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Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.
Lear. Hast thou given all to thy two daughters ?!
Edg. Who gives any thing to poor Tom? whom the foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame, through ford and whirlpool, over bog and quagmire; that hath laid knives under his pillow,2 and halters in his pew;
8 Humph! go to thy cold beil, &c.] So, in the introduction to The Tuming of the Shrew, Sly says, “go to thy cold bed and warm thee.” A ridicule, I suppose, on some passage in a play as absurd as The Spanish Tragedy. Steevens.
This line is a sneer on the following one spoken by Hieronimo in The Spanish Tragedy, Act II:
“What ou cries pluck me from my naked bed.” Whalley. Humph! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee,] Thus the quartos. The editor of the folio, 1623, I suppose, thinking the passage nonsense, omitted the word cold. This is not the only instance of unwarraniable alterations made even in that valuable copy. That the
quartos are right, appears from the Induction to The Taming of the Shrew, where the same words occur. See Vol VI, p. 13, 11. 6 Malone.
9 Hast thou given all to thy two daughters.?] Thus the quartos. The .folio reads, Didst thou give all to thy daughters? Steerens. 1
led through fire and through flame, ] Alluding to the ignis fatuus, supposed to be lights kindled by mischievous beings to lead travellers into destruction. Yohnson.
laid knives under his pillow,] He recounts the temptations by which he was prompted to suicide; the opportunities of destroying himself, which often occurred to him in his melancholy moods.
Fohnson. Shakspeare found this charge against the fiend, with many o'hers of the same nature, in Harsenet's Declaration, and has used the very words of it. The book was printed in 1603. See Dr. Warburton's note, Act IV, sc. i.
Infernal spirits are always represented as urging the wretched to self-destruction. So, in Dr. Faustus, 1604:
“ Swords, poisons, halters, and envenom'd steel,
“ Are laid before me to dispatch myself.” Steevens. The passage in Harsenet's book which Shakspeare had in view, is this:
“ This Examt. further sayth, thatone Alexander, an apothecarie, having brought with him from London to Denham on a time a new halter, and two blades of knives, did leave the same upon the gallerie floore, in her maisters house.- A great search was made in the house to know how the said halter and knife-blades came thither,--till Ma. Mainy in his next fit said, it was reported that the devi? layd them in the gallerie, that some of those that were possessed, might either hang themselves with the halter, or kill themselves with the blades."
set ratsbane by his porridge; made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-horse over four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor:- Bless thy five wits !3 Tom 's a cold.-0, do de, do de, do de.-Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes : There could I have him now,--and there, and there, and there again, and there.
[Storm continues. Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this
Could'st thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all?
Fool. Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed.
Lear. Now, all the plagues that in the pendulous air Hang fated o'er men's faults, light on thy daughters!
The kind of temptation which the fiend is described as holding out to the unfortunate, might also have been suggested by the story of Cordila, in The Mirrour for Magistrates, 1575, where DESPAIRE visits her in prison, and shows her various instruments by which she may rid herself of life:
“ And there withall she spred her garments lap assyde,
Malone. Bless thy five wits'] So the five senses were called by our old writers Thus in the very ancient interlude of The Five Elements, one of the characters is Sensual Appetite, who with great simplicity thus introduces himself to the audience:
“ I am callyd sensual apetyte,
All creatures in me delyte,
“I comforte the w,tt's five ;
I refreshe the syghte and felynge
ow To all creaturs alyve.", Sig. B. iij. Percy. So again, in Every Man, a Morality : "s Every man, thou art made, thou hast thy wyttes five."
Steevens. Shakspeare, however, in his 141st Sonnet, seems to have considered the five wits, as distinct from the senses :
“ But nry five wits, nor my five senses can
taking:'] To take is to blast, or strike with malignant influence. So, p. 225:
Strike her young bones,
Kent. He hath no daughters, sir.
Edg. Pillicock sat6 on pillicock's-hill;-
Fool. This cold night will turn us all to fools and mad
Edg. Take heed o’the foul fiend: Obey thy parents; keep thy word justly;7 swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud array: Tom 's a-cold.
Lear. What hast thou been?
Edg. A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair ;9 wore gloves in my cap, served the
- pelican daughters.] The young pelican is fabled to suck the mother's blood. Johnson.
So, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1630, second part:
“Shall a silly bird pick her own breast to nourish her young ones ? the pelican does it, and shall not I ?” Again, in Love in a Maze, 1632:
“ The pelican loves not her young so well
“ That digs upon her breast a hundred springs." Steevens. 6 Pillicock sat &c.] I once thought this a word of Shakspeare's forination; but the reader may find it explained in Minsheu's Dict. p. 365, Article, 3299-2.-Killico is one of the devils mentioned in Harsenet's Declaration. The folio reads-Pillicock-hill. I have fol, lowed the quartos. Malone.
The inquisitive reader may also find an explanation of this word in a note annexed to Sir Thomas Urquart's translation of Rabelais, Vol. I, B. I, ch. ii, p. 184, edit. 1750. Steevens.
keep thy word justly;] Both the quartos, and the folio, have words. The correction was made in the second folio. Malone.
8 —commit not &c.] The word commit is used in this sense by Middleton, in Women beware Women: “ His weight is deadly who commits with strumpets.”
