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still preserved, and which will be found in Evans's Collec- of Usury,' 1611, 4to. p. 23. 'A poore man desireth a tion, 1810 :
goldsmith to lend him such a summe, but he is not able
to pay him interest. If such as I can spare (saith the " I have read that many years agoe,
goldsmith) will pleasure you, you shall have it for three When Jepha, judge of Israel, Had one fair daughter and no more,
or four moneths. Now, hee hath a number of light, clipt Whom he loved passing well.
crackt preces (for such he useth to take in change with As by lot, God wot,
consideration for their defects :) this summe of money is It came to passe, most like it was,
repaid by the poore man at the time appointed in good Great warrs there should be,
lawful money. This is usurie.' And, again : . It is a And who should be the chiefe; but he, but he."
common custom of his [the usurer's] to buy up crackt The subject appears to have been popular. In the
angels at nine shillings the peece. Now, sir, if a gentleman Stationers' Registers, 1567-8, a ballad entitled “The
(on good assurance) request him of mony, good sir (saith song of Jefphas dowghter at his [her ?] death,” is licensed
hee, with a counterfait sigh) I would be glad to please to Alexander Lacy; in 1624, another called “Jeffa, Judge
your worship, but my good mony is abroad, and that I of Israel,” was entered on the same records; and from
have, I dare not put in your hands. The gentleman Henslowe's Diary, we learn that in May, 1602, Decker and
thinking this conscience, where it is subtilty, and being Chettle were engaged in writing a tragedy based on the
beside that in some necessity, ventures on the crackt
angels, some of which cannot flie, for soldering, and paies story of Jephthah.
double interest to the miser under the cloake of honesty.
-LODGE's Wit's Miserie, 1596, 4to. p. 28. (5) SCENE II.- A chopine.) Chopines or chapines were clogs with enormously thick soles, which the ladies of (7) SCENE II.-'T was caviare to the general.] The play Spain and Italy wore on their shoes when going abroad. was of too peculiar a relish, like caviare, for the palate of Coryat's account of those he saw in Venice is this : the multitude. Caviare is a preparation of sturgeon's “There is one thing used of the Venetian women, and roe; and the taste for it was considered a mark of refinesome others dwelling in the cities and townes subject to ment in Shakespeare's day : thus Mercury, in “Cynthia's the signory of Venice, that is not to be observed (I thinke) Revels," Act II. Sc. 1, describing a coxcomb, says: "He amongst any other women in Christendome : which is so doth learn to make strange sauces, to eat anchovies, maccommon in Venice, that no woman whatsoever goeth with. caroni, bovoli, fagioli, and caviare,” &c. out it, either in her house or abroad; a thing made of wood and covered with leather of sundry colors, some with white, some redde, some yellow. It is called a Chapiney, which
(8) SCENE II.they weare under their shoes. Many of them are curiously For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak painted ; some also of them I have seen fairely gilt: so un- With most miraculous organ.] comely a thing (in my opinion) that it is pitty this foolish custom is not cleane banished and exterminated out of the
There is a curious illustration of this passage in T. Hey. citie. There are many of these Chapineys of a great heigth,
wood's "Apology for Actors," 1612, and the same story is even halfe a yard high, which maketh many of their women
related in an old tragedy, called "A Warning for Fair that are very short seeme much taller then the tallest Women," 1599 :women we have in England. Also I have heard that this is
“At Lin, in Norfolke, the then Earl of Sussex players observed amongst them, that by how much the nobler a
acting the old History of Feyer Francis, and presenting woman is, by so much the higher are her Chapineys. All
a woman who, insatiately doting on a yong gentleman their gentlewomen, and most of their wives and widowes
(the more securely to enjoy his affection), mischievously that are of any wealth, are assisted and supported eyther
and secretly murdered her husband, whose ghost haunted by men or women, when they walke abroad, to the end they her; and, at divers times, in her most solitary and private may not fall. They are borne up most commonly by the
contemplations, in most horrid and feareful shapes, apleft arme, otherwise they might quickly take a fail."
peared and stood before her. As this was acted, a toune's Crudities, p. 262.
