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A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition) by Various

Part 10 out of 10

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play used by young Bruce--

"My tears, my prayers, my _pity-moving_ moans."

[362] [Old copy, _wrath_.]

[363] This servant entered probably just before Oxford's question, but
his entrance is not marked.

[364] To _pash_, signifies to crush or dash to pieces. So in the "Virgin
Martyr," act ii. sc. 2--

"With Jove's artillery, shot down at once,
To _pash_ your gods in pieces."

See Mr Gifford's note upon this passage, and Reed's note on the same
word in "Troilus and Cressida," act ii. sc. 3.

[365] The 4^o has it--

"_May_ an example of it, honest friends;"

but _make_ is certainly the true reading.

[366] _Bannings_ are _cursings_. Hundreds of examples might be added to
those collected by Steevens in a note to "King Lear," act ii. sc. 3. It
is a singular coincidence that _ban_, signifying a _curse_, and _ban_, a
public notice of _marriage_, should have the same origin.

[367] The words, _at one door_, are necessary to make the stage
direction intelligible, but they are not found in the original.

[368] [Here used apparently in the unusual sense of _scene_.]

[369] This line is quoted by Steevens in a note to "Measure for
Measure," act v. sc. 1, to prove that the meaning of _refel_ is

[370] Sir William Blunt's entrance is not marked in the old copy.

[371] To _blin_ is to _cease_, and in this sense it is met with in
Spenser and other poets. Mr Todd informs us that it is still in use in
the north of England. Ben Jonson, in his "Sad Shepherd," converts the
verb into a substantive, "withouten _blin_."

[372] _Powder'd_ is the old word for salted: it is in this sense
Shakespeare makes Falstaff use it, when he says: "If you embowel me
to-day, I'll give you leave to _powder_ me and eat me to-morrow."

[373] i.e., _l'ouvert_ or opening--

"Ne lightned was with window nor with _lover_,
But with continuall candle-light."

--Spenser's "Faerie Queene," b. vi. c. x.

[374] The sense is incomplete here: perhaps a line has been lost, or
Leicester suddenly recollects that Bruce has possession of Windsor
Castle, and warns him not to relinquish it.

[375] An abridgment of _Hubert_, apparently for the sake of the metre.

[376] [i.e., Spleen, indignation.]

[377] In this line there is, in the old copy, a curious and obvious
misprint: it stands in the 4^o--

"She was indeed of _London_ the honour once."

Instead of--

"She was indeed of _love_ the honour once."

The king is translating and commenting on the motto on the pendant, as
is quite evident from the manner in which he proceeds. Besides, the
measure requires a word of one syllable.

[378] [Old copy, _in life_.]

[379] The lords again _stand in council_ as before, while the king fills
up the interval to the audience.

[380] This is probably addressed to the king, with whom Oxford has been

[381] [Pox].

[382] [Old copy, _had_.]

[383] [Old copy, _hath_.]

[384] [The inn, mentioned in the former scene, must be supposed to
remain, as Tenacity presently goes up to it, and knocks at the gate.]

[385] [Fired?]

[386] [Old copy, _than_.]

[387] [Wretches.]

[388] [Old copy, _Yoo_.]

[389] [Old copy. _That_.]

[390] [Dance.]

[391] [Then.]

[392] [Paltrily.]

[393] A term of contempt for a woman. The hostess has entered the
kitchen of the inn in the cook's absence, and finds matters not quite

[394] Old copy adds, _and Dandelyne_; but it is evident from the close
of the preceding scene, that the Hostess does not quit the stage.

[395] See Halliwell in v.; but the explanation there given hardly
suits the present context, where the word appears to be used in the
sense of _a term, a period_.

[396] Apparently part of the song; its meaning is not clear.

[397] [Reward].

[398] [Pet.]

[399] [Welcome.]

[400] [This is one of the elegant terms which are exchanged between
Gammer Gurton and Mother Chat.]

[401] [Although Tom is marked in the old copy as entering at the
commencement of the scene, be does not really come in till now.]

[402] [Old copy adds, _and Fortune_; but Fortune does not enter now: she
is in her castle, and presently calls to Vanity from a window.]

[403] [Although it appears from what immediately follows that Vanity had
assembled Fortune's vassals, we are not necessarily to conclude that the
latter enter here. They would rather wait outside.]

[404] [Bull-calf.]

[405] [Orig. reads, _fat fatox_.]

[406] [This seems merely a word coined for the sake of the rhyme.]

[407] [Of courtesy.]

[408] [Swoon.]

[409] [Old copy, _net_.]

[410] [Old copy, _to emloy_.]

