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But more, when envy breeds unkind division ;
There comes the ruin, there begins confusion.

1. Henry VI. Act 4 Scene 1.

No, on my life.
I'll give but notice you are dead, and send him
Some bloody sign of it; for 'tis commanded
I should do so: You shall be miss'd at court,
And that will well confirm it.


Why, good fellow,
What shall I do the while? Where bide? How live?
Or in my life what comfort, when I am
Dead to my husband ?

Pisa nio.

'll back to the court,

No court, no father; nor no more ado
With that harsh, noble, simple nothing;
That Cloten, whose love-suit hath been to me
As fearful as a siege.

Cymbeline Act 3 Scene 4. I think the words „nobile“ and „simples are contrasted in these passages, signifying, respectively, persons of high and low degree. Helena may use the word simple in this sense, and she plays upon it: and the reader will perceive that Bertram speaks of her slightingly as „a poor physicians daughter.“

What answer makes your grace to the rebels' supplication ?

King Henry.
[I 'll send some holy bishop to entreat:]
For God forbid, so many simple souls
Should perish by the sword! And I myself,
Rather than bloody war shall cut them short,
Will parley with Jack Cade, their general.
But stay, I 'll read it over once again.

2. Henry VI. Act 4 Scene 4. In an ancient statute the word „simple“ signifies, as I think it does in these passages,

one under the degree of a gentleman.


Item ordine est en cest parlement qe queconqe persone qe troeve faucon terselet lanere ou laneret austore ou autre faucon

soit perdu de lour seignur qe maintenant il lapporte au viscount du countee et qe le visconte face proclamation en toutes les bones villes du countee qil ad un tiel faucon en garde. Et si le seignur qi le perdi ou aucun des soen8 viegne pur lui chalanger et proeve resonablement qe' ce est a son seignur paie pur ses constages et eit le faucon. Et si nully viegne deins les quatre mois pur lui chalenger quadonqes le visconte eit le faucon fesant gree a cellui qi le prist sil soit simples homme et sil soit gentils homme destat davoir faucoun que le visconte rebaille al lui le dit faucoun parant de lui resonables constages pur le temps qil lavoit en garde. Et si null eit pris tiel faucoun et le concele du seignur a qui il estoit ou a ses fauconers ou qi qe lemporte du seignur et de ce soit atteint eit la prison de deux anns et rend au seignur le pris du faucoun issint concele ou emporte sil eit de quoi et si noun eit plus longe demoeure en prison (34. Edward III. cap. XXII).

And in this statute, - which is recited in the preamble of the 37. Edward III. cap. XIX, „simple men“ and „gentlemen“ are distinguished from each other. In these passages, the word simple, is represented in

, Schlegel and Tieck's translation, by „einfältig“ in Winter's Tale, Act 4 Scene 3; by „schlicht" in As You Like It, Act 3 Scene 3; by „schlechts in The Merchant of Venice, Act 2 Scene 2; by ,,thöricht" in 3. Henry VI., Act 3 Scene 1; by „einfach“ in All 's Well, Act 2 Scene 3; by ,,schlicht“ in 1. Henry VI., Act 4 Scene 1; by „albern“ in Cymbeline, Act 3 Scene 4; and by „arm“ in 2. Henry VI., Act 4 Scene 4.


Who was last with them?

1. Guard.
A simple countryman, that brought her figs;
This was his basket.

Antony and Cleopatra Act 5 Scene 2.

I know, the boy will well usurp the grace,
Voice, gait and action of a gentlewoman;

I long to hear him call the drunkard, husband ;
And how my men will stay themselves from laughter,
When they do homage to this simple peasant.
I'll into counsel them: haply, my presence
May well abate the over-merry spleen,
Which otherwise would grow into extremes. [Exeunt.

Induc. Taming of the Shrew 1. In Antony and Cleopatra by „schlicht“ and in the Taming of the Shrew by „albern“; and although the word „simple" in these two passages is connected with the words „peasant“ and „countryman“, which are both descriptive of persons under the degree of „gentleman“, it is perhaps doubtful in which sense it is here used. If those who were under the degree of gentleman“ in Shakspeare's time, are to be considered „, foolish“ because they were not well educated or well informed, the word simple would, in these passages, be applicable in both senses, and it would therefore become doubtful in which sense it should be received. Sometimes Shakspeare may have intended that the word should be received in both senses.

Autoly cu s.
How bless'd are we, that are not simple men!
Yet nature might have made me as these are,
Therefore I 'll not disdain.

This cannot be but a great courtier.

His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.

He seems to be more noble in being fantastical; a great man,
I'll warrant; I know, but the picking on 's teeth.

Winter's Tale Act 4 Scene 3. In this passage however the word simple is evidently used by Autolycus to signify those who were under the degree of gentleman, and it is represented in the translation by „simpel,“

Wie glücklich wir, die nicht so simpel sind.“ There may be other passages, in which the word simple signifies one who is under the degree of a gentleman, but I cannot, at present quote any more.

The XIX. cap. of the 37. Edward III., after reciting this statute, concludes with these words,

Et nient countresteant ceste ordenance les meffesours nount pas dote de trespasser en celle partie par quoi est ordeine et par estatut establi en ce present parlement qe si nul emble faucon et lemporte nient fesant lordinance dessus dite soit fait de lui come de la roun qi emble chival ou autre chose.

Caius. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet? Villainy! larron! (Pulling Simple out). Rugby, my rapier.

Merry Wives Act 1 Scene 4. The word aroun" in Coke's translation of this statute is represented by the word „thief:“ in which sense „larron“ is evidently used by Caius, because Mistress Quickly assures him that the young man is honest.

Good master, be content.

Verefore shall I be content-a?

The young man is an honest man.

Caius. Vat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet.

Merry Wives Act 1 Scene 4. Coke in his exposition of this statute says, „The sheriff must make proclamation in all the good towns of the County, that he hath such a faulcon in keeping. If none come to challenge the faulcon within four months, if the finder be under the degree of a gentleman (which here is called un simple home) the sheriff shall have the faulcon, paying reasonable costs, etc. If the owner within four months, then he shall have the faulcon, paying reasonable costs etc. The word challenge is used in this statute, and by Coke in his exposition of it, in

sense different from its ordinary acceptation, signifying „to claim as due“, „to demand as a right“; and in this sense it is sometimes used by Shakspeare:

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To-morrow will I wear it on my helm;
And grieve his spirit, that dares not challenge it.

Wert thou the devil, and worest it on thy horn,
It should be challenged.

Troilus and Cressida Act 5 Scene 2.

Subjects may challege nothing of their sovereign;
But, if an humble prayer may prevail,
I then crave pardon of your majesty.

3. Henry VI. Act 4 Scene 6.

Either accept the title thou usurp’st,
Of benefit proceeding from our king,
And not of any challenge of desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.

1. Henry V. Act 5 Scene 4.

King Edward. (Aside). Her looks do argue her replete with modesty ; Her words do shew her wit incomparable; All her perfections challenge sovereignty:] One way or other, she is for a king;

Henry VI. Act 3 Scene 2. ·


She is young, wise, fair ;
In these to nature she 's immediate heir ;
And these breed honour; that is honour's scorn,
Which challenges itself as honour's born,
And is not like the sire:

All 's Well Act 2 Scene 3.

Tell me, my daughters,
(Since now we will divest us, both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state,)
Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where merit doth most challenge it.

Act 1 Scene 1.

I pr’ythee, good lago,
Go to the bay, and disembark my coffers:

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