A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume I.
Part 9 out of 9
"Even as to a greate man, wealthy and ryche,
Service and bondage is a harde thynge,
So to a boye, both dayntie and _nyce_,"
where _nyce_ must be pronounced _nyche_, though not so
421. _Fall_, 1st edit.
422. Pay down.
423. Ready; _pret_, Fr. So in "Caesar and Pompey," 1607:
"What must be; Caesar's _prest_ for all."
See a note on "The Merchant of Venice," A. 1, S. 1.--_S_. Again
Churchyard's "Challenge," 1593, p. 80--
"Then shall my mouth, my muse, my pen, and all,
Be _prest_ to serve at each good subject's call."
Cynthia's "Revels," A. 5, S. 4--
"I am _prest_ for the encounter."
424. The reckoning. See Mr Steevens's note to "The First Part of King
Henry IV.," A. 5, S. 3.
Again, in Churchyard's "Worthiness of Wales"--
"Behold besides, a further thing to note,
The best cheap cheare they have that may be found;
The _shot_ is great when each man pais his groate,
If all alike the reckoning runneth round."
425. The third edition reads _swynking_. See note 26 to "Gammer Qurton's
Needle," vol. ii.
426. In Sir John Hawkins's "History of Musick," vol. iii., p. 466, a
passage, in Tusser's "Five Hundred Points of Husbandry," 1580, is cited,
in which this line occurs--
"The better _brest_, the lesser rest;"
upon which he makes this observation: "In singing the Bound is originally
produced by the action of the lungs, which are so essential an organ in
this respect, that to have a good _breast_ was formerly a common
periphrasis to denote a good singer. The Italians make use of the terms
_Voce di Petto_ and _Voce di Testa_ to signify two kinds of voice, of
which the first is the best. In Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night,' after the
clown is asked to sing, Sir Andrew Aguecheek says--
'By my troth, the fool hath an excellent _breast_'
And in the statutes of Stoke College, in Suffolk, founded by Parker,
Archbishop of Canterbury, is a provision in these words: 'Of which said
queristers, after their _breasts_ are changed (i.e., their voices broke),
we will the most apt of wit and capacity be holpen with exhibitions of
forty shillings,'" &c.
See also the notes of Mr Warton and Mr Steevens to "Twelfth Night," A. 2,
Again, in Middleton's "More Dissemblers besides Women," A. 1, S. 3
(Dyce's edit, iii., 575), Dondolo, after a song by his page, says, "Oh
rich, ravishing, rare, and inticing. Well, go thy ways, for as _sweet a
brested_ page as ever lay at his master's feet in a truckle-bed." And in
the same writer's "Women beware Women," A. 3, S. 2--
_Duke_. "Yea the voice too, sir?"
_Fab_. "Ay, and a _sweet breast_ too, my lord, I hope,
Or I have cast away my money wisely."
--Dyce's edit, iv., 583.
Yet in the very next line of the text the Pedlar seems to take a
distinction between the _breast_ and the _voice_, which induces the
Apothecary to observe--
"That answere sheweth you a ryght syngynge man."--_Collier_.
427. _Wyt_, 1st edit.
428. _Wyll_, 1st edit.
429. See note 48 to "Gammer Gurton's Needle."
430. _Not and_, 1st edit.
431. Hitherto misprinted--
"Upon these _workes_ our mater grewe."--_Collier_.
432. _His_, edit. 1569.
433. _For_, edit. 1569.
434. _So_, edit. 1569
435. _May_, edit. 1569.
436. _Wake_, 1st edit.
437. _It is very_, edit. 1569.
438. Added in edit. 1569.
439. The first edition reads--
"And if _he_ lyste to take me so."
which is altered in the edit, of 1569, to _ye_, and it is probably
440. _Should go on pilgrimage_, edit. 1569.
441. Original reads _debite_.
442. _Howe_, 1st edit.
443. _Were we as_, edit. 1569.
444. First edition reads--
"For bothe you twayne shall wait on me.
What chaunce is this, that suche an elfe
Commaunded two knaves be besyde himselfe."
Both editions have it so, and the alteration was made by Dodsley, and
followed by Reed, although it is by no means necessary to the due
understanding of the passage.--_Collier_.
445. _Thynge decayed_, 1st edit.
446. _Holly_, 1st edit., _holy_, edit. 1569.
447. i.e., One magisterium; a chymical term expressive of the highest
powers of transmutation, and sometimes used for any _masterly_
_Mastery_ seems here used in the sense of _mystery_ or trade, which is
derived from the French _mestier_, and that perhaps from _magisterium_.
