C. H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Vol. 10: Play Commentary; Masque Commentary

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pg 612THE GYPSIES METAMORPHOSED

This masque was performed three times in 1621. On 3 August it was performed at Burley-on-the-Hill, and on 5 August at Belvoir; the text was then revised for a final performance at Windsor in September. Brotanek and Reyher suggest 9 September as the date. In the textual introduction to the masque we have attempted to distinguish the early and the later versions from clues afforded by the text. The Marquess of Buckingham was the host at Burley, the Earl of Rutland at Belvoir. In Sir John Beaumont's Bosworth-field, 1629, on page 141, is 'My Lord of Buckinghams welcome to the King at Burley', apparently written for him by Beaumont. Was this substituted for Jonson's prologue put on the lips of the porter?

  • Sir, you haue euer shin'd vpon me bright,
  • But now, you strike and dazle me with light:
  • You Englands radiant Sunne, vouchsafe to grace
  • My house, a Spheare too little and too base,
  • My Burley as a Cabinet containes
  • The gemme of Europe, which from golden veines
  • Of glorious Princes, to this height is growne,
  • And ioynes their precious vertues all in one:
  • When I your praise would to the world professe;
  • My thoughts with zeale, and earnest feruour presse
  • Which should be first, and their officious strife
  • Restraines my hand from painting you to life.
  • I write, and having written I destroy,
  • Because my lines haue bounds, but not my ioy.

Buckingham played the part of the first Gipsy or Patrico; his brother-in-law Baron Feilding was the second Gipsy, and the poet Endymion Porter was the third Gipsy.1 As the Countess of Buckingham is told in line 513 that two of her sons are gipsies, John, Viscount Purbeck, must have been the fourth Gipsy. The dancing-master John Ogilby was one of the minor performers: Aubrey records that 'when the duke of Buckingham's great masque was represented at Court, … he was chosen (among the rest) to per-forme some extraordinary part in it, and high-dancing and cutting capers, being then in fashion he, endeavouring to doe something extraordinary, by misfortune of a false step when he came to the ground, did spraine a veine on the inside of his leg, of which he was lame ever after' (Brief Lives, ed. Clark, ii, p. 100).

In the Domestic State Papers (S.P. 14, cxxii. 32), under date 21 July 1621, are Sackville Crow's accounts of his disbursements for pg 613Buckingham out of £1,000 received from Mr. Packer; £200 to Lanier, who evidently set the music for the masque, and £100 to Jonson. Minor items are £2. 11s. to a taborer, £12. 16s. to the fiddlers, and IIs. to the corniter.

Three letters of Chamberlain to Carleton touch on this masque. Writing on 4 August 1621, he says 'as yesterday the .k. was to be entertained by the X. of Buckingham at Burly in Rutlandshire, a house of the X. Harringtons that he bought of the Lady of Bedford, where was great prouision of playes maskes and all maner of entertainment; and this day the court remoues to Beauuoir' (S.P. 14, cxxii. 32). Again on 28 August he writes: 'The .k. was so pleased and taken wth his entertainment at the Lord marques that he could not forbeare to express his contentment in certain verses he made there, to this effect, that the ayre, the weather, (though yt were not so here) and euery thing els, euen the staggs and bucks in their fall did seeme to smile, so that there was hope of a smiling boy wthin a while, to wch end he concluded wth a wish or votum for the felicitie and fruitfulnes of that vertuous and blessed couple, and in way of Amen caused the bishop of London in his presence to geue them a benediction' (ibid. 77). James's poems are found in the Newcastle MS., f. I, 'Verses made by King lames at Burlye in the hill. Aug. 1621':

  • The heavens that wept perpetually before
  •   Since we came hither, show their smiling cheer;
  • This goodly house, it smiles; and all this store
  •   Of huge provision, smiles upon us here;
  • The bucks and stags, in fal they seem to smile;
  • God send a smiling boy within a while.
  •                       Votum:
  • If ever in the April of my days
  •   I sat upon Pernassus' forkèd hill,
  •   And there inflamed with sacred fury still
  • By pen proclaimed our great Apollo's praise,
  • Grant, glistering Phœbus with thy golden rays,
  •   My earnest wish which I present thee here,
  •   Beholding of this blessed couple dear,
  • Whose virtues pure no pen can duly blaze
  • Thou by whose heat the trees in fruit abound,
  •   Bless them with fruit delicious, sweet, and fair
  •   That may succeed them in their virtues rare,
  • Firm plant them in their native soil and ground,
  •   Thou Jove, that art the only God indeed
  •   My prayer hear; Sweet Jesus, intercede.
  •        Pro fertilitate et faelicitate.

pg 614Finally there is a letter of Chamberlain's on 27 October: 'for lacke of better newes here is likewise a ballet or song of Ben Iohnsons in the play or shew at the lord Marquis at Burly, and repeated again at Windsor, for wch and other good seruice there don, he hath his pension from a 100 marks increased to 1ooli per annum, besides the reuersion of the mastership of the reuells; there were other songs and deuises of baser alay, but because this has the vogue and generall applause at court, I was willing to send yt' (S.P. 14, cxxiii. 62).

There is a dispatch of Tannequy Leveneur, Count de Tillières, in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, recording James's behaviour at Buckingham's house, MS. fr. 15989, f. 140; it is in cipher, but most of it has been deciphered by one of the royal secretaries. The first leaf is missing, but a secretary has dated it 28 September, 'Re〈çu〉 le xiii octobre 1621'. It is therefore later than the Burley masque, but it refers to Jonson.

'pour celui qui voudroit représenter toutes les extravagances qui ont este faictes au progres .. il faudroit non seulement vne lettre mais des volumes tout entiers, ce qui sy est passe de plus remarquable et considérable, çá este en la maison de M. de Bouquincan; c'est le seul acte de toute la farce que je représenteray. …

'le Roy de la Grande bretagne pensant 〈que pour〉 honorer le maison dudit Marq. de bouquinquan, il feroit hausser le temps [? ton] plus que de Coustume, se mist a boire à bon escient et quand il commoncea d'estre en lestat que l'on appelle en france entre deux vins … Il se leua de sa table puis prit le p. de Galles par la main et alla a celle des seigra et dames qui estoit toute proche et la commoncea a dire que entre luy et son fils il y auoit vne grande dispute 〈lequel〉 des deux aymoit dauantage le Marq de Bouquinquan et la dessus allegua plus raisons tant pour luy q por lomē qui pouuoient vnider le difference apres il tira des vers de sa pochette que avoit fait son poette nommé Janson à la louange de M. de Bouquinquan.'

James also quoted others 'de son Invention sur le mesme subject qu'il jura vouloir estre mis sur toutes les portes du logis pour tesmoignage de la bonne volonte qu'il luy auoit portee. apres cela il demanda a boire'.

Jonson's gipsy characters speak their contemporary jargon. William Harrison in his Description of England prefixed to Holinshed's Chronicles in 1586 says it 'is not yet full threescore yeares' since begging became a trade, and the first use of the word 'Egypcyan' for a gipsy is in Sir Antony Fitzherbert's boke of Iustices of the peas, 1514. Harrison adds: 'Moreouer, in counterfeiting the Egyptian roges, they haue deuised a language among themselues, which they name Canting (but others pedlers French)–a speach compact thirtie yeares since of English, and a great number of od pg 615words of their owne deuising, without all order or reason: and yet such is it as none but themselues are able to understand.' It has, of course, no connexion with Romany.

There is a literature of canting. It begins in 1565 with John (or Sampson) Awdeley's The Fratemitye of Vacabondes. As wel of ruflyng Vacabondes, as of beggerly, of women as of men, of Gyrles as of Boyes, with their proper names and qualities. This defined the types of 'the .xxv. Orders' of Knaves. It was followed by Thomas Harman's A Caueat or Warening for Commen Cursetors vulgarely called Vagabondes, 1567. This treats fully the vocabulary. The remaining works are literary piracy. First, The Groundworke of Conny-catching; the manner of their Pedlers-French, 1592, stolen from Harman and attributed to Robert Greene. Then Dekker's The Belman of London, 1608, also extracted from Harman. S. Rid in Martin Mark-all, beadle of Bridewell, 1610, exposed Dekker's theft: he also wrote The Art of Iugling, 1612.

We have used the Awdley and Harman reprint with a critical introduction by Viles and Furnivall in 1880 for the New Shakspere Society.

Prologue at Burley

5. Welcome. Compare the greeting at Theobalds quoted on page 401.

12. your bountie. Arthur Wilson, Life and Reign of James I, 1653, pp. 104–5: 'To speak of his Advancement by Degrees, were to lessen the Kings Love; for Titles were heaped upon him, they came rather like showers than drops. … Knighthood, and Gentleman of the Bedchamber, were the first sprinklings. … And Sir George Villiers (Baron of Whaddon, Viscount Villers, and Earl of Buckingham, also of the Privy Council) is made Master of the Horse. In this glory he visits Scotland with the King and is made a Privy Councellor there. … he jumpt higher than ever Englishman did in so short a time, from a private Gentleman to a Dukedom.'

Prologue at Windsor.

30. Ptolomees. Gipsy in its early form gipcyan is aphetic for Egyptian; hence the use of such names as Ptolemy and Cleopatra (61).

at ones. From the Middle English ânes, ânes: see O.E.D.

31. for the nones, for that once. Volp. ii. ii. 203.

52. five little children. Dekker, Lanthorne and Candle-light, 1608, G5, describes the gipsies' children as 'some-times caried (like so many greenee geese aliue to a market) in paires of panieres, or in dossers like fresh-fish from Rye that comes on horsebacke, (if they be but infants.) But if they can stradle once, then aswell the shee roagues as the hee roagues are horst, seauen or eight vpon one iade, strongly pineond, and strangely tyed together.'

pg 616

57. Iackman. A misprint for 'Iarkman' in Awdeley, The Fraternity of Vacabondes, 1575 (ed. Viles and Furnivall, p. 5), 'A Iackeman is he that can write and reade, and somtime speake latin. He vseth to make counterfaite licences which they call Gybes, and set to Seales, in then-language called Iarkes.' Harman, A Caveat for Cursitors, 1567 (p. 60), 'a Iarkeman hathe his name of a Iarke, which is a seale in their Language, as one should make writinges and set seales for lycences and pasporte〈s〉'.

59. the fower sonnes of Aymon. The Chanson de Geste of the Quatre Fils Aimon, a poem of the Charlemagne cycle, was translated by Caxton about 1489. Wynkyn de Worde published an edition in 1504. The right pleasaunt and goodly Historie of the foure Sonnes of Aimon was printed by William Copland in 1554: it had a title-page which depicted the four sons, Renaud, Alard, Richard, and Guichard, sitting fully armed on their one horse, the magic Bayard. An old play, The Four Sons of Aimon, is in Henslowe's Diary, 1602, ed. Greg, ff. 109, 112; it was licensed to Prince Charles's men in 1624.

70. beard, and … belly . B.F. iv. iv. 189.

72. wretchock, lit. the smallest or weakest of a brood of fowls, hence any puny or imperfect creature. 'Wretchcocke' is a misprint in Jon-son's printed text.

75. broken beare, stale leavings. M. of A. 129. The phrase is illogically extended from 'broken bread' or 'broken meat'.

77. quinquennium. The wretchock was seven years old, but looked as if he were hardly five.

78. ynckle, a linen tape of different qualities and widths. … always to be found in the packs of chapmen and pedlers (Linthicum, Costume in the Drama, p. 99). Harman, Caueat, E.E.T.S., p. 65, 'These Bawdy baskets be also women, and go with baskets and Cap-cases on their armes, where in they haue laces, pynnes, nedles, white ynkell, and round sylke gyrdles of al coulours.'

82. ben bowse. Harman, p. 83, 'bene, good'. 'Bowse' has passed into the language: Harman, ibid., has 'bowse, drynke'.

stauling Ken. Harman, p. 32, 'their stawlinge kens, whiche is their typpling houses', glossing 'a staulinge ken' (p. 83) as 'a house that wyll receaue stolen ware'.

nip a Ian. S. Rid, Martin Mark-all, 1610, E3, 'To nip a Ian, to cut a purse'.

cly the iarke. Harman, p. 84, 'to cly the gerke, to be whypped'.

84. cheates. S. Rid, Martin Mark-all, E2, 'Cheates, which word is vsed generally for things, as Tip me that Cheate, Giue me that thing'.

peckage. S. Rid, ibid., E3V, 'Peckage meat'.

85. Harman-beckage, the stocks. Harman, p. 84, 'the harman beck, the Constable. the harmans, the stockes'.

86. Libkens. Harman, p. 83, 'a Lypken, a house to lye in'. Crackmans. Rid, E2, 'Crackmans the hedge'.

87. skipper. Harman, p. 83, 'a skypper, a barne'.

pg 617Blackmans. Harman, p. 84, 'the lightmans, the daye. the darkemans, the nyght'. Blackmans varies 'darkmans' because of the rhyme.

89. Cacklers, fowls. Harman, p. 83, 'a cakling chete, a cocke or capon'; on p. 86 a hen.

Grunters. Harman, p. 83, 'a grunting chete … a pyg'. no grunters, because of King James's dislike of swine: cf. 280, 1365.

95. Tiballs. So 'Theobalds' was pronounced.

96. chiballs, 'a species of Allium … known also as Stone Leek, Rock Onion, and Welsh Onion, in appearance intermediate between the onion and the leek. Now little cultivated in Britain' (O.E.D.). E. Bl. 202.

100. Barnabee … 102. Gervice . Evidently attendants in the royal gardens.

103. the tall man. E.M.I, iv. xi. 48. Charles suggests that they hoped to secure the Prince for the part of the first Gypsy; Buckingham, who took that part, was George.

104. salmon. Harman, p. 83, glosses 'Salomon, a alter or masse': here the sense appears to be 'worship'. It is found as an oath by people masquerading as gipsies in Middleton's The Roaring Girl, v. i. 164, 226, 'by the Salomon' (i.e. by the mass).

109–10. third volume of Reports … in the lames of Cantinge . A parody on the titles of legal reports, e.g. Plowden's Second part of Reports, 1594, or Abridgment des reports de les tres-reverend fudge, Segnior Dyer, 1602.

112. Guittara. In this Spanish form the earliest example in the O.E.D.

116. to a stand, i.e. at the end of the dance.

121. Peake of Darby. S. Rid, Martin Mark-all, 1610, A2, speaks of 'a Conuocation of Canting Caterpillars … in the North parts at the Diuels arse apeake', adding a marginal note, 'Where at this day the Rogues of the North part, once euerie three yeeres assemble in the night because they will not be seene and espied, being a place to those that know it verie fit for that purpose, it being hollow, and made spacious vnder ground, at first by estimation halfe a mile in compasse, but it hath such turnings and roundings in it, that a man may easily be lost, if hee enter not with a guide.' Alluded to in D. is A. i. iii. 34–5, E. Welbeck, 96.

121–2. Darby … hard by. The same rhyme in U.V. xlv. 21–3.

136. cut yor laces, i.e. faint. Windsor substitutes 'go away', the Ladies' fortunes having been omitted there and the fortunes of the Lords substituted.

145. Patrico, hedge-priest. Awdeley, p. 6, though he confuses the name, gives the account found in Harman and thence amplified by Dekker: 'A Patriarke Co doth make mariages, & that is vntill death depart the maried folke, which is after this sort: When they come to a dead Horse or any dead Catell, then they shake hands and so depart euery one of them a seuerall way.' Dekker, The Belman of London, 1608, D3, says the Patrico 'amongst Beggars is their priest, euery hedge being his parish, euery wandering Harlot and Rogue his parishioner, the seruice he saies, is onely the marrying of couples, which he does in pg 618a wood vnder a tree or in the open field: … the wedding dinner is kept at the next Ale-house they stumble into.'

155–7. a Gentry-Coue … Of the Beauer ken. Harman, p. 83, 'a gentry cofes ken, A noble or gentlemans house'. Beaver is Belvoir Castle, and the allusion is to the Earl of Rutland, the lord-lieutenant of the county.

164. One or two, if not three. The King, the Prince, and Buckingham.

166. Roome-morts, great ladies. Harman, p. 84, 'Rome mort, the Quene'.

178. fast & loose. Volp. i. ii. 8.

179. short cutt & longe. C.R. Ind. 26–7.

182. Pythagoras lot. A divination with proper names, assigning numbers to the letters; when added up, they foretold victory in war or success in life to those whose sum was the larger. The locus classicus is Cornelius Agrippa, De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum, ed. 2, 1540?, cap. xv. 'De sorte Pythagorica': the statement that Aristotle believed it is nonsense.

'Nec illud prætereundum censeo, quod asserebant Pythagorici, & quod alij putant, ipse etiam credidit Aristoteles, literarum elementa certos suos possidere numeros, ex quibus per propria hominum nomina diuinabant, collectis in summā. cuius libet literarum numeris, quibus collatis, palmam illi tribuerunt, cuius summa alteram excesserat, siue de bello, siue de lite, siue de coniugio, siue de uita aut alia consimili re quæsitum foret: eaque ratione dicunt Patroclum ab Hectore uictum, ilium uero ab Achille superatum, quam rem Terentianus tradidit ijs versibus:

  • Et nomina tradunt ita literis facta,
  • Hæc ut numeris pluribus, illa sint minutis.
  • Quandoque subibunt dubia pericla pugnæ,
  • Maior numerus qua steterit, fauere palmam,
  • Horosco pia reproduced character sor tes Præsagia lethi minima, patere summa.
  • Sic & Patroclum Hectoris manu perisse,
  • Sic Hectora tradunt cecidisse mox Achillis.

Et sunt qui simili computo promittunt sese horoscopa inuenturos, sicut de ijs tradidit nescio quis, nomine Achandrinas, obscurus philosophus, quem ferunt discipulum fuisse Aristotelis. Et narrat Plinius Pythagoræ inuentis etiam illud attribui, propriorum nominum imparem uocalium numerum, orbitates oculorum, claudicationes, consimilesve casus portendere.'

184. Alchindus. Abu Yūsuf Al Kindi, styled by pre-eminence 'the Philosopher of the Arabs', flourished during the first half of the tenth century. He wrote, it is said, nearly two hundred books covering the range of the sciences; a few works on medicine, theology, music, and natural science survive. The work on palmistry. Professor S. Van den Bergh tells us, is 'his eisālah fi'sh-shuāaf, i.e. treatise on the emanations. This is called in the Latin translations De radiis stellarum, or Theoria artis magicae, or De effectu proiectuque radiorum. Systematized palmistry was based, especially among the Arabs in the Middle Ages, on astrology.

pg 619According to this treatise the different powers of the stars determine the differences in the sublunar world, and there is a universal "sympathy" and interaction between all natural phenomena. This work was much read during the Renaissance; for instance, Pico della Mirandola quoted it in his Apologia and in his De hominis dignitate (Opera, Basel, 1572, pp. 121, 169, and p. 338).' Pico may have been the source through which Jonson knew of Al-Kindi.

185. Pharaotes Indus. Phraotes the Indian king visited by Apollonius of Tyana: see Philostratus, Vita Apollonii, vii. 30. Jonson's reference is to the tests imposed upon candidates for the position of wise men or Brachmans, ibid. 30: τὰ δὲ τῶν ἐφήβων ἐς αὐτοὺς ὁρῶντες ἀναμανθάνουσι. πολλὰ μὲν γἀρ ὀφθαλμοὶ τῶν ἀνθρωπείων ἠθῶν ἑρμηνεύουσι, πολλά δ᾽ ἐν ὀφρῦσι καὶ παρειαῖς κεῖται γνωματεύειν τε καὶ θεωρεῖν, ἀφ᾽ ὧν σοφοί τε καὶ φυσικοὶ ἄνδρες ὥσπερ ἐν κατόπτρῳ εἴδωλα τοὺς νοῦς τῶν ἀνθρώπων διαθεῶνται.‎.

186. Iohn de Indagine, Johann van Hagen, author of Introductions Apotelesmatiae Elegantes, in Chyromantiam, Physiognomiam, Astrologiam naturalem, Complexiones hominum, Naturas planetarum, Cum periaxiomatibus de faciebus Signorum, & Canonibus de ægritudinibus, 1522: his portrait is on the title-page, and he describes himself as 'sacerdos, parochus in Steynheim'. Fabian Withers translated the book in 1598.

187. paginæ, pages of a book (Latin), a nonce-use for the rhyme.

188. The faces of the other texts couple physiognomy with palmistry; the MS. has here a revised reading.

190. wimbles, gimlets.

191. boring for thimbles, making a hole in a pocket or purse to steal a thimble.

192. nimbles, the fingers—a cant use.

194. socketts. An indecent use: see O.E.D. s.v. 4a.

195. Simper-the-Cocketts. Cotgrave, 1611, 'Coquine: f. A beggar-woman; also, a cockney, simperdecockit, nice thing'. Iohn Heywoodes woorkes, ii. i (1562), Fij, of an old widow marrying:

  • Vpright as a candle standth in a socket
  • Stood she that daie, so simpre de cocket.

And The play of the weather, 1565, EIv:

  • I saw you dayly 〈= dally〉 with your simper the cocked
  • I rede you beware she picke not your pocket.

201. minte. Harman, p. 83, 'mynt, golde'.

214. Knackets (in the Duodecimo only), a diminutive of 'knack', is found only here. Similar coinages are Tricketts and Tripsies (217), playful diminutives of 'tricker' and 'tripper' (i.e. dancer).

219. Lippus, Blear-eyes (Lat. lippus).

221. Cramp-ring, fetters. Harman, p. 84, 'Quier crampringes, boltes or fetters', connected with 'Quyerkyn, a pryson house'.

Cippus, the stocks. Promptorium Parvulorum, ed. Mayhew, p. 438, 'Stokkys of presonment: Cippus'. Compare Miss Mitford's comment in pg 620Our Village, series ii (1863), p. 436, 'We have stocks in the village, and a treadmill in the next town; and therefore we go gipsyless'.

225. (His Iustice to vary). An afterthought in the MS.; in the other texts it precedes line 224 and gives a smoother reading.

227. cary— The dash shows where the insertion of 'The George & the garter' should be made.

228. Kate … Mary, the Marchioness and the Countess of Buckingham. (margin) a purse and a seal, the Lord Keeper's. Cf. 562.

234. the bowsing ken. Harman, p. 83, 'a bousing ken, a ale house'.

235. draughts of Darby. In Jonson's day the equivalent of our 'Burton'. Cf. 1119, E. Welbeck, 122 foll., and Camden, Britannia, 1586, p. 313, of Derby: 'Nunc verò celebritas est è … ceruisia, quam coquit optima, nos Ale dicimus, … Opulentia autem ferè omnis est ex propolia, scilicet ex frumento emendo, & montanis reuendendo, sunt enim incolæ omnes quasi propolæ.'

237. braggatt. H.W. 261.

stale. The original sense of left long enough to clear, free from dregs, and so old and strong. M.A. 193.

248. lifte. B.F. iv. iv. 2.

249. (our Trades increase). The brackets are equivalent to our inverted commas. The allusion is to a ship of 1,100 tons sent out by the East India Company in 1609; the King and Prince Henry christened it at Deptford. Its unusual bulk made it famous. R. M., Micrologia, 1629, D6, says of Bridewell, ';It may not vnfitly bee termed the Trades Increase, or Cities Hope-well, where her stubborne youth are made wieldy, brought vp in handicraft professions.'

251. brails, dances. V.D. 229.

252. Kitt-Callot. According to S. Rid (Martin Mark-All, 1610, G4) Giles Hather 'inuented' the 'fellowship' of the Gipsies, and Kit Callot was his mistress. In The Art of Iugling, 1612, BIv, he says: 'This Giles Hather … together with his whore Kit Calot, in short space had following them a pretty traine, he tearming himselfe the King of Egiptians, and she the Queene, ryding about the cuntry at their pleasures vncontrolled: at last about forty yeres after, when their knauery began to be espied, and that their cosonages were apparant to the world, (for they had continued neere thirty yeares after this manner, pilling & polling, & cousening the cuntry) it pleased the Councell to looke more narrowly into their liues, and in a Parliament made in the first and second yeares of Phillip and Mary, there was a strict Statute made, that whosoeuer should transport any Egiptians into this Realme, should forfeit forty pounds.' For 'callet' cf. More, Confutation of Tindale, 1532 (Workes, 1557, p. 423, col. 2): 'Frere Luther and Cate calate his nunne, lye luskyng together in lechery'; Shakespeare, Othello, iv. ii. 121–2:

  •                       A beggar in his drink
  • Could not have laid such terms upon his callet.

In 1562–3 Alexander Lacy entered on the Stationers' Register 'the xx orders of Callettes or Drabbys' (Arber, i. 208).

pg 621

258. 2. Gypsie. 'I Gypsie' in the Duodecimo, which alone preserves the line. But, as Dr. Cole points out (p. 42), the first gipsy is the Jack-man, who would naturally sing the ensuing song.

262–71. Compare Herrick's handling of this metre, evidently borrowed from Jonson, in The Night-piece to Julia (Works, ed. Moorman, p. 217):

  • Her Eyes the Glow-worme lend thee,
  • The shooting Starres attend thee;
  •       And the Elves also,
  •       Whose little eyes glow
  • Like the sparks of fire, befriend thee.

265. Noone of night. Sej. v. 325, with Jonson's note.

266. flredrake. S.S. ii. viii. 48.

279. Ile kisse it. Cunningham remarks that the Captain was not to be envied, referring to A. Weldon's Court of King James, 1650, p. 178, 'his skin was as soft as Taffeta Sarsnet, which felt so, because hee never washt his hands, only rub'd his fingers ends sleightly with the wet end of a Napkin'.

280. love a horse and a hound. In the Domestic State Papers of James I, xc. 66, under date 4 February 1617, is an affidavit accusing Thomas Napleton of Faversham of saying, 'It is pitty that ever this king came to the Crowne of England, he hath more regard of his dogge then he hath of his subiectes or common wealth'.

284. borne … to more reads like a revival of the English claim to France.

286. hauings. E.M.I. i. iv. 61.

287. table. In palmistry the 'table-line' runs from beneath the little finger to the base of the index-finger; the quadrangular space between this and the middle natural line is the 'table'.

288. Mons Veneris. Alch. iv. ii. 46. The mount of Venus encircles the root of the thumb; the line of life (290) beginning 'at the hill of the forefinger, passing by the midst of the palm, goeth to the wrist' (John de Indagine, Chiromancy, transl. F. Withers, 1598, B7).

290. the line of yor life. With the reference to marriage, cf. Launcelot Gobbo, 'Go to, here's a simple line of life; here's a small trifle of wives: … aleven widows and nine maids is a simple coming-in for one man' (Merch. of Venice, ii. ii. 146–9).

292. barnes, bairns. 'Barn still survives in northern English and was used by Shakespeare' (Winter's Tale, iii. iii. 69).—O.E.D.

293. Mercuries hill, the bottom of the little finger. 295. Iupiters Mount, the bottom of the forefinger.

322–33. A reference to James's peace diplomacy and what he attempted rather than achieved.

356. 2. Gypsie, Lord Feilding, Buckingham's brother-in-law.

369. She is sister The Infanta Maria, daughter of Philip III of Spain and sister of Philip IV. The first reference in Jonson to the proposed Spanish marriage.

375. even wth the Sunne. 'The Spaniards' boast, "the sun never sets in their king's dominions"' (Whalley).

pg 622

381–6. Inspired, as Dr. Cole suggests, by the similar wish in King James's 'Votum' at Burley.

403. a Constellation. A reference to Charles's Wain.

407. Lady Marques Buckinghams. Katharine, daughter of Francis, sixth Earl of Rutland and his first wife Frances, daughter of Sir H. Knevet. She married the Duke on 16 May 1620. After Buckingham's death she married the first Marquis of Antrim in April 1635. She died in November 1649 and was buried at Waterford.

409. 3. Gypsie. Endymion Porter.

410. an olde shoe. E.M.O. iv. viii. 145–6.

416 dispose, 'bestow', is the difficilior lectio of the MS. The variant depose, 'lay down, deposit', is in the other texts, except that Newcastle has 'despose'.

421. by theise ten, more fully 'by these ten bones', i.e. the ten fingers. Jack Juggler, Malone reprint 449, 'I am a seruant of this house by these ten bones'. Variants are, Chettle and Munday, Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, v. i (1601, K), 'By these ten ends of flesh and blood, I sweare'; and Dekker and Webster, West-ward Hoe, v. iii (1607, I), of a Serjeant's arrest, 'Your Harpy that set his ten commandements vpon my backe'.

431. A Man out of wax. 'used as a term of emphatic commendation', O.E.D. adding that the origin of the expression is not clear and suggesting 'as faultless as if modelled in wax'.

432. aks. ax was archaic in the seventeenth century, but survived in dialect.

437. yellow. His face was stained for the gipsy's part. The pun on 'yellow' and 'iealous' has occurred in E.M.I, (quarto), v. v. 389, and E.H. v. v. 186.

442. A Tablenewlie rast . C.R. v. vii. 52, 'an abrase table'.

460. the Countess of Rutlands. Cecily, daughter of Sir John Tufton of Hothfield, Kent, knight and baronet, and sister to Nicholas, first Earl of Thanet. She was the Earl's second wife, marrying him in 1608. Their two sons died in infancy from the supposed effects of sorcery: hence the allusion in line 468 to fortune's spite. Her first husband was Sir Edward Hungerford. She died on II September 1653 and was buried in her brother's vault in St. Nicholas' Chapel, Westminster Abbey.

477–8. Slightly varied from Hym. 563–4.

479. the Countess of Exeters. Frances, daughter of William, fourth Lord Chandos, and widow of Sir Thomas Smith, married as his second wife Thomas Cecil, first Earl of Exeter, who was thirty-eight years her senior. Hence the allusion to the 'old man's wife'. He died in 1623, and she remained a widow till her death in 1663. The slander of her by the Lake family led to proceedings in the Court of the Star Chamber, 1619, and the ruin of Secretary Lake.

493. the Countess of Buckinghams. Mary, daughter of Antony Beaumont, mother of the favourite. She married Sir George Villiers, and pg 623afterwards Sir Thomas Compton. She was created Countess of Buckingham in 1618.

495. 4. Gypsie. Probably John, Viscount Purbeck, son of the preceding.

506. Too slipperie to be lookt vpon. S. of N. iv. ii. 73 n.

515. Importunes, imports, portends. 'A Spenserian misuse'—O.E.D., quoting The Faerie Queene, iii. i. 16.

517. George, the Marquess.

Su. Susanna Villiers married Sir William Feilding, created by the influence of this marriage Baron Feilding in 1620 and Earl of Denbigh in 1622. She followed Henrietta Maria to France and was a patroness of Crashaw, who dedicated his Sacred Poems to her in 1651 'In hearty acknowledgment of his immortall obligation to her Goodnes & Charity'.

520. The Lady Purbecks. Frances, youngest daughter of Sir Edward Coke and Lady Elizabeth Hatton, married Sir John Villiers on 29 September 1616, her mother bitterly opposing the marriage. Villiers was created Baron Villiers of Stoke, Buckinghamshire, and Viscount Purbeck of Dorset on 19 July 1619. He lost his reason, and in the year of this masque his wife deserted him and cohabited with Sir Robert Howard, to whom she bore a son. She died at Oxford in 1645.

526. Saturne. The remotest and oldest of the planets: if he were won over, the others would consent.

535. all his torches 537. bathes of milke and roses. C.R. v. iv. 439–41 n.

538. bancks of blisses. D. is A. ii. vi. 86–7 n.

544. Lady Eliz: Hattons. See page 442.

546. 5. Gypsie. Not identified.

547. Table. Cf. line 287.

551. gi'n you. So N.I. i. v. 18, iii. i. 57.

562. The Lo: Keepers. John Williams had secured Buckingham's favour by bringing about his marriage with Lady Katharine Manners. He was appointed Bishop of Lincoln in August 1621, and succeeded Bacon in the Lord Keepership. Jonson paid a tribute to him in Und. lxi. The odd comments 'You never had wife', 'You may when you will' (576–8) suggest some contemporary gossip on an engagement. A. Weldon, The Court of King James, 1650, p. 138, has this gossip of him: 'And now is Williams, sometimes Chaplaine to the Lord Keeper Egerton, brought into play, made a privie Councellor, deane of Westminster, and of secret Councell with the King, he was also made Bishop of Lincolne, and was generally voyced at his first step, to marry Buckinghams Mother, who was in her husbands time, created a Countesse (he remaining still a C. silly drunken sot) … Williams held her long in hand, and no doubt, in nature of her Confessor, was her secret friend, yet would not marry, which afterwards was cause of his downfall at the present.'

574. A Iudge of a yeare. Cat. 2 Chorus, 394; Horace, Odes, iv. ix. 39, 'consulque non unius anni'.

pg 624

585. The To: Treasurers. Henry Montagu, recorder of London 26 May 1603, knighted on 23 July; Lord Chief Justice in succession to Coke, November 1616; Lord High Treasurer in 1620, an office for which he paid £20,000, and Baron Montagu of Kimbolton and Viscount Mandeville; in 1621 Lord President of the Council; Earl of Manchester on 5 February 1626; a vigorous member of the Court of Star Chamber and one of Charles's most trusted followers. He died 7 November 1642. He is best remembered now as the author of Manchester al Mondo, published anonymously in 1631 and frequently reissued in the seventeenth century.

596. pensions. Chamberlain told Carleton on 13 October 1621, 'All pensions are suspended, for necessity has no law' (S.P.D., 1619–23, p. 298). Florio's case is quoted by Miss Yates (John Florio, pp. 296–7); he had been granted a pension of £100 a year on 19 January 1620. On 11 November 1621 he petitioned for the payment of £250 arrears; in 1623 he appealed again, 'I am now creditor for full three yeares and a half, that is, 350 pound' (ibid., p. 299). In the Pell Order Book, E 403, f. 128, is an entry ';Beniamino Johnson gereproduced character de annuitate sua ad lxvjli xiijs iiijd reproduced character annū, ei debit' reproduced character diō anni finit ad ffm̄ Annunc' ƀte Marie virgīs anno R̄ Jacobi xxs', endorsed by 'Henshawe'. In the Historical MSS. Commission's Report IV, p. 282, Earl De la Warr MSS., 'pressing payments' on 31 March 1620 amount to £22,301; they include £33 'to Benjamin Johnson, the King's poett'; another entry on p. 310, for 1619? is 'Benjamin Johnson 66l. 13s. 4d. for service; arrears 150l.';

598. The Lo: Privie Seales. The Earl of Worcester: see page 439.

609. The Earle Marshalls. The Earl of Arundel, appointed 29 August 1621: see page 428.

615. a nurse of the Arts. An appropriate tribute to the great art-collector and patron; he is said to have discovered the talent of Inigo Jones.

625. whether, whither.

627. Roringe Boyes. S.W. i. iv. 17 n., 'the terrible boyes'.

628. The Lo: Steward. Ludovick Stuart, second Duke of Lennox: see page 435. In line 643 'office' alludes to his name.

640. written ffrancke, i.e. openly written.

641. Venus bancke, the Mons Veneris of line 288.

646. The Lo: Marquess Hamilton. James, second Marquis: see page 433.

651. latelie imployed as Lord High Commissioner to the Scottish Parliament held at Edinburgh in July 1621; he succeeded in the difficult task of getting the Five Articles of Perth enacted into law.

659. Doxie. Harman, ch. xx, p. 73, 'A Doxe': 'These Doxes be broken and spoyled of their maydenhead by the vpright men',—the second class in the gipsy hierarchy—'and then they haue their name of Doxes, and not afore.' Then simply 'harlot', as in Alch. iii. iii. 23.

663. Earl of Buchclouqs. Walter, second Lord Scott of Buccleuch, succeeded his father in 1611; on 16 March 1619 he was advanced to pg 625the titles of Earl of Buccleuch, Lord Whitchester and Eskdale in the peerage of Scotland. He died in 1633.

670. intendments. designs, purposes.

671. bent for the Warre. He commanded a regiment in the service of Holland (F. Cunningham).

678. The lo: Chamberlaines. Jonson's patron, the Earl of Pembroke: see the dedication to Catiline. In the other texts his fortune comes first in its proper place among the great officers of state; the leaf containing it was misplaced in the MS.

681. key pronounced 'kay': Hym. 897–8, 'kayes … displayes'.

694. Mars his trenche. John de Indagine, Briefe Introductionsvnto the arte of Chiromancy, tr. Withers, 1598, Book I, ch. i, the lines of the hand: 'these be chiefe and principall, the wreast which deuideth the hand from the arme, and is almost ioyned to the line of life, or of the heart, the which beginneth vnder the hill of the forefinger, as it were betwene the forefinger and the thombe. … In the same side of the hande at the hill of the forefynger, beginneth a line which passeth ouerthwart the hande … and is called the middle or meane naturall line. And these two lines thus beginninge and passinge sundrye wayes, make the forme and shape of a Triangle … the space conteyned within these lynes, is attribute and giuen vnto Mars, and is called the Triangle of Mars, noted with this figure ♂.' A diagram is given on B3r.

730. for theire gutts. H.W. 153.

738. by their gingle. Dekker, Lanthorne and Candle-light, 1609, ch. viii, of gipsies: 'the men weare scarfes of Callico, or any other base stuffe, hanging their bodies like Morris-dancers, with bels, & other toyes.' E.M.O. ii. i. 41.

739. Fletcher, Women Pleased, iv. i, to a man who appears 'unmorris'd':

  •                       Where are your bells then?
  • Your rings, your ribbands, friend? and your clean napkins?
  • Your nosegay in your hat, pinn'd up?

where Dyce notes that the napkins were held in the hand or tied to the shoulders, comparing The Knight of the Burning Pestle, iv. v, 'With bells on legs, and napkins clean unto your shoulders tied'. The girl who danced the morris at Chelmsford with Kempe in his Nine Daies Wonder, 1600, ed. Dyce, p. 7, 'would haue the olde fashion, with napking on her arms'.

741. forgotten. B.F. v. iv. 222 n.

742. Maid-marrian, the companion of Robin Hood and a performer in the May-day pageants.

ffrier. Friar Tuck, Robin Hood's chaplain.

752. the Moone men. Dekker, Lanthorne and Candle-light, 1608, devotes chapter viii to 'Moone-men', 'a strange wild people very dangerous to townes and country villages', and illustrates our text. Oliue-coloured sprites (735): cf. 'A man that sees them would sweare they had all the yellow Iawndis, or that they were Tawny Moores bastardes'. Morris-pg 626dancers by their gingle (738): cf. 'Their apparell is od, and phantastike, tho it be neuer so full of renst: the men weare scarfes of Callico, or any other base stuffe hauing [hanging?] their bodies like Morris dancers, with bells and other toyes, to intice the countrey people to flocke about them.' Fortune-telling (811–82): cf. 'Upon daies of pastime & libertie, they Spred them selues in smal companies amongst the Villages: & when young maids and batchilers … do flock about them, they then professe skil in Palmistry, & (forsooth) can tel fortunes.' There is a close parallel with line 887, 'Yet looke to yor selfe, you'll ha' some ill lucke': cf. 'one of them wil tel you that you shal shortly haue some euill luck fal vpon you, and within halfe an houre after you shal find your pocket pick'd, or your purse cut.'

756. Mort. woman. Harman, op. cit., p. 84, 'a gentry morte, A noble or gentle woman'.

761. Cant. beg. Mill, steal. Harman, ibid., 'to myll a ken, to robbe a house'.

771. pouertie of Pipers. O.E.D. quotes only one example, The Book of St. Albans, 1486, f. vj b, 'A Pauuerty of pypers', and defines it as an 'alleged name for a company of pipers'. But for this earlier example we should have supposed 'poverty' to be a blunder of Puppy's.

772. Ticklefoote. P.A. 99.

776. Claw a Charle Iohn Heywoodes woorkes, ii. vii (1562, Iv), 'Claw a charle by thars, and he shyteth in my (? thy) hand'.

778. Iadeheel. Rarely used of a man: Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, i. ii. 245, 'I know he'll prove a jade.'

779. It's an ill winde … Iohn Heywoodes woorkes, ii. ix (1562, Kiij): 'An yll wynde that bloweth no man to good, men say.'

779–92 cr. note. drawing Indentures, zigzagging, and so beating about the bush.

780. Minstrelle, Minstrel's, and in 798 'Minstrells'; but in the Folio and Newcastle MS. 'Pipers', perhaps because of Cheeks and Ticklefoot in 772.

787. the two shires, Rutlandshire and Leicestershire. 803. dells. Harman, p. 75, cap. 21: 'A Dell is a yonge wenche, able for generation, and not yet knowen or broken by the vpright man.' 824. Go to't in rime. S. of N. ii. iv. 23.

829. Are you aduisd? S. of N. ii. v. 101.

832. stalkes. Maunds in the Duodecimo, begs; for 'stalkes' cf. 1185.

834–6. Dowcettsthe sweet bitt. S.S. i. vi. 7, 'the sweet morsels, … Dowcets!'

842–3 (Folio text). horse-fleshthe Vicars wife . Gifford compares T. May, The Heire, v. ii (1622, H2): 'Par. … bid God giue vm ioy. Shal. I care not greatly if I do, he is not the first Parson that has taken a gentlemans leauings. Fran. How meane you Sir? Shal. You guesse my meaning, I hope to haue good luck To horse-flesh now she is a Parson's wife. Fran. You haue laine with her then sir.' And Glapthorne, Wit in a Constable, ii. i (1640, C2v):

pg 627

Clare. If he be a Parson;

And I his wife, I sure shall make my friends

Lucky to horse-flesh.

848. in helllead apes. The London Prodigal, i. ii (1605, B1v):

  • But tis an old proverbe, and you know it well,
  • That women dying maides, lead apes in hell.

854. at post & at paire. Alch. i. i. 55.

861. hangs an arse, holds back.

869. non vpstante, notwithstanding, as the Duodecimo reads: Puppy's corruption of the legal formula for a dispensation, non obstante aliquo statuto in contrarium.

875. A Turke Gypsie (Duodecimo) is a good antithesis to Christian, and may be the original reading (W. W. Greg).

883. fortune my foe. The old ballad also alluded to in C. is A. iv. viii. 79.

891. Beckharman. Cf. line 85.

898. cheates. Apparently the Patrico means, 'Leave me to do the tricks'.

912. ransacled. T. of T. iv. i. 62.

913. Outcept. T. of T. i. iii. 50.

wth child of an Owle (as they say). Evidently Clod quotes a far-fetched effort to bring the preternatural home to rustic minds. The idea would have been more appropriate on the lips of a witch; indeed there is a phrase 'witched by an owl'. The London Prodigal, i. ii (1607, H2):

Ciuet. Soule, I thinke I am sure crossed,

Or witcht with an owle, I haue hunted them:

Inne after Inne, booth after booth, yet cannot finde them.

Cf. Harsnet, Egregious Popish Impostures, 1603, xxi, p. 137, 'No doubt but mother Nobs is the witch, the young girle is owle blasted and possessed.'

924. a Mill sixpence. 'In 1561, a new process of coining was introduced by a Frenchman, by means of the mill and screw. … The pieces struck by this process, which are known by the name of milled money, are similar to the hammered in type, but better executed, much neater in appearance, rounder in form, have their edges grained with various patterns, and are without inner circle.'—E. Hawkins, Silver Coins of England, 1876, p. 396. The inventor was Antoine Brucher.

926. harper. An Irish coin, the harp-shilling, bearing the figure of a harp, worth ninepence of English money. After the collection is made, Clod in the Duodecimo says 'here's nine-pence in the whole' (cr. note to 779–92). Gifford compares Dekker and Webster, Sir Thomas Wyat (1607, E):

Rod . Sir George Harper fled?

Wiat. I nere thought better of a Counterfeite,

His name was Harper, was it not? let him goe,

Henceforth all Harpers for his sake shall stand

But for plaine nine pence, throughout all the land.

pg 628

931. vpper lip. The Folio reading 'his upper lippe; Money' suggests revision by Jonson, and it is confirmed by the Duodecimo, 'Yes, a Bagpiper may want both', where 'both' is pointless without the word 'money'. Cf. Iohn Heywoodes woorkes, ii. ix (1562, Kiij):

  • He can yll pype, that lacketh his vpper lip.
  • Who lackth a stocke, his gaine is not woorth a chip.

932. race. root of ginger. Boorde, Breviary of Healthe, 1547, §16, 'Take and eate a race of grene ginger.'

932–3. a Iett ringe … to drawe Iacke Strawe . E.M.I, ii. iv. 35.

935. Nutmeg, all guilded ouer, i.e. 'endored', glazed with the yoke of an egg. It was used to spice ale (S. of N. i. iii. 65 n.). For the nutmeg as a love-gift Gilford cites Barnfield, The Affectionate Shepherd, 1594, ed. Arber, p. 14: 'A guilded Nutmeg, and a race of Ginger.'

936. at Oxford. In Meg's eyes still a centre of mysterious learning, as in the time of Roger Bacon.

937. white pinnes. Cf. 'white money'.

939. bride-lace. T. of T. i. iv. 20.

943–4. Couentrie blewe. Cf. W. Sampson, The Vow-Breaker, 1636, B4, a lover's parting gift: 'I leave an hand-kercher with you, 'tis wrought with blew Coventry.' Jonson notes the decline of the trade at Coventry in M. of O. 117–36.

947. Practise of Pietie. M.L. iv. iv. 39 n. Cf. the Duke of Newcastle, The Triumphant Widow, iii (1677, p. 41), 'Waiting Maid, I have a new Bible too; and when my Lady left her Practice of Piety, she gave it me.' Cf. line 1005.

647. bowed groate. John Heywood, Epigrammes, 1562 (Woorkes, Cc), 'Of syluer to be borowed': 'Hast thou any bowde syluer to lende me lone? ' The silver coins of that date were thin and easily bent; Christian's is bent for a love-token.

948. whoop Barnabe. N.I. iv. i. 10.

957. marrowes, mates.

968. at afternoone. All the performances were at night (1284, and the marginal alternative at Bever, 1280; and 'late now at night', 1313). Dr. Cole suggests that the text is dramatic time; palmistry with its accompaniment of picking pockets would naturally be practised in the daytime.

979. Twinger. lit. one who gives a twinge, makes you smart. Day, Law-Trickes, ii (1608, Cij): 'a priuate puncke, one Tristella, … a twindger, a meere Horsleach.'

1004. Mell's, meddles.

1023. Drinckalian. S. Rid, Martin Mark-all, 1610, C2v, the land of Thevingen: 'Their Beere is of that force, and so mightie, that it serueth them in steade of meate, drinke, fire, and apparrell, which they learne of their neighbour Drink[t]alians to brew'; ibid. C3, 'so that the inhabitants round about them are wonderfully plagued with them, as the Eatealians, the Drunkalians, Lecheritanians, and especially the Fooli-pg 629anders'. Iacke Dawe, Vox Graculi, 1623, f, 'hee that will not spend a penny with his friend, by the Counsell of *Drinkalius, shall be thrust out of all good Company for a Hoggrubber', with note '* One of the learned Doctors of the Labour-in-vaine'.

Drincke bragatan. a drinker of 'bragat' (H.W. 261).

1024. noise. Sej. v. 452.

1025. Bearewards. M. of A. 131–3.

1026. flagon-fleakian. 'Flagonfeakian' in the Duodecimo; 'Flagonfekian' in the Folio: these forms may be correct, the MS. '-fleakian' repeating the 'fl.' of 'flagon'. Obviously a slang word, and it may be connected with 'feak' and 'feague', to whip. Cf. Bailey, Dictionary, 1721–1800, 'Feag, to beat with Rods, to whip'; Shadwell, The Humourist, 1671, iii, 'Come in … and feague your violins away, fa, la, la, la.' This line should be in the Patrico's answer; his name was written low down in the margin of the MS. (Greg).

1028. diuells-ars-a-peahian. Cf. 121–4.

1029–32. NiglingtonWappington . S. Rid, Martin Mark-all, 1610, C4, of Knaves' borough: 'In this plaine are situate diuers petty villages and hamlets, as Filchington, Foystham, Nymington, Liftington, Swearinghampton, the great and the little.'

1029. Niglington 1032. Wappington. Rid, op. cit., E3, 'Nigling, company keeping with a woman: this word is not vsed now, but mapping, and thereof comes the name wapping morts Whoores.' Harman, p. 84, 'to nygle, to have to do with a woman carnally'; ibid., p. 87, 'a wapping he went, he dokte the Dell'.

1041. Cock-Lorell—the name means 'arch-rogue'—is first mentioned in Wynken de Worde's tract Cocke Lorelles Bote (c. 1515) as a captain who summoned people to go aboard his ship of jovial rogues. He is mentioned in R. Copland's Hye Way to the Spyttle House (c. 1530). In Awdeley's The Fraternitye of Vacabondes including 'The. xxv. Orders of Knaues, otherwyse called a Quartern of Knaues, Confirmed for euer by Cocke Lorell', the Uprightman states that 'Our Brotherhood of Vacabondes' dwells in Gravesend barge, and Cock Lorell answers

  • Some orders of my Knaues also
  • In that Barge shall ye fynde.

