Sidor som bilder

Sc. 5. p. 528.

PET. No money, on my faith; but the gleek: I will give you the minstrel.

From what has been said in vol. i. p. 191, it becomes necessary to withdraw so much of a former note as relates to the game of gleek. To give the minstrel, is no more than a punning phrase for giving the gleek. Minstrels and jesters were anciently called gleekmen or gligmen.

Sc. 5. p. 529.

PET. When griping grief the heart doth wound
And doleful dumps the mind oppress.

The following stanza from one of Whitney's Emblems, 1586, 4to, is not very dissimilar from that of Richard Edwards, communicated in the note by Sir John Hawkins, and may serve to confirm the propriety of Mr. Steevens's observation, that the epithet griping was not calculated to excite laughter in the time of Shakspeare.

"If griping greifes have harbour in thie breste
And pininge cares laie seige unto the same,
Or straunge conceiptes doe reave thee of thie rest,
And daie and nighte do bringe thee out of frame:
Then choose a freinde, and doe his counsaile crave,
Least secret sighes, doe bringe untimelie grave."

Griping griefs and doleful dumps are very Luickly interspersed in Grange's Golden Aphroditis, 1577, 4to, and in many other places. They were great favourites; but griefs were not always griping. Thus in Turbervile's translation of Ovid's epistle from Hero to Leander ;

"Which if I heard, of troth

For grunting griefe I die."


Scene 1. Page 536.

ROM. An alligator stuff'd

Our dictionaries supply no materials towards the etymology of this word, which was probably introduced into the language by some of our early voyagers to the Spanish or Portuguese settlements in the newly discovered world. They would hear the Spaniards discoursing of the animal by the name of el lagarto, or the lizard; Lat. lacerta; and on their return home, they would inform their countrymen that this sort of crocodile was called an alligator. It would not be difficult to trace other corrupted words in a similar manner.


Ir has hitherto remained unnoticed, that one of the material incidents in this drama is to be found in The love adventures of Abrocomas and Anthia, usually called the Ephesiacs of Xenophon of Ephesus. The heroine of this romance, separated, by a series of misfortunes, from her husband, falls into the hands of robbers, from whom she is rescued by a young nobleman called Perilaus. He becomes enamoured of her; and she, fearing violence, affects to consent to marry him; but on the arrival of the appointed time, swallows a poisonous draught which she had procured from Eudoxus, an old physician and the friend of Perilaus, to whom she had communicated the secret of her history. Much lamentation is made for her death, and she is conveyed with great pomp to a sepulchre. As she had only taken a sleeping potion, she soon awakes in the tomb, which, on account of the riches it contained, is plundered by some thieves, who also carry her off. This work was certainly not published nor translated in the time of Luigi da Porto, the original narrator of the story of Romeo and Juliet;

but there is no reason why he might not have seen a copy of the original in manuscript.

Two incidents in this Greek romance are likewise to be found in Cymbeline; one of which is the following. Anthia having become the slave of Manto and her husband, he is captivated with her beauty; and this coming to the knowledge of the jealous Manto, she orders a trusty servant to carry Anthia into a wood and put her to death. This man, like the servant in Boccaccio, and Pisanio in Shakspeare, commiserates the situation of Anthia, spares her life, and provides the means for her future safety. A similar occurrence is introduced into some of the tales of the middle ages. The other is the above-mentioned draught of poison swallowed by Imogen, as by Anthia, though not with precisely the same effect. As it is not to be found either in Boccaccio or in the old story-book of Westward for smelts, one might suspect that some novel, imitated from the Ephesiacs, was existing in the time of Shakspeare, though now unknown.



Scene 1. Page 9.

MAR. Thou art a scholar, speak to it, Horatio.

THE reason why the common people believed that ghosts were only to be addressed by scholars seems to have been, that the exorcisms of troublesome spirits were usually performed in Latin,

Sc. 1. p. 21.

HOR. The cock that is the trumpet to the morn,

Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
Awake the God of day; and at his warning,
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
The extravagant and erring spirit hies

To his confine.

Besides the hymn of Prudentius referred to in Dr. Farmer's note, there is another said to have been composed by Saint Ambrose, and formerly used in the Salisbury service. It contains the following lines, which so much resemble Horatio's

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