Steevens. proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair; &c ] “ Then Ma. Mainy, by the instigation of the first of the seaven (spirits], began to set his hands unto his side, curled his hair, and used such gestures, as Ma. Edmunds [the exorcist) presently affirmed that that spirit was Pride. Herewith he began to curse and banne, saying,
lust of my mistress's heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven: one, that slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it : Wine loved I deeply; dice dearly; and in woman, out-paramoured the Turk: False of heart, light of ear,2 bloody of hand; Hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness,3 dog in madness, lion in prey. Let not the creaking of shoes, nor
What a poxe do I here? I will stay no longer amongst a company of rascal priests, but goe to the court, and brave it amongst my fellows, the noblemen there assembled.” Harsenet's Declaration, &c. 1603.
shortly after they (the seven spirits] were all cast forth, and in such manner as Ma. Edmunds directed them, which was, that every devil should depart in some certaine forme representing either a beast or some other creature, that had the resemblance of that sinne whereof he was the chief author: whereupon the spirit of pride departed in the forme of a peacock ; the spirit of sloth in the likeness of an asse; the spirit of envie in the similitude of a dog ; the spirit of gluttony in the forme of a wolfe, and the other devils had also in their departure their particular likenesses agreeable to their na
Malone. -wore gloves in my cap,] i. e. His mistress's favours: which was the fashion of that time. So, in the play called Campaspe: “ Thy inen turned to women, thy soldiers to lovers, gloves worn in velvet caps, instead of plumes in graven helmets.” Warburton.
It was anciently the custom to wear gloves in the hat on three dis. tinct occasions, viz. as the favour of a mistress, the memorial of a friend, and as a mark to be challenged by an enemy. Prince Henry boasts that he will pluck a glove from the commonest creature, and fix it in his helmet; and Tucca says to Sir Quintilian, in Decker's Satiromastix: “ Thou shalt wear her glove in thy worshipful hat, like to a leather brooch :" and Pandora in Lyly's Waman in the Moon, 1597 :
he that first presents me with his head, “ Shall wear my glove in favour of the deed." Portia, in her assumed character, asks Bassanio for his gloves, which she says she will wear for his sake: and King Henry V gives the pretended glove of Alençon to Fluellen, which afterwards occasions his quarrel with the English soldier. Steevens.
light of ear,] Credulous of evil, ready to receive malicious reports. Johnson.
Hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, &c.] The Je. suits pretended to cast the seven deadly sins out of Mainy in the shape of those animals that represented them; and before each was cast out, Mainy by gestures acted that particular sin; curling his hair to show pride, vomiting for gluttony, gaping and snoring for sloth, &c.-Harsenet's book, pp. 279, 280, &c. To this probably our author alludes. Steevens
the - rustling of silks, betray thy poor heart to women: Keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend. Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind: Says suum, mun, ha no nonny, dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa; let him trot by.
[Storm still continues.
thy hand out of plackets,] It appeareth from the following passage in Any Thing for a quiet Life, a silly comedy, that placket doth not signify the petticoat in general, but only the aperture therein : between which is discovered the open part which is now called the placket.” Bailey in his Dictionary, giveth the same account of the word
Yet peradventure, our poet hath some deeper meaning in The Winter's Tale, where Autolycus saith You might have pinched a placket, it was senseless :"-and, now I bethink me, Sir Thomas Urquart, knight, in his translation of that wicked varlet Rabelais styleth the instrument wherewith Garagantua played at carnal tennis, his “ placket-racket.” See that work, Vol 1, p. 184, edit. 1750.
Impartiality nevertheless compelleth me to observe, that Master Coles in his Dictionary hath rendered placket by sinus muliebris: and a pleasant commentator who signeth himself T.C. hath also produced instances in favour of that signification ; for, saith he,--but hear we his own words: “ Peradventure a placket signified neither a petticoat nor any part of one; but a stomacher.” See the word Torace in Florio's Italian Dict. 1598. “ The brest or bulke of a man. - Also a placket or stomacher.”—The word seems to be used in the same sense in The Wandering Whores, &c. a comedy, 1663: “ If I meet a cull in Morefields, I can give him leave to dive in my placket.”
So that, after all, this matter is enwrapped in much and painful uncertainty. Amner.
thy pen from lenders' books,] So, in All Fools, a comedy, by Chapman, 1605
If I but write my name in inercers' books, “ I am as sure to have at six months end
“ A rascal at my elbow with his mace,” &c. Steevens. 6 Says suum, mun, ha no nonny, dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa ; let him trot by.] The quartos read--the cold wind; hay, no on ny, Dolphin my boy, my boy, cease, let him trot by. The folio--the cold wind: sayes suum, mun, nonny, Dolphin my boy, boy Sessey, let him trot by. The text is formed from the two copies. I have printed Sessa, instead of Sessey, because the same cant word occurs in the Induction to The Taming of the Shrew: “ Therefore, paucas palla. bris; let the world slide. Sessa.” Malone.
Hey no nonny is the burthen of a ballad in The Two Noble Kinsmen, (said to be written by Shakspeare, in conjunction with Fletcher,) and was probably common to many others. The folio introduces it into one of Ophelia's songs: