4.1[1]                                  Enter Salassa and Shaparoon.


A coward? ’Tis impossible. Velasco a coward? The brave man? The wonder of the time? Sure, Shaparoon, ’tis a mere[2] scandal raised by an enemy.


’Tis most certain, most apparent. Tailors, prentices, nay, bakers and weavers—things that drink cannot put spirit into, they are such mighty bread-eaters.[3] They, as I am an honest woman, fling old shoes at him, and he dares not turn back to give an angry word.


I had been sweetly promoted[4] to such a tame champion.


Gallants! Out upon ’em; ’tis your tough clown is your only raiser up of man or woman.[5]


A proclamation is sent out for certain?


Most assuredly.


The sum proposed, a hundred thousand ducats?


Present payment, without attendance.[6]


’Tis a glorious reward. Speak low, and observe.   [They stand aside.]

Enter Mopas reading a proclamation.


“Whosoever, man or woman, can or will procure any such foresaid defendant against the said day, let them, him, or she repair to the said Lords of the Council and give in such sufficient assurance for such defence, and they or any of them shall receive a hundred thousand ducats in ready cash with what honours may give them, him, or her content or satisfaction.” O, that I durst be valiant—a hundred thousand! A hundred thousand—how it rumbles in my chops.[7]


Prithee, a word, my friend.


Sweet lady, all fair weather upon ye. As for you, madam, time was, I recommend to your ancient remembrance, time is past; with my service forwards and backwards when ’tis time present; resting yours in the whole—Mopas![8]


Very courtly and pithy.


Pray, let me view your paper.


’Tis your ladyship’s.


Some proclamation, as I take it.


Madam reverence,[9] you have taken it in the right cue.


I am o’erjoyed; there’s gold for thy news, friend. I will make thee the happiest and most welcome messenger to thy lord that ever received thanks from him, without delay. Wait on me for instructions.


I am at your ladyship’s beck.





[4.2]                                     Enter Alphonso and Muretto.


True, true, sir, you are set high upon the stage for action: “O, the top of my ambition, my heart’s idol!”[10] What a perplexity are you twined into? And justly; so justly, that it is hard to judge whether your happiness were greater, in the possession of an unmatchable beauty, or your present misery, by enforcing that beauty to expose her honour to so apparent a contempt. This is not the least that might have been in time prevented.


O, I am lost, Muretto, my sunk eyes

Are buried in their hollows; busy thoughts

Press on like legions of infernal hags

To menace my destruction. Yet my judgment

Still prompts my senses that my Queen is fair.


Fair! Unspeakable workmanship of heaven’s bounty. Were all the skilfullest painters that ever discerned colours moulded into one, to perfect an artist, yet that artist should sooner want fancy or imagination for personating a curious medal[11] than ever to pattern a counterfeit so exquisitely excellent as is the Queen by nature.


I have surveyed the wonder of her cheeks,

Compared them with the lilies and the rose,

And by my life, Muretto, roses are

Adulterate[12] to her blush, and lilies pale

Examined with her white; yet, blear-eyed fool,

I could not see those rarities before me.


Every man is blind, my lord, in his own happiness—there’s the curse of our mortality. She was the very tale of the world; her perfections busied all tongues; she was the only wish of Europe’s chiefest monarchs[13]—whose full fruition you (and ’twas your capital sin) most inhumanly abandoned.


Villain Petruchi, let me forever curse him. Had he not been the man, who else had durst to hazard a denial from her scorns?


See now, herein you are monstrous discourteous, above excuse. Why, sir, what hath Petruchi done which, from any King to a vassal, all men would not eagerly have pursued? Alas, my lord, his nobleness is eternal by this means: in attempting and (his felicity unmatchable) in enjoying the glory of his time—a beauty[14] so conquering, so unparalleled.


She is superlative.




                                         Rich, bright.




                      Too, too worthy for a man.


The gods might enjoy her.


Nature ne’er framed so sweet a creature.[15]


She is self-Nature’s nature.[16]


Let me forever curse the frail condition

Of our deluded faculties, Muretto.

Yet being all, as she is all, her best

Is worst, considering that she is a wanton.


