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and cast into prison, and afterwards were set down to Ludlow, there to wear papers of perjury." STEEVENS.
"Like Muscovites, or Russians, as I guess." Act V. Sc. 2. A mask of Muscovites was no uncommon recreation at court, long before Shakspeare's time. In the first year of king Henry VIII. at a banquet made for the foreign ambassadors in the parliament chamber at Westminster:-" came the lorde
Henry, earle of Wiltshire, and the lorde Fitzwater, in twoo long gounes of yellowe satin traversed with white satin, and in every ben of white was a bend of crimson satin, after the fashion of Russia or Ruslande, with furred hattes of grey on their hedes, either of them havyng an hatchet in their handes, and bootes with pykes turned up." Hall's Henry VIII-RITSON.
“ Better wits have worn plain statute-caps." Act V. Sc. 2. Woollen caps were enjoined by act of parliament, in the year 1571, the 15th of queen Elizabeth. "Besides the bills passed into acts this parliament, there was one which I judge not amiss to be taken notice of; it concerned the queen's care for employment for her poor sorts of subjects. It was for continuance of making and wearing woollen caps, in behalfe of the trade of cappers; providing that =all above the age of six yeares, (except the nobility Sand some others,) should, on sabbath days and holydays, wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and drest in England, upon penalty often groats."--STRYPE's ANNALS OF ELIZABETH.
"Lord have mercy on us!"-Act V. Sc. 2. This was the inscription put on the doors of houses infected with the plague. So in Sir Thomas Overbury's Characters, 1632:-" Lord have mercy on us may well stand over their doors, for debt is a most dangerous city pestilence."-JOHNSON.
"It is almost incredyble what gaine the Venetians receive by the usury of the Jewes, both privately and in common. For in everie citie the Jewes kepe open shops of usurie, taking gaiges of ordinarie for xv in the hundred by the yere; and if at the yere's end the gaige be not redeemed, 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 parts."
THOMAS'S HISTORY OF ITALY, 1561. "But let us make incision for your love, To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine."
Act II. Sc. 1. Red blood has been considered a proof of courage. Bartholomew Glanville says, "Reed clothes ben layd upon deed men, in remembrance of their hardyness and boldness, whyle they were in theyr bloudde." On which, his commentator, Batman, remarks:-"It appeareth in the time of the Saxons, that the manner over their dead was a red cloath, as we now use blacke. The red of valiauncie, and that was over kings, lords, knights and valyant souldiours.”—Douce.
“ Nay more; while grace is saying, hood mine eyes, Thus with my hat, and sigh, and say, Amen."
Act II. Sc. 2. It should be remembered, that in Shakspeare's time, they wore their hats on during the time of dinner.-MALONE.
"And if these four worthies in their first show thrive. These four will change habits, and present the other five."-Act V. Sc. 2.
Shakspeare here alludes to the shifts to which the actors were reduced in the old theatres, one person often performing two or three parts. MALONE.
"Some Dick."-Act V. Sc. 2.
Out-roaring Dick was a celebrated singer, who with William Wimbars, is said by Henry Chettle, in his Kind Harts Dreame, to have got twenty shillings a day by singing at Braintree fair, in Essex.-MALONE.
"Pageant of the nine worthies."-Act V. Sc. 2. Among the Harleian MSS. we find the following: "The order of a Showe intended to be made Aug. 1, 1621. First, Two woodmen, &c. St. George fighting with the Dragon. The nine Worthies heads, every one having his esquires to beare in complete armor with crounes of gould on their before him his shield and penon of armes, dressed according as these lords were accustomed to be, 3 Assaralits. 3 Infidels. 3 Christians. After them, of the 9 worthye women."-STEEVENS. a Fame, to declare the rare virtues and noble deedes
"It was enjoined in Rome for want of linen.” Act V. Sc. 2.
