Volpone; Or, The Fox
by Ben Jonson
Previous Part     1  2  3  4     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

1 AVOC: What proofs have you of this?

BON: Most honoured fathers, I humbly crave there be no credit given To this man's mercenary tongue.

2 AVOC: Forbear.

BON: His soul moves in his fee.

3 AVOC: O, sir.

BON: This fellow, For six sols more, would plead against his Maker.

1 AVOC: You do forget yourself.

VOLT: Nay, nay, grave fathers, Let him have scope: can any man imagine That he will spare his accuser, that would not Have spared his parent?

1 AVOC: Well, produce your proofs.

CEL: I would I could forget I were a creature.

VOLT: Signior Corbaccio.


1 AVOC: What is he?

VOLT: The father.

2 AVOC: Has he had an oath?

NOT: Yes.

CORB: What must I do now?

NOT: Your testimony's craved.

CORB: Speak to the knave? I'll have my mouth first stopt with earth; my heart Abhors his knowledge: I disclaim in him.

1 AVOC: But for what cause?

CORB: The mere portent of nature! He is an utter stranger to my loins.

BON: Have they made you to this?

CORB: I will not hear thee, Monster of men, swine, goat, wolf, parricide! Speak not, thou viper.

BON: Sir, I will sit down, And rather wish my innocence should suffer, Then I resist the authority of a father.

VOLT: Signior Corvino!


2 AVOC: This is strange.

1 AVOC: Who's this?

NOT: The husband.

4 AVOC: Is he sworn?

NOT: He is.

3 AVOC: Speak, then.

CORV: This woman, please your fatherhoods, is a whore, Of most hot exercise, more than a partrich, Upon record—

1 AVOC: No more.

CORV: Neighs like a jennet.

NOT: Preserve the honour of the court.

CORV: I shall, And modesty of your most reverend ears. And yet I hope that I may say, these eyes Have seen her glued unto that piece of cedar, That fine well-timber'd gallant; and that here The letters may be read, through the horn, That make the story perfect.

MOS: Excellent! sir.

CORV [ASIDE TO MOSCA.]: There's no shame in this now, is there?

MOS: None.

CORV: Or if I said, I hoped that she were onward To her damnation, if there be a hell Greater than whore and woman; a good catholic May make the doubt.

3 AVOC: His grief hath made him frantic.

1 AVOC: Remove him hence.

2 AVOC: Look to the woman.


CORV: Rare! Prettily feign'd, again!

4 AVOC: Stand from about her.

1 AVOC: Give her the air.

3 AVOC [TO MOSCA.]: What can you say?

MOS: My wound, May it please your wisdoms, speaks for me, received In aid of my good patron, when he mist His sought-for father, when that well-taught dame Had her cue given her, to cry out, A rape!

BON: O most laid impudence! Fathers—

3 AVOC: Sir, be silent; You had your hearing free, so must they theirs.

2 AVOC: I do begin to doubt the imposture here.

4 AVOC: This woman has too many moods.

VOLT: Grave fathers, She is a creature of a most profest And prostituted lewdness.

CORV: Most impetuous, Unsatisfied, grave fathers!

VOLT: May her feignings Not take your wisdoms: but this day she baited A stranger, a grave knight, with her loose eyes, And more lascivious kisses. This man saw them Together on the water in a gondola.

MOS: Here is the lady herself, that saw them too; Without; who then had in the open streets Pursued them, but for saving her knight's honour.

1 AVOC: Produce that lady.

2 AVOC: Let her come.


4 AVOC: These things, They strike with wonder!

3 AVOC: I am turn'd a stone.


MOS: Be resolute, madam.

LADY P: Ay, this same is she. [POINTING TO CELIA.] Out, thou chameleon harlot! now thine eyes Vie tears with the hyaena. Dar'st thou look Upon my wronged face?—I cry your pardons, I fear I have forgettingly transgrest Against the dignity of the court—

2 AVOC: No, madam.

LADY P: And been exorbitant—

2 AVOC: You have not, lady.

4 AVOC: These proofs are strong.

LADY P: Surely, I had no purpose To scandalise your honours, or my sex's.

3 AVOC: We do believe it.

LADY P: Surely, you may believe it.

2 AVOC: Madam, we do.

LADY P: Indeed, you may; my breeding Is not so coarse—

1 AVOC: We know it.

LADY P: To offend With pertinacy—

3 AVOC: Lady—

LADY P: Such a presence! No surely.

1 AVOC: We well think it.

LADY P: You may think it.

1 AVOC: Let her o'ercome. What witnesses have you To make good your report?

BON: Our consciences.

CEL: And heaven, that never fails the innocent.

4 AVOC: These are no testimonies.

BON: Not in your courts, Where multitude, and clamour overcomes.

1 AVOC: Nay, then you do wax insolent.


VOLT: Here, here, The testimony comes, that will convince, And put to utter dumbness their bold tongues: See here, grave fathers, here's the ravisher, The rider on men's wives, the great impostor, The grand voluptuary! Do you not think These limbs should affect venery? or these eyes Covet a concubine? pray you mark these hands; Are they not fit to stroke a lady's breasts?— Perhaps he doth dissemble!

BON: So he does.

VOLT: Would you have him tortured?

BON: I would have him proved.

VOLT: Best try him then with goads, or burning irons; Put him to the strappado: I have heard The rack hath cured the gout; 'faith, give it him, And help him of a malady; be courteous. I'll undertake, before these honour'd fathers, He shall have yet as many left diseases, As she has known adulterers, or thou strumpets.— O, my most equal hearers, if these deeds, Acts of this bold and most exorbitant strain, May pass with sufferance; what one citizen But owes the forfeit of his life, yea, fame, To him that dares traduce him? which of you Are safe, my honour'd fathers? I would ask, With leave of your grave fatherhoods, if their plot Have any face or colour like to truth? Or if, unto the dullest nostril here, It smell not rank, and most abhorred slander? I crave your care of this good gentleman, Whose life is much endanger'd by their fable; And as for them, I will conclude with this, That vicious persons, when they're hot and flesh'd In impious acts, their constancy abounds: Damn'd deeds are done with greatest confidence.

1 AVOC: Take them to custody, and sever them.

2 AVOC: 'Tis pity two such prodigies should live.

1 AVOC: Let the old gentleman be return'd with care; [EXEUNT OFFICERS WITH VOLPONE.] I'm sorry our credulity hath wrong'd him.

4 AVOC: These are two creatures!

3 AVOC: I've an earthquake in me.

2 AVOC: Their shame, even in their cradles, fled their faces.

4 AVOC [TO VOLT.]: You have done a worthy service to the state, sir, In their discovery.

1 AVOC: You shall hear, ere night, What punishment the court decrees upon them.


VOLT: We thank your fatherhoods.—How like you it?

MOS: Rare. I'd have your tongue, sir, tipt with gold for this; I'd have you be the heir to the whole city; The earth I'd have want men, ere you want living: They're bound to erect your statue in St. Mark's. Signior Corvino, I would have you go And shew yourself, that you have conquer'd.

CORV: Yes.

MOS: It was much better that you should profess Yourself a cuckold thus, than that the other Should have been prov'd.

CORV: Nay, I consider'd that: Now it is her fault:

MOS: Then it had been yours.

CORV: True; I do doubt this advocate still.

MOS: I'faith, You need not, I dare ease you of that care.

CORV: I trust thee, Mosca.


MOS: As your own soul, sir.

CORB: Mosca!

MOS: Now for your business, sir.

CORB: How! have you business?

MOS: Yes, your's, sir.

CORB: O, none else?

MOS: None else, not I.

CORB: Be careful, then.

MOS: Rest you with both your eyes, sir.

CORB: Dispatch it.

MOS: Instantly.

CORB: And look that all, Whatever, be put in, jewels, plate, moneys, Household stuff, bedding, curtains.

MOS: Curtain-rings, sir. Only the advocate's fee must be deducted.

CORB: I'll pay him now; you'll be too prodigal.

MOS: Sir, I must tender it.

CORB: Two chequines is well?

MOS: No, six, sir.

CORB: 'Tis too much.

MOS: He talk'd a great while; You must consider that, sir.

CORB: Well, there's three—

MOS: I'll give it him.

CORB: Do so, and there's for thee.


MOS [ASIDE.]: Bountiful bones! What horrid strange offence Did he commit 'gainst nature, in his youth, Worthy this age? [TO VOLT.]—You see, sir, how I work Unto your ends; take you no notice.

VOLT: No, I'll leave you.


MOS: All is yours, the devil and all: Good advocate!—Madam, I'll bring you home.

LADY P: No, I'll go see your patron.

MOS: That you shall not: I'll tell you why. My purpose is to urge My patron to reform his Will; and for The zeal you have shewn to-day, whereas before You were but third or fourth, you shall be now Put in the first; which would appear as begg'd, If you were present. Therefore—

LADY P: You shall sway me.


ACT 5. SCENE 5.1



VOLP: Well, I am here, and all this brunt is past. I ne'er was in dislike with my disguise Till this fled moment; here 'twas good, in private; But in your public,—cave whilst I breathe. 'Fore God, my left leg began to have the cramp, And I apprehended straight some power had struck me With a dead palsy: Well! I must be merry, And shake it off. A many of these fears Would put me into some villanous disease, Should they come thick upon me: I'll prevent 'em. Give me a bowl of lusty wine, to fright This humour from my heart. [DRINKS.] Hum, hum, hum! 'Tis almost gone already; I shall conquer. Any device, now, of rare ingenious knavery, That would possess me with a violent laughter, Would make me up again. [DRINKS AGAIN.] So, so, so, so! This heat is life; 'tis blood by this time:—Mosca!


MOS: How now, sir? does the day look clear again? Are we recover'd, and wrought out of error, Into our way, to see our path before us? Is our trade free once more?

VOLP: Exquisite Mosca!

MOS: Was it not carried learnedly?

VOLP: And stoutly: Good wits are greatest in extremities.

MOS: It were a folly beyond thought, to trust Any grand act unto a cowardly spirit: You are not taken with it enough, methinks?

VOLP: O, more than if I had enjoy'd the wench: The pleasure of all woman-kind's not like it.

MOS: Why now you speak, sir. We must here be fix'd; Here we must rest; this is our master-piece; We cannot think to go beyond this.

VOLP: True. Thou hast play'd thy prize, my precious Mosca.

MOS: Nay, sir, To gull the court—

VOLP: And quite divert the torrent Upon the innocent.

MOS: Yes, and to make So rare a music out of discords—

VOLP: Right. That yet to me's the strangest, how thou hast borne it! That these, being so divided 'mongst themselves, Should not scent somewhat, or in me or thee, Or doubt their own side.

MOS: True, they will not see't. Too much light blinds them, I think. Each of them Is so possest and stuft with his own hopes, That any thing unto the contrary, Never so true, or never so apparent, Never so palpable, they will resist it—

VOLP: Like a temptation of the devil.

MOS: Right, sir. Merchants may talk of trade, and your great signiors Of land that yields well; but if Italy Have any glebe more fruitful than these fellows, I am deceiv'd. Did not your advocate rare?

VOLP: O—"My most honour'd fathers, my grave fathers, Under correction of your fatherhoods, What face of truth is here? If these strange deeds May pass, most honour'd fathers"—I had much ado To forbear laughing.