S. Rid in Martin Mark-all, 1610, G3V, G4, ends a list of arch-thieves with 'one Cocke Lorrell, the most notorious knaue that euer liued: by trade he was a Tinker, often carrying a panne and a hammer for a shew: but when he came to a good booty, he would cast his profession in a ditch, and play the padder and then would away, and as hee past through the towne, would crie, Ha you any worke for a Tinker. … This Cocke Lorrell continued among them longer then any of his predecessors before him, or after him: for he ruled almost two and twentie yeares, vntil the yeare An. Dom. 1533. and about the sixe and twenty yeare of K. Henry the eight.'

The idea of the dinner goes back at least to the Songe d'Enfer of pg 630Raoul de Houdenc, the twelfth-century trouvère: see Trouvères Beiges, ed. Scheler, 1879, xv, pp. 176–200. The writer goes down to hell and dines with Satan, at whose table fat usurers and old female sinners are served up with a variety of symbolic sauces. Rabelais in Pantagruel, iv, ch. xlvi, has some slight allusions to Lucifer's diet: he generally dines off lawyers, perverters of right, and robbers of the poor; and he has them in abundance.' 'He makes a good supper off merchants, usurers, apothecaries, forgers, coiners, and adulterators of wares'; and sometimes, 'when he is in a good humour', he makes a second supper off serving-maids who steal their masters' good wine and fill up the cask with water.

1063. into the Peake. Cf. the pamphlet of 'the witches bidding the Devill to dinner at Derbie' (New World, 48–9).

1072. Promoter. Originally an officer of the Exchequer or the King's Bench who denounced and prosecuted offenders against the law; later, one who prosecuted in his own name and that of the king, so virtually informer.

1076. Baud. with a quibble on the provincial senses of 'hare'. Cf. Romeo and Juliet, ii. iv. 126–8: 'Mer. A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! So ho! Rom. What hast thou found? Mer. No hare, sir, unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie.'

1080. fethermen. Alch. i. i. 128–9 n.

1083. greene sawce. 'See the Recipes for "Pur verde sawce" in Liber Cure Cocorum, p. 27, and "Vert Sause" (herbs, bread-crumbs, vinegar, pepper, ginger, &c.) in Household Ordinances, p. 441. "Grene sawce is good with grene fische"—John Russell's Boke of Nurture, Sawce for Fishe.'—F. J. Furnivall in Percy Folio version of the song.

1086. carbonado'd. Cotgrave, 1611, 'Carbonade, a Carbonadoe, a rasher on the coales; also, a slash ouer the face which fetcheth the flesh with it.'

paines. A quibble on the senses in cookery, 'certain Messes proper for Side-dishes, so call'd as being made of Bread, stuff'd with several sorts of Farces and Ragoos' (Phillips, quoted by Furnivall).

1089. mace. A quibble on mace, 'spice': see Brainworm's joke on the mace 'made like a young artichoke', E.M.I, iv. xi. 6, 7.

1092. foxt and furr'd. their gowns trimmed with fox-fur. There is also a quibble on 'foxed', intoxicated. Cf. W. M., The Man in the Moone, 1609, D4v, 'His gowne is throughly foxt, yet he is sober.'

1095. a pudding of maintenance. A quibble on 'cap of maintenance' (N.I. ii. v. 45).

1097. hinche-boyes. Christmas, 262.

1099. vp … broake, carved. 'Termes of a Keruer. Breke that dere.'— Wynkyn de Worde, Boke of Keruing.

1104. pettitoes, a pig's trotters.

1105. a Captaine. like Lieutenant Shift or Captain Pistol.

1109. coffin'd in crust. S. of N. ii. iii. 74.

hoary. A Bodleian MS. (Engl. Poet. f. 10) marks the quibble with the spelling 'w-hoarie'.

pg 631

1112. sippetts. small pieces of toasted or fried bread.

1117. Churchwarden Pye. A quibble on 'warden', the large cooking pear: 'I must have saffron to colour the warden pies' (Winter's Tale, iv. iii. 43–4).

1124. flirted. 'The nearest sense recorded in O.E.D. under the verb flirt is to flick with the finger. But under the substantive, which usually means a rap or a quick movement of the hand" (cf. 1206), 'it records a rare use for a gust of air with a quotation of 1699, 'some small flurts of a Westerly Wind'. In flirted, then, we undoubtedly have, I think, Jonson's original reading' (W. W. Greg).

1132. the Devils glister-pipe. Repeated 1360.

1133. Polcat. prostitute. Dekker and Webster, Northward Hoe, i. i (1607, A2), 'to take their leaues of their London Polecats, (their wenches I meane Sir)'.

1134. weedLing. Cf. 1365–9, where Gifford quoted Witty Apothegms delivered by King James, 1658, p. 4, 'His Majesty professed, were he to invite the Devil to a dinner, he should have these three dishes. 1. a Pig, 2. a pole of Ling, and Mustard, and 3. a Pipe of Tobacco for digesture.' Scott commented in Waverley (ch. xx) on the dislike of the Scotch for swine's flesh.

1140. breast, voice. E. Blackfriars, 58.

1140–1. a Prelate of the order. Cf. 153–4.

1142. grudging. S. of N. i. ii. 80.

1169. refell, repulse (Lat. refello).

1180. ben-bowsy. Cf. 82, 'ben bowse'.

1210. our Ptolemęes knot means no more than 'a gipsy's knot', some dodge used in their thieving.

1244. se defendendo. S. of N. v. v. 49.

1250–1. loosefast . Volp. i. ii. 8.

1252. Marshall, the provost marshal (Alch. i. i. 170).

1260. Eache Iack wth his Gill. Iohn Heywoodes woorkes, ii. iii (1562, Fivv), 'al is wel. lack shall haue gill'.

1274. long sine. Spenser, The Faerie Queene, vi. xi. 44, 'Knowing his voice although not heard long sin.'

1275. Gowrie. Hadd. M. 226 (Jonson's note).

1280. a hall. T. of T. v. ix. 11.

1287. deane of Dunstable. Nabbes, Covent-Garden, v. vi (1638, p. 71), 'and for Latine, I have lesse then the Deane of Dunstable'.

1322. beare the bob of the close, 'take up the refrain, join in the chorus'. —O.E.D. quoting Fielding, Amelia (Works, 1775, xi. 121), 'We'll sing it next Sunday at St. James's Church, and I'll bear a bob.'

1327–85. In MS. 19. 3. 8 of the Advocates' Library (an anonymous copy), and in the 1711 folio of William Drummond's Works, p. 55 of the 'Poems', is a scathing satire on the King called 'The Five Senses' attacking the influence of the Duke of Buckingham: it has the same refrain as Jonson's poem. The poem is discussed by A. H. Gilbert in Modern Language Notes, January 1947, pp. 35–7.

pg 632

1335. A smock rampant. So Dol Common is called, Alch. v. iv. 126. Chamberlain tells Carleton, 20 February 1619, that 'the king is in a great vein for taking down high-handed women' (S.P.D., Jas. I, cv. 121).

1336. putting on the britches. A woman who controlled her husband was said proverbially 'to wear the breeches': 'She that is master of her husband, must weare the breeches' (Breton, Choice, Chance, and Change, 1607, DIv).

1340. From a Lawyer. Nichols illustrates from a proclamation for Parliament in November 1620 penned by the King himself, who would not be entreated by Bacon, the Lord Chancellor, and Pembroke, the Lord Chamberlain, to leave out the words 'wrangling lawyers' (Chamberlain in S.P.D., Jas. I, cxvii. 68, 9 November 1620).

1341. like a drum. 'A perpetuall talker, and made a noyse like a drumme in a roome' Aubrey says of the buffoon Charles Chester, the prototype of Carlo Buffone (Brief Lives, ed. Clark, ii, p. 184).

toung without a file. F.I. 271, 'Æsop … filing a Fox tongue'; Und. 1xxxvi. 14, 'And for the troubled Clyent fyl's his tongue'; U.V. xxvi. 68, Shakespeare's 'true-filed lines'. In the old version of the Romance of the Rose, line 3812, 'His tunge was fyled sharpe & square'.

1346. the Cuckow … in June . I Henry IV, iii. ii. 74–6:

  • So when he had occasion to be seen,
  • He was but as the cuckoo is in June,
  • Heard, not regarded.

1347. the Candlesticks of Lothbury. Alch. ii. i. 33–4; Davenport, A New Trick to Cheat the Devil, ii. i (1639, CIv):

  • Ile make … your Bed
  • As if you were to lodge in Loth-bury
  • Where they turne brazen Candlestickes.

1348. wiues of Banbury, Puritan zealots. Zeal-of-the-Land Busy in B.F. is 'a Banbury man'.

1358. the students in Beares-Colledg, the bears at the Paris Garden in Southwark: Poet. Apol. Dial. 45.

1359. Tobacco. James's A Counter-blaste to Tobacco had been published in 1604.

1365–8. A sowes babie … Ling. Cf. 1134.

1376. Courtship. Cowley, Davideis, 1635, ii. 60–1:

  • Why does that twining plant the Oak embrace?
  • The Oak for courtship most of all unfit.

1377. St Anthonies old fire, erysipelas.

1385. a fall. This fate befell James near Burleigh in 1603 with a horse belonging to the Haringtons, and again in November 1614, when he was badly bruised, says Chamberlain, and he fell off into the New River on 9 January 1622. According to Scott he sat so insecurely in the saddle that one of a special shape had to be made to hold him in it (Nichols).

a foule day. This interfered with hunting.

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1389. while hee's mortal, wee not thinck him so. E. Welbeck, 334–5.

1405. Glorie of Ors So of Prince Henry in his Barriers, 154, 'Glory of knights, and hope of all the earth.'

1407. fame and fortune. The Spenserian doctrine set forth in the dedication to Prince Henry of The Masque of Queens, 4–14.

1413–16. Southey quoted in his Common-place Book, 3rd series, p. 36, Bernini's remark, 'There is sorrow written on this face' when, working from a triple portrait of Charles by Vandyke, he made a marble statue which was destroyed in the Whitehall fire of 10 April 1691.

1417–22. Repeated in Und. vii. 15–19.

1433. For, that Contemn'd Sej. i. 502.

1457–8. Volp. i. iii. 26.

1478. Good Ben slept. Horace, A .P. 359, 'bonus dormitat Homerus'.

1482. Mr. woolfs. John Wolfgang (Wolf) Rumler, appointed apothecary to the Queen, the Prince, and the royal children on 20 July 1604, and to the King on 7 November 1607 (S.P.D., James I, i. viii and xxviii). He was paid £40 a year (Truth brought to light, part iii, the abstract of His Majesty's revenue, p. 50). On 4 October 1624 he was examined, along with Dr. James Chambers, because they threatened to burn the sign of an inn near Kenilworth Castle where they found no provisions, and a drunken man, Gilbert Tonckes, who overheard them, said, 'You might travel three days in Scotland and find neither food nor lodging' (S.P. 14, clxxiii. 16). Mercurius Elenticus, no. 19 (19 March–5 April 1648), p. 148, records 'Mr: Wolfe the Kings Apothecary, lives still at Twitnam by Richmond House'.

1485. ball, soap.

1487. Fashioner. Cf. the character in S. of N., 'Fashioner The Taylor of the Times'.

  • The Cock-Lorell Song
  • (lines 1062–1137)

There are more transcripts of Cock-Lorell than of any other poem of Jonson. The sixteen stanzas of the Heber MS. (ll. 1062–1125) show the form in which he originally prepared it for delivery at the masque. Bishop Percy's Folio Manuscript (B.M. Add. MS. 27879) has five extra stanzas between lines 1113 and 1114 with another version of the stanza 1114–17.

  • Then broyled and broacht on a buchers pricke,
  •   the kidney came in of a holy sister;
  • this bitt had almost made his devillshipp sicke,
  •   that his doctor did feare he wold need a glister.
  • 'ffor harke', quoth hee, 'how his belly rumbles!'
  •   & then with his pawe, that was a reacher,
  • hee puld to a pye of a traitors numbles,
  •   & the gibbletts of a silent teacher.
  • pg 634The Iowle of a Iaylor was serued for a ffish,
  •   wth viniger pist by the deane of Dunstable;
  • tow aldermen lobsters a-sleepe in a dish,
  •   with a dryed deputye & a sowcet constable.
  • These gott him soe fierce a stomacke againe,
  •   that now he wants meate wheron to ffeeda:
  • he called for the victualls were drest for his traine,
  •   and they brought him vp an alepotrida,
  • Wherin were mingled courtier, clowne,
  •   tradsmen, marchantreproduced character, banqueroutreproduced character store,
  • Churchmen, Lawyers of either gowne,
  •   of civill, commen, player & whore,
  • Countess, servant, Ladyes woman,
  •   mistris, chambermaid, coachman, knight,
  • Lord & vsher, groome & yeaman;
  •   where first the ffeend with his forke did light.

The first of these additional stanzas, 'Then broyled and broacht', is found in Egerton MS. 923, Rawlinson poetry 160, and a later hand has inserted it in Bodleian Tanner MS. 465. These lines, in spite of some weak touches, are in keeping with the tone and style of the poem: did Jonson write them? If he did and finally discarded them, he made the poem more compact. In any case the three concluding stanzas on tobacco were an afterthought. The Percy Folio has them, and they were printed in the Duodecimo and the Folio of 1640. They may have been spoken at Windsor. They would delight King James, and the opening line (1130) has a sly glance at the royal Counterblast: 'And this was Tobacco, the learned suppose.'

Manuscript copies freely transpose the stanzas, and there are a large number of variant readings too trivial to record here. Two only are important: most copies for 'Cock-Lorel' read 'Cook-Lorel' (or 'Laurel'), a change evidently made to harmonize with the dinner. Rawlinson poetry MS. 62 was compiled by a Cambridge man; the poems are chiefly about Cambridge from 1627 to 1643. In line 1098 the scribe has substituted 'An Oxford cuckold' for 'A London cuckold'.

The manuscripts which contain the poem are, besides the Percy Folio, British Museum Harley MS. 3991, ff. 22, 23b, 'Cooke Lawrell', which contains the nineteen stanzas; Harley MS. 3511, ff. 3ob–32a; Egerton MS. 933, ff. 226, 23a; Sloane MS. 1792, ff. 55b, 56a; these manuscripts containing sixteen stanzas. The Bodleian MSS. are Malone 19, pages 95–8, 'Ben Johnson on the Peake'; three Rawlinson poetry MSS.: no. 62, ff. 32, 33a, 'The Devills Arse a' Peake, alias Satans tayle in ye Peake'; no. 160, f. 175, 'A Song'; no. 172, f. 78b, a short version of 7 stanzas; Tanner MS. 465, f. 85, 'A feast for the devill, at the divells arse ith' Peake'; English poetry, f. 10, ff. 100b, 101a, 'Ben: Johnsons diuells dish pg 635before ye Kinge'; English poetry e. 14, formerly Phillipps MS. 9257, 'Ben Iohnson on the Peake', an illiterate copy. All these manuscripts stop at line 1125.

There are printed versions in Merry Drollery, by W. N., C. B., &c, ii, pp. 26–8, 1661, 'The Feasting of the Devil by Ben Johnson' ('CookLaurel'), 19 stanzas, reprinted in 1670; Wit and Mirth. An Antidote against Melancholy. By H. Playford. The Third Edition Enlarged 1682, with music, pp. 54–6 'Benj. Johnson's Cook Lorrel', 19 stanzas, reprinted in 1719; The New Academy of Compliments, 1671, pp. 260–2 'Cook Laurel', 17 stanzas, including 'Then broyled and broacht'. There are three issues in broadside ballad form, undated, but after 1682, perhaps about 1687: these also have the seventeen stanzas including 'Then broyled and broacht': (I) A Strange Banquet or the Devil's Entertainment by Cook Laurel At the Peak in Derby-shire; with An Account of the several Dishes served to Table. In the Roxburghe Collection, ii. 445. 'Sold by J. Deacon at the Angel in Guiltspur Street': he traded there 1682–1701. (2) A version 'Printed for F. Coles, in Vine-street, on Saffron Hill near Hatton-garden'. (3) A version 'at the Peak in Devonshire', 'Printed by F. Coles, T. Vere, I. Wright, J. Clarke, W. Thackeray, and T. Passenger'. The nineteen stanzas are found in The Second Part of Miscellany Poems … Publish'd by Mr. Dryden, Tonson, 1716, pp. 142–4, 'A Song on the Devil's Arse of the Peak. By Ben Johnson', and in The Second Part of Penkethman's Jests, or Wit Refin'd, 1721, pp. 66–8.

The music is in Chappell, ii, p. 259, to the tune of 'Packington's Pound'.

Notes

1 See vol. vii, p. 551, for the evidence.

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