
    No common wind, no customed event,
    But they will pluck away his natural cause,
    And call them meteors, prodigies and signs,
    Abortives, presages, and tongues of heaven.

The old copy reads _scope_ of nature. The alteration was made by Pope,
and plausibly commented on by Warburton, who seems to have influenced
Mr. Malone to adopt it. The speaker's design is to show that all the
_common effects of nature_ which he mentions would be _perverted_ by
the people; but an _escape_ of nature would be very _properly_ deemed
_an abortive_. The original reading is therefore correct; nor could an
apter word have been selected. Thus in _King Henry the Fourth, Part I._:

    "And curbs himself even of his _natural scope_."


                           SCENE 2. Page 128.

    PEMB. If what in _rest_ you have, in right you hold.

Mr. Steevens would read _wrest_, which he explains to be _violence_.
But surely "the murmuring lips of discontent" would not insinuate that
John was an usurper; because the subsequent words, "in right you hold,"
would then be contradictory. One could not say, "if, being an usurper,
you reign by right." The construction may therefore be more simple: "If
the power you now possess in _quiet_ be held by right, why should your
fears," &c. The explanation given by Mr. Malone might have sufficed.

                           SCENE 2. Page 137.

    K. JOHN. It is the curse of kings to be attended
    By slaves that take their humours for a warrant
    To break within the bloody house of life.

Mr. Malone ingeniously conceives this to be a covert apology for
Elizabeth's conduct to the queen of Scots; yet it may be doubted
whether any such apology would be thought necessary during the life of
Elizabeth. May it not rather allude to the death of the earl of Essex?
If this conjecture be well founded, it will serve to ascertain the date
of the composition of the play, and to show that Meres had mistaken the
older piece for Shakspeare's.

                           SCENE 2. Page 139.

    K. JOHN. Or turn'd an eye of doubt upon my face,
    _As_ bid me tell my tale in express words.

_And_, and _or_, have been proposed instead of _as_, but without
necessity. The words are elliptical in Shakspeare's manner, and only
mean, "or turn'd _such_ an eye of doubt _as_ bid me," &c.

                           SCENE 3. Page 142.

    SAL. Two long days journey lords, _or e'er_ we meet.

Dr. Percy has judiciously remarked that _ever_ or _e'er_ in this
phrase is a useless augmentative, _or_ being of itself equivalent to
_before_. The corruption is not much older than Shakspeare's time.
In some of the editions of Cranmer's Bible, _Ecclesiastes_ xii. 6 is
rendered, "_Or ever_ the silver lace be taken away, and _or ever_
the golden well be broken." In others the second _ever_ is omitted.
Wicliffe's translation, an invaluable monument of our language, has it,
"_er_ be to broke the silveren corde," &c. This is pure Saxon æꞃ or
eꞃ; and so is our modern _ere_, often erroneously spelled _e'er_, as
a supposed contraction of _ever_. Yet in Chaucer's time it had become

    "For, par amour, I loved hir first _or_ thou."

    Knight's tale, v. 1155.

though some copies, both manuscript and printed, read _er_ in this
place as well as in others. Mr. Steevens seems properly to object to
the orthography of _ore_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 155.

    BAST. Away then, with good courage; yet I know,
    Our party may well meet a _prouder_ foe.

Mr. Steevens has noticed Dr. Johnson's misconception of this passage;
yet it may be doubted whether he has sufficiently simplified the
meaning, which is, "yet I know that our party is fully competent
to engage a more _valiant_ foe." _Prouder_ has in this place the
signification of the old French word _preux_.



                           SCENE 2. Page 272.

    K. RICH. That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
    Behind the globe, _and_ lights _the lower world_.

The slight but necessary emendation of _and_ for _that_ ascribed to
Johnson, had already been made by Hanmer. _Lower world_ simply means
_lower hemisphere_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 279.

    K. RICH. Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
    And nothing can we call our own, but death.

This resembles Wolsey's speech;

    "To the last penny 'tis the king's; my robe
    And my integrity to heav'n, is all
    I dare now call my own."

                           SCENE 2. Page 279.

    K. RICH. And that small _model_ of the barren earth.

_Model_ or _module_, for they were the same in Shakspeare's time, seems
to mean in this place, a _measure_, _portion_, or _quantity_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 280.

    K. RICH. ... For within the hollow crown
    That rounds the mortal temples of a king
    Keeps death his court; and there the antick sits,
    Scoffing his state, and _grinning_ at his pomp.

Some part of this fine description might have been suggested from the
seventh print in the _Imagines mortis_, a celebrated series of wooden
cuts which have been improperly attributed to Holbein. It is probable
that Shakspeare might have seen some spurious edition of this work;
for the great scarcity of the original in this country in former times
is apparent, when Hollar could not procure the use of it for his _copy_
of the dance of death. This note, which more properly belongs to the
present place, had been inadvertently inserted in the first part of
_Henry the Sixth_. See Act IV. Scene 7, in Mr. Steevens's edition.

                           SCENE 3. Page 283.

    NORTH. Your grace mistakes me; only to be brief
    Left I his _title_ out.

    YORK.         The time hath been,
    Would you have been so brief with him, he would
    Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,
    For _taking so the head_, your whole head's length.

"_To take the head_," says Dr. Johnson, "is to act without restraint;
to take undue liberties." It is presumed it rather means to take away
or omit the sovereign's _chief_ and usual _title_; a construction which
considerably augments the play on words that is here intended.




                           SCENE 1. Page 357.

    K. HEN. To be commenced in _stronds_ afar remote.

This antiquated word, signifying _shores_, seems to have been entitled
to some notice by the editors, as it cannot be familiar to every
reader. We have now, perhaps accidentally, restored the original Saxon

                           SCENE 1. Page 357.

    K. HEN. No more the thirsty _Erinnys_ of this soil
    Shall daub her lips with her own childrens blood.

The original reads _entrance_, which is supported by Mr. Malone and
also by Mr. Ritson, to whose authorities might be added the line in
Spenser's _Shepherds calendar_;

    "Quenching the _gasping furrowes thirst_ with rayne."

The present reading was ingeniously suggested by Mr. Mason, and
has been adopted by Mr. Steevens, who, vigorously maintaining its
propriety, throws the gauntlet of defiance to all adversaries: but let
us not be appalled!

To the assertion that a just and striking personification is all that
is wanted on this emergency, the answer is, that we have it already.
_Soil_ is personified; they are _her_ lips, and _her_ children that are
alluded to. With respect to _Erinnys_, notwithstanding the examples
of typographical errors that are adduced, it is highly improbable
that it should have been mistaken for _entrance_, a word which has
three letters that are wanting in the other. Again, are the instances
common, or rather do they exist at all, where the _capital letter_
of a proper name has been lost in a corruption? And, lastly, to turn
in part Mr. Steevens's own words against himself, it is not probable
that Shakspeare would have "opened his play with a speech, the fifth
line of which is obscure enough to demand a series of comments thrice
as long as the dialogue to which it is appended;" or, it may be added,
which contained a name of such unfrequent occurrence, and certainly
unintelligible to the greatest part of the audience.

It is often expected, though perhaps rather unreasonably, that where an
opinion is controverted, a _better_ should be substituted; yet it does
seem just that something at least, in value equal or nearly so, should
be produced, and on this ground the following new reading is very
diffidently offered:

    "No more the thirsty _entrails_ of this soil."

In _Titus Andronicus_ we have the expression, "the ragged _entrails of
this pit_." And in the _Third part of King Henry VI._,

    "What, hath thy fiery heart so _parch'd_ thine _entrails_?"

Nothing that has been here advanced is calculated to maintain that the
name of _Erinnys_ must have been obscure to Shakspeare. One or two
quotations have been already given from authorities that might have
supplied him, to which the following shall now be added:

    "_Erinnis_ rage is growen so fel and fearce."

                             _Last part of the mirour for magistrates_,
                                            1578, fo. 153.

    "On me, ye swarth _Erinnyes_, fling the flames."

                                        Turbervile's _Ovid's epistles_,
                                                      sign. K. ij.

                           SCENE 2. Page 367.

    FAL. ... not by Phœbus,--he, _that wandering knight so fair_.

Falstaff, with great propriety, according to vulgar astronomy, calls
the sun _a wandering knight_, and by this expression evidently alludes
to some hero of romance. Now though the _knight of the sun_ mentioned
by Mr. Steevens, was doubtless a great wanderer, he was not more
so than others of his profession; and therefore it is possible that
Falstaff may refer to another person particularly known by the name of
_the wandering knight_, and the hero of a spiritual romance translated
in Shakspeare's time from the French by William Goodyeare, under the
last-named title. It may be worth mentioning that in all probability
John Bunyan used this work in the composition of his _Pilgrim's

                           SCENE 2. Page 376.

    FAL. 'S blood, I am as melancholy as a _gib cat_.

Captain Grose in his _Dictionary of the vulgar tongue_ informs us that
a _gib cat_ is so called from _Gilbert_, the northern name for a _he
cat_; and this is corroborated by the manner in which Chaucer has used
the word in question;

    "I mean but gyle, and follow that,
    For right no more than _Gibbe our cat_
    That awaiteth mice and rattes to killen."

                                                    _Rom. of the rose._

The original French has "dam _Thibert_ le chas," which proves that
_Gib_ was a proper name in Chaucer's time, whatever change it may
have since undergone in its feline application. We see too the reason
why a _gib_ is a _male_ cat. The melancholy of this animal has been
sufficiently explained. Another quality belonging to him is thus
ironically mentioned in the anonymous play of _The politick whore_,
1680; "as _modest_ as a _gib-cat_ at midnight."

                           SCENE 2. Page 381.

    POINS. What says sir John _Sack-and-sugar_?

In aid of Mr. Malone's conjecture that sack was so called as being a
_dry_ wine, _vin sec_, it may be remarked that the old orthography was
_secke_ and not _sack_. Dr. Boorde in his _Regimente of health_, 1562,
12mo, calls it so. In Hollyband's _French schoolemaister_, 1619, 12mo,
we have "_secke_, du vin sec." Again, "Some of you chaplaines, get my
lorde a cup of _secke_, to comfort his spirites." Ponet's _Treatise
of politike power_, 1556, 12mo; and Cotgrave in his _Dictionary_,
makes _sack_ to be _vin sec_. This plausible etymology might have been
wholly relied on, if an ingenious female traveller in speaking of the
Tatar _koumis_, a preparation of mare's milk, had not informed us that
she could not choose to partake of it out of the goatskin _sacks_ in
which it is carried "as the Spaniards," says she, "do their wine;
which, by the by, is a practice so common in Spain, _as to give the
name of sack_ to a species of sweet wine once highly prized in Great
Britain."--Guthrie's _Tour through the Crimea_, 1802, 4to, page 229.
More stress is to be laid on this matter from a remarkable coincidence
mentioned by Isidore of Seville, in his _Etymologies_, book iii. ch. 4,
where he states _saccatum_ to be a liquor made from water and the dregs
of wine passed through a sack. See also Ducange _Gloss._ v. _Saccatum_,
and Carpentier's supplement, v. _Saquatum_.

Whatever has been said in the course of the scattered notes concerning
Falstaff's _sack_ is so confused and contradictory, that it will be the
duty of a future editor, either to concentrate them for the purpose
of enabling the reader to deduce his own inference; or, rejecting
them altogether in their present form, to extract from the materials
they supply, the best opinion he may be able to form. There are two
principal questions on the subject: 1. Whether sack was known in this
country in the time of Henry the Fourth? 2. Whether it was a dry or a
sweet wine when this play was written? The first is very easily solved;
for there appears to be no mention of it till the 23rd year of Henry
the Eighth, when a regulation was made that no malmseys, romineis,
_sackes_ nor _other sweet_ wines, should be sold for more than
three-pence a quart. The other question is full of difficulties, and
the evidence relating to it very contradictory. We see it was a _sweet_
wine before Shakspeare's time, a circumstance that may be noticed as
adverse to the etymology of _sec_. But if it was sweet, whence the
use of sugar, which we do not find to have been added to other sweet
wines? The testimony of Dr. Venner proves that sack was drunk either
with or without sugar, _according to the palate_. The quality of this
wine, originally sweet and luscious, might have undergone a change, or
else some other _Spanish_ wine less saccharine in its nature might have
obtained the name of sack.

                           SCENE 2. Page 385.

    POINS. ... and _sirrah_, I have cases of buckram, &c.

Mr. Malone has in this and some other places maintained that _sirrah_
was not used as a term of disrespect in Shakspeare's time; but the
learned commentator would probably have revised his opinion had he
recollected the quarrel between Vernon and Basset in the first part
of Henry the Sixth, where, in the most opprobrious manner, _sirrah_
is answered by _villain_. It seems to have been used much in the same
way as at present, sometimes expressing anger and contempt, yet more
frequently in a milder way when addressed to children and servants. It
was even applied to women.

                           SCENE 3. Page 399.

    HOT. And if the Devil come and _roar_ for them.

This line would be highly relished by an audience accustomed in
Shakspeare's time to "Satan's chaunt," on some of the minor stages.
On the theatrical _roaring_ of the Devil, see the notes of Messrs.
Steevens and Malone in _King Henry V._ Act IV.

                           SCENE 3. Page 403.

    WOR. As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud,
    On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

He seems to allude to the practice of making a bridge by means of a
sword or a spear sometimes adopted by the heroes of ancient chivalry.
See _Lancelot of the lake_, and other similar romances. Such an
incident is represented on an ivory chest engraved in the first volume
of Mr. Carter's _Specimens of ancient sculpture and painting_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 407.

    HOT. And that same _sword-and-buckler_ prince of Wales.

To convey to the reader a complete idea of a sword-and-buckler man
of Shakspeare's time, the following print of a young Englishman is
exhibited. It is taken from the collection of dresses designed by
Titian, and said to have been engraved on wood by his brother Cesar
Vecelli, the editor of which remarks that the English youths then made
great use of the sword and buckler. A similar figure occurs in the
frontispiece to Cranmer's Bible, designed by Holbein, which has been
most unfaithfully copied in Lewis's _History of the translations of the
bible_. Mr. Strutt has given more correct copies of the man with the
buckler in his _Manners and customs of the inhabitants of England_,
vol. iii. pl. xii. and in his _Dress and habits of the people of
England_, pl. cxxxviii.


The subject receives much illustration from a passage in _Stowe's
chronicle_, p. 869, edit. 1634: "Untill about the twelfe or thirteenth
yeere of Queene Elizabeth the auncient English fight of sword and
buckler was onely had in use: the bucklers then being but a foote
broad, with a pike of foure or five inches long. Then they began to
make them full halfe ell broad with sharpe pikes ten or twelve inches
long wherewith they meant either to breake the swords of their enemies,
if it hit upon the pike, or els suddenly to run within them and stabbe,
and thrust their buckler with the pike, into the face, arme or body of
their adversary; but this continued not long. Every haberdasher then
sold bucklers." The above historian had, no doubt, good authority for
what he says respecting the length of the _pike_; but it is certain
that in the eighth year of Elizabeth a proclamation was issued by which
no person was permitted to wear any sword or rapier that should exceed
the length of one yard and half a quarter in the blade, nor any dagger
above the length of twelve inches in the blade, _nor any buckler with a
point or pike exceeding the length of two inches_. The mode of wearing
the buckler at the back may be seen in the cut p. 209.

                           SCENE 3. Page 407.

    HOT. I'd have him poison'd with a pot of ale.

Mr. Steevens suggests that this speech has reference to the prince
of Wales's pot companions, and Dr. Grey to the manner of King John's
death. It will indeed suit either of those circumstances. But this
remark has been principally made for the purpose of correcting an
error of long standing with respect to what has been generally called
_Caxton's chronicle_. Dr. Grey, relying perhaps on Bale or Nicolson,
has inaccurately cited Caxton's _Fructus temporum_ for the account of
King John's death; yet this work was never printed by Caxton under
that title. It was professedly compiled by a schoolmaster of Saint
Alban's, and originally printed in that city in 1483. In this form
it is properly called _The Saint Alban's chronicle_, and is in fact a
republication of one attributed to Caxton, with some additions at the
beginning and end. The original often occurs in manuscript both in
French and English; and, from the evidence of an ancient note in one
copy preserved among the Harleian manuscripts, appears to have been
composed by a monk of Glastonbury, named Douglas, who in the early part
of it has copied Geoffrey of Monmouth. This work has been commonly
ascribed to Caxton, and is often cited, even by old writers, under the
name of _his_ chronicle, though he only made a trifling addition by
a continuation to his own time. It is likewise supposed to have been
_originally printed_ by him, but this is in all probability a mistake;
for there is an edition undoubtedly printed by William Machlinia
without date, which had escaped the observation of the correct and
industrious Herbert. The type is the same as that used in the _Speculum
Christiani_. This is presumed to be the prior edition which is spoken
of in the prologue to that which Caxton printed in 1480, and there is
no proof whatever that he printed any edition before that year.


                           SCENE 3. Page 436.

    LADY PER. Of _basilisks_, of cannon, _culverin_.

In the note we are only told that "a _basilisk_ is a cannon of a
particular kind." It is well known that there was a serpent so called,
perhaps an imaginary one; and this animal with others of a like nature
being sculptured on the ancient pieces of artillery, supplied them
with the various appellations of _serpentines_, _culverines_, (from
the French _couleuvre_,) _flying dragons_, &c. Of these the _basilisk_
was the largest. It was sometimes called a _double culverine_, and
was much used about the middle of the sixteenth century, especially
by the Turks. It must have been of a prodigious size, as it carried
a ball of near two hundred pounds weight. Coryat mentions that he
saw in the citadel of Milan "an exceeding huge basiliske which was
so great that it would easily contayne the body of a very corpulent
man."--_Crudities_, p. 104, quarto edition. Father Maffei, in his
History of the Indies, relates that Badur, king of Cambay, had at the
siege of Chitor four basilisks of so large a size that each was drawn
by a hundred yoke of oxen, so that the ground trembled beneath them.

                           SCENE 3. Page 438.

    LADY PER. In faith _I'll break thy little finger, Harry_.

This "token of amorous dalliance" is more particularly exemplified in
an ancient song, entitled _Beware my lyttyl fynger_, reprinted by Mr.
Ritson from Sir John Hawkins's History of music.

As the learned historian has not stated whence he procured this piece,
it may be worth adding that it occurs in a small oblong quarto volume
of songs with music, printed, according to appearance, by Wynkyn de
Worde, in 1530; but as it varies in some instances from the reading
in Sir John's work it is possible that he might have used some other

                           SCENE 4. Page 442.

    P. HEN. I am no proud Jack, like Falstaff; but a _Corinthian_, a
    lad of mettle.

The celebrity of Lais, the Corinthian courtezan, is said to have
occasioned the proverb cited in Mr. Steevens's note, because from the
extravagance of the lady's demands _every one could not afford to go
to Corinth_, which, says Taverner, in his _Proverbs or adagies of
Erasmus_, 1569, 12mo, is of like sense with our English proverb, _Every
man may not be a lord_. We are told by Strabo that the temple of Venus
at Corinth was furnished with a thousand young girls who performed
the rites of the goddess. In short, that city appears to have been so
notorious for its luxury, that ancient writers are full of allusions
on this subject. See particularly Aristophanes's _Plutus_, Act I. Scene
2, and Saint Paul's first epistle to the _Corinthians_, ch. v. verse 1.
This may serve to explain why _wenchers_ were called _Corinthians_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 444.

    FRAN. Anon, anon, sir.

This was the _coming, sir_, of the waiters in Shakspeare's time. In
_Summer's last will and testament_, Harvest says, "Why, friend, I am no
_tapster_ to say, _anon, anon, sir_."

                           SCENE 4. Page 461.

    P. HEN. Thou _knotty-pated_ fool.

Although it certainly stands thus in the old copy, the word should be
changed without scruple to _nott-pated_, _i. e._ polled or cropped. The
prince had a little before bestowed the same epithet on the drawer. In
this place it may refer to the practice of nicking or cropping naturals.

                           SCENE 4. Page 461.

    FAL. What upon compulsion? No; were I at the _strappado_, or all
    the racks in the world, I would not tell you on compulsion.

As the _strappado_ has been elsewhere improperly defined "a
chastisement by blows," under an idea that a strap was used on the
occasion, it may be necessary to take further notice of it on this
occasion. It _was_ a military punishment, by which the unfortunate
sufferer was most inhumanly tortured in the following manner:--a rope
being fastened under his arms, he was drawn up by a pulley to the top
of a high beam, and then suddenly let down with a jerk. The consequence
usually was a dislocation of the shoulder blade. Representations
of this nefarious process may be seen in Breughel's print of _The
punishments of the law_; in one of Gerini's fine _Views of Florence_,
and in Callot's _Miseries of war_. The term is evidently taken from
the Italian _strappare_, to pull or draw with violence. At Paris there
was a spot called _l'estrapade_ in the fauxbourg St. Jaques, where
soldiers received this punishment. The machine, whence the place took
its name, remained fixed like a perpetual gallows.

                           SCENE 4. Page 468.

    FAL. ... he of Wales, that gave _Amaimon_ the bastinado.

_Amaimon_, king of the East, was one of the _principal devils_ who
might be bound or restrained from doing hurt from the third hour till
noon, and from the ninth hour till evening. See Scot's _Discovery of
witchcraft_, B. xv. ch. 3.


                           SCENE 1. Page 487.

    GLEN. The front of heaven was full of fiery shapes
    Of burning _cressets_.

A cresset light was the same as a beacon light, but occasionally
portable. It consisted of a wreathed rope smeared with pitch and placed
in a cage of iron like a trivet, which was suspended on pivots in a
kind of fork. The light sometimes issued from a hollow pan filled with
combustibles. The term is not, as Hanmer and others have stated, from
the French _croissette_, a little cross, but rather from _croiset_, a
cruet or earthen pot; yet as the French language furnishes no similar
word for the cresset itself, we might prefer a different etymology. Our
Saxon glossaries afford no equivalent term, but it may perhaps exhibit
a Teutonic origin in the German _kerze_, a light or candle, or even in
the French _cierge_, from _cereus_, because the original materials were
of wax. Stowe the historian has left us some account of the marching
watches that formerly paraded many of the streets of London, in which
he says that "the whole way ordered for this watch extended to two
thousand three hundred taylors yards of assize, for the furniture
wherof with lights there were appointed _seven hundred cressets_, five
hundred of them being found by the companies, the other two hundred
by the chamber of London. Besides the which lights every constable in
London, in number more than two hundred and forty, had his _cresset_,
the charge of every _cresset_ was in light two shillings fourepence,
and every _cresset_ had two men, one to beare or hold it, another
to beare a bagge with light, and to serve it: so that the poore men
pertaining to the _cressets_, taking wages, besides that every one had
a strawne hat, with a badge painted, and his breakfast in the morning,
amounted in number to almost two thousand."--_Survay of London_, 1618,
4to, p. 160. The following representations of _ancient cressets_ have
been collected from various prints and drawings.


                           SCENE 1. Page 492.

    HOT. And cuts me from the best of all my land,
    A huge half-moon, a monstrous _cantle_.

The word in its _strict_ sense, signifies a _small_ piece of any thing,
but here a portion or parcel. The French have _chanteau_ and _chantel_,
from the Latin _quantulum_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 494.

    GLEN. ... I framed to the harp
    Many an English ditty, lovely well,
    And gave _the tongue_ a helpful ornament,
    A virtue that was never seen in you.

"Glendower means," says Mr. Ritson, "that he graced his _own_ tongue
with the art of singing." This is surely wrong. The meaning is, that,
by setting the English ditties to Welsh music, he had embellished the
language in a manner that Hotspur had never done, the roughness of
his speech affording neither poetry nor music. _Tongue_ was rightly
explained by Dr. Johnson, _the English language_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 499.

    MORT. ... that pretty Welsh
    Which thou pourest down from these _swelling heavens_
    I am too perfect in; and but for shame,
    In such a parley would I answer thee.

According to Mr. Steevens, _swelling heavens_ are prominent _lips_. Are
they not _eyes swollen with tears_? Glendower had just said that his
daughter wept; and Mortimer tells his wife that he would answer the
melting language of her eyes, if it were not _for shame_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 508.

    P. HEN. By smiling _pick-thanks_.

A pick-thank is one who gathers or collects favour, thanks, or
applause, by means of flattery. "Cave ne _falsam gratiam_ studes
inire." Terence; which is thus Englished by Udall in his _Floures for
Latine spekynge_, 1533, 12mo, fo. 137:--"Beware that thou desire not to
_pyke_ or to have a _thanke_ of me undeserved."

                           SCENE 3. Page 522.

    FAL. I never see thy face, but I think upon hell-fire.

Falstaff's wit at the expense of poor Bardolph's ruby face is
inexhaustible. The same subject is treated with considerable humour
in the following passage in Melton's _Astrologaster_, 1620, 4to: "But
that which most grieves me, is, most of the varlets belonging to the
citie colledges (I meane both the prodigious compters) have _fierie red
faces_, that they cannot put a cup of Nippitato to their _snowts_, but
with the extreme heat that doth glow from them, they make it cry hisse
again, as if there were a gadd of burning steele flung into the pot,"

                           SCENE 3. Page 528.

    FAL. There's no more truth in thee, than in a _drawn fox_.

The quotation from Olaus Magnus does not support Mr. Steevens's
assertion that the fox when _drawn_ out of his hole was supposed to
counterfeit death; for it is stated by that writer, and indeed by
others, that he uses this device when hungry, to attract the birds, who
mistake him for carrion. The following passage from Turbervile's _Noble
arte of venery or hunting_ is offered, but with no great confidence, as
a possible illustration of the phrase in question: "Foxes which have
been beaten have this _subtletie_, to _drawe_ unto the largest part of
the burrow where three or foure angles meete together, and there to
stand at baye with the terriers, to the ende they may afterwardes shift
and goe to which chamber they list."

                           SCENE 3. Page 535.

    P. HEN. Go bear this letter to lord John of Lancaster, &c.

The first seven lines of this speech are undoubtedly prose, and should
be so printed, like the preceding speeches of the Prince. No correct
ear will ever receive them as blank verse, notwithstanding the efforts
that have been or shall be made to convert them into metre.


                           SCENE 1. Page 543.

    VER. All plum'd like _estridges_, that _wing_ the wind
    Bated like eagles having lately bath'd:

The evident corruption or mutilation in these lines, has rendered
any attempt to explain them a task of great difficulty. It will be
necessary in the first place to ascertain the exact sense of the
word _estridge_; and although it is admitted that the _ostrich_ was
occasionally so denominated by our old writers, it is by no means
certain that this bird is meant in the present instance. It may seem a
very obvious comparison between the feathers of a crested helmet and
those of the ostrich; and had the expression _plum'd like estridges_
stood _singly_, no doubt whatever could have arisen. It is what follows
that occasions the difficulty.

The old copies read, _with the wind_: now if the ostrich had been here
alluded to, the conjectural substitution of _wing_ would have been
absolutely requisite; but the line which follows cannot by any possible
construction be made to apply to that bird. It relates altogether
to falconry, a sport to which Shakspeare is perpetually referring.
Throughout the many observations on these difficult lines, it has been
quite overlooked that _estridge_ signifies a _goshawk_. In this sense
the word is used in _Antony and Cleopatra_, Act III. Scene 2:

    "And in that mood [of fury] the dove will peck the _estridge_."

There is likewise a similar passage in the third part of _King Henry
VI._, which may serve as a commentary on the above line:

    "So cowards fight, when they can fly no further;
    So _doves_ do peck the _faulcon's_ piercing talons."

It would be absurd to talk of a dove pecking an ostrich; the allusion
is to the practice of flying falcons at pigeons. Thus Golding in his
translation of _Ovid's metamorphoses_, fo. 9:

    "With flittering feather sielie _doves_ so from the _gosshawk_

The manor of Radeclyve in Nottinghamshire was held by the service of
"mewing a goshawk;" in the original charter, "mutandi unum _estricium_"
In the romance of _Guy earl of Warwick_ we have,

    "_Estrich falcons_, of great mounde."

Falconers are often called _ostregers_ and _ostringers_ in the
old books of falconry, and elsewhere. _Estridge_ for _ostrich_ or
_ostridge_ is a corrupt spelling that crept into the language at the
commencement of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and it appears that after that
period the two words were very often confounded together, and used one
for the other.

The explanation of _to bate_, as cited from _Minsheu_ in one of the
notes, cannot apply to _ostriches_, though it does, very properly, to a
bird of prey like the falcon.

After all, there is certainly a line lost, as Mr. Malone has very
justly and ingeniously conjectured; but the place should rather seem to
have been _after_ the word _bath'd_, than _before_. The sense of the
old copies, as to what remains, will then be tolerably perspicuous:

  "All plum'd like estridges, that with the wind
  Bated, like eagles having lately bath'd
  *     *     *     *     *     *     *"

_i. e._ plumed like falcons, which, their feathers being ruffled with
the wind, like eagles that have recently bathed, _make a violent
fluttering noise_; the words in Italics being here conjecturally
offered as something like the sense of the omitted line.

                           SCENE 1. Page 546.

    VER. I saw young Harry with his _beaver on_.

There are two other passages in Shakspeare's plays that relate to
the _beaver_, which it will be best to insert here for the purpose of
avoiding confusion, and to afford likewise the means of assembling
together the various and discordant opinions of the commentators. These
are, 1. in _King Henry IV._ Part II. Act IV. Scene 1, "their beavers
_down_;" and 2. in _Hamlet_, Act I. Scene 2, "he wore his beaver _up_."

In the first of these passages Dr. Warburton would read _with his
beaver up_; and he remarks that "the _beaver_ is only the visiere of
the helmet, which, let down, covers the face. When the soldier was not
upon action, he wore it _up_, so that his face might be seen, but when
upon [in] action, it was let down to cover and secure the face." All
this is correct, except that the beaver is certainly not the visor.

Dr. Johnson says, "there is no need of all this note; for beaver may be
a helmet." This too is very just; the beaver, a part only of the helmet
strictly speaking, is frequently used to express a helmet generally.
Thus, in the first scene of the third part of _King Henry VI._, "I
cleft his _beaver_ with a downright blow." The latter part of the
doctor's note was unnecessary, and its inference apparently wrong.

Mr. Malone remarks that "Dr. Warburton seems not to have observed, that
Vernon only says, he saw _young Harry_, not that he saw his _face_."
But surely, Dr Warburton having contended for the reading _beaver up_,
could not have misconceived Vernon's meaning as above.

Dr. Lort contents himself with distinguishing and explaining the beaver
and visor. He is however wrong in stating that the beaver was _let
down_ to enable the wearer to drink.

Mr. Malone's second note relating to _Hamlet_, will be considered in
the third passage.

In the second passage, Mr. Malone remarks that the _beaver_ "is
confounded both here and in _Hamlet_ with visor, or used for _helmet_
in general," but that "Shakspeare is not answerable for any confusion
on this subject, as he used _beaver_ in the same sense in which it
was used by all his contemporaries." The latter part of this note
applies very justly to the first passage, _beaver on_, where it is used
generally for a _helmet_, but not to the present; _beavers down_ being
perfectly accurate. It is submitted that the former part of the note,
which relates to a supposed confusion both here and in Hamlet between
_beaver_ and _visor_, is not quite accurate, as may hereafter appear.

In the third passage Mr. Malone says, "though _beaver_ properly
signified that part of the helmet which was _let down_, to enable the
wearer to drink, Shakspeare always uses the word as denoting that
part of the helmet which, when raised up, exposed the face of the
wearer; and such was the popular signification of the word in his time.
In Bullokar's _English expositor_, 8vo, 1616, _beaver_ is defined
thus:--'In armour it signifies that part of the helmet which may be
_lifted up_ to take the breath more freely.'" On this passage Mr.
Malone had also before remarked that Shakspeare confounded the _beaver_
and _visor_; for in _Hamlet_ Horatio says that he saw the old king's
face, because he wore his _beaver up_; and yet the learned commentator
inadvertently quotes Bullokar's definition, which is adverse to his
own opinion. Another observation that suggests itself on Mr. Malone's
note on _Hamlet_ is, that Shakspeare does _not always_ use _beaver_ to
denote that part of the _helmet_ which, when raised up, exposed the
face of the wearer; because we have just seen that he _sometimes_, as
other writers do, applies it to the _whole_ of the helmet.

And lastly, as to preceding notes; the present writer had, in defending
Shakspeare's accuracy, expressed himself in most faulty and inaccurate
terms, when he said that "the beaver was as often made to lift up as to
let down." A great deal of confusion has arisen from the want of due
attention to these words.

There is a chance that the reader, unless he have paid more attention
to what has already been stated than it perhaps deserves, may have got
into a labyrinth; from which it shall be the endeavour of the rest of
this note to extricate him.

In the first place, no want of accuracy whatever is imputable to

The _beaver_ of a helmet is frequently used by writers, improperly
enough, to express the helmet itself. It is in reality the lower part
of it, adapted to the purpose of giving the wearer an opportunity of
taking breath when oppressed with heat, or, without putting off the
helmet, of taking his repast. As it was _raised up_ for this purpose,
it could of course be _let down_ again; but it could not be _let down_
on either of the before-mentioned occasions. The _visiere_ or _visor_
was another moveable part in the front of a helmet, and placed above
the beaver in order to protect the upper part of the face; and being
perforated with many holes, afforded the wearer an opportunity of
_discerning_ objects: and thence its name. It was made also to _lift
up_ when the party either wanted more air, or was desirous of seeing
more distinctly. It was perhaps never down but in actual combat;
whilst the beaver would be thrown up or _kept_ down at the wearer's
discretion, without much difference, except that in battle it would
be closed, and at meals, or for additional coolness, thrown up. In
short, the visor or beaver could only be _let down_ after they had been
already lifted up; and when a writer speaks of their being _down_, it
is generally meant that the helmet is closed.

To exemplify the above remarks, correct representations of a real
helmet and its parts are here given. See likewise Grose's _Treatise on
ancient armour_, plates 10, 26, 30.

Fig. 1. The helmet closed.

Fig. 2. The visor thrown up, the beaver down.

Fig. 3. The visor and beaver thrown up.

Fig. 4. The visor detached.

Fig. 5. The beaver detached.



                           SCENE 1. Page 567.

    P. HEN. Of fickle changelings, and poor discontents,
    Which gape and _rub the elbow_, at the news
    Of hurly burly innovation.

The _itching of the elbow_, according to popular belief, denoted an
approaching change of some kind or other.

                           SCENE 4. Page 587.

    HOT. ... and life _time's fool_.

Mr. Steevens could not very easily have supported his opinion, that
the allusion here is to the fool in the ancient farces, or in the
representations called the _Dance of death_; a character which has
been altogether misconceived in the course of the annotations on
Shakspeare. Dr. Johnson's interpretation is much more natural and
intelligible, and the allusion is certainly to the common or domestic
fool, who was retained for the express purpose of affording _sport_
to his still more foolish employers. In this sense our author uses
_death's fool_, _fortune's fool_, and _fate's fool_.

                           SCENE 5. Page 589.

P. HEN. _Embowel'd_ will I see thee by and by.

An ingenious commentator on Mr. Mason's supplement to Dr. Johnson's
dictionary, (see the _Monthly magazine_, vol. xii. p. 299,) has
disputed the usual sense of _embowel'd_ in this speech, on the ground
that the prince would not be guilty of such _brutality_ as to see
Falstaff _eviscerated_; and he therefore contends that the meaning is,
_put into the bowels of the earth_. But surely the prince designs no
more than that Falstaff's body shall be embalmed in the usual manner.
When the knight rises, he exclaims, "if thou embowel me to day, I'll
give you leave to _powder me_, and eat me to-morrow," evidently
alluding to the practice of evisceration and subsequent treatment of
a dead body by strewing aromatics over it for preservation. If the
body were to be _put into the bowels of the earth_, as the commentator
contends, Falstaff's "eat me to-morrow" would manifestly be an
absurd expression. That the present writer may not be suspected of
plagiarism on this occasion, he feels himself obliged to lay claim to
the above opinion in answer to the commentator, as it appeared in the
before-mentioned periodical publication.

But the following curious extract from the arraignment of Hugh Le
Despenser, the favourite of Edward II., will set the question at rest
for ever: "_Hugh_ contraytour este trove, par quoy vous agardent touz
lez bonez gentz de realme, meyndrez et greyndres, ryches et povrez par
comun assent, que vous come larone estes trove, par quey vous serrez
pendue. Et contreytour estez trove, par quey vous serrez _treynez_[15]
et quarterecez, et envoye parmy le realme. Et pur ceo que vous fuistez
utlage par nostre seignour le roy et par commune assent, et estez
revenue en courte sanz garrant, vous serrez decollez. Et pur ceo que
vous abbestatez et procurastez discorde entre nostre seignour le roy
et la royne et lez altrez del realme, si serret _enbouelleez_, et puis
ils serront ars. Retrayez vous traytour, tyrant reneyee, si alez vostre
juyse prendre. Traytour malveys et attaynte." In English. "_Hugh Le
Despencer_, you have been found an arch-traitor, for which cause all
good people of the realm, great and small, rich and poor, by common
consent, award you a convicted felon; _therefore you shall be hanged_.
And forasmuch as you have been found a traitor, _you shall be drawn
and quartered, and [your limbs] dispersed throughout the kingdom_. And
having been outlawed by our lord the king, and by common assent, you
have unwarrantably returned into court; _and therefore you shall be
beheaded_. And because you have procured and abetted discord between
our lord the king, and the queen, and others of the realm, _you shall
be embowelled, and [your bowels] afterwards burnt_. Begone traitorous
renegade tyrant, and await the execution of your sentence. Wicked
and attainted traitor!"--Knighton, inter _Historiæ Anglicanæ decem
scriptores_, col. 2549.

The author of _Aulicus coquinariæ_, 1650, speaking of the opening
of King James the First's body, has these words: "The next day was
solemnly appointed for _imbowelling_ the corps, in the presence of some
of the counsell, all the physicians, chirurgions, apothecaries, and the
Palsgrave's physician."

We got this word from the _old_ French _eboeler_, the orthography of
which at once declares its meaning. With us it might perhaps be more
properly written _ebowel_, if the ear were not likely to be offended by
the change.

       *       *       *       *       *

Foote has borrowed some hints from Falstaff's speeches, in his
admirably drawn character of Mother Cole. Among others take the
following:--"Now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better
than one of the wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give
it over." He immediately changes his praying into pursetaking. See
particularly the beginning of the third scene in the third act. Our
English Aristophanes seems to have been likewise indebted to a story
related in Lord Bacon's _Apophthegms_, of an old bawd who on her
death-bed was interrogated by a customer whether a wench whom she had
provided for him was in all respects as she had promised; to which she
answered, _that she was; and further left it to him to judge with what
comfort and confidence she could expect to meet her Saviour, if she
should leave the world with a lie in her mouth_.


[15] This word may serve to correct a mistake in a note in _King
Richard III._, Act V. Scene 2, by Dr. Johnson, who had supposed that
_drawn_ was the same as _exenterated_.




                           SCENE 1. Page 11.

    TRA. Up to the _rowel head_.

Dr. Johnson had either forgotten the precise meaning of the word
_rowel_, or has made choice of inaccurate language in applying it to
the _single spiked spur_ which he had seen in old prints. The former
signifies the moveable spiked _wheel_ at the end of a spur, such as
was actually used in the time of Henry the Fourth, and long before the
other was laid aside. Shakspeare certainly meant the spur of his own

                           SCENE 1. Page 13.

    NORTH. Even such a man so faint so spiritless,
    So dull, so dead in look, so _woe-begone_,
    Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night, &c.

Dr. Bentley's proposed substitution of _Ucalegon_ for _woe-begone_,
is a most striking example of the uselessness of learning when
unaccompanied with judgment to direct it. Where too had the doctor
found that Ucalegon drew Priam's curtain? and, it may be added, where
did Shakspeare find that any one did so? It is not very uncommon for
our poet to forget his reading, and make events change places. Thus a
little further on, he has confounded Althea's firebrand with Hecuba's;
and it is not improbable that in the present instance he might have
misapplied the vision of Hector to Æneas so finely described in the
second book of the Æneid.

                           SCENE 3. Page 46.

    HAST. The _duke_ of Lancaster and Westmorland.

Mr. Malone's note on this anachronism would be more perfect if this
slight addition were made to it, "and then not duke of _Lancaster_
but of _Bedford_." Mr. Ritson seems to have traced the source of
Shakspeare's error in calling prince John of Lancaster _duke_ of
Lancaster, in Stowe's _Annales_; but he has omitted to remark that even
then Shakspeare had forgotten that prince John was not the _second_
son of Henry the Fourth. The blunder of the industrious historian is
unaccountable. See the seal of Henry the Fifth as prince of Wales and
duke of Lancaster in Sandford's _Genealogical history_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 49.

    HOST. A hundred mark is a long _loan_ for a poor lone woman to bear.

The old copy reads long _one_, and the above alteration has, on the
suggestion of Theobald, been very improperly and unnecessarily made.
The hostess means to say that a hundred mark is a long _mark_, that is
_score_, _reckoning_, for her to bear. The use of mark in the singular
number in familiar language admits very well of this equivoque.

                           SCENE 2. Page 64.

    PAGE. Marry, my Lord, Althea dream'd she was delivered of a

Dr. Johnson has properly noticed the error concerning Althea's
firebrand. This mythological fable is _accurately_ alluded to in _2
Henry VI._ Act I. Scene 1; a circumstance that may perhaps furnish
an additional argument, though a slight one, that that play was not
written by Shakspeare.

                           SCENE 4. Page 91.

    PIST. Have we not _Hiren_ here.

The notes on this expression have left it a matter of doubt whether
Pistol is speaking of his sword or of a woman; but the fact is, after
all, that the word Hiren was purposely designed by the author to be
ambiguous, though used by Pistol with reference _only_ to his sword.
When the hostess replies, "There's none such here, do you think I would
deny her?" she evidently conceives that he is calling for some wench.
Pistol, not regarding her blunder, _continues to handle his sword, and
in his next speech_ reads the motto on it--SI FORTUNA ME TORMENTA,
SPERATO ME CONTENTA. It is to be observed that most of the ancient
swords had inscriptions on them, and there is no doubt that if diligent
search were made, the one before us, in a less corrupted state, would
be found. In the mean time the reader is presented with the figure of
an old French _rapier_, in the author's possession, on which these


In further illustration, the following story from _Wits, fits and
fancies_, 1614, 4to, is added:--"Haniball Gonsaga being in the low
countries overthrowne from his horse by an English captaine, and
commanded to yeeld himselfe prisoner: _kist his sword_ and gave it the
Englishman saying: _Si fortuna me tormenta, il speranza me contenta_."
Part of this story had already been quoted by Dr. Farmer, but not for a
similar purpose.

                           SCENE 4. Page 94.

    FAL. Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a _shove-groat_ shilling.

Mr. Steevens supposes the _shove-groat_ shilling to have been used
in the game of shovel-board, by which he seems to infer that the
games of _shove-groat_ and _shovel-board_ were the same; but this is
apparently a mistake. The former was invented during the reign of Henry
the Eighth; for in the statutes of his 33rd year, chap. ix., it is
called a _new_ game. It was also known by the several appellations of
_slide-groat_, _slide-board_, _slide-thrift_, and _slip-thrift_, the
first of which was probably adopted from the game being originally
played with the silver groats of the time, then nearly as large as
modern shillings. When the broad shillings of Edward the Sixth were
coined, they were substituted for the groats in this game, and used
also at that of _shovel-board_, which seems to have been only a
variation of the other on a larger scale. Nothing has occurred to carry
it beyond the time of Henry the Eighth; and from the want of such a
term as a _shovel-groat_, it is probably not older than the reign of
Edward the Sixth, who first coined the shilling piece. _Shovel-board_
is already too well known to require any description of it in this
place; but of the other little seems recorded, or not sufficient to
discover the manner in which it was played. Holinshed, or rather
Stanihurst, in his history of Ireland, speaking of a mandate for the
execution of the Earl of Kildare in the reign of Henry the Eighth,
says, that "one night when the lieutenant and he for their disport were
playing at _slidegrote_ or _shofleboorde_, sodainly commeth from the
Cardinall (Wolsey) a mandatum to execute Kyldare on the morrow. The
earle marking the lieutenant's deepe sigh, By S. Bryde, Lieutenant,
quoth he, there is some made game in that scrole; but fall how it will,
_this throwe is for a huddle_." Here the writer has either confounded
the two games, or might only mean to state that the Earl was playing at
one or the other of them. Rice the puritan, in his _Invective against
vices_, black letter, no date, 12mo, speaks of "paysed [weighed]
_groates_ to plaie at slip-thrifte;" and in another place he asks
whether God sent Adam into Paradise to play at it. There is a modern
game called _Justice Jervis_, which is supposed by Mr. Strutt, who has
described it at large, to bear some resemblance to _shove-groat_. See
his _Sports and pastimes_, p. 225.

                           SCENE 4. Page 94.

    PIST. Why then let grievous, ghastly, gaping _wounds
    Untwine the sisters three_. Come _Atropos_, I say!

This is manifestly in ridicule of Sackvile's _Complaynt of Henry Duke
of Buckingham_, in _The mirour for magistrates_:

    "Where eke my graundsire, Duke of Buckingham
    Was _wounded_ sore, and hardly scapt untane.
    But what may boote to stay the _sisters three_?
    When _Atropos_ perforce will cut the _thred_."

                                                       Stanzas 5 and 6.

                           SCENE 4. Page 96.

    PAGE. The musick is come, sir.

    FAL. Let them play;--play, sirs.

This music was, in all probability, that belonging to one of those
dances called _passameasures_; and it appears to have afterwards
travelled by some means or other to _Barbadoes_: for Ligon, in his
entertaining account of that island, where he was in 1647, tells us
that he heard it played there by an _old fellow_. Ligon, no doubt,
remembered it on the stage, and it is very likely to have been the
_original_ music of Shakspeare's time; but the above writer has very
ignorantly supposed it to have been "a tune in great esteem in Harry
the Fourth's dayes."

                           SCENE 4. Page 98.

    FAL. Drinks off candles ends for _flap-dragons_; and _rides the
    wild mare_ with the boys.

A _flap-dragon_ is a sport among choice spirits, by putting nuts or
raisins into a bowl of brandy, which being set on fire, the nuts
are snatched out hastily and swallowed, the party usually burning
his mouth and fingers. In this way men formerly drank healths to
their mistresses. It is likewise a Christmas gambol among young
people, at which, instead of brandy, spirits of wine are used. It is
sometimes called _slap-dragon_ and _snap-dragon_. In _The laws of
drinking_, 1617, 12mo, p. 147, a person is said to be "as familiar as
_slap-dragons_ with the _Flemming_."

_Riding the wild mare_, is another name for the childish sport of
_see-saw_, or what the French call _bascule_ and _balançoire_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 100.

    FAL. ... and breeds no bate with telling of _discreet_ stories.

Dr. Warburton would most unnecessarily read _indiscreet_. Mr. Steevens
supposes that "by _discreet stories_ is meant what suspicious masters
and mistresses of families would call _prudential information_; i. e.
what ought to be known, and yet is disgraceful to the teller." But
Poins, of whom Falstaff is speaking, had no masters or mistresses; and
if it be recollected with what sort of companions he was likely to
associate, Falstaff's meaning will appear to be, that _he excites no
censure for telling them modest stories_; or in plain English, that he
tells them nothing but _immodest_ ones.

                           SCENE 4. Page 102.

    FAL. What stuff wilt have a _kirtle_ of?

Notwithstanding this word has excited as much conjecture as almost any
other in the language, it will still admit of discussion. _Kirtel_
is pure Saxon, and signifies, generally, a _covering_, i. e. over
all the other garments; in which sense it will always be found to
have been [properly] used. In Littelton's Dictionary it is Latinized
_supparum_. See likewise Ducange's _Glossary_, and a multitude of other
authorities. Hence probably _covercle_. From the circumstance of its
occurring as often in the sense of a long as of a short garment, it
is more probable that the root of the word should denote that which
_covers_, simply, than something that is _short_, _curtus_. In one
of the notes, Cotgrave is cited as making _kirtle_ and _petticoat_
synonymous; but this definition is at variance with the line in the
comedy of _Ignoramus_,

    "Gownos, silkcotos, _kirtellos_ et _peticotos_."

It is admitted, however, that this word has been used with great
latitude of meaning. Randle Holme makes it the same with the apron.

                           SCENE 4. Page 104.

    FAL. Ha! a bastard son of the king's?--And art not thou _Poins his

Mr. Ritson explains this _the brother of Poins_. But where is the use
of asking the _prince_ such a question? It must be remembered that the
prince and Poins have just made their appearance, and Falstaff has a
question for _each_. The sense therefore is, "Art not thou Poins, the
brother of this bastard?"


                           SCENE 2. Page 135.

    BULL. ... here is four _Harry ten shillings_ in French crowns for

This is an anachronism; there were no coins of ten shillings value in
the reign of Henry the Fourth. Shakspeare's _Harry ten shillings_ were
those of Henry the Seventh or Eighth, but he thought these might do for
any other Harry.

                           SCENE 2. Page 140.

    SHAL. I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's show.

The question whether Shallow represented Sir Dagonet at Mile-end green,
or Clement's inn, although it has been maintained on either side with
great plausibility, must ever remain undecided; but Mr. Malone's acute
and ingenious conjecture that _Arthur's show_ was an _exhibition of
archery_, and not an _interlude_, will no longer admit of any doubt.
The truth of both these positions will appear from the following
circumstances: In 1682 there was published "A remembrance of the worthy
_show_ and shooting by the Duke of Shoreditch and his associates the
worshipful citizens of London upon Tuesday the 17th of September 1583,
set forth according to the truth thereof to the everlasting honour
of the game of shooting in the long bow. By W. M." in p. 40 of which
book is this passage: "The prince of famous memory King Henry the
Eighth, having red in the chronicles of England, and seen in his own
time how armies mixed with good archers have evermore so galled the
enemy, that it hath been great cause of the victory, he being one day
_at Mile-end when prince Arthur and his knights were there shooting_
did greatly commend the game, and allowed thereof, lauding them to
their encouragement." One should be very much inclined to suppose this
decisive of the first question, and that these _shows_ were usually
held at _Mile-end_; but this is by no means the case. The work proceeds
to state that King Henry the Eighth, keeping at one time a princely
court at Windsor, caused sundry matches to be made concerning shooting
with the long bow; at which one Barlo, who belonged to his majesty's
guard, remaining to shoot, the king said to him, "Win thou all, and
thou shalt be duke over all archers." Barlo drew his bow and won the
match; whereat the king being pleased, commended him for his good
archery; and the man dwelling in Shoreditch, the king named him _Duke
of Shoreditch_. One of the successors to this duke appointed a _show_
on the 17th of September 1583, to be held in Smithfield and other parts
of the city, which is here very circumstantially described; and among
many other curious particulars it is mentioned that the citizens and
inhabitants of Fleetbridge, &c. followed with a _show_ worth beholding
of seemly archers; "then the odd devise of _Saint Clements parish_,
which but ten days before had made the same _show_ in their own parish,
in setting up the queen's majesties stake in Holborn fields, which
stakemaster Knevit, one of the gentlemen of her majesties chamber, gave
unto them at his cost and charges; and a _gunn_ worth three pound,
made of gold, to be given unto him that best deserved it by shooting
in a peece at the mark which was set up on purpose at Saint Jame's
wall." This however was not solely a shooting with fire-arms, but also
with bows: for in the account of the _show_ itself, which immediately
follows, men bearing "shields and shafts" are mentioned, and "a worthy
_show of archers following_." In the continuation of the description
of the Smithfield _show_, mention is made of "the baron _Stirrop_,
whose costly stake will be in memorys after he is dead, now standing at
_Mile-end_;" and again, "And this one thing is worthy of memory: that
upon the day of _Prince Arthur's shooting_, which was five weeks before
this show, the duke, willing to beautifie the same in some seemly
sort, sent a buck of that season by the marquess _Barlo_, (the name of
this person was kept up long after his decease,) accompanied with many
goldsmiths, who coming in satten dublets and chains of gold about their
bodies, with horns at their backs, did all the way wind their horns,
and presented the same to _prince Arthur_, who was at his tent, which
was at _Mile-end-green_."

We see therefore that Shakspeare having _both these shows_ in his
recollection, has made Shallow, a talkative simpleton, refer to them
indistinctly, and that probably by design, and with a due attention to
the nature of his character. What Shallow afterwards says about the
management of the _little quiver fellow's_ piece, or _caliver_, will
not weigh in either scale; because in all these _shows_ there were
musketeers. In that at Smithfield the feryers marched, consisting of
"one hundred handsome fellowes with _calivers_ on their necks, all
trimly decked with white feathers in their hats." _Maister Thomas
Smith_, who in Mr. Malone's note is said to have personated Prince
Arthur, was "chiefe customer to her majesty in the port of London;"
and to him Richard Robinson, a translator of several books in the
reign of Elizabeth, dedicated his _Auncient order, societie and unitie
laudable of Prince Arthure and his knightly armory of the round
table, with a threefold assertion frendly in favour and furtherance
of English archery at this day_, 1583, 4to. Such part of this work as
regards Prince Arthur is chiefly a translation from the French, being
a description of the arms of the knights of the round table; the rest
is a panegyric in verse by Robinson himself in praise of archery. It
appears from the dedication that King Henry VIII. confirmed by charter
to the citizens of London, the "famous order of knightes of prince
Arthur's round table or society: like as in his life time when he sawe
a good archer in deede, he chose him and ordained such a one for a
knight of the same order." Hearne says this book was so scarce in his
time that he could never get a copy of it. See preface to Leland's
_Collectanea_, p. liii.

Whatever part Sir Dagonet took in this show would doubtless be borrowed
from Mallory's romance of the _Mort Arture_, which had been compiled
in the reign of Henry VII. What there occurs relating to Sir Dagonet
was extracted from the excellent and ancient story of _Tristan de
Leonnois_, in which Dagonet is represented as the fool of king Arthur.
He is sometimes dressed up in armour and set on to attack the knights
of Cornwall, who are uniformly described as cowards. It once happened
that a certain knight, who for a particular reason had been called
_Sir Cotte mal taillée_ by Sir Kay, king Arthur's seneschal, was, at
the instance of Sir Kay, attacked by poor Dagonet; but the latter was
very soon made to repent of his rashness and thrown over his horse's
crupper. On another occasion Tristan himself, in the disguise of a
fool, handles Sir Dagonet very roughly; but he, regardless of these
tricks of fortune, is afterwards persuaded to attack Mark the king of
Cornwall, who is in reality a coward of the first magnitude. Mark,
supposing him to be Lancelot of the lake, runs away, and is pursued
by the other; but the persons who had set on Sir Dagonet, becoming
apprehensive for the consequences, followed them, as "they would not,"
says the romance, "for no good, that Sir Dagonet were hurt; for king
Arthur loved him passing well, and made him knight with his owne
hands." King Mark at length meets with another knight, who, perceiving
his cowardice, attacks Dagonet and tumbles him from his horse.

In the romance of _Sir Perceval li Gallois_, Kay, the seneschal of
Arthur, being offended with Dagonet for insinuating that he was not the
most valorous of knights, kicks him into the fire. So much for the hero
personated by Master Justice Shallow.

                           SCENE 2. Page 146.

    FAL. ... this _Vice's_ dagger----

To each of the proposed etymologies of _Vice_ in the note there seem to
be solid objections.

Hanmer's derivation from the French _visdase_, is unsupported by any
thing like authority. This word occurs in no ancient French writer as
a theatrical character, and has only been used by modern ones in the
sense of ass or fool, and then probably by corruption; there being good
reason to suppose that it was originally a very obscene expression.
It is seldom, if ever, that an English term is made up from a French
one, unless the thing itself so expressed be likewise borrowed; and it
is certain that in the old French moralities and comedies there is no
character similar to the _Vice_.

Mr. Warton says it is an abbreviation of _device_, because in the old
dramatical shows this character was nothing more than a _puppet moved
by machinery_, and then originally called a _device_. But where is the
proof of these assertions, and why should _one puppet in particular_
be termed a _device_? As to what he states concerning the name of the
smith's machine, the answer is, that it is immediately derived from
the French _vis_, a screw, and neither probably from _device_; for the
machine in question is not more a device than many other mechanical
contrivances. Mr. Warton has likewise informed us that the vice
had appeared as a puppet _before_ he was introduced into the early
comedies; but it would be no easy task to maintain such an opinion. Nor
is it by any means clear that Hamlet, in calling his uncle a _vice_,
means to compare him to a _puppet_ or _factitious_ image of majesty;
but rather simply to a _buffoon_, or, as he afterwards expresses it, a
_king of shreds and patches_. The puppet shows had, probably, kings as
well as _vices_ in their dramas; and Hamlet might as well have called
his uncle at once, a _puppet king_.

What Mr. Steevens has said on this subject in a note to _Twelfth
night_, vol. iv. 146, deserves a little more consideration. He states,
but without having favoured us with proof, that the vice _was always
acted in a mask_; herein probably recollecting that of the modern
Harlequin, the _illegitimate_ successor to the old vice. But the mask
of the former could have nothing to do with that of the latter, if he
really wore any. Admitting however that he might, it is improbable
that he should take his name from such a circumstance; and even then,
it would be unnecessary to resort, with Mr. Steevens, to the French
word _vis_, which, by the bye, never signified a _mask_, when our own
_visard_, i. e. a covering for the _visage_, would have suited much

A successful investigation of the origin and peculiarities of this
singular theatrical personage would be a subject of extreme curiosity.
The etymology of the word itself is all that we have here to attend
to; and when the _vicious_ qualities annexed to the names of the above
character in our old dramas, together with the mischievous nature
of his general conduct and deportment, be considered, there will
scarcely remain a doubt that the word in question must be taken _in its
literal and common acceptation_. It may be worth while just to state
some of these curious appellations, such as _shift_, _ambidexter_,
_sin_, _fraud_, _vanity_, _covetousness_, _iniquity_, _prodigality_,
_infidelity_, _inclination_; and many others that are either entirely
lost, or still lurk amidst the impenetrable stores of our ancient
dramatic compositions.


                           SCENE 3. Page 174.

    COLE. I am a knight, sir; and my name is _Colevile of the dale_.

"At the king's coming to _Durham_, the Lord Hastings, _Sir John
Colevile of the dale_, &c., being convicted of the conspiracy, were
_there_ beheaded."--Holinshed, p. 530.

The above quotation has not been appositely made by Mr. Steevens. It
appears very soon afterwards in this scene that _Colevile_ and his
confederates were sent by prince John to _York_ to be beheaded.

It is to be observed that there are two accounts of the termination
of the archbishop of York's conspiracy, _both_ of which are given by
Holinshed, who likewise states that on the archbishop and the earl
marshal's submission to the king and to his son prince John, there
present, "their troupes skaled and fledde their wayes, but being
pursued, many were taken, many slain, &c., the archbishop and earl
marshal were brought to Pomfret to the king, who from thence went _to
Yorke whyther the prisoners were also brought and there beheaded_." It
is this account that Shakspeare has followed, but with some variation;
for the names of Hastings and Colevile are not mentioned among those
who were so beheaded at York.

Mr. Ritson, in an additional note, says it is not clear that _Hastings
and Colevile_ were taken prisoners in _this_ battle; meaning, it is
presumed, the skirmishes with "the scattered stray" whom prince John
had ordered to be pursued, including Hastings and Colevile. It is
however _quite clear_ from the testimony of the parliament rolls,
that _they were taken prisoners_ in their flight from _Topcliffe_,
on the borders of _Galtree forest_, where they had made head against
the king's army, and were dispersed by prince John and the earl of

                           SCENE 3. Page 176.

    FAL. ... if you do not all shew like _gilt two-pences_ to me----

He means to say, "you will seem no more in comparison to me than a gilt
twopence does to a coin of real gold." It was the practice to gild the
smaller pieces of silver coin in the reign of Elizabeth.

                           SCENE 3. Page 178.

    FAL. ... 'twere better than your _dukedom_.

Mr. Ritson justly observes that prince John had no dukedom, and in a
former note pointed out a passage in Stowe's annals which had misled
Shakspeare. The annalist repeated his error, strange as it is, in the
account of the conspiracy. Holinshed always names prince John properly.


                           SCENE 1. Page 207.

    SHAL. By _cock and pye_, sir, you shall not away to night.

This oath has been supposed to refer to the sacred name, and to
that service book of the Romish church which in England, before the
reformation, was denominated a _pie_; but it is improbable that a
volume with which the common people would scarcely be acquainted, and
exclusively intended for the use of the clergy, could have suggested a
popular adjuration.