MOS: It seem'd to me, you sweat, sir.

VOLP: In troth, I did a little.

MOS: But confess, sir, Were you not daunted?

VOLP: In good faith, I was A little in a mist, but not dejected; Never, but still my self.

MOS: I think it, sir. Now, so truth help me, I must needs say this, sir, And out of conscience for your advocate: He has taken pains, in faith, sir, and deserv'd, In my poor judgment, I speak it under favour, Not to contrary you, sir, very richly— Well—to be cozen'd.

VOLP: Troth, and I think so too, By that I heard him, in the latter end.

MOS: O, but before, sir: had you heard him first Draw it to certain heads, then aggravate, Then use his vehement figures—I look'd still When he would shift a shirt: and, doing this Out of pure love, no hope of gain—

VOLP: 'Tis right. I cannot answer him, Mosca, as I would, Not yet; but for thy sake, at thy entreaty, I will begin, even now—to vex them all, This very instant.

MOS: Good sir.

VOLP: Call the dwarf And eunuch forth.

MOS: Castrone, Nano!


NANO: Here.

VOLP: Shall we have a jig now?

MOS: What you please, sir.

VOLP: Go, Straight give out about the streets, you two, That I am dead; do it with constancy, Sadly, do you hear? impute it to the grief Of this late slander.


MOS: What do you mean, sir?

VOLP: O, I shall have instantly my Vulture, Crow, Raven, come flying hither, on the news, To peck for carrion, my she-wolfe, and all, Greedy, and full of expectation—

MOS: And then to have it ravish'd from their mouths!

VOLP: 'Tis true. I will have thee put on a gown, And take upon thee, as thou wert mine heir: Shew them a will; Open that chest, and reach Forth one of those that has the blanks; I'll straight Put in thy name.

MOS [GIVES HIM A PAPER.]: It will be rare, sir.

VOLP: Ay, When they ev'n gape, and find themselves deluded—

MOS: Yes.

VOLP: And thou use them scurvily! Dispatch, get on thy gown.

MOS [PUTTING ON A GOWN.]: But, what, sir, if they ask After the body?

VOLP: Say, it was corrupted.

MOS: I'll say it stunk, sir; and was fain to have it Coffin'd up instantly, and sent away.

VOLP: Any thing; what thou wilt. Hold, here's my will. Get thee a cap, a count-book, pen and ink, Papers afore thee; sit as thou wert taking An inventory of parcels: I'll get up Behind the curtain, on a stool, and hearken; Sometime peep over, see how they do look, With what degrees their blood doth leave their faces, O, 'twill afford me a rare meal of laughter!

MOS [PUTTING ON A CAP, AND SETTING OUT THE TABLE, ETC.]: Your advocate will turn stark dull upon it.

VOLP: It will take off his oratory's edge.

MOS: But your clarissimo, old round-back, he Will crump you like a hog-louse, with the touch.

VOLP: And what Corvino?

MOS: O, sir, look for him, To-morrow morning, with a rope and dagger, To visit all the streets; he must run mad. My lady too, that came into the court, To bear false witness for your worship—

VOLP: Yes, And kist me 'fore the fathers; when my face Flow'd all with oils.

MOS: And sweat, sir. Why, your gold Is such another med'cine, it dries up All those offensive savours: it transforms The most deformed, and restores them lovely, As 'twere the strange poetical girdle. Jove Could not invent t' himself a shroud more subtle To pass Acrisius' guards. It is the thing Makes all the world her grace, her youth, her beauty.

VOLP: I think she loves me.

MOS: Who? the lady, sir? She's jealous of you.

VOLP: Dost thou say so?


MOS: Hark, There's some already.

VOLP: Look.

MOS: It is the Vulture: He has the quickest scent.

VOLP: I'll to my place, Thou to thy posture.


MOS: I am set.

VOLP: But, Mosca, Play the artificer now, torture them rarely.


VOLT: How now, my Mosca?

MOS [WRITING.]: "Turkey carpets, nine"—

VOLT: Taking an inventory! that is well.

MOS: "Two suits of bedding, tissue"—

VOLT: Where's the Will? Let me read that the while.


CORB: So, set me down: And get you home.


VOLT: Is he come now, to trouble us!

MOS: "Of cloth of gold, two more"—

CORB: Is it done, Mosca?

MOS: "Of several velvets, eight"—

VOLT: I like his care.

CORB: Dost thou not hear?


CORB: Ha! is the hour come, Mosca?

VOLP [PEEPING OVER THE CURTAIN.]: Ay, now, they muster.

CORV: What does the advocate here, Or this Corbaccio?

CORB: What do these here?


LADY P: Mosca! Is his thread spun?

MOS: "Eight chests of linen"—

VOLP: O, My fine dame Would-be, too!

CORV: Mosca, the Will, That I may shew it these, and rid them hence.

MOS: "Six chests of diaper, four of damask."—There.


CORB: Is that the will?

MOS: "Down-beds, and bolsters"—

VOLP: Rare! Be busy still. Now they begin to flutter: They never think of me. Look, see, see, see! How their swift eyes run over the long deed, Unto the name, and to the legacies, What is bequeath'd them there—

MOS: "Ten suits of hangings"—

VOLP: Ay, in their garters, Mosca. Now their hopes Are at the gasp.

VOLT: Mosca the heir?

CORB: What's that?

VOLP: My advocate is dumb; look to my merchant, He has heard of some strange storm, a ship is lost, He faints; my lady will swoon. Old glazen eyes, He hath not reach'd his despair yet.

CORB [TAKES THE WILL.]: All these Are out of hope: I am sure, the man.

CORV: But, Mosca—

MOS: "Two cabinets."

CORV: Is this in earnest?

MOS: "One Of ebony"—

CORV: Or do you but delude me?

MOS: The other, mother of pearl—I am very busy. Good faith, it is a fortune thrown upon me— "Item, one salt of agate"—not my seeking.

LADY P: Do you hear, sir?

MOS: "A perfum'd box"—'Pray you forbear, You see I'm troubled—"made of an onyx"—

LADY P: How!

MOS: To-morrow or next day, I shall be at leisure To talk with you all.

CORV: Is this my large hope's issue?

LADY P: Sir, I must have a fairer answer.

MOS: Madam! Marry, and shall: 'pray you, fairly quit my house. Nay, raise no tempest with your looks; but hark you, Remember what your ladyship offer'd me, To put you in an heir; go to, think on it: And what you said e'en your best madams did For maintenance, and why not you? Enough. Go home, and use the poor sir Pol, your knight, well, For fear I tell some riddles; go, be melancholy.


VOLP: O, my fine devil!

CORV: Mosca, 'pray you a word.

MOS: Lord! will you not take your dispatch hence yet? Methinks, of all, you should have been the example. Why should you stay here? with what thought? what promise? Hear you; do not you know, I know you an ass, And that you would most fain have been a wittol, If fortune would have let you? that you are A declared cuckold, on good terms? This pearl, You'll say, was yours? right: this diamond? I'll not deny't, but thank you. Much here else? It may be so. Why, think that these good works May help to hide your bad. I'll not betray you; Although you be but extraordinary, And have it only in title, it sufficeth: Go home, be melancholy too, or mad.


VOLP: Rare Mosca! how his villany becomes him!

VOLT: Certain he doth delude all these for me.

CORB: Mosca the heir!

VOLP: O, his four eyes have found it.

CORB: I am cozen'd, cheated, by a parasite slave; Harlot, thou hast gull'd me.

MOS: Yes, sir. Stop your mouth, Or I shall draw the only tooth is left. Are not you he, that filthy covetous wretch, With the three legs, that, here, in hope of prey, Have, any time this three years, snuff'd about, With your most grovelling nose; and would have hired Me to the poisoning of my patron, sir? Are not you he that have to-day in court Profess'd the disinheriting of your son? Perjured yourself? Go home, and die, and stink. If you but croak a syllable, all comes out: Away, and call your porters! [exit corbaccio.] Go, go, stink.

VOLP: Excellent varlet!

VOLT: Now, my faithful Mosca, I find thy constancy.

MOS: Sir!

VOLT: Sincere.

MOS [WRITING.]: "A table Of porphyry"—I marle, you'll be thus troublesome.

VOLP: Nay, leave off now, they are gone.

MOS: Why? who are you? What! who did send for you? O, cry you mercy, Reverend sir! Good faith, I am grieved for you, That any chance of mine should thus defeat Your (I must needs say) most deserving travails: But I protest, sir, it was cast upon me, And I could almost wish to be without it, But that the will o' the dead must be observ'd, Marry, my joy is that you need it not, You have a gift, sir, (thank your education,) Will never let you want, while there are men, And malice, to breed causes. Would I had But half the like, for all my fortune, sir! If I have any suits, as I do hope, Things being so easy and direct, I shall not, I will make bold with your obstreperous aid, Conceive me,—for your fee, sir. In mean time, You that have so much law, I know have the conscience, Not to be covetous of what is mine. Good sir, I thank you for my plate; 'twill help To set up a young man. Good faith, you look As you were costive; best go home and purge, sir.


VOLP [COMES FROM BEHIND THE CURTAIN.]: Bid him eat lettuce well. My witty mischief, Let me embrace thee. O that I could now Transform thee to a Venus!—Mosca, go, Straight take my habit of clarissimo, And walk the streets; be seen, torment them more: We must pursue, as well as plot. Who would Have lost this feast?

MOS: I doubt it will lose them.

VOLP: O, my recovery shall recover all. That I could now but think on some disguise To meet them in, and ask them questions: How I would vex them still at every turn!

MOS: Sir, I can fit you.

VOLP: Canst thou?

MOS: Yes, I know One o' the commandadori, sir, so like you; Him will I straight make drunk, and bring you his habit.

VOLP: A rare disguise, and answering thy brain! O, I will be a sharp disease unto them.

MOS: Sir, you must look for curses—

VOLP: Till they burst; The Fox fares ever best when he is curst.


SCENE 5.2.



PER: Am I enough disguised?

1 MER: I warrant you.

PER: All my ambition is to fright him only.

2 MER: If you could ship him away, 'twere excellent.

3 MER: To Zant, or to Aleppo?

PER: Yes, and have his Adventures put i' the Book of Voyages. And his gull'd story register'd for truth. Well, gentlemen, when I am in a while, And that you think us warm in our discourse, Know your approaches.

1 MER: Trust it to our care.



PER: Save you, fair lady! Is sir Pol within?

WOM: I do not know, sir.

PER: Pray you say unto him, Here is a merchant, upon earnest business, Desires to speak with him.

WOM: I will see, sir. [EXIT.]

PER: Pray you.— I see the family is all female here.


WOM: He says, sir, he has weighty affairs of state, That now require him whole; some other time You may possess him.

PER: Pray you say again, If those require him whole, these will exact him, Whereof I bring him tidings. [EXIT WOMAN.] —What might be His grave affair of state now! how to make Bolognian sausages here in Venice, sparing One o' the ingredients?


WOM: Sir, he says, he knows By your word "tidings," that you are no statesman, And therefore wills you stay.

PER: Sweet, pray you return him; I have not read so many proclamations, And studied them for words, as he has done— But—here he deigns to come.



