« PreviousContinue »
friend approached, and offered his services. The the Spaniard expired in peace; but curiosity predying man made but one request, which was, not to vailed over good faith; the body was stript, and suffer his body to be stript, but to bury him in the found to be without a shirt.-WARBURTON. habit he bad on. The friend promised compliance,
MERCHANT OF VENICE.
" He lends out money gratis, and brings down
“ It was my turquoise."-Act III. Sc. I. The rate of usance here with us in Venice.”
Act I. Sc. 3. A turquo;se is a precious stone found in the veins " It is almost incredyble what gaine the Vene- of the mountains on the confines of Persia to the tians receive by the usury of the Jewes, both pri- east, subject to the Tartars. It was said of this vately and in common. For in everie citie the stone, that it faded or brightened in its colour, as Jewes kepe open shops of usurie, taking gaiges of the health of the wearer increased or grew less. So ordinarie for xv in the hundred by the yere; and if Edward Fenton, in his Secret Wonders of Nature, at the yere's end the gaige be not redeemed, it is 1569, says: “ The Turkeys doth move when there forfeite
, or at the least dooen away to a great dis- is any perill prepared to him that weareth it.” advantage, by reason whereof the Jewes are out of
STEEVENS. measure wealthie in those parts." Thomas's HISTORY OF ITALY, 1561.
“ Snaky golden locks." —Act III. Sc 2 “But let us make incision for your love,
Periwigs were universally worn in Shakspeare's To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine." age. This will be best shewn by an extract from
Act II. Sc. 1. an old pamphlet, entitled The Honestie of this Age, Red blood has been considered a proof of courage. by Barnabe Riche; 1615.—“My lady holdeth 08 Bartholomew Glanville says, “ Reed clothes ben her way, perhaps to the tire-maker's
' shop, where layd upon deed men, in remembrance of their she shaketh her crownes to bestow upon some new hardyness and boldness
, whyle they were in theyr fashioned attire, upon such artificial deformed peribloudde.” On which, his commentator, Batman, wigs, that they were fitter to furnish a theatre, or remarks:—“It appeareth in the time of the Saxons, for her that in a stage play should represent some that the manner over their dead was a red cloath, hag of hell, than to be used by a Christian woman. as we now use blacke. The red of valiauncie, and These attire-makers, within these fortie years, were that was over kings, lords, knights and valyant not knowne by that name; and but now very lately souldiours.”—DOUCE.
they kept their lowsie commodity of periwigs, and
their monstrous attires, closed in boxes; and those " Nay more ; while grace is saying, hood mine eyes, women that used to weare them would not buy them Thus with my hai, and sigh, and say, Amen." but in secret. But now they are not ashamed to set
Act II. Sc. 2. them forth upon their stalls, such monstrous mopIt should be remembered, that in Shakspeare's powles of haire, so proportioned and deformed, that time, they wore their hats on during the time of but within these twenty or thirty yeares would have dinner.-MALONE.
drawne the passers-by to stand and gaze, and to “My nose fell a bleeding on Black-Monday rast.”.
wonder at them.-MALONE.
Act 2. Sc. 5. " Black Monday is Easter Monday, and was so
“Like cutler's poetry.”—Act V. Sc. 1. called on this occasion. In the 34th of Edward III. Knives were formerly inscribed, by means of aqua (1360) the 14th of April, and the morrow aster fortis, with short sentences in rhyme. In Decker's Easter day, King Edward, with his host, lay before Satiromastix, we have the following allusion to this the city of Paris; which day was full dark of mist custom :-"You shall swear by Phæbus, who is and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on your poet's good lord and master, that hereafter their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore, unto you will not hire Horace to give you poesies for this day, it hath been called the Blacke Monday.” rings, or handkerchers, or knives, wbich you under
Stowe, I stand not."-REED.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
-" In the forest Arden."— Act I. Sc. 1. When the trophies and shield were all thrown down Ardenne is a forest of considerable extent in the quintain remained.-GUTHRIE. French Flanders, lying near the Meuse, and be. twech Charlemont and Rocroy.-MALONE.
