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So “inexplicable" were most of these “dumb shows"—when left merely to their self-denoting demonstration unaided by verbal explanation—that they were usually accompanied by some kind of “Prologue,"or “Chorus,” who explained to the audience that which these shows were intended to represent; just as the “motions” or “puppet-shows,” then in vogue, had a showman who interpreted the meaning of his exhibition to its spectators. This particular is denoted by the following passage, where Speed, observing Silvia approach and Valentine advance to meet her, likens the lady to a well-dressed figure or doll, and his master to a showman or interpreter who will supply her with speech by opening dialogue:

Oh, excellent motion! Oh, exceeding puppet! now will he interpret to her.-Two G. of V., ii. 1.

Tokens of the practice of having a prologue or chorus to explain a dumb show, and an interpreter to explain a puppet-show, are also to be traced in some of the following passages that enumerate the Dumb Shows occurring in Shakespeare's plays : Enter PYRAMUS and Thisbe, Wall, MOONSHINE, and Lion, as in dumb show,

Prologue. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
This man is Pyramus, if you would know;

This beauteous lady Thisby is, &c.Mid. N. D., V. I.
The Vision.*Enter, solemnly tripping one after another, six Personages, clad in

white robes, wearing on their heads garlands of bays, and golden vizards on their faces; branches of bays, or palm, in their hands. They first congee unto her, then dance ; and, at certain changes, the first two hold a spare garland over her head; at which, the other four make reverend court' sies: then, the two that held the garland deliver the same to the other next two, who observe the same order in their charges, and holding the garland over her head : which done, they deliver the same garland to the last two, who likewise observe the same order: at which (as it were by inspiration) she makes in her sleep signs of rejoicing, and holdeth up her hands to heaven : and so in their dancing they vanish, carrying the garland with them. The music continues.-H. VIII., iv. 2.

Trumpets sound. The Dumb Show enters. Enter a King and a Queen, very lovingly; the Queen embracing him. She kneels,

and makes show of protestation unto him. He takes her up, and declines his head upon her neck : lays him down upon a bank of flowers : she, seeing him asleep, leaves him. Anon comes in a fellow, takes off his crown, kisses it, and pours poison in the king's ears, and exit. The Queen returns, finds the King dead, and makes passionate action. The Poisoner, with some two or three mutes, comes in again, seeming to lament with her. The dead body is carried away. The Poisoner woces the Queen with gifts: she seems loath and unwilling awhile; but in the end accepts his love.

[Exeunt. Ophelia. What means this, my lord ? . . . Belike, this show imports the argument of the play.

Enter PROLOGUE.
Hamlet. We shall know by this fellow. . .
Ophelia. Will he tell us what this show meant ?

* Strictly, this “Vision " does not perhaps come under the denomination of a. Dumb Show; but rather under that of a pageant, with which the play of Henry VIII, abounds. (See STAGE DIRECTIONS AND ENTRANCES; also, RECURRENCE OF Particular Points.]

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Hamlet. Ay.

This is one Lucianus, nephew to the king. Ophelia. You are as good as a chorus, my lord. Hamlet. I could interpret between you and your love, if I could see the puppets dallying.-Hamlet, iii. 2. Enter CYMBELINE,* attended; BelARIUS, GUIDERIUS, ArviraGUS, PISANIO, and Roman

Captives. The Captains present Posthumus to CYMBELINE, who delivers him over to a Gaoler; after which all go out.-Cym., V. 3.

Enter Gower, as Chorus.
Here have you seen a mighty king.
But tidings to the contrary
Are brought your eyes; what need speak I?

DUMB Show.
Enter, from one side, Pericles, talking with Cleon; their trains with them. Enter,

from the other side, a Gentleman, with a letter to Pericles; who shows the letter to Cleon; then gives the messenger a reward, and knights him. Exeunt PERICLES, Cleon, &c., severally.Per., ii. (Gower).

Enter GOWER, as Chorus.
Now sleep yslaked hath the rout.
What's dumb in show, I'll plain with speech.

DUMB Show.
Enter, from one side, Pericles and Simonides, with Attendants ; a Messenger meets

them, kneels, and gives PERICLES a letter : he shows it to SIMONIDES; the lords
kucel to Pericles. Then, enter Thaisa with child, and LYCHORIDA : SIMONIDES
shows his daughter the letter; she rejoices: she and Pericles take leave of her
father, and depart with LYCHORIDA and their Attendants. Then, exeunt
SIMONIDES and the rest.-Ibid., iii. (Gower).
Enter Gower, as Chorus, before the monument of Marina at Tharsus.

Thus time we waste, and longest leagues make short. ...
Like motes and shadows see them move awhile ;
Your ears unto your eyes I 'll reconcile.

DUMB Show.
Enter, from one side, Pericles with his Train; Cleon and Dionyza from the other.

CLEON shows PERICLES the tomb of Marina; whereat Pericles makes lamentation, puts on sackcloth, and in a mighty passion departs. Exeunt the rest.Ibid., iv. 4. (Gower).

ELDER: ELDEST: OLD: OLDER: OLDEST. Shakespeare occasionally uses these words with a signification that includes much more than mere reference to age and time; and we think that it is the overlooking this point which has occasioned commentators to imperfectly comprehend a passage where the word “elder" occurs, and to propose changing the expression there. If the following various modes in which Shakespeare employs these words, and the

This indicates a Dumb Show; yet it is hardly more than one of the stage directions already given in the present Act. (See Stage DirectIONS AND ENTRANCES.] As we have shown, by the instances now cited, Dumb Shows generally occurred at the commencement of a scene; rarely, as in this instance, at the close of a scene.

inclusive sense he assigns to them, be examined, we believe it will be perceived that “elder” is the expression he used in the passage from “ Cymbeline,” v. 1.:

'Tis very true: 0 wise and upright judge !

How much more elder {"sage,'' experienced,' • mature in judgment,' as well as older,' . more advanced in age or years ']

art thou than thy looks !—Mer. of V., iv. I.
My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,

Which elder days l' a more advanced time'; when I shall be less "raw" and more experienced,' as well as older']

shall ripen and confirm
To more approved service and desert.-R. II., ii. 3.
As dissolute, as desperate; yet, through both ·
I see some sparkles of a better hope,

Which elder days
['a more advanced time'; when he shall be ósager' as well as 'older ']

may happily bring forth.Ibid., v. 3.

Danger knows full well
That Cæsar is more dangerous than he:
We are two lions litter'd in one day,

And I the elder
['the more potent and mighty,' as well as the first born']

and more terrible.- ul. C., ii. 2.
I said an elder
['more experienced, from being older and from having had longer practice'*]

soldier, not a better.-Ibid., iv. 3.

But in my terms of honour
I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,

Till by some elder
[of higher authority, of superior responsibility, in questions of punctilio)

masters, of known honour,
I have a voice and precedent of peace,
To keep my name ungor’d.-Hamlet, v. 2.
When vantage like a pair of twins appear’d

Both as the same, or rather ours the elder.
[“ better,' . superior,' as well as older' or • first born ').-Ant. & C., iii. 8.

Behold divineness no elder
['superior,'·more exalted;' no‘older' or more dignified' and 'reverend']

than a boy !-Cym., iii. 6.
You snatch some hence for little faults; that's love
To have them fall no more: you some permit

To second ills with ills, each eldert [ill deed committed by one grown older in a course of ill-doing, more experienced in evil, more hardened in guilt, more confirmed in sin ; ' more hardened,'* more confirmed,'. of larger growth']

worse,
And make them dread it, to the doers' thrift.-Ibid., v. I.

* The exact words Cassius had previously used were, “I am a soldier, I, older is practice, abler than yourself to make conditions ;” but the retorts between the friends here, during their quarrel, serve to show that “older ” implies something of “better," • superior,' * more skilled and practised.'

+ This is the passage (alluded to by us at the beginning of the present heading) where previous commentators have suspected error in the word “elder"; but which we believe to have been the word here used by Shakespeare,

Then it is thus: the passions of the mind,
That have their first conception by mis-dread,
Have after-nourishment and life by care:
And what was first but fear what might be done,

Grows elder {"larger,' • stronger,' more confirmed,' 'more established,' and 'more advanced in time,'having attained to a later period ']

now, and cares it be not done.--Per., i. 2.
What is this maid, with whom thou wast at play?
Your eld'st [' oldest,' 'longest in time']

acquaintance cannot be three hours.Temp., v. I.
My youngest boy, and yet my eldest
[* most important,' • most urgent,' most pressing,' • first needing attention ']

care.-Com. of E., i. 1.
It hath the primal eldest
["earliest elicited,'first occurring,' and strongest,' 'most heavy']

curse upon 'tA brother's murder !-Hamlet, iii. 3. Shakespeare sometimes uses “old ” to express ‘mature,' wellskilled,' proficient ' :

His years but young, but his experience old.Two G. of V., ii. 4.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old.-Mer. of V., ii. 7 (Scroll).
I never knew so young a body with so old a head.-Ibid., iv. 1 (Letter).

I am only old in judgment and understanding.—2 H. IV., i. 2.
Sometimes to express well-practised,' 'long-accustomed':

Is he so young a man, and so old a lifter ?-Tr. & Cr., i. 2. Sometimes to express • former,'. bygone':

And dallies with the innocence of love,

Like the old age.—Tw. N., ii. 4. Since the old days of goodman Adam to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight.-1 H. IV., ii. 4.

Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie.-R. & Jul., i. 5 (Chorus).
This is the old man still.—Timon, iii. 6.

O, my old friend! Thy face is valanced since I saw thee last.-Hamlet, ii. 2. Sometimes to express long-standing,' long-established,' longused':

What old, or newer torture must I receive.-W. T., iii. 2.
What, old acquaintance! could not all this flesh.1 H. IV., V. 4.
This is the old fashion ; you two never meet, but you fall.

:-2 H. IV., ii. 4. Insisting on the old prerogative and power.Coriol., iii.

3. Sometimes to express before-used,' stale,' worn-out':

That is an old device; and it was play'd when I.-Mid. N. D., v. 1.
Our old ling and our Isbels o' the country are nothing like your old ling and your
Isbeis o' the court.-All's W., iii. 2.

How your tooling grows old, and people dislike it.-Tw. N., i. 5.
Musty seeds, remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses. R. & Jul., V. I.

These are old fond paradoxes, to make fools laugh.-Oth., ii. 1.
Sometimes to express .confirmed,' • well-known':

This news is old enough, yet it is every day's news.-M. for M., iii. 2.
There's no news at court, sir, but the old news. As You L., i. 1.

This is old : what is the success ?-Ant. & C., iii. 5. Sometimes to express “inveterate,' 'long-continued':

Yet I have a trick of the old rage.Love's L. L., V. 2. Sometimes to express“ practised,'' hardened':

Doth she not think me an old murderer.-R. & Ful., iii. 3. Sometimes to express original,'' pristine' :

Virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it.-Ham., iii. I.

Be jointed to the old stock, and freshly grow.-Cym., V. 4. and 5 (Scroll). Sometimes to express confirmed,' genuine':

This borrow'd passion stands for true old woe.Per., iv. 4 (Gower).
Sometimes as an epithet expressive of familiarity :-

If the old fantastical duke of dark corners had.-M. for M., iv. 3.
One that old Frederick, your father, loves.-As You L., i. 2.
The priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying.-Ibid., v. I.
How now, old lad ?-Welcome, you.—Tam. of S., iv. I.

Well, go thy ways, old lad; for thou shalt ha't.-Ibid., v. 2. And he frequently uses “old ” in a sense it formerly bore of “ex. cessive,'' extraordinary,' • abounding,' outrageous ' :

I 'll rack thee with old cramps, fill all thy bones.Temp., i. 2.
Here will be an old abusing of God's patience.—Merry W., i. 4.
Yonder 's old coil at home: it is proved.-M. Ado., V. 2.

We shall have old swearing that they did give.-Mer. of V. iv. 2.
Master, master! Old news, and such news as you have never heard of !- Is it new
and old too? how may that be ?—Tam. of S., iii. 2.
By the mass,

here will be old utis: it will be. :-2 H. IV., ii. 4. If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key.—Macb., ii. 3.

He occasionally uses “older” to express • longer accustomed,' “more experienced,' more confirmed,'' more proficient':

I am a soldier, I, older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.-Ful. C., iv. 3.
An older and a better soldier none

That Christendom gives out.Macb., iv. 3.
And, in the following passage, he uses

" oldest

to express ‘most long-practised,' .most long-known':

Rob, murder, and commit the oldest sins the newest kind of way?-2 H. IV., iv. 4.

ELISIONAL ABBREVIATIONS. Shakespeare uses elisional abbreviations of various kinds. He sometimes employs 'a for 'he,' in familiar or humorous dialogue. He occasionally has an apostrophe before a substantive to express the':

Pray heartily he be at 'palace.-W.T., iv. 3.
Who knocks so loud at 'door ? —2 H. IV., ü. 4.
A dozen captains stay at 'door for you.Ibid., ii. 4.

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