SIR P: Sir, I must crave Your courteous pardon. There hath chanced to-day, Unkind disaster 'twixt my lady and me; And I was penning my apology, To give her satisfaction, as you came now.

PER: Sir, I am grieved I bring you worse disaster: The gentleman you met at the port to-day, That told you, he was newly arrived—

SIR P: Ay, was A fugitive punk?

PER: No, sir, a spy set on you; And he has made relation to the senate, That you profest to him to have a plot To sell the State of Venice to the Turk.

SIR P: O me!

PER: For which, warrants are sign'd by this time, To apprehend you, and to search your study For papers—

SIR P: Alas, sir, I have none, but notes Drawn out of play-books—

PER: All the better, sir.

SIR P: And some essays. What shall I do?

PER: Sir, best Convey yourself into a sugar-chest; Or, if you could lie round, a frail were rare: And I could send you aboard.

SIR P: Sir, I but talk'd so, For discourse sake merely.


PER: Hark! they are there.

SIR P: I am a wretch, a wretch!

PER: What will you do, sir? Have you ne'er a currant-butt to leap into? They'll put you to the rack, you must be sudden.

SIR P: Sir, I have an ingine—

3 MER [WITHIN.]: Sir Politick Would-be?

2 MER [WITHIN.]: Where is he?

SIR P: That I have thought upon before time.

PER: What is it?

SIR P: I shall ne'er endure the torture. Marry, it is, sir, of a tortoise-shell, Fitted for these extremities: pray you, sir, help me. Here I've a place, sir, to put back my legs, Please you to lay it on, sir, [LIES DOWN WHILE PEREGRINE PLACES THE SHELL UPON HIM.] —with this cap, And my black gloves. I'll lie, sir, like a tortoise, 'Till they are gone.

PER: And call you this an ingine?

SIR P: Mine own device—Good sir, bid my wife's women To burn my papers.



1 MER: Where is he hid?

3 MER: We must, And will sure find him.

2 MER: Which is his study?


1 MER: What Are you, sir?

PER: I am a merchant, that came here To look upon this tortoise.

3 MER: How!

1 MER: St. Mark! What beast is this!

PER: It is a fish.

2 MER: Come out here!

PER: Nay, you may strike him, sir, and tread upon him; He'll bear a cart.

1 MER: What, to run over him?

PER: Yes, sir.

3 MER: Let's jump upon him.

2 MER: Can he not go?

PER: He creeps, sir.

1 MER: Let's see him creep.

PER: No, good sir, you will hurt him.

2 MER: Heart, I will see him creep, or prick his guts.

3 MER: Come out here!

PER: Pray you, sir! [ASIDE TO SIR POLITICK.] —Creep a little.

1 MER: Forth.

2 MER: Yet farther.

PER: Good sir!—Creep.


3 MER: Ods so, he has garters!

1 MER: Ay, and gloves!

2 MER: Is this Your fearful tortoise?

PER [DISCOVERING HIMSELF.]: Now, sir Pol, we are even; For your next project I shall be prepared: I am sorry for the funeral of your notes, sir.

1 MER: 'Twere a rare motion to be seen in Fleet-street.

2 MER: Ay, in the Term.

1 MER: Or Smithfield, in the fair.

3 MER: Methinks 'tis but a melancholy sight.

PER: Farewell, most politic tortoise!



SIR P: Where's my lady? Knows she of this?

WOM: I know not, sir.

SIR P: Enquire.— O, I shall be the fable of all feasts, The freight of the gazetti; ship-boy's tale; And, which is worst, even talk for ordinaries.

WOM: My lady's come most melancholy home, And says, sir, she will straight to sea, for physic.

SIR P: And I to shun this place and clime for ever; Creeping with house on back: and think it well, To shrink my poor head in my politic shell.


SCENE 5.3.



VOLP: Am I then like him?

MOS: O, sir, you are he; No man can sever you.

VOLP: Good.

MOS: But what am I?

VOLP: 'Fore heaven, a brave clarissimo, thou becom'st it! Pity thou wert not born one.

MOS [ASIDE.]: If I hold My made one, 'twill be well.

VOLP: I'll go and see What news first at the court.


MOS: Do so. My Fox Is out of his hole, and ere he shall re-enter, I'll make him languish in his borrow'd case, Except he come to composition with me.— Androgyno, Castrone, Nano!


ALL: Here.

MOS: Go, recreate yourselves abroad; go sport.— [EXEUNT.] So, now I have the keys, and am possest. Since he will needs be dead afore his time, I'll bury him, or gain by him: I am his heir, And so will keep me, till he share at least. To cozen him of all, were but a cheat Well placed; no man would construe it a sin: Let his sport pay for it, this is call'd the Fox-trap.





CORB: They say, the court is set.

CORV: We must maintain Our first tale good, for both our reputations.

CORB: Why, mine's no tale: my son would there have kill'd me.

CORV: That's true, I had forgot:— [ASIDE.]—mine is, I am sure. But for your Will, sir.

CORB: Ay, I'll come upon him For that hereafter; now his patron's dead.


VOLP: Signior Corvino! and Corbaccio! sir, Much joy unto you.

CORV: Of what?

VOLP: The sudden good, Dropt down upon you—

CORB: Where?

VOLP: And, none knows how, From old Volpone, sir.

CORB: Out, arrant knave!

VOLP: Let not your too much wealth, sir, make you furious.

CORB: Away, thou varlet!

VOLP: Why, sir?

CORB: Dost thou mock me?

VOLP: You mock the world, sir; did you not change Wills?

CORB: Out, harlot!

VOLP: O! belike you are the man, Signior Corvino? 'faith, you carry it well; You grow not mad withal: I love your spirit: You are not over-leaven'd with your fortune. You should have some would swell now, like a wine-fat, With such an autumn—Did he give you all, sir?

CORB: Avoid, you rascal!

VOLP: Troth, your wife has shewn Herself a very woman; but you are well, You need not care, you have a good estate, To bear it out sir, better by this chance: Except Corbaccio have a share.

CORV: Hence, varlet.

VOLP: You will not be acknown, sir; why, 'tis wise. Thus do all gamesters, at all games, dissemble: No man will seem to win. [exeunt corvino and corbaccio.] —Here comes my vulture, Heaving his beak up in the air, and snuffing.


VOLT: Outstript thus, by a parasite! a slave, Would run on errands, and make legs for crumbs? Well, what I'll do—

VOLP: The court stays for your worship. I e'en rejoice, sir, at your worship's happiness, And that it fell into so learned hands, That understand the fingering—

VOLT: What do you mean?

VOLP: I mean to be a suitor to your worship, For the small tenement, out of reparations, That, to the end of your long row of houses, By the Piscaria: it was, in Volpone's time, Your predecessor, ere he grew diseased, A handsome, pretty, custom'd bawdy-house, As any was in Venice, none dispraised; But fell with him; his body and that house Decay'd, together.

VOLT: Come sir, leave your prating.

VOLP: Why, if your worship give me but your hand, That I may have the refusal, I have done. 'Tis a mere toy to you, sir; candle-rents; As your learn'd worship knows—

VOLT: What do I know?

VOLP: Marry, no end of your wealth, sir, God decrease it!

VOLT: Mistaking knave! what, mockst thou my misfortune?


VOLP: His blessing on your heart, sir; would 'twere more!— Now to my first again, at the next corner.


SCENE 5.5.



CORB: See, in our habit! see the impudent varlet!

CORV: That I could shoot mine eyes at him like gun-stones.


VOLP: But is this true, sir, of the parasite?

CORB: Again, to afflict us! monster!

VOLP: In good faith, sir, I'm heartily grieved, a beard of your grave length Should be so over-reach'd. I never brook'd That parasite's hair; methought his nose should cozen: There still was somewhat in his look, did promise The bane of a clarissimo.

CORB: Knave—

VOLP: Methinks Yet you, that are so traded in the world, A witty merchant, the fine bird, Corvino, That have such moral emblems on your name, Should not have sung your shame; and dropt your cheese, To let the Fox laugh at your emptiness.

CORV: Sirrah, you think the privilege of the place, And your red saucy cap, that seems to me Nail'd to your jolt-head with those two chequines, Can warrant your abuses; come you hither: You shall perceive, sir, I dare beat you; approach.

VOLP: No haste, sir, I do know your valour well, Since you durst publish what you are, sir.

CORV: Tarry, I'd speak with you.

VOLP: Sir, sir, another time—

CORV: Nay, now.

VOLP: O lord, sir! I were a wise man, Would stand the fury of a distracted cuckold.


CORB: What, come again!

VOLP: Upon 'em, Mosca; save me.

CORB: The air's infected where he breathes.

CORV: Let's fly him.


VOLP: Excellent basilisk! turn upon the vulture.


VOLT: Well, flesh-fly, it is summer with you now; Your winter will come on.

MOS: Good advocate, Prithee not rail, nor threaten out of place thus; Thou'lt make a solecism, as madam says. Get you a biggin more, your brain breaks loose.


VOLT: Well, sir.

VOLP: Would you have me beat the insolent slave, Throw dirt upon his first good clothes?

VOLT: This same Is doubtless some familiar.

VOLP: Sir, the court, In troth, stays for you. I am mad, a mule That never read Justinian, should get up, And ride an advocate. Had you no quirk To avoid gullage, sir, by such a creature? I hope you do but jest; he has not done it: 'Tis but confederacy, to blind the rest. You are the heir.

VOLT: A strange, officious, Troublesome knave! thou dost torment me.

VOLP: I know— It cannot be, sir, that you should be cozen'd; 'Tis not within the wit of man to do it; You are so wise, so prudent; and 'tis fit That wealth and wisdom still should go together.


SCENE 5.6.



1 AVOC: Are all the parties here?

NOT: All but the advocate.

2 AVOC: And here he comes.


1 AVOC: Then bring them forth to sentence.

VOLT: O, my most honour'd fathers, let your mercy Once win upon your justice, to forgive— I am distracted—

VOLP [ASIDE.]: What will he do now?

VOLT: O, I know not which to address myself to first; Whether your fatherhoods, or these innocents—

CORV [ASIDE.]: Will he betray himself?

VOLT: Whom equally I have abused, out of most covetous ends—

CORV: The man is mad!

CORB: What's that?

CORV: He is possest.

VOLT: For which, now struck in conscience, here, I prostate Myself at your offended feet, for pardon.

1, 2 AVOC: Arise.

CEL: O heaven, how just thou art!

VOLP [ASIDE.]: I am caught In mine own noose—

CORV [TO CORBACCIO.]: Be constant, sir: nought now Can help, but impudence.

1 AVOC: Speak forward.

COM: Silence!

VOLT: It is not passion in me, reverend fathers, But only conscience, conscience, my good sires, That makes me now tell trueth. That parasite, That knave, hath been the instrument of all.

1 AVOC: Where is that knave? fetch him.

VOLP: I go.


CORV: Grave fathers, This man's distracted; he confest it now: For, hoping to be old Volpone's heir, Who now is dead—

3 AVOC: How?

2 AVOC: Is Volpone dead?

CORV: Dead since, grave fathers—

BON: O sure vengeance!

1 AVOC: Stay, Then he was no deceiver?

VOLT: O no, none: The parasite, grave fathers.