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.” “Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block."
Act II. Sc. 1. Act I. Sc. 2.
“ There is found in the heades of old and great The quintain was a stake driven into a field, upon toades, a stone, which they call borax or stelon : it which were hung a shield and other trophies of war, is most commonly found in the head of a hes .oade, at which they shot, darted, or rode, with a lancel of power to repulse poysons, and that it is a most
soveraigne medicine for the stone."-Wonders of the establishesymptoms of being in love. So in NATURE, 1569.
the Fair Maid of the Exchange by Heywood, 1637 : “You shall know whether the tode slone be the “Shall I, that have jested at love's sighs, now right and perfect stone or not. Hold the stone be raise whirlwinds ? Shall Î, that have flouted ah me' fore a toad, so that he may see it; and if it be a once a quarter, now practice ah me's every minute ? ryght and true stone, the tode will leape towarde it, Shall I defy hatbands, and tread gurters and shoe. and make as though he would spatch it. He en- strings under my feet? Shall I fall to falling bands, vieth so much that man should have that stone." and be a ruffian no longer ? I must; I am now CuLupton's Notable Things. pid's liegeman, and have read all these informations
in the book of his statutes.”-MALONE. “ To the which place a poor sequester'd stag Did come to languish
“Something browner than Judas's."-Act III. Sc. 4. and the big round tears,
Judas was constantly represented in old paintings Cours'd one another down his innocent nose
or tapestry, with red hair and beard. So in the InIn piteous chase.”-Act II. Sc. l.
satiate Countess, 1613 :-"I ever thought by his The stag is said to possess a very large secretion red beard he would prove a Judas,”-STEEVENS. of tears." When the hart is arered, he fleethe to a river or ponde, and roreth, cryeth and weepeth
The common executioner when he is taken.”-“When the hart is sick, and bath eaten many serpents for his recoverie, he is Falls not the ars upon the humbled neck.” brought into so great a heat that he hasteth to the
Act III. Sc. 5. water, and there covereth his body unto the very
There is reason to believe, that during Elizabeth's eares and eyes, at which time distilleth many teares, reign the punishment of decapitation was occasionfrom which the bezoar stone is engendered.”
Bateman and Douce. French guillotine. The Earl of Morton, when con
ally inflicted by an instrument resembling the I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, seems to have suffered in this way. The criminals
demped as an accomplice in the murder of Darpley, that I was an Irish rat."-Act 111. Sc. 2.
head and neck being laid on a block, the axe, which Rosalind is a very learned lady. She alludes to was suspended over him, was released from the the Pythagorean doctrine, which teaches that souls cord which confined it, by the executioner, and fell transmigrate from one animal to another, and re- with sufficient force to separate the head from the lates that in his time she was an Irish rat, and, by body. some metrical charm, was rhymed to death. The power of killing rats with rhymes, Donne mentions“ I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain" in his Satires, and Temple in his Treatises. Dr.
Act IV. Sc. 1. Grey produces a like passage from Randolph :
An allusion to the Cross in Cheapside; the remy poets
ligious images, with which it was ornamented, being Shall with a satire, steeped in gall and vinegar, defaced (as we learn from Stow) in 1596 :—"There Rhyme them to death as they do rats in Ireland.” was then set up a curious wrought tabernacle of
JOHNSON. gray marble, and in the same an alabaster image of
Diana, and water conveyed from the Thames, pril. Garagantua's mouth.”-Act III. Sc. 2. ling from her naked breast."-STEEVENS. Garagantua is the giant of Rabelais.—Johnson.
“Good wine needs no bush."- Act V. Sc. 4. “But I answer you right painted cloth." It appears formerly to have been the custom to
Act III. Sc. 2. hang a tuft of iry at the door of a vintner: ivy was This alludes to the fashion in old tapestry hang- rather used than any other plant, because it has reings, of mottos and moral sentences from the mouths lation to Bacchus. The subjoined passages prove of the figures worked or painted in them.
