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Made me to quit the house.
2 GENT. That is the caufe we trouble you fo
'Tis not our husbandry."
O, you say well.
1 GENT. But I much marvel that your lordship,
Rich tire about you," should at these early hours
in the roof of a building. The fecond quarto which is followed by the modern copies, reads corruptly-principles. If the fpeaker had been apprehenfive of a general diffolution of nature, (which we must understand, if we read principles,) he did not need to leave his house: he would have been in as much dangerwithout as within.
All to is an augmentative often used by our ancient writers. It occurs frequently in the Confeffio Amantis. The word topple, which means tumble, is again used by Shakspeare in Macbeth, and applied to buildings :
Though caftles topple on their warders' heads." Again, in King Henry IV. Part I:
"Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples down
"Steeples and mofs-grown towers." MALONE.
Mr. Malone has properly explained the word-principals. So, in Philemon Holland's tranflation of the 33d Book of Pliny's Nat. Hift. edit. 1601, p. 467:"yea, the jambes, pofts, principals, and standerds, all of the fame metall." STEEVENS.
I believe this only means, and every thing to tumble down: M. MASON. • "Tis not our husbandry.] Husbandry here fignifies economical prudence. So, in King Henry V:
"For our bad neighbours make us early stirrers,
See alfo Hamlet, Act I. fc. iii. MALONE.
7 Rich tire about you, &c.] Thus the quarto, 1609; but the fense of the paffage is not fufficiently clear. The gentlemen rofe early, because they were but in lodgings which stood expofed near the fea. They wonder, however, to find Lord Cerimon itirring, because he had rich tire about him; meaning perhaps a bed more richly and comfortably furnished, where he could have flept warm and secure in defiance of the tempeft. The reason
Shake off the golden flumber of repofe.
Nature should be so conversant with pain,
I held it ever,
Virtue and cunning 9 were endowments greater
(Together with my practice,) made familiar
That nature works, and of her cures; which give
ing of these gentlemen fhould rather have led them to fay-fuch towers about you; i. e. a house or caftle that could fafely refift the affaults of weather. They left their manfion because they were no longer fecure if they remained in it, and naturally wonder why he should have quitted his, who had no fuch apparent reafon for deferting it and rifing early. STEEVENS.
8 Shake off the golden lumber of repofe,] So, in Macbeth: "Shake off this downy fleep." STEEVENS.
9 Virtue and cunning-] Cunning means here knowledge. MALONE.
So, in Jeremiah, ix. 17: "Send for cunning women that they may come." Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
"Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks.”
the bleft infufions
That dwell in vegetives, in metals, ftones ;] So, in Romeo
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
"In plants, herbs, ftones, and their true qualities."
A more content in courfe of true delight
2 Or tie my treasure up in filken bags,] The old copy reads:
Or tie my pleasure up &c.
Let the critick who can explain this reading of the quarto, difplace my emendation. STEEVENS.
3 To pleafe the fool and death.] The Fool and Death were principal perfonages in the old moralities. They are mentioned by our author in Meafure for Measure:
merely thou art death's fool," &c. MALONE.
Mr. Malone (as I had been) is on this occafion misled by a pofitive and hitherto uncontradicted affertion of Dr. Warburton, But I now think myself authorised to declare, on the ftrength of long and repeated enquiries, urged by numerous friends as well as myself, that no Morality in which Death and the Fool were agents, ever exifted among the early French, English, or Italian ftage-representations.
I have seen, indeed, (though present means of reference to it are beyond my reach,) an old Flemish print in which Death is exhibited in the act of plundering a mifer of his bags, and the Fool (difcriminated by his bauble, &c.) is ftanding behind, and grinning at the procefs.
The following intelligence on the fame fubject, though it applies more immediately to the allufion in Measure for Measure, and has occurred too late to ftand in its proper place, may here, without any glaring impropriety, be introduced:
Merely thou art death's fool;
"For him thou labour'ft by thy flight to fhun,
It was a comment on thefe lines that Dr. Warburton's gratis dictum concerning the Fool and Death, made its first appear
The fubfequent notitia are derived from two different gentlemen, whofe report reflects a light upon each other.
