A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VI
Part 9 out of 9
Why then 'tis thus: the king doth mean to come and visit you.
And welcome shall his majesty be to me,
That in the wane of my decreasing years,
Vouchsafes this honour to Earl Osrick's house.
So then you mean to entertain him well?
What else, my son?
Nay, as you will:
But hear you, wife: what do you think in this--
That Edgar means to come and be your guest?
I think, my lord, he shall be welcome then,
And I hope that you will entertain him so,
That he may know how Osrick honours him.
And I will be attired in cloth of biss,
Beset with Orient pearl, fetch'd from rich India.
And all my chamber shall be richly [decked,]
With arras hanging, fetch'd from Alexandria.
Then will I have rich counterpoints and musk,
Calambac and cassia, sweet-smelling amber-grease,
That he may say, Venus is come from heaven,
And left the gods to marry Ethenwald.
'Swouns! they are both agreed to cuckold me. [_Aside_.
But hear you, wife; while I am master of the bark,
I mean to keep the helmster in my hand.
My meaning is, you shall be rul'd by me,
In being disguised, till the king be gone;
And thus it shall be, for I will have it so.
The king hath never seen thee, I am sure,
Nor shall he see thee now, if I can choose;
For thou shalt be attir'd in some base weeds,
And Kate the kitchen-maid shall put on thine:
For being richly tired, as she shall be,
She will serve the turn to keep him company.
Why, men that hear of this will make a scorn of you.
And he that lies with this will make a horn for me. [_Aside_.]
It is enough: it must be so.
Methinks 'twere better otherways.
I think not so. Will you be gone?--
Father, let me alone; I'll break her of her will.
We that are married to young wives, you see,
Must have a special care unto their honesty;
For should we suffer them to have their will,
They are apt, you know, to fall to any ill.
But here comes the king.
_Enter the_ KING, DUNSTAN, _and_ PERIN, _to_ [them] ETHENWALD.
Earl Osrick, you must needs hold us excused,
Though boldly thus unbid we visit you:
But know, the cause that moved us leave our court
Was to do honour to Earl Ethenwald,
And see his lovely bride, fair Alfrida.
My gracious lord, as welcome shall you be,
To me, my daughter, and my son-in-law,
As Titus was unto the Roman senators,
When he had made a conquest on the Goths;
That, in requital of his service done,
Did offer him the imperial diadem.
As they in Titus, we in your grace, still find
The perfect figure of a princely mind.
Thanks, Osrick; but I think I am not welcome,
Because I cannot see fair Alfrida.
Osrick, I will not stay, nor eat with thee,
Till I have seen the Earl of Cornwall's wife.
If it please your majesty to stay with us,
My wife shall wait as handmaid on your majesty,
And in her duty show her husband's love.
And in good time, my lord, see where she comes.
[_Enter the_ KITCHEN-MAID, _in_ ALFRIDA's _apparel_.]
[_Aside_.] Alfrida, you must leave your kitchen-tricks,
And use no words but princely majesty.
Now Jesus bless your honourable grace.
Come, I pray, sit down: you are welcome by my troth.
As God save me, here's never a napkin: fie, fie!
Come on; I pray eat some plums, they be sugar.
Here's good drink, by Lady: why do you not eat?
Nay, pray thee, eat, Alfrida: it is enough for me to see thee eat.
I thank you heartily. By my troth, here's never a cushion.
By my troth. I'll knock you anon; go to.
My lord, this is not Alfrida: this is the kitchen-maid.
Peace, Perin, I have found their subtlety.--
Ethenwald, I pray thee, let me see thy kitchen-maid.
Methinks it is a pretty homely wench:
I promise thee, Ethenwald, I like her well.
My lord, she is a homely kitchen-maid,
And one whose bringing up hath been but rude,
And far unfit for Edgar's company;
But if your grace want merry company,
I will send for ladies wise and courteous,
To be associates with your majesty.
Or if your grace will have musicians sent for,
I will fetch your grace the best in all this land.
Ethenwald, no: I will have the kitchen-maid;
And therefore, if you love me, send for her,
For, till she come, I cannot be content.
Father, I will not fetch her. 'Swouns! see, where she comes.
_Enter_ ALFRIDA _in the_ KITCHEN-MAID'S _attire_.
Successful fortune and his heart's content
Daily attend the person of the king.
And, Edgar, know that I am Alfrida, daughter to Osrick,
And lately made the Earl of Cornwall's wife.
Why, is not this Alfrida?
No, my good lord; it is the kitchen-maid,
Whom Ethenwald, in too much love to me,
Hath thus attir'd to dally with the king.
By my troth, my lord, she lies. Go to;
I'll course you by and by.
Away, base strumpet, get thee from my sight.
Go your ways; you are a cogging knave, I warrant you.
Base Ethenwald, dissembler that thou art,
So to dissemble with thy sovereign;
And afterward, under a show of love,
Thou cam'st to soothe thy lesing to the king,
Meaning by that to make me to conceive,
That thy intent was just and honourable.
But, see, at last thou hast deceived thyself,
And Edgar hath found out thy subtlety;
Which to requite think Edgar is thy enemy,
And vows to be revenged for this ill.--
Go to thy husband, beauteous Alfrida,
For Edgar can subdue affects in love.
Thanks, gracious king, mirror of courtesy,
Whose virtuous thoughts bewray thy princely mind,
And makes thee famous 'mongst thy enemies:
For what is he that hears of Edgar's name,
And will not yield him praise as he deserves.
Nor hath your grace ever been praised more,
Or term'd more just in any action,
Than you shall be in conquering your desires,
And yielding pardon to Earl Ethenwald.
Will you be gone?
My gracious lord, I humbly take my leave.
[ALFRIDA _and_ ETHENWALD _Exeunt_.
How am I wrong'd, and yet without redress!
Have patience, good my lord, and call to mind,
How you have lived praised for virtuous government.
You have subdued lust unto this day,
And been reputed wise in government,
And will you blemish all your honours got,
In being termed a foul adulterer?
