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said to have been born in Barbican, and to have attained to such disreputable celebrity, that about 1610 a book was published, entitled “The Madde Prancks of mery Mall of the Banckside, with her walkes in man's apparell and to what purpose, written by John Day.” In the following year she was made the heroine of a comedy by Middleton and Decker, called “The Roaring Girle, or Moll Cutpurse, as it hath lately beene Acted on the Fortune-stage by the Prince his Players," on the title-page of which she is represented in her male habiliments, and smoking tobacco. About the same time she did penance at St. Paul's Cross, of which ceremony the following account is preserved in a letter from John Chamberlain to Sir Dudley Carleton, dated February 12, 1611-12 :-"This last Sunday Moll Cutpurse, a notorious baggage that used to go in man's apparel, and challenged the field of diverse gallants, was brought to the same place, where she wept bitterly, and seemed very penitent; but it is since doubted she was maudlin drunk, being discovered to have tippel'd of three quarts of sack before she came to her penance. She died in 1659, and is stated to have left twenty pounds by her will for the Fleet-street conduit to run with wine when King Charles the Second returned, which happened soon after.

(1) SCENE III.--He plays o' the viol-de-gamboys.] Mr. Gifford observes (BEN JONSON's Works, II. 125), “that a viol-de-gambo (a bass viol, as Jonson also calls it) was an indispensable piece of furniture in every fashionable house, where it hung up in the best chamber, much as the guitar does in Spain, and the violin in Italy, to be played on at will, and to fill up the void of conversation. Whoever pretended to fashion, affected an acquaintance with this instrument." The allusions to it are frequent in our old dramas : thus, in the Induction to Marston's “Malcontent,” 1604:

“ SIxk. Save you, coose. SLY. O, coosin, come, you shall sit betweene my legges heare.

Sink. No, indeede, coosin, the audience then will take me for a viol-de-gambo, and thinke that you play upon me."

(2) SCENE III.-A parish-top.] "A large top was formerly kept in every village, to be whipped in frosty weather, that the peasants may be kept warm by exercise, and out of mischief, while they could not work.". STEEVENS.

The amusement must have been very popular, being repeatedly mentioned in early books : thus, in Beaumont and Fletcher's “Thierry and Theodoret,” Act II. Sc. 3:

I'll hazard
My life upon it, that a boy of twelve
Should scourge him hither like a parish-top,

And make him dance before you." So also in Taylor, the Water Poet's “ Jacke-a-Lent," p. 117, ed. 1630 :

“Were it not for these Netmongers, it is no fiat lye to say, the Flounder might lye flat in his watry Cabin, and the Eele (whose slippery taile put mee in mind of a formall Courtiers promise) would wriggle up and downe in his muddy habitation, which would bee a great discommodity for schoole-boyes, through the want of scourges to whip Gigs and Toune-Tops."

(3) SCENE III.-The buttery-bar.] This was a favourite locality in the palaces of royalty, and in the houses of the opulent. Mr. Halliwell has furnished an engraving of one still preserved at Christ Church College, Oxford ; and he remarks that “this relic of ancient customs is still found in most of our ancient colleges. “Furst every mornyng at brekefast oon chyne of beyf at our kechyn, oon chete loff and oon maunchet at our panatry barre, and a galon of ale at our buttrye barre ; Item, at dyner, a pese of beyfe, a stroke of roste, and a reward at our said kechyn, a cast of chete bred at our panatry barre, and a galon of ale at our luttry barre.'-MS. dated 1522,"

(5) SCENE V.-Cloun.] Clown, in our old plays, was the generical term for the buffone, or low-comedy character of the piece. Sometimes this merry-man was a mere country bumpkin, like the old shepherd's son in “The Winter's Tale ;'or a shrewd rustic, like Costard in “Love's Labour's Lost ;” or a witty retainer, such as Launce in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona ;” and Launcelot in “ The Merchant of Venice;" sometimes he was an “allowed," or hired domestic jester, like Touchstone in “As You Like it," Lavatch in “All's Well that Ends Well," and the fool in the present comedy. For a description of the sort of amusement the domestic fools were expected to afford their employers, see note (2), p. 54.