It will, no doubt, be recollected, that in the days of ancient
chivalry it was the practice to make solemn vows or engagements for
the performance of some considerable enterprise. This ceremony was
usually performed during some grand feast or entertainment, at which
a roasted peacock or pheasant, being served up by ladies in a dish of
gold or silver, was thus presented to each knight, who then made the
particular vow which he had chosen, with great solemnity. When this
custom had fallen into disuse, the peacock nevertheless continued to
be a favourite dish, and was introduced on the table in a _pie_, the
head, with gilded beak, being proudly elevated above the crust, and the
splendid tail expanded. Other birds of smaller value were introduced
in the same manner, and the recollection of the old peacock vows might
occasion the less serious, or even burlesque, imitation of swearing not
only by the bird itself but also by the _pie_; and hence probably the
oath _by cock and pie_, for the use of which no very old authority can
be found. The vow to the peacock had even got into the mouths of such
as had no pretensions to knighthood. Thus in _The merchant's second
tale, or the history of Beryn_, the host is made to say,

    "_I make a vowe to the pecock_ there shal wake a foul mist."

There is an alehouse sign of the _cock and magpie_, which seems a
corruption of the _peacock pie_. Although the latter still preserved
its genuine appellation of _the cock and pie_, the magic art of modern
painters would not fail to produce a metamorphosis like that which we
have witnessed on many other occasions.

                           SCENE 1. Page 211.

    FAL. ... if to his men, I would _curry_ with Master Shallow----

_To curry_ is the same as to _curry favour_, to flatter, to please. _To
curry_, in its genuine acceptation, is, as every one knows, to rub or
dress leather, in French _courroyer_, from _cuir_; and in this sense it
was applied to rubbing down a horse's hide, a process that conveys a
sensation of pleasure to the animal. The rest of the phrase is corrupt,
as will appear from the ancient orthography, which is, to curry
_favel_. Thus in the old story _How a merchande dyd hys wyfe betray_,
we have,

    "There sche _currayed favell_ well;"

and in the prologue to _The merchant's tale of Beryn_, in Urry's
Chaucer, p. 597,

    "As though he had lerned _cury favel_ of some old frere."

Now the name of _Favel_ was anciently given to yellow-coloured horses,
in like manner as _Bayard_, _Blanchard_, and _Lyard_ were to brown,
white, or gray. One of Richard the First's horses was so called, as we
learn from Robert of Brunne's _Chronicle_, p. 175:

    "Sithen at Japhet [Jaffa] was slayn _fauvelle_ his stede,
    The romance tellis grete pas ther of his douhty dede:"

and see Warton's _Hist. of Engl. poetry_, vol. i. p. 161. It must be
obvious, therefore, that the phrase _to curry favel_ was a metaphorical
expression adopted from the stable.

Puttenham informs us that moderation of words tending to flattery,
or soothing, or excusing, is expressed by the figure _paradiastole_,
"which therefore," says he, "nothing improperly we call _curry favell_,
as when we make the best of a thing," &c.--_Arte of English poesie_, p.
154. There is likewise a proverb, "He that will in court dwell, must
needes _currie fabel_;" the meaning of which was not well understood,
even in the time of Elizabeth; for Taverner speaking of it says, "Ye
shal understand that fabel is an olde Englishe worde, and signified as
much as favour doth now a dayes."--_Proverbes or adagies gathered out
of the Chiliades of Erasmus_, 1569, 18mo, fo. 44. Much about this time
began the corruption from _favel_ to _favour_, of which an example may
be seen in Forrest's translation of _Isocrates_, 1580, 4to, fo. 23.

It is necessary to add that _favel_ is also an old word that expresses
_deceit_, from the French _favele_, fabula; and is so used by Skelton:
but this will not invalidate the foregoing etymology. As to Skinner's
derivation of _curry favour_ from the French _querir faveur_,--if an
equivalent phrase had existed in the French language, it might at least
have been plausible: but there is no instance of _cury_, or rather
_curray_, the proper word, being used alone in the sense of _to seek_;
nor does it appear from _ancient_ authority that _favel_ ever denoted

                           SCENE 2. Page 217.

    CH. JUST. And struck me in my very seat of justice.

In a note on this passage, the anachronism of continuing Gascoine
chief justice in the reign of Henry the Fifth has been adverted to.
The fault is properly to be ascribed to the author of the old play of
_Henry the Fifth_, from which Shakspeare inadvertently adopted it.

                           SCENE 3. Page 229.

    SIL. And dub me knight.

The following addition to the ceremony of dubbing topers knights _on
their knees_ in Shakspeare's time, from a contemporary pamphlet, may
not be unacceptable: "The divell will suffer no dissensions amongst
them untill they have executed his wil in the deepest degree of
drinking, and made their sacrifice unto him, and most commonly that is
done _upon their knees being bare_. The prophaneness whereof is most
lamentable and detestable, being duely considered by a Christian, to
think that that member of the body which is appointed for the service
of God is too often abused with the adoration of a harlot, or a base
drunkard, as I myself have been (and to my griefe of conscience) may
now say have in presence, yea and amongst others, been an actor in the
business, when _upon our knees_, after healthes to many private punkes,
a health have been drunke to all the whoores in the world."--Young's
_England's bane_, or the _description of drunkennesse_, 1617, quarto.

                           SCENE 4. Page 238.

    DOL. You _blue-bottle_ rogue.

This allusion to the dress of the beadle is further confirmed by the
_two beadles in blew gownes_ who are introduced in the fourth act
of the old play of _Promos and Cassandra_, which at the same time
furnishes additional illustration of Mr. Steevens's remark on the
strumpet's dress, as Polina is there exhibited doing penance in a _blue

                           SCENE 5. Page 241.

    1. GROOM. More rushes, more rushes.

Dr. Bullein, who speaks much in general commendation of the rush for
its utility, informs us, that "rushes that grow upon dry groundes
be good to strew in halles, chambers and galleries, to walke upon,
_defending apparell, as traynes of gownes and kertles from dust_.
Rushes be olde courtiers, and when they be nothing worth, then
they be cast out of the doores; so be many that do treade upon
them."--_Bulwarke of defence_, 1579, fol. 21. The _length_ of the
_kirtle_ is here ascertained, and Mr. Malone's account of it in this
respect fully confirmed. See his note in Act II. Scene 4, of this play.

                           SCENE 5. Page 248.

    CH. JUST. Go, carry Sir John Falstaff to the Fleet.

Every body will agree with Dr. Johnson in the impropriety of Falstaff's
cruel and unnecessary commitment to prison. The king had already given
him a fit admonition as to his future conduct, and banished him to a
proper distance from the court. We must suppose therefore that the
chief justice had far exceeded his royal master's commands on this
occasion, or that the king had repented of his lenity. The latter
circumstance would indeed augur but unfavourably of the sovereign's
future regard to justice; for had he not himself been a partaker, and
consequently an encourager, of Falstaff's excesses? On the stage this
scene may very well be spared. The audience will be better pleased at
the poor knight's retiring with his companions under the impression
that the king's behaviour to him has been necessarily disguised. No one
will wish to see him _punished_.


                               Page 263.

    CHORUS. O for a muse of fire, &c.

"This," says Dr. Warburton, "goes upon the notion of the Peripatetic
system, which imagines several heavens, one above another; the last
and highest of which was one of fire." We have here one of the very
best specimens of the doctor's flights of fancy. Shakspeare, in all
probability, knew nothing of the Peripatetic philosophy; he simply
wishes for poetic fire, and a due portion of inventive genius. The
other explanation by Dr. Johnson seems likewise too refined.

                               Page 264.

    CHORUS. ... Can this cock-pit hold
    The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
    Within this wooden O, the very casques
    That did affright the air at Agincourt?

Dr. Johnson has elsewhere remarked that Shakspeare was fully sensible
of the absurdity of showing battles on the theatre, which, says he,
is never done but tragedy becomes a farce. The whole of this chorus
receives considerable illustration from a passage in Sir Philip
Sidney's _Defence of poesie_, where, speaking of the inartificial
management of time and place in the theatres of his time, he thus
proceeds: "where you shall have Asia of the one side and Affricke of
the other, and so many other under-kingdoms, that the player when he
comes in, must ever begin with telling where hee is, or else the tale
will not be conceived. Now shall you have three ladies walke to gather
flowers, and then we must beleeve the stage to bee a garden. By and by
we heare newes of shipwracke in the same place, then we are too blame
if we accept it not for a rocke. Upon the backe of that comes out a
hidious monster with fire and smoke, and then the miserable beholders
are bound to take it for a cave: _while in the meane time two armies
flie in, represented with foure swordes and bucklers, and then what
hard hart will not receive it for a pitched field?_ Now of time they
are much more liberal. For ordinarie it is that two young princes fall
in love, and after many traverses she is got with child, delivered of a
faire boy; he is lost, groweth a man, falleth in love, and is ready to
get another child; and all this in two houres space: which how absurd
it is in sence, even sence may imagine: and art hath taught, and all
ancient examples justified, and at this day the ordinary players in
Italie will not erre in." These remarks might with great propriety be
applied to the play before us, to the _Winter's tale_, to _Pericles_,
and some others of Shakspeare's dramas. In France, the contemporary
playwrights were commonly more observant of the unities, though many
charges to the contrary might be brought against them.


                           SCENE 2. Page 277.

    K. HEN. Therefore take heed how you impawn _our_ person,
    How you awake the sleeping sword of war.

Dr. Johnson would read _your person_, and then explain it, "take
heed how you pledge your honour, &c. in support of bad advice."
The archbishop might indeed pledge his _opinion_ in this case; but
_person_ must in all events belong to the _king_. It was he who had the
prerogative of making war; and as the impawning of a thing is generally
attended with a risk of its future loss, so the king may here allude to
the danger of his own person, which, from the practice at that time of
sovereigns to engage in battle, might not be inconsiderable.

                           SCENE 2. Page 281.

    CANT. ... Also king Lewis the _tenth_.

Shakspeare having here adopted _Holinshed's error_ in substituting
Lewis the _Tenth_ for Lewis the _Ninth_, Mr. Malone has faithfully
discharged his editorial duty in permitting it to remain. It was
sufficient to point out the mistake in a note; and therefore Mr.
Ritson's genealogy, designed to vindicate the text, but _manifestly
erroneous_, should be omitted.

                           SCENE 2. Page 291.

    CANT. They have a king, and officers of _sorts_.

_Sorts_, if the true reading, rather means _portions_ or _companies_,
than _of different kinds_, according to Mr. Steevens; and such is
the sense of the word in Mr. Reed's quotation, "drummes and _sortes_
of musicke," though adduced in support of Mr. Steevens. In that much
disputed verse 13 of the 68th psalm, the Greek word _cleros_, very
strangely introduced into the _Vulgate translation_, is rendered by
Wicliffe _sortis_; and in another old translation, _lottes_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 295.

    K. HEN. ... or else our grave
    Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
    Not worship'd with a _waxen_ epitaph.

The question is whether _paper_, the reading of the quarto, or _waxen_
of the folio, should be adopted. Mr. Malone very justly remarks that
the passage has been misunderstood, and, not finding any construction
of waxen that agrees with the sense required, seems disposed to give
the preference to _paper_ of which epithet he has offered a very
ingenious explanation. The alteration in the folio was doubtless
occasioned by some dissatisfaction with the former word, and made with
a view to improvement: but no satisfactory meaning can be gathered
from the term _waxen_, as connected with the noun _wax_; and the
passages adduced by Mr. Steevens afford a sense entirely opposite
to what is required. It seems to have been forgotten that _waxen_ is
the participle to _wax_, to grow, to increase, to _expand_. Thus in
_Hamlet_, Act I. Scene 3, we have,

    "... but as this temple _waxes_,
    The inward service of the mind and soul
    _Grows_ wide withall----"

In _A Mids. N. Dream_, Act II. Scene 1,

    "And then the whole quire hold their lips and loffe,
    And _waxen_ in their mirth----"

In _Titus Andronicus_, Act III. Scene 1,

    "Who marks the _waxing_ tide _grow_ wave by wave."

A _waxen_ epitaph may be therefore a _long_ or _protracted_ one, such
as a king would expect.

                           SCENE 2. Page 298.

    K. HEN. Tell him he hath made a match with such a _wrangler_,
    That all the courts of France will be disturb'd
    With _chaces_.

Dr. Johnson informs us that _chace_ is a term at tennis. It is _often_,
not always, necessary to know more of a term than that it belongs to
some particular science. A _chace_ at tennis then is that spot where a
ball falls, beyond which the adversary must strike his ball to gain a
point or chace. At lawn tennis it is the spot where the ball leaves off
rolling. We see therefore why the king has called himself a _wrangler_.


                               Page 304.

    CHOR. And by their hands this grace of kings must die
    (If hell and treason hold their promises,)
    Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
    Linger your patience on; and well digest
    The abuse of distance, while we force a play.
    The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;
    The king is set from London; and the scene
    Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton.

An unnecessary transposition of these _most plain and intelligible_
lines has been offered by Dr. Johnson, on _his_ supposition that every
one who reads them "looks about for a meaning which he cannot find."
In confirmation of their original arrangement, we learn from Stowe and
Holinshed, the historians whom Shakspeare followed, and Dr. Johnson
perhaps never thought worth consulting, that the plot against the king
was laid by the conspirators at Southampton: a circumstance that is
weakened, if not altogether cancelled, by the proposed alteration. See
a speech by King Henry in the ensuing act.

                           SCENE 1. Page 314.

    PIST. No; to the _spital_ go,
    And from the powdering tub of infamy
    Fetch forth the _lazar kite of Cressid's kind_
    Doll Tear-sheet, she by name----

This alludes to the punishment of Cressida for her falsehood to
Troilus. She was afflicted with the leprosy, "like a _Lazarous_" and
sent to the "spittel hous." See Chaucer's _Testament of Creseide_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 324.

    K. HEN. If that same dæmon, that hath gull'd thee thus,
    Should with his _lion gait_ walk the whole world----

This very uncommon comparison of the devil to a lion seems to have been
suggested by 1 Pet. v. 8. "The devil as a roaring _lion walketh about_,
seeking whom he may devour."

                           SCENE 3. Page 329.

    QUICK. 'A made a finer end, and went away, an it had been any
    _christom_ child.

It was the ancient practice at baptism not only to use water, but oil,
which from the Greek was denominated chrism, whence the name of the
_chrisome_ or white cloth in question. The priest first made the sign
of the cross with the holy oil on the child's breast and between the
shoulders, saying, "I anoint thee with the oil of health, in Christ
Jesus our lord, that thou mayest inherit eternal life. Amen." After
the usual immersion in water, he made another cross on its head with
the oil. Then the chrisome was put on, the priest asking at the same
time the child's name, and saying, "Receive this white, pure and holy
vestment which thou shalt wear before the tribunal of our lord Jesus
Christ that thou mayest inherit eternal life. Amen." This chrisome
might be used a second time on a similar occasion, and then it was
not to be applied to any common use, but brought back and deposited
in the church. The _chrisome_ was an emblem of the Christian purity
communicated by baptism, and which it was expected the party should
maintain during life; and it might also, as Ducange conjectures, have
been used for the purpose of preventing the oil from running off. It
was sometimes ornamented with a sort of crown worked in crimson thread,
alluding to the passion of Christ, and the crown or reward of eternal
life obtained by his sacrifice. It was to be worn seven days, being
taken off on the eighth, as symbolical of the seven ages of man's
life; or, according to others, of the passage from the sabbath of
mortal life to that of eternity. It was also thought to refer to the
influence of the seven planets. The above ceremony took place _before_
the reformation; afterwards several changes were made. The use of oil
was omitted, and the chrisome worn by the child till the mother's
purification by the ceremony of churching, when it was returned to the
church. If the child died before the latter rite, it was buried in the
chrisome; and this is probably the reason why children were called
chrisoms in the bills of mortality. Dame Quickly simply compares the
manner of Falstaff's exit to that of a young infant.


                           SCENE 5. Page 369.

    BOUR. They bid us--to the English dancing schools,
    And teach _lavoltas high_, and swift corantoes.

The _lavolta_, as the name implies, is of Italian origin. The man
_turns_ the woman round several times, and then assists her in making a
_high_ spring or cabriole. This dance passed from Italy into Provence
and the rest of France, and thence into England. Monsieur Bodin, an
advocate in the parliament of Paris, and a very savage and credulous
writer on demonology, has gravely ascribed its importation from Italy
into France, to the power of witches. The _naiveté_ with which that
part of the _lavolta_ which concerns the management of the lady in
making the _volta_ is described by Thoinot Arbeau, an author already
quoted, is extremely well worth transcribing, particularly as the book
is seldom to be met with. "Quand vouldrez torner, laissés libre la
main gaulche de la damoiselle, et gettés vostre bras gaulche sur son
dos, en la prenant et serrant de vostre main gaulche par le faulx du
corps au dessus de sa hanche droicte, et en mesme instant getterez
vostre main droicte au dessoubz de son busq pour layder à saulter quand
la pousserez devant vous avec vostre cuisse gaulche: Elle de sa part
mettra sa main droicte sur vostre dos, ou sur vostre collet, et mettra
sa main gaulche sur sa cuisse pour tenir ferme sa cotte ou sa robbe,
affin que cueillant le vent, elle ne monstre sa chemise ou sa cuisse
nue: Ce fait vous ferez par ensemble les tours de la _volte_, comme cy
dessus a esté dit: Et après avoir tournoyé par tant de cadances qu'il
vous plaira, restituerez la damoiselle en sa place, ou elle sentira
(quelque bonne contenance qu'elle face) son cerveau esbranlé, plain
de vertigues et tornoyements de teste, et vous n'en aurez peult estre
pas moins: Je vous laisse à considerer si cest chose bien seante à une
jeusne fille de faire de grands pas et ouvertures de jambes: et si en
ceste volte l'honneur et la santé y sont pas hazardez et interessez."
And again: "Si vous voulez une aultre fois dancer la volte à main
droicte, vous fauldra mettre vostre main droicte sur le doz de la
damoiselle, et la main gaulche soubz son busq, et en la poussant de la
cuisse droicte soubz la fesse, torner le revers de la tabulature cy
dessus. Et nottez qu'il y a dexterité à empoigner et serrer contre
vous la damoiselle, car il faut ce faire en deux mesures ternaires,
desmarchant sur la premiere mésure pour vous planter devant elle, et
sur la fin de la deuxieme mésure, luy mettant l'une des mains sur la
hanche, et l'aultre soubs le busq pour à la troisième mésure commencer
à torner selon les pas contenus en la tabulature."

                           SCENE 6. Page 379.

    PIST. Die and be damn'd; and _figo_ for thy friendship.

The practice of thrusting out the thumb between the first and second
fingers to express the feelings of insult and contempt has prevailed
very generally among the nations of Europe, and for many ages been
denominated _making the fig_, or described at least by some equivalent
expression. There is good reason for believing that it was known to the
ancient Romans. Winckelman in his letter from Herculaneum has described
a bronze satyr as actually making the fig with his fingers, and such a
character is among the engravings in the king of Naples's magnificent
publication on the antiquities of the above city. The upper part of
a similar bronze in a private collection is here copied in the last
figure below. It is more likely that _making the fig_ was borrowed from
this Roman custom, than from another with which it has been sometimes
confounded. This is the _infamis digitus_ of Persius; or the thrusting
out the middle finger, on that account called _verpus_. In many private
as well as public collections of Roman antiquities there are still
preserved certain figures in bronze, ivory, coral, and other materials,
of the following forms.

These however are well known to have been used as amulets against
fascination in general, but more particularly against that of the _evil
eye_. They are sometimes accompanied with the common symbol of Priapus,
but often consist of it exclusively. The connexion which this phallic
figure had with the above-mentioned superstition is known to every
classical reader. The introduction of the crescent or moon is not so
easily explained. If these amulets were borrowed from the Egyptians,
as some have supposed, the crescent may denote the influence of Isis
or Venus, and the two symbols united may represent nature, or what the
Hindus intend by their sacred Lingam: but every thing on this subject
must be conjectural, the very essence of it being mysterious.


The Italian _fica_ seems more intimately and etymologically connected
with the obscure disease known to the Romans by the name of _ficus_; a
term, with its appendages, rather to be conceived than fully explained
in this place. It has afforded matter for some of Martial's Epigrams.
In one of these he thus dashes his mirth against an unlucky sinner:

    "Gestari junctis nisi desinis, Ædyle, capris,
        Qui modo ficus eras, jam caprificus eris."

                                                       lib. iv. ep. 52.

In another he instructs those who delight in the chase how to avoid
this affliction:

    "Stragula succincti venator sume veredi:
        Nam solet a nudo surgere ficus equo."

                                                      lib. xiv. ep. 86.

And lastly, he thus expresses himself immediately to the present

    "Ut pueros emeret Labienus, vendidit hortos:
        Nil nisi ficetum nunc Labienus habet."

                                                      lib. xii. ep. 32.

No one who has lived among Italians will fail to perceive the force
of these quotations as applied to the feelings excited by this
most offensive gesticulation, which is justly held in the greatest
abhorrence. Whether it be abstractedly a symbol of the _ficus_ itself,
and, in the use, connected with the very worst of its causes; whether
it be the genuine remains of a custom actually known among the Romans;
or whether a corruption of the _infamis digitus_, must be left to every
one's own determination. The complicated ambiguity of the word _fica_
must be likewise attended to; and whoever is at a loss on this occasion
may consult the _early_ Italian dictionaries.

The author of these remarks, pursuing the opinions of others, had
already offered another explanation, viz. the story of the Milanese
revolt against the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. This he desires to
withdraw, as resting on the very weak authority of Albert Crantz, a
credulous, and comparatively modern, historian; neither is it probable
that an incident so local would have spread so widely throughout
Europe. Again, whoever will take the trouble of comparing the Hebrew
word _techor_ with the story itself, will feel very much inclined to
reject the whole as a fabrication.

The earliest Italian authority for the use of this phrase is the
_Inferno_ of Dante. In the twenty-fifth canto are the following lines:

    "Al fine delle sue parole, il ladro
    Le mani alzò, con ambeduo _le fiche_
    Gridando: togli Dio, ch'a te le squadro."

The miscreant who utters this blasphemy, refines on the gesticulation,
and doubles the measure of it. It is also to be found in Sacchetti's
hundred and fifteenth novel, and in the _Cento novelle antiche_, nov.

Villani, in his Chronicle, relates that in 1228 the inhabitants of
Carmignano insulted the Florentines by setting up a statue on a
rock with the hand making the _fig_, and turned towards the city of
Florence. Pope Paul II. made a law against this insult, which punished
the offending party by a fine of twenty soldi.

In France the use of it may be traced to a very early period. It occurs
in a satire by Guyot de Provins, a poet of the twelfth century. The
Spaniards, in all probability, got it from the Romans. They use the
phrase _higa para vos_ as a term of contemptuous insult and also as a
spell against the consequences of satirical applause. See _Menckenii
dissertationes_, p. 52. Amulets against fascination, or the evil eye,
are still used in Spain by women and children, precisely in the same
manner as formerly among the Romans. These are made of ivory, but more
frequently of jet. A figure of one of the latter, from an original, is
here exhibited.


It furnishes a very extraordinary combination of subjects: figures of
the holy Virgin and the infant Jesus; the _manus lasciva_ or phallic
hand; and a lunar crescent. It is indeed an obvious remnant of the
ancient Roman amulet, the potency of which is strengthened by the
addition of a Christian mystery. These things are said to be sometimes
met with in nunneries, but the use which is there made of them does not
seem generally known. One of these modern hands, well carved in ivory,
and converted to the purpose of a snuff-box, was lately picked up by a
curious traveller in Russia.

A very learned Spaniard, Ramirez de Prado, the author of a commentary
on Martial and other ingenious works, adopting the opinion of Doctor
Francis Penna Castellon, has fallen into a strange error respecting
the etymology of _higa_. Speaking of it as well known among the
Spanish women and children, he derives the name from _iynx_, the
bird called the wryneck, concerning which the ancients had certain
superstitions. From the _Pharmaceutria_ of Theocritus, it appears to
have been regarded as a love philtre. The similitude of sound has
doubtless contributed to this error. See Laurentij Ramirez de Prado
ΠΕΝΤΗΚΟΝΤΑΡΧΟΣ, 1612, 4to, p. 248.

The Germans, the Dutch, and perhaps other Northern nations, possess
equivalent terms; and it is remarkable that in those languages the
signification of the Roman _ficus_, as a disease, has been preserved.
How the phrase of _making the fig_ first came into the English
language does not appear; it may perhaps be found only in translation.
The Saxons had a term for the _ficus_, which they called ꝼɩc-aðle.
With us the expression has happily dwindled altogether into a more
innocent meaning. _Not to care a fig for one_, literally applies
to the fruit so called, according to modern acceptation. In this
sense it is sometimes used by Shakspeare, who makes Pistol say, "A
_fico_ for the phrase."--_M. Wives of Windsor._ "And _figo_ for thy
friendship."--_Henry the Fifth._ Again, in the _Second Part of Henry
the Sixth_, we have, "A _fig_ for Peter." And in _Othello_, "Virtue? a
_fig_!" In the _Second Part of Henry the Fourth_, Pistol says,

    "When Pistol lies _do this_; and _fig me_, like
    The bragging Spaniard."

Here the phrase seems accompanied by some kind of gesticulation, which
might either be the thrusting out of the thumb, or the putting of it
into the mouth so as to press out the cheek, another mode of insult
that perhaps originally alluded to the _ficus_, by presenting something
like its form. Thus in Lodge's _Wit's miserie_, "Behold I see contempt
marching forth, giving mee the _fico with his thombe in his mouth_."

In the present play, ancient Pistol, after spurting out his "_figo_ for
thy friendship," as if he were not satisfied with the _measure_ of the
contempt expressed, more emphatically adds, "the fig of _Spain_." This
undoubtedly alludes to the poisoned figs mentioned in Mr. Steevens's
note, because the quartos read, "the fig of Spain _within thy jaw_,"
and "the fig within thy _bowels and thy dirty maw_." Or, as in many
other instances, the allusion may be twofold; for the _Spanish fig_,
as a term of contempt only, must have been very familiar in England in
Shakspeare's time, otherwise the translator of Della Casa's _Galateo_
would not, in the passage cited by Mr. Reed, have used such an
expression, when it was neither in his original nor in Dante; a very
strong circumstance in favour of Mr. Reed's opinion.

On the whole, there is no other way of extricating ourselves from the
difficulties and ambiguities that attend the present subject, than by
supposing some little confusion of ideas in our poet's mind, a weakness
not more uncommon with him than with many of his commentators. Or,
his phraseology might have been inaccurate; and it is to be feared
that too much time and conjecture have been frequently expended on
passages originally faulty, and which it might have been sufficient
to have stated as such, to the exclusion of further comment or useless


                               Page 399.

    CHO. The armourers accomplishing the knights,
    With busy hammers closing _rivets_ up.

This does not solely refer to the business of rivetting the plate
armour before it was put on, but as to the part when it was on. Thus
the top of the cuirass had a little projecting bit of iron, that passed
through a hole pierced through the bottom of the casque. When both were
put on, the smith or armourer presented himself, with his rivetting
hammer, _to close the rivet up_, so that the party's head should remain
steady notwithstanding the force of any blow that might be given on
the cuirass or helmet. This custom more particularly prevailed in
tournaments. See _Varietés historiques_, 1752, 12mo, tom. ii. p. 73.

                           SCENE 2. Page 424.

    GRAND. Their horsemen sit like _fixed candlesticks_,
    With torch-staves in their hands.

This fashion is of great antiquity, being mentioned in Homer's
description of the palace of Alcinous. _Odys_. book 7.

    "Youths forg'd of gold, at every table there,
    Stood holding flaming torches, that in night
    Gave through the house, each honour'd guest his light."

It is likewise thus alluded to in Lucretius, lib. ii.

    "Si non aurea sunt juvenum simulacra per ædeis
    Lampadas igniferas manibus retinentia dextris,
    Lumina nocturnis epulis ut suppeditentur."

The practice might originate in a supposed indelicacy of placing
candlesticks on a table. Gregory of Tours relates a story of a French
nobleman named Rauching, who disgraced himself by an act of wanton and
excessive cruelty. When a servant _held a candle before him_ at his
supper, he made him uncover his legs, and drop the burning wax on them;
if the man offered to move, the cruel master was ready with his sword
to run him through; and the more the unfortunate sufferer lamented, the
more his persecutor convulsed himself with savage laughter. Gregor.
Turon. _Hist._ lib. v. cap. 3.

The favourite forms of these inanimate _candle-holders_ were those of
armed warriors. Sometimes they were hairy savages, a fool kneeling on
one knee, &c.

                           SCENE 4. Page 439.

    PIST. Quality, call you me?--Construe me, art thou a gentleman?

The old copy reads _qualitee, calmie custure me_, and has been
corrected or rather _corrupted anew_ into its present form. The
proposed reading of Mr. Malone deserves a decided preference, as
founded on the ingenious conjecture that Pistol is quoting, as he
has elsewhere done, the fragment of an old ballad. It is exceedingly
probable that, whenever chance shall disclose this ballad, we shall
find in it this whole line,

    "Calen, o custure me, art thou a gentleman."

Calen may be some proper name; the ballad itself may be provincial, and
_custure_ the representative of _construe_. Nothing is more probable
than that _calmie_ should be a misprint of _calen o_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 441.

    FR. SOL. ... ayez pitié de _moy_!

    PIST. _Moy_ shall not serve, I will have forty _moys_.

    FR. SOL. O pardonnez _moy_!

    PIST. Say'st thou me so? is that a _ton of moys_?

Dr. Johnson says that "_moy_ is a piece of money, whence moi-d'or,
or moi of gold." But where had the doctor made this discovery? His
etymology of _moidor_ is certainly incorrect. _Moidore_ is an English
corruption of the Portuguese _moeda d'ouro_, i. e. _money_ of gold; but
there were no moidores in the time of Shakspeare.

We are therefore still to seek for Pistol's _moy_. Now a _moyos_ or
_moy_ was a measure of corn; in French _muy_ or _muid_, Lat. _modius_,
a bushel. It appears that 27 moys were equal to a last or two _tons_.
To understand this more fully, the curious reader may consult Malyne's
_Lex mercatoria_, 1622, p. 45, and Roberts's _Marchant's Mapp of
commerce_, 1638, chap. 272.

                           SCENE 4. Page 442.

    FR. SOL. Est il impossible d'eschapper la force de ton _bras_?

    PIST. _Brass_, cur.
    Thou damned and luxurious mountain goat,
    Offer'st me _brass_.

A question having arisen concerning the pronunciation of the French
word _bras_ in the time of Shakspeare, it was observed in a former
note that some remarks by the Rev. Mr. Bowle, in another place, had
contributed at least to leave the matter open to discussion. That
gentleman has certainly offered some evidence from Pasquier, that in
the _middle_ of words the _s_ was pronounced where now it is silent;
but on the other hand there is positive proof that the contrary
practice prevailed in 1572, when De la Ramée published his French
grammar. At page 19, he says, "Premierement nous sommes prodigues en
lescripture de _s_, _sans la prononcer_ comme en _maistre_, _mesler_,
_oster_, _soustenir_." This writer has expatiated on the difficulty
which foreigners have in pronouncing the French language on account of
its orthography, and offered a new mode by which it may be avoided.
In the course of this specimen, he has, fortunately for the present
occasion, printed the word _bras_ without the _s_, (see p. 61,) and
thereby supplied the means of deciding the present question, which,
after all, was scarcely worth a controversy. Whoever wrote this
dialogue was unacquainted with the true pronunciation of the French
language, as Mr. Malone has already remarked, and framed Pistol's reply
accordingly. In Eliot's _Orthoepia Gallica_, 1593, 4to, mentioned in
Dr. Farmer's note, there is a passage which seems to have escaped the
doctor's notice. In page 61, the author directs the sentence "vous avez
un _bras_ de fer," to be pronounced "voo-za-ve-zewn _bra_ de fer."

                           SCENE 5. Page 448.

    BOUR. Let him go hence, and with his cap in hand,
    Like a base pander, hold the chamber door, &c.

This is an allusion to the conduct of Pandarus when he introduced
Troilus to his niece Cressida's chamber. See the story as related by


                               Page 470.

    CHOR. ... Like a mighty _whiffler_, 'fore the king
    Seems to prepare his way.

Some errors have crept into the remarks on this word which require
correction. It is by no means, as Hanmer had conceived, a corruption
from the French _huissier_. He was apparently misled by the resemblance
which the office of a whiffler bore in modern times to that of an
usher. The term is undoubtedly borrowed from _whiffle_, another name
for a _fife_ or small flute; for whifflers were originally those who
preceded armies or processions as fifers or pipers. Representations of
them occur among the prints of the magnificent triumph of Maximilian
I. In a note on _Othello_, Act III. Scene 2, Mr. Warton had supposed
that _whiffler_ came from what he calls "_the old_ French _viffleur_;"
but it is presumed that that language does not supply any such word,
and that the use of it in the quotation from Rymer's _fœdera_ is
nothing more than a vitiated orthography. In process of time the term
_whiffler_, which had always been used in the sense of a _fifer_, came
to signify any person who went before in a procession. Minsheu, in his
_Dictionary_, 1617, defines him to be a club or staff-bearer. Sometimes
the whifflers carried white staves, as in the annual feast of the
printers, founders, and ink-makers, so curiously described in Randle
Holme's _Academy of armory_, book iii. ch. 3, where one of them is
stated to have carried in his right hand a great bowl of white wine and
sugar. Another mistake occurs in Mr. Warton's note, when he says, that
"by degrees the word _whiffler_ hence acquired the metaphorical meaning
which it at present obtains in common speech, and became an appellation
of contempt." This is by no means the case, for _whiffler_, in its
sense of a _babbler_, _trifler_, or _versatile person_, is pure Saxon,
ƿæꝼleꞃe, _blatero_.




                           SCENE 1. Page 506.

    BED. And with them scourge the bad revolting stars,
    That have _consented_ unto Henry's death.

IT is conceived that most readers, after perusing the several notes
on these lines, will be of opinion that some further elucidation is
necessary. The first attempt should be to ascertain the respective
significations of the words _concent_ and _consent_, which can only be
effected by an attention to their Latin etymology.

_Concent_, in its simple and primitive acceptation, is nothing
more than a _singing together harmoniously_; but because in such
harmony there is an _agreement_ of sounds, the word was sometimes
metaphorically used to express _concord or agreement generally_.
_Consent_ never means _union of sounds_, but _agreement generally_,
or an union of _sense_ or _opinion_. Cicero has most carefully
distinguished them when he says, "Ubi enim perspecta vis est rationis
ejus qua causæ rerum atque exitus cognoscuntur, mirus quidam omnium
quasi _consensus_ doctrinarum, _concentusque_ reperitur."--De oratore,
lib. iii. Among English writers, the similitude in sound and an
inattention to orthography have contributed to their common and
promiscuous use.

Mr. Steevens inclines to the meaning above given of _concent_, and
yet he adopts _consent_ in his text; nor are his instances uniform.
Thus in the quotation from Cicero _De nat. deorum_, concentus simply
means _concord_ or _agreement_. In the passage from Milton, _consent_
evidently denotes the same thing. The rest of his quotations relate to
_musical concent_.

Mr. Mason, in his own words, assents to Mr. Steevens's explanation; yet
his instances are all unfortunately calculated to illustrate the other
sense of _barely agreeing_.

The books of Elizabeth's time indiscriminately use both modes of
orthography. Thus we have, "Broughton's _concent_ of Scripture,"
for _consent_; though, as is shown already, either will serve for

In the two passages cited by Mr. Steevens from Spenser, the orthography
varies, though the meaning is evidently the same, i. e. _musical
concent_. His expectations will be often disappointed who shall seek
an exact meaning from some particular mode of orthography in ancient
writers. There does not perhaps exist a more fallible rule; and it was
reserved for the superior accuracy of modern times to affix any thing
like uniformity of spelling, and consequently of sense, to our language.

It is impossible at this time to collect precisely what the author
of the lines in question intended. The only guide we have is the
passage quoted by Mr. Malone from another part of this play, "You
all _consented_ unto Salisbury's death." Yet, had the poet written
_concented_, the sense in both places might be, _you all acted in
concert, or jointly in unison, to accomplish the death, &c._ This
accords with the following passage in _Pericles_, Act I. Scene 1:--

    "The Senate house of planets _all did sit_
    To knit in her their best perfections."

An opportunity here presents itself of remarking how injudiciously we
have discarded the more expressive and legitimate term _consort_, as
a company of musicians playing together, for the new-fangled Italian
_concert_. The other would be vulgar to a modern ear, and is now marked
in our dictionaries as a _corrupt spelling_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 584.

    MAY. The bishop's and the duke of Gloster's men,
    _Forbidden late to carry any weapon_,
    Have fill'd their pockets full of _pebble stones_, &c.

This fact is borrowed, with some variation, from Stowe or Fabian. "Men
being forbidden to bring swords or other weapons, brought great battes
and staves on their neckes; and when _those weapons were inhibited
them_, they took _stones_ and plomets of lead, &c."

                           SCENE 1. Page 587.

    WAR. Sweet king!--the bishop hath a _kindly gird_.

Mr. Steevens has on this occasion, for the sake of the last word,
introduced two notes which might very well have been spared. There
is no doubt that Warwick means to say that the young king has given
Winchester a gentle reproof. This is the plain and obvious meaning of
_gird_. Dr. Johnson is wide, very wide, of the mark.


                           SCENE 3. Page 645.

    PUC. You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
    Under the lordly _monarch of the north_,

The _monarch of the North_ was Zimimar, one of the four principal
devils invoked by witches. The others were, Amaimon king of the East,
Gorson king of the South, and Goap king of the West. Under these devil
kings were devil marquesses, dukes, prelates, knights, presidents and
earls. They are all enumerated, from Wier _De præstigiis dæmonum_, in
Scot's _Discoverie of witchcraft_, book xv. c. 2 and 3.




                           SCENE 2. Page 20.

    DUCH. With _Margery Jourdain_, the cunning witch.

It appears from Rymer's _Fœdera_, vol. x. p. 505, that in the tenth
year of King Henry the Sixth, _Margery Jourdemayn_, John Virley clerk,
and friar John Ashwell, were, on the ninth of May 1433, brought
from Windsor by the constable of the castle, to which they had
been committed for sorcery, before the council at Westminster, and
afterwards, by an order of council, delivered into the custody of the
Lord Chancellor. The same day it was ordered by the lords of council
that whenever the said Virley and Ashwell should find security for
their good behaviour they should be set at liberty, and in like manner
that Jourdemayn should be discharged on her husband's finding security.
This woman was afterwards burned in Smithfield, as stated in the play
and also in the chronicles.


                           SCENE 3. Page 64.

    PET. Here Robin, an if I die, I give thee my _apron_.

Minsheu and others conceived that this word was derived from _afore
one_, an etymology that perfectly accords with the burlesque manner
of Dean Swift. It has been also deduced from the Greek words προ and
περι; the Latin _porro_ and _operio_, &c. &c. Skinner, with more
plausibility, has suggested the Saxon aꝼoꞃan. After all, _an apron_
is no more than a corruption of _a napron_, the old and genuine
orthography. Thus in _The mery adventure of the pardonere and tapstere_:

    "... and therwith to wepe
    She made, and with her _napron_ feir and white ywash
    She wypid soft hir eyen for teris that she outlash
    As grete as any mylstone----"

                                              _Urry's Chaucer_, p. 594.

We have borrowed the word from the old French _naperon_, a large cloth.
See Carpentier _Suppl. ad Cangium_, v. _Naperii_. So _napkin_, which
has perplexed our dictionary-makers, is only a _little_ cloth, from

                           SCENE 3. Page 66.

    HOR. Hold Peter, hold; I confess treason.


The real names of these combatants were _John Daveys_ and _William
Catour_, as appears from the original precept to the sheriffs still
remaining in the Exchequer, commanding them to prepare the barriers
in Smithfield for the combat. The names of the sheriffs were Godfrey
Boloyne and Robert _Horne_; and the latter, which occurs in the page
of Fabian's chronicle that records the duel, might have suggested
the name of _Horner_ to Shakspeare. Stowe is the only historian who
has preserved the servant's name, which was _David_. Annexed to the
before mentioned precept is the account of expenses incurred on this
occasion, duly returned into the Exchequer. From this it further
appears that the erection of the barriers, the combat itself, and
the subsequent execution of the armourer, occupied the space of six
or seven days; that the barriers had been brought to Smithfield in a
cart from Westminster; that a large quantity of sand and gravel was
consumed on the occasion, and that the place of battle was strewed
with rushes. Mr. Steevens has inferred from the above record that _the
armourer was not killed by his opponent, but worsted, and immediately
afterwards hanged_. This, however, is in direct contradiction to _all_
the historians that have mentioned the circumstance, who, though they
differ in some particulars, are certainly agreed as to the death of
the accused by the hands of his servant. Halle's words are, "whose
_body_ was drawen to Tyborn and there hanged and beheaded;" a mode
of expression which, though ambiguous, seems rather to refer to the
previous death of the party. Fabian, Grafton, Stowe, and Holinshed,
state that he was slain. It is possible that Mr. Steevens, in making
the above inference, conceived that because the man was hanged he must
necessarily have been alive at the time of his execution: but the
_mercy_ of the law on this occasion certainly made no such distinction;
and _the dead body of the vanquished was equally adjudged to the
punishment of a convicted traitor, in order that his posterity might
participate in his infamy_. Indeed, the record itself seems decisive;
for it states that the dead man was watched _after the battle was
done_, and this probably means before it was conveyed to Tyborn for
execution and decapitation. The same rule was observed in cases of
appeal for murder, as we learn from the laws or assizes of Jerusalem
made there in the fourteenth century; by which he that was _slain_ or
vanquished from cowardice in the field of battle, was adjudged to be
_drawn and hanged_; his horse and arms being given to the constable.
See Thaumassiere _Assises de Jerusalem_, ch. 104, and Selden's
_Duello_, p. 30. The hanging and beheading were confined to cases of
murder and treason; in a simple affair of arms the vanquished party was
only disarmed and led forth ignominiously from the lists.

Since this note was written, the whole of the curious record in the
Exchequer has been printed in Mr. Nicholls's valuable and interesting
work entitled, "_Illustrations of the manners and expences of antient
times in England_", 1797, 4to. As intimately connected with the
present subject, the following extract cannot fail of being acceptable.
It is taken from Gaguin, _Gestes Romains_, printed at Paris by Ant.
Verard, without date, in folio, a volume of extreme rarity, and is part
of the ceremony of an appeal for treason as regulated by Thomas Duke
of Gloucester, high constable to Richard the Second. "Et si la dicte
bataille est cause de traison, celluy qui est vaincu et desconfit sera
desarmé dedans les lices, et par le commandement du conestable sera mis
en un cornet et en reprehencion de luy sera traisné hors avec chevaulx
du lieu mesme ou il est ainsi desarmé parmy les lices jusques au lieu
de justice, ou sera decolé ou pendu selon lusaige du pays, laquelle
chose appartient au mareschal veoir par fournir par son office, et
le mettre a execution," fo. 148:--that is, "If the said battle be on
account of treason, he that is vanquished and discomfited shall be
disarmed within the lists, and by the authority of the constable put
into a little cart; then having received a proper reprimand he shall be
drawn by horses from the spot where he has been disarmed, through the
lists, to the place of public execution, and there hanged or beheaded
according to the custom of the country: which matter the marshal, by
virtue of his office, is to see performed and executed."


                           SCENE 1. Page 74.

    SUF. I think, I should have told your _grace's_ tale.

On this expression Dr. Johnson remarks that "_majesty_ was not the
settled title till the time of King James the First." In a note to vol.
i. p. 97, of the lives of _Leland, Hearne, and Wood_, it is said that
our kings had not the title of _majesty_ in the reign of Henry the
Eighth; and another note in Dr. Warburton's edition of the Dunciad, b.
iv. l. 176, states that James was the first who assumed the title of
_sacred majesty_; all which information is unsupported by authority.

On the other hand, Camden more correctly says, that "_majesty_ came
hither in the time of King Henry the Eighth, as _sacred majesty_
lately in our memory."--_Remains concerning Britain_, p. 198, edit.
1674, 8vo. Selden, referring to this passage, wishes it to be
understood so far as it relates to the title being "commonly in use
and properly to the king applied," because he adduces an instance of
the use of _majesty_ so early as the reign of Henry the Second. In
a letter from queen Elizabeth to Edward the Sixth, she signs "Your
_majesties_ humble sister," and addresses it "To the kinges _most
excellent majestie_."--Harl. MS. No. 6986. In the same volume is a most
extraordinary letter in Italian to Elizabeth, beginning, "Serenissima
et _sacratissima maesta_," which shows that Camden, who wrote what he
says above early in 1603, must rather refer to Elizabeth than James the

The use of _majesty_ is ascribed by the learned authors of the
_Nouveau traité de diplomatique_ to Gondemar king of the Visigoths,
and to the kings of Lorraine in the seventh century; but in France
it is not traceable before the year 1360, about which time Raoul de
Presle, in the dedication to his translation of Saint Augustin _De
civitate Dei_, thus addresses Charles the Fifth: "si supplie à vostre
_royalle majesté_." It was however but sparingly used till the reign
of Louis XI. In the treaty of Créssy the emperor Charles V. is called
_imperial majesty_, and Francis I. _royal majesty_. In that of Château
Cambresis, Henry II. is entitled _most christian majesty_, and Philip
II. _catholic majesty_. Pasquier has some very curious remarks in
reprobation of the use of _majesty_. See _Recherches de la France_,
liv. viii. ch. 5.

Both Camden and Selden agree that the title of _Grace_ began about the
time of Henry the Fourth, and of _excellent Grace_ under Henry the

                           SCENE 1. Page 91.

    YORK. ... I have seen him
    Caper upright like a wild _Mórisco_,
    Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells.

However just Dr. Johnson's explanation of Morisco may be in an
etymological point of view, it is at least doubtful whether it mean
in this place a real or even personated _Moor_. Nothing more may be
intended than simply a performer in a morris dance. It may be likewise
doubted whether in the English morris dance, a single Moorish character
was ever introduced. The quotation from Junius is extremely perplexing;
yet it must be remembered that he was a foreigner, and speaking perhaps

                           SCENE 2. Page 96.

    K. HEN. ... Come, _basilisk_,
    And kill the innocent gazer with thy _sight_.

Bartholomæus, with whom it has been shown that Shakspeare was well
acquainted, speaking of the basilisk or cockatrice, says, "In his
_sight_ no fowle nor birde passeth harmelesse, and though he be farre
from the foule, yet it is burnt and devoured by his mouth.... Plinius
also sayth there is a wilde beast called Catobletas [which is] great
noyeng to mankinde: _for all that see his eyen should dye anone, and
the same kinde hath the cockatrice_."--_De propriet. rer._ lib. xviii.
c. 16. The same property is also mentioned by Pliny of the basilisk,
but Holland's translation was not printed till after this play was
written. It is true that if Shakspeare did not write the lines in
question, the original author might have used a Latin Pliny.

                           SCENE 2. Page 103.

    WAR. Oft have I seen a _timely-parted_ ghost.

It has been very plausibly suggested that _timely-parted_ signifies _in
proper time_, as opposed to _timeless_; yet in this place it seems to
mean _early_, _recently_, _newly_. Thus in _Macbeth_, Act II. Scene 3,

    "He did command me to call _timely_ on him."

Again, in _The unfaithful lover's garland_,

    "Says he, I'll rise; says she, I scorn
    To be so _timely parted_."

Porter, in his comedy of the _Two angry women of Abingdon_, 1599, 4to,
seems to have had Warwick's speech in view when he wrote these lines:

    "Oft have I heard a _timely married_ girl
    That _newly_ left to call her mother mam, &c."

                           SCENE 2. Page 105.

    WAR. But see, his face is black and full of blood.

The accounts given by the English historians of the Duke of
Gloucester's death are very discordant and unsatisfactory. They relate
that he was smothered between feather-beds; that he was found dead in
his bed; that a red hot spit was thrust through him; and that he died
of grief. There is another account of this event, which, as it seems
to have been quite unnoticed in our histories, and may deserve as much
attention as either of the foregoing, shall here be given.

George Chastellain, a celebrated soldier, poet, and historian, was by
birth a Flemming, and is said to have been in the service of Philip
duke of Burgundy. He travelled into various countries, and wrote
an account of what he had seen, under the title of _The wonderful
occurrences of his time_. Speaking of his visit to England, he says,

    "Passant par Angleterre
    Ie veis en grant tourment
    Les seigneurs de la terre
    S'entretuer forment
    Avec un tel deluge
    Qui cueurs esbahissoit
    Que a peine y eut refuge
    Ou mort n'apparoissoit.
    Ung nouveau roy creerent
    Par despiteux vouloir
    Le viel en debouterent
    Et son legitime hoir
    Qui fuytif alla prendre
    Descosse le garand,
    De tous siécles le mendre
    Et le plus tollerant."

This alludes to the flight of Henry the Sixth into Scotland. In another
place he speaks as an eye witness of the death of duke Humphrey, and
relates that _he was strangled in a cask of wine_, adding also the

    "Par fortune senestre
    Veiz a l'oeil vifvement
    Le grant _duc de Clocestre_
    Meurdrir piteusement
    _En vin plein une cuve
    Failloit que estranglé fust,
    Cuydant par celle estuve,
    Que la mort ny parut_."

What credit he may deserve may be worth the inquiry of some future
historian. His work in general will strike every reader as a strange
mixture of veracity and credulity.

The above singular mode of inflicting death seems to have prevailed
about this time; for we find not long afterwards another instance of
it in the execution of George duke of Clarence, who, as is generally
agreed, was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. He appears to have
chosen the manner of his death, on which Mr. Hume makes the following
observation: "A whimsical choice, which implies that _he had an
extraordinary passion for that liquor_."[16] It should rather be
inferred that the punishment in question was more frequent than is
commonly known, and made use of for culprits of rank and eminence when
dispatched in secret. Jean Molinet, the continuator of the above work
of Chastellain, has thus described this event:

    "Jay veu _duc de Clarence_
    Bouté en une tour
    Qui queroit apparence
    De regner a son tour;
    De mort preadvisee
    _Le roy le feist noyer
    Dedans mallevoisee
    Pour le moins ennuyer_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 116.

    Q. MAR. Away! though parting be a fretful _corrosive_.

A learned commentator has stated that this word was _generally_ written
_corsive_ in Shakspeare's time, and he has indeed proved that it was
so written _sometimes_. The fact is, it was written as at present in
prose, and in poetry either way, as occasion required. Thus Drant in
his translation of _Horace's satyres_, 1566, 4to:

    "Wote you not why? _corrosyve_ style
        Is _corsey_ to the eye."

In the text it should be printed _cor'sive_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 116.

    K. HEN. O beat away the busy meddling fiend
    That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul.

It was the belief of our pious ancestors, that when a man was on his
death-bed the devil or his agents attended in the hope of getting
possession of the soul, if it should happen that the party died without
receiving the sacrament of the eucharist, or without confessing his
sins. Accordingly in the ancient representations of this subject, and
more particularly in those which occur in such printed services of
the church as contain the vigils or office of the dead, these _busy
meddling fiends_ appear, and with great anxiety besiege the dying man;
but on the approach of the priest and his attendants, they betray
symptoms of horrible despair at their impending discomfiture. In an
ancient manuscript book of devotions, written in the reign of Henry
the Sixth, there is a prayer addressed to Saint George, with the
following very singular passage: "Judge for me whan the moste hedyous
and damnable dragons of helle shall be redy to take my poore soule and
engloute it in to theyr infernall belyes."

Shakspeare, who in many instances has proved himself to have been well
acquainted with the forms and ceremonies of the Romish church, has,
without doubt, on the present occasion availed himself of the above
opinion. Whether this had happened to that pre-eminent painter, who,
among the numerous monuments of his excellence that have immortalized
himself and done honour to his country, has depicted the last moments
of Cardinal Beaufort with all the powers of his art, cannot now be
easily ascertained. He has been censured for personifying the fiend,
on the supposition that the poet's language is merely figurative;
with what justice this note may perhaps assist in deciding. Some
might disapprove the renovation of Popish ideas; whilst others, more
attentive to ancient costume, and regardless of popular or other
prejudices, might be disposed to defend the painter on the ground of
strict adherence to the manners of the times.

The reader may not be displeased at being introduced to a more intimate
acquaintance with the _ancient_ mode of representing a dying man as
above referred to. It is copied from a print in a later edition of the
_Ars moriendi_, one of those books on which the citizens of Haarlem
found their claim to the invention of printing; whereas it is in fact
no more than a collection of wooden engravings made for pious purposes,
and explained by writing cut on the same blocks, and by no means a
real specimen of the above art. To this is added another exhibition
of the same subject, but very superior in point of art. It is copied
from an engraving in wood by an unknown artist of considerable merit;
and from the striking resemblance which it bears to the picture of our
great painter above alluded to, much cannot be hazarded in supposing
that he might have taken some hints from it, as it is well known that
he collected many prints with the view of making such use of preceding
excellence as the most exalted genius will ever condescend to do.

The Greeks, when persons were dying, drove away evil spirits by placing
at the door branches of bramble or buckthorn. They likewise made a
noise by beating brazen vessels for the same purpose.




                           SCENE 2. Page 139.

    CADE. ... the _three-hoop'd_ pot shall have ten hoops.

The note here is not sufficiently explanatory. The old drinking pots,
being of wood, were bound together, as barrels are, with hoops; whence
they were called _hoops_. Cade promises that every can which now had
three hoops shall be increased in size so as to require ten. What
follows in the notes about "burning of cans," does not appear to relate
to the subject.

                           SCENE 2. Page 140.

    SMITH. The clerk of Chatham.

This person is a nonentity in history, and in all probability a
character invented by the writer of the play. It is presumed that few
will be inclined to agree with Mr. Ritson in supposing him to have been
Thomas Bayly, _a necromancer at Whitechapel_, and Cade's bosom friend.

                           SCENE 7. Page 161.

    CADE. Then break into his son in law's house, Sir _James_ Cromer.

Mr. Ritson cites William of Worcester to show that this sheriff's name
was _William_. The author of the play, if wrong, may be justified by
the examples of Halle, Grafton, Stowe, in his early editions, and
Holinshed, who call him _James_. Fabian, as if doubtful, leaves a blank
for Crowmer's Christian name. As to the fact itself, the evidence
of William of Worcester, a contemporary writer, is entitled to the
preference. Fuller's list of the sheriffs of Kent likewise makes the
name _William_.

                          SCENE 10. Page 173.

    CADE. I think this word sallet was born to do me good: for many a
    time, but for a _sallet_, my brain-pan had been cleft with a brown

The notes on this occasion may admit of correction as well as
curtailment. It is possible that we have borrowed _sallet_ from the
French _salade_, in the sense of a helmet: but the original word is
the old Teutonic _schale_, which signifies generally _a covering_.
Hence _shell_, _scale_, _scull_, _shield_, &c. Wicliffe does not use
_brain-pan_ for scull, in Judges ix. 53, as Mr. Whalley supposes, but
_brain_, simply.


[16] One should almost suppose that the historian had recollected
Cyrano de Bergerac's dream of a visit to the infernal regions, where he
saw the Duke of Clarence, "who," says he, "_voluntarily drowned himself
in a barrel of Malmsey_, seeking for Diogenes, in hopes of getting half
his tub to lodge in."




                           SCENE 1. Page 223.

    EXE. Here comes the queen whose looks _bewray_ her anger.

Although the word _bewray_ has received very proper illustration on
the present and other occasions, it remains to observe that its simple
and original meaning was to _discover_ or _disclose_; that it has been
confounded with _betray_, which is used, though not exclusively, for
_to discover for bad or treacherous purposes_, a sense in which bewray
is never _properly_ found. Of this position take the following proof:
"If you do so, saide the other, then you ought to let me knowe what
so ever you know your selfe: unlesse you thinke that yourself will
_bewray_ yourself, except you doubt yourself will deceive yourself, and
unlesse you thinke that yourself will _betray_ your self."--Lupton's
_Siuqila_, 1580, 4to, sign. L 4. b.

                           SCENE 1. Page 224.

    Q. MAR. _Rather_ than made that savage duke thine heir.

The note which follows Mr. Steevens's was _not_ inadvertently
introduced by that gentleman, though it certainly should not have been
retained _as the text now stands_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 242.

    Q. MAR. [Putting a _paper_ crown on his head.]

Mr. Ritson has not shown, as he conceived he had, that the preceding
commentator was _certainly mistaken_: for the author of the play, if
he be accountable for the stage direction, could not have "followed
history with the utmost precision," when he makes _queen Margaret_ put
a _paper_ crown on York's head; whereas Holinshed, the black-letter
chronicler whom Mr. Ritson should have first consulted, and who only
follows Whethamstede, relates that a garland of _bulrushes_ was placed
on York's head; which was afterwards stricken off and presented to the
queen. Nor is there historical evidence that the queen herself put on
the crown. Shakspeare has continued the same error in _King Richard the
Third_, where he makes Gloucester say to queen Margaret,

    "The curse my noble father laid on thee
    When thou didst crown his noble brows with _paper_."

He was therefore, in this instance, misled by the author of _King Henry
the Sixth_; or he must have written the queen's speech himself.

                           SCENE 4. Page 244.

    YORK. Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth.

Again in _Cymbeline_, Act III. Scene 4;

    "Whose tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile."


                           SCENE 2. Page 310.

    L. GREY. But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
    Accords not with the _sadness_ of my suit.

The following is offered as a very select instance of the use of
_sadness_ for _seriousness_. It is from Tom Coriat's speech that he
made to a Mahometan who had called him an infidel. "But I pray thee
tell me thou Mahometan, dost thou in _sadness_ call me _Giaur_? That
I doe, quoth he. Then quoth I, in very _sober sadness_ I retort that
shameful word in thy throate."

                           SCENE 2. Page 314.

    GLO. Like to a chaos, or an _unlick'd bear-whelp_.

The common opinion which Dr. Johnson mentions of the bear bringing
forth unformed lumps of animated flesh, and afterwards licking them
into proper shape, has been very properly exposed and confuted by Sir
Thomas Brown in his _Enquiries into vulgar errors_, book iii. ch. 6.
His adversary Ross, in his _Arcana microcosmi_, p. 115, has attempted
a solution of this matter, by stating it as a fact that bears bring
forth their young deformed and mis-shapen, by reason of the thick
membrane in which they are wrapped, that is, covered over with a mucous
and phlegmatick matter. This, he says, the dam contracts in the winter
time, by lying in hollow caves without motion, so that to the eye the
cub appears like an unformed lump. The above mucilage is afterwards
licked away by the dam, and the membrane broken, whereby that which
before seemed to be unformed appears now in its right shape. And this,
he contends, against Dr. Brown, is all that the ancients meant. See
more on the subject of the old opinion in Bartholomæus _De proprietat.
rerum_, lib. xviii. c. 112.


                           SCENE 7. Page 359.

    GLO. For many men that _stumble at the threshold_.

To understand this phrase rightly, it must be remembered that some of
the old thresholds or steps under the door, were, like the hearths,
raised a little, so that a person might stumble over them unless proper
care was taken. A very whimsical reason for this practice is given in a
curious little tract by Sir Balthazar Gerbier, entitled, _Councel and
advice to all builders_, 1663, 24mo, in these words, "A good surveyour
shuns also the ordering of doores with _stumbling-block-thresholds_,
though our forefathers affected them, perchance to perpetuate the
antient custome of bridegroomes, when formerly at their return from
church [they] did use to lift up their bride, and to knock their head
against that of the doore, for a remembrance, that they were not to
passe the threshold of their house without their leave."


                           SCENE 7. Page 403.

    CLAR. What will your grace have done with Margaret?
    Reignier her father, to the king of France
    Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
    And hither have they sent _it_ for her ransom.

Unless there be some omission in this speech, it must either be
regarded as improperly elliptical, or as ungrammatical. _It_ refers to
the sum of money borrowed by Margaret's father, which is mentioned by
the French historians to have been fifty thousand crowns. The author of
the play followed Holinshed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The right accentuation of Hĕcătē, as well as the proper description
of Althea's torch, which Shakspeare, in _King Henry the Fourth_, had
misrepresented, are additional arguments that he did _not_ write the
whole of these plays; but that they were composed by some person who
had more classical knowledge, but infinitely less genius than our



                           SCENE 1. Page 461.

    GLO. _He capers_ nimbly in a lady's chamber
    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

The question with Dr. Johnson is, whether it be _war_ that capers, or
_York_; and he justly remarks that if the latter, the antecedent is at
an almost forgotten distance. The amorous temper of Edward the Fourth
is well known; and there cannot be a doubt that by _the lascivious
pleasing of a lute_, he is directly alluded to. The subsequent
description likewise that Richard gives of himself is in comparison
with the _king_. Dr. Johnson thought the image of _war capering_
poetical; yet it is not easy to conceive how _grimvisag'd war_ could
_caper in a lady's chamber_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 462.