See Warton's "Hist. Engl. Poetry," III. xxxvii.--_Collier_. [But see
edit. 1871, i., 263.]
448. Both the old copies agree in reading--
"Yet in lyenge, I can some skyll,"
which has hitherto been altered to
"Yet in lyenge I can _boste_ some skyll,"
a word having been foisted in as if the former editors were not aware
that "_I can some skyll_," was a phrase of the time and perfectly
449. _Not_, 1st edit.
450. _Beholde_, edit. 1569.
451. _May here_, 1st edit., _may lie_, edit. 1569.
452. _Sirs_, edit. 1569.
453. _As well as_, 1st edit.
454. _Hope_, 1st edit.
455. _Hope_, 1st edit.
456. The word _it_ is omitted in the first edition, but it is necessary
for the rhyme.--_Collier_.
457. _To be rulde_, edit. 1569.
458. _Here are_, edit. 1569.
459. _Are_, edit. 1569.
460. _May_, edit. 1569.
461. _All hallowes_ is _All Saints_. Mr Steevens, in his note on the
"First Part of King Henry IV.," A.1, S.2, remarks on the absurdity of
appropriating a word formed to express a community of saints to a
particular one of the number.
462. _He shall be ryd of the toth ake_, 1st edit.
463. _Other_, 1st edit.
464. _Muche_, 1st edit.
465. _Freend_, edit. 1569.
466. _This_, edit. 1569.
467. These seven sleepers are said to have lived at Ephesus in the time
of the Emperor Decian. Being commanded to sacrifice according to the
Pagan manner, they fled to a cave in Mount Ceylon, where they fell
asleep, and continued in that state 372 years, as is asserted by some,
though according to others only 208 years. They awoke in the reign of one
Emperor Theodosian who, being informed of this extraordinary event, came
from Constantinople to see them, and to satisfy himself of the truth of
the relation. Having communicated to him the several circumstances of
their case, they all, as the "Legenda Aurea" expresses it, "enclyned
theyr hedes to th' erth, and rendred their spyrites at the commaundement
of our Lorde Jesu Cryst, and soo deyed." See "Legenda Aurea," 196.
468. _Thys_, 1st edit.
469. _To_, 1st edit.
470. _Yet_, edit. 1569.
471. _Can_, 1st edit.
472. See note 34 to "Gammer Gurton's Needle."
474. _See_, edit. 1569.
475. _Hyre me_ is _reward me_, and afterwards we meet with this line--
"But answered you, and geven you _hyring_."--_Collier_.
[But the word in the two passages appears to be identical in the old
orthography only. In the latter, cited by Mr Collier, it may mean
_hearing_, but here it is seemingly _hire_, i.e., give me my hire or
476. _Theriaca_, a remedy against poison--_Blount_. The word _triacle_ is
also not unfrequently used for a balsam, or indeed any kind of infallible
or powerful medicine.--_Collier_.
477. _In_, 1st edit.
478. An addition. The word _so_ is no addition, but is found in both the
479. I should suppose we ought to read _sheet-anchor_. The _sheet-anchor_
is the largest belonging to a ship, and is the last refuge of mariners;
for when that fails to take hold of the ground, the vessel is left at the
mercy of the storm. The _sheet-anchor_ was called by the ancients
_anchora sacra_; and by the French _maitresse ancre_.--_S_.
480. _Ointment_, edit. 1569.
481. _Will_, edit. 1569.
482. _Are_, edit. 1569.
483. _Are_, edit. 1569.
484. _Unto_, edit. 1569.
485. _And_, 1st edit.
486. _You are_, edit. 1569.
487. Your _mastership_.--_S_.
488. _True_, 1st edit.
489. _Ere_, edit. 1569; _or_, 1st 4to.
490. _For no lie_, edit 1569.
491. _Our_, 1st edit.
492. _One_, edit. 1569.
493. _Your_, 1st edit.
494. First edition reads--
"And that we both my lye so witnes,
That twayne of us thre in one agree."
496. _Unlike_, 1st edit.
497. _From_, 1st edit.
498. _So_, edit. 1569.
499. _Should_, 1st edit.
500. _Payne_, 1st edit.
