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Till then I'll sweat, and seek about for eases;
sage in one of the old plays, of which my negligence has lost the title :
“ Collier! how came the goose to be put upon you ?
“ I'll tell thee: The term lying at Winchester in Henry the Third's days, and many French women coming out of the Isle of Wight thither, &c. there were many punks in the town,” &c.
A particular symptom in the lues venerea was called a Winchester goose. So, in Chapman's comedy of Monsieur D'Olive, 1606 :
the famous school of England call’d Winchester, famous I mean for the goose,” &c.
Again, Ben Jonson, in his poem called An Execration on Vulcan :
this a sparkle of that fire let loose,
“ When Venus there maintain'd her mystery.” In an ancient satire, called Cocke Lorelles Bote, bl. 1. printed by Wynkyn de Worde, no date, is the following list of the different residences of harlots :
“ There came such a wynde fro Winchester,
Some at saynt Kateryns stroke agrounde,
'in Holborne were founde,
“ They wyll bylde at Colman hedge in space,” &c. Hence the old proverbial simile-“ As common Coleman Hedge:” now Coleman Street. Steevens.
As the publick stews were under the controul of the Bishop of Winchester, a strumpet was called a Winchester goose, and a galled Winchester goose may mean, either a strumpet that had the venereal disease, or one that felt herself hurt by what Pandarus had said. It is probable that the word was purposely used to express both these senses. It does not appear to me, from the passage cited by Steevens, that any symptom of the venereal disease was called a Winchester goose.
M. Mason. Cole, in his Latin Dict. 1669, renders a Winchester-goose by pudendagra. Malone.
There are more hard bombastical phrases in the serious part of this play, than, I believe, can be picked out of any other six plays of Shakspeare. Take the following specimens : Tortive,-persistive,- protractive,-importless,- insisture,—deracinate.-dividable. And in the next Act: Past-proportion,- unrespective, propugnation, --self-assumption,--self-admission, - assubjugate,kingdom'd, &c. TYRWHITT.
1 - I'll sweat,] i. e, adopt the regimen then used for curing what Pistol calls “ the malady of France.” Thus, says the Bawd, in Measure for Measure : “ what with the sweat, &c. I am custom-shrunk.” See note on Timon of Athens, Act IV. Sc. III.
Steevens. 8 This play is more correctly written than most of Shakspeare's compositions, but it is not one of those in which either the extent of his views or elevation of his fancy is fully displayed. As the story abounded with materials, he has exerted little invention; but he has diversified his characters with great variety, and preserved them with great exactness. His vicious characters disgust, but cannot corrupt, for both Cresssida and Pandarus are detested and contemned. The comick characters seem to have been the favourites of the writer; they are of the superficial kind, and exhibit more of manners than nature ; but they are copiously filled and powerfully impressed. Shakspeare has in his story followed, for the greater part, the old book of Caxton, which was then very popular; but the character of Thersites, of which it makes no mention, is a proof that this play was written after Chapman had published his version of Homer. Johnson.
The first seven books of Chapman's Homer were published in the year 1596, and again in 1598. They were dedicated as follows: "To the most honoured now living instance of the Achilleian virtues eternized by divine Homere, the Earle of Essexe, Earl Marshall, &c.” The whole twenty-four books of the Iliad appeared in 1611. An anonymous interlude, called Thersytes his Humours and Conceits, had been published in 1598. Puttenham also, in his Arte of English Poesie, 1589, p. 35, makes mention of “ Thersites the glorious Noddie, " &c. Steevens.
The interlude of Thersites was, I believe, published long before 1598. That date was one of the numerous forgeries of Chetwood the Prompter, as well as the addition to the title of the piece-" Thersites his Humours and Conceits;" for no such words are found in the catalogue published in 1671, by Kirkman, who appears
to have seen it. MALONE. A copy of the interlude of Thersytes was discovered a few years ago, and an account of it is given in the British Bibliographer, vol. i. p. 172, from which it appears to have been acted as early as 1537. It does not seem likely to have furnished any hints to Shakspeare. The classical reader may be surprised that our author, having had the means of being acquainted with the great VOL. VIII,
Father of Poetry through the medium of Chapman's translation, should not have availed himself of such an original instead of Lydgate's Troye Booke; but it should be recollected that it was his object as a writer for the stage, to coincide with the feelings and prejudices of his audience, who, believing themselves to have drawn their descent from Troy, would by no means have been pleased to be told that Achilles was a braver man than Hector. They were ready to think well of the Trojans as their ancestors, but not very anxious about knowing their history with much correctness, and Shakspeare might have applied to worse sources of information than even Lydgate. Of this Hardyng's Chronicle will supply a ludicrous instance :
“ Lamedone gat the kyng Priamus,
P. 409. How the devil LUXURY, with his fat rump,
aud Tatoe finger, tickles these together.] Luxuria was the appropriate term used by the school divines, to express the sin of incontinence, which accordingly is called luxury in all our old English writers. In the Summæ Theologiæ Compendium of Thomas Aquinas, P. 2. II. Quæst. CLIV. is de Luxurie Partibus, which the author distributes under the heads of Simplex Fornicatio, Adulterium, Incestus, Stuprum, Raptus, &c. and Chaucer, in his Parson's Tale, descanting on the seven deadly sins, treats of this under the title De Luxuria. Hence, in King Lear, our author uses the word in this particular sense :
“ To't, Luxury, pell-mell, for I want soldiers." And Middleton, in his Game of Chess :
in a room fill'd all with Aretine's pictures,
“ Of Lucrece' dagger.” But why is luxury, or lasciviousness, said to have a potatoe finger?—This root, which was, in our author's time, but newly imported from America, was considered as a rare exotick, and esteemed a very strong provocative. As the plant is so common now, it may entertain the reader to see how it is described by Gerard, in his Herbal, 1597, p. 780:
“ This plant, which is called of some Skyrrits of Peru, is generally of us called Potatus, or Potatoes. There is not any that hath written of this plant;-therefore, I refer the description
thereof unto those that shall hereafter have further knowledge of the same. Yet I have had in my garden divers roots (that I bought at the Exchange in London) where they fourished until winter, at which time they perished and rotted. They are used to be eaten roasted in the ashes. Some, when they be so roasted, infuse them and sop them in wine ; and others, to give them the greater grace in eating, do boil them with prunes. Howsoever they be dressed, they comfort, nourish, and strengthen the bodie, procure bodily lust, and that with great greediness."
Drayton, in the 20th Song of his Polyolbion, introduces the same idea concerning the skirret :
“ The skirret, which, some say, in sallets stirs the blood." Shakspeare alludes to this quality of potatoes in The Merry Wives of Windsor : “Let the sky rain potatoes, hail kissing comfits, and snow eringoes ; let a tempest of provocation come.
Ben Jonson mentions potatoe pies in Every Man out of his Humour, among other good unctuous meats. So, T. Heywood, in The English Traveller, 1633 :
Caviare, sturgeon, anchovies, pickled oysters ; yes “ And a potatoe pie : besides all these,
" What thinkest rare and costly.” Again, in The Dumb Knight, 1633: truly I think a marrow-bone pye, candied eringoes, preserved dates, or marmalade of cantharides, were much better harbingers ; cock-sparrows stewid, dove's brains, or swans' pizzles, are very provocative; roasted potatoes, or boiled skirrets are your only lofty dishes.”
Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635: “ If she be a woman, marrow-bones and potatoe-pies keep me," &c. Again, in A Chaste Maid of Cheapside, by Middleton, 1620 :
“ You might have spar'd this banquet of eringoes,
They were fitter kept for your own wedding dinner." Again, in Chapman's May-day, 1611: "a banquet of oysterpi es, skirret-roots, potatoes, eringoes, and divers other whet-stones of venery."
Again, in Decker's If This Be Not A Good Play The Devil Is In It, 1612:
“ Potatoes eke, if you shall lack
“ To corroborate the back." Again, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601 : “ by Gor, an me had known dis, me woode have eat som potatos, or ringoe. Again, in Sir W. D'Avenant's Love and Honour, 1649:
“ You shall find me a kind of sparrow, widow;
“ A barley-corn goes as far as a potatoe.” Again, in The Ghost, 1640 :
“ Then, the fine broths I daily had sent to me,
“ Potatoe pasties, lusty marrow-pies," &c. Again, in Histriomastix, or the Player Whipt, 1610 :
“Give your play-gull a stool, and your lady her fool,
· And her usher potatoes and marrow.” Nay, so notorious were the virtues of this root, that W. W. the old translator of the Menochmi of Plautus, 1595, has introduced them into that comedy. When Menæchmus goes to the house of his mistress Erotium to bespeak a dinner, he adds, “ Harke ye, some oysters, a mary-bone pie or two, some artichockes, and potato-roots ; let our other dishes be as you please.”
Again, in Greene's Disputation between a Hee Coneycatcher and a Shee Coneycatcher, 1592: “I pray you, how many badde proffites againe growes from whoores. Bridewell woulde have verie fewe tenants, the hospitall would wante patientes, and the surgians much woorke: the apothecaries would have surphaling water and potato-roots lye deade on their handes.”
Again, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson : " - 'tis your only dish, above all your potatoes or oyster-pies in the world.” Again, in The Elder Brother, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
“A banquet-well, potatoes and eringoes,
“ And as I take it, cantharides-Excellent !" Again, in The Loyal Subject, by the same authors :
“Will you lordship please to taste a fine potato ?
wither'd state, “ Fill your honour full of noble itches," &c. Again, in The Martial Maid, by Beaumont and Fletcher : “ Will your ladyship have a potatoe-pie? 'tis a good stirring dish for an old lady after a long lent." Again, in The Sea Voyage, by the same authors :
Oh, for some eringoes, “ Potatoes, or cantharides !" Again :
“ See provoking dishes, candied eringoes
“And potatoes." Again, in The Picture, by Massinger:
he hath got a pye
'tis the quintessence
“ Coral and ambergris," &c.
Potargo, “ Potatoes, marrow, caviarem," Again, in The City Madam, by the same:
prescribes my diet, and foretells
My dreams when I eat potatoes.” Taylor the Water-poet likewise, in his character of a Bawd, ascribes the same qualities to this genial root.