3.1[1]            Enter Alphonso, Almado,[2] Muretto, Bufo, Pynto, and attendants.


You have prevailed yet ere you came, my lord;

Muretto here, this right, right, honest man,

Confirmed[3] me throughly[4] now to witness further

With what a gratitude I love the Queen.

Reach me a bowl of wine.


                                                      Your majesty

More honours me in making me the messenger

Of this most happy concord than addition

Of greatness can express.[5]


                                                     I ever told you

How you would find his grace inclined at last.[6]


The very Jove of benignity, by whose gentle aspect the whole sphere of this court and kingdom are, like the lesser orbs, moved round in the harmony of affability.

Enter one with wine.


My lord Almado, health unto your mistress,

A hearty health, a deep one.


                                             Upon my knee 

My duty gladly answers.


                                        Give him wine.                  [Almado] drinks.[7]

There’s not a man whoever in our court,

Greater or meaner, but shall pledge this health

In honour of our Queen, our virtuous Queen.

Commend us, and report us as you find.


Great sir, I shall with joy.


                                            Bufo and Pynto,

All in and drink, drink deep, let none be spared,

Comers or goers, none.


                                                Away my hearts.


We’ll tickle it till the welkin blush[8] again, and all the fixed stars dance the old measures.

Muretto [to Almado]

I shall attend to wait upon your lordship to the caroche[9].         

                                                                                  Exeunt. Manet Alphonso.


So, so, far-reaching policy, I adore thee;

Will hug thee as my darling. Shallow fools

Dive not into the pitch[10] of regular statists.

Henceforth my stratagems[11] of scorn and hatred

Shall kill in smiles—I will not strike and frown,

But laugh and murder.[12]

Enter Muretto.

                                    Welcome; are we safe?


Most free from interruption. The lord Velasco is newly entered the court; I have given the watch word that they ply him mainly; the conclusion I know cannot but break off in hurly-burly.


Good, good, I hate him mortally; ’twas he

Slaved me to th’hangman’s axe. But now go on—

Petruchi is the man, you say, must stand

The champion of her lust.


There may be yet virtuous intention even in bad actions, in lewd words; I urge no further than likelihoods may inform.


Pah, that’s thy nobleness. But now, Muretto,

The eye of luxury[13] speaks loud in silence.


Why look ye, sir, I must confess I observed some odd, amorous glances, some sweet, familiar, courteous, toying smiles; a kind of officious boldness in him, princelike and queenlike allowance of that boldness in him again; sometimes I might warily overhear her whispers. But what of all this? There might be no harm meant.


Fie, no—the grafting of my forehead, nothing else. Grafting, grafting, Muretto, a most gentleman-like exercise; a very mystery[14] belongs to’t. And now and then they walk thus, arm in arm, twist fingers—ha! Would they not, Muretto?


’Tis wondrous fit a great Queen should be supported, sir; and, for the best lady of ’em all, to discourse familiarly with her supporter is courtly and passing innocent.


She and Petruchi did so?


And at her passing to her private lodgings, attended only with her lady-in-ordinary,[15] Petruchi alone went in before her.


Is’t true? Went in before her! Canst prove that?


Your majesty is too quick, too apprehensive of the worst; I meant he performed the office of an usher.


Guilty apparently![16] Monstrous woman! Beast!

Were these the fruits of her dissembling tears,

Her puling, and her heart sighs? But, Muretto,

I will be swift, Muretto, swift and terrible.

Muretto [Aside]

I am such another coxcomb o’my side too.[17] Yet faith, let me persuade ye—I hope[18] your wife is virtuous.


Virtuous? The devil she is—’tis most impossible. What? Kiss and toy, wink, prate, yet be virtuous?


Why not, sir? I think now a woman may lie four or five nights together with a man, and yet be chaste. Though that be very hard, yet so long as ’tis possible, such a thing may be.


I have it; we’ll confer. Let’s stand aside.

Enter Bufo and another groom with wine, both drunk;

 Bufo handing Velasco by the shoulders.


