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custom of wearing black in mourning at funerals is discussed in Brand's Popular Antiquities 2. 281–4.
1. 2. 23. Thus holds hee weddings up, and burials, As his maine tithing. Thus he maintains weddings and burials as his chief source of income. A tithe or tenth of the parishioner's income he was considered to owe to the maintenance of the church.
1. 2. 27–8. In... can. Cf. Chaucer, Prologue (ed. Skeat 371–2):
Everich, for the wisdom that he can,
Was shaply for to been an alderman. 1. 2. 28. of the Ward-mote Quest, he better can,
The mysterie, then the Levitick Law. He better understands the workings of the court which was held in each ward of the city than he does the collections of ritual laws found in the book of Leviticus. Quest, according to Nares, is a popular abbreviation of inquest. He quotes Mir. for Mag., p. 390 :
And covertly within the Tower they calde
A quest, to give such verdit as they should. That the expression Ward-mote Quest means, the court that was held in the wards of the city is shown a passage in the play of Wisdom (E.E.T. 1904, p. 59) in which Wrong, Slight, Doubleness, Falsehood, Ravine, and Deceit make up the Holborn Quest. Also in Bullen's edition of Arden of Feversham, Introduction, p. 5, he refers to the Faversham Wardmote Book. For can, see Glossary. This comes from the OE. preterite-present verb, cunnan,'to know': its use as here employed, was common in ME.; see Chaucer's Friar, Prologue 210–11:
In all the ordres foure is noon that can
See also note on 1. 2. 27.
1. 2. 30. That peece of Clark-ship. That individual who partakes to some extent of the character of a scholar. NED. cites Sidney Apol. Poetrie (Arb.) 19: 'If I had not beene a peece of a Logician before I came to him.'
1. 2. 31.
a fine Well furnish'd, and apparaled Divine. Ballman has noted the resemblance between Parson Palate and Chaucer's Friar; see his Chaucer's Einfluss auf das Englische Drama 2. 24-6. The prevalence of worldly pastors is accounted for by Stubbes in The Anatomy of Abuses (2. 2. 73) as due to the failure of the best men to get preferment : ‘But alas those that are learned indeed, they are not sought for nor promoted, but the unlearned for the most part, somtimes by friendship, somtime by mony (for they pay wel their orders, I heare say) and somtimes by gifts (I dare not say bribes) are intruded. This maketh many a good schoolar to languish, and discourageth not a fewe from goyng to their bookes.' In Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy (1. 373), the same conditions are described : ‘Rich men keep these Lectures, and fawning Parasites, like so many dogs, at their tables. ... These are those Clerks which serve the turn, whom they commonly entertain, and present to Church Livings, whilst in the mean time we that are University men, like so many hidebound calves in a pasture, tarry out our time. This condition had existed as far back as the time of Chaucer. See the character of the Clerk in the Prologue 291-2:
For he had geten him yet no benefyce,
Ne was so worldly for to have offyce. 1. 2. 32. Ed final may be sonant (Abbott § 474).
Well für | nish’d, and I appár í aled | Divine 1. 2. 33. For metre, see note on 1. 1. 81. Who made this Epi | gramme, you? | No, á great Clarke 1. 2. 33.
a great Clarke As any' is of his bulke. (Ben : Ionson.) 'Jonson's corpulence was in some measure the effect of disease; for he was of a dropsical habit of body. In the Chorus to the third act of this play, he is called “an overgrown and superannuated poet.”—G. 'Jonson had been thin enough at one time. In the Satiromastix (1602) one of the
reproaches against him is, “Horace was a goodly corpulent gentleman, and not so leane a hollow-cheekt Scrag as thou art.” —C.
For other of Jonson's references to his corpulence, see My Picture left in Scotland (W ks. 8. 312), and The Poet to the Painter (Wks. 8. 425).
The humor of the passage is reenforced by the pun suggested by the term bulke, which has, in addition to its present meaning, the obsolete one, 'the belly.'
1. 2. 38. Rut is a young Physician. Ballman has noted the resemblance between Rut and Chaucer's Physician. See Chaucer's Einfluss 2. 25. 1. 2. 39. That, letting God alone, ascribes to nature
More then her share. Cf. Chaucer, Prologue 438 :
His studie was but litel on the Bible. 1. 2. 42. The slave of money. Cf. Chaucer, Prologue 441–44:
And yet he was but esy of dispence;
Therefore he lovede gold in special. 1. 2. 42. a Buffon in manners. Buffon is an obsolete form of buffoon. It means 'a man whose profession is to make sport by low jests and antic postures ; a comic actor, or clown. Jonson had already used the Italian form of the wood (buffone) as a proper name : see Carlo Buffone, in Every Man Out.