woman (till then of good estimation and report), finding her conscience (at this presentment) extremely troubled,
suddenly skritched and cryd out, Oh! my husband, my (6) SCENE II.–Pray God, your voice, like a piece of husband! I see the ghost of my husband fiercely uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the ring.) Hamlet, it threatning and menacing me! At which shrill and unmust be remembered, is addressing the youth who per- expected outcry, the people about her, moov'd to a strange sonated the female characters, and simply expresses a amazement, inquired the reason of her clamour, when hope that his voice has not grown too manly to pass presently, un-urged, she told them that seven yeares ago current for a woman's; there is not the slightest ground she, to be possest of such a gentleman (meaning him), had for suspecting any covert allusion. “It is to be observed," poysoned her husband, whose fearefull image personated it says Douce, "that there was a ring or circle on the coin, selfe in the shape of that ghost. Whereupon the mur. within which the sovereign's head was placed ; if the dresse was apprehended, before the justices further ex: crack extended from the edge beyond this ring, the coin amined, and by her voluntary confession after condemned. was rendered unfit for currency. Such pieces were hoarded That this is true, as well by the report of the actors as the by the usurers of the time, and lent out as lawful money. records of the towne, there are many eyewitnesses of this of this we are informed by Roger Fenton in his “Treatise accident yet living vocally to confirme it."
Cannot you stay till I eate my porrige ? and, you owe me
(3) SCENE II.-And never come mischance between us twain/] In the quarto of 1603, the preceding dialogue between Gonzago and Baptista is a mere bald sketch of the subsequent version :
(1) SCENE II.- 1 could have such a fellow whipped for o'eriloing Termagant ; it out-herods Herod.] In many of the early miracle plays, one of the most prominent cha. racters was a roaring, hectoring tyrant, who made "all split," and was alike the terror and the admiration of the multitude ; in some cases, this truculent monster represented Termagant, a supposed god of the Saracens; but more frequently he was Herod of Jewry. An extract from the ancient Pageant, performed at Coventry by the Shearmen and Taylors, in 1534, but the composition of which is of much earlier date, well exemplifies the saying, when any one
rants and tears a passion to tatters, that he outherods Herod. The entrance of Herod is announced in unintelligible French ; after which the monarch proceeds in this wise :“Qui statis in Jude et Rex iseraell
And the myghttyst conquerowre that eyer walkid on grownd
And be Mahownde of me thé gett noo grace." The above is copied verbatim from the Pageant, as it is given in Sharp's “ Dissertation on the Pageants, &c, anciently performed at Coventry," with the exception of some contractions which render the original obscure.
(2) SCENE II.—And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them : La most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it.] In the 1603 quarto there follows here a passage supposed to have been levelled at the famous clown, William Kemp :" And then you have some agen, that keepes one sute or jeasts, as a man is knowne by one sute of Apparell, and Gentlemen quotes his jeasts downe In their tables, before they come to the play, as thus:
“ Duke. Full fortie yeares are past, their date is gone, Since happy time joyn'd both our hearts as one : And now the blood that fill'd my youthful veines, Runnes weakely in their pipes, and all the straines, Of musicke, which whilome pleasde mine eare, Is now a burthen that age cannot beare: And therefore sweete Nature must pay his due, To heaven must I, and leave the earth with you.
Dutchesse. O say not so, lest that you kill my heart, When death takes you, let life from me depart.
Duke. Content thy selfe, when ended is my date,
Dutchesse. O speake no more, for then I am accurst,
Duke. I doe beleeve you sweete, what now you speake,
Dutchesse. Both here and there pursue me lasting strife, If once a widdow, ever I be wife," &c.
(4) SCENE II.-0, the recorders.] The best, indeed the only reliable description of these instruments, is that furnished by Mr. W. Chappell in his delightful work, called Popular Music of the Olden Time:"
“Old English musical instruments were commonly made of three or four different sizes, so that a player might take any of the four parts that were required to fill up the harmony. So Violins, Lutes, Recorders, Flutes, Shawms, &c. have been described by some writers in a manner which (to those unacquainted with this peculiarity) has appeared irreconcileable with other accounts. Shakespeare (in Hamlet) speaks of the Recorder as a little pipe, and says, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, he hath played on his prologue like a child on a recorder;' but in an engraving of the instrument,* it reaches from the lip to the knee of the performer; and among those left by Henry VIII. were Recorders of box, oak, and ivory, great and small, two base recorders of walnut, and one great base recorder. Recorders and (English) Fintes are to outward appearance the same, although Lord Bacon, in his Natural History, cent. iii. sec. 221, says the Recorder hath a less bore, and a greater above and below. The number of holes for the fingers is the same, and the scale, the compass, and the manner of playing, the same. Salter describes the recorder, from which the instrument derives its name, as situate in the upper part of it, i.e. between the hole below the mouth and the highest hole for the finger. He says, “Of the kinds of music, vocal has always had the preference in esteem, and in consequence, the Recorder, as approaching nearest to the sweet delightfulness of the voice, ought to have first place in opinion, as we see by the universal use of it confirmed.'
