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Danes. Within.] Let her come in:
wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy. Laer. How now! what noise is that?
-I would give you some violets; but they withered Enter OPHELIA, fantastically dressed with Straws all, when my father died :—They say, he made a and Flowers.
For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy, O heat, dry up my brains! tears seven times salt,
[Singe: Burn out the sense and virtue of mine eye! By heaven, thy madness shall be paid with weight, she turns to favour, and to prettiness.
Laer. Thought+ and affliction, passion, hell itselt, Till our scale turn the beam. O, rose of May! Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia !
Oph. And will he not come again? [Sings. O, heavens! is't possible, a young maid's wits
And will he not come again ? Should be as mortal as an old man's life?
No, no, he is dead, Nature is finel in love; and, where 'tis fine,
Go to thy death-bed, It sends some precious instance of itself
He never will come again. After the thing it loves.
His beard was as white as snow,
All flaxen was his poll :
He is gone, he is gone,
And we cast away moan ;
God'a mercy on his soul !5 Laer. Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,
And of all christian souls! I pray God. God be It could not move thus.
Exit OPHELIA. Oph. You must sing, Down-a-down, an you call Laer. Do you see this, 0, God? him a-down-a. O, how the wheel? becomes it! it King. Laertes, I must communes with your grief, is the false steward, that stole his master's daughter. Or you deny me right. Go but apart, Laer. This nothing's more than matter.
Make choice of whom your wisest friends you will Oph. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance ; And they shall hear and judge 'twixt you and me: 'pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies, If by direct or by collateral hand that's for thoughts.3
They find us touch'd, we will our kingdom give, Laer. A document in madness; thoughts and Our crown, our life, and all that we call ours, remembrance fitted.
To you in satisfaction; but, if not, Oph. There's fennel for you, and columbines :- Be you content to lend your patience to us, there's rue for you; and here's some for me :-we may call it, herb of grace o' Sundays :-you may
Rosemarie is for remembrance
Betweene us day and night; 1 Nature is fine in love.' The three concluding
Wishing that I might alwaies have fines of this speech are not in the quarto. The meaning
You present in my sight.' appears to be, Nature is refined or subtilised by love, Rosemarie had this attribute because it was said to the senses are rendered more ethereal, and being thus strengthen the memory, and was therefore used as a torefined, some precious portions of the mental energies ken of remembrance and affection between lovers, and fly off, or are sent after the beloved object; when bereit was distributed as an emblem both at weddings and fuof that object, they are lost to us, and we are left in a nerals. Why pansies (pensees) are emblems of theughts state of mental privation :
is obvious. Fennel was emblematic of fiattery, and Even eo by love the young and tender wit, Dare finocchio, to give fennel,' was in other words to Is turn'd to folly.'
flatter, to dissemble, according to Florio. Thus in he "Love is a smoke, rais'd with the fume of sighs; ballad above cited : Being urg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers: tears :
· Fennel is for flatterers, What is it else?-a madness,' &c.
An evil thing 'tis sure.' 2 The wheel is the burthen of a ballad, from the Latin Browne, in his Britannia's Pastorals, says: rota, a round, which is usually accompanied with a burthen frequently repeated. Thus also in old French, ro.
