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Duke. Sir Valentine!
Thu. Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine.
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
» Verona shall not hold thee.] This is the reading of the only authentic edition of the present play we possess. Theobald, upon the ground that Thurio was a Milanese, and that the scene is between the confines of Milan and Mantua, changed the reading to—
"Milan shall not behold thee ;"
Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be. Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept withal, Are men endued with worthy qualities; Forgive them what they have committed here, And let them be recall'd from their exile: They are reformed, civil, full of good, And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
Duke. Thou hast prevail'd; I pardon them, and thee; Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts. Come, let us go; we will include all jars With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity. (1)
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold With our discourse to make your grace to smile: What think you of this page, my lord?
Duke, I think the boy hath grace in him; he
blushes. Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than
boy. Duke. What mean you by that saying? Val. Please you, I 'll tell you as we pro along, That you will wonder what hath fortuned.—Come, Proteus; 't is your penance but to hear The story of your loves discovered: That done, our day of marriage shall be yours; One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.
and he has been followed by nearly every editor but Malone.
b Plead a new state in thy unrivall'd merit,—] There is some obscurity here. Mr. Singer says,—" Do thou put in a plea for reinstatement in forfeited honours, or claim an enhancement of dignity, and I set my hand to it in these terms:—'Sir Valentine, thou art a gentleman!'"
(1) Scene I.—Nay, give me not the boots.] To give one the boots, like the French equivalent, donner le change a juelqu'un, means, to sell him a bargain.
l* Are, What, doo you gice me the boots?
Lilly's Mother Bombie, 1594.
So also in "The Weakest go to the Wall," 1618 :—
*• Tis not your big belly nor your fat bacon can carry it away, if youo/er ut the boot*."
SteeTens thinks the expression arose from a sport the country people in Warwickshire use at their harvest-home, where one sits as judge to try misdemeanours committed in harvest; and the punishment for the men is to be laid on a bench and slapped on the breech with a pair of boots.
But he remarks, the allusion may be to the dreadful punishment known as the boots. In Harl. MSS., 6999 — 48, Mr. T. Randolph writes to Lord Hunsdon, and mentions in the P.S. to his letter, that George Fluke had yesterday night the boots, and is said to have confessed that the Earl of Morton was privy to the poisoning the Earl of Athol, 16th March, 1580; and in another letter, March 18th, 1580, "that the Laird of Wittingham had cut boots, but without torment, confess'd," Stc. The punishment consisted in putting on the victim, a pair of iron boots, fitting close to the leg, and then driving wedges with a mallet between those and the limb. Not a great while before this play was written, Douce tells us it was inflicted on a poor wretch, one Finn, in Scotland, in the presence of King James (afterwards our James the First). FUn was supposed to be a wizard, and to have been concerned in raising the storms which the King encountered on his matrimonial expedition to Denmark. The account of the transaction, which is contained in a very curious old pamphlet, states that Fian "was with all convenient speed, by commandement, convaied againo to the torment of the boots, wherein he continued a long time, and did abido so many blows in them, that his leggos were crushto and beaten togeather as small as might bee, and the bones and flesh so bruised that the bloud and marrowo spouted forth in great abundance, whereby they were made unserviceable for ever." The miserable man was afterwards burned.
(2) ScEJfE I.—/, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a tared nntlon.] laced mutton was, from a very early period of our history, a cant phrase to express a courtesan. In our author's time, according to Malone, it was so established a term for one of these unfortunates, that a street in Clerkenwell, much frequented by them, was then called Mutton Lane. Mr. Dyce suggests that, in the present instance, the expression might not be regarded as Synonymous with courtesan; and that Speed applied the term to Julia in the much less offensive sense of—a richly-attired pice of woman's flesh. We believe there was but one meaning attached to the term; and the only palliation for Speed's application of it in this case is, that in reality it was not the lady, but her waiting-maid, to whom he gave the letter.
(3) Scene I.—Ton have testern'd me.] The old copy reads cesternd—a palpable corruption. The tester, testem, teston, derives its name, some suppose, from the French lesion, so called on account of the King's head first appearing on this coin,—Louis XII. 1513; or from an Italian coin of the same denomination. In England the name is said to have been first applied to the shilling (originally coined by Henry VII.), at the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII., and was at firstof the value of twelve silver pennies; it subsequently became much reduced ; and its debasement by an admixture of copper, temp. 1551, and again, 1560, is satirized in Hey wood's " Epigrams : "—
"These testous, look, read; how like you the same?