    GLO. Cheated of feature by _dissembling_ nature.

The poet by this expression seems to mean no more than that nature had
made for Richard features _unlike_ those of other men. To dissemble,
both here and in the passage quoted from _King John_, signifies the
reverse of to _resemble_, in its active sense, and is not used as
_dissimulare_ in Latin.


                           SCENE 3. Page 540.

    2 CIT. Ill news by'r lady; _seldom comes the better_.

Well might the author of the book quoted by Mr. Reed say "that proverb
indeed is auncient," as will appear from the following curious account
of its origin extracted from a manuscript collection of stories
compiled about the time of king Henry the Third:--

"Quidam abbas dedit monachis suis tria fercula. Dixerunt monachi,
Iste parum dat nobis. Rogemus Deum ut cito moriatur. Et sive ex hac
causa, sive ex alia, mortuus est. Substitutus est alius, qui eis tamen
dedit duo fercula. Irati monachi contristati dixerunt, Nunc magis est
orandum, quia unum ferculum subtractum est, Deus subtrahat ei vitam
suam. Tandem mortuus est. Substitutus est tertius, qui duo fercula
subtraxit. Irati monachi dixerunt, Iste pessimus est inter omnes,
quia fame nos interficit; rogemus Deum quod cito moriatur. Dixit unus
monachus, Rogo Deum quod det ei vitam longam, et manu teneat eum nobis.
Alii admirati querebant quare hoc diceret; qui ait, Vide quod primus
fuit malus, secundus pejor, iste pessimus; timeo quod cum mortuus
fuerit alius pejor succedet, qui penitus nos fame perimet. Unde solet
dici, _Seilde comed se betere_."

                           SCENE 4. Page 546.

    Q. ELIZ. A _parlous_ boy.

"Parlous," says Mr. Steevens, "is keen, shrewd." Mr. Ritson is of a
different opinion, and thinks it a corruption of _perilous_, dangerous.
Both parties are right; but it is probably used here as _perilous_, in
like manner as the nurse in _Romeo and Juliet_ talks of "a _parlous_
knock," and as it is also to be taken in _A midsummer night's dream_,
where Mr. Steevens had properly explained it; and the instance which
he has given on the present occasion does, in fact, corroborate his
former note. _Parlous_ is likewise made synonymous with _shrewd_ by
Littelton. See his Latin dict. v. _importunus_. In Middleton's play of
_The changeling_, we have "a _parlous_ fool," i. e. _shrewd_, "he must
sit in the fourth form at least." Yet a few pages further the same word
is as clearly used for _perilous_. After all there is little or no
difference in the senses of it, for in shrewdness there is certainly
peril. He that meets with a _shrew_, may well be said to be _in
danger_. Some might think that this word is the same as _talkative_,
in which case it must have been borrowed from the French; but that
language does not furnish an adjective of the kind. The original
corruption was _perlious_. Thus in an unpublished work by William of
Nassyngton, a poet of the fifteenth century, who wrote on the Lord's
prayer, &c., we have, "Methinks this maner is _perlious_."


                           SCENE 1. Page 561.

    YORK. Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me;
    Because that I am little, like an _ape_,
    He thinks that you should _bear me on your shoulders_.

Mr. M. Mason contends that this is simply an allusion to Richard's
deformity, and is not inclined to admit the propriety of Dr. Johnson's
supposition that York means to call his uncle a _bear_. From a
quotation given by the former gentleman, it is clear that Shakspeare,
when alluding to Richard's deformity, mentions his _back_; and it
is therefore probable that he would have used the same term in the
present instance, had he adverted to the duke's shape. For this reason
Dr. Johnson's opinion seems preferable; yet something more might
have been intended. The practice of keeping apes or domestic monkeys
was formerly much more common than at present. Many old prints and
paintings corroborate this observation,[17] and in some the monkey
appears chained to a large globe or roller of wood, which, whilst it
permitted the animal to shift his situation, prevented him from making
his escape. It is almost unnecessary to add that the monkey, as the
intimate companion of the domestic fool, would often get upon his
shoulders. There is a fine picture, by Holbein, of Henry the Eighth
and some of his family, which by favour of his majesty now decorates
the meeting room of the Society of Antiquaries. In it is an admirable
portrait of Will Somers, the king's fool, with a monkey clinging to
his neck, and apparently occupied in rendering his friend William a
very essential piece of service, wherein this animal is remarkably
dexterous, the fool reclining his head in a manner that indicates
his sense of the obligation. York may therefore mean to call his
uncle a fool, and this, after all, may be the _scorn_ that Buckingham
afterwards refers to.

Every one is acquainted with the propensity of the monkey to climbing
upon other animals. Gervase Markham in his _Cavalerice_, a treatise
on horsemanship, already referred to, devotes a chapter to inform his
readers "how a horse may be taught to doe any tricke done by _Bankes_
his curtall," in which he says, "I will shew you by the example of
two or three trickes, how you shall make your horse to doe any other
action as well as any dog or _ape_ whatsoever, except it be _leaping
upon your shoulders_." The curious reader may find more illustration of
the subject in the specimen of Dr. Boucher's _Supplement to Johnson's
dictionary_, article _ape_; but the learned and ingenious author was
certainly mistaken in supposing that fools carried the _representations
of apes on their shoulders_, and probably in what he says concerning
the origin of the phrase of putting an _ape_ in a man's hood.


                           SCENE 2. Page 621.

    K. RICH. Because that like a _Jack_, thou keep'st the _stroke_.

At Horsham church, in Sussex, there was a figure dressed in scarlet
and gold, that struck the quarters. He was called _Jack o' the
clock-house_. The French term for this kind of automaton is _jaquemar_,
the etymology of which is very fanciful and uncertain.


                           SCENE 1. Page 660.

    BUCK. _Holy_ king Henry----

This epithet is not applied without good reason. King Henry the Sixth,
though never actually canonized, was regarded as a saint, and miracles
were supposed to have been performed by him. In some of our church
service-books before the Reformation, there are prayers which are
said to have been of his composition, and one in particular that is
addressed to him is entitled, "A prayer to _holy_ king Henry."

                           SCENE 3. Page 665.

    K. RICH. Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength.

Borrowed from _Proverbs_, xviii. v. 10. "The _name_ of the Lord is _a
strong tower_."

                           SCENE 3. Page 667.

    CATE. ... It's supper time, my lord;
    It's _nine_ o'clock.

"A supper at so late an hour as nine o'clock in the year 1485," says
Mr. Steevens, "would have been a prodigy." It certainly would, and
even at the time when this play was written, the period to which the
criticism more justly belongs. In either instance there was a reason
for preferring the text of the quarto copy, and yet the unnecessary
alteration is retained.

                           SCENE 3. Page 688.

    K. RICH. This and Saint George _to boot_.

Dr. Johnson is undoubtedly right against both his opponents, one of
whom has adduced the phrase _St. George to borrow_, unintentionally
in support of him. _To borrow_ is no more a verb than _to boot_;
it means _as a pledge or security_, _borrow_ being the Saxon term
for _a pledge_. The phrase is an invocation to the saint to act as
a protector. _Saint George to thrive_ is evidently a misconceived
paraphrase of the old mode of expression, by improperly changing the
substantive to a verb. Holinshed, in the speech of Richard before the
battle, introduces "_St. George to borrowe_."

                           SCENE 3. Page 690.

    K. RICH. Long kept in Bretagne at our _mother's_ cost.

It has already been stated by Dr. Farmer that the mistake here of
_mother_ for _brother_ must be placed to the account of the book which
Shakspeare followed, viz. Holinshed's chronicle; but the doctor has
omitted to notice that in the _first edition_ of Holinshed the word is
rightly printed _brother_. It is no otherwise worth while to mention
this fact, than that it points out the particular edition of the above
historian which Shakspeare used. Nothing can be more judicious nor
decisive than Mr. Malone's argument for retaining the historical errors
of Shakspeare, and Mr. Ritson's desire of changing the text does not
correspond with those principles of accuracy on which he laid so much

                           SCENE 3. Page 691.

    K. RICH. A _milksop_, &c.

This is from Holinshed, "To begyn with the earle of Richmonde capitayne
of this rebellion, he is a _Welsh milksoppe_," &c.


[17] See the fine frontispiece by Coriolano to Vesalius's Anatomy.



                           SCENE 1. Page 21.

    BUCK. ... but this top-proud fellow
    (Whom from the flow of gall I _name not_, but
    From _sincere motions_)

Dr. Johnson explains _sincere motions_ to be _honest indignation_; and,
for _name not_, would substitute _blame not_. But is not the following
the plain sense, without any alteration? "this top-proud fellow, whom I
call so, not from an excess of bitterness, but from a genuine _impulse_
of the mind."

                           SCENE 1. Page 26.

    BUCK. I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,
    Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,
    By dark'ning my clear sun.

It is no easy matter on some occasions to comprehend the precise
meaning of Shakspeare's metaphors, which are often careless and
confused; and of this position the present lines are, doubtless, an
example. We have here a double comparison. Buckingham is first made
to say that he is but a shadow; in other terms, a dead man. He then
adverts to the _sudden_ cloud of misfortune that overwhelms him, and,
like a shadow, obscures his prosperity.

                           SCENE 3. Page 42.

    CHAM. Is it possible the spells of France should juggle
    Men into such strange _mysteries_?

Dr. Johnson's explanation is much too fanciful. Mysteries are _arts_,
and here _artificial fashions_.


                           SCENE 2. Page 71.

    NOR. I'll venture one _heave_ at him.

The first folio reads "I'll venture one; _have_ at him," and this,
except as to the punctuation, is right. _Have at you_ was a common
phrase; it is used by Surrey in the ensuing act, and afterwards by

                           SCENE 2. Page 73.

    CAM. ... which so griev'd him, [Doctor Pace]
    That he ran mad and died.

This is from Holinshed. "Aboute this time the king received into favor
doctor Stephen Gardiner, whose service he used in matters of great
secrecie and weighte, admitting him in the room of Doctor Pace, the
which being continually abrode in ambassades, and the same oftentymes
not much necessarie, by the Cardinalles appointment, at length he toke
such greefe therwith, that he fell out of his right wittes."

                           SCENE 3. Page 75.

    ANNE. ... 'tis a sufferance panging
    As soul and body's severing.

Of the parallel passages already cited, this is not the least so, from
_Measure for measure_;

    "... in _corporal sufferance_ feels a _pang_ as great
    As when a giant dies."

                           SCENE 4. Page 98.

  [_they rise to depart._

Mr. Ridley's note is very judiciously introduced to get rid of the
interpolated stage direction inserted by some of the editors, and to
account for the king's apostrophe to Cranmer. He might have adduced an
earlier exemplification of his remark from the ensuing scene, where
Norfolk asks, _when Cranmer returns_? The archbishop of Canterbury, who
attends the procession to Blackfriars, was William Warham.


                           SCENE 2. Page 112.

    SUF. ... I persuade me, from her
    Will fall some blessing to this land, which shall
    In it be memoriz'd.

This is, no doubt, a compliment to queen Elizabeth.

                           SCENE 2. Page 126.

    SUR. ... I'll startle you
    Worse than the sacring bell, when the brown wench
    Lay kissing in your arms, lord cardinal.

Was there any Skeltonical tradition to this effect in Shakspeare's
time, or has he only taken a hint from one of the articles against
Wolsey, which is conceived in the following terms? "Also the said Lord
Cardinall did call before him Sir John Stanly knight which had taken a
farm by Covent seal of the Abbot of Chester and afterwards by his power
and might contrary to right committed the said Sir John Stanly to the
prison of Fleet by the space of a year unto such time as he compelled
the said Sir John to release his Covent seal to one Leghe of Adlington,
which married one Lark's daughter, _which woman the said Lord Cardinall
kept, and had with her two children_," &c.

                           SCENE 2. Page 127.

    SUR. First, that, without the king's assent, or knowledge,
    You wrought to be a legate; by which power
    You maim'd the jurisdiction of all bishops.

We have here in substance the first of the articles exhibited by the
lords of the privy council and two of the judges against Wolsey. They
had been unfaithfully recorded in some of our histories, but were at
length printed by Lord Coke from the originals in his fourth Institute,
chap. 8.

                           SCENE 2. Page 127.

    NOR. Then, that, in all you writ to Rome, or else
    To foreign princes, _Ego et rex meus_
    Was still inscrib'd; in which you brought the king
    To be your servant.

The nature of this supposed offence has been apparently misconceived
by Shakspeare and others whom he might have followed. The original
article against Wolsey, states, that "the Lord Cardinall of his
presumptuous mind, in divers and many of his letters and instructions
sent out of this realme to outward parts had joyned himself with your
Grace, as in saying and writing, _The king and I would ye should do
thus. The king and I doe give unto you our hearty thankes_. Whereby it
is apparent that he used himself more like a fellow to your Highnes,
then like a subject." Wolsey's crime therefore was not in degrading
the king beneath himself, but in assuming a degree of consequence
that seemed to place him on a level with his sovereign. The offensive
language when put into Latin would be more striking and apt to deceive;
but the idiom of the language required the above arrangement of the

                           SCENE 2. Page 128.

    SUF. Then that without the knowledge
    Either of king or council, when you went
    Ambassador to the emperor, you made bold
    To carry into Flanders the great seal.

    SUR. Item, you sent a large commission
    To Gregory de Cassalis, to conclude,
    Without the king's will, or the state's allowance,
    A league between his highness and Ferrara.

Both these charges seem included in the third article. "Also the said
Lord Cardinall being your ambassador in France, sent a commission
to Sir Gregory de Cassalis under your great seale in your grace's
name to conclude a treaty of amity with the Duke of Ferrara, without
any commandment or warrant of your highnes, nor your said highnesse
advertised or made privy to the same."

                           SCENE 2. Page 129.

    SUF. That out of mere ambition you have caus'd
    Your holy hat to be stamp'd on the king's coin.

An absurd and frivolous allegation against the unfortunate Cardinal,
being the substance of the fortieth article. The episcopal privileges
of coining money had been long established, and were conceded in this
reign to Bainbrigge and Lee the predecessor and successor of Wolsey, as
well as to the archbishops of Canterbury, Warham and Cranmer. But the
great offence was placing the _Cardinal's hat_ under the king's arms,
"which like deed," says the article, "hath not been seen to be done by
any subject within your realm before this time." It may be asked how
could it, Wolsey being the only English cardinal to whom the privilege
of striking money had been granted? Nor could there be any substantial
reason for regarding the cardinal's hat as more offensive than the
bishop's mitre, which had already appeared on the coins of Durham.

                           SCENE 2. Page 129.

    SUF. Lord Cardinal, the king's further pleasure is,--
    Because all those things, you have done of late
    By your power legatine within this kingdom,
    Fall into the compass of a _præmunire_,--
    That therefore such a writ be sued against you.

The poet was under the necessity of introducing the _præmunire_
immediately after the articles; but we learn from Cavendish that
"Maister Cromwell inveighed against the byll of articles with such
wittie persuasions and depe reasons that the same could take none
effect. _Then were his enemyes constrained to indite him in a_

                           SCENE 2. Page 131.

    WOL. And when he falls, he falls like _Lucifer_.

Manifestly borrowed from that fine passage in _Isaiah_, xiv. ver. 12:
"How art thou _fallen_ from heaven, O _Lucifer_, son of the morning!"

                           SCENE 2. Page 135.

    WOL. And sleep in _dull cold_ marble.

Mr. Gray seems to have remembered this line in his _elegy_,--

    "Or flattery sooth the _dull cold_ ear of death."

                           SCENE 2. Page 137.

    WOL. Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal
    I serv'd my king, he would not in mine age
    Have left me naked to mine enemies.

Dr. Johnson remarks, that "this sentence was really uttered by Wolsey."
The _substance_ of it certainly was. The words themselves have been
preserved in the valuable Life of Wolsey by _George_ Cavendish his
gentleman usher, which Shakspeare might have used either in Stowe's
chronicle or in manuscript; for several copies are still remaining that
were transcribed in the reign of Elizabeth. Mr. Malone has already
taken due notice of their very superior value, and of the omissions and
interpolations in the printed editions. In the latter, the work has
been abridged of many details of great curiosity with respect to the
manners of the times. A new and correct edition would be well deserving
of the patronage of an enlightened public. The real words uttered by
Wolsey were these; "Yf I hadd served God as diligently as I have done
the kinge, he wolde not have geven me over in my graye heares."


                           SCENE 3. Page 193.

    MAN. ... and hit that woman, who cry'd out, _Clubs_!

It has been observed, in illustration of this practice of crying
out _clubs_, that it was usually adopted in any quarrel or tumult
in the streets; but it remains to point out the persons that were
so called, because the watchmen's weapon was the _bill_. Stowe
informs us, that "when prentizes and journeymen attended upon their
masters and mistresses in the night, they went before them carrying a
lanthorne and candle in their hands, and a _great long club on their
neckes_."--_Annales_, p. 1040, edit. 1631. The frequency of this
exclamation in nocturnal quarrels might in process of time adapt the
expression to general occasion.

                           SCENE 4. Page 199.

It is submitted that the stage exhibition of Elizabeth's christening
should be conducted according to the curious and circumstantial details
of the manner in which it was really performed, to be found in Halle's
_Chronicle_, and copied from him by Stowe into his _Annales_.



    ... Priam's six-gated city.

In this, as well as in Dr. Farmer's subsequent note, it might have
been better to have quoted Caxton's translation of the _Recuyles or
destruction of Troy_, instead of _Lydgate_. In the edition of 1607 of
the former work, which, in all probability, is that used by the author
of the play, the gates of Troy are thus named; _Dardan_, _Timbria_,
_Helias_, _Chetas_, _Troyen_, _Antenorides_. These are nearer to the
text than those in the other quotation from Lydgate, whose work the
author does not seem to have consulted. Should the curious reader be
desirous of seeing the manner in which Troy was formerly represented,
he may be gratified by an inspection of it in its full glory; the gates
inscribed with their names, and fortified with portcullises, in the
edition of Jaques Milot's _Mystere de la destruction de Troye_, Lyon,
1544, folio; or in Raoul le Fevre's _Recueil des hystoires Troyennes_,
Lyon, 1510, folio. This was also a favourite subject in old tapestry,
a very fine and ancient specimen of which remained a long time in the
painted chamber that separates the two houses of parliament, till
it was removed during the repairs of Saint Stephen's chapel for the
accommodation of the Irish members. A copy of it was fortunately taken
by that ingenious artist, Mr. John Carter, draughtsman to the Society
of Antiquaries.


                           SCENE 1. Page 223.

    TRO. Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given me
    The _knife_ that made it.

When poets speak of the wounds inflicted by love, they generally
make the instrument to be an _arrow_; how a _knife_ came here to be
introduced is not easy to account for. Is it possible that our author
has transposed the old saying that _a knife cuts love_?

                           SCENE 3. Page 245.

    NEST. ... and, anon, behold
    The strong-ribb'd bark through liquid mountains cut,
    Bounding between the two moist elements,
    Like _Perseus' horse_.

Mr. Steevens, admitting the curiosity of his colleague's note on this
passage, is unwilling to allow that its design to prove the horse of
Perseus a ship, and not an animal, has been accomplished. The learned
editor observes, that "Shakspeare would not have contented himself
with merely comparing one ship to another;" and that "unallegorized
_Pegasus_ might be fairly stiled _Perseus'_ horse, because the heroism
of _Perseus_ had given him existence." That one thing is compared to
another which resembles it, can surely be no solid objection to the
justice of a comparison; and though the birth of the unallegorized
Pegasus was doubtless the result of Perseus's bravery in conquering
Medusa, it was incumbent on the objector to have demonstrated how this
_horse of Perseus_ had "bounded between two moist elements," to have
made good the poet's comparison. There can be no doubt that the author
of the simile has alluded to the fact concerning the _ship_ Pegasus
adduced by Mr. Malone; and every thing leads to the supposition that
he used the _authority_ of Caxton's Troy book, though, as will be seen
presently, _that_ was not the most ancient of the kind.

It is undoubtedly a well justified poetical license to compare a ship
to a horse, on account of its speed. In the translation of an old
Celtic ballad called _The maid's tragedy_, the monarch who pursues the
flying damsel is sometimes said to traverse the waves on _an enchanted
steed_; "which," say the Edinburgh reviewers, "probably arises from
some equivocal expression in the original, as the Scalds term a ship
the rider, and sometimes the horse of the ocean."--_Edinb. review_,
1805, p. 439.

Mr. Malone has stated in the beginning of his valuable note, that "we
nowhere hear of Perseus's horse;" and that "Pegasus was the property
not of Perseus but of Bellerophon." This is not quite accurate. It
is certain that _Ovid_ has _not_ mounted Perseus on any horse in his
combat with the monster which was to devour Andromeda; and therefore it
is matter of wonder that the mythological dictionary of Chompré, and
particularly that most excellent one by Lempriere, should positively
affirm that he has. This error has been likewise adopted by other
writers. But though classic authority be wanting that Perseus made use
of a horse, Boccaccio, in his _Genealogia Deorum_, lib. xii. c. 25, has
quoted Lactantius as saying, that when Perseus undertook his expedition
against Gorgon, at the instance of king Polydectus, he was accompanied
by the winged horse Pegasus, but not that he used him in delivering
Andromeda. Boccaccio adds that others were of opinion that he had a
_ship_ called Pegasus. The liberties which the old French translators
of Ovid's Metamorphoses have taken, and their interpolations, are
unaccountable. Some have caused Perseus at the instant of his birth, to
bestride Pegasus, and travel away to Helicon. In the cuts to many of
the early editions of Ovid, the designers have not only placed him on
Pegasus in the adventure with Andromeda, but even in his attack upon
Atlas. These facts may serve to account for the multiplied errors of
artists, who, neglecting to consult proper authorities, have trusted to
the erroneous examples of their predecessors. Achilles Tatius, in his
third book of _The loves of Clitophon and Leucippe_, has described a
picture of Perseus delivering Andromeda, in which he is made to descend
by means of wings to his feet; and another on the same subject is
spoken of by Lucian in his description of a house. In neither of these
is there any mention of a horse.


                           SCENE 1. Page 276.

    THER. ... an _assinego_ may tutor thee.

Some doubt having arisen whether an _assinego_ is an _ass_ or an
_ass-driver_, the following passages from Ligon's _History of
Barbadoes_, 1673, will serve to decide the question in favour of the
_four-legged animal_; and demonstrate at the same time that the above
term is not exclusively applied to a male ass, as Mr. Ritson had
supposed. "We found it was far better for a man that had money, goods,
or credit, to purchase a plantation there ready furnish'd, and stockt
with servants, slaves, horses, cattle, _assinigoes_, camels, &c." And
again, "And though I found at Barbadoes some who had musical minds;
yet I found others, whose souls were so fixt upon, and so riveted to
the earth, and the profits that arise out of it, as their souls were
lifted no higher; and those men think, and have been heard to say, that
three whip-sawes going all at once in a frame or pit, is the best and
sweetest musick that can enter their ears; and to hear a cow of their
own low, or an _assinigo bray_, no sound can please them better."--pp.
22, 107.

                           SCENE 3. Page 309.

    ULYSS. Praise him that got thee, _she_ that gave thee suck.

This ungrammatical line, though perhaps the property of Shakspeare,
might as well be corrected.

                           SCENE 3. Page 309.

    ULYSS. Let Mars divide eternity in twain
    And give him half.

How Mars was to accomplish this the metaphysicians must decide. The
idea is an odd compound of grandeur and absurdity. It might have turned
to some account in the hands of the ingenious Edgworths.


                           SCENE 2. Page 329.

    CRES. ... For to be wise, and love,
    Exceeds man's might; that dwells with gods above.

If this be Shakspeare's, he got it from Taverner's translation of
_Publius Syrus_, at the end of _Catonis disticha_, 1553, 12mo, where it
stands thus, "To be in love and to be wyse is scarce graunted to God.
It is not one man's propertie both to love and also to be of a sounde

                           SCENE 2. Page 333.

    PAN. ... let all pitiful _goers-between_ be call'd to the world's
    end after my name, call them all _Pandars_.

Although the above is, no doubt, the real etymology of the word
_pandar_, the original use of it does not rest with Shakspeare. An
earlier instance occurs in Gabriel Harvey's _Pierce's supererogation_,
1593, 4to, in which "the pandars stew" is mentioned. All other
derivations must be rejected, because the term occurs in no language
but our own. Nashe, in his _Have with you to Saffron Walden_, has most
extravagantly deduced it from _Pandora_; and he adds that Sir Philip
Sidney fetches it from Plautus. In Sir Philip's _Defence of poesie_,
the author, speaking of Terence's _Gnatho_ and Chaucer's _Pandar_,
says, "we now use their names to signifie their trades."

                           SCENE 3. Page 338.

    CAL. ... But this Antenor
    I know is such a _wrest_ in their affairs.

If a former explanation should be thought to stand in need of further
authority, the following may suffice.

In _A treatise between trouth and information_, by W. Cornishe, printed
among the works of Skelton, are these lines:

    "A harpe geveth sounde as it is sette,
    The harper may _wrest_ it untunablye;
    A harper with his _wrest_ may tune the harpe wrong,
    Mystunyng of an instrument shal hurt a true songe."

The same instrument was used for tuning other stringed instruments, as
appears from the same poem:

    "The claricord hath a tunely kynde,
    As the wyre is _wrested_ hye and lowe;
    So it turnyth to the players mynde,
    For as it is _wrested_ so must it nedes showe,
    Any instrument mystunyd shall hurt a trew song,
    Yet blame not the claricord the _wrester_ doth wrong."


    "With golden strings such harmonie
    His harpe so sweet did _wrest_;
    That he reliev'd his phrenesie
      Whom wicked sprites possest."

                              Archb. Parker's _Psalter_, sign. B. 1. b.

In King James's edict against combats, &c., p. 45, is this passage,
"this small instrument the tongue being kept in tune by the _wrest_ of
awe," &c.

And in Swetnam's _Arraignment of women_, 1615, 4to, "They are always
tempering their wits, as fidlers do their strings, who _wrest_ them so
high, that many times they stretch them beyond time, tune, and reason."


                           SCENE 5. Page 383.

    ULYSS. ... set them down
    For sluttish spoils of opportunity,
    And _daughters of the game_.

This expression seems borrowed from the _maister of the game_, the
ancient title of the king's game-keeper. There was also a treatise
on hunting, so called, which Shakspeare had often read of, or might
perhaps have seen.


                           SCENE 3. Page 425.

    TRO. Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you
    Which better fits a _lion_ than a man.

See a preceding note pp. 189, 190.

                           SCENE 9. Page 444.

    HECT. I am unarm'd; forego this vantage, Greek.

The author of this play, in his account of the death of Hector, has
undoubtedly departed from his original; and, as it should seem, without
necessity. Mr. Steevens, on this occasion, takes notice of _Lydgate's_
vehement reprehension of Homer's praise of Achilles, and of his gross
violation of the characters drawn by the Grecian poet; but he has
censured the wrong person. Lydgate has only followed his predecessor
Guido of Colonna, who, (or perhaps the original writer Benoit de Saint
More,) adopting the statement in the prologue to Dares Phrygius,
appears to regard the latter as a more correct and veracious historian
than Homer.

                           SCENE 9. Page 451.

    PAN. Some _galled goose of Winchester_ would hiss.

If Mr. Mason had accidentally consulted the English part of Littelton's
excellent dictionary, he would not have doubted that "any symptom of
the venereal disease was called a Winchester goose."


Of Lollius, the supposed inventor of this story, it will become every
one to speak with diffidence. Until something decisive relating to him
shall occur, it is better to conclude with Mr. Tyrwhitt, that Chaucer
borrowed the greatest part of his admirable story from Boccaccio's
Philostrato; and that he either invented the rest altogether, or
obtained it from some completer copy of the Philostrato than that which
we now possess. What Dryden has said of Lollius is entirely destitute
of proof, and appears to be nothing more than an inference from
Chaucer's own expressions.

It would be a matter of extreme difficulty to ascertain, with any sort
of precision, when and in what manner the story of Troilus and Cressida
first made its appearance. Whether the author of the Philostrato was
the first who detailed it so minutely as it is there found, remains
to be decided; but it is certain that so much of it as relates to
the departure of Cressida from Troy, and her subsequent amour with
Diomed, did exist long before the time of Boccaccio. The work in which
it is most known at present is the _Troy book_ of Guido of Colonna,
composed in 1287, and, _as he states_, from Dares Phrygius, and
Dictys Cretensis, neither of whom mentions the name of Cressida. Mr.
Tyrwhitt, as it has eventually proved, had, with his usual penetration
and critical acuteness, suspected that Guido's Dares was in reality
an old Norman French poet named _Benoit de Saint More_, who wrote in
the reign of our Henry the Second, and who himself made use of Dares.
This work seems to be the earliest authority now remaining. The task
which Mr. Tyrwhitt had declined, has on this occasion been submitted
to; and the comparison has shown that Guido, whose performance had
long been regarded as original, has only translated the Norman writer
into Latin. It is most probable that he found _Benoit's_ work when he
came into England, as he is recorded to have done; and that pursuing a
practice too prevalent in the middle ages, he dishonestly suppressed
the mention of his real original. What has been advanced by Mr. Warton
and some other writers respecting an old French romance under the name
of Troilus and Cressida, will not carry the story a moment higher;
because this French romance is in fact nothing more than a much later
performance, about the year 1400, compiled by _Pierre de Beauvau_ from
the Philostrato itself. This has been strangely confounded with several
other French works on the Troy story related with great variety of
circumstance, all or most of which were modelled on that of Guido of
Colonna or his original; citing, as they had done, the supposititious
histories of Dictys and Dares. It is worth while to embrace this
opportunity of mentioning, for the first time, that there is a _prose_
French version of _Benoit's_ metrical romance; but when made, or by
whom, does not appear in a MS. of it transcribed at Verona in 1320.

Lydgate professedly followed Guido of Colonna, occasionally making use
of and citing other authorities. In a short time afterwards _Raoul le
Fevre_ compiled from various materials his _Recueil des histoires de
Troye_, which was translated into English and published by Caxton; but
neither of these authors has given more of the story of Troilus and
Cressida than any of the other romances on the war of Troy; Lydgate
contenting himself with referring to Chaucer. Of _Raoul le Fevre's_
work, often printed, there is a fine MS. in the British museum,
Bibl. Reg. 17, E. II., under the title of _Hercules_, that must have
belonged to Edward the Fourth, in which _Raoul's_ name is entirely and
unaccountably suppressed. The above may serve as a slight sketch of
the romances on the history of the wars of Troy; to describe them all
particularly would fill a volume.

It remains to inquire concerning the materials that were used in the
construction of this play. Mr. Steevens informs us that Shakspeare
received the greatest part of them from the _Troy book of Lydgate_.
It is presumed that the learned commentator would have been nearer
the fact had he substituted the _Troy book or recueyl_ translated by
_Caxton_ from _Raoul le Fevre_; which, together with a translation
of Homer, supplied the incidents of the Trojan war. Lydgate's work
was becoming obsolete, whilst the other was at this time in the prime
of its vigour. From its first publication to the year 1619, it had
passed through six editions, and continued to be popular even in the
eighteenth century. Mr. Steevens is still less accurate in stating _Le
Fevre's_ work to be a translation from Guido of Colonna; for it is only
in the latter part that he has made any use of him. Yet Guido actually
had a French Translator before the time of Raoul: which translation,
though never printed, is remaining in MS. under the whimsical title
of "La _vie_ de la _piteuse destruction_ de la noble et supellative
cité de Troye le grant. Translatée en Francois lan MCCCLXXX;" and at
the end it is called "Listoire _tres plaisant_ de la destruction de
Troye la grant." Such part of our play as relates to the loves of
Troilus and Cressida was most probably taken from Chaucer, as no other
work, accessible to Shakspeare, could have supplied him with what was



                           SCENE 1. Page 481.

    Enter APEMANTUS.

"See this character of a cynic finely drawn by Lucian in his _Auction
of the philosophers_; and how well Shakspeare has _copied_ it," says
Dr. Warburton; who took it for granted that our author could read
Lucian _out of English_. Until this can be proved, or that any English
translation of the above piece existed in Shakspeare's time, we are at
liberty to doubt how far Apemantus is a copy from Lucian, or rather
to believe that he is a highly finished portrait after a very slight
sketch by Plutarch.


                           SCENE 3. Page 587.

    TIM. She, [her] whom the spital-house and ulcerous sores
    Would cast the gorge at, this embalms and spices
    To the _April day_ again.

It had been better to have withdrawn Dr. Johnson's note, for he has
entirely misconceived the meaning of this part of Timon's speech. He
has mistaken the _person_ who was to be _embalmed to the April day
again_, and supposed, without reason, that the wedding day is here
called _April_ or _fools day_. Mr. Tollett has already corrected the
first of these errors, and properly explained the _April day_ to mean
the _freshness_ of youth. See a description of April from an old
calendar in p. 45. The word _day_ in this instance is equivalent with

                           SCENE 3. Page 593.

    TIM. To the _tub-fast_ and the _diet_.

What this _diet_ was may be seen at large in Dr. Bullein's _Bulwarke of
defence_, fo. 57 b. and in his _Booke of compoundes_, fo. 42, 43.

In a former note a conclusion was too hastily drawn, concerning the
origin of _Cornelius's tub_. It was stated that it took its name from
the hero of Randolph's pleasant comedy of _Cornelianum dolium_; but
the term is much older, being mentioned in Lodge's _Wit's miserie_,
1599, 4to, sig. F iiij b. Its origin therefore remains in a state of
uncertainty; for what Davenant has left us in his _Platonick lover_ can
only be regarded as a piece of pleasantry.

    SCIOLT. As for _Diogenes_ that fasted much, and took his habitation
    in a tub, to make the world believe he lov'd a strict and severe
    life, he took the diet, sir, and in that very tub swet for the
    French disease.

    FRED. And some unlearned apothecary since, mistaking 's name,
    called it _Cornelius tub_.

                                                                Act iii.

There is yet another passage which may be worth inserting, as it
throws a gleam of light on this obscure term. It is from _The law
of drinking_, 1617, 12mo, p. 55. "Like ivie they cling close about
_Cornelius' bulke_; till sleepe surprize them, oblivion divide them,
and _brave Cornelius_ guide them to his _tub_."

                           SCENE 3. Page 624.

    TIM. The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
    The moon into salt tears.

Some difficulty has arisen in the course of the notes on this passage
to account for the manner in which the sea could despoil the moon of
its moisture and change it into saline tears. It has been judiciously
remarked by one of the commentators, that we are not to attend on these
occasions merely to philosophical truth, but to consider what might
have been the received or vulgar notions of the time: yet no example of
such notions applicable to the present occasion has been produced. The
following may perhaps serve to supply this defect, and to establish at
the same time the genuineness of the text: "The moone gathereth deawe
in the aire, for she printeth the vertue of hir moysture in the aire,
and chaungeth the ayre in a manner that is unseene, and breedeth and
gendereth deawe in the utter part thereof."--Bartholomæus _De propriet.
rerum_, lib. viii, c. 29.


                           SCENE 5. Page 658.

    ALCIB. Here lies a _wretched_ corse, &c.

There is a _fourth_ epitaph on Timon, which is scarcely worth
mentioning, but as it perhaps completes the list, and might even,
as well as that in Kendal and Painter, have suggested the slight
alteration made by Shakspeare. It is in Pettie's translation of
Guazzo's _Civile conversation_, 1586, 4to, fo. 5, as follows:

    "Here doe I lie, ne am the same
      I heretofore was wont to bee;
    Thou reader never aske my name,
      A _wretched_ end God send to thee."


The fool in this play is a very obscure and insignificant character.
Dr. Johnson's conjecture that he belongs to one of Alcibiades's
mistresses is extremely probable. Many ancient prints conduce to show
that women of this description were attended by buffoons; and there is
good reason for supposing, partly from the same kind of evidence, that
in most brothels such characters were maintained to amuse the guests
by their broad jokes and seasonable antics. In _Measure for measure_
we have such a person, who is also a tapster; and in _Antony and
Cleopatra_, Act I. Scene 1, we hear of a _strumpet's fool_.

The dress, in the present instance, should be a party-coloured garment,
with a hood and asses' ears, and a cock's comb. He might also carry a



                           SCENE 1. Page 12.

    MEN. Even to the court, the heart,--to the seat o' the brain.

Mr. Malone has most ingeniously shown that the _heart_ here signifies
the _seat of the brain_, that is, of the understanding; and this is
conformable to the old philosophy. Thus our English Pliny, Bartholomew
Glanville, informs us, from Aristotle, that the substance of the
brain being cold, it is placed before the well of heat, which is, the
heart; and that small veins proceed from the heart, of which is made a
marvellous caul wherein the brain is wrapped. _De propr. rerum_, lib.
v. c. 3. On this ground, the heart has been very appositely made the
seat of reason; and accordingly in another place, Glanville tells us
that in the heart is "all business and knowing."

If the above able commentator be right in his chronology of this play,
and there appears to be no reason for doubting that he is so, the
present lines must have been imitated by a contemporary writer of great
ability and poetical talents, though undeservedly obscure. This is
W. Parkes, who calls himself a student of Barnard's inn. In his work
entitled _The curtaine-drawer of the world_, 1612, 4to, he has two
passages which bear so strong a resemblance, that a mere coincidence of
thought is entirely out of the question. This is the first, in p. 6:
"If any vice arise from the _court_, as from the _head_, it immediately
discends to the cittie, _as the heart_, from thence drawes downe to
the country, as the heele: and so like an endlesse issue or theame,
runs through the whole land." The other is in p. 13: "For whereas that
member was ordained for a light and window, and as a true interpreter
to expresse and expound the consultations, and councels, and purposes
of that hidden dumbe and secret privy-councellour that _sits within
the throne and breast_ and bosome of every living man, it many times
doth belye, and forge, and flatter, and speaks then most faire when the
deepest deceit and treachery is intended: not the foot, nor the finger,
nor the whole hand: no not the whole body, nor all the members thereof,
either severally, by themselves, or joyntly together (this one onely
excepted) that doth so stretch, and draw, and finger, and fold and
unfold this curtaine or canopy to the daily use and deceit of itselfe
and others, as it alone doth."

It is rather extraordinary that none of Shakspeare's commentators
should have noticed the skilful manner in which he has diversified and
expanded the well known apologue of _the belly and the members_, the
origin of which it may be neither unentertaining nor unprofitable to
investigate, as well as the manner in which it has been used, and by

The composition has been generally ascribed to Menenius Agrippa; but
as it occurs in a very ancient collection of Æsopian fables, there
may be as much reason for supposing it the invention of Æsop as
there is for making him the parent of many others. The first person
who has introduced Menenius as reciting this fable is Dionysius of
Halicarnassus, book 6. Then follow Livy, lib. 2; Plutarch, in the
life of Coriolanus; Florus, lib. 1. cap. 23; each of whom gives it in
his own manner. During the middle ages there appeared a collection of
Latin fables in hexameter verse, that has agitated the opinions of the
learned to little purpose in their endeavours to ascertain the real
name of the compiler or versifier. He has been called Romulus, Accius
and Salo. Nor is the time when he lived at all known. These fables
are sometimes called _anonymous_, and have been published in various
forms. An excellent edition by Nilant appeared in 1709, 12mo. Many of
them were translated into French verse in the eleventh century by a
French lady who calls herself _Marie de France_, in which form they
have been happily preserved with many others extremely curious composed
by the same ingenious person, on whose life and writings a most
valuable memoir has been communicated to the Society of Antiquaries, by
the author's truly learned and amiable friend the Abbé Gervase de la
Rue, professor of history in the university of Caen. William Herman of
Gouda, in Holland, reduced them into Latin prose about the year 1500,
omitting some, and adding others. The works of Romulus and Herman of
Gouda, have been published in a great variety of forms and languages,
and constitute the set of Æsopian fables which commences with that
of the cock and the precious stone; in all which the apologue of the
belly and the members is to be found, and sometimes with considerable
variation. What Camden has given is from John of Salisbury, who wrote
in the reign of Henry the Second, and professes to have received it
from Pope Hadrian IV. See his _Polycraticon, sive de nugis curialium_,
1. vi. c. 24. Camden has omitted the latter part; and the learned
reader will do well to consult the original, where he will find some
verses by Q. Serenus Sammonicus, a physician in the reign of Caracalla,
that allude to the fable. John of Salisbury has himself composed two
hundred Latin lines _De membris conspirantibus_, which are in the
_first edition_ of his _Polycraticon_ printed at Brussels, without
date, about 1470. These were reprinted by Andreas Rivinus at Leipsic,
1655, 8vo; and likewise at the end of the fourth volume of Fabricius's
_Bibliotheca mediæ et infinæ ætatis_, Hamburg, 1735, 8vo. They are,
most probably, the lines which are called in Sinner's catalogue of the
MSS. at Berne, "Carmen _Ovidii_ de altercatione ventris et artuum,"
vol. iii. p. 116. Nor was this fable unknown in the Eastern world.
Syntipas, a Persian fabulist, has placed it in his work, published, for
the first time, from a MS. at Moscow, by Matthæus. Lips. 1781, 8vo.
Lafontaine has related it in his own inimitable manner; and lastly, the
editor of Baskerville and Dodsley's _Æsop_ has given it in a style not
inferior perhaps to that of any of his predecessors.

                           SCENE 4. Page 35.

    MAR. All the contagion of the _south_ light on you.

See the note on Caliban's similar wish, "A _south_-west blow on you,"
p. 5.


                           SCENE 1. Page 77.

    BRU. The _napless_ vesture of humility.

"The players read the _Naples_," says Mr. Steevens; but the players are
right, and the fault was with the printer in giving the word with a
capital letter. The termination _less_ in old books is very frequently
spelled with a single _s_; so that Mr. Rowe's change scarcely deserves
the name of _a correction_.


                           SCENE 1. Page 159.

    COR. I shall be lov'd when I am lack'd.

Thus Cæsar in _Antony and Cleopatra_, Act I. Scene 4, "And the ebb'd
man comes dear'd by being lack'd." We have still preserved this
proverbial saying in another form. Mother Cole says, "When people are
miss'd, then they are mourn'd." It is, in fact, Horace's "extinctus
amabitur idem."



                           SCENE 2. Page 254.

    CAS. Now is it Rome indeed, and _room_ enough.

This jingle of words is deserving of notice on no other account than as
it shows the pronunciation of _Rome_ in Shakspeare's time.

                           SCENE 3. Page 266.

    CAS. Why old men fools, and children calculate.

In this manner has the former punctuation of the line, which had
a comma after _men_, been disturbed at the suggestion of Sir
W. Blackstone, and thereby rendered extremely uncouth if not
unintelligible. He observes that there is no prodigy in old men's
calculating from their past experience; but the poet means old dotards
in a second state of childhood. With the supposed power of divination
in _fools_, few are unacquainted. He that happens to be so may consult
the popular history of Nixon, the Cheshire prophet.


                           SCENE 2. Page 299.

    CAL. When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
    The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.

This might have been suggested by what Suetonius has related of the
blazing star which appeared for seven days together, during the
celebration of games instituted by Augustus in honour of Julius. The
common people believed that this comet indicated his reception among
the gods; and not only his statues were accordingly ornamented with
its figure, but medals were struck on which it was represented. One of
these, struck by Augustus, is here exhibited.


Pliny relates that a comet appeared before the death of Claudius, lib.
ii. c. 25; and Geffrey of Monmouth speaks of one that preceded the
death of Aurelius Ambrosius; but the comets would have appeared though
the men had not died, and the men would not have lived longer had the
comets never been seen.

                           SCENE 2. Page 300.

    SER. Plucking the entrails of an offering forth
    They could not find a heart within the beast.

    CÆS. The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
    Cæsar should be a beast without a heart,
    If he should stay at home to day, for fear.

Dr. Johnson remarks on this occasion, that "the ancients did not place
courage in the heart." He had forgotten his classics strangely.

    "Nunc animis opus, Ænea, nunc _pectore firmo_."

                                                        _Æn._ vi. 261.

    "... Juvenes, _fortissima_ frustra

                                                        _Æn._ ii. 263.

    "... Teucrûm minantur _inertia corda_."

                                                         _Æn._ ix. 55.

    "... excute, dicens,
    _Corde_ metum----"

                                         Ovid. _Metam._ lib. iii. 689.

    "_Corda pavent_ comitum, mihi mens interrita mansit."

                                          Ovid. _Metam._ lib. xv. 514.

    "_Cor pavet_ admonitu temeratæ sanguine noctis."

                                               Ovid. _Epist._ xiv. 16.

    "Nescio quæ _pavidum_ frigora _pectus_ habent."

                                              Ovid. _Epist._ xix. 192.


                           SCENE 1. Page 329.

    ANT. ... for mine eyes,
    Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
    Began to water.

We have a similar expression in _The tempest_, Act V. Scene 1, where
Prospero says,

    "Holy Gonzalo, honourable man,
    Mine eyes even sociable to the shew of thine,
    Fall fellowly drops."



                           SCENE 1. Page 410.

    ANT. Let Rome in Tiber melt! and the _wide arch_
    Of the _rang'd_ empire fall! Here is my space.

As _range_ signifies _compass_, _extent_, so the verb seems to be
used, rather licentiously, in the present instance, in the sense of
_spread_, _extended_. It may be doubted, at least, whether there be any
allusion to a triumphal arch, as Dr. Warburton supposed, or even of a
fabric standing on pillars, according to Dr. Johnson. The _wide arch_
may refer to the vast concave of the Roman world, its wide domains
covered by _the arch of heaven_, which has been beautifully styled by
some oriental writer "the star-built arch of heaven." See _The tales of
Inatulla_ by Dow, vol. i. p. 78.

                           SCENE 3. Page 440.

    CLEO. O my oblivion is a very Antony
    And I am _all_ forgotten.

She compares her memory to Antony, and says she is treacherously
abandoned and neglected by _both_. Mr. Steevens's explanation of the
first line is satisfactory; but one cannot well agree with him or
Mason, that "I am all forgotten" can possibly mean, "I forget myself,
or every thing."


                           SCENE 4. Page 490.

    ANT. ... and his quails
    Ever beat mine, _inhoop'd_ at odds.

It may be doubted whether quail-fighting was practised in Shakspeare's
time, though Dr. Farmer appears to have thought so; but when our poet
speaks of their being _inhoop'd_, he might suppose that Cæsar's or
Antony's quails, which he found in Plutarch, were trained to battle
like game cocks in a _ring_ or _circle_. Hanmer plausibly reads
_incoop'd_, but no change is necessary.

Quail combats were well known among the ancients, and especially at
Athens. Julius Pollux relates that a circle was made in which the
birds were placed, and he whose quail was driven out of this circle
lost the stake, which was sometimes money, and occasionally the quails
themselves. Another practice was to produce one of these birds, which
being first smitten or filliped with the middle finger, a feather was
then plucked from its head: if the quail bore this operation without
flinching, his master gained the stake, but lost it if he ran away. The
Chinese have been always extremely fond of quail-fighting, as appears
from most of the accounts of that people, and particularly in Mr.
Bell's excellent relation of his travels to China, where the reader
will find much curious matter on the subject. See vol. i. p. 424,
edit.. in 8vo. We are told by Mr. Marsden that the Sumatrans likewise
use these birds in the manner of game cocks. The annexed copy from an
elegant Chinese miniature painting represents some ladies engaged at
this amusement, where the quails are actually _inhoop'd_.

                           SCENE 5. Page 493.

    CHAR. ... 'Twas merry, when
    You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
    Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
    With fervency drew up.

This incident, which, as Mr. Steevens has already remarked, was
borrowed from Plutarch, probably suggested a story related by Nashe,
"of a scholler in Cambridge, that standing angling on the towne bridge
there, as the country people on the market day passed by, secretly
bayted his hooke wyth a red herring wyth a bell about the necke, and
so conveying it into the water that no man perceived it, all on the
sodayn, when he had a competent throng gathered about hym, up he twicht
it agayne, and layd it openly before them, whereat the gaping rurall
fooles, driven into no lesse admiration than the common people about
London some few yeares since were at the bubbling of Moore-ditch, sware
by their christendomes that as many dayes and yeeres as they had lived,
they never saw such a myracle of a red herring taken in the fresh water
before."--_Lenten stuffe, or praise of the red herring_, 1599, 4to,
p. 60. But Cleopatra's trick was of a different nature. Antony had
fished unsuccessfully in her presence, and she had laughed at him. The
next time therefore he directed the boatman to dive under the water
and attach a fish to his hook. The queen perceived the stratagem, but
affecting not to notice it, congratulated him on his success. Another
time, however, she determined to laugh at him once more, and gave
orders to her own people to get the start of his divers, and put some
dried _salt-fish_ on his hook.

                           SCENE 5. Page 499.

    CLEO. Some innocents 'scape not the thunder bolt.

This alludes to a superstitious notion among the ancients, that
they who were stricken with lightning were honoured by Jupiter, and
therefore to be accounted holy. Their bodies were supposed not to
putrify; and after having been shown for a certain time to the people,
were not burned in the usual manner, but buried on the spot where the
lightning fell, and a monument erected over them. Some, however, held a
contrary opinion. See the various notes on the line in Persius,

    "Triste jaces lucis, evitandumque bidental," _Sat._ ii.

The ground also that had been smitten by a thunderbolt was accounted
sacred, and afterwards inclosed: nor did any one presume to walk on it.
This we learn from Festus, "fulguritum, id quod est fulmine ictum; qui
locus statim fieri putabatur religiosus, quod eum Deus sibi dicasse
videretur." These places were therefore consecrated to the gods, and
could not in future become the property of any one.

                           SCENE 7. Page 512.

    2. SER. I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service, as a
    _partizan_ I could not heave.

Dr. Johnson says the partizan is a pike, and so say many of our
dictionaries; but it was in reality a weapon between a pike and a
halbert. Not being so long as the former, it was made use of in
trenches, in mounting a breach, and in attacking or defending a
lodgment; on all which occasions the pike would have been unmanageable.
Its upper extremity resembled that of a halbert, but was longer and
broader. In more modern times it wanted the cutting axe which belongs
to the halbert, though in that used by the old Switzers and Germans
it seems to have had it. The etymology of the word has been much
controverted, but appears to lie between the Latin _pertica_ and the
German _bart_, an axe, whence _bardike_, a little axe. Shakspeare
himself has distinguished it from the pike, "Let us make him with our
_pikes and partizans_ a grave."--_Cymbeline_, Act IV. Scene 2.

                           SCENE 7. Page 518.

    ENO. Drink thou; increase the _reels_.

Here is some corruption, and unless it was originally _revels_, the
sense is irretrievable. In all events Mr. Steevens has erred in saying
that "_reel_ was not, in our author's time, employed to signify a
dance." The following passage in a book with which the learned editor
was well acquainted, and which had escaped his excellent memory, proves
the contrary:--"Agnis Tompson was after brought againe before the
king's majestie and confessed that upon the night of Allhollon even
last, she was accompanied with a great many witches to the number of
two hundreth; and that all they together went by sea each one in a
riddle or cive, and went in the same very substantially with flaggons
of wine making merrie and drinking by the waye in the same riddles or
cives, to the kerke of North Barrick in Lowthian, and that after they
had landed, tooke hands on the land, and daunced this _reill or short
daunce_, singing all with one voice,

    'Commer goe ye before, commer goe ye,
    Gif ye will not goe before, commer let me.'

At which time she confessed, that Geilles Duncane did goe before
them playing this _reill or daunce_ upon a small trump, call a Jewes
trump, untill they entered into the kerk of North Barrick."--_Newes
from Scotland declaring the damnable life and death of doctor Fian, a
notable sorcerer, who was burned at Edenbrough in January last_, 1591,
sign. B iij.


                           SCENE 6. Page 543.

    CÆS. ... The wife of Antony
    Should have an army for an _usher_.

An _usher_ is a person who introduces others ceremoniously, though
originally a door-keeper, from the French _huissier_, and that from
_huis_, _ostium_. This is no otherwise worth the mention, than to
mark the corrupt orthography of the word, which ought to be written
_husher_. Thus Spencer,

    "A gentle _husher_, vanitie by name,
    Made roome, and passage for them did prepare."

                                  _Fairy queen_, B. i. Canto 4, st. 13.

Cavendish, the servant of Cardinal Wolsey, speaking of his master's
arrest by the Earl of Northumberland, says, "he toke the Earle by the
hande, and led him in to his bedchamber. And they being there all
alone, save onely I _who kept the dore according to my dutye, being
gentleman ussher_, &c."--_Life of Wolsey_, MS.

                           SCENE 6. Page 544.

    CÆS. ... and have prevented
    The ostent of our love.

Mr. Steevens, in claiming the merit of this necessary change from
_ostentation_, had forgotten that it had been already made by Sir
Thomas Hanmer.

                           SCENE 6. Page 544.

    CÆS. ... Which soon he granted,
    Being an _obstruct_ 'tween his lust and him.

The change was made by Dr. Warburton from _abstract_, which he declares
to be absurd; but, as an eminent critic has remarked, it has been made
very unnecessarily. The canon somewhere laid down, viz. that where the
old text is capable of a meaning, no alteration should be hazarded,
ought to have been observed in this instance. The sense is obviously,
"Octavia drew away or _abstracted_ Cleopatra from Antony," and she
might therefore be very properly called, in Shakspeare's bold language,
an _abstract_.

Another reason for retaining the old reading is, that, generally
speaking, Dr. Warburton's _emendations_ are inadmissible.

                          SCENE 11. Page 587.

    ANT. If from the field I shall return once more
    To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood--
    I will be treble-sinew'd, hearted, breath'd,
    And fight maliciously: for when mine hours
    Were _nice_ and lucky, men did ransom lives
    Of me for jests----

The word _nice_, sometimes used by Shakspeare in a sense bordering on
that of _amorous_ or _wanton_, seems in the present instance to have
precisely that meaning. Antony says that his former _luxurious_ hours
with Cleopatra were fortunate to those who asked his favours, but that
now he will appear in blood. The historian Stowe, in recording an
accident that happened to one Mary Breame in the year 1583, says that
she "had beene _accused_ by her husband to bee a _nice woman of her
body_." We have also an old play entitled _The nice wanton_.

                          SCENE 11. Page 589.

    ENO. ... and in that mood,
    The dove will peck the _estridge_.

i. e. the _falcon_. See note p. 268, &c.


                           SCENE 9. Page 611.

    1. SOLD. ... so bad a prayer
    Was never yet for _sleeping_.

    2. SOLD.                               Go we to him.

In the old copy _sleep_. The alteration is by Mr. Steevens, and, as he
says, for the sake of _measure_; but that was already complete. The
_harmony_ is certainly improved, as the accent is to be laid on _to_ in
the ensuing line.

                          SCENE 12. Page 624.

    ANT. My good _knave_, Eros, now thy captain is
    Even such a body: here I am Antony;
    Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my _knave_.
    I made these wars for Egypt; and the _queen_,--
    Whose _heart_, I thought, I had, for she had mine;
    ... she, Eros, has
    _Pack'd cards_ with Cæsar, and _false play'd_ my glory
    Unto an enemy's _triumph_.

One should really suppose that Shakspeare had written this speech just
after having lost a game at cards, and before the manner in which it
had been played was out of his mind. Dr. Warburton's explanation is too
superficial to merit the commendation which Dr. Johnson has bestowed
on it. That of Mr. Malone is much more judicious and satisfactory; but
it has not been perceived that a marked and particular allusion is
intended. This is to the old card game of _trump_, which bore a very
strong resemblance to our modern whist. It was played by two against
two, and sometimes by three against three. It is thus mentioned in
_Gammer Gurton's needle_, Act II. Scene 2: "We be fast set at _trump_
man, hard by the fire;" and like wise in Dekkar's _Belman of London_,
among other card games. In Eliot's _Fruits for the French_, 1593, p.
53, it is called "a verie common alehouse game in England;" and Rice,
in his _Invective against vices_, 12mo, b. l. n. d. but printed before
1600, speaking of sharpers' tricks at cards, mentions "renouncyng the
_trompe_ and comming in againe." The Italians call it _triomphetto_;
see Florio's dictionary. In Capitolo's poem on Primero, another card
game, 1526, 8vo, it is called _trionfi_, and consigned to the peasants.
Minsheu, in his _Spanish dialogues_, p. 25, makes it a game for old
men. We, in all probability, received it from the French _triomphe_,
which occurs in Rabelais as one of Gargantua's games. The term
indicates a winning or _triumphant_ card; and therefore there can be no
pretence for deriving it from _tromper_, whatever Ben Jonson might have
thought to the contrary, who, in reality, seems only to indulge in a
pun upon the word.

                          SCENE 12. Page 627.

    ANT. I will o'ertake thee, Cleopatra, and
    Weep for my pardon. So it must be, for now
    All _length_ is torture.

Mr. Steevens suspects that the author wrote _life_; surely without
reason. Length is _extension_ or _protraction of life_.


He is a mere country fellow; but Shakspeare, in compliance with the
usual expectations of the audience, has bestowed on him a due portion
of wit and satire.



                           SCENE 2. Page 18.

    IMO. ... he is
    A man worth any woman; overbuys me
    Almost the sum he pays.

This has already been so ingeniously interpreted, that there is
considerable hazard in the offer of any other conjecture on the
subject; yet, may not Imogen mean, "the possession of me is much too
dearly bought by the _banishment_ to which you sentence him; he has
almost nothing for so large a price."

                           SCENE 5. Page 27.

    Enter PHILARIO, IACHIMO, &c.

Mr. Malone having shown that this name is borrowed from the Italian
_Giacomo_, it should be printed _Jachimo_, in order to prevent any
mistake in the pronunciation.


                           SCENE 2. Page 65.

    IMO. From fairies and the tempters of the night,
    Guard me, beseech ye!

See p. 128.

                           SCENE 3. Page 72.

    Hark, hark, the lark at heaven's gate sings.

The frequent mention of the lark, especially among our older poets, has
been already exemplified in a variety of corresponding passages with
the above, which either Shakspeare might have imitated, or which are
imitations from him. To these the following may be added:--

    "On morowe tho the dai sprong
    And the larke bigan her song."

                                           Romance of _Sir Oluel_. MS.

    "Even at the twelyght in the dawnynge
    Whan the larke of custome gynneth synge
    For to salue in her heavenly laye
    The lusty goddesse of the morowe graye."

                                      Lydgate's _Sege of Troye_, B. i.

    "Whan the larke messager of day
    Of custome aye Aurora doth salue,
    With sondry notes hir sorowe to transmue,
    Or Phebus ryse to joye and gladnesse."

                                    Lydgate's _Sege of Troye_, B. iii.

    "Upsprang the golden candle matutyne,
    With cleir depurit bemys chrystallyne,
    Glading the mirry fowlis in thair nest:
    Or Phebus was in purpour kaip revest
    Upsprang the lark, the hevene's mynstral syne
    In may intill a morrow mirth fullest."

                                              Dunbar's _Golden terge_.

    "With merry note her loud salutes the mounting lark."

                      Spenser's _Fairy queen_, B. I. Canto xi. st. 51.

    "Early, cheerful, mounting lark,
    Light's gentle usher, morning's clerk,
        In merry notes delighting;
    Stint awhile thy song, and hark,
        And learn my new inditing.

    "Bear up this hymn, to heav'n it bear
    E'en up to heav'n, and sing it there," &c.

                                     Davies's _Acrostick hymns_, 1599.

    "... and then my state,
    (Like to the lark, at break of day arising
    From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate."

                                           Shakspeare's 29th _Sonnet_.

    "The larke that left her food, her nest, her yong,
    And early mounting, first with her sweet song
    Saluted heaven."

                             Niccolls's _London Artillery_, 1616, 4to.

    "And the lark from out the furrow,
    Soars upright on matin wings,
    And at the gate of heaven sings."

                        _Penshurst._ In Dodsley's collection, vol. iv.

                           SCENE 4. Page 88.

    IACH.                    The roof o' the chamber
    With _golden cherubims_ is fretted; her andirons
    (I had forgot them) were two winking Cupids
    Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely
    Depending on their brands.

Mr. Steevens calls the _golden cherubims_ a tawdry image, and proceeds,
justly enough, to ridicule an idle representation of the heavenly
choirs; but the poet must be cleared from any imputation of blame. He
is not accountable for the fashions or follies of his age, and has, in
this instance, given a faithful description of the mode in which the
rooms in great houses were sometimes ornamented. That _brands_ were
those parts of the andirons which supported the wood, according to Mr.
Whalley, remains to be proved. The Cupids would not lean or hang over
these bars, but rather stand with their faces turned from them, and
opposite to the spectator. The brands are more likely to have been the
inverted torches mentioned by Mr. Steevens.

