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dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel: ignorance itself is a plummeta o'er me: use me as you will.
FORD. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have suffered, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction.
PAGE. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset (2) to-night at my house ; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee: tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter.
Mrs. PAGE. Doctors doubt that: if Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife.
[Aside. Enter SLENDER. SLEN. Whoo, ho! ho! father Page! PAGE. Son! how now ? how now, son ? have you despatched ?
SLEN. Despatched !-I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else.
PAGE. Of what, son?
SLEN. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy: if it had not been i' th church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and 't is a post-master's boy.
PAGE. Upon my life then you took the wrong.
SLEN. What need you tell me that?' I think so, when I took a boy for a girl : if I had been married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him.
Page. Why, this is your own folly. Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her garments ?
SLEN. I went to her in white,* and cried mum, and she cried budget, as Anne and I had appointed; and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy.
MRS. PAGE. Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turned my daughter into green ;ť and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.
Enter Caius. Caius. Vere is mistress Page ? By gar, I am cozened; I ha' married un garçon, a boy ; un paisan, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, I am cozened.
MRS. PAGE. Why, did you take her in green?
(*) Old text, green.
(1) Old text, white. * Ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me :) Farmer conjectured that plummet was a misprint for planet ; but the following passage, in Shirley's “Love in a Maze," Act IV. Sc. 2, supports the old reading :
“Yongrave, how is 't, man? what! art melancholy ?
What hath hung plummets on thy nimble soul,
FORD. This is strange: who hath got the right Anne?
Enter FENTON and ANNE.
ANNE. Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!
Page. Now, mistress! how chance you went not with master Slender?
Mrs. PAGE. Why went you not with master doctor, maid?
FENT. You do amazea her : hear the truth of it.
FORD. Stand not amaz’d: here is no remedy :
Fal. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand (3) to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.
PAGE. Well, what remedy? (4) Fenton, heaven give thee joy! What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.
FAL. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chas'd.
MRS. PAGE. Well, I will muse no further :-master Fenton,
Let it be so.—Sir John,
a Amaze her :) Confound her by these questions. b Unduteous title; Mr. Collier's annotator reads, very speciously, “unduteous guile."
ACT I. (1) SCENE I.--Sir Hugh.] The title of Sir was probably at one time applied to priests and curates without distinction, but subsequently became appropriated only to the inferior clergy, such as are called Readers. It was no more than the translation of Dominus, the academical distinction of a Bachelor of Arts. Fuller, in his Church History, says, there were formerly
says, there were formerly more Sirs than Knights in England. and adds. “ Such priests as have the addition of Sir before their Christian name, were men not graduated in the university, being in orders, but not in degrees, whilst others entituled Masters had commenced in the arts."
(2) SCENE I.-I will make a Star-chamber matter of it.] The Court of Star Chamber, as it was familiarly called from the sitting being held en la chambre des estoyers, was the King's Council, the nature and extent of whose jurisdiction, even so early as the reign of Henry VII. when it was remodelled, were sufficiently extraordinary. I'he preamble of the Act relating to this Court, which was passed in the third of his reign, sets forth, that “the King, remembering how by unlawful maintenances, giving of liveries, signs and tokens, and retaining by indentures, promises, oaths, writings or otherwise, embraceries of his subjects, untrue demeanings of Sheriffs, in making of pannels aná other untrue returns, by taking of money by juries, by great riots and unlawful assemblies, the policy and good rule of this realm is almost subdued :" &c. &c. “ whereby the laws of the land in execution may take little effect, to the increase of murders, robberies, perjuries and unsureties of all men living,” '&c. For the reformation of which, it was now ordained that the chancellor, treasurer, and privy seal, or two of them, calling to them a bishop and a temporal lord, being of the Council, and the two Chief Justices, or in their absence, two other justices upon bill of information put to the Chancellor for the King, or any other, against any person for any misbehaviour above mentioned, have authority to call before them by writ or privy-seal, the offenders and others as it shall seem fit, by whom the truth may be known, and to examine and punish, after the form and effect of statutes thereof made, in like manner, as they ought to be punished, if they were convict after the due order of the law.
