Imatges de pÓgina


Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades*,
Of healths five fathom deep '; and then anon
Drums in his ear; at which he starts, and wakes ;
And, (ll) being thus frighted,(ID) swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that (II)very(IDMab,
That plats the manes of horses in the night;
And bakes * the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes p.

* Quarto A, plats. † Quarto A, breeds. “ Venator defessa thoro cum membra reponit,

“ Mens tamen ad silvas et sua lustra reddit;
“ Furto gaudet amans, permutat navita merces,

“ Et vigil elapsas quærit avarus opes.
“ Judicibus lites, aurigæ somnia currus,

Vanaque sollicitis meta cavetur equis.
“Me quoque musarum studium sub nocte silenti

“ Artibus assuetis sollicitare solet —."
In Sextum Consulatum Honorii Augusti Præfatio.

Spanish blades,] A sword is called a toledo, from the excellence of the Toletan steel. So Grotius :

Gladius Toletanus.
“ Unda Tagi non est uno celebranda metallo ;

“ Utilis in cives est ibi lamna suos.” Johnson. The quarto 1597, instead of Spanish blades, reads countermines. Steevens.

In the passage quoted from Grotius, alio has been constantly printed instead of uno, which makes it nonsense ; the whole point of the couplet depending on that word. I have corrected it from the original. Malone.

5 Of healths five fathom deep;] So, in Westward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607 : “ – troth, sir, my master and sir Goslin are guzzling; they are dabbling together fathom deep. The knight has drunk so much health to the gentleman yonder, on his knees, that he hath almost lost the use of his legs."

Malone. 6 And Bakes the elf-locks, &c.] This was a common superstition; and seems to have had its rise from the horrid disease called the Plica Polonica. WARBURTON. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1692:

“ And when I shook these locks, now knotted all,
" As bak'd in blood ," Malone.

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(II) This is the hag, (II) when maids lie on their backs”, That presses them, and learns them first to

bear, (ID) Making them women of good carriage 8. (3)This, this is she-(ID)

Rom. Peace, peace, (I) Mercutio, peace ;(ID) Thou talk'st of nothing. MER.

True, I talk of dreams : Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy ; Which is as thin of substance as the air ; And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes Even now the frozen bosom of the north, And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence", Turning his face ' to the dew-dropping south. Ben. This wind, you talk of, blows us from our

selves; Supper is done, and we shall come too late.

Rom. I fear, too early: for my mind misgives,



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when maids, &c.] So, in Drayton's Nymphidia :
“ And Mab, his merry queen, by night
“ Bestrides young folks that lie upright,

(In elder times the mare that hight)

do Which plagues them out of measure." So, in Gervase of Tilbury, Dec. I. c. 17: “Vidimus quosdam dæmones tanto zelo mulieres amare, quod ad inaudita punt ludibria, et cum ad concubitum earum accedunt, mira mole eas opprimunt, nec ab aliis videntur." STEEVENS.

In quarto 1597, it is thus read :

“ This is that Mab that makes maids lie on their backs; and the other circumstances of platting the manes and elf-locks conclude the speech. Boswell.

8 — of good CARRIAGE.] So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act. I. Sc. II.:

let them be men of good repute and carriage." Moth. Sampson, master; he was a man of good carriage ; great carriage ; for he carried the town-gates,” &c. Steevens. from thence,) The quarto 1597 reads —in haste.


-] So the quarto 1597. The other ancient copies have side. Malone.

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Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
Shall bitterly begin * his fearful date
With this night's revels; and expire of the term
Of a despised life?, clos'd in my breast,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death *:
But He, that hath the steerage of my course,
Directs my sail'.—On, lusty gentlemen.

Ben. Strike, drum *.



A Hall in CAPULET's House.

Musicians waiting. Enter Servants. 1 Serv. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to


* Quarto A, Which bitterly begins. f Quarto A, expires. ,

. I Quarto A, Untimely forfeit of vile death.

Of a despised life,] So, in The Rape of Lucrece:

“An expir'd date, cancell'd ere well begun.” So, in Chloris, &c. 1596, Sonnet 23 :

“ The Phoenix fair, which rich Arabia breeds,

“ When wasting time expires her tragedy." MALONE. Again, in Hubbard's Tale:

“Now whereas time flying with wings swift,

Expired had the term,” &c.
Again, in Chapman's version of the eleventh Iliad :

“ Draw some breath, nor expire it all-.” Steevens. 3 Directs my sail.) I have restored this reading from the elder quarto, as being more congruous to the metaphor in the preceding line. Suit is the reading of the folio. Steevens.

Suit is the corrupt reading of the quarto 1599, from which it got into all the subsequent copies. Malone, “ Direct my suit!” Guide the sequel of the adventure.

Johnson. 4 Strike, drum.] Here the folio adds: “ They march about the stage, and serving men come forth with their napkins.

Steevens. s Scene V.] This scene is added since the first copy.




take away ? he shift a trencher! he scrape a trencher!

2 Serv. When good manners shall lie all in one or two men's hands, and they unwashed too, 'tis a foul thing

1 Serv. Away with the joint-stools, remove the court-cupboard”, look to the plate :-good thou,

he shift a TRENCHER ! &c.] Trenchers were still used by persons of good fashion in our author's time. In the Houshold Book of the Earls of Northumberland, compiled at the beginning of the same century, it appears that they were common to the tables of the first nobility. Percy.

To shift a trencher was technical. So, in The Miserie of Enforst Marriage, 1608, sig. E 3: learne more manners, stand at your brothers backe, as to shift a trencher neately,” &c.

Řeen. They were common even in the time of Charles I. See Tempest, Act II. Sc. II. Malone.

They continued common much longer in many publick societies, particularly in colleges and inns of court : and are still retained at Lincoln's-Inn. Nichols.

On the books of the Stationers' Company, in the year 1554, is the following entry : “Item, payd for x dosyn of trenchers, xxid.”

Steevens. court-cupboard,] I am not very certain that I know the exact signification of court-cupboard. Perhaps it served the purpose of what we call at present the side-board. It is however frequently mentioned in the old plays. So, in a Humorous Day's Mirth, 1599 : “ shadow these tables with their white veils, and accomplish the court-cupboard.” Again, in Monsieur D'Olive, 1606, by Chapman: “Here shall stand my court

* cupboard, with its furniture of plate.” Again, in The Roaring Girl, 1611 :

“ Place that in the court-cupboard." Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635 : they are together on the cupboard of the court, or the court-cupboard." Again, in Chapman's May-Day, 1611: “ Court-cupboards planted with flaggons, cans, cups, beakers,” &c. Two of these court-cupboards are still in Stationers' Hall.

STEEVENS. The use which to this day is made of those cupboards is exactly described in the above-quoted line of Chapman; to display at publick festivals the flaggons, cans, cups, beakers, and other antique silver vessels of the company, some of which (with the names of the donors inscribed on them) are remarkably large.


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save me a piece of marchpane ®; and, as thou lovest me, let the porter let in Susan Grindstone, and Nell.-Antony! and Potpan!


By “ remove the court-cupboard,” the speaker means, I think, remove the flaggons, cups, ewers, &c. contained in it. A courtcupboard was not strictly what we now call a side-board, but a recess fitted up with shelves to contain plate, &c. for the use of the table. It was afterwards called a buffet, and continued to be used to the time of Pope :

“ The rich buffet well colour'd serpents grace,

“ And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.” The side-board was, I apprehend, introduced in the present cen

I tury. Malone.

A court-cupboard was a moveable; a beufet, a fixture. The former was open, and made of plain oak ; the latter had folding doors, and was both painted and gilded on the inside. Steevens.

- save me a piece of MARCHPANE;] Marchpane was a confection made of pistacho-nuts, almonds, and sugar, &c. and in high esteem in Shakspeare's time; as appears from the account of Queen Elizabeth's entertainment in Cambridge. It is said that the University presented Sir William Cecil, their chancellor, with two pair of gloves, a marchpane, and two sugar-loaves.

Peck's Desiderata Curiosa, vol. ii. p. 29. Grey. Marchpane was a kind of sweet bread or biscuit; called by some almond-cake. Hermolaus Barbarus terms it mazapanis, vulgarly Martius panis G. marcepain and massepan, It. marzapane, il maçapan, B. marcepeyn, i. e. massa pura. But, as few understood the meaning of this term, it began to be generally, though corruptly, called massepeyn, marcepeyn, martsepeyn; and in consequence of this mistake of theirs, it soon took the name of marlius panis, an appellation transferred afterwards into other languages. See Junius. Hawkins.

Marchpane was a constant article in the deserts of our ancestors. So, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: “ — seeing that the issue of the table, fruits and cheese, or wafers, hypocras, and marchpanes, or comfytures, be brought in." See Dugdale's Orig. Jurid. p. 133.

In the year 1560, I find the following entry on the books of the Stationers' Company : “ Item, payd for ix marshe paynes, xxvi s. viii d.”

Marchpanes were composed of filberts, almonds, pistachoes, pine-kernels, and sugar of roses, with a small proportion of flour. L'Etoile in his description of a magnificent entertainment given at Paris in 1596, iys :

- les confitures seiches et massepans y estoient si peu espargnez, que les dames et damoiselles estoient contraintes de s'en decharger sur les pages et les laquais, auxquels

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