A Spaniard fell in a duel. As he lay expiring, a friend approached, and offered his services. The dying man made but one request, which was, not to suffer his body to be stript, but to bury him in the habit he had on. The friend promised compliance, the Spaniard expired in peace; but curiosity prevailed over good faith; the body was stript, and found to be without a shirt. WARBURTON.
My nose fell a bleeding on Black-Monday last."
"Black Monday is Easter Monday, and was so called on this occasion. In the 34th of Edward III. (1360) the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easter day, king Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris; which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore, unto this day, it hath been called the Blacke Monday."-STOWE.
"It was my turquoise."-Act III. Sc. I. A turquoise is a precious stone found in the veins of the mountains on the confines of Persia to the east, subject to the Tartars. It was said of this stone, that it faded or brightened in its colour, as the health of the wearer increased or grew less. So Edward Fenton, in his Secret Wonders of Nathere is any perill prepared to him that weareth it." ture, 1569, says, "The Turkeys doth move when
"Snaky golden locks."-Act III. Sc. 2. Periwigs were universally worn in Shakspeare's age. This will be best shewn by an extract from an old pamphlet, entitled The Honestie of this Age, by Barnabe Riche; 1615.-"My lady holdeth on her way, perhaps to the tire-maker's shop, where she shaketh her crownes to bestow upon some new fashioned attire, upon such artificial deformed periwigs, that they were fitter to furnish a theatre, or for her that in a stage play should represent some hag of hell, than to be used by a Christian woman, These attire-makers, within
these fortie years, were not knowne by that name; and but now very lately they kept their lowsie commodity of periwigs, and their monstrous attires, closed in boxes; and those women that used to weare them would not buy them but in secret. But now they are not ashamed to set them forth upon their stalls, such monstrous mop-powles of haire, so proportioned and deformed, that but within these twenty or thirty yeares would have drawne the passers-by to stand and gaze, and to wonder at them.-MALOne.
Act II. Sc. 1.
"There is found in the heades of old and great toades, a stone, which they call borax or stelon: it is most commonly found in the head of a hee toade, of power to repulse poysons, and that it is a most soveraigne medicine for the stone."-WONDERS OF NATURE, 1569.
"You shall know whether the tode stone be the right and perfect stone or not. Hold the stone before a toad, so that he may see it; and if it be a ryght and true stone, the tode will leape towarde it, and make as though he would snatch it. He envieth so much that man should have that stone." LUPTON'S NOTABLE THINGS.
"To the which place a poor sequester'd stag
and the big round tears, Cours'd one another down his innocent nose In piteous chase."-Act II. Sc. 1. The stag is said to possess a very large secretion of tears. "When the hart is arered, he fleethe to a river or ponde, and roreth, cryeth and weepeth when he is taken.". "When the hart is sick, and hath eaten many serpents for his recoverie, he is brought into so great a beat that he hasteth to the water, and there covereth his body unto the very eares and eyes, at which time distilleth many teares, from which the bezoar stone is engendered."
BATEMAN, and Douce.
“I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time,
that I was an Irish rat."-Act III. Se. 2. Rosalind is a very learned lady. She alludes to the Pythagorean doctrine, which teaches that souls transmigrate from one animal to another, and relates that in his time she was an Irish rat, and, by some metrical charm, was rhymed to death. The power of killing rats with rhymes, Donne mentions in his Satires, and Temple in his Treatises. Dr. Grey produces a like passage from Randolph :
... my poets
Shall with a satire, steeped in gall and vinegar, Rhyme them to death as they do rats in Ireland."
JOHNSON. Garagantua's mouth.”—Act III. Sc. 2.
Garagantua is the giant of Rabelais-JOHNSON,
This alludes to the fashion in old tapestry hug ings, of mottos and moral sentences from be mouths of the figures worked or painted in them. THEOBALD.
"Then your hose should be ungarter'd."
