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This Chace was now at an End, and the Fellow who drove her came to us, and discovered that he was ordered to come again in an Hour, for that she was a Silk-Worm. I was surprised with this Phrase, but found it was a Cant among the Hackney Fraternity for their best Customers, Women who ramble twice or thrice a Week from Shop to Shop, to turn over all the Goods in Town without buying any thing. The Silk-Worms are, it seems, indulged by the Tradesmen; for tho' they never_buy, they are ever talking of new Silks, Laces and Ribbands, and serve the Owners in getting them Customers, as their common Dunners do in mak
ing them pay. In 1609, to promote the manufacture of silk in England, King James had many hundred thousand young mulberry trees imported from France, and sent into the different counties; cf. Harl. Misc. 2. 218–23.
Sir Moath Interest, An Usurer, or Money-baud. A usurer was called a bawd, because he was an intermediary between money and those who wanted it. In The Staple of News (Wks. 5. 216), where money is personified as Pecunia, the figure was more appropriate :
Old Covetousness, the sordid Pennyboy, the
Money-bawd, who is a flesh-bawd too. A usurer was merely a person who lent out money at interest, not, as with us, one who exacts more than the legal rate. The business of money-lending was then held in great disrepute, and much of the opprobrium heaped upon Sir Moth in the course of the play is due to his character of hard-hearted money-lender. Increase by gold and silver was considered unlawful, because against nature. Aristotle is credited with the honor of starting this conceit. Cf. The Merchant of Venice 1. 3. 136—7:
for when did friendship take
and the discussion of this passage in the Furness Variorum 7. 48. Stubbes' diatribe against usury expresses the feeling of the time; see The Anatomy of Abuses (ed. Furnivall, Pp. 123–9).
Here he characterizes the usurer as worse than a thief, a Jew, Judas, hell itself, crueler than death, and worse than the Devil. Bacon, in his essay Of Usury, treats the subject more rationally. The idea of abolishing usury is one of the idle opinions to be relegated to Utopia; but usury is a concession, on account of hardness of heart. It is curious that this opposition of idealists at least-to the taking of interest, finds literary expression as late as Tennyson's The Brook.
The Persons that act. Mr. Bias, A Vi-politique. A substitute or deputy politician, a sub-secretary to a politician. Vi is a contraction of vice; cf. vice-chairman, vice-president.
Ind. Induction. Shakespeare also used this word in the sense of introduction : 1. Henry IV 3. 1. 2:- And our induction full of prosperous hope.'
Ind. 1. What doe you lack? 'The boy uses the language of the petty traders of the time, and the others continue the allusion.'-G.
Ind. 9. Poet'accios, Poetasters, Poetito's. For the meaning of these terms, see the Glossary. The Elizabethan drama was now on the decline: the giants, Shakespeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, and Chapman, had left the stage; and their places were ill supplied by a host of lesser lights-Massinger, Rowley, Heywood, Ford, Field, Shirley, Brome, Davenant, Cartwright, Randolph, Mayne, and others.
Ind. 12. Sir, hee is not here. 'Jonson always attended the first presentation of his pieces, when it was in his power. He was now bed-ridden : his last appearance in the theatre seems to have been in 1625, when The Staple of News was brought forward.'-G.
Ind. 16. tye us two, to you. Place us two under obligations to you; see the Glossary, s. v. tye. Also cf. Shakespeare's Cymbeline 1. 6. 23: 'He is one of the Noblest note, to whose kindnesses I am most infinitely tied.'
Ind. 20. No man leaps into a busines of state, without fourding first the state of the busines. The figure is of a man wading slowly and carefully across a stream, and then leaping forward rapidly. NED. cites examples of the figurative use
of the term : e.g. Bp. Mountague, Acts & Mon. (1642) 299; 'The truth at last he foorded. For the use of leap as here employed, cf. Beaumont and Fletcher, The Woman Hater 1. 22: ‘Val. I pray you, sir, leap into the matter; what would you have me do for you?' Plays upon word's or jingles such as business of staté . . . state of the business, common in Jonson's time.
Ind. 24. The Venison side. An evident pun: the side on which the h(e)art is situated. Sallies of this sort are partly attributable to the irregularity of spelling in Jonson's time.
Ind. 28. your sinfull sixe-penny Mechanicks. In various places in Jonson's works he shows contempt for the laboring classes. Cf. The New Inn (W ks. 5. 327):
Lady F. Pox o’ this errant tailor,
Pru. 'Tis their trade, madam,
Are still the first commodity they put off. Jonson's attitude toward the common people was largely shared by his fellow-dramatists. See the paper on The Shaksperian Mob by Frederick Tupper, Jr., Pub. of Mod. Lang. Assoc., Vol. 27, No. 4, Dec., 1912. It may be, too, that Jonson is casting a slur at the Globe Theatre, which was patronized largely by a poorer class than the Blackfriars ; cf. The Poetaster (W ks. 2.430):
Tuc. And what new matters have you now afoot, sirrah, ha ? I would fain come with my cockatrice one day, and see a play, if I knew where there were a good bawdy one; but they say you have nothing but Humours, Revels, and Satires, that gird and fut at the time, you slave.
Hist. No, I assure you, captain, not we. They are on the other side of Tyber : we have as much ribaldry in our plays as can be, as you would wish, captain : all the sinners in the suburbs come and applaud our action daily.
Ind 31. like so many eminences. Cf. Dekker's The Gul's Hornbook (ed. McKerrow, chap. 6, p. 50): For do but cast up a reckoning, what large comings-in are pursed up by sitting on the stage. First, a conspicuous eminence is gotten; by which means, the best and most essential parts of a gallant, good clothes, a proportionable leg, white hand, the Persian lock, and a tolerable beard, are perfectly revealed.'
Ind. 32. Of clothes, not understandings P Throughout his works Jonson satirized the class of people who came to plays to see and be seen, but not to listen intelligently. Fitzdottrell, in The Devil is an Ass (W ks. 5. 27–8), is a good example of
the type :
Here is a cloke cost fifty pound, wife,
For other examples, see To Mr. John Fletcher, upon his Faithful Shepherdess : Underwoods (Wks. 8. 324); Jonson's Ode to Himself (Tennant's ed. of The New Inn, p. 118); The Magnetic Lady, 1. Ch. 41-49.
Ind. 38. Populo ut placerent. Prologue to Terence's Andria, line 3
Ind. 49. and will have the conscience, and ingenuity beside, to confesse it. Cf. Induction to Bartholomew Fair (Wks. 4. 347): 'The author promiseth to present them by us, with a new sufficient play, called Bartholomew Fair, merry, and as full of noise, as sport: made to delight all and offend none; provided they have either the wit or the honesty to think well of themselves.'
Ind. 61. Every Poet writes Squire now. This apparently refers to the growing claim on the part of playwrights and poets to be enrolled among the gentry; see the note to 1. 5. 39, and cf. the title-page to The Two Noble Kinsmen: 'Written by the memorable Worthies of their time;
Mr. John Fletcher, and
Gent! Mr. William Shakespeare. Cf. also the title-page to the second edition of Cupid's Revenge:
Fran. Beaumont *Written by
Jo. Fletcher Ind. 70. Of his portall, or entry to the worke, according to Vitruvius. A discussion of the Proportions of the Doors of Temples is found in chap. 6. p. 115, of Joseph Gwilt's translation of the De Architectura.
Ind. 72. without a Portall-or Vitruvius. The boy, who knows nothing of Vitruvius, merely repeats the terms of the preceding speech.-G.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman architect and engineer. From information gathered from his writings, he is supposed to have lived during the age of Julius Cæsar and the reign of Augustus. He was the author of a celebrated work on architecture, De Architectura; see Encyl. Brit., II th ed., Vol. 28 : ‘From the early Renaissance down to a comparatively recent time the influence of this treatise has been remarkably great. Throughout the period of the classical revival Vitruvius was the chief authority studied by architects, and in every point his precepts were accepted as final. ... Bramante, Michelangelo, Palladio, Vignola and earlier architects were careful students of the work of Vitruvius, which through them has largely influenced the architecture of almost all European countries.' Jonson satirized the architect, Inigo Jones, under the title, Vitruvius Hoop (A Tale of A Tub), and as Coronal Vitruvius (Entertainment at Bolsover).
Ind. 73. In Foro. In court; in the open. Jonson used this phrase in The New Inn (W ks. 5. 349) :
Lord L. I am not jealous.
Of so short a time