501. The allusion is to gunnery. _Thampion (tampon_, Fr., a bung, cork,
or plug of wood) is now written _tampion_, and signifies the stopper with
which the mouths of cannon are closed up, to prevent the admission of
rain, or sea water, whereby their charges might be rendered incapable of
service. A _tewel (tuyau, or tuyal_, Fr.) is a _pipe_; and is here used
(for the sake of continuing the metaphor) for _bore_ or _calibre_. Moxon,
in his "Mechanick Exercises," defines the _tewel_ to be that _pipe_ in a
smith's forge into which the nose of the bellows is introduced; and in a
MS. fragment, said to be written by Sir Francis Drake, concerning the
stores of one of the ships under his command, the word _tewel_ is applied
to a gun.--_S_.
In Lambarde's "Dictionarium," p. 129, it is said: "It happened in the
Reigne of Quene Marye, that the master of a Shippe passinge by while the
Court lay theare, and meaninge (as the maner is) with Sayle and Shot to
honor the Place, unadvisedly gave Fyre to a Piece charged with a Stone
instede of a _Tampion_, which lightinge on the Quenes house ranne
throughe a Chamber, and did no further Harme."
Our antiquary writes like one unacquainted with his subject; no man, I
believe, ever talked _of charging_ a gun with a _tampion_; neither would
the said _tampion_ (consisting of a piece of hard oak) have done much
less mischief than a stone, if pointed from the Thames at the Queen's
Palace at Greenwich.--_S_.
502. Addition in the 2d edit.
503. A piece of ordnance.--_S_.
504. _The Regent_ was one of the largest ships of war in the time of King
Henry the Eighth. In the fourth year of his reign, Sir Thomas Knevet,
master of the horse, and Sir John Carew, of Devonshire, were appointed
captains of her, and in company with several others she was sent to fight
the French fleet near Brest haven. An action accordingly ensued, and the
Regent grappled with a French carrick, which would have been taken, had
not a gunner on board the vessel, to prevent her falling into the hands
of the English, set fire to the powder-room. This communicating the
flames to both ships, they shared the same fate together, being both
burnt. On the part of the French 900 men were lost; and on that of the
English more than 700 (See Hall's "Chronicle," 1548, fol. 21).
505. _On thys castell lyght_, 1st edit.
506. _This_, edit. 1569.
507. _Our_, 1st edit.
508. The edit. of 1569 has this line--
"And done _more_ cures ghostely."--_Collier_.
509. [Mr Child observes: "The Pardoner's descent into hell, in the 'Four
P.P.,' is one of the most capital passages in our comic poetry" ("Four
Old Plays," 1848, xxvi.)]
510. A _beck_, among other significations, has that of a salutation with
the head. So, in Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens"--
"_A serving of _becks_, and jutting out of bums_."--_S_.
511. _Thys_, 1st edit.
512. "Before the suppression of the monasteries, this city (_i.e_.,
Coventry) was very famous for the pageants that were played therein upon
_Corpus Christi_ day (this is one of their ancient faires), which
occasioning very great confluence of people thither from far and near,
was no small benefit thereto; which pageants being acted with mighty
state and reverence by the friers of this house, had theaters for the
several scenes very large and high, placed upon wheels, and drawn to all
the eminent parts of the city, for the better advantage of spectators,
and contained the story of the New Testament, composed in old English
rithme, as appeareth by an ancient MS. entitled 'Ludus Corporis Christi,'
or 'Ludus Coventriae,' in Bibl. Cotton, (sub Effigie Vesp. D. 9)"
(Dugdale's "Warwickshire," p. 116). [See the "Coventry Mysteries," edited
by Halliwell, 1841.]
513. Addition in the 2d edit.
514. _Maist_, edit. 1569.
515. Mr Dodsley has _write_.
516. _His_, 1st edit.
517. _For playne_, 1st edit.
518. _Cure_, edit. 1569.--_Collier_. [The former editor printed _cuer_.]
519. Sweet or fresh-made, from the old word _sote_.
520. See note 3 to "The Ordinary."
521. _Frendes_, 1st edit.
522. First edition reads, "Dyd laugh full well together lyke frendes."
523. First edition reads, "Then to Lucyfer low as I coude."
525. _Deliver_, edit. 1569.
526. _Wil_, edit. 1569.
527. So 1st edit., and properly, the meaning being that the Pardoner is
ready to requite part of this favour whenever it shall be the devil's
528. _Nowe_, 1st edit.
529. _Horyson_, 1st edit.
530. _The_, edit. 1569.
531. _Dayes_, 1st edit.
532. _Wunderous_, edit. 1569.
533. _Founde_, 1st edit.
534. _Parell_, 1st edit.
535. _Parellous_, 1st edit.
536. I suppose _wrabbed_ to be a word coined for the sake of rhyme.--_S_.
[But see Nares, 1859, in v., where it is said: "Probably for _rabid_, but
so written for the sake of looking to the eye more like a rhyme to
537. _Thus_, edit. 1569.
