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voided, except woemen, till shee bee brought to her bedd; and the man both, he sitting in his bedd in his shirte, with a gowne cast about him. Then the bishoppe, with the chaplaines, to come in and bless the bedd; then everie man to avoide without any drinke, save the twoe estates if they liste, privilie." A similar ceremony was performed at all marriages in that age.-Steevens.
This defect in children seems to have been so much dreaded, that numerous were the charms applied for its prevention. The following might be as efficacious as any of the rest: "If a woman with chylde have her smocke slyt at the neather ende or skyrt thereof, &c., the same chylde that she then goeth withall, shall be safe from having a cloven or hare-lippe." Thomas Lupton's Fourth Book of Notable Things.
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
"The dancing horse."-Act I. Sc. 2.
A horse taught by one Bankes, to play many singular tricks. Sir Walter Raleigh, in his History of the World, says: "If Bankes had lived in older times, he would have shamed all the enchanters in the world for whosoever was most famous amongst them could never master or instruct any beast as he did his horse." And Sir Kenelm Digby observes, “That this horse would restore a glove to the due owner, after the master had whispered the man's name in his ear; would tell the just number of pence in any piece of silver coin newly showed him by his master; and even obey presently his command, in discharging himself of his excrements, whensoever he had bade him." Among other exploits of this celebrated beast, it is said, that he went up to the top of St. Paul's. His end and his master's was tragical: Travelling in France, Bankes excited the anger of the priests, and only escaped its effects in the manner following:- Bankes came into suspition of magicke, because of the strange feates which his horse Morocco plaied at Orleance; where he, to redeem his credit, promised to manifest to the world that his horse was nothing lesse than a devill. To this end, he commanded his horse to seeke out one in the preasse of the people who had a crucifix in his hat; which done, he bade him kneele down unto it; and not this only, but also to rise up againe, and kisse it. And now, gentlemen (quoth he), I thinke my horse hath acquitted both me and himselfe; and so his adversaries rested satisfied; conceiving (as it might seeme) that the divell had no power to come neare the crosse." In Italy, however, they were less fortunate, since at Rome, to the disgrace of the age, of the country, and of humanity, they were burnt, by order of the pope, for magicians.
"The hobby-horse is forgot.”—Act III. Sc. 1.
In the celebration of May-day, besides the sports now used of hanging a pole with garlands, and dancing round it, formerly a boy was dressed up, representing Maid Marian; another like a friar; and another rode on a hobby-horse, with bells jingling and painted streamers. After the Reformation took place, and precisions multiplied, these latter rites were looked upon to savour of paganism, and Maid Marian, the friar, and the poor hobby-horse, were turned out of the games.-THEOBALD.
"A woman that is like a German clock."-Act III. Sc. 1.
In a book called The Artificial Clockmaker, 1714, we find the following remarks: "Clock-making was supposed to have had its beginning in Germany within less than these two hundred years. It is very probable that our balance clocks or watches, and some other automata, might have had their beginning there." Little worth remark is to be found till towards the 16th century, and then clock-work was revived or wholly invented anew in Germany, as is generally thought, because the ancient pieces are of German work. The mechanism of these clocks was extremely complicated, and consequently they frequently wanted repairing. STEEVENS.
That we must stand and play the murderer in."
Act IV. Sc. 1.
How familiar the amusement of deer-shooting once was to ladies of quality, may be known from a letter addressed by Lord Wharton to the earl of Shrewsbury, dated from Alnewick, Aug 14, 1555. "I besiche yor lordeshipp to tayke some sporte of my litell grounde there, and to command the same even as yor lordshippes owne. My ladye may shote with her cross bowe," &c.-STEEVENS.
"Here, good my glass."-Act IV. Sc. 1.
To understand how the princess has her glass so ready at hand in a common conversation, it must be remembered, that in those days it was the fashion among the French ladies to wear a looking glass, as Bayle coarsely represents it, on their bellies; that is, to have a small mirror set in gold hanging at their girdle, by which they occasionally viewed their faces, or adjusted their hair.-JOHNSON.