[411] [In the old copy this direction is given (very imperfectly) thus:
_The constables make hue and cry_.]

[412] [In the old copy this passage is thus exhibited--

HOST. Where dwell these constables?

CON. Why? what's the matter, friend, I pray?

HOST. Why, thieves, man, I tell thee, come away.
Thieves, i' faith, wife, my scull, my Iacke, my browne bill.

CON. Come away quickly.

HOST. Dick, Tom, Will, ye hoorsons, make ye all ready and haste.
But let me heare, how stands the case? [_A pace after_.

Where the confusion in the distribution of the speeches seems tolerably
evident. The constable made hue and cry, in order to raise the country,
and make a levy of such persons as were bound to assist.

[413] [Old copy, _to_.]

[414] [Old copy, _fasting_.]

[415] [Old copy, _Yes_.]

[416] [Petition.]

[417] [Then, probably, as it certainly was later on, a favourite haunt
of footpads.]

[418] [Pancras.]

[419] [No edition except that of 1662 has yet come to light.]

[420] Nobody who reads this play can doubt that it is much older than
1662, the date borne by the earliest known edition of it. It has every
indication of antiquity, and the title not the least of these. "Grim,
the Collier of Croydon," is a person who plays a prominent character in
the humorous portion of Edwards's "Damon and Pithias," which was printed
in 1571, and acted several years earlier. The Grim of the present play
is obviously the same person as the Grim of "Damon and Pithias," and in
both he is said to be "Collier for the king's own Majesty's mouth."
Chetwood may therefore be right when he states that it was printed in
1599; but perhaps that was not the first edition, and the play was
probably acted before "Damon and Pithias" had gone quite out of memory.
In the office-book of the Master of the Revels, under date of 1576, we
find a dramatic entertainment entered, called "The Historie of the
Colyer," acted by the Earl of Leicester's men; but it was doubtless
Ulpian Fulwell's "Like will to Like, quod the Devil to the Colier,"
printed in 1568. The structure, phraseology, versification, and language
of "Grim, the Collier of Croydon," are sufficient to show that it was
written before 1600: another instance to prove how much the arrangement
of the plays made by Mr Reed was calculated to mislead. Some slight
separate proofs of the age of this piece are pointed out in the new
notes; but the general evidence is much more convincing. The
versification is interlarded with rhymes like nearly all our earlier
plays, and the blank verse is such as was written before Marlowe's
improvements had generally been adopted. When the play was reprinted in
1662, some parts of it were perhaps a little modernised. The
introduction of Malbecco and Paridell into it, from Spenser's "Faerie
Queene," may be some guide as to the period when the comedy was first
produced.--_Collier_. [The play has now, for the first time, been placed
in its true chronological rank.]

[421] See note to "Gammer Gurton's Needle" [iii. 245].

[422] The story of this play is taken in part from Machiavel's

The excellent translation of this humorous old story by Mr T. Roscoe
("Italian Novelists," ii. 272) will enable the reader to compare the
play with it. He will find that in many parts the original has been
abandoned, and the catastrophe, if not entirely different, is brought
about by different means. The "Biographia Dramatica" informs us that
Dekker's "If it be not Good the Devil is in it" is also chiefly taken
from the same novel; but this is an error arising out of a hint by
Langbaine. Dekker's play is the famous history of Friar Rush in many of
its incidents.--_Collier_.

[423] [He was _born_ at or near Glastonbury in 925. See Wright's "Biog.
Brit. Lit.," Anglo-Saxon period, p. 443, et seq.]

[424] "Legenda Aurea, or the Golden Legend," translated out of the
French, and printed by Caxton in folio, 1483.

[425] In the old copy it is printed _Tortass_, but it means _portass,
portesse_, or _portace_, the breviary of the Roman Catholic Church.
Thus, in Greene's "Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay"--

"I'll take my _portace_ forth, and wed you here."

Spenser uses the word, "Faerie Queene," b. i. c. iv.--

"And in his hand his _portesse_ still he bare
That much was worne," &c.

See also note to "New Custom" [iii. 24].--_Collier_.

[426] [Old copy and former edits., _Dunston's_.]

[427] See the story of Malbecco in Spenser's "Faerie Queene," b. iii. c.
ix., &c.

[428] The old copy has it _reap_, but probably we ought to read _heap_;
to _reap an endless catalogue_ is hardly sense.--_Collier_.

[429] _Cleped_ is _called, named_. So in Milton's "L'Allegro," i. 11--

"But come, thou goddess fair and free,
In heaven _yclep'd_ Euphrosyne."