(6) SCENE V.He says, he'll stand at your door like a sheriff's post.] The doors of Mayors' and "Sheriffs' houses were furnished with ornamented posts, on which were set up the royal and civic proclamations. It appears to have been the custom to repaint the posts whenever a new election of these officials took place : thus in Lingua : ' “Knowes he how to become a scarlet gowne? hath he a paire of fresh posts at his doore?” And again in “ Skialetheia, or a Shadowe of Truth," 1598:

“ Or like a new sherifes gate-posts, whose old faces

Are furbished over to smoothe time's disgraces." A pair of Mayors' posts are still standing in Norwich, which, from the initials T. P. and the date 159. ., are conjectured to have belonged to Thomas Pettys, who was Mayor of that city in 1592.

(4) SCENE III.- Mistress Mall's picture.] The picture in question is supposed to be a portrait of one Mary Frith, commonly known as Mall Cut-purse, an Amazonian bona roba, to whom allusions innumerable are made by the dramatic and satirical writers of the period. She is


neck, and yet the lewd letherand lurdon went forth, and met seven acres of land betwixt Dover and Quicksand, and he brought an acre in his recke [hand-basket] from the Tower of London unto the Tower of Babilon; and, as he went by the way, he had a foul fall, and he fell down at the castle of Dover into a gruel pot, and brake both his shins. Thereof came tripping to the king of Hongre, that all people which might not lightly come to the Plain of Salisbury, but the fox and the grey convent, should pray for all the old shoe-soles that ben roasted in the king's dish on Saturday.”

(3) SCENE III.-Let our catch be, Thou knave.] In this catch, the notes of which we append, the fun consists in the parts being so contrived that each singer in turn calls his fellow knare.


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Hold thy peace! and I pri-thee hold thy peace.

Thou knave!

Hold thy peace, thou knave!

Thou knave!

(1) SCENE III.Did you never see the picture of re three ?] The Clown roguishly refers to a once common sign, which represented two fools drinking, with an inscription beneath of “We three loggerheads be."

(4) SCENE III.-Malvolio s a Peg a-Ramsey.] The words of the old ballad of Peg-a-Rumsey are lost, but Mr. Chappell informs us that "there are two tunes under the name, and both as old as Shakespeare's time. The first is called Peg-a-Ransey in William Ballet's Lute Book, and is given by Sir John Hawkins as the tune quoted in the text. (See the Variorum edition.) Little Pegge of Ramsie’ is one of the tunes in a manuscript by Dr. Bull, which formed a part of Dr. Pepusch's, and afterwards of Dr. Kitchener's library.”

(5) SCENE III.- Three merry men be we.) This song is mentioned in Peele's “Old Wives' Tale,” 1595. Anticke, Frolicko, and Fantasticke, three adventurers, are lost in a wood in the night, and Anticke says, “Let us rehearse the old proverb :

“Three merrie men, and three merrie men,

And three merrie men be wee;
I in the wood, and thou on the ground,

And Jacke sleeps in the tree.'" The burden being a jovial and popular one, is continually quoted by the old play-wrights. For the tune the reader is referred to Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, Vol. I. p. 216.


“ Plain home-spun stuffe shall now proceed from me, Much like unto the picture of Wee Three."

Taylor's Farewell to the Tower-Boltles, 1622. There is a marginal note to this passage,

_" The picture of two fooles and the third looking on, I doe fitly compare with the two black bottles and myselfe.”

(2) SCENE III.-In sonth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night, when thou spok'st of Pigrogromitus, of the Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus.] Sir Andrew's commendation calls to mind one of the most characteristic accomplishments of the wittiest domestic jesters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We say the wittiest, for, without distributing the Clowns of the period according to the careful classification adopted by Mr. Douce, it is evident that, in the Fool's calling, as in others, there were various degrees, and that the first-class jester of a royal or noble family ranked as much above his brother clown of the cominon sort, as the leading histrion of a London theatre tops the poor varlet who struts and frets his hour upon the stage at a country fair; “ I marvel,” says Malvolio, “ that your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal ; I saw him put down the other day with an ordinary fool, that has no more brains than a

All clowns were capable, more or less, of the biting sarcasms and coarse practical merriment which their vocation licensed; but few, probably, had sufficient information, not to say learning, to garnish their discourse with the mock erudition and the snatches of axiomatical philosophy exhibited by the jesters of “ Twelfth Night” and “Aš You Like It ;" and from them any reasoning admitting a sensible interpretation must not, of course, be looked for; though something may be traced in them which bears a close affinity to the fantastic extravagance and wild conceits of Rabelais.