«The columbine, in tawny often taken,
Is then ascribed to such as are forsaken.' terie signified such a round or catch, and rotuenge, or rotruhenge, the burthen or refrain as it is now called. Rue was for ruth or repentance. It was also commonly Our old English term refrette, 'the foote of the Wutie, a called herbgruce, probably from being accounted a verse often interlaced, or the burden of a song, was present remedy against all poison, and a otent aux probably from refrain; or from refresteler, to pipe iliary, in exorcisms, all evil things fleeing from it. By over again. It is used by Chaucer in The Testament or wearing it with a difference (an heraldric term for a Love: This term was not obsolete in Cotgrave's time, mark of distinction) Ophelia may mean that the queen though is would now
be as difficult to adduce an instance should wear it as a mark of repentance ; herself as a of its use as of the wheel, at the same time the quotation token of grief. The daisy was emblematic of a dissemwiji show that the down of a ballad was another term for bler :- Next them grew the dissembling daisy, to the burthen. Refrain, the refret, burthen, or downe of warne such light of love wenches not to trust every fair a ballad. All this discussion is rendered necessary, promise that such amorous batchelors make.:--Green's because Steevens unfortunately forgot to note from Quip for an Upstart Courtier. The violet is for faithwhence he made the following extract, though he knew fulness, and is thus characterised in The Lover's Nose. it was from the preface to some black letter collection of gaie. songs or sonnets :- The song was accounted a good 4 Thought, among our ancestors, was used for grief,
Curarum volvere in pectore. He ope, though it was not moche graced with the wheele, care, pensiveness. which in no wise accorded with the subject matter there will die for sorrow and thought.?-Baret. Thus in An. of Thus also Nicholas Breton, in his Toyes for Idle tony and Cleopatra :Head, 1577:
• Cleo. What shall we do, Enobarbus? "That I may sing full merrily
Think and die.' Not heigh ho wele, but care away.' It should be remembered that the old musical instrument of many old popular ballads. Bonny Robin' appears And we shall jointly labour with your
5 Poor Ophelia in her madness remembers the ends called a rote, from its wheel, was also termed vielle, to have been a favourite, for there were many others quasi wheel. It must surely have been 'out of a mere written to that tune. The editors have not traced the spirit of controversy that Malone affected to think that present one. It is introduced in Eastward Hoe, written the spinning-wheel was alluded to by Ophelia.
by Jonson, Chapman, and Marston, where some parts 3 Our ancestors gave to almost every flower and plant of this play are apparently burlesqued. Hamlet is the its emblematic meaning, and like the ladies of the east, name given to a foolish footman in the same scene. ] made them almost as expressive as written language, in know not why it should be considered an attack on their hieroglyphical sense. Perdita, in The Winter's Shakspeare ; it was the usual license of comedy to sport Tale, distributes her flowers in the same manner as with every thing serious and even sacred. Hamlet Tra. Ophelia, and some of them with the same meaning. In vestie may as well be called an invidious attack on The Handfull of Pleasant Delites, 1584, recently re. Shakspeare. printed in Mr. Park's Heliconia, we have a ballad called 6. The folio reads common, which is only a varied or A Nosegaje alwales sweet for Lovers to send for To-thography of the same word. . We will dorivo and keng 'whore we find :
1 common of these matters.'-- Baret
As by your safe.y, greatness, wisdom, all things else. To give it due content.'
You mainly were stirr'd up.
O, for two special reasons ; His means of death, his obscure funeral, 2
Which may to you, perhaps, seem much unsinew'd, No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones, But yet to me they are sírong. The queen, his Nnoble rite, nor formal ostentation, 3–
mother, Cry to be heard, as 'twere from heaven to earth, Lives almost by his looks; and for myselt, That I must call’t in question.
(My virtue, or my plague, be it either which, King.
So you shall; She is so conjunctive to my life and soul,
(Exeunt. I could not but. by her. The other motive, SCENE VI. Another Room in the same. Enter Is, the great love the general genders bear him ·
Why to a public count I might not go,
Who, dipping all his faults in their affection,
Sailors, 4 sir ; Convert bis gyves to graces;so that my arrows, They say, they have letters for you.
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind, Hor.
Let them come in. Would have reverted to my bow again,
[Exit Servant. And not where I had aim'd them. I do not know from what part of the world
Laer. And so have I a noble father lost; I should be greeted, if not from Lord Hamlet. A sister driven into desperate terms; Enter Sailors.
Whose worth, if praises may go back again,12
Stood challenger on mount of all the age 1 Sail. God bless you, sir.
