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that is annexed to the person of their lord and transferable by deed from one owner to another. Thus it will be seen that there were „mannors in gross“ and „villeins in gross“ and Dumain says,

My loving lord, Dumain is mortified;
The grosser manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves :
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy:

Love's Labour's Lost. Act 1 Scene 1. and, considering, that Shakspeare so frequently plays upon words, I have thought that a double meaning may be intended in this passage. If, in the passages I have selected, (see Archiv passim) it should be considered that Sbakspeare uses the terms „manner“ and mannor, respectively, in a double sense, it would then be of little consequence whether the word is spelt with ,," or 0,“ because the mention of the one word is intended to suggest 10 the mind the other word, which is similar in sound but different in meaning. I may here mention that the word „manner“ sometimes appears, in our old Law Books, instead of „mannor, « apparently as a misprint, the compositor having, probably, mistaken a badly formed „0“ in the manuscript for ,e.“


Borachio. Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes: what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who, in the night, overheard me confessing to this man, bow Don John, your brother, incensed me to slander the lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you disgraced her, when you should marry her. My villainy they have upon record; which I bad rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame: the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.

Much ado Act 5 Scene ). „Also, every villein is either a villein by title of prescription, to wit, that he and his ancestors have been villeins time out of mind of man; or he is a villein by his own confession in a court of record (Litt. sec. 175.)" Every villein is, either by prescription or confession, servi aut nascuntur, aut fiunt. By prescription, either regardant to the mannor, etc. or in gross. In gross, either by prescription, or by granting away a villein that is regardant, or by confession. (Co. Litt. 118 a.) Fit etiam servus liber homo per confessionem, in curiâ regis fact. (Bract. lib. I. cap. 6.) Record cometh from the Latin recordari to remember, and signifies an authentic and uncontroulable testimony in writing, contained in Rolls of parchment, and preserved in Courts of Record, and of them it is said monumenta, quae nos recorda vocamus, sunt veritatis et vetustatis vestigia.. (Co. Litt. 118 a Cowell Interpr.) We reckon three sorts of Records, viz. a Record Judicial, as attainder, etc. a Record ministerial upon oath, as an office or inquisition found, and a Record made by convevance and consent, as a fine or deed enrolled, or the like. (Cowell Int.) I do not however consider it is at all certain that Shakspeare alludes to a man who was „a villein by his own confession in a Court of Record,“ because, I can recall another passage in which Shakspeare refers to ill deeds being recorded;

King Richard.
What more remains ?

yet be

No more, but that you read

(Offering a paper.)
These accusations, and these grievous crimes,
Committed by your person, and your followers,
Against the state and profit of this land;
That, by confessing them, the souls of men
May deem that you are wortbily deposed.

King Richard.
Must I do so? and must I ravel out
My weaved-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
If thy offences were upon record,
Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop,
To read a lecture of them?

Richard II. Act 4 Scene 1. and also because Boracbio does not use the participle „confessing" in conDection with the word „record" or „villainy,“ but he refers to what Dogherry and Verges overhead him say in the street Scene act 3; cause the word „villainyó is used in connection with the word „record" and moreover, because Leontes afterwards, in the same Scene, says,

Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes,
That, when I note another man like him,
I may avoid bim: Which of these is he?

If you would know your wronger, look on me.

Art thou the slave, that with thy breath hast kill'd

Mine innocent child? connecting, with the word villain, the word slave, a substantive descriptive of the servile condition of tenants in villenage, who were mere bond slaves to the Lord, therefore I bave thought it worth while to submit this fassage to the consideration of the Society.

Shakspeare frequently connects the term villain with other words which are, and which seem to be used as, descriptive of the base, servile condition of tenants in villenage;


Slaves, soul-less villain, dog!
O rarely base.

Antony and Cleopatra Act 5 Scene 2.

Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences, ere thou be pardoned.

· Cost.
Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a full stomach.

Thou shalt be heavily punished.

Cost. I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they are but lightly rewarded.

Arm. Take away this villain; shut him up.

Come, you transgressing slave; away.

Love's Labour's Lost Act 1 Scene 2.

I cannot find those runagates: that villain
Hath mock'd me:

I am faint.


Those runagates!
Means he not us? I partly know him; 'tis
Cloten, the son o' the queen. I fear some ambush.
I saw him not these many years, and yet
I know 'tis he. We are held as outlaws: Hence.

He is but one: You and my brother search
What companies are near: pray you, away;
Let me alone with him.

(Exeunt Bel. and Arv.

Soft! what are you
That fly me thus ? some villain mountaineers ?
I have heard of such. What slave art thou?


A thing
More slavish did I ne'er, than answering
A slave without a knock.


Thou art a robber,
A law-breaker, a villain: Yield tbee, thief.

To who? to thee? What art thou? Have not I
An arm as big as thine ? a heart as big ?
Thy words, I grant, are bigger; for I wear not
My dagger in my mouth. Say, what thou art;
Why I should yield to thee?