The source, however, of their sham sententiousness is of an earlier date than the romance of the great French satirist. The first known edition of that work is dated 1532; but in the library of M. de Bure were found two more ancient though undated books, entitled · Les Chroniques de Gargantua,which have much of this peculiar humour. The history of Gargantua, as an enormous giant, was well known too in England during the sixteenth century, though the romance relating to him contains nothing of the amusing rhodomontade indulged in by Rabelais and the humorists in question. A remote resemblance to it may be detected in some parts of the poems of Robert Longland, “The Vision and Creed of Pierce Ploughman;" and there is extant a genuine specimen of the “excellent fooling” for which the clowns of Shakespeare stand unrivalled, in the form of a mock sermon, in a manuscript of the fifteenth century, preserved in the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh, which, with other burlesques of the same date, was printed in 1841 by Mr. T. Wright, in the Reliquiæ Antiqua, Vol. I. pp. 82-84. One extract from this effusion, with the orthography partly modernised, will convey no very imperfect notion of the clown's “gracious fooling” with Sir Toby and his companion knight :-“Why hopest thou not, for sooth, that there stood once a cook on St. Paul steeple top, and drew up the strapuls of his breech? How provest thou that? By all the four doctors of Wynebere hylles; that is to say, Vertas, Gadatryme, Trumpas, and Dadyl Trymsert; the which four doctors say, that there was once an old wife had a cook to her son; and he looked out of an old dove-cote, and warned and charged that no man should be so hardy neither to ride nor to go od St. Paul steeple top but if he rode on a three-footed stoot,' or else that he brought with him a warrant of his


(6) SCENE III.-There duelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!] Of this long and wearisome ballad we have already given a sufficient sample (Vol. I. p. 217) in illustration of the familiar burden, * lady, lady.” In a broadside preserved in the Roxburghe collection, it is headed, “An excellent Ballad, Intituled, The constancy of Susanna. To an excellent new tune. A “ballette of the godly constante wyse Susanna," was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company so early as 1562-3, and a play on the same subject was printed in 1578.

(7) SCENE III.-Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.] The ballad referred to in the note at p. 247, is printed by Percy, (Reliques, i. 205,) from an ancient miscellany, entitled “The golden Garland of princely delights."

shot arrows. Litle more then a yeare after I maried, 1 and my wife being at Skreenes with my father, (the plague being soe in London, and my building not finished, ) I had exercised my-selfe with a stone-bou and a spar-hawke at the bush.'-Autobiography of Sir John BRAMSTON, p. 108."—HALLIWELL,


Sad true lover ne'er find my grave,

To weep there !) On comparing the Duke's description of that “antique song” he heard last night, with this ballad, the difference is so striking, as to beget suspicion that the latter was an interpolation and not the original song intended by the poet. It appears, indeed, to have been the privilege of the singer formerly, whenever the business of the scene required a song, to introduce one of his own choice; hence we frequently find in our old dramas, instead of the words of a ballad, merely a stage direction, “A Song,” or “He sings."

(10) SCENE V.-U, O, A, I, doth sway my life.] Fustian riddles of this kind were not uncommon in Shakespeare's time, and several examples are quoted by Mr. Halliwell. Thus, in the “Squyr of Lowe Degre”—

In the myddes of your sheld ther shal be set
A ladyes head, with many a frete;
Above the head wrytten shall be
A reason for the love of me;
Both O and R shall be therein,
With A and M it shall begynne.