Dunstan, forbear, for I will have it so:
It boots thee not to counsel me in this,
For I have sworn the death of Ethenwald;
And he shall die, or Edgar will not live.
Dunstan, it is enough; I am resolved.
Nay, if it be so, then Ethenwald shall not die?
And since entreaties cannot serve the turn,
I will make proof for once what art will do.
Astoroth, ascende! veni, Astoroth, Astoroth, veni!
_Enter the_ DEVIL.
What wilt thou?
Tell me, what means the king?
I will not tell thee.
I charge thee, by the eternal living God,
That keeps the prince of darkness bound in chains,
And by that sun that thou wouldst gladly see,
By heaven and earth, and every living thing,
Tell me that which I did demand of thee.
Then thus: the king doth mean to murther Ethenwald.
But where is the king?
Seeking for Ethenwald.
But I'll prevent him: follow me invisible.
_Enter the_ PRIEST.
I have been this morning with a friend of mine,
That would borrow a small sum of money of me;
But I have learn'd the best assurance a man can have
In such a matter is a good pawn of twice the value,
Or bonds sufficient for five times the quantity.
He is my near kinsman, I confess, and a clergyman,
But fifty shillings is money; and though I think
I might trust him simply with it for a twelvemonth,
Where he craves it but for a month, yet simply I
Will not be so simple; for I will borrow
His gelding to ride to the term, and keep away a just fortnight.
If then he pay me money, I will deliver him his horse.
I would be loth to lose my money, or crave assurance of my kinsman,
But this may be done to try me, and I mean likewise to try him.
This is plain, though truly, brethren, something subtle.
But here comes one would fain take my house of me.
Sir, I am a poor man, and I will give you thirty shillings a year:
if I may have it, you shall be sure of your money.
Truly, brother in Christ, I cannot afford it of the price;
A must let my house to live, I ask no gains. But who comes here?
_Enter_ HONESTY _and a_ BEGGAR.
I beseech you, good master, for God's sake, give one penny to the poor,
lame, and blind; good master, give something.
Fie upon thee, lazy fellow, art thou not ashamed to beg? Read the
blessed saying of St Paul, which is, Thou shalt get thy living with
the sweat of thy brows, and he that will not labour is not worthy
Ay, but he remembers not where Christ saith,
He that giveth a cup of cold water in my name shall be blessed.
Alas, sir, you see I am old.
But that's no reason you should beg.
Alas, sir, age coming on me, and my sight being gone, I hope, sir,
you will pardon me, though I beg; and therefore, for God's sake,
one penny, good master.
Why, I tell thee no, for the Spirit doth not move me thereunto.
And in good time, look in the blessed Proverb of Solomon, which is,
Good deeds do not justify a man; therefore, I count it sin to give
See how he can turn and wind the Scripture to his own use; but he
remembers not where Christ say'th, He that giveth to the poor lendeth
unto the Lord, and he shall be repaid sevenfold: but the Priest forgets
that, or at leastwise he will not remember it. [_Aside_.]
Now, fie upon thee, is this the pureness of your religion?
God will reward you, no doubt, for your hard dealing.
Care not thou for that. Well, neighbour, if thou wilt have my house,
friend and brother in Christ, it will cost you forty shillings--'tis
well worth it truly, provided this, I may not stay for my rent: I might
have a great deal more, but I am loth to exact on my brother.
And yet he will sell all a poor man hath, to his shirt, for one
quarter's rent. [_Aside_.]
God's blessing on your heart, sir, you made a godly exhortation
Ay, brother, the Spirit did move me thereunto. Fie upon usury, when
a man will cut his brother's throat for a little lucre: fie upon it,
fie! We are born one to live by another, and for a man to let his own
as he may live, 'tis allowed by the word of God; but for usury and
oppression, fie on it, 'tis ungodly. But, tell me, will you have it?
I will give you, as I have proffered you.
Truly, I cannot afford it, I would I could; but I must go to our
exercise of prayer, and after I must go see a farm that I should have.
_Enter_ DUNSTAN _and_ PERIN, _with the_ KING.
Most gracious prince, vouchsafe to hear me speak,
In that the law of kindred pricks me on;
And though I speak contrary to your mind,
Yet do I build on hope you will pardon me.
Were I as eloquent as Demosthenes,
Or like Isocrates were given to oratory,
Your grace, no doubt, will think the time well-spent,
And I should gain me commendations:
But for my note is tuned contrary,
I must entreat your grace to pardon me,
If I do jar in my delivery.
Why, Dunstan, thou hast found us gracious still,
Nor will we pull our settled love from thee,
Until we find thy dealings contrary,
But if thy parley be for Ethenwald,
That base dissembler with his sovereign,
'Twere better leave to speak in his excuse,
Than by excusing him gain our ill-will:
For I am minded like the salamander-stone
That, fir'd with anger, will not in haste be quench'd.
Though wax be soft, and apt to receive any impression,
Yet will hard metal take no form, except you melt the same.
So mean men's minds may move as they think good,
But kings' just dooms are irrevocable.
'Tis not enough, where lust doth move the offence.
Why, councillors may not with kings dispense.
A councillor may speak, if he see his prince offend.
And for his counsel rue it in the end.
But Dunstan, leave: you urge us over far.
We pardon what is past; but speak no more.
Nay, pardon me, for I will speak my mind.
Your grace may call to mind proud Marius' fall,
That through his wilful mind lost life and empire;
And Nimrod, that built huge Babylon,
And thought to make a tow'r to check the clouds,
Was soon dismay'd by unknown languages;
For no one knew what any other spake:
Which made him to confess, though 'twere too late,
He had made offence in tempting of the Lord.
Remember David, Solomon, and the rest;
Nor had proud Holofernes lost his head,
Had he not been a foul adulterer.
Dunstan, forbear, and let this answer thee:
Thou art too presumptuous in reproving me,
For I have sworn, as truly as I live,
That I will never pardon Ethenwald.
Did you but see the man, I am assur'd
You would not choose but pardon Ethenwald.