1 Herald. VOL. III.
+ I am descended. Allow,
* See “The Genteel Companion for the Recorder," by Humphrey Salter, 1683.
" Plan. Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast; And what I do imagine, let that rest.Keepers, convey him hence; and I myself Will see his burial better than his life. Here lies the dusky torch of Mortimer, Chok'd with ambition of the meaner sort:" &c.
(5) SCENE IV.–POLONIUS hides behind the arras.] The incident of Polonius concealing himself to overhear the conversation between Hamlet and the Queen, was suggested by the "Hystorie of Hamblet.”—“Meane time the counsellor entred secretly into the queenes chamber, and there hid himselfe behind the arras, not long before the queene and Hamblet came thither, who being craftie and pollitique, as soone as hee was within the chamber, doubting some treason, and fearing if he should speake severely and wisely to his mother touching his secret practices he should be understood, and by that means intercepted, used his ordinary manner of dissimulation, and began to come like a cocke beating with his armes (in such manner as cockes use to strike with their wings) upon the hangings of the chamber; whereby, feeling something stirring under them, he cried, A rat, a rat! and presently drawing his sworde, thrust it into the hangings; which done, pulled the counsellor (halfe dead) out by the heeles, made an end of killing him," &c.
(6) SCENE IV.-HAMLET dragging out the body of PoloNIUS.] The earliest quarto has, « Exit Hamlet with the dead body;" the folio, “Exit Hamlet tugging in Polonius." It is remarkable that, while nearly every department of our early literature has been ransacked to supply illustrations of Shakespeare's language and ideas, so little has been done towards their elucidation from the history of his own stage. When Hamlet, at the termination of the present scene, says, “I'll lug the guts into the neighbour room," the commentators very properly reply to the objections of those who, unacquainted with old language, complain of the grossness of expression, that the word guts was not by any means so offensive to delicacy formerly as it is considered now. It was commonly used, in fact, where we should employ entrails, and in this place really signifies no more than lack-brain or shallow-pate. But a little consideration of the exigences of the theatre in Shakespeare's time, which not only obliged an actor to play two or more parts in the same drama, but to perform such servile offices as are now done by attendants of the stage, would have enabled them to show that the line in question is a mere interpolation to afford the player an excuse for removing the body. We append a few examples where the same expedient is adopted for the same purpose. Among them the notable instance of Sir John Falstaff carrying off the body of Harry Percy on his back, an exploit as clumsy and unseemly as Hamlet's “tugging out Polonius, and, like that, perpetuated on the modern stage only from sheer ignorance of the circumstances which originated such a practice :
“ Romeo and Juliet,” Act III. Sc. 1. Death of Tybalt, Vol. I. p. 188:
" Prince. Let Romeo hence in haste,
“Henry VI.” Part I. Act IV. Sc. 7. Death of Talbot and his son, Vol. II. p. 321 :
" Pucelle. For God's sake, let him have 'em; to keep them here, They would but stink and putrefy the air.
Char. Go, take their bodies hence.
Tu bear them hence," &c. “Henry VI.” Part II. Act IV. Sc. 1. Death of Suffolk, Vol. II. p. 375:
“ Gent. O barbarous and bloody spectacle !
So will the queen that living held him dear. (Exit." “Henry VI." Part II. Act IV. Sc. 10. Death of Jack Cade. Vol. II. p. 385:
“ Iden. Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee! And as I thrust thy body in with my sword, So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell. Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave, And there cut off thy most ungracious head, Which I will bear in triumph to the king, Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
[Exit." “Henry VI.” Part II. (Act V. Sc. 2. Old Clifford's body. Vol. II. p. 390 :
“Young Clif. Come thou new ruin of old Clifford's house ;
[Ezit." Henry VI.” Part III. Act II. Sc. 5. The dead father. Vol. II. p. 419:
" Son. I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep my fill."
“Henry VI.” Part III. Act II. Sc. 5. The dead son. Vol. II. p. 419 :
“ Father. I'll bear thee hence; and let them fight that will, Por I have murder'd where I should not kill."
"Henry VI." Part III. Act V. Sc. 6. Death of Henry. Vol. II. p. 449:
“ Glo. Clarence, thy turn is next; and then the rest; Counting myself but bad, till I be best. I'll throw thy body in another room, And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom." “Richard III.” Act III. Sc. 4. Death of Clarence. Vol. II. p. 528:
“1 Murd. Now must I hide his body in some hole Until the duke lake order for his burial."
“Richard II.” Act V. Sc. 5. Death of Richard, and Exton's men. Vol. I. p. 492:
“ Erton. This dead king to the living king r'll bear , Take hence the rest and give them burial here."