(9) SCENE V.-0, for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye ! ] A stone-bow was a cross-bow made for propelling stones, or rather bullets, merely in contradistinction to a bow that


(1) SCENE I.-Enter Clown with a tabor.] The tabor was a favourite instrument with the professional fools. Most people are familiar with the print prefixed to Tarlton's Jests, 1611, in which that famous comedian is represented playing on a pipe and beating a small drum or tabor. Mr. Knight, in his “ Pictorial Shakspere,” has given an earlier portrait of Tarlton, (the original, apparently, of that attached to the “Jests,”) which is taken from the Harleian MS. No. 3885. It is to this representation, probably, that allusion is made in “ The pleasant and Stately Morall of the three Lordes and three Ladies of London.” By Robert Wilson, 1590. The dialogue is between Wil, Wit, Wealth (pages of the three Lords), and Simplicitie (“a poore Free man of London").

Simplicitie. “This is Tarlton's picture. Didst thou neuer know Tarlton?"

Wil. “No: what was that Tarlton ? I neuer knew him."

Simplicilie. “What was he? A prentice in his youth of this honourable city, God be with him. When he was young, he was leaning to the trade that my wife vseth nowe, and I haue vsed, tide lice shirt, water bearing. I wis he hath tost a tankard in Cornehil er nowe: If thou knewst him not, I will not call thee ingram; but if thou knewest not him, thou knewest nobody. I warrant, her's two crack ropes knew him."

Wit. "I dwelt with him." thou? now giue me thy hand : I loue thee the better.”

Wit. “And I, too, sometime.”
Simplicitie. "You, child ! did you dwell with him sometime ?

Wit dwelt with him, indeed, as appeared by his rime, and served him well; and Wil was with him now and then. But soft : thy name is Wealth: I think in earnest he was litle acquainted with thee. 0, it was a fine fellow, as ere was borne: There will neuer come his like while the earth can corne. 0, passing tine Tarlton! I would thou hadst liued yet.

Wealth. He might have some, but thou showest small wit. There is no such finenes in the picture, that I can see." Simplicitie. “Thou art no Cinque Port man; thou art not wit

free. The finenes was within, for without he was plaine; But it was the merriest fellow, and had such jests in store, That if thou hadst scene him, thou wouldst have laughed thy

hart sore." (2) SCENE I.-Then westward-ho!] In our poet's time the Thames formed the great highway of traffic, and " Westward, ho!” “Eastward, ho!" equivalent to the modern omnibus conductor's “West-end !" **City!" were the cries with which the watermen made its shores resound from morn till night. At that period, before the general introduction of coaches, there were not less, according to Taylor, than forty thousand of these clamorous Tritons plying their calling on the river in and near to the metropolis; and their desperate contentions to secure custom sometimes led to scenes of scandalous riot and confusion. Decker took the exclamation “Westward, ho!” for the title of a comedy, and Jonson, Chapman, and Marston

adopted that of “ Eastward, ho!” for one jointly written by them a few years afterwards.

(3) SCENE II.- A Brownist.] The Brownists were a sect who derived their name from Robert Browne, a gentleman of good family, and who had been educated at Cambridge. He separated from the Church, and gave great offence about 1580 by maintaining that her discipline was Popish and Antichristian, and her ministers not rightly ordained. Strype, in his life of Whitgift, relates, however, that in the year 1589 he

“ went off from the separation, and came into the communion of the Church."

(4) SCENE II.-If thou thou'st him some thrice, it shall not be amiss.] Theobald's conjecture that this passage was levelled at the Attorney-General Coke for his thouing Sir Walter Raleigh is at once put out of court since “ Twelfth Night” is discovered to have been acted nearly two years before Sir Walter's trial took place. But if Theobald were ignorant of the fact, subsequent editors who have adopted his supposition ought to have known that to thou any body was once thought a direct mark of insult, as might be shown by a hundred examples. Mr. Singer has adduced one pertinent illustration from “The Enimie of Idlenesse,” by William Fulwood, 1568 : “A merchaunt having many servantes, to his chiefest may speake or wryte by this terme you : but to them whome he lesse esteemeth, and are more subject to correction, he may use thys terme thou.The following, from the “Galateo of Maister John Della Casa, Archebishop of Beneventa,” 4to. Lond. 1576, pp. 45-6, is even still more to the purpose :