Not drink more? By this hand, you shall drink eleven whole healths, if your cap be wool or beaver; and that’s my resolution.


’Sfoot,[19] eleven score, without dishonour be it spoken to any man’s person out of this place.


Prithee, I can no more: ’tis a profession I dare not practise, nay, I will not.[20]


How? Will not? Not her Queenship’s health? Hark ye, thy stinking and unwholesome words: “Will not”—You will not! You say you will not?


I say so; pray be answered.


Pox of all flinchers; if he say he[21] will not, let him choose, like an arrant dry lord as he is.


Give me the bowl, I must be valiant. You, sirrah, man-at-arms, here’s a carouse to the King, the Queen, and myself.


Let’t come[22], I’ll have that i’faith, sweet, sweet, sweet captain.


Hold, give the lord first; drink it up, lord, do—ump.[23]  [Hits Velasco]


Away I say, I am not in the tune.


Tune? Tune! ’Sblood, d’ye take us for fiddlers, scrapers,[24] rhyme-canters,[25] by ‘tune’? By this light, I’ll scourge ye like a town top.[26] Look ye, I am urged—ump—and there’s a side blow for ye, like a sober thing as ye are.


Well done i’faith, precious captain.


Dar’st thou do this to me knowing who I am?


Yes, in the way of daring, I dare kick you thus; thus, sir, up and down. There’s a jolt on the bum too. How d’ye like it? [Kicks and beats him]


’Tis well you use the privilege of the place—

There was a time the best of all this court

Durst not have lift a hand against me then,

But I must bear it now.


Is not this strange, Muretto?


I can scantly[27] credit mine own eyes—the captain follows his instructions perfectly.


Not drink? Mahound,[28] infidel. I will fillip[29] thy nose, spit in thy face, mongrel. Brave? A commander? ha!


O woman, woman, woman.


That’s a lie, a stark one; ’tis known I ne’er was a woman in my life. I am weary beating of him and can stand no longer. Groom, kick him thou up and down in my behalf, or by this flesh I’ll swinge[30] you, sirrah.


Come aloft, jackanapes, come aloft, sirrah.[31]     Kicks [and] beats him.


Why sure, Velasco dares not fight!


It must be some or other hath bewitched him.

Enter Pynto.


Avaunt![32] I saw twelve dozen of cuckolds in the middle region of the air, galloping on a blackjack,[33] eastward ho. It is certain that every dozen went for a company, and they are now become a corporation.[34] Aries and Taurus, the Bull and the Ram, two head signs, shall be henceforth their recognizances,[35] set up in the grand hall of their politic convocations—whirr, whirr.[36] There, there, just under the rainbow ambles Mercury, the thin-bearded thief[37] that stole away the draper’s[38] wife while the good man was made drunk at the still-yard,[39] at a bever[40] of Dutch bread and Rhenish wine, and lay all night in pure holland in’s stocking and shoes. Pish, talk not to me, I will maintain against the universities of both the Indies that one alderman’s horse is more right worshipful than any six constables, brown bills[41] and all. Now, now, now, my brains burn in sulphur, and thus will I stalk about, and swim through a whole element of dainty, neat, brisk, rich claret, Canary or Malaga.[42] Am not I Pynto? Have not I Hiren here?[43] [Sees Velasco] What art thou? A full moon, or a mooncalf?[44]


No, no, ’tis a dry stockfish that must be beaten tender.[45]


Was ever man so much a slave as I?


Does Saturn wince? Down with him; let Charles his wain run over his north pole;[46] it shall be justified too.


Now, sir, having taken a little breath, have at ye once more, and I have done.   [Beats Velasco]

Enter Mopas and Lodovico.


Clubs, clubs! I have been the death of two brewer’s horses and two catch-poles[47] myself, and now be tried by two fools and ten knaves: O, monstrous base, horrible. Is my lord past recovery?


