Prologue 8 Citing Arthur B. Stonex, “The Usurer in Elizabethan Drama,” PMLA 31 (1916) 190 - 210, Siconolfi (p. 224) reminds us that the usurer was a stock character in contemporary drama.
27 (English) “A possible reference to Shakespeare’s play, although at this date the phrase may simply have been proverbial” —Siconolfi, ib.
I.ii “Scenes” are not scene divisions in the modern sense of the word; they do not necessarily indicate any discontinuity of time or location, or any other kind of break in the action. Rather, according to the standard system employed by academic drama, derived from the manuscripts of Terence, each scene indicates a new grouping of speaking characters currently on the stage. Very often the identification of such scenes functions as a somewhat crude way of marking entrances and exits.
122 (199 English) By specifying that this generalization applies to the wealthy, Squire obscured the fact that this is a quotation of Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
194 (English 296)The printed text has ad haras et focos. In the context of such a mistake-ridden text, is difficult to decide whether haras is a printer’s error for aras (so that the phrase means “a friend all the way to your hearth and home”), or whether haras represents the speaker’s deliberately sarcastic distortion of the familiar phrase: “all the way to your hearth and pigsty.” Squire’s equivalent, “In any thing but good,” does not translate the Latin, very likely because he could not understand it.
324 (English) Siconolfi (p. 228) pointed out that “vilde” was a common Tudor variant for “vile” (Squire uses this word repeatedly)
344 (English) Siconolfi failed to gloss “pounder.” At first it looks like an orthographic variant of “ponder,” but that would very doubtfully fit the context and certainly would not translate Drury’s excarnificet. Evidently it means “pound, beat up.”
386 (English) “The origin of the phrase is unclear; it may be related to the club used in the game of ‘Cat and Dog’; its meaning here is clear: ‘to outsmart.’” — Siconolfi, p. 229. To my eye this looks like some obsolete proverbial expression.
406 (English) A familiar proverb. Siconolfi (p. 230) notes its use at Comedy of Errors IV.iii.63). Drury’s Latin contains no equivalent.
480 (English) “The meaning is ‘went through;’ it refers to the fact that he has threaded a difficult course to effect his escape” —Siconolfi ib., who noted that the usage appears at Coriolanus III.i.124.
507 (English) “‘Good yeare,’ a meaningless mild expletive” — Siconolfi p. 231, comparing 2 Henry IV III.iv.177.
352 (English 512) The allusion is to Milo of Croton, a sixth century B. C. wrestler proverbial for his strength.
567 (English) Siconolfi (p. 232) defined this as “a room for storing distilled water.”More likely, one imagines, some kind of vessel for collecting rainwater. In any event, he means his drippy nose.
432 (595f. English) The Psalm 130:1 (Vulgate Ps. 129).
434 (597 English) Psalm 24:1 (used by the Catholic Church as the introit for the first Sunday in Advent).
436 (598 English) The reverse of many Elizabethan and Jacobean coins featured a coat of arms with a long cross behind it:
506 (675f. English) This is one time where Squire encountered legal terminology in his Latin original but failed to translate it (more typically, he introduced more such terminology on his own initiative). The reason is because this line (and several others in the play as well) involve a pun on the two meanings of ius, “law, justice” and “juice, sauce.” Indeed, in literature of the time this pun was used so frequently that it became a predicatable clichée.
689 (English) Siconolfi (p. 233) glosses “law” as “a colloquial expression meaning ‘a bit ahead’; cf. Heywood’s Witches of Lancashire, ‘She shall have law’; sometimes used of the practice of giving a hunted animal a head start.” One is not entirely convinced that this explanation suits the context.
699 (English) Siconolfi, ib., points out that here “adamant” means a magnet, comparing Troilus III.ii.179, “as iron to adamant.”
543 (724 English) Compare the Latin proverb non tam ovum ovo simile (Erasmus, Adagiorum Chiliades I.v.10).
779 (English) Despite Siconolfi’s gloss (p. 234), his anus is obviously being compared to the touch-hole at the breech of a cannon.
781 (English) Siconolfi, ib., glosses “seelie” as “harmless.” This suits the present context, but a former professor of mine, the late John Ferguson, who subsequently became President of Selly Oaks College in Birmingham once pointed out to me that the “Selly” in the institution’s name is cognate with “silly” and Ger. selig, and has religious connotations. Despite Siconolfi’s superficial understanding of “seely beggars”at Richard II V.vi.24, the word there does not just mean “harmless,” but signifies that the beggars are under some form of divine protection. Here the word is being used sarcastically.
