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that swearing by the father of gods and men was held to be among the most binding of all vows, it is naturally of peculiar strength to Posthumus, who (as we find from a passage in act v., sc. 4) was born under Jove's own star, and who was married in Jove's own temple.

By the fire that quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence.-Ant. & C., i. 3.
Moon and stars ! Whip him.--Ibid., iii. 11.

Mark Antony's use of the two above-quoted oaths is as characteristic of Roman usage as Coriolanus's form of attestation (" What may be sworn by, both divine and human"), which we have previously given and commented upon.

Apollo, perfect me in the characters !—Per., iii. 2.
Come, come; and Æsculapius guide us !—Ibid., iii. 2.

Appropriately is the learned and benevolent Cerimon made, in the first of the above two passages, to invoke the aid of the god of letters and erudition, when about to read the scroll which may be written in an unknown language, and, in the second, to implore succour of the god of medicine, when essaying to avert “relapse

relapse ” from befalling the justrescued Thaisa.

0, dear Diana, where am I? where's my lord.-Ibid., iii. 2.

The dramatist's putting this invocation into Thaisa's mouth on her first awakening from her trance is subtly appropriate: her calling upon the virgin goddess's name serves to suggest, the young princess so few months a wife, that her maiden appeals for divine aid spring most naturally to her lips, and also serve to aptly usher in the subsequent dedication of herself, as a votaress in Diana's temple.

Shakespeare frequently employs some of the minor oaths that were in vogue when he wrote, taking the place of more sacred forms of adjuration:

By day and night, he's traitor to the height.-H. VIII., i. 2.
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange !--Hamlet, i. 5.
By this good day, I know not the phrase.—2 H. IV., iii. 2.
But, in defence, by mercy, 'tis most just.Timon, iii. 5.
By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak.—2 H. VI., i. 3.
So I do still, by these pickers and stealers.-Hamlet, iii. 2.
By this hand, I will supplant some of your teeth.—Temp., iii. 2.
By this hand, they are scoundrels and substractors.—Tw. N., i.-3.

By these gloves, did he ... by these gloves

By these gloves, then, 'twas he. -Merry W., i. 1. By this hat, then, he in the red face had it.-Ibid., i. 1. Seven, by these hilts, or I am a villain else.—1 H. IV., ii.

4. Now, by my sword, I will kill all his coats.Ibid., v. 3. Now, by my sword, well hast thou fought to-day.2 H. VI., v. 3.

By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll kill him ; by this sword, I will.Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.-H. V., ii. 1.

By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous.-As You L., iv. I.

By my troth, I would not undertake her.—Tw. N., i. 3.
By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast.-Ibid., ij. 3.
By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.-Love's L. L., i. 1.



By yea and nay, sir, I dare say, my cousin.—2 H. IV., iii. 2.
Sir, I thank you; by yea and no, I do.--Merry W., i.
By yea and no, I think the 'oman is a witch.-Ibid., iv, 2.

No, I thank you, forsooth, heartily; I am very well. I am not a-hungry, I thank you, forsooth.-Ibid., i. 1.

No, no, forsooth ; I dare not, for my life.Tam. of S., iv. 3.
No, sooth, sir : my determinate voyage is.—Tw. N., ii. 1.
In sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling.-Ibid., ii. 3.
Well drawn, monster, in good sooth.Temp., ii. 2.
Very sooth, to-morrow.-W.T., i.
For the heavens, he shows me where the bachelors sit.-M. Ado, ii. 1.
For the heavens, rouse up a brave mind.--Mer. of V., ii. 2.
No notes of sally, for the heavens, sweet brother.-Tr. & Cr., v. 3.
And he often uses petty oaths that were corruptions of serious ones:-
Bodykins (God's body) Master Page, though I now.-Merry W., ii. 3.
God's bodikins (God's body), man, much better.-Hamlet, ii. 2.
By cock [by God), they are to blame.Ibid., iv. 5 (Song).
By cock and pye [by God and Pie*), you shall not choose. ---Merry W., i. 1.
By cock and pye, sir, you shall not away to-night.—2 H. IV., v. 1.
Cock's passion (God's passion), silence! I hear my master.Tam. of S., iv, 1.
Cor' my passion (God's passion]! give me your hand. -All's W., v. I.
By my fay [by my faith), a goodly nap.Tam. of S., Induc. 2.
By my fay, it waxes late: I'll to my rest.—R. & Yul., i. 5.
For, by my fay, I cannot reason.-Hamlet, ii. 2.
By Gis (Jesus), and by Saint Charity.Ibid., iv. 5 (Song).
By God's sonties (Saints: in old language, ‘saunctes '], 'twill be.—Mer. of V., ii. 2.
Ay, by gogs-wouns (God's wounds] ! oth he.- Tam. of S., iii. 2.
By my halidom (holy-dom; or holiness], I was fast asleep.Two G. of V., iv. 2.
By my holidame (Holy Dame; or Blessed Lady), here comes. Tam. of S., v. 2.
Now, by my hood (manhood ; or knighthood), a Gentile.-Mer. of V., ii. 6.
By'r lady [by our Lady), sir, and some dogs.—Tw. N., ii. 3.
And, by 'r lady, held current music too.-H. VIII., i. 3.
By'r lakin (by our Lady), I can go no farther.—Temp., iii. 3.
By'r lakin, a parlous fear.-Mid. N. D., iii. 1.
Ay, my good lord. -I 'fecks [In faith]? Why, that 's my.-W.T., i. 2.
Yea, marry [by Mary), that's the eftest way.-M. Ado, iv. 2.
Marry, so I mean, sweet Katharine.Tam. of S., ii. 1.
Od's body (God's body), the turkeys in my pannier.—1 H. IV., ii. 1.
Od's heartlings (God's heart], that 's a pretty jest, indeed !-Merry W., iii. 4.
Od's lifelings (God's life), here he is !--Tw. N., v. 1.
Od's my little life (God's life]! I think she means.-As You L., iii. 5.

Od's me (God's blessing be upon me; or God save me]! Qu'ai-je oublié? dere is some simples in my closet.--Merry W., i. 4.

Because they say, od's nouns (God's wounds).-Ibid., iv. I.
Od's pittikins (God's pity]! can it be six miles yet ?-Cym., iv. 2.
Od's plessed will [God's blessed will] ! I will not be.---Merry W.,

will [God's will]! her love is not the.--As You L., iv. 3.
Perdy (French: par Dieu), your doors were lock’d.-Com. of E., iv. 4.
My lady is unkind, perdy.Tw. N., iv. 2.

i. I

Pie," was the familiar English name given to the book which ordained the manner of saying and solemnizing the offices of the Roman Catholic church.


ii. 2.

Yea, in thy maw, perdy.-H. V., ii. 1.
Why, then, belike, he likes it not, perdy.-Hamlet, iii. 2.
The fool no knave, perdy.Lear, ii. 4.
'Sblood (God's blood]! I'll not bear my own flesh.—1 H. IV., ii. 2.
'Sblood, my lord, they are false.- Ibid., ii. 4.
'Sblood, I would my face were in your belly.Ibid., iii. 3.
'Sfoot (God's foot], I 'll learn to conjure and raise devils.—Tr. & Cr., ii.

Slid (God's eye-lid: or God's lid, possibly in allusion to the cover of the vessel containing the Host], 'tis but venturing.–Merry W., iii. 4.

'Slid, I'll after him again, and beat him.—Tw. N., iii. 4.
'Slight (God's light], I could so beat the rogue !—Ibid., ii. 5.
'Slight, will you make an ass o' me ?-Ibid., iii. 2.
'Swounds (God's wounds), show me what thou ’lt do.Hamlet, v. 1.
Zounds (God's wounds), will they not rob us ?-1 H. IV., ii. 2.
Zounds ! an I were now by this rascal.-Ibid., ii. 3.
Zounds ! ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward.-Ibid., ii. 4.

In the following three passages Shakespeare satirises various peculiarities of his time, in connection with oaths and oath-taking. In the first, he satirises a silly fashion of using some special much-hacked oath :

I pray you, sir, are you a courtier ?

O Lord, sir ! that loves you.—O Lord, sir! .. this homely meat.-0 Lord, sir! ... &c., &c.--All's W.,

In the second, he satirises aristocratic objection to plebeian and paltry oaths :

Not mine, in good sooth.

Not yours, in good sooth ! 'Heart, you swear like a comfit-maker's wife! "Not you, in good sooth: and, “ As true as I live," and, “ As God shall mend me ; " and, “ As sure as day ;” and giv'st such sarcenet surety for thy oaths, as if thou never walk'dst farther than Finsbury. Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art, a good mouth-filling oath; and leave “in sooth," and such protest of pepper gingerbread, to velvet-guards and Sunday citizens.-1 H. IV., iii. 1.

And in the third, he satirises those blustering personages who affect a habit of swearing as a mark of gentility :

When a gentleman is disposed to swear, it is not for any standers-by to curtail his oaths, ha ?–Cym., ii. 1.

In several passages Shakespeare characteristically introduces French oaths:

Dr. Caius. O diable ! diable! vat is in my closet ?-Merry W., i. 4.
Dr. Caius. Diable! Jack Rugby, mine host de Jarretière.-Ibid., iii. 1.
Constable of France. O diable !-H. V., iv. 5.
Princess Katharine. O bon Dieu !-Ibid., v. 2.
Constable of France. Dieu de batailles ! where have they.-Ibid., iii. 5.
Dauphin. O Dieu vivant ! shall a few.-Ibid., iii. 5.
French Soldier. O Seigneur Dieu !—Ibid., iv. 4.
Duke of Orleans. O Seigneur !-Ibid., iv. 5.

Earl of Warwick. Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both;
Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer :
And are the cities, that I got with wounds,
Deliver'd up again with peaceful words?

Mort Dieu 1-2 H. VI., i. 1.
Duke of Bourbon. Mort de ma vie ! if they march.-H. V., iii. 5.

Dauphin. Mort de ma vie ! all is confounded, all.-H. V., iv. 5.
Parolles. Mort du vinaigre ! is not this Helen ?--All’s W., ii. 3.

Shakespeare employs very many peculiar ejaculations and imprecations :

On a day,_alack the day !--Love's L. L., iv. 3 (Verses).
Alack the heavy day! that I have worn so.-R. II., iv, 1.
Alas the day! I know not.—Merry W., iv. 2.
Alas the day! what good could they pretend ?- Macb., ii. 4.
Alas the day! I never gave him cause.--Oth., iii. 4.
O well-a-day, Mistress Ford !-Merry W., iii. 3.
O well-a-day, lady, if he be not drawn !-H. V., ii. 1.
Ah well-a-day! he's dead, he's dead.-R. & Ful., iii. 2.
O well-a-day, that ever I was born !-Ibid., iv. 5.
When, well-a-day, we could scarce help ourselves.-Per., ii. I.
The lady shrieks, and, well-a-near! does fall.-Ibid., iii. (Gower).
0, woe the day !--No harm.Temp., i. 2.
But, alas the while! If Hercules and Lichas.-Mer. of V., ii. 1.
Woe the while ! O, cut my lace.-W. T., iii. 2.
But, woe the while ! our fathers' minds are dead.-7 ul. C., i. 3.
God help the while ! a bad world, I say. :-1 H. IV., ii. 4.
Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while !—R. III., ii. 3.
Three foot of it doth hold: bad world the while !-Yohn, iv. 2.
Here's a good world the while! Who is so gross.-R. III., iii. 6.
Lord help us! it is a world to see !-M. Ado, iii. 5.
Alas, and woc !--Ant. & C., iv. 12.
Loop to hang a doubt on; or woe upon thy life !--Oth., iii. 3.
I am woe for't, sir.Temp., v. 1.

Ah, woe is me for Gloster, wretched man !

Be woe for me, more wretched than he is.--2 H. VI., iii, 2. O, woe is me! To have seen what I have seen.-Hamlet, iji, 1.

I speak in respect.—All's W., ii. 3.

this fellow speaks !-Coriol., i. 1. Afore me,

it is so very late, that we.-R. & Ful., iii. 4.
Now, afore me, a handsome fellow |--Per., ii. 1.
Before me, she's a good wench.-Tw. N., ii. 3.
Before me! look where she comes.-Oth., iv. 1.
'Fore Heaven, an excellent song.-Ibid., ii. 3.
'Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling.—2 H. IV., V. 3.
Now, afore God, I am so vexed, that every:—R. & Ful., ii. 4.
Now, afore God, this reverend holy friar.-Ibid., iv. 2.
For, God before, we'll chide this Dauphin.-H. V., i. 2.
Yet, God before, tell him we will come on.-Ibid., iii. 6.
Ah me, unhappy! To be a queen.2 H. VI., iii. 2.
Where is thy head ? where's that ? Ah me! Where's that ?—Cym., iv. 2.
O me! the word choose !--Mer. of V., i. 2.
Body o' me, where is it?-H. VIII., v. 2.
God's me (See “ Od's me," previously explained], my horse.—1 H. IV., 11. 3.
l' the name of me,-0, help me, help me!-W. T., iv. 2.
Who (God bless the mark !) is a kind of devil.-Mer. of V., ii. 2.
And I (God bless the mark !) his Moorship's ancient.--Oth., i. 1.
Of guns and drums and wounds (God save the mark !)-1 H. IV., i. 3.

'Fore me, 'Fore me,

How you

I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes,

(God save the mark!) here on his manly breast.—R. & Ful., iii. 2.
For lovers, lacking (God warn us !) matter, the cleanliest.-As You L., iv. 1.
Well, God 'ield you! They say the owl was a.-Hamlet, iv. 5.
God 'ild you, for your last company.--As You L., iii. 3.
God’ild you, sir, I desire you of the like.-Ibid., v. 4.

shall bid God yield us for your pains.—Macb., i. 6.
Heaven shield, my mother play'd my father fair !-M. for M., iii. 1.
To bring in (God shield us!) a lion among ladies.—Mid. N. D., iii. 1.
God shield, you mean it not !-All's W., i. 3.
God shield, I should disturb devotion !-R. & Yul., iv. I.
God-a-mercy, old heart, thou speak'st cheerfully.-H. V., iv. I.
God for his mercy! what a tide of woes.-R. II., ii. 2.
God for his mercy, what treachery is here !-Ibid., v. 2.
0, I cry you mercy ; you are the singer.-R. & Ful., iv. 5.
Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.-Lear, iii. 6.
Grace to boot! Of this make no conclusion.-W. T., i. 2.
This, and Saint George to boot ! What think'st thou—R. III., v. 3.

The bounty and benison of Heaven
To boot, and boot !-Lear, iv. 6.
Now, by the death of Him that died for all,

These counties were the keys of Normandy.—2 H. VI., i. 1.
Nay, by the mass, that he did not.—Merry W., iv. 2.
But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim.-H, V., iv. 3.
Mass, thou lov’dst plums well, that wouldst venture so.—2 H. VI., ii. 1.
To 't.—Mass, I cannot tell.-Cudgel thy brains no more.-Hamlet, v. I.
An early stirrer, by the rood.2 H. IV., iii. 2.
Nay, by the rood, she could have run.-R. & Ful., i. 3.
No, by the rood, not so: you are the queen.-Hamlet, iii. 4.
But, by the holy rood, I do not like these.R. III., iii. 2.
Good my complexion! dost thou think.-As You L., iii. 2.
0, a good wish upon you ! you will try in time.-Ibid., i. 3.
We must give folks leave to prate : what the good year !--Merry W., i. 4.
What the good year, my lord ! why are you.-M. Ado, ii. 3.
What the good year ! one must bear.—2 H. IV., ii. 4.
What the good year ! do you think I would.-Ibid., ii. 4.
What o' devil's name, tailor, call'st thou this ?—Tam. of S., iv. 3.
What the devil should move me to undertake.---All's W., iv. I.
I cannot tell what the dickens his name is.-Merry W., iii. 2.
What a plague means my niece, to take.—Tw. N., i. 3.
What a plague have I to do with a buff jerkin ?-H. IV., i. 2.
What a plague mean ye to colt me thus ?-Ibid., ii. 2.
What a plague call you him ?-Ibid., ii. 4.
What the vengeance, could he not speak them fair ?--Coriol., iii. 1.
But what though Courage !--As You L., iii. 3.
The bull has the game ! 'ware horns, ho !--Tr. & Cr., v. 8.
'Ware pencils, ho ! let me not die your debtor.-Love's L. L., v. 2.
The gods rebuke me, but it is tidings to wash.-Ant. & C., v. 1.
Would I might be dead, if I in thought felt not.-Two G. of V., iv.
Would I were dead, but that, methinks, already.-W. T., v. 3.
Would I were dead ! if God's good will were so.—3 H. VI., ii. 5.
Ay, or else I would I might be hanged, la.-Merry W., i. 1.


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