[430] _Colling_ is embracing round the neck. _Dare Brachia cervici_, as
Baret explains it in his "Alvearie," voce _colle_. The word is
frequently to be found in ancient writers. So in Erasmus' "Praise of
Follie," 1549, sig. B 2: "For els, what is it in younge babes that we
dooe kysse go, we doe _colle_ so; we do cheryshe so, that a very enemie
is moved to spare and succour this age." In "Wily Beguiled," 1606: "I'll
clasp thee, and clip thee; _coll thee_, and kiss thee, till I be better
than nought, and worse than nothing." In "The Witch," by Middleton--

"When hundred leagues in aire we feast and sing,
Daunce, kysse, and _coll_, use everything."

And in Breton's "Woorkes of a Young Wit," 1577, p. 37--

"Then for God's sake, let young folkes _coll_ and kisse,
When oldest folkes will thinke it not amisse."

[431] Old copy, _upon_.

[432] So in Ben Jonson's "Catiline," act iv. sc. 3--

"I have those eyes and ears shall still keep guard
And _spial_ on thee, as they've ever done,
And thou not feel it."

And in Ascham's "Report and Discourse of the State of Germany," p. 31:
"He went into France secretly, and was there with Shirtly as a common
launce knight, and named hymselfe Captaine Paul, lest the Emperours
_spials_ should get out hys doynges."

[433] In the county of Essex, the mother-church of Harwich. "In the same
yeare of our Lord 1582 there was an Idoll named _The Roode of
Dovercourt_, whereunto was much and great resort of people. For at that
time there was a great rumour blown abroad amongst the ignorant sort,
that the power of _The Idoll of Dovercourt_ was so great that no man had
power to shut the church doore where he stood, and therefore they let
the church dore, both night and day, continually stand open, for the
more credit unto the blinde rumour."--Fox's "Martyrs," ii. 302. This is
the account given by Fox of this celebrated image; who adds that four
men, determining to destroy it, travelled ten miles from Dedham, where
they resided, took away the Rood and burnt it, for which act three of
them afterwards suffered death.

[434] Old copy, _way_.--_Pegge_.

[435] A play on the double meaning of the word, an old game and the act
of kissing.

[436] [Obtain.]

[437] [Old copy, and former edits., _bear_.]

[438] See note to "Gammer Gurton's Needle" [ii. 202].

[439] In 1662, when this play was either first printed or reprinted, it
would have been absurd to talk of _America_ as _new_ or newly

[440] [This passage reminds us of No. 60 in "A C. Mery Talys," Hazlitt's
"Jest Books," i. 87.]

[441] See note to "Damon and Pithias" [iv. 21].

[442] Old copy, _work_.--_Pegge_.

[443] i.e., O Lord.

[444] i.e., So happen in the issue. So in Ben Jonson's "New Inn," act
iv. sc. 4--

"You knew well
It could not _sort_ with any reputation
Of mine."

And in Massinger's "Maid of Honour," act ii. sc. 1--

"All _sorts_ to my wishes."

[445] Old copy, _for_.--_Pegge_.

[446] i.e., _As lief they as I_. So in "Eastward Hoe:" "I'd as _live_ as
anything I could see his farewell."--_Collier_.

[447] It is observed by Dr Warburton (note on "Romeo and Juliet," act i.
sc. 1), that to _carry coals_ was a phrase formerly in use to signify
_bearing of injuries_; and Dr Percy has given several instances in proof
of it. To those may be added the following from Ben Jonson's "Every Man
out of his Humour," act v. sc. 3: "Take heed, Sir Puntarvolo, what you
do; _he'll bear no coals_, I can tell you, o' my word."

[448] i.e., Akercock, as he is called in the preceding scenes. See a
later note to this play [p. 442 _infra_].--_Collier_.

[449] _Suppose_ is here used in the sense of _conjecture_ or
_apprehension_. Gascoigne translated a comedy of Ariosto, and called it
"The Supposes." The employment of the verb for the substantive in the
present instance is an evidence of the antiquity of this play. The
following parallel is from Gascoigne's Prologue: "The verye name wherof
may peraduenture driue into euerie of your heades, a sundrie _Suppose_,
to _suppose_ the meaning of our _supposes_."--_Collier_.

[450] i.e., Plot or contrivance. Tarlton produced a piece called "The
Plat-form of the Seven Deadly Sins;" and in "Sir J. Oldcastle," by
Drayton and others, first printed in 1600, it is used with the same
meaning as in the text, viz., a contrivance for giving effect to the

"There is the _plat-form_, and their hands, my lord,
Each severally subscribed to the same."


[451] [A common proverb.]

