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(1) SCENE I.—He set up his bills here in Messina.] The only mode of advertising practised in Shakespeare's time appears to have been the very obvious one of attaching notices to posts and walls in places of great public resort : and these affiches were, of course, miscellaneous enough. Prominent among them were to be seen the play-bills, a step in a lvance of the or linary placards, in being often printed; the “terrible billes of “quack-sal ving emperickes ;" the notification of servants who wanted employment, and musters who required servants; of landlords wanting to let, and tenants wishing to occupy; of those who had something to teach, an 1 those who had much to learn ; of the many who had lost, and the few who had found; and, which has more immediate reference to the passage in the text, the challenges of scholars, fencers, archers, wrestlers, watermen, &c. &c. with whom it was customary to “set up their bills," defying all comers, or sometimus only a particular rival, to a trial of skill.
(2) SCENE I.-Anl challenge t Cupid at the flight: and my uncle's foo!, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt.] The meaning of this, Douce says, is, “Bene lick, from a vain conceit of his influence over women, challenged Cupid at roving (a particular kind of archery, in which might-arrows are used). In other words, he challenged him to shoot at hearts. The fool, to ridicule this piece of vanity, in his turn challenged Bene lick to shoot at crows with the cross-bow and birdbolt; an inferior kind of archery used by fools, who, for obvious reasons, were not permitted to shoot with pointed arrows; whence the proverb, 'A fool's bolt is soon shot.'”
the portal of the hall was written,' Be bo’!, be bold, but not too bold : she a lvanced : over the staircas: the same inscription : she went up: over the entrance of a gallery, the same: she proceeded: over the door of a chimber, — * Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest th it your heart's blood should run cold. She opened it; it was full of skeletons, tubs full of blood, &c. “She retreated in haste; coming down stairs, she saw out of a window Mr. Fox advancing towards the house, with a drawn sword in one hand, while with the other he dragged along a young lady by her hair. La ly Mary had just time to slip down, and hide herself under the stairs, before Mr. Fox and his victim arrived at the foot of them. As he pulled the young lady up stairs, she caught hold of one of the bannisters with her hand, on which was a rich bracelet. Mr. Fox cut it off with his sword : the hand and bracelet fell into Lardy Mary's lap, who then contrived to escape unobserved, and got home safe to her brother's house.
“After a few days, Mr. Fox came to dine with them as usual (whether by invitation, or of his own accord, this deponent saith not). After dinner, when the guests began to amuse each other with extraordinary anecdotes, Lady Mary at length said, she would relate to them a remarkable dream she had lately had. I dreamt, said she, that as you, Mr. Fox, had often invited me to your house, I would go there one morning. When I came to the house, I knocked, &c., but no one answered. When I opened the door, over the hall was written, ‘Bbold, be bold, but not too bolil.'
But, said she, turning to Mr. Fox, and smiling, 'It is not so, nor it wis not so;' then she pursues the rest of the story, concluding at every turn with, “It is not so, nor it was not so,' till she comes to the room full of dead bodies, when Mr. Fox took up the burden of the tale, and said, It is not so, nor it was not 80, and God forbid it should be so;' which he continues to repeat at every subsequent turn of the dreadful story, till she came to the circumstance of his cutting off the young lady's hand, when upon
his saying as usual, “It is not so, nor it was not 30, and God forbid it should be so,' Lady Mary retorts, . But it is so, and it wus so, and here the hand I have to show,' at the same time pro lucing the hand and bracelet from her lap; whereupon the guests drew their swords, and instantly cut Mr. Fox into a thousand pieces.”
(3) SCENE I. - Like the old tale, my lord : it is not so, nor 't its not so ; but, indeed, Gol forbid it should be 80.] The ola tale referred to-which has been preserved by Blake. way, a contributor of some intelligent notes to the Variorum edition, who took it down from the recitation of an aged female relative-is as follows:
“Once upon a time, there was a young lady (called Lady Mary in the story), who had two brothers. One summer they all three went to a country seat of theirs, which they had not before visited. Among the other gentry in the neighbourhood who came to see them, was a Mr. Fox, a batchelor, with whom they, particularly the young lady, were much pleased. He used often to dine with them, and frequently invited Lady Mary to come and see his house. One day that her brothers were absent elsewhere, and she had nothing better to do, she determined to go thither; and accordingly set out unattended. When she arrived at the house, and knocked at the door, no one answered. * At length she opened it, and went in; over
(4) SCENE I.- And he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam.] Adam Bel, Clym of the Clough, and William of Cloudesley, three famous archers of the “north countrey,” are the heroes of an ancient, curious, and once popular ballad, of near 700 lines,
imprinted at London, in Lothburye, by Wyllyam Copland,” (b. l. no date) beginning :
* This circumstance in the story, Mr. Dyce supposes to have been borrowed from Spenser's Faërie Queene :
" And, as she lookt about, she did behold
How over that same dore was likewise writ,
By any ridling skill or commune wit.
