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"Let us the sway divide, O Jove! he cries:"
"The earth be mine; do thou possess the skies."

759. —lion, that holds his poll-ax, sitting on a closestool,-] This alludes to the arms given, in the old: history of the Nine Worthies, to Alexander, "the which did beare geules, a lion or, seiante in a chayer, holding a battel-ax argent." Leigh's Accidence of Armory, 1597, p. 23. TOLLET.

760. A-jax ;] This conceit, paltry as it is, was used by Ben Jonson, and Camden the antiquary. Ben, among his Epigrams, has these two lines:

"And I could wish, for their eternis'd sakes,
"My muse had plough'd with his that sung

So, Camden, in his Remains, having mentioned the French word pet, says, "Enquire, if you understand it not, of Cloacina's chaplains, or such as are well read in A-jax.” STEEVENS.

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792. A cittern-head.] So, in Fancies Chaste and Noble, 1638: "A cittern-headed gew-gaw." Again, in Decker's Match me in London, 1631: Fiddling on a cittern with a man's broken head at it." Again, in Ford's Lover's Melancholy, 1629: "I hope the chronicles will rear me one day for a head-piece”— "Of woodcock without brains in it; barbers shall wear thee on their citterns," &c. STEEVENS.

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-like powder in a skilless soldier's flask,

"Is set on fire."

Again, in the Devil's Charter, 1607:

66 Keep a light match in cock; wear flask and STEEVENS.


817. Hector was but a Trojan-] A Trojan, I believe, was, in the time of Shakspere, a cant term for a thief. So, in King Henry IV. Part I: "Tut, there are other Trojans that thou dream'st not of," &c. Again, in this scene, << -unless you play the honest Trojan," &c.


829. Stuck with cloves.] An orange stuck with cloves appears to have been a common new year's gift. So, Ben Jonson, in his Christmas Masque :-" he has an orange and rosemary, but not a clove to stick in it." A gilt nutmeg is mentioned in the same piece, and on the same occasion. STEEVENS.


of lances-] i. e. lance men. STEEVENS. 833. he would fight, yea,] Thus all the old copies. Theobald very plausibly reads-he would fight ye; a common vulgarism. STEEVENS.

868. -more Ates;] That is, more instigation, Ate was the mischievous goddess that incited bloodshed.

So, in King John:


"An Até, stirring him to war and strife."


874. —like a northern man ;] Vir Borealis, a clown.

See Glossary to Urry's Chaucer.



-my arms

-] The weapons and armour which he wore in the character of Pompey.


890. Woolward-] I have no shirt: "I go woolward for penance." The learned Dr. Grey, whose accurate knowledge of our old historians has often thrown much light on Shakspere, supposes that this passage is a plain reference to a story in Stowe's Annals, p. 98. But where is the connection or resemblance between this monkish tale and the passage before us? There is nothing in the story, as here related by Stowe, that would even put us in mind of this dialogue between Boyet and Armado, except the singular expression go woolward; which, at the same time, is not explained by the annotator, nor illustrated by his quotation. To go woolward, I believe, was a phrase appropriated to pilgrims and penitentiaries. In this sense it seems to be used in Pierce Plowman's Visions, Pass. xviii. fol. 96. b. edit. 1550:

"Woolward and wetshod went I forth after

"An a' reechless reuke, that of no wo retcheth, "An yedeforth like a lorell," &c.

Skinner derives woolward from the Saxon wol, plague, secondarily any great distress, and weard, toward. Thus, says he, it signifies, "in magno discrimine & expectatione magni mali constitutus." I rather think it should be written woolward, and that it means clothed in wool, and not in linen. This appears, not only from Shakspere's context, but more particularly from an historian who relates the legend before cited, and


whose words Stowe has evidently translated. This is Ailred, abbot of Rievaulx, who says, that our blind man was admonished, "Ecclesias numero octoginta nudis pedibus et absque linteis circumire." Dec. Scriptor. 392. 50. The same story is told by William of Malmsbury, Gest. Reg. Angl. Lib. II. p. 91. edit. 1601. And in Caxton's Legenda Aurea, fol. 307. edit. 1493. By the way it appears, that Stowe's Vifunius Spileorne, son of Ulmore of Nutgarshall, ought to be Wulwin, surnamed de Spillicôte, son of Wulmar de Lutegarshelle, now Ludgershall: and the wood of Brutheullena is the forest of Bruelle, now called Brill, in Buckinghamshire. WARTON.

891. Boyet. True, and it was enjoin'd him in Rome for want of linen: &c.] This is a plain reference to the following story in Stowe's Annals, p. 98. (in the time of Edward the Confessor.) "Next after this (king Edward's first cure of the king's evil) mine authors affirm, that a certain man, named Vifunius Spileorne, the son of Ulmore of Nutgarshall, who, when he hewed timber in the wood of Brutheullena, laying him down to sleep after his sore labour, the blood and humours of his head so congealed about his eyes, that he was thereof blind, for the space of nineteen years; but then (as he had been moved in his sleep) he went woolward and barefooted to many churches, in every of them to pray to God for help in his blindness." GREY.

The same custom is alluded to in an old collection of Satires, Epigrams, &c.

" And

"And when his shirt's a washing, then he must
"Go woolward for the time; he scorns it, he,
"That worth two shirts his laundress should him

Again, in A Mery Geste of Robyn Hoode, bl. let. no date :

"Barefoot, woolward have I hight,

"Thether for to go."

Again, in Powell's History of Wales, 1584: "The Angles and Saxons slew 1000 priests and monks of Bangor, with a great number of lay-brethren, &c. who were come barefooted and woolward to crave STEEVENS. mercy," &c.

In Lodge's Incarnate Devils, 1596, we have the character of a swashbuckler: "His common course is to go always untrust; except when his shirt is a washing, and then he goes woolward.” FARMER.

904. I have seen the days of wrong through the little hole of discretion,] -I have hitherto looked on the indignities I have received, with the eyes of discretion (i. e. not been too forward to resent them), and will insist on such satisfaction as will not disgrace my character, which is that of a soldier. To have decided the quarrel in the manner proposed by his antagonist, would have been at once a derogation from the honour of a soldier, and the pride of a Spaniard.

"One may see day at a little hole," is a proverb in Ray's Collection: "Day-light will peep through a little hole," in Kelly's.

913. liberal-] Free to excess.



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