Act III. St. Inattention to personal appearances was one of the established symptoms of being in love. Son the Fair Maid of the Exchange by Heywood, 1657 -"Shall I, that have jested at love's sighs, raise whirlwinds? Shall I, that have flouted an once a quarter, now practice ah me's every minute? Shall I defy hatbands, and tread garters and sh and be a ruffian no longer? I must; I am now Costrings under my feet? Shall I fall to falling bands, pid's liegeman, and have read all these information in the book of his statutes."-MALONE. "Something browner than Judas's.”—Act III. Sc. 4.
Judas was constantly represented in old paintings or tapestry, with red hair and beard. So in the Insatiate Countess, 1613:-"I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas.”—STEEVENS,
Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck."
Act III. Sc. 5. There is reason to believe, that during Elizabeth's reign the punishment of decapitation was ally inflicted by an instrument resembling the French guillotine. The Earl of Morton, when onedemned as an accomplice in the murder of Darnley, head and neck being laid on a block, the axe, which seems to have suffered in this way. The criminal's was suspended over him, was released from the cord which confined it, by the executioner, and fell with sufficient force to separate the head from the body.
"Good wine needs no bush.”—Act V. Sc. 4.
It appears formerly to have been the custom to hang a tuft of ivy at the door of a vintner: ivy was rather used than any other plant, because it has relation to Bacchus. The subjoined passages prove the custom.
"Tis like the ivy-bush unto a tavern."..Rival Friends, 1631. "Green ivy-bushes at the vintuers' doores." Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1608. STLEVENS.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger."-Act II. Sc. 2. | In France there was formerly a custom of placing a rush ring on the lady's finger, when a 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 concabinage with a pretended marriage. Richard Poore, Bishop of Salisbury, in his Constitutions, 1217, forbids the putting of rush rings, or any of the like matters, on women's fingers, in order to the debauching them more readily, and be insinuates, as a reason for the prohibition, that there were some people weak enough to believe, that what was thus done in jest, was a real marriage.
"Like him that leaped into the custard.” Act II. Sc. 5. It was a foolery practised at city entertainments, whilst the jester or zany was in vogue, for him to jump into a large deep custard, prepared for the purpose.-THEOBALD.
"Palmers."-Act III. Sc. 5.
favourite, or other person, who made suit for and had interest enough to obtain it, which was called begging a fool. But where the land was of small value, the natural was supported out of the profits, by the sheriff, who accounted for them to the crown. -As for those unhappy creatures, who had neither possessions nor relations, they seem to have been considered as a species of property, being sold or given, with as little ceremony, treated as capriciously, and very often, it is to be feared, left to perish as miserably, as dogs or cats.-RITSON.
"Villainous saffron.”—Act IV. Sc. 5.
This alludes to a fantastic fashion, of using yel-
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine."
Pilgrims that visited holy places, so called from a staff, or bough of palm, they were wont to carry, =* especially such as had visited Jerusalem." A pilgrim and a palmer differed thus: a pilgrim had some dwelling, the palmer, none; the pilgrim travelled to some certain place, the palmer to all, not one in particular; the pilgrim might bear his own charges, the palmer must profess wilful poverty; In the reign of Henry IV. a law was made to forthe pilgrim might relinquish his vocation, the palmer bid thenceforth to multiply gold, or use any craft of must be constant till he won the palm, that is, vic-multiplication, of which law, Boyle, when he was tory over his ghostly enemies, and life by death." warm with the hope of transmutation, procured a -BLOUNT'S GLOSOGRAPHY. repeal.-JOHNSON.
"John Drum's entertainment."-Act III. Sc. 6. Holinshed, in his History of Ireland, speaking of Patrick Sarsefield, a mayor of Dublin, and of his extravagant hospitality, says, that "no guest had ever a cold or forbidding looke from any part of his family: so that his porter, or any other officer, durst not, for both his eares, give the simplest man that resorted to his house, Tom Drum his entertaynement, which is to hale a man in by the heade, and thrust him out by both the shoulders."-THEOBALD.
