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let whirlwinds and confusion teare • The center of our state; let giants reare “ Hill upon hill ; let westerne Termagant
“ Shake heaven's vault." Marston, Sat. VII. Termagant is also mentioned by Spenser in his Fairy Queen, and by Chaucer in The Tale of Sir Topas : and by Beaumont and Fletcher, in King or no King, as follows: “ This would make a saint swear like a soldier, and a soldier like Termagant." And in Massinger's Picture:
a hundred thousand Turks “ Assail'd him, every one a Termagaunt.” Steevens. And in Bale's Acts of English Votaries : “ Grennyng upon her, lyke Termagauntes in a play.”
Ritson. “ This Saracen deity is constantly called Tervagan in an old romance in the Bodleian library (and Ritson derives it from ter and vagans, the action of turning three times round in ancient magical incantatious) says Tyrwhitt: and Ritson quotes Ariosto:
“ Bestemmiando, Macone*, et Trivigante." And Mr. Todd adds :
• Invocando Apollino, et Trivigante,
1553. c. xxvii. p. 167. “ And Mahound and Termagant come against us, we'll fight with them." Hist. of the Tryall of Chevalry, 4to. Lond. printed by Simon Stafford. “ And oftentimes by Termagant and Mahound swore."
F. Q. VI. VII. 47. Spens. VII. 28. See Ritson's Metrical Romances, I. 260.
(21) - out-herods Herod] The character of Herod in the ancient mysteries, was always a violent one.
See the Coventriæ Ludus among the Cotton MSS. Vespasian D. VIII :
“ Now I regne lyk a kyng arrayd ful rych,
“ My dedys be full dowty demyd be day."
“ I kynge of kynges, non soe keene,
bouthe take and teene
Deep in hell adowne.
« For I am kinge of all mankinde,
See The Vintner's Play, p. 67. Chaucer, describing a parish clerk, in his Miller's Tale, says:
“ He plaieth Herode on a skaffold high." The parish clerks and other subordinate ecclesiasticks appear to have been our first actors, and to have represented their characters on distinct pulpits or scaffolds. Thus, in one of the stage-directions to the 27th pageant in the Coventry collection already mentioned: “What tyme that processyon is entered into y place, and the Herowdys taken his schaffalde, and Annas and Cayphas their schaffaldys," &c. Steevens.
“ Of bewte and of boldnes I ber evermore the belle,
Coventry's Plays, Cotton MSS. p. 42. MALONE. And in The Unluckie Firmentie, by G. Kyttes, 4to. bl. 1.:
“ But he was in such a rage
“ The part of Herude playe.” Ritson. See Douce's Illustrat. II. 241.
(22) in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others] By your admission preponderate, &c. The text is in the spelling of the quartos. The folio of 1632 reads ore-sway. Mr. Malone observes, Ben Jonson seems to have imitated this passage in his Poetaster, 1601 :
(23) not to speak it profunely, that, neither having accent nor gait, &c. &c.] Entering his protest that he did not mean to
speak profanely by saying, that there could be any such thing as a journeyman Creator, he says" the voice and carriage of these execrable mimics is so unnatural, so vile a copy of their original; that, not to speak it profanely, I have thought in what they exhibited, from the sample they gave, so far as these were specimens of their workmanship, that Nature's journeymen bad been making men; inasmuch as such as these could not have been the handywork of God." But profane was certainly at that time very generally used for any thing gross, licentious, or indelicate. See Braban. to lago. Othel. I. 1.
(24) speak no more than is set down for them]
you, sir, are incorrigible, and
Brome's Antipodes, 1638.
Yes, in the days of Tarlton, and of Kempe, “ Before the stage was purg'd from barbarism." Ib. Stowe informs us, that among the twelve players who were sworn the queen's servants in 1583, “ were two rare men, viz. Thomas Wilson, for a quick delicate refined extemporall witte ; and Richard Tarleton, for a wondrous plentifull, pleasant extemporall witt.” 1615. p. 697.
“- I absented myself from all plaies, as wanting that merrye Roscius of plaiers, that famosed all comedies so with his pleasant and extemporall invention." Tarleton's Newes from Purgatory.
STEEVENS. The clown very often addressed the audience in the middle of the play, and entered into a contest of raillery and sarcasm with such of the audience as chose to engage with him. It is to this absurd practice that Shakespeare alludes. See Historical Account of our Old English Theatres. Malone.
(25) some quantity of barren spectators] Dull, unapprehensive, unpregnant. “ Why laugh you at such a burren rascal.”
Tw. N. I. 5. Malv. “ The shallowest thickskin of that barren sort.”
Mids. N. Dr. III. 2. Puck. See Tw. N. I. 3. Maria.
(26) For what advancement may I hope from thee,
What shalt thou expect,
Cymb. I. 6. Queen.
(27) Crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,
Where thrift may follow farning.] Kneel, bend the projection of the knee, where thriving or emolument may follow sycophancy. Pregnant is bowed, swelled out, presenting themselves, as the form of
“ Prest for this blow." Pericl, IV. Chor. See II. 2. Polon. & Tw. N. II. 2. Viola. Fauning is the reading of the quartos.
dear soul was mistress of her choice, And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seald thee for herself] Dear is out of which arises the liveliest interest. Thus “ dear concernings.” III. 4. Haml. See “ dearest foe.” I. 2. Haml. Distinguish of, is distinguish between, or discriminate. Her choice, the reading of our text, instead of my, that of the folios, is from the quartos; which also read and punctuate
“ And could of men distinguish her election,
(29) Whose blood and judgment are so well co-mingled] In whom the passions and reason hold so mixed and divided a mastery and empire : as Antony of Brutus:
" The elements so mix'd in him." Jul. Cæs. V. 1. And Proportion'd, as one's heart would wish a man.”
Rom. & Jul. III. 5. Cap. Dr. Johnson says, according to the doctrine of the four humours, desire and confidence were seated in the blood, and judgment in the phlegm, and the due mixture of the humours made a perfect character.
(30) In my heart's core] Caur, Fr. my very heart; ite inmost folds. Mr. Steevens cites Chapman 11. VI. “Fed upon the core of his sad bosom.” “'Or Junoy xaradwr" is the orig. v. 202.
(31) damned ghost]
“What voice of damned ghost from Limbo lake,
(32) As Vulcan's stithe] Stithe is to be pronounced as a dissyllable. It is written stithy in the quartos. The folio of 1632 reads stith. The words stithy, stithe, and stich, were the same, and used indifferently to express either the iron used to work upon, or the workshop; though in later times stith has
been confined to the sense of “ anvil,” and stilhy to that of the shop." Baret, in his Alvearie, fo. 1580, writes stithie, and refers to anvile, which he renders “ Incus, axuwe, without bellowes, anvils, and stithées, sans enclumes et soufflets.” In Arth. Golding's Jul. Solinus, 4to. 1587, ch. 64, stythes is his translation of incudibus: and such must be the sense of the verb in our author. Tr. & Cress. IV. 5.
“Now, by the forge that stithied Mars's helm.” Hector. The word itself was written any way. Huloet has stith. Junius, Skinner, Holyoke, Littleton, have stithy. The Promptuar. parvulor. “ Stythe, incus.” The Ortus Vocabulor. “ Incus, an anvelde or stedy." 1514.
(33) you played once in the university, you say?] It should seem from the following passage in Vice Chancellor Hatcher's Letters to Lord Burghley, on June 21, 1580, that the common players were likewise occasionally admitted to perform there : « Whereas it has pleased your honour to recommend my lorde of Oxenford his players, that they might show their cunning in several plays already practised by 'em before the Queen's majesty": -(denied on account of the pestilence and commencement:) " of late we denied the like to the Right Honourable the Lord of Leicester his servants." Farmer.
As far as this extract goes, no more is shewn, than that applications of this sort were occasionally made by great men, who had retainers of this description, to the Universities; but there were most probably grounds, and those founded upon their ideas of academical discipline, that disposed their governors always to find reasons for rejecting them.
Mr. Malone adds, " the practice of acting Latin plays in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge is very ancient, and continued to near the middle of the last century. They were performed occasionally for the entertainment of princes and other great personages; and regularly at Christmas, at which time a Lord of misrule was appointed at Oxford to regulate the exhibitions, and a simular officer with the title of Imperator at Cambridge. The most celebrated actors at Cambridge were the students of St. John's and King's colleges: at Oxford those of Christ-Church. In the ball of that college a Latin comedy called Marcus Geminus, and the Latin tragedy of Progne, were performed before Queen Elizabeth in the year 1566; and in 1564, the Latin tragedy of Dido was played before her majesty when she visited the university of Cambridge. The exhibition was in the body or nave of the chapel of King's college, which was lighted by the royal guards, each of whoin bore a staff-torch in his hand. See Peck's Desider. Cur. p. 36, n. x. The actors of this piece were all of that college. The author of the tragedy, who in the Latin account of this royal visit, in the Museum, [MSS. Baker, 7037, p. 203,] is said to have been Regalis Collegii olim socius, was, I believe, John Rightwise, who was