But, sir, 1 assure ye, it was a buck of the first head,
In the Return from Parnassus, 1606, we find the following account of the different appellations of deer, at their different ages:-"I caused the keeper to sever the rascal deer from the bucks of the first head. Now, sir, a buck is, the first year, a fawn; the second year, a pricket; the third year, a sorrell; the fourth year, a soare; the fifth, a buck of the first head; the sixth year, a compleate buck. Likewise your hart is, the first year, a calf; the second year, a brochet; the third year, a spade; the fourth year, a stag; the sixth year, a hart. A roebuck is, the first year, a kid; the second year, a gird; the third year, a hemuse; and these are your special beasts for chase."-STEEVENS.
"He comes in like a perjure.”—Act IV. Sc. 3.
Perjury was punished by affixing a paper to the breast, expressing the crime. Holinshed says of Wolsey, "He so punished a perjurie with open punishment, and open papers wearing, that in his time it was less used." Again, in Leicester's Commonwealth:- -"The gentlemen were all taken and cast into prison, and afterwards were set down to Ludlow, there to wear papers of perjury."-STEEVENS.
"Like Muscovites, or Russians, as I guess."-Act V. Sc. 2.
A mask of Muscovites was no uncommon recreation at court, long before Shakspeare's time. In the first year of King Henry VIII. at a banquet made for the foreign ambassadors in the parliament chamber at
Westminster:-"came the lorde Henry, earle of Wiltshire, and the lorde Fitzwater, in twoo long gounes of yellowe satin traversed with white satin, and in every ben of white was a bend of crimson satin, after the fashion of Russia or Ruslande, with furred hattes of grey on their hedes, either of them havyng an hatchet in their handes, and bootes with pykes turned up." Hall's Henry VIII.-RITSON.
"Better wits have worn plain statute-caps."-Act V. Sc. 2.
Woollen-caps were enjoined by act of parliament, in the year 1571, the 15th of Queen Elizabeth. "Besides the bills passed into acts this parliament, there was one which I judge not amiss to be taken notice of: it concerned the queen's care for employment for her poor sorts of subjects. It was for continuance of making and wearing woollen-caps, in behalfe of the trade of cappers; providing that all above the age of six ycares (except the nobility and some others) should, on sabbath-days and holy-days, wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and dressed in England, upon penalty of ten groats."-STRYPE's Annals of Elizabeth,
“Lord have mercy on us!"-Act V. Sc. 2.
This was the inscription put on the doors of houses infected with the plague. So in Sir Thomas Overbury's Characters, 1632:-" Lord have mercy on us may well stand over their doors, for debt is a most dangerous city pestilence."--JOHNSON.
"And if these four worthies in their first show thrive,
These four will change habits, and present the other five.”
Act V. Sc. 2. Shakspeare here alludes to the shifts to which the actors were reduced in the old theatres, one person often performing two or three parts.
"Some Dick."-Act V. Sc. 2.
Out-roaring Dick was a celebrated singer, who with William Wimbars, is said by Henry Chettle, in his Kind Harts Dreame, to have got twenty shillings a day by singing, at Braintree fair, in Essex.-MALONE.
"Pageant of the nine worthies."-Act V. Sc. 2.
Among the Harleian MSS. we find the following:-"The order of a Showe intended to be made, Aug. 1, 1621. First, Two woodmen, &c., St. George fighting with the Dragon. The nine Worthies in complete armor with crounes of gould on their heads, every one having his esquires to beare before him his shield and penon of armes, dressed according as these lords were accustomed to be, 3 Assa ralits, 3 Infidels, 3 Christians. After them, a Fame, to declare the rare virtues and noble deedes of the 9 worthye women."-STEEVENS,
"It was enjoined in Rome for want of linen."-Act V. Sc. 2.
A Spaniard fell in a duel. As he lay expiring, a friend approached, and offered his services. The dying man made but one request, which was, not to suffer his body to be stript, but to bury him in the habit he had on. The friend promised compliance, the Spaniard expired in peace, but curiosity prevailed over good faith; the body was stript, and found be without a shirt.- WARBURTON.
MERCHANT OF VENICE.
"He lends out money gratis, and brings down
Act I. Sc. 3.
"It is almost incredyble what gaine the Venetians receive by the usury of the Jewes, both privately and in common. For in everie citie the Jewes kepe open shops of usurie, taking gaiges of ordinarie for xv in the hundred by the yere; and if at the yere's end the gaige be not redeemed, it is forfeite, or at the least dooen away to a great disadvantage, by reason whereof the Jewes are out of measure wealthie in those parts.' THOMAS'S HISTORY OF ITALY, 1561.
"But let us make incision for your love,
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine."
Act II. Sc. 1.
Red blood has been considered a proof of courage. Bartholomew Glanville says, "Reed clothes ben layd upon deed men, in remembrance of their hardyness and boldness, whyle they were in theyr bloudde." On which, his commentator, Batman, remarks:- It appeareth in the time of the Saxons, that the manner over their dead was a red cloath, as we now use blacke. The red of valiauncie, and that was over kings, lords, knights, and valyant souldiours.”—Douce.
Nay more; while grace is saying, hood mine eyes,
Act II. Sc. 2.
It should be remembered, that in Shakspeare's time, they wore their hats on during the time of dinner.-MALONE.
'My nose fell a bleeding on Black-Monday last."—Act II. Sc. 5. "Black Monday is Easter Monday, and was so called on this occasion. In the 34th of Edward III., (1360,) the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easter day, King Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris; which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore, unto this day, it hath been called the Blacke Monday."-STOWE.
"It was my turquoise."—Act III. Sc. 1.
A turquoise is a precious stone found in the veins of the mountains on the confines of Persia to the east, subject to the Tartars. It was said of this stone, that it faded or brightened in its colour, as the health of the wearer increased or grew less. So Edward Fenton, in his Secret Wonders of Nature, 1569, says, "The Turkeys doth move when there is any perill prepared to him that weareth it.”—STEEVENS.
"Snaky golden locks."-Act III. Sc. 2.
Periwigs were universally worn in Shakspeare's age. This will be best shown by an extract from an old pamphlet, entitled The Honestie of this Age, by Barnabe Riche, 1615.-"My lady holdeth on her way, perhaps to the tire-maker's shop, where she shaketh her crownes to bestow upon some new fashioned attire, upon such artificial deformed periwigs,
that they were fitter to furnish a theatre, or for her that in a stage play should represent some hag of hell, than to be used by a Christian woman. These attire-makers, within these fortie years, were not knowne by that name; and but now very lately they kept their lowsie commodity of periwigs, and their monstrous attires, closed in boxes; and those women that used to weare them would not buy them but in secret. But now they are not ashamed to set them forth upon their stalls, such monstrous moppowles of haire, so proportioned and deformed, that but with these twenty or thirty yeares would have drawne the passers-by to stand and gaze, and to wonder at them."-MALONE.
"Like cutler's poetry.”—Act V. Sc. 1.
Knives were formerly inscribed, by means of aqua fortis, with short sentences in rhyme. In Decker's Satiromastix, we have the following allusion to this custom:-"You shall swear by Phoebus, who is your poet's good lord and master, that hereafter you will not hire Horace to give you poesies for rings, or handkerchers, or knives, which you understand not."-REED.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
"In the forest Arden."-Act I. Sc. 1.
Ardenne is a forest of considerable extent in French Flanders, lying near the Meuse, and between Charlemont and Rocroy.-MALONE,
"Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block."-Act I. Sc. 2.
The quintain was a stake driven into a field, upon which were hung a shield and other trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode, with a lance. When the trophies and shield were all thrown down, the quintain remained.-GUTHRIE.
"Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head."-Act II. Sc. 1.
"There is found in the heades of old and great toades, a stone, which they call borax or stelon: it is most commonly found in the head of a hee toade, of power to repulse poysons, and that it is a most soveraigne medicine for the stone."-WONDERS OF NATURE, 1569.
"You shall know whether the tode stone be the right and perfect stune or not. Hold the stone before a toad, so that he may see it; and if it be a ryght and true stone, the tode will leape towarde it, and make ag though he would snatch it. He envieth so much that man should have that stone."- LUPTON'S NOTABLE THINGS.
"To the which place a poor sequester'd stag
Did come to languish
and the big round tears,
Cours'd one another down his innocent nose
The stag is said to possess a very large secretion of tears. the hart is arered, he fleethe to a river or ponde, and roreth, cryeth and weepeth when he is taken."-" When the hart is sick, and hath eaten many serpents for his recoverie, he is brought into so great a heat that