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Sole imperator, and great general
Of trotting paritors, O my little heart!-
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!*
Of trotting paritors,] An apparitor or paritor, is an officer of the bishop's court, who carries out citations; as citations are most frequently iffued for fornication, the paritor is put under Cupid's government. JOHNSON.
7 And I to be a corporal of his field,] Corporals of the field are mentioned in Carew's Survey of Cornwall; and Raleigh fpeaks of them twice, Vol. I. p. 103, Vol. II. p. 367, edit. 1751.
This officer is likewife mentioned in Ben Jonfon's New Inn:
"As corporal of the field, maeftro del campo."
Giles Clayton, in his Martial Difcipline, 1591, has a chapter on the office and duty of a corporal of the field. In one of Drake's Voyages, it appears that the captains Morgan and Sampfon, by this name, had commandement over the rest of the land-captaines." Brooke by tells us, that Mr. Dodwell's father was in an office then known by the name of corporal of the field, which he said was equal to that of a captain of horse." FARMER.
It appears from Lord Strafford's Letters, Vol. II. p. 199, that a corporal of the field was employed as an aid-de-camp is now," in taking and carrying too and fro the directions of the general, or other the higher officers of the field." TYRWHITT.
8 And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!] The conceit feems to be very forced and remote, however it be underfood. The notion is not that the hoop wears colours, but that the colours are worn as a tumbler carries his hoop, hanging on one fhoulder and falling under the oppofite arm. JOHNSON.
Perhaps the tumblers' hoops were adorned with their mafter's colours, or with ribbands, To wear his colours, means to wear his badge or cognisance, or to be his fervant or retainer. So, in Holinfhed's Hift. of Scotland, p. 301: "The earle of Surrie gave to his fervants this cognisance (to wear on their left arm) which was a white lyon, &c. So, in Stowe's Annals, p. 274: "All that ware the dukes fign, or colours, were faine to hide them, conveying them from their necks into their bosome." Again, in Selden's Duello, chap. ii: his efquires cloathed in his colours. Biron banters himself upon being a corporal of Cupid's field, and a fervant of that great general and imperator. ToLLET.
What? I! I love! I fue! I feek a wife!
It was once a mark of gallantry to wear a lady's colours. So, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson: difpatches his lacquey to her chamber early, to know what her colours are for the day, with purpose to apply his wear that day accordingly," &c. I am informed by a lady who remembers morris-dancing, that the character who tumbled, always carried his hoop dreffed out with ribbands, and in the pofition defcribed by Dr. Johnfon. STEEVENS.
8 What? I! I love! A fecond what had been fupplied by the editors. I fhould like better to read What? I! I love! TYRWHITT.
Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation is fupported by the first line of the prefent fpeech:
"And I, forfooth, in love! I, that have been love's whip Sir T. Haumer fupplied the metre by repeating the word What. MALONE.
like a German clock,
Still a repairing;] The fame allufion occurs in Weftward-Hoe, by Decker and Webfter, 1607: :-"no German clock, no mathema tical engine whatsoever, requires fo much reparation," &c. Again, in A Mad World my Mafters, 1608:
fhe confifts of a hundred pieces,
"Much like your German clock, and near allied:
"Befides a greater fault, but too well known,
They'll ftrike to ten, when they fhould ftop at one. Ben Jonfon has the fame thought in his Silent Woman, and Beau mont and Fletcher in Wit without Money.
Again, in Decker's News from Hell, &c. 1606. their wits (like wheels of Brunswick clocks) being all wound up as far as they could ftretch, were all going, but not one going truly."
The following extract is taken from a book called The Artificial Clock-Maker, 3d edit. 1714: — “ Clock-making was supposed to have had its beginning in Germany within lefs than thefe two hundred years. It is very probable that our balance-clocks or watches, and fome other automata, might have had their beginning there;' &c. Again, p. 91. "Little worth remark is to be found till towards the 16th century; and then clockwork was revived or wholly invented anew in Germany, as is generally thought, becaufe the ancient pieces are of German work."
And never going aright; being a watch,
With two pitch balls ftuck in her face for eyes;
Well, I will love, write, figh, pray, fue, and groan;*
A fkilful watch-maker informs me, that clocks have not been commonly made in England much more than one hundred years backward.
