« הקודםהמשך »
I quote this from memory, and from a book of which I cannot recollect the exact title or date; but the passage was in a preface to some songs or sonnets. I well remember to have met with the word in the same sense in other old books.
Rota, however, as I am informed, is the ancient musical term in Latin for the burden of a song.
The ballad, alluded to by Ophelia, is perhaps entered on the books of the Stationers-Conipany. “ October 1580. Four ballades of the Lord of Lorn and the False Steward,” &c.
STEEVENS. 0, how the wheel becomes it!] I am inclined to think that wheel is here used in its ordinary sense, and that these words allude to the occupation of the girl who is supposed to sing the song quoted by Ophelia.-The following lines in Hall's Virgidemia arum, 1597, appear to me to add some support to this interpretation:
“ Some drunken rimer thinks his time well spent,
“ He sends forth thraves of ballads to the sale." Our author likewise furnishes an authority to the same purpose. Twelfth Night, act ii. sc. 4.
-Come, the song we had last night:-“ The spinsters and the knitters in the sun 6. Do use to chaunt it."
A musical antiquary may perhaps contend, that the controverted words of the text allude to an anci. ent instrument mentioned by Chaucer, and called by him a rote, by others a vielle; which was played upon by the friction of a wheel.
It is likewise enumerated with other instruments in the old metrical romance, called, The Squire of low Degree, bl. let.
“ There was myrth and melodye,
MALONE. 404. There's rosemary, that's for remembrance ;and there's pansies, that's for thoughts.] There is probably some mythology in the choice of these herbs, but I cannot explain it. Pansies is for thoughts, beçause of its name, Pensées; but why rosemary indicates remembrance, except that it is an ever-green, and carried at funerals, I have not discovered. JOHNSON. So, in All Fools, a comedy, by Chapman, 1605 :
" What flowers are these?
“ O, that's for lovers' thoughts!" Rosemary was anciently supposed to strengthen the memory, an was not only carried at funerals, but worn at weddings, as appears from a passage in Beau. mont and Fletcher's Elder Brother, act iii. sc. 3. And from another in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
"--will I be wed this morning, " Thou shalt not be there, nor once be graced
« With a piece of rosemary." Again, in the Noble Spanish Soldier, 1634 : “ I meet few but are stuck with rosemary: every one asked me who was to be married.”
Again, in Green's Never too Late, 1616 : “ _she hath given thee a nosegay of fowers, wherein as a top-gallant for all the rest, is set in rosemary for remembrance."
Again, in A Dialogue between Nature and the Phænix, by R. Chester, 1601 :
“ There's rosemarie, the Arabians justifie
STEEVENS. 409. There's fennel for you, and columbines :] Greene, in his Quip for an Upstart Courtier, 1620, calls fennel, women's weeds : “ fit generally for that sex, sith while they are maidens, they wish wantonly."
Among Turbervile's Epitaphes, &c. p. 42, b. I likewise find the following mention of fennel : “ Your fenell did declare
(As simple men can showe)
• Where friendship ought to grow." I know not of what columbines were supposed to be emblematical. They are again mentioned in All Fools, by Chapman, 1605:
" What's that?-a columbine ?
den." Gerard, however, and other herbalists, impute few, if any, virtues to them; and they may therefore be styled thankless, because they appear to make no grateful return for their creation. Again in the 15th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion :
“ The columbine amongst, they sparingly do set. From the Caliha Poëtarum, 1599, it should seem as if this flower was the emblem of cuckoldom, : ,
-the blew cornuted columbine,
STEEYENS. Columbine was an emblem of cuckoldom, on ac. count of the horns of its nectaria, 'which are remarkable in this plant. See Aquilegia, in Linnæus's Ge. nera, 684,
410. There's rue for you ;--and here's some for me : ---We may call it, herb of grace o’Sundays:] Herb of grace is the name the country people give to rue. And the reason is, because that herb was a principal ingredient in the potion which the Romish priests used to force the possessed to swallow down when they exorcised them. Now these exorcisms being per. formed generally on a Sunday, in the church before the whole congregation, is the reason why she says, we may call it herb of grace o‘Sundays. Sandys tells us, 'that at Grand Cairo there is a species of rue much
in request, with which the inhabitants perfume themselves, not only as a preservative against infection, but as very powerful against evil spirits. And the cabalistic Gaffarel pretends to have discovered the reason of its virtue, La semence de rue est faicte comme une croix, et c'est paraventure la cause qu'elle a tant de vertu contre les possedez, et que l'Eglise s'en sert en les exorcisant. It was on the same principle that the Greeks called sulphur Derov, because of its use in their superstitious purgations by fire. Which too the Romish priests employ to fumigate in their exorcisms; and on that account hallow or consecrate it.
WARBURTON. There's rue for you ; and here's some for me, &c.] I believe there is a quibble meant in this passage ; rue anciently signifying the same as Ruth, i. e. sorrow. Ophelia gives the queen some, and keeps a proportion of it for herself. There is the same kind of play with the same word in King Richard II.
Herb of grace is one of the titles which Tucca gives to William Rufus, in Decker's Satiromastix. I suppose the first syllable of the surname Rufus introduced the quibble.
In Doctor Do-good's Directions, an ancient ballad, is the same allusion : “ If a man have light fingers that he cannot
charme, " Which will pick men's pockets, and do such like larme,