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NOTES:-Robert Greene's Prose Works, 81-The Bitter
Shakespeare's "as true as it is strange," 'Measure for Measure,' V. i. 44.
2. The proverb formula, "An ounce of [soand-so] is better than a pound [of the other thing]," varied to dram and tun, &c., Greene found a vade-mecum. The expression was formed, perhaps, from "Give him an inch and he'll take an ell," a proverb in Heywood, 1546. And "Better is one vnce of good lyfe than x pounde of pardon" is found in 1526 (N.E.D.'). I find in Tottell's Miscellany (Arber, p. 90), 1557: "They weigh a chip of chance more than a pound of wit." Greene often uses 66 'chip of chance" also (ii. 128; iv. 70, &c.) "An ounce of give in a lady's balance weigheth down a pound of love me," Euphues to Philautus' (Gros., vi. 263), 1587. "Would you have me, sir, buy an ounce of "9 6 Never pleasure with a tunne of mishappes? too Late,' 1590. "For one dram of pros
as a Title-Bunyan's Holy War - Nathaniel Cooper-George Cumberland, 88- -Dorset Place-name: Ryme Intrinseca-'Chevy Chase'-"Close"-Shepherd's Bush-Boddington Family-"Veni, Creator," 89-Tulipomania-Byrch Arms-Locke: Lockie-Teed and Ashburner REPLIES:-Ythancaster, Essex, 90-Pictures inspired by Music-The Beggar's Opera in Dublin-Swedish Royal Family-Authors of Quotations Wanted, 91-Lines on a Mug-Portraits which have led to Marriages-Incledon : Cooke, 92-Sir George Davies, Bart.-Vulgate-Jack and Jill-'Bathilda,' 93-No. 53, Fleet Street-Parker FamilyCape Hoorn-"Jockteleg "-St. Gilbert of Sempringham, 94-Prerogative Court of Canterbury Will Registers Bibliographical Queries-Willesden Families-Forests set on Fire by Lightning - Cricket, Earliest Mention, William III. at the Boyne-Prisoners' Clothes as Per-peritie reapeth a whole pound of miserie," quisites-"There shall no tempests blow," 96-" Pelfry" Anatomie of Fortune' (Grosart, iii. 201), used by Johnson-Knights Templars-Black and Yellow 1584, and in 'The Carde of Fancie' (iv. 147), the Devil's Colours-Cope of Bramshill, 97. 1587. "Reaping a tunne of drosse for every dramme of perfect golde," ibid., p. 39. The grain and pound variant seems to be later. Sometimes these paddings become drivel with Greene : A pound of golde is worth a tunne of lead," "Pandosto' (iv. 241), 1588. His earliest is in Mamillia': " For every dram of pleasure a pound of sorrow (ii. 26), 1580-3. And he had Lyly's authority in some cases: A dram of give me is heavier than an ounce of hear me," 'Sapho and Phao,' I. iv., 1584. If this idiom was removed from Greene there would probably be half a hundred gaps. A different form is in Mamillia' (ii. 81): For a pince [pinch? pint ?] of pleasure we receave a gallon of sorrow."
NOTES ON BOOKS:- Memoirs of a Royal Chaplain'-
Obituary :-The Rev. the Hon. G. H. F. Vane.
ROBERT GREENE'S PROSE WORKS. (See ante, p. 1.)
My former remarks may be regarded as preliminary. They are, I hope, nothing nearly as much too long for 'N. & Q.' as they are too short for the subject. I will now proceed to Greene's prose itself. And first it will be well to notice some of his special peculiarities, or Greenisms. I do not state that he invented these idioms, or whatever they may be; but he gives them sufficient prominence to make of them a feature in his style. A dozen or so may be selected at random.