                           SCENE 5. Page 94.

    POST. Me of my lawful pleasure she restrain'd,
    And pray'd me, oft, forbearance: did it
    With a pudency so rosy, &c.

A useless note on this speech, which would make our poet equally vulgar
and obscene, when he was expressing a sentiment of the most refined
delicacy, may be well dispensed with in any future edition.


                           SCENE 1. Page 99.

    CYM. Our ancestor was that Mulmutius, which
    Ordain'd our laws ...
    ... Mulmutius,
    Who was the first of Britain, &c.

The judicious and necessary omission of the words "made our laws,"
after the second Mulmutius, originally belongs to Sir Thomas Hanmer,
who would have deserved more thanks from his readers for his
regulations of Shakspeare's metre, if they had not been too frequently
made without a proper regard to the accuracy of the text.

                           SCENE 1. Page 100.

    CYM. Thy Cæsar _knighted_ me.

Although our old writers frequently make mention of _Roman knights_,
that is, military chieftains, it is very much to be apprehended that
the present expression must be regarded as a downright anachronism, as
well as another similar passage, in p. 213, where Cymbeline addresses
Belarius and his sons: "Bow your knees; arise my _knights_ of the
battle, &c." The word _knight_ was formerly used with great latitude.
Dr. Bullein calls Dioscorides "that olde famous Egyptian _knyghte_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 105.

    IMO. (Some griefs are med'cinable;) that is one of them,
    For it doth physick love;----

The _whole_ of this should be included in the parenthesis, as in Mr.
Malone's edition. No reason has been assigned by Mr. Steevens for the
variation, which may be an error of the press.

                           SCENE 3. Page 117.

    BEL. ... _Euriphile_,
    Thou wast their nurse----

The above name might have been borrowed from the story of Amphiaraus
and _Eriphile_, in Pettie's _Petite palace_, 1598, 4to.

                           SCENE 4. Page 120.

    PIS. ... whose tongue
    Outvenoms all the worms of Nile.

So in the anonymous play of _Wily beguilde_,

    "Whose tongue more venom than the serpent's sting."

It is difficult to say which is the imitation.


                           SCENE 2. Page 154.

    GUI. But his neat _cookery_.

This speech has exercised the talents of a certain ingenious female
_illustrator_ of Shakspeare, who has endeavoured to ridicule the
character of Imogen, and indeed the whole of the play. She degrades
our heroine into a mere kitchen wench, and adverts to what she calls
her _œconomical education_. Now what is this but to expose her own
ignorance of ancient manners? If she had missed the advantage of
qualifying herself as a commentator on Shakspeare's plots by a perusal
of our old romances, she ought at least to have remembered, what
every well informed woman of the present age is acquainted with, the
education of the princesses in Homer's _Odyssey_. It is idle to attempt
to judge of ancient simplicity by a mere knowledge of modern manners;
and such fastidious critics had better close the book of Shakspeare for
ever. In another part of her critique on this play, she condemns the
giving of the drug to Imogen which Pisanio had received from the queen,
from an idea that he was sufficiently warned of its soporific quality;
and she positively states that the physician had, by a whisper,
informed Pisanio of its property; not one word of which is to be found
in Shakspeare. So much for the criticism and accuracy of a work to
which Dr. Johnson condescended to write a dedication. He has likewise
too often confided in its opinions in the course of several of his
remarks on Shakspeare's plays.

                           SCENE 2. Page 156.

    CLO. Know'st me not by my clothes?

    GUI.            _No_, nor thy tailor, rascal.

Mr. Steevens's correct ear has on this, perhaps single, occasion been
deceived. He objects to the negation _no_, as "at once superfluous
and injurious to the metre;" yet it is impossible to read the line
harmoniously without it. Nor does it constitute the superfluity of
the metre, which has, exclusively, two redundant syllables. If any
alteration were allowable, it might be the following:--

    "Know'st not my clothes? No, nor thy tailor, rascal."

                           SCENE 2. Page 164.

    BEL.              O thou goddess,
    Thou divine nature, _how_ thyself thou blazon'st----

This judicious emendation from _thou_ thyself, &c., claimed by one
learned gentleman and adopted by another, is the original property of
Sir Thomas Hanmer.

                           SCENE 2. Page 168.

    GUI. With _female_ fairies will his tomb be haunted.

i. e. harmless and protecting spirits, not fairies of a mischievous

                           SCENE 2. Page 169.

    GUI. And worms will not come to _thee_.

Mr. Steevens imputes _great violence_ to this change of person, and
would read "come to _him_;" but there is no impropriety in Guiderius's
sudden address to the _body itself_. It might indeed be ascribed to our
author's careless manner, of which an instance like the present occurs
at the beginning of the next act, where Posthumus says,

    "... _you_ married ones,
    If each of _you_ would take this course, how many
    Must murder wives much better than _themselves_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 169.

    ARV. ... the ruddock would,
    With charitable bill,--bring thee all this;
    Yea and furr'd moss besides, when flowers are none
    To _winter-ground_ thy corse.

The question made by Dr. Percy, whether the notion of the redbreast
covering dead bodies be older than the celebrated ballad of the babes
of the wood, has been satisfactorily answered in the affirmative by
Mr. Reed's note. In Dekker's _Villanies discovered by lanthorn and
candle light_, 1616, 4to, it is said, "They that cheere up a prisoner
but with their sight, are Robin red breasts that bring strawes in their
bils to cover a dead man in extremitie." See chap. xv.

With respect to _winter-ground_; until some other example of the use
of this word be produced, there will be no impropriety in offering a
substitute in _winter-green_, that is, "to preserve thy tomb green with
moss in the winter season, when there will be no flowers wherewith to
deck it." Such a verb might have been suggested to Shakspeare, who
often coins in this way, by the plant _winter-green_, the _pyrola_.

_Ruddock_ was the Saxon name ꞃuꝺꝺuc, for the redbreast, and long
continued to be so. In Bullokar's _Æsop_, 1585, 12mo, there is a fable
"Of a fowlor and the bird cale'd Robin-red-brest," which concludes
in these words: "Then the fowlor, hop of-taking many being lost,
when it waz now tym too-rest, drawing the netz, he cauht only on
_Robin-ruddok_, which being unhappy [unlucky] had abydd stil in the

                           SCENE 2. Page 175.

    IMO. 'Od's pittikins!

Mr. Steevens's derivation from God's _my_ pity, is not quite correct.
It is rather from _God's pity_, diminutively used by the addition of
_kin_. In this manner we have _'od's bodikins_.


For the plot of Cymbeline, Shakspeare has been almost exclusively
indebted to Boccaccio's novel of Bernabo Lomellin, Day 2, novel 9,
as Mr. Malone has proved beyond the possibility of doubt. Unless we
suppose, what is not probable, that Shakspeare was acquainted with the
Italian language, or that he had heard the above novel read by some
person in English, a difficulty arises in accounting for the manner
in which he got access to it. The earliest English translation of the
_whole of the Decameron_ was first printed in 1620, by Isaac Jaggard,
in folio, and in two parts, the first of which was republished under
the title of _The modell of wit, mirth, eloquence, and conversation,
framed in ten days of an hundred curious pieces, by seven honourable
ladies, and three noble gentlemen, preserved to posterity by the
renowned John Boccacio, the first refiner of Italian prose, and now
translated into English_, 1625, in folio. See more on this subject in
a preceding note, p. 102. Had Shakspeare been intimately acquainted
with Boccaccio's _Decameron_, one should have expected that he would
have made considerable use of that work; but this is the only play in
which the most material part of the plot has been extracted from it.
There are indeed one or two instances in which a very slight use has
been made of it, but then evidently through the medium of an English
translation. Is it not possible that our author might have known French
enough to have occasionally read the Decameron in that language?



                           SCENE 1. Page 276.

    AAR. And faster bound to Aaron's _charming_ eyes.

He is not here commending the _beauty_ of his eyes, but adverting to
their power of _fascination_. This was anciently supposed a peculiar
quality of the eye, and many remedies or amulets were used to charm
away its power.

                           SCENE 3. Page 287.

    TAM. While hounds, and horns, and sweet melodious birds,
    Be unto us, as is a nurse's song
    Of _lullaby_, to bring her babe asleep.

We have here a curious lullaby note, which, as well as the present, may
possibly have a drowsy effect on all readers but staunch antiquaries
and etymologists. For the benefit therefore of the latter it may be
observed, that Dr. Johnson is probably mistaken in supposing that the
nurse's word _by_ signifies sleep, otherwise than as a contraction of
_lullaby_. It is to be wished that Mr. Holt White had favoured us with
some proof that to _lull_ originally signified to _sleep_, and that
its present sense, _to compose to sleep by a pleasing sound_, is but a
secondary one, retained after the primitive import had become obsolete.
The same ingenious critic proceeds to state that _by_ means _house_,
and therefore _lullaby_ is to _go to house or cradle_. There is so much
plausibility in this conjecture that it is almost a pity to be obliged
to dissent from it. Though it cannot be disputed that _by_ signifies
a _dwelling_, it is presumed that this sense is as unconnected with
the word in question as Dr. Johnson's _sleep_. It would be a hopeless
task to trace the origin of the northern verb _to lull_, which means
_to sing gently_; but it is evidently connected with the Greek λαλεω,
loquor, or λαλλη, the sound made by the beach at sea. Thus much is
certain, that the Roman nurses used the word _lalla_ to quiet their
children, and that they feigned a deity called _Lallus_, whom they
invoked on that occasion; the lullaby or tune itself was called by the
same name. As _lallare_ meant to _sing lalla_, to _lull_ might in like
manner denote the singing of the nurse's lullaby to induce the child to
sleep. Thus in an ancient carol composed in the fifteenth century, and
preserved among the Sloane MSS. No. 2593:

    "che song a slepe wᵗ. her _lullynge_
    here dere sone our savyoure."

In another old ballad printed by Mr. Ritson in his _Ancient songs_, p.
198, the burden is "lully, lully, lullaby, lullyby, sweete baby, &c.;"
from which it seems probable that _lullaby_ is only a comparatively
modern contraction of _lully baby_, the first word being the legitimate
offspring of the Roman _lalla_. In another of these pieces still more
ancient, and printed in the same collection, we have, "lullay, lullow,
lully, _bewy_, lulla baw baw." The welsh appear to have been famous
for their lullaby songs. Jones, in his _Arte and science of preserving
bodie and soule_, 1579, 4to, says, "The best nurses, but especially
the trim and skilfull Welch women, doe use to sing some preaty sonets,
wherwith their copious tong is plentifully stoared of divers pretie
tunes and pleasaunt ditties, that the children disquieted might be
brought to reste: but translated never so well, they want their grace
in Englishe, for lacke of proper words: so that I will omit them, as
I wishe they would theyr lascivious _Dymes_, wanton _Lullies_, and
amorous _Englins_."

Mr. White, in reviewing his opinion of the etymology of _good-by_, will
perhaps incline to think it a contraction, when properly written _good
b'ye_, of _God be with you_, and not "may your _house_ prosper!"

To add to the stock of our old lullaby songs, two are here subjoined.
The first is from a pageant of _The slaughter of the innocents_, acted
at Coventry in the reign of Henry the Eighth, by the taylors and
shearers of that city, and most obligingly communicated by Mr. Sharpe.
The other is from the curious volume of songs mentioned before in p.
262. Both exhibit the simplicity of ancient manners.

    "Lully, lulla, thou littell tine childe,
      By by lully lullay,
    Lully lullay thou littell tyne child,
      By by lully lullay.

    O sisters too, how may we do,
      For to preserve this day
    This pore yongling, for whom we do singe
      By by lully lullay.

    Herod the king, in his raging,
      Chargid he hath this day;
    His men of might, in his owne sight,
      All yonge children to slay.

    That wo is me, pore child for thee,
      And ever morne and say;
    For thi parting, nether say nor sing,
      By by lully lullay."

           *       *       *       *       *

    "By by lullaby
    Rockyd I my chyld
    In a drē late as I lay
    Me thought I hard a maydyn say
    And spak thes wordys mylde,
    My lytil sone with the I play
    And ever she song by lullay.
    Thus rockyd she hyr chyld
    By by lullabi,
    Rockid I my child by by.
    Then merveld I ryght sore of thys
    A mayde to have a chyld I wys,
    By by lullay.
    Thus rockyd she her chyld
    By by lullaby, rockyd I my chyld."


                           SCENE 3. Page 290.

    TAM. O'ercome with moss and _baleful_ misletoe.

This epithet is extremely appropriate either conformably to an
ancient, but erroneous, opinion, that the berries of the misletoe were
poisonous; or on account of the use made of this plant by the Druids
during their detestable human sacrifices.


                           SCENE 1. Page 305.

    TIT. Speak my Lavinia, what accursed hand
    Hath made thee handless in thy father's _sight_?

Dr. Warburton says, "we should read _spight_;" but there is no reason
for a change for the worse. Titus had made no attempt to _prevent_
the mutilation of his unhappy daughter, nor had it taken place in
_despite_, i. e. contempt or hatred of him.


                           SCENE 3. Page 338.

    TIT. And sith there is no justice in earth nor hell,
    We will solicit heaven, and move the Gods.

Notwithstanding the difference in arrangement, it will hardly be
questioned that the author is here indebted to Virgil's

    "Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo."

This may be added to the list of classical allusions at the end of the


                           SCENE 1. Page 351.

    AAR. An idiot holds his _bauble_ for a God,
    And keeps the oath which by that God he swears.

Even though the bauble here mentioned had been actually of that kind
which is alluded to in the course of a note in _All's well that ends
well_, Act IV., his imagination would be deemed not a little fanciful,
who would connect it with the object of the singular oath in _Genesis_
xxiv. 9. There cannot however be a doubt that Aaron refers to that sort
of bauble or sceptre which was usually carried in the hand by natural
idiots and allowed jesters, and by which, it may be supposed, they
would sometimes swear. The resemblance which it bore to an image or
idol suggested the poet's comparison.

                           SCENE 2. Page 363.

    TIT. So, now bring them in, for I will play the cook.

This redundant line ought to be thus arranged and printed:

    Now bring them in, for I will play the cook.

                           SCENE 3. Page 364.

    MAR. Rome's emperor, and nephew, _break_ the parle.

Dr. Johnson makes the sense "_begin_ the parley." Is it not rather
"_break off_ this sort of discourse!"? for Lucius and Saturninus
had already _begun_ the parley by sparring language: to prevent the
continuance of it Marcus interferes, by declaring that their quarrels
must be adjusted by gentle _words_.

Throughout this play the name _Andrŏnĭcus_ is improperly accented. It
should have been _Andronīcus_.


He is nothing more than a shrewd rustic, performing the office of a


                               Page 388.


"This," says Mr. Steevens, "is an imaginary _city_, and its name might
have been borrowed from some romance. We meet, indeed, in history with
_Pentapolitana regio_, a country in Africa, and from thence perhaps
some novelist furnished the sounding title of _Pentapolis_," &c. But
there was no absolute reason for supposing it a _city_ in this play,
as Gower in the _Confessio amantis_ had done, a circumstance which
had probably misled Mr. Steevens. In the original Latin romance of
Apollonius Tyrius, it is most accurately called _Pentapolis Cyrenorum_,
and was, as both Strabo and Ptolemy inform us, a _district_ of
Cyrenaica in Africa, comprising _five cities_, of which Cyrene was one.


    GOWER. To sing a song _of old_ was sung.

The editor, having very properly adopted Mr. Malone's amendment in the
text, has forgotten to mention that the former reading was _that old_,
and the note is consequently rendered obscure.

                           SCENE 1. Page 397.

    PER. See where she comes, apparell'd like the spring,
    Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
    Of every virtue----

A transposition of _spring_ and _king_ has been suggested, but on no
solid foundation; nor, it is presumed, is the passage _incurably
depraved_, or even any change necessary. Mr. Steevens asks, "With what
propriety can a lady's thoughts be styled the king of every virtue?"
For this the poet must answer, who evidently designed an antithesis in
_king_ and _subjects_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 402.

    ANT. Read the _conclusion_ then;
    Which read and not expounded, 'tis decreed,
    As these before thee, thou thyself shalt bleed.

_Conclusion_, which formerly signified a trial or _experiment_, is here
put for _riddle_, itself a trial of skill. The practice of proposing
such riddles, with the penalty for not expounding them, is borrowed
from ancient romances. In that of _Tristan de Leonnois_, there is a
giant who detains all passengers that he meets, and puts them to the
test of unfolding a riddle. If they fail, he kills them. A hero at
length presents himself, who, after explaining the riddle, proposes one
in his turn; the giant not being able to expound it, is himself put to
death. The construction of these riddles is the same as that in the
play, as will appear from the following specimen:--

    "Je d'un arbre jouy jadis
    Que j'aimois mieux que paradis;
    C'est arbre bel fruict m'apporta
    Que sa grand' beauté m'entorta
    Tellement que la fleur en pris:
    Et puis du fruist tant je mespris
    Qu'a le manger fu irrité.
    Dy moy du cas la verité,
    La me disant la vie auras;
    Si non sois seur que tu mourras."

                           SCENE 1. Page 402.

    DAUGH. _In all save that_, may'st thou prove prosperous!

This reading has been adopted in preference to that of the old copy,
which was, _of all said yet_; and in support of it Mr. Mason has
offered the following argument.

_She cannot wish him more prosperous in expounding the riddle than
those who had preceded him; because his success would cause the
publication of her own shame. Feeling a regard for the prince,
she deprecates his fate, and wishes he may not succeed in solving
the riddle; but that his failure may be attended with prosperous
consequences._ Now she must have very well known that the failure
in question could be attended with no other consequences than the
forfeiture of his life, a condition that had been just before expressly
declared. Nor was such a wish on the part of the lady likely to operate
as an inducement to the prince to try his chance. The words "save that"
appear to have no regular antecedent. Would it not therefore be more
charitable towards the lady to suppose that her mind revolted at the
guilty situation she was placed in; and that a sudden affection for the
prince, and a desire to be honourably united to such a man, might take
possession of her mind, and induce her to wish, according to a sense
which may be extracted from the old reading, that, _as to all which had
been uttered_, he might prove successful? It should be remembered too,
that this idea corresponds entirely with the character of the princess
in Gower. Should this interpretation be thought just, the present
speech must be supposed to be _privately_ addressed to the prince.

                           SCENE 1. Page 410.

    PER. ... for wisdom sees, those men
    Blush not in actions blacker than the night,
    Will _shun_ no course to keep them from the light.

The old reading was _show_ no course, which is equivalent with _take no
means_; and the construction is, "they who blush not for bad actions
will take no means to conceal them."

                           SCENE 2. Page 413.

    PER. Let none disturb us: why this _charge_ of thoughts?

Both the old editions have _change_, which, as Mr. Mason has shown,
may very well stand; and even the redundant word _should_, in the old
copies, might be retained without diminishing the harmony of the line.
The sense would then be, "Let none disturb us: why should this change
of sentiment [disturb us]?"

                           SCENE 4. Page 426.

    CLE. If _heaven_ slumber while _their_ creatures want,
    They may awake _their_ helps to comfort them.

As these lines stand they are ungrammatical. The original reading was,
no doubt, _if the Gods slumber_, which was altered by the licencer
of the press. This should either be restored, or the whole rendered


                               Page 438.

    GOW. ... what shall be next,
    Pardon old Gower; this _longs_ the text.

Which Mr. Steevens thus explains: "Excuse old Gower from telling you
what follows. The very text to it has proved of too considerable a
length already." But has he not missed the meaning of this elliptical
mode of expression, which seems to be, "Excuse old Gower from relating
what follows; this _belongs_ to the text, i. e. the play itself, not to
me the commentator?" In the third Act he uses a similar speech,

    "I will relate; action may
    Conveniently the rest convey."

_Longs_ should be printed _'longs_, as we have _'lated_ for _belated_
in _Macbeth_, Act. III. Scene 3.

                           SCENE 1. Page 450.

    PER. ... I yet am unprovided
    Of a pair of _bases_.

These were a sort of petticoat that hung down to the knees, and were
suggested by the Roman military dress, in which they seem to have
been separate and parallel slips of cloth or leather. Gayton in his
_Festivous notes on Don Quixote_, p. 218, says, that "all heroick
persons are _pictured_ in _bases_ and buskins." In the celebrated
story of _Friar John and Friar Richard_, as related in Heywood's
_History of women_, p. 253, the skirts of the _armed_ friar's gown are
made to serve as _bases_. At the justs that were held in honour of
Queen Catherine in the second year of Henry VIII., some of the knights
had "their _basses_ and trappers of cloth of golde, every of them his
name embroudered on his _basse_ and trapper."--Halle's _Chronicle_. But
here the term seems applied to the furniture of the horses. The bases
appear to have been made of various materials. If in tilting they fell
to the ground, the heralds claimed them as a fee, unless redeemed by
money; this indeed was the case with respect to any piece of armour
that happened to be detached from the owner. Sometimes _bases_ denoted
the hose merely; as in the comedy of _Lingua_, 1607, where _Auditus_,
one of the characters, is dressed in "a cloth of silver mantle upon a
pair of sattin _bases_." In Rider's Latin Dictionary, 1659, _bases_
are rendered _palliolum curtum_. The term seems to have been borrowed
from the French, who at a very early period used _bache_ for a woman's
petticoat.--See Carpentier _Glossar. medii ævi_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 454.

    THAISA. And his device, a _wreath_ of chivalry
    The word, _Me pompæ provexit apex_.

_Pompæ_, and not _Pompei_, is undoubtedly the true word; and the
whole of Mr. Steevens's reasoning in favour of the latter is at once
disposed of by referring to the work which appears to have furnished
the author of the play with this and the two subsequent devices of the
knights. It is a scarce little volume entitled, _The heroicall devises
of M. Claudius Paradin canon of Beaujeu, whereunto are added the lord
Gabriel Symeon's and others. Translated out of Latin into English, by
P. S._ 1591, 24mo. The _sixth_ device, from its peculiar reference to
the situation of Pericles, may perhaps have been altered from one in
the same collection used by Diana of Poictiers. It is a green branch
issuing from a tomb with the motto SOLA VIVIT IN ILLO. The following
are what have been immediately borrowed from Paradin; but it is also
proper to state that the torch and the hand issuing from a cloud are
to be found in Whitney's _Emblems_, 1586, 4to. As they are all more
elegantly engraved in the original editions of Paradin and Symeon than
in the English book above mentioned, the copies here given have been
made from the former.





                           SCENE 2. Page 498.

    1. GENT. Or tie my treasure up in silken bags,
    To please the _fool and death_.

The notes on this passage having got into some little confusion by the
introduction of the lines in _Measure for measure_ which relate to
the _fool and death_ and the supplemental remarks on it, it will be
necessary in all future editions to keep them separate, as it seems
almost certain that they have no connection with each other.

Cerimon in most express terms declares that he feels more real
satisfaction in his liberal employment as a physician, than he should
in the uncertain pursuit of honour, or in the mere accumulation of
wealth; which would assimilate him to a miser, the result of whose
labour is merely to entertain the fool and death. But how was such
amusement as this to affect those personages in the _other_ instance,
where the vain attempts of a fool to escape the jaws of his adversary
form the whole of the subject? The allusion therefore is to some such
print as Mr. Steevens happily remembered to have seen, in which death
plunders the miser of his money bags, whilst the fool is grinning at
the process. It may be presumed that these subjects were common in
Shakspeare's time. They might have ornamented the poor man's cottage
in the shape of rude prints, or have been introduced into halfpenny
ballads long since consigned to oblivion. The miser is at all times
fair game; and to prove that this is not a chimerical opinion, and at
the same time to show the extensive range of this popular subject, a
few prints of the kind shall be mentioned. 1. Death and the two misers,
by Michael Pregel. 2. An old couple counting their money, death and two
devils attending, a mezzotint by Vander Bruggen. 3. A similar mezzotint
by Meheux without the devils. 4. An old print on a _single sheet_ of a
dance of death, on which both the _miser_ and the _fool_ are exhibited
in the clutches of the grim monarch.

The rear may be closed with the same subject as represented in the
various _dances of death_ that still remain. Nor should it be concluded
that because these prints exhibit no fool to grin at the impending
scene, others might not have done so. The satirical introduction of
this character on many occasions supports the probability that they
did. Thus in a painting of the school of Holbein, an old man makes
love to a girl, attended by a fool and death, to show, in the first
instance, the folly of the thing, and in the next, its consequences. It
is unnecessary to pursue the argument, as every print of the above kind
that may in future occur, will itself speak much more forcibly than any
thing which can here be added.


                           SCENE 3. Page 539.

The two last lines in the quotation from _The wife for a month_ should
be printed thus:

    Hung up _my_ picture in a market place,
    And sold _me_ to vile bawds.

                           SCENE 3. Page 540.

    BAWD. ... to scatter his _crowns in the sun_.

"There is here," says Mr. Malone, "perhaps, some allusion to the _lues
venerea_, though the words _French crowns_ in their literal acceptation
were certainly also in Boult's thoughts." Mr. Mason sees no allusion
whatever to the above disease. That a French crown did signify the
_lues venerea_ cannot be doubted; but Mr. Mason's difference of opinion
might be further supported by reflecting that if the Frenchman came to
_renovate_[18] his malady, he could not well be said to scatter it.
It must therefore be inferred that he was to scatter nothing but his
money. As Mr. Mason has not favoured us with an explanation of the
coins in question, it is necessary to state that they were _crowns
of the sun_ specifically so called, _écus du soleil_; and in this
instance, for the sake of antithesis, termed crowns _in_ the sun. They
were of gold, originally coined by Louis XI. Their name was derived
from the mint mark of a sun; and they were current in this kingdom by
weight, in the same manner as certain English coins were in France.

                           SCENE 3. Page 541.

    BOULT. ... we should lodge them with _this sign_.

_This sign_ is properly referred by Mr. Malone to the person of Marina,
and cannot, for the reasons in the last note, allude to the _sun_,
according to Mr. Mason's second explanation. Nor is this gentleman's
argument supported by the instance adduced of the sun having been
used as the sign of a brothel. It was by no means exclusively, or
even particularly so. The following passage from Dekker's _Villanies
discovered, or the belman's night walks_, may throw some light on the
subject before us. "He saw the doores of notorious _carted bawdes_
(like hell gates) stand night and day wide open, with a _paire of
harlots_ in taffata gownes (like two painted posts) garnishing out
those doores, being better to the house then a _double signe_."

                           SCENE 6. Page 567.

    MAR. Thou 'rt the damn'd door-keeper to every coystrel
    That hither comes enquiring for his _tib_.

Mr. Malone thinks _Tib_ a contraction of Tabitha; but quære if not
of Isabel? In all events it was a name given to any lewd woman. In
_Pasquil's mad cappe_, 1626, 4to, an excellent satire, mention is made
of _a tinker and his tibbe_. Why this name was exclusively applied to a
loose woman, or how it got into the game of gleek, does not appear.


                           SCENE 3. Page 607.

    PER. Heav'ns make a _star_ of him!

So in 1 _Henry VI._ Act I.

    "A far more glorious star thy soul will make
    Than Julius Cæsar----"

This notion is borrowed from the ancients, who expressed their mode
of conferring divine honours and immortality on men, by placing them
among the stars. Thus on a medal of Hadrian the adopted son of Trajan
and Plotina, the divinity of his parents is expressed by placing a
star over their heads; and in like manner the consecration medals
of Faustina the elder exhibit her on an eagle, her head surrounded
with stars. Other similar medals have the moon and stars; and some of
Faustina the younger the inscription SIDERIBVS RECEPTA.


Although Boult, the servant to the pandar and his wife, is not termed a
_clown_ in the _dramatis personæ_, it should seem that he has an equal
claim to the appellation with several other low characters that have
been introduced into plays for the purpose of amusing the audience. He
bears some affinity to the tapster in _Measure for measure_; but there
is nothing that immediately constitutes him the jester to a brothel.
See what has been said on such a character in the article relating to
the clown in _Measure for measure_.


As the very great popularity of this play in former times may be
supposed to have originated rather from the interest which the _story_,
replete with incident, must have excited, than from any intrinsic
merit as _a dramatic composition_, it may be worth while, and even
interesting to many, to give the subject more ample discussion.
To trace it beyond the period in which the favourite romance of
_Apollonius Tyrius_ was composed, would be a vain attempt. That
was the probable original; but of its author nothing decisive has
been discovered. The following circumstance, however, has led to a
conjecture concerning him, which shall be stated with as much brevity
as possible. When Tarsia, the Marina of Pericles, has finished the song
which she addresses to her unknown father Apollonius, she receives
from him a hundred pieces of gold, with a command to leave him.
Athenagoras, the Lysimachus of Pericles, afterwards meets her, gives
her two hundred pieces, and prevails on her to make another effort
to sooth the melancholy of Apollonius. She returns to him, requests
permission to renew their conversation, and insists on his taking back
his money, unless he can expound certain riddles which she proceeds
to state. Now these riddles, three in number, are to be found in a
work entitled _Symposii ænigmata_. The original editor of this book,
Pierre Pithou, thought fit, without the smallest authority, to entitle
the supposed author Cælius Firmianus Symposius. Heuman, a subsequent
editor, placing implicit confidence in this name, maintained that this
person could be no other than the celebrated father of the church
Cælius Firmianus Lactantius; for having found that he had written a
work, now lost, under the title of _Symposium_, he concluded that the
name of _Symposius_, which occurs at the beginning of the ænigmas, was
a mistake, and that he had therefore proved his point. But this futile
reasoning was easily subverted by the superior critical talents of the
truly learned Fabricius, who demonstrated the impossibility of such an
error, and that Heuman had even misconceived the meaning of the word
_Symposium_, which could not apply to a work like the ænigmas. Besides,
the evidence of Saint Jerome remained to show that the symposium was
not written, like the ænigmas, in hexameter verses. Lactantius is
therefore out of the question; and though there is no immediate proof
respecting the time in which Symposius lived, it appears that it must
have been before the eighth century, as bishop Aldhelm, who died in
709, quotes the ænigmas _as composed by Symposius the poet_. This,
and many other circumstances, sufficiently identify him against the
ill-founded assertions of Heuman, who regarded him as a nonentity.
Aldhelm himself wrote ænigmas so much in the manner of Symposius,
that one might reasonably enough infer there was no great difference
in their respective ages. The learned Barthius (see his _Adversaria_,
lib. lviii. c. 1.), fully persuaded of the reality of Symposius,
and acquainted with the occurrence of the riddles in the history of
_Apollonius Tyrius_, concluded, with other learned men, that Symposius
wrote the latter; and he justly terms the author _dulcis scriptor et
eruditus_, as will be evident to any one who will take the trouble
of reading it in Velser's edition, which is printed from a better
manuscript than those used in the _Gesta Romanorum_. If, as Velser
maintains, and Barthius admits, it was originally written in Greek, a
difficulty arises with respect to Symposius, unless he be regarded as
the translator. But, to say the truth, there does not appear to be any
solid reason for supposing him the author, or even translator. It is
not very probable that in either character he would have introduced his
own matter from another work; and therefore, until some more fortunate
discovery shall occur, the romance of Apollonius Tyrius must remain

With respect to the language in which it was composed, Velser was of
opinion, from certain Græco-Latin words which it contains, that this
was Greek, and he speaks rather obscurely of a manuscript of it in that
language at Constantinople. He seems to think that the translator was a
Christian, living about the period of the decline of the Roman empire.
Barthius conceived him to have been a monk of the sixth century. The
_Saxon_ translation mentioned in Wanley's list of manuscripts, and now
in Bennett College, Cambridge, is doubtless from the Latin, and is
alone a sufficient testimony of the antiquity of the work. At what time
it was made must be left to the decision of those who are critically
skilled in the Saxon language. One Constantine is said to have
translated it into modern Greek verse about the year 1500; and this is
probably the manuscript mentioned in Dufresne's index of authors, and
afterwards printed at Venice in 1563. Mr. Tyrwhitt has observed that
Velser was not aware of its having been already published in the _Gesta
Romanorum_; and it may be added that it had been printed separately
at Augsburg in 1471; perhaps as early as in the _Gesta Romanorum_; a
fact that cannot well be ascertained, because there are editions of
the latter without date which might have been printed before. Mr.
Warton has committed a slight mistake in supposing that Alamannus
Rinucinus made a Latin translation corrected by Beroaldus about the
year 1520.[19] Vossius, whom he had misconceived, was speaking of a
translation of Philostratus's life of Apollonius _Tyaneus_. What Mr.
Malone has said of the _English_ translations precludes the necessity
of any further notice of them; but with respect to that gentleman's
supposition, that there might have been an early prose translation
from the _Gesta Romanorum, in which the name of Apollonius was changed
to Pericles_, it becomes necessary to state that there are very good
reasons for concluding that the story of _Apollonius Tyrius_, from the
_Gesta Romanorum_, never was translated into English; and even that the
_Gesta Romanorum in question_ did not appear in our language till the
beginning of the eighteenth century, and then but a small portion of
it.[20] The name of Pericles has been very well accounted for by Mr.

To render this article as complete as possible, and to facilitate
the reference to a story once so celebrated, a list of the various
manuscripts and printed copies is subjoined.


Those in _Latin_ are, two in Bennett Coll. Cambridge; see Nasmith's
_Catal._ Nos. cccxviii. ccccli.--Two in the Bodleian libr. Nos. 2435,
2540; see _Catal. MSS. Angliæ_, pp. 125, 134. Mr. Warton mentions a
third, in _H. E. Poetry_, vol. i. p. 350, note h. A fourth is in the
same library among Archb. Laud's MSS. No. 1302, _Catal. MSS. Angliæ_,
p. 70; on what authority this is said to have been translated from the
Greek, remains to be examined.

In Magdal. Coll. Ox. No. 2191, _Catal. MSS. Angliæ_, p. 72.--In
Vossius's collection, No. 2409, _Catal. MSS. Angliæ_, p. 64.--In the
Norfolk collection, now in the library of the Royal Society, No.
3181, _Catal. MSS. Angliæ_, p. 80.--Two in the Sloanian library; see
Ascough's _Catal._ p. 854.--Two in the Vatican. See Montfaucon _Bibl.
bibliothecarum_, i. 20, Nos. 275, 284.--In the Medicean library,
Montfaucon _Bibl. bibl._ i. 372, No. xl.--In the royal library at
Paris; Montfaucon _Bibl. bibl._ ii. 756, No. 5251.

A _Saxon_ translation. Bennett Coll. Camb. See Nasmith's _Catal._ No.
cci. and Wanley, Libror. vett. septentrional. catal. apud Hickesij
_Thesaur._ p. 146.

A _French_ translation is among the royal MSS. in the British museum,
20 c. ii. evidently made from the Latin about the 15th century.

A fragment in old _English_ verse, probably by Thomas Vicary of Wimborn
minster in Dorsetshire, on the story of _Apollonius Tyrius_, was in the
possession of the late reverend and learned Dr. Farmer of Cambridge.
See it noticed in the present vol. of Mr. Steevens's Shakspeare, pp.
381, 609.


_Apollonii Tyrii_ historia, no date, but before 1500, 8vo.

The same published by Velser, 1595, 4to.

In modern Greek verse. Venice, 1563, 1601, 1696, 8vo.

In Italian rime. Venice, 1486, and without place, 1489, 4to.

In Italian prose, _reformed_; and published for the benefit of the
common people, _per piacer del popolo_, Milan, 1492, 4to.

In Spanish, in the _Patrañas_ of Juan Timoneda, Alcala, 1576, and
Bilbao, 1580, 8vo. This translation may be presumed to have been made
from the _Gesta Romanorum_, as other stories from it are in the same

In German, Augsburg, 1471, folio, and 1476, 4to.

In Dutch, Delft, 1493, 4to.

In French, b. l. Geneva, 4to, n. d. Again, transl. by Gilles
Corrozet, Paris, 1530, 8vo. Again, Amst. 1710, _Paris_, 1711, 12mo,
modernized by M. Le Brun. It is abridged in _Melanges tirées d'une
grande bibliotheque_, vol. lxiv. p. 265. It is also among the _Hist.
tragiques_ de Belleforest, tom. vii. 1604, 12mo.

In Engl. transl. by Rob. Copland from the French, and printed by Wynkyn
de Worde, 1510.

_The patterne of painful adventures &c. that befell unto Prince_
APPOLONIUS, &c. translated by T. Twine, 1607, Originally published by
W. Howe, 1576.

In Gower's _Confessio amantis_, 1483, 1532, and 1554, folio, from
Godfrey of Viterbo.

In the _Pantheon_ or _universal chronicle_ of Godfrey of Viterbo,
compiled in Latin in the 12th century. First printed at Basil, 1569,
folio, and afterwards in Pistorius's collection of German historians.

And lastly, in _most_ of the editions of the _Gesta Romanorum_, in
which it makes the 153rd chapter. In comparing this with Velser's work,
it will be perceived that it is the same, making allowance for the
usual difference of manuscripts. In short, there is but one story.

A few years after the publication of this play, there appeared on the
French stage a tragi-comedy on the same story, entitled _Les heureuses
infortunes_. It is in two parts, each of five acts, and composed by
Francois Bernier de la Brousse. It might be worth while to examine
whether he had made any use of the English Pericles.

However unworthy of Shakspeare's pen this drama, as an _entire_
composition, may be considered, many will be of opinion that it
contains more that _he might have written_ than either _Love's labour's
lost_, or _All's well that ends well_.


[18] It is necessary that the reader should review Mr. Malone's
preceding and satisfactory note.

[19] Hist. of Engl. poetry, III. lxiv.

[20] See the subsequent Dissertation on the Gesta Romanorum.



                           SCENE 1. Page 11.

    COR. ... I am sure, my love's
    More richer than _my_ tongue.

Dr. Warburton would have it _their_ tongue, meaning her sisters', which
would be very good sense. Dr. Johnson is content with the present
reading, but gives no explanation. Cordelia means to say, "My love is
greater than my powers of language can express." In like manner she
soon afterwards says, "I cannot heave my heart into my mouth."

                           SCENE 1. Page 12.

    LEAR. Nothing can come of nothing.

In the fourth Scene of this Act, Lear uses the same expression in
answer to the fool, who had asked him if he could "make no use
of nothing." For this ancient saying of one of the philosophers,
Shakspeare might have been indebted to the following passage in _The
prayse of nothing_, by E. D. 1585, 4to. "The prophane antiquitie
therefore, unlesse by casuall meanes, entreated little hereof, as of
that which by their rule, that _nihil ex nihilo fit_, conteined not
matter of profit or commendation: for which those philosophers hunted,
as ambicious men for dominion and empire."

                           SCENE 4. Page 60.

    FOOL. That such a king should play _bo-peep_.

Mr. Steevens remarks that little more of this _game_ than its mere
denomination remains. He had forgotten the amusements of his nursery.
In Sherwood's _Dictionary_ it is defined, "Jeu d'enfant; ou (plustost)
des nourrices aux petits enfans; se cachans le visage et puis se
monstrant." The Italians say _far bau bau_, or _baco baco_, and
_bauccare_; which shows that there must at some time or other have been
a connexion between the nurse's _terriculamentum_, the _boggle or buggy
bo_, and the present expression. See the note in p. 202. Minsheu's
derivation of _bo-peep_ from the noise which chickens make when they
come out of the shell, is more whimsical than just.

                           SCENE 4. Page 65.

    LEAR. Lear's shadow?

We are told that "the folio has given these words to the fool." And
so they certainly should be, without the mark of interrogation. They
are of no use whatever in Lear's speech; and without this arrangement,
the fool's next words, "which they will make an obedient father," are
unintelligible. It will likewise dispose of Mr. Steevens's subsequent
charge against Shakspeare, of inattention to the rules of grammar.


                           SCENE 2. Page 92.

    KENT. I'll make a _sop o' the moonshine_ of you.

It is certain that an equivoque is here intended by an allusion to the
old dish of _eggs in moonshine_, which was eggs broken and boiled in
salad oil till the yolks became hard. They were eaten with _slices_ of
onions fried in oil, butter, verjuice, nutmeg and salt.

                           SCENE 3. Page 109.

    EDG. Pins, _wooden pricks_, &c.

Rightly explained _skewers_. Greene, in his admirable satire, _A quip
for an upstart courtier_, speaking of the tricks played by the butchers
in his time, makes one of his characters exclaim, "I pray you, goodman
Kilcalfe, have you not your artificial knaveries to set out your meate
with _pricks_?" The brewers and bakers come in also for their share of

                           SCENE 3. Page 110.

    EDGAR. Poor Turlygood!

Warburton would read _Turlupin_, and Hanmer _Turluru_; but there is
a better reason for rejecting both these terms than for preferring
either; viz. that _Turlygood_ is the _corrupted_ word in _our_
language. The Turlupins were a fanatical sect that overran France,
Italy, and Germany, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. They
were at first known by the names of _Beghards_ or _Beghins_, and
brethren and sisters of the free spirit. Their manners and appearance
exhibited the strongest indications of lunacy and distraction. The
common people alone called them _Turlupins_; a name which, though it
has excited much doubt and controversy, seems obviously to be connected
with the _wolvish howlings_ which these people in all probability would
make when influenced by their religious ravings. Their subsequent
appellation of _the fraternity of poor men_ might have been the cause
why the wandering rogues called _Bedlam beggars_, and one of whom
Edgar personates, assumed or obtained the title of _Turlupins_ or
_Turlygoods_, especially if their mode of asking alms was accompanied
by the gesticulations of madmen. _Turlupino_ and _Turluru_ are old
Italian terms for a fool or madman; and the Flemings had a proverb, _As
unfortunate as Turlupin and his children_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 113.

    LEAR. To do upon respect such violent outrage.

Explained by Dr. Johnson, "to violate the character of a messenger from
the king." It is rather "to do outrage to that respect which is due to
the king." This, in part, agrees with the ensuing note.

                           SCENE 4. Page 114.

    KENT. They summon'd up their _meiny_.

_Meiny_, signifying _a family_, _household_, or _retinue of servants_,
is certainly from the French _meinie_, or, as it was anciently and
more properly written, _mesnie_; which word has been regarded, with
great probability, by a celebrated French glossarist and antiquary,
as equivalent with _mesonie_ or _maisonie_, from _maison_: in modern
French _ménage_. See glossary to Villehardouin, edit. 1657, folio.

Mr. Holt White has cited Dryden's line,

    "The _many_ rend the skies with loud applause,"

as supplying the use of _many_ in Kent's sense of _train_ or _retinue_.
With great deference, the word is quite unconnected with _meiny_, and
simply denotes any _multitude_ or collection of people. It is not only
used at present in its common adjective form for _several_, _divers_,
_multi_, but even substantively: for in the Northern parts of England
they still say _a many_, and _a many people_, i. e. _of_ people. In
this sense it is never found in the French language; but we have
received it directly, as an adjective, from the Saxon manɩ manɩᵹ, and
as a substantive from menɩu, mænɩᵹeo, menɩᵹo, &c. &c.; for in that
language the word is found written not less than twenty different ways.
It is the same as the Latin _manus_. Horace uses _manus poetarum_; and
Quintilian _oratorum ingens manus_. It does not appear that the Saxons
used _many_ for a _family_ or household.

                           SCENE 4. Page 121.

    FOOL. Cry to it nuncle, as the _cockney_ did to the eels.

The difficulties that have attended all inquiries concerning this
term, have been not a little augmented by an expectation of finding an
uniformity which it does not possess, and by not reflecting that it is
in reality susceptible of very different explanations.

There is hardly a doubt that it originates in an Utopian region
of indolence and luxury, formerly denominated the country of
_cocaigne_,[21] which, as some have thought, was intimately connected
with the art of _cookery_; whilst others, with equal plausibility,
relate that the little pellets of woad, a commodity in which Languedoc
was remarkably fertile, being called by the above name, the province
itself acquired the appellation of the kingdom of _cocaigne_ or of
plenty, where the inhabitants lived in the utmost happiness, and
exempt from every sort of care and anxiety. Hence the name came to be
applied to any rich country. Boileau calls Paris _un pays de cocagne_.
The French have likewise some theatrical pieces under this title. The
Italians have many allusions to it; and there is said to be a small
district between Rome and Loretto so called from its cheapness and
fertility. With us the lines cited by Camden in his _Britannia_, vol.
i. col. 451,

    "Were I in my castle of Bungey
    Upon the river of Waveney
    I would ne care for the king of _Cockeney_,"

whencesoever they come, indicate that London was formerly known by this
satirical name; _and hence a Londoner came to be called a cockney_. The
French have an equivalent word, _coqueliner_, to pamper, cherish, or
dandle, whence our _cocker_.

From the above circumstances it is probable that a cockney became at
length a term of contempt; one of the earliest proofs of which is
Chaucer's use of it in the _Reve's tale_, v. 4206: "I shall be halden
a daffe or a _cokenay_." In the _Promptuarium parvulorum_, 1516,
4to, it is explained to be a term of derision. In Shakspeare's time
it signified a child tenderly brought up, a dearling, a wanton. See
Barret's _Alvearie_; and a little before it had been used in a bad
sense, from an obvious corruption. See Hulæt's _Abcedarium_, 1552,
folio. In this place too Mr. Steevens's quotations from Meres and
Deckar might be introduced.

The next sense in which _cockney_ was used seems to be conveyed in the
line cited by Mr. Tyrwhitt from _Pierce Plowman's Visions_:

    "And yet I say by my soule I have no salt bacon,
    Ne no _cokeney_ by Christe coloppes to make:"

as well as in those from the tournament of Tottenham;

    "At that feast were they served in rich array,
    Every five and five had a _cokeney_:"

where in both instances, with deference to the respectable authorities
of Dr. Percy and Mr. Tyrwhitt, it signifies a _little cock_. In the
latter quotation it might mean a peacock, a favourite dish among our
ancestors; and this conjecture is countenanced by the words _served
in rich array_. This mode of forming a diminutive with respect to
animals is not unfrequent. Thus in the _Canterbury tales_, l. 3267:
"She was a primerole, a _piggesnie_." And here again some apology may
be necessary for differing from Mr. Tyrwhitt, who supposes that Chaucer
"meant no more than _ocellus_, the eyes of that animal being remarkably
small, and the Romans using _oculus_ as a term of endearment." But
the objection to this ingenious explanation is, that _nie_ cannot
well be put for _eye_; that in this case the word would have been
_pigseye_, and that it is rather formed from the A. S. pɩᵹa, a girl.
See Lye's _Saxon dict._ Similar words were afterwards constructed,
but without due regard to the above etymology. For example, "Prythee
sweet _birdsnye_, be content."--Davenport's _City night cap_, Act III.
Scene 1. "Jella, why frownst thou? say sweet _biddiesnie_?"--Davies's
_Scourge of folly_. "Ay _birdsneys_, she's a quean."--Shadwell's
_Virtuoso_, Act III. And in Congreve's _Old bachelor_, Fondlewife calls
his mate _cockey_.

It is observable that in all the above instances these appellations
are only used to females. It is not improbable therefore, that, in an
abstract sense, _cockney_ might sometimes be used in speaking to male
children as a term of endearment; and it may be necessary to make this
remark here, for the purpose of anticipating any suggestion that it is
connected with the present subject.

It remains only to notice the _cockneys_ or _sugar pellet_ which
Mr. Steevens's old lady remembered to have eaten in her childhood.
The French formerly used a kind of perfumed pastry made of the
powdered Iris flower, sugar, musk, and rose-water; these were called
_pastilles_; and from the similitude of the word to _pastel_, or
the Languedoc woad mentioned at the beginning of this note as the
produce of the _pays de cocagne_, it is not improbable that some
latent affinity may exist. The animal involved in the English term
might indeed be thought sufficient to indicate the form. Had the old
lady, happily for us, described the shape of these comfits, and which
motives of delicacy might have prevented, we could possibly have traced
them from our Gallic neighbours in another descent of a very singular
nature. The following extract from _Legrand's Vie privée des Francois_,
tom. ii. p. 268, will explain this: "Croira-t-on qu'il a existé en
France un tems ou l'on a donné aux menues pâtisseries de table les
formes les plus obscenes, et les noms les plus infâmes? Croira-t-on que
cet incroyable excés de depravation a duré plus de deux siécles? Aussi
sont ce moins les noms de ces pâtisseries qu'il faut blâmer que les
formes qu'on leur donnait. Champier, apres avoir décrit les differentes
pâtisseries usitées de son temps, dit, _Quædam pudenda muliebria, aliæ
virilia (si diis placet) representant. Sunt quos c... saccharatos
appellitent. Adeò degeneravere boni mores, ut etiam Christianis obscœna
et pudenda in cibis placeant._"

Minsheu's tale of the cock neighing, and Casaubon's derivation of
cockney from οικογενης, i. e. domi natus, may serve to increase those
smiles of compassion which it is to be feared some of the present
remarks may have already excited.

It is worth remarking, although not immediately connected with the
present subject, that in the Celtic languages _coeg_, and _kok_,
signified anything foolish or good for nothing. They seem connected
with the radical word for a _cuckow_, a silly bird, which has thus
transmitted its appellation to persons of a similar nature. See the
words _cog_ in the Welsh dictionaries, and _cok_ in Pryce's Cornish
vocabulary. In the North they call the cuckow a gowk, whence _genkit_,
foolish, and _gawky_. Our term _cokes_, for a fool, is of the same
family, and, perhaps, _cuckold_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 132.

    LEAR. Thou art a _boil_.

The note on this word states that it was written _byle_ in the old
copies, which all the modern editors have too strictly followed; that
the mistake arose from the word _boil_ being often pronounced as if
written _bile_; and that in the folio we find in _Coriolanus_ the same
_false_ spelling as here.--But this charge against the editors seems to
have originated in a misconception. The ancient and true orthography
is _byle_ and _bile_, and such was the common pronunciation. The
modern _boyl_ and _boil_ are corruptions. Thus in the _Promptuarium
parvulorum_, 1516, we have "_Byle_ sore,--Pustula." In Mathews's bible,
1551, "Satan smote Job with marvelous soore _byles_." In Whetstone's
_Mirour for magestrates of cyties_, 1584, 4to, "Dicyng houses are of
the substance of other buildinges, but within are the botches and
_byles_ of abhomination." _Bile_ is pure Saxon, and is so given in most
of the old dictionaries.

                           SCENE 4. Page 135.

    LEAR.         ... but this heart
    Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws.

On the word _flaws_ we have the following note: "A _flaw_, signifying
a crack or other similar imperfection; our author, with his accustomed
license, uses the word here for a _small broken particle_. So again in
the fifth Act,

    '... but his _flaw'd_ heart
    Burst smilingly.'"

Now there is some reason for supposing that _flaw_ might signify a
_fragment_ in Shakspeare's time, as well as a mere crack; because among
the Saxons it certainly had that meaning, as may be seen in Somner's
_Diction. Saxon._ voce ꝼloh. It is to be observed that the quartos read
_flowes_, approaching nearer to the original. In the above quotation
_flaw'd_ seems to be used in the _modern_ sense.


                           SCENE 2. Page 147.

    FOOL. Marry, here's grace, and a _cod-piece_; that's a wise man and
    a _fool_.

Shakspeare has with some humour applied the above name to the fool,
who, for obvious reasons, was usually provided with this unseemly part
of dress in a more remarkable manner than other persons. To the custom
Gayton thus alludes, when speaking of the decline of the stage: "No
fooles with _Harry codpieces appeare_."--_Festivous notes upon Don
Quixote_, p. 270.

                           SCENE 2. Page 150.

    FOOL. No hereticks _burn'd_ but wenches suitors.

Dr. Johnson has very well explained why _wenches suitors_ were
_burned_; but Mr. Steevens's quotation from Isaiah iii. 24, "--and
_burning_ instead of beauty," has not been applied on this occasion
with his usual discernment. Not to mention the improbability that
the _burning_ in question should have existed in the time of Isaiah,
the expression itself is involved in the deepest obscurity. Saint
Jerome has entirely omitted it; and if the Hebrew word, which in
some translations has been rendered _adustio_, be susceptible of any
fair meaning, it is that of _shrivelled_ or _dried up by heat_. It
is, therefore, in the bishop's bible and some foreign translations
paraphrastically given, "and for their bewty witherednesse and _sunne
burning_." The manuscript regulations for the stews in Southwark,
printed but abridged in Stowe's Annals, would have furnished the
learned commentator with a far more apposite illustration. In these it
is said, "no stewholder shall keep any woman that hath the perilous
infirmity of _burning_."

                           SCENE 4. Page 160.

    EDG. _Pillicock_ sat on pillicock's hill.

In the metrical romance of _Sir Gawain and Sir Galaron_, there is this

    "His polemous with _pelicocus_ were poudred to pay."

                           Pinkerton's _Scotish poems_, vol. iii. 214.

In the comedy of _Ignoramus_ by Ruggles, Act III. Scene 6, Cupes talks
of "quimbiblos, indenturas, _pilicoccos_, calimancas;" where it is
perhaps a new-fangled term for any kind of stuff or cloth. There is an
attempt to explain the word in Warner's _Letter to Garrick_, p. 30; but
whoever would be certain of finding the exact meaning, may consult,
besides the article in Minsheu, 9299, the following books: Durfey's
_Pills to purge melancholy_, iv. 311.--The _Nightingale_, (a collection
of songs) 1738, p. 380.--Lyndsay's _Works_, as edited by Mr. Chalmers,
ii. 145, and the excellent glossary.--Florio's _Italian dictionary_,
1611, under the articles _piviolo_, and _rozzone_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 162.

    EDG. Keep thy pen from _lenders books_.

When spendthrifts and distressed persons resorted to usurers or
tradesmen for the purpose of raising money by means of shop-goods or
_brown paper commodities_, they usually entered their promissory notes
or other similar obligations in books kept for that purpose. It is to
this practice that Edgar alludes.

In Lodge's _Looking-glasse for London and Englande_, 1598, 4to, a
usurer says to a gentleman, "I have thy hand set to my book that thou
received'st fortie pounds of me in money." To which the other answers,
"It was your device, to colour the statute, but your conscience knowes
what I had." Parke, in his _Curtaine-drawer of the world_, speaking of
a country gentleman, alludes to the extravagance of his back, which had
got him into _the mercer's book_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 163.

    EDG. ... ha, no nonny.

This was the burden of many old songs. One of these, being connected
with Mr. Henley's curious note, is here presented to the reader. It is
taken from a scarce collection, entitled _Melismata. Musicall phansies,
fitting the court, citie and countrey humours, To 3, 4, and 5 voyces_,
1611, 4to. In Playford's _Musical companion_, p. 55, the words are set
to a different tune.


    E that will an Ale-house keepe must have three things in store,
    a Chamber and a feather Bed, a Chimney and a hey no-ny no-ny
    hay no-ny no-ny, hey nony no, hey nony no, hey nony no.]

                           SCENE 4. Page 164.

    LEAR. ... unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare,
    _forked_ animal as thou art.

_Forked_ is a very strange epithet, but must be taken literally. See a
note by Mr. Steevens in Act IV. Scene 6, of this play. The Chinese in
their _written_ language represent a man by the following character.


                           SCENE 6. Page 176.

    FOOL. He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's
    _health_, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.

Though _health_ will certainly do, it has probably been substituted
for _heels_, by some person who regarded it as an improved reading.
There are several proverbs of this kind. That in the text has not been
found elsewhere, and may be the invention of Shakspeare. The Italians
say, _Of a woman beware before, of a mule beware behind, and of a monk
beware on all sides_; the French, _Beware of a bull's front, of a
mule's hinder parts, and of all sides of a woman_. In Samuel Rowland's
excellent and amusing work, entitled _The choice of change, containing
the triplicity of divinitie, philosophie, and poetrie_, 1585, 4to, we
meet with this proverbial saying, "Trust not 3 thinges, dogs teeth,
horses feete, womens protestations."

                           SCENE 6. Page 184.

    EDG. Poor Tom, _thy horn is dry_.

On this speech Dr. Johnson has remarked that men who begged under
pretence of lunacy, used formerly to carry a horn and blow it through
the streets. To account for Edgar's horn being _dry_, we must likewise
suppose that the lunatics in question made use of this utensil to
drink out of, which seems preferable to the opinion of Mr. Steevens,
that these words are "a proverbial expression, introduced when a man
has nothing further to offer, when he has said all he has to say,"
the learned commentator not having adduced any example of its use. An
opportunity here presents itself of suggesting a more correct mode
of exhibiting the theatrical dress of Poor Tom than we usually see,
on the authority of Randle Holme in his most curious and useful work
_The academy of armory_, book III. ch. iii. p. 161, where he says that
the _Bedlam_ has "a long staff and a cow or ox-horn by his side; his
cloathing fantastic and ridiculous; for being a madman, he is madly
decked and dressed all over with rubins, feathers, cuttings of cloth,
and what not, to make him seem a madman or one distracted, when he is
no other than a dissembling knave." It is said that about the year 1760
a poor idiot called _Cude Yeddy_, went about the streets of Hawick in
Scotland habited much in the above manner, and rattling a cow's horn
against his teeth. Something like this costume may be seen in the
portrait of that precious knave _Mull'd Sack_, who carries a _drinking
horn_ on his staff. See Caulfield's _Portraits, memoirs, and characters
of remarkable persons_, vol. ii.


                           SCENE 2. Page 209.

    ALE. Humanity must perforce _prey on itself_,
    Like monsters of the deep.

"Fishes," says Dr. Johnson, "are the _only_ animals that are known to
prey upon their own species." But Shakspeare did not mean to insinuate
this; for he has elsewhere spoken of "cannibals that each other eat."
He only wanted a comparison. Many of the insect tribes prey on their
own species, as spiders, scorpions, beetles, earwigs, blattæ, &c.

                           SCENE 4. Page 233.

    LEAR. That fellow handles his bow like a _crow keeper_.

The notes on this passage serve only to _identify the character_ of a
crow-keeper; but the _comparison_ still remains to be explained. On
this occasion we must consult our sole preceptor in the manly and too
much neglected science of archery, the venerable Ascham. In speaking
of awkward shooters he says, "Another coureth downe and layeth out his
buttockes, as thoughe hee should _shoote at crowes_."

                           SCENE 4. Page 234.

    LEAR. O well-flown bird!

The notes are at variance as to whether Lear allude to archery or
falconry. Certainly to the latter. In an old song on hawking, set for
four voices by Thomas Ravenscroft, _O well flown_ is a frequent address
to the hawk.

                           SCENE 4. Page 239.

    LEAR. Hark, in thine ear: change places: and _handy-dandy_, which
    is the justice, which is the thief?

Mr. Malone's explanation of this children's sport is confirmed by the
following extract from _A free discourse touching the murmurers of
the tymes_, MS. "They hould safe your childrens patrymony, and play
with your majestie as men play with little children at _handye dandye,
which hand will you have_, when they are disposed to keep any thinge
from them." The above _discourse_ is a very bold and libellous address
to King James I. on his pacific character, written, anonymously, with
great powers of composition.

                           SCENE 4. Page 240.

    LEAR. There thou might'st behold the great image of authority: a dog's
        obey'd in office.----
    Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand:
    Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;
    Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind,
    For which thou whip'st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.
    Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear:
    Robes and furr'd gowns hide all.

This admirable speech has a remarkable coincidence with the following
passage from "Parke's _Curtaine-drawer of the world_," 1612, 4to,
p. 16, a work of very considerable merit. "The potency and power of
magnificence and greatnesse dare looke sinne openly in the face in
the very market place, and the eye of authority never takes notice
thereof: the poore harlot must be stript and whipt for the crime that
the courtly wanton and the citie-sinner ruffle out, and passe over
and glory in, and account as nothing. The poore thiefe is hanged many
times that hath stolne but the prise of a dinner, when sometimes hee
that robbes both church and commonwealth is seene to ride on his
footecloth." If this book was written according to its date, and Mr.
Malone be right as to that of Lear, a fact which is not meant to be
controverted, the merit of originality will rest with Shakspeare.

                           SCENE 4. Page 241.

    EDG. O, matter and _impertinency_ mix'd.

This word was not used in its modern and corrupted sense of _sauciness_
or _intrusion_, but merely to express _something not belonging to the
subject_. Thus, an old collection of domestic recipes, &c., entitled,
_The treasurie of commodious conceits_, 1594, is said to be "not
_impertinent_ for every good huswife to use in her house amongst her
own familie." It does not seem to have been used in the sense of _rude_
or _unmannerly_ till the middle of the seventeenth century; nor in that
of _saucy_ till a considerable time afterwards.

                           SCENE 4. Page 241.

    LEAR.          ... we came crying hither.
    Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air,
    We _wawl and cry_:----

Evidently taken from Pliny as translated by Philemon Holland. "Man
alone, poor wretch [nature] hath laid all naked upon the bare earth,
even on his birth day _to cry and wrawle_ presently from the very first
houre that he is borne into this world."--_Proeme_ to book 7.


The fool in this play is the genuine domestic buffoon: but
notwithstanding his sarcastical flashes of wit, for which we must
give the poet credit, and ascribe them in some degree to what is
called stage effect, he is a mere _natural_ with a considerable share
of cunning. Thus Edgar calls him _an innocent_, and every one will
immediately distinguish him from such a character as Touchstone. His
dress on the stage should be parti-coloured; his hood crested either
with a cock's comb, to which he often alludes, or with the cock's head
and neck. His bauble should have a head like his own with a grinning
countenance, for the purpose of exciting mirth in those to whom he
occasionally presents it.

The kindness which Lear manifests towards his fool, and the latter's
extreme familiarity with his master in the midst of the most poignant
grief and affliction, may excite surprise in those who are not
intimately acquainted with the simple manners of our forefathers. An
almost contemporary writer has preserved to us a curious anecdote of
William duke of Normandy, afterwards William I. of England, whose
life was saved by the attachment and address of his fool. An ancient
Flemish chronicle among the royal MSS. in the British Museum, 16, F.
iii., commences with the exile of Salvard lord of Roussillon and his
family from Burgundy. In passing through a forest they are attacked by
a cruel giant, who kills Salvard and several of his people; his wife
Emergard and a few others only escaping. This scene the illuminator
of the manuscript, which is of the fifteenth century, has chosen to
exhibit. He has represented Emergard as driven away in a covered cart
or waggon by one of the servants. She is attended by a female, and in
the front of the cart is placed her fool, with a countenance expressive
of the utmost alarm at the impending danger. Nor would it be difficult
to adduce, if necessary, similar instances of the reciprocal affection
between these singular personages and those who retained them.


To the account already given of the materials which Shakspeare used,
nothing perhaps of any moment can be added; but for the sake of
rendering this article more complete, it may be worth while to add that
the _unpublished Latin Gesta Romanorum_ contains the history of Lear
and his daughters under different names, and with some little variety
of circumstance. As it is not tedious, and has never been printed, at
least as far as we know at present, it is here subjoined in its English
form. The manuscript used on this occasion is No. 7333, in the Harleian

"Theodosius regned, a wys emperour in the cite of Rome and myghti he
was of power; the whiche emperour had thre doughters. So hit liked to
this emperour to knowe which of his doughters lovid him best. And tho
he seid to the eldest doughter, how moche lovist thou me? fforsoth,
quod she, more than I do myself, therfore, quod he, thou shalt be
hily avaunsed, and maried her to a riche and myghti kyng. Tho he cam
to the secund, and seid to her, doughter, how moche lovist thou me?
As moche forsoth, she seid, as I do myself. So the emperour maried
her to a duc. And tho he seid to the thrid doughter, how moche lovist
thou me? fforsoth, quod she, as moche as ye beth worthi, and no more.
Tho seid the emperour, doughter, sith thou lovist me no more, thou
shalt not be maried so richely as thi susters beth. And tho he maried
her to an erle. Aftir this it happid that the emperour held bataile
ayend the king of Egypt. And the kyng drove the emperour oute of the
empire, in so moche that the emperour had no place to abide ynne. So he
wrote lettres ensealed with his ryng to his first doughter that seid
that she lovid him more than herself, for to pray her of socouryng in
that grete nede, bycause he was put oute of his empire. And when the
doughter had red thes lettres, she told hit to the kyng her husbond.
Tho, quod the kyng, it is good that we socour him in this nede. I shal,
quod he, gadern an host and help him in all that I can or may, and
that will not he do withoute grete costage. Yee, quod she, hit were
sufficiant if that we wold graunt him V knyghts to be in felashyp wᵗ
him while he is oute of his empire. And so hit was ydo indede. And the
doughter wrote ayen to the fader, that other help myght he not have but
V knyghts of the kyng to be in his felashyp at the cost of the kyng her
husbond. And when the emperour herd this, he was hevy in his hert, and
seid, alas! alas! all my trust was in her, for she seid she lovid me
more than herself, and therfore I avaunced her so hye.

"Then he wrote to the seconde that seid she lovid him as moche as
hirself, and when she had herd his lettres, she shewid his erand to
hir husbond, and yaf him in counseil that he shuld fynde him mete and
drink and clothing honestly, as for the state of such a lorde during
tyme of his nede. And when this was graunted, she wrote lettres agein
to hir fadir. The emperour was hevy wᵗ this answere, and seid, sith my
two doughters have thus yhevid me, sothely I shal preve the third. And
so he wrote to the thrid that seid she lovid him as moche as he was
worthi, and praied her of socour in his nede, and tolde her the answere
of her two sustris. So the thrid doughter when she had considered
the myschief of her ffader, she told her husbond in this fourme: my
worshipfull lord do socour me now in this grete nede, my fadir is put
oute of his empire and his heritage. Then spake he, what were thi will
I did therto. That ye gadre a grete oste, quod she, and helpe him to
fight ayens his enemys. I shal fulfill thi will, seide the erle, and
gaderid a grete oste and yede with the emperoure at his owne costage
to the bataile, and had the victorye, and set the emperour ayen in
his heritage. And then seid the emperour, blessed be the hour I gate
my yongist doughter: I lovid her lesse than eni of the othir, and now
in my nede she hath socoured me, and the othir have yfailed me; and
therefore aftir my deth she shal have myn empire. And so hit was ydo in
dede; for aftir the deth of the emperour, the yongist doughter regned
in his sted and ended pesibly."

The same story is to be found in the formerly celebrated English
chronicle erroneously supposed to have been written by Caxton,
the early part of which was copied from Geoffrey of Monmouth. The
circumstance of its having been printed by Caxton more than once, with
a continuation to his own time, probably by himself, seems to have
occasioned the mistake. See what has been said of it before, p. 261.


[21] This country has been humorously described by an old French
fablier, from whose work an extract may be found in Mons. Legrand's
entertaining collection of _Fabliaux_, tom. i. p. 251; and which
verifies Mr. Tyrwhitt's conjecture, that the old English poem first
published by Hickes, _G. A. Sax_. p. 231, was a translation from the
French. See _Cant. tales_, vol. iv. p. 254.



                           SCENE 1. Page 325.

    SAM. Gregory, o' my word, we'll not _carry coals_.

    GRE. No, for then we should be colliers.

Of the various conjectures on the origin and real meaning of this
phrase, that by Mr. Steevens seems deserving of the preference. In a
rare little pamphlet entitled _The cold yeare_, 1614, 4to, being a
dialogue in which the casualties that happened in the great fall of
snow are enumerated, one of the interlocutors, a North-country man,
relates that on his approach to London he overtooke a collier and his
team, "walking as stately as if they scorned to _carry coales_." It was
therefore a term of reproach to be called a collier; and thence, to
_carry coals_ was metaphorically used for any low or servile action.
Barnaby Googe, in his _New yeares gift to the Pope's holinesse_, 1579,
4to, says he "had rather be a _collyer at Croydon_ than a Pope at Rome."

A hint had been given, by a gentleman whose opinions are on all
occasions entitled to the highest respect and attention, that the
phrase in question might have originated from Proverbs xxv. 22. "If
thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty,
give him water to drink; for thou shalt _heap coals_ of fire upon his
head." But this is a metaphor expressive of the pain which a man shall
suffer from the reproaches of his conscience, and as such, has been
adopted into our language. Thus, in _Newes from the North, otherwise
called The conference between Simon Certain and Pierce Plowman_, 1579,
4to, "Now God forbid that ever a lawyer should _heap coales upon a
merchant's head_, or that a merchant should not be as willing and as
ready to doo a goodly deed as a lawyer."

                           SCENE 2. Page 347.

    CAP. Such comfort, as do _lusty young men feel_
    When well-apparell'd _April_ on the heel
    Of limping winter treads.

Two of the commentators would read _lusty yeomen_, and make the passage
refer to the sensations of the farmer on the return of spring. One of
them, Dr. Johnson, to render the present text objectionable, has been
obliged to _invert_ the comparison. Capulet, in speaking of the delight
which Paris is to receive in the society of the young ladies invited
to his house, compares it to that which the month of April usually
afforded to the youth of both sexes, when assembled in the green fields
to enjoy their accustomed recreations. Independently of the frequent
allusions in the writings of our old poets to April, as the season
of youthful pleasures, and which probably occurred to Shakspeare's
recollection, he might besides have had in view the decorations which
accompany the above month in some of the manuscript and printed
calendars, where the young folks are represented as sitting together on
the grass; the men ornamenting the girls with chaplets of flowers. From
the following lines in one of these, the passage in question seems to
derive considerable illustration.

    "The next VI. yere maketh foure and twenty
    And fygured is to _joly Apryll_
    The tyme of pleasures man hath moost plenty
    Fresshe and lovyng his _lustes_ to fulfyll."

                        SCENE 4. Pages 364, 367.

    ROM. Give me a torch----
    I'll be a candle-holder, and look on.

Froissart, describing a dinner on Christmas day in the hall of the
castle of Gaston Earl of Foix, at Ortern, in the year 1388, has
these words: "At mydnyght when he came out of his chambre into the
halle to supper, he had ever before hym _twelve torches_ brennyng,
_borne by twelve varlettes_ standyng before his table all supper." In
Rankin's _Mirrour of monsters_, 1587, 4to, is the following passage:
"This _maske_ thus ended, wyth visardes accordingly appointed, there
were certain petty fellows ready, as the custome is, _in maskes to
carry torches_, &c." In the _Weiss kunig_, being a collection of wood
engravings representing the actions of Maximilian the First, there is
a very curious exhibition of a masque before the emperor, in which the
performers appear with their visards, and one of them holds a torch in
his hand. There is another print on the same subject by Albert Durer.
The practice of carrying torch lights at entertainments continued even
after the time of Shakspeare. See a future note on Hamlet, Act III.
Scene 2.

                           SCENE 4. Page 368.

    MER. If thou art dun, we'll draw thee from the mire.

There is no doubt that this is an allusion to some now forgotten
sport or game, which gave rise to a proverbial expression, _Dun is
in the mire_, used when a person was at a stand, or plunged into any
difficulty. We find it as early as Chaucer's time in the Manciple's

    "Ther gan our hoste to jape and to play,
    And sayde; sires, what? _Dun is in the mire._"

How the above sport was practised we have still to learn. _Dun_ is, no
doubt, the name of a horse or an ass. There is an equivalent phrase,
_Nothing is bolder than blynde Bayard which falleth oft in the mire_.
See Dr. Bullein's _dialogue between soarenesse and chirurgi_, fo. 10;
and there is also a proverb, _As dull as Dun in the mire_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 376.

    MER.         ... This is that very Mab
    _That plats the manes of horses in the night_.

No attempt has hitherto been made to explain this line, which
alludes to a very singular superstition not yet forgotten in some
parts of the country. It was believed that certain malignant spirits,
whose delight was to wander in groves and pleasant places, assumed
occasionally the likenesses of women clothed in white; that in this
character they sometimes haunted stables in the night time, carrying
in their hands tapers of wax, which they dropped on the horses' manes,
thereby plaiting them in inextricable knots, to the great annoyance
of the poor animals, and vexation of their masters. These hags are
mentioned in the works of William of Auvergne, bishop of Paris in the
13th century. There is a very uncommon old print by Hans Burgmair
relating to this subject. A witch enters the stable with a lighted
torch: and previously to the operation of entangling the horse's mane,
practises her enchantments on the groom, who is lying asleep on his
back, and apparently influenced by the night-mare. The _Belemnites_, or
elf-stones, were regarded as charms against the last-mentioned disease,
and against evil spirits of all kinds; but the _cerauniæ_ or _bætuli_,
and all perforated flint-stones, were not only used for the same
purpose, but more particularly for the protection of horses and other
cattle, by suspending them in stables, or tying them round the necks of
the animals.

The next line,

    "And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,"

seems to be unconnected with the preceding, and to mark a superstition
which, as Dr. Warburton has observed, may have originated from the
_plica Polonica_, which was supposed to be the operation of wicked
elves; whence the clotted hair was called _elf-locks_ and _elf-knots_.
Thus Edgar talks of "_elfing_ all his hair in _knots_." Lodge, in
his _Wit's miserie_, 1599, 4to, describing a devil whom he names
_Brawling-contention_, says, "his ordinary apparell is a little
low-crown'd hat with a fether in it like a forehorse; his haires are
curld, and full of _elves locks_ and nitty for want of kembing."


                           SCENE 2. Page 398.

    ROM. It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.

This line in particular, and perhaps the whole of the Scene, has been
imitated by the ingenious author of the Latin comedy of _Labyrinthus_.
In Act III. Scene 4, two lovers meet at night, and the Romeo of the
piece says to his mistress, "Quid mihi noctem commemoras, mea salus?
Splendens nunc subitò illuxit dies, ubi tu primum, mea lux, oculorum
radiis hasce dispulisti tenebras." This excellent play was acted before
King James I. at Cambridge, and for bustle and contrivance has perhaps
never been exceeded.

                           SCENE 2. Page 398.

    JUL. Thou art thyself _though_, not a Montagu.

Dr. Johnson would have substituted _then_ for _though_; but without
necessity, because _in that sense_ the latter word was anciently
written _tho_: unskilful printers, deceived by sound, substituted
_though_; whence the ambiguity has arisen. Thus Chaucer in his
_Canterbury tales_, v. 2214,

    "Yet sang the larke, and Palamon right _tho_
    With holy herte and with a high corāge
    He rose."

And again, v. 2392,

    "For thilk sorrow that was _tho_ in thyn herte."

Thus much in explanation of _though_, if put here for _then_, which is
by no means clear. Mr. Malone's quotations on the other side of the
question carry great weight with them.

                           SCENE 2. Page 400.

    ROM. When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
    And sails upon the bosom of the air.

On this occasion Shakspeare recollected the 104th _psalm_, "Who maketh
the clouds his charet, who walketh upon the wings of the winde."

                           SCENE 2. Page 405.

    JUL.       ... at lovers perjuries,
    They say, Jove laughs.

This Shakspeare found in Ovid's _Art of love_, perhaps in Marlow's
translation, book I,

    "For Jove himself sits in the azure skies,
    _And laughs below at lovers perjuries_."

With the following beautiful antithesis to the above lines, every
reader of taste will be gratified. It is given _memoriter_ from some
old play, the name of which is forgotten;

    "_When lovers swear true faith_, the list'ning angels
    Stand on the golden battlements of heaven,
    And waft their vows to the eternal throne."

                           SCENE 2. Page 410.

    ROM. How _silver-sweet_ sound lovers tongues by night.

In _Pericles_, Act V., we have _silver-voic'd_. Perhaps these epithets
have been formed from the common notion that silver mixed with bells
softens and improves their tone. We say likewise that a person is

                           SCENE 3. Page 414.

    FRI. O mickle is the powerful grace, that lies
    In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities:
    For nought so vile that on the earth doth live,
    But to the earth some special good doth give;
    Nor aught so good, but strain'd from that fair use
    Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse.

Thus all the copies. But in Swan's _Speculum mundi_, the first edition
of which was published in 1635, they are quoted with the following

    "O mickle is the powerful _good_ that lies
    In herbs, _trees_, stones, and their true qualities:
    For nought so vile that on the earth doth live,
    But to the earth some _secret_ good doth give.
    _And nought so rich on either rock or shelf;
    But, if unknown, lies uselesse to itself._"

                           SCENE 4. Page 427.

    MER. ... for this driveling love is like a great natural, that runs
    lolling up and down _to hide his bauble in a hole_.

When the physical conformation of idiots is considered, the latent but
obscene allusion which this speech conveys will be instantly perceived.
What follows is still less worthy of _particular_ illustration.
Mercutio riots in this sort of language. The epithet _driveling_ is
applied to love as a _slavering idiot_; but Sir Philip Sidney has made
Cupid an _old drivell_. See the lines quoted from the Arcadia by Dr.
Farmer, _Much ado about nothing_, Act III. Scene 2.

                           SCENE 4. Page 431.

    NURSE. I pray you sir, what saucy merchant was this, that was so
    full of his _ropery_?

Mr. Steevens has justly observed that the term _merchant_ was anciently
used in contradistinction to _gentleman_. _Whetstone_, in his _Mirour
for majestrates of cyties_, 1584, 4to, speaking of the usurious
practices of the citizens of London who attended the gaming-houses for
the purpose of supplying the gentlemen players with money, has the
following remark: "The extremity of these men's dealings hath beene
and is so cruell as there is a natural malice generally impressed in
the hearts of the gentlemen of England towards the citizens of London,
insomuch as if they odiously name a man, they foorthwith call him, a
_trimme merchaunt_. In like despight the citizen calleth every rascall
_a joly gentleman_. And truly this mortall envie betweene these two
woorthie estates, was first engendred of the cruell usage of covetous
merchaunts in hard bargaines gotten of gentlemen, and nourished with
malitious words and revenges taken of both parties."

With respect to _ropery_,--the word seems to have been deemed unworthy
of a place in our early dictionaries, and was probably coined in
the mint of the slang or canting crew. It savours strongly of the
halter, and appears to have signified a low kind of knavish waggery.
From some other words of similar import, it may derive illustration.
Thus a _rope-rype_ is defined in Hulæt's _Abcedarium_ to be "an
ungracious waghalter, _nequam_;" and in Minsheu's dictionary, "one
ripe for a rope, or for whom the gallowes grones." A _roper_ has
nearly the same definition in the English vocabulary at the end of
Thomasii _Dictionarium_, 1615, 4to; but the word occasionally denoted
a crafty fellow, or one who would practise a fraud against another
(for which he might deserve hanging). So in the book of blasing of
arms or coat armour, ascribed to Dame Juliana Bernes, the author
says, "which crosse I saw but late in tharmes of a noble man: the
whiche in very dede was somtyme _a crafty man, a roper_, as he himself
sayd," sig. Aij. b. _Roper_ had also another sense, which, though
rather foreign to the present purpose, is so quaintly expressed in
one of our old dictionaries, that the insertion of it will doubtless
be excused:--"Roper, _restio_, is he that loketh in at John Roper's
window by translation, he that hangeth himselfe."--Hulæt's _Abcedarium_
Anglico-Latinum, 1552, folio. _Rope-tricks_, elsewhere used by
Shakspeare, belongs also to this family.

                           SCENE 4. Page 431.

    NURSE. I am none of his skains-mates.

This has been explained _cut-throat companions_, and _frequenters of
the fencing school_, from _skein_, a knife or dagger. The objection
to this interpretation is, that the nurse could not very well compare
herself with characters which it is presumed would scarcely be found
among females of any description. One commentator thinks that she
uses _skains-mates_ for _kins-mates_, and _ropery_ for _roguery_; but
the latter words have been already shown to be synonymous, and the
existence of such a term as _kins-mate_ may be questioned. Besides, the
nurse blunders only in the use of less obvious words.

The following conjecture is therefore offered, but not with entire
confidence in its propriety. It will be recollected that there
are _skains of thread_; so that the good nurse may perhaps mean
nothing more than _sempstresses_, a word not always used in the most
honourable acceptation. She had before stated that she was "none of his


                           SCENE 1. Page 452.

    ROM. O! I am fortune's fool!

"I am always running in the way of evil fortune, _like the fool in the
play_," says Dr. Johnson. There is certainly no allusion to any _play_.
See the note in p. 146.

                           SCENE 2. Page 456.

    JUL. That _run-away's eyes_ may wink.

A great deal of ingenious criticism has been expended in endeavouring
to ascertain the meaning of this expression. Dr. Warburton thought the
_runaway_ in question was the _sun_; but Mr. Heath has most completely
disproved this opinion. Mr. Steevens considers the passage as extremely
elliptical, and regards the _night_ as the _runaway_; making Juliet
wish that its eyes, the stars, might retire to prevent discovery. Mr.
Justice Blackstone can perceive nothing _optative_ in the lines, but
simply a _reason_ for Juliet's wish for a cloudy night; yet according
to this construction of the passage, the grammar of it is not very
easily to be discovered.

Whoever attentively reads over Juliet's speech will be inclined to
think, or even be altogether satisfied, that the _whole tenor_ of it
is _optative_. With respect to calling the night a runaway, one might
surely ask how it can possibly be so termed in _an abstract point of
view_? Is it a greater fugitive than the morning, the noon, or the
evening? Mr. Steevens lays great stress on Shakspeare's having before
called the night a runaway in _The Merchant of Venice_,

    "For the close night doth play the _runaway_;"

but there it was already far advanced, and might therefore with great
propriety be said to _play the runaway_; here it was not begun. The
same remark will apply to the other passage cited by Mr. Steevens from
_The fair maid of the Exchange_. Where then is this _runaway_ to be
found? or can it be Juliet herself? She who had just been secretly
married to the enemy of her parents might with some propriety be
termed a _runaway from her duty_; but she had not abandoned her native
pudency. She therefore invokes the night to veil those rites which she
was about to perform, and to bring her Romeo to her arms in darkness
and in silence. The lines that immediately follow may be thought to
favour this interpretation; and the whole Scene may possibly bring to
the reader's recollection an interesting part in the beautiful story of
Cupid and Psyche.

                           SCENE 5. Page 483.

    JUL. Hunting thee hence with _hunt's-up_ to the day.

Of the notes on this line, that by Mr. Malone is most to the point. He
has shown from Cotgrave, that the _hunt's-up_ was "a morning song to
a new married woman, &c.;" and it was, no doubt, an imitation of the
tune to wake the hunters, noticed by Mr. Steevens, as was that in the
celebrated Scotish _booke of godly and spirituall songs_, beginning,

    "With hunts up, with huntis up,
    It is now perfite day:
    Jesus our king is gane in hunting,
    Quha likes to speed they may."

It is not improbable that the following was the identical song composed
by the person of the name of Gray mentioned in Mr. Ritson's note. It
occurs in a collection entitled _Hunting, hawking, &c._, already cited
in the course of the remarks on _The merry wives of Windsor_. There was
likewise a country dance with a similar title.

    CHO. { The hunt is up, the hunt is up,
         { Sing merrily wee, the hunt is up;
             The birds they sing,
             The Deare they fling,
               Hey, nony nony-no:
             The hounds they crye,
             The hunters flye,
               Hey trolilo, trololilo.
                             The hunt is up, _ut supra_.

             The wood resounds
             To heere the hounds,
               Hey, nony nony-no:
             The rocks report
             This merry sport,
               Hey, trolilo, trololilo.
    CHO. { The hunt is up, the hunt is up,
         { Sing merrily wee, the hunt is up.

             Then hye apace,
             Unto the chase,
               Hey nony, nony-no;
             Whilst every thing
             Doth sweetly sing,
               Hey trolilo, trololilo.
    CHO. { The hunt is up, the hunt is up,
         { Sing merrily wee, the hunt is up.

                           SCENE 5. Page 496.

    NURSE. ... an eagle, madam,
    Hath not so _green_, so quick, so fair an eye.

Besides the authorities already produced in favour of _green_ eyes,
and which show the impropriety of Hanmer's alteration to _keen_, a
hundred others might, if necessary, be given. The early French poets
are extremely fond of alluding to them under the title of _yeux vers_,
which Mons. Le Grand has in vain attempted to convert into _yeux
vairs_, or grey eyes.[22] It must be confessed that the scarcity, if
not total absence of such eyes in modern times, might well have excited
the doubts of the above intelligent and agreeable writer. For this
let naturalists, if they can, account. It is certain that green eyes
were found among the ancients. Plautus thus alludes to them in his

              "Qui hic est homo
    Cum collativo ventre, atque oculis _herbeis_?"

Lord Verulam says, "Great eyes with a _green circle_ between the
white and the white of the eye, signify long life."--_Hist. of life
and death_, p. 124. Villa Real, a Portuguese, has written a treatise
in praise of them, and they are even said to exist now among his
countrymen. See Pinkerton's _Geography_, vol. i. p. 556, and Steevens's
Shakspeare, vol. v. 164, 203.


                           SCENE 2. Page 508.

    CAP. Where have you been _gadding_?

Mr. Steevens remarks that "the primitive sense of this word was to
straggle from house to house and collect money under pretence of
singing carols to the blessed Virgin;" and he quotes a note on Milton's
Lycidas by Mr. Warton: but this derivation seems too refined. Mr.
Warton's authority is an old register at Gadderston, in these words:
"Receyvid at the _gadyng_ with Saynte Mary songe at Crismas." If the
original were attentively examined, it would perhaps turn out that the
word in question has some mark of contraction over it, which would
convert it into _gaderyng_, i. e. gathering or collecting money, and
not simply _going about from house to house_ according to Mr. Warton's

                           SCENE 5. Page 525.

    FRI. ... and stick your _rosemary_
    On this fair corse----

This plant was used in various ways at funerals. Being an evergreen,
it was regarded as an emblem of the soul's immortality. Thus in
Cartwright's _Ordinary_, Act V. Scene 1:

    "... If there be
    Any so kind as to accompany
    My body to the earth, let them not want
    For entertainment; pr'ythee see they have
    A _sprig of rosemary_ dip'd in common water
    To smell to as they walk along the streets."

In an obituary kept by Mr. Smith, secondary of one of the Compters, and
preserved among the Sloanian MSS. in the British Museum, No. 886, is
the following entry: "Janʸ. 2. 1671. Mr. Cornelius Bee bookseller in
Little Britain died; buried Jan. 4. at Great St. Bartholomew's without
a sermon, without wine or wafers, only gloves and _rosmary_."

And Mr. Gay, when describing Blouzelinda's funeral, records that

    "Sprigg'd rosemary the lads and lasses bore."

                           SCENE 5. Page 528.

    PET. No money, on my faith; but the _gleek_: I will _give_ you the

From what has been said in page 118, it becomes necessary to withdraw
so much of a former note as relates to the _game_ of gleek. _To give
the minstrel_, is no more than a punning phrase for _giving the gleek_.
Minstrels and jesters were anciently called _gleekmen_ or _gligmen_.

                           SCENE 5. Page 529.

    PET. When _griping grief_ the heart doth wound
    And _doleful dumps_ the mind oppress.

The following stanza from one of Whitney's _Emblems_, 1586, 4to, is
not very dissimilar from that of Richard Edwards, communicated in the
note by Sir John Hawkins, and may serve to confirm the propriety of Mr.
Steevens's observation, that the epithet _griping_ was not calculated
to excite laughter in the time of Shakspeare.

    "If griping greifes have harbour in thie breste
    And pininge cares laie seige unto the same,
    Or straunge conceiptes doe reave thee of thie rest,
    And daie and nighte do bringe thee out of frame:
        Then choose a freinde, and doe his counsaile crave,
        Least secret sighes, doe bringe untimelie grave."

_Griping griefs_ and _doleful dumps_ are very thickly interspersed in
Grange's _Golden Aphroditis_, 1577, 4to, and in many other places. They
were great favourites; but griefs were not always _griping_. Thus in
Turbervile's translation of _Ovid's epistle from Hero to Leander_;

    "Which if I heard, of troth
    For _grunting_ griefe I die."


                           SCENE 1. Page 536.

    ROM. An _alligator_ stuff'd----

Our dictionaries supply no materials towards the etymology of this
word, which was probably introduced into the language by some of our
early voyagers to the Spanish or Portuguese settlements in the newly
discovered world. They would hear the Spaniards discoursing of the
animal by the name of _el lagarto_, or the lizard; Lat. _lacerta_; and
on their return home, they would inform their countrymen that this sort
of crocodile was called an _alligator_. It would not be difficult to
trace other corrupted words in a similar manner.


It has hitherto remained unnoticed, that one of the material incidents
in this drama is to be found in _The love adventures of Abrocomas
and Anthia_, usually called the _Ephesiacs_ of Xenophon of Ephesus.
The heroine of this romance, separated, by a series of misfortunes,
from her husband, falls into the hands of robbers, from whom she is
rescued by a young nobleman called Perilaus. He becomes enamoured of
her; and she, fearing violence, affects to consent to marry him; but
on the arrival of the appointed time, swallows a poisonous draught
which she had procured from Eudoxus, an old physician and the friend
of Perilaus, to whom she had communicated the secret of her history.
Much lamentation is made for her death, and she is conveyed with great
pomp to a sepulchre. As she had only taken a sleeping potion, she soon
awakes in the tomb, which, on account of the riches it contained,
is plundered by some thieves, who also carry her off. This work was
certainly not published nor translated in the time of Luigi da Porto,
the original narrator of the story of _Romeo and Juliet_; but there
is no reason why he might not have seen a copy of the original in

Two incidents in this Greek romance are likewise to be found in
_Cymbeline_; one of which is the following: Anthia having become the
slave of Manto and her husband, he is captivated with her beauty; and
this coming to the knowledge of the jealous Manto, she orders a trusty
servant to carry Anthia into a wood and put her to death. This man,
like the servant in Boccaccio, and Pisanio in Shakspeare, commiserates
the situation of Anthia, spares her life, and provides the means for
her future safety. A similar occurrence is introduced into some of the
tales of the middle ages. The other is the above-mentioned draught of
poison swallowed by Imogen, as by Anthia, though not with precisely the
same effect. As it is not to be found either in Boccaccio or in the old
story-book of _Westward for smelts_, one might suspect that some novel,
imitated from the _Ephesiacs_, was existing in the time of Shakspeare,
though now unknown.


[22] Fabliaux ou contes, tom. iv. p. 215.



                            SCENE 1. Page 9.

    MAR. Thou art a _scholar_, speak to it, Horatio.

The reason why the common people believed that ghosts were only to
be addressed by scholars seems to have been, that the exorcisms of
troublesome spirits were usually performed in _Latin_.

                           SCENE 1. Page 21.

    HOR. The _cock_ that is the _trumpet to the morn_,
    Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
    _Awake the God of day_; and at his warning,
    Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
    _The extravagant and erring spirit hies
    To his confine_.

Besides the hymn of Prudentius referred to in Dr. Farmer's note, there
is another said to have been composed by Saint Ambrose, and formerly
used in the Salisbury service. It contains the following lines, which
so much resemble Horatio's speech, that one might almost suppose
Shakspeare had seen them:

    "_Preco diei jam sonat_,
    Noctis profundæ pervigil;
    Nocturna lux viantibus,
    A nocte noctem segregans.
    _Hoc excitatus Lucifer,
    Solvit polum caligine;
    Hoc omnis errorum chorus
    Viam nocendi deserit.
    Gallo canente_ spes redit, &c."

See _Expositio hymnorum secundum usum Sarum_, pr. by R. Pynson, n. d.
4to, fo. vii. b. The epithets _extravagant_ and _erring_ are highly
poetical and appropriate, and seem to prove that Shakspeare was not
altogether ignorant of the Latin language.

                           SCENE 2. Page 35.

    HAM. Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
    His _canon_ 'gainst self slaughter.

Mr. Steevens says, "there are yet those who suppose the old reading
(cannon, in the sense of artillery) to be the true one." He himself
was not of the number. It must be owned that _fixing a cannon_ is an
odd mode of vengeance on the part of the Deity; yet it is still more
difficult to conceive in what manner this instrument could operate in
avenging _suicide_. The pedants of Hierocles, who were the Gothamites
of their time, might, if now existing, be competent to explain all
this; or, indeed, we might ourselves suppose that suicides could be
blown into atoms as the seapoys sometimes are, by tying them to the
cannon's mouth, a method equally humane with the practice of driving
stakes through their bodies. Mr. Malone's happy quotation has for ever
_fixed_ the proper meaning.

                           SCENE 2. Page 40.

    HAM. ... the _funeral bak'd meats_
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

The practice of making entertainments at funerals which prevailed
in this and other countries, and which is not even at present quite
disused in some of the northern counties of England, was certainly
borrowed from the _cœna feralis_ of the Romans, alluded to in Juvenal's
fifth satire, and in the laws of the twelve tables. It consisted of
an offering of a small plate of milk, honey, wine, flowers, &c., to
the ghost of the deceased. In the instances of heroes and other great
characters, the same custom appears to have prevailed among the Greeks.
With us the appetites of the living are consulted on this occasion. In
the North this feast is called an _arval_ or _arvil-supper_; and the
loaves that are sometimes distributed among the poor, _arval-bread_.
Not many years since one of these arvals was celebrated in a village
in Yorkshire at a public-house, the sign of which was the family arms
of a nobleman whose motto is VIRTUS POST FUNERA VIVIT. The undertaker,
who, though a clerk, was no scholar, requested a gentleman present to
explain to him the meaning of these Latin words, which he readily and
facetiously did in the following manner: _Virtus_, a parish clerk,
_vivit_, lives well, _post funera_, at an _arval_. The latter word
is apparently derived from some lost Teutonic term that indicated a
funeral pile on which the body was burned in times of Paganism. Thus
_ærill_ in Islandic signifies the inside of an oven. The common parent
seems to have been _ar_, fire; whence _ara_, an altar of fire, _ardeo_,
_aridus_, &c. &c. So the pile itself was called _ara_ by Virgil, Æn.
vi. 177:

    "Haud mora, festinant flentes; _aramque sepulchri_
    Congerere arboribus, cœloque educere certant."

                           SCENE 2. Page 41.

    HAM. He was a man, take him for all in all,
    _I_ shall not look upon his like again.

In further support of the proposed elegant emendation, "_Eye_ shall not
look, &c.," this passage in 1 Corinth. ch ii. v. 9, may be adduced,
"_Eye_ hath not seen, nor ear heard, the things which he hath prepared
for them that love him." An objection of some weight may however be
made to this change; which is, that in recitation some ambiguity might
arise, or at least the force of it would not be perceived; whereas the
other reading could not be mistaken.

                           SCENE 3. Page 51.

    POL. But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
    Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade.

In Taverner's _Proverbes or Adagies, gathered out of the Chiliades of
Erasmus_, 1569, 12mo, is the following adage: "_Ne cuivis porrigas
dexteram._ Holde not forth thy hande to every man. He meaneth wee
should not unadvisedlie admitte every body into our frendship and
familiaritie." In the margin of the copy from which this extract is
made, some person has _written_ the above lines from Hamlet, on which
the whole serves as an excellent comment, supporting Dr. Johnson's
explanation of them in a remarkable manner.

                           SCENE 4. Page 59.

    HAM. The king doth wake to-night, and takes his _rouse_.

This word is used in the various significations of a riotous noise, a
drunken debauch, and a large portion of liquor. We had it probably from
our Saxon or Danish progenitors; and though the original word is lost
it remains in the German _rausch_. Hence our _carouse_; _roister_ is of
the same family, and perhaps the word _row_, which was very much used a
few years since. The Greeks too had their καρωσις, _nimia ebrietas_.

                           SCENE 4. Page 60.

    HAM. And as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
    The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
    The triumph of his pledge.

Thus Cleaveland in his _Fuscara, or The bee errant_,

    "Tuning his draughts with drowsie hums
    _As Danes carowse by kettle-drums_."

                           SCENE 4. Page 60.

    HAM. Keeps _wassel_----

As the whole that appertains to this ancient, and, as connected
with convivial manners, interesting word, lies scattered in various
places, and has been detailed by writers whose opinions are extremely
discordant, an attempt seemed necessary to digest within a reasonable
compass the most valuable of the materials on the subject. There cannot
be the smallest doubt that the term itself is to be sought for in the
well-known story of Vortigern and Rowena, or Ronix, the daughter of
Hengist; the earliest authority for which is that of Walter Calenius,
who supplied the materials for Geoffrey of Monmouth's history. He
relates that on Vortigern's first interview with the lady, she kneeled
before him, and presenting a cup of wine, said to him, "Lord king,
_wacht heil_," or in purer Saxon _wæs hæl_; literally, be health, or
health be to you! As the king was unacquainted with the Saxon language,
he inquired the meaning of these words; and being told that they wished
him health, and that he should answer them by saying _drinc heil_, he
did so, and commanded Rowena to drink. Then, taking the cup from her
hand, he kissed the damsel and pledged her. The historian adds, that
from that time to his own the custom remained in Britain that whoever
drank to another at a feast said _wacht heil_, and he that immediately
after received the cup answered _drinc heil_. Robert of Brunne, in
translating this part of Geoffrey of Monmouth, has preserved a curious
addition to it. He states that Vortigern, not comprehending the
words of Rowena, demanded their meaning from one of his Britons, who
immediately explained to him the Saxon custom as follows:

    "This es ther custom and ther gest,
    Whan thei are at the ale or fest,
    Ilk man that lovis qware him think,
    Salle say _Wosseille_, and to him drink.
    He that bidis salle say, _Wassaile_;
    The tother salle say again, _Drink haille_.
    That sais _Wosseille_ drinkis of the cop,
    Kissand his felaw he gives it up;
    _Drinheille_, he sais, and drinks therof,
    Kissand him in bourd and skof.
    The king said as the knight gan ken
    _Drinkheille_, smiland on Rouewen,
    Rouwen drank as hire list,
    And gave the king, sine him kist.
    There was the first wassaille in dede
    And that first of fame yede
    Of that wassaille men told grete tale,
    And wassaille whan thei were at ale
    And drinkheille to tham that drank
    Thus was wassaille tane to thank."

An old metrical fragment preserved by Hearne in his glossary to Robert
of Gloucester's chronicle, carries the practice of wassailing much
higher, even to the time of Saint Alban in the third century:

    "In that tyme weteth welle,
    Cam ferst wassayle and drynkehayl
    In to this londe, withowte wene,
    Thurghe a mayde, brygh and schene
    Sche was cleput mayde Ynge."

The chronicler proceeds to relate a story of this Ynge, who quitted
Saxony with several others of her countrymen on account of hunger, and,
arriving in Britain, obtained of the king as much land as she should be
able to cover with a bull's hide. She afterwards invited the king and
his nobles to a feast, and _giving him wassel_, treacherously slew him,
her companions following the example by murdering the nobles. By these
means she obtained possession of the whole kingdom, which was from her
afterwards called _Yngland_. This statement is unworthy of notice in
an historical point of view, being manifestly a corrupt account of the
arrival of Hengist as related by Geoffrey of Monmouth. But the story of
Vortigern is not improbable, and has at least furnished the origin of
the words _wæs hæl_ and _drinc hæl_, as used at convivial meetings in
this country; for whatever may have been said or imagined concerning
any previous custom of health-drinking among the Saxons or other German
nations, it is certain that no equivalent term with our _wassel_ is to
be found in any of the Teutonic dialects.

Among other valuable remarks that have already been made in some notes
on this word by Messrs. Steevens and Malone, it has been observed that
the _wassel_ bowl was particularly used at the season of Christmas,
and that in process of time _wassel_ came to signify not only meetings
of rustic mirth, but also general riot, intemperance, and festivity.
In the eleventh volume of _Archæologia_, the learned Dr. Milner has
exhibited and described an ancient oaken cup, formerly belonging to
the abbey of Glastonbury, which with great probability he supposes
to be of Saxon times, and to have been used for wasselling. In
_The antiquarian repertory_, vol. i. p. 217, there is an account,
accompanied with an engraving, of an oaken chimney-piece in a very old
house at Berlen near Snodland in Kent, on which is carved a wassel bowl
resting on the branches of an apple-tree, alluding, probably, to part
of the materials of which the liquor was composed. On one side is the
word ~was̀s̀heíl~, and on the other ~dríncheíle~. This is certainly a
very great curiosity of its kind, and at least as old as the fourteenth
century. Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, in his will gave to Sir John
Briddlewood a silver cup called _wassail_; and it appears that John
Duke of Bedford, the regent, by his first will bequeathed to John
Barton, his maitre d'hotel, a silver cup and cover, on which was
inscribed WASHAYL. During the Christmas holidays these wassel-bowls
were often carried from house to house by the common people with a
view to collect money. There are, besides, other significations of the
word _wassel_ that deserve to be noticed. These are, 1. A drinking
song sung on the eve of Twelfth-day. 2. A custom of throwing toast to
apple-trees for the purpose of procuring a fruitful year; which, says
Mr. Grose, who has mentioned this practice in his provincial glossary,
seems to be a relic of the heathen sacrifice to Pomona. 3. The contents
of the wassel-cup, which were of different materials, as spiced wine or
ale, with roasted apples and sugar, mead, or metheglin, &c. There was
also what was called _wassel_, or more properly _wastel-bread_, which
may be deserving of particular notice, as there is much diversity of
opinion among those who have mentioned it. Bishop Lowth, in his Life
of William Wykeham, had supposed that the term was derived from the
_wastell_, _vessell or basket in which the bread was made, or carried
or weighed_; an etymology which is with great reason contested by Dr.
Milner in his paper on the Glastonbury cup. The latter writer is of
opinion, that during the times of wasselling a finer sort of bread was
provided, which on that account was called _wassel-bread_; and other
persons had already conceived that the bread in question took its name
from being dipped in the wassel-bowl. As a preliminary objection to
these conjectures, it must be observed that the genuine orthography
of the word is _wastel_, and not _wassel_, which is undoubtedly a
corruption, and has led to much misconception. The earliest instance
in which mention is made of wastel-bread is the statute 51 Henry
III., entitled _Assisa panis et cerevisiæ_; where it is coupled with
the _simnel bread_, which was made of the very finest flour, and
twice baked. It appears from the same statute that _wastel-bread_
was next in fineness to the simnel, and is described as _white bread
well baked_. There does not seem therefore any reason for concluding
that the wastel-bread was in _particular_, but in _general use at all
seasons_. We are told by Hoveden the historian, that at an interview
which took place between William king of Scotland and Richard the
First, at Northampton, a charter was granted to the Scotish monarch,
in which it was agreed, that, whenever he should be summoned to the
English court for the performance of homage, his daily allowance, among
other things, should consist of twelve simnels and as many _wastels_.
In Matthew Paris's history of the abbots of Saint Alban's, p. 141,
it is said of the abbot; "Solus in refectorio prandebit supremus,
habens _vastellum_." It is surprising how Mr. Watts the editor should
misconceive the meaning of this word so much as to call it a _canopy_;
nor is it indeed much less extraordinary that Dr. Milner, who is so
well skilled in ecclesiastical antiquities, should have supposed it
to signify a _wassel-bowl_. The regulation is general, and it had
escaped the learned writer's recollection that wasselling was of a
particular season; for it could not be applied in its subordinate sense
of revelling or rioting, to so grave a person as an abbot. The Doctor
might have been misled by the authority of Mr. Blount in his edition
of Cowel's law dictionary, where the conjecture on the part of Mr.
Somner, that the wastel bread might have been derived from _pastillus_,
is termed _unlucky_; but, as it is presumed, without sufficient reason,
although it may not be the exact origin of the expression. Chaucer,
speaking of his Prioress, says,

    "Of smale houndes hadde she, that she fedde
    With rosted flesh, and milk, and _wastel-brede_."

We cannot suppose that these animals would have been regaled with a
food which was set apart for particular festivities, but rather with
what was to be procured at all times, though of a more delicate and
expensive nature. In short, what seems to be the most probable original
of this much disputed word is the French _gasteau_, anciently written
_gastel_, in the Picard language _ouastel_ or _watel_, and signifying
_a cake_; a name which might with great propriety have been applied to
this sort of bread on account of its superior quality, in like manner
as the _simnel_ bread was so termed from the Latin _simila_, the finest
part of the flour. The cake-like form, too, of this kind of bread
seems to be alluded to in the following extract from the register of
William of Wykeham, which has been quoted by Bishop Lowth for a very
different, but, as it is submitted, inapplicable purpose: "Octo panes
_in wastellis_, ponderis cujuslibet wastelli unius miche conventualis,"
i. e. eight loaves in the form of _wastels_ or cakes, the weight of
each being that of a conventual manchet. And to conclude this part of
the subject, in the old French language the term _wastelier_ is used
for a pastry-cook or maker of _wastiaux_, where it is not likely that
there could have been any connection with our _wassel_ in its Saxon and
legitimate construction. What the heralds call _torteauxes_, in reality
little cakes, from the French _tourte_, were likewise termed _wastels_,
as we learn from the old book on coat armour ascribed to Dame Juliana
Bernes, the celebrated abbess of Sopewell near Saint Albans.

The _wassel songs_ were sung during the festivities of Christmas,
and, in earlier times, principally by those itinerant minstrels who
frequented the houses of the gentry, where they were always certain of
the most welcome reception. It has indeed been the chief purpose in
discussing the present subject, to introduce to the reader's notice
a composition of this kind, which is perhaps at the same time to be
regarded as the most ancient drinking song, composed in England, that
is extant. This singular curiosity has been written on a spare leaf in
the middle of a valuable miscellaneous manuscript of the fourteenth
century, preserved in the British Museum, Bibl. Reg. 16, E. viii. It is
probably more than a century older than the manuscript itself, and must
have been composed at a time when the Norman language was very familiar
in England. In the endeavour to translate it, some difficulties were
to be encountered; but it has been an object to preserve the whole and
sometimes literal sense of the original, whilst from the nature of the
English stanza it was impossible to dispense with amplification.


    Seignors ore entendez a nus,
    De loinz sumes venuz a wous,
        Pur quere NOEL;
    Car lem nus dit que en cest hostel
    Soleit tenir sa feste anuel
        A hi cest jur.
            Deu doint a tus icels joie d'amurs
            Qi a DANZ NOEL ferunt honors.

    Seignors jo vus di por veir
    Ke DANZ NOEL ne velt aveir
        Si joie non;
    E repleni sa maison,
    De payn, de char & de peison,
        Por faire honor
            Deu doint a tuz ces joie damur.

    Seignors il est crié en lost,
    Qe cil qui despent bien et tost,
        E largement;
    E fet les granz honors sovent
    Deu li duble quanque il despent
        Por faire honor.
                  Deu doint a.

    Seignors escriez les malveis,
    Car vus nel les troverez jameis
        De bone part:
    Botun, batun, ferun gruinard,
    Car tot dis a le quer cuuard
        Por faire honor.
                  Deu doint.

    NOEL beyt bien li vin Engleis
    E li Gascoin & li Franceys
        E l'Angevin:
    NOEL fait beivre son veisin,
    Si quil se dort, le chief enclin,
        Sovent le jor.
                  Deu doint a tuz cels.

    Seignors jo vus di par NOEL,
    E par li sires de cest hostel,
        Car bevez ben:
    E jo primes beurai le men,
    Et pois apres chescon le soen,
        Par mon conseil,
    Si jo vus di trestoz _Wesseyl_
    Dehaiz eit qui ne dirra _Drincheyl_!


            Lordings, from a distant home,
            To seek old CHRISTMAS we are come,
                Who loves our minstrelsy:
            And here, unless report mis-say,
            The grey-beard dwells; and on this day
            Keeps yearly wassel, ever gay,
                With festive mirth and glee.

    To all who honour CHRISTMAS, and commend our lays,
    Love will his blessings send, and crown with joy their days.[23]

            Lordings list, for we tell you true;
            CHRISTMAS loves the jolly crew
                That cloudy care defy:
            His liberal board is deftly spread
            With manchet loaves and wastel-bread;
            His guests with fish and flesh are fed,
                Nor lack the stately pye.[24]

            Lordings, you know that far and near
            The saying is, "Who gives good cheer,
                And freely spends his treasure;
            On him will bounteous heaven bestow
            Twice treble blessings here below,
            His happy hours shall sweetly flow
                In never-ceasing pleasure."

            Lordings, believe us, knaves abound;
            In every place are flatterers found;
                May all their arts be vain!
            But chiefly from these scenes of joy
            Chase sordid souls that mirth annoy,
            And all who with their base alloy
                Turn pleasure into pain.

            CHRISTMAS quaffs our English wines,[25]
            Nor Gascoigne juice, nor French declines,
                Nor liquor of Anjou:
            He puts th' insidious goblet round,
            Till all the guests in sleep are drown'd,
            Then wakes 'em with the tabor's sound,
                And plays the prank anew.

            Lordings, it is our host's command,
            And CHRISTMAS joins him hand in hand,
                To drain the brimming bowl:
            And I'll be foremost to obey;
            Then pledge me sirs, and drink away,
            For CHRISTMAS revels here to day,
                And sways without control.

    Now WASSEL to you all! and merry may ye be!
    But foul that wight befall, who DRINKS not HEALTH to me!

                           SCENE 4. Page 60.

    HAM. This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
    Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations:
    _They clepe us drunkards_.

Dr. Johnson has noticed the frequent allusions in this play to the
king's intemperance, a failing that seems to have been too common
among the Danish sovereigns as well as their subjects. A lively
French traveller being asked what he had seen in Denmark, replied,
"rien de singulier, sinon qu'on y chante tous les jours, _le roy
boit_;" alluding to the French mode of celebrating Twelfth-day. See
De Brieux, _Origines de quelques coutûmes_, p. 56. Heywood in his
_Philocothonista, or The drunkard opened, dissected, and anatomized_,
1635, 4to, speaking of what he calls the _vinosity of nations_, says of
the Danes, that "they have made a profession thereof from antiquity,
and are the first upon record that brought their wassell-bowles and
elbowe-deep healthes into this land."

                           SCENE 4. Page 68.

    HAM. That thou, dead corse, again, in _cómplete_ steel----

This word is accented in both ways by our old poets as suited the
metre. Thus in Sylvester's _Du Bartas_, edit. folio, 1621, p. 120:

    "Who arms himself so cómplete every way."

But in _King John_, Act II., we have,

    "Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
    Is the young Dauphin, every way compléte:
    If not compléte, oh say, he is not she."

                           SCENE 4. Page 68.

    HAM. Say why is this, wherefore, _what should we do_?

This interrogation is perfectly consistent with the opinions
entertained by our forefathers concerning ghosts, which they believed
had some particular motive for quitting the mansions of the dead; such
as a desire that their bodies, if unburied, should receive Christian
rites of sepulture; that a murderer might be brought to due punishment,
as in the present instance; with various other reasons. On this account
Horatio had already thus invoked the ghost:

    "If there be any good thing to be done,
    That may _do ease to thee_ and grace to me,
    Speak to me."

Some of the superstitions have been transmitted from the earliest
times. It was the established opinion among the ancient Greeks, that
such as had not received the funeral rites would be excluded from
Elysium, and that on this account the departed spirits continued in a
restless state until their bodies underwent the usual ceremony. Thus
the wandering and rejected shade of Patroclus appears to Achilles in
his sleep, and demands the performance of his funeral. The Hecuba
of Euripides supplies another instance of a troubled ghost. In like
manner the unburied Palinurus complains to Æneas.[26] In Plautus's
_Mostellaria_, the cunning servant endeavours to persuade his master
that the house is haunted by the ghost of a man who had been murdered,
and whose body remained without sepulture. The younger Pliny has a
story of a haunted house at Athens, in which a ghost played many
pranks on account of his funeral rites being neglected. Nor were
ghosts supposed to be less turbulent, even after burial, whenever the
party had died a premature death, as we learn from Tertullian, in his
treatise _De anima_, cap. 56, where he says, "Aiunt et immatura morte
præventos eousque vagari isthic, donec reliquatio compleatur ætatis qua
cum pervixissent si non intempestivé obiissent."

                           SCENE 5. Page 72.

    HAM. Speak, I am bound to hear.

    GHOST. So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear.

These words have been turned into ridicule by Fletcher in his
_Woman-hater_, Act II.;

    "LAZ. Speak, I am bound.

    "COUNT. So art thou to revenge when thou shalt hear the fish-head
    is gone, and we know not whither." #/

                           SCENE 5. Page 72.

    GHOST. And for the day, confin'd _to fast in fires_.
    'Till the foul crimes, &c.

A member of the church of Rome might be disposed to regard this
expression as simply referring to a _mental_ privation of all
intercourse with the Deity. Such an idea would remove the inconsistency
of ascribing corporeal sensations to the ghost, and might derive
support from these lines in an ancient Christian hymn. See _Expositio
hymnorum_, sec. usum Sarum.

    "Sic corpus extra conteri,
    Dona per abstinentiam,
    _Jejunet ut mens sobria
    A labe prorsus criminum_."

The whole of the ghost's speech is remarkable for its terrific grandeur.

                           SCENE 5. Page 75.

    GHOST. And _duller_ should'st thou be than the fat weed
    That rots itself in ease on _Lethe's_ wharf.

The plant here alluded to might have been _henbane_, of which Gerarde
says that it causes drowsiness, and stupefies and _dulls_ the senses.

                           SCENE 5. Page 76.

    HAM. O, my prophetick soul! my uncle!

Copied, perhaps maliciously, in Beaumont and Fletcher's _Double
marriage_, Act II.

    "SES. Oh my prophetique soul!"

                            SCENE 5. Page 77

    GHOST. But soft, methinks I scent the morning air--
    The glow-worm shows the matin to be near.

It was the popular belief that ghosts could not endure the light, and
consequently disappeared at the dawn of day. This superstition is
derived from our northern ancestors, who held that the sun and every
thing containing _light or fire_ had the property of expelling demons
and spirits of all kinds. With them it seems to have originated in
the stories that are related in the Edda concerning the battles of
Thor against the giants and evil demons, wherein he made use of his
dreadful mallet of iron, which he hurled against them as Jupiter did
his thunderbolts against the Titans. Many of the _transparent_ precious
stones were supposed to have the power of expelling evil spirits; and
the flint and other stones found in the tombs of the northern nations,
and from which fire might be extracted, were imagined, in like manner,
to be efficacious in confining the manes of the dead to their proper
habitations. They were called Thor's hammers.

                           SCENE 5. Page 77.

    GHOST. With juice of cursed _hebenon_ in a vial,
    And in the porches of mine ear did pour, &c.

Dr. Grey had ingeniously supposed this word to be a _metathesis_ for
_henebon_ or _henbane_; but the best part of his note on the subject
has been omitted, which is his reference to Pliny, who says that the
oil of henbane _dropped into the ears_ disturbs the brain. Yet it does
not appear that henbane was ever called _henebon_. The line cited by
Mr. Steevens from Marlow's _Jew of Malta_, shows that the _juice_ of
_hebon_, i. e. _ebony_, was accounted poisonous; and in the English
edition by Batman, of _Bartholomæus de proprietatibus rerum_, so often
cited in these observations as a Shakspearean book, the article for
the wood ebony is entitled, "Of _Ebeno_, chap. 52." This comes so near
to the text, that it is presumed very little doubt will now remain on
the occasion. It is not surprising that the _dropping into the ears_
should occur, because Shakspeare was perfectly well acquainted with the
supposed properties of henbane as recorded in Holland's translation
of Pliny and elsewhere, and might apply this mode of use to any other

                           SCENE 5. Page 77.

    GHOST. ... it doth posset
    And curd, like _eager_ droppings into milk.

Many readers may require to be told that _eager_ means _sour_, from
the French _aigre_. In the preceding Scene it is used in the sense of
_sharp_, and is there properly so explained; but the quotation of the
present passage on that occasion seems misapplied.

                           SCENE 5. Page 79.

    GHOST. ... and sent to my account
    With all my imperfections on my head.

Heywood, a contemporary writer, has imitated this in his play of _A
woman kill'd with kindness_;

    "... and send them, laden
    With all their scarlet sins upon their backs
    Unto a fearful judgment."

                           SCENE 5. Page 81.

    HAM. My tables,--meet it is, I set it down.


It is remarkable that neither public nor private museums should furnish
any specimens of these table-books, which seem to have been very common
in the time of Shakspeare; nor does any attempt appear to have been
made towards ascertaining exactly the materials of which they were
composed. Certain it is, however, that they were sometimes made of
slate in the form of a small portable book with leaves and clasps. Such
a one is fortunately engraved in Gesner's treatise _De rerum fossilium
figuris_, &c. Tigur. 1565, 12mo, which is not to be found in the folio
collection of his works on natural history. The learned author thus
describes it: "Pugillaris è laminis saxi nigri fissilis, cum stylo ex
eodem." His figure of it is here copied.

To such a table-book the Archbishop of York seems thus to allude in
_The second part of King Henry IV._, Act IV. Scene 1:

    "And therefore will he _wipe his tables clean_
    And keep no tell-tale to his memory----"

In the middle ages the leaves of these table-books were made of
ivory. Montfaucon has engraved one of them in the third volume of his
"Antiquities," plate cxciv., the subject of which clearly shows that
the learned writer has committed an error in ascribing them to remoter
times. In Chaucer's _Sompnour's tale_ one of the friars is provided with

    "A pair of tables all of _ivory_,
    And a pointel ypolished fetishly,
    And wrote alway the names, as he stood,
    Of alle folk that yave hem any good."

The Roman practice of writing on wax tablets with a stile was continued
also during the middle-ages. In several of the monastic libraries in
France specimens of wooden tables filled with wax and constructed in
the fourteenth century were preserved. Some of these contained the
household expenses of the sovereigns, &c., and consisted of as many
as twenty pages, formed into a book by means of parchment bands glued
to the backs of the leaves. One remaining in the abbey of St. Germain
des préz at Paris, recorded the expenses of Philip le Bel, during a
journey that he made in the year 1307, on a visit to Pope Clement V. A
single leaf of this table-book is exhibited in the _Nouveau traité de
diplomatique_, tom. i. p. 468.

                           SCENE 5. Page 85.

    HAM. Swear by my sword.

In consequence of the practice of occasionally swearing by a sword,
or rather by the cross or upper end of it, the name of _Jesus_ was
sometimes inscribed on the handle or some other part. Such an instance
occurs on the monument of a crusader in the vestry of the church at
Winchelsea. See likewise the tomb of John duke of Somerset engraved
in Sandford's _Genealogical history_, p. 314, and Gough's _Sepulchral
monuments_, Pref. ccxiii. Introd. cxlviii. vol. i. p. 171, vol. ii. p.


                           SCENE 2. Page 115.

    POL. Though this be madness, yet there's method in it.

This is precisely Horace's,

    "Insanire paret certo ratione modoque."

                           SCENE 2. Page 121.

    HAM. The clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are _tickled o'
    the sere_.

_Sere_ is _dry_. Thus in _Macbeth_,

    "He is deformed, crooked, old and _sere_."

Among the Saxons June was called the _sere_ month. In the present
instance _sere_ appears to be used as a substantive. The same
expression occurs in Howard's _Defensative against the poyson of
supposed prophecies_, 1620, folio: "Discovering the moods and humors
of the vulgar sort to be so loose and _tickle of the seare_," &c., fo.
31. Every one has felt that dry tickling in the throat and lungs which
excites coughing. Hamlet's meaning may therefore be, _the clown by his
merriment shall convert even their coughing into laughter_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 131.

    HAM. Buz, Buz.

Minsheu says, "To _buzze_, or hum as bees, _buzze, buzze_;" and again,
in his Spanish dictionary, "when two standing or kneeling together,
holding their hands upon their cheekes and ears, and so cry, _buzze
buzze_, and hitting one another a good box on the eare, if he pull
not his head away quickly." Selden in his _Table talk_, speaking
of witches, says, "If any should profess that by turning his hat
thrice, and crying _buz_, he could take away a man's life, (though in
truth he could do no such thing) yet this were a just law made by the
state, that whosoever should turn his hat thrice, and cry _buz_, with
an intention to take away a man's life, shall be put to death." The
expression has already exercised the skill of the critics, and may
continue to do so, if they are disposed to pursue the game through the
following mazes: "Anno DCCCXL Ludovicus imperator ad mortem infirmatur,
cujus cibus per XL dies solummodo die dominica dominicum corpus fecit.
Cum vidisset dæmonem astare, dixit _buez, buez_, quod significat
_foras, foras_."--Alberici monachi trium fontium _chronicon_, Leips.
1698. Ducange under the article _Buzi_, says, "Interpretatur despectus
vel contemptus. Papias. [Ab Hebraico _Bus_ vel _bouz_, sprevit.]"

                           SCENE 2. Page 135.

    HAM. Your ladyship is nearer to heaven, than when I saw you last,
    by the altitude of a _chopine_.

In Raymond's _Voyage through Italy_, 1648, 12mo, a work which is said
to have been partly written by Dr. Bargrave, prebendary of Canterbury,
the following curious account of the _chopine_ occurs: "This place
[Venice] is much frequented by the walking may poles, I meane the
women. They weare their coats halfe too long for their bodies, being
mounted on their _chippeens_, (which are as high as a man's leg)
they walke between two handmaids, majestickly deliberating of every
step they take. This fashion was invented and appropriated to the
noble Venetians wives, to bee constant to distinguish them from the
courtesans, who goe covered in a vaile of white taffety."

James Howell, speaking of the Venetian women, says, "They are low and
of small statures for the most part, which makes them to rayse their
bodies upon high shoes called _chapins_, which gave one occasion to
say that the Venetian ladies were made of three things, one part of
them was wood, meaning their chapins, another part was their apparrell,
and the third part was a woman; The Senat hath often endeavour'd to
take away the wearing of those high shooes, but all women are so
passionately delighted with this kind of state that no law can weane
them from it."

