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And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
To keel signifies to cool in general, without any reference to the kitchen. So, in the ancient metrical romance of The Sowdon of Babyloyne, MS. p. 80:
“That alle men shall take hede
“Howe the wynde theyr bodyes shal kele.” Again, in Gower De Confessione Amantis, Lib. V, fol. 121, b:
“ The cote he found, and eke he feleth
“ That there durst he not abide.” Again, fol. 131, b:
“ With water on his finger ende
" Thyne hote tonge to kele.” Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the ancient metrical History of The Battle of Floddon, that it is a common thing in the North “ for a maid servant to take out of a boiling pot a wheen, i. e. a small quantity, viz. a porringer or two of broth, and then to fill up the pot with cold water. The broth thus taken out, is called the keeling wheen. In this manner greasy Joan keeled the pot.”
“ Gie me beer, and gie me grots,
“ And lumps of beef to swum abeen; “ And ilka time that I stir the pot,
“ He's hae frae me the keeling wheen.” Steevens. 0 - the parson's saw,] Saw seems anciently to have meant, not as at present, a proverb, a sentence, but the whole tenor of any instructive discourse. So, in the fourth chapter of the first Book of The Tragedies of John Bochas, translated by Lidgate:
“ These old poetes in their sawes swete
“Full covertly in their verses do fayne,” &c. Steevens. Yet in As you like it, our author uses this word in the sense of a sentence, or maxim: “Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,” &c. It is, I believe, so used here. Malone.
7 When roasted crabs &c.]i.e. the wild apples so called. Thus in The Midsummer Night's Dream:
Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we this way. [Exeunt.8
- And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
“ In very likeness of a roasted crað.” When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,] Hence, perhaps, the following passage in Milton's Epitaphium Damonis :
"- grato cum sibilat igni
“Molle pyrum,” Steevens. The bowl must be supposed to be filled with ale; a toast and some spice and sugar being added, what is called lamb's wool is produced. So, in King Henry V, 1598 (not our author's play):
“ Yet we will have in store a crab in the fire,
With nut-brown ale, that is full stale," &c. Malone. 8 In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must be confessed that there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar; and some which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden Queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare. Johnson.
ACT 1....SCENE I. Page 15.
This child of fancy, that Armado hight, &c.] This, as I have shown in the note in its place, relates to the stories in the books of chivalry. A few words, therefore, concerning their origin and nature, may not be unacceptable to the reader. As I don't know of any writer, who has given any tolerable account of this matter: and especially as Monsieur Huet, the bishop of Avranches, who wrote a formal treatise of The Origin of Romances, has said little or nothing of these in that superficial work. For having brought down the account of Romances to the later Greeks, and entered upon those composed by the barbarous western writers, which have now the name of Romances almost appropriated to them, he puts the change upon his reader, and instead of giving us an account of these books of chivalry, one of the most curious and interesting parts of the subject he promised to treat of, he contents himself with a long account of the poems of the Provincial writers, called likewise Romances; and so, under the equivoque of a common term, drops his proper subject, and entertains us with another, that had no relation to it more than in the name.
The Spaniards were of all others the fondest of these fables, as suiting best their extravagant turn to gallantry and bravery; which in time grew so excessive, as to need all the efficacy of Cervantes's incomparable satire to bring them back to their senses. The French suffered an easier cure from their doctor Rabelais, who enough discredited the books of chivalry, by only using the extravagant stories of its giants, &c. as a cover for another kind of satire against the refined politicks of his countrymen; of which they were as much possessed as the Spaniards of their romantick bravery: a bravery our Shakspeare makes their characteristic in this description of a Spanish gentleman:
A man of complements, whom right and wrong
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.* The sense of which is to this effect: This gentleman, says the speaker, shall relate to us the celebrated stories recorded in the old romances, and in their very style. Why he says from tawny Spain, is, because these romances, being of the Spanish original, the heroes and the scene were generally of that country. He says, lost in the world's debate, because the subjects of those romances were the crusades of the European Christians against the Sara. cens of Asia and Africa.
Indeed, the wars of the Christians against the Pagans were the general subject of the romances of chivalry. They all seem to have had their ground-work in two fabulous monkish historians: the one, who under the name of Turpin, Archbishop of Rheims ,wrote The History and Achievements of Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers; to whom, instead of his father, they assigned the task of driving the Saracens out of France and the south parts of Spain: the other, our Geoffry of Monmouth.
Two of those peers, whom the old romances have rendered most famous, were Oliver and Rowland. Hence Shakspeare makes Alençon, in The first Part of King Henry VI. say: “Froyssard, a countryman of ours, records, England all Olivers and Rowlands bred, during the time Edward the Third did reign." In the Spanish romance of Bernardo del Carpio, and in that of Roncesvalles, the feats of Roland are recorded under the name of
* From tawny Spain, &c.] This passage may, as Dr, Warburton ima. gines, be in allusion to the Spanish Romances, of which several were ex. tant in English, and very popular at the time this play was written, Such, for instance, as Amadis de Gaule, Don Bellianis, Palmerin d'oliva, Palme. rin of England, the Mirrour of Knighthood, &c. But he is egregiously mistaken in asserting that “the heroes and the scene were generally of that country,” which, in fact, (except in an instance or two, nothing at all to the present purpose) is never the case. If the words lost in the world's debate will bear the editor's construction, there are certainly many books of chivalry on the subject. I cannot, however, think thar Shakspeare was particularly conversant in works of this description : but, indeed, the alter. nately rhyming parts, at least, of the present play, are apparently by an inferior hand; the remains, no doubt, of the old platform. Ritson.
Roldan el encantador; and in that of Palmerin de Oliva,* or simply Oliva, those of Oliver: for Oliva is the same in Spanish as Olivier is in French. The account of their exploits is in the highest degree monstrous and extravagant, as appears from the judgment passed upon them by the priest in Don Quixote, when he delivers the knight's library to the secular arm of the housekeeper: “ Eccetuando à un Bernardo del Carpio que anda por ay, y à otro Vamado Roncesvalles; que estos en llegando a mis manos, an de estar en las de la ama, y dellas en las del fuego sin remission alguna.”+ And of Oliver he says: “essa Oliva se haga luego raxas, y se queme, que aun no queden della las cenizas.” The reasonableness of this sentence may be partly seen from one story in the Bernardo del Carpio, which tells us, that the cleft called Rol. dan, to be seen in the summit of an high mountain in the kingdom of Valencia, near the town of Alicant, was made with a single back-stroke of that hero's broad-sword. Hence came the proverbial expression of our plain and sensible ancestors, who were much cooler readers of these extravagancies than the Spaniards, of giving one a Rowland for his Oliver, that is of matching one impossible lie with another: as, in French, faire le Roland means, to swagger. This driving the Saracens out of France and Spain, was, as we say, the subject of the elder romances. And the first that was printed in Spain was the famous Amadis de Gaula, of which the inquisitor priest says: “ segun he oydo dezir, este libro fué el primero de Cavallerias qui se imprimiò en Espana, y todos los demás an tomado principio y origen deste;'s and for which he humourously condemns it to the fire, coma à Dogmatazador de una secta tan mala. When this subject was well exhausted, the affairs of Europe afforded them another of the same nature. For after that the western parts had pretty well cleared themselves of these inhospitable guests, by the excitements of the popes, they carried their arms against them into Greece and Asia, to support the Byzantine empire, and recover the holy sepulchre. This gave birth to a new tribe of romances, which we may call of the second race or class. And as Amadis de Gaula was at the head of the first, so, correspond. ently to the subject, Amadis de Grecia was at the head of the latter. Hence it is, we find, that Trebizonde is as celebrated in these romances as Roncesvalles is in the other. It may be worth observing, that the two famous Italian epic poets, Ariosto and Tasso, have borrowed, from each of these classes of old ro.
* Dr. Warburton is quite mistaken in deriving Oliver from (Palmerin de) Oliva, which is utterly incompatible with the genius of the Spanish lan. guage. The old romance, of which Oliver was the hero, is entitled in Spanish, “Historias de los nobles Cavalleros Oliveros de Castilla, y Artus de Algarbe, in fol. en Valladolid, 1501, in fol. en Sevilla, 1507 ;” and in French thus : “ Histoire d'Olivier de Castille, & Artus d’Algarbe son loy. al compagnon, & de Heleine, Fille au Roy d'Angleterre, &c. translatee du Latin par Phil, Kamus, in fol. Gothique.” It has also appeared in Engjjsh. See Ames's Typograph. p. 94, 47. Percy, + B. I, c. 6, # Ibid.
mances, the scenes and subjects of their several stories: Ariosto choosing the first, the Saracens in France and Spain; and Tasso, the latter, the Crusade against them in Asia: Ariosto's hero being Orlando, or the French Roland: for as the Spaniards, by one way of transposing the letters, had made it Roldan, so the Italians, by another make it Orland.
The main subject of these fooleries, as we have said, had its original in Turpin's famous History of Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers. Nor were the monstrous embellishments of enchantments, &c. the invention of the romancers, but formed upon eastern tales, brought thence by travellers from their crusades and pil. grimages; which indeed have a cast peculiar to the wild imaginations of the eastern people. We have a proof of this in the trayels of Sir John Maundeville, whose excessive superstition and credulity, together with an impudent monkish addition to his genuine work, have made his veracity thought much worse of than it deserved. This voyager, speaking of the isle of Cos in the Archipelago, tells the following story of an enchanted dragon, * And also a zonge man, that wist not of the dragoun, went out of the schipp, and went through the isle, till that he cam to the castelle, and cam into the cave; and went so longe till that he fond a chambre, and there he saughe a damyselle, that kembed hire hede, and lokede in a myrour: and sche hadde moche tre. soure abouten bire: and he trowed that sche hadde ben a comoun woman, that dwelled there to receive men to folye. And he abode till the damyselle sanghe the schadowe of him in the myrour. And sche turned hire toward him, and asked him what he wolde. And he seyde, he wolde ben hire limman or paramour. And sche asked him, if that he were a knyghte. And he sayde, nay. And then sche sayde, that he might not ben bire limman. But sche bad him gon azen unto his felowes, and make him knyghte, and come azen upon the morwe, and sche scholde come out of her cave before him; and thanne come and kysse bire on the mowth and have no drede. For I schalle do the no maner harm, alle be it that thou see me in lykeness of a dragoun. For thoughe thou see me hideous and horrible to loken onne, I do the to wytene that it is made be enchauntement. For withouten doubte, I am none other than thou seest now, a woman; and herefore drede the noughte. And zyf thou kysse me, thout schalt have all this tresoure, and be my lord, and lord also of all that isle. And he departed,” &c. p. 29, 30, ed. 1725. Here we see the very spirit of a romance adventure. This honest traveller believed it all, and so, it seems, did the people of the isle. “ And some men seyne (says he) that in the isle of Lango is zit the doughtre of Ypocras in forme and lykenesse of a gret dragoun, that is an hundred fadme in lengthe, as men seyn: for I have not seen hire. And they of the isles callen hire, lady of the land." We are not to think then, these kind of stories, believed by pilgrims and travellers, would have less credit either with the writers or readers of romances: which humour of the times, therefore, may well account for their birth and favourable reception in the world.