“Henry IV." Act V. Sc. 4. Death of Hotspur. Vol. I. p. 560 :
"P. Hen. (To FALSTAFF.] Come, bring your luggage nobly on your back. ***
(Exit FALSTAFF bearing the body."
“Troilus and Cressida," Act V. Sc. 9. Death of Hector, Vol. III.
“Henry VI.” Part I. Act I, Sc. 4. Death of Salisbury. Vol. II. p. 294 :
" Talbot. Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels, And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.Convey me Salisbury into his tent, And then we'll try what these dastard Frenchmen dare."
"Julius Caesar," Act III. Sc. 2. Cæsar's body exhibited in the Forum :"1 Cit.
“Henry VI.” Part I. Act II. Sc. 5. Death of Mortimer. Vol. II. p. 303 :
“Julius Cæsar," Act V. Sc. 5. Brutus' body. (End of “ Antony and Cleopatra," Act IV. Sc. 12. The dying play):
"Take me up, “Oct. Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie, Most like a soldier, order'd honourably.”
I have led you oft; arry me now, good friends,
And have my thanks for all. (Exeunt with ANTONY." “Antony and Cleopatra," Act IV. Sc. 9. Death of Enobarbus:
These instances from Shakespeare alone, and they could “ | Sold. The hand of death hath raught him. Hark, the drums
easily be multiplied, will suffice to bring into view one of
the inconveniences to which the elder dramatists were Demurely wake the sleepers. Let us bear him To the court of yuard; he is of note : our hour
subject through the paucity of actors; and, at the same Is fully out.
time, by exhibiting the mode in which they endeavoured 3 Sold. Come on then,
to obviate the difficulty, may afford a key to mang pasHe may recover yet.
[Exeunt with body." sages and incidents that before appeared anomalous,
(3) SCENE VI.--Enter HORATIO and a Servant.] In the quarto, 1603, at this period of the action there is a scene between the Queen and Horatio, not a vestige of which is retained in the after copies. Like every other part of that curious edition, it is grievously deformed by misprints and mal-arrangement of the verse; but, as exhibiting the poet's earliest conception of the Queen's character, is much too precious to be lost.
(1) SCENE V.—They say, the owl was a baker's daughter.] This alludes to a tradition still current in some parts of England: "Our Saviour went into a baker's shop where they were baking, and askew for some bread to eat. The mistress of the shop immediately put a piece of dough into the oven to bake for him ; but was reprimanded by her daughter, who, insisting that the piece of dough was too large, reduced it to a very small size. The dough, however, immediately afterwards began to swell, and presently became of a most enormous size. Whereupon the baker's daughter cried out, “ Heugh, heugh, heugh, which owl-like noise probably induced our Saviour, for her wickedness, to transform her into that bird."
(2) SCENE V.—There's rosemary, that's for remembrance ; *** and there is pansies, that's for thoughts.
There's fennel for you, and columbines : there's rue for you ;-&c. &c.] There is method in poor Ophelia's distribution. She presents to each the herb popularly appropriate to his age or disposition. To Laertes, whom in her distraction she probably confounds with her lover, she gives “rosemary" as an emblem of his faithful remembrance :
" Rosemarie is for remembrance
Betweene us daie and night,
A Handeful! of Pleasant Delites, &c. 1584. And "pansies,” to denote love's“ thoughts" or troubles :
." I pray what flowers are these?
The panzie this;
All Fools, Act II. Sc. 1. For the King she has “fennel,” signifying flattery and lust; and “columbines,” which marked ingratitude ; while for the Queen and for herself she reserves the herb of sorrow, “rue,” which she reminds her Majesty may be worn by her “with a difference," i.e. not as an emblem of grief alone, but to indicate contrition ;-"some of them smil'd and said, Rue was called Herbe grace, which though they scorned in their youth, they might wear in their age, and that it was never too late to say Miserere." -GREENE's Quip for an Upstart Courtier.
"Enter Horatio and the QUEENE.
Queene. Then I perceive there's treason in his lookes
Hor. Yes, Madame, and he hath appoynted me
Querne. O faile not, good Horatio, and withall, commend me
Hor. Madam, never make doubt of that:
Queene. But what became of Gilderstone and Rossencraft!
Hor. He being set ashore, they went for England,
Queene. Thankes be to heaven for blessing of the prince,
Horat. Madam adue."