To the inartificial conftru&ion of these firft pieces of mechanism executed in Germany, we may suppose Shakspeare alludes. clock at Hampton-Court, which was fet up in 1540, (as appears from the infcription affixed to it) is faid to be the first ever fabricated in England. See, however, Letters of The Pafton Family, Vol. II 2d edit. p. 31. STEEVENS.
"In fome towns in Germany, (fays Dr. Powel, in his Human Industry, 8vo. 1661,) there are very rare and elaborate clocks to be feen in their town-halls, wherein a man may read aftronomy. and never look up to the skies. In the town-hall of Prague there is a clock that shows the annual motions of the fun and moon, the names and numbers of the months, days, and festivals of the whole year, the time of the fun rifing and fetting throughout the year, the equinoxes, the length of the days and nights, the rifing and fetting of the twelve figns of the Zodiack, &c. But the town of Strafburgh carries the bell of all other fteeples of Germany in this point. These elaborate clocks were probably often out of frame. MALONE.
I have heard a French proverb that compares any thing that is intricate and out of order, to the coq de Strasbourg that belongs to the machinery of the town-clock. S. W.
fue, and groan; ] And which is not in either of the authen
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Another part of the fame.
Enter the Princefs, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE,
PRIN. Was that the king, that fpur'd his horfe . fo hard
Against the fleep uprifing of the hill?
BOYET. I know not; but, I think, it was not he.
Well, lords, to-day we fhall have our despatch;
Then, foreiter, my friend, where is the bufh,
tic copies of this play, the quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, was added, to fupply the metre, by the editor of the fecond folio.
3 Some men must love my lady, and fome Joan.] To this line Mr. Theobald extends his fecond act, not injudicioufly, but without fufficient authority. JOHNSON.
where is the bush,
That we must fland and play the murderer in?] How familiar this amusement once was to ladies of quality, may be known from a letter addreffed by Lord Wharton to the Earl of Shrewsbury, dated from Alnewik, Aug. 14, 1555: "I befiche yo Lorde fhipp to tayke fome fporte of my litell grounde there, and to comaund the fame even as yo. Lordefhippes owne. My ladye may hote with her erofbowe, &c. Lodge's Illustrations of British Hiftory, &c. Vol. I.
Again, in a letter from Sir Francis Leake to the Earl of Shrewfbury, Vol. III. p. 295.
"Yo Lorde hype hath fente me a verie greatte and fatte ftagge, the wellcomer beynge firyken by yo.r ryght honorable Ldie's hande, &,
FOR. Here by, upon the edge of yonder coppice;
O fhort-liv'd pride! Not fair? alack for woe!
Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass,
take this for telling true; [ Giving him money. Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
My balde bucke lyves ftyll to wavte upon yo. L. and my Ladie': comyng hyther, w.ch I expect whenfoever thall pleas yow to appointe; onele thys, thatt my Ladie doe nott hytt hym throgh the nose, for marryng hys whyte face; howbeitt I knoe her Ladifhipp takes pitie of my buckes, fence the laft tyme yt pleafed her to take the travell to Jhote att them," &c. Dated July, 1605. STEEVENS.
4 Here, good my glass, ] To understand how the princefs has her glafs fo ready at hand in a cafual converfation, it must be remembered that in those days it was the fashion among the French ladies to wear a looking-glafs, as Mr. Bayle coarfely reprefents it, on their bellies; that is, to have a small mirrour fet in gold hanging at their girdle, by which they occafionally viewed their faces or adjusted their hair. JOHNSON.
Dr. Johnson, perhaps, is mistaken. She had no occafion to have recourse to any other looking-glass than the Forefter, whom he rewards for having fhown her to herself as in a mirror.
Whatever be the interpretation of this paffage, Dr. Johnson is right, in the hiftorical fact. Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, is very indignant at the ladies for it: " They must have their lookingglaffes carried with them, wherefoever they go and good reafon, for how elfe could they fee the devil in them?" And in Maffinger's City Madam, feveral women are introduced with looking-glasses at their girdles. FARMER.