Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

&c. Written on the feast of All Saints, Verona' (Act. I., Sc. 1) we have shown how frebetween mass and matins, calamo festinante.” quently. Shakspere uses the image of the (Edit: by A. Ramsay, vol. 1. p. 3.)

canker in the rose bud. In the passage before us, a peculiar rose—the common dog-rose of the hedges-is meant. Mr. Richardson says, in his Dictionary, that in Devonshire the dogrose is called the canker-rose. The name had probably a more universal application; and as “the bud bit with an envious worm" was cankered, so the small incultivated rose was compared to the rose of the garden whose beauty was impaired, by the name of canker.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

• SOENE III.—"Smoking a musty room." Burton in his 'Anatomy of Melancholy,' says, “The smoke of juniper is in great request with us at Oxford, to sweeten our chambers.” Where the “perfumer” had been, the real cleanliness of the house or the person was doubtful: as in Ben Jonson's song:

" Still to be neat, still to be drest,

Still to be perfum'd as for a feast,!' &c.

• SCENE III.-" I had rather be a canker in a

hedge than a rose in his grace.” In an Illustration of The Two Gentlemen of

ACT II.

TO SCENE I.-" That I had my good wit out of " SCENE I.—" Bring you the length of Prester the 'Hundred Merry Tales.'"

John's foot." THE “ good wit” of Beatrice consisted in sharp

The inaccessibility of Prester John has been sayings and quaint allusions, and Benedick | described by Butler : might naturally enough have twitted her with

"While like the mighty Prester John, what we now call a familiarity with 'Joe Miller.'

Whose person none dares look upon,

But is preserv'd in close disguise "The Hundred Merry Tales' were known only From being made cheap to vulgar eyes." by their title ; and a great controversy therefore sprang up whether they were a translation

12 SCENE III.—" Carving the fashion of a new of the Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles' or of the

doublet." 'Decameron. We need not enter upon this This is the representation of an Englishman question; for a fragment of the identical Tales thus described by Coryat in his Crudities :'has been discovered, since the days of Reed and “We wear more fantastical fashions than any Steevens, by Mr. Coneybeare, which shows that nation under the sun doth, the French only the work was literally a jest-book-most pro- excepted; which hath given occasion to the bably a chapman's penny book. A copy would Venetian and other Italians to brand the Engnow be above all price, if it could be recovered lishman with a notable mark of levity, by entire. But its loss has occasioned more print- painting him stark naked, with a pair of shears ing, in the way of speculation upon its contents; in bis hand, making his fashion of attire accordand thus the world keeps up its stock of typo-ing to the vain conception of his brain-sick graphical curiosities.

| head, not to comeliness and decorum."

The print from which we copy is in Borde's | 13 SCENE III._"Stalk on, stalk on: the fowl sits." 'Introduction of Knowledge ;' and we subjoin the verses which are given under it :

The stalking-horse is thus described in an ancient tract, New Shreds of the Old Snare,' by John Gee :-“Methinks I behold the cunning fowler, such as I have known in the fencountries and elsewhere, that do shoot at woodcocks, snipes, and wild-fowl, by sneaking behind a painted cloth which they carry before them, having pictured on it the shape of a horse ; which, while the silly fowl gazeth on, it is knocked down with hail-shot, and so put in the fowler's budget." There were stalking-bulls as well as stalking-horses ; and the process of decoying partridges in this way into a net is described in Willughby's' Ornithology.'

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here,

Musing in my mynde what rayment I shall were;
For now I will were this, and now I will were that,
Now I will were I cannot tell what."