Build you a palace, arch it with diamonds, roof it with carbuncles, pave it with emeralds, daub it with gold, furnish it with all what cost can lay on, and then seal up the doors, and at best ’tis but a solitary nest for owls and daws.[17] Beauty was not merely created for wonder, but for use. ’Tis you were in the fault; ’tis you persuaded her, urged, compelled, enforced her—I know it, my truth and plainness trumpets it out to ye. Besides, women, my lord, are all creatures, not gods nor angels.


I must confess ’tis true. Yet, by my crown,

She dies if none defend her; I’m resolved.


’Tis a heroical disposition, and, with your honour, she cannot, must not, live. Here’s the point—if she live and you receive her to favour, you will be a noted cuckold, which is a recognizance[18] dishonourable to all, but to a King fearfully infamous. On the other side, if you prevail and she be put to death, you do as it were deprive the firmament of the sun and yourself of the treasure of the whole earth.


Right, right, Muretto, there thou strik’st the wound

Too deeply to be cured; yet I must do’t.

I would fain see her now.


Pray do, sir, and let Petruchi come face-to-face to her; observe them both, but be very mild to both; use extremity to neither.


Well counselled. Call them hither, but none with them. [Exit Muretto]

We’ll strive with grief. Heaven! I am plunged at full.

Never henceforward shall I slumber out

One peaceful hour[19]—my enragèd blood

Turns coward to mine honour. I could wish 

My Queen might live now, though I did but look

And gaze upon her cheeks, her ravishing cheeks.

But, O, to be a cuckold. ’Sdeath, she dies!

Enter at one door Petruchi and the other Muretto and the Queen;

they stand at [either side] of the stage. [20]


My gracious lord.


                              Reach yond fair sight a chair,

That man a stool; sit both, we’ll have it so.


’Tis kingly done. [Aside to Alphonso] In any case, my lord, curb now a while the violence of your passion and be temperate.


Sir, ’tis my part to kneel, for on your brow

I read sad sentence of a troubled wrath,

And that is argument enough to prove

My guilt, not being worthy of your favour.


Let me kneel too, though not for pardon, yet

In duty to this presence [indicates the Queen]; else I stand,

As far from falsehood as is that from truth [indicates the King].


Nay, madam, this is[21] not the promise on your part. It is his pleasure you should sit.


His pleasure is my law.


Let him sit too, the man.      Both sit.


Sir, you are obeyed.


Between my comforts and my shame I stand

In equal distance. This way let me turn

To thee, thou woman; let me dull mine eyes

With surfeit on thy beauty. What art thou,

Great dazzling splendour? Let me ever look

And dwell upon this presence.

Muretto [aside]

                                                 Now it works.


I am distract. Say? What? Do not… do not—


My lord the King? Why, sir? He is in a trance, or else metamorphosed[22] to some[23] pillar of marble: how fixedly he stands. D’ye hear, sir? What d’ye dream on? My lord, this is your Queen, speak to her.


May I presume with my irreverent lips

To touch your sacred hand?


                                              I am too wretched

To be thought but the subject of your mirth.


Why, she can speak, Muretto. O tell me, pray,

And make me ever, ever fortunate:

Are you a mortal creature? Are ye indeed

Moulded of flesh and blood like other women?

Can you be pitiful? Can ye vouchsafe

To entertain fair parley? Can you love,

Or grant me leave to love you? Can you? Say?


You know too well, my lord, instead of granting,

I owe a duty, and must sue to you

If I may not displease.


                                     Now I am great.

You are my Queen, and I have wronged a merit

More than my service in the humblest lowness

Can ever recompense. I’ll rather wish

To meet whole hosts of dangers and encounter

The fabled whips of steel[24] than ever part

From those sweet eyes; not time shall sue divorce

’Twixt me and this great miracle of nature.



                 Sovereign sir?


                                         I’ll turn away

And mourn my former errors. [turns to Petruchi] Worse than death!

Look where a basilisk with murdering flames

Of poison strikes me blind. Insatiate tempter,

Pattern of lust! ’Tis thou alone hast sundered

Our lawful bride-bed, planted on my crest

The hornèd satyr’s badge; hast soiled a beauty

As glorious as sits yonder on her front.

Kill him, Muretto! Why should he receive

The benefit of the law that used no law

In my dishonours?


                                Were you more a King

Than royalty can make you—though oppressed

By your commanding powers, yea, and curbed

In bonds most falsely, yet give me a sword

And strip me to my shirt, I will defend

Her spotless virtue, and no more esteem

In such a noble cause a host[25] of kings

Than a poor, stingless swarm of buzzing flies.


Petruchi, in those words thou dost condemn

Thy loyalty to me! I shall disclaim

All good opinion of thy worth or truth

If thou persevere[26] to affront my lord.


Then I have done. Here’s misery unspeakable—

Rather to yield me guilty wrongfully

Than contradict my wrongs.


                                               High impudence!

Could she be ten times fairer than she is,

Yet I would be revenged. You, sweet, I would…

Again—her beams quite blast me.


If you will be an eaglet of the right eyrie, you must endure the sun. Can you choose but love her?


No, by the stars. Why would not you be honest

And know how I do dote?[27]


                                           May I be bold

To say I am, and not offend?


                                                 Yes, yes,

Say so for heaven’s love, though you be as foul

As sin can black your purity. Yet tell me

That you are white and chaste, that while you live

The span of your few days I may rejoice

In my deluded follies, lest I die

Through anguish ere I have revenged my injury

And so leave you behind me for another—

That were intolerable.


Heaven knows I ne’er abused myself or you.


As much swear I, and truly.


                                              Thou proud devil,

Thou hast a lying tongue. They are consented

In mischief. Get ye hence, seducing horrors!

I’ll stop mine eyes and ears till you are gone.

As you would be more merciful, away,

Or as you would find mercy.

                                                Ex[eunt] Queen [and] Petruchi contrary ways.


Sir, they are gone.


And she too? Then let me be seen no more.

I am distracted, both ways I feel[28] my blame—

To leave her, death; to live with her is shame.



Fare ye well, King. This is admirable; I will be chronicled; all my business ripens to my wishes. And if honest intentions thrive so successfully, I will henceforth build upon this assurance: that there can hardly be a greater hell or damnation than in being a villain upon earth.





[4.3]                         Enter Lodovico, Salassa [and] Shaparoon.


I am wonder-stricken! And were you, i’faith, the she indeed, that turned my lord’s heart so handsomely, so cunningly? O, how I reverence wit. Well, lady, you are as pestilent a piece of policy as ever made an ass of love.


But, Lodovico, I’ll salve all again quickly.


Yes indeed, forsooth, she has the trick on’t.


You have undertaken with the lords already, you say?


I have, and my life is at stake, but I fear not that.


Pish, you have no need; one smile or kind simper from you does all. I warrant ye the sight of so much gold as you are to receive hath quickened your love infinitely.


Why, sir, I was not worthy of my lord’s love before, I was too poor—but now two hundred thousand ducats[29] is a dower fit for a lord.


Marry is’t. I applaud your consideration, ’twas neatly thought on.

Enter Collumello and Almado.[30]


Have you prevailed yet, lady? Time runs on,

You must not dally.


                                     Good my lords, fear nothing;

Were it but two hours to’t, I should be ready.

Enter Velasco very sad.


He comes himself, ’tis fit we stood unseen. Ply him soundly, lady.


Let us withdraw, then.

                                                                               Exeunt [all but Salassa].


I cannot be alone; still I am hunted

With my confounding thoughts. Too late I find

How passions at their best are but sly traitors

To ruin honour. That which we call love

Was by the wisest power above forethought

To check our pride. Thus when men are blown up

At the highest of conceit, then they fall down

Even by the peevish follies of their frailties.


The best of my lord Velasco’s wishes ever crown him with all true content.[31]


Cry ye mercy, lady.


I come to chide you, my lord. Can it be possible that ever any man could so sincerely profess such a mightiness of affection as you have done to me, and forget it all so soon and so unkindly?


Are you a true very[32] lover, or are you bound

For penance to walk to some holy shrine

In visitation? I have seen that face.


Have you so? O, you are a hot lover. A woman is in fine case to weep out her eyes for so uncertain a friend as your protestations urged me to conceive you. But come, I know what you’ll say aforehand; I know you are angry.


Pray give me leave to be my own tormentor.


Very angry, extremely angry. But, as I respect perfection, ’tis more than I deserve. Little know you the misery I have endured, and all about a hasty word of nothing—and I’ll have it prove nothing ere we part.


Her pride hath made her lunatic, alas!

She hath quite lost her wits—those are the fruits

Of scorns and mockeries.[33]


To witness how endearedly I prefer your merits and love your person—in a word, my lord, I absolve you and set you free from the injunction I bound you in. As I desire to thrive, I meant all but for a trial in jest.


These are no words of madness. Whither tends

The extremity of your invention, lady?

I’ll swear no more.


I was to blame,[34] but one fault, methinks, is to be pardoned; when I am yours and you firmly mine, I’ll bear with many in you.


So, if you be in earnest, what’s the matter?


The sum of all is that I know it suits not with the bravery of the lord Velasco’s spirit to suffer his Queen and sovereign stand wrongfully accused of dishonour and die shamefully for a fault never committed.


Why, ’tis no fault of mine.


Nor shall it be of mine. Go be a famous subject; be a ransomer of thy Queen from dangers; be registered thy country’s patron. Fight in defence of the fairest and innocentest princess alive. I with my heart release you. First conquer; that done, enjoy me ever for thy wife—Velasco, I am thine.


Pish! You release me? All their cunning strains

Of policy that set you now a-work

To treble ruin me—in life, fame, soul—

Are foolish and unable to draw down

A greater wrath upon my head. In troth,

You take a wrong course, lady.


Very good, sir, ’tis prettily put off, and wondrous modestly. I protest—no man hath enjoined me to this task; ’tis only to do service to the state and honour to you.


No man enjoined you but yourself?


None else, as I ever had truth in me.


Know then from me—you are a wicked woman, 

And avarice, not love to me, hath forced ye

To practise on my weakness. I could rail,

Be most uncivil, but take all in short—

I know you not.


Better and better—the man[35] will triumph anon, sure. Prithee, good,[36] dissemble no longer. I say you shall fight, I’ll have it so. I command you fight, by this kiss you shall. [Attempts to kiss him]


Forbear, let me in peace bid you forbear;

I will be henceforth still[37] a stranger to you,

Ever a stranger. Look, look up, up there

My oath is booked,[38] no human power can free me.


I grant you, none but I.


Be not deceived I have forgot your scorns;[39]

You are lost to me. Witness the genius

Of this place,[40] howe’er you tempt my constancy,

I dare not fight.[41]


Not dare to fight? What, not for me?


                                                         No, lady.

I durst not, must not, cannot, will not fight.


O me—undone!


                           What ails you?


                                                      Now my life

Hath run its last, for I have pawned it, sir,

To bring you forth as champion for the Queen.


And so should have the promised gold?


                                                                Aye, aye.[42]


You have revenged my wrongs upon yourself.

I cannot help you; nay, alas you know

It lay not in me.


                            O, take pity on me.

Look here, I hold my hands up, bend my knees,

Heaven can require no more. [Kneels]


                                               Then kneel to heaven.

I am no god, I cannot do you good.


Shall not my tears prevail, hard-hearted man?

Dissembler, love’s dishonour, bloody butcher

Of a poor lady—be assured my ghost

Shall haunt thy soul when I am dead.


                                                             Your curse

Is fallen upon your own head. Herein show

A noble piety, to bear your death

With resolution; and for final answer,

Lady, I will not fight to gain the world.



Gone! I have found at length my just reward,

And henceforth must prepare to welcome death.

Velasco, I begin to love thee now.

Now I perceive thou art a noble man,

Composed of goodness—what a fool was I?

It grieves me more to lose him than to die.

Enter Almado, Collumello, Lodovico [and] Shaparoon.[43]


Lady, we have heard all that now hath past.

You have deceived yourself and us. The time

We should have spent in seeking other means

Is lost, of which you are the cause.


                                                         And for it

The senate’s strict decree craves execution.

What can you say?


My lords, I can no more but yield me to the law.


O that ever you were born! You have made a sweet hand on’t, have you not?


Here is the right recompense of a vain confidence, mistress. But I will not torture you, being so near your end. Lady, say your prayers and die in charity—that’s all the pity I can take on ye.

                                                                                         Exit Lodovico.


Ten times the gold you should have had now, lady,

Cannot release you.[44]


                                 You alone are she

Ruins your country. Here’s the price of sin:

Ill thrift—all lose[45] in seeking all to win.

                                                                         Ex[eunt] all but Shaparoon.[46]


Nay even go thy ways. ’Tis an old proverb that lechery and covetousness go together, and ’tis a true one too. But I’ll shift for one.[47] If some proper squire or lusty[48] yeoman have a mind to anything I have about me, he shall soon know what to trust to, for I see the times are very troublesome.

Enter Pynto.


Now is the prosperous season when the whole round of the planets are[49] coupling together. Let birds and beasts observe Valentine’s day;[50] I am a man and all times are with me in season. This same court-ease hath set my blood on tiptoe—I am madder than a March hare.


Blessing on your fair face, your handsome hand, your clean foot, sir. Are you a courtier, sir?

Pynto [Aside]

Good stars direct me. Sweet woman, I am a courtier—if you have any suit, what is’t, what is’t? Be short.

Shaparoon [Aside]

Lord, what a courteous proper man he is; trust me, he hath a most eloquent beard. Suit, sir? Yes, sir, I am a country gentlewoman by father and mother’s side, one that comes to see fashions and learn news. And how, I pray sir, if I may be so bold to ask, stand things at court, sir, nowadays?


A very modest, necessary and discreet question. Indeed, mistress country-gentlewoman, things at court stand as they were ever wont, some stiff and some slack, everything according to the employment it hath.


Marry, the more pity, sir, that they have not all good doing alike; methinks they should be all and at all times ready here.[51]


You speak by a figure, by your leave, in that. But because you are a stranger, I will a little more amply inform you. Here at our court of Aragon, scholars for the most part are the veriest fools for that they are always beggarly and proud, and foolish citizens the wisest scholars for that they never run at charges for greater learning to cast up their reckonings than their hornbook.[52] Here every old lady is cheaper than a proctor, and will as finely convey an open act without any danger of a consistory.[53] Love and money sweeps all before them, be they cut or long-tail.[54] Do not I deserve a kiss for this discovery, mistress?


A kiss? O my dear chastity, yes indeed, forsooth, and I pray please yourself.         [They kiss]


Good wench, by Venus, but are you anything rich?


Rich enough to serve my turn.


I see you are reasonable fair.


I ever thought myself so.


Will you survey my lodgings?


At your pleasure, sir, being under your guard as I am.

Enter Mopas and Bufo.


Sirrah Mopas, if my mistress say but the word, thou shalt see what an exploit I will do.[55]


You’ll undertake it you say. Though your throat be cut in your own defence, ’tis but manslaughter—you can never be hanged for it.


Nay, I am resolute in that point. Here’s my hand, let him shrink that list, I’ll not flinch a hair’s breadth, Mopas.

Mopas [Sees Pynto and Shaparoon]

What, old huddle and twang[56] so close at it, and the dog days so near? Hark ye, your lady is going the way of all flesh.[57] And so is that scholar with you, methinks, though not in the same cue, is he not?[58]


He has promised to tell me my fortune at his chamber, and do me some other good for my lady’s safety.


I have spoken. The planets shall be ruled by me, captain, you know they shall.


Let the planets hang themselves in the elements, what care I? I have other matters to trouble my brains.


Signor Pynto, take her to you, as true a metalled blade as ever was turned into a dudgeon.[59] Hark in your ear. [Takes him aside]

Enter Lodovico and Herophil.[60]


I know not how to trust you, you are all

So fickle, so unconstant.[61]


                                                   If I fail,

Let me be marked a strumpet.


I apprehend you use him kindly still;

See where he is. Captain, you are well met;

Here’s one whose heart you have.


                                                        He knows he has.


Why, by my troth I thank you, forsooth. ’Tis more of your courtesy than my deserving, but I shall study to deserve it.


I hope so, and doubt it not.


Madam cousin Shaparoon.[62]


You are welcome, sir.


Cousin? Nay then, I smell she is a gentlewoman indeed.


Yes, and as anciently descended as flesh and blood can derive her.


I am a made man, and I will have her.[63]


You’ll walk with me, sir?


Even through fire and water, sweet mistress.


Let’s everyone to what concerns us most,

For now’s the time all must be saved or lost.

                                                                                             Exeunt all.



[1] ‘Act IV’ in Q.

[2] mere = complete, total.

[3] bread-eaters. Again, ‘bread’ and ‘weakness’ are associated, cf: 3.2.100 and 3.2.133. The unspoken contrast is, presumably, with ‘beef-eaters’.

[4] promoted = gained social advancement (by marriage). There is a dig here at Shaparoon who encouraged the match.

[5] Shaparoon plays lewdly on the idea of promotion.

[6] attendance = waiting, delay, OED 7; an obsolete usage from the 17th century only.

[7] chops = jaws and, by extension, mouth. The clown would presumably make much of articulating the phrase. Cf: 3.3.39.

[8] Mopas’ address to Shaparoon, couched in ridiculous circumlocution, is an attempt at courtly flattery. If there is any meaning in the speech, I take it to be: “Remember the past [with me], but it is past; in the present my service is to you both in the past and the future; all of which combined [adds up to my being your humble servant] Mopas.” Q’s punctuation is as follows:

                As for you, Madam, time was, I recommend to your ancient remembrance, time is past: with my service forwards and backwards, when 'tis time present, resting yours in the whole Mopas.

[9] Madam reverence, a glance at ‘sir-reverence’, a corruption of ‘save[-ing] your reverence’, a polite form of address (equating to ‘with all due respect’); however, it acquired a secondary meaning as a euphemism for human excrement.

[10] The quotation marks are mine; I take Muretto to be quoting Alphonso here. Q distinguishes these lines by adding some extra spacing before and after (D4v).

[11] curious medal = exquisitely wrought miniature portrait (Crystal—separate entries).

[12] adulterate = ‘Spurious, counterfeit; of base origin, or corrupted by base intermixture,’ OED 2.

[13] The previous three rather sententious statements are each given their own line in Q (E1r): She…world / …tongues / …monarchs.

[14] beauty, ‘beau’ in Q. If Q’s reading were retained, ‘beau’ might refer to either Petruchi or the Queen (who is the ‘glory of his [Petruchi’s] time’).

Alphonso’s reply (“She is superlative,”) suggests the Queen is the referent, but OED has only one precedent for ‘beau’ referring to a woman, from Langland in 1399 (“Now leue we Þis beu brid” OED A1). However, Dr Matt Steggle has drawn my attention to a possible use of ‘beau’ for a woman in Robert Tofte’s Alba (1598): “but I dare say / She is Faire, BEAVV? SE, so Faire as Faire may be,” (Tofte, Alba, C8v, from Jeffrey H. Nelson, ed., The Poetry of Robert Tofte 1597-1620: A Critical Old-Spelling Edition (New York, 1994), 118). Dr Steggle has suggested that the phrase is also a punning reference to the manor of Bewsey [see Notes and Queries, (54 (252):3), 2007 Sept, 262-64].

On the other hand, Muretto has been hyperbolically praising Petruci (“his nobleness is eternal”) so presumably “a beau so conquering, so unparalleled” could also refer to him. ‘Beau’ as ‘the suitor of a lady’ however, has its earliest OED citation c. 1720 (OED B2).

‘Beau’, then, seems a suspect usage whether for the Queen or Petruci. It is noticeable that the word appears at the end of a tight column line in Q (E1r)—could ‘-ty’ have been lost from the compositor’s stick? I have tentatively decided to amend to ‘beauty’ largely on the evidence of Alphonso’s reply (suggesting the referent is the Queen) and the very early or dubious precedents for a feminine ‘beau’.

[15] It is tempting to continue the shared-verse motif by splitting this line (“Nature ne’er framed / So sweet a creature”), but that would result in the following verse line (“So sweet…nature”) having an extra-metrical foot.

[16] In Q: “She is self Nature’s Nature.” The sense seems to be ‘she is nature itself; no artifice was involved in her creation,’ responding to Alphonso’s “Nature ne’er framed…”. “self” could be read as an elliptical form of ‘herself’ (with reflexive reference to the Queen) but I have tentatively opted to hyphenate to ‘self-Nature’, as in ‘Nature’s own self’.

[17] daws = jackdaws.

[18] recognizance = token; cf: 3.1.120.

[19] hour should be given disyllabic value.

[20] either side, “at several ends of the stage” in Q.

[21] this is not the promise, ‘this not the promise’ in Q. The missing copula was queried by Bang and is supplied here, as in 3.2.94.

[22] metamorphosed, ‘metamorphised’ in Q, a variant not noted in OED. ‘Metamorphosis’ appears (so spelt) at 3.2.102 (D3r).

[23] some, ‘some some, in Q (E1v); I can see no dramatic or rhetorical reason for this repetition and have omitted one on the assumption that it was a compositorial slip.

[24] fabled whips of steel, “flabled whips of steel” in Q (E1v) where an ‘fl’ ligature has been used. OED has a verb ‘flable’ meaning ‘to fan’—this seems an unlikely synonym for ‘scourging’. I suspect that an ‘fl’ ligature accidentally found its way into the ‘f’ box during type redistribution. If so, the word in the compositor’s copy was ‘fabled’ (OED, ‘fabled’ ppl. a. Mentioned in fable [1740]; Having no real existence, fictitious [1606]). “Whips of steel” were known from fable in the 16th and 17th centuries, eg: The Spanish Tragedy (Thomas Kyd, 1592) 1.1.65, and The Tragedy Of Messalina, The Roman Empress (Nathaniel Richards, 1640) Sc 2, lines 260-261. In both cases, the whips of steel are associated with hell and the Furies. Kenneth Muir (‘Folklore and Shakespeare’) suggests that the tradition derives from Seneca. Bang also conjectured ‘fabled’ and cited Ford’s Love’s Sacrifice: “Or all the fabling poets, dreaming whips,” (4.1.104).

[25] a host, ‘an host’ in Q. I have amended to accommodate modern standard pronunciation.

[26] persevere, the stress falls on the second syllable.

[27] These two sentences are printed as prose in Q. The queen’s apparent completion of a verse line increases the likelihood that they should be lineated as verse.

[28] feel, possibly “seel” – with long ‘s’ – in Q (as in the Full-Text Transcription of the Harvard copy available on EEBO). While ‘seal’ is possible, ‘feel’ seems to give the better sense. It is noteworthy that when ‘seal’ appears at 5.1.68, it is so-spelt.

[29] two hundred thousand ducats. All previous references (eg: 3.3.112, 4.1.13) have been to “a hundred thousand ducats”. It could possibly be argued that 4.1.19’s “they or any of them shall receive a hundred thousand ducats” may imply separate rewards of 100,000 ducats to each person involved (ie: the champion and the one who finds the champion, in this case Salassa and Velasco), but then her ‘dower’ would still be only 100,000.

[30]Almada’ in Q; cf: 1.1.188 & Note.

[31] Two sentences in Q, and each sentence is printed as a separate line of verse, “… ever. / Crown…”, but the better sense is found from treating the lines as a single sentence, and Q’s lineation results in extrametrical feet in both Salassa’s complete line and the following line completed by Velasco. Salassa generally speaks in prose until later in the scene.

[32] very seems tautological here and makes the line unmetrical. I can see no reason why the compositor could have accidentally inserted it, however, so assume that it was in his copy. One could speculate an ineffective authorial cross-through in MS resulting in both the author’s first and second thoughts being set by the compositor.

[33] This speech, referring to Salassa in the third person, could be seen as an aside (along with “These are no words of madness” in Velasco’s following speech). However, the pointed “those are the fruits of scorns and mockeries” could be intended for Salassa’s hearing.

[34] to blame, ‘too blame’ in Q. The distinction between the two words is generally kept to in Q, and here both senses could be present—‘I was too blameful’.

[35] the man, ie: the manliness in Velasco, as opposed to the coward.

[36] good = good man.

[37] still = always, constantly.

[38] My oath is booked, ie: recorded in heaven.

[39] Be not deceived I have forgot your scorns, Q has a comma after ‘deceived’. I take the meaning to be: “Do not think that I have forgotten your mockery.”

[40] the genius of this place, ie: the genius loci, the tutelary spirit of the place whom Velasco asks to bear witness to his words.

[41] Q’s lineation (E3r) is as follows:

Be not deceived, I have

Forgot your scorns; you are lost to me,

Witness the Genius of this place, how e’er

You tempt my constancy, I dare not fight.

The present rearrangement supplies the missing half foot in the second line and leaves the final line short rather than the first.

[42] Aye, aye, “I, I” in Q. One of the words could possibly be the personal pronoun (‘Yes, I [did it for the gold]’). If such a reading were preferred, it would be up to the actor to attempt to differentiate.

[43] Q prints Almada, Columello and Shaproon. Shaparoon loses her central syllable three times in this scene, twice in SDs.

[44] Set as prose in Q.

[45] lose, “loose” in Q, as frequently.

[46]shaproon” in Q.

[47] I’ll shift for one, ie: ‘I’ll take care of one (myself)’.

[48] lusty, ‘Iustly’ (‘Justly’) in Q. Bufo seems to have the monopoly on malapropisms in this play and this looks like a typographical error, albeit rather a strange one. Capital ‘I’ being incorrectly redistributed into the ‘l’ case is understandable, but the second ‘l’ error is not so easily explained, and two errors in the same word is quite a coincidence. However, it seems highly unlikely that the compositor intended to set ‘Justly’ (‘Iustly’) with an initial capital in the present context.

[49] are, confusion of proximity again (cf: 3.3.2—also spoken by Pynto, though this is presumably coincidental).

[50] Valentine’s day was often associated with the mating of birds. Cf: MND, 4.1.138–9, “Saint Valentine is past: / Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?”

[51] here, does Shaparoon make some lewd indication of where she means? Pynto’s “You speak by a figure” suggests so. This entire exchange with Pynto is loaded with sexual allusion.

[52] ie: Citizens would rather do their own accounts, horoscopes etc using elementary tables (of the sort printed as hornbooks) rather than employ professional scholars (like Pynto).

[53] ie: the women are cheaper than a legal agent and as capable of handling an action (sexual rather than legal) without the need for a meeting of council.

[54] cut or long-tail = obscenely, female or male.

[55] Bufo’s exploit becomes clear at 5.2.233. His ‘mistress’ is Herophil.

[56] huddle and twang = ‘a term of contempt for a person’, OED. The supporting quotations use the phrase to refer so an individual only, but Mopas is presumably using it of both Pynto and Shaparoon. ‘Huddle’ can mean ‘a miserly old person’ (OED 3) which describes Pynto; two figurative uses of ‘twang’ could perhaps indicate Shaparoon: ‘a ringing sound or tone’ (sb1 1c) referring to her voice, or ‘a touch, tinge or taint’ (sb2 2) referring to her purity.

[57] ie: Salassa, who is condemned to die.

[58] The ‘cue’ being sexual rather than fatal, in Pynto’s case.

[59] dudgeon = hilt of a dagger and, by extension, the dagger itself. Interestingly, considering the verb Mopas uses, ‘dudgeon’ originally meant the wood which was turned on a lathe.

[60] Herophil, ‘Herophill’ in Q.

[61] unconstant, (ie: changeable, unpredictable) has been retained in line with modern editors’ treatment of the word in KL 1.1.301.

                 These one-and-three-quarter verse lines are printed as prose in Q, but come at the foot of a page (E3v) which doesn’t allow the verse line-break. Herophil’s completion of the short line (in Q) adds evidence that they should be set as verse; although an alternative lineation would be to combine Herophil’s two short lines to create one pentameter.

[62] “Shaproon” in Q.

[63] and, here, as well as its primary meaning, also equates to “if”, cf: Abbot § 101–103.