Some have supposed that the jealousy of Italian husbands gave rise
to the invention of the _chopine_. Limojon de Saint Didier, a lively
French writer on the republic of Venice, mentions a conversation with
some of the doge's counsellors of state on this subject, in which
it was remarked that smaller shoes would certainly be found more
convenient; which induced one of the counsellors to say, putting on at
the same time a very austere look, _pur troppo commodi, pur troppo_.
The first ladies who rejected the use of the chopine were the daughters
of the Doge Dominico Contareno, about the year 1670. It was impossible
to set one foot before the other without leaning on the shoulders of
two waiting women, and those who used them must have stalked along like
boys in stilts.

The choppine or some kind of high shoe was occasionally used in
England. Bulwer in his _Artificial changeling_, p. 550, complains of
this fashion as a monstrous affectation, and says that his countrywomen
therein imitated the Venetian and Persian ladies. In Sandys's travels,
1615, there is a figure of a Turkish lady with chopines; and it is not
improbable that the Venetians might have borrowed them from the _Greek_
islands in the Archipelago. We know that something similar was in use
among the ancient Greeks. Xenophon in his œconomics, introduces the
wife of Ischomachus, as having high shoes for the purpose of increasing
her stature. They are still worn by the women in many parts of Turkey,
but more particularly at Aleppo. As the figure of an object is often
better than twenty pages of description, one is here given from a real
Venetian chopine.


                           SCENE 2. Page 135.

    HAM. Pray God, your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, be not
    _crack'd within the ring_.

It is to be observed, that there was a ring or circle on the coin,
within which the sovereign's head was placed; if the crack extended
from the edge beyond this ring, the coin was rendered unfit for
currency. Such pieces were hoarded by the usurers of the time, and
lent out as lawful money. Of this we are informed by Roger Fenton
in his _Treatise of usury_, 1611, 4to, p. 23. "A poore man desireth
a goldsmith to lend him such a summe, but he is not able to pay him
interest. If such as I can spare (saith the goldsmith) will pleasure
you, you shall have it for three or foure moneths. Now, hee hath a
number of light, clipt, _crackt_ peeces (for such he useth to take
in change with consideration for their defects:) this summe of money
is repaid by the poore man at the time appointed in good and lawfull
money. This is usurie." And again, "It is a common custome of his [the
usurer's] to buy up _crackt angels_ at nine shillings the piece. Now
sir, if a gentleman (on good assurance) request him of mony, Good sir
(saith hee, with a counterfait sigh) I would be glad to please your
worship, but my _good_ mony is abroad, and that I have, I dare not
put in your hands. The gentleman thinking this conscience, where it
is subtilty, and being beside that in some necessity, ventures on the
_crackt angels_, some of which cannot flie, for soldering, and paies
double interest to the miser under the cloake of honesty."--Lodge's
_Wit's miserie_, 1596, 4to, p. 28. So much for the cracked gold. The
cracking of the _human voice_ proceeded from some alteration in the
larynx, which is here compared to a ring.

As metaphors are sometimes double, the present may be of that kind. A
piece of cracked metal is spoiled for the _ringing of it_; so the human
voice, when cracked, may be said to lose the clearness of its _tone_.
All Mr. Steevens's quotations, except the last, are obscene, and none
of them apply to Hamlet's simile.

                           SCENE 2. Page 137.

    HAM. 't was _caviare_ to the general.

This word has been frequently mispronounced _caveer_ on the stage. The
other mode of spelling it in Mr. Reed's note, viz. _caveary_, as well
as the Italian term in the text, which should rather be _caviaro_,
would have been sufficient for the purpose of demonstrating how it
should be accented; but the following line from Sir J. Harrington's
33rd epigram of the third book leaves no uncertainty in the matter:

    "And căvĕārĕ, but it little boots."

Dr. Ramsey, physician to King Charles the Second, wrote a curious
treatise on the worms of the human body, in which he says, "_Caviale_
also is a fond dish of the Italians, made of the roes of sturgion, and
altogether as unwholsome, if not much worse; invented by idle brains,
and fansied by none but such as are ignorant what it is; wherefore I
would have them consider the Italian proverb,

    Chi mangia di _Caviale_,
      Mangia moschi, merdi, & sale.

Which may be Englished thus,

    He that eats Cavialies,
    Eats salt, dung, and flies.

For it is only (as was said) the roes of sturgion powdred, pickled,
and finely denominated _Caviale_, to be a bait for such woodcocks and
dotrils that account every exotick fansie a real good." This commodity
is still common in the North of Europe, and was formerly a considerable
article of commerce between England and Russia.

                           SCENE 2. Page 145.

    1 PLAY. Would have made _milch_ the burning eyes of heaven.

i. e. would have drawn tears from them. _Milche-hearted_, in Hulæt's
_Abcedarium_, 1552, is rendered _lemosus_; and in _Bibliotheca Eliotæ_,
1545, we find "_lemosi_, they that _wepe_ lyghtly." The word is from
the Saxon melce, milky.


                           SCENE 1. Page 158.

    HAM. ... To die,--to sleep,--
    No more;----

There is a good deal on this subject in Cardanus's _Comforte_, 1576,
4to, a book which Shakspeare had certainly read. In fo. 30, it is said,
"In the holy scripture, death is not accompted other than sleape, and
to dye is sayde to sleape."

                           SCENE 1. Page 162.

    HAM. The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
    No traveller returns.

The resemblance of this passage to the lines cited by Mr. Steevens
from Catullus is very remarkable, yet no translation of that author
into English is known to have been made. It is true, they might have
occurred to our poet in his native language through the medium of
some quotation; yet it is equally possible that both the writers have
casually adopted the same sentiment. This is a circumstance that more
frequently happens than they are aware of who hunt after imitations
even in writers of the most original genius. Many of Shakspeare's
commentators might seem to be implicated in this charge, if it were not
that they have rather designed to mark coincidence than imitation. On
the present occasion our author alludes to a country altogether unknown
to mortals. That of the Pagan poet is happily illustrated by Seneca,
who cites the lines from Catullus, when he causes Mercury to drag the
emperor Claudius into the _infernal regions_. "Nec mora, Cyllenius
illum collo obtorto trahit _ad inferos_."--_Lud. de morte Claudii._

Dekker, in his _Seven deadlie sinns of London_, 1606, 4to,
apostrophizing that city, exclaims, "Art thou now not cruell against
thyselfe, in not providing (before the land-waters of affliction come
downe againe upon thee) more and more convenient cabins to lay those
in, _that are to goe into such farre countries, who never looke to come
back againe_? If thou should'st deny it, the graves when they open,
will be witnesses against thee."

In the _History of Valentine and Orson_, p. 63, edit. 1694, 4to, is
this passage: "I shall send some of you here present _into such a
country, that you shall scarcely ever return again_ to bring tydings
of your valour." As Watson, the translator of this romance, translated
also _The ship of fools_ into prose, which was printed by Wynkyn de
Worde, it is probable that there was an edition of _Valentine and
Orson_ in Shakspeare's time, though none such is supposed now to
remain. Perhaps the oldest we know of is that of 1649, printed by
Robert Ibbitson. In 1586, _The old book of Valentine and Orson_ was
licensed to T. Purfoot.

                           SCENE 1. Page 166.

    HAM. I have heard of your _paintings_ too, well enough; God hath
    given you one _face_, and you make yourselves another; you jig, you
    amble, and you lisp and nickname God's creatures, and make your
    wantonness your ignorance.

The folio reads _prattlings_, and _pace_; the quarto as in the text,
which Dr. Johnson thinks best, though he admits that Shakspeare
might have written both. Other very good reasons have been given
for preferring the present reading; yet whoever will reflect on the
typographical errors for which the quarto plays of Shakspeare are
remarkable, may be disposed to think that the folio editors had good
reason for their variation. Our author's bible might here, as in many
other instances, have furnished his materials. "Moreover thus saith
the Lorde: seyng the daughters of Sion are become so proude and come
in with stretched oute neckes, and with vayne wanton eyes; seynge they
come in trippynge so nicely with their fete; therefore, &c."--Isaiah,
ch. iii. ver. 16. It has not been observed that _lisp_ seems to refer
to _prattling_, as _jig_ and _amble_ do to _pace_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 173.

    HAM. ... it out-herods Herod.

The violence of Herod in the old mysteries has been already exemplified
by some extracts from the Chester and Coventry plays. One of the
latter, of which some account has been given in the preceding pages,
may truly be said on the present occasion to completely _out-herod_ the
others. It exhibits the fury of the monarch to so much advantage, that
every zealous amateur of theatrical manners must be gratified with the
following extracts.

His majesty's entrance is announced by a herald in the vilest French
jargon that can be conceived. He commences by enjoining silence on the
part of the spectators, and ends with sending them all to the devil.
"La gran deaboly vos umport." He then makes a speech, which begins in
bad Latin, and thus proceeds:

    "[I am] the myghtyst conquerowre that ever walkid on grownd,
    For I am evyn he that made bothe hevin and hell,
    And of my myghte power holdith up the world rownd;
    _Magog_ and _Madroke_ bothe thes did I confownde,
    And in this bryght bronde[27] there bonis I brak on sunder,
    That all the wyde worlde on those rappis[28] did wonder.
    I am the cawse of this grett lyght and thunder;
    Yt ys throgh my fure[29] that the[30] soche noyse doth make;
    My feyrefull contenance the cloudis so doth incumber,
    That oftymes for drede therof the verre[31] yerth doth quake.
    Loke when I with males[32] this bryght brond doth shake,
    All the whole world from the north to the sowthe,
    I ma them dystroie with won worde of my mouthe.
    To recownt unto you myn inewmerabull substance,
    Thatt were to moche for any tong to tell;
    For all the whole orent[33] ys under myn obbeydeance,
    And prince am I of purgatorre and chef capten of hell;
    And thase tyranees trayturs be force ma I compell
    Myne enemys to vanquese, and evyn to duste them dryve,
    And with a twynke of myn iee not won to be left alyve.
    Behald my contenance and my colur,
    Bryghter than the sun in the meddis of the dey.
    Where can you have a more grettur succur
    Then to behold my person that ys so gaye?
    My fawcun[34] and my fassion with my gorgis[35] araye?
    He that had the grace allwey theron to thynke,
    Lyve the myght allwey withowt othur meyte or drynke;
    And thys my tryomfande fame most hylist doth abownde
    Throgh owt this world in all reygeons abrod,
    Reysemelyng the favour of that most myght _Mahownd_.
    From _Jubytor_ be desent[36] and cosyn to the grett God,
    And namyd the most reydowndid[37] kyng _Eyrodde_,
    Wycche that all pryncis hath undr subjeccion,
    And all their whole powar undur my proteccion;
    And therefore my hareode[38], here called _Calcas_,
    Warne thow eyvyry porte that noo schyppis aryve;
    Nor also aloond[39] stranger throgh my realme pas,
    But the for there truage do pay markis fyve.
    Now spede the forthe hastele,
    For the that wyll the contrare,
    Upon a galowse hangid schal be,
    And be _Mahownde_ of me they gett noo grace."

When he hears of the flight of the messengers, he exclaims,

    "I stampe, I stare, I loke all abowt,
    Myght I them take I schuld them bren at a glede[40],
    I ren, I rawe[41], and now I am wode[42],
    A that these velen trayturs hath mard this my mode
    The schal be hangid yf I ma cum them to."

The stage direction is, "Here _Erode_ ragis in the pagond and in the
strete also." He consults with his knights on putting the children
to death; and on their dissuading him from it as likely to excite an
insurrection, he says,

    "A rysyng, owt, owt, owt."

There _Erode_ ragis ageyne and then seyth thus:

    "Out velen wrychis har apon[43] you I cry,
    My wyll utturly loke that yt be wroght,
    Or apon a gallowse bothe you schall dye
    Be _Mahownde_ most myghtyst that me dere hath boght."

At length the knights consent to slay the children, and _Herod_ says,

    "And then wyll I for fayne trypp lyke a doo."

The bodies of the children are brought to him in carts; but he is
told that all his deeds are come to nothing, as the child whom he
particularly sought after had escaped into Egypt. He once more falls
into a violent passion, orders his palfrey to be saddled, and hurries
away in pursuit of the infant. Here the piece ends. It was performed by
the taylors and shearmen in the year 1534; but the composition is of
much greater antiquity.

                           SCENE 2. Page 179.

    HAM. ... Give me that man
    That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
    In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart.

From this speech Anthony Scoloker, in his _Daiphantus, or The passions
of love_, 1604, 4to, has stolen the following line:

    "Oh, I would weare her in my heart's-heart-gore."

                           SCENE 2. Page 179.

    HAM. It is a _damned ghost_ that we have seen.

i. e. the ghost of a person sentenced for his wickedness to damnation,
and which has in this instance deceived us. Thus Spenser,

    "What voice of _damned ghost_ from Limbo lake
    Or _guileful spright_ wandering in empty ayre,
    Sends to my _doubtful eares_ these speeches rare?"

                               _Fairy Queen_, book i. canto 2, st. 32.

        "He show'd him painted in a table plain
        The _damned ghosts_----"
    "Nor _damned ghosts_ cald up with mightie spels."

                                               _Epithalamion_, st. 19.

                           SCENE 2. Page 182.

    HAM. Lady, shall I lie in your lap?

                     [_Lying down at_ OPHELIA'S _feet_.]

Mr. Steevens has noticed the practice of lying at the feet of a
mistress during dramatic representations; yet we are not to conclude
that it prevailed at the public theatres. The instances which have
occurred seem to be confined to entertainments at the houses of the
nobility and gentry. These were plays, masques, masquerades, balls,
concerts, &c. Many old pictures and engravings furnish examples of the
above custom, the young men being often seen sitting or lying on the
ground in conversation with their mistresses, and sometimes in Hamlet's
situation. One of these shall be described more particularly. It is an
extremely neat little print, belonging to a set designed to contrast
the sufferings of Christ with the vanities of the world. The scene is
a ball-room. In the background are the musicians and torch-bearers. In
front a lady and gentleman are performing a dance before some standing
spectators. In various parts of the room pairs of young gallants and
their mistresses are seated on the floor, apparently more attentive to
their own concerns than to the dancing; and one youth is sitting on the
spread petticoat of his companion. The costume is French, and of the
time of Louis the Thirteenth.

                           SCENE 2. Page 198.

    HAM. With two _provencial roses_ on my razed shoes.

The old copies read _provincial_, which led Mr. Warton to ask, why
provincial roses? and to conclude that roses of _Provence_ were meant,
on which conclusion the text has been _most unnecessarily_ changed;
because the old reading was certainly correct. There is no evidence to
show that _Provence_ was ever remarkable for its roses; but it is well
known that _Provins_, in _La Basse Brie_, about forty miles from Paris,
was formerly very celebrated for the growth of this flower, of which
the best cataplasms are said to have been made. It was, according to
tradition, imported into that country from Syria, by a count De Brie.
See Guillemeau _Histoire naturelle de la rose_. It is probable that
this kind of rose, which in our old herbals is called the Great Holland
or _Province_ rose, was imported into this country both from Holland
and France, from which latter country the Dutch might have first
procured it. There is an elegant cut of the Provins rose, with a good
account of it, in the first edition of Pomet _Hist. des drogues_, 1694,
folio, p. 174.

                           SCENE 2. Page 200.

    HAM. A very, very,--_peacock_.

The word that was in the original of Hamlet's quotation would have
been too coarse to be applied to royalty; and therefore he substitutes
another, which there is good reason to suppose was _peacock_. Dr.
Farmer has given proof that this term was proverbial for a fool.
Reginald Scot, speaking of Pope Julius the Third, says that he
blasphemed Christ, and cursed his mother for a _peacock_. _Disc. of
witchcraft_, b. 2, ch. viii. The bird in question is at once _proud_
and _silly_.

                           SCENE 2. Page 205.

    Enter the players with _recorders_.

"i. e." says Mr. Steevens, "a kind of _large_ flute." Yet the former
note, to which he refers, vol. v. p. 149, describes this instrument as
a _small_ flute. Sir J. Hawkins, in vol. iv. p. 479, of his valuable
History of music, has offered very good proofs that the recorder was
a _flagelet_, and he maintains that the flute was improperly termed
a recorder, and that the expressions have been confounded: yet his
opinion that the books of instructions entitled 'for the recorder'
belong in reality to the flute, seems rather doubtful. The confusion
is in having blended the genus with the species. In the _Promptuarium
parvulorum_, 1516, 4to, a recorder is defined to be a "lytell pype." In
_Udall's flowres for Latine spekyng selected oute of Terence_, 1532,
12mo, the line from Virgil's Bucolics,

    "Nec te pæniteat _calamo_ trivisse labellum,"

is rendered, "and thynke it not a smalle thynge to have lerned to
playe on the _pype_ or the _recorder_:" and it is not a little
curious that in modern cant language the recorders of corporations
are termed _flutes_. The following story in _Wits fits and fancies_,
1595, 4to, shows that the pipe and recorder were different; such is
the uncertainty of definition among old writers: "A merrie recorder
of London mistaking the name of one _Pepper_, call'd him _Piper_:
whereunto the partie excepting, and saying: Sir, you mistake, my name
is _Pepper_, not _Piper_: hee answered: Why, what difference is there
(I pray thee) between _Piper_ in Latin, and _Pepper_ in English; is
it not all one? No, sir (reply'd the other) there is even as much
difference betweene them, as is between a _Pipe_ and a _Recorder_."

                           SCENE 2. Page 207.

    HAM. Do you think I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe? Call me
    what instrument you will, though you can _fret_ me, you cannot play
    upon me.

A _fret_ is the stop or key of a musical instrument, and consequently
here is a play on words, and a double meaning. Hamlet says, _though
you can vex me, you cannot impose on me; though you can stop the
instrument, you cannot play on it_.

                           SCENE 3. Page 216.

    HAM. ... that his soul may be as damn'd and black
    As hell, whereto it goes.

To the stories collected in the notes that illustrate Hamlet's shocking
design of killing the king at his prayers, may be added one in Howel's
_Parley of the beasts_, p. 91, and another related in Chetwind's
_Historical collections_, p. 77.

                           SCENE 4. Page 231.

    HAM. ... a _vice_ of kings.

"A low mimick of kings. The vice is the fool of a _farce_, from
whence the modern _punch_ is descended." Thus far Dr. Johnson. The
first position in his note is questionable, the others erroneous. The
_vice_ belonged to the old moralities; and the modern _Punch_ is most
certainly not descended from him, but legitimately from a character
well known in the theatres of ancient Rome. _We_ have borrowed him from
the Italian _Polichinello_. With respect to the former part of the
note, Hamlet's expression may be quite literal. Thus in _King Henry the
Fifth_, we have "this _grace_ of kings." Afterwards indeed, Shakspeare,
in his usual manner, recollecting the ambiguity of the term, takes up
another simile, and makes Hamlet call his uncle _a king of shreds and
patches_. See a former note in p. 287.


                           SCENE 2. Page 248.

    HAM. The body is with the king, but the king is not with the body.

Hamlet's riddle seems still unresolved. Can this be its meaning?
Instead of giving a direct answer to the inquiry after the body of
Polonius, he seizes the opportunity of venting his sarcasm against the
king, by saying that the body, i. e. the external appearance or person
of the monarch, is with his uncle; but that the real and lawful king
is not in that body.

                           SCENE 5. Page 262.

    OPH. To be your _Valentine_.

The custom of choosing _Valentines_ is of very long standing, and,
like many others of a popular nature, is no more than a corruption
of something similar that had prevailed in the times of paganism. It
was the practice in ancient Rome, during a great part of the month
of February, to celebrate the _Lupercalia_, which were feasts in
honour of Pan and Juno, whence the latter deity was named _februata_,
_februalis_, and _februlla_. On this occasion, amidst a variety of
ceremonies, the names of young women were put into a box, from which
they were drawn by the men as chance directed. The pastors of the early
Christian church, who by every possible means endeavoured to eradicate
the vestiges of Pagan superstitions, and chiefly by some commutation
of their forms, substituted, in the present instance, the names of
particular saints, instead of those of the women: and as the festival
of the _Lupercalia_ had commenced about the middle of February, they
appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's day for celebrating the new
feast; because it occurred nearly at the same time. This is, in part,
the opinion of a learned and rational compiler of the lives of the
saints, the Reverend Alban Butler. It should seem, however, that it was
utterly impossible to extirpate altogether any ceremony to which the
common people had been much accustomed; a fact which it were easy to
prove in tracing the origin of various other popular superstitions: and
accordingly the outline of the ancient ceremonies was preserved, but
modified by some adaptation to the Christian system. It is reasonable
to suppose that the above practice of choosing mates would gradually
become reciprocal in the sexes; and that all persons so chosen would
be called _Valentines_, from the day on which the ceremony took place.
There is another opinion on the origin of choosing _Valentines_, which
has been formed on a tradition among the common people, that at the
above season of the year birds choose their mates, a circumstance that
is frequently alluded to by poets, and particularly by Chaucer; yet
this seems to be a mere poetical idea, borrowed in all probability from
the practice in question. Again, it has been supposed that the custom
originated in the following manner: During carnival time, which usually
happens about Saint Valentine's day, great numbers of knights assembled
together in the various courts of Europe to entertain the ladies with
feasts and tournaments, when each lady made choice of a knight who
usually enlisted in her service for a whole year, during which period
he bound himself to perform, at the instance of his mistress, whatever
was consistent with propriety. One employment was the writing verses
full of tenderness; not that it was requisite for the heart to be at
all concerned in the matter. A little reflection, however, may serve to
show that even this practice is only derivative from the older one.

It is presumed that the earliest specimens remaining of poetical
_Valentines_ are those preserved in the works of Charles duke of
Orleans, a prince of high accomplishments, and the father of Louis the
Twelfth of France. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt,
and remained a captive in this country twenty-five years, during which
time he wrote several thousand lines of poetry, a few of them in
English. Many of these poems are written on Saint _Valentine's_ day,
and in some of them his mistress is called his _Valentine_. In the
Royal library of manuscripts, now in the British museum, there is a
magnificent volume containing probably all that the duke wrote whilst
in England. It belonged to King Henry the Seventh, for whom it had been
copied from some older manuscript, and is beautifully illuminated.
In one of the paintings the duke is represented in the White tower
sitting at a writing table with guards attending him. In another part
of it he is looking out of a window; and in a third he is going out
of the tower to meet some person who has just alighted from his horse.
At a distance is London bridge with the houses on it, and the curious
chapel, all very distinct, and probably faithful copies. Besides the
above work, this fine manuscript contains some compositions by the
celebrated Eloisa, and other matters of less consequence.

In one of the duke's poems, he feigns that on Saint Valentine's day
_Youth_ appears to him with an invitation to the temple of love. On the
same day he devotes himself to the service of several ladies, according
to what he states to have been the custom in England. The following
extracts from some of his poems are given, as containing allusions to
the subject immediately before us:

    "A ce jour de Saint _Valentin_
    Que chascun doit choisir son per,
    Amours demourrai-je non per
    Sans partir à vostre butin?
    A mon reveillier au matin
    Je n'y ay cessè de penser
    A ce jour de saint _Valentin_."

It appears from the following songs, that when Ash Wednesday happened
to fall on Saint Valentine's day, the knights and their ladies
assembled only in the afternoon, the morning being necessarily devoted
to pious purposes.

    "Saint _Valentin_ quant vous venez
    En caresme au commencement,
    Receu ne serez vrayement
    Ainsi que accoustumè avez

    Saint _Valentin_ dit, veez me ça,
    Et apporte pers a choysir:
    Viegne qui y devra venir,
    C'est la coustume de pieça.
    Quand le jour des cendres, hola,
    Respond, auquel doit-on faillir?
    Saint _Valentin_ dit, veez me ça,
    Et apporte pers à choysir.
    Au fort au matin convendra
    En devotion se tenir,
    Et après disner à loysir,
    Choysisse qui choisir vouldra;
    Saint _Valentin_ dit, veez me ça,
    Et apporte pers à choysir."

Another French _Valentine_, composed by John Gower, is quoted by Mr.
Warton in his _History of English poetry_, add. to vol. ii. p. 31, from
a manuscript in the library of Lord Gower. In this the poet tells his
mistress that in choosing her he had followed the example of the birds.

Madame Royale, the daughter of Henry the Fourth of France, built a
palace near Turin which was called _the Valentine_, on account of the
great veneration in which the saint was held in that country. At the
first entertainment given there by the princess, who was naturally of a
gallant disposition, she directed that the ladies should choose their
lovers _for the year_ by lots. The only difference with respect to
herself was, that she should be at liberty to fix on her own partner.
At every ball during the year each lady received from her gallant
a nosegay; and at every tournament the lady furnished his horse's
trappings, the prize obtained being hers. From this circumstance
Monsieur Menage, to whom we are indebted for the above information,
infers that in Piedmont, the parties were called _Valentines_; but the
learned writer was not aware of the circumstances already stated, nor
of the antiquity of the custom in his own country. See Menage _Dict.
étymologique_, art. _Valentin_.

In an old English ballad the lasses are directed to pray _cross-legged_
to Saint _Valentine_, for good luck. For the modern ceremonies on
choosing, _Valentines_, the reader may consult Brand's _Popular
antiquities_, and No. 56 of _The connoisseur_.

                           SCENE 5. Page 263.

    OPH. Let in the maid, that out a maid,
    Never departed more.

In an Album that belonged in 1598 to a Dutch lady named Theodora Van
Wassenaer, there is the following pretty French ballad addressed to
her. The conclusion resembles the above lines in Ophelia's song:

    "Au jardin de mon pere
    Un oranger il y a,
    Qui est si chargè d'orenges
    Je croy qu'il en rompra.
            Mignone tant je vous ayme,
            Mais vous ne m'aymez pas.

    Elle demanda à son pere
    Quand on le cueillera,
    Ma fille, ma fille,
    Quand la saison viendra.
            Mignone, &c.

    La saison est venue
    Le cueillerons nous pas?
    Elle prend une echelle,
    Un panier à son bras.
            Mignone, &c.

    Elle cueillit les plus meures,
    Les verds elle y laissa;
    Elle les alloit porter vendre
    Au marcher de Damas.
            Mignone, &c.

    En son chemin rencontroit
    Le fils d'un avocat;
    Que portez vous la belle
    Dans ce panier couvert?
            Mignone, &c.

    Monsieur ce sont des orenges
    Ne vous en plait-il pas?
    Il en prend une couple,
    Dans son sein il les metta.
            Mignone, &c.

    Venez vous en la belle,
    On vous les payera;
    _Elle y entra pucelle
    Grossette elle en sorta_.
            Mignone tant je vous ayme,
            Mais vous ne m'aymez pas."

                           SCENE 5. Page 263.

    OPH. By _Gis_, and by Saint Charity.

The frequent occurrence of this adjuration sufficiently proves that Dr.
Johnson's proposed change to _Cis_ is unnecessary; nor indeed would the
name of Saint Cecilia be proper to swear by. Mr. Ritson's _Gislen_, an
obscure _Irish_ saint, is equally out of the question. In the interlude
of _Mary Magdelain_, she is made to say,

    "Nay by Gis, twentie shillings I dare holde
    That there is not a gentlewoman in this land
    More propre than I in the waste, I dare be bolde."

In _Promos and Cassandra_, Dalia swears by _Gys_; and in _Gammer
Gurton's needle_ and some other old plays, the same expression occurs.
Mr. Ridley's conjecture that _Jesus_ is the corrupted word is the true
one; but the corruption is not in the way that he has stated. The
letters IHS would not be pronounced _Gis_, even by those who understood
them as a Greek contraction.


                           SCENE 1. Page 297.

    2 CLO. ... therefore make her grave _straight_.

Dr. Johnson thought this meant "From East to West, in a direct line
parallel to the church; not from North to South, athwart the regular
line." The frequency of the above mode of expression in Shakspeare's
plays sufficiently indicates that if he had alluded to the mode of
burial contended for by Dr. Johnson, he would have adopted some other.
It has occurred upwards of a hundred times already in the sense of
_immediately_. Nor would it be easy to show that to make a grave
_straight_, or in a direct line, was to make it East and West; or that
it was the designation of Christian burial. The first clown rather
adverts to the _place_ where the grave should be made than to its
_form_. Suicides were buried on the North side of the church, in ground
purposely _unconsecrated_.

Much of this scene has been imitated in the _Valiant Welshman_, by R.
A. [q. Robert Armin] 1663. See Act IV.

                           SCENE 1. Page 299.

    2. CLO. If this had not been a gentlewoman, she should have been
    bury'd out of Christian burial.

We have here a manifest satire on the partial verdicts of coroners'
juries, where the suicide has been above the common condition of life.
Judge Blackstone has hinted at them in his Commentaries. Nothing,
however, but the partiality is reprehensible; the rest is an amiable
tenderness towards the living, calculated to resist a law that justly
deserves to be abhorred for a savage and impotent revenge so far as it
regards the dead.

                           SCENE 1. Page 299.

    1 CLO. Come; my _spade_. There is no ancient gentlemen but
    gardeners, ditchers and grave-makers; they hold up _Adam's_

    2 CLO. Was he a _gentleman_?

    1 CLO. He was the first that ever bore arms.

This is undoubtedly in ridicule of heraldry. Gerard Leigh, one of the
oldest writers on that subject, speaks of "Jesus Christ, a _gentleman_
of great linage, and king of the Jewes." And again, "For that it might
be known that even anon after the creation of Adam, there was both
_gentlenes_, and _ungentlenes_, you shall understand that the second
man that was born was a _gentleman_, whose name was Abell. I say a
gentleman both of vertue and of lignage, with whose sacrifice God was
much pleased. His brother Cain was _ungentle_, for he offered God the
worst of his fruites," &c.--_Accedence of armorie_, 1591, 4to, fo. 13.
Another morsel of satire against the above science lurks in the very
ancient proverbial saying,

    "When Adam delv'd and Eve span,
    Where was then the gentleman?"

which is found in almost every European language. It was the text
on which the rebel priest John Balle preached his sermon during the
insurrection of Wat Tyler. Although the first clown afterwards explains
why Adam bore arms, by means of a punning allusion to his digging with
arms, there is still a concealed piece of wit with respect to the
_spade_. Adam's spade is set down in some of the books of heraldry
as _the most ancient form of escutcheons_: nor is it improbable that
the lower part of this utensil suggested the well-known form of the
old triangular shields; whilst from the spindle of Eve might have
originated the lozenge-like escutcheon on which the arms of females are
usually emblazoned.

                           SCENE 1. Page 308.

    HAM. ... the age is grown so _picked_, that the toe of the peasant,

Mr. Malone's note, in exclusion of the others, is sufficiently
satisfactory. The fashion of wearing pointed shoes, to which Hamlet had
been supposed to allude, had ceased long before the time of Shakspeare;
nor is it probable that he would have transferred it to the age of
Hamlet. We still say _a person treads close on the heels of another_,
in the same signification as in the text.

                           SCENE 1. Page 310.

    1 CLO. This same scull, sir, was _Yorick's_ scull, the king's

The frequency of such names as _Eric_ and _Roric_ in the Danish
history, might have suggested that of the jester in question, but in
a manner that may not very easily be discovered. _Roric_ was the name
of the king of Denmark contemporary with Hamlet, according to Saxo

                           SCENE 1. Page 311.

    HAM. Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint
    an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at

There is good reason for supposing that Shakspeare borrowed this
thought from some print or picture that he had seen. There are several
which represent a lady at her toilet, and an old man presenting a
scull before the mirror. A print by Goltzius exhibits _Vanity_ as a
lady sitting in her chamber with jewels, &c. before her, and surprised
by the appearance of Death. In one of Henry the Eighth's wardrobe
accounts, a picture at Westminster is thus described: "Item a table
with the picture of a woman playing upon a lute, and an olde manne
holding a glasse in th'one hande and a deadde mannes headde in th'other
hande."--Harl. MS. No. 1419.

       *       *       *       *       *

In a poem written by Anthony Scoloker, a printer, entitled _Daiphantus,
or The passions of love, comicall to reade, but tragicall to act, as
full of wit, as experience_, 1604, 4to, and recently quoted in p.
465, there are the following allusions to the play of _Hamlet_: In
a quaint dedication he says, "It [the epistle] should be like the
_never-too-well read Arcadia_, where the _prose_ and _verse_ (_matter_
and _words_) are like his _mistresses_ eyes, one still excelling
another and without Corivall: or to come home to the vulgars element,
like _friendly Shake-speare's tragedies_, where the _commedian_ rides,
when the _tragedian_ stands on tiptoe: _Faith it should please all,
like prince Hamlet_. But in sadnesse, then it were to be feared _he
would runne mad_. In sooth I will not be moonesicke, to please: nor out
of my wits though I displeased all."

    "His breath he thinkes the smoke; his tongue a cole,
    Then calls for bottell ale; to quench his thirst.
    Runs to his Inke pot, drinkes, then stops the hole,
    And thus growes madder, then he was at first.
      Tasso he finds, by that of _Hamlet_, thinkes,
      Tearmes him a _mad-man_; than of his Inkhorne drinks.

    "_Calls players fooles_, the foole he judgeth wisest,
    _Will learne them action_, out of Chaucers Pander:
    Proves of their poets bawdes even in the highest,
    Then drinkes a health; and sweares it is no slander,
      Puts off his cloathes; his shirt he onely weares,
      Much like _mad-Hamlet_; thus as passion teares."


[23] These two lines seem intended, in the original, as a kind of
burden or chorus at the end of each stanza; but as they only intrude
upon the measure, the translation were perhaps better without them.

[24] It was the custom at this time to serve up at entertainments
peacock and pheasant pies, the forms of those elegant birds being
externally preserved, and much pomp bestowed on their appearance. See
what has been already said on this subject in p. 291.

[25] This is a stubborn fact against the opinion of those who maintain
that wine was not made in England. See the controversy on this subject
in _Archæologia_, vol. iii.

[26] The late Rev. Mr. Hole of Faringdon in Devonshire, whose loss is
deplored by all who knew him, has left an essay on the character of
Ulysses, which has been recently published by some kind and grateful
friends. In this elegant morsel the learned author has noticed the
anxiety which Homer's favourite heroes constantly manifest to give
their enemies a prey to dogs, and thereby prevent the advantage of
obtaining admission into the regions of happiness.

[27] sword.

[28] raps, blows.

[29] fury.

[30] they.

[31] very.

[32] malice.

[33] orient.

[34] falcon, or perhaps falchion.

[35] gorgeous.

[36] I am descended.

[37] renowned.

[38] herald.

[39] allow.

[40] burn on live coals.

[41] rave.

[42] mad.

[43] here upon, or perhaps _haro_!



                           SCENE 3. Page 422.

    OTH. Wherein of antres vast and desarts _idle_.

Dr. Johnson has very properly taken notice of Mr. Pope's _inadvertency_
in substituting _wild_ for _idle_; but whether he is strictly right
in regarding this word as "poetically beautiful," according to
Shakspeare's use of it, may admit of some doubt. Perhaps in a modern
writer it would be poetical, where designed to express _infertility_.
It may be worth while to examine how it was originally used.

In Ælfric's version of Genesis, ch. i. ver. 1, the _inanis et vacua_ of
the Vulgate is rendered ẏꝺel ⁊ æmꞇɩᵹ. Now it is conceived that _inanis_
never signified _infertile_, but _useless_, _unprofitable_; and such
appears to be the meaning of _idle_. In two or three of the early Latin
and English dictionaries, _inanis_ is rendered _idle_; and in this
sense the latter word is used by Shakspeare in _Richard the third_, Act

    "You said that _idle weeds_ were fast in growth."

It is clear that in the last instance _infertility_ is out of the
question: but _useless_ and _unprofitable_ well denote the poet's
meaning, or rather that of the inventor of the proverb, which was
afterwards corrupted into "_ill_ weeds," &c.

It is conceived therefore that Dr. Johnson is not accurate in his
opinion, that _idle_ in the before-cited Saxon translation is an
epithet expressive of the _infertility_ of the chaotic state. Wicliffe
has not adopted this term; he has preferred _vain_: but in the first
page of the English _Golden legend_, which contains a part of the first
chapter of Genesis, we have--"the erth was _ydle_ and voyde." Here
Caxton the translator must have followed the _Vulgate_, corroborating
what is already stated on the construction of _idle_. The learned
reader will not want to be informed why this term could not occur in
any of the subsequent English versions of the Bible.

                           SCENE 3. Page 447.

    IAGO. ... the food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall
    be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida.

There is another phrase of this kind, viz. _to exchange Herb John for
coloquintida_. It is used in Osborne's _Memoirs of James I._, and
elsewhere. The pedantic Tomlinson, in his translation of Renodæus's
_Dispensatory_, says, that many superstitious persons call mugwort
Saint John's herb, "wherewith he circumcinged his loyns on holidays,"
p. 317. Shakspeare, who was extremely well acquainted with popular
superstitions, might have recollected this circumstance, when,
for reasons best known to himself, he chose to vary the phrase by
substituting the _luscious locusts_ of the Baptist. Whether these were
the fruit of the tree so called, or the well known insect, is not
likely to be determined.


                           SCENE 4. Page 556.

    DES. ... I had rather have lost my purse
    Full of _cruzadoes_.

The following account of this Portuguese coin is presumed to be more
correct than that already given. The cruzado was not current, as it
should seem, at Venice, though it certainly was in England in the time
of Shakspeare, who has here indulged his usual practice of departing
from national costume. It was of gold, and weighed two penny-weights
six grains, or nine shillings English. The following varieties of it as
to type, are given from an English almanac of the year 1586, whence
also the weight has been taken. The sovereigns who struck this coin
were Emanuel and his son John.


                           SCENE 4. Page 558.

    OTH. ... The hearts, of old, gave hands;
    But now new heraldry is--hands, not hearts.

There cannot be a doubt that the text is right, and that there is
a punning allusion to the _new heraldry of hands_ in the baronets'
arms. The plain meaning is--_formerly the heart gave away the hand
in marriage; but now, as in the new heraldry, we have hands only: no
cordiality nor affection_. In _The tempest_, Ferdinand says to Miranda,
"Here's my hand;" to which she answers, "And mine _with my heart in
it_." In this latter instance, Shakspeare, not Miranda, might recollect
the gemmel rings, some of which had engraven on them a hand with a
heart in it.


                           SCENE 2. Page 601.

    OTH. The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meets.

The same image occurs more delicately, but less strongly, in a
beautiful "Song to a forsaken mistresse," written by an anonymous
author, about the time of Charles the First, and published in
Playford's _Select ayres_, 1659, folio. As most persons of taste
already possess the whole of it in Mr Ellis's _Specimens of the early
English poets_, it is unnecessary to give more in this place than the
stanza in which the above image occurs:

    "I do confess thou'rt sweet, yet find
    Thee such an unthrift of thy sweets;
    Thy favours are but _like the wind,
    Which kisseth every thing it meets_:
    And since thou can'st with more than one,
    Th'art worthy to be kiss'd by none."

                           SCENE 2. Page 635.

    OTH. Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
    Had stomach for them all.

The same sentiment occurs in the third part of _King Henry the Sixth_,
where Clifford says,

    "Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine,
    Were not revenge sufficient for me."

                           SCENE 2. Page 653.

    OTH. _Blow me about in winds!_ roast me in sulphur!

Again, in _Measure for measure_,

    "To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
    And blown with restless violence round about
    The pendent world."


He appears but twice in the play, and was certainly intended to be an
allowed or domestic _fool_ in the service of Othello and Desdemona.


Page 37. The _tune_ of the old ballad of _Green sleeves_ may be seen
in Sir John Hawkins's _Hist. of musick_, vol. v. Append., and is still
used in _The beggar's opera_, in the song of "Since laws were made for
every degree."

Page 53. Cupid's _golden shaft_ is again mentioned in the _Midsummer
night's dream_, Act I. Scene 1:

    "HERM. by his _best_ arrow with the _golden_ head."

Page 96. To the list of imitations, &c. of the story of _Measure for
measure_, add the novel of _Waldburgh and Belanca_, in Reynolds's
_God's revenge against adultery_. This is the substance of it: In the
reign of Gustavus Adolphus king of Sweden, Moruffi, a Danish general,
in attacking the castle of Colmar, was taken prisoner by the governor
count Waldbourg. Belanca, the wife of Moruffi, obtained a promise from
the count to liberate her husband on the terms of her submitting to
his unlawful desires. The unfortunate woman was afterwards inhumanly
presented with the head of her husband. When Gustavus heard of the
fact, he compelled the count to marry the injured lady, and then
condemned him to death. Reynolds pretended that all his stories in this
and his other once celebrated work, _God's revenge against murder_,
were originals, and that he had collected the materials for them in the
course of his travels.

Page 119. The recipe here given for making men seem like horses or
asses, from Scot's _Discoverie of witchcraft_, where Shakspeare might
have seen it, is the real property of Baptista Porta, in the serious
refutation of whom the Jesuit Kircher has wasted too much time. See
his treatise _De luce et umbra_.

In the _Prodromo apologetico alii studi Chircheriani_ of Petrucci,
there are similar receipts, and especially one in which an oil is
directed to be made from the semen of a horse, which being used in a
lamp, the company present will appear to have horses' heads. It is
accompanied with a curious engraving of a Houyhnhnm party engaged in
conversation, among whom there is the figure of an _equus togatus_,
that will not fail to make a due impression on such readers as are
acquainted with the trick put by Mr. Spence, the author of _Polymetis_;
on Dr. Cooke, the provost of King's College Cambridge, a sour pedant
who had offended him. See the tail-piece to the 17th dialogue in the
_first_ edition of the above work.

Page 123. The blessing of the bridal bed had doubtless, during the
dark ages that preceded the promulgation of the gospel in many parts
of Europe, been deemed the immediate office of fairies and other
supernatural beings. The object of it was to make the issue of the
marriage happy, and to avert deformity. In this, as in numerous other
instances, the priests felt themselves obliged, in their attempt to do
away a Pagan superstition, which, as we see, continued notwithstanding
to maintain its influence, to substitute some congenial ceremony that
should console the deluded people; but their particular enmity to
fairies on the present occasion seems manifest in the passage cited
from the Salisbury manual, in the words "ab omnibus fantasmaticis
demonum illusionibus;" unless they should be thought rather to allude
to the subject which is particularly noticed in the subsequent remarks
on the night-spells.

The above ceremony is thus mentioned by Chaucer in his description of
the marriage of January and May:

    "The bride is brought a-bed as stil as ston;
    And whan the bed was with the preest yblessed,
    Out of the chambre hath every wight him dressed."

                                            _Marchantes tale_, v. 9692.

On the evidence relating to the consummation of the marriage between
prince Arthur and the Lady Catharine, Robert Viscount Fitzwater deposed
that "the prince was then about fifteen, and queen Katherine elder,
and that the next day after being in bed together (_which he remembred
after they entered to have been solemnly bless'd_), he waited at
breakfast on prince Arthur, &c."--Lord Herbert's _Life of Henry the
Eighth_, p. 243. It is said that some vestiges of this custom still
remain among the Presbyterians in Scotland.

Page 169. There is a story of _two_ caskets, &c., in Morlini _novellæ_,
nov. 5.

Quære if the general construction of all these stories have not been
borrowed from the trick related to have been put by Prometheus on
Jupiter with the two bull-skins filled with flesh and bones?

Page 178 (note). Dr. Taylor, in his treatise _De inope debitore in
partes dissecando_, has offered some strong arguments against the
supposed mutilation of the debtor's body, and endeavoured to show that
the law in question demanded nothing more than that the produce of his
servitude should be divided among the creditors. Yet Aulus Gellius was
of a different opinion. At a very early period, among the Jews, the
creditor had a right to make a slave of the debtor. See 2 Kings, chap.
iv. ver. 1.

Page 185. To the explanation of _sans_, add that in the early editions
of the dictionaries of Coles and Littelton the word is printed _sance_.

Page 214. Morgan the herald must be acquitted of having conveyed to
us the _original_ information that "Jesus Christ was a gentleman and
bore arms." He was indebted for it to Dame Julian Berners, who, in her
treatise on coat armour, speaks of "the gentyl Jesus," and states that
"Cryst [was] a gentylman of his mother's behalf and bare cote armure."
She also tells us that "Cain became a churl from the curse of God, and
Seth a _gentleman_ through his father and mother's blessing." So that
we find J. C. was not the _first_ gentleman.

Page 317. In further confirmation of the opinion here expressed, the
curious reader is referred to Wlson de Colombiere's _Vray theatre
d'honneur_, vol. ii. p. 313, for the account of a duel on appeal for
murder which was fought at Valenciennes in the year 1454, where the
dead body of the vanquished party was adjudged to be hanged on a
gallows as a convicted murderer.

The frequent use which has been made in the course of these remarks of
a work cited under the title of Bartholomæus _de proprietatibus rerum_,
may require that a more particular description of it should be given.
It is a general history of nature, composed in Latin by Bartholomew
Glanvile, an English Minorite or Franciscan, of the family of the earls
of Suffolk. He flourished about the year 1360, and appears to have
been the Pliny of his time. It was several times printed abroad in
the infancy of the typographic art, and translated into the English,
French, Dutch, and Spanish languages. The English version was made by
John Trevisa, a Cornish man, and vicar of Barkley in Gloucestershire,
at the request of his patron Thomas Lord Barkley, in the year 1398,
and originally printed by Wynkyn de Worde; for there is no evidence
that it came from Caxton's press in English, though it has been so
asserted. Neither is the date of Wynkyn de Worde's edition, if it ever
had any, been ascertained. The next edition was printed in 1535, by
Thomas Berthelette, in folio. The last was published under the title
of _Batman uppon Bartholome_, his _Booke de proprietatibus rerum_, &c.
Printed by Thomas East, 1582, in folio. Stephen Batman appears to have
been a worthy and pious character, and was chaplain to Lord Hunsdon.
His additions were compiled from Gesner and other writers of his own
time. In a manuscript diary of expenses in the reign of Elizabeth, the
price of this book is stated to have been eight shillings.


                           THE ANACHRONISMS


                       SOME OTHER INCONGRUITIES



The transgressions against the rules of chronology committed by
those who, in recording the events of preceding ages, introduce
matters which have originated in subsequent periods, seem almost
exclusively to belong to authors whose works, in point of date, are
to be separated from those admirable compositions which are usually
styled the Classics. In the latter, such instances seldom, if ever,
occur; whilst in the writers, as well as the artists, of the middle
ages, they are innumerable. Nor do these absurdities diminish as we
approach periods more enlightened as to general science. From the time
of Chaucer to that of Shakspeare, there is scarcely an author to be
found who is not implicated in this accusation; and about the age of
Elizabeth, the dramatists in particular seem to have been remarkably
inattentive to the unities of time and place. It has been observed
that Ben Jonson is almost the only writer against whom the charge of
uniting dissimilar manners and discordant periods is not to be laid;
and though the poets of the ensuing century are not wholly free from
the imputation in question, it is certain that from about the reign of
king James the First more care was taken to preserve a due attention
to the manners and customs of particular ages, or at least to avoid
any very palpable anachronisms, than had already been done. But whilst
the compositions of dramatic writers remained pretty free from these
blemishes, the directors of the theatres continued to practise their,
perhaps innocent, impostures on the public; and every absurdity that
could be devised, or distortion of reality in costume, still continued
to disgrace the stage. We were not indeed more absurd in this respect
than other European nations, nor was it until a short time before the
late revolution that the French theatre had reformed itself in this
respect. Many persons now recollect the state of the English stage
in Garrick's time, when that excellent performer used to exhibit his
Hamlet in a common French suit of black velvet and a cocked hat, and
his Macbeth in a scarlet coat with broad gold lace like the uniform
of a modern general. Quin is said to have played Othello in a flowing
powdered periwig. How Shakspeare's characters were habited on the
stage in his time, would be difficult or even impossible to ascertain
with accuracy at present, except in a few instances; but we have no
reason to suppose that much propriety was manifested on the occasion.
Unluckily for us it was not then the practice to decorate the printed
plays with frontispieces; and the theatrical prints and pictures even
of succeeding times are not very commonly to be met with. It is on this
account that the cuts to Mr. Rowe's edition of Shakspeare, and those
to the first octavo edition of the works of Beaumont and Fletcher, are
at present extremely valuable, as they serve to record many pleasant
absurdities that will not fail to excite a smile in the beholder.

It was reserved for the great actor who to the scenic talents of a
Garrick unites that managerial skill and judgment in the costume of
nations which the other wanted, to reform these follies; and, by
exhibiting to us times as they were, to render the stage what it should
be, a true and perfect mirror of history and manners.

The above very slight notice of the subject before us may perhaps
be sufficient for the purpose of introducing the mention of those
anachronisms that are ascribable to Shakspeare: and this has not been
done with any view to exhibit him as more culpable in this respect than
most of his contemporaries, but solely for the purpose of collecting
them together as an object of amusement: nothing however could have
been less judicious than the conduct of Mr. Pope when he placed them
to the account of the publishers. Nor is the catalogue offered as a
complete one; the diligent and critical reader will discover some that
are here unnoticed.

But the negligence of writers in the due observance of costume is
but trifling, when compared with what is to be laid to the charge of
painters and other artists. Volumes have been professedly filled, and
the number might still be augmented, with the errors of even the best
of the old painters. Nor are the modern by any means to be acquitted
on this score. We too frequently see works of the greatest intrinsic
worth, both in composition and execution, depreciated by the most
absurd violations of historical accuracy and a want of adherence to
the manners of the times they refer to. In this case they are not
what they profess to be; and whilst they delight the eye, they delude
the understanding. It is extremely pleasing to observe the zeal which
manifests itself among the leading artists of the present day to
obtain correct notions of the manners of former times whenever they
have occasion to depict them. The works of many of our best painters
will not only excite the admiration but the gratitude of posterity for
the faithful delineation of their subjects, and the labours of future
antiquaries will be reduced in proportion as pictures of this kind
shall increase.[44]

To return to Shakspeare. In the _dramatis personæ_ of many of his
plays we find a medley of ancient and modern names that is often
extremely ridiculous. At Ephesus we meet with _Pinch_, a schoolmaster;
at Mitylene with _Boult_, a clown; and at Athens with _Snug_, _Bottom_,
_Snout_, _Quince_, &c. In his later stories English names are given to
foreigners. Thus at Vienna we have _Froth_ and _Elbow_; in Navarre,
_Dull_, _Costard_, and _Moth_; and in Illyria, _Sir Toby Belch_
and _Sir Andrew Aguecheek_. But these, strictly speaking, are not
anachronisms, but, on the whole, justifiable licences; for it would
have been impossible to transmit the humour of such characters as the
above to an English audience under the disguise of foreign names,
though it must be admitted that mere English characters as well as
names are sometimes introduced. Nor is Shakspeare always responsible
for such whimsicalities, for they are occasionally to be traced in the
materials whereof his plays were constructed; and others belong to
those authors whom he had only assisted in dramas the whole composition
of which had been improperly ascribed to him.


The incidents in this play are supposed to belong to the reign of
Henry the Fourth, and consequently the introduction of the _shillings
of Edward the Sixth_, and the mention of _Machiavel_, are improper;
as well as the then newly-introduced terms of the fencing-school
ridiculed by Shallow. Perhaps _Ancient_ Pistol and _Corporal_ Nym are
objectionable titles. The allusions to _Guiana_ and the _West Indies_
by Falstaff are obvious anachronisms.


The introduction of the _bed of Ware_ may be justified, because it is
referred to as in England; but the same defence cannot be made for
_the bells of Saint Bennet_, as they are specifically alluded to.


We have here an English jury in a German court of justice.


The scene of this play lies at Athens, in the time of Theseus,
but we find the mention of _guns_; of _French-crowns_ and
_French-crown-coloured beards_; of _church-yards_ and _coats in
heraldry_; of clean _linen_, new _ribbons to pumps_, and _masks_; of
_Jack and Gill_, the _nine-mens morris_, and _blessing the bridal bed_.
_Carols_, inasmuch as they are applicable to songs in general, and, in
an antiquated sense, to dances, may be doubtful, though the allusion
was in all probability to Christmas carols. Hermia is made to speak of
the fire which burned the _Carthage queen_.


English juries are introduced into the Venetian republic.


The transactions of this play arise in Sicily and Bohemia; and though
the characters are imaginary, they are supposed to exist in Pagan
times. Notwithstanding this we have _Whitson_ pastorals, _Christian_
burial, a _hobby-horse_, an emperor of _Russia_, and an Italian printer
of the _fifteenth century_.


In the _ancient_ city of Ephesus we have _ducats_, _marks_, and
_guilders_, and the _abbess of a nunnery_. Mention is also made of
several _modern_ European kingdoms, and of _America_; of _Henry the
Fourth of France_, of _Turkish_ tapestry, a _rapier_, and a _striking
clock_; of _Lapland_ sorcerers, _Satan_, and even of _Adam_ and
_Noah_. In one place Antipholis calls himself a _Christian_. As we are
unacquainted with the immediate source whence this play was derived, it
is impossible to ascertain whether Shakspeare is responsible for these


The errors here are confined to the introduction of _cannon_ and of


In this play we also find _cannon_, with _angels_, _half-fac'd
groats_, and _three-farthing pieces_. _Cards_ too are introduced, and
_Basilisco_, a character of the time of Shakspeare.


The anachronisms are very numerous in the plays on this reign.
We have _pistols_ and _silk_ stockings; _gilt two-pences_, and
_ten-shilling-pieces_; a ballad with a _picture_ on it, evidently
alluding to the wood-cuts on those compositions; the game of
_shove-groat_ or _slide shrift_, which was not invented before the
reign of Henry the Eighth. Mention is also made of _John_ Scogan jester
to Edward the Fourth, and of _Arthur's show_, though not introduced
till a long time afterwards.


The Turks are put into possession of Constantinople, which did not fall
into their hands till upwards of thirty years after Henry's death.


Machiavel, who was not born till 1469, is twice introduced in these
plays. Printing is also prematurely mentioned.


An old woman is made to talk of bow'd _three-pences_; but these pieces
were not known in England till the reign of Edward the Sixth, though
some are said to have been coined in Ireland during that of Edward the


Hector quotes _Aristotle_; Ulysses speaks of the bull-bearing _Milo_,
and Pandarus of a man born in _April_. _Friday_ and _Sunday_, and even
_minced-pies_ with dates in them are introduced.


_Paper_ is mentioned in this play. In a Roman drama it might have
passed; but we have no evidence that the Greeks used the papyrus plant
at this early period.


_Alexander_, _Cato_, and _Galen_, are improperly alluded to, all being
posterior to the time of Coriolanus. Other anachronisms are--the
mention of graves in a holy _church-yard_; _groats_, _mummers_,
_lockram_, and a kitchen _malkin_. Coriolanus describes the populace by
the names of _Hob and Dick_.


Cassius speaks of a _masker_ and _reveller_, and of the _clock striking


Antony talks of _packing cards_, and deals out his _knaves_, _queens_,
_hearts_, and _trumps_, as if he were a whist-player. His bestowing the
epithet of _gipsy_ on Cleopatra is whimsical, but may perhaps admit of


The British tribute being estimated at three thousand pounds, strikes
on the ear as a modern computation. Imogen calls her supposed master,
a valiant ancient Briton, by the name of _Richard Du Champ_. We find
mention of the recreation of _bowling_; of _paper_; of _rushes_ strewed
in apartments; of a _striking clock_; of _cherubims_, and a _chapel_ as
a _burial place_. Cymbeline is made to knight Bellario and his sons on
the field of battle by _dubbing_ them according to the fashion of the
middle ages.


The period in which the incidents in this play are supposed to have
happened (for they are all fictitious) is difficult to ascertain.
There was an usurper called Saturninus during the reigns of Gallien
and Aurelian, but he was not the son of any Roman emperor, as stated
in the _dramatis personæ_. From the introduction of the Goths, the
author perhaps adverted to the time of the above sovereigns. In all
events the play has many absurdities to answer for. A child is sent
to Aaron the Moor to be _christened_ by him. He accuses Lucius of
twenty _Popish_ tricks; talks of an _idiot's bauble_; and says he can
blush "like a black dog, as the saying is." A clown invokes "God and
_Saint Stephen_." Aaron calls for _clubs_, as if addressing the _London
'prentices_; and Demetrius speaks of a _dancing rapier_. _Cards_ and a
_monastery_ are also introduced.


The story, though altogether fabulous, belongs to a period a little
antecedent to the Christian æra; and therefore it is a manifest
inconsistency to introduce _crowns of the sun_; _sequins_; a _pistol_;
_cambrick_; a _Spanish ruff_; _signs_ of inns; _Monsieur Veroles a
French knight_; a _Spanish_ name and motto, and the _lues Venerea_.
Amidst numerous invocations to Heathen Gods, there is an immediate
allusion to the unity of the Deity.


We have here a plentiful crop of blunders. Kent talks, like a good
Protestant, of _eating no fish_; and Gloster, of not standing in need
of _spectacles_. We have _Turks_, _Bedlam_ beggars, _child Roland_,
_Saint Withold_, a _Marshal of France_, _steeples_, _dollars_, _paper_,
_holy water_, and the _French disease_. There is an allusion to the
old theatrical _moralities_; and _Nero_, who did not live till several
hundred years after Lear, is mentioned by Edgar as an angler in the
lake of darkness.


The Danish history has placed Hamlet in fabulous times, long before
the introduction of Christianity into the North of Europe; and
therefore there is great impropriety in the frequent allusion to
Christian customs. Hamlet swears by _Saint Patrick_; and converses
with Guildenstern on the _children of the chapel of Saint Paul's_.
In several places _cannon_ are introduced, and a good deal of the
theatrical manners of Shakspeare's own time. We have a Danish _seal
royal_ long before seals were used; a _university_ at Wittemberg;
_Swiss_ guards; _serjeants_ or _bailiffs_; _bells_; _ducats_;
_crown-pieces_; _modern heraldry_; _rapiers_, and terms of _modern

[Illustration: _Published by T. Tegg Cheapside, Sept.ʳ 1839._]


[44] Mr. Stothard, the most unassuming of men, but with every claim to
superior talent, has recently finished a painting of the procession of
Chaucer's Canterbury pilgrims, which may be classed among the choicest
morsels of its kind. The attention to accuracy of costume which it
displays has never been exceeded, and but very seldom so well directed.



The ensuing dissertation originated from the opinion of a late eminent
critic and antiquary that the subject was deserving of particular
consideration. How imperfectly it must be executed will best be felt
by those who are already accustomed to obscure inquiries; and little
more can here be offered, or reasonably expected, than some attempt to
arrange a few materials that have occurred during a course of reading
immediately connected with the history of ancient manners. The critic
above alluded to had remarked, that Shakspeare has most judiciously
varied and discriminated his fools.[45] Without doubting that great
writer's capacity to have done so, it certainly remains to be proved
that he has; or it might even be maintained that on some occasions he
has left his sketches so imperfect as to render it by no means an easy
matter to comprehend them. It has already been thought better to make
the attempt in a separate note to the plays in which a clown or fool is
introduced, and to direct what is now offered to a more general view of
the subject.

It is so exceedingly clear that the terms _clown_ and _fool_ were used,
however improperly, as synonymous by our old writers, that it would
be an unnecessary occupation of the reader's time to adduce examples.
Their confused introduction in the dramatis personæ might indeed
render this position doubtful to any one who had not well considered
the matter; but although the _fool_ of our old plays denoted either
a mere idiot or natural, or else a witty hireling or artificial fool,
both retained for the purpose of making sport for their employers,
the _clown_ was certainly a character of much greater variety. He
occasionally represented one of the above personages; sometimes he was
a mere rustic, and very often no more than a shrewd and witty domestic.
There are some instances in which any low character in a play served
to amuse the audience with his sallies of coarse buffoonery, and thus
became the _clown_ of the piece. In short, the theatrical clown or
fool seems to have been a kind of heterogeneous character, drawn in
part from real life, but very considerably heightened in order to
produce stage effect; an opinion that derives considerable support from
what Shakspeare has put into the mouth of Hamlet, when he makes him
admonish those who play the clowns to speak no more than is set down
for them. Indeed, the great dramatist himself cannot be absolved from
the imputation of having given too high a colouring to the characters
in question, unless we suppose, what is extremely probable, that his
plays have been very much interpolated with the extemporaneous nonsense
of the players. To this licentious practice the author of an excellent
and well written satire, entitled _Pasquil's mad-cappe, throwne at the
corruptions of these times_, 1626, 4to, alludes in the following lines:

    "Tell country players, that old paltry jests
    Pronounced in a painted motley coate,
    Filles all the world so full of cuckoes nests,
    That nightingales can scarcely sing a note:
    Oh bid them turne their minds to better meanings;
    Fields are ill sowne that give no better gleanings."

