Abbildungen der Seite



band "a band for the neck"); that breaks his band, ii. 46; thy oath and band, iv. 101; as my furthest band Shall pass, viii. 305; cancels all bands, iv. 261; die in bands, v. 232; with all bands of law, vii. 306. ban-dogs, properly band-dogs, so called because on account of their fierceness they required to be bound or chained, and used more particularly for baiting bears; considered by Pennant as mastiffs, and by Gifford as "large dogs of the mastiff kind”), v. 127.

bank'd their towns, iv. 83: Means most probably "sailed past their towns on the banks of the river," rather than "thrown up entrenchments before their towns;" compare the old play, The Troublesome Raigne of Iohn, &c. (see iv. 3);

"Your city, Rochester, with great applause,

By some diuine instinct laid armes aside;
And from the hollow holes of Thamesis
Eccho apace repli'd, Viue le Roy:

From thence along the wanton rowling glade
To Troynouant, your faire metropolis,
With lucke came Lewis," &c.

Sec. Part, sig. I 4 verso, ed. 1622:—

[ocr errors]

But Mr. Staunton sees here an allusion to card-playing, and (from the context) would understand bank'd their towns to mean won their towns, put them in bank or rest." banquet, what we now call a dessert,—a slight refection, consisting of cakes, sweetmeats, and fruit, and generally served in a room to which the guests removed after dinner: My banquet is to close our stomachs up, After our great good cheer, iii. 185 (A passage overlooked by Nares when he said, "Banquet is often used by Shakespeare, and there seems always to signify a feast, as it does now." Gloss.); Servants, with a banquet, viii. 298.

banquet ere they rested—Should find a running, v. 490; besides the running banquet of two beadles, v. 571: On the first of these passages Steevens observes; "A running banquet, literally speaking, is a hasty refreshment, as set in opposition to a regular and protracted meal. The former is the object of this rakish peer; the latter perhaps he would have relinquished to those of more permanent desires:" and Malone; “A running banquet seems to have meant a hasty banquet. 'Queen Margaret and Prince Edward (says Habington in his History of King Edward IV.), though by the Earle recalled, found their fate and the winds so adverse that they could not land in England to taste this running banquet to which fortune had invited them.' The hasty banquet, that was in Lord Sands's thoughts, is too obvious to require explanation :" on the second passage Steevens remarks; "A banquet, in ancient language, did not [generally] signify either dinner or supper, but the dessert after each of them. . . . To the confinement therefore of these rioters a whipping was to be the dessert.”



bar and royal interview-Unto this, "To this barrier, to this place of congress, &c." (JOHNSON), iv. 512.

Barbason, i. 396; iv. 432: The name of a demon: he would seem

to be the same as "Marbas, alias Barbas," who, as Scot informs us, "is a great president, and appeareth in the forme of a mightie lion; but at the commandement of a coniuror commeth vp in the likenes of a man, and answereth fullie as touching anie thing which is hidden or secret," &c. The Discouerie of Witchcraft, &c., p. 378, ed. 1584. barbed steeds, steeds equipped with military trappings and orna. ments, iv. 157; v. 335 (Cotgrave has "Bardé : Barbed or trapped as a great horse." Fr. and Engl. Dict.: Barbed is said to be a corruption of barded).

barbermonger, "a fop who deals much with barbers, to adjust his hair and beard" (MASON), viii. 42.

barber's chair, that fits all buttocks-Like a, a proverbial simile, iii. 229: Ray gives "Like a barber's chair, fit for every buttock." Proverbs, p. 51, ed. 1768.

bare Christian-Which is much in a, i. 324": "Launce is quibbling on. Bare has two senses; mere and naked. Launce uses it in both, and opposes the naked female to the water-spaniel covered with hairs of remarkable thickness" (STEEVENS).

barful strife-A, "A contest full of impediments" (STEEVENS), iii. 323.

barge stays-My, v. 489: "The speaker is now in the king's palace at Bridewell, from which he is proceeding [about to proceed] by water to York-place (Cardinal Wolsey's house), now Whitehall" (MALONE).

