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The pig affords an admirable touch, the known as the urchin, but I do not think master's own. Those three "hell-dogs Shakespeare ever uses the second name. of bloody kind"-Aaron the Moor and He mentions the hedgehog four times the sons of Tamora—are sitting in coun- as an animal, and as many times uses cil with the nurse, as to the best thing the word urchin, but each time as a to do now that Aaron's criminal intrigue synonym for “goblin.” In the“ Merry with the Empress is betrayed. The Wives of Windsor,” Mrs. Page, when nurse has the black proof, the “ tad- rehearsing the punishment of Sir John, pole,” in a shawl on her lap.
says : “ AARON : How many saw the child ? “Nan Page, my daughter, and my little son, NURSE : Cornelia the midwife, and myself, And three or four more of their growth,
And no one else, but the deliver'd we'll dress
Like urchins, ouphes, and fairies,
“And till he tell the truth
(stabbing the nurse) How could you dress children “like" Weke ! Weke ! so cries the pig, pre- hedgehogs ? and why should hedgehogs parèd to the spit."
“pinch”? Again, in the “ Tempest, The utter callousness of the bloody Moor Prospero, finishing Caliban, says : is brought out by this unexpected line
“ urchins with startling vividness. Not even his Shall, for that vast of night that they may own vaunting confessions afterward, in work, which the very nadir of crime is All exercise on thee : thou shalt be pinched
As thick as honey.combs." sounded, can add to our sense of the villain's' devilish indifference to others' Surely hedgehogs are not meant here? sufferings after that “Weke ! Weke! And Caliban, soliloquizing over his 80 cries the pig.
ishment, afterward says: Another illustration of the continuity
“ His spirits hear me, of the natural history of Shakespeare is And yet I needs must curse. But they'll nor afforded by the use of the word
pinch, “urchins." Tamora, in order to en- Fright me with urchin shows, pitch me i' the
mire rage her sons against them, is charging
.. unless he bid them." Lavinia and her husband with having Here the word is most obviously meant made the most monstrous threats for “ goblin,” or “elfin.” And note against her life and with employing en- how this very soliloquy of Caliban's chantments for her torture :
proceeds : “ They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
“ For every trifle are they set upon me; A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing
Sometimes like apes snakes,
theu like hedgehogs, which Ten thousand swelling toads, as many
Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way, and mount urchins,
Their pricks at my foot-fall." Would make such fearful and confused cries, Here we have "urchin" and "hedgeAs any mortal body, hearing it, Should straight fali mad, or else die sud- hog” in one and the same passage, the denly.
double meaning of urchin being so No sooner had they told this hellish tale, familiar to his audience that ShakesBat straight they told me, they would bind peare did not hesitate to use both names me here
of the one animal in two senses in Unto the body of a dismal yew ; And leave me to this miserable death."
the one sentence. At any rate, no one
will suppose that Shakespeare meant Now, in Shakespeare's day (as indeed " hedgehog shows” when he said at the present) the hedgehog * was “ urchin shows." So I see no reason
whatever for supposing that when he * When Lady Anne calls Gloster a hedgehog, used the word "urchin,” for the fourth tion with his crest of a hog, or from its gen- time, in “ Titus Andronicus,” he meant erally “obscene” and ill-omened reputation. to convey a different meaning than on
the three previous occasions of its use. age. Happy thought ! urchin. This On the contrary. Is it possible to con- word exactly completes the line and ceive Shakespeare, when piling up the crowns its sense. Ten thousand “gobhorrors of the scene, adding, as an ele- lins," that should pinch and torment ment of peril and wicked enchantment, the bound Tamora, and yet just enough ten thousand hedgehogs ? Can you im- of the hedgehog left in, after all, to agine it-ten thousand hedgehogs ! satisfy the author's requirements of Swarms of snakes and toads, myriads of sorcery, and to let those who preferred them, are horrible in contemplation; the acre of hedgehogs enjoy their fancy. the number alone makes them horrible. To turn now to the hunting scene. But hedgehogs. Think of the Empress, Let me quote from this, and from anbound to a dismal yew with an acre of other, play : hedgehogs round her! No. Shakes
1. "Uncouple here, and let us make a bay. peare intended the word urchin here to mean, as it does on the other three oc.
Everything doth make a gleeful boast ; casions in his plays, “ goblins.” The The birds chaunt melody on every bush ; picture is then completo, “ ten thousand The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun ; goblins."
The green leaves quiver with the cooling
wind, It might be objected that, having “ fiends" already,
And make a checker'd shadow on the goblins" would be
ground. redundant, but Shakespeare does not think so. To quote one example And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the (• Comedy of Errors”) :
Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns, “We lurk with goblins, owls,* and elvish sprites. As if a double hunt were heard at once, If we obey them not, this will ensue,
Let us sit down and mock their swelling They'll suck our breath, or pinch us black
noise. and blue." Now the use of this ambiguous word 2. “My love shall hear the musick of my
hounds. here is distinctly interesting. For the
Uncouple in the western valley ; go hedgehog is one of the special ani
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's mals of Shakespeare's fauna of witch
top, craft and abomination, which comprises
And mark the musical confusion also toads, “snakes" of all kinds, owls
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
Never did I hear and ravens ; and the writer, flashing
Such gallant chiding : for besides the through his mind his repertory of
groves, “ damned” things, and needing a dis The skies, the fountains, every region syllable to make the line and its horror complete — thought of hedgehogs.
Seem'd all one mutual cry : I never heard
So musical a discord.” When the three witches are making “hell-broth :" when Titania's body- One of these passages is admitted by all guard are exorcising all evil things : authors and critics, and Dr. Johnson, when Prospero tells Ariel to “charge his to be indubitably Shakespeare's ; the goblins” to torment his would-be mur other is just as unanimously rejected. derers—the hedgehog recurs punctually Which is which ? to Shakespeare's mind every time and is By searching the other plays, huntadded accordingly. So on the fourth ing-passages will be found which so amand only other occasion on which the plify, illustrate, repeat, and blend with, black art is directly and seriously em
both of the above that one can no more ployed, Shakespeare, having already in pick out a single thread from the tissue troduced “snakes" and toads,
and say it is genuine Shakespeare than "Owl" and "raven,” thought naturally you can pluck birdlime out of frieze." of hedgehog. But ten thousand hedge Again, the Emperor, addressing hogs ! One can almost imagine that Tamora, says, “Madam, now shall ye one hears Shakespeare laugh at the im see our Roman hunting," whereupon Ouphs” would be a better reading, and their hounds, that
Marcus and Titus begin to brag about
** will rouse the then we should have exactly the same line qnoted above from the Merry Wives of proudest panther in the chase, and Windsor."
climb the highest promontory top," and
their horses that“ will follow where the ing, angling, snaring and ferreting. game makes way, and run like swallows This is surely Shakespeare. o'er the plain.”
In “Midsummer Again, the ever-present idea of sport Night's Dream,” Theseus, addressing suggests the phrase if she” (the bearHippolyta, says, “My love shall hear whelp's dam)" wind you once." Both the musick of my hounds,” whereupon as hunter and falconer the importance the Queen proudly speaks of when she of the wind in any undertaking is rewas with Hercules and Cadmus once," membered. In the same play, Aaron, and they “ bayed the bear in Sparta," seating himself with his “ black-a-moor and vaunts the music of the Spartan baby' safely out of reach of the rapier pack; upon which Theseus at once that Chiron wishes to “spit the tadbegins to brag about his own pack, and pole” on, says : says they are Spartan-bred :
“We will have the wind of you." “So flewed, so sanded : and their heads are hung
“Why do you go about,” says Hamlet With ears that sweep away the morning dew; testily to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Crook-kneed, and dew-lapped like Thessalian whom he suspects of treachery,“ to rebulls ;
cover the wind of me?" In “ Henry Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like VI.,” Clarence of the cunning Gloster
bells, Each under each."
says : “ He knows the game : how true
he keeps the wind !" Further examples The coincidence is significant, and how of these “Shakespearean” touches rarely true to human nature. Shakes- could be easily, but it seems to me un. peare knew how very hard it is for necessarily, multiplied. sportsmen to meet without bragging Flying high suggests to him, as it so and "rivalry in reminiscence." (For often does elsewhere, hawking; and other parallels see “ Henry IV.")