For her perfections:-But my revenge will come. Hor. Let him bless thee too. 1 Sail. He shall, sir, an't please him. There's
King. Break not your sleeps for that: you must a letter for you, sir : it comes from the ambassador That we are made of stuff so flat and dull,
not think, that was bound for England; if your name be Ho- That we can let our beard be shook with danger, 13 ratio, as I am let to know it is. Hor. [Reads.] Horatio,, when thou shalt have I lov'd your father, and we love ourself;
And think it pastime. You shortly shall hear more. overlooked this, give these fellows some means to the And that, I hope, will teach you to imagine, king; they have letters for him. Ere we were two How now ?14 what news ? days old at sea, a pirate of very warlike appointment gave us chase : Finding ourselves too slow of sail, we
Enter a Messenger. put on a compelled valour ; and in the grapple I
Mess. boarded them: on the instant, they got clear of our
Letters, my lord, from Hamiet ship; so I alone became their prisoner. They have This is to your majesty; this to the queen. dealt with me like thieves of mercy; but they knew
King. From Hamlet! who brought them? what they did ; I am to do a good turn for them.
Mess. Sailors, my lord, they say: I saw them not ; Let the king have the letters I have sent ; and repair They were given me by C.audio, he receiv'd there thou to me with as much haste as thou would'si Aly of him that brought them. death. I have words to speak in thine ear, will make
Laertes, you shall hear them: thee dumb; yet are they much too light for the bore" Leave us.
[Exit Messenger. of the matter. These good fellows will bring thee
[Reads.] High and mighty, you shall know, I am where I am. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hold set naked on your kingdom. To-morrow shah I beg their course for England : of them I have much to leave to see your kingly eyes : when I shall, first ask tell thee. Farewell.
ing your pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of my He that thou knowest thine, Hamlet. sudden and more strange return.
What should this mean! Are all the rest come back? Come, I will give you way for these your letters; And do't the speedier, that you may direct me
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing? To him from whom you brought them.
Laer Know you the hand? [Exeunt.
King. 'Tis Hamlet's character. Naked, SCENE VII. Another Room in the same. Enter And, in a postscript here, he says, alone :
King and LAERTES.
Can you advise me? King. Now must your conscience my acquittance
my acquittance Laer. I am lost in it, my lord. But let him come; seal,
It warms the very sickness in my heart,
If it be so, Laertes, Pursu'd my life.
As how should it be so? how otherwise: Laer.
It well appears :-But tell me, Will you be ruld by me? Why you proceeded not against these feats,
Ay, my lord; So crimefule and so capital in nature,
So you will not o'errule to me to a peace. 16
1 Thus in the quarto, 1603 :
8 Quarto Criminal. . Greatness is omitted in the 'King. Content you, good Laertes, for a time,
folio. Although I know your grief is as a flood,
9 i. e. the common race of the people. We have Brim full of sorrow; but forbear a while,
the general and the million in other places in the same And think already the revenge is done On him that makes you such a hapless son.
10. Would, like the spring which turneth wood to Laer. You have prevail'd, my lord, awhile I'll strive stone, convert his fetters into graces :" punishment To bury grief within a tomb of wrath,
would only give him more grace in their opinion. The Which ouce unhearsed, then the world shall hear quarto reads work for would. Laertes had a father he held dear.
my arrows King. No more of that, ere many days be done
Too slightly timber'd for so loud a wind.' You shall hear that you do not dream upon.'
Lighte shaftes cannot stand in a rough wind.'-As 2 Foliamburial.
chain's Toxophilus, 1599, p. 57. 3 The funerals of knights and persons of rank were 12. If praises may go back again.', 'If I may praise made with great ceremony and ostentation formerly. what has been, but is now to be found no more. Sir John Hawkins, (himself of the order,) observes that Idcirco stolidam præbet tibi vellere barbam 'the sword, the helmet, the gauntlet, spurs, and tabard,
Persius, Sat. ... are still hung over the grave of every knight: 35" 14 Hoid now is omitted in the quarto: as is letters in
4 Quartosea.faring men. 5 Folio-it came. the next speech. 6 Folio-your..;
15 This hemistich is not in the folio. 7 The hore is the caliber of a gun. The matter, (saya, 16 First folio omitting Ay, my lord, reads, If 80 you’U Hamlet,) would carry heavier words
not c'er-rule me to a peace.
King. To thine on peace. If he be now re- | Your sudden coming o'er, to play with. jou. turn'd,
Now, out of this,
Laer. As checking' at his voyage, and that he means
What out of this, iny lord ? No more to undertake it, -I will work him
King. Laertes, was your father dear to you? To an exploit, now ripe in my device,
Or are you like the painting of a sorrow, Under the which he shall not choose but fall :
A face without a heart? And for his death no wind of blame shall breathe; Laer.
thie ? But even his mother shall uncharge the practice, King. Not that I think, you did not love your And call it accident.
My lord, I will be rul'd; But that I know, love is begun by time;' The rather, if you could devise it so,
And that I see, in passages of proof,
, That I might be the organ.
Time qualifies the spark and fire cf it, King
It falls right.
There lives within the very flame of love You have been talk'd of since your travel much, A kind of wick, or snuff, that will abate it: And that in Hamlet's hearing, for a quality And nothing is at a like goodness still ; Wherein, they say, you shine : your sum of parts For goodness, growing to a plurisy, Did not together pluck such envy from him, Dics in his own too-much: That we would do, As did that one ; and that, in my regard,
We should do when we would ; for this would Of the unworthiest siege.?
changes, What part is that, my lord? And hath abatements and delays as many, King. A very riband in the cap of youth,
, Yet needful too; for youth no less becomes
And then this should is like a spendthrift's sigh, The light and careless livery that it wears,
That hurts by easing. But, to the quick o'the ulcer • Than settled age his sables and his weeds,
Hamlet comes back; What would you undertake, , Importing health and graveness.3-Two months To show yourself in deed your father's son since,
More than in words? Here was a gentleman of Normandy,
To cut his throat i' the church. I havo seen myself, and serv'd against the French, King. No place, indeed, should murder sanc. And they can well on horseback: but this gallant
tuarize; Had witchraft in't; he grew unto his seat; Revenge should have no bounds. But, good Laertes, And to such wondrous doing brought his horse, Will you do this, keep close within your chamber : As he had been incorps'd and demi-natur'd Hamlet, return'd, shall know you are come home: With the brave beast: so far he topp'd my thought, We'll put on those shall praise your excellence, That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks,
And set a double varnish on the fame Come short of what he did.
The Frenchman gave you ; bring you, in fine, to Laer. A Norman was't?
gether, King. A Norman.
your heads: he, being remiss,' Laer. Upon my life, Lamord.
Most generous and free from all contriving, King
The very same.
Will not peruse the foils : so that, with ease, Laer. I know him well : he is the brooch, indeed, Or with a little shuffling, you may choose And gem of all the nation.
A sword unbated," and in a pass of practice,"? King. He made confession of
Reguite him for your father. And gave you such a masterly report,
I will do't : For art and exercise in your defence,
And, for the purpose, I'll anoint
purpose, I'll anoint my sword. And for your rapier most especial,
I bought an unction of a mountebank,
Collected from all simples that have virtue
That is but scratch'd withal : I'll touch my point Did Hamlet so envenom with his envy,
With this contagion; that, if I gall him slightly, That he could nothing do, but wish and beg It may be death.13
1 To check, to hold off, or fly from, as in fear. It is from the 'Governal of Helth,' wherein he takes sythes a phrase taken from falconry: -For who knows not, (times) to signify sighs. Shakspeare in King Henry quoth she, that this hawk, which comes now so fair to VI. has' blood-consuming sighs. And in Fenton's the fist, may to-morrow check at the lure --Hinde's Tragical Discourses: "Your scorching sighes that Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606
have already drained your body of his wholesome hu. 2. Of the unworthiest siege,' of the lowest rank: siege moures. The reading of the old copies, which I have for seat or place :
restored, had been altered in the modern editions to 'a I fetch
spendthrift sigh,' without reason. Mr. Blakeway From men of royal siege.' Othello.
justly observes, that Sorrow for neglected opportu 3 i. e. implying or denoting gravity and attention to nities and time abused seems most aptly compared to health. If we should not rather read wealth for health. the sigh of a spendthrift-good resolutions not carried 4 “That I, in forgery of shapes and tricks.'
into effect are deeply injurious to the moral character · That I, in imagining and describing his feats,' &c.
Like sighs, they hurt by easing, they unburden the 5 Science of defence, i. e. fencing.
mind and satisfy the conscience, without producing any 6 Scrirers, fencers, from escrimeur, Fr. This un.
effect upon the conduct.' favourable description of French swordsmen is not in
10 "He being remiss.' He being not vigilant ; or in
cautious, the folio. 7 But that I know love is begun by time,' &c.
11 i. e. unblunted, to bate, or rather'
to rebate, was love is begun by time, and has its gradual increase, 80 to make dull. Aciem ferre hebetare.' Thus in Love's time qualifies and abates it.' Passages of proof are
Labour's Lost we have transactions of daily experience. The next ten lines
"That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen edge
And in Measure for Measure : are not in the folio. 8 Plurisy is superabundance; our ancestors used
"rebate and blunt his natural edge.' the word in this sense, as if it came from plocs, pluris,
came from plus, pluris, 12 Pass of practice is an insidious thrust. Shakand not from pleura. The disease was formerly speare, in common with many of his contemporaries, thought to proceed from too much blood flowing to the always uses practice for art, deceit, treachery. part affected :
13 Ritson has exclaimed with just indignation and abin a word,
horrence against the villanous assassin-like treachery of Thy plurisy of goodness is thy ill."
Laertes in this horrid plot : he observes, There is more Massinger's Unnatural Combat. occasion that he should be pointed out for an object of 9 Johnson says it is a prevalent notion that sighs abhorrence, as he is a character we are led to respec impair the strength, and wear out the animal powers.' and admire in some preceding scenes. In the old quarte Steevens makes a ludicrous mistake in the quotation of 1603 this contrivance originates with the king..
diately. Numerous examples are to be found in Shak4 A stuck is a thrust. Stoccata, Ital. Sometimes speare; one may suffice from this very play:in Act iji.
Sc. 4. Polonius says: called a staccado in English. j But stay, what noise ? these words are not in
He will come straight.' the folio.
And Malone cites from G. Herbert's Jacula Prudentium, 6 Ascaunt, thus the quarto : the folio reads aslant. 1651 : -There is no churchyard so handsome that a Ascaunce is the same as askero, sideways, overthwart; man would desire straight to be buried there.' a travers, Fr.
16 Warburton says that this is a ridicule on scholastic 7 The ancient botanical name of the long purples was divisions without distinction ; and of distinctions without testiculis morionis, or orchis priapiscus. The grosser difference. Shakspeare certainly aims at the legal subname to which the queen alludes is sufficiently known tleties used upon occasion of inquests. Sir John Harp. in man" parts of England. It had kindred appellations kins points out the case of Dame Hales, in Plowden's in other languages. In Sussex it is said to be called Commentaries. Her husband Sir James drowned him. dead men's hands. Its various names may be seen in self in a fit of insanity (produced, as it was supposed, Lyte's Herbal, 1578, or in Cotgrave's Dictionary. by his liaving been one of the judges who condemned
8 i. e. licentious. See Much Ado about Nothing, Act Lady Jane Grey,) and the question was about the foriv. Sc. 1, and Othello, Act ii. Sc. 1.