Many times it chaunceth that men come to daggers drawing, even for this occasion alone, that one man hath not done the other, that worship and honour uppon the way, that he ought. For to saye a trueth, the power of custome is great and of much force, and would be taken for a lawe, in these cases. And that is the cause we say : You : to every one, that is not a man of very base calling, and in suche kinde of speach wee yealde such a one, no maner of courtesie of our owne. But if wee say: Thou : to suche a one, then wee disgrace him and offer him outrage and wronge: and by suche speach, seeme to make no better reconing of him, then of a knave and a clowne. **** So that it behoves us, hedefully to marke the doings and speache, wherewith daily practise and custome, wonteth to receave, salute, and name in our owne country, all sortes and kinds of people, and in all our familiar communication with men, let us use the same. And notwithstanding the Admerall (as, peradventure, the maner of his time was such) in his talke with Peter the king of Aragon, did many times Thou him: Let us yet saye to our King, Your majestie : and your highnes : as well in speache as in writing.'

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(5) SCENE II.- The new map, with the augmentation of the Indies.] An allusion, it is supposed, to a multilineal map engraved for the English translation of Linschoten's Voyages, published in 1598. Of a portion of this “ new map,” Mr. Knight has given a copy in his “ Pictorial Shakspere," among the notes to the present play.

(6) SCENE IV.-It is with me as the very true son net is, Please one, and please all.] Of this “very true sonnet” a copy, believed to be unique, was discovered a few years ago, and is now in the possession of Mr. George Daniel. It is adorned with a rude portrait of Queen Elizabeth, with her feathered fan, starched ruff, and ample farthingale, and is said to have been the composition of her majestie's right merrie and facetious droll, Dick Tarlton. The numbers of this recovered relic are not lofty, nor the expression very felicitous ; but “Please One and Please All” is worth preserving, both as an illustration of Shakespeare, and as a specimen of the quaint and simple old ballad literature of our forefathers:

A pretite new Ballad, iniytuied:
The Virowe sits upon the wall,

please one and please all.
To the tune of, Please one and please all.

Please one and please all,
Be they great be they small,
Be they little be they lowe,
So pypeth the Crowe,

sitting upon a wall:
Please one and please all,

please one and please all.
Be they white be they black,
Have they a smock on their back,
Or a kercher on her head,
Whether they spin silke or thred,

Whatsoever they them call :

Please one and please all.
Be they sluttish be they gay,
Love they worke or love they play,
Whatsoever be theyre cheere,
Drinke they ale or drinke they beere,

Whether it be strong or small:

please one and please all.
Be they sower be they swete,
Be they shrewish be they meeke,
Weare they silke or cloth so good
Velvet bonnet or french-hood,

upon her head a cap or call :

please one and please all.
Be they halt be they lame,
Be she Lady be she dame,
If that she doo weare a pinne,
Keepe she taverne or keepe she Inne,

Either bulke bouth or stall:

please one and please all.
The good wife I doo meane,
Be she fat or be she leare,
Whatsoever that she be,
This the Crowe tolde me,

sitting uppon a wall :

please one and please all.
If the good wife speake aloft,
See that you then speake soft,
Whether it be good or ill,
Let her doo what she will:

and to keepe yourselfe from thrall,

please one and please all.
If the good wife be displeased,
All the whole house is diseased,
And therefore by my will,
To please her learne the skill,

Least that she should alwaise brall:

please one and please all.
If that you bid her do ought,
Jf that she doo it not,
And though that you be her goodman,
You yourself must doo it then,

be it in kitchin or in hall:

please one and please all.
L-t her hare her owne will,
Thus the Crowe pypeth still,
Whatsoever she command,
See that you doo it out of hand,

whensoever she doth call:

please one and please all.

Be they wanton be they wilde,.
Be they gentle be they milde :
Be shee white be shee browne,
Doth shee skould or doth she frowne,

Let her doo what she shal:

please one and please all.
Be she coy be she proud,
Speake she soft or speake she loud,
Be she simple be she flaunt,
Doth she trip or dooth she taunt,

the Crowe sits upon the wall:

please one and please all.
Is she huswife is she none,
Dooth she drudge dooth she grone,
Is she nimble is she quicke,
Is she short, is she thicke,

Let her be what she shall:
please one and please all.
Be she cruel be she curst,
Come she last come she first,
Be they young be they olde,
Doo they smile doo they scold,

though they doo nought at all:

please one and please all.
Though it be some Crowes guise,
Oftentimes to tell lyes,
Yet this Crowes words dooth try,
That her tale is no lye,

For thus it is and ever shall

please one and please all.
Please one and please all,
Be they great be they small,
Be they little be they lowe,
So pipeth the Crowe,

sitting upon a wall:
please one and please all,
please one and please all.

