Immagini della pagina

A hound that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot well; One that before the judgement, carries poor souls to


[ocr errors]

thoughts here may have been running on the "alleys" of old London (see Richard II. v. iii. 8: "Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes"), such as Rose Alley, Horseshoe Alley, etc., leading down to the river on either side, and the "creeks and landings that would naturally be sought by debtors and others seeking to escape across the river by water to one of the "liberties." The word "land," whatever its exact use here, may be a reminiscence of Stratford husbandry, and refer to the strip, "ridge," or "land" which contained about one-third of an acre, and formed part of a "yard-land," itself a division of the arable common fields of Stratford. (See Elton's William Shakespeare, his Family, etc. 1904.) "Laund" is the form used by Chaucer and Dryden. Coles in his Eng. Dict. 1696, gives the meaning, "plain untilled ground in a park." 39. A hound well] Johnson says, "To run counter is to run backward, by mistaking the course of the animal pursued; to draw dryfoot, is, I believe, to pursue by the track or prick of the foot; to run counter and draw dry foot are therefore inconsistent. The jest consists in the ambiguity of the word counter, which means the wrong way in the chace, and a prison in London. The officer that arrested him was a sergeant of the counter." "You hunt counter: hence! avaunt!" says Falstaff to the Chief Justice's servant, in 2 Henry IV. 1. ii. 102. References to the Counter are very frequent in the dramatists. See e.g. Greene's Never too Late (Dyce, vol. i. p. xviii.): "Or for an Vltimum vale take vp my lodging in the counter"; Dekker's West-ward Hoe, III. i.

[ocr errors]


(Pearson, vol. ii. p. 315): "buy a
lincke and meet me at the Counter in
Wood streete"; Barry's Ram-Alley,
1611 (Dodsley, v. 413):—
"Run to the Counter,

Fetch me a red-bearded


Gray says, "to draw dry-foot is when the dog pursues the game by the scent of the foot; for which the bloodhound is famed"; and he quotes Johnson's Every Man in his Humour, II. iv. 9 (ed. Whalley, 1756): “Well, the truth is, my old master intends to follow my young, dry-foot, over Moorfields to London this morning," etc. Steevens quotes Barry's RamAlley [1. i. 1 (Dodsley, v. 402, and see Dodsley, iv. 422)]: "a hunting, Sir Oliver, and dry-foot too"; and Machin's Dumb Knight, 1633 (Dodsley, IV. 422): "I care not for his dryfoot hunting." Mason says: "A hound that draws dry-foot means what is usually called a blood-hound, trained to follow men by the scent. The expression occurs in an Irish statute of the 10th of William III. for preservation of the game, which enacts that all persons licensed for making and training up of setting dogs, shall, in every two years, during the continuance of this licence, be compelled to train up, teach and make, one or more hounds, to hunt on dry-foot. The practice of keeping blood-hounds was long continued in Ireland, and they were found of great use in detecting murderers and robbers."

40. before the judgement] may allude to arrest by "mesne process,' as it was called, i.e. on some side issue, before final judgment is given. In any case the quibble is obvious.

40. hell] was the name given to a

Adr. Why, man, what is the matter?

Dro. S. I do not know the matter: he is 'rested on the case.
Adr. What, is he arrested? tell me at whose suit.
Dro. S. I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;

But he's in a suit of buff which 'rested him, that can I


Will you send him, mistress, redemption, the money in his desk?