feiture of a lease. There was a great deal of this law 9 The quarto reads "snatches of old lauds,' i. e. logic used on the occasion, as whether he was the hymns. Hymns of praise were so called from the psalm agent or patient; or in other words, (as the clown Laudate Dominum. .
says,) whether he went to the water, or the water cane 10 i. e. unsusceptible of it. See note 10, p. 496. to him. Malone thinks because Plowden was in law 11 Indu'd was anciently used in the sense of endowed French chat Shakspeare could not read him! and yet with qualities of any kind, as in the phrase, a child Malone has shown that Shakspeare is very fond of indued with the grace and dexteritie that his father had.' legal phraseology, and supposes that he must have Shakspeare may, however, have used it for habited, passed some part of his life in the office of an attorney. accustomed.
17 Even-christian, for fellow.chan, was the old 12 Thus the quarto 1603 :
mode of expression; and is to be found in Chaucer and Therefore I will not drown thee in my tears, the Chroniclers. Wickliffe has even-servant for fellow Revenge it is must yield this heart relief,
servant. The fact is, that even, like, and equal were For wo begets wo, and grief hangs on grief.' synonymous.
2 Clo. Why, he had none;'
which this ass now o'erreaches ;4 one that would i Clo. What, art a heathen? How dost thou circumvent God, might it not? understand the scripture? The scripture says, Hor. It might, my lord. Adam digged: Could he dig without arms? I'll Ham. Or of a courtier; which could say, Good. put another question to thee : if thou answerest me morrow, sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord ? This not to the purpose, confess thyself
lord such-a-one, that praised my lord 2 Clo. Go to.
such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it; might 1 Clo. What is he, that builds stronger than it not ?5 either the mason, the shipwright, or the carpenter? Hor. Ay, my lord.
2 Cl. The gallows-maker, for that frame out- Ham. Why, e'en so: and now my lady Worm's; lives a thousand tenants.
chapless, and knocked about the mazzard with a I Clo. I like thy wit well, in good faith; the gal- sexton's spade: Here's fine revolution, an we had uws does well : But how does it well? it does the trick to see't. Did these bones cost no more well to those that do ill: now thou dost ill, to say, the breeding, but to play at loggatswith them? the gallows is built stronger than the church; argal, mine ache to think on't. the gallows may do well to thee. To't again: come. . I Clo. A pickaxe and a spade, a spade, [Sings. 2 °Clo. Who builds stronger than a mason, a ship
For-and a shrouding sheet wright or a carpenter?
O, a pit of clay for to be made 1 Clo. Ay, tell me that, and unyoke.?
For such a guest is meet. 2 Clo. Marry, now I can tell.
[Throws up a scull. 1 Clo. To't.
Ham. There's another : Why may not that be 2 Clo. Mass, I cannot tell.
the scull of a lawyer ? Where be his quidditsø now, Enter HAMLET and HORATIO, at a distance. .
his quillets, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? I Clo. Cudgel thy brains no more about it; for why does he suffer this rude knave now to knock your dull ass will not mend his pace with beating : him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will and, when you are asked this question next, say, a not tell him of his action of battery? Humph! This grave-maker; the houses that he makes, last till fellow might be in's time a great buyer of land, doomsday. Go, get thee to Vaughan, and fetch me with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his a stoup of liquor.
[Exit 2 Clown. double vouchers, 1° his recoveries : Is this the fine of 1 Clown digs, and sings.
his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to
have his fine pate full of fine dirt ? will his vouchers In youth, when I did love, did love,3
vouch him no more of his purchases, and double Methought, it was very sweet,
ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of To contract, 0, the time, for, ah, my behove, indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will O, methought there was nothing meet.
hardly lie in this box; and must the inheritor himHam. Kas this fellow no feeling of his business ? self have no more ? ha? he sings at grave-making:
Hor. Not a jot more, my
lord. Hor. Custom hath made it in him a property of
Ham. Is not parchment meds of sheep-skins ? easiness.