638f. In luto haeret A proverbial expression meaning “is bogged down,” perhaps originating in the Latin version of Aesop’s fable Rusticus et Hercules:
O Hercules, te implro: audi mea vota!
Propitius adiuva me quod currus meus in luto haeret!
640 (836 English) See the commentary note on 940ff.
673 A Latin proverb meaning “Nothing remains for me to do but hang myself,” used by Terence, Phormio IV.iv.5 (Erasmus, Adagiorum Chiliades I.5.21).
915 (English) Siconolfi (p. 235) wrote that “‘to rule the roaste’ was originally said to have meant to be an absolute master in the kitchen...the phrase is apt, since Crancus is here concerned with food.” We Americans have transmuted this proverbial phrase into “to rule the roost,” as if its object correlative were a rooster lording it over the hens.
924 (English) Siconolfi (p. 236) glosses “mummie” as “the substance used to preserve mummies.” In fact, the word designates the fine powder, at least allegedly made from ground-up mummies, that apothecaries used to sell for its supposed medicinal value.
939ff. (1245ff. English) This passage contains verbal fencing about a subject hotly debated between Catholics and Proestants: Luther and Calvin taught that salvation comes from faith alone, whereas Catholics condemned this view as heresy and believed that good works were also requisite. It is in this passage that Drury’s Catholicism is most evident (and Squire did nothing to alter what he originally wrote), since he places the Protestant view in the mouth of the devil (see further the note on 1641 (English) below).
978 (English) Siconolfi, ib., tried to divine the meaning of “Save kinge of bodies” without success, and I can do no better. These words are perhaps best regarded as a transcriptional error for something entirely different.
1005 (English) See the note on line 507 (English).
1194 (English) Now you have a veritable cornucopia of straw.
880 Thrasus is the miles gloriosus in Terence’s Eunuchus.
890 Drury’s parody of Ovid, Ars Amatoria II.24, semibovemque virum semivirumque bovem.
936 A haeres ex asse was the heir to a whole estate.
1251 (English) I. e., Martin Luther (Drury names him outright at 944).
1348 (English) “...in legal parlance, it meant a blending of property for common division; this whole section expands the legal references in the Latin and may indicate Squire’s familiarity with Law or his intention of having the Inns of Court as a possible audience for his play” — Siconolfi, pp. 240f.
993 Another example of punning on the double meaning of ius.
997 Quickly followed by a second pun on the two meanings of sapio, “be wise” and “have taste, flavor.”
1600 (English) Siconolfi made no attempt to explain “It’s bee indeed.”
1641 (English) Another doctrinal passage in which Drury revealed his Catholicism and Squites did nothing to alter what he had written. “Drury places the Protestant view of Purgatory in the devil’s mouth; the role of Christ in Purgatory was a bone of contention between Puritans and Anglicans...” (Siconolfi p. 244).
1642 (English) When the devil uses the word “luculent” in the preceding line, he means “bright” or perhaps “self-evident.” Here, Siconolfi (pp. 244f.) suggest the meaning might well be that it is clearly obvious that that doctrine is in error, perhaps with a reference to a book of religious controversy about Purgatory by Richard Smith, who was chancellor of the University of Douai, and wrote Refutato Luculentae Crassae et Exitiosae Haeresis Ioannis Calvini...in 1562.” He also suggested that “Lucian” is an anagram for Calvin (his following references to studies of the importance of the Greek satirist Lucian in the Renaissance seem magnificiently irrelevant.
1681 (English) The antecedent of “yours” appears to be “good fortune”: the shape of the case resembles that of a full belly.
1682 (English) “A legal writ, e. g. coram iudice...this may be another indication of Squire’s familiarity with legal terminology” (Siconolfi p. 245).
1718 (English) “A compressed and variant form of ‘belongs to thee’” — Siconolfi p. 246. I. e., this is your responsibility.
1401 (1733f. English) A hypotheca is a pledge on a loan. Squire did not try to imitate the pun in English (his “appurtenances”translates melioramentis).
1797 (English) The ms. puts a comma after soe. Siconolfi made no attempt to explain “Cudds soe.” My guess is that it means a rueful “Could it be so,” in which case it should be punctuated as a separate sentence.
1818 (English) Another example of Squire’s familiarity with the terminology of the law.