A tribunal, paramount as this, whose proceedings were summary, and whose punishments, though professedly in
though professedly in accordance with the laws, were administered with much more promptitude than those of the ordinary courts, soon acquired under the Tudors a formidable and dangerous authority,—an authority, as we know from history, which at length became tremendous, and ultimately led to its final abolition in the reign of Charles I.
The ridicule in the play is the making the vain and imbecile old Justice suppose his petty squabble with Falstaff of sufficient importance to be adjudicated by such a Court.
(3) SCENE I.-The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.] Much has been written upon this perplexing passage to little purpose. It still remains, as Mr. Knight terms it, “an heraldic puzzle." There is, unquestionably, an allusion to the arms of Shakespeare's old foe, Sir Thomas Lucy, and it is conjecturable that the “dozen white luces," which were borne by one branch of the Lucy family, may have implied the salt-water pike, and have been an older scutcheon than the “ three lucies hauriant" of the Warwickshire branch.
(4) SCENE I.-I heard say, he was out-run on Cotsale.] The Cotswold hills in Gloucestershire, a large tract of fine turfed downs, were among the places famous in times of yore for rural games; but the sports here and elsewhere appear to have declined during the latter part of the sixteenth century, owing perhaps, to the rigorous puritanical crusade carried on against all popular diversions. About the end of Elizabeth's reign, or, as som
ne beginning of her successor's, they were revived, however, with increased spirit, through the exertions of Mr. Robert Dover, an attorney of Barton-onthe-Heath in Warwickshire, who instituted an annual celebration of rustic amusements, which he conducted in person; consisting of wrestling, leaping, pitching the bar, managing the pike, dancing, and coursing the hare with greyhounds.
(5) SCENE I. I have seen Sackerson loose, twenty times.] Sackerson, so named in all likelihood after his keeper, was a famous bear belonging to the Paris bearbaiting Garden on the Bankside; and the allusions to him and Harry Hunks and George Store, two contemporary beasts of prowess, by the old writers, sufficiently attest the popularity of this savage sport in former time:
“ Publius, a student of the common law,
To Paris-garden doth himself withdraw ;-
Epigrams by SIR JOHN DAVIES.
“Ile be sworne they tooke away a mastie dogge of mine by commission. Now I thinke on't, makes my teares stand in my eyes with grief. I had rather lost the dearest friend that ever I lay withal in my life. Be this light, never stir if hee fought not with great Sekerson foure hours to one, foremoste take up hindmoste, and tooke so many loaves from him, that hee stery'd him presently. So, at last, the dogg cood doe no more then a beare cood, and the beare being heavie with hunger you know, fell uppon the dogge, broke his backe, and the dogge never stird more."-Sir Gyles' Goosecappe Knight, a Comedie presented by the Chil. of the Chappell, 1606.
(6) SCENE IV.- A Cain-coloured beard.] In the old tapestries and pictures, Cain and Judas were represented with yellowish-red beards. A conceit very frequently alluded to in early books:“And let their beards be of Judas his own colour.”
The Spanish Tragedy. Again, in “ The Insatiate Countess,” by Marston :
“I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas."
ACT II. (1) SCENE I.--The tune of Green sloeres.) “Green Slecres, or Which nobody can deny," we gather from Mr. Chappell's learned and entertaining account of our early National Music, “has been a favourite tune from the time of Elizabeth to the present day; and is still frequently to be heard in the streets of London to songs with the wellknown burden, Which nobody can deny.'” Mr. Chappell, indeed, carries its antiquity still higher, and thinks it was sung in the reign of Henry VIII. The earliest words to the air known to us, however, do not date farther back than 1580; in which year “A new northen dittye of the Lady greene slevees” was licensed to Richard Jones by the Stat
song, which evidently attained an uncommon share of popular favour even in that age of universal ballatry, was reprinted, four years after, by the same printer in the poetical miscellany entitled, -'4 Handefull of Pleasant Delites : containing sundrie new Sonets and delectable Histories in divers kindes of meeter. Nerly derised to the newest tunes, that are now in use to be sung : cverie sonet orderlie pointed to his proper tune. With new adsitions of certain songs, to verie late devised notes, not commonly knouen, nor used heretofore. By Clement Robinson : and divers others. At London, printed by Richard Ihones; dwelling at the signe of the Rose and Crowne, near Holborne Bridge. 1584.”