1. 2. 45. Is any thing but civill, or a man. Cf. Stubbes, Anatomy of Abuses 2. 52–5. Here we are informed that physicians would work only for money, that there were many ill taught doctors, and that any ignorant could set up as a surgeon or physician. Many of these were unprincipled in the treatment of their patients. In Sir Thomas Overbury's Characters, pub. 1614 (Morley's Character Writing of the Seventeenth Century, p. 83), the character of A Quack-Salver is similar in many respects to that of Dr. Rut, as described here and represented in the rest of the play.
1. 2. 47. The termination ion is frequently pronounced as two syllables at the end of a line (Abbott, $ 479).
In con sultá | tion | afore the doore. 1. 3. 1. 'Lines with four accents where there is a change of thought are not uncommon' (Abbott, $ 507).
1.3. 5. Hinc illae lachrymae. Horace. Epodes 1.19.41.
1. 3.9. Madam may have the French accent (cf. Abbott, § 490).
He should | be forc’d, ! Madám, / to láy.) it down. 1. 3. 11. The verse is metrically irregular.
Márry her | márry her | Madam. I Get her | márried.
1. 3. 13. Pursue your project reall. Pursue your project which is concerned with real property or money. Reall or real is a legal term meaning ' opposed to personal'; see Act. 27 Hen. VIII, c. 26.4: 'All actions realles, hereafter shalbe conueied, perpetrated, or sued for any landes'; also tr. Littleton's Tenures 41 : 'If the villaine be demaundant in an accion reall, or plaintife in an action personal.'—NED.
1. 3. 16. The metre requires contraction in pronunciation (cf. Abbott, $ 462). For the extra syllable, see note to 1. I. 28.
Ís a | fine wit | ty mán ; | I saw him | goe : in, I now.
1. 3. 17. a Fether. This may refer by way of synechdoche to the ' bravest'article of Ironside's attire; cf. 3. 3. 60:
Whereas Rud: Ironside,
With a huge feather, 's but a Carriers sonne. The term is also used derogatively to signify a nobody, a mere nothing. Cf. The New Inn (Wks. 5. 337) :
What antiquated feather's that that talks ? The connection between these two meanings is illustrated by a passage in Middleton's Father Hubbard's Tales (ed. Dyce, 5. 566) : ‘His head was dressed up in white feathers
like a shuttle-cock, which agreed so well with his brain, being nothing but cork, that two of the biggest of the guard might very easily have tossed him with battledores, and made good sport with him in his majesty's great hall. See also Pope's Essay on Man 4. 247–8:
A wit's a feather, and a chief a rod;
An honest man's the noblest work of God. 1. 3. 28. For the rule governing the metre, see note on 1. 2. 32.
He is | by mé | assign | ed for my Neice. 1. 3. 41. Any vowel unaccented in a polysyllable may be dropped (Abbott, § 468). Her talk | ing, sooth | ing, some time govern | ing Gós sip. 1. 4. 5. As Doctor Ridley writ, and Doctor Barlow?
They both have wrote of you, and Mr. Compasse Dr. Mark Ridley (1560-1624) was a noted physician. He published in 1613 A Short Treatise of Magneticall Bodies and Motions. In 1617 he published Animadversions on a late Work entitled Magnetical Advertisement, a work written by Dr. Barlow.—DNB.
William Barlow (d. 1625) was archdeacon of Salisbury, and a writer on scientific subjects. He discovered many uses of the magnet or loadstone, and invented the compass-box. In 1616 he published a book called Magnetical Advertisement, which was soon attacked by Dr. Ridley. Barlow rejoined in A Brief Discovery of the Idle Animadversions of Mark Ridley.-W. and DNB.
1. 4. II. This line is exceptional, since it contains but four accents.
1. 4. 13. shoot at Buts. A butt was a mark or target for archery practice. There were usually two butts, one at each extremity of the range; hence the use of the plural. NED. cites the following from Earl Rivers (Caxton) Dictes 89: 'An archier to faile of a butte is no wonder, but to hytte the pryke is a great maistrie.'