RT Imprinted at London for Henry Kyrkham, dwelling at the little

North doore of Paules, at the syne of the blacke Boy. (7) SCENE IV.-On carpet consideration.] By, carpet consideration Shakespeare points at the carpet knights, or knights of the green cloth, as those persons were called who attained to the distinction of knighthood, not by military services, but for some real or supposed merit in their civil capacities. Of such, Francis Markham, in The Booke of Honour, folio 1625, p. 71, observes : “Next unto these (he had been speaking of Dunghill, or Truck knights) in degree, but not in qualitie (for these are truly for the most part vertuous and worthie), is that rank of Knights which are called Carpet Knights, being men who are by the prince's grace and favour made knights at home and in the time of peace, by the imposition or laying on of the king's sword, having, by some special service done to the common-wealth, or for some other particular virtues made known to the soveraigne, as also for the dignitie of their births, and in recompence of noble and famous actions done by their ancestors, deserved this great title and dignitie."

Randal Holme, in much the same terms, describes the several orders of persons eligible for the title, and speaks of it as an honourable distinction. It is plain, however, from innumerable passages in the old writers, that, to the popular idea, a carpet knight was synonymous then, as it is now, with an effeminate popinjay, who gained by favour what he would never have won by deeds. So, in Harrington's epigram, “Of Merit and Demerit:"

“ That captaines in those days were not regarded :

That only Carpet-knights were well rewarded.” Whetstone, in the story of Rinaldo and Giletta, in The Rock of Regard, 1576, says :-“Now he consults with carpet knights about curious masks and other delightfu) shewes ; anon he runs unto the tailer's, to see his apparell made of the straungest and costliest fashion.” And in “A Happy Husband, or Directions for a Maid to chuse her Mate, together with a Wive's Behaviour after Mariage," by Patrick Hannay, Gent. 1622, there is a full-length portrait of the character:

A carpet knight, who makes it his chiefe care

To trick him neatly up, and doth not spare
(Though sparing) precious time for to devoure;
Consulting with his glasse, a tedious houre

Soon flees, spent so, while each irreguler haire
His Barbor rectifies, and to seem rare,
His heat-lost lockes, to thicken closely curles,
And curiously doth set his misplac'd purles;
Powders, perfumes, and then profusely spent,
To rectifie his native, nasty sent:

This forenoones task perform'd, his way he takes,
And chamber-practis'd craving cursies makes
To each he meets; with cringes, and screw'd faces,
(Which his too partiall glasse approv'd for graces :)
Then dines, and after courts some courtly dame,
Or idle busie-bout misspending game;" &c.

ACT IV. (1) SCENE II.—Clear-stories.] The clear-stories are the

A Robyn,- Jolly Robyn, upper story or row of windows in a church, hall, or other

Tell me how thy leman doeth,- And thou shalt erection, rising clear above the adjoining parts of the

knowe of myn. building, adopted as a means of obtaining an increase of

My lady is unkyinde, perde.-Alack! why is she

so? light. Whereupon a iij thousand werkmen was werkynge

She loveth an other better than me :--And yet she iiij monethes to make it so grete in quantyté, so statly,

will say, no and all with clere-story lyghtys, lyk a lantorne, the roffis RESPONSE. I fynde no such doubleness:-1 fynde women true. garnyshed with sarsnettys and buddys of golde, and

My lady loveth me dowtles,---And will change

for no newe. borderyd over all the aras over longe to dysturbe the rychnes therof.”-ARNOLD's Chronicle.

LE PLAINTIF. Thou art happy while that doeth last;-But I say,

as I fynde,

That woman's love is but a blast, --- And torneth (2) SCENE II.

with the wynde.