1. "It is a saying, Gwydonius, not so common as true, that he which will hear the Syrens sing must......tye himself to the mast," &c., The Carde of Fancie,' 1587 (Grosart, iv. 21). "It is a saying, Gwydonius, not so common as true, that the hastie man never wants woe," ibid., p. 77. And 'Mamillia' (ii. 191), 1580-3, "It is a saying, not so common as true, that shee which soweth all her love in an houre shall not reape all her care in a yeare." This occurs several times later in Greene, and is nearly paralleled in Laneham's Letter,' 1575 (Burn's ed., p. 67): "A thing, Master Martin, very rare and strange, and yet no more strange than true." Compare
3. A very odd trick of Greene's is the following, which hinges, according to logic, on the causal "therefore": "O infortunate Myrania, and therefore infortunate because Myrania, hast thou so little force to withstand fancie?"Anatomie of Fortune' (iii. 196), 1584. 196), 1584. "O infortunate Arbasto (quoth I), and therefore the more infortunate because Arbasto, art thou not worthye of thys mishap?" "Infortunate Fawnia, and therefore infortunate because Fawnia," 'Pandosto (iv. 279), 1588. There are variants to the figure: "Doost thou love, yea alas, and therefore unhappy because in love, a passion so unfit for thy young yeares,' 99 6 Perimedes the Blacke-Smith' (vii. 69), 588; but the monologue-opening cannot be dispensed with: "Infortunate Isabel, and therefore infortunate because thy sorrowes are more than thy yeares," Never too Late' (viii. 58), 1590. This example brings us down
4. Perceiving Gostino to crave rest, and that his drowsie eyes chymed for sleepe," Mamillia' (ii. 85). "Seeing they were wearie, and that sleepe chimed on to rest," 'Menaphon' (vi. 53), 1589. A poetical echo of "my belly rings noon," which Greene phrases "By the chimes in his stomacke it was time to fall unto meate," A Groatsworth of Wit' (xii. 133), 1592.
5. "Thy welfare hanges in the wil of another man, and doost both live and love, so that conclude with thy selfe, Pharicles "Whom must be he," 'Mamillia' (ii. 90), 1583. she did entirely both love and like," ibid., p. 269. 'Hee was liked and loved of all the cheefe Peeres of the Realme," xii. 27 (written circa 1589); and common in the intervening pieces. There are many similar jingles, founded all, perhaps, on the old "living and looking" ("alive and kicking "), which is at least as old as Piers the Plowman.' Others are "living, liking, and looking" in Capt. Greene has this Smith (Arber, 518), &c.
alliterative trick always handy.
8. "Conjectures......that Pasylla was woman, and therefore to be wonne: if beautiful, with prayses if coie, with praiers," &c., 'Planetomachia' (v. 56), 1585. To hope, why not?......shee is a woman, and therfore to be wonne with prayses or promises, for that shee is a woman," ibid. (110). The first passage is repeated in 'Perimedes' (vii. 68). "The sea called Mare mortuum feedeth no fish, so are there no Cowards suffered to arrive at Paphos: she is but a woman, and therefore to be wonne," 'Orpharion' (xii. 31), 1588 (?). Argentina is a woman, and therefore to be wooed, and so to be wonne," ibid., p. 78. The last quotation is very near the lines in Shakespeare's 1 Henry VI.,' V. ii. 77, and repeated in 'Titus Andronicus,' II. i. 80. Greene is thought to have had a hand in the original draft of 'Henry VI.' Grosart made a feeble effort to assign 'Titus Andronicus' partly to Greene.
9. "Bradamant, living there for a brief space......woon such favour......in so much that who but Bradamant in all the court of 'He was made Libia," 'Perimedes' (vii. 88). foreman of the shop, and so pleased the gentlemen......that who but William talkt on for a good taylor," Defence of Conny-catching' (xi. 88). But this tract has not, I think, any place in Greene's works. Of this more later. This idiom, common later, is euphuistic: "Who now so fortunate as Fidus? who so 66 Who now but 6. "Report is plumed with Time's feathers, frolicke?" (Arber, p. 273.) and Envie oftentimes soundeth Fame's trum- his violet, who but Mistris Fraunces?" (Arber, pet," Pandosto' (iv. 249), 1588. "See how p. 426.) Oliphant has a reference (in full for Fortune is plumed with Time's feathers, and a wonder) in New English,' i. 476, to Ellis's how she can minister strange causes to breede 'Letters,' circa 1530: "He is his right hand, "Craftie Cupid, and who but he?" We may couple other strange effects," ibid. (274). having his wings plumede with time's odd usages with this: "If thou sendest him Fethers," Planetomachia' (v. 54), 1585; re- but one line, it will more charme him than peated in 'Perimedes' (vii. 66). "Momen- al Cyrces inchantments...... Why, but Doratarie affection......being plumed with time's lice? And with that she sat still as one feathers, falleth with every dewe," 'Penelope's in a trance, building castles in the aire," Web' (v. 160), 1587. "To give more feathers Arbasto' (iii. 247), 1584. Why but, Gwyto the wings of Time occurs in Sidney's donius, why does thou thus recklesslie rage "Carde of Fancie' (iv. 67). Arcadia,' book iii.; and later to "imp against reason?" feathers to Time's wings " is in Massinger "What" comes in for maltreatment somethree times, in Tomkis's 'Albumazar,' and in Beaumont and Fletcher's Little French Lawyer.'
times: But, Seignior Peratio, quoth the olde Countesse, what doe you thinke everie one proud that weareth costly apparell? 7. "But she contrariwise being at discovert, 'Farewell to Follie' (ix. 254). Why but,' noting the comelinesse of Pharicles," &c., coupled with "Yea" to follow, is freely used Mamillia' (ii. 189). "Left them at discovert by John Florio in his preface to Montaigne, to be maimed with the glozing gunshot of as Why but Learning be wrapt in a learned "At mantle. Yea but to be unwrapt by a learned their protested perjuries," ibid. (255). Florio aped eudiscovert," meaning in an uncovered or ex- nurse," &c., ad nauseam. posed condition, occurs continuously in phuism very clumsily. Without alliteration Greene. It is found in Chaucer and earlier. it could not be made a going concernSee Greene again, iv. 31; vii. 66; and in showing to what straits those who adopted it were confined. Grosart's useful Index.
10. "Will eagles catch at flies?" Pandosto' power of the law thought to wrest hir upon (iv. 280). "Aquila non capit muscas," Carde a higher pin," Mirror of Modesty' (iii. 24), of Fancie' (iv. 68). This saying (englished) 1584; repeated in 'Never too Late' (viii. 153), occurs constantly. It is one of the com- 1590. 66 Giovanni, hearing hir harpe on that monest in Greene. Harvey used it earlier, string, strained it a pin higher thus," 'Philoand Nashe later (both in the Latin version), mela' (xi. 126), 1592. Greene has the much but Greene runs it to death. older and well-known "set on merry pin" in Quip for an Upstart Courtier' (xi. 279), 1592. This Greenism I have not met elsewhere. It seems to be his interpretation of the merry-pin saying, and I have no doubt he is right. "Wrest was the technical name of the wrench for tuning harp-strings. It occurs in Laneham's 'Letter,' 1575. See note to 'Othello,' II. i. (Arden ed., p. 80).
11. "Too high, Samela, and therefore I fear with the Syrian Wolves to barke against the Moone, or with them of Scyrum to shoot against the starres," Menaphon' (vi. 85), 1589; and again at p. 145. The wolves in Syria that barke against the Moone suffer small reste and great hunger," "Tullie's Love' (vii. 121), 1589; and again at p. 160. These wolves are used for other purposes of illustration (vii. 75; ix. 52). I omit here the Salamander in the caverns of Etna" (viii. 50; ix. 31), and in other fires, which his cold enables him to put out, since it was hackneyed from the time of Pliny. Greene has it at least twenty times. Sometimes it becomes a stone. Another old friend is Sisyphus.
12. "She uncessantly turned the stone with Sisyphus, rolled on the wheele with Ixion, and filled the bottomlesse tubs with Belydes," Arbasto' (iii. 216), 1584. "The stone of Sisyphus, vulture of Titius, or wheele of Ixion," Tullie's Love' (vii. 122). "To perswade a woman from her will is to roll Sisyphus' stone," 'Never too Late' (viii. 36), 1590. And elsewhere several times.
13. "They stood as the pictures that Perseus with his shield turned into stone," 'Never too Late' (viii. 57). "I stood astonished, as if with Perseus' shield I had been made a senselesse picture,' Arbasto' (iii. 190). Perseus appears again about half a dozen times.
14. "Wilt thou strive against the streame? and with the deere feede against the winde?" 'Never too Late' (viii. 81). The first of these is very common, and also an early saying (Digby Mysteries'; Skelton's Garland of Laurel,' &c.); the latter simile is used several times: "She sought with hate to rase out love, but that was with the deere to feed against the wind," 'Arbasto (iii. 195). "He found that to wrestle with love, was with the crabbe to swimme against the stream, and with the Deere to feede against the wind," 'Planetomachia' (v. 115), 1585. The crab comes from 'Euphues,' and will be referred to again.
15. "Silvestro, seeing that wrong application had almost made Lacena peevish, fearing, if he wrested not the pin to a right key, his melody would be marred, made this subtil answere," Tritameron,' Part II. (iii. 121), 1587. "The Judges......by the
16. "I appeale to none but God, who. knoweth me guiltlesse, and to thine owne conscience: whose worme for this wronge will ever bee restlesse," Philomela' (xi. 168), 1592. 'Whatsoever villanie the heart doth worke, in processe of time the worme of conscience will bewray," ibid., p. 190. I, father, said Roberto, it is the worme [poor Greene's worm!] of conscience, that urges you at the last houre to remember your life, that eternall life may follow your repentance," 'Groatsworth of Wit' (xii. 109), 1592. "O horrenda fames, how terrible are thy assaultes? but Vermis conscientia, more wounding are thy stings," ibid., 138. This is of special interest on account of the line in Shakespeare's Richard III.,' I. iii. 222: "The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul"; of which the only illustration in Wright's Clarendon Press edition is "their worm shall not die" (Isaiah lxvi. 24), which a marginal note in the Genevan version explains a continual torment of conscience" (very doubtfully ?). The expression perhaps came from Greene, for these "Repentance" tracts created a great sensation.