Adr. Go fetch it, sister. [Exit Luciana.] This I wonder at,

42, 45. 'rested] Theobald; rested Ff. 43. tell... suit] Pope (ed. 2); tell... suite? Ff; tell me, at whose suit? Johnson. 44-46. As in Capell; prose in Ff. 44. arrested well :] F 1; arrested, well; Ff 2, 3; arrested: well: F 4; arrested; Pope. 45. But he's] Ff 3, 4; but is Ff 1, 2. I] Ff 1, 2; I can Ff 3, 4. 46. mistress, redemption] Hanmer; Mistris redemption Ff 1, 2, 3; Mistris Redemption F 4.

part of the old Law Courts at Westminster apparently used at one time as a record office; also to a place of confinement for debtors, a sponging house such as existed in Wood St. and The Poultry. See the New Eng. Dict. in v. which quotes Caxton's Chesse (1474), III. iii. (ed. 1860): "3 men of the lawe. that longe to the Courtes of the Chaunserye, Kynges benche, comyn-place, cheker, resayt, and helle, and the bagge berars of the same "; and R. S. Counter-Rat (1628), xxi. :—

"Aske any how such newes I tell,

Of Wood-streetes hole, or Poultries Hell." Steevens says the name was also applied to "the dark place into which a tailor throws his shreds." He quotes Dekker's If this be not a good play, the Devil is in it, 1612: "Taylors 'tis known, They scorn thy hell, having better of their own.' See also Middleton's The World tost at Tennis (Bullen, vii. 158, line 130): "All know the cellaridge under the shop-board he calls his hell"; also


The Black Book (viii. 7): "And hell the very shop-board of the Earth."

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

42. matter: he is 'rested on the case] Dromio S. here appears to quibble on the distinction between matter and " case as a distinction between "contents" and "form." No doubt there is a further reference to the well-known "action on the case, which was a general action for the relief of a civil wrong not especially provided for-not "immediately provided in that case," MidsummerNight's Dream, 1. i. 45. Malone considers the quibble also refers to the skin of Dromio's master laid hold of by the "shoulder-clapper"; and refers to the next scene (IV. iii. 23, 24), where Dromio S. exclaims, "'tis a plain case: he that went, like a base-viol, in a case of leather." We find "case "with the same meaning in Twelfth Night, v. i. 168: "When time hath sow'd a grizzle on thy case"; and Winter's Tale, Iv. iv. 144: "But though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it."

That he, unknown to me, should be in debt.

Tell me, was he arrested on a band?

Dro. S. Not on a band, but on a stronger thing;
Do you not hear it ring?

A chain, a chain! Adr. What, the chain?


Dro. S. No, no, the bell.

'Tis time that I were gone:

It was two ere I left him, and now the clock strikes one. Adr. The hours come back! that did I never hear. Dro. S. O yes; if an hour meet a sergeant, 'a turns back for

very fear.


Adr. As if Time were in debt! how fondly dost thou reason! Dro. S. Time is a very bankrupt, and owes more than he's worth to season.


Nay, he's a thief too: have you not heard men say,
That Time comes stealing on by night and day?
If Time be in debt and theft, and a sergeant in the way,
Hath he not reason to turn back an hour in a day?

48. That] Thus F 1. 49, 50. band] bond Rowe.
(ed. 2). 51. chain !] chain :-
:- S. Walker conj.
hear] here F1.

bankrout Ff. to season] omitted by Pope. 61. Time] Rowe; I Ff; he Malone; 'a Staunton.

50. but on] but Rowe ring?] ring. F 1. 55.

56. 'a turns] it turns Pope; he turns Capell. 58. bankrupt] 60. day] by day Keightley. 62. an hour] any houre Ff. Simpson's School of Shakspere, ii. 56:

49. band] The older spelling for bond," meaning of course the obligation to pay a sum of money; with a quibble on band," meaning ruff or neckcloth. Compare the quibble in the next scene, lines 31, 32, between "band" meaning company and "band" meaning bond. Steevens compares Ben Jonson [Staple of News, Iv. i. (Gifford, p. 397)]: "Statute, and Band, and Wax will go with me?" [He might also have quoted . i: "We'll have a flight at Mortgage, Statute, Band." These are characters in the play, and are referred to passim.] And [? Marston's] Histriomastix (1610), IV. i. 12;

"To crouch for coyne, whilst slaves tye fast our Lands

In Statute Staple or these Marchants bands." Malone quotes Minsheu's Dictionary, 1617, which gives "Band or Obligation"; "A Band or thong to tie withal "; and "A Band for the neck, because it serves to bind about the neck."

[ocr errors]

58. owes .. season] "All that time produces in any season falls short of what is seasonable,' i.e. would be convenient for us (Herford).

[ocr errors]


Re-enter LUCIANA with a purse.

Adr. Go, Dromio; there's the money, bear it straight;
And bring thy master home immediately.

Come, sister; I am pressed down with conceit,

Conceit, my comfort and my injury.

SCENE III-A Public Place.

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse.



Ant. S. There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
As if I were their well-acquainted friend;

And every one doth call me by my name.
Some tender money to me; some invite me;
Some other give me thanks for kindnesses;
Some offer me commodities to buy:

Even now a tailor call'd me in his shop,

And showed me silks that he had bought for me,
And therewithal took measure of my body.

Sure, these are but imaginary wiles,

And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.



Re-enter .. a purse] Re-enter . . the purse Dyce; Re-enter Luciana Capell; Enter Luciana Ff. 66. [Exeunt] Rowe; Exit Ff.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Enter DROMIO of Syracuse.

Dro. S. Master, here's the gold you sent me for. What, have you got rid of the picture of old Adam new


13. got rid of] Theopicture] victory Perring conj.

12, 13. What, have] Rowe (ed. 2); what haue Ff. bald; got Ff; lost Kinnear conj. country of witches and sorcerers. This belief is illustrated by such passages as the following: Hakluyt, Eng. Voyagers (ed. 2, 1589), of "The Lappes": "The whole nation is utterly unlearned, having not so much as the use of any Alphabet, or letter among them. For practise of witchcraft and sorcerie they passe all nations in the worlde. Though for enchanting of ships that saile along the coast, as I have heard it reported, and of giving of windes good to their friendes, and contrary to others whom they mean to hurt is a very fable devised (as it may seeme) by themselves to terrifie sailors from coming neere their coast." Marlowe, Faustus, sc. i. (Bullen, i. 219):

"So shall the spirits of every ele


Be always serviceable to us three
Like lions

Or Lapland giants, trotting by

our sides."
Webster, A Cure for a Cuckold, IV.
ii. "I will rather trust the wind
which Lapland witches sell to men."
Fletcher, The Chances, v. iii. :—

"Sure his devil
Comes out of Lapland, where
they sell men winds
For dead drinks and old doub-

In the anonymous old play, Looke
about you (Dodsley, vii. 468): "Then
nine times like the northern Lap-
landers . . . and so turned witch."
Middleton, The Spanish Gipsy, IV.
iii. 130 (Bullen, vi. 204): "Marry a
witch? Have you fetched a wife for
me out of Lapland?”


13, 14. got new-apparelled] Briefly, the purport of this difficult passage seems to be, "What! have you got rid of the sergeant?" It is difficult to improve on Theobald's explanation: "A short word or two must have slipped out here, by some accident in copying, or at the press; otherwise I have no conception of the meaning of the passage. The case is this: Dromio's master had been arrested, and sent his servant home for money to redeem him; he, running back with the money, meets the twin Antipholus, whom he mistakes for his master, and seeing him clear of the officer before the money was come, he cries, in a surprise-What have you got rid of the picture of old Adam new apparell'd? For so I have ventured to supply, by conjecture. But why is the officer called old Adam new apparelled? The allusion is to Adam, in his state of innocence, going naked; and immediately after the fall, being clothed in a frock of skins. Thus he was new apparelled; and, in like manner, the sergeants of the counter were formerly clad in buff, or calf's-skin, as the author humorously a little lower calls it." Malone considers Theobald's emendation absolutely necessary. Singer (1826) thus explains the Folio text: "The sergeant is designated by the picture of old Adam because he wore buff as Adam wore his native buff; and Dromio asks Antipholus if he had got him new-apparelled, i.e. got him a new suit, in other words got rid of him.” "Lost," Kinnear's conjecture, makes fair sense. Dyce retains the Folio reading, but would not assert there

« IndietroContinua »