Rival Friends, 1632. “ Then your hose should be ungarter'd."
“Green ivy-bushes at the vintvers' doores." Act III. Sc. 2.
Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600. Inattention to personal appearances was one of ]
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
“ Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger.”—Act II. Sc. 2. prohibition, that there were some people weak
In France there was formerly a custom of placing enough to believe, that what was thus done in jest, a rush ring on the lady's finger, when a marriage was a real marriage. was finally agreed upon. But in England, rush rings were employed to abuse the simplicity of young girls, by deluding them into a state of concubinage
“ Like him that leaped into the custard.'
Act II. Sc. 5 with a pretended marriage. Richard Poore, bishop of Salisbury, in his Constitutions, 1217, forbids the It was a foolery practised at city entertainments, putting of rush rings, or any of the like matters, on whilst the jester or zany was in vogue, for him to women's fingers, in order to the debauching them jump into a large deep custard, prepared for the more readily, and he insinuates, as a reason for the purpose. -THEOBALD.
“Palme.s."'-Act III. Sc. 5.
“ Villainous saffron."-Act IV. Sc 5. Pilgrims that visited holy places, so called from
This alludes to a fantastic fashion, of using ye.. a staff, or bough of palm, they were wont to carry, low starch for bands and ruffs. Yellow starch was especially such as had visited Jerusalem., " A pil, invented by one Turner,
a tire-woman, a court grim and a palmer differed thus .-A pilgrim had bawd, and in all respects of so infamous a character, some dwelling, the palmer none; the pilgrim tra. that her invention deserved the uame of " villainous velled to some certain place, the palmer to all, not saffron.” This woman was afterwards among the one in particular; the pilgrim might bear his own
miscreants concerned in the murder of Sir Thomas chargrs, the palmer must profess wilful poverty, the Overbury, for which she was hanged at Tyburn, pilgrim "might relinquish his vocation, the palmer and would die in a yellow ruff of her own invention; must be constant till he won the palm, that is, vic- which made yellow starch so odious, that it imme. tory over his ghostly enemies, and life by death.”
diately went out of fashion." Starch was used of Blount's GlosOGRAPHY.
various colours, and is declaimed against most bit
terly by Stubbes in his Anatomie of Abuses. " Juhn Drum's entertainment." -Act III. Sc. 6. Holinshed, in his History of Ireland, speaking of
“ Plutus himself, Patrick Sarsefield, a mayor of Dublin, and of his That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine.” extravagant hospitality, says, that “no guest had
Act V. Sc. 3. ever a cold or forbidding looke from any part of his In the reign of Henry IV. a law was made to family: so that his porter, or any other officer, durst forbid thenceforth to multiply gold, or use auy craft not, for both his eares, give the simplest man that re- of multiplication, of which law, Boyle, when he was sorted to his house, Tom Drum his entertaynement, warm with the hope of transmutation, procured a which is to hale a man in by the heade, and thrust him repeal.—Johnson. out by both the shoulders.”—THEOBALD.
"Exorcist," -Act V. Sc. 3. “ The sheriff's fool.”—Act IV. Sc. 3. We are not to suppose that this was a fool, kept By an exorcist we now mean one who can say by the sheriff for his diversion. The custody of all spirits, but in Shakspeare's age, erorcist implied a idiots possessed of land, belonged to the king, who person who could raise spirits. The difference bewas entitled to their income, but was obliged to tween a conjuror, a witch, and an inchanier, is as provide them necessaries. When the property was follows :-"The conjuror seemeth by praiers and large, this prerogative was generally given to some invocations of God's powerful names, to compell the favourite, or other person, who made suit for and devill to say or doe what he commandeth him. The had interest enough to obtain it, which was called witch dealeth rather by a friendlie and voluntary begging a fool. But where the land was of small conference or agreement between him or her and value, the natural was supported out of the profits, the devill or familiar, to have his or her turne by the sheriff, who accounted for them to the crown. served, in lieu or stead of blood or other gift unto -As for those unhappy creatures, who had neither him; especially of his or her soule. And both these possessions nor relations, they seem to have been differ from inchanters or sorcerers, because the former considered as a species of property, being sold or two have personall conference with the devill, and given, with as little ceremony, treated as capri- the other meddles but with medicines and ceremo. ciously, and very often, it is to be feared, left to pe- nial formes of words called charmes, without apparish as miserably, as dogs or cats.-Ritson. rition."-MINSHEU's Dict. 1617.
