Abbildungen der Seite


Shakespeare has introduced so many of these into his works, that some persons have supposed he must at one time of his life have been a lawyer; but when we remember that he was on familiar terms with the Thomas Greenes, father and son, who were attorneys at Stratfordupon-Avon, and that he probably spent many an hour in their office, we think his acquiring an intimate acquaintance with legal terms is fully accounted for. To a mind like Shakespeare's the acquisition of knowledge of all sorts was like inhaling the air he breathed—a sheer vital necessity; he could no more help the one than the other, and both he turned to best account. Numerous and accurate as are the legal terms used by Shakespeare, they are not more numerous or more accurate than many other special technical expressions employed by him, giving vigour and lifelike animation to his style; for whatever he heard and learned, he stored in the treasure of his wisdom, and reproduced it refined and embellished when he needed it in illustration or elucidation of the philosophy in his dramas. Not only was Shakespeare friendly with the Greene family; he met many a law-student and lawyer among his London associates; and from these also he doubtless collected many of the following legal phrases that he has so profusely introduced :

Belike that now she hath enfranchis'd them,
Upon some other pawn for fealty.Two G. of V., ii. 4.
Who writes himself armigero, in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, arijito.
-Merry W., i. 1.
Why, I 'll exhibit a bill in parliament for the putting down of men.-Ibid., ii. :-

If the devil have him not in fee-simple, with fine and recovery, he will never, I think in the way of waste.--I bid., iv. 2.

Our city's institutions, and the terms
For common justice, you 're as pregnant in
As art and practice hath enriched any

That we remember.-M. for M., i. 1.
Or I 'll have mine action of battery on thee.-
If he took you a box o'th'ear, you might have your action of slander too.-
Ibid., ii. 1.

May he not do it by fine and recovery ?-Com. of E., ii. 2.
May it please your grace, Antipholus, my husband,
Whom I made lord of me and all I had,
At your important letters—this ill day
A most outrageous fit of madness took him.-Ibid., v. I.
The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.-Love's L. L. i. 1.
Sole imperator and great general
Of trotting paritors.-Ibid., iii. 1.
What present hast thou there?-Ibid., iv. 3.
I beg the ancient privilege in Athens-
As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death, according to our law
Immediately provided in that case.- Mid. N. D., i. 1.
Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond.
If he should break his day, what should I gain
By the exaction of the forfeiture?-Mer. of V., i. 3.

Let good Antonio look he keep his day,
Or he shall pay for this.-Mer. of V., ii. 8.
So please my lord the duke, and all the court,
To quit the fine for one half of his goods;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter.-Ibid., iv. I.
And charge us there upon inter’gatories,

And we will answer all things faithfully.-Ibid., v. I. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.-With bills on their necks ;—"Be it known unto all men by these presents.”-As You L., i. 2.

And let my officers of such a nature
Make an extent upon his house and lands.-Ibid., iii. 1.
And say, you would present her at the leet,
Because she brought stone jugs, and no seald quarts.--

Tam. of S., Induc. 2.
And, for that dowry, I 'll assure her of
Her widowhood*-be it that she survive me-
In all my lands and leases whatsoever.-Ibid., ii. 1.
My father is here look’d for every day,
To pass assurance of a dower in marriage
'Twixt me and one Baptista's daughter here.--Ibid., iv. 2.
We 'll pass the business privately and well.
Send for your daughter by your servant here;

My boy shall fetch the scrivener presently.-Ibid., iv. 4. But I must attend his majesty's command, to whom I am now in ward, evermore in subjection.--All's W., i. 1.

I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge, that I may say, in the default, he is a man I know.--Ibid., ii. 3. Şir

, for a quart d'écu he will sell the fee-simple of his salvation, the inheritance of it; and cut the entail from all remainders, and a perpetual succession for it perpetually. —

Ibid., iv. 3.

I will buy me a son-in-law in a fair, and toll for this: I'll none of him.-Ibid., v. 3.

Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.—Why let her except before excepted.Tw. N., i. 3. We will bring the device to the bar, and crown thee for a finder of madmen.

Ibid., iii. 4.