Hold, prithee fellow, hold: I have no sword,

Or if I had, I dare not strike again.[48]


Ud’s bones, were ye an invincible armada,[49] I’d pound ye all like brown-paper rags.[50]


Let me be strucken blind! The shame of fate;

Velasco, baffled, and not dare to strike?

Dogs, drunken dogs, I’ll whip ye to your kennels.


Nay, good, forbear.


Bilbo,[51] come forth and show thy fox’s tail. Nay, nay, give me liquor and I’ll fight like a roarer.


Keep standing, ho! The almanac says plainly ’tis no season to be let blood, the sign is mortal. Hold!

Alphonso [stepping forward; addressing Velasco, Lodovico and Mopas]

Yes, I command. Uncivil ill-bred beasts,

How dare[52] ye turn our palace to a booth?

How dare the proudest of ye all lift up

A hand against the meanest of those creatures

Whom we do own for ours? Now, now you spit

The ancient rancour of your[53] bitter galls

Wherewith you strove to wound us heretofore.


We are abused, my lord.


                                        Fellow, thou liest.

Our royal eyes beheld the pride and malice

Of thee, Velasco, who in hate to us

Deny’st to honour our remembrance, though

But in a pledged health.


                                        Therein I was wronged.


No, therein all thy cunning could not hide

The rage of thy malicious heart to us.

Yet know, for trial of thy love we caused

This onset; we will justify the height

Of thy disgraces—what they did was ours.

Hence, coward, baffled, kicked, despised and spurned.


Hang thyself; a pox on thee.

                                          Exit Alphonso, Muretto, Pynto, Bufo [and] Groom.


O y’are undone: what devil, hag or witch 

Hath stol’n your heart away?


                                                I cannot tell.


Not fight! ’Tis enough to shame us all.


Happy was I that living lived alone;

Velasco was a man then, now is none.

                                                                         Exeunt [Velasco and Ludovico]


Is’t even so—no man now; then I smell how things stand. I’ll lay my life his lady sweetheart hath given him the gleek,[54] and he in return hath gelded himself and so both lost his courage and his wits together.




[3.2]               Enter Queen, Almado, Collumello, Petruchi and Herophil.


Speak o’er the words again, and, good my lord,

Be sure you speak the same, the very words—

“Our Queen, our virtuous Queen,” was’t so?


                                                                        Just so;

And was withal in carriage so most kind,

So princely, that I must do wrong to gratitude

In wanting[55] action to express his love.


I am the happiest she that lives. Petruchi,

Was I mistook or no? Why, good my lords,

Observe it well—there is a holy league

Confirmed and ratified ’twixt Love and Fate.

This sacred matrimonial tie of hearts

Called ‘marriage’ has divinity within’t.

Prithee, Almado, tell me, smiled the King

When he commended to me?


                                               Madam, yes;

And affably concluded all in this—

“Commend us, and report us as you find.”


For love’s sake,[56] no man prattle of distrust. 

It shall be treason whosoever says

The King’s unkind. Methinks[57] I am all air;

My soul has wings.


                                         And we are all o’erjoyed

In this sweet reconciliation.


We’ll visit him, my lords, in some rich masque[58]

Of rare device, as thus… Pish, now I think on’t,

The world yields not variety enough

Of cost that’s worthy of his royal eyes.

Why, Herophil?


                              Here, madam.


                                                             Now beshrew me

But I could weep for anger. If ’twere possible

To get a chariot cut out of a rock,

Made all of one whole diamond, drawn all on pavements

Of pearls and amber by four ivory steeds

Of perfect crystal—this were worth presenting.

Or some bright cloud of sapphires… Fie, you are all

So dull, you do not love me.


                                              Y’are transported

To strange impossibilities. Our service

Shall wait upon your happiness.


                                                    Nay, nay,

I know you laugh at me, and well you may;

I talk I know not what. I would ’twere fit

To ask one question of ye.


                                             Madam, anything.


You’ll swear that I am idle, yet you know

’Tis not my custom. Look upon me well:

Am I as fair as Herophil?


                                                    Yes, madam,

Or any other creature else alive.