Aaron, speaking of his mistress who has “Straying in the park.
climbed aloft says he too will“ mount Seeking to hide herself, as doth the deer That hath received some unrecuring wound.” mount her pitch.”
aloft with his imperial mistress and The incident of Lavinia's outrage bas Compare this with the passage in occurred during “ a solemn hunting,” “ Henry VI.” where Suffolk, talking and she herself, by her ravishers, was of Gloster's hawks, says : called “the dainty doe.” Her uncle, “ They know their master loves to be aloft, returning from the chase, finds her And bears his thoughts above his falcon's wandering in the wood, and Shakespeare
pitch." appropriately continues the hunting To which Gloster : metaphor, using a simile he uses several “My lord, 'tis but a base, ignoble mind times elsewhere, not only of deer, as in That mounts no higher than a bird can the following, from “ As You Like It": soar." “ To the which place a poor sequestered stag
But the two passages, apart from such That from the bunter's aim had ta'en a hurt, exact similarity of phrase, are instinct Did come to languish ;"
with identical sentiment, and each is in but also of other game, as in “Much Shakespeare's most authentic vein. Ado About Nothing":
The birds of the play are altogether “ Alas, poor hurt fowl! Now will he creep
Shakespearean. into sedges."
Citizens in tumult and scared by sudHere, too, should be noted a touch as den danger suggest “a flight of severed to illicit sport, which Shakespeare so fowl.” So in Midsummer Night's constantly introduces when speaking of Dream,” the wild geuse “who the illicit passion. Demetrius asks :
creeping fowler eye, “sever them“ What, hast not thou full often struck a doe,
selves, and madly sweep the sky.” And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose ?"
The eagle occurs in an admirable Elsewhere, it is “groping for trouts in passage, the ring of which is distinctly a peculiar river" Measure for Meas
Shakespeare : ure”), “ fishing another's pond” in his “ The eagle suffers little birds to sing,
And is not careful what they mean thereby absence ( Winter's Tale"), with other
Knowing that with the shadow of his wing variations drawn from hunting, fowl. He can at pleasure stint their melody."
This idea that “the abuse of great- dronicus" itself. Aaron, counselling ness is, when it disjoins remorse from the outrage on Lavinia, says, power"-of the really strong “suffer- woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and ing" the feeble—"sweet mercy is nobil- dull"; and Titus, lamenting the outity's true badge” – is frequent in rage, but not having heard Aaron, says, Shakespeare, and needs no support from woods are ruthless, vast, and quotation. In just the same spirit are gloomy." No one less than Shakespeare the lines in " Venus and Adonis." would do this, in this inartistic way. " To see his face the lion walk'd along
But Shakespeare often did not even read Behind some hedge, because he would not fear over his manuscript. As it was written him."
80 it stands, the first thoughts of his Titus Andronicus” is, distinctive. mind, and the wonder of time to the last.
There are other touches of natural ly, a play of wrong and revenge-of
black Revenge” that has “ palfreys blackness in the play. The Moor calls black as jet” for her wagon (Actx fending the color of his offspring, says :
himself “ a black dog," and again, de. “ . venge lives in “an ebon den," and in “ Coal-black is better than another hue ; “Othello,' the other tragedy with a In that it scorus to bear another hue.
For all the water in the ocean Moor in it, vengeance is “ black” vengeance. The fatal raven” flies more
Can never turn a swan's black legs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood." often in this play than in any other. So in “ Hamlet'' :
This is not the only time that Shakes“ HAM, : The croaking raven
peare forgets that the swan is a freshDoth bellow for revenge.
water bird. Why did not the writer say Luo. : Thoughts black ...
agreeing." 'all the water in the Tiber," which Lavinia calls the Empress's parainour in which the speaker stood ? Because
was flowing past the walls of the Palace her raven-colored love, and immedi- he was Shakespeare who makes it a seaately afterward, when pleading for her bird in " Antony and Cleopatra.” chastity and life, is ill-advised enough to draw a simile of mercy from the which no new-hatched thing is black
The Moor's child is “a tadpole" (than raven. Titus, addressing Aaron--whose
er), as loathsome as a toad,''—the every note was of ill-omen and boding, but who has come, the damned villain,
black” toad of Shakespeare elsewhere with a pretended reprieve for Titus's contrast to the joyful, fair and happy
-"a joyless, black, dismal issue," in sons, already murdered—as a raven,
“issue'' in other plays. compares his voice with a lark's song.
The crowning wrong of the play“ Did over raven sing so like a lark
for which the Andronici take revengeThat gives sweet tidings of the sun's up. is the rape and mutilation of Lavinia. rise ?"
