« PreviousContinue »
not accrue to the crown ; an inquisition was found before the coroner, which found him felo de se. The legal and logical subtilties, arising in the course of the argument of this case, gave a very fair opportunity for a sneer at crowner's quest-law. The expression, a little before, that an act hath three branches, &c. is so pointed an allusion to the case I mention, that I cannot doubt but that Shakspere was acquainted with, and meant to laugh at it.
It may be added, that on this occasion a great deal of subtilty was used, to ascertain whether Sir James was the agent or the patient ; or, in other words, whether he went to the water, or the water came to him. The cause of Sir James's madness was the circum. stance of his having been the judge who condemned Lady Jane Gray.
Sir J. HAWKINS. 29. their even Christian.] all the old books, and rightly. An old English expression for fellowchristian.
THIRLBY. So, in Chaucer's Jack Upland : “If freres cannot or mow not excuse 'hem of these questions asked of 'hem, it semeth that they be horrible giltie against God, and ther even Christian," &c.
Again, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. V. fol. 102.
“ Of beautie sighe he never hir even. Again, Chaucer's Persones Tale : “-of his neighbour, that is to sayn, of his even cristen," &c. STEEVENS.
35. 2 Clown.] This speech, and the next, as far as -without arms, is not in the quartos. STEEVENS.
53. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.] If it be not suf. ficient to say, with Dr. Warburton, that this phrase might be taken from husbandry, without much depth of reading, we may produce it from a dittie of the workmen of Dover, preserved in the additions to Holinshed, p. 1546 :
“ My bow is broke, I would unyoke,
to meet." Again, in P. Holland's Translation of Pliny's Nat.
“ in the evening, and when thou dost unyoke.”
STEEVENS. 63. In youth, when I did love, &c.] The three stanzas, sung here by the grave-digger, are extracted, with a slight variation, from a little poem, called, The aged Lover renounceth Love, written by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, who flourished in the reign of King Henry VIII. and who was beheaded in 1547, on a strained accusation of treason. THEOBALD.
The original poem from which this stanza is taken, like the other succeeding ones, is preserved among Lord Surrey's Poems; though as Dr. Percy has observed, it is attributed to Lord Vaux by George Gascoigne. See an epistle prefixed to one of his poems, printed with the rest of his works, 1575. By
Hist. p. 593
others it is supposed to have been written by Sir Thomas Wyatt.
“ I lothe that I did love;
“ In youth that I thought sweet : “ As time requires, for my behove,
“ Methinks they are not meete."' All these difficulties, however (says the Rev. Tho. mas Warton, in his History of English Poetry, Vol. III. p. 45), are at once adjusted by Ms. Harl. 1703, 25, in the British Museum, in which we have a copy of Vaux's poem, beginning, I lothe that I did love, with the title, “ A dyttye or sonnet made by the Lord Vaus, in the time of the noble Quene Marye, repre. senting the image of death.”
The entire song is published by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. .
STEEVENS. 76. As if I had never been such.] Thus in the original :
“ For age with stealing steps
“ Hath clawde me with his crowch; « And lusty youthe away he leapes,
“ As there had bene none such.” STEEVENS. 8o. -a politician-one that would circumvent God ;] This character is finely touched. Our great historian has well explained it in an example, where, speaking of the death of Cardinal Mazarine, at the tiine of the Restoration, he says,
“ The cardinal was probably struck with the wonder, if not the agony of that un
dream'd-of prosperity of our king's affairs : as if he had taken it ill, and laid it to heart, that God Almighty would bring such a work to pass in Europe without his concurrence, and even against all his machinations.” History of Rebellion, Book XVI.
WARBURTON. 86. This might be my lord such-a-one, that prais'd my lord such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it ;--] So, in Timon of Athens, act i.
-my lord, you gave " Good words the other day of a bay courser « I rode it is
STEEV ENS go. -and now my lady worm's ;] The scull that was my lord Such-a-one's is now my lady Worm's.
JOHNSON. 94. -play at loggats-) A play, in which pins are set up to be beaten down with a bowl. JOHNSON.
--to play at loggats with 'em ?-] This is a game played in several parts of England even at this time. A stake is fixed into the ground; those who play, throw loggats at it, and he that is nearest the stake, wins: I have seen it played in different counties at their sheep-shearing feasts, where the winner was entitled to a black fleece, which he afterwards presented to the farmer's maid to spin for the purpose of making a petticoat, and on condition she knelt down on the fleece to be kissed by all the rusticks present. So Ben Jonson, Tale of a Tub, act iv, sc. 6. Piij
« Now are they tossing his legs and arms,
“ Like loggats at a pear-tree.” So in an old collection of epigrams, satires, &c.
“ To play at loggats, nine holes, or ten pinnes." Again, in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in It, 1612:
two hundred crowns ! I've lost as much at loggats.” It is one of the unlawful games enumerated in the statute of 33 Henry VIII.
STERVENS. A loggat-ground, like a skittle-ground, is strewed with ashes, but is more extensive; a bowl much larger than the jack at the game of bowls is thrown first. The pins, which I believe are called loggats, are much thinner, and higher at one extremity than the other. The bowl being first thrown, the players take the pins up by the thinner and lighter end, and Aing them towards the bowl, and in such a manner that the pin may turn once round in the air, and slide with the thinner extremity foremost towards the bowl. The pins are about one or two and twenty inches long.
BLOUNT. 99. For such a guest is meet.] Thus in the original. “ A picke-axe and a spade,
“ And eke a shrowding sheet ; “ A house of clay for to be made,
“ For such a guest most meet.” STEEVENS, 101. -quiddits, &c.] 1. e. subtilties. So in Soliman and Perseda :