(2) SCENE I.-The humour of it, quoth'a! here's a fellow frights humour out of his wits.] Ben Jonson, the best delineator of that species of affectation, so fashionable in his time, called humours, has pointed out, with his usual force and discrimination, the difference between the real and pseudo-humourist. Between those who by a natural bias of mind were led into singularity of thought and action, and those who, with no pretensions to originality, endeavoured to establish a reputation for it by ridiculous eccentricities in manners or apparel :
“ As when some one peculiar quality
Doth so possess a man, that it doth draw
The cable hat-band, or the three-piled ruff,
“ Every man out of his Humour."Giffond's Ben Jonson, v. II. p. 16.
(3) SCENE I.-The priest oth town. The following hexameters may be seen in black letter over an ancient doorway in Northgate-street, Gloucester :
“En ruinosa domus quondam quam tunc renovavit,
Monachus urbanus Osborne John rite vocatus."
(4) SCENE II.---To your manor of Pickt-hatch, go.] This notorious haunt of profligacy, so called from the spiked half-door, or hatch, the usual denotement of houses of ill-fame formerly, was a collection of tenements situated near the end of Old Street and the garden of the Charterhouse in Goswell Street. The allusions to it and to similar colonies of depraved characters, in Whitefriars, Lambeth Marsh, and Turnmill Strect, are innumerable in our old out-spoken writers; but two or three examples will be sufficient, for the subject and the references are alike unsavoury .
ON LIEUTENANT SHIFT.
That haunt Pickt-hatch, Mersh-Lambeth and White-fryer's
Ben Jonson's Epigrams, No. XII.
"Sometimes shining in Lady-like resplendent brightnesse with admiration, and suddenly againe eclipsed with the pitchy and tenebrous clouds of contempt and deserved defamation. Sometimes at the Full at Pickt-hatch, and sometimes in the Wane at Bridewell.”—TAYLOR, the Water Poet, fol., 1630, p. 95.
(5) SCENE II.-One master Brook below would fain speak with you, and be acquainted with you; and hath sent your worship a morning's draught of sack] The custom of taking a “morning draught" of ale, beer, wine, or spirits, prevailed long before our author's time; and that of making acquaintance, in the manner indicated by the text, was nearly coeval. Speaking of the former habit, Dr. Venner, Via Recta ad Vitam Longam, 1637, says:-The custome of drinking in the mornings fasting, a large draught of white wine, or of beere, hath almost with all men so farre prevailed, as that they judge it a principall means for the preservation of their health; where as in very deed, it is, being without respect had of the state or constitution of the body, inconsiderably used, the occasion of much hurt and discommoding." Of the latter practice there is a pleasant illustration in an anecdote told of Ben Jonson and Dr. Corbet :-"Ben Jonson was at a tavern, and in comes Bishop Corbet (but not so then) into the next room. Ben Jonson calls for a quart of raw wine and gives it to the tapster. 'Sirrah,' says he, carry this to the gentleman in the next chamber, and tell him, I sacrifice my service to him.' The fellow did, and in these words. Friend,' says Dr. Corbet, “I thank him for his love: but pr'ythee tell him from me that he is mistaken; for sacrifices are always burnt.'"- Merry Passages and Jeasts, Harl. MSS. 6395.
ACT III. (1) SCENE I.
To shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious pirds sing madrigals.] This couplet, slightly varied by Sir Hugh's trepidation, is from a charming little pastoral once thought to be Shakespeare's, and as such inserted in his “ Passionate Pilgrim," but which, in "England's Helicon,” and by Isaac Walton in his “ Complete Angler," is attributed to Marlowe. In both these works, it is accompanied by “The. Nymph's Reply,” asserted to be by Sir Walter Raleigh.' Though repeatedly quoted, and familiar to every one acquainted with our early poesy, we should be held inex