At tho latter period named, it was so far reduced as to be worth but fourpence halfpenny ; but it afterwards rose in value again to the value of sixpence.
"Sir Toby. Come on; there is sixpence for you, let's have a song.
Sir Andrew. There's a iestrll of me too; if one knight give a—
Clown. Would you have a love song," &c.
Twelfth Night, Act II. Sc. 3.
And it appears to have ever since continued as it popular name for that coin.
(4) Scene II.— What ho! Lucettan It maybe interesting to compare this scone with the corresponding portion of Felismena's story in Book II. of Bartholomew Yong's translation of the "Diana" of Montemayor, 1598 :—
"But to see the meanes that Rosina made unto me (for so was she called), the dutiful] services and unwoonted circumstances, before she did deliver it, the othes that she sware unto me, and the subtle words and serious protestations she used, it was a pleasant thing, and woorthie the noting. To whom (neverthelesse) with an angrie countenance I turned againe, saying, If I had not regard of mine owno estate, and what hereafter might be said, I would make this shameless face of thine be known ever after for a marke of an impudent and bolde minion: but because it is the first time, let this suffice, that I have said, and give thee warning to take heed of the second.
"Me thinkes I see now the craftie wench, how she held her peace, dissembling very cunningly the sorrow that she conceived by my angrio answer ; for she fained a counterfaite smiling, saying, Jesus, mistrcsse! I gave it you, because you might laugh at it, and not to move your patience with it in this sort; for if I had any thought that it would have provoked you to anger, I praie God he may show his wrath as great towards me as ever he did to the daughter of any mother. And with this she added many wordes more (as she could do well enough) to pacific the fained anger and ill opinion that I had conceived of her, and taking her letter with her, she departed from me. This having passed thus, I began to imagine what might ensue thereof, and love (me thought) did put a ccrtaine desire into my mindo to see the letter, though modestie and shame forbad mo to ask it of my maide, especially for the wordes that had passed between us, as you have heard. And so I continued all that day untill night, in varieties of many thoughts; but when Rosina came to help me to bedde, God knowes how desirous I was to have her entreat me againe to take the letter, but she woulde never speake unto me about it, nor (as it seemed) did so much as once thinks thereof. Yet to trie, if by giving her some occasion I might prevails, I said unto her: And is it so, Mosina, that Don. Felix, without any regard to mine honour, dares write unto me? These are things, mistresse (saide she demurely to me againe), that are commonly incident to love, wherefore I beseech you pardon me, for if I had thought to have angered you with it, I would have first pulled out the balls of mine eies. How cold my hart was at that blow, God knowes, yet did I dissemble the matter, and suffer myselfo to remaine that night onely with my desire, and with occasion of little sleep. And so it was, indeede, for that (me thought) was the longest and most painfull night that ever I passed. But when, with a slower pace (then I desired) the wished day was come, the discreet and subtle Rosina came into my chamber to helpe me to make me readie, in dooing whereof, of purpose she let the letter closely fall, which, when I perceived, What is that that fell downe? (said I) lotmeseeit. Itisnothing,mistresse,saideshe. Come,come, let me see it (saide I): what! moovo me not, or else tell me what it is. Good Lord, mistresso (said she) why will you see it: it is the letter I would have given you yesterday. Nay, that it is not (said I) wherefore shewe it me, that I may see if you lie or no. I had no sooner said so, but she put it into my hands, saying, God never give me good if it be an other thing; and although I knewe it well indeede, yet I saide, what, this is not the same, for I know that woll onough, but it is one of thy lovers letters: I will read it, to see in what neede he standout of thy favour."
(5) Scene II.—The tune of "Light o' love."] "Light or Love" is so frequently mentioned by writers of the sixteenth century, that it is much to be regretted that the words of the original song are still undiscovered. When played slowly, and with expression, the air is beautiful. In tho Collection of Mr. George Daniel, of Canonbury, is "A very proper dittie, to the tune of Lightie Love," which was printed in 1570. Tho original may not have been quite so "proper," if "Light o' Love" was used in the sense in which it was occasionally employed, instead of its more poetical meaning :—
"One of your London Light o'Lores, a right one,
Fletihkr's Wild Goose Chase, Act IV. Sc. 1.