Hor. Ay, my lord, and of calves-skins too. Ham. 'Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment
Ham. They are sheep, and calves, which seek hath the daintier sense.
out assurancel? in that. I will speak to this fellow : I Clo. But age, with his stealing steps
Whose grave's this, sirrah?
1 Clo. Mine sir.
0, a pit of clay for to be made
[Sings. As if I had never been such.
For such a guest is meet. [Throws up a scull. Ham. I think it be thine, indeed, for thou liest in't. Ham. That scull had a tongue in it, and could
1 Clo. You lie out on't, sir, and therefore it is not sing once : How the knave jowls it to the ground, yours: for my part, I do not lie in't, yet it is mine. as if it were Cain's jawbone, that did the first murder ! This might be the pate of a politician,
My lord, you gave
Good words the other day of a bay courser 1 This speech and the next, as far as arms, is not in
I rode on: it is yours, because you liked it.' the quarto.
Timon of Athens, Act i.
6 The skull that was my lord such-a-one's is now my 2 Ay, tell me that, and unyoke. This was a common phrase for giving over or ceasing to do a thing, a
lady Worm's. metaphor derived from the unyoking of oxen at the end
7 Loggets, small logs or pieces of wood. Hence log. of their labour. Thus in a Dittie of the Workmen of gets was the name of an ancient rustic game, in which
a stake was fixed in the ground at which loggats were Dover, preserved in the additions to Holinshed :
thrown; in short, a ruder kind of quoit play. My bow is broke, I would unyoke,
8 Quiddits are quirks, or subtle questions: and quil. My foot is sore, I can worke no more.
lets are nice and frivolous distinctions. The etymology These pithy questions were doubtless the fireside amuse of this last foolish word has plagued many learned ment of our rustic ancestors. Steevens mentions a col- heads. I think that Blount, in his Glossography, clearly lection of them in print, preserved in a volume of scarce points out quodlibet as the origin of it. Bishop Wil
. tracts in the university library at Cambridge, D. 5. 2. kins calls a quillet a frivolousness ;' and Coles, in his “The innocence of these demaundes joyous (he says) Latin Dict. res frivola. I find the quarto of 1603 has may deserve a praise not always due to their delicacy. quirks instead of quiddits.
3 The original ballad from whence these stanzas are 9 See Comedy of Errors, Act i. Sc. 2. note. taken is printed in Tottel's Miscellany, or 'Songes and 10 Shakspeare here is profuse of his legal learning. Sonnettes by Lord Surrey and others, 1575. The bal. Ritson, a lawyer, shall interpret for him :- A recovery lad is attributed to Lord Vaux, and is printed by Dr. Percy with double voucher, is the one usually suffered, and is in the first volume of his Reliques of Antient Poetry: so called from two persons (the latter of whom is al The ohs and the ahs were most probably
meant to ex. ways the common crier, or some such inferior person) press the interruption of the song by the forcible e nis being successively voucher, or called upon to warrant sion of the grave digger's breath at each stroke of the the tenant's title. Both fines and recoveries are fictions mattock. The original runs thus :
of law, used to convert an estate tail into a fee simple I lothe that I did love;
Statutes are (not acts of parliament,) but statutes mer. : In youth that I thought swete :
chant, and staple, particular modes of recognizance or As time requires for my behove,
acknowledgment for securing debts, which thereby be Methinks.chey are not mete.
come a charge upon the party's land. Statutes and re. For age with stealing steps
cognizances are constantly mentioned together in the Hath claude me with his crouch;
covenants of a purchase deed.
11 Is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of And lusty youth away he leaps,
his recoveries,' omitted in the quarto. As there had bene none such
12 A quibble is intended. Deeds (of parchment) are 4 The folio reads-ore-offices
called the common assurances of the realm