It is obvious, of course, what ShakesNow this characteristic trifle is worth peare had just“ been reading late, but noting Lavinia had contrasted the that does not affect the continuity of raven with the lark
his natural history, and, for the pur“ The raven doth not hatch a lark”
pose of this article, matters nothing. -the extreme opposites in voice ; and of Tereus and Philomela was buzzing
It is sufficient to say that the story Titus, not having heard Lavinia do so,
in his head. The scene opens in “a does the same. There is more excuse, desert part of the forest,” with Aaron of course, where one has heard the other, even in the use of so preposterous busy burying a bag of gold. To him a word as “discandy," which Antony
: exchanges with Cleopatra. Shakespeare Everything doth make a gleeful boast ; does this so often that examples may be
The birds chant melody on every bough, found in probably every play. A fancy occurs to him : he uses it twice or even The green leaves quiver with the cooling
wind. three times in rapid succession-and
And make a checker'd shadow on the never again throughout his plays. To
round : take an illustration from “Titus An Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit.”
Now compare this with the Passionate calls it " a fleece of woolly hair." In Pilgrim's
another place he speaks of his offspring Sitting in a pleasant shade
as “thick-lipped, and so it may be
assumed that Shakespeare by “Moor'' and birds did sing,
meant really the “ black-a-moor,” the Trees did grow and plants did spring, Everything did banish moan.
negro. Now, it is not easy to imagine But Aaron replies in another vein,
a negro's hair coming out
of curl, and
yet Aaron evidently wishes to draw “ Vengeance is in my heart, death in his paramour's attention to the fact that my hand.” Why?
his hair is “standing on end,” and uses Hark, Tamora, Philomel must lose her tongue to-day.”
the metaphor of the unrolling adder, Now the Passionate Pilgrim,
because she happened to say that she
had just seen a snake rolled in the “ Save the nightingale alone." cheerful sun.'' She has invited him to Thereafter the story of Philomela and her arms, addressing him thus : Tereus runs its course. But I venture to think that its introduction in the
My lovely Aaron, wherefore lookst thou sad,
When everything doth make a gleeful boast ? very words, almost, of one of Shakes The birds chaunt melody on every bush, peare's admitted poems, is a coincidence The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun, not likely to have been ventured upon by
· Let us sit," etc. a contemporary plagiarist. Again, Aaron replies, taking up each of her Titus speaking of Lavinia's mouth as a points in succession, the joyousness, the birdcage, calls her tongue the delightful merry voices, the lazy happy snake, and
engine of her thoughts.” The same her amorousness : phrase, “ engine of her thoughts," oc
· Madam, though Venus govern your desires, curs in." Venus and Adonis.
Saturn is dominator over mine : It is to be noted that Shakespeare, What signifies my deadly-standing eye, who had unmistakably heard the night My silence, and my cloudy melancholy ? ingale singing - which few poets who
My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls, have written about it seem to have done
Even as an adder, when she doth unroll
To do some fatal execution ?" -always makes the bird female. This is only an illustration of the logician's And then goes on : “fallacy from antiquity,” and of the
“ Vengeance is in my heart, death in my band, influence of the “ Philomela" legend
Revenge and blood are hammering in my upon the poet.
head." There is nothing noteworthy of the other bird-references of the play. The
In “Macbeth," when the Thane of “fatal” raven “ that croaks the fatal
Glamis has already become Thane of entrance of Duncan” (“ Macbeth," i. Cawdor, and the idea of fulfilling the 5), the “ nightly'' owl, the ' gnawings Witches' prophecy as to his becoming vulture, and the swift" swallow, are King, by murdering Duncan, first comes all in. Shakespeare's usual phrase, and into his mind, we read : familiar to us throughout his plays.
“ That suggestion There are very few “ Reptiles" in Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, the play-Shakespeare, by the way,
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs !” never uses that word once throughout The snake “ rolled in the cheerful sun" his works—and such as there are sug- is a touch from Nature that occurs elsegest little comment. Aaron describes where in Shakespeare. In “Julius his hair, uncurling, even as an adder, Cæsar” is a line, the bright day that when she doth unroll to do some fatal brings the adder forth," and in “ Henry execution.'' This could be better un VI.," Part 2 (in which the serpent-folk derstood if we pictured to ourselves the are curiously numerous), we have “the wanton Empress displacing with her snake rolled in a flowery bank”-a very arms some turban head-dress under
common object of the country” to mywhich Aaron kept his long black locks self and Marlborough schoolfellows, coiled, * if it were not that the Moor who knew exactly the sunny days and
* As some of the natives of Asia and Africa sunny spots where and when snake and do.
adder and blindworm were to be found