TAMING OF THE SHREW.
“ Take them to the buttery."-Induction. next morning by light viewing her before sbe was “The top of the profession were then mere gorgeously trimmed up, she was such a leane, yel. players, not gentlemen of the stage: they were led low, riveled, deformed creature, that he never lay into the buttery by the steward; not placed at the with her, nor lived with her afterwards; and would lord's table, or the lady's toilette."-Rowe. say that he had married himself to a stinking house
of office, painted over, and set out with fine gar. "Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot.” ments: and so for grief consumed away in melan
Induction. choly, and at last poysoned himself.” Gomesius, Wilnecotte is a village in Warwickshire, near lib. III. de Sal. Gen. cap. 22.–Farmer. Stratford, with which Shakspeare was well ac. quainted. The house kept by our genial hostess " And for your love to her, lead apes in hell." still remains, but is at present a mill.–WARTON.
Act II. Sc. I.
To lead Apes, was anciently, as at present, one “ Be she as foul as wus Florentius' love."
of the bearward's employments, who often carries Act I. Sc. 2.
one of those animals about with his bear; but it “À Florentine young gentleman was so deceived does not appear how this phrase came to be applied by the lustre and orientness of her jewels, pearles, to old maids. There is a similar passage in Much rings, lawns, scarfes, laces, gold, spangles, and Ado about Nothing: “ Therefore® (says Beatrice), oʻler devices, that he was ravished overnight, and I will even take sixpence in earnest of the beata was maa till the marriage was solemnized. But ward, and lead his apes in hell."-MALONE.
* This small packet of Greek and Latin books." So in Decker's Bellman :- 'The other act their
Act II. Sc. 1. parts in blew coates, as they were their serving men, A strange present from a lover! It might be though indeed they be all fellows;" and in The Cur:
tain Drawer of the World:-“ Not a serving man thought so now, but in Elizabeth's time the
young Jajies of quality were usually instructed in the dare appeare in a blew coat, not because it is the learned languages
, if any attention was paid to their livery of charity, but lest he should be thought a minds at all. °Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, retainer to their enemy."--Reed. Queen Elizabeth, &c. are trite instances.-PERCY.
“ The carpet's laid."-Act IV. Sc. l. “Counterpoints."-Act II. Sc. I.
In our author's time, it was customary to cover Coun terpoints, or, as we now say, Counterpanes, tables with carpets. Floors were commonly strewed were in ancient times extremely costly. In Wat with rushes.- MALONE. Tyler's rebellion, Stowe informs us, when the insurgents broke into the wardrobe in the Savoy, they Ay, but the mustard is too hot, a little.” destroyed a coverlet worth a thousand marks.
Act IV. Sc. 3. MALONE.
This is agreeable to the doctrine of the times. In “ Pewter."-Act II. Sc. 1.
The Glass of Humours, it is said :-"But note here, We may suppose that pewter was, even in the that the first diet is not only in avoiding superfluity reign of Elizabeth, too costly to be used in common. of meats, and surfeits of drinks, but also in eschewIt appears from the regulations and establishment ing such as are most obnoxious, and least agreeable of the household of Henry, Algernon Percy, the with our happy temperate state; as for a cholerick fifth earl of Northumberland; that vessels of pewter man to abstain from all salt, scorched, dry meats, were hired by the year. This household book was from mustard, and such like things as will aggravate begun in the year 1512.-STEEVENS.
his malignant humours."-REED. “Quaffed off the muscadel.”- Act III. Sc. 2.