Among other grave writers of the age, Sir Philip Sidney has reprobated
the practice of introducing fools on the theatre. He remarks that the
plays of his time were neither right tragedies nor right comedies, but
that the authors mingled kings and clowns, "not," says he, "because
the matter so carieth it, but thrust in the _clowne_ by head and
shoulders to play a part in majestical matters, with neither decencie
nor discretion: so as neither the admiration and commiseration, nor the
right sportfulnesse is by their mongrell tragi-comedie obtained."[46]
William Rankin, a puritan, and contemporary with Shakspeare, has
left us a most virulent attack on plays, and players, whom he calls
monsters: "And whie monsters," says he, "Bicause under colour of
humanitie they present nothing but prodigious vanitie. These are wels
without water, dead branches fit for fuell, cockle amongst corne,
unwholesome weedes amongst sweete hearbes, and finallie, feends that
are crept into the worlde by stealth, and holde possession by subtill
invasion." In another place, describing the performers at a fictitious
banquet in Terralbon, [England] he says, "Some transformed themselves
to roges, other to ruffians, some other to _clownes_, a fourth to
_fooles_ ... the roges were ready, the ruffians were rude, _theyr
clownes cladde_ as well with country condition, as in ruffe russet;
theyr _fooles as fonde as might be_," &c.[47] The latter passage is
interesting, because the clown is properly distinguished from the fool,
as he always should have been.

It may be the means of affording a clearer view of the present subject,
if something like a classification of the different sorts of fools and
clowns be given. The following is therefore offered as a substitute for
a better.

I. _The general domestic fool_, often, but as it should seem
improperly, termed a clown. He was, 1. a mere natural, or idiot. 2.
Silly by nature, yet cunning and sarcastical. 3. Artificial. Puttenham,
speaking of the latter, says, "A buffoune or counterfet foole, to here
him speake wisely which is like himselfe, it is no sport at all; but
for such a counterfait to talke and looke foolishly it maketh us laugh,
because it is no part of his naturall."[48] All these officiated
occasionally as menial servants.

II. _The clown_, who was, 1. a mere country booby. 2. A witty rustic.
3. Any servant of a shrewd and witty disposition, and who, like a
similar character in our modern plays, was made to treat his master
with great familiarity in order to produce stage effect.

III. _The female fool_, who was generally an idiot.

IV. _The city or corporation fool_, whose office was to assist at
public entertainments and in pageants. To this class belong perhaps the
Lord Mayor's state fool, and those employed by the companies of trades,

V. _Tavern fools._ These seem to have been retained to amuse the
customers. We learn from one of Ben Jonson's plays that they exhibited
with a Jew's harp, mounted on a joint-stool,[49] and in another of them
he has preserved the name of such a character:[50] they were sometimes
qualified to sing after the Italian manner.[51] Fools were also
employed in the common brothels.[52]

VI. _The fool of the ancient theatrical mysteries and moralities._ He
was, more properly speaking, the _Vice_, a singular character, that
would afford sufficient matter for much better dissertations than those
of Warburton or Upton. Being generally dressed in a fool's habit, he
appears to have been gradually and undistinguishably blended with the
domestic fool; yet he was certainly a buffoon of a different sort. He
was always a bitter enemy to the Devil, and a part of his employment
consisted in teazing and tormenting the poor fiend on every occasion.
He ceased to be in fashion at the end of the sixteenth century.[53]

VII. _The fool in the old dumb shows exhibited at fairs and perhaps
at inns_, in which he was generally engaged in a struggle with Death;
a fact that seems alluded to more than once in Shakspeare's plays. It
is possible that some casual vestiges of this species of entertainment
might have suggested the modern English pantomimes.

VIII. _The fool in the Whitsun ales and Morris dance._

IX. _The mountebank's fool, or merry Andrew._

There may be others introduced into our old dramas of an indefinite
and irregular kind, and not reducible to any of the above classes; but
to exemplify these or many of the above by a specific reference to
authorities is not within the scope of the present essay. It is hoped
that what has been just stated may contribute to assist the readers of
old plays in forming some judgment of their own whenever the necessity
shall arise.

A general investigation of that most singular and eccentric character,
the real domestic fool, would occupy more space than could here
have been spared. It would indeed extend to a length that few will
conceive; but should the same laudable spirit of curiosity respecting
the manners of former times which at present constitutes much of the
amusement of an enlightened public continue to maintain its influence,
encouragement would not be wanting to resume the subject more at large.
In the mean time it may be sufficient to remark that the practice of
retaining fools can be traced in very remote times throughout almost
all civilized and even among some barbarous nations. It prevailed
from the palace to the brothel. The pope had his fool, and the bawd
her's; and ladies entertained them of both sexes. With respect to the
antiquity of this custom in our own country, there is reason to suppose
that it existed even during the period of our Saxon history; but we
are quite certain of the fact in the reign of William the Conqueror.
An almost contemporary historian, Maitre Wace, has left us a curious
account of the preservation of William's life when he was only duke
of Normandy by his fool _Goles_.[54] Mention is made in Domesday of
_Berdic joculator regis_; and although this term was unquestionably
applied in numerous instances to denote a minstrel, much evidence might
be adduced to show that on this occasion it signified a buffoon. Latin
terms were used by the middle-age writers so licentiously and with such
extreme carelessness, that in many cases it is difficult to obtain a
precise idea of their meaning. Thus the jesters and minstrels were
indefinitely expressed by the words _joculator_, _scurra_, _mimus_,
_ministrallus_, &c., a practice that may admit of justification when we
consider that in early times the minstrel and buffoon characters were
sometimes united in one person. It must be allowed, however, that in an
etymological point of view the term _joculator_ is much better adapted
to the jester than the minstrel.

The accounts of the household expenses of our sovereigns contain many
payments and rewards to fools both foreign and domestic, the motives
for which do not appear, but might perhaps have been some witty speech
or comic action that had pleased the donors. Some of these payments are
annual gifts at Christmas. Dr. Fuller, speaking of the court jester,
whom he says some count a necessary evil, remarks, in his usual quaint
manner, that it is an office which none but he that hath wit can
perform, and none but he that wants it will perform.[55] A great many
names of these buffoons have been preserved; and sufficient materials
remain to furnish a separate biography of them, which might afford even
more amusement than can be found in the lives of many of their betters.
They continued an appurtenance to the English court to a late period.
Muckle John, the fool of Charles the First, and the successor of Archee
Armstrong, is perhaps the last regular personage of the kind.[56] The
national troubles that produced the downfall of regal power, and the
puritanical manners that ensued, at once determined the existence of
an office that had so long maintained its ground at court: and when
Charles the Second resumed the throne, it was probably deemed a matter
of no moment to restore it. The common stories that relate to Killigrew
as jester to Charles, rest on no sufficient authority; and although
he might have contributed to amuse the witty monarch with his jokes,
it is certain that he had no regular appointment to such an office.
Mr. Granger has justly observed that the wit of the buffoons became
the highest recommendation of a courtier in the time of Charles the

The discontinuance of the court fool had a considerable influence on
the manners of private life; and we learn from one of Shadwell's plays,
that it was then "out of fashion for great men to keep fools."[58]
But the practice was by no means abolished; it maintained its ground
in this country so late as the beginning of the last century; and
we have an epitaph, written by Dean Swift, on Dicky Pearce the Earl
of Suffolk's fool, who was buried in Berkley church-yard, June 18,
1728.[59] This person was an idiot. Lord Chancellor Talbot kept a Welsh
jester named Rees Pengelding. He was a very shrewd fellow, and rented a
farm of his master. Being distrained on for his rent by an oppressive
steward, who had been a tailor and bore him a grudge, the surly fellow
said to him on this occasion, "I'll fit you, sirrah."

"Then," replied Rees, "it will be the first time in your life that
you ever fitted any one." Another Welshman called Will the taborer
was retained in a similar capacity, about the beginning of the
last century, by Sir Edward Stradling, of St. Donat's castle, in
Glamorganshire. He is said to have been a very witty fellow, and man of
strong intellects. Lord Bussy Mansel, of Margam, had likewise in his
service one Robin Rush, an idiot by nature, but who often said very
witty things. There are people now alive in Wales, or lately were, who
well remembered him.

The sort of entertainment that fools were expected to afford, may be
collected in great variety from our old plays, and particularly from
those of Shakspeare; but perhaps no better idea can be formed of their
general mode of conduct than from the following passage in a singular
tract by Lodge, entitled _Wit's miserie_, 1599, 4to: "Immoderate and
disordinate joy became incorporate in the bodie of a jeaster; this
fellow in person is comely, in apparell courtly, but in behaviour a
very ape, and no man; his studie is to coine bitter jeasts, or to
shew antique motions, or to sing baudie sonnets and ballads: give him
a little wine in his head, he is continually flearing and making of
mouthes: he laughs intemperately at every little occasion, and dances
about the house, leaps over tables, out-skips mens heads, trips up
his companions heeles, burns sack with a candle, and hath all the
feats of a lord of misrule in the countrie: feed him in his humor, you
shall have his heart, in meere kindness he will hug you in his armes,
kisse you on the cheeke, and rapping out an horrible oth, crie God's
soule Tum, I love you, you know my poore heart, come to my chamber for
a pipe of tabacco, there lives not a man in this world that I more
honor. In these ceremonies you shall know his courting, and it is a
speciall mark of him at the table, he sits and makes faces: keep not
this fellow company, for in _jugling_ with him, your wardropes shall be
wasted, your credits crackt, your crownes consumed, and time (the most
precious riches of the world) utterly lost." This is the picture of a
real hireling or artificial fool.

As the profession of these hirelings required a considerable degree
of skill and dexterity to amuse their employers, so it would in some
instances fail of success, and the want of the above talents would
excite considerable disgust and dissatisfaction. Cardinal Perron being
one day in company with the duke of Mantua, the latter, speaking of
his fool, said that he was _un magro buffone & non haver spirito_. The
cardinal remarked that nevertheless he had wit. "Why so?" demanded the
duke. "Because," replied the other, "he lives by a trade which he does
not understand."[60] The liberties allowed them were necessarily very
great; but this was not always a protection to them. Every one knows
the disgracefully severe conduct of archbishop Laud to poor Archee.
The duke d'Espernon, though a man of great haughtiness of spirit,
conducted himself on a similar occasion with much more discretion.
His Gascon accent was a constant subject of raillery on the part of
Maret, the fool of Louis XIII., whose great talent lay in mimicry.
Cardinal Richelieu, who took upon him to give the duke some pointed
admonitions, ordered him among other things to endeavour to get rid
of his provincial tones, at the same time counterfeiting his speech,
and sarcastically intreating him not to take his advice in bad part.
"But why should I," replied the duke, "when I bear as much every day
from the king's fool, who mocks me in your presence?"[61] Selden has
remarked, on a similar occasion, that a gallant man is above ill words,
and has left us a story of the forbearance of the old lord Salisbury,
whom he calls a great wise man, towards Stone, a celebrated fool in the
reign of James the First.[62] Fools, however, did not always escape
with impunity; they were liable to, and often experienced, very
severe domestic castigation. Whipping was the punishment generally
inflicted.[63] On the other hand they appear to have been sometimes
used with great tenderness. This is very feelingly exemplified in the
conduct of Lear. Stafford in his _Guide of honour_, 1634, 18mo, tells
us, that he "had knowne a great and competently wise man who would
much respect any man that was good to his foole." An opportunity here
presents itself of explaining the old proverb of "five pounds; you've
bled a fool," which, adverting to the usual privilege or allowance
belonging to this character, seems to demand a forfeit from whoever had
infringed it by inflicting an improper and unlawful chastisement. This
exposition derives support from a passage in Ben Jonson's _Fox_, and
also contributes to its illustration. In the second Act there is a song
describing a fool, in which it is said that he "speaks truth free from
slaughter." This has been with some ingenuity supposed to mean "_free_
from hurting any one." The other construction may perhaps be thought as

With respect to his office on the stage, we may suppose it would be
nearly the same as in reality; the difference might be that his wit
was more highly seasoned. Mr. Malone has already cited a very curious
passage on this subject from the play of _The careless shepherdess_,
1656.[64] In Middleton's _Mayor of Quinborough_, a company of actors
with a clown make their appearance, and the following dialogue ensues:

                            FIRST CHEATER.

    This is our clown, sir.


    Fye, fye, your company
    Must fall upon him and beat him; he's too fair, i' faith
    To make the people laugh.

                            FIRST CHEATER.

    Not as he may be dress'd sir.


    'Faith, dress him how you will, I'll give him
    That gift, he will never look half scurvily enough.
    Oh, the clowns that I have seen in my time.
    The very peeping out of one of them would have
    Made a young heir laugh, though his father lay a dying;
    A man undone in law the day before
    (The saddest case that can be) might for his second
    Have burst himself with laughing, and ended all
    His miseries. Here was a merry world, my masters!
    Some talk of things of state, of puling stuff;
    There's nothing in a play like to a clown,
    If he have the grace to hit on it, that's the thing indeed.


    Away then, shift; clown to thy _motley_ crupper.

Whoever is desirous of obtaining general and accurate information
concerning the great variety of dresses that belong to some of the
characters in question at different periods, must study ancient
prints and paintings, and especially the miniatures that embellish
manuscripts. These will afford sufficient specimens; but the difficulty
of ascertaining how the _theatrical fools and clowns_ of Shakspeare's
time were _always_ habited, is insuperable. In some instances the
plays themselves assist by peculiar references that leave but little
doubt; but this is not the case in general. It is to be lamented
that our artists did not appropriate more of their labours to the
representation of theatrical subjects, and the fortunate discovery of
a single ancient painting of this kind would be of more importance
than a volume of conjectural dissertations. As it may be presumed that
former theatrical managers exhibited with fidelity on the stage, the
manners of their own times, a reference to the materials which remain
to illustrate the dress of the real fools, may supply the defect before
alluded to.

It may be collected both from the plays themselves, and from
various other authorities, that the costume of the domestic fool in
Shakspeare's time was of two sorts. In the first of these the coat
was motley or parti-coloured, and attached to the body by a girdle,
with bells at the skirts and elbows, though not always. The breeches
and hose close, and sometimes each leg of a different colour. A hood
resembling a monk's cowl, which, at a very early period, it was
certainly designed to imitate, covered the head entirely, and fell down
over part of the breast and shoulders. It was sometimes decorated with
asses ears, or else terminated in the neck and head of a cock,[65] a
fashion as old as the fourteenth century. It often had the comb or
crest only of the animal,[66] whence the term _cockscomb_ or _coxcomb_
was afterwards used to denote any silly upstart. This fool usually
carried in his hand an official scepter or bauble, which was a short
stick ornamented at the end with the figure of a fool's head, or
sometimes with that of a doll or puppet.[67] To this instrument there
was frequently annexed an inflated skin or bladder, with which the
fool belaboured those who offended him, or with whom he was inclined
to make sport; this was often used by itself, in lieu, as it should
seem, of a bauble.[68] The form of it varied, and in some instances
was obscene in the highest degree. It was not always filled with air,
but occasionally with sand, or peas. Sometimes a strong bat or club
was substituted for the bauble.[69] In the second tale of the priests
of Peblis, a man who counterfeits a fool is described "with _club_ and
bel and partie cote with eiris;" but it afterwards appears that he had
both a club and a bauble. In an inventory of the goods of the ancient
company of Saint George at Norwich, mention is made of "two habits,
one for the _club-bearer_, another for his man, who are now called
fools;"[70] and the author of _Tarlton's newes out of purgatory_, 1630,
4to, describes a dream in which he saw "one attired in russet with a
button'd cap on his head, a great bag by his side, and a _strong bat_
in his hand, so artificially attired for a clowne, as I began to call
Tarlton's woonted shape to remembrance."

In some old prints the fool is represented with a sort of flapper
or rattle ornamented with bells. It seems to have been constructed
of two round and flat pieces of wood or pasteboard, and is no doubt
a vestige of the crotalum used by the Roman mimes or dancers.[71]
This implement was used for the same purpose as the bladder, and
occasionally for correcting the fool himself whenever he behaved with
too much licentiousness. Such a castigation is actually exhibited in
one ancient German edition of the _Ship of fools_, by Sebastian Brandt;
but the usual punishment on this occasion was a simple whipping. In
some old plays the fool's _dagger_ is mentioned, perhaps the same
instrument as was carried by the _Vice_ or buffoon of the Moralities;
and it may be as well to observe in this place that the domestic fool
is sometimes, though it is presumed improperly, called the Vice.[72]
The dagger of the latter was made of a thin piece of lath; and the use
he generally made of it was to belabour the Devil. It appears that in
Queen Elizabeth's time the archbishop of Canterbury's fool had a wooden
dagger and coxcomb.[73] In Greene's play of _Fryer Bacon_, the fool
speaks of his dagger. In Beaumont and Fletcher's _Noble gentleman_,
a person being compared to a fool, it is added that he should wear a
guarded coat and a _great wooden dagger_. In Chapman's _Widows tears_,
an upstart governor is termed "a wooden dagger _gilded_ o'er;" and
Rabelais has made Panurge give Triboulet the fool a wooden sword. In an
old German print a fool is represented with a sword like a _saw_.[74]

The other dress, and which seems to have been more common in the time
of Shakspeare, was the long petticoat.[75] This originally appertained
to the idiot or natural fool, and was obviously adopted for the
purposes of cleanliness and concealment. Why it came to be used for the
allowed fool is not so apparent. It was, like the first, of various
colours, the materials often costly, as of velvet, and guarded or
fringed with yellow.[76] In one instance we have a _yellow leather_
doublet.[77] In Bancroft's _Epigrams_, 1639, quarto, there is one
addressed "to a giglot with her greene sicknesse," in which are these

    "Thy sicknesse mocks thy pride, that's seldom seene
    But in _foole's yellow_, and the lover's greene."

And a manuscript note in the time of the commonwealth states yellow
to have been the _fool's colour_. This petticoat dress continued to
a late period, and has been seen not many years since in some of the
interludes exhibited in Wales.

But the above were by no means the only modes in which the domestic
fools were habited. Many variations can be traced. The hood was not
always surmounted with the cocks comb, in lieu of which a single bell
and occasionally more appeared.[78] Sometimes a feather was added to
the comb.[79] In the old morality of _The longer thou livest the more
foole thou art_, Moros the fool says,

    "By my trouth the thing that I desire most
    Is in my cappe to have a _goodly feather_."

The head was frequently shaved in imitation or perhaps ridicule of a
monk's crown. This practice is very ancient, and can be traced to the
twelfth century. In one instance the hair exhibits a sort of triple or
Papal crown.[80] The tails of foxes or squirrels were often suspended
to the garment. Godfrey Gobilive, the fool in Hawes's _Pastime of
pleasure_, 1517, 4to, is described as so habited. In _The pope's
funerall_, 1605, 4to, the author says, "I shall prove him such a noddy
before I leave him that all the world will deeme him worthy to weare
in his forehead a coxcombe for his foolishness, and on his back, a
_fox tayle_ for his badge." It was likewise the dress of the fool in
the plough pageant and morris dance.[81] One might almost conclude that
this custom was designed to ridicule a fashion that prevailed among
the ladies in the reign of Edward the Third, and which is mentioned
by the author of the old chronicle of England, erroneously ascribed
to Caxton the printer, in the following terms: "And the women more
nysely yet passed the men in aray and coriouslaker, for they were so
streyt clothed that they let hange _fox tailles_ sowed bineth within
hir clothes for to hele and hide thir a--, the which disguysinges and
pride paradventure afterward brouzt forth and encaused many myshappes
and meschief in the reame of Englond." The idiot or natural was often
clothed in a calf or sheep's skin.[82]

A large purse or wallet at the girdle is a very ancient part of the
fool's dress. Tarlton, who personated the clowns in Shakspeare's time,
appears to have worn it.[83] The budget given by Panurge to Triboulet
the fool is described as made of a tortoise shell.[84]

We may suppose that the same variety of dress was observed on the stage
which we know to have actually prevailed in common life. The fools,
however, did not always appear in a discriminative habit, and some of
their portraits still remaining confirm this observation. A very fine
painting by Holbein, in Kensington palace, represents Will Somers the
fool of Henry the Eighth, in a common dress.[85] In a wardrobe account
of that sovereign, we find these articles: "For making a dubblette of
wursteede lyned with canvas and cotton, for William Som'ar oure foole.
Item for making of a coote and a cappe of grene clothe fringed with red
crule and lyned with fryse, for our saide foole. Item for making of a
dublette of fustian, lyned with cotton and canvas for oure same foole."
Yet he sometimes wore the usual hood instead of a cap; for in the same
account is an article "For making of a coote of grene clothe with a
_hoode_ to the same, fringed with white crule lyned with fryse and
bokerham, for oure foole aforesaid;"[86] and there is a print of him
after a picture by Holbein, in which he is represented in a long tunic
with a chain and horn in his hand.[87] In the celebrated picture of Sir
Thomas More's family by Holbein, Patenson the fool is not distinguished
by any peculiarity of dress, and, in one instance at least, the same
remark applies to Archy, the fool of James I.[88] In those families
where the fool acted as a menial servant, it is possible that he might
have reserved his official habit for particular occasions. The paucity
of materials that illustrate the theatrical character in question, must
necessarily leave this part of the subject still more imperfect than
the rest; but the plays of Shakspeare have furnished more information
than those of any other writer. It is surprising, on the whole, that
the character of the domestic fool is so seldom found in the old dramas
that remain; because it was not only capable of affording considerable
mirth to the unrefined part of the audience, but of giving the authors
an opportunity of displaying a great deal of ingenuity so far as
regarded extemporary wit. It is certain that the fools in Shakspeare's
plays were pre-eminent above all others. For this we have the authority
of Shadwell, who makes one of his characters say that they had more wit
than any of the wits and critics of his time.[89] Beaumont and Fletcher
have but rarely introduced them; Ben Jonson and Massinger never.
Indeed, the originals had rapidly declined at the period in which most
of their plays were written, and another character of a mixed nature
been substituted in their room. This was the witty servant or clown
(Class II. No. 3.), and of course his dress was not distinguished by
any peculiarity.

The practice of introducing the fools and clowns between the acts and
scenes, and after the play was finished, to amuse the audience with
extemporaneous wit and buffoonery, has been so well illustrated by
the able historian of the English stage, that very little can remain
to be said on the subject.[90] It has been traced from the Greek and
Roman theatres; and, as their usages were undoubtedly preserved in
those of the middle ages that belonged to the countries where Roman
influence had been spread, it would not of course be peculiar to the
early stage in England. Indeed, the records of the French theatre amply
demonstrate the truth of this position, and furnish several examples
of the practice in question. In the mystery of _Saint Barbara_ we
find this stage direction, "Pausa. Vadant, et Stultus loquitur;" and
he is several times introduced in like manner between the scenes, in
order that the amusement of the spectators might not be suspended
whilst something was in agitation for the further prosecution of
the piece.[91] Perhaps the most singular _pause_ in any dramatic
composition whatsoever is one which occurs in the very rare morality
of _La condamnation des banquetz_ in the following words: "Pause pour
pisser le fol. Il prent ung coffinet en lieu de orinal & pisse dedans,
et tout coule par bas," sign. M iiij. Nor was the English stage in
Shakspeare's time allowed to remain empty. Lupton has related a story
of the clown at the Red Bull theatre, who was suddenly called for
between the acts, and forgot his fool's cap.[92] Puttenham, speaking
of verses that rhime in the middle and end, observes that "they were
more commodiously uttered by the buffoons or vices in plays than by any
other person."[93] It was likewise part of the stage fool's office to
introduce at his own discretion a great many old songs, or at least the
fragments of them.[94]

The first symptoms of the decline of the domestic fools, and the
causes of it, have been already touched on; and the same reasons may
partly be assigned for their exile from the stage. In the præludium
to Goffe's _Careless shepherdess_, 1656, 4to, there is a panegyric on
them,[95] and some concern is manifested for the fool's absence in the
play itself. It is likewise expressly stated that "the motly coat was
banish'd with trunk-hose." Yet during the reign of Charles the Second
occasional efforts were made to restore the character. In the tragedy
of _Thorney abbey, or the London maid_, 1662, 12mo, the prologue is
spoken by a fool who uses these words, "the poet's a fool who made the
tragedy to tell a story of a king and a court and leave a fool out
on't, when in Pacy's and Sommer's and Patche's and Archee's times,
my venerable predecessours, a fool was alwaies the principal verb."
Shadwell's play of _The woman captain_, 1680, is perhaps the last in
which a regular fool is introduced, and even there his master is made
to say that the character was then exploded on the stage.

The following is some additional and necessary explanation of the cuts
belonging to this dissertation.

Plate II. fig. 1, is from _Catzii emblemata_. Fig. 2 is the duke of
Suffolk's fool in the time of Henry VIII., copied from a print in Mr.
Brydges's _Memoirs of the peers of England_. Figs. 3 and 4 are from
paintings in the author's possession. The centre fig. is from a print
by Breughel.

Plate III. All these instruments, excepting fig. 3, before described,
are taken from various Dutch and German prints.

Plate IV. fig. 1, is from an old German print by an unknown master.

[Illustration: Plate IV.

_Published by T. Tegg, Cheapside, Sept.ʳ 1839._]

[Illustration: Plate III.

_Published by T. Tegg, Cheapside, Sept.ʳ 1839._]

[Illustration: Plate II.

_Published by T. Tegg. Cheapside, Sept.ʳ 1839._]

Figs. 1 and 3 below are from _A booke of Christian prayers_, &c., 1590,
4to, being figures belonging to a dance of Death. Fig. 2 is from the
frontispiece to Heywood's comedy of _The fair maid of the exchange_.
Similar figures of the costume of fools in the time of James I., or
Charles I., may be seen in _The life of Will Summers_, compiled long
after his time. Figs. 4 and 5 are from _La grant danse Macabre_,
printed at Troyes without date, but about the year 1500, in folio, a
book of uncommon rarity and curiosity. Fig. 6 is from the _Stultarum
virginum scaphæ, seu naviculæ_ of Badius Ascensius, another work of
much rarity, and far exceeding that of the ship of fools by Sebastian
Brandt. In all the editions of the latter, a great variety of the
fools of the fifteenth century will be found. Fig. 7 is from a French
translation of St. Augustine on the city of God, printed at Abbeville
1486. It exemplifies the use of the tabor and pipe by fools; a practice
that seems to have been revived by Tarlton in the time of Elizabeth.
Figures 3, 4, and 6, have been introduced to show the costume of female
fools. Among others of this kind that might deserve notice is a very
interesting one in the picture, by Holbein, of Henry the Eighth's
family already mentioned.

[Illustration: 1]

[Illustration: 2]

[Illustration: 3]

[Illustration: 4]

[Illustration: 5]

[Illustration: 6]

[Illustration: 7]


[45] See a note by Mr. Ritson in _Twelfth night_, Act II. Scene 3,
edit. Steevens, vol. iv. p. 53.

[46] Defence of poesie, near the end.

[47] Mirrour of monsters, 1587, 4to, fo. 7.

[48] Arte of English poesie, 1589, 4to, fo. 243.

[49] _The devil is an ass_, Sc. 1.

[50] _The fox_, Act II. Sc. 1.

[51] Marston's Malcontent, Sc. 7.

[52] See p. 94.

[53] _The devil is an ass_, Sc. 1.

[54] Roman des ducs de Normandie, MS. Reg. 4, C. xi.

[55] Holy state, p. 182.

[56] This person was probably the subject of the following lines in
Bancroft's _Epigrams_, 1639, 4to:

    "How plumpe's the libertine! how rich and trimme!
    He jests with others, fortune jests with him."

Mr. Garrard, in a letter to lord Strafford, says, "There is a new fool
in his [Archee's] place, Muckle John, but he will ne'er be so rich, for
he cannot abide money."--_Strafford papers_, ii. 154.

[57] Biogr. hist. of England, i. 116.

[58] _The woman captain_, 1680, Sc. i.

[59] Bigland's _Collect. for Gloucest._

[60] Perroniana, inter Scaligerana, &c. i. 115.

[61] Vigneul de Marville, Mêlanges, ii. 50.

[62] Table talk, Art. Evil-speaking.

[63] This appears from many of our old plays. Lear threatens his fool
with the whip, Act I. Scene 4; and see _As you like it_, Act I. Scene
2. In Dr. Turner's _New booke of spirituall physik_, 1555, 12mo, fo. 8,
there is a very curious story of John of Low, the king of Scotland's
fool, which throws light on the subject in question. Yet the chastising
of the poor fools seems to have been a very unfair practice, when it
is considered that they were a privileged class with respect to their
wit and satire. Olivia, in _Twelfth night_, says, that "there is no
slander in an allowed fool though he do nothing but rail;" and Jaques,
in _As you like it_, alludes to the above privilege. See likewise
other instances in Reed's _Old plays_, iii. 253, and xi. 417. Yet in
cases where the free discourse of fools gave just offence to the ears
of modest females they seem to have been treated without mercy, and
to have forfeited their usual privilege. This we learn from Brantôme,
who, at the end of his _Dames galantes_, relates a story of a fool
belonging to Elizabeth of France, who got a whipping in the kitchen for
a licentious speech to his mistress. A representation of the manner in
which the flagellation of fools was performed may be seen in a German
edition of Petrarch _De remediis utriusque fortunæ_, published more
than once at Frankfort, in the sixteenth century, part ii. chap. 100.

[64] See his note in _All's well that ends well_, Act I. Scene 3.

[65] Plate II. fig. 1; also figs. 2 and 3, p. 516; and fig. 4, p. 517.

[66] Plate II. fig. 3.

[67] Plate III. figs. 7, 8, 9; also the centre fig. in Plate II. Hence
the French call a bauble _marotte_, from _Marionnette_, or little Mary;
but if the learned reader should prefer to derive the word from the
Greek μορος, or the Latin _morio_, he is at full liberty to do so;
and indeed such preference would be supported by the comparatively
modern figure of the child's head, which the term _marotte_ might
have suggested. The bauble originally used in King Lear is said to
have been extant so late as the time of Garrick, and the figure of
it would certainly have been worth preserving. To supply its place a
representation is given of the head of a real bauble very finely carved
in ivory. See Plate IV. figs. 3, 4. A bauble is very often improperly
put into the hands of Momus.

[68] Plate III. figs. 2, 6, 7, 9; also figs. 1 and 3, p. 516.

[69] Plate III. fig. 4; and see Strutt's _Dress and habits of the
people of England_, Plate LXXI.

[70] Blomefield's _History of Norfolk_, ii. 737.

[71] Plate III. fig. 1. In the Imperial library at Vienna, there
is a manuscript calendar, said to have been written in the time
of Constantius the son of Constantine the great, with drawings of
the twelve months. April is represented as a man dancing with a
_crotalum_ in each hand. This instrument was probably constructed of
brass, in order to make a rattling noise. See it represented in Plate
III. fig. 3, which is copied from a print in _Lambecii Bill. Cæsar.
Vindobon._ tom. iv. p. 291. These months are also given in Montfaucon's

[72] See Ben Jonson's _Devil is an ass_, Scene 1.

[73] Penry's _O read over John Bridges_, fo. 48.

[74] Plate III. fig. 5. copied from Schopperi ΠΑΝΟΠΛΙΑ, _omnium
illiberalium artium genera continens_, &c. Francof. 1568, 12mo, sign.
O. 8.

[75] Figs. 1 and 2, p. 516.

[76] Prologue to _King Henry the Eighth_. Marston's _Malcontent_, Act
I. Scene 7, and Act III. Scene 1.

[77] Malone's Shakspeare, vol. i. part ii. p. 301.

[78] Plate II. fig. 4. Plate IV. fig. 1.

[79] Plate IV. fig. 1.

[80] Plate II. fig. 2.

[81] Coryat's _Crudities_, p. 9. edit. 1611, 4to. Brand's _Observ. on
popular antiquities_, p. 176.

[82] See the notes on a passage in _King John_. Steevens's
_Shakspeare_, viii. p. 79, edit. 1793. "The scribe claims the manor of
Noverinte, by providing _sheep-skins and calves skins to wrappe his
highness wards_ and idiotts in."--_Gesta Grayorum_, 1688, 4to.

[83] See the quotation from Tarlton's _Newes out of purgatory_ given
in a preceding page (509). The portrait of Tarlton in Hardinge's
_Biographical mirror_, and a print in the title of Greene's _Tu quoque,
or the cittie gallant_, show the costume of the purse and feather. See
likewise Plate IV. fig. 2; and the centre fig. in Plate II.

[84] Rabelais, book iii. ch 45.

[85] This picture is very well engraven in Caulfield's _Portraits
of remarkable persons_, vol. ii. There is a beautifully illuminated
psalter preserved among the royal manuscripts in the British Museum, 2
A xvi, written by John Mallard the chaplain and secretary of Henry the
Eighth, with several marginal notes in the king's own hand-writing,
some of which are in pencil. Prefixed to psalm 52, "Dixit insipiens,"
according to a very ancient custom, are the figures of king David and
a fool, in this instance evidently the portraits of Henry and his
favourite Will Somers. That of the latter person is here copied in
Plate IV. fig. 2, but rather enlarged. The countenance bears a strong
resemblance to that of the figure in Holbein's picture of Henry the
Eighth and his family, already noticed in p. 336.

[86] Archæologia, ix. p. 249.

[87] In Tatham's play of The Scot's _figgaries_, 1652, 4to, the king's
fool is described as habited in a long coat with a gold rope or chain
about his neck.

[88] See the print of Archy engraved by Cecill and prefixed to his
_Jests_, in which, unless Mr. Granger could have been certain with
respect to what he has called "a parti-coloured tunic," there is
nothing discriminative of the fool's dress. This portrait has been
copied in Caulfield's above-cited work.

[89] _The woman captain_, Scene I.

[90] See Mr. Malone's _Historical account of the English Stage_.

[91] Parfait, _Histoire du theatre François_, II. pp. 27, 46, 62.

[92] See Mr. Steevens's note at the end of the second act of _The
taming of the shrew_.

[93] Arte of English poesie, 69.

[94] See Mr. Steevens's note in _King Lear_, Act III. Scene 6.

[95] See Mr. Malone's note in _All's well that ends well_, Act I. Scene



Enquiries like the present, however unimportant to the generality of
readers, will not fail of being duly appreciated by those who take an
interest in tracing the origin and progress of literary genius, which
has perhaps been never more successfully, and even laudably, employed,
than in the composition of such works as combine amusement with
instruction. Of these the simple and engaging apologues of many ancient
writers form a considerable portion, and have always been justly and
generally esteemed. This mode of conveying instruction became so
attractive in the middle ages, that the ecclesiastics themselves were
under the necessity of introducing narrations both historical and
imaginary into their discourses, in order to acquire that degree of
popularity and attention which might otherwise have been wanting, and
also for the purpose of enforcing their morality by such examples as
should touch the feelings of the hearers, and operate, with respect at
least to ruder minds, more efficaciously than precept. The work before
us was designed to answer these purposes; and it not only proceeded
on this ground in common with others of a similar nature, but has
even furnished the materials to some of the best writers, and more
especially poets, of ancient and modern times.

It will perhaps be expected that some reason should be assigned
why the present essay has been attempted, after the labours of Mr.
Warton on the same subject, which some may think has been amply and
satisfactorily treated, if not exhausted; and if the judgment and
accuracy of that pleasing and elegant writer had been commensurate
with his taste and industry, the expectation had been exceedingly
well founded. This however is, unfortunately, not the case. He has,
in this and many other instances, left much to be done and undone;
but we ought to feel very grateful to him for having founded a school
that has already produced some accomplished pupils, and will, no
doubt, contribute to form many a future one. Thus much seems due to an
amiable man and excellent character, who has been most undeservedly
insulted for errors of small moment, and censured for opinions of the
most innocuous kind. Even his antiquarian dullness and perseverance
have been arraigned, as if in a work like the history of English
poetry, genius should have occupied the place of industry, and have
created those facts which honest men are content to discover; a method
not uncommon with some writers who have derived too much of their
importance from the indolence and superficiality of their readers,
and who are unwilling to submit to those laws of providence which
justly impose on man the duty of penetrating to the mine before he be
permitted to enjoy the precious metal. Such was not Warton. His taste
and research will remain the admiration of future ages, when the flimsy
compositions of some of his opponents shall be totally forgotten. He
has effected, however imperfectly, more for the illustration of English
poetry than any or all of his predecessors, or than has hitherto been,
accomplished for the poetry of other nations, by any writer whatever.

Mr. Warton's dissertation would, no doubt, have been rendered more
perfect, had he been aware of a fact which had not only escaped his own
attention, but even that of Mr. Tyrwhitt. Neither of these gentlemen,
in consulting the manuscripts of the _Gesta Romanorum_, had perceived
that there were _two_ works so entitled, totally distinct from each
other, except as to imitation, and certainly compiled by different
persons. Of that treated of by Mr. Warton, it is presumed _no
manuscript has been yet described_; of the other several manuscripts
remain, _but it has never been printed, except in some translated
extracts_. It will be better to postpone for the present any further
mention of the latter, and to proceed to submit some additional remarks
on the other. And first of its use and design.

A particular mode of instruction from the pulpit has been already
hinted at, and will admit of some enlargement. Mr. Warton has mentioned
one of the earliest instances of introducing Æsop's fables, as recorded
by Vincent of Beauvais in the thirteenth century.[96] Supplies of
another kind were furnished to those who might be more scrupulous as to
the use of profane examples, not only in that great repertory of pious
fictions, _The golden legend_, but in multitudes of similar stories,
denominated in France _contes devots_, and composed for the purpose
of counteracting the great influence which the witty and licentious
stories of the minstrels had obtained, of which they were palpable
imitations both in construction and versification. Most of these were
founded on miracles supposed to have been operated by the Virgin Mary.
The earliest known specimens of them were composed in the twelfth
century by Hugues Farsi, a monk of St. John de Vignes at Soissons, who
was soon followed by many imitators both in prose and verse.[97] His
own work was turned into French verse by Gautier de Coinsi, another
monk of Soissons, about 1230. A similar collection is the _Lives of the
holy fathers_, chiefly from Saint Jerome, and anonymously composed in
French verse by some person whose name deserved to have been recorded
on account of the great merit of the work, which would be deemed an
ornament to any period, for the excellence of the poetry.

The promptuary of examples for the use of preachers, at the end of
Herolt's _Sermones discipuli_, composed in 1418, has been already
mentioned by Mr. Warton, who has given a curious and correct account
of that work; but he has omitted to notice, that, among a multitude
of pious authors cited in it, the name of Ovid appears. This practice
of indiscriminate quotation became afterwards very common. It was,
indeed, sanctioned by a preceding custom, among religious writers,
of _moralizing_ works of all denominations. Thus, to mention only
a few, Thomas Walleys, a Welsh Dominican friar, had published his
moralizations of Ovid's metamorphoses, in the fourteenth century.[98]
The _Bestiarium_, a treatise on animals, is, as well as the _Gesta
Romanorum_, perhaps an earlier instance. Afterwards the celebrated,
but licentious, _Romance of the rose_ was moralized by Jean Molinet.
Even the game of chess was moralized; for the reader who may take
up Caxton's translation of Jacobus de Cæsolis, will be grievously
disappointed should he expect to find any didactic or even historical
information. We are not to wonder, therefore, if on the restoration
of letters, a system of morality was extracted from Æsop and other
fabulists; and, accordingly, some of the early printed editions of Æsop
were published under the title of _Æsopus moralizatus_, and this,
no doubt, led the way to the moral applications to his fables which
afterwards appeared in other languages.

Among the preachers who interspersed their sermons with narrations of
various kinds, a Carthusian monk of the fifteenth century deserves
particular mention. With as much quaintness as humility, he styles
himself _Guillelmus Hilacensis quondam simplex cordatus pauperculus
discalciatus ac contemptibilis denudatus, sapientissimorum rudissimus,
electorum infimus, et minorum minimus_. He has left a volume of sermons
on the Lord's prayer, with stories in every page.[99] In the British
Museum there is a very curious collection of Latin sermons, compiled
about the reign of Henry the Sixth, by a person who calls himself
a vicar of Magdalen college, Oxford. They abound with stories from
Æsop, Cicero, Seneca, Valerius Maximus, Saint Austin, venerable Bede,
&c.[100] Stephen Baron, an English Minorite in the reign of Henry
the Eighth, has left a similar volume of sermons preached before the
university of Cambridge.[101]

Among the most remarkable persons of this description who soon
followed, were fathers Menot, Maillard, Barelete, Raulin, Vincent
Ferrier, Pierre de Boves, &c., whose discourses are filled with
quotations from Virgil, Valerius Maximus, Apuleius, Dante, Petrarch,
and the _Gesta Romanorum_. Erasmus, ridiculing the absurdities of some
of the theologians, mentions their practice of quoting the _Speculum
historiale_ and _Gesta Romanorum_.[102] Schelhorn speaks of a copy
of the latter in his possession, dated 1499, in which some former
possessor had marked against many of the stories the year in which
he had used them in his sermons.[103] Even in the eighteenth century
the Italians had not left off this custom. Grosley states, that he
heard a buffoon preacher at Rome, who stuffed his discourse with a
thousand tales, among which was that of father Philip's geese, from

There is a remarkable work to which the preachers of the middle ages
appear to have been indebted, and which deserves mention here not
only on that account, but also from its having hitherto remained in
unmerited obscurity. This may be partly owing to its having never been
printed. It is a collection of tales and fables that has been ascribed
to Odo de Ceriton, Shirton, or Cirington, for all these names are
mentioned, a Cistercian monk of the twelfth century. In one manuscript
they are called _proverbs_, and given to Hugo de Sancto Victore, of
the monastery of Saint Victoire at Paris, and who lived much about
the last-named period.[105] There is perhaps no task more difficult
than that of ascertaining the real authors of many works of the middle
ages, especially where, as in the present instance, there occurs any
thing satirical against religious abuses. The evidence with respect
to authorship is in favour of the Englishman, because in some of
the stories English sentences are found. Nor do the sarcasms against
the clergy militate in the least against ecclesiastical manufacture.
Numerous instances could be brought to show the satirical spirit of the
clergy, frequently towards each other, and generally against the church
of Rome.

The work in question is an extraordinary mixture of Æsopian fables with
pious and profane histories in great variety. One or two specimens have
been already given,[106] but the reader may not regret the trouble of
perusing the following in addition. "There is a kind of wren, named
after Saint Martin, with very long and slender legs. This bird sitting
one day in a tree, in the fullness of his pride suddenly exclaimed;
'It matters not to me though the heavens fall; for with the aid of my
strong legs I shall be able to support them.' Presently a leaf fell
upon the foolish boaster, who immediately flew away in great terror,
exclaiming, 'O Saint Martin, Saint Martin, help your poor bird!'" The
moral compares Saint Peter denying Christ to this wren, which it also
assimilates to certain pot-valiant soldiers, who boast, in their cups,
that each of them can beat three of the stoutest Frenchmen. Again:
"Isengrin the wolf, to expiate his sins, became a monk. His brethren
endeavoured to teach him his letters, that he might say _Pater noster_;
but all that they were able to get from him was, 'lamb, lamb.' They
told him to look up to the cross, but could never make him turn his
eyes from the sheep. In like manner do the monks cry out for good
wine, and fix their eyes on dainty viands and full trenchers; whence
the English proverb, _Yf alle that the wolf unto the prest worthe and
be sette on to boke salmes to ler, ȝit is ever hys onne eye to the
wodeward_."[107] To conclude with one more, "The wolf being dead, the
lion assembled the rest of the beasts to celebrate his obsequies.
The hare carried the holy water, and the hedge-hogs the wax tapers.
The goats tolled the bells; the badger dug the grave; the fox carried
the coffin; Berengarius the bear celebrated mass; the ox read the
gospels, and the ass the epistles. Mass being finished, and Isengrin
duly buried, the beasts partook of a splendid feast, the expense of
which was defrayed out of the deceased's property. The parties wished
for nothing better than a similar ceremony. So, says the moral, on the
death of any rich usurer, the abbots assemble all the _beasts_ of the
monastery; for in general, the black and white monks are really brutes,
that is, lions in pride; foxes in cunning; hogs in gluttony; goats in
luxury; asses in sloth; and hares in cowardice."

Besides the storehouses of this sort of knowledge that have been
already described, there were doubtless many others that are now lost;
but there is one that ought not to be passed over without some notice.
It is the _Summa prædicantium_ of John Bromyard, an English preacher,
and a violent opponent of Wicliffe. It is an immense repertory of
matter for the use of the clergy, every page containing stories and
examples in all possible variety.[108] It is divided into classes
of such subjects as were adapted to the pulpit, and must have been
a work of immense labour, and the result of much reading. In the
article _rapina_ he has a story resembling chap. viii. of the _Gesta
Romanorum_, which he probably cites under the title of _Antiqua gesta_.

Although most of these works were undoubtedly composed for the
immediate purpose of assisting the preachers, it by no means follows
that they were exclusively so, or that other uses might not be made
of some of them. Not that they could be accessible to the laity in
any great degree, inasmuch as they were wrapped up in a learned
language. But the private readings of the monks would not be always
of a serious and ascetic nature. They might be disposed occasionally
to recreate their minds with subjects of a lighter and more amusing
nature; and what could be more innocent or delightful than the stories
of the _Gesta Romanorum_? They might even have indulged in this kind
of recreation during their continuance in the refectory after meals.
For this purpose one of the fraternity, more eminently qualified than
the rest, might entertain them with the recital of matters that would
admit of some moral application to be made by the reader, or which was
already attached to the subject. The word _carissimi_, so frequently to
be found in the moralizations, seems as much adapted to this purpose,
as to the addressing of an auditory from the pulpit. Perhaps the same
idea had occurred to him who chose to apply the term _liber monasticus_
to the _Gesta Romanorum_.[109]

The excellent analytical account that has been given of this work would
admit of no other improvement than some augmentation of the sources of
the stories, and of their several imitations; but with respect to the
author of it, some further inquiry may be necessary. Mr. Warton has
attempted to show, with considerable ingenuity as well as plausibility,
that the _Gesta Romanorum_ was composed by Peter Bercheur, a native
of Poitou, and prior of the convent of Saint Eloy at Paris, where
he died in 1362.[110] He has founded this opinion on a passage in
the _Philologia sacra_ of Salomon Glassius, who, in his chapter _de
allegoriis fabularum_, after censuring those writers who not only
employed themselves in allegorizing the scriptures, but affected to
discover in profane stories and poetical fictions certain matters
that seemed to illustrate the mysteries of the Christian faith, makes
the following observation: "Hoc in studio excelluit quidam _Petrus
Berchorius_ Pictaviensis, ordinis Divi Benedicti: qui _peculiari_
libro, _Gesta Romanorum_, necnon legendas patrum, aliasque aniles
fabulas, allegoricè ac mysticè exposuit." On this single testimony, or
rather assertion, which is unaccompanied by any proof or reference to
authority, Mr. Warton proceeds to assign _his_ reasons for concluding
that Bercheur was the author of the _Gesta_, and they are principally
these: 1. A general coincidence between the manner and execution of
the works of Bercheur and the _Gesta_. 2. A resemblance in their
titles. 3. The introduction of some of the stories of the Gesta into
the _Repertorium morale_ of Bercheur.[111] 4. His having allegorized
the Metamorphoses of Ovid. And 5. His writings being full of allusions
to the Roman history. To these might have been added the quotations
common to both the _Gesta_ and the _Repertorium_ from Pliny, Seneca,
Solinus, and Gervase of Tilbury, and the time in which Berchorius
lived, which certainly corresponds with that of the composition of the
_Gesta Romanorum_, as far as can be collected from internal evidence.
It may be remarked in this place, that Mr. Tyrwhitt, in supposing it to
have been written at the end of the 12th or the beginning of the 13th
century, has fixed on too early a date.[112] It could not have been
written before 1256, because the chronicle of Albertus, which is cited
in one of the chapters, terminates with that year.

It might be supposed that very little could be urged in opposition
to the foregoing reasons, nor is it here intended to deny absolutely
that Bercheur was the author of the _Gesta_: but certain doubts
having arisen on the subject, they shall be submitted to the reader,
that he may then be enabled to use his own judgment and discretion
in deciding the question. With respect to the similitude between the
works of Berchorius and the _Gesta Romanorum_, no one would think of
maintaining, on this ground alone, that any two compositions, the
one anonymous, were written by the same author. It shows, generally
speaking, nothing more than coincidence, or, what is more likely,
simple imitation; and it is as probable that the author of one of the
works should have imitated the other, as that one person should have
written both. Perhaps the other reasons might be disposed of in the
same way, but it will be better to state specific objections to them;
and here Mr. Warton's own evidence might be turned against himself. He
had stated on a former occasion,[113] his having seen a manuscript of
the _Gesta in almost Saxon characters_; but it is certain that this
manuscript had doubly deceived him, and that his eye had caught one or
two of the Saxon letters which continued to be used in writing long
after Saxon times.

In the preface to the _Repertorium morale_ Bercheur tells us that
he was by birth a Frenchman, a Benedictine monk, and the familiar
servant of Cardinal de Pratis, or Des Prez, to whom he was indebted
for books and other necessaries towards the completion of his works.
Now throughout the ponderous tomes that have been consulted for this
purpose, there are no Gallicisms to be traced, nor any other symptom
of French authorship. On the other hand, there are strong marks that
the _Gesta Romanorum_ was composed by a German. In the moralization to
chapter 144, there is, in most of the early editions, a German proverb;
and, in chapter 142, several German names of Dogs. Many of the stories
are extracted from German authors, as Cesarius, Albert of Stade, and
Gervase of Tilbury, who wrote his book _De otiis imperialibus_, in
Germany. In this country likewise the earliest editions of the _Gesta_
were printed.

Mr. Warton, anticipating an objection that might be taken from the
omission of any mention of the _Gesta_ by the biographers of Bercheur,
has remarked, that it might have been among his smaller pieces, or
proscribed by graver writers, or even discarded by its author as a
juvenile performance, unsuitable to his character and abounding in
fantastic and unedifying narration. But this description does not
accord with the _general_ use that we know to have been made of it in
the pulpit; nor can it come under the denomination of a work that is
not altogether grave, serious, and moral, nor likely to have been the
effusion of a glowing or youthful mind. Besides, the biographers of
Bercheur are not alone silent as to the _Gesta_; the editors of his
printed works were entirely unacquainted with it as his composition,
and they were more likely to have been better informed on the subject
than Glassius, whose opinion, like Mr. Warton's, seems to have been
mere inference, and unsupported by any evidence. But what is more to
the point, Bercheur has himself, in the prologue to his _Repertorium_,
and in the preface to a French translation of Livy, given a very
particular account of his works, among which his moralizations of the
_Fabulæ poetarum_, never printed, are mentioned; yet this is certainly
not the _Gesta Romanorum_, any more than the _Chronicon_ mentioned
by Mr. Warton.[114] Again; most of the known works of Bercheur are
still existing in manuscript, but not a single manuscript that can be
pronounced to be the _Gesta Romanorum in question_ has occurred after
the most diligent research. Such indeed might be supplied from the
libraries in Germany, and possibly throw new light on this difficult
and mysterious inquiry. Some stress has been laid on the circumstance
of four of the stories in the _Gesta_ being related in the _Repertorium
morale_,[115] but they are not told in the same words, and the
moralizations are entirely different. This has very much the appearance
of different authorship. The title of _Reductorium_ to some of the
editions of the _Gesta_, together with many other matters, might have
been borrowed from the writings of Bercheur by some German Monk, whose
name has been irretrievably consigned to oblivion. It is scarcely worth
while to mention the blunder that Foppens has committed in ascribing
the composition instead of the printing of the _Gesta_, to Gerard De
Leeu, of Gouda in Holland.[116]

It remains to offer some account of the various forms in which this
once popular and celebrated work has appeared; and the rather, because
what has been said on this subject is widely scattered, unconnected,
and frequently erroneous.

MANUSCRIPTS.--It is a fact as remarkable as the obscurity which exists
concerning the author of the _Gesta_, that no manuscript of this work,
that can with certainty be pronounced as such, has been hitherto
described. If the vast stores of manuscripts that are contained in the
monastic and other libraries of Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain,
were examined, there is scarcely a doubt that some original of a work
so often printed would be discovered. Father Montfaucon has indeed
mentioned a manuscript _Gesta Romanorum_ in the Vatican;[117] but it
may be either a transcript from the printed copy, or a different work
under the same title, that will presently be noticed.

PRINTED EDITIONS.--The titles of these are different, and are as

    No. 1. "Incipiunt hystorie collecte ex gestis romanorum et
        quibusdam aliis libris cum applicationibus eorundem."

    The colophon. "Et sic est finis."

    No. 2. "Incipiunt historie notabiles atque magis principales
        collecte ex gestis romanorum et quibusdam aliis notabilibus
        gestis cum moralizationibus eorundem."

    The colophon. "Et sic est finis."

    No. 3. "Ex gestis romanorum hystorie notabiles de viciis
        virtutibusque tractantes cum applicacionibus moralisatis et
        misticis incipiunt feliciter."

    The colophon. "Gesta romanorum cum quibus aliis historiis eisdem
    annexis ad moralitates dilucide reducta hic finem habent. Que
    diligenter correctis aliorum viciis impressit Johannes de
    Westphalia &c."

    No. 4. "Recollectorium ex gestis romanorum cum pluribus applicatis

    No. 5. "Ex gestis romanorum hystorie notabiles collecte de viciis
        virtutibusque tractantes cum applicacionibus moralisatis et
        mysticis incipiunt _fideliter_." (sometimes _feliciter_.)

    The colophon. "Ex gestis Romanorum cum pluribus applicatis
    hystoriis de virtutibus et viciis mystice ad intellectum
    transumptis recollectorii finis."

It is impossible to speak with certainty as to the _first edition_, on
account of the omission of dates, places, and printers' names in some
of the early copies. There are two editions so circumstanced, with
the titles No. 1 and 2, in folio, and containing 152 chapters only.
There is a third printed without date by Nicolas Ketelaer and Gerard
de Leempt at Utrecht, in folio, with 152 chapters, to which Lambinet
has inaccurately assigned the date of 1473.[118] One of these three is
probably the first edition. They are all excessively rare, and a copy
containing 152 chapters only would not easily be found in this country.

Of the editions without date, place, or printer, that contain 181
chapters, there are three, and perhaps more. One of these, in folio,
is in the British Museum, but imperfect. It was certainly printed with
the types used by Ulric Zell, about 1475. Two others, the one in folio,
the other in quarto, were printed without date at Louvain, by John of
Westphalia. He is said to have printed one edition with the date 1473;
but this is probably a mistake copied from one book into another, as
Lambinet assures us that the copy in the royal library at Paris has the
above date, but in _manuscript only_.[119] The following editions with
dates can be spoken of with more confidence.

   1. 1480, no place, nor printer. In folio.
   2. 1480, at Gouda, by Gerard Leeu. In folio.
   3. 1481, at Hasselt, no printer. In folio.
   4. 1482, no place, nor printer. In quarto. This is doubtful, being
        taken from a bookseller's catalogue.
   5. 1488, no place, nor printer. In folio.
   6. 1489, no place, nor printer. In folio.
   7. 1489, at Strasburg, no printer. In folio.
   8. 1490, at Gouda, by Gerard Leeu. In folio.
   9. 1493, no place, nor printer. In folio.
  10. 1494, no place, nor printer. In quarto.
  11. 1494, at Louvain, no printer....
  12. 1497, no place, nor printer. In quarto.
  13. 1497, at Strasburg, by John Knoblouch. In quarto.
  14. 1498, no place, nor printer. In folio.
  15. 1499, no place, nor printer. In folio.
  16. 1499, at Paris, no printer. In quarto.
  17. 1506, at Paris, by Jean Petit. In 12mo.
  18. 1508, at Hagenau, by Henry Gran. In folio.
  19. 1509, at Paris, by Francois Regnault. In 12mo.
  20. 1512, at Venice, no printer. In 12mo.
  21. 1515, at Paris, by Jean Petit. In 12mo.
  22. 1516, at Venice, by George de Rusconibus. In 8vo.
  23. 1517, at Paris, no printer. In 12mo.
  24. 1517, at Hagenau, by Henry Gran. In folio.
  25. 1520, at Venice, by A. de Bindonis. In 8vo.
  26. 1521, at Paris, by Jean Petit. In 12mo.
  27. 1521, at Rouen....
  28. 1555, at Lyons, no printer. In 12mo.

GERMAN TRANSLATION.--Of this only one edition has occurred, printed at
Augsburg, by John Schopser, 1489, in folio.

DUTCH TRANSLATION.--Two editions are mentioned, the one printed at
Gouda, by Gerard Leeu, 1481, and the other at Zwollis, by Peter Van Os,
1484; both in folio.

FRENCH TRANSLATION.--It does not appear who was the author of the
translation into this language, which is entitled _Le violier[120] des
hystoires Rommaines: moralisez sur les nobles gestes faitz vertueulx
et anciennes chroniques de toutes nations de gens, fort recreatif et
moral_. It contains only one hundred and forty-nine stories. About the
year 1516, Pierre Gringore, herald to the duke of Lorraine, and the
author of several moralities and other works, published a book called
_Les fantasies de mere sote_, which is only a translation in prose,
intermixed with verse, of some twenty or thirty stories in the _Gesta
Romanorum_, with their moralizations. He has suppressed all mention of
his original, and insinuated in the privilege that he was himself the
inventor. This work seems to have preceded the anonymous translation
above mentioned, of which it is possible that Gringore might have
likewise been the author. There is another French _Gestes Romaines_
by Gaguin the historian, which has been mistaken for a translation of
the _Gesta_; but it is nothing more than an extract from the history
of the Roman republic. The editions of the _Violier_ are, 1. without
date, printed at Paris, by Philip Le Noir, in quarto; 2. 1521, printed
at Paris, by Jean de la Garde, in folio; and 3. 1529, printed also at
Paris, for Denis Janot, in quarto.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION.--In 1703 was published a little volume entitled
_Gesta Romanorum_: or _Forty-five histories originally (as 't is said)
collected from the Roman records, with applications or morals for the
suppressing vice, and encouraging virtue and the love of God. Vol.
I. newly and with care translated from the Latin edition, printed,
A.D. M.D.XIV._ This seems to be the first English translation, and the
translator B. P. has remarked in his preface that most of the matters
contained in his book had, as he understood, appeared already in the
English tongue; and therefore he desires the reader, if he should
discover a great difference in names, sense, and expression, to compare
each work with the Latin copy, by which comparison he conceives it
will be found that _his_ translation is faithful. He was not aware
that the preceding translation to which he alludes had been made from
a different work. The stories are here extracted without attention to
the original arrangement, but with a reference in each to the Latin
copy. The editor, whoever he was, designed an extension of his labours
to other volumes. Next followed an edition of the same work, without
date, 18mo, but printed about 1720. It wants the references to the
Latin copy, and the former preface is abridged. It contains fourteen
additional stories that do not belong to the _original Gesta_. Of this
another edition, with the language much altered, was printed in 1722,
18mo, with the same number of stories. The editor signs himself A. B.,
perhaps Bettesworth the printer.

It is now time to proceed to the description of _another Gesta
Romanorum_, and which has indeed been the principal cause of the
present dissertation. This work was undoubtedly composed in England
in imitation of the other; and therefore it will be necessary for the
future to distinguish the two works by the respective appellations of
the _original_ and the _English Gesta_.

It is remarkable that neither Mr. Tyrwhitt nor Mr. Warton, both of
whom had frequent occasion to inspect the work in question, and to
notice certain variations between what they have too loosely termed
the _printed copies_ and the _manuscripts_, should not have perceived
that the latter were in reality a different performance. Mr. Tyrwhitt
indeed, for want of this perception, has made use of certain English
features in the manuscripts as an argument to prove that the _original
Gesta_ was composed in England.[121]

From the great celebrity of the _original Gesta_, it could not fail
of being known to the English clergy, and accordingly we find that it
was used by them in the pulpit as in other countries. If the numerous
volumes of the sermons of the middle ages that still remain in our
college and cathedral libraries were examined, a task by no means here
recommended, it would, no doubt, be found, that they had been indebted
to it among other similar authorities for many of their _examples_; and
to show that this is not a mere conjecture, there is a collection of
ancient sermons in the British Museum that affords a solitary instance
of the introduction of a story from the _original Gesta_.[122] It is
the thirty-ninth story, of two brothers at enmity with each other.
Though anonymous, there is no doubt that these sermons were composed by
some Englishman, who has cited a multitude of authors, and among other
matters the well-known story of the Jew who refused to be delivered
from a jakes into which he had fallen on the sabbath day.

