Imatges de pÓgina

Young men will do't, if they come to't ;
By cock, they are to blame.

8-by SAINT CHARITY,] Saint Charity is a known saint among the Roman Catholics. Spenser mentions her, Eclog. v. 255:

"Ah dear lord, and sweet Saint Charity!" Again, in The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601: "Therefore, sweet master, for Saint Charity."

Again, in A lytell Geste of Robyn Hode :

"Lete me go, then sayd the sheryf,
"For saint Charytè —.”

Again, ibid.:

"Gyve us some of your spendynge,
"For saynt Charytè."

I find, by Gisse, used as an adjuration, both by Gascoigne in his Poems, by Preston in his Cambyses, and in the comedy of See Me and See Me Not, 1618:


By Gisse I swear, were I so fairly wed," &c. Again, in King Edward III. 1599:


By Gis, fair lords, ere many daies be past," &c. Again, in Heywood's 23d Epigram, Fourth Hundred :

"Nay, by Gis, he looketh on you maister, quoth he.” STEEVENS.

Mr. Steevens's first assertion, though disputed by a catholick friend, can be supported by infallible authority. "We read," says Dr. Douglas," in the martyrology on the first of AugustRomæ passio sanctarum virginum, Fidei, Spei, et Charitatis, quæ sub Hadriano principe martyriæ coronam adeptæ sunt.'" Criterion, p. 68. RITSON.


In the scene between the Bastard Faulconbridge and the friars and nunne, in the First Part of The Troublesome Raigne of King John, (edit. 1779, p. 256, &c.) "the nunne swears by Gis, and the friers pray to Saint Withold (another obsolete saint mentioned in King Lear,) and adjure him by Saint Charitie to hear them." BLACKSTONE.

"By Gis." There is not the least mention of any saint whose name corresponds with this, either in the Roman Calendar, the service in Usum Sarum, or in the Benedictionary of Bishop Athelwold. I believe the word to be only a corrupted abbreviation of Jesus, the letters J. H. S. being anciently all that was set down to denote that sacred name, on altars, the covers of books, &c. RIDLEY.

Though Gis may be, and I believe is, only a contraction of Jesus, there is certainly a Saint Gislen, with whose name it corresponds. RITSON.

9 By cock,] This is likewise a corruption of the sacred name.

Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
You promis'd me to wed:

[He answers1.]

So would I ha' done, by yonder sun,
An thou hadst not come to my bed.

KING. How long hath she been thus * ?

ОPH. I hope, all will be well. We must be patient: but I cannot choose but weep, to think, they should lay him i'the cold ground: My brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies'; good night, sweet ladies: good night, good night.

[Exit. KING. Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you. [Exit HORATIO. O! this is the poison of deep grief; it springs All from her father's death: And now behold, O Gertrude, Gertrude,

When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions! First, her father slain ;
Next, your son gone; and he most violent author
Of his own just remove: The people muddied,
Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts and whis-

*First folio, this.

+ Quarto, would.

Many instances of it are given in a note at the beginning of the fifth Act of The Second Part of King Henry IV. STEEVENS.


[He answers.] These words I have added from the quartos. STEEVENS. 2 COME, MY COACH! Good night, ladies; &c.] In Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590, Zabina in her frenzy uses the same expression: "Hell, make ready my coach, my chair, my jewels, I come, I come." MALONE.

When sorrows come, &c.] In Ray's Proverbs we find, "Misfortunes seldom come alone," as a proverbial phrase.


For good Polonius' death; and we have done but greenly*,

In hugger-mugger to inter him: Poor Ophelia
Divided from herself, and her fair judgment;
Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts.
Last, and as much containing as all these,
Her brother is in secret come from France:
Feeds on his wonder, keeps himself in clouds,

4-but GREENLY,] But unskilfully; with greenness; that is, without maturity of judgment. JOHNSON.

5 In HUGGER-MUGGER to inter him :] All the modern editions that I have consulted, give it :


In private to inter him-."


That the words now replaced are better, I do not undertake to prove it is sufficient that they are Shakspeare's: if phraseology is to be changed as words grow uncouth by disuse, or gross by vulgarity, the history of every language will be lost: we shall no longer have the words of any author; and, as these alterations will be often unskilfully made, we shall in time have very little of his meaning. JOHNSON.

On this just observation I ground the restoration of a gross and unpleasing word in a preceding passage, for which Mr. Pope substituted groun. See p. 326, n. 9. The alteration in the present instance was made by the same editor. MALONE. This expression is used in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1609: he died like a politician, "In hugger-mugger."

66 —

Again, in Harrington's Ariosto:

"So that it might be done in hugger-mugger."

Shakspeare probably took the expression from the following passage in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch :-" Antonius thinking that his body should be honourably buried, and not in hugger-mugger."

It appears from Greene's Groundwork of Coneycatching, 1592, that to hugger was to lurk about. STEEVENS.

The meaning of the expression is ascertained by Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: "Dinascoso; secretly, hiddenly, in huggermugger." MALONE.

6 FEEDS on his wonder,] The folio reads


Keeps on his wonder

The quarto

"Feeds on this wonder.”

And wants not buzzers to infect his ear
With pestilent speeches of his father's death;
Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd',
Will nothing stick our person* to arraign
In ear and ear. O my dear Gertrude, this,
Like to a murdering piece3, in many places
*First folio, persons.

Thus the true reading is picked out from between them. Sir T. Hanmer reads unnecessarily

"Feeds on his anger


7 Wherein necessity, &c.] Sir T. Hanmer reads: "Whence animosity of matter beggar'd."

He seems not to have understood the connection. Wherein, that is, in which pestilent speeches, necessity, or the obligation of an accuser to support his charge, will nothing stick,' &c.



8 Like to a MURDERING piece,] Such a piece as assassins use, with many barrels. It is necessary to apprehend this, to see the justness of the similitude. WARBURTON.

The same term occurs in a passage in The Double Marriage of Beaumont and Fletcher :

"And, like a murdering piece, aims not at one, "But all that stand within the dangerous level." Again, in All's Lost by Lust, a tragedy by Rowley, 1633: "If thou fail'st too, the king comes with a murdering piece, "In the rear."

Again, in A Fair Quarrel, by Middleton and Rowley, 1622:
"There is not such another murdering piece

"In all the stock of calumny."


appears from a passage in Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627, that it was a piece of ordnance used in ships of war: "A case shot is any kinde of small bullets, nailes, old iron, or the like, to put into the case, to shoot out of the ordnances or murderers; these will doe much mischiefe," &c. STEEVENS.

A murdering piece was the specifick term in Shakspeare's time for a piece of ordnance, or small cannon.

So, in Smith's History of New England, fol. 1630, b. vi, p. 223: "Strange they thought it, that a barke of threescore tunnes with foure guns should stand on such termes, they being eighteen expert sea-men in an excellent ship of one hundred and fortie tuns, and thirty-six cast pieces, and murderers." The word is found in Cole's Latin Dictionary, 1679, and rendered, “tormentum murale."

The small cannon, which are, or were used in the forecastle, half-deck, or steerage of a ship of war, were within this century called murdering pieces. MALONE.

Gives me superfluous death! [A noise within.


Alack! what noise is this??

KING. Attend.

Where are my Switzers'? Let them guard the door:

What is the matter?

Enter a Gentleman.

Save yourself, my lord;
The ocean, overpeering of his list 2,
Eats not the flats with more impetuous haste,
Than young Laertes, in a riotous head,

Perhaps what is now, from the manner of it, called a swivel. It is mentioned in Sir T. Roes Voiage to the East Indies, at the end of Della Valle's Travels, 1665: " the East India company had a very little pinnace....mann'd she was with ten men, and had only one small murdering-piece within her." Probably it was never charged with a single ball, but always with shot, pieces of old iron, &c. RITSON.

9 Alack! &c.] This speech of the Queen is omitted in the quartos. STEEVENS.


my SWITZERS?] I have observed in many of our old plays, that the guards attendant on Kings are called Switzers, and that without any regard to the country where the scene lies. Thus, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Noble Gentleman, Act III. Sc. I.:

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was it not

"Some place of gain, as clerk to the great band

"Of marrow-bones, that the people call the Switzers? "Men made of beef and sarcenet?" REED.

The reason is, because the Swiss in the time of our poet, as at present, were hired to fight the battles of other nations. So, in Nashe's Christ's Teares over Jerusalem, 4to. 1594: “ Law, logicke, and the Switzers, may be hired to fight for any body."


2 The ocean, overpeering of his LIST,] The lists are the barriers which the spectators of a tournament must not pass.


See note on Othello, Act IV. Sc. I.


List, in this place, only signifies boundary, i. e. the shore So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :

66 The very list, the very utmost bound
"Of all our fortunes."

The selvage of cloth was in both places, I believe, in our author's thoughts. MALONE.

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