RESPONSE. But if thou wilt avoyde thy harme,-Lerne this. Hey Robin, jolly Robin,

lesson of me, Tell me how thy lady does . ]

At others fieres thy selfe to warme,–And let them The original of this song is preserved in a MS. con

warme with the.

LE PLAINTIF. Suche folkes can take no harme by love,-That taining poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt, and is entitled “The

can abide their torn, careful Lover complaineth, and the happy Lover coun

But I, alas, can no way prove-In love but lake selleth:'

and morn."-HALLIWELL.


“Soon after this they spake of sondry things Why should I not, had I the heart to do it,

As fill to purpose of this aventure, Like to th' Egyptian thief at point of death,

And playing enterchaungeden her rings Kill what I love ?]

of which I can not tellen no scripture.” This relates, perhaps, as Theobald suggested, to a story

When espousals took place at church, rings were also. found in the Æthiopics of Heliodorus. The Egyptian

interchanged. According to the ritual of the Greek thief was Thyamis, a native of Memphis, and the chief of a

church, the priest first placed the rings on the fingers of band of robbers. Theagenes and Chariclea falling into

the parties who afterwards exchanged them. Sometimes. their hands, Thyamis fell desperately in love with the lady,

the man only gave a ring. and would have married her. Soon after, a strong body of II. The kiss that was mutually given. When this robbers coming down upon the band of Thyamis, he was

ceremony took place at church, the lady of course withunder such apprehensions for his beloved that he had her

drew the veil which was usually worn on the occasion; shut up in a cave with his treasure. It was customary for when in private, the drinking of healths generally followed, those barbarians, “when they despaired of their own III. The joining of hands. This is often alluded to by safety, first to make away with those whom they held Shakspeare himself. dear," and desired for companions in the next life. Thya- IV. The testimony of witnesses. That of the priest mis, therefore, benetted round with his enemies, raging

alone was generally sufficient, though we often find many with love, jealousy, and anger, betook himself to his cave; and calling aloud in the Egyptian tongue, so soon as he

other persons attending the ceremony. The words “there

before him,' and 'he shall conceal it,' in Olivia's speech, heard himself answered towards the mouth of the cave by

sufficiently demonstrate that betrothing and not marriage a Grecian, making to the speaker by the direction of the

is intended; for in the latter the presence of the priest voice, he caught her by the hair with his left hand, and

alone would not have sufficed. In later times, espousals in (supposing her to be Chariclea) with his right hand plunged the church were often prohibited in France, because his sword into her breast.

instances frequently occurred where the parties, relying (2) SCENE I.

on the testimony of the priest, scrupled not to live A contract of eternal bond of love,

together as man and wife, which gave rise to much Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands,

scandal and disorder."-DOUCE's Illustrations of ShakAttested by the holy close of lips,

speare, I. 109–113. Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings.]

(3) SCENE I. - When that I ras and a little tiny boy.)

, It The ceremony which had taken place between Olivia and is to be regretted, perhaps, that this “nonsensical ditty," as Sebastian, Mr. Douce has conclusively shown, was not an Steevens terms it, has not been long since degraded to the actual marriage, but that which was called espousals, foot-notes. It was evidently one of those jigs, with which namely, a betrothing, affiancing, or promise of future mar- it was the rude custom of the Clown to gratify the groundriage. “Vincent de Beauvais, a writer of the thirteenth lings upon the conclusion of a play. These absurd comcentury, in his Speculum historiale, lib. ix. c. 70, has defined positions, intended only as a vehicle for buffoonery, were espousals to be a contract of future marriage, made either usually improvisations of the singer, tagged to some by a simple promise, by earnest or security given, by a popular ballad-burden-or the first lines of various songs ring, or by an oath. During the same period, and the strung together in ludicrous juxtaposition, at the end of following centuries, we may trace several other modes of each of which, the performer indulged in hideous grimace, betrothing, some of which it may be worth while to a grotesque sort of “Jump Jim Crow

dance. Of describe more at large.

these " nonsense songs,” we had formerly preserved three I. The interchangement of rings. Thus in Chaucer's or four specimens, but they have unfortunately got Troilus and Creseide, book 3:


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