You make me blush in troth. O would the King

Could see me with your eyes. Or would I were

Much coarser than I am to all the world,

So I might only seem more fair to him.

Enter Velasco and Lodovico.

See here come more. Velasco, thou art welcome.

Welcome, kind Lodovico. You I know

Bring fresh supplies of comfort. Do not cloud

Your news with circumstance—say, doth the King

Expect me? Yes, good man, I know he does.

Speak briefly, good my lord, and truly.


Madam, take all at once—he is the King,

And Kings may do their pleasures.


                                                         True, Velasco.

But I have from my heart forgot remembrance

Of former passages—the world is changed.

Is he not justly royal?


Would he were, I wish it for your sake, madam, but my wishes and his inclinations are quite opposite.


What said you, Lodovico?


Thus, Petruchi—Velasco hath been by the King disgraced, by his minions abused, baffled; they justified by the King in’t. In a word—Alphonso is, and will be, the scourge of Aragon.


I’ll stop my ears; they shall not[59] let in poison,

Rank, treacherous, searching poison.[60]


                                                           ’Tis impossible.


Yes, ’tis impossible; but now I see

Y’are all agreed to curse me in the height

Of my prosperities. O that at once

I could have leave to die and shun the times.

Enter Muretto.


His excellent majesty by me commends to your royal hands this letter, madam.


Why thus I kiss,

And kiss again.[61] Welcome, whate’er it speaks. [She reads]


That you may all conceive, my lords, the King’s hearty zeal to unity and goodness, he by me entreats your attendance on the Queen to him. [Takes Petruchi aside][62] To you, signor Petruchi, he sends this diamond from his own finger.


You strike me into wonder.


I should excuse his highness’ violence to you, my lord Velasco; but he says that your own indiscretion deserved your late reproof. And further (pardon me that I mince not the sum of his injunction), he says your cowardice is now so vulgarly palpable that it cannot stand with his honour to countenance so degenerating a spirit.


I thank him; yet, if you remember well,

Both he and you proved me another man.[63]


The sweetest letter that ever was writ.

Come, we must to the King. [Sees the ring] How? ’Tis my ring,

The first ring that I ever gave the King.

Petruchi, I must have it.


                                     ’Twas the King sent it;

I mean to yield it back again.


                                               No, I will.

And in exchange take that of equal value; [they exchange rings]

But not with me, ’cause it[64] comes from my husband.

Let’s slack no time, this day shall crown our peace.

                                                                Exit all but Velasco and Lodovico.


You see, my lord, how the world goes. What’s[65] your next course?[66]


Would I could leave myself; I am unfit

For company of men. Art thou my friend?


I cannot tell what I am, your patient humour indeed persuades me I am nothing. Ladies’ little puppy dogs shortly will break your shins with milksops,[67] and you dare not cry, “Come out, cur!” Faith, tell me for our wonted friendship’s sake—hath not this madam sweetheart of yours a share in your metamorphosis?


You are unkind as much as in a thought

To wrong her virtue. Lodovico, know:[68]

I have resolved never to fight again.


’Tis a very safe resolution; but have you resolved never to be beaten again?


That goodly sound of gallant, valiant man

Is but a breath, and dies as soon as uttered.

I’ll seek my fame henceforward in the praise

Of sufferance and patience; for rash manhood

Adds only life to cruelty, yet by cruelty

Takes life away and leaves upon our souls

Nothing but guilt; while patience, if it be

Settled, doth even in bondage keep us free.


Excellent morality; but, good my lord, without more circumstance,[69] the cause? Let me know the ground and cause on’t.


My will, or, if you please, my cowardice.

More ask not; more, I vow, you shall not know.

Enter Mopas.


O fie, fie! I were better be the hangman’s deputy than my lord Velasco’s gentleman usher. All the streets as I pass hoot[70] at me and ask me if I be so valiant as my master the coward. They swear their children carry wooden daggers to play a prize with him, and there’s no talk but of the arrant coward Velasco.


I care not, let ’em talk.


Care not? By these hilts, I had rather than a hundred ducats I had but as much spirit as to have drawn upon a couple of men in gingerbread, which a huckster’s crook-legged,[71] whoreson ape held up, and swore they were two taller fellows than you are.


Your readiest way were to get you into a cloister, for there’s no going to court.


Yes, to have our brains rubbed out with the heel of a brown manchet.[72]


As y’are my friend[73] forbear to come more near me.

                                                                                                  Exit Velasco.


Gone so quickly? Mopas, I’ll find out this mystery, and thou shalt be the instrument.


Shall I? Why agreed, let me alone for an instrument: be it a wind or stringed instrument, I’ll sound at one end or other, I’ll warrant ye.




[3.3]                                        Enter Alphonso, Pynto [and] Bufo.


Are all things ready as we gave charge?


Yes all, and the face of the heavens are[74] passing favourable.


Bufo, be it thy care, the watchword given,

To seize Petruchi suddenly.


If the devil be not in him, I’ll make him fast enough.


Meantime we’ll take our place; they are at hand.

Some sound[75] our choicest music t’entertain

This Queen with all the seeming forms of state.

                                                                                           Loud music.

Enter Queen supported by Petruchi, Herophil, Collumello,

Almado[76] and Muretto.


All joy to Aragon’s great King.


You strive to act in words, my lords, but we ourself

Endeavour, rather, how to speak in act.

Now is a time of peace of amity.

The Queen is present—lady, seat you here,

As near as if we placed you in our heart,

Where you are deep enthroned.


                                                               As you in mine,

So may I ever live in yours, my lord.


How so? You are too charitable now

That covet but equality in love—

A cold, a frozen love—for I must think

The streams of your affections are dried up

Or, running from their wonted channels, range

In lawless paths of secrecy and stealth—

Which makes us love you more.[77]


                                                    I would your words

Dissented not from your resolvèd[78] thoughts,

For then, if I mistake not, you would feel

Extremity of passion, which indeed

Is noble jealousy.[79]


                             Are you so plain?

I thank you, madam; lend me your fair hand.

What’s here? O my presages! Whence got you

This ring?[80]


                  This ring, my lord?


                                                  This ring, my lord!

By honour’s reverend crest, ’tis time to wake.

Art thou not pale, Petruchi?


                                             Gracious sir,

This is the ring you sent me by Muretto,

Which, ’cause it came from you, the Queen would needs

Exchange it for another of her own.


True; ’cause it came from me, I take it so,

And grant ye know the word—’tis won and lost![81]

Enter a guard, Bufo with them seize Petruchi; Pynto [seizes] the Queen.[82]


What mean ye, hellhounds? Slaves, let go my sword!


Keep in your chaps[83] and leave scolding, my small friend, ’tis now no time to wrangle or to roar.


Nay, nay; with what you please I am content.


What means your highness?


                                              Wrong not majesty

With such unnoble rigour.


                                           O, my lords,

The weight of all this shame falls heaviest here

In my afflicted bosom. Madman-like,

I would not credit what mine ears had heard

From time to time of that adulterous woman.

For this have I lived widowed from her bed,

Was deaf to proofs, to oaths, and ever thought

That whoredom could not suit herself so trimly

On virtue’s outside. But Petruchi there

Hath a loud-speaking conscience, can proclaim[84]

Her lust, and my dishonour.


                                              Grant me hearing.


Away with him to prison—make him fast

On pain of all your lives.


Come, sir, there is no playing fast and loose for a ducat now.[85]

                                                                                 Exit Bufo with Petruchi.


But what now for the Queen?


                                                As she deserves.


Our law requires a clear and open proof,

And a judicial trial.


                                Yes, to subjects

It does; but who among you dares speak justice

Against your natural sovereign? Not one.


Your majesty hath most wisely considered that point.


I have stood silent all this while, and cannot but with astonishment and unutterable grief bear a share of sadness in these disasters. But, madam, be not altogether dejected on your part—there is more mercy in this sovereign prince than that you should any way distrust.