17. "The egges of the Lapwing are scarse hatched before the young ones can runne,' Planetomachia' (v. 56). 1585; repeated in 'Perymedes' (vii. 64), 1588. "Are you no sooner hatched with the Lapwing, but you will runne away with the shell on your head?' Soone prickes the tree that will be a thorne, and a girle that loves too soone will repent too late," Never too Late' (viii. 34), 1590. Shakespeare uses this simile in Hamlet,' V. ii. 190; but, as Dr. Dowden has quoted the expression from an intermediate source(Meres's 'Wit's Treasury,' 1598), Greene need not have been made use of by Shakespeare.. But it appears to be due to Greene, and was used by Ben Jonson ('Staple of News'), Chapman (Revenge for Honour '), Webster (White Devil'), N. Breton (Two Princes, 1600), and others, all later than ‘Hamlet,'
except N. Breton. The statement is not ornithologically absurd, and as it occurs in Planetomachia' it is true.
18. "A man having cracked his credit is halfe hanged," Mamillia' (ii. 91), 1583. "A woman having crackt her loyaltie is halfe hanged," Alcida' (ix. 80), 1588. "Thou knowest that a woman's chiefest treasure is her good name, and that she which crackt her credit is halfe hanged," "Never too Late' (viii. 154). Without the hanging clause the saying is earlier, "his credit is cracked" occurring in Edwards's 'Damon and Pithias,' 1571, and in Tusser.
19. "I cannot blame you sith Aretino and his fellow came over your fallowes with such cutting blowes," "Tritameron' (iii. 82), 1584. "After he hath learned al of him, then he comes over his fallowes kindly......wele drinke a quart of wine," Art of Conny-catching (x. 17), 1592. Straight they come over his fallowes thus," ibid., p. 45. "I, gathering my wits together, came over his fallowes thus," "Blacke Booke's Messenger' (xi. 13), 1592. "I will come over your fallowes with this bad Rethoricke." I never met this elsewhere. Is it taken from the harrow going over the ploughed land and roughly breaking down obstacles, and smoothing them away? Sometimes it merely means an introduction or an intrusion upon one.
drowned three virgins, who refused to let Him play with them, by leading them over a bridge made of sunbeams, and how He was beaten by the Virgin with "slashes three" from a withy tree," which He therefore cursed, and condemned to be "the very first tree that shall perish at the heart." No reply, it seems, has ever been given to this day.
The following version was communicated on 31 December, 1888, by Mr. Henry Ellershaw, Jun., of Rotherham, in a letter to Mr. A. H. Bullen (shortly after the publication of the latter's 'Songs and Carols'), who has given me permission to contribute a copy. It was taken down verbatim as sung by an old Herefordshire man of about seventy (in 1888), who learnt it from his grandmother. I have added the punctuation and numbered the verses.
As it fell out on a Holy day,
The drops of rain did fall, did fall,
Our Saviour asked leave of His mother Mary
"To play at ball, my own dear Son,
It's time You was going or gone,
It was upling scorn and downling scorn,
Oh, we are lords' and ladies' sons,
And You are but some poor maid's child
Born'd in an ox's stall."
"If you are lords' and ladies' sons,
This series of "Greenisms" shows how alarmingly Greene indulged in repetition. But these are on a small scale-chips of chance he might have called them. We will see what he does with larger pieces. These observations can be taken in a proper sequence, and they are of interest perhaps in showing what Greene deemed his tit-bits, or what he thought the public wanted. And certainly he was in one sense not mistaken. For the number of times he appears as the first authority for proverbial expressions is very Then at the very last I'll make it appear considerable, showing how his language was seized upon; and if Greene be accusable of plagiarism, it is a long time since Ben Jonson -called attention to the fact that he was freely plagiarized from himself. He speaks of Greene's works, whence she may steal with more security," in 'Every Man out of his Humour,' II. i. (1599). Some of the foregoing peculiarities are borrowed from Roman prosody, apparently. H. C. HART.
(To be continued.)
'THE BITTER WITHY.'
THIRTY-SEVEN years ago a contributor to N. &Q.' (4th S. i. 53) asked for the full form of a carol describing how "sweet Jesus"
That I am above you all."
Our Saviour built a bridge with the beams of the
And after followed the three jolly jerdins,