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from a passage in Scaliger's Exercitations against Cardan: "Narrabo tibi jocosam sympathiam Reguli Vasconis equitis is dum viveret audito phormingis sono, urinam illico facere cogebatur."-" And," proceeds the Doctor, "to make this jocular story still more ridiculous, Shakspeare, I suppose, translated phorminx by bagpipes.
Here we seem fairly caught;-for Scaliger's work was never, as the term goes, done into English. But luckily in an old translation from the French of Peter le Loire, entitled, "A Treatise of Specters, or straunge Sights, Visions, and Apparitions, appearing sensibly unto Men," we have this identical story from Scaliger: and what is still more, a marginal note gives us in all probability the very fact alluded to, as well as the word of Shakspeare: "Another gentleman of this quality liued of late in Deuon neere Excester, who could not endure the playing on a bagpipe* "
We may just add, as some observation hath been made upon it, that affection in the sense of sympathy was formerly technical; and so used by Lord Bacon, Sir Kenelm Digby, and many other writers.
A single word in Queen Catherine's character of Wolsey, in Henry VIII. is brought by the Doctor as another argument for the learning of Shakspeare:
"Of an unbounded stomach, ever ranking
"His promises were, as he then was, mighty;
"The word suggestion," says the critick, "is here used
* M. Bayle hath delineated the singular character of our fantastical author. His work was originally translated by one Zacharie Jones. My edit. is in 4to. 1605, with an anonymous Dedication to the King: the Devonshire story was therefore well
with great propriety, and seeming knowledge of the Latin tongue:" and he proceeds to settle the sense of it from the late Roman writers and their glossers. But Shakspeare's knowledge was from Holinshed, whom he follows verbatim:
"This cardinal was of a great stomach, for he compted himself equal with princes, and by craftie suggestion got into his hands innumerable treasure: he forced little on simonie, and was not pitifull, and stood affectionate in his own opinion: in open presence he would lie and seie untruth, and was double both in speech and meaning: he would promise much and performe little he was vicious of his bodie, and gaue the clergie euil example." Edit. 1587, p. 922.
Perhaps after this quotation, you may not think, that Sir Thomas Hanmer, who reads Tyth'd-instead of―Ty'd all the kingdom, deserves quite so much of Dr. Warburton's severity.-Indisputably the passage, like every other in the speech, is intended to express the meaning of the parallel one in the chronicle: it cannot therefore be credited, that any man, when the original was produced, should still choose to defend a cant acceptation; and inform us, perhaps, seriously, that in gaming language, from I know not what practice, to tye is to equal! A sense of the word, as far as I have yet found, unknown to our old writers; and, if known, would not surely have been used in this place by our author.
But let us turn from conjecture to Shakspeare's authorities. Hall, from whom the above description is copied by Holinshed, is very explicit in the demands of the Cardinal, who having insolently told the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, "For sothe 1 thinke, that halfe your substaunce were to litle," assures them by way of comfort at the end of his harangue, that upon an average the tythe should be sufficient; "Sers, speake not to breake that
known in the time of Shakspeare.--The passage from Scaliger is likewise to be met with in "The Optick Glasse of Humours," written, I believe, by T. Wombwell; and in several other places.
"So I imagined from a note of Mr. Baker's, but I have since seen a copy in the library of Canterbury Cathedral, printed 1607, and ascribed to T. Walkington, of St. John's, Cambridge." Dr. Farmer's MSS. REED.
thyng that is concluded, for some shall not paie the tenth parte, and some more."-And again: "Thei saied, the Cardinall by visitacions, makyng of abbottes, probates of testamentes, graunting of faculties, licences, and other pollynges in his courtes legantines, had made his threasure egall with the kinges." Edit. 1248, p. 138, and 143.
Skelton*, in his Why come ye not to Court, gives
* His poems are printed with the title of "Pithy, Pleasaunt, and Profitable Workes of Maister Skelton Poet Laureate.". "But," says Mr. Cibber, after several other writers, "how or by what interest he was made Laureat, or whether it was by a title he assumed to himself, cannot be determined." This is an error pretty generally received, and it may be worth our while
to remove it.
A facetious author says somewhere, that a poet laureat, in the modern idea, is a gentleman, who hath an annual stipend for reminding us of the New Year, and the Birth-day: but formerly a Poet Laureat was a real university graduate.
"Skelton wore the laurell wreath,
"And past in schoels ye knoe."
says Churchyarde in a poem prefixed to his works. And Master Caxton in his Preface to The Boke of Eneydos, 1490, hath a passage, which well deserves to be quoted without abridgment: "I praye mayster John Skelton, late created poete laureate in the universite of Oxenforde, to oversee and correcte thys sayd booke, and taddresse and expowne whereas shall be founde faulte, to theym that shall requyre it; for hym I knowe for suffycyent to expowne and Englysshe every dyfficulte that is therein; for he hath late translated the epystles of Tulle, and the book of Dyodorus Syculus, and diverse other workes out of Latyn into Englyshe, not in rude and old language, but in polyshed and ornate termes, craftely, as he that hath redde Vyrgyle, Ŏuyde, Tullye, and all the other noble poets and oratours, to me unknowen: and also he hath redde the ix muses, and understands their musical scyences, and to whom of them eche scyence is appropred; I suppose he hath dronken of Elycons well!"
I find, from Mr. Baker's MSS. that our laureat was admitted ad eundem at Cambridge, "An Dom. 1493, & Hen. 7. nono. Conceditur Johi Skelton Poete in partibus transmarinis atque Oxon. Laureâ ornato, ut apud nos eâdem decoraretur.' afterward, "An. 1504-5 Conceditur Johi Shelton, Poetæ Laureat. quod possit stare eodem gradu hic, quo stetit Oxoniis, & quod possit uti habitu sibi concesso à Principe."
See likewise Dr. Knight's Life of Colet, p. 122. And Recherches sur les Poetes couronnez, par M. l'Abbé du Resnel, in the Memoires de Litterature, vol. x. Paris, 4to. 1736.
us, after his rambling manner, a curious character of Wolsey:
-By and by
"He will drynke us so dry
"With the deuill of hel
"For I undertake
"He wold so brag and crake
"That he wold than make
"And with a cole rake
"Bruse them on a brake
"And binde them to a stake
"And set hel on fyre
"At his owne desire
"He is such a grym syre!" Edit. 1568.
Mr. Upton and some other criticks have thought it very scholar-like in Hamlet to swear the Centinels on a sword: but this is for ever met with. For instance, in the Passus Primus of Pierce Plowman :
"Dauid in his daies dubbed knightes,
"And did hem swere on her sword to serue truth euer."
And in Hieronymo, the common butt of our author and the wits of the time, says Lorenzo to Pedringano,
"Swear on this cross, that what thou sayst is true-
"This very sword, whereon thou took'st thine oath,
We have therefore no occasion to go with Mr. Garrick as far as the French of Brantôme to illustrate this ceremony*: a gentleman, who will be always allowed the first commen
Mr. Johnson's edit. vol. viii. p. 171.
tator on Shakspeare, when he does not carry us beyond himself.
Mr. Upton, however, in the next place, produces a passage from Henry VI. whence he argues it to be very plain, that our author had not only read Cicero's Offices, but even more critically than many of the editors:
"Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
So the wight, he observes with great exultation, is named by Cicero in the editions of Shakspeare's time, "Bargulus Illyrius latro;" though the modern editors have chosen to call him Bardylis :-" and thus I found it in two MSS."
-And thus he might have found it in two translations, before Shakspeare was born. Robert Whytinton, 1533, calls him, “ Bargulus a pirate upon the see of Illiry;' and Nicholas Grimald, about twenty years afterward, Bargulus the Illyrian robber*."
But it had been easy to have checked Mr. Upton's exultation, by observing, that Bargulus does not appear in the quarto. Which also is the case with some fragments of Latin verses, in the different parts of this doubtful performance.
It is scarcely worth mentioning, that two or three more Latin passages, which are met with in our author, are immediately transcribed from the story or chronicle before him. Thus, in Henry V. whose right to the kingdom of France is copiously demonstrated by the Archbishop:
"To make against your highness' claim to France,
"Between the floods of Sala and of Elve," &c.
Archbishop Chichelie, says Holinshed, "did much inueie
* I have met with a writer who tells us, that a translation of the Offices was printed by Caxton, in the year 1481: but such