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Strutt, in his antiquarian romance of Queen of the hobby-horse and the dragon and Friar hoo Hall,' has given at length the gambols | Tuck.
" SCENE I.—" The boy hath sold him a bargain." | the gentlemanly profession of Serving Men,"
This comedy is running over with allusions there is a story of a servant who got a remuneto country sports—one of the many proofs that ration of three farthings from one of his master's in its original shape it may be assigned to the guests, and a guerdon of a shilling from another author's greenest years. The sport which so guest. Perhaps the story had passed into the delights Costard about the fox, the ape, and the gossip of the people, and Costard's jocularity humble-bee, has been explained by Capell, whose
was understood by “the gentlemanly profession,” lumbering and obscure comments upon Shak- who stood on the ground of the Blackfriars spere have been pillaged and sneered at by the theatre or the Globe. other commentators. In this instance they take no notice of him. It seems, according to Capell, 13 SCENE I.-“ Like a German clock." that "selling a bargain ” consisted in drawing a person in by some stratagem to proclaim him
The Germans were the great clock-makers of self fool by his own lips; and thus, when Moth the sixteenth century. The clock at Hampton makes his master repeat the l'envoy ending in Court, which, according to the inscription, was the goose, he proclaims himself a goose, accord- set up in 1540, is said to be the first ever made ing to the rustic wit, which Costard calls in England. Sir Samuel Meyrick possessed a
selling a bargain well.” “Fast and loose,” to table-clock of German manufacture, the reprewhich he alludes, was another holiday sport; sentations of costume on which show it to be of and the goose that ended the market alludes to the time of Elizabeth. It is most probable that the proverb " three women and a goose make a
the German clock, market.”
“ Still a repairing: ever out of frame;
And never going aright," 19 SCENE I.-" Gardon remuneration."
was of the common kind which we now call In a tract published in 1578, " A Health to Dutch clocks.
"* SCENE I. — “ And wear his colours like a his · Sports,' has given us some representations
his feats, was adorned with ribands. Strutt, in tumbler's hoop."
of the antics which these ancient promoters of The tumbler was a great itinerant performer mirth exhibited; and they differ very slightly in the days of Shakspere, as he is still. His from those which still delight the multitude at hoop, which was a necessary accompaniment of country fairs.
In a poem written in “ verse burlesque" by
And man that whilst the puppets play, Sir William D'Avenant, entitled “The Long
Through nose expoundeth what they say:
And white oat-eater that does dwell Vacation in London,' there is a very satisfactory In stable small at sign of Bell, enumeration of the principal sights which were That lift up hoof to show the pranks presented to the admiring wayfarers of our city
Taught by magician, styled Banks;
And ape, led captire still in chain the period when the Restoration had given Till he renounce the Pope and Spain : back to the people some of their ancient amuse- All these on hoof now trudge from town ·ments, and the councils of the primitive church
To cheat poor turnip-eating clown." were no longer raked up, as they were by old What a congregation of wonders is here ! Prynne, to denounce bear-leaders and puppet Hogarth could not have painted his glorious showmen as the agents of the evil one,-excom- Southwark Fair' without actual observation; municated persons who were to be dealt with but here is an assemblage from which a comby the strong arm of the law, civil and eccle- panion picture might be made, offering us the siastical. The passage in D'Avenant's poem is varieties of costume and character which disas follows:
tinguish the age of Charles II. from that of "Now vaulter good, and dancing lass
George II. But such sights can only be grouped
together now in London upon remarkable occar
its gigantic suburbs, is not the place to find Puppet that acts our old Queen Bess,
even in separate localities the vaulter, the
• Fox' says
dancing lass, the conjuror, the tumbler, the activity in the Term, because Fleet Street was puppet-show, the raree-show, the learned horse, then full. When is it now empty? There is or the loyal ape. Fleet Street, for example, is no room for their trades. They are elbowed out. much too busy a place for the wonder-mongers We have seen, however, in some half-quiet to congregate in. A merchant in Ben Jonson's thoroughfare of Lambeth, or of Clerkenwell, a
dingy cloth spread upon the road, and a ring of " "I were a rare motion to be seen in Fleet Street."
children called together at the sound of horn, A motion is another name for a puppet-show. calico trowsers and spangles, and a tumbler
to behold a dancing lass in all the finery of His companion answers,
with his hoop: and on one occasion sixpence “Ay, in the Term."
was extracted from our pockets, because the Fifty years afterwards D'Avenant tells us of his said tumbler had his hoop splendid with ribbons, vagabonds, that in the Long Vacation
which showed him to have a reverence for the "All these on hoof now trudge from town poetry and antiquity of his calling. He knew To cheat poor turnip-eating clown."
the line,The sight-shewers, we thus see, were in high “And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop."