Thou villain base
Knowist me not by my clothes ?


No, nor thy tailor, rascal,
Who is thy grandfatber: be made those clothes,
Which, as it seems, make thee?


Thou precious varlet,
My tailor made them not.

Cymbeline Act 4 Scene 2. And in these passages Cleopatra and Cloten use the substantive „Have“ and the adjective , base“ in connection with the term villain, which in the English Law signified a person in a base servile condition, who was a mere bond slave to the Lord.

The sun doth gild our armour up, my lords.

Montez à cheval : my horse! valet! lacquey, ha!

Henry V. Act 4 Scené 2. Valect, valet, or vadelect, valettus vel valecta, qui juxta Dominum vadit seu ministrat. It is a French word: a servitor or gentleman of the Privy Chamber, according, to Camden: In the accounts of the Inner Temple it is used for a Bencher's Clerk or servant: The Butler of the House corruptly calls them varlets: (Kennett's Gloss. Cowell Interpr.) ;

Call here my varlet, 1 'll unarm again:
Why should I war without the walls of Troy,
That find such cruel battle here within ?

Troilus and Cressida Act 1 Scene 1.


Scene III. Glostershire. The Garden of Shallow's House. Enter Falstaff, Shallow, Silence, Bardolpb, the Page, and Davy.

Shallow. Nay, you shall see mine orchard: where, in an arbour, we will eat a last year's pippin of my own graffing, with a dish of carraways, and so forth come, cousin Silence; and then to bed.

'Fore God, you have here a goodly dwelling, and a rich.

Shallow. Barren, barren, barren; beggars all, beggars all. -Sir John: marry, good air. Spread, Davy; spread, Davy; well said, Davy.

Falstaff. This Davy serves you for good uses; he is your serving man, and your busbandman.

A good varlet, a good varlet, a very good varlet, Sir John.

By the mass, I have drunk too much sack at supper A good varlet. Now sit down, now sit down; Come, cousin.

2. Henry IV. Act 5 Scene 3. And Shallow, seems to apply the term varlet to Davy, in the sense of one qui juxta Dominum vadit seu ministrat. Valet or vadlet was anciently with us as in France, also a name specially denoting young gentlemen, although of great descent or quality, although it be now with us and them given to those of the rank of yeomen. And so was it taken under Henry the sixth with us, as we see in the statute of his three and twentieth year (Cap. 15) touching the choice of knights of the Shire. They must be (saith the statute) either knights, ou autrement tielx notables esquiers, gentilhommes, del nativitie des mesmes les counties come soient ables destre chevalier, et nul home destre, tiel chivalier que estoite en le degree de vadlet et desouth. And it is but the same word wbich is become to be varlet, and signifies sometimes as knave now doth,

Thersites. That same Diomed's a false-hearted rogue, a most unjust knave; I will no more trust him when he leers, than I will a serpent when he hisses : he will spend bis mouth, and promise, like Brabler the hound; but when he performs, astronomers foretell it; it is prod ous, there will come change; the sun borrows of the moon, when Diomed keeps his word. I will rather leave to see Hector, than not to dog him: they say, he keeps a Tro. jan drab, and uses the traitor Calchas' tent: l'll after. Nothing but lechery! all incontinent varlets!


Troilus and Cressida Act 5 Scene 1.

Thersites That dissembling aboninable varlet Diomed, has got that same scurvy doting frolish young knave's Sleeve of Troy there, in his helm. Act 5 Scene 4. Although both of them anciently names of civil degree or service only: as among divers other testimonies, in an old little glossary of nomina graduum (Ms. apud Moretonum Lambard, eq. Aurat.) of about two hundred years since: the words are, garconet little boy, garcon knave, varle. ton grome, varlet yeoman, gentilhome gentleman etc. (Selden. Tit. Hon.) The reader will perceive that Thersites calls Diomed a most unjust knave and afterwards a varlet.

Shakspeare sometimes seeins to use the term varlet, as an opprobrious name,

Say again, where didst thou leave these varlets.

Tempest Act 4 Scene 1.

And I to Lord shall eke unfold,

How Falstaff varlet vile,
His dove will prove, bis gold will hold,
And his soft couch defile.

Merry Wives Act 1 Scene 3.

Falstaff. And tell me thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast thou been this month.

1. Henry IV. Act 2 Scene 4.

Mrs. Page.

Hang bim dishonest varlet! we cannot misuse him enough. or as Selden says signifying as knave now doth.

Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet: the time is yet to come, that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.

Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.

Which is the wiser here? Justice or Iniquity? Is this true ?

Elb. O thou caitiffi O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! I respected with ber, before I was married to her! If ever I was respected with her, or she with me, let not your worship think me the poor duke's officer. - Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee.

Escal. If he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your action of slan

der too.

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it. pleasure I should do with this wicked caitiff?

What is

your worship's

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