Chaffell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, p. 221.
Shakespeare refers to this tune in "Much Ado about Nothing' Act III, Sc. 4.
"Marg. Clap us into— Light o' love, that goes without a burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it."
(6) Scene II. — Belike it hath some burthen, them) The burden of a song, in the old acceptation of the word,
was the base, foot, or under-song. It was sung throughout, and not merely at the end of the verse. Burden is derived from bourdoun, a drone base (French, bourdon).
"This Sompnour bear to him a stiff burdoun,
We find, as early as 1250, that Somer it itumen in , was sung with a foot or burden in two parts throughout (" Sing, Cuckoo, Sing Cuckoo"); and in the preceding century Giraldus had noticed the peculiarity of the English in singing under-parts to their songs.—Chappell's Popular Music, dr.
(7) Scene II. — I bid the base for Proteus.] Lucetta, playing on the word bate, turns the allusion to an ancient and stul practised sport, known as the bate, or prison bate, or prison bars. This game is frequently mentioned by the old writers. It consisted in a number of men or boys congregating within certain spaces, from whence one of them issued some hundred or more yards, and challenged any other to como out and catch him before the challenger could make his way to a privileged spot equi distant from where the two parties were placed. The party who went out and challenged the other was said tabid the bate.
"lads more like to run
The country base, than to commit such slaughter."
Cymbeline, Act IV. Sc. t.
"To drinlce half pots, or deale at the whole Canne :—
The Letting of Humours Blood in the Head Vaine,
11 Yet was no better than our prison base."
Annalia Dubrensia, 4to. 1636.
(8) Scene II.—I see you have a month's mind to tietn.] The month's mind, i. e. the religious observances for the dead performed daily for one month after the death of the person on whose behalf they were offered, was generally prompted by regard for tho deceased. To perform a month's mind might be taken, therefore, as a proof of strong affection, for some one; and when these religious ceremonies ceased with the Reformation, the expression came by degrees to have only the meaning we find attached to it in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, implying a hankering after, or as we now express it, a great mind for, anything.
"Diss. I had of late
A month's mind, sir, to you, y'ave the right make,
Randolph's Jmtous Lovers, 1646.
"These verses Euphues sent also under his glasses, which having finished, he gave himself to his books, determining to end his life in Athens, although he had a month's minde to England."—Euphues and England, 1623.
(1) SCENE T.—To speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas.] "It is worth remarking," observes Toilet, "that on All-Saints'-Day the poor people in Staffordshire, and, perhaps, in other country places, go from parish to parish a-souling, as they call it; i.e. begging and puling (or singing small, as Bailey's Dictionary explains ■puling) for soul-cakes, or any good thing to make them merry. This custom is mentioned by Peck, and seems a remnant of
Popish superstition to pray for departed souls, particularly those of friends." In Lancashire and Herefordshire it was usual at this period for the wealthy to dispense oaken cakos, called soul-mass-cakes, to the poor, who, upon receiving them, repeated the following couplet in acknowledgment ".—
God have poor soul,
(2) Sce\k I.—Sir Valentine and servant,] By servant, in this and numerous instances of a similar kind, whero the word occurs in the old writers, we are to understand, not an accepted lower, as some commentators suppose, but %\j"otloiter, an admirer.
"Swert sister, let's alt in judgement a little; faith upon my urr<jf,t. Monsieur Laverdure.
Mel. Troth, well for a snrant, but fur a husband!"
What You H ilt, 1607.
(3) SCENE II.—And seal Uie bargain with a holy I'iss.] "This," Douce remarks, "was the mode of plighting troth between lovers in private. It was sometimes done in the church with great solemnity; and the service on this occasion is preserved in some of the old rituals." The latter ceremon v is described by the priest in '' Twelfth Night," ActV. Sc. 1,
"A contract of eternal bond of love,
Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your bands,
Attested by the holy clove of lips,
Strengthens ity interchangement of your rings."
And will be further alluded to in the Notes to that Comedy.
