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take away ? he shift a trenchero! he scrape a trencher !
2 Serv. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing.
1 Serv. Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard”, look to the plate :-good thou,
6- he shift a trencher! &c.] Trenchers were still used by persons of good fashion in our author's time. In the Houshold Book of the Earls of Northumberland, compiled at the beginning of the same century, it appears that they were common to the tables of the first nobility. Percy.
To shift a trencher was technical. So, in The Miseries of Enforst Marriage, 1608, sig. E 3: “ – learne more manners, stand at your brothers backe, as to shift a trencher neately,” &c.
Reed. They were common even in the time of Charles I. See Tempest, Act II. Sc. II. Malone.
They continued common much longer in many publick societies, particularly in colleges and inns of court : and are still retained at Lincoln's-Inn. Nichols.
On the books of the Stationers' Company, in the year 1554, is the following entry : “ Item, payd for x dosyn of trenchers, xxid."
STEEVENS. 7- court-cupboard,] I am not very certain that I know the exact signification of court-cupboard. Perhaps it served the purpose of what we call at present the side-board. It is however frequently mentioned in the old plays. So, in a Humorous Day's Mirth, 1599 : “ — shadow these tables with their white veils, and accomplish the court-cupboard.” Again, in Monsieur D'Olive, 1606, by Chapman : “ Here shall stand my courtcupboard, with its furniture of plate.” Again, in The Roaring Girl, 1611:
“ Place that in the court-cupboard." Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635: “ — they are together on the cupboard of the court, or the court-cupboard." Again, in Chapman's May-Day, 1611: “ Court-cupboards planted with faggons, cans, cups, beakers,” &c. Two of these court-cupboards are still in Stationers' Hall.
STEEVENS. The use which to this day is made of those cupboards is exactly described in the above-quoted line of Chapman ; to display at publick festivals the flaggons, cans, cups, beakers, and other antique silver vessels of the company, some of which (with the names of the donors inscribed on them) are remarkably large.
save me a piece of marchpane®; and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell.-Antony! and Potpan!
By “ remove the court-cupboard,” the speaker means, I think, remove the flaggons, cups, ewers, &c. contained in it. A courtcupboard was not strictly what we now call a side-board, but a recess fitted up with shelves to contain plate, &c. for the use of the table. It was afterwards called a buffet, and continued to be used to the time of Pope :
“The rich buffet well colour'd serpents grace,
“ And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.” The side-board was, I apprehend, introduced in the present century. MalonE.
A court-cupboard was a moveable; a beu fet, a fixture. The former was open, and made of plain oak; the latter had folding doors, and was both painted and gilded on the inside. Steevens.
8 — save me a piece of MARCHPANE;] Marchpane was a confection made of pistacho-nuts, almonds, and sugar, &c. and in high esteem in Shakspeare's time; as appears from the account of Queen Elizabeth's entertainment in Cambridge. It is said that the University presented Sir William Cecil, their chancellor, with two pair of gloves, a marchpane, and two sugar-loaves.
Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, vol. ii. p. 29. Grey. Marchpane was a kind of sweet bread or biscuit; called by some almond-cake. Hermolaus Barbarus terms it mazapanis, vulgarly Martius panis G. marcepain and massepan, It. marzapane, il maçapan, B. marcepeyn, i. e. massa pura. But, as few understood the meaning of this term, it began to be generally, though corruptly, called massepeyn, marcepeyn, martsepeyn; and in consequence of this mistake of theirs, it soon took the name of marlius panis, an appellation transferred afterwards into other languages. See Junius. HAWKINS.
Marchpane was a constant article in the deserts of our ancestors. So, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540 : “ — seeing that the issue of the table, fruits and cheese, or wafers, hypocras, and marchpanes, or comfytures, be brought in." See Dugdale's Orig. Jurid. p. 133.
In the year 1560, I find the following entry on the books of the Stationers' Company: “ Item, payd for ix marshe paynes, xxvi s. viii d."
Marchpanes were composed of filberts, almonds, pistachoes, pine-kernels, and sugar of roses, with a small proportion of flour. L'Etoile in his description of a magnificent entertainment given at Paris in 1596, says : “ – les confitures seiches et massepans y estoient si peu espargnez, que les dames et damoiselles estoient contraintes de s'en decharger sur les pages et les laquais, auxquels 2 SERV. Ay, boy; ready.