“ Mery it was in grene forest,
Among the leues grene,
| forest of Englewood, not far from Carlisle ; but the period when they flourished is unknown.
(5) SCENE III.-As I was smoking a musty room.] The disregard of ventilation and cleanliness in early times Fas such as to render this precaution very necessary. Steevens has quoted from the Harleian MSS. No. 6850, a paper of directions drawn up by Sir John Puckering's steward, relative to Suffolk Place, before Queen Elizabeth's visit to it, in 1594. The 15th article is— " The swetynynge of the house in all places by any means.' And old Burton, in his “Anatomy of Melancholy," ed. 1632, p. 261, tells us that “the smoake of juniper is in great request with us at Oxford, to sireeten our chambers.
The place of residence of these noted outlaws was the
seething it gentely by the space of one day, is marvelous, for if a man washe his heare's therewith they shall become lyke gold; if the face be wet, and rubbed with the same, it shall be plaine and cleare, that it shall seeme angellike, continuing for the space of v. dayes."
(1) SCENE I.-- The Hundreil merry tales.) Of this
po. pular old jest book, printed by John Rastell, 1517-153.1, a fragment, containing nearly all the tales, was fortunately discovered by the Rev. J. J. Cony beare some years ago, and has been carefully reprinted by Mr. Singer, under the title of “Shakspeare's Jest Book.” The stories thus rescued from oblivion are so sadly deficient in point, and sometimes in decency also, that Beatrice might well resent the imputation of having derived her wit from such a source.
(2) SCENE I. -As melancholy as a lodge in a warren.) “ They used in the old time in their vineyards and cucumber gardens, to erect and builde little cotages and lodges for their watchfolkes and keepers that looked to the same, for feare of filchers and stealers; which lodges and cotages, so soone as the grapes and cucumbers were gathered, were abandoned of the watchmen and keepers, and no more frequented. From this forsaking and leaving of these lodges and cotages, the prophet Isaiah taketh a similitude, and applieth the same against Jerusalem, the which hee pronounceth, should be so ruinated and laid waste, that no relick thereof should be left, and that it should become even as an empty and tenantlesse cotage or lodge in a forsaken vineyard and abandoned cucumber garden."-NEWTON's Herbal for the Bible, 1587.
By the solitarinesse of the house I judged it a lodge in a forest, but there was no bawling of dogges thereabout." --The Man in the Moone telling Strange Fortunes, 1609. Quoted by Mr. Halliwell.
(4) SCENE III.---Jacke Wilson.) “ John Wilson, the composer, was born in 1594. Anthony Wood tells us, that having an early taste for music, he became one of the most eminent masters of that science. In 1626 he was constituted . a gentleman of the Royal Chapel,' and about the same time, according to Wood, musician in ordinary' to Charles I. He was created Doctor of Music in the University of Oxford, in 1644. At the Restoration, he was appointed chamber musician to Charles II. ; and on the death of Henry Lawes, in 1662, was again received into the Chapel Royal. He died in 1673, at nearly seventynine years of age.”-RIMBAULT.
(5) SCENE III. — Stalk on, stalk on; the foul sits. ] Claudio alludes to the stalking-horse, behind which the fowlers of old were used to screen themselves from the sight of their game.
“ But sometime it so happeneth, that the Fowl are so shie, there is no getting a shoot at them without a Stalking-horse, which must be some old Jade trained up for that purpose, who will gently, and as you will have him, walk up and down in the water which way you please, flodding and eating on the grass that grows therein.
“ You must shelter yourself and Gun behind his foreshoulder, bending your Body down low by his side, and keeping his Body still full between you and the Fowl : Being within shot, take your Level from before the forepart of the Horse, shooting as it were between the Horse's Neck and the Water. ****
Now to supply the want of a Stalking-horse, which will take up a great deal of Time to instruct and make fit for this Exercise ; you may make one of any Pieces of old Canvas, which you must shape into the form of an Horse, with the Head bending downwards as if he grazed. You may stuff it with any light matter; and do not forget to paint it of the Colour of an Horse, of which the Brown is the best. It must be made so portable, that you may bear it with ease in one Hand, moving it so as it may seem to Graze as you go.
* Sometimes the Stalking-horse was made in shape or an Ox; sometimes in the form of a Stag-and sometimes to represent a tree, shrub, or bush. În every case tire Stalking-horse had á spike at the bottom to stick into the ground while the fowler took his level.”—The Gentleman's Recreation.
(3) SCENE III.—Her hair shall be of what colour it please God.) A sarcasm upon the practice so prevalent in Elizabeth's reign of dyeing the hair :
“If any have haire of her own naturall growing, which is not faire enough, then will they die it in divers colours, almost chaunging the substaunce into accidentes by their devilish and more than thrice cursed devises. So, whereas their haire was given them as a signe of subjection, and therefore they were commanded to cherish the same, now have they made it an ornament of pride and destruction to themselves for ever excepte they repent.”—The Anatomie of Abuses, by Phillip Stubs, 1584.
Mr. Halliwell has discovered several ancient recipes for dyeing the hair: among them is one in “ The Treasure of Evonymus," 1559, which is peculiar :
"Sponsa solis beeten, otherwyse the siedes of solsosium beeten, put it in milke of a woman that nurseth a boy ten otherwise xi. daies, and then make an oyl; this oyll, sod,with leved gold,
(1) SCENE II.--Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache.] In Aubrey's Miscellanies, p. 141, is one of these charms : "To cure the tooth-ach: Out of Mr. Ashmole's manu. script writ with his own hand :-Mars, hur, abursa, aburse : Jesus Christ for Mary's sake, -Take away this Tooth-Ach.' Write the words three times; and as you say the words, let the party burn one paper, then another, and then the last. He says, he saw it experimented, and the party immediately cured."
(2) SCENE III.- You speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman.] Of the functionary whom Shakespeare had in view, the ancient watchman of London, there are two or three representations preserved. He was clad in a long loose cloak or coat, which reached to his heels, and was belted at the waist, and he usually carried the pike or halbert called "a bill," with a lantern and a great bell. The “charge," or duties of his office, are clearly laid down in the accompanying extract from Dalton's Country Justice :"
“ This watch is to be kept yearly from the feast of the Ascention until Michaelmas, in every towne, and shall continue all the night, sc. from the sunne setting to the sunne rising. All such strangers, or persons suspected, as shall in the night time passe by the watchmen (appointed thereto by the towne constable, or other officer), may be examined by the said watchmen, whence they come, and what they be, and of their businesse, &c. And if they find cause of suspition, they shall stay them ; and if such persons will not obey the arrest of the watchmen, the said watchmen shall levie hue and crie, that the offendors may be taken: or else they may justifie to beate them (for that they resist the peace and Justice of the Realme), and may also set them in the stockes (for the same) untill the morning; and then, if no suspition be found, the said persons shall be let go and quit : But if they find cause of suspition, they shall forthwith deliver the said persons to the sherife, who shall keepe them in prison untill they bee duely delivered; or else the watchmen may deliver such person to the constable, and so to convey them to the Justice of peace, by him to be examined, and to be bound over, or committed, untill the offenders be acquitted in due manner.”
proving the wearing of a Locke to be unseemely," 1628 and from a passage in his Histriomastix, it appears that the fashion had become prevalent in a class not unlikely to be under the surveillance of worthy Dogberry's partners," Hugh Oatcake and George Seacole, .. - and more especially in long, unshorne, womanish, frizled, love. provoking haire, and love-lockes growne now too much in fashion with comly pages, youthes, and lewd, effeminate, ruffianly persons.
Manzoni informs us that in Lombardy during the same period, the custom was affected by a lawless class of the community as a cloak for their iniquity, and numerous edicts were promulgated, forbidding the use of locks either before or behind the ears, under a penalty of three hundred crowns, or three years' imprisonment in the galleys. “ Bravoes by profession and villains of every kind, used to wear a long lock of hair, which they drew over the face like a vizor on meeting any one, so that the lock might almost be considered a part of the armour, and a distinctive mark of bravoes and vagabonds, whence those characters commonly bore the name of Ciuff, i. e. Locks." -I Promessi Sposi, Cap. 3.
(4) SCENE IV.-Carduus Benedictus.] “Blessed Thistle is called in Latine every where Carduus Benedictus, and in shops by a compound word, Cardo-benedictus ; it is a kinde of wisde bastard Saffron.
“ Blessed Thistle, taken in meate or drinke, is good for the swimming and giddinesse of the head, it strengthneth memorie, and is a singular remedie against deafnesse."GERARD's Herbal.
“ Carduus Benedictus, or blessed Thistell, so worthily named for the singular vertues that it hath.*** Howsoever it be used it strengtheneth all the principall partes of the bodie, it sharpeneth both the wit and memory, quickeneth all the senses, comforteth the stomacke, procureth appe. tite, and hath a special vertue against poison, and preserveth from the pestilence, and is excellent good against any kind of Fever being used in this manner: Take a dramme of the powder, put it into a good draught of ale or wine, warme it and drinke it a quarter of an hour before the fit doth come, then goe to bed, cover you well with clothes, and procure sweate, which by the force of the herbe will easily come foorth, and so continue until the fit be past: or else you may take the distilled water after the same maner. By this meanes you may recover in a short time, yea if it were a pestilentiall fever. So that this remedie be used before twelve houres be past after the disease felt. For which notable effects this herb may worthily be called Benedictus or Omnimorbia, that is a salve for everie sore, not known to Physitians of old time, but lately revealed by the speciall providence of Almightie God.”—The Haven of Health, by Thomas Cogan, Maister of Artes and Bacheler of Physicke. Lond. 4to. b.l. 1596.
(3) SCENE III.-And one Deformed is one of them ; I know him, 'a wears a lock.] The custom, imported from the Continent, of wearing a long lock of hair, sometimes ornamented with gaudy ribbons, came into fashion in the sixteenth century. In Greeno's “ Quip for an Upstart Courtier," 1592, quoted by Mr. Halliwell, a barber asks his customer, “Will you be Frenchified with a love-lock down to your shoulders, wherein you may hang your mistres' favor?” Against this practice Prynne wrote a treatise, entitled “ The Unlovelinesse of Love-lockes, or a Discourse
There is another allusion to this graceful custom in the present Comedy, Act IV. Sc. 1:
“ Maintain a mourning ostentation ;
And, on your family's old monument, Hang mournful epitaphs.”
(1) SCENE I.
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb.) In some curious observations attached to Pietro Aretino's book of “The Three Impostors,” M. De la Monnoie refers to the practice of suspending epitaphs on the hearses and monuments of important personages, as being common in the sixteenth century: * It is the custom with Catholics," he remarks, "to attach to some pillar or other place near to the tombs of deceased persons, and especially such as were of reputation, papers of funeral inscriptions. These inscriptions were, in fact, as they always ought to be, to the honour of the departed individual; but as Aretino had been a notorious libertine, it is quite possible that after his interment some satirist hung the condemnatory epitaph preserved by Moréri, on the door of St. Luke's church, where he was buried." The custom was still general in England when Shakespeare lived; many fine and interesting examples of it existing in the old cathedral of St. Paul's, and other churches of London, down to the time of the Great Fire, in the form of pensile-tables of wood and metal, painted or engraved with poetical memorials, suspended against the columns and walls. * Among these may be particularized the well-known verses on Queen Elizabeth, beginning :
"Spaines Rod, Romes Ruine, Netherlands Reliefe;" which appear to have been very generally displayed in the churches of the realm.
And Izank Walton, in his “Life of Dr. Donne,” supplies a curious illustration of it under the date of 1631. "The next day after his burial some one of the many lovers and admirers of his virtue and learning, writ this epitaph with a coal on the wall over his grave:
• Reader! I am to let Thee know
(2) SCENE II.—1 give thee the bucklers.] This is an expression borrowed from Sword and Buckler play, and often adopted by our old writers, meaning, I yield myself Fanquished. Thus, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History,” B. x. Ch. xxi. :—"It goeth against his stomach (the cock's) to yeeld the gantlet and give the bucklers."
Again, in Greene's Second Part of “Coney-Catching," 1592 :-“At this his master laught, and was glad for further advantage, to yield the bucklers to his prentice." And in Chapman's “ May-Day," 1611:
" And now I lay the bucklers at your feet."
• See Slow, Weerer, and Dugdale.
ANCIENT BALLAD OF “LIGHT O' LOVE,” (see p. 720.)
Ibery proper dittie to the tune of Lightie lobe.
Leave Lightie lore Ladies for feare of yll name :
Ye men that are subject to Cupid his stroke,
Consider that poy son doth lurke often tyme
ANEXES so daintie, Example may bee,
By force I am stred my fancie to write,
For Troylus tried the same over well,
I touche no suche Ladies, as true love imbrace,
To trust womens wordes, in any respect,
Finis. By Leonard Gybson. Imprinted at LONDON, in the upper end of Fleet lane, by Richard Ihones : and are to be solde at his shop joyning to the South-West Dore of Saint Paules Church.