"The sheriff's fool."-Act IV. Sc. 3. We are not to suppose that this was a fool, kept by the sheriff for his diversion. The custody of all idiots possessed of land, belonged to the king, who was entitled to their income, but was obliged to provide them necessaries. When the property was farge, this prerogative was generally given to some
"Exorcist."-Act V. Sc. 3.
By an exorcist we now mean one who can lay spirits, but in Shakspeare's age, exorcist implied a person who could raise spirits. The difference between a conjuror, a witch, and an inchanter, is as follows:-" The conjuror seemeth by praiers and invocations of God's powerful names, to compell the devill to say or doe what he commandeth him. The witch dealeth rather by a friendlie and voluntary conference or agreement between him or her and the devill or familiar, to have his or her turne served, in lieu or stead of blood or other gift unto him; especially of his or her soule. And both these differ from inchanters or sorcerers, because the former two have personall conference with the devill, and the other meddles but with medicines and ceremonial formes of words called charmes, without apparition."-MINSHEU'S DICT. 1617.
next morning by light viewing her before she was
"And for your love to her, lead apes in hell."
To lead Apes, was anciently, as at present, one of the bearward's employments, who often carries one of those animals about with his bear; but it does not appear how this phrase came to be applied to old maids. There is a similar passage in Much Ado about Nothing. "Therefore, (says Beatrice) I will even take sixpence in earnest of the bearward, and lead his apes in hell."-MALONE.
"This small packet of Greek and Latin books." Act II. Sc. 1.
A strange present from a lover! It might be thought so now, but in Elizabeth's time the young ladies of quality were usually instructed in the learned languages, if any attention was paid to their minds at all. Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, Queen Elizabeth, &c. are trite instances. PERCY.
"Counterpoints."-Act II. Sc. 1.
Counterpoints, or, as we now say, Counterpanes, were in ancient times extremely costly. In Wat Tyler's rebellion, Stowe informs us, when the insurgents broke into the wardrobe in the Savoy, they destroyed a coverlet worth a thousand marks. MALONE.
"Pewter."-Act II. Sc. 1.
We may suppose that pewter was, even in the reign of Elizabeth, too costly to be used in common. It appears from the regulations and establishment of the household of Henry Algernon Percy, the fifth Earl of Northumberland; that vessels of pewter were hired by the year. This household book was begun in the year 1512.-STEEVENS.
"Quaffed off the muscadel.”—Act III. Sc. 2.
The fashion of introducing a bowl of wine at church at a wedding, to be drunk by the bride and bridegroom and persons present, was very anciently a constant ceremony; nor was it abolished in the poet's time. We find it practised at the magnificent marriage of Queen Mary and Philip, in Winchester Cathedral, 1554. "The trumpets sounded and they both returned to their traverses in the quire, and there remayned untill masse was done, at which tyme, wyne and sopes were hallowed and delyvered to them both."-T. Warton.
"An old hat, and the humour of forty fancies prick'd in't for a feather.”—Act III. Sc. 2. Fancy appears to have been some ornament worn formerly in the hat. So, Peacham, in his Worth of a Penny, describing an indigent and discontented soldat," says, "he walks with his arms folded, his belt without a sword or rapier, that perhaps being somewhere in trouble; a hat without a band, hanging over his eyes, only it wears a weatherbeaten fancy for fashion sake."-MALOne.
“ Their blue coats brush'd.”—Act IV. &c. 1. Blue was commonly worn by servants at the time So in Decker's Bellman: "The other act ther parts in blew coates, as they were their serving me though indeed they be all fellows;" and in The Cr tain Drawer of the World: "Not a serving mm dare appeare in a blew coat, not because it is the livery of charity, but lest he should be thought a retainer to their enemy."-REED.
"The carpet's laid.”—Act IV. Sec. 1.
In our author's time, it was customary to cove tables with carpets. Floors were commonly strewel with rushes.--MALONE.
Ay, but the mustard is too hot, a little."