Why, Dunstan, you have seen as well as I,
That Ethenwald hath dissembled with the king.
My gracious lord, first cut that traitor down,
And then will others fear the like amiss.
I tell thee, Perin, were the earl in place,
Thou wouldst eat these words utter'd in his disgrace.
And, in good time, see where he comes. [_Aside_.
_Here enter_ ALFRIDA _disguised, with the_ DEVIL,
[_disguised as_ ETHENWALD.]
But tell me, Dunstan, is this Alfrida?
It is, my gracious lord, and this is Ethenwald,
That lays his breast wide open to your grace,
If so it please your grace to pardon him.
Yes, Dunstan, I am well content to pardon him.
Ethenwald, stand up, and rise up, Alfrida,
For Edgar now gives pardon to you both.
Astoroth, away! [_Aside_.]
My gracious lord, Dunstan will not forget
This unknown favour shown Earl Ethenwald;
For which account my nephew and myself
Do yield both lives and goods at your dispose.
Thanks, Dunstan, for thy honourable love:
And thou deserv'st to be a councillor,
For he deserves not other to command,
That hath no power to master his desire;
For Locrine, being the eldest son of Brute,
Did doat so far upon an Almain maid,
And was so ravished with her pleasing sight,
That full seven years he kept her under earth,
Even in the lifetime of fair Gwendolin:
Which made the Cornish men to rise in arms,
And never left, till Locrine was slain.
And now, though late, at last I call to mind
What wretched ends fell to adulterers.
And if your grace call Abram's tale to mind,
When that Egyptian Pharaoh crav'd his wife,
You will, no doubt, forgive my nephew's guilt;
Who by the merry jest he showed your grace,
Did save your honour and her chastity.
We take it so; and for amends, Ethenwald,
Give me thy hand and we are friends;
And love thy wife, and live together long,
For Edgar hath forgot all former wrong.
Thanks, gracious king, and here upon my knee
I rest to be disposed, as you please.
Enough, Ethenwald. But who comes here?
Why, I think I have taken in hand an endless task,
To smell a knave: 'tis more than a dog can do.
I have disguised myself of purpose to find
A couple of knaves, which are yet behind.
The next knave is a priest, call'd John the precise,
That with counterfeit holiness blinds the people's eyes.
This is one of them, that will say it is a shame
For men to swear and blaspheme God's holy name;
Yet if a make a good sermon but once in a year,
A will be forty times in a tavern making good cheer:
Yet in the church he will read with such sobriety,
That you would think him very precise and of great honesty. [_Aside_.]
What, Honesty, hast thou despatch'd, and found these privy knaves?
I shall do anon: I have them in scent; but I will be gone.
Good Lord! I praise God I am come from our morning's exercise,
Where I have profited myself, and e[d]ified my brethren
In shewing the way to salvation by my doctrine;
And now I am going to the court to prefer my petition.
I would give a hundred pound it were granted;
'Tis a thing of nothing: but here comes one of the court.
God save you, brother in Christ: are you towards the king?
Ay, marry am I: what then? why dost thou ask?
Nothing, sir, but I would desire you to stand my friend,
To get me the king's hand and seal to this letter.
I would not use it, sir, to hinder any man for a thousand pound;
For indeed I am a clergyman by my profession.
'Tis nothing, sir, but, as you see, to have the king's seal
To carry tin, lead, wool, and broadcloths beyond seas,
For you know, sir, every man will make the most he can of his own;
And for my part, I use it but for a present necessity,
If you will undertake to do it, I'll give you a hundred pound.
I thank you, sir, but I am afraid the king will hardly grant it: why,
'tis an undoing to the commonwealth;
But, truly, I will move the king to hang you, priest, i'faith.--
May it please your grace to grant me my petition,
For I offer it your grace in pure devotion.
O monstrous! Dunstan, didst thou ever hear the like?
Now fie upon the base villain! lay hands on him.
On me? nay, on him. Priest, I give your petition to the king,
And I will speak to him you may be but hanged;
For if you should live, till the king granted your petition,
The very ravens would pick out thine eyes living;
And therefore 'twere better you were hanged, to save the birds a labour.
Now, Honesty, hast thou done? Is here all?
O no, my lord, for there are so many behind,
That I am afraid my work will never have an end.
But I see by the priest's looks he lacks company:
Stay awhile, my lord, I'll fetch another presently.
Fie, graceless man! hast thou no fear of God,
To withhold thee from these lawless motions?
Why, thou shouldst be as [a] messenger of God,
And hate deceit and wicked avarice:
But thou art one of those whom God doth hate,
And thy vild deeds will witness 'gainst thy soul,
And make the most abominable in his sight,
That made thee, wretch, but to a better end,
Than thus to wrong his sacred Deity.
Now, fie upon thee, monster of a man?
That for to gain thyself a private gain,
Wouldst seek the undoing of a commonwealth:
And though thou bide ten thousand torments here,
They cannot quit thee, where thou shalt appear.
A prize! though it be long, I have found him at last;
But I could not bring him with me,
And therefore I pinn'd a paper on his shoulder,
Meaning thereby to mark him for the gallows.
But husht, here he comes.
What, Perin? I cannot think that Perin will be false to me.
Why no, for he is false to himself: look in his pocket and see.
This is but a false writ that he hath used,
Unknown to your majesty, and levied great sums of money,
And bribed upon your poor Commons extremely.
How say you, my lord, is this true or no?
Honesty, thou sayest true. Why, impious wretch!
Ingrateful wretch that thou art,
To injure him that always held thee dear.
Believe me, Dunstan, I durst well have sworn
That Perin had not hatch'd so base a thought.
Ay, but your grace sees you are deceived.
But will your grace grant me one boon?
What's that, Honesty?
That I may have the punishing of them,
Whom I have so laboured to find.
With all my heart, Honesty: use them as thou wilt.
I thank your grace. Go fetch the other two.
Now to you, Cutbert Cutpurse the Coneycatcher:
Thy judgment is to stand at the market-cross,
And have thy cursed tongue pinn'd to thy breast,
And there to stand for men to wonder at,
Till owls and night ravens pick out thy cursed eyes.
Good Honesty, be more merciful.
You know my mind, O Walter that-would-have-more, and you shall have
judgment I mean, which is: to be carried into a corn-field, and there
have your legs and hands cut off, because you loved corn so well, and
there rest till the crows pick out thine eyes.--
But now to you, that will do nothing,
Except the Spirit move you thereunto.
You shall, for abusing the blessed word of God,
And mocking the divine order of ministry,
Whereby you have led the ignorant into errors,
You, I say,
As you were shameless in your shameful dealing,
Shall, to your shame, and the utter shame of all
Bad-minded men, that live as thou hast done,
Stand in Finsbury fields, near London,
And there, as a dissembling hypocrite, be shot to death.
Good Honesty, be more favourable than so.
Truly, no; the Spirit doth not move me thereunto.--
But who is next? what, Perin, a courtier and a cosener too!
I have a judgment yet in store for thee:
And for because I will use thee favourably,
I'faith, thy judgment is to be but hanged.
But where? even at Tyburn, in a good twopenny halter:
And though you could never abide the seas,
Yet now, against your will, you must bear your sail, namely, your sheet,
And in a cart be tow'd up Holborn-hill.
Would all men living, like these, in this land,
Might be judged so at Honesty's hand.
Well, Honesty, come, follow us to court,
Where thou shalt be rewarded for thy pain.
I thank your grace. You that will damn yourselves for lucre's sake,
And make no conscience to deceive the poor;
You that be enemies of the commonwealth,
To send corn over to enrich the enemy;
And you that do abuse the word of God,
And send over wool and tin, broad-cloth and lead;
And you that counterfeit kings' privy-seals,
And thereby rob the willing-minded commonalty;
I warn you all that use such subtle villainy,
Beware lest you, like these, be found by Honesty.
Take heed, I say, for if I catch you once,
Your bodies shall be meat for crows,
And the devil shall have your bones.
And thus, though long, at last we make an end,
Desiring you to pardon what's amiss,
And weigh the work, though it be grossly penn'd.
Laugh at the faults, and weigh it as it is,
And Honesty will pray upon his knee,
God cut them off, that wrong the prince or commonalty.
And may her days of bliss never have end,
Upon whose life so many lives depend.
 It is one of the six additional dramas which the Editor of the
present volume caused to be [first] inserted in the impression which
came out between the years 1825 and 1827. It may be here stated that his
duties, from various circumstances, were almost solely confined to these
six dramas, four of them by Robert Greene, by George Peele, by Thomas
Lodge, and by Thomas Nash, no specimens of whose works had been
previously included: the two other plays, then new to the collection,
were "The World and the Child," and "Appius and Virginia."
 See "Extracts from the Registers of the Stationers' Company"
(printed for the Shakespeare Society), vol. ii. p. 230.
 [The orthography has now been modernised in conformity with the
principle adopted with regard to the rest of the collection.]
 "Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels at Court." by Peter
Cunningham, Esq. (printed for the Shakespeare Society), p. 176.
 Ibid. p. 36.
 Printed for the Shakespeare Society, in 1845, from the original most
valuable MS. preserved in Dulwich College.
 Hardly so, perhaps, as scarcely any drama of this date occurs
without such a prayer. The earliest in which we have seen the prayer for
Elizabeth is the interlude of "Nice Wanton," 1560.
 It seems more than probable that "Tarlton's Jig of the Horse-load of
Fools" (inserted in the introduction to the reprint of his "Jests" by
the Shakespeare Society, from a MS. belonging to the Editor of this
volume), was written for his humorous recitation by some popular author.
 "Palladis Tamia. Wits Treasury, &c., by Francis Meres, Maister of
Artes of both Universities." 8vo. 1598, fol. 286.
 "Hist. of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage," i. 255.
 See "Memoirs of the Principal Actors in the Plays of Shakespeare"
(printed for the Shakespeare Society), p. 131. If Bucke were a young
actor in 1584, he had a natural son buried in 1599, but it is not stated
how old that son then was.
 See the entry of it by Henry Kirkham in the "Extracts from the
Registers of the Stationers' Company" (printed for the Shakespeare
Society), vol. ii. p. 61.
 We quote from Mr Utterson's, on all accounts, valuable reprint of
Guilpin's collection of Epigrams and Satires, which was limited to
sixteen copies. The same gentleman has conferred many other
disinterested favours of the same kind on the lovers of our ancient
 Percy's Reliques, i. 226, edit. 1812. There are copies in the
Roxburghe, Pepys, and Ashmole collections.
 In his "Jew of Malta" reprinted in the Rev. A. Dyce's edit. of
"The Works of Christopher Marlowe," i. 227.
 This quotation will appear in the next, the third, volume of
"Extracts from the Registers of the Stationers' Company," which is now
in the press of the Shakespeare Society. [This third volume never
 The question when blank verse was first employed in our public
theatres is considered and discussed in the "History of English Dramatic
Poetry and the Stage," iii. 107, and the whole of Marlowe's Prologue, in
which he may be said to claim the credit of its introduction, is quoted
on p. 116.
 This practice of addressing the audience was continued to a
comparatively late date, and Thomas Heywood's Plays, as reprinted by the
Shakespeare Society, afford various instances of it.
 Besides "1 day," in the body of the entry ("Henslowe's Diary," p.
28), the letters _ne_ are inserted in the margin, by which also the
manager indicated that the piece performed was a _new_ play. Both these
circumstances were unnoticed by, because unknown to, Malone when he had
the original MS. from Dulwich College for some years in his hands.
 See "Memoirs of Edward Alleyn," founder of Dulwich College (printed
for the Shakespeare Society), p. 29, &c.
 This memorandum, securing the right of publication to Richard
Jones, is also contained in the forthcoming volume of "Extracts from the
Registers of the Stationers' Company," to be issued by the
 See his "Diary," pp. 43-48, 50, 51, 54, 55, 57, 62, and 82.