Mr. Douce, to whom our readers are indebted for several happy illuftrations of Shakspeare, affures me, that fome years ago, at a fair in a large market town, he obferved a folitary figure fitting in a booth, and apparently exhaufted with fatigue. This perfon was habited in a close black veft, painted over with bones,
- 2 GENT. Your honour has through Ephesus pour'd forth
in imitation of a 1keleton. But my informant being then very young, and wholly uninitiated in theatrical antiquities, made no enquiry concerning fo whimfical a phoenomenon. Indeed but for what follows, I might have been induced to suppose that the object he saw was nothing more or less than the hero of a well known pantomime, entitled Harlequin Skeleton.
This circumftance, however, having accidentally reached the ears of a venerable clergyman who is now more than eighty years of age, he told me that he very well remembered to have met with fuch another figure, above fifty years ago, at Salisbury. Being there during the time of fome publick meeting, he happened to call on a furgeon at the very inftant when the reprefentative of Death was brought in to be let blood on account of a tumble he had had on the ftage, while in purfuit of his antagonist, a Merry Andrew, who very anxiously attended him (dressed also in character) to the phlebotomift's houfe. The fame gentleman's curiofity a few days afterwards, prevailed on him to be spectator of the dance in which our emblem of mortality was a performer. This dance, he fays, entirely confifted of Death's contrivances to furprize the Merry Andrew, and of the Merry Andrew's efforts to elude the ftratagems of Death, by whom at last he was overpowered; his finale being attended with such circumstances as mark the exit of the Dragon of Wantley.
What Dr. Warburton therefore has afferted of the drama, is only known to be true of the dance; and the subject under confideration was certainly more adapted to the latter than the former, agility and grimace, rather than dialogue, being neceffary to its exhibition. They who feek after the last lingering remains of ancient modes of amufement, will rather trace them with fuccefs in the country, than in the neighbourhood of London, from whence even Punch, the legitimate and undoubted fucceffor of the old Vice, is almost banished.
It should seem, that the general idea of this ferio-comick pasde-deux had been borrowed from the ancient Dance of Machabre, commonly called The Dance of Death, a grotesque ornament of cloifters, both here and in foreign parts. The aforefaid combination of figures, though erroneously afcribed to Hans Holbein, was certainly of an origin more remote than the times in which that eminent painter is known to have flourished. STEEVENS.
Although the fubject before us was certainly borrowed fron the ancient Dance of Macaber, which I conceive to have been VOL. XXI.
Your charity, and hundreds call themselves
Enter Two Servants with a Cheft.
Did the fea tofs upon our fhore this cheft; "Tis of fome wreck.
SERV. So; lift there.
What is that?
Sir, even now
Set 't down, let's look on it.
Whate'er it be,
2 GENT. "Tis like a coffin, fir.
'Tis wondrous heavy. Wrench it open straight; If the fea's ftomach be o'ercharg'd with gold,+
acted in churches, (but in a perfectly ferious and moral way,) it receives a completer illuftration from an old initial letter belonging to a fet of them in my poffeffion, on which is a dance of Death, infinitely more beautiful in point of defign than even the celebrated one cut in wood and likewise ascribed to the graver of Holbein. In this letter, the Fool is engaged in a very ftout combat with his adversary, and is actually buffeting him with a bladder filled with peas or small pebbles, an inftrument yet in fashion among Merry Andrews. It is almoft unneceffary to add that these initials are of foreign workmanship; and the inference is, that fuch farces were common upon the continent, and are here alluded to by the artift. I fhould not omit to mention, that the letter in queftion has been rudely copied in an edition of Stowe's Survey of London. Douce.
4 If the fea's ftomach be o'ercharg'd with gold, &c.] This indelicate allufion has already occurred in the scene between Pericles and the Fishermen, and may also be found in King Richard III:
"Whom their o'ercloyed country vomits forth,.”