Bargulus, v. 181: see note 137, v. 181.

baring of my beard-The, The shaving of my beard, iii. 267. barley-break, ix. 193: "It was played by six people (three of

each sex), who were coupled by lot. A piece of ground was then chosen, and divided into three compartments, of which the middle one was called hell. It was the object of the couple condemned to this division, to catch the others, who advanced from the two extremities; in which case a change of situation took place, and hell was filled by the couple who were excluded by preoccupation from the other places: in this 'catching,' however, there was some difficulty, as, by the regulations of the game, the middle couple were not to separate before they had succeeded, while the others might break hands whenever they found themselves hard pressed. When all had been taken in turn, the last couple was said to be in hell, and the game ended:" Such is Gifford's description of the old English manner of playing the game, note on Massinger's Works, vol. i. p. 104, ed. 1813: on the Scottish mode of playing it (which

[blocks in formation]

is very different), see Jamieson's Etymol. Dict. of the Scot. Lang. in "Barla-breikis, Barley-bracks.”

barm, yeast, ii, 271.

barn, a child : Mercy on's, a barn; a very pretty barn! iii. 452; he shall lack no barns (with a quibble), ii. 118; barns are blessings, iii. 212.

[ocr errors]

barnacles, i. 262: "Caliban's barnacle is the clakis or tree-goose" (DOUCE): Barnacle. A multivalve shell-fish [lepas anatifera, Linn.] growing on a flexible stem, and adhering to loose timber, bottoms of ships, &c.; anciently supposed to turn into a Solan goose; possibly because the name was the same. . . . . . Sometimes the barnacles were supposed to grow on trees, and thence to drop into the sea, and become geese; as in Drayton's account of Furness, Polyolb. Song 27, p. 1190 [p. 136, ed. 1622]. From this fable Linnæus has formed his trivial name anatifera, Goose or Ducklingbearing. See Donovan's British Shells, Plate 7, where is a good description of the real animal, and an excellent specimen of the fabulous account from Gerard's Herbal." Nares's Gloss.

Barrabas, ii. 405: This name was, I believe, invariably made short in the second syllable by the poetical writers of Shakespeare's days. (In Marlowe's Jew of Malta, "Barrăbas" occurs many times: and compare Taylor ;

"These are the brood of Barrabas, and these
Can rob, and be let loose againe at ease.

and Fennor;

[ocr errors]

A Thiefe, p. 120,-Workes, 1630:

"Thou Barrabas of all humanitie,

Base slanderer of Christianitie." Defence, &c., p. 153,-id.).

Barson, a corruption of "Barston, a village in Warwickshire, lying between Coventry and Solyhull" (PERCY), iv. 400.

Bartholomew boar-pig, iv. 344: "The practice of roasting pigs [for sale] at Bartholomew Fair continued until the beginning of the last century, if not later," &c. (REED).

Basan-The hill of, viii. 331: From Psalm lxviii. 15.

base,-prison-base, or prison-bars,-a rustic game: I bid the base for Proteus (with a quibble-"I challenge an encounter on behalf of Proteus"), i. 290; lads to run The country base, viii. 486; To bid the wind a base he now prepares, ix. 233: "There is," says Strutt, a rustic game called base or bars, and in some places prisoner's bars; and as the success of this pastime depends upon the agility of the candidates and their skill in running, I think it may properly enough be introduced here. It was much practised in former times, and some vestiges of the game are still remaining in many parts of the kingdom The first mention of this sport

[blocks in formation]

