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whereupon doe grow goodly yellow flowres, glittering like 'golde, and like to those of crow-foot, but greater.' Parkinson, in his voluminous Herbal,' says that another name for these flowers is goulds; and under this name the flower is used by Chaucer as an emblem of jealousy :

And jelousy,
That wered of yolo guldes a garland,

And a cukkow sittyng on hire hand.' And Gower, probably because the flower expands only in bright sunshine, and is closed or locked in cloudy weather, represents Leucothoe as turned into it by the god of day :

• But Phebus, for the reverence
Of that she hadde be his love,
Hath wrought through his power above,
That she sprong up out of the molde
Into a flour was named golde,

Which stant governed of the sonne.' Of modern poets, Mrs. Loudon quotes one who, in describing a marsh celebrates its brightest flower under the less familiar classical name:

Caltha, in green and gold refulgent towers,
And isles of splendour shine, whose radiance pours

A glory .o'er the scene.' Tennyson's line in the May Queen ’ is quite familiar :• And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows

gray.' Again, the marsh marigold is the Lucken Gowan, the locked or folded daisy, of Scotch poetry, celebrated for its beauty by northern writers from Allan Ramsay to Alexander Smith-by the former in the Gentle Shepherd,' and by the latter in one of the most pathetic of his shorter lyrics.

We may be sure, therefore, that the marsh marigold had often caught Shakspeare's eye, and it is exactly the flower which the line we have quoted, viewed in relation to the whole context, requires in order to make the meaning complete. It haunts the watery margins as the constant associate of reeds and rushes, blooms in 'spongy April,' and in common with other water flowers, is twined with sedge to make cold nymphs

chaste crowns.' With regard to the form of the word, as found in the First Folio, Shakspeare simply writes it as it was universally pronounced among those who used it. In the midland and western counties, the peony is a great favourite

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in rustic gardens, and is looked upon as an important element of floral decoration in all rural festivities, especially at Whitsuntide, school-feasts, and club-walkings. And we can certify from personal experience that in these districts the word is pronounced as Shakspeare spells it, pi-o-ny, with a strong emphasis on the first syllable and the full English sound of the vowel, as though it were spelt pye-o-ny.

The other obscure and disputed word of the line, twilled, may be disposed of more rapidly. Twills is given by Halliwell as an older provincial word for reeds, and it was applied like quills to the serried rustling sedges of river reaches and marshy levels. The word is, indeed, still retained in its secondary application, being commercially used to denote the fluted or rib-like effect produced on various fabrics by a kind of ridged or corded weaving. Twilled cloth might equally be described as reeded cloth-cloth channelled or furrowed in a reed-like manner. Twilled is, therefore, the very word to describe the crowded sedges in the shallower reaches of the Avon as it winds round Stratford. It was, indeed, while watching the masses of waving sedge cutting the water-line of the Avon, not far from Stratford Church, that we first felt the peculiar force and significance of the epithet. And, although the season was too far advanced for the reeds to be brightened by the flowers of the marsh marigold, the plant was abundant enough to glorify the banks in the early spring. The whole line, therefore, gives a vivid and truthful picture of what is most characteristic of watery margins at that period of the year.

The next head of illustration is of a miscellaneous kind, including words and phrases left unexplained, or erroneously explained, connected with the manners and customs, the social usages and appliances, of Shakspeare's day. Of these we have collected a considerable number-upwards of thirty indeed. But waning space warns us not to multiply examples, and we must be satisfied with one or two specimens at most. The first is a word that often puzzled us in the earlier days of our acquaintance with Shakspeare, but which, so far as we are aware, the commentators have not noticed. It is the word tun occurring in the celebrated scene between the King and the French Ambassadors in Henry V.,' where the latter delivers the 'merry message and the mocking present of the Dauphin :

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Says, that

· First Amb. In answer of which claim, the prince our master

you savour too much of your youth; And bids you be advis'd, there's naught in France

That can be with a nimble galliard won;
You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this,

let the dukedoms that


claim Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks. K. Hen. What treasure,

uncle ?

Tennis-balls, my liege.
K. Hen. We're glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us ;
His present and your pains we thank you for :
When we have match'd our rackets to these balls,
We will, in France, by God's grace, play a set
Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard.'

Here the tun of treasure' is evidently brought in and delivered by the ambassador, and the puzzle always was how this could be conveniently or gracefully effected, if tun is to be taken in its ordinary sense. The only meaning of tun known to our lexicographers is that of a large cask, and how a large cask filled with tennis-balls could be brought by the ambassador and delivered in the King's presence, it is not very easy to see. The difficulty is, however, removed by remembering that tun, or in the older spelling tunne, had in Shakspeare's day two widely different meanings. While the generic sense in harmony with the etymology, is that which holds or contains, still the tun denoted vessels of very different sizes and uses. In addition to a large cask containing a certain measure of liquids or solids, it was applied to a goblet, chalice, or drinkingcup, more commonly a silver-gilt goblet. Thus Minsheu, on the English side of his Spanish Dictionary, gives a tunne, or *nut to drink in, cubiléte, which is explained,' a drinking-cup • of silver, or such a cup as juglers use to show divers tricks .by.' In illustration of this we may mention that in an old country town we remember an inn formerly known as “The · Three Tuns,' which had as its ancient painted sign three gilt goblets exactly like those used by street jugglers.

From a passage given by Halliwell, it would seem that nut or nutte was used like tun for a drinking-cup or goblet, which in wealthy houses was commonly of silver or silver-gilt. This sense of the word tun is further illustrated by a letter in Hakluyt's • Voyages,' describing an interview which the representatives of an English mercantile company had with the Emperor of Russia in the


1555:• We came before him the tenth day; and, before we came to his presence, we went throw a great chamber, where stood many small tunnes, pailes, bowles, and pots of silver. I mean, like washing bowles, all parsel gilt: and within that another chamber, wherein sate (I

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thinke) neere a hundred in cloth of gold; and then into the chamber where his grace sate, and there, I thinke, were more then in the other chamber, also in cloth of gold; and we did our duty, and showed his grace our queene's grace's letters.' The silver tunnes here described were evidently vessels of the same kind as the parcel-gilt goblet' on which the faithless

' Falstaff swore, ‘sitting in the Dolphin-chamber, at the round• table, by a sea-coal fire, upon Wednesday in Wheeson-week, to make Mistress Quickly my lady' his wife. This distinctive meaning of the word tun is, however, so completely forgotten that it does not occur in any of the English dictionaries, old or new, or in any Shakspearian glossary. The only exception we are aware of is that of Mr. Halliwell, who, in his • Provincial Dictionary,' gives, on the authority of Kennett,“ a • little cup,' as one meaning of tun. The word does not, however, occur in the Bishop's published Glossary, and we presume, therefore, it must be contained in some manuscript additions that have not yet seen the light. That this is the meaning to be attached to the word as used in ‘Henry V.' is abundantly evident from the older play on which Shakspeare founded his drama, and from which the incident of the tennis-balls is -derived. The parallel passage in the Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth ’ is as follows :

* Archbyshop. And it please your Majesty, My Lord Prince Dolphin greetes you well, With this present.

[He delivereth a tunne of tennis-balles.] Henry V. What a guilded tunne! I pray you, my Lord of Yorke, looke what is in it.

Yorke. And it please your Grace,
Here is a carpet and a tunne of tennis-balles.

Henry V. A tunne of tennis-balles ?
I pray you, good my Lord Archbishop,
What might the meaning thereof be?

Archbyshop. And it please you, my Lord,
A messenger you know ought to keepe close his message,
And specially an embassador.

Henry V. But I know that you may declare your message
To a king, the law of armes allowes no lesse.

Archbyshop. My Lord, hearing of your wildnesse before your
Father's death, sent you this, my good Lord,
Meaning that you are more fitter for a tennis-court

Than a field, and more fitter for a carpet than the campe.' Here the Archbishop evidently enters the King's presence, bearing in his hand the gilded tun or chalice filled with tennisballs, to the number probably of eight or ten, the balls being


covered with a square of carpet, and at the royal direction delivers both to the Duke of York. In · Henry V. the Ambassadors who take the place of the Archbishop deliver the present in the same way to the Duke of Exeter.

The last illustration we have space for is that of the phrase ‘unbarbed sconce, which occurs in · Coriolanus.' Those who are familiar with the drama will remember the scene in which Volumnia, Menenius, and Cominius unite in urging Coriolanus to return and speak the angry populace fair, in order to avert the impending mischief. His mother entreats him to yield for the moment, to curb his pride so far as to address the mutinous crowd, cap in hand, and with bended knee crave pardon for his previous harshness and ask their gentle loves :

Com. I've been i' the market-place; and, sir, 'tis fit
You make strong party, or defend yourself
By calmness or by absence: all's in anger.
Men. Only fair speech.

I think 'twill serve, if he
Can thereto frame his spirit.

He must, and will.
Prithee now, say you will, and go about it.

Cor. Must I go show them my unbarb'd sconce ? must I
With my base tongue give to my noble heart
A lie that it must bear? Well, I'll do't:
Yet were there but this single plot to lose,
This mould of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
And throw't against the wind.—To the market-place !-
You've put me now to such a part, which never

I shall discharge to the life.' Two main explanations of unbarb'd sconce' have been given: one by Stevens, to the effect that unbarbed means untrimmed, unshaven, to barb a man being a common expression for shaving him; the other by Hawkins, that unbarbed means bare-headed. In support of this, he says pertinently, but vaguely, that in the times of chivalry, when a horse was • fully armed and accoutred for the encounter he was said to • be barbed. Curiously enough, of these explanations the latter, and more correct, has been almost unanimously rejected by modern editors and critics. Thus, Mr. Dyce explains unbarbed, • unshorn, untrimmed;' the Cambridge editors give the same meaning, in the Globe Edition; while Todd, in his edition of Johnson, Richardson in his dictionary, and Nares in his Glossary, give unbarbed as unshorn, each quoting the passage in • Coriolanus' as the example. Mr. Staunton, it is true, adopts Hawkins' more correct interpretation, but he does this without

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