(4) Scene IV.— Which, like a waxen image 'gainst a ir?.] Among the practices imputed to the hapless wretches who in former times had the misfortune to incur the charge of witchcraft, was that of making clay or waxon imaged of the individuals they were supposed to be hostile to. and roasting them before a fire. By doing which it was supposed they melted and wasted away the body of the person represented. Thus Holinshed, speaking of the witchcraft employed to destroy King Duffe,—" whereupon learning by her confessor in what house in the town (Fores) they wrought their mischicfous mysteries, he sent forth soldiers about the middest of the night, who, breaking into the house, found one of the witches rotting upon a wooden broch an image of wax at the tier, resembling in each feature the king's person, made and devised (as is to be thought) by craft and art of the devil ; another of them sat reciting certein words of inchantment, and still basted
the image with a certein liquor verie busilie They
c<infe*B*ed they went about such manner of inchantment to the end to make awaie with the king ; for as the image did waste afore the fire, so did the bodie of the king break forth in sweat. And as for the words of the inchantment,
they served to keepo him still waking from sleene, so that as the wax ever melted so did the king's flesli; by tho which means it should have come to passe, that when the wax was once cleane consumed, the death of the king should immediately follow."
So Webster also, in his Dutckess of Malfy, 1623
"it u-astts me more
Than wert my picture fashion'd out of wax,
(5) Scene V. — To go to the ale in'tk a Christian.] Launce is here supiosed, though 1 think erroneously, to refer not to the ale-house he had before mentioned, but to one of those periodical festivities which our rustic ancestors delighted in observing about the sixteenth century, called Ales. Such as the Lcot-ale, Lamb-ale, Bride-ale, Clerkale, Church-ale, and Whitsuu-ale.
Tho Church-ale, wo learn from Drake, was instituted generally for the purjtoso of contributing towards tho repair or decoration of the church. On this occasion, it was tho business of the churchwardens to brew a considerable quantity of strong ale, which was sold to tho populace in the churchyard, and to the bettor sort in the church itself—a practice which, indo[)ciident of the profit arising from the sale of the liquor, led to great pecuniary advantages; for the rich thought it a meritorious duty, besides paying for their alo, to offer largely to the holy fund. Other Ales, however, were held by agreement, annually or oftener, by the inhabitants of one or more parishes, each individual contributing a certain sum towards tho expenses. An interesting proof of this is found in a MS. from the "Dodswortn Collection" in the Bodleian Library: "The parishioners of Elveston and Okebrook, in Derbyshire, agreo jointly to brew four Alts, and every Ale of one quarter of malt, betwixt this (tho time of contract) and the feast of St. John Baptist, next coming; and that every inhabitant of the said town of Okebrook shall be at the several Ales; and every husband and his wife shall pay twopenco, and every cottager one penny ; and all the inhabitants of Elveston shall have and receive ull the profits and advantages coming of the said Alts, to tho use and behoof of the said church of Elveston. And the inhabitants of Elveston shall brew eight Ales betwixt this and tho feast of Saint John Baptist, at tho which Ales the inhabitants of Okebrook shall come and pay, as before rehearsed; and if he bo away at one A le, to pay at the toder Ale for both," &c.
(1) ScESE I.—St. Xichola* le thy speed!] Launce invokes St. Nicholas to be Speed's speed, because this saint was the patron of scholars. The reason of his being so chosen may be gathered, Douce t«llfl usr from the following story in his life, translated from the French verse of Mattre Wace, chaplain to Henry the Second :—" Three scholars were on their way to school, (I shall not make a long story of it;) their host murdered them in the night, and hid their todies ; their * he reserved. St. Nicholas was informed of it by God Almighty, and according to his pleasure, went to the place. He demanded the scholars of the host, who was not able to conceal them, and therefore showed them to him. St. Nicholas, by his prayers, restored
the souls to their bodies. Becauso he conferred such honour on scholars, they at this day eclebrato a festival."
Whether tho election of St. Nicholas as tho tutelary saint of scholars, had really its origin in the belief of this legend, is perhaps too much to say. Ho appears to havo been very early and very generally so acknowledged in this country. The parish clerks of London were incorporated as a guild, with this saint for their patron, in 1233; and wo find that tho first statutes of St. Paul's School required the children to attend divino service in the cathedral on his anniversary.
* A word dejuct'd in the manuscript.
(1) Scene III.— Upon whose grave thou vow*dst pure chastity.] "It was common," Stevens observes, "in former ages for widowers and widows to make vows of chastity in honour of their deceased wives or husbands. In 'Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire,' p. 10—13, there is the form of a commission by the bishop of the diocese for taking a vow of chastity made by a widow. It seems that, besides observing the vow, the widow was for life to wear a veil and a mourning habit. The same distinction we may suppose to have been made in respect of male votaries; and, therefore, this circumstance might inform the players how Sir Eglamour should be drest. and will account for Silvia's having chosen him as a person in whom she could confide without injury to her own character."