“Come, tailor, let us see these ornaments.” The fashion of introducing a bowl of wine at
Act IV. Sc. 3. church at a wedding, to be drunk by the bride and
So bridegroom and persons present, was very anciently in The Epistle to the Ladies, prefixed to Euphues
Former'y women's gowns were made by men. a constant ceremony; nor was it abolished in the and his England, by John Lyly, 1580 :-" If a tay poet's time. We find
it practised at the magnificent lor make your goun too little, you cover his fault with marriage of Queen Mary and Philip, in Winchester a broad stomacher; if too great, with a number of Cathedral, 1554. "The trumpets sounded, and pleights ; if too short, with a fair guard ; if too long, they both returned to their traverses in the quire, with a false gathering.”—Malone. and there remayned untill masse was done, at which tyme, wyne and sopes were hallowed and 'delyvered
Custard-coffin.”- Act IV. Sc. 3. to them both."-T. WARTON.
A coffin was the ancient culinary term for the “ An old hat, and the humour of forty fancies prick'd raised crust of a pie or custard. -STÉEVENS. in't for a feather."--Act III. Sc. 2.
“ Censer."-Act IV. Sc. 3. Fancy appears to have been some ornament worn formerly in the hat. So, Peacham, in his Worth of We learn from an old print that these censers re. a Penny, describing “ an indigent and discontented sembled in shape our modern brasieres. They had soldat," says, "he walks with his arms folded, his pierced convex covers, and stood on feet. They not belt without a sword or rapier, that perhaps being only served to sweeten a barber's shop, but to keep somewhere in trouble; a hat without a band, hang- his water warm, and dry his clothes on.-STEEVENS. ing over his eyes, only it wears a weather-beaten fancy for fashion sake.”-MALONE.
“ My banquet."-Act V. Sc. 2. “ Their blue coats brush'd."-Act IV. Sc. 1.
A banquet, or an afterpast, was a slight refection,
like our modern deserl, consisting of cakes, sweetBlue was commonly worn by servants at the time. meats, and fruit.-STEEVENS.
" Happy man be his dole.”-Act I. Sc. 2. substantial. Wine was drank above the salt; beer The alms immemorially given to the poor by the only, below it. An allusion is made to this custom
in The Honest Whore, by Decker, 1604. “ archbishops of Canterbury, is still called the dole.
him, set him heneath the sall, and let him not touch
a bit till every one has had his full cut.” “ Lower messes.”—Act I. Sc. 2.
“ Still virginalling."-Act I. Sc. 2. Formerly, at the tables of the great, a large salt- A virginal is a very small kind of spinnet. Queen cellar was placed in the middle, the noble guests Elizabeth's virginal book is still in being, and many sat above it; the retainers and persons of low rank, of the lessons in it have proved so difficult, as to below it. At the upper end of the board, the viands baffle our most expert players on the harpsichord. were delicate and costly; at the lower, plain and
STERVENA “ Like his medal."-Act I. Sc. 2.
“ Lawn as white as driren mou, &c."
Act IV. Sc. 3. It should be remembered, that it was customary for gentlemen, in our author's age, to wear jewels Autolycus here enumerates, in his assumed chaappended to a ribbon
round the neck. So in Honour racter of a pedlar, such articles as being on sale as in Perfection, or a Treatise in Commendation of were likely to attract customers. What these were Henrie, Earl of Oxenforde, Henrie, Earl of South- we can only guess at. He has “unbraided wares." ampton, &c. by Gervais Nashham, 1624 :-"He This probably means of the best manufacture un. bath hung about the neck of his noble kinsman, Sir damaged. “ Points more than all the lawyers in Horace Vere, like a rich jewel.” The knights of Bohemia, can learnedly handle.” These were laces the garter wore the George, in this manner, till the with metal tags to them. “ Caddises :" Caddis, actime of Charles I.-MALONE
cording to Malone, is a narrow worsted ferret.