538. _Of_, edit. 1569.
539. _Maryed_, 1st edit. It will be observed that there is no rhyme to
"And oft with them have long tyme taried,"
and it is probable that a line has here dropped out ending with _maryed_,
which is the word in the oldest of the three editions.--_Collier_.
540. i.e., Fetch'd. The word is used by Tusser, Spenser, and
541. i.e., Five knaves and two more there, iii.
542. _Overcome_. See note 1 on "God's Promises." So Eleanor, in the
"Second Part of King Henry VI.," A. 1, S. 3, says--
"I'd set my _ten commandments_ in your face"
_Ten Commandments_ seem to have been cant terms for the nails of the
See also Mr Steevens's note on the above passage.
543. _Gentleman_, 1st edit.
544. _One_, 1st edit.
545. _You may_, 1st edit. 1569.
546. Mad, furious.
547. Addition in the third edition.
548. _I_, 1st edit.
549. Addition in the third edition.
550. _Rather_, edit. 1569.
551. i.e., One who struts or agitates his body in a pompous manner. So,
in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"--
"How he jets under his advanced plumes."--_S_.
552. _Make_, edit. 1569.
553. I believe we should read _affin'd_, i.e. joined by affinity to each
other. So in "Othello":
"If partially _affin'd_ or leagued in office."--_S_.
It probably means _assigned_ to the Palmer to wait on him, which was part
of the agreement, before the contention began.--_Collier_.
554. _Beste_, 1st edit.
555. First edition reads--
"And I lykewyse, I make God a vowe."
556. _Cheefest_, edit. 1569.
557. _This_, edit. 1569.
558. _Shewell_, 1st edit.
559. _On_, edit. 1569.
560. _Other_, 1st edit.
561. _Plenteously_, edit. 1569.
562. Perhaps by _parels_ is meant _pareilles_, Fr., _i.e_., things
similar, or _parels_. Or it may be only a corruption of _perils_.--_S_.
563. _Are_, edit. 1569.
564. _Nother_, 1st edit.
565. _Take_, edit. 1569.
566. _Escapte_, edit. 1569.
567. [The colophon of the first edition is: "Imprynted at London in
Fletestrete at the sygne of the George, by Wyllyam Myddylton." For the
particulars of the other two editions, that by Copland being unknown to
the former editors, see Hazlitt's "Handbook," p. 269.]
568. Two Interludes: Jack Juggler and Thersites. Edited by Joseph
Haslewood, 4to, 1820.
569. At Lee Priory, the seat of Sir Egerton Brydges. Sir Egerton Brydges
subsequently decided on selling the entire collection, though entailed,
and it was disposed of by Mr. Sotheby, April 12, 1826. In the auction
catalogue it is described as "a small but high interesting collection of
the Rarest Old Plays in the English Drama." There were, in fact, only 142
lots, of which Jack Juggler and Thersites were 141 and 142, and "The
Taming of a Shrew," 1594, No. 109. Mr. Inglis seems to have been the
purchaser of all three.
570. "Four Old Plays," 1848, xv.
574. _Ilva_ in orig.
575. A sort of helmet.
576. Original has _bere_, _i.e_., bear.
577. See Way's edit, of the "Promptorium" _v_. Crykke.
579. A corrupt form of the name of an old romance, printed by Ritson, and
in the original French by Hippeau.
582. A curious phrase, not met with elsewhere.
583. _i.e., Apart_ or separate.
586. This appears to be an allusion to a song beginning with these words.
588. Spend. For the mere sake of the rhyme.
590. The error or transposition is perhaps intentional.
591. An error, perhaps equally designed. It was Diomedes, to whom the
mythology ascribed this practice.
592. Original has _thus_.
594. This incident was improved upon in the modern nursery-rhyme of the
four-and-twenty tailors and the snail.
595. Original has _the_, perhaps we should read _thou_.
596. Have been lost.
597. Hindereth, troubleth.
598. Fair, impartial
600. See "Promptorium," edit. Way, v. Gromaly, and Halliwell's "Dict." v.
601. This and some of the other names appear to be fanciful. _Forsan_,
602. For _these_, and so a few lines below.
606. Shovel. See Halliwell's "Dict." v. Peel, No. 6.
610. Dimsdale, which name is borne by two places, one in
Durham, the other in Yorkshire.
611. Original has hartelye.
613. Jane Seymour and Prince Edward, afterwards Edward VI. This fixes the
date of the play, though not necessarily of its publication, at least
END OF VOL. I.
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