ACT III. 14 SCENE I.-" Haggards of the rock." 1 SCENE III.-" Bear you the lantern "_"have SIMON Latham, in his Book of Falconry,' thus a care that your bills be not stolen." describes the wild and unsocial nature of this

| At the close of Act III. we have introduced a species of hawk :-"She keeps in subjection the

representation of two "ancient and most quiet most part of all the fowl that fly, insomuch that the tassel gentle, her natural and chiefest

watchmen," of the days of Shakspere. The one

with the bill is from the title-page of Dekker's companion, dares not come near that coast | where she useth, nor sit by the place where she

O per se, 0,' 1612. The other with the hal

berd is from a print of the same period. The standeth. Such is the greatness of her spirit,

lanterns below are grouped from she will not admit of any society until such a

prints of a

similar date. time as nature worketh."

15 SCENE 1.-"What fire is in mine ears ?”

The popular opinion here alluded to is as old as Pliny :-"Moreover is not this an opinion generally received, that when our ears do glow and tingle, some there be that in our absence do talk of us?”-Holland's Translation, b.

[graphic]

xxviii.

16 SCENE II.—" His jesting spirit ; which is now crept into a lutestring :”-i. e. his jocular wit is now employed in the inditing of love-songs, which, in Shakspere's time, were usually accompanied on the lute. The "stops" are the frets of the lute, and those points on the fingerboard on which the string is pressed, or stopped, by the finger.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic]

20 SCENE IV._" Carduus Benedictus." , We look back with wonder upon the import ance attached by our ancestors to old women's remedies. That they confided in such powers as those of the Blessed Thistle, and of

" Spermaceti for an inward bruise," was a part of the system of belief which belonged to their age; and which was in itself of more sovereign virtue than we are apt to imagine. Perhaps our faith in a fashionable physicianwhich, after all, is no abiding faith-would not stand a more severe examination. But at any rate no one now believes in calomel or quinine, as a writer of Shakspere's day believed in the Carduus Benedictus. “This herb may worthily

be called Benedictus, or Omnimorbia, that is, | providence of Almighty God.”—Cogan's 'Haven a salve for every sore, not known to physicians of Health,' 1595. of old time, but lately revealed by the special ||

ACT V. 2. SCENE I.- If he be angry), hie linows how to - 23 SCENE IV." There is ng staff more reverend turn his girdle."

thian ane: tipped with horni"

Steevens; and Malone bave long notes to prove THIS was a common form of expression, del that the staff here alluded to was the long rived from the practice of wrestlers, and thus

baton appointed to be used in wager of battle. explained by Mr. Holt White :"Large belts

Surely the reverenal staff is the old 'man's walkwere worn with the buckle before; but for

ing stick. The "staff tipped with horn" was wrestling the buckle was turned behind, to give

| carried by one of Chaucer's friars.. the adversary a fairer grasp at the girdle. To turn the buckle behind, therefore, was a chal. lenge. Sir Ralph Winwood, in a letter to Cecil, says, “I said, what I spake was not to make him angry. He replied, If I were angry, I might turn the buckle of my girdle behind

[ocr errors]

me.”

2 SCENE II." The god of Love:”. “The beginning of an old song by W. E. (William Elderton), a puritanical Parody of which, by one W. Birch, under the title of "The Complaint of a Sinner,' is still extant." We have not been able to find the tune itself, or any other notice of it.

COSTUME. In affixing by the costume a particular period being signed (August 3rd, 1529) by Margaret to any of Shakspere's plays which are not his. I of Austria in the name of the Emperor Charles torical, care should be had to select one as V., and the Duchess d'Angoulême in that of near as possible to the time at which it was her son Francis I. This peace secured to written. The comedy of Much Ado about Charles the crown of Naples and Sicily; and, Nothing' commences with the return of certain after vanquishing the Saracens at Tunis, he Italian and Spanish noblemen to Sicily after the made triumphal entries into Palermo and Meswars. Now the last war in which the Italians sina in the autumn of 1535. Of the costume of under Spanish dominion were concerned pre- this period we have given a detailed description vious to the production of this comedy was and several pictorial illustrations in The Two terminated by the peace of Cambray, called Gentlemen of Verona,' to which we must refer La Paix des Dames,' in consequence of its the reader.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« ZurückWeiter »