[452] [The ordinary proverb is, "The devil is _good_ when he is

[453] The Italian for _How do you do_?

[454] _Skinker_ was a _tapster_ or _drawer_. Prince Henry, in "The First
Part of Henry IV." act ii. sc. 4, speaks of an _underskinker_, meaning
an _underdrawer_. Mr Steevens says it is derived from the Dutch word
_schenken_, which signifies to fill a cup or glass. So in G. Fletcher's
"Russe Commonwealth," 1591, p. 13, speaking of a town built on the south
side of Moscow by Basilius the emperor, for a garrison of soldiers, "to
whom he gave priviledge to drinke mead and beer, at the drye or
prohibited times, when other Russes may drinke nothing but water, and
for that cause called this newe citie by the name of Naloi, that is,
_skinck_, or _poure in_." Again, in Marston's "Sophonisba," iii. 2--

"Ore whelme me not with sweets, let me not drink,
Till my breast burst, O Jove, thy nectar _skinke_."

And in Ben Jonson's "Poetaster," act iv. sc. 5--

"ALB. I'll ply the table with nectar, and make 'em friends.

"HER. Heaven is like to have but a lame _skinker_."

And in his "Bartholomew Fair," act ii. sc. 2: "Froth your cans well i'
the filling, at length, rogue, and jog your bottles o' the buttock,
sirrah; then _skink_ out the first glass ever, and drink with all

[455] Suspicion.

[456] [Be in accord with reason.]

[457] [Old copy, _call'st_.]

[458] Similar to this description is one in Marlowe's "Edward II.," act

[459] Old copy, _are_.

[460] [Old copy, _knew_.]

[461] See note to "Cornelia" [v. 188].

[462] In Shakespeare's "Coriolanus," Sicinius asks Volumnia, "Are you
mankind?" On which Dr Johnson remarks that "_a mankind woman_ is a woman
with the roughness of a man; and, in an aggravated sense, a woman
_ferocious, violent, and eager to shed blood_." Mr Upton says _mankind_
means _wicked_. See his "Remarks on Ben Jonson," p. 92. The word is
frequently used to signify _masculine_. So in [Beaumont and Fletcher's]
"Love's Cure; or, The Martial Maid," act iv. sc. 2--

"From me all _mankind_ women learn to woo."

In Dekker's "Satiromastix"--

"My wife's a woman; yet
'Tis more than I know yet, that know not her;
If she should prove _mankind_, 'twere rare; fie! fie!"

And in Massinger's "City Madam," act ii. sc. 1--

"You brach,
Are you turn'd _mankind_?"

[463] [Old copy, _strumpets_.]

[464] Whether I will or not. This mode of expression is often found in
contemporary writers. So in Dekker's "Bel-man of London," sig. F 3:
"Can by no meanes bee brought to remember this new friend, yet _will
hee, nill he_, to the taverne he sweares to have him."

It may be worth remark that it is also found in "Damon and Pithias,"
from which the character of Grim is taken.

[465] [Old copy, _reake_.]

[466] Sometimes called _Pucke_, alias _Hobgoblin_. In the creed of
ancient superstition he was a kind of merry sprite, whose character and
achievements are recorded in a ballad printed in Dr Percy's "Reliques of
Ancient Poetry." [See "Popular Antiquities of Great Britain," iii. 39,
et seq.]

[467] Pretty or clever. So in Warner's "Albion's England," b. vi. c. 31,
edit. 1601--

"There was a _tricksie_ girl, I wot, albeit clad in gray."

The word is also used in Shakespeare's "Tempest," act v. sc. 1. See Mr
Steevens's note thereon.

[468] This is one of the most common, and one of the oldest, proverbs in
English. Ulpian Fulwell['s play upon it has been printed in our third
volume.] It is often met with in our old writers, and among others, in a
translation from the French, printed in 1595, called, "A pleasant Satyre
or Poesie, wherein is discovered the Catholicon of Spain," &c., the
running title being "A Satyre Menippized." It is to be found on pp. 54
and 185. Having mentioned this tract, we may quote, as a curiosity, the
following lines, which probably are the original of a passage for which
"Hudibras" is usually cited as the authority--

"Oft he that doth abide
Is cause of his own paine;
But he that flieth in good tide
Perhaps may fight againe."


[469] [A word unnoticed by Nares and Halliwell. The latter cites
_haust_, high, doubtless from the French _haut_. So _hauster_ may be the
comparative, and signify higher.]