that I have met with, occurs in the Proclamations at the head of the parliamentary proceedings, early in the reign of Edward the Third, where it is spoken of as a childish amusement, and prohibited to be played in the avenues of the palace at Westminster, during the sessions of Parliament, because of the interruption it occasioned to the members and others in passing to and fro as their business required. It is also spoken of by Shakespear as a game practised by the boys [see the second of the passages above cited]. It was, however, most assuredly played by the men, and especially in Cheshire and other adjoining counties, where formerly it seems to have been in high repute. The performance of this pastime requires two parties of equal number, each of them having a base or home, as it is usually called, to themselves, at the distance of about twenty or thirty yards. The players then on either side taking hold of hands, extend themselves in length, and opposite to each other, as far as they conveniently can, always remembering that one of them must touch the base; when any one of them quits the hand of his fellow and runs into the field, which is called giving the chase, he is immediately followed by one of his opponents; he again is followed by a second from the former side, and he by a second opponent; and so on alternately, until as many are out as choose to run, every one pursuing the man he first followed, and no other; and if he overtake him near enough to touch him, his party claims one toward their game, and both return home. [Note. It is to be observed, that every person on either side who touches another during the chase, claims one for his party, and when many are out, it frequently happens that many are touched.] They then run forth again and again in like manner, until the number is completed that decides the victory ; this number is optional, and I am told rarely exceeds twenty. About thirty years back I saw a grand match at base played in the fields behind Montague-house [Note. Now better known by the name of the British Museum] by twelve gentlemen of Cheshire against twelve of Derbyshire, for a considerable sum of money, which afforded much entertainment to the spectators. In Essex they play this game with the addition of two prisons, which are stakes driven into the ground, parallel with the home boundaries, and about thirty yards from them; and every person who is touched on either side in the chase is sent to one or other of these prisons, where he must remain till the conclusion of the game, if not delivered previously by one of his associates, and this can only be accomplished by touching him, which is a difficult task, requiring the performance of the most skilful players, because the prison belonging to either party is always much nearer to the base of their opponents than to their own; and if the person sent to relieve his confederate be touched by an antagonist before he reaches him, he also becomes a prisoner, and stands in equal need of deliverance. The addition of the prisons occasions a considerable degree of



variety in the pastime, and is frequently productive of much pleasantry." Sports and Pastimes, &c., p. 71, sec. ed.

base is the slave that pays, iv. 433: This appears to have been a proverbial expression (Compare, in Heywood's Fair Maid of the West, "My motto shall be, Base is the man that paies." Second Part, sig. L 2, ed. 1631).

base court, basse-cour, Fr., iv. 159.

baseness-Forced, iii. 435: “Leontes had ordered Antigonus to take up the bastard; Paulina forbids him to touch the Princess under that appellation. Forced is false, uttered with violence to truth" (JOHNSON),—a passage, in which Walker (see note 50, iii. 435) would make what appears to me an improper alteration. bases-A pair of, ix. 32: "Bases, plural noun. A kind of embroidered mantle, which hung down from the middle to about the knees, or lower, worn by knights on horseback." Nares's Gloss. (where the word is illustrated by various quotations): In the list of apparel of the Lord Admiral's players, taken 1598, we find, "Item, ij payer of basses, j white, j blewe, of sasnet [sic]." Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), vol. iii. p. 316.

Basilisco-like-Knight, knight, good mother,-iv. 12: "Falcon

bridge's words here carry a concealed piece of satire on [rather, allude to] a stupid drama of that age, printed in 1599, and called Soliman and Perseda. In this piece there is the character of a bragging cowardly knight, called Basilisco. His pretension to valour is so blown and seen through, that Piston, a buffoon-servant in the play, jumps upon his back, and will not disengage him till he makes Basilisco swear upon his dudgeon dagger to the contents, and in the terms, he dictates to him; as, for instance;

'Bas. O, I swear, I swear.

Pist. By the contents of this blade,-
Bas. By the contents of this blade,-
Pist. I, the aforesaid Basilisco,-

Bas. I, the aforesaid Basilisco,-knight, good fellow, knight, knight,—
Pist. Knave, good fellow, knave, knave,-

So that, 'tis clear, our poet is sneering at this play [?]; and makes
Philip, when his mother calls him knave, throw off that reproach
by humorously laying claim to his new dignity of knighthood, as
Basilisco arrogantly insists on his title of knight in the passage
above quoted" (THEOBALD): The Tragedie of Soliman and Perseda.
Wherein is laide open, Loues constancie, Fortunes inconstancie, and
Deaths Triumphs, 1599, though a wretched production, was once
very popular it has been attributed to Kyd.

basilisk, an imaginary creature (called also cockatrice), supposed to kill by its very look: sighted like the basilisk, iii. 419; come, basilisk, And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight, v. 163; I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk, v. 281; It is a basilisk unto mine eye, viii. 428;

« ZurückWeiter »