It is natural to suppose that a work like the _original Gesta_
would stimulate some person to the compilation of one that should
emulate if not altogether supersede it; and accordingly this design
was accomplished at a very early period by some Englishman, in all
probability a monk. There is a considerable difficulty even in forming
a conjecture as to the precise time in which this was done. One of
the earliest manuscripts appears to have been written about the reign
of Richard the Second, nor is there any internal evidence in this
work that places its composition below that period. That its purpose
was similar to that of the other is manifest from its being quoted
no less than five times in a collection of sermons by a preacher at
Magdalen college already mentioned, who has likewise introduced
the moralizations generally in the very words of his original. If
additional proofs were wanting of the English origin of the work before
us, it might be stated, 1. That no manuscript of it appears to exist
in any of the catalogues of continental libraries; whereas there are
many in those of this country.[123] 2. That in one of the chapters
there are some English verses,[124] and in another some English proper
names.[125] 3. That it has a few English terms and modes of speech, as
_parliament_, _livery of seizin_, &c.

The construction resembles that of the _original Gesta_, from which
a great many stories have been retained; but these are always newly
written, and sometimes materially altered. The moralizations are
uniformly different, and the proper names generally changed. The best
manuscripts contain one hundred and two stories, out of which there are
upwards of forty that are not in the original work, none of which have
been ever printed in the _Latin_ of this _Gesta_, and but few of them
in an English translation. The sources from which many of them were
taken cannot easily be traced, whilst others are extracted from works
that will hereafter be mentioned.

In the following analysis of the additional stories to this _Gesta_,
the plan of Mr. Warton has been adopted. Though it should fail in
exciting much pleasurable sensation in the reader, it may at least
serve to throw a ray or two of light on the manners of the middle ages.
The arrangement of the chapters is from MS. Harl. 2270, but the copy
used is one of equal value in the author's possession. The variety in
these is very inconsiderable.

CHAP. I.--The emperor Anselmus bore a silver shield with five red
roses. He had three sons equally beloved by him. His continual wars
with the king of Egypt had reduced him so low, that of all his temporal
goods only a single tree remained. Being mortally wounded in one of
his battles, he called his sons before him, and bequeathed to the
eldest all that was under the earth and above the earth belonging to
the tree; to the second, all that was great and small in it; and to
the youngest, all that was wet and dry in it. On the king's death
a dispute arose between his sons concerning the possession of the
tree, which by mutual consent was referred for decision to the king
of Reason. He caused all the young men to be bled, and ordered that a
bone, taken from the breast of their dead father, should be dipped in
the blood and afterwards washed. The blood of the two elder sons was
easily discharged, but that of the youngest remained. The king declared
that he was of the true blood and nature of the bone, and the others
bastards; to him therefore the tree was adjudged.

CHAP. II.--The emperor Diocletian, desirous to know what bird had the
greatest affection for its young, goes into a wood and returns to his
palace with an ostrich's nest, which he places under a glass vessel.
The dam follows him, and finding it impossible to get at her offspring,
proceeds to a desert, where she remains thirty-four days, and then
comes home with a worm called Thurnar; this she kills on the vessel,
which being broken by the blood of the animal, her young ones are set
at liberty. At this conduct of the bird Diocletian expresses much

CHAP. IV.--The emperor Gauterus, reflecting on the vanities of the
world, resolves to find a situation where there is nothing but
happiness. He leaves his kingdom, and meets a beautiful woman who had
lost her husband. She offers him marriage, and abundance of wealth;
but on inspecting the nuptial chamber, the emperor is startled and
disgusted at the appearance of several serpents and a lion that
threaten him with destruction. The lady informs him that he may
possibly survive a night or two, but that the animals will afterwards
devour him, as they had her husband. The emperor declines the honour of
this marriage, and proceeds to another country, where the nobles are
desirous to elect him king in the room of their deceased monarch; but
finding a bedchamber like the former, he instantly departs, and arrives
at a third place, where he is offered the kingdom on similar terms.
At length he meets an old man, sitting near a ladder with three steps
raised against a wall. He is interrogated as to his wishes, and answers
that he sought three things, viz. joy without sorrow, abundance without
want, and light without darkness. He is desired to ascend the ladder,
when he finds what he had wished for, and continues on the spot during
the rest of his life. This is, in substance, the 101st story in the
other _Gesta_, but here related with much variety.

CHAP. XVIII.--A knight falls in love with Aglae, the daughter of the
emperor Polentius, and being obliged to be absent in the Holy Land for
seven years, the lady agrees not to marry till his return. In the mean
time the emperor promises his daughter to the king of Hungary, who
being deeply in love with her, consents, at her request, to postpone
the marriage. On the day before the appointed time, the king of
Hungary, riding to the emperor's court in great pomp to celebrate his
nuptials, is met by the knight, with whom he enters into conversation,
and a violent rain coming on, the king's fine clothes are presently
spoiled. The knight remarks that he should have brought his house with
him. The king is struck with the singularity of the admonition. They
arrive at a deep water, and the king plunging in with his horse, is
nearly drowned. The knight tells him that he should have brought his
bridge with him. Shortly after the king inquires what time of day it
is; his companion replies that it is time to eat, and offers a cake,
which is accepted. He then observes to the king that he had acted
unwisely in omitting to bring his father and mother with him. As they
approach the emperor's palace, the knight requests leave of the king
to take another road, meaning to get to the court by a nearer way that
was known to him, and carry off the lady before the king should arrive.
On being asked what road he intended to take, he declares he will speak
the truth. He says, that on that day seven years he had spread a net
in a certain place to which he was then going; that if he should find
it broken he shall leave it, but if whole, that he shall take it with
him. The king arrives at the palace, and is kindly entertained. The
emperor interrogates him concerning the particulars of his journey, and
on hearing the strange observations that the knight had made, commends
him as a wise man, and informs the king that by the house he had meant
nothing more than a cloak; that the bridge he talked of, signified the
attendants who should have been sent before to ascertain the depth
of the water; and that by the king's father and mother, he intimated
the bread and wine that he should have brought with him. But when the
emperor came to reflect on the meaning of the net which had been spread
seven years since, he perceived that his daughter was in danger, and on
commanding her chamber to be examined, found his suspicions verified.
The king being deceived by the knight and the damsel, returned in
disgrace to his own country.

CHAP. XXI.--This is the story of king Lear under the name of
Theodosius, emperor of Rome. It has been already given from the old
English translation in manuscript. See page 420.

CHAP. XXIV.--Antonius made a law at Rome, that whenever a fire happened
in the city a sentinel should cry out to the people to ring all the
bells, and secure the gates. A certain warrior was desirous of becoming
master of the city, and, apprised of this law, consulted with his
companions how it should be evaded. One advised that they should enter
the city peaceably, and proclaim a general feast, at which a certain
liquor should be used that would set all the guests asleep. The
stratagem is adopted, the city fired, the inhabitants carried off, and
not one person left to comply with the emperor's edict.

CHAP. XXV.--A certain knight is unjustly accused before an emperor,
who, when he finds that the accusation cannot be maintained, endeavours
to perplex him with intricate questions, which he is obliged to answer
on pain of death. Among these are, the distance of a sigh from the
heart? the number of flaggons of salt water in the sea? the depth
of it? which are the most honourable and poorest professions? &c.
These are all answered satisfactorily, and the knight dismissed with

CHAP. XXVI.--A sick emperor sends into a foreign country for the
physician Averrhoes, who cures him of his disease. This excites the
envy of three other physicians, and they resolve to effect his ruin.
For this purpose they deceive him into a belief that he is become
leprous, and he returns with great sorrow to the emperor, to acquaint
him with his misfortune. Being offered all the consolation that the
emperor can afford him, he requests that he may have the use of a bath
made of goat's blood. By this remedy he is restored to health; and the
emperor, wondering at the suddenness with which he had been attacked,
is informed by Averrhoes that three leprous persons of his own
profession had terrified him, and thereby communicated their disease.
They are immediately punished with death.

CHAP. XXVII.--Antony, emperor of Rome, is fond of chess. Playing once
at this game, he observed that when the men were replaced as usual in
the bag, the king was indiscriminately confounded with the rest of the
pieces. This suggests to him his mortal state, and that he himself
shall be eventually blended with others in the grave. He divides his
kingdom into three parts; one he gives to the king of Jerusalem,
another to his nobles, and the third to the poor. He then retires to
the Holy Land to end his days in peace.

CHAP. XXX.--The emperor Averrhoes proclaims a tournament, and that the
conquerer shall marry his daughter after his decease. Decius, a knight
who excelled in arms, had two infant sons. Hearing of the proclamation,
he goes one morning into a forest where a nightingale was singing
very sweetly. He expresses a wish to know the meaning of the song,
and an old man, suddenly appearing to him, explains it. The bird had
directed him to go to the tournament, but in his way thither he is to
meet with some heavy misfortune, which he is recommended to support
with constancy and patience, because, eventually, his sorrow is to be
turned to joy. The old man then disappears, and the nightingale flies
away. Decius returns home and acquaints his wife with the adventure.
She advises him to go to the tournament with herself and children;
and he had no sooner finished the preparations for his journey, than
his house and all his goods are consumed by fire. Not discouraged,
he embarks on board a vessel, and on his arrival in the country to
which he was going, the captain of the ship demands the price of his
passage. The knight confesses his present inability to comply with the
requisition, but promises on his return from the tournament to satisfy
him fully. The captain, who had in the meantime conceived an improper
passion for the lady, demands her as an hostage, refusing an offer of
the children. The poor knight, finding no remedy, affectionately takes
leave of his wife, and departs in great sorrow with his children. The
mariner in vain attempts the accomplishment of his purpose with the
lady, and after having accompanied her to some strange country, dies.
She is reduced to great misery, and obliged to beg her bread from door
to door. The story then returns to the knight, who, proceeding in his
journey to the emperor's palace, meets with a deep piece of water,
which it was necessary to cross. Not being able to carry over both the
children together, he leaves one of them on the ground. On his return
for his child, a lion springs from a wood, seizes the infant before he
could arrive at the spot, and carries it away. He endeavours in vain to
pursue the ravisher, and at length goes back to his other child. But
here again his ill fortune attends him; a bear had seized it, and was
in the act of carrying it to a neighbouring forest. He now gives way
to his grief, and exclaims bitterly against the nightingale and her
song, but resolves to proceed to the tournament. Here he has better
luck, and repeatedly carries away the prize. The emperor takes him
into great favour, and places him at the head of his armies. Walking
one day through a certain city, he finds a precious stone of three
colours. On carrying it to a lapidary, he is informed that he possesses
a great treasure; that the stone has the power of making the owner
completely happy, of enabling him to find what he might have lost, and
of converting his poverty into wealth, and his sorrows into joy. Soon
afterwards he has occasion to raise troops for the emperor's service,
and in the course of the war two young soldiers eminently distinguish
themselves by their valour. As they are sitting one night at supper,
they make inquiries of each other respecting their parents; and from
certain matters that are detailed, they are recognized by their mother,
who happens to be present. This discovery soon leads to that of their
father, who is known by his wife, from a particular mark in his
forehead. All the parties return to their own country, and end their
days happily.

The burning of the knight's house, and the manner in which he was
deprived of his children, have been borrowed from the romance of _Sir

CHAP. XXXI.--A law was made at Rome that the sentinels of the city
should each night examine what was passing in all the houses, so that
no private murders might be committed, nor any thing done whereby the
city should be endangered. It happened that an old knight named Josias
had married a young and beautiful woman, who, by the sweetness of her
singing, attracted many persons to his house, several of whom came
for the purpose of making love to her. Among these were three young
men who were high in the emperor's favour. They respectively agreed
with the woman for a private assignation for which she was to receive
twenty marks. She discloses the matter to her husband, but not choosing
to give up the money, prevails on him to consent to the murder of the
gallants, and the robbing of their persons. This is accomplished,
and the bodies deposited in a cellar. The woman, mindful of the new
law that had been made, sends for one of the sentinels, who was her
brother, pretends that her husband had killed a man in a quarrel, and
prevails on him, for a reward, to dispose of the dead body. She then
delivers to him the first of the young men, whom he puts into a sack
and throws into the sea. On his return to the sister, she pretends
to go into the cellar to draw wine, and cries out for help. When the
sentinel comes to her, she tells him that the dead man is returned.
At this he of course expresses much surprise, but putting the second
body into his sack ties a stone round its neck and plunges it into the
sea. Returning once more, the woman, with additional arts, plays the
same part again. Again he is deceived, and taking away the third body,
carries it into a forest, makes a fire, and consumes it. During this
operation he has occasion to retire, and in the meantime a knight on
horseback, who was going to a tournament, passes by, and alights to
warm himself at the fire. On the other's return the knight is mistaken
for the dead man, and with many bitter words thrown into the fire,
horse and all. The sentinel goes back to his sister, and receives the
stipulated reward. A hue and cry had now been made after the young men
who were missing. The husband and wife engage in a quarrel, and the
murder is of course discovered.

This story has been immediately taken from _The seven wise masters_,
where it forms the _example_ of the sixth master. The ground-work is,
no doubt, oriental, and may be found, perhaps in its most ancient
form, in _The little hunchbacked taylor_ of _The Arabian nights_.
It was imported into Europe very early, and fell into the hands of
the lively and entertaining French minstrels, who have treated it in
various ways, as may be seen in Le Grand, _Fabliaux et contes_, tom.
iv., where it is related five times. The several imitations of it from
_The seven wise masters_ may be found in all the editions of _Prince
Erastus_, an Italian modification of the _Wise masters_. It forms the
substance of a well constructed and entertaining story of two friars,
John and Richard, who are said to have resided at Norwich in the reign
of Henry the Fifth. This is related in Heywood's _History of women_
under the title of _The faire ladie of Norwich_,[127] and has crept
into Blomefield's _History of Norfolk_ in a very extraordinary manner,
unaccompanied with any comment, but with the addition of the murderer's
name, who is unaccountably stated to be Sir Thomas Erpingham, a
well-known character.[128] In the Bodleian library there is an old
English poem entitled _A merry jest of Dane Hew munk of Leicestre, and
how he was foure times slain and once hanged_. Printed at London by J.
Allde, in 4to, without date. This is probably the same story, which
has certainly been borrowed from one of those related by the Norman

CHAP. XXXII.--Folliculus, a knight, was fond of hunting and
tournaments. He had an only son, for whom three nurses were provided.
Next to this child he loved his falcon and his greyhound. It happened
one day that he was called to a tournament, whither his wife and
domestics went also, leaving the child in a cradle, the greyhound lying
by him, and the falcon on his perch. A serpent that inhabited a hole
near the castle, taking advantage of the profound silence that reigned,
crept from his habitation, and advanced towards the cradle to devour
the child. The falcon, perceiving the danger, fluttered with his wings
till he awoke the dog, who instantly attacked the invader, and after a
fierce conflict, in which he was sorely wounded, killed him. He then
lay down on the ground to lick and heal his wounds. When the nurses
returned they found the cradle overturned, the child thrown out, and
the ground covered with blood as well as the dog, who they immediately
concluded had killed the child. Terrified at the idea of meeting the
anger of the parents, they determined to escape, but in their flight
fell in with their mistress, to whom they were compelled to relate the
supposed murder of the child by the greyhound. The knight soon arrived
to hear the sad story, and, maddened with fury, rushed forward to the
spot. The poor wounded and faithful animal made an effort to rise, and
welcome his master with his accustomed fondness; but the enraged knight
received him on the point of his sword, and he fell lifeless to the
ground. On examination of the cradle the infant was found alive and
unhurt, and the dead serpent lying by him. The knight now perceived
what had happened, lamented bitterly over his faithful dog, and blamed
himself for having depended too hastily on the words of his wife.
Abandoning the profession of arms he broke his lance into three pieces,
and vowed a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where he spent the rest of his
days in peace.

This tale is likewise borrowed by the compiler of the _Gesta_, from the
Seven wise masters, and of oriental construction. It is originally in
Pilpay's fables, being that of _The Santon and the broken pitcher_.[130]

There is a very extraordinary tradition in North Wales, of an incident
resembling that in our story having happened to prince Llewellyn about
the year 1205. He is said to have erected a tomb over his faithful dog,
still known in Carnarvonshire by the name of _Cilhart's grave_.[131]
This tradition is the subject of an elegant ballad by the honourable
Mr. Spencer, privately printed in a single sheet, under the title of
_Beth Gêlert, or The grave of the greyhound_. At Abergavenny priory
church there is said to be the figure of an armed knight with a dog at
his feet; and with this person, whoever he was, the story of _Cilhart_
has also been connected. But the dog, as well as other animals, is
frequently found at the feet of figures on old monuments. On the whole,
the subject appears not undeserving of the consideration of Welsh
antiquaries. It would be proper however, on any such occasion, to bear
in mind the numerous applications of circumstances altogether fabulous
to real persons; one example of which has occurred in the story from
the _Gesta_ that immediately precedes the present.

It may be thought worth adding that Virgil's _Original Gnat_ resembled
in its outline, as given by Donatus, the story in the _Gesta_. A
shepherd there falls asleep in a marshy spot of ground; a serpent
approaches, and is about to kill him. At this moment a gnat settles on
the shepherd's face, stings, and awakens him. He instinctively applies
his hand to the wounded part, and crushes the gnat. He soon perceives
that he had destroyed his benefactor, and, as the only recompense in
his power, erects a tomb to his memory.

CHAP. XXXVI.--A king having educated his three sons under a celebrated
philosopher, interrogates each of them as to what kind of a God he
should prefer; for it was the custom of the country that every man
should make his own choice on this occasion. The eldest chooses Jupiter
for his power, the second Jupiter also for his wisdom, the third
Mercury for his piety and mercy. The king recommends a Deity who should
unite all these properties, and who is compared to Jesus Christ, &c.

CHAP. XLVI.--The emperor Alexander made a law that no man should turn
a flat-fish on his plate, so as to eat the other side, under pain of
death; it being nevertheless permitted him to ask three things before
his execution. The son of an offender against this law saves his
father's life by his ingenuity, and contrives to marry the emperor's

CHAP. XLVII.--A law was made that if any child should die, or even be
hurt by the negligence of the person to whose care it were committed,
such person should suffer death. A knight requested as a reward for
some services, that he might have the care of the king's son. This
was accordingly granted, and the child delivered over to nurses. In
their absence at a fair, a wolf entered the house and carried off the
infant towards a wood. A shepherd gathering fruit in an orchard saw the
affair and gave the alarm. The child was recovered, but not till it had
received a bite that left a mark in its forehead. When the king had
received back his son, he discovered the wound, and menaced the knight
with the punishment of the law. The knight asserted that he was not a
God, nor able to control the effect of nature. The king maintained that
the mark was not natural, but produced by accident; and the knight at
length confessed the fact, and threw himself on the king's mercy. He
was only enjoined to do exclusive homage to the king, and taken into

In the moral, God is the maker of the law. He delivers man's soul
to him pure and unspotted, to be nourished in deeds of virtue. The
ecclesiastics are the nurses, who instead of attending to their duty,
frequent the worldly fairs of wickedness and vanity. The wolf is the
devil, who seizes the soul and endeavours to precipitate it into hell;
but the good preacher sitting in the arbour of the holy scriptures,
gives the alarm, and delivers it from the clutches of the devil, &c.

CHAP. XLVIII.--This story has been given from the old English
translation in manuscript, at the end of the notes to the Merchant of
Venice. See p. 173.

CHAP. XLIX.--An emperor made a law that whoever violated a Virgin
should lose both his eyes. His own son is found guilty of the crime,
and the emperor, notwithstanding the entreaties of his nobles, enforces
punishment, but consents to divide the loss of sight with the aggressor.

CHAP. L.--This story is in the other _Gesta_, but differently related.
A king on some domestic difference with his wife, had been told by her
that one only of her three sons was legitimate; but which of them was
so she refused to discover. This gave him much uneasiness; and his
death soon afterwards approaching, he called his children together,
and declared in the presence of witnesses, that he left a ring which
had very singular properties to him that should be found to be his
lawful son. On his death a dispute arose between the youths, and it was
at length agreed to refer its decision to the king of Jerusalem. He
immediately ordered that the dead body of the father should be taken up
and tied to a tree: that each of the sons should shoot an arrow at it,
and that he who penetrated the deepest should have the ring. The eldest
shot first, and the arrow went far into the body; the second shot also,
and deeper than the other. The youngest son stood at a distance, and
wept bitterly; but the king said to him, "Young man, take your arrow
and shoot as your brothers have done." He answered, "Far be it from me
to commit so great a crime. I would not for the whole world disfigure
the body of my father." The king said, "Without doubt you are his son,
and the others only bastards; to you therefore I adjudge the ring."

This story has been entitled _The judgment of Solomon_, and is probably
of oriental origin.[132] It is often represented in that illumination
which in the ancient manuscripts of the French translation of the
Bible by Guiars des Moulins is prefixed to the proverbs of Solomon,
although the story itself does not occur in that bible, nor in the
original commentary by Petrus Comestor. It appears to have been a
great favourite in the middle ages, and was often related from the
pulpit.[133] The original _judgment of Solomon_ in the first book of
Kings had probably reached the continent of India at some very early
period, as it is imitated in the following story which occurs in one of
the books belonging to the kingdom of Pegu. Two women went out together
to bathe, each accompanied by her child. Whilst they were in the water,
the children being left on the bank of the river, an alligator seized
one of them and carried it away. A dispute arose between the women for
the possession of the remaining infant, and they at length agreed to
go before the judge. To determine the controversy, the judge ordered
one of the women to lay hold of the child's head, and the other of
its heels, and thus to pull for it. In the course of the struggle,
the child was hurt, and cried out; one of the women instantly quitted
her hold, and the other carried off the prize. The judge ordered her
to be brought back, and told her that as she had manifested so little
compassion for the sufferings of the child, she could not possibly be
its mother. The infant was restored to the other woman.[134] There
is another ingenious adjudication by the emperor Claudius, scarcely
inferior to Solomon's. A woman had refused to acknowledge her son: and,
the arguments on each side being doubtful, Claudius ordered that the
parties should be married. The mother was compelled to a confession.
See Sueton. in Claud. cap. 15.

CHAP. LI.--Archillaus, a Roman emperor of an elegant person and lofty
stature, was desirous to have a shirt made by the hands of a pure and
spotless virgin, in such a skilful and subtile manner as to prolong
the duration of his life. After the strictest search no such virgin
could be found; or at least, says the story, no female whose talents
were competent to the task. Some time afterwards the emperor walking
in his orchard, and meditating on the above matter, was accosted by a
certain person who told him that he believed there was one young woman
remaining in the country who was in all respects capable of performing
what he desired. A messenger was immediately despatched by the emperor
on this pleasing mission, with instructions to salute the lady most
honourably on his part, and to present her with a particular piece of
cloth three inches only in length and breadth, and to request that
she would convert it into the shirt required; with a promise that if
she succeeded, she should become his wife. The messenger faithfully
executed his instructions; but when the damsel saw the cloth, she
told him that it was impossible with such a quantity to make a shirt
that would fit the emperor in the manner required, but undertook
notwithstanding to make one according to the best of her ability. When
the emperor heard the answer he sent a pure and handsome vessel to the
lady, in which she manufactured a shirt that gave him satisfaction.
He performed his promise and married her. This very silly and obscure
story is allegorized into the miraculous conception of the Virgin Mary.

CHAP. LIV.--Is also in the other _Gesta_, but here related with much
greater variety of circumstance, and in all respects improved. The
story has been very properly termed by Mr. Warton, a beautiful one; but
he has not been equally accurate in his statement that "Occleve has
literally followed the book before us (i. e. the original _Gesta_,)
and has even translated into English prose the moralisation annexed."
Occleve's immediate model was our English _Gesta_; nor is it improbable
that he might even be the translator of it; the moralisation also is
entirely different.[135] Mr. Warton has omitted to notice that this
story corresponds with that of Fortunatus; which, unless itself of
oriental origin, might have been taken from it.[136]

CHAP. LVI.--An emperor who had only a daughter, hunting one day in a
forest, lost his way, and was obliged to seek shelter in the cottage
of a forester. He was kindly and hospitably received, and after taking
some refreshment, retired to rest without disclosing to the man who
he was. As he lay in bed he thought he heard a voice that said to
him, "take, take, take;" presently after, another that cried, "give,
give, give;" and then a third that still more emphatically pronounced
these words, "fly, fly, fly; for this night a child is born who shall
succeed to your empire." When he arose in the morning, he inquired of
the forester if any child had been born during the night, who informed
him that his wife had just been delivered of a son. The emperor then
discovered himself, examined a mark on the child's forehead, and told
the man that he should send for it the next day, as he designed to
have it bred up at his court. On his return home he directed some
confidential servants to take away the child from the forester's
cottage, to put it to death, and to bring back its heart, that he might
be satisfied that his orders were obeyed. A contention arose among the
domestics about destroying the infant,[137] and one more humane than
the rest, proposed the killing of a pig in its stead, and delivering
the heart to the king. This was at length acceded to by the others.
The child was wrapped up in some linen, and placed in a hollow tree
for present shelter. When the emperor received the supposed heart
of the child he cast it into the fire, and mocked the idle dreams
that had tormented him. Shortly after, as an earl was hunting in the
above forest, the dogs discovered the child, which was taken home and
committed to the care of the earl's wife, whom he prevailed on to
acknowledge it as their own, and to give out that she had just been
delivered of it. When thirteen years had elapsed from this time, the
emperor proclaimed a great feast, to which, among others, the earl
was invited, who carried the boy with him as a squire to attend his
person. When the youth came into the presence of the emperor, the
latter instantly perceived the mark on his forehead, and in great anger
interrogated the earl so strictly that he confessed the manner in which
he had discovered the child. But the emperor's indignation was still
more excited against the servants whom he had employed. He sent for
them and commanded them on their oaths to speak the truth. The emperor,
now satisfied of the identity of the youth, informed the earl that he
should retain him at his court, and that he himself was at liberty to
return home. It happened that at this time the empress was in a foreign
kingdom with her daughter. The emperor therefore sent the youth to
her with a letter in which he commanded her to cause him to be put to
death in the most cruel and ignominious manner. In the prosecution
of his journey, the poor young man came to the castle of a knight
whom he humbly entreated to afford him lodging; and being hospitably
received, laid himself down to sleep, placing near him a box in which
he had deposited the letter. The knight accidentally seeing the box,
became anxious to know its contents; and having opened it immediately
perceived the emperor's signet. This he very carefully put aside,
and, reading the letter, was moved with compassion for the youth. He
immediately resolved to save his life, and substituted another letter,
in which the king was made to direct the empress to marry her daughter
to the young man with great solemnity, and to detain him with her until
he should himself arrive. This letter was delivered to the empress,
and the supposed directions of the emperor complied with. The youth by
his deportment engaged the affections of all. Some time afterwards the
emperor resolved to visit the empress, and on his arrival she went out
to meet him accompanied by her children. As soon as the emperor saw the
young man, he again recognized him; and, beholding his wife with looks
of fury and indignation, he demanded of her why she had omitted to obey
his commands. She maintained that they had been obeyed by the marriage
of the youth to their daughter, who then stood before him, and, as she
perceived, with child. The anger of the emperor was now mitigated, and
he exclaimed, "The will of the Lord be done, for I see it is in vain
to oppose it." He saluted his children with great affection, and they
succeeded happily to his throne.

CHAP. LXII.--Cornelius seduces an emperor's daughter, murders her
infant, and abandons her. The emperor expostulates to no purpose. He
then proclaims a tournament in which the wicked knight is overcome. The
princess is brought back to her father.

CHAP. LXVIII.--An emperor in his old age foolishly married a young
wife, who carried on an intrigue with a certain knight. He resolved to
make a journey to the Holy Land, and, setting out immediately, left his
kingdom in the custody of the empress and his nobles. The captain of
the ship in which he embarked, having received a large bribe for the
purpose, threw the unfortunate emperor into the sea, and returned home
with the news of his death, to the great joy of the wicked empress. The
old monarch, who had been a good swimmer from his youth, fortunately
reached an island which he found inhabited only by wild beasts. The
third day after his arrival, he saw in a wood a young lion fighting
with a strong and full-grown leopard; and compassionating the lion,
who was nearly overpowered by his adversary, he drew his sword and
killed the leopard. The grateful lion remained with him, and every day
brought him as food some animal that he had hunted, which the emperor
dressed by means of a fire that he contrived to make. After some time
had elapsed, as he was one day walking on the shore, he perceived a
ship, and making signals of distress, was taken on board. The faithful
lion plunged after him into the sea, and swam by the side of the
vessel, till some of the sailors, perceiving that he was exhausted with
fatigue and about to sink, lifted him into the ship. On the emperor's
arrival in his own kingdom he handsomely rewarded the captain, and
proceeded to his palace accompanied by the lion. When he arrived
there, he heard the sound of musical instruments, and perceived other
demonstrations of joy. On inquiry he learned that the empress had been
just married, and that his subjects believed he had perished in his
voyage to the Holy Land. He then applied to one of the domestics of the
palace to report him to the new emperor as a minstrel newly arrived,
and to request that he might be permitted to entertain him with the
tricks of his lion. He was ordered to appear before the new sovereign;
whom the lion no sooner beheld than he instantly tore him in pieces,
and immediately afterwards the empress. The nobles, astonished at what
they saw, were now preparing to make their escape, when the emperor
discovered himself, and desired them to lay aside their fear, as the
vengeance of God had been accomplished. After relating his adventures,
he reassumed his government.

CHAP. LXX.--Josias, a warlike king, was married to the king of Apulia's
daughter, who had vowed she would unite herself to that man only who
had obtained the victory in all his battles. Walking one day in his
garden he saw it written in a star, that he should undertake as many
wars for the love of Christ as he had for that of his lady, to whom
he communicated the vision. She was extremely afflicted at the news,
and threatened to destroy herself and the infant in her womb, but was
comforted by her husband with a promise of returning as soon as he
had conquered all the enemies of Christ. He then departed in company
with Tirius, a valiant knight to whom he was attached, and they shortly
arrived in Ethiopia. The king desired his friend to remain there, and
subdue the country, whilst he should accomplish other conquests. Tirius
requested of the king that he would send him occasional tidings of
himself, and directions how to act in his absence. This was promised;
and the knight received at the same time a ring from his master, as
a pledge whereby to remember him. The king took his departure, and
went to the Holy Land. In his absence a certain tyrant named Acharon,
made war against Tirius; and finding it impossible to subdue him,
accused him of treason to the king of Ethiopia, who deprived him of
all his possessions, so that he became very poor and was obliged to
beg his bread. Josias soon afterwards returned from the Holy Land to
Ethiopia, in the character of a pilgrim, and by chance met Tirius,
whom he immediately recognized, but remained himself unknown. He put
many questions to his friend, who related to him his misfortunes, and
added, that he was in daily expectation of the speedy return of his
own sovereign, whose token he still preserved, and whom he described
as the better half of his soul. Josias told him that he had travelled
far on account of the love he also bore to the same person; that he
was exceedingly fatigued, and requested of him to sit down that he
might repose his head on his bosom. Tirius answered, that he would do
this and much more for him. Whilst Josias was asleep, a white weasel
issued from his mouth, and proceeding towards a mountain, walked round
it. It then returned, and again entered the mouth of the king. Tirius
wondered much at this, and when the king awoke was interrogated as to
what he had seen. Josias, on being informed, said, "Let us go to the
mountain, perhaps we may behold more wonders." On their coming to a
hollow place in the mountain, they found a dragon lying dead, with a
large quantity of gold in his belly, and a sharp sword, on which was
inscribed, "By my power, and with the king's assistance, the knight
Tirius shall once more possess his lands." Josias then discovered
himself to his friend, who fell on the ground and kissed his feet. The
king gave all the gold to Tirius, but reserved the sword for himself,
and commanded the knight not to disclose who he was until they should
have accomplished their purpose. Josias then proceeded in his pilgrim's
habit to the king's palace, where he found the tyrant Acharon, and
sat himself down before the largest table. The king inquired of him
whence he came and what tidings he brought. The pilgrim answered, "I
come from the Holy Land, where many persons recommend your soul to
Christ for having despoiled a worthy knight of his lands on the lying
accusation of a tyrant." Acharon then exclaimed, "Why hast thou uttered
these things? I would thou wert able to defend thyself, that I might
fight with thee." The pilgrim requested leave to accept the challenge,
which the king granted, and promised that if he obtained the victory he
should not only receive all the lost lands of the knight, but be made
the second man in his kingdom. The day of battle was appointed, and
the combatants respectively maintained the contest with considerable
valour. At length Acharon, exhausted with fatigue, was about to yield,
when he said to the pilgrim, "You are doubtless a generous adversary,
I die with thirst; suffer me to go once to the river and drink." The
pilgrim acquiesced on the like conditions for himself. When Acharon had
quenched his thirst, his strength returned; he renewed the combat with
vigour, and Josias, in his turn, sorely pressed, requested permission
to drink. His treacherous enemy not only refused him, but compelled him
to fight his way to the water, into which he plunged and assuaged his
thirst. Having recovered his strength, the battle was continued till
the evening; and when Acharon was once more about to yield the victory,
the king parted the combatants, and appointed the next day to renew the
battle. At night the king sent for the pilgrim, commended his valour,
and desired his daughter to take him under her care, and provide him
with all necessaries, that he might be able to maintain the combat
on the following day. The damsel then led him to a chamber, bathed
him,[138] prepared his supper, and afterwards placed him in a bed with
four feet, so that it could be easily moved from place to place. In the
mean time Acharon called together his four sons, all of them robust
young men; told them of the danger his life would be in if he should
renew the contest with the pilgrim on the ensuing day, and prevailed
with them to seize him in his chamber whilst he slept, and throw him
into the sea. It happened that a fisherman from his vessel perceived by
the light of the moon the floating bed, and to his great astonishment
a man lying upon it. Josias also awoke, and wondered much at seeing
the stars over his head. The fisherman cried out to the king, and the
king to him for assistance, telling him he was the person who had the
day before been engaged in combat with the tyrant. The fisherman took
him on board his vessel, and afterwards to his dwelling, where he was
again put to bed. On the morrow Acharon armed himself and went to the
palace, exclaiming aloud, "Bring forth the traitor pilgrim, that I may
this day present his head to our lord the king." When the princess was
ordered by her father to awake the pilgrim, she was astonished to find
him gone, together with the bed; and when the king heard the strange
news he was much grieved, for he loved the pilgrim, and detested the
tyrant. The fisherman at length appeared and related what had happened.
Josias returned to the palace, armed himself, once more attacked his
adversary, who was by this time quite dejected, and cutting off his
head, presented it to the king. He was then desired to name the reward
that he wished for, when he requested that the lands which Tirius
had acquired by his valour might be again restored to him. Josias
afterwards took leave of his friend, returned to his own kingdom, and
ended his days in peace.[139]

CHAP. LXXI.--An emperor committed the education of his only son to one
of his knights, who had obtained a victory at a tournament. The child
was placed in a chamber, round which the seven liberal sciences were
depicted, so that when he lay awake in bed he could be gathering all
kinds of knowledge. Near the bed was a fountain, in which the child
could bathe, and beyond the fountain a window to admit the sun. It
happened that a bear, finding the door open, entered the chamber and
washed himself in the fountain, so that the water was much infected
with his filth. The knight and his wife soon afterwards drank of the
fountain, and became leprous. An eagle also flew in at the window,
and carried off the king's son. At length a skilful physician was
consulted, who cured the parties of their leprosy, and instructed them
how to recover the child.

CHAP. LXXII.--A king hears the song of a nightingale. He is desirous of
knowing what it means; and, applying to a wise knight, is informed that
it directs him to seek three things, viz. joy without sorrow, abundance
without want, and light without darkness. The king sets out in pursuit
of them, and arrives in a kingdom where the sovereign was just dead,
leaving his throne to his sister. She becomes enamoured of the royal
traveller and offers him marriage. Here the story is discontinued, but
the narrator refers to chap. iv. as containing the same matter.

CHAP. LXXVII.--In the castle of an emperor was a fountain, the water
of which had the property of curing drunkenness. To this vice, which
the emperor particularly detested, one of his knights, named Ydronicus,
was much addicted; but whenever he perceived the consequences of his
intemperance, he repaired to the fountain, and drinking a hearty
draught, recovered himself in such a manner that the emperor, who was
extremely attached to him, had never yet discovered his failing. It
happened that the emperor had found a bird in his forest which sang so
sweetly, that, being fond of melody, he repaired daily to the spot to
hear it. The particular attention which the emperor bestowed on these
two favourites had excited the envy of his courtiers, among whom one
wiser than the rest at length undertook their ruin. He first sealed
up the fountain, so that when Ydronicus next became intoxicated he
was deprived of his usual remedy; and the emperor, perceiving his
condition, was filled with indignation, and instantly decreed his
banishment. The insidious courtier then repaired to the forest; and
watching attentively the motions of the bird, perceived that her
mate often came to visit her, but that in his absence she committed
infidelities with strange birds, and then bathing herself in an
adjacent well, deceived her mate on his return. He therefore closed up
the well, and the unfaithful bird being soon detected by her mate, he
tore her to pieces. The latter part of this story seems borrowed from
the last chapter of the original _Gesta_.

CHAP. LXXVIII.--A law was made at Rome, that no man should marry for
beauty, but for riches only; and that no woman should be united to a
poor man, unless he should by some means acquire wealth equal to her
own. A certain poor knight solicited the hand of a rich lady, but
she reminded him of the law, and desired him to use the best means
of complying with it, in order to effect their union. He departed in
great sorrow, and after much inquiry, was informed of a rich duke
who had been blind from the day of his birth. Him he resolved to
murder, and obtain his wealth; but found that he was protected in the
day-time by several armed domestics, and at night by the vigilance of a
faithful dog. He contrived however to kill the dog with an arrow, and
immediately afterwards the master, with whose money he returned to the
lady. He informed her that he had accomplished his purpose; and being
interrogated how this had been done in so short a space of time, he
related all that had happened. The lady desired, before the marriage
should take place, that he would go to the spot where the duke was
buried, lay himself on his tomb, listen to what he might hear, and then
report it to her. The knight armed himself, and went accordingly. In
the middle of the night he heard a voice saying, "O duke, that liest
here, what asketh thou that I can do for thee?" The answer was, "O
Jesus, thou upright judge, all that I require is vengeance for my blood
unjustly spilt." The voice rejoined, "Thirty years from this time thy
wish shall be fulfilled." The knight, extremely terrified, returned
with the news to the lady. She reflected that thirty years were a long
period, and resolved on the marriage. During the whole of the above
time the parties remained in perfect happiness.

When the thirty years were nearly elapsed, the knight built a very
strong castle, and over one of the gates, in a conspicuous place,
caused the following verses to be written:

    "In my distress, religion's aid I sought;
    But my distress reliev'd, I held it nought.
    The wolf was sick, a lamb he seem'd to be;
    But health restor'd, the wolf again we see."

Interrogated as to the meaning of these enigmatical lines, the knight
at once explained them by relating his own story, and added that in
eight days time the thirty years would expire. He invited all his
friends to a feast at that period; and when the day was arrived, the
guests placed at table, and the minstrels attuning their instruments of
music, a beautiful bird flew in at the window and began to sing with
uncommon sweetness. The knight listened attentively, and said, "I fear
this bird prognosticates misfortune." He then took his bow, and shot
an arrow into it in the presence of all the company. Instantly the
castle divided in two parts, and, with the knight, his wife, and all
who were in it, was precipitated to the lowest depth of the infernal
regions. The story adds, that on the spot where the castle stood, there
is now a spacious lake, on which no substance whatever floats, but is
immediately plunged to the bottom.

CHAP. LXXIX.--The emperor Miremius had an only son, on whose birth the
wise men being consulted as to his future destiny, declared that he
would not live except he were brought up for seven years under ground,
where the light of the sun could never come. This was accordingly done;
and at the expiration of the time the young prince was taken out of
his subterraneous confinement, and became the admiration of all men
for his virtues and good disposition. In due time he was married to
a daughter of the king of Hungary. At each corner of the nuptial bed
was placed a little dog to watch, and near it a burning lamp, which
by the emperor's special command was to be lighted only by the hands
of a pure virgin. The prince coming one night into the chamber found
the lamp extinguished, and made a solemn vow that he would never more
enter the bed until the lamp were rekindled; but after many inquiries
no virgin could be found for the purpose. The prince determined to make
search himself, and taking affectionate leave of his wife, proceeded
on his expedition. He presently overtook a lion, whose foot had been
wounded by a thorn, which he extracted, and the animal followed him.
Arriving at the castle of a king who had a virgin daughter, the prince
fell in love with and demanded her in marriage. The king consented,
on condition that he would destroy a horrible dragon, who had nearly
devoured all the sheep and oxen in the country, and for whose future
supply it would soon be necessary to draw lots in the king's own
family. The prince agreed to the proposal, and waited till the period
arrived when the lot had fallen on the king's daughter. He then became
exceedingly terrified, but ventured to attack the dragon, who was on
the point of destroying him, when the lion came to his assistance, and
speedily killed his adversary. The virgin was delivered to the prince,
who took her home to his wife. The lamp was rekindled, to the great joy
of the parties, and the virgin treated with all possible kindness and
attention. The dog and the lamp in this story are introduced in chap.
i. of the other _Gesta_, but the tales have nothing else in common.

CHAP. LXXX.--There was a law at Rome, that every woman at her
purification should write some words on the church door, for the
edification of the people, and then return home with due solemnity.
The empress on this occasion writes, "I am a king governing the age;
all the world is mine." Some time afterwards a noble lady attended by
several musicians comes to be purified. She inscribes on the door,
"I am an infant at the breast whose milk is wine," and returns home
to prepare a feast. The empress is much offended, and sends for her.
She procures two serpents, and compels the lady to suckle them, &c.
The substance of this story is incorporated with the old ballad of "A
warning piece to England, or the fall of queen Eleanor."[140]

CHAP. LXXXI.--A city is infested with dragons and other venomous
animals that destroy the inhabitants. A philosopher advises the emperor
to hang a live lion on a cross, and thus terrify the other creatures
from molesting the city.

CHAP. LXXXII.--A law was made, that if any one could escape from
prison and fly to the king's palace he should receive protection. An
imprisoned knight is visited by a bird, who leaves a precious stone, by
the touch of which his fetters are loosed and he escapes, &c.

CHAP. LXXXIV.--A dispute arose between the three sons of an emperor
respecting the succession. The nobles decided that they should run
a race on horseback, and that he whose horse neighed should inherit
the throne. A cunning servant of one of the princes contrived that
his master should win, by placing in the horse's way a mare that he
remembered. This is the well-known story of Darius.

CHAP. XC.--Of a law that whoever violated a virgin without making
atonement to her father within a certain time should suffer death.

CHAP. XCII.--Of a madman who tore his flesh every day, and was poisoned
by his father.

CHAP. XCIII.--An empress falls in love with a young knight; and
becoming extremely sick, the physicians inform her husband that there
is no mode of cure, but the bathing her with the knight's blood.

CHAP. XCIV.--A poor man is promoted by an emperor to great honours, but
soon becomes proud, and rebels against his sovereign. He is banished
with his accomplices. These invite their successors to a poisoned
banquet. The emperor is recommended by his son to apply to a damsel who
possesses a well with miraculous powers. By means of its water the dead
men are restored to life. The prince is rewarded with a crown of gold.

CHAP. XCVII.--Jonathas, having contrived to keep fire and water in his
house, at a time when his fellow citizens had been plundered of them
by a tyrant named Eulopius, is rewarded by having the education of the
emperor of Rome's son committed to him. He builds a chamber for the
young prince, and causes various images and inscriptions to be placed
in it, which keep him attentive to his charge. He is finally promoted
to great honour.

CHAP. XCVIII.--The emperor Martin had brought up his nephew Fulgentius
as his page and cup-bearer; but his steward soon became envious of
the young man, and resolved to effect his ruin. For this purpose he
prevailed on the emperor to believe that Fulgentius had ungratefully
circulated many ill reports of him, and particularly that he was
leprous to such a degree that it was unsafe to approach his person or
administer his drink to him. He then went to the young man, related to
him that the emperor had made great complaint of the foulness of his
breath, and advised him, when he performed the duties of his office,
to take special care to turn his head aside. The innocent Fulgentius
pursued this insidious counsel, and, the emperor's anger being excited,
he struck his nephew violently on the breast, and drove him from his
presence. He then consulted with the steward how he should deprive
the youth of life; and it was settled that some men who lived near at
hand, and kept a furnace to burn stones for cement, should immediately
be directed to throw into their fire, without the least ceremony, that
person who should come early on the morrow, and desire them to fulfil
the emperor's commands. Measures were then taken that Fulgentius should
be the victim; but in his progress to the lime-kiln he was induced by
the sound of a church bell to deviate from his road, and attend the
celebration of the mass. During the service he fell asleep, and when
it was finished no efforts of the priest could for a very considerable
time awake him. In the meanwhile the steward, solicitous to hear of the
young man's death, repaired to the spot, and inquiring if the emperor's
commands had been executed, was seized by the workmen, who, in spite
of all his entreaties and remonstrances, threw him into the furnace.
Fulgentius himself soon afterwards arrived, delivered his message, and
was surprised to hear of the steward's death, and the miraculous manner
in which he himself had escaped. He then returned thanks to God for
his preservation, and went back to the palace. The emperor in great
anger demanded why he had not executed his commands. Fulgentius related
what had happened, and this leading to a mutual explanation, he was
restored to his uncle's favour, and ended his days honourably. This
story may have come from the East.[141] It is likewise extremely well
related in the _Contes devots_ or _Miracles of the Virgin_,[142] and in
other places.[143]

CHAP. XCIX.--A marriage was proposed between the son of Anselmus,
emperor of Rome, and the daughter of the king of Apulia. The young
lady in her voyage was shipwrecked and swallowed by a whale. In this
situation she contrived to make a fire and to wound the animal with
a knife, so that he was driven towards the shore, and slain by an
earl named Pirius, who delivered the princess and took her under his
protection. On relating her story she was conveyed to the emperor. In
order to prove whether she was worthy to receive the hand of his son,
he placed before her three vessels. The first was of gold, and filled
with dead men's bones; on it was this inscription; _who chuses me shall
find what he deserves_. The second was of silver filled with earth,
and thus inscribed; _who chuses me shall find what nature covets_.
The third vessel was of lead, but filled with precious stones. It had
this inscription; _who chuses me shall find what God hath placed_. The
emperor then commanded her to chuse one of the vessels, informing her
that if she made choice of that which should profit herself and others,
she would obtain his son; if of what should profit neither herself
nor others, she would lose him. The princess after praying to God for
assistance, preferred the leaden vessel. The emperor informed her that
she had chosen as he wished, and immediately united her with his son.
This is obviously the story which had supplied the caskets in the
_Merchant of Venice_. See the note at the end of that play, p. 169.

CHAP. C.--A king hunting in a forest loses his attendants, and is left
alone. He meets a lame lion, who stretches out his foot to him, as if
soliciting assistance. The king, perceiving a thorn, extracts it, and
binds up the wound with certain herbs. Finding no way out of the wood,
he is obliged to take shelter in the lion's den, where he is supplied
with food by the grateful animal. After remaining here some time a bear
comes to the den. The rest of the story will not admit of being told.
What has been stated is evidently grafted on the well-known tale of

CHAP. CI.--A certain emperor made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,
leaving the care of the kingdom in his absence to his wife, a wise
and beautiful woman. The emperor's brother not only oppressed and
persecuted many of his subjects, but had even the temerity to make
unlawful love to the empress. On consulting with her counsellors, they
advised her to cast him into prison, which was accordingly done. Here
he lay until rumours were spread of the emperor's intended return;
and fearing that if his unworthy conduct were reported to his brother
he should be sentenced to die, he entreated mercy of the empress, and
made such solemn promises of future good behaviour that she consented
to release him. On the emperor's arrival, his wife and brother went
out to meet him; but in passing through a forest, a stag springing up,
diverted the attention of the domestics who accompanied them, and they
were left entirely by themselves. The wicked brother now renewed his
solicitations to the empress; but receiving from her the most positive
refusal of compliance, and menaced with the vengeance of her husband,
he inhumanly tied her by the hair to a tree, leaving her palfrey by
the side of her. He then rejoined the attendants, and pretended that a
multitude of armed men had attacked him and carried off the empress.
Shortly afterwards the unfortunate lady was discovered by an earl who
was hunting in the forest, taken home to his castle, and by her own
consent appointed to superintend the care of his infant daughter.
Here a certain seneschal fell in love with her, but his addresses
being rejected, he determined on speedy revenge. For this purpose he
contrived to get into the castle at night, and proceeding to the earl's
chamber, found the empress in bed and asleep with the child. After
murdering the infant, he placed the bloody knife in the empress's hand.
During the night the earl's wife awoke, and perceiving by the light
of the lamp what had happened, accused the empress of the murder in
the most bitter terms, and entreated her husband to inflict immediate
punishment. The earl, however, thought fit to spare the empress's life,
and contented himself with dismissing her from his castle. The poor
lady mounted her palfrey, and had not proceeded far, when she met a
robber going to execution. Her compassion led her to ransom the man by
means of a sum of money; and, depending on his gratitude, she sent him
before her to the next city to provide lodging and other necessaries.
All the inhabitants of the place admired her beauty, and many persons
in vain solicited her love. It happened that a ship arrived in the
harbour of this city laden with merchandize, and the empress despatched
her servant to the captain, requesting him to attend her for the
purpose of negociating for the articles she might want. The captain
came, received her orders, and promised to send the goods; but he was
also captivated with the beauty of the empress, and desired her servant
to follow him. He then offered the man a large reward to assist him in
getting his mistress on board the vessel, that he might thus have her
in his power, and carry her away. The fellow consented; and, telling
his lady that the captain would only permit his merchandize to be
examined on board the ship, prevailed on her to accompany him thither,
and she immediately became a prisoner. The vessel sailed, the commander
earnestly pressed his unlawful solicitations, and threatened death in
case of refusal. The empress requested a short respite, and addressed
her prayers to heaven for assistance. A tempest instantly arose, the
ship sunk to the bottom, and all perished except the empress and the
captain. Each of them had clung to a piece of timber, but they were
cast on different shores; and the empress, without her knowledge, on
that of her own country. Here she soon found shelter in a convent,
and applying herself to the study of healing the sick, soon became so
skilful that her fame spread throughout the land. About this time the
emperor's wicked brother had become a loathsome leper; the earl whose
daughter had been killed was blind and paralytic; the treacherous
servant became lame and gouty, and otherwise diseased; and the master
of the ship had lost his reason. When the emperor heard of the lady's
skill in curing diseases, he accompanied his brother to the convent,
where the others had also come to be healed. The empress, preserving
her disguise, informed them that she had no power of relieving them
unless they previously, and in the presence of each other, made
a fall and solemn confession of their sins, and repented of them
sincerely. This was accordingly done; and when the innocence of the
empress was clearly manifested, to the great and mutual surprise of
all the parties, she first performed her promise to the sick, and then
discovered herself to the emperor. He conducted her to the palace with
much joy, and they finished their days happily.

Occleve has related this story in verse from the present work,[144] and
it is also to be found in the _Patrañas_ of Timoneda.[145] The outline
has been borrowed from one of the _Contes devots_, or miracles of the
Virgin Mary.[146] The incident of the bloody knife occurs likewise in
Chaucer's _Man of law's tale_, and in a story related by Gower.[147]

The author of this _Gesta_ has been nowhere recorded; but it may be
necessary on this occasion to lay before the reader part of a note
prefixed to the Merchant of Venice, in which Dr. Farmer has corrected
one mistake, but inadvertently fallen into another. He says, "In a
MS. of _Lidgate_, I find a _tale of two marchants of Egipt_ and of
_Baldad, ex Gestis Romanorum_. _Leland_ therefore could not be the
original author _as Bishop Tanner suspected_. He lived a century after
Lidgate." The inference is perfectly just; but the suspicion was not
Bishop Tanner's, who has only retailed that of another writer, Richard
Robinson, and he in reality seems to have regarded Leland merely as
a _translator_, as will presently appear.[148] Dr. Farmer had been
deceived by the mode of printing Robinson's words, which have much
the appearance of belonging to the bishop. There would have been more
probability in a conjecture that either Walleis or Bromyard might have
been the fabricator of the _English Gesta_. The moralizations to Ovid's
metamorphoses, which the former of these persons composed, adapt him
extremely well to the purpose; but though the date of his existence is,
on the whole, uncertain, he seems to have lived about half a century
too early, viz. towards the beginning of the fourteenth century.[149]
From what has already been said of Bromyard, it will appear that he
was no less qualified than the other for the authorship of the work in

TRANSLATION.--As this work was not circulated in foreign countries,
no translation of it appears to have been made in any other language
than the English; and in that, not of the whole. There is a very fine
manuscript in the Harleian collection, written in the reign of Henry
the Sixth, containing seventy stories only.[150] In this manuscript
are several pieces by Lydgate, and some tales from Gower's _Confessio
amantis_. As the _English Gesta_ appears to have been extremely well
known to both these writers, and also to Occleve, it is by no means
improbable that the above translation was made by one or the other
of them. Whether it has ever been _printed_ is another question. Mr.
Warton has twice mentioned an addition without date by Wynkyn de
Worde;[151] and Dr. Farmer has also, in a note prefixed to the Merchant
of Venice, referred to the same edition. It had escaped the researches
of the industrious Herbert, who has only mentioned it after Mr.
Warton,[152] and has in vain been sought for on the present occasion.
The fortunate possessor of it may have the means of ascertaining
whether it be the same as the above manuscript, by referring to the
stories that have been given in the present volume at the end of the
remarks on the plays of King Lear, and the Merchant of Venice.

Among the manuscripts in the Royal Library, now in the British Museum,
there is one entitled "_Eupolemia; Archippus and Panoplia_; that ys
to say. His good warrfare agenst Satan and his malignant spirites;
his good soldyer agenst the flesh, the lustes and concupiscences
therof: And his complet harness agenst the worlde and the wickednes
and wretchednes therof. Conteyning a true catalogue of all his pore
paynefull laboures, translated, collected, allso printed and published
and præsented in English, by authority. Shewyng allso what good
Benifactors hee hathe had, for meyntenance of his sayde pore study and
peine, and what hynderances hee hathe had othirwyse from the yeare of
oure Savyour Christe 1576, untill this yeare 1602, for 26 yeares. Newly
written oute to the glory of God, honour of the Queenes most excellent
Majesty, comfort of the faythfull and convertion or subvertion of
their enemyes. By _R. Robinson_, London." This strange work has a
great number of scriptural quotations in Latin and English, in the
several margins. The dedication is here given for its singularity.
"Sacrosanctæ beatæque Trinitati, simulque serenissimæ ac pientiss.
regis majestati sacrum. Pro relevio professionis Christianæ ac remedio
oppressionis inhumanæ. Cum impressione presentis codicilli." Then
follows a dedication to Queen Elizabeth, made up of scraps from the
sacred writings, and from Tibullus, Ovid and Juvenal; next, another
to King James, entirely scriptural and in Latin verse. Afterwards
we have a list of the author's works, which he divides into three
columns, the first containing their titles, the second the allowance
and printing, and the third patrons and benevolences. Among these is
the following: "1577. A record of ancyent historyes intituled in Latin
_Gesta Romanorum_, translated (auctore ut supponitur Johane Leylando
antiquario) by mee perused corrected and bettered. Perused further by
the wardens of the stationers and printed first and last by Thomas
Easte in Aldersgate streete 6 tymes to this yeare 1601,[153] cont. 21
shetes. Dedicated for 5 impressions to the R. honorable Lady Margaret
Countess of Lyneux, who gave me for her booke 13_s._ 4_d._ besydes sale
of 25 boks. Dedicated last to the wardens of the Lether sellers,[154]
who with others have given mee xx_s._ Dedicated last of all anno 1602
to D. Watson B. of Chichester and B. Almoner to the Queenes Majesty
who, (not so thankfull to mee as I deserved) gave me but ijs. for my
booke dedicatory."[155] If Leland made any translation of the _Gesta_,
it must have been that printed by Wynkyn de Worde, which Robinson
perhaps alludes to, when he says that he had _perused bettered and
corrected_ the work; for it is very clear that the older translation in
the Harleian manuscript was not known to him.

MANUSCRIPTS.--Of these many are still remaining. They are, in general,
written during the reigns of the Fifth and Sixth Henries, though one
or two appear to be as old as that of Richard the Second. As the work
was a great favourite, many of the stories are found in some of those
miscellaneous volumes, which, in all probability, constituted the
private libraries of the monks. If these were carefully examined, there
is no doubt that many might be added to the following, necessarily
imperfect, list:--

                        IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM.

     1.     Harl. 206.        37. 47. contains   26 stories.
     2.           219.                           15 stories.
     3.           406.                           37 stories.
     4.          2270.                          102 stories.
     5.          3132.                           81 stories.
     6.          5259.                          101 stories.
     7.          5369.                           43 stories.
     8.  Sloane, 4029.                           95 stories.
     9.  Bibl. Reg. 8 F. vi.

                              AT OXFORD.

    10.  Bodl.   1986. or B. 3. 10.
    11.          2760. or MS. sup. O. i. Art. 17.
    12.          3826. but query?
    13.  Coll. Lincoln. lib. theolog. 60.
    14.  Magdal.   13.
    15.            60.
    16.  Joh. Bapt. C. 31.
    17.         G. 48.


    18. Worcester Cathedral. 80.
    19. Hereford Cathedral. 74.
    20. MSS. Rob. Burscough, 82, in Catal. MSS. Angliæ.
    21. MSS. Symonds D'Ewes, 150. Catal. MSS. Angliæ.
    22. Trin. Coll. Dublin, G. 326.
    23. In the author's possession. 101 stories.
    24. Ibid. 50 stories.
    25. Ibid. 34 stories.

PRINTED EDITIONS.--It has been already stated that the Latin copy of
this work has never been printed. The following are all translations
into English, No. 1 may be that ascribed to Leland; the rest are by

    1. No date, printed by Wynkyn de Worde....
    2. 1577. T. East. From Robinson's Eupolemia, as above.
    3. 1595. T. East. 12mo. In the author's possession. Contains 43
    4. No date. R. Bishop. 12mo.
    5. No date. Stansby. 12mo.
    6. 1648. R. Bishop. 12mo. 44 stories.
    7. 1663. J. B. for A. Crook. 12mo.
    8. 1668. A. J. for A. Crook. 12mo. 44 stories.
    9. 1672. E. Crowch, for A. Crook. 12mo.
    10. 1689. for T. Bassett, &c. 12mo. 44 stories.
    11. 1703. for R. Chiswell. 12mo. The same as that of 1668.


[96] p. j. For the benefit of those who may have an opportunity of
consulting the original, a mistake in Mr. Warton's reference to the
_Speculum historiale_ is corrected, which should be lib. IV. c. viii.

[97] A fine collection of them, in verse, was in the library of the
Duke de la Valliere. One volume is in MS., Harl. 4401, two others in
the author's possession, as well as a third in prose, beautifully
painted in camaieu gris. Some of those in prose have been printed.
See a memoir by Racine in the _Acad. des inscript._ tom. xviii. p.
360. Specimens of them may be seen in the fifth volume of that very
entertaining work, the _Fabliaux et contes_ of M. Le Grand.

[98] There is a great deal of confusion respecting this man, some
making him an English Jacobin of the fourteenth century. He has been
mistaken for other persons of the same name, and his works are by no
means well ascertained, being often confounded with those of Nicolas
Trivet and others. In his Ovid he has been indebted to a preceding work
by Alexander Neckam. Another allegorical work on Ovid's metamorphoses
was written about 1370, by Giovanni Buonsignore di Castello, and a
tropological explanation of them was published by Pierre Lavigne,
about 1500. There is also a manuscript in the Royal library at Paris,
entitled _Ovidii metamorphosis moralisata, per Johannem Bourgauldum_.
See Labbe _nova bibl. MSS._, p. 321.

[99] It was printed at Paris, 1494, in 12mo, by Geringard Rembolt.

[100] MS. Harl. 5396. This manuscript contains another similar
collection; and these are the more worthy of being noticed, as we have
very few of the kind printed in England.

[101] These were printed by Wynkyn de Worde, and at Paris, without date.

[102] "Hic mihi stultam aliquam et indoctam fabulam, ex Speculo opinor
historiali, aut Gestis Romanorum, in medium adferunt, et eandem
interpretantur allegoricè, tropologicè, et anagogicè."--_Stultitiæ
laus._ Basil. 1780, 8vo, p. 261.

[103] Amœnit. eccles., i. 807.

[104] Observ. on Italy, ii. 108.

[105] This MS. is in the author's possession, as well as another of
the same work with considerable variations. A third is in the library
of the Royal Society, No. 292, and there ascribed to Odo de Ceriton.
Concerning this person, who was tutor in theology to the celebrated
John of Salisbury, see Bale, _Script. Brytann. catal._ pars i. p.
221, edit. 1559. Tanner, _Bibl. Britannico-Hibernic._ p. 560. A great
deal of confusion, and yet not more than is often found on similar
occasions, has been mad