Let thy fair wisdom, not thy passion, sway
In this uncivil and unjust extent
Against thy peace.-Ibid., iv. I.
Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
Not like a guest; so you shall pay your fees
When you depart, and save your thanks.-W.T., i. 2.
Your most obedient counsellor; yet that dares
Less appear so, in comforting your evils,

Than such as most seem yours.-Ibid., ii. 3. Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken yourself with the manner.-Ibid., iv. 3.

If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly.Ibid., iv. 3.

There might you have beheld one joy crown another, so, and in such manner, that it seemed sorrow wept to take leave of them-for their joy waded in tears.-Ibid., v. 2.

Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
As seal to this indenture of my love.--John, ii. 1.

“Widowhood” is here used for right as a widow,' or 'widow's jointure.'

And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.-R. II., i. I.
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
Call in the letters-patents that he hath
By his attorneys-general to sue.
His livery, and deny his offer'd homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head.-Ibid., ii. 1.
'Tis in reversion that I do possess.-Ibid., ii. 2.
Whilst you have fed upon my signories,

Dispark'd my parks, and fell’d my forest-woods.-Ibid., iii. 1. Thou stolest a cup of sack eighteen years ago, and wert taken with the manner, and ever since thou hast blushed extempore.1 H. IV., ii. 4.

An the indentures be drawn, I 'll away. . . . By this our book is drawn ; we will but seal, and then to horse.-Ibid., iii. I.

Grew a companion to the common streets,
Enfeoff'd himself to popularity.-Ibid., iii. 2.
He came but to be Duke of Lancaster,

To sue his livery, and beg his peace.-Ibid., iv. 3.
To punish you by the heels would amend the attention of your ears.

Your lordship may minister the potion of imprisonment to me in respect of poverty. 2 H. IV., i. 2.

Marry, sir, thus; those precepts cannot be served.-Ibid., v. i.

I will devise matter enough out of this Shallow to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter the wearing out of six fashions (which is four terms, or two actions), and he shall laugh.-Ibid., v. I.

Either accept the title thou usurp'st,

Of benefit proceeding from our king.—H. VI., v. 4. Nay, he can make obligations, and write court-hand.--2 H. VI., iv. 2. And, contrary to the king, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill.-Ibid., iv. 7.

Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, for entering his fie-simple without leave.-Ibid., iv. 10.

Master lieutenant, now that God and friends
Have shaken Edward from the regal seat,
And turn'd my captive state to liberty,
My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys-
At our enlargement what are thy due fees?—3 H. VI., iv. 6.
Windy attorneys to their client woes,
Airy succeeders of intestate joys !-R. III., iv. 4.
Tell me what state, what dignity, what honour,

Canst thou demise to any child of mine?-Ibid., iv. 4.
It shall be therefore bootless that longer you desire the court.-H. VIII., 1. 4.

You are mine enemy; and make my challenge,
You shall not be my judge : .
I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul

Refuse you for my judge.-Ibid., ii. 4.
To confirm his goodness, tied it by letters-patents.-Ibid., iii. 2.

That therefore such a writ be su'd against you ;
To forfeit all your goods, lands, tenements,
Chattels, and whatsoever, and to be

Out of the king's protection.-Ibid., iii. 2.
How now! a kiss in fee-farm.-Tr. & Cr., iii. 2.
What, billing again? Here's—In witness whereof the parties interchangeably." -
Ibid., iii. 2.
And the rivelled fee-simple of the tetter.-Ibid., v. 1.

To beg of Hob and Dick, that do appear,
Their needless vouches 2-Coriol., ii. 3.

An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee-simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.-R. & Ful., iii. i.

The rest of your fees,* oh, gods—the senators of Athens, together with the common lag of people—what is amiss in them, you gods, make suitable for destruction. Timon, ii. 6.

Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.-
But in them nature's copy's not eterne.—Macb., iii. 2.
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
Which keeps me pale !-Ibid., iii. 2.
But yet I'll make assurance double sure,
And take a bond of fate : thou shalt not live.-Ibid., iv. I.
Wear thou thy wrongs, the title is affcer'd!--Ibid., iv. 3.