(1) SCENE I. - Argal, he that is not quilty of his own death shortens not his own life.] Sir John Hawkins suggested that Shakespeare here designed a ridicule on the legal and logical subtleties enunciated in the case of Dame Hale, as reported in Plowden's Commentaries. The case was this: her husband, Sir James Hale, committed suicide by drowning himself in a river, and the point argued was whether by this act a lease which he died possessed of did not accrue to the Crown. It must be admitted that the clown's, “If I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act; and an act hath three branches;” reads amazingly like a satire on the following : Serjeant Walsh said that -“The act consists of three parts. The first is the imagination, which is a reflection or meditation of the mind, whether or no it is convenient for him to destroy himself, and what way it can be done. The second is the resolution, which is the determination of the mind to destroy bimself, and to do it in this or that particular way. The third is the perfection, which is the execution of what the mind has resolved to do. And this perfection consists of two parts, viz. the beginning and the end. The beginning is the doing of the act which causes the death, and the end is the death, which is only a sequel to the act." &c. &c.
Nor would it be easy to find a better parallel for,—“Here lies the water; good : here stands the man; good : if the man go to this water, and drown himself, it is, will he nill he, he goes,-mark you that; but if the water come to him and drown him, he drowns not himself :" &c.--than what follows, in the argument of the judges, viz. Weston, Anthony Brown, and Lord Dyer, “Sir James Hale was dead, and how came he to his death? It may be answered By drowning. And who drowned him ? Sir James Hale. And when did he drown him? In his lifetime. So that Sir James Hale being alive, caused Sir James Hale to die; and the act of the living man was the death of the dead man. And then for this offence it is reasonable to punish the living man who committed the offence, and not the dead man, &c.
(2) SCENE I.-In youth, when I did love, did love, dc.] The three stanzas sung by the grave-digger are a barbarous version of a sonnet said to have been written by Lord Vaux, one copy of which, with music, has been discovered by Dr. Rimbault, in Ms. Sloane, No. 4900 : another, unaccompanied by music, is in the Harleian MSS. No. 1703. The whole poem, too, may be seen in Tottel's Miscellany, 1557, and has been reprinted in Percy's Reliques, Vol. I. p. 190, Edition 1812, and in Bell's Edition, 1854, where the words are thus given :
“THE AGED LOVER RENOUNCETU LOVE.
" I loathe that I did love,
In youth that I thought sweet, As time requires for my behove,
Methinks they are not meet.
" For Reason me denies
This youthly idle rhyme;
* Leave off these toys in time.'
The furrows in my face
Where Youth must give him place.
To me I see him ride,
Doth bid me to provide
And eke a shrouding sheet,
For such a guest most meet.
That knolls the careful knell,
'Ere Nature me compel.
That Youth did laugh to scorn,
As I had not been born.
Whose badge I long did wear;
That better may it bear.
By whose bald sign I know,
Which youthful years did sow.
These crooked cares hath wrought,
From whence I first was brought.
Have ye none other trust,
So shall ye waste to dust."
(3) SCENE I.-And must the inheritor himself have no more, hal] We have something very like these reflections in Thomas Randolph's comedy of "The Jealous Lovers," played before Charles the Socond at Cambridge, and pubÎished at Oxford, 1668:
“Sexton. (Shewing a skull.] This was a poetical noddle. O the sweet lines, choice language, eloquent figures, besides the jests, half jests, quarter jests, and quibbles that have come out of these chaps that yawn so! He has not so much as a new-coined complement to procure him a supper. The best friend he has may walk by him now, and yet have ne'er a jeer put upon him. His mistris had a little dog, deceased the other day, and all the wit in his noddle could not pump out an elegie to bewail it. He has been my tenant this seven years, and in all that while I never heard him rail against the times, or complain of the neglect of learning. Melpomene and the rest of the Muses have a good turn on't that he's dead; for while he lived, he ne'er left calling upon
He was buried (as most of the tribe) at the charge of the parish: and is happier dead than alive; for he has now as much money as the best in the company,--and yet has left off the poetical way of begging, called borrowing."- Act IV. Sc. 3. Again, in the next scene :
"Sexton. Look here; this is a lawyer's skull. There was a tongue in 't once, a damnable eloquent tongue, that would almost have perswaded any man to the gallows. This was a turbulent busie fellow, till Death gave him his Quietus est ; and yet I ventured to rob him of his gown, and the rest of his habiliments, to the very buckram bag, not leaving him so much as a poor halfpeny to pay for his waftage, and yet the good man nere repin'd at it. Now a man may clap you o'th' coxcomb with his spade, and never stand in fear of an action of battery."
“ My lusts they do me leave,
My fancies all are fled,
Grey hairs upon my head.
" For Age with stealing steps
Hath clawed me with his crutch, And lusty Life away she leaps
As there had been none such.
My Muse doth not delight
Me as she did before; My hand and pen are not in plight, As they have been of yore.