CORV: He does speak Out of mere envy, 'cause the servant's made The thing he gaped for: please your fatherhoods, This is the truth, though I'll not justify The other, but he may be some-deal faulty.

VOLT: Ay, to your hopes, as well as mine, Corvino: But I'll use modesty. Pleaseth your wisdoms, To view these certain notes, and but confer them; As I hope favour, they shall speak clear truth.

CORV: The devil has enter'd him!

BON: Or bides in you.

4 AVOC: We have done ill, by a public officer, To send for him, if he be heir.

2 AVOC: For whom?

4 AVOC: Him that they call the parasite.

3 AVOC: 'Tis true, He is a man of great estate, now left.

4 AVOC: Go you, and learn his name, and say, the court Entreats his presence here, but to the clearing Of some few doubts.


2 AVOC: This same's a labyrinth!

1 AVOC: Stand you unto your first report?

CORV: My state, My life, my fame—

BON: Where is it?

CORV: Are at the stake

1 AVOC: Is yours so too?

CORB: The advocate's a knave, And has a forked tongue—

2 AVOC: Speak to the point.

CORB: So is the parasite too.

1 AVOC: This is confusion.

VOLT: I do beseech your fatherhoods, read but those— [GIVING THEM THE PAPERS.]

CORV: And credit nothing the false spirit hath writ: It cannot be, but he's possest grave fathers.


SCENE 5.7.



VOLP: To make a snare for mine own neck! and run My head into it, wilfully! with laughter! When I had newly 'scaped, was free, and clear, Out of mere wantonness! O, the dull devil Was in this brain of mine, when I devised it, And Mosca gave it second; he must now Help to sear up this vein, or we bleed dead.— [ENTER NANO, ANDROGYNO, AND CASTRONE.] How now! who let you loose? whither go you now? What, to buy gingerbread? or to drown kitlings?

NAN: Sir, master Mosca call'd us out of doors, And bid us all go play, and took the keys.

AND: Yes.

VOLP: Did master Mosca take the keys? why so! I'm farther in. These are my fine conceits! I must be merry, with a mischief to me! What a vile wretch was I, that could not bear My fortune soberly? I must have my crotchets, And my conundrums! Well, go you, and seek him: His meaning may be truer than my fear. Bid him, he straight come to me to the court; Thither will I, and, if't be possible, Unscrew my advocate, upon new hopes: When I provoked him, then I lost myself.


SCENE 5.8.



1 AVOC: These things can ne'er be reconciled. He, here, [SHEWING THE PAPERS.] Professeth, that the gentleman was wrong'd, And that the gentlewoman was brought thither, Forced by her husband, and there left.

VOLT: Most true.

CEL: How ready is heaven to those that pray!

1 AVOC: But that Volpone would have ravish'd her, he holds Utterly false; knowing his impotence.

CORV: Grave fathers, he's possest; again, I say, Possest: nay, if there be possession, and Obsession, he has both.

3 AVOC: Here comes our officer.


VOLP: The parasite will straight be here, grave fathers.

4 AVOC: You might invent some other name, sir varlet.

3 AVOC: Did not the notary meet him?

VOLP: Not that I know.

4 AVOC: His coming will clear all.

2 AVOC: Yet, it is misty.

VOLT: May't please your fatherhoods—

VOLP [whispers volt.]: Sir, the parasite Will'd me to tell you, that his master lives; That you are still the man; your hopes the same; And this was only a jest—

VOLT: How?

VOLP: Sir, to try If you were firm, and how you stood affected.

VOLT: Art sure he lives?

VOLP: Do I live, sir?

VOLT: O me! I was too violent.

VOLP: Sir, you may redeem it, They said, you were possest; fall down, and seem so: I'll help to make it good. [voltore falls.] —God bless the man!— Stop your wind hard, and swell: See, see, see, see! He vomits crooked pins! his eyes are set, Like a dead hare's hung in a poulter's shop! His mouth's running away! Do you see, signior? Now it is in his belly!

CORV: Ay, the devil!

VOLP: Now in his throat.

CORV: Ay, I perceive it plain.

VOLP: 'Twill out, 'twill out! stand clear. See, where it flies, In shape of a blue toad, with a bat's wings! Do you not see it, sir?

CORB: What? I think I do.

CORV: 'Tis too manifest.

VOLP: Look! he comes to himself!

VOLT: Where am I?

VOLP: Take good heart, the worst is past, sir. You are dispossest.

1 AVOC: What accident is this!

2 AVOC: Sudden, and full of wonder!

3 AVOC: If he were Possest, as it appears, all this is nothing.

CORV: He has been often subject to these fits.

1 AVOC: Shew him that writing:—do you know it, sir?

VOLP [WHISPERS VOLT.]: Deny it, sir, forswear it; know it not.

VOLT: Yes, I do know it well, it is my hand; But all that it contains is false.

BON: O practice!

2 AVOC: What maze is this!

1 AVOC: Is he not guilty then, Whom you there name the parasite?

VOLT: Grave fathers, No more than his good patron, old Volpone.

4 AVOC: Why, he is dead.

VOLT: O no, my honour'd fathers, He lives—

1 AVOC: How! lives?

VOLT: Lives.

2 AVOC: This is subtler yet!

3 AVOC: You said he was dead.

VOLT: Never.

3 AVOC: You said so.

CORV: I heard so.

4 AVOC: Here comes the gentleman; make him way.


3 AVOC: A stool.

4 AVOC [ASIDE.]: A proper man; and, were Volpone dead, A fit match for my daughter.

3 AVOC: Give him way.

VOLP [ASIDE TO MOSCA.]: Mosca, I was almost lost, the advocate Had betrayed all; but now it is recovered; All's on the hinge again—Say, I am living.

MOS: What busy knave is this!—Most reverend fathers, I sooner had attended your grave pleasures, But that my order for the funeral Of my dear patron, did require me—

VOLP [ASIDE.]: Mosca!

MOS: Whom I intend to bury like a gentleman.

VOLP [ASIDE.]: Ay, quick, and cozen me of all.

2 AVOC: Still stranger! More intricate!

1 AVOC: And come about again!

4 AVOC [ASIDE.]: It is a match, my daughter is bestow'd.

MOS [ASIDE TO VOLP.]: Will you give me half?

VOLP: First, I'll be hang'd.

MOS: I know, Your voice is good, cry not so loud.

1 AVOC: Demand The advocate.—Sir, did not you affirm, Volpone was alive?

VOLP: Yes, and he is; This gentleman told me so. [ASIDE TO VOLP.] —Thou shalt have half.—

MOS: Whose drunkard is this same? speak, some that know him: I never saw his face. [ASIDE TO VOLP.] —I cannot now Afford it you so cheap.


1 AVOC: What say you?

VOLT: The officer told me.

VOLP: I did, grave fathers, And will maintain he lives, with mine own life. And that this creature [POINTS TO MOSCA.] told me. [ASIDE.] —I was born, With all good stars my enemies.

MOS: Most grave fathers, If such an insolence as this must pass Upon me, I am silent: 'twas not this For which you sent, I hope.

2 AVOC: Take him away.

VOLP: Mosca!

3 AVOC: Let him be whipt.

VOLP: Wilt thou betray me? Cozen me?

3 AVOC: And taught to bear himself Toward a person of his rank.

4 AVOC: Away.


MOS: I humbly thank your fatherhoods.

VOLP [ASIDE.]: Soft, soft: Whipt! And lose all that I have! If I confess, It cannot be much more.

4 AVOC: Sir, are you married?

VOLP: They will be allied anon; I must be resolute: The Fox shall here uncase. [THROWS OFF HIS DISGUISE.]

MOS: Patron!

VOLP: Nay, now, My ruins shall not come alone; your match I'll hinder sure: my substance shall not glue you, Nor screw you into a family.

MOS: Why, patron!

VOLP: I am Volpone, and this is my knave; [POINTING TO MOSCA.] This [TO VOLT.], his own knave; This [TO CORB.], avarice's fool; This [TO CORV.], a chimera of wittol, fool, and knave: And, reverend fathers, since we all can hope Nought but a sentence, let's not now dispair it. You hear me brief.

CORV: May it please your fatherhoods—

COM: Silence.

1 AVOC: The knot is now undone by miracle.

2 AVOC: Nothing can be more clear.

3 AVOC: Or can more prove These innocent.

1 AVOC: Give them their liberty.

BON: Heaven could not long let such gross crimes be hid.

2 AVOC: If this be held the high-way to get riches, May I be poor!

3 AVOC: This is not the gain, but torment.

1 AVOC: These possess wealth, as sick men possess fevers, Which trulier may be said to possess them.

2 AVOC: Disrobe that parasite.

CORV, MOS: Most honour'd fathers!—

1 AVOC: Can you plead aught to stay the course of justice? If you can, speak.

CORV, VOLT: We beg favour,

CEL: And mercy.

1 AVOC: You hurt your innocence, suing for the guilty. Stand forth; and first the parasite: You appear T'have been the chiefest minister, if not plotter, In all these lewd impostures; and now, lastly, Have with your impudence abused the court, And habit of a gentleman of Venice, Being a fellow of no birth or blood: For which our sentence is, first, thou be whipt; Then live perpetual prisoner in our gallies.

VOLT: I thank you for him.

MOS: Bane to thy wolvish nature!

1 AVOC: Deliver him to the saffi. [MOSCA IS CARRIED OUT.] —Thou, Volpone, By blood and rank a gentleman, canst not fall Under like censure; but our judgment on thee Is, that thy substance all be straight confiscate To the hospital of the Incurabili: And, since the most was gotten by imposture, By feigning lame, gout, palsy, and such diseases, Thou art to lie in prison, cramp'd with irons, Till thou be'st sick, and lame indeed.—Remove him.


VOLP: This is call'd mortifying of a Fox.

1 AVOC: Thou, Voltore, to take away the scandal Thou hast given all worthy men of thy profession, Art banish'd from their fellowship, and our state. Corbaccio!—bring him near—We here possess Thy son of all thy state, and confine thee To the monastery of San Spirito; Where, since thou knewest not how to live well here, Thou shalt be learn'd to die well.

CORB: Ah! what said he?

AND: You shall know anon, sir.

1 AVOC: Thou, Corvino, shalt Be straight embark'd from thine own house, and row'd Round about Venice, through the grand canale, Wearing a cap, with fair long asses' ears, Instead of horns; and so to mount, a paper Pinn'd on thy breast, to the Berlina—

CORV: Yes, And have mine eyes beat out with stinking fish, Bruised fruit and rotten eggs—'Tis well. I am glad I shall not see my shame yet.

1 AVOC: And to expiate Thy wrongs done to thy wife, thou art to send her Home to her father, with her dowry trebled: And these are all your judgments.

ALL: Honour'd fathers.—

1 AVOC: Which may not be revoked. Now you begin, When crimes are done, and past, and to be punish'd, To think what your crimes are: away with them. Let all that see these vices thus rewarded, Take heart and love to study 'em! Mischiefs feed Like beasts, till they be fat, and then they bleed.



VOLPONE: The seasoning of a play, is the applause. Now, though the Fox be punish'd by the laws, He yet doth hope, there is no suffering due, For any fact which he hath done 'gainst you; If there be, censure him; here he doubtful stands: If not, fare jovially, and clap your hands.