1 SERV. You are looked for, and called for, asked for, and sought for, in the great chamber.
2 SERV. We cannot be here and there too. Cheerly, boys; be brisk awhile, and the longer liver take all.
[They retire behind. Enter CAPULET, &c. with the Guests, and the
their toeso. Unplagu'd with corns, will have a bout with
you *:Ah ha, my mistresses ! which of you all Will now deny to dance ? she that makes dainty,
she, I'll swear, hath corns; Am I come near you now? You are welcome, gentlemen! (ID) I have seen the day, That I have worn a visor; and could tell A whispering tale in a fair lady's ear, Such as would please ;-'tis gone, 'tis gone, 'tis
gone : You are welcome, gentlemen'!-Come, musicians,
* So quarto A; folio, will walke about with you. on les bailloit tous entiers.” Our macaroons are only debased and diminutive marchpanes. Steevens.
9 — their toes-] Thus all the ancient copies. The modern editors, following Mr. Pope, read, with more delicacy—their feet. -An editor by such capricious alterations deprives the reader of the means of judging of the manners of different ages; for the word employed in the text undoubtedly did not appear indelicate to the audience of Shakspeare's time, though perhaps it would not be endured at this day. MALONE.
It was endured, at least, in the time of Milton. Thus, in Comus, 960:
“ — without duck or nod
“ Of lighter toes.” Steevens. 1 You are welcome, gentlemen !] These two lines, omitted by the modern editors, I have replaced from the folio. Johnson.
A hall ! a hall? I give room, and foot it, girls.
Musick plays, and they dance. (l) More light, ye knaves ; and turn the tables up", And quench the fire, the room is grown too hot.Ah, sirrah, this unlook’d-for sport comes well." Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet * ;
2 A hall! a hall!] Such is the old reading, and the true one, though the modern editors read—A ball! a ball! The former exclamation occurs frequently in the old comedies, and signifies, make room. So, in the comedy of Doctor Dodypoll, 1600;
“ Room ! room! a hall! a hall! ” Again, in Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub:
Then cry, a hall! a hall!" Again, in an Epithalamium, by Christopher Brooke, published at the end of England's Helicon, 1614:
“ Cry not, a hall, a hall; but chamber-roome;
“ Dancing is lame," &c. and numberless other passages. STEEVENS.
3 — turn the tables up,] Before this phrase is generally intelligible, it should be observed that ancient tables were flat leaves, joined by hinges, and placed on tressels. When they were to be removed, they were therefore turned up. So, in the ancient translation of Marco Paolo's Voyages, 1579: “After dinner is done, and the tables taken uppe, everie man goeth aboute his businesse.”
Again, in “ The Seventh mery Jest of the Wyddow Edyth," 1573:
“ And when that taken up was the borde,
“ And all payde for," &c. Again, in Mandeville's Travels, p. 285-6: “ And such plaves of desport they make, till the taking up of the boordes." STEEvens.
4.- good cousin Capulet;] This cousin Capulet is uncle in the paper of invitation; but as Capulet is described as old, cousin is probably the right word in both places. I know not how Capulet. and his lady might agree, their ages were very disproportionate; he has been past masking for thirty years, and her age, as she tells Juliet, is but eight-and-twenty. Johnson.
Cousin was a common expression from one kinsman to another, out of the degree of parent and child, brother and sister. Thus in Hamlet, the King his uncle and step-father addresses him with :
“ But now my cousin Hamlet and my son.”' And in this very play, Act III. Lady Capulet says :
“ Tybalt my cousin !- my brother's child.” So, in As You Like It:
“ Ros. Me uncle?
For you and I are past our dancing days " :
By’r lady, thirty years.
so much: 'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio, Come pentecost as quickly as it will, Some five and twenty years; and then we mask'd. 2 CAP. 'Tis more, 'tis more : his son is elder,
sir ; His son is thirty. 1 CAP.
Will you tell me that ? His son was but a ward two years ago. Rom. What lady's that, which doth enrich the
hand Of yonder knight? ?
And Olivia, in Twelfth-Night, constantly calls her uncle Toby cousin. Ritson.
Shakspeare and other contemporary writers use the word cousin to denote any collateral relation, of whatever degree, and sometimes even to denote those of lineal descent.
Richard III. during a whole scene, calls his nephew York, cousin ; who, in his answer, constantly calls him uncle. And the old Duchess of York, in the same play, calls her grandson, cousin :
“ Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.
“ York. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper," &c. And in Fletcher's Women Pleased, Sylvio styles Rhodope, at one time, his aunt-at others, his cousin-to the great annoyance of Mr. Sympson, the editor. M. Mason.
s — our dancing days :) Thus the folio : the quarto reads, “ our standing days." STEEVENS.
6 Will you tell me, &c.] This speech stands thus in the first copy:
“ Will you tell me that ? it cannot be so :
“ Good youths, i'faith!-Oh, youth's a jolly thing!” There are many trifling variations in almost every speech of this play; but when they are of little consequence I have foreborne to encumber the page by the insertion of them. The last, however, of these three lines, is natural, and worth preserving..