 "Elfrid," afterwards remodelled under the title of "Athelwold," by
Aaron Hill; and "Elfrida," by William Mason. At an earlier date the
story, more or less altered, furnished a subject to Rymer and
 See vol. viii. of the former edition of Dodsley's "Old Plays," p.
165; and Rev. A. Dyce's edition of Robert Greene's Works, i. 14.
 [The Pope.]
 This and the other marginalia are Hypocrisy's _asides_. By _Ambo_
he seems to signify, You knaves, the two of you!
 [Query, _logic_.]
 [Old copy, _wynde_.]
 [See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 103. The origin of the term
there suggested seems to be supported by the words put into the mouth of
 [Old copy, _myne_.]
 [There is a proverb: "The devil is good when he is pleased."]
 The priest is made to speak what the author seems to have taken for
the Scotish dialect.
 [The writer should have written _requhair_, if anything of the
kind; but his Scotish is deplorably imperfect.]
 The usual style in which priests and clergymen were anciently
addressed. Instances are too numerous to require citation.
 [St. Rock.]
 [This passage was unknown to Brand and his editors.]
 [i.e., Tyranny, who disguises his identity, and goes under the name
 [This word, to complete the metre, was suggested by Mr Collier.]
 Tyranny had made his _exit_, in order to bring back with him
Sensual Suggestion: here he returns, but his re-entrance is not noted.
Sensual Suggestion follows him, but not immediately, and what he first
says was perhaps off the stage, and out of sight of the audience; for
Hypocrisy, five speeches afterwards, informs the Cardinal that Sensual
Suggestion is coming.
 i.e., Convicted of heresy. This use of the verb "to convince" was
not unusual at a considerably later date: thus in Beaumont and
Fletcher's "Lover's Progress," act v. sc. 3, edit. Dyce--
"You bring no witness here that may convince you," &c.
It was also often employed as synonymous with "to overcome." See
Shakespeare, ii. 377; vi. 49, &e., edit. Collier.
 [Old copy, _former_.]
 [Old copy, _demeanour_.]
 [Old copy, _myne_.]
 [Old copy, _line_.]
 [3, in the old copy.]
 [This and the next line but one have occurred before at the close
of the speech of Spirit.]
 [Old copy, _me_.]
 [Old copy, _his_.]
 [Old copy, _that that_.]
 [Old copy, _prayers_.]
 [Makes all the world believe.]
 [Old copy, _anchors_.]
 [Old copy, _impire_.]
 [For _Whilome a goe_, possibly we ought to read "Whilome again,"
but this would not remove the whole difficulty.]
 [In harmony.]
 [Mr Collier remarks that this word seems wrong, "but it is
difficult to find a substitute; _essays_ would not answer the purpose."]
 [Old copy, _thy_.]
 [Mr Collier printed _that_.]
 [Old copy, _supporteth_.]
 [Old copy, _to_.]
 [Old copy, _thou shalt_.]
 [Old copy, _as_.]
 [Old copy, _handy_.]
 Here Armenio comes forward and discovers himself.
 [Old copy, _none_.]
 Hermione here seems to turn to Fidelia, and to tell her that
possibly he may be as well born as Prince Armenio--"And let me tell you
this, lady," &c.
 Her meaning is that the king her father should pardon the offence
of Hermione, whose grief of mind is more severe than the wound he has
just inflicted on Armenio. The two last lines of this speech appear to
belong to Hermione.
 [Old copy, _give_.]
 [Old copy, _your_.]
 [Old copy, _entertaine_.]
 [i.e., Award. Old copy, _Holde my rewarde_.]
 [Old copy, _to wander_.]
 [Mr Collier printed _honor_.]
 [Old copy, _some_.]
 We must suppose that Fidelia makes her _exit_ here, her father
having gone out at the end of his last speech.
 [Old copy, _restor'de_. The alteration is suggested by Mr Collier.]
 [Unknown, hidden.]
 [Old copy, _one_.]
 [Old copy, _turned_.]
 [Old copy, _friends_.]
 [i.e., Constantly renewed.]
 _Companion_ was often used derogatorily by our old writers. See
Shakespeare's "Coriolanus," edit. Collier, vol. vi. p. 230.
 _Franion_ was often used for an idle fellow (see Peele's "Old
Wives' Tale," edit. Dyce, vol. i. p. 207), but here it is rather to be
taken as meaning a gentleman who has nothing to do but to amuse himself.
In Heywood's "Edward IV." part I., Hobbs tells the king that he is "a
frank franion, a merry companion, and loves a wench well." See
Shakespeare Society's edit., p. 45. The word occurs several times in
Spenser; and the following lines are from "The Contention between
Liberality and Prodigality," 1602, sig. F.--
"This gallant, I tell you, with other lewd franions
Such as himself unthrifty companions.
In most cruel sort, by the highway-side,
Assaulted a countryman."
 [Old copy, _knew_.]
 [See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 478.]
 [Mr Collier printed _not_.]
 [Mr Collier printed _only man alive_.]
 [This and the next line of the dialogue are given in the old copy
 [Old copy, pit_.]
 _With a wanion_ seems to have been equivalent to "with a witness,"
or sometimes to "with a curse," but the origin of it is uncertain. It
was usually put into the mouths of persons in the lower orders, and it
is used by one of the fishermen in act ii. sc. I of Shakespeare's
"Pericles," edit. Collier, vol. viii. p. 292.
 [This appears to be imitated from some old ballad of the time.
See "Ancient Ballads and Broadsides," 1867, p. 43-6, and the Editor's
note at p. 410.]
 [Old copy, _turn_.]
 Middleton uses _squall_ for a wench in his "Michaelmas Term" and
in "The Honest Whore," edit. Dyce, i. 431, and iii. 55. Here it evidently
means a person of the male sex. [When used of men, a little insignificant
fellow, a whipper-snapper. Presently we see that Lentulo was referring to
the Duke's son.]