[470] Till now printed _Puzzles_ as if because it had puzzled Dodsley
and Reed to make out the true word. In the old copy it stands _Puriles_;
and although it may seem a little out of character for Grim to quote
Latin, yet he does so in common with the farmer in Peele's "Edward I.,"
and from the very same great authority. "'Tis an old saying, I remember
I read it in Cato's '_Pueriles_' that _Cantabit vacuus coram latrone
viator_," &c.--_Collier_. [The work referred to in the text was called
"Pueriles Confabulatiunculae; or, Children's Talke," of which no early
edition is at present known. But it is mentioned in "Pappe with an
Hatchet" (1589), and in the inventory of the stock of John Foster, the
York bookseller (1616).]

[471] Head. See note to "Gammer Gurton's Needle" [iii. 242].

[472] Shall never cease, stop, or leave of. So in Ben Jonson's "Staple
of News," Intermean after 4th act--

"He'll never _lin_ till he be a gallop."

Mr Whalley proposes to read _blin_. "The word," says he, "is Saxon, and
the substantive _blin_, derived from _blinnan_, occurs in the 'Sad
Shepherd.' Yet the word occurs in Drayton in the sense of stopping or
staying, as it is used here by our poet--

"'Quoth Puck, my liege, I'll never _lin_,
Hut I will thorough thick and thin.'

"--'Court of Fairy.' So that an emendation may be unnecessary, and _lin_,
the same as _leave_, might have been in common use."

The latter conjecture is certainly right, many instances maybe produced.
As in "The Return from Parnassus," act iv. sc. 3--

"Fond world, that ne'er think'st on that aged man,
That Ariosto's old swift-paced man,
Whose name is Time, who never _lins_ to run,
Loaden with bundles of decayed names."

In "A Chast Mayd in Cheapside," by Middleton: "You'll never _lin_ 'till
I make your tutor whip you; you know how I serv'd you once at the free
schoole in Paul's Church Yard." And in, "More Dissemblers besides
Women," by the same, act iii. sc. I: "You nev'r _lin_ railing on me,
from one week's end to another." [_Lin_ is common enough in the old

[473] See [Dyce's "Middleton," iii. 97, and] Note 20 to the "Match at

[474] This must have been addressed to the audience, and may be adduced
as some slight evidence of the antiquity of the play, as in later times
dramatists were not guilty of this impropriety. The old morality of "The
Disobedient Child" has several instances of the kind; thus, the son says
to the spectators--

"See ye not, my maysters, my fathers advyse?
Have you the lyke at any time harde?"

Again, the Man-cook--

"Maysters, this woman did take such assaye,
And then in those dayes so applyed her booke."

--_Collier_ [ii. 276, 284].

[475] See Note 25 to "Ram Alley."--_Collier_. [In "Romeo and Juliet,"
i. 3, the Nurse says, "Nay, I do bear a brain," i.e., I do bear in mind,
or recollect (Dyce's edit. 1868, vi. 398). Reed's explanation, adopted
by Dyce, seems hardly satisfactory.]

[476] See note to "Gammer Gorton's Needle," iii. 205. Query, if the
passages there quoted may not refer to this very character of Akercock
and his dress, as described in act i. sc. 1.--_Collier_. [Probably not,
as this play can hardly have been in existence go early, and the
character and costume of Robin Goodfellow were well understood, even
before "Gammer Gurton's Needle" was written.]

[477] So in "The Return from Parnassus," act v. sc. 4--

"I'll make thee run this lousy case, _I wis_."

And again in Massinger's "City Madam," act iv. sc. 4--

"Tis more comely,
_I wis_, than their other whim-whams."

[478] "He had need of a long spoon that eats with the devil," is a
proverbial phrase. See [Hazlitt's "Proverbs," 1869, p. 176.] So
Stephano, in the "Tempest," act ii. sc. 2, alluding to this proverb,
says, "This is a devil, and no monster: I will leave him; I have no
_long spoon_." See also "Comedy of Errors," act iv. sc. 3, and Chaucer's
"Squier's Tale," v. 10916--

"Therefore behoveth him a _ful long spone_,
That shall ete with a fiend."

[479] [To vomit. One of the jests of Scogin relates how that celebrated
individual "told his wife he had _parbraked_ a crow"--a story which
occurs in the "Knight of the Tour-Landry" (Wright's edit., p. 96). See
also Fry's "Bibl. Memoranda," 1816, p. 337. A note in edition 1825
says:] This is a word which I apprehend is very seldom found in writers
subsequent to the year 1600. It is used by Skelton, and sometimes by
Spenser. See Todd's "Johnson's Dict."

[480] [Old copy, _He falls_; but Akercock evidently disappears

[481] [Old copy, _names_.]

[482] [Old copy, _song_.]

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