“Inkle:" Inkle, as we learn from the same autho. There may be in the cup
rity, is a kind of tape. “ Pokiag sticks of steel:". A spider steep'd, and one may drink.” Stowe informs us, that “about the sixteenthe yeare
Act II. Sc. 1. of the Queen Elizabeth, began the making of steel That spiders were thought venomous appears by poking sticks, and until that time all laundresses the evidence of a person who was examined in Sir used setting sticks made of wood or bone." These Thomas Overbury's affair. “The Countesse wished poking sticks were heated in the fire, and made use me to get the strongest poyson I could; accordingly, of to adjust the plaits of ruffs. "Pomander :"
Pomander was a little ball made of perfumes, and I bought seven great spiders, and cantharides."
worn in the pocket, or about the neck, to prevent
infection when the plague was prevalent. " A boy, or a child.”-Act III. Sc. 3. In some of our inland counties, a female infant, A pair of sweet glover."-Act IV. Sc. 3. in contradistinction to a male one, is still termed,
Stowes' continuator, Edmund Howes, informs us, among the peasantry, a child.-Steevens.
that the English could not "make any costly washe “With trol-my-dames."- Act IV. Sc. 2.
or perfume, until aboute the fourteenth or fifteenth In Dr. Jones's old treatise on Buckstone Bathes, ward Vere, Earl of Oxforde, came from Italy, and
of the Queene Elizabeth, the Right Honourable Ed. he says, “The ladyes, gentle-woomen, wyyes, maydes, brought with him gloves, sweet bagges, a perfumed if the weather be not agreeable, may have in the leather jerkin, and other pleasant things ; and that ende of a benche, eleven holes de, intoo the which the Queene had a payre of perfumed gloves trimmed to troule pumınits, either wyolent or softe, after onlie with foure tufts or roses of cullered silke. The their owu discretion : the pastime troule in madame Queene tooke such pleasure in those gloves, that she is termed.”-FARMER.
was pictured with those gloves upon her hands : and
for many years after it was called the Erle of Or Fadings."-Act IV. Sc. 3.
fordes perfume.”- WARTON. A rural Irish dance. This dance is still practised on rrsicing occasions in many parts of Ireland. Here's another ballad; Of a fish.”—Act IV. Sc. 3. A king and queen are chosen from amongst the young persons who dance best; the queen carries a Whoever was hanged or burnt, a merry or la. garland, composed of two hoops placed at right mentable ballad was immediately entered on the angles, and fastened to a handle; the hoops are co- books of the Stationers' Company; among the envered with flowers and ribhons. Frequently, in the tries for 1604, we find the following, to which, no course of the dance, the king and queen lift up their doubt, Autolycus alludes:-"A strange reporte of a joined hands as high as they can, she still bolding monstrous fish that appeared in the shape of a wo the garland in the other. The most remote couple man, from her waiste upward, seene in the sea." from the king and queen first pass under; all the rest of the line, linked together, follow in succes
“ All men of hair.”-Act IV. Sc. 3. sion; when the last has passed, the king and queen suddenly face about and front their companions ; Men of hair, are hairy men, or satyrs. A dance this is often repeated in the course of the dance, of satyrs was no unusual entertainment in the mid. and the various undulations are pretty enough, re- dle ages. At a great festival celebrated in France sembling the movements of a serpent. The dancers, the king and some of the nobles personated satyrs on the first of May, visit such newly.wedded pairs dressed in close habits, tufted or shagged all over, of a certaiu rank, as have been married since last to imitate hair. They began a wild dance; and in May-day in the neighbourhood, who commonly be the tumult of their merriment, one of them went too stow on them a stuffed ball, richly decked with gold near a candle and set fire to his satyr's garb, the and silver lace, and accompanied with a present of Aame ran instantly over the loose tufts, and spread money to regale themselves after the dance. This itself to the dress of those who were next to him ; dance is practised when the bonfires are lighted up, a great number of the dancers were cruelly scorched, the queen bailing the return of summer, in a popu- being neither able to throw off their coats, nor es lar Irish song, beginning :
tinguish them. The king had set himself in the lap "W. lead on Summer-see! she fullows in our of the duchess of Burgundy, who threw her robe trains
BOSWELL. 'over him and saved him.-JOHNSON.