(2) Scene IV.—And threw her sun-expelling mask away.,] "When they use to ride abroad they have masks ana vizors made of velvet, wherewith they cover all their faces, having holes made in them against their eyes, whereout they looke. So that if a man that knew not their guise before, should chance to meet one of them, he would think he met a monster or a Devil, for faco he can shew none, but two broad holes against their eyes, with glasses in them."—Stubb's A natomie of Abuses, 4to. p. 59, 15U5.
So Handle Holme, "Academy of Armory," book iii. c. 5, speaks of vizard mash that covered all the face, having
(1) SCENE IV.— With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity^ We shall have occasion hereafter to speak at large on the subject of those magnificent and costly spectacles, the delight alike of the monarch and the people, called Triumphs, Masques and Pageants, of the grandeur and stateliness of which in Shakespeare's time, some conception may be formed from a description of an entertainment of the kind Ben Jonson has left us in his Hymenal, or the Solemnities of Masque and Barriers at a Marriage. "Hitherto extended the first night's solemnity, whose grace in the execution left not where to add to it, with wishing; I mean (nor do I court them) in those, that sustained the nobler parts. Such was the exquisite performance, as (beside the pomp, splendor, or what we may call apparelling of such presentments), that alone (had all else been absent) was of power to surprise with delight, and steal away the spectators from themselves. Nor was there wanting whatsoever might give [add] to the furniture or complement ; either in riches, or strangeness of the habits, delicacy of dances, magnificence of the scene, or divine rapture of musick. Only the envy was, that it lasted not still ! or (now it is past) cannot by imagination, much less description, be recovered to a part of that spirit it had in the gliding by." Speaking of the attire of those who on this occasion assumed the part of actors, he tells us, "that of the Lords had part of it taken from the antique Greek statues; mixed with some moderne additions ; which
holes only for the eyes, a case for the nose, and a slit for the mouth. They were easily disengaged, being held in the teeth by means of a round bead fastened in the inside. These masks were usually made of leather, covered with black velvet.
(3) Scene IV.—I 'll get me such a coloured periwig.] Periwigs are said to have been first introduced into England about 1572, and were worn of different colours by ladies long before the use of false hair was adopted by men. Hey wood has a passage in which he makes Sardanapalus exclaim :—■
"Curl'd periwigs upon my head I wore,
And perwv'kcs are mentioned in one of Churchyard's earliest poems. So also in Barnabe Rich's "Honcstie of the Age," 1615:—"The attire-makers within this forty years were not known by that name, and but now very lately they kept their lowzie commodity of periwigs, and their monstrous attires closed in boxes; and those women that used to weare them would not buy them but in secret. But now they are not ashamed to set themforthe upon their stalls— such monstrous mop-powles of haire, so proportioned and deformed, that but within this twenty or thirty years would have drawne the passers-by to stand and guze, and to wonder at them."
made it both graccfull and strange. On their heads they wore Persick crowns that were with scroles of gold-plate turned outward and wreathed about with a carnation and silver net-lawne ; the one end of which hung carelessly on the left shoulder; the other was tricked up before, in several degrees of folds between the plaits, and set with rich jewels and great pearls. Their bodies were of carnation cloth of silver, richly wrought, and cut to express the naked, [the flesh] in manner of the Greek Thorax; girt under the brests with a broad belt of cloth of gold tnbroydered, and fastened before with jewels: Their Labels were of white cloth of silver, laced and wrought curiously between, sutable to the upper halfe of their sleeves ; whoso nether parts with their bases, were of watchei cloth of silver, chev'rond all over with lace. Their Mantils were of severall coloured silkes, distinguishing their qualities, as they were coupled in paires ; the first, shit colour; the second, Pearle colour; the third, flame colour; the fourth, tawny; and these cut in leaves, which were subtilly tacked up and imbroydcred with Oo's, and between every rack of leaves, a broad silver lace. They were fastened on the right shoulder, and fell compass© down the back in gracious [graceful] folds, and were again tyed with a round knot, to the fastening of their swords. Upon their legs they wore silver greaves. * —The Works of Benjamin Jonson, folio, 1640. Masques, p. 143.