Nay, even proceed and question me no more.


I will be gentle to you, and the course

That I will take shall merit your best thanks.

If in a month a champion shall appear,

In single opposition to maintain

Your honour, I will be the man myself

In person to avouch this accusation;

And which of us prevails shall end this strife.

But if none come, then you shall lose your head.

Meantime, your usage shall be like a Queen.


Now by the life of honour, ’tis a most princely trial, and will be worth you eternal memory.[86]


Where must I then be led?


                                           Nowhere but here

In our own palace; and, as I am King,

None worse than I shall be her guardian.


Madam, heaven is the guardian of the just;

You cannot miss a champion.


                                                 Ere I go,

May I entreat a word?


                                    Oh yes, you may.


Collumello and Almado, hear me;

I speak to you and to your fellow peers:

Remember both by oaths and by allegiance

You are my subjects.


                                            Madam, true, we are.


Then, as you ever bore respect or truth

To me as to your sovereign, I conjure ye

Never to levy arms against the King,

Singly or openly, and never else

To justify my right or wrong in this.

For, if you do, here I proclaim ye all

Traitors to loyalty and me. For surety,

I crave your oaths anew.


                                                   Since you enforce us,

We swear—and heaven protect you.


Let me be gone.


                           Well, as they please for that. Muretto, follow.

                                                             Exit all but Almado and Collumello.[87]


Here is fine work, my lord. What’s to be done?


Stand still while this proud tyrant cuts our throats.


She’s wronged, and this is only but a plot.

Velasco now might bind his country to him,

But he is grown so cowardly and base

That boys and children beat him as they list.


I have bethought me—we, with th’other peers,

Will set a proclamation out, assuring

What worthy knight soever undertakes,

By such a day, as champion for the Queen,

Shall have a hundred thousand ducats paid,

Withal what honours else he shall demand.


This must be speeded or ’twill come too late.


It shall be sudden. Here our hope must stand—

Kings command subjects; heav’n doth Kings command.



[1] ‘Act III’ in Q.

[2]Almada’ in Q; cf: 1.1.188 & Note.

[3] Confirmed = encouraged (Crystal).

[4] throughly = thoroughly. Modernization would spoil the metre and, besides, modern editors accept this form: cf: Hamlet 4.5.138; The Tempest 3.3.14.

[5] Set as prose in Q. Distributing the lines as verse resolves the short lines 5 & 8, although there are metrical problems here. It seems odd for Almado to address the King in prose, especially as this speech is sandwiched between verse speeches by Alphonso and, apparently, Muretto. There is much mixing of prose and verse in this scene, however.

[6] How you would find his grace inclined at last, “How you would his Grace, inclin’d at last” in Q (C4v). The metre, as well as the sense, suggests that something is missing. There is no stop at the end of the line but an extra syllable at the end would be unlikely to help (and the line currently ends on an iambic foot). I have inserted ‘find’ and removed the comma: “How you would find his grace inclined at last.”  Bang suggested the same reading.

[7] [Almado] drinks; the stage direction Drinks appears a line earlier in Q, following Almado’s “My duty gladly answers.” It is possible that Alphonso’s subsequent imperative “Give him wine” refers to the refilling of Almado’s drinking vessel, but that would mean that Almado had been holding such a vessel when genuflecting to the King, which seems unlikely.

[8] Till the welkin blush again, ie: until dawn. ‘Blush’ here appears as ‘blussle’ in Q (D1r); interestingly, since ‘blussle’ is the first word on the page, it is also the catch-word at the foot of C4v where it is given the same form so is unlikely to be a simple compositorial slip. ‘Blussle’ could be seen as a conflation of ‘bluster’ (“boisterous blowing,” OED) and ‘bustle’ (“display activity with a certain amount of noise or agitation,” OED); ‘bussle’ is a recognized variant of ‘bustle’ in OED. Such a reading would imply an energetic dance, tying in with the stars dancing in the following line (cf: Twelfth Night 2.3.58: “But shall we make the welkin dance indeed?”). