Page images
PDF
EPUB

93

a

naunce:

dasye.

Dic. What devil nede he be groping so depe Hodge. Thou lier lickdish, didst not say the in goodwife Chat's hen's nest?

neele wold be gitten? Bay. Yea, but it was thy drift to bring him Dic. No, Hodge; by the same token you were into the briars.

that time heshitten, Dic. God's bread! hath 'not such an old foole For fear of hobgobling, you wot wel what I meane, wit to save his eares?

As long as it is sence, I feare me yet ye be scarce He showeth himselfe herein, ye see, so very

cleane. coxe,

Bay. Wel, master Rat, you must both learne, The cat was not so madly alured by the foxe.

and teach us to forgeve, To run in the snares was set for him doubtleşse; Since Diccon hath confession made, and is so For he leapt in for myce, and this sir Johg for

cleane sireve: madnes.

If ye to ine conscent to amend this heavy chaunce, Dr Rat. 94 Well, and ye shift no better, ye I wil injoyne him here some open kind of pe

losel, lyther, and lasye, I will go neare for this to make ye leape at a of this condition, where ye kuow my fee is twen

ty pence, In the king's name, master Bayly, I charge you for the bloodshed, I am agreed with you here to set him fast.

dispence; Dic. What! fast at cardes, or fast on slepe ? | Ye shall go quite, so that ye graunt the matter it is the thing I did last.

now to run, Dr Rat. Nay, fast in fetters, falsę varlet, ac- To end with inirth among us al, even as it was cording to thy deedes.

begun. Bay. Master Doctor, ther is no remedy, I must Chat. Say yea, master vicar, and he shal sure intreat you needs

conless to be your detter, Some other kinde of punishment.

And al we that be leare present will love you Dr Rot. Nay, by all halowes,

much the better. His punishment, if I may judge, shal be naught els Dr Rat. My part is the worst; but since

you but the gallous. Bay. That were to sore; a spiritual man to Go even to master Bayly, let it be so for mee. be so extreame!

Bay. How saiest thou, Diccon, art content this Dr Rat. Is be worthy any hetter, sir ? how do

shal on me depend ? you judge and deame?

Dic. Go to, master Bayly, say on your mind, Bay. I grauot him worthy punishment, but in I know ye are my friend. no wise so great.

Bay. Then marke ye wel; to recompence this Gam. It is a shame, ich tel you plaine, for such

thy foriner action, false knares intreat.

Because thou hast offended al, to make them saHe has almost undone us al, that is as true as

tisfaction, steele;

Before their faces here kneele downe, and as I And yet for al this great ado, cham never the

shal the teach, nere my neele.

For thou shalt take an othe of Hodge's leather Bay. Can'st thou not say any thing to that

breache; Diccon, with least or most?

First for master doctor, upon paine of his cursse, Dic. Yea, mary sir, thus much I can say wel, Where he wil pay for al, thou never draw thy tbe nedle is lost.

pursse : Bay. Nay, canst not thou tel which way that And when ye meete at one pot, he shall have nedle may be found ?

the first pull; Dic. No, by my fay, sir, though I might have And thou shalt never offer him the cup, but it be an hundred pound.

full.

al hereon agree,

93 A core-Minshieu, in his Dictionary, 1627, (as quoted by Mr Tollet, in his Notes on Shakespeare, Vol. V. p. 433.) says: “ Natural ideots and fools have, and still do accustome themselves to weare in their cappes, cockes feathers, or a bat with a necke and head of a cock on the top," &c. From this circumstance, Diccon probably calls Dr Rat a core ; that is, a corcomb, an ideot.

94 Well, and ye shift no better, ye losel, lyther, and lasye-Lyther is used sometimes for weak or limber, at other times lean or pale. Several examples of the former are collected by Mr Steevens, (Notes on Shakespeare, Vol. VI. p. 263.)

Again, in Euphues and his England, 1582, p. 24 : “ For as they that angle for the tortoys, having onco caught bim, are driven into such a lythernesse, that they loose all their spirites, being benummed so," &c. of the latter, the following will serve as a proof. Erasmus's Praise of Folie, Chaloper's Translation, 1549, Sig. F 2:" Or at lest hyre some younge Phaon for mede to dooe the thynge, still daube theyr lither cbeekes with peintynge,” &c. VOL. I.

R

To goodwife Chat thou shalt be sworne, even Gam. What, not my neele, Hodge? on the same wyse,

Hodge. Your neele, Gammer, your neele. If she refuse thy money once, never to offer it Gam. No, fie, dost but dodge. twise.

Hodge. Cha found your neele, Gammer, here Thou shalt be bound by the same here, as thou

in my hand be it. dost take it,

Gam. 95 For al the loves on earth, Hodge, let When thou maist drinke of free cost, thou never

me see it. forsake it.

Hodge. Soft, Gammer, For Gammer Gurton's sake againe sworne shalt Gam. Good Hodge. thou be,

Hodge. Soft, ich say, tarie a while. To helpe hir to hir nedle againe, if it do lie in Gam. Nay, sweet Hodge, say truth, and not thee;

me begile. And likewise be bound, by the vertue of that, Hodge. Cham sure on it; ich warrant you, it To be of good abering to Gyb, hir great cat.

goes no more astray. Last of al for Hodge, the othe to scanne,

Gum. Hodge; when I speake so fair, wilt stil Thou shalt never take him for fine gentleman.

say me nay? Hodge. Come on, fellow Diccon, chalbe even Hodge. Go neare the light, Gammer, this wel with thee now.

in faith good lucke: Bay. Thou wilt not sticke to do this, Diccon, Chwas almost undone, 'twas so far in my butI trow?

tocke. Dic. No, by my father's skin, my hand down Gam. Tis min own deare neele, Hodge, 96 fyI lay it;

kerly I wot. Lokc, as I have promised, I will not denay it; Hodge. Cham I not a good sonne, Gammer, But, Hodge, take goont heede now, thou do not

cham I not? Peshite me.

Gam. Christ's blessing light on thee, hast made [And guve him a good blow on the buttocke.

me for ever. Hodge. Goy's hart, thou false villaine, dost Hodge. Ich knew that ich must finde it, els thou bite me?

chould a had it never. Bay. What, Hodge, doth he hurt the or ever Chat. By my troth, gossyp Gurton, I am even he begin?

as glad, Hodge. He thrust me into the buttocke with a As though I mine owne selfe as good a turde bodkin or a pin,

had. I saie, Gammer, Gammer!

Bay. And I by my conscience, to see it so Gam. How now, Hodge, how now!

come forth, Hodge. God's malt, Gammier Gurton

Rejoyce so much at it, as three nedles be worth. Gam Thou art mad, ich trow.

Dr Rat. I am no whit sorry to see you so reHodge. Will you see the devil, Gammer?

joyce. Gam. The devil, sunne! God blesse us.

Dic. Nor I much the glader for all this noyce. Hodge. Chould iche were hanged, Gainmer. Yet say gramercy, Diccon, for springing of the Gam. Mary, se ye might dresse us.

game. Hodge. Chare it, by the masse, Gammer.

95 For al the loves on earth, Hodge, let me see it- For the love of God, of heaven, or any thing sacred, are adjurations frequently used at this day, and appear likewise to have been so at the time this play was written. From the indiscriminate use of them, it became customary on very earnest occasions to request of all loves, or for all the loves on earth. Of these modes of expression, Mr Steevens bath produced the following examples: – conjuring his wife of all loves to prepare cheer fitting.Honest Whore, p. 1.

Desire him of all loves to come over quickly.—Plautus's Menæchmi, 1595
I pray thee for all loves be thou my mynde sens I am thyne.-- Acolastus, 1529.
Mrs Arden desired him of all loves to come backe againe.

Holinished's Chronicle, p. 1064. Notes of Shakespeare, Vol. I. p. 279. Again,

Speak of all loves.- Midsummer's Night's Dream, A. 2. S. 3.
96 Fykerly-Securely, or certainly. So, in Chaucer's Troilus and Cressida, 1. 3. 1. 833 :-

“ The drede of lesing makith him, that he
May in no partite fikernesse y be."

too.

Gam. Gramercy, Diccon, twenty times; 0 | Then shall you warme you, and dresse your self

bow glad cham! If that chould do so much, your masterdome to Dic. Soft, syrs, take us with you, the company come hether,

shal be the more ; Master Rat, goodwife Chat, and Diccon together; As proude coms behinde, they say, as anie goes Cha but one halfpeny, as far as iche know it,

before. And chil not rest this night, till ich bestow it. But now, my good masters, since we must be gone, If ever ye love me, let us go in and drinke. And leave you behinde us here all alone : Bay. I am content, if the rest thinke as I Since at out last ending, thus mery we bee, thinke.

For Gammer Gurton's nedle sake, let us have a Master Rat, it shal be best for you if we so doo,

plaudytie.

EDITIONS.

“ A ryght pithy, pleasant, and merie Comedy, intytuled Gammer Gurton's Nedle; played on stage not longe ago in Christes Colledge, in Cambridge. Made by Mr S. master of art. `Imprented at London in Fleetestreat, beneth the Conduit, at the signe of S. John Evangelist, by Thomas Colwell.” Printers Colophon : " Imprinted at London in Fleetestreat, beneth the Conduit, at the signe of S. John Evangelist, by Thomas Colwell. 1575."

A right pithy, pleasant, and merry Comedy, entitled Gammer Gurton's Needle ; played on the stage near a hundred years ago in Christe-College, in Cambridge. Made by Mr S. master of art. London : Printed by Thomas Johnson, and are to be sold by Nath. Brook, at the Angel in Cornhill, Francis Kirkman, at the John Fletcher's Head, on the back side of St Clements, Tho. Johnson, at the Golden Key in Paul's-Church-yard, and Henry March, at the Princes Arms in Chancery-lane, near Fleet-street. 1661."

ALEXANDER AND CAMPASPE,

John Lyly was born in the 'wilds of Kent, about the year 1553, according to the computation of Wood,? who says, he became a student in Magdalen-College in the beginning of 1569, aged sixteen, or thereabouts, and was afterwards one of the demies or clerks of that house." He took the degree of B. A. April

, 27, 1573, and of M. A. in the year 1575;4 and afterwards, on some disgust, removed to Cambridge, from whence he went to court, where he was taken notice of by Queen Elizabetả, and had expectations of being preferred to the post of Master of the Revels; which, after many years attendance, he was disappointed of. In what year he died is unknown, but Wood says he was alive in the year 1597.

He was an author highly esteemed by his contemporaries, by several of whom, as Nush, Lodge, Webbe, ? and others, he was much complimented. Drayton, however, seems to have given his true che Gieter, when he says :

“ The noble Sidney with this last arose,
" That heroe for numbers, and for prose;
“ That thoroughly pac'd our language as to show,
“ The plenteous English hand in hand might go,
“ With Greek and Latin, and did first reduce
“ Our tongue from Lilly's writing then in use ;
“ Talking of stones, stars, plants, of fishes, flies,
“ Playing with words, and idle similies,
“ As

th’ English apes, and very zanies be
“ Of every thing that they do hear and see,
“ To imitating this ridiculous tricks,

“ They speak and write all like meer lunaticks." Blount, who republished six of his plays, speaks of him in a different manner : He says, Our na: tion are in his debt for a new English which hee taught them. Euphues and his England began first that language. All our ladies were then his scollers; and that beautie in court who could not parley Euphuesme, was as little regarded as shee which now there speakes not French."

The principal work for which he was distinguished is entitled Euphues. The Anatomy of Wit, Derie pleasant for all Gentlemen to read, and most necessary to remember; wherein are contained the delyghts that Wit followeth in his youth by the pleasant nesse of Love, and the happinesse he reapeth in age by the perfectnesse of Wisedome. Ito. 1580." And this was followed by* Euphues and his England, containing his voyage and adventures, mixed with sundrie pretie discourses of honest Love, the description of the Countrie, the Court, and the manners of that Isle. Delightful to be read, and nothing hurtful to be regarded ; wherein there is small offence by lightnesse given to the wise, and lesse occasion of loosenesse proffered to the wanton. 4to. 1582."

