Page images

VO 11

Prin. Speak, brave Hector ; we are much de

Arm. I do adore thy sweet grace's Nipper.
Boret. Loves her by the foot.
Dum. He may not by the yard.
Arm. This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,

Cost. The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two months on her way.

Arm. What meanelt thou ?

Cost. Faith, unless you play the honest Trojan, the poor wench is cast away: she's quick; the child brags in her belly already; 'tis yours. Arm. Dost thou infamonize me among poten

tates? thou shalt die. Cost. Then shall Hector be whipp'd, for Jaquenetta that is quick by him; and hang'd, for Pompey that is dead by him.

Dum. Most rare Pompey!
Boret. Renowned Pompey!

Biron. Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! Pompey the huge!

Dum. Hector trembles.

Biron. Pompey is mov'd :-More Ates, more Ates; ' ftir them on! ftir them on !

Dum. Hector will challenge him.

Biron. Ay, if he have no more man's blood in's belly than will sup a flea.

9 -- more Ates ;] That is, more inftigation. Ate was the mischievous goddess that incited bloodshed. Johnson. So, in K. John : “ An Até, stirring him to war and strife." STEEVENS.

T: Molt resolute ne take you a culing for the

Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee.

Cost. I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man ;. l'll Nash; I'll do it by the sword :-I pray you, let me borrow my arms: again.

Dum. Room for the incensed worthies.
Cost. I'll do it in my shirt.
Dum. Most resolute Pompey!

Moth. Master, let me take you a button-hole lower. Do you not see, Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean you? you will lose your reputation.

Arm. Gentlemen, and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt.

Dum. You may not deny it; Pompey hath made the challenge.

ARM. Sweet bloods, I both may and will.
BIRON. What reason have you for't?

ARM. The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.

Boret. True, and it was enjoin'd him in Rome for want of linen :+ fince when, I'll be sworn, he

2 like a northern man;] Vir Borealis, a clown. See Glossary to Urry's Chaucer. FARMER. 3 m y arms] The weapons and armour which he wore in the character of Pompey. JOHNSON.

4 — it was enjoin'd him in Rome for want of linen: &c.] This may possibly allude to a story well known in our author's time, to this effect. A Spaniard at Rome falling in a duel, as he lay expiring, an intimate friend, by chance, came by, and offered him his best services. The dying man told him he had but one request to make him, but conjured him, by the memory of their paft friendship, punctually to comply with it, which was not to suffer him to be Atript, but to bury him as he lay, in the habit he then had on. When this was promised, the Spaniard closed his eyes, and expired with great composure and refignation. But his friend's curiosity prevailing over his good faith, he had him stript, and found, to his great surprise, that he was without a shirt. WARBURTON.

wore none, but a dish-clout of Jaquenetta's; and that 'a wears next his heart, for a favour.

Boyet. True, and it was enjoin'd him in Rome for want of linen : &c.] This is a plain reference to the following story in Stowe's Annels, p. 98. (in the time of Edward the Confessor.) “ Next after this (king Edward's first cure of the king's evil) mine authors affirm, that a certain man, named Vifunius Spileorne, the son of Ulmore of Nutgarshall, who, when he hewed timber in the wood of Bru. theullena, laying him down to sleep after his sore labour, the blood and humours of his head fo congealed about his eyes, that he was thereof blind, for the space of nineteen years; but then (as he had been moved in his neep) he went woolward and bare-footed to many churches, in every of them to pray to God for help in his blind. ness.” Dr. Grey.

The same custom is alluded to in an old collection of Satyres, Epigrams, &c.

“And when his shirt's a washing, then he must
“ Go wool-ward for the time; he scorns it, he,

“ That worth two shirts his laundress should him fee." Again, in A Mery Geste of Robyn Hoode, bl. l. no date :

“ Barefoot, woolward have I hight,

“ Thether for to go." Again, in Powell's History of Wales, 1584: “ The Angles and Saxons flew 1000 prietts and monks of Bangor, with a great number of lay-brethren, &c. who were come bare-footed and woolward to crave mercy,” &c. STEEVENS.

In Lodge's Incarnate Devils, 1596, we have the character of a fwasbobuckler : “ His common course is to go always untrust; except when his birt is a washing, and then he goes woolward."

FARMER. Worlward-] “ I have no shirt: I go woolward for penance.” The learned Dr. Grey, whose accurate knowledge of our old historians has often thrown much light on Shakspeare, supposes that this passage is a plain reference to a story in Stowe's Annals, p. 98. But where is the connection or resemblance between this monkish tale and the passage before us ? There is nothing in the story, as here related by Stowe, that would even put us in mind of this dialogue between Boyet and Armado, except the fingular expression go woolward; which, at the same time is not explained by the annotator, nor illustrated by his quotation. To go woolward, I believe, was a phrase appropriated to pilgrims and penitenciaries. In this sense it seems to be used in Pierce Plowman's Visions, Paff. xviii. fol. 96. bo edit. 1550:


:: Enter MÉRCADE.-,..
Mer. God save you, madam!

Prin. Welcome, Mercade; .
But that thou interrupt’ft our merriment,

Mer. I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring, Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father

Prin. Dead, for my life.
Mer. Even so; my tale is told.

Biron, Worthies, away; the scene begins to cloud. · ARM. For mine own part, I breathe free breath: I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of discretion, and I will right myself like a foldier.

[Exeunt Wortbies.

- Woiward and wetshod went I forth after
“ As a rechless reuke, that of no wo retcheth,

“ And yedeforth like a lorell,” &c. Skinner derives woolward from the Saxon wol, plague, secondarily any great distress, and weard, toward. Thus, says he, it fignifies, “ in magno difcrimine expellatione magni mali conftitutus." I rather think it should be written woolward, and that it means cloaihed in wool, and not in linen. This appears, not only from Shakípeare's context, but more particularly from an historian who relates the legend before cited, and whose words Stowe has evidently translated. This is Ailred abbot of Rievaulx, who says, that our blind man was admonished, “ Ecclesias numero octoginta nudis pedibus et absque linteis circumire.” Dec. Scriptor. 392. 50. The same story is told by William of Malmsbury, Geft. Reg. Angl. lib. ii. p. 91. edit. 1601. And in Caxton's Legenda Aurea, fol. 307. edit. 1493. By the way it appears, that Stowe's Vifunius Spileorne, son of Ulmore of Nutgarshall, ought to be Wulwin, surnamed de Spillicote, son of Wulmar de Lutegar helle, now Ludgershall: and the wood of Brutheullena is the forest of Bruelle, now called Brill, in Buckinghamshire. T. WARTON.

To this speech in the old copy Bøy. is prefixed, by which designation most of Moth's speeches are marked. The name of Boyet is generally printed at length. It seems better suited to Armado's page than to Boyet, to whom it has been given in the modern edi. tions. MALONE.

s I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of discretion, This has no meaning. We should read, the day of right, i. e. I

« PreviousContinue »