15 SCENE I.
the ships that came into the port of London That we must stand and play the murtherer in ?" belonged to him. ROYAL and noble ladies, in the days of Eliza
17 SCENE I.-" Pricket." beth, delighted in the somewhat unrefined sport of shooting deer with a cross-bow. In the Dull contradicts Sir Nathaniel as to the age “ alleys green” of Windsor or of Greenwich of the buck. The parson asserts that it was Parks, the queen would take her stand on an "a buck of the first head "—the constable says elevated platform, and, as the pricket or the it was “a pricket.” The buck acquires a new buck was driven past her, would aim the death- name every year as he approaches to maturity. shaft, amidst the acclamations of her admiring The first year he is a fawn ;-the second, a courtiers. The ladies, it appears, were skilful pricket;—the third, a sorrell ;—the fourth, a enough at this sylvan butchering. Sir Francis soare;- the fifth, a buck of the first head; the Leake writes to the Earl of Shrewsbury, “ Your sixth, a complete buck. lordship has sent me a very great and fat stag, the welcomer being stricken by your right
18 SCENE I.-" Master person." honourable lady's hand.” The practice was as The derivation of parson was, perhaps, comold as the romances of the middle ages : but in monly understood in Shakspere's time, and those days the ladies were sometimes not so
parson and person were used indifferently. expert as the Countess of Shrewsbury; for, in Blackstone has explained the word : " A parson, the history of Prince Arthur, a fair huntress persona ecclesiæ, is one that hath full possession wounds Sir Launcelot of the Lake, instead of of all the rights of a parochial church. He is the stag at which she aims.
called parson, persona, because by his person,
the church, which is an invisible body, is repre16 SCENE 1.-"A Monarcho."
sented.”—Commentaries, b. i. This allusion is to a mad Italian, commonly
19 SCENE I.—“ Good old Mantuan." called the monarch, whose epitaph, or description, was written by Churchyard, in 1580. His The good old Mantuan was Joh. Baptist. Mannotion was, that he was sovereign of the world; tuanus, a Carmelite, whose Eclogues were transand one of his conceits, recorded by Scot in his lated into English by George Turbervile, in 1567. Discovery of Witchcraft,' 1584, was that all | His first Eclogue commences with Fauste, precor
gelida ; and Farnaby, in his preface to Martial, more accurate than this description. The Ghesays that pedants thought more highly of the bers, as the elegant poet of 'Lalla Rookh' tells Fauste, precor gelida, than of the Arma virum us, were not blind Idolators; they worshipped que cano. Here, again, the unlearned Shakspere the Creator in the most splendid of his works :hits the mark when he meddles with learned “Yes, I am of that impious race, matters
Those Slaves of Fire who, morn and even, 20 SCENE I.—“ Venetia."
Hail their Creator's dwelling-place
Among the living lights of heaven !" A proverbial expression applied to Venice, which we find thus in Howell's Letters :
23 SCENE III._" For when would you, my liege, “Venetia, Venetia, chi non te vede, non te pregia, Ma chi l'ha troppo veduto le dispregia."
or you, or you."
It will be observed that this line is almost a SCENE III.—" On a day," &c.
repetition of a previous oneThis ode, as Shakspere terms it, was set to "For when would you, my lord, or you, or you ; " music upwards of seventy years ago, by Jackson, and in the same manner throughout this speech of Exeter, for three men's voices; and a more the most emphatic parts of the reasoning are beautiful, finished, and masterly composition, repeated with variations. Upon this conjecture of the kind, the English school of music cannot goes to work; and it is pronounced that the produce :—for that we have a school, and one of lines are unnecessarily repeated. Some of the which we need not be ashamed, will soon cease commentators understood little of rhythm, and to be denied.
they were not very accurate judges of rhetoric.
One of the greatest evidences of skill in an * SCENE III.—“ That, like a rude and savage orator is the enforcement of an idea by repeman of Inde."
tition, without repeating the precise form of its Shakspere might have found an account of original announcement. The speech of Ulysses, the Ghebers, or fire-worshippers of the East, in in the third act of “Troilus and Cressida,' some of the travellers whose works had preceded “ Time hath, my lord, a wallet on his back," Hakluyt's collection. Nothing can be finer or is a wonderful example of this art.
24 SCENE I.-" Honorificabilitudinitatibus." making the pedant have the worst of it in what TAYLOR, the water-poet, has given us a syllable
he calls “ a quick venew of wit." more of this delight of schoolboys—honorifici. cabilitudinitatibus. But he has not equalled
2* SCENE I.—“ Venew of wit.” Rabelais, who has thus furnished the title of a Steevens and Malone fiercely contradict each book that might puzzle Paternoster Row - other as to the meaning of the word venew. Antipericatametaparhengedamphicribrationes. “ The cut-and-thrust notes on this occasion
exhibit a complete match between the two great
Shaksperian maisters of defence,” says Douce. 25 SCENE I.-" The fifth, if I."
This industrious commentator gives us five The pedant asks who is the silly sheep quis, pages to determine the controversy; the arguquis ? " The third of the five vowels if you ment of which amounts to this, that venew and repeat them,” says Moth; and the pedant does bout equally denote a hit in fencing. repeat them-a, e, I; the other two clinches it, says Moth, 0, u (0 you). This may appear a
77 SCENE II.
“ And are apparell'd thus,poor conundrum, and a low conceit, as Theobald
Like Muscovites or Russians." has it, but the satire is in opposing the pedantry For the Russian or Muscovite habits assumed of the boy to the pedantry of the man, and by the king and nobles of Navarre, we are in. debted to Vecellio. At page 303 of the edition satin, and in every bend of white was a bend of of 1598, we find a noble Muscovite whose attire crimson satin, after the fashion of Russia or sufficiently corresponds with that described by Russland, with furred hats of gray on their Hall in his account of a Russian masque at heads, either of them having an hatchet in their Westminster, in the reign of Henry VIII., bands, and boots with pikes turned up.” The quoted by Ritson in illustration of this play. boots in Vecellio's print have no “pikes turned
" In the first year of King Henry VIII.," says up," but we perceive the “long gown" of figured the chronicler, “at a banquet made for the satin or damask, and the “ furred hat." At foreign ambassadors in the Parliament chamber page 283 of the same work we are presented at Westminster, came the Lord Henry Earl of also with the habit of the Grand Duke of Mus Wiltshire, and the Lord Fitzwalter, in two long covy, a rich and imposing costume, which might gowns of yellow satin traversed with white be worn by his majesty of Navarre himself.
13 SCENE II.—" To tread a measure with her on pace : the first suit is hot and hasty, like a the grass."
Scotch jig, and full as fantastical: the wedding, measure" was the courtly dance of mannerly-modest, as a measure full of state and the days of Elizabeth ; not so solemn as the ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, pavan—the “doleful pavan,” as D'Avenant calls with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace it, in which princes in their mantles, and faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.” lawyers in their long robes, and courtly dames with enormous trains, swept the rushes like the
29 SCENE II.—“ Better wits have worn plain tails of peacocks. From this circumstance came
statute-caps." its name, the pavan—the dance of the peacock. By an act of parliament of 1571, it was pro The “ measure" may be best described in vided that all above the age of six years, except Shakspere's own words, in the mouth of the the nobility and other persons of degree, should, lively Beatrice, in 'Much Ado about Nothing :'on sabbath-days and bolidays, wear caps of -" The fault will be in the music, cousin, wool, manufactured in England. This was one if you be not woo'd in good time; if the prince of the laws for the encouragement of trade, be too important, tell him there is measure in which so occupied the legislatorial wisdom of everything, and so dance out the answer. For our ancestors, and which the people, as con. hear me, Hero: wooing, wedding, and repent- stantly as they were enacted, evaded, or openly ing, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque violated. This very law was repealed in 1597.