1 Gildon.

2 Athen. Oxon. 295. ? Fasti, 108.

4 Ibid. 111. s Apology of Pierce Penniless, 4to. 1593. Have with you to Saffron Walden, 4to, 1896. 6 Wit's Misery and Words Madness, 4to. 1596, p. 57. 7 Discourse of English Poctric, 4to. 1586.

He was also the author of the following plays :

1. Alexander und Campuspe, 1584, 4to. 1591, 4to.
2. Endimion, 4to. 1591.
3. Sappho and Phaon, 4to. 1591.
4. Galatea, 4to. 1592.
5. Mydas, 4to. 1592.
6. Mother Bombie, 4to. 1594, 4to. 1597.
7. The Woman in the Moon, 4to. 1597.
8. The Maid her Metamorphosis, 4to. 1600.

9. Love his Metamorphosis, 4to. 1601. The first sir of these plays were republished by Edward Blount, in 12mo. 1682, under the title of • Sire Court Comedies."

Besides these, he was the author of a piece, published in 1593, called Pap with a Hatchet, alias, a fig for my Godson, or crack me this nut, or a Country Cuff, that is, a sound box on the ear for the ideot Martin to hold his peace. Written by one that dares cull a Dog a Dog.Imprinted for John Oke.

THE PROLOGUE AT THE BLACK FRIERS.

They chat fear the stinging of wasps, make fans went two nights to the begetting of Hercules. of peacocks tails, whose spots are like eyes : And Feathers appear not on the phænix under seven Lepidus, which could not sleep for the chattering months, and the mulberry is twelve in budding ; of birds, set up a beast, whose head was like a but our travails are like the hare's, who at one dragon : and we which stand in awe of report, time bringeth forth, nourisheth, and engendreth are compelled to set before our owl Pallas's shield, again; or like the broud of a Trochilus, whose thinking by her virtue to cover the other's defor- eggs in the same moment that they are laid, bemity. It was a sign of famine to Ægypt, when come birds. But howsoever we finish our work, Nylus flowed less than twelve cubits, or more we crave pardon, if we offend in matter; and pathan eighteen; and it may threaten despair unto tience, if we transgress in manners. We have us, if we be less curious than you look for, or mixed mirth with counsel, and discipline with demore cumbersome. But as Theseus being pro- light; thinking it not amiss in the same garden to mised to be brought to an eagle's nest, and travel sow pot-herbs, that we set flowers. But we hope, ling all the day, found but a wren in a hedge, yet as harts that cast their horns, snakes their skins, said this is a bird : so we hope, if the shower of eagles their bills, become more fresh for any other our swelling mountain, seeming to bring forth labour; so our charge being shaken off, we shall some elephant, perform but a mouse, you will be fit for greater matters. But lest, like the Myną gently say, this is a beast. Basil softly touched, dians, we make our gates greater than our town, yieldeth a sweet scent; but chafed in the hand, and that our play runs out at the preface, we a rank savour. We fear even so, that our labours here conclude; wishing, that although there be in slily glanced on, will breed some contentbut your precise judgments an universal mislike, yet examined to the proof, small commendation. The we may enjoy, by your wonted courtesies, a get haste in performing shall be our excusc. There I neral silence.

THE PROLOGUE AT THE COURT.

We are ashamed that our bird, which futter- eagles, so are we enforced, upon a rough diseth by twilight, seeming a swallow, should be course, to draw on a smooth excuse, resembling proved a bat, set against the sun. But as Jupi- lapidaries, who think to hide the crack in a stune, ter placed Silenus's ass among the stars, and Alo by setting it deep in gold. The gods supp'd once cibiades covered his pictures

, being owls and with poor Baucis; the Persian kings sometimes apes, with a curtain embroidered with lions and shaved sticks; our hope is, your highness will as

« PreviousContinue »