What concern they?
The general cause? or is it a fce-grief
Due to some single breast ?-Ibid., iv. 3.
All those his lands which he stood seiz'd of.Hamlet, i. 1.
Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee.-Ibid., ii. 2.
Nor will it yield to Norway or the Pole

A ranker rate, should it be sold in fee.-Ibid., iv. 4. If I drown myself wittingly, it argues an act: and an act hath three branches; it is to act, to do, and to perform: argal, she drowned herself wittingly.-Ibid., v. I.

Why may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddits now, his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks ? Why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? H'm! This fellow might be in 's time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recog. nizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries : is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt ? will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures ? The very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?-Ibid., v. 1.

And cry these dreadful summoners grace.-Lear, iii. 2.
No, they cannot touch me for coining ; I am the king himself.-Ibid., iv. 6.

And, in conclusion, nonsuits my mediators.-Oth., i. 1.
For thy solicitor shall rather die,
Than give thy cause away.-Ibid., iii. 3.

Who has a breast so pure,
But some uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets and law-days, and in session sit

With meditations lawful ?-Ibid., iii. 3.
Where's Fulvia’s process ? Cæsar's, I would say? both ?--Ant. & C., i. 1.

(This is stiff news) hath, with his Parthian force,
Extended Asia from Euphrates.-Ibid., i. 2.

But my full heart remains in use with you.Ibid., i. 3. Upon his own appeal, seizes him : so the poor third is up, till death enlarge his confine.-Ibid., iii. 5.

A conqueror that will pray in aid for kindness,
Where he for grace is kneeld to.-Ibid., v. 2.
Here's a voucher, stronger than ever law could make.-Cym., ii. 2.
Senseless bauble, art thou a feodary for this act.-Ibid., iii. 2.
But when the heart's attorney once is mute,

The client breaks, as desperate in his suit –V. & Adon., Stansa 56. "Fees” is here used in its legal and feudal sense of all tenements that are held by any acknowledgment of superiority to a higher lord; and is applied by the poet to the senators and commoners of Athens, as creatures who hold their existence by sufferance

of the gods.

Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips,
Set thy seal-manual on my wax-red lips.-V. & Adon., Stanza 86.
Say for non-payment that the debt should double.-Ibid., 87.
Her pleading hath deserv'd a greater fee.-Ibid., 102.
Dim register and notary of shame !-Lucrece, Stanza 110.
To trembling clients be you mediators:
For me I force not argument a straw,
Since that my case is past the help of law.Ibid., 146.
My bloody judge forbade my tongue to speak:
No rightful plea might plead for justice there.-Ibid., 236.
The deep vexation of his inward soul
Hath serv'd a dumb arrest upon his tongue.-Ibid., 255.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination.-Sonnet 13.
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.Ibid., 18.
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past.Ibid., 30.
Thy adverse party is thy advocate,
And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence :
Such civil war is in my love and hate,
That I an accessory needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.-Ibid., 35.
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
To 'cide this title is impannelled
A quest of thoughts, ali tenants to the heart;
And by their verdict is determined
The clear eye's moiety, and the dear heart's part.-Ibid., 46.
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower ?-Ibid., 65.
But be contented: when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away.-Ibid., 74.
Upon thy part I can set down a story
Of faults conceal'd, wherein I am attainted.-Ibid., 88.
Which works on leases of short-number'd hours.-Ibid., 124.
Hence, thou suborn'd informer! a true soul,
When most impeach'd stands least in thy controul.-Ibid., 125.
And I myself am mortgag'd to thy will,
Myself I'll forfcit, so that other mine
Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still.
He learn'd but, surety-like, to write for me,
Under that bond that him as fast doth bind.
The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take,
Thou usurer, that putt'st forth all to use,
And sue a friend, came debtor for my sake.Ibid., 134.
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend ?-Ibid., 146.
My woful self, that did in freedom stand,

And was my own fee-simple (not in part).-A Lover's Comp., Stanza 21. Shakespeare has introduced a few Latin law terms in the course of his dramas :

Take you assurance of her, cum privilegio ad imprimendum solùm ; to the church; take the priest.---Tam. of S., iv. 4.

« ZurückWeiter »