ABATE, cast down, subdue.

ABHORRING, repugnant (to), at variance.

ABJECT, base, degraded thing, outcast.

ABRASE, smooth, blank.

ABSOLUTE(LY), faultless(ly).

ABSTRACTED, abstract, abstruse.

ABUSE, deceive, insult, dishonour, make ill use of.

ACATER, caterer.

ACATES, cates.

ACCEPTIVE, willing, ready to accept, receive.

ACCOMMODATE, fit, befitting. (The word was a fashionable one and used on all occasions. See "Henry IV.," pt. 2, iii. 4).

ACCOST, draw near, approach.

ACKNOWN, confessedly acquainted with.

ACME, full maturity.

ADALANTADO, lord deputy or governor of a Spanish province.

ADJECTION, addition.

ADMIRATION, astonishment.

ADMIRE, wonder, wonder at.

ADROP, philosopher's stone, or substance from which obtained.

ADSCRIVE, subscribe.

ADULTERATE, spurious, counterfeit.

ADVANCE, lift.

ADVERTISE, inform, give intelligence.

ADVERTISED, "be—," be it known to you.

ADVERTISEMENT, intelligence.

ADVISE, consider, bethink oneself, deliberate.

ADVISED, informed, aware; "are you—?" have you found that out?

AFFECT, love, like; aim at; move.

AFFECTED, disposed; beloved.

AFFECTIONATE, obstinate; prejudiced.

AFFECTS, affections.

AFFRONT, "give the—," face.

AFFY, have confidence in; betroth.

AFTER, after the manner of.

AGAIN, AGAINST, in anticipation of.

AGGRAVATE, increase, magnify, enlarge upon.

AGNOMINATION. See Paranomasie.

AIERY, nest, brood.

AIM, guess.

ALL HID, children's cry at hide-and-seek.

ALL-TO, completely, entirely ("all-to-be-laden").

ALLOWANCE, approbation, recognition.

ALMA-CANTARAS (astronomy), parallels of altitude.

ALMAIN, name of a dance.

ALMUTEN, planet of chief influence in the horoscope.

ALONE, unequalled, without peer.

ALUDELS, subliming pots.

AMAZED, confused, perplexed.

AMBER, AMBRE, ambergris.

AMBREE, MARY, a woman noted for her valour at the siege of Ghent, 1458.

AMES-ACE, lowest throw at dice.

AMPHIBOLIES, ambiguities.

AMUSED, bewildered, amazed.

AN, if.

ANATOMY, skeleton, or dissected body.

ANDIRONS, fire-dogs.

ANGEL, gold coin worth 10 shillings, stamped with the figure of the archangel Michael.

ANNESH CLEARE, spring known as Agnes le Clare.

ANSWER, return hit in fencing.

ANTIC, ANTIQUE, clown, buffoon.

ANTIC, like a buffoon.

ANTIPERISTASIS, an opposition which enhances the quality it opposes.

APOZEM, decoction.

APPERIL, peril.


APPLY, attach.

APPREHEND, take into custody.

APPREHENSIVE, quick of perception; able to perceive and appreciate.

APPROVE, prove, confirm.

APT, suit, adapt; train, prepare; dispose, incline.

APT(LY), suitable(y), opportune(ly).

APTITUDE, suitableness.

ARBOR, "make the—," cut up the game (Gifford).

ARCHES, Court of Arches.

ARCHIE, Archibald Armstrong, jester to James I. and Charles I.

ARGAILE, argol, crust or sediment in wine casks.

ARGENT-VIVE, quicksilver.

ARGUMENT, plot of a drama; theme, subject; matter in question; token, proof.

ARRIDE, please.

ARSEDINE, mixture of copper and zinc, used as an imitation of gold-leaf.

ARTHUR, PRINCE, reference to an archery show by a society who assumed arms, etc., of Arthur's knights.

ARTICLE, item.


ASCENSION, evaporation, distillation.

ASPIRE, try to reach, obtain, long for.

ASSALTO (Italian), assault.

ASSAY, draw a knife along the belly of the deer, a ceremony of the hunting-field.

ASSOIL, solve.

ASSURE, secure possession or reversion of.

ATHANOR, a digesting furnace, calculated to keep up a constant heat.

ATONE, reconcile.

ATTACH, attack, seize.

AUDACIOUS, having spirit and confidence.

AUTHENTIC(AL), of authority, authorised, trustworthy, genuine.

AVISEMENT, reflection, consideration.

AVOID, begone! get rid of.

AWAY WITH, endure.

AZOCH, Mercurius Philosophorum.

BABION, baboon.

BABY, doll.

BACK-SIDE, back premises.

BAFFLE, treat with contempt.

BAGATINE, Italian coin, worth about the third of a farthing.

BAIARD, horse of magic powers known to old romance.

BALDRICK, belt worn across the breast to support bugle, etc.

BALE (of dice), pair.

BALK, overlook, pass by, avoid.

BALLACE, ballast.

BALLOO, game at ball.

BALNEUM (BAIN MARIE), a vessel for holding hot water in which other vessels are stood for heating.

BANBURY, "brother of—," Puritan.

BANDOG, dog tied or chained up.

BANE, woe, ruin.

BANQUET, a light repast; dessert.

BARB, to clip gold.

BARBEL, fresh-water fish.

BARE, meer; bareheaded; it was "a particular mark of state and grandeur for the coachman to be uncovered" (Gifford).

BARLEY-BREAK, game somewhat similar to base.

BASE, game of prisoner's base.

BASES, richly embroidered skirt reaching to the knees, or lower.

BASILISK, fabulous reptile, believed to slay with its eye.

BASKET, used for the broken provision collected for prisoners.

BASON, basons, etc., were beaten by the attendant mob when bad characters were "carted."

BATE, be reduced; abate, reduce.

BATOON, baton, stick.

BATTEN, feed, grow fat.

BAWSON, badger.

BEADSMAN, prayer-man, one engaged to pray for another.

BEAGLE, small hound; fig. spy.

BEAR IN HAND, keep in suspense, deceive with false hopes.

BEARWARD, bear leader.

BEDPHERE. See Phere.

BEDSTAFF, (?) wooden pin in the side of the bedstead for supporting the bedclothes (Johnson); one of the sticks or "laths"; a stick used in making a bed.

BEETLE, heavy mallet.

BEG, "I'd—him," the custody of minors and idiots was begged for; likewise property fallen forfeit to the Crown ("your house had been begged").

BELL-MAN, night watchman.

BENJAMIN, an aromatic gum.

BERLINA, pillory.

BESCUMBER, defile.

BESLAVE, beslabber.

BESOGNO, beggar.

BESPAWLE, bespatter.

BETHLEHEM GABOR, Transylvanian hero, proclaimed King of Hungary.

BEVER, drinking.

BEVIS, SIR, knight of romance whose horse was equally celebrated.

BEWRAY, reveal, make known.

BEZANT, heraldic term: small gold circle.

BEZOAR'S STONE, a remedy known by this name was a supposed antidote to poison.

BID-STAND, highwayman.

BIGGIN, cap, similar to that worn by the Beguines; nightcap.

BILIVE (belive), with haste.

BILK, nothing, empty talk.

BILL, kind of pike.

BILLET, wood cut for fuel, stick.

BIRDING, thieving.

BLACK SANCTUS, burlesque hymn, any unholy riot.

BLANK, originally a small French coin.

BLANK, white.

BLANKET, toss in a blanket.

BLAZE, outburst of violence.

BLAZE, (her.) blazon; publish abroad.

BLAZON, armorial bearings; fig. all that pertains to good birth and breeding.

BLIN, "withouten—," without ceasing.

BLOW, puff up.

BLUE, colour of servants' livery, hence "—order," "—waiters."

BLUSHET, blushing one.

BOB, jest, taunt.

BOB, beat, thump.

BODGE, measure.

BODKIN, dagger, or other short, pointed weapon; long pin with which the women fastened up their hair.

BOLT, roll (of material).

BOLT, dislodge, rout out; sift (boulting-tub).

BOLT'S-HEAD, long, straight-necked vessel for distillation.

BOMBARD SLOPS, padded, puffed-out breeches.

BONA ROBA, "good, wholesome, plum-cheeked wench" (Johnson) —not always used in compliment.

BONNY-CLABBER, sour butter-milk.

BOOKHOLDER, prompter.

BOOT, "to—," into the bargain; "no—," of no avail.

BORACHIO, bottle made of skin.

BORDELLO, brothel.

BORNE IT, conducted, carried it through.

BOTTLE (of hay), bundle, truss.

BOTTOM, skein or ball of thread; vessel.

BOURD, jest.

BOVOLI, snails or cockles dressed in the Italian manner (Gifford).

BOW-POT, flower vase or pot.

BOYS, "terrible—," "angry—," roystering young bucks. (See Nares).


BRACH, bitch.

BRADAMANTE, a heroine in "Orlando Furioso."

BRADLEY, ARTHUR OF, a lively character commemorated in ballads.

BRAKE, frame for confining a horse's feet while being shod, or strong curb or bridle; trap.

BRANCHED, with "detached sleeve ornaments, projecting from the shoulders of the gown" (Gifford).

BRANDISH, flourish of weapon.

BRASH, brace.

BRAVE, bravado, braggart speech.

BRAVE (adv.), gaily, finely (apparelled).

BRAVERIES, gallants.

BRAVERY, extravagant gaiety of apparel.

BRAVO, bravado, swaggerer.

BRAZEN-HEAD, speaking head made by Roger Bacon.

BREATHE, pause for relaxation; exercise.

BREATH UPON, speak dispraisingly of.

BREND, burn.

BRIDE-ALE, wedding feast.

BRIEF, abstract; (mus.) breve.

BRISK, smartly dressed.

BRIZE, breese, gadfly.

BROAD-SEAL, state seal.

BROCK, badger (term of contempt).

BROKE, transact business as a broker.

BROOK, endure, put up with.

BROUGHTON, HUGH, an English divine and Hebrew scholar.

BRUIT, rumour.

BUCK, wash.

BUCKLE, bend.

BUFF, leather made of buffalo skin, used for military and serjeants' coats, etc.

BUFO, black tincture.

BUGLE, long-shaped bead.

BULLED, (?) bolled, swelled.

BULLIONS, trunk hose.

BULLY, term of familiar endearment.

BUNGY, Friar Bungay, who had a familiar in the shape of a dog.

BURDEN, refrain, chorus.

BURGONET, closely-fitting helmet with visor.

BURGULLION, braggadocio.

BURN, mark wooden measures ("—ing of cans").

BURROUGH, pledge, security.

BUSKIN, half-boot, foot gear reaching high up the leg.

BUTT-SHAFT, barbless arrow for shooting at butts.

BUTTER, NATHANIEL ("Staple of News"), a compiler of general news. (See Cunningham).

BUTTERY-HATCH, half-door shutting off the buttery, where provisions and liquors were stored.

BUY, "he bought me," formerly the guardianship of wards could be bought.

BUZ, exclamation to enjoin silence.

BUZZARD, simpleton.

BY AND BY, at once.

BY(E), "on the _," incidentally, as of minor or secondary importance; at the side.

BY-CHOP, by-blow, bastard.

CADUCEUS, Mercury's wand.

CALIVER, light kind of musket.

CALLET, woman of ill repute.

CALLOT, coif worn on the wigs of our judges or serjeants-at-law (Gifford).

CALVERED, crimped, or sliced and pickled. (See Nares).

CAMOUCCIO, wretch, knave.

CAMUSED, flat.

CAN, knows.

CANDLE-RENT, rent from house property.

CANDLE-WASTER, one who studies late.

CANTER, sturdy beggar.

CAP OF MAINTENCE, an insignia of dignity, a cap of state borne before kings at their coronation; also an heraldic term.

CAPABLE, able to comprehend, fit to receive instruction, impression.

CAPANEUS, one of the "Seven against Thebes."

CARACT, carat, unit of weight for precious stones, etc.; value, worth.

CARANZA, Spanish author of a book on duelling.

CARCANET, jewelled ornament for the neck.

CARE, take care; object.

CAROSH, coach, carriage.

CARPET, table-cover.

CARRIAGE, bearing, behaviour.

CARWHITCHET, quip, pun.

CASAMATE, casemate, fortress.

CASE, a pair.

CASE, "in—," in condition.

CASSOCK, soldier's loose overcoat.

CAST, flight of hawks, couple.

CAST, throw dice; vomit; forecast, calculate.

CAST, cashiered.

CASTING-GLASS, bottle for sprinkling perfume.

CASTRIL, kestrel, falcon.

CAT, structure used in sieges.

CATAMITE, old form of "ganymede."

CATASTROPHE, conclusion.

CATCHPOLE, sheriff's officer.

CATES, dainties, provisions.

CATSO, rogue, cheat.

CAUTELOUS, crafty, artful.

CENSURE, criticism; sentence.

CENSURE, criticise; pass sentence, doom.

CERUSE, cosmetic containing white lead.

CESS, assess.

CHANGE, "hunt—," follow a fresh scent.

CHAPMAN, retail dealer.

CHARACTER, handwriting.

CHARGE, expense.

CHARM, subdue with magic, lay a spell on, silence.

CHARMING, exercising magic power.

CHARTEL, challenge.

CHEAP, bargain, market.

CHEAR, CHEER, comfort, encouragement; food, entertainment.

CHECK AT, aim reproof at.

CHEQUIN, gold Italian coin.

CHEVRIL, from kidskin, which is elastic and pliable.

CHIAUS, Turkish envoy; used for a cheat, swindler.

CHILDERMASS DAY, Innocents' Day.

CHOKE-BAIL, action which does not allow of bail.


CHRYSOSPERM, ways of producing gold.

CIBATION, adding fresh substances to supply the waste of evaporation.

CIMICI, bugs.

CINOPER, cinnabar.

CIOPPINI, chopine, lady's high shoe.

CIRCLING BOY, "a species of roarer; one who in some way drew a man into a snare, to cheat or rob him" (Nares).

CIRCUMSTANCE, circumlocution, beating about the bush; ceremony, everything pertaining to a certain condition; detail, particular.

CITRONISE, turn citron colour.

CITTERN, kind of guitar.

CITY-WIRES, woman of fashion, who made use of wires for hair and dress.

CIVIL, legal.

CLAP, clack, chatter.

CLAPPER-DUDGEON, downright beggar.

CLAPS HIS DISH, a clap, or clack, dish (dish with a movable lid) was carried by beggars and lepers to show that the vessel was empty, and to give sound of their approach.

CLARIDIANA, heroine of an old romance.

CLARISSIMO, Venetian noble.

CLEM, starve.

CLICKET, latch.

CLIM O' THE CLOUGHS, etc., wordy heroes of romance.

CLIMATE, country.

CLOSE, secret, private; secretive.

CLOSENESS, secrecy.

CLOTH, arras, hangings.

CLOUT, mark shot at, bull's eye.

CLOWN, countryman, clodhopper.

COACH-LEAVES, folding blinds.

COALS, "bear no—," submit to no affront.

COAT-ARMOUR, coat of arms.

COAT-CARD, court-card.

COB-HERRING, HERRING-COB, a young herring.

COB-SWAN, male swan.

COCK-A-HOOP, denoting unstinted jollity; thought to be derived from turning on the tap that all might drink to the full of the flowing liquor.

COCKATRICE, reptile supposed to be produced from a cock's egg and to kill by its eye—used as a term of reproach for a woman.

COCK-BRAINED, giddy, wild.

COCKER, pamper.

COCKSCOMB, fool's cap.

COCKSTONE, stone said to be found in a cock's gizzard, and to possess particular virtues.

CODLING, softening by boiling.

COFFIN, raised crust of a pie.

COG, cheat, wheedle.

COIL, turmoil, confusion, ado.

COKELY, master of a puppet-show (Whalley).

COKES, fool, gull.

COLD-CONCEITED, having cold opinion of, coldly affected towards.

COLE-HARBOUR, a retreat for people of all sorts.

COLLECTION, composure; deduction.

COLLOP, small slice, piece of flesh.

COLLY, blacken.

COLOUR, pretext.

COLOURS, "fear no—," no enemy (quibble).

COLSTAFF, cowlstaff, pole for carrying a cowl=tub.

COME ABOUT, charge, turn round.

COMFORTABLE BREAD, spiced gingerbread.

COMING, forward, ready to respond, complaisant.

COMMENT, commentary; "sometime it is taken for a lie or fayned tale" (Bullokar, 1616).

COMMODITY, "current for—," allusion to practice of money-lenders, who forced the borrower to take part of the loan in the shape of worthless goods on which the latter had to make money if he could.


COMPASS, "in—," within the range, sphere.

COMPLEMENT, completion, completement; anything required for the perfecting or carrying out of a person or affair; accomplishment.

COMPLEXION, natural disposition, constitution.

COMPLIMENT, See Complement.

COMPLIMENTARIES, masters of accomplishments.

COMPOSITION, constitution; agreement, contract.

COMPOSURE, composition.

COMPTER, COUNTER, debtors' prison.

CONCEALMENT, a certain amount of church property had been retained at the dissolution of the monasteries; Elizabeth sent commissioners to search it out, and the courtiers begged for it.

CONCEIT, idea, fancy, witty invention, conception, opinion.

CONCEIT, apprehend.

CONCEITED, fancifully, ingeniously devised or conceived; possessed of intelligence, witty, ingenious (hence well conceited, etc.); disposed to joke; of opinion, possessed of an idea.

CONCEIVE, understand.

CONCENT, harmony, agreement.

CONCLUDE, infer, prove.

CONCOCT, assimilate, digest.

CONDEN'T, probably conducted.

CONDUCT, escort, conductor.


CONFECT, sweetmeat.

CONFER, compare.

CONGIES, bows.

CONNIVE, give a look, wink, of secret intelligence.

CONSORT, company, concert.

CONSTANCY, fidelity, ardour, persistence.

CONSTANT, confirmed, persistent, faithful.

CONSTANTLY, firmly, persistently.

CONTEND, strive.

CONTINENT, holding together.

CONTROL (the point), bear or beat down.

CONVENT, assembly, meeting.

CONVERT, turn (oneself).

CONVEY, transmit from one to another.

CONVINCE, evince, prove; overcome, overpower; convict.

COP, head, top; tuft on head of birds; "a cop" may have reference to one or other meaning; Gifford and others interpret as "conical, terminating in a point."

COPE-MAN, chapman.

COPESMATE, companion.

COPY (Lat. copia), abundance, copiousness.

CORN ("powder—"), grain.

COROLLARY, finishing part or touch.

CORSIVE, corrosive.

CORTINE, curtain, (arch.) wall between two towers, etc.

CORYAT, famous for his travels, published as "Coryat's Crudities."

COSSET, pet lamb, pet.

COSTARD, head.

COSTARD-MONGER, apple-seller, coster-monger.

COSTS, ribs.

COTE, hut.

COTHURNAL, from "cothurnus," a particular boot worn by actors in Greek tragedy.

COTQUEAN, hussy.

COUNSEL, secret.

COUNTENANCE, means necessary for support; credit, standing.

COUNTER. See Compter.

COUNTER, pieces of metal or ivory for calculating at play.

COUNTER, "hunt—," follow scent in reverse direction.

COUNTERFEIT, false coin.

COUNTERPANE, one part or counterpart of a deed or indenture.

COUNTERPOINT, opposite, contrary point.

COURT-DISH, a kind of drinking-cup (Halliwell); N.E.D. quotes from Bp. Goodman's "Court of James I.": "The king... caused his carver to cut him out a court-dish, that is, something of every dish, which he sent him as part of his reversion," but this does not sound like short allowance or small receptacle.

COURT-DOR, fool.

COURTEAU, curtal, small horse with docked tail.

COURTSHIP, courtliness.

COVETISE, avarice.

COWSHARD, cow dung.

COXCOMB, fool's cap, fool.

COY, shrink; disdain.

COYSTREL, low varlet.

COZEN, cheat.

CRACK, lively young rogue, wag.

CRACK, crack up, boast; come to grief.

CRAMBE, game of crambo, in which the players find rhymes for a given word.

CRANCH, craunch.

CRANION, spider-like; also fairy appellation for a fly (Gifford, who refers to lines in Drayton's "Nimphidia").

CRIMP, game at cards.

CRINCLE, draw back, turn aside.

CRISPED, with curled or waved hair.

CROP, gather, reap.

CROPSHIRE, a kind of herring. (See N.E.D.)

CROSS, any piece of money, many coins being stamped with a cross.

CROSS AND PILE, heads and tails.

CROSSLET, crucible.

CROWD, fiddle.

CRUDITIES, undigested matter.

CRUMP, curl up.

CRUSADO, Portuguese gold coin, marked with a cross.

CRY ("he that cried Italian"), "speak in a musical cadence," intone, or declaim (?); cry up.

CUCKING-STOOL, used for the ducking of scolds, etc.

CUCURBITE, a gourd-shaped vessel used for distillation.

CUERPO, "in—," in undress.

CULLICE, broth.

CULLION, base fellow, coward.

CULLISEN, badge worn on their arm by servants.

CULVERIN, kind of cannon.

CUNNING, skill.

CUNNING, skilful.

CUNNING-MAN, fortune-teller.

CURE, care for.

CURIOUS(LY), scrupulous, particular; elaborate, elegant(ly), dainty(ly) (hence "in curious").

CURST, shrewish, mischievous.

CURTAL, dog with docked tail, of inferior sort.

CUSTARD, "quaking—," "—politic," reference to a large custard which formed part of a city feast and afforded huge entertainment, for the fool jumped into it, and other like tricks were played. (See "All's Well, etc." ii. 5, 40.)

CUTWORK, embroidery, open-work.

CYPRES (CYPRUS) (quibble), cypress (or cyprus) being a transparent material, and when black used for mourning.

DAGGER ("—frumety"), name of tavern.

DARGISON, apparently some person known in ballad or tale.

DAUPHIN MY BOY, refrain of old comic song.

DAW, daunt.

DEAD LIFT, desperate emergency.

DEAR, applied to that which in any way touches us nearly.

DECLINE, turn off from; turn away, aside.

DEFALK, deduct, abate.

DEFEND, forbid.

DEGENEROUS, degenerate.

DEGREES, steps.

DELATE, accuse.

DEMI-CULVERIN, cannon carrying a ball of about ten pounds.

DENIER, the smallest possible coin, being the twelfth part of a sou.

DEPART, part with.

DEPENDANCE, ground of quarrel in duello language.

DESERT, reward.


DESPERATE, rash, reckless.

DETECT, allow to be detected, betray, inform against.

DETERMINE, terminate.

DETRACT, draw back, refuse.

DEVICE, masque, show; a thing moved by wires, etc., puppet.

DEVISE, exact in every particular.

DEVISED, invented.

DIAPASM, powdered aromatic herbs, made into balls of perfumed paste. (See Pomander.)

DIBBLE, (?) moustache (N.E.D.); (?) dagger (Cunningham).

DIFFUSED, disordered, scattered, irregular.

DIGHT, dressed.

DILDO, refrain of popular songs; vague term of low meaning.

DIMBLE, dingle, ravine.

DIMENSUM, stated allowance.

DISBASE, debase.

DISCERN, distinguish, show a difference between.

DISCHARGE, settle for.

DISCIPLINE, reformation; ecclesiastical system.

DISCLAIM, renounce all part in.

DISCOURSE, process of reasoning, reasoning faculty.

DISCOURTSHIP, discourtesy.

DISCOVER, betray, reveal; display.

DISFAVOUR, disfigure.

DISPARAGEMENT, legal term applied to the unfitness in any way of a marriage arranged for in the case of wards.

DISPENSE WITH, grant dispensation for.

DISPLAY, extend.

DIS'PLE, discipline, teach by the whip.

DISPOSED, inclined to merriment.

DISPOSURE, disposal.

DISPRISE, depreciate.

DISPUNCT, not punctilious.


DISSOLVED, enervated by grief.

DISTANCE, (?) proper measure.

DISTASTE, offence, cause of offence.

DISTASTE, render distasteful.

DISTEMPERED, upset, out of humour.

DIVISION (mus.), variation, modulation.

DOG-BOLT, term of contempt.

DOLE, given in dole, charity.

DOLE OF FACES, distribution of grimaces.

DOOM, verdict, sentence.

DOP, dip, low bow.

DOR, beetle, buzzing insect, drone, idler.

DOR, (?) buzz; "give the—," make a fool of.

DOSSER, pannier, basket.

DOTES, endowments, qualities.

DOTTEREL, plover; gull, fool.

DOUBLE, behave deceitfully.

DOXY, wench, mistress.

DRACHM, Greek silver coin.

DRESS, groom, curry.

DRESSING, coiffure.

DRIFT, intention.

DRYFOOT, track by mere scent of foot.

DUCKING, punishment for minor offences.

DUILL, grieve.

DUMPS, melancholy, originally a mournful melody.

DURINDANA, Orlando's sword.

DWINDLE, shrink away, be overawed.

EAN, yean, bring forth young.

EASINESS, readiness.

EBOLITION, ebullition.

EDGE, sword.

EECH, eke.

EGREGIOUS, eminently excellent.

EKE, also, moreover.

E-LA, highest note in the scale.

EGGS ON THE SPIT, important business on hand.

ELF-LOCK, tangled hair, supposed to be the work of elves.

EMMET, ant.

ENGAGE, involve.

ENGHLE. See Ingle.

ENGHLE, cajole; fondle.

ENGIN(E), device, contrivance; agent; ingenuity, wit.

ENGINER, engineer, deviser, plotter.

ENGINOUS, crafty, full of devices; witty, ingenious.

ENGROSS, monopolise.

ENS, an existing thing, a substance.

ENSIGNS, tokens, wounds.

ENSURE, assure.

ENTERTAIN, take into service.

ENTREAT, plead.

ENTREATY, entertainment.

ENTRY, place where a deer has lately passed.

ENVOY, denouement, conclusion.

ENVY, spite, calumny, dislike, odium.

EPHEMERIDES, calendars.

EQUAL, just, impartial.

ERECTION, elevation in esteem.

ERINGO, candied root of the sea-holly, formerly used as a sweetmeat and aphrodisiac.

ERRANT, arrant.

ESSENTIATE, become assimilated.


ESTRICH, ostrich.

ETHNIC, heathen.

EURIPUS, flux and reflux.

EVEN, just equable.

EVENT, fate, issue.

EVENT(ED), issue(d).

EVERT, overturn.

EXACUATE, sharpen.

EXAMPLESS, without example or parallel.

EXCALIBUR, King Arthur's sword.

EXEMPLIFY, make an example of.

EXEMPT, separate, exclude.

EXEQUIES, obsequies.

EXHALE, drag out.

EXHIBITION, allowance for keep, pocket-money.

EXORBITANT, exceeding limits of propriety or law, inordinate.

EXORNATION, ornament.

EXPECT, wait.

EXPIATE, terminate.

EXPLICATE, explain, unfold.

EXTEMPORAL, extempore, unpremeditated.

EXTRACTION, essence.

EXTRAORDINARY, employed for a special or temporary purpose.

EXTRUDE, expel.

EYE, "in—," in view.

EYEBRIGHT, (?) a malt liquor in which the herb of this name was infused, or a person who sold the same (Gifford).

EYE-TINGE, least shade or gleam.

FACE, appearance.

FACES ABOUT, military word of command.

FACINOROUS, extremely wicked.

FACKINGS, faith.

FACT, deed, act, crime.

FACTIOUS, seditious, belonging to a party, given to party feeling.

FAECES, dregs.

FAGIOLI, French beans.

FAIN, forced, necessitated.

FAITHFUL, believing.

FALL, ruff or band turned back on the shoulders; or, veil.

FALSIFY, feign (fencing term).

FAME, report.

FAMILIAR, attendant spirit.

FANTASTICAL, capricious, whimsical.

FARCE, stuff.

FAR-FET. See Fet.

FARTHINGAL, hooped petticoat.

FAUCET, tapster.

FAULT, lack; loss, break in line of scent; "for—," in default of.

FAUTOR, partisan.

FAYLES, old table game similar to backgammon.

FEAR(ED), affright(ed).

FEAT, activity, operation; deed, action.

FEAT, elegant, trim.

FEE, "in—" by feudal obligation.

FEIZE, beat, belabour.

FELLOW, term of contempt.

FENNEL, emblem of flattery.

FERE, companion, fellow.

FERN-SEED, supposed to have power of rendering invisible.

FET, fetched.

FETCH, trick.

FEUTERER (Fr. vautrier), dog-keeper.

FEWMETS, dung.

FICO, fig.

FIGGUM, (?) jugglery.

FIGMENT, fiction, invention.

FIRK, frisk, move suddenly, or in jerks; "—up," stir up, rouse; "firks mad," suddenly behaves like a madman.

FIT, pay one out, punish.

FITNESS, readiness.

FITTON (FITTEN), lie, invention.

FIVE-AND-FIFTY, "highest number to stand on at primero" (Gifford).

FLAG, to fly low and waveringly.

FLAGON CHAIN, for hanging a smelling-bottle (Fr. flacon) round the neck (?). (See N.E.D.).

FLAP-DRAGON, game similar to snap-dragon.

FLASKET, some kind of basket.

FLAW, sudden gust or squall of wind.

FLAWN, custard.

FLEA, catch fleas.

FLEER, sneer, laugh derisively.

FLESH, feed a hawk or dog with flesh to incite it to the chase; initiate in blood-shed; satiate.


FLIGHT, light arrow.


FLOUT, mock, speak and act contemptuously.

FLOWERS, pulverised substance.

FLY, familiar spirit.

FOIL, weapon used in fencing; that which sets anything off to advantage.

FOIST, cut-purse, sharper.

FOND(LY), foolish(ly).

FOOT-CLOTH, housings of ornamental cloth which hung down on either side a horse to the ground.

FOOTING, foothold; footstep; dancing.

FOPPERY, foolery.

FOR, "—failing," for fear of failing.

FORBEAR, bear with; abstain from.

FORCE, "hunt at—," run the game down with dogs.

FOREHEAD, modesty; face, assurance, effrontery.

FORESLOW, delay.

FORESPEAK, bewitch; foretell.

FORETOP, front lock of hair which fashion required to be worn upright.

FORGED, fabricated.

FORM, state formally.

FORMAL, shapely; normal; conventional.

FORTHCOMING, produced when required.

FOUNDER, disable with over-riding.

FOURM, form, lair.

FOX, sword.

FRAIL, rush basket in which figs or raisins were packed.

FRAMPULL, peevish, sour-tempered.

FRAPLER, blusterer, wrangler.

FRAYING, "a stag is said to fray his head when he rubs it against a tree to... cause the outward coat of the new horns to fall off" (Gifford).

FREIGHT (of the gazetti), burden (of the newspapers).


FRICACE, rubbing.

FRICATRICE, woman of low character.

FRIPPERY, old clothes shop.

FROCK, smock-frock.

FROLICS, (?) humorous verses circulated at a feast (N.E.D.); couplets wrapped round sweetmeats (Cunningham).

FRONTLESS, shameless.

FROTED, rubbed.

FRUMETY, hulled wheat boiled in milk and spiced.

FRUMP, flout, sneer.

FUCUS, dye.

FUGEAND, (?) figent: fidgety, restless (N.E.D.).

FULLAM, false dice.

FULMART, polecat.

FULSOME, foul, offensive.

FURIBUND, raging, furious.

GALLEY-FOIST, city-barge, used on Lord Mayor's Day, when he was sworn into his office at Westminster (Whalley).

GALLIARD, lively dance in triple time.

GAPE, be eager after.

GARAGANTUA, Rabelais' giant.

GARB, sheaf (Fr. gerbe); manner, fashion, behaviour.

GARD, guard, trimming, gold or silver lace, or other ornament.

GARDED, faced or trimmed.


GAVEL-KIND, name of a land-tenure existing chiefly in Kent; from 16th century often used to denote custom of dividing a deceased man's property equally among his sons (N.E.D.).

GAZETTE, small Venetian coin worth about three-farthings.

GEANCE, jaunt, errand.

GEAR (GEER), stuff, matter, affair.

GELID, frozen.

GEMONIES, steps from which the bodies of criminals were thrown into the river.

GENERAL, free, affable.

GENIUS, attendant spirit.

GENTRY, gentlemen; manners characteristic of gentry, good breeding.

GIB-CAT, tom-cat.

GIGANTOMACHIZE, start a giants' war.

GIGLOT, wanton.

GIMBLET, gimlet.

GING, gang.

GLASS ("taking in of shadows, etc."), crystal or beryl.

GLEEK, card game played by three; party of three, trio; side glance.

GLICK (GLEEK), jest, gibe.

GLIDDER, glaze.

GLORIOUSLY, of vain glory.

GODWIT, bird of the snipe family.

GOLD-END-MAN, a buyer of broken gold and silver.

GOLL, hand.

GONFALIONIER, standard-bearer, chief magistrate, etc.

GOOD, sound in credit.

GOOD-YEAR, good luck.

GOOSE-TURD, colour of. (See Turd).

GORCROW, carrion crow.

GORGET, neck armour.

GOSSIP, godfather.

GOWKED, from "gowk," to stand staring and gaping like a fool.

GRANNAM, grandam.

GRASS, (?) grease, fat.

GRATEFUL, agreeable, welcome.

GRATIFY, give thanks to.