This is agreeable to the doctrine of the times. In The Glass of Humours, it is said: "Bet pate here, that the first diet is not only in avoiding superfluity of meats, and surfeits of drinks, but also in eschewing such as are most obnoxious, and least agreeable with our happy temperate state; as for a cholerick man to abstain from all salt, scorched, dry meats, from mustard, and such like things s will aggravate his malignant humours.”—REED.
"Come, tailor, let us see these ornaments.”
Act IV. St. 3.
'My banquet.”—Act V. Sc. 2.
A banquet, or an afterpast, was a slight refeetion, like our modern desert, consisting of cakes, sweetmeats, and fruit.-STEEVENS.
"Happy man be his dole.”—Act I. Sc. 2. The alms immemorially given to the poor by the archbishops of Canterbury, is still called the dole. NICHOLS.
"Lower messes."-Act I. Sc. 2. Formerly, at the tables of the great, a large salt cellar was placed in the middle, the noble guests sat above it; the retainers and persons of low rank, below it. At the upper end of the board, the viands were delicate and costly; at the lower, plain and substantial. Wine was drank above the salt; beer only, below it. An allusion is made to this custom in The Honest Whore, by Decker, 1604. " 'Plague him, set him beneath the salt, and let him not touch a bit till every one has had his full cut."
"Still virginalling."-Act I. Sc. 2.
A virginal is a very small kind of spinnet. Queen Elizabeth's virginal book is still in being, and many of the lessons in it have proved so difficult, as to baffle our most expert players on the harpsichord. STEEVENS.
"Like his medal.”—Act I. Sc. 2. It should be remembered, that it was customary
for gentlemen, in our author's age, to wear jewels
-There may be in the cup
Act II. Sc. 1.
That spiders were thought venomous appears by the evidence of a person who was examined in Sir Thomas Overbury's affair. "The Countesse wished me to get the strongest poyson I could; accordingly, I bought seven great spiders, and cantharides." HENDERSON.
"A boy, or a child.”—Act III. Sc. 3. In some of our inland counties, a female infant, in contradistinction to a male one, is still termed among the peasantry, a child.—STEEVENS.
"With trol-my-dames.”—Act IV. Sc. 2. In Dr. Jones's old treatise on Buckstone Bathes, he ays, "the ladyes, gentle-woomen, wyves, maydes, f the weather be not agreeable, may have in the ende of a benche, eleven holes made, intoo the which to troule pummits, either wyolent or softe, after their own discretion: the pastime troule in nadame is termed."-FARMER.
"Fadings."-Act IV. Sc. 3.
A rural Irish dance. This dance is still practised on rejoicing occasions in many parts of Ireland. A king and queen are chosen from amongst the young persons who dance best; the queen carries a garland, composed of two hoops placed at Bright angles, and fastened to a handle; the hoops are covered with flowers and ribbons. Frequently, in the course of the dance, the king and queen lift up their joined hands as high as they can, she still holding the garland in the other. The most remote couple from the king and queen first pass under; all the rest of the line, linked together, follow in succession; when the last has passed, the king and queen suddenly face about and front their companions; this is often repeated in the course of the dance, and the various undulations are pretty enough, resembling the movements of a serpent. The dancers, on the first of May, visit such newly wedded pairs of a certain rank, as have been married since last May-day in the neighbourhood, who commonly bestow on them a stuffed ball, richly decked with gold and silver lace, and accompanied with a present of money to regale themselves after the dance. This dance is practised when the bonfires are lighted up, the queen hailing the return of summer, in a popular Irish song, begining:
"We lead on Summer-see! she follows in our train." BOSWELL.
"Lawn as white as driven snow, &c." Act IV. Sc. 3. Antolycus here enumerates, in his assumed character of a pedlar, such articles as being on sale as were likely to attract customers. What these were we can only guess at. He has " unbraided wares." This probably means of the best manufacture undamaged. "Points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia, can learnedly handle." These were laces with metal tags to them. "Caddises:" Caddis, according to Malone, is a narrow worsted ferret. "Inkle:" Inkle, as we learn from the same authority is a kind of tape. Poking sticks
of steel: Stowe informs us, that "about the six. teenthe yeare of the Queen Elizabeth, began the making of steel poking sticks, and until that time all laundresses used setting sticks made of wood or bone." These poking sticks were heated in the fire, and made use of to adjust the plaits of ruffs. "Pomander :" a Pomander was a little ball made of perfumes, and worn in the pocket, or about the neck, to prevent infection when the plague was prevalent.
"A pair of sweet gloves."-Act IV. So. 3. Stowes' continuator, Edmund Howes, informs us, that the English could not "make any costly washe or perfume, until aboute the fourteenth or fifteenth of the Queene Elizabeth, the Right Honourable Edward Vere, Earl of Oxforde, came from Italy, and brought with him gloves, sweet bagges, a perfumed leather jerkin, and other pleasant things; and that the Queene had a payre of perfumed gloves trimmed onlie with foure tufts or roses of cullered silke. The Queene tooke such pleasure in those gloves, that she was pictured with those gloves upon her hands and for many years after it was called the Erle of Oxfordes perfume."
"All men of hair."-Act IV. Sc. 3. Men of hair, are hairy men, or satyrs. A dance of satyrs was no unusual entertainment in the middle ages. At a great festival celebrated in France, the king and some of the nobles personated satyrs dressed in close habits, tufted or shagged all over, to imitate hair. They began a wild dance; and in the tumult of their merriment, one of them went too near a candle and set fire to his satyr's garb, the flame ran instantly over the loose tufts, and spread itself to the dress of those who were next to him; a great number of the dancers were cruelly scorched, being neither able to throw off their coats, nor extinguish them. The King had set himself in the lap of the Duchess of Burgundy, who threw her robe over him and saved him.-JOHNSON.
COMEDY OF ERRORS.
"Carkanet."-Act III. Sc. 1.
A carkanet seems to have been a necklace set
sign. "Adam, whom God dyd fyrst create, made the fyrst lether coates for himselfe and his
with stones, or strung with pearls. Thus, in Parthe-wyfe Eve, our old mother; leavyng thereby a patron to al his posteritie of that crafte." Polydore Virgil, translated by Langley.—DOUCE.
neia Sacra, 1633: "Seeke not vermillion or ceruse in
the face, bracelets of oriental pearls on the wrists, rubie carkanets on the neck, and a most exquisite fan of feathers in the hand.”—STEEVENS.
"An everlasting garment."—Act IV. Sc. 2. The sergeants or sheriffs' officers, in Shakspeare's time, were clad in buff. Buff is also a cant expression for a man's skin, a covering which asts him as long as his life.-MASON.
One that before the judgment carries poor souls to hell."-Act IV. Sc. 2.
Before judgment; that is, on what is called mesne rocess: when a man is arrested after judgment, e is said to be taken in execution. Hell was the ant name for an obscure dungeon in any of our risons.-MALONE.
What, have you got the picture of old Adam ew apparell'd?"-Act IV. Sc. 3.
Here seems to be an allusion to some well contemporary painting, perhaps of a
"Thou peevish officer."-Act IV. Sc. 4. Peevish, as here used, is synonimous to foolish, and the word was frequently so employed by our old writers; so, in The Curse of Corn-Holders, by Charles Fitz-Geoffry, 1633: "The Egyptians relieved the Israelites in the famine, though it were an abomination to the Egyptians, in their peevish superstition, to eate breade with the Hebrewes." "His man with scissors nicks him like a fool."
Act V. Sc. 1.
There is a penalty of ten shillings in one of king Alfred's ecclesiastical laws if one opprobriously shave a common man like a fool. Fools were certainly shaved or nicked in a peculiar manner in Shakspeare's time, as we learn from The Choice of Change, 1598. "Three things used by monks, which provoke other men to laugh at their follies: 1. They are shaven and notched on the head like fooles."-TOLLET, and MALONE.