 [Cuckoldy. A loose form of expression.]
 [Bomelio, in his disguise, is made to talk bad French and Italian,
as well as English; this had been done in the ease of Dr Caius who,
however, only spoke broken English. The nationality of Bomelio is
therefore doubtful; but these _minutiae_ did not trouble the dramatists
of those days much.]
 [Old copy, _Vedice_--an unlikely blunder.]
 Pedlar's French, often mentioned in our old writers, was the cant
language of thieves and vagabonds.
"When every peasant, each plebeian,
Sits in the throne of undeserv'd repute:
When every pedlar's French Is term'd Monsigneur."
--"Histriomastix," 1610, sig. E2.
 [i.e., Tarry _for_ me. So in the title of Wapull's play, "The
Tide tarrieth no Man."]
 Beat. See Nares, 1859, in _v_. Lambeake. Mr Collier refers us to
the "Supplement to Dodsley's Old Plays," 1833, p. 80, Gabriel Harvey's
"Pierces' Supererogation," 1593, and to "Vox Graculi," 1623.
 Come to be hanged.
 Old copy, _slave_.
 The following scene reminds us of the ancient story of the
"Physician of Brai."
 Old copy, _flight_. Mr Collier suggested _sight_.
 He bites like the pestilence.
 Penulo makes his _exit_ (though not marked in the old copy),
and the stage then represents some place near the cave of Bomelio,
who enters with Fidelia.
 Old copy, _then_.
 Mr Collier printed _come of_.
 Old copy, _oft been_.
 Old copy, _O_.
 Old copy, _my favour_.
 Old copy, _for_.
 Old copy, _her_.
 Above this line Mercury's name is inserted as the speaker: as it
 Old copy, _Venus_.
 Old copy, _Fortune_. It is Mercury who afterwards cures Bomelio.
 Old copy, _replaies_.
 Old copy, _Hot's_.
 Old copy, _my_.
 Old copy, _But_, which would seem to convey the exact reverse of
what Phizanties intends--that he did not know Hermione's birth, but,
presuming him to be of obscure birth, did not wish him to marry Fidelia.
 Old copy, _But_.
 Old copy, _end_.
 [Evidently a proverbial expression, of which the import can only
be obscurely gathered from the context. _Nock_ is the same, of course,
 [There was a second edition, presenting considerable variations,
generally for the better, in 1592. See Hazlitt's "Handbook," 1867,
 [For _stuff_ the edit, of 1592 substitutes _wares_.]
 This division is omitted in the edition of 1592, and it seems
 [Old copy, _his_.]
 [Sweetheart, mistress.]
 [Old copy, _often_.]
 [We should now say, "as fast _as_;" but the form in the text is
not uncommon in early literature.]
 An intentional corruption, perhaps for _importance_.
 Swaggerer, hence the well-known term, _swash-buckler_, for a
 In the snare: What care I who gets caught?
 "_What care I to serve the Deuill,"_ &c., edit. 1592.
 Edit. 1584 has _boniacion_.
 [Old copies, _but_.]
 [A simpleton or bumpkin.]
 [A term of contempt, of which the meaning is not obvious. It might
seem to indicate a person employed in attending to a house of office.]
 A bully.
 _i e, pox_.
 Old copies, _alone_.
 _Your lives so farre amisse_, edit. 1592.
 [Old copies, _Fraud_.]
 [Edit. 1592, _Iwis_.]
 Edit. 1584, _shift it_.
 This speech stands as follows in edit. 1592--"Gramercie, Usury;
and doubt not but to live here as pleasantly, And pleasanter too: but
whence came you, Symonie, tell me?"
 _Doubt not, fairs ladie_, edit. 1592. In the next line but two,
edit. 1592 has _certainly_ for "I perceaue," and the last two lines of
the speech run as follows--
"And seeing we are so well setted in this countrey,
Rich and poore shall be pincht, whosoever come to me."
 When this drama was reprinted in 1592, the interval between 1584
and that date made it necessary to read 33 _years_ for "26 yeares" in
this line. It is a curious note of time.
 [This is given in the old copies, _sarua voulra boungrace_, but
surely _Mercatore_ was not intended to blunder in his own language.]
 Omitted in edit. 1584.
 _I think so_ is omitted in the second 4to.
 _Studied late_ is omitted in first 4to.
 _At all_ is not in second 4to.
 [Old copies, _kettels_.]
 Possibly a personal allusion to somebody sitting "in the corner"
of the theatre; or it may have been to some well-known character of the
time. Farther on, Simplicity alludes to some boy among the audience.
 [Not in _edit. 1581_]
 [_I think youle make me serve_, edit. 1592.]
 [_And prosperous be they to thee_, edit. 1592.]
 [_And dine with me_, edit. 1592.]
 [_Thankes_, edit. 1592, omitting _I give you_.]
 [Old copies, _am_.]
 [Testy. Halliwell spells it _testorn_. Old copies, _testren_.]
 [Clarke, in his "Paroemiologia," 1639, has the proverb "He blushes
like a black dog."]
 [Old copies, _you_.]
 [Edit. 1584 has _very_, and second 4° _well_, the true reading, as
Mr Collier suggests, being that now given in the text.]
 [_Priest_, edit. 1592.]
 [i.e., in good style.]
 [Edit. 1584 has _must_.]
 This line is omitted in edit. 1592.
 For _parliament_ we are to understand _parament_, i.e., apparel,
referring to the gowns he carries. Beaumont and Fletcher use the word
"There were cloaks, gowns, cassocks,
And other _paramentos_,"
--"Love's Pilgrimage," edit. Dyce, xi. 226. _Paramento_ is Spanish, and
means ornament, embellishment, or sometimes any kind of covering.
 [In the old copies this direction is inserted wrongly six lines
 [Old copies, _hastily_, the compositor's eye having perhaps caught
the word from the stage-direction just above.]
 [These three words are not in second 4°.]
 [A proverbial expression. See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 210.
So, in the "Spanish Tragedy," vol. v. p. 84: "I am in a sort sorry for
thee; but if I should be hang'd with thee, I cannot weep."]
 [Old copies, _thy_.]
 Mr Collier's suggestion; both the old copies, _gracious_.
 [The first 4° has _can_ for _should_, and _say_ for _'ssay_ or
_essay_. The second 4° reads _lying_ for _living_.]
 [Old copy, _drudge_.]
 Edit. 1592 has _availeth_. See St Matthew xvi. 26.
 [A synonym for a drubbing.] See "All's Well that Ends Well," act
iii. sc. 6, when this passage is quoted in illustration of "John Drum's
entertainment," as it is called by Shakespeare. The expression was
equivalent to _drumming out_.
 Second 4° has _array_. Mr Collier thinks _beray_ was intended by
the writer as a blunder on the part of the clown.
 First 4°, _seeke_.
 [The clown is addressing one of the audience.]
 [Edit. 1584, _the_.]
 [This word is omitted in first 4°.]
 [_I tell ye_, not in edit. 1592.]
 _Tell me what good ware for England you do lacke_, edit. 1592.
 According to "Extracts from the Stationers' Registers," i. 88,
William Griffith was licensed in 1563-4 to print a ballad entitled "Buy,
Broomes, buye." This maybe the song here sung by Conscience. A song to
the tune is inserted in the tract of "Robin Goodfellow," 1628, 4°, but
no doubt first published many years earlier.
 [So both the 4°s, but Mr Collier suggests _soften_.]
 _Play, and_ are not in the second 4to.
 [The writer seems here to have intended an allusion to Scogin,
whose "Jests" were well-known at that time as a popular book.]
 [_I think_, omitted in second 4to.]
 A strong kind of cloth so called, and several times mentioned in
Shakespeare. See "Henry IV." Part I., act i. sc. 2; "Comedy of Errors,"
act iv. se. 3, &c.--_Collier_.
 _The Venetians came nothing near the knee. Venetians_ were a kind
of hose, or breeches, adopted from the fashions of Venice.
 [First 4to reads, _not agree_.]
 [A pun, probably, upon _alms_ and _arms_.]
 [Old copy, _tables_.]
 [So old copies; but the period named before was _three months_.]
 [Old copies, _seeme_.]
 See Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost," edit. Collier, ii. 306
and 360; Beaumont and Fletcher's "Monsieur Thomas," edit. Dyce, vii.
364. Thomas Nash, in his "Strange Newes," 1592, sig. D 3, uses _no
point_ just in the same way, as a sort of emphatic double negative.--"No
point; _ergo_, it were wisely done of goodman Boores son, if he should
go to the warres," &c.
 [The worst wonder is.]
 [Not in first 4to.]
 The learned Constable refers, of course, to Love, who has already
been on the stage in a vizard at the back of her head: see earlier;
_Enter_ LUCRE, _and_ LOVE _with a vizard, behind_.
 [Old copies, _sacred_. This was Mr Collier's suggestion.]
 [Old copies, _ye_.]
 [Alluding to the "Three Ladies of London," 1584.]
 [Old copy, _Pompe hath_.]
 [Old copy, _place_.]
 [The bells attached to the falcon, the _impress of Pleasure_.]
 Referring to the chains of gold formerly worn by persons of rank
 Alluding to the manner in which ballad-sellers of that day used to
expose their goods, by hanging them up in the same way that the three
lords had hung up their shields.
 [Foolish, maudlin.]
 [See Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 265-6.]
 The best, and indeed what may be considered the only, account of
Tarlton the actor precedes the edition of his Jests, reprinted for the
Shakespeare Society in 1844.
 [Alluding to some wood engraving of Tarlton, which Simplicity had
in his basket. To the reprint of "Tarlton's Jests," by the Shakespeare
Society, are prefixed two wood-cuts, made from a drawing of the time of
Elizabeth, and no doubt soon after the death of Tarlton of the plague
 An ejaculation, apparently equivalent to _God_.
 The first purchase made in the day--the ballad which Wit had
bought of Simplicity.
 Espial. The word occurs again further on.
 [Probably a reference is intended to the proverbial expression
about Mahomet and the mountain.]
 An ambry or aumbry is a pantry or closet. The next line explains
 [Old copy, _lent_.]
 [Old copy, _might_.]
 [Old copy, _might_.]
 Old copy, _tormented_.
 [Old copy, _unmask'd_.]
 Old copy, _our_.
 i.e., A pack of cards; the expression was very common; _deck_,
five lines lower, was often used for _pack_.
 [Old copy, _from_.]
 The wimple is generally explained as a covering for the neck, or
for the neck and shoulders; but Shakespeare ("Love's Labour's Lost," act
iii. se. 1) seems to use it as a covering for the eyes also, when he
calls Cupid "This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy." Steevens in
his note states that "the wimple was a hood or veil, which fell over the
face." The passage in our text, and what follows it, supports this
description of the wimple.
 This is the only part of female dress mentioned in this speech
that seems to require a note. The "vardingale (or farthingale) of vain
boast" is peculiarly appropriate, since a farthingale consisted of a
very wide, expanded skirt, puffed out to show off the attire, and
distort the figure of a lady. In modern times it bears a different name.
 [Old copy, _house_; but Simplicity is enumerating the new articles
of attire he proposed to purchase.]
 [He addresses the audience.]
 [Old copy, _auditorie_.]
 [Old copy, _proofe it fits of_.]
 [Old copy, _a_.]
 [Old copy, in the preceding line, _ever_.] This and the following
lines afford a note of time, and show that the drama was written and
acted during the preparation of the great Armada, and perhaps before its
 [The old copy reads, _peerlesse, of the rarest price_, which
destroys the metre. The writer probably wrote _peerless_, and then,
finding it inconvenient as regarded the measure, substituted the other
phrase, without striking out the first word, so that the printer
 [Old copy, _when_.]
 See "Henry IV.," Part I., act ii. sc 1, respecting "burning
cressets." In a note, Steevens quotes the above line in explanation of
 [The concluding portion of the speech is supposed to be overheard
by Fraud and the others.]
 The ordinary cry of the apprentices of London, when they wished to
raise their fellows to take their part in any commotion. It is mentioned
in many old writers.
 A trouchman was an interpreter [literally, a truceman]: "For he
that is the Trouchman of a Straungers tongue may well declare his
meaning, but yet shall marre the grace of his Tale" (G. Whetstone's
 [Old copy, _trunke_.]
 [This is to be pronounced as a trisyllable.]
 [In the old copy this line is printed thus--
"Quid tibi cum domini mox servient miseri nobis; discede."]
 [In the old copy this line is divided between Policy and Pomp
 [Might my advice be heard.]
 [Old copy, _wished_.]
 [Old copy, _we_.]
 [Old copy, _Ne. Fra., Nemo_ being retained by error.]
 [The entrance of Diligence is marked here in old copy; but he was
already on the stage.]
 [Simplicity seems to intend the public-wealth.]
 [An intentional (?) error for _buckram_.]
 They "slipped aside" on p. 483, and now re-enter. The preceding
stage direction ought to be _Exeunt_, because the lords go out as well
 [Committal, prior to trial.]
 That is, under the protection of their husbands--a legal phrase,
not yet strictly applicable, as the ladies are not to be married to the
lords until the next day--
"And even to-morrow is the marriage-day."
 [Old copy, _a_.]
 [Old copy, _noble_; the emendation was suggested by Mr Collier.]
 Old copy, _vetuous_.
 There must be some corruption here, or the author was not very
anxious to be correct in his classical allusions.
 Lies to the king. The word _lese_ is more generally used as a
 [_Jug_ is a leman or mistress. Mr Collier remarks that this
passage clears up] the hitherto unexplained exclamation in "King Lear,"
act. i. sc. 4: "Whoop, Jug, I love thee."--The Tinker's _mail_,
mentioned in the preceding line, is his wallet. _Trug_, in the following
line, is equivalent to _trull_, and, possibly, is only another form of
the same word: Middleton (edit. Dyce ii. 222) has the expression, "a
pretty, middlesized _trug_." See also the note, where R. Greene's tract
 In one copy the text is as we give it, and in another the word is
printed _Ideal_, the alteration having been made in the press. Possibly
the author had some confused notion about _Ida_; but, if he cared about
being correct, the Queen of Love did not "dally with Endymion."
 [Old copy, _Idea_; a trissyllable is required for the rhythm.]
 [Old copy, _kept_.]
 [Old copy, _Abstrauogant_.]
 [Old copy, _peely_.]
 [Cakes. Old copy, _cats_.]
 [A Knight of the Post was a person hired to swear anything--a
character often mentioned in old writers.]
 Some persons, not merely without reason, but directly against it,
treat _vild_ and _vile_, and consequently vildly and _vilely_, as
distinct words. _Vild_ and _vildly_ are blunders in old spelling, only
to be retained when, as now, we give the words of an author in the very
orthography of that date. We profess here to follow the antiquated
spelling exactly, that it may be seen how the productions in our volume
came originally from the press: but when spelling is modernised, as it
is in the ordinary republications of our ancient dramatists, &c., it is
just as absurd to print "vile" _vild_, as to print "friend" frend or
"enemy" _ennimy_.--_Mr Collier's note in the edition of_ 1851.
 Shakespeare has the word "exigent" for _extremity_, and such seems
to be its meaning here, and not the legal sense; the Knight says that
the good name of his predecessors for housekeeping shall never be
brought into extremity by him.
 [Wary, aware.]
 [Old copy, _Squire_.]
 [Old copy, _for fourtie_.]
 An early instance of the use of an expression, of frequent
occurrence afterwards and down to our own day, equivalent to going
without dinner. See Steevens's note to "Richard III." act iv. sc. 4,
where many passages are quoted on the point.
 [Old copy, _ope_.]
 The copy of this play in the British Museum has here "_Scinthin_
maide;" but another, belonging to the Rev. A. Dyce, "_Scythia_ maide," a
reading we have followed, and, no doubt, introduced by the old printer
as the sheets went through the press.
 "Counterfeit" was a very common term for the resemblance of a
person: in "Hamlet," act iii. sc. 4, we have "counterfeit presentment;"
and in the "Merchant of Venice," act iii. sc. 2, "Fair Portia's
counterfeit." In Beaumont and Fletcher's "Wife for a Month," act iv. sc.
5, we meet-with "counterfeits in Arras" for portraits, or figures
 [i.e., from or after.]
 [i.e., The shoemaker. There is a jest turning upon this in one of
the early collections of _facetiae_.]
 By "carminger" the cobbler means harbinger, an officer; who
preceded the monarch during progresses, to give notice and make
 We print it precisely as in the old copy, but we may presume that
here a couplet was intended, as the cobbler's speech begins in rhyme:--
"And we are come to you alone
To deliver our petition,"
 Roquefort in his "Glossary," i. 196, states that bysse is a sort
_d'étoffe de soie_, and the Rev. A. Dyce, "Middleton's Works," v. 558,
says that it means "fine linen," while others contend that it is "a
delicate blue colour," but sometimes "black or dark grey." The truth may
be that it was fine silk of a blue colour, and we now and then meet it
coupled with purple--"purple and bis."
 [Old copy, _Indian_.]
 [Old copy, _calamon_.]
 [i.e., he withdraws to the back of the stage, to allow the king
to confer first with Osrick, and then comes forward again.]
 [Old copy, _Asmoroth_.]
 [Old copy, _Asmoroth_.]
 [Old copy, _bid_.] _Bid_ may be taken in the sense of invite, a
meaning it often bears in old writers; but we are most likely to
understand it _bide_ or _abide_, the final _e_ having been omitted, or
dropped out in the press. In the next line we have _quit_ again used
 [We must suppose here that Honesty sends out some of the
attendants to bring in the Coneycatcher and Farmer, who soon make their
re-appearance on the stage.]
Back to Full Books