GRATITUDE, gratuity.

GRATULATE, welcome, congratulate.

GRAVITY, dignity.

GRAY, badger.

GRICE, cub.

GRIEF, grievance.

GRIPE, vulture, griffin.

GRIPE'S EGG, vessel in shape of.

GROAT, fourpence.

GROGRAN, coarse stuff made of silk and mohair, or of coarse silk.

GROOM-PORTER, officer in the royal household.

GROPE, handle, probe.

GROUND, pit (hence "grounded judgments").

GUARD, caution, heed.

GUARDANT, heraldic term: turning the head only.

GUILDER, Dutch coin worth about 4d.

GULES, gullet, throat; heraldic term for red.

GULL, simpleton, dupe.

GUST, taste.

HAB NAB, by, on, chance.

HABERGEON, coat of mail.

HAGGARD, wild female hawk; hence coy, wild.

HALBERD, combination of lance and battle-axe.

HALL, "a—!" a cry to clear the room for the dancers.

HANDSEL, first money taken.

HANGER, loop or strap on a sword-belt from which the sword was suspended.

HAP, fortune, luck.

HAPPILY, haply.

HAPPINESS, appropriateness, fitness.

HAPPY, rich.

HARBOUR, track, trace (an animal) to its shelter.

HARD-FAVOURED, harsh-featured.

HARPOCRATES, Horus the child, son of Osiris, figured with a finger pointing to his mouth, indicative of silence.

HARRINGTON, a patent was granted to Lord H. for the coinage of tokens (q.v.).

HARROT, herald.

HARRY NICHOLAS, founder of a community called the "Family of Love."

HAY, net for catching rabbits, etc.

HAY! (Ital. hai!), you have it (a fencing term).

HAY IN HIS HORN, ill-tempered person.

HAZARD, game at dice; that which is staked.

HEAD, "first—," young deer with antlers first sprouting; fig. a newly-ennobled man.

HEADBOROUGH, constable.

HEARKEN AFTER, inquire; "hearken out," find, search out.

HEARTEN, encourage.

HEAVEN AND HELL ("Alchemist"), names of taverns.

HECTIC, fever.

HEDGE IN, include.

HELM, upper part of a retort.

HER'NSEW, hernshaw, heron.

HIERONIMO (JERONIMO), hero of Kyd's "Spanish Tragedy."

HOBBY, nag.

HOBBY-HORSE, imitation horse of some light material, fastened round the waist of the morrice-dancer, who imitated the movements of a skittish horse.


HOIDEN, hoyden, formerly applied to both sexes (ancient term for leveret? Gifford).

HOLLAND, name of two famous chemists.

HONE AND HONERO, wailing expressions of lament or discontent.

HOOD-WINK'D, blindfolded.

HORARY, hourly.

HORN-MAD, stark mad (quibble).

HORN-THUMB, cut-purses were in the habit of wearing a horn shield on the thumb.

HORSE-BREAD-EATING, horses were often fed on coarse bread.

HORSE-COURSER, horse-dealer.

HOSPITAL, Christ's Hospital.

HOWLEGLAS, Eulenspiegel, the hero of a popular German tale which relates his buffooneries and knavish tricks.

HUFF, hectoring, arrogance.

HUFF IT, swagger.

HUISHER (Fr. huissier), usher.

HUM, beer and spirits mixed together.

HUMANITIAN, humanist, scholar.

HUMOROUS, capricious, moody, out of humour; moist.

HUMOUR, a word used in and out of season in the time of Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, and ridiculed by both.

HUMOURS, manners.

HUMPHREY, DUKE, those who were dinnerless spent the dinner-hour in a part of St. Paul's where stood a monument said to be that of the duke's; hence "dine with Duke Humphrey," to go hungry.

HURTLESS, harmless.

IDLE, useless, unprofitable.

ILL-AFFECTED, ill-disposed.

ILL-HABITED, unhealthy.

ILLUSTRATE, illuminate.

IMBIBITION, saturation, steeping.

IMBROCATA, fencing term: a thrust in tierce.

IMPAIR, impairment.

IMPART, give money.

IMPARTER, any one ready to be cheated and to part with his money.

IMPEACH, damage.

IMPERTINENCIES, irrelevancies.

IMPERTINENT(LY), irrelevant(ly), without reason or purpose.

IMPOSITION, duty imposed by.

IMPOTENTLY, beyond power of control.

IMPRESS, money in advance.

IMPULSION, incitement.

IN AND IN, a game played by two or three persons with four dice.

INCENSE, incite, stir up.

INCERATION, act of covering with wax; or reducing a substance to softness of wax.

INCH, "to their—es," according to their stature, capabilities.

INCH-PIN, sweet-bread.

INCONVENIENCE, inconsistency, absurdity.

INCONY, delicate, rare (used as a term of affection).

INCUBEE, incubus.

INCUBUS, evil spirit that oppresses us in sleep, nightmare.

INCURIOUS, unfastidious, uncritical.

INDENT, enter into engagement.

INDIFFERENT, tolerable, passable.

INDIGESTED, shapeless, chaotic.

INDUCE, introduce.

INDUE, supply.

INEXORABLE, relentless.

INFANTED, born, produced.

INFLAME, augment charge.

INGENIOUS, used indiscriminantly for ingenuous; intelligent, talented.

INGENUITY, ingenuousness.

INGENUOUS, generous.

INGINE. See Engin.

INGINER, engineer. (See Enginer).

INGLE, OR ENGHLE, bosom friend, intimate, minion.

INHABITABLE, uninhabitable.

INJURY, insult, affront.

IN-MATE, resident, indwelling.

INNATE, natural.

INNOCENT, simpleton.

INQUEST, jury, or other official body of inquiry.


INSTANT, immediate.

INSTRUMENT, legal document.

INSURE, assure.

INTEGRATE, complete, perfect.

INTELLIGENCE, secret information, news.

INTEND, note carefully, attend, give ear to, be occupied with.

INTENDMENT, intention.

INTENT, intention, wish.

INTENTION, concentration of attention or gaze.

INTENTIVE, attentive.

INTERESSED, implicated.

INTRUDE, bring in forcibly or without leave.

INVINCIBLY, invisibly.

INWARD, intimate.

IRPE (uncertain), "a fantastic grimace, or contortion of the body: (Gifford)."

JACK, Jack o' the clock, automaton figure that strikes the hour; Jack-a-lent, puppet thrown at in Lent.

JACK, key of a virginal.

JACOB'S STAFF, an instrument for taking altitudes and distances.

JADE, befool.

JEALOUSY, JEALOUS, suspicion, suspicious.

JERKING, lashing.

JEW'S TRUMP, Jew's harp.

JIG, merry ballad or tune; a fanciful dialogue or light comic act introduced at the end or during an interlude of a play.

JOINED (JOINT)-STOOL, folding stool.

JOLL, jowl.

JOLTHEAD, blockhead.

JUMP, agree, tally.

JUST YEAR, no one was capable of the consulship until he was forty-three.

KELL, cocoon.

KELLY, an alchemist.

KEMB, comb.

KEMIA, vessel for distillation.

KIBE, chap, sore.

KILDERKIN, small barrel.

KILL, kiln.

KIND, nature; species; "do one's—," act according to one's nature.

KIRTLE, woman's gown of jacket and petticoat.

KISS OR DRINK AFORE ME, "this is a familiar expression, employed when what the speaker is just about to say is anticipated by another" (Gifford).

KIT, fiddle.

KNACK, snap, click.

KNIPPER-DOLING, a well-known Anabaptist.

KNITTING CUP, marriage cup.

KNOCKING, striking, weighty.

KNOT, company, band; a sandpiper or robin snipe (Tringa canutus); flower-bed laid out in fanciful design.

KURSINED, KYRSIN, christened.

LABOURED, wrought with labour and care.

LADE, load(ed).

LADING, load.

LAID, plotted.

LANCE-KNIGHT (Lanzknecht), a German mercenary foot-soldier.

LAP, fold.

LAR, household god.

LARD, garnish.

LARGE, abundant.

LARUM, alarum, call to arms.

LATTICE, tavern windows were furnished with lattices of various colours.

LAUNDER, to wash gold in aqua regia, so as imperceptibly to extract some of it.

LAVE, ladle, bale.

LAW, "give—," give a start (term of chase).

LAXATIVE, loose.

LAY ABOARD, run alongside generally with intent to board.

LEAGUER, siege, or camp of besieging army.

LEASING, lying.

LEAVE, leave off, desist.

LEER, leering or "empty, hence, perhaps, leer horse, a horse without a rider; leer is an adjective meaning uncontrolled, hence 'leer drunkards'" (Halliwell); according to Nares, a leer (empty) horse meant also a led horse; leeward, left.

LEESE, lose.

LEGS, "make—," do obeisance.

LEIGER, resident representative.

LEIGERITY, legerdemain.

LEMMA, subject proposed, or title of the epigram.

LENTER, slower.

LET, hinder.

LET, hindrance.

LEVEL COIL, a rough game... in which one hunted another from his seat. Hence used for any noisy riot (Halliwell).

LEWD, ignorant.

LEYSTALLS, receptacles of filth.

LIBERAL, ample.

LIEGER, ledger, register.

LIFT(ING), steal(ing); theft.

LIGHT, alight.

LIGHTLY, commonly, usually, often.

LIKE, please.

LIKELY, agreeable, pleasing.

LIME-HOUND, leash-, blood-hound.

LIMMER, vile, worthless.

LIN, leave off.

Line, "by—," by rule.

LINSTOCK, staff to stick in the ground, with forked head to hold a lighted match for firing cannon.

LIQUID, clear.

LIST, listen, hark; like, please.

LIVERY, legal term, delivery of the possession, etc.

LOGGET, small log, stick.

LOOSE, solution; upshot, issue; release of an arrow.

LOSE, give over, desist from; waste.

LOUTING, bowing, cringing.

LUCULENT, bright of beauty.

LUDGATHIANS, dealers on Ludgate Hill.

LURCH, rob, cheat.

LUTE, to close a vessel with some kind of cement.

MACK, unmeaning expletive.

MADGE-HOWLET or OWL, barn-owl.

MAIM, hurt, injury.

MAIN, chief concern (used as a quibble on heraldic term for "hand").

MAINPRISE, becoming surety for a prisoner so as to procure his release.

MAINTENANCE, giving aid, or abetting.

MAKE, mate.

MAKE, MADE, acquaint with business, prepare(d), instruct(ed).

MALLANDERS, disease of horses.

MALT HORSE, dray horse.

MAMMET, puppet.

MAMMOTHREPT, spoiled child.

MANAGE, control (term used for breaking-in horses); handling, administration.

MANGO, slave-dealer.

MANGONISE, polish up for sale.

MANIPLES, bundles, handfuls.

MANKIND, masculine, like a virago.

MANKIND, humanity.

MAPLE FACE, spotted face (N.E.D.).

MARCHPANE, a confection of almonds, sugar, etc.

MARK, "fly to the—," "generally said of a goshawk when, having 'put in' a covey of partridges, she takes stand, marking the spot where they disappeared from view until the falconer arrives to put them out to her" (Harting, Bibl. Accip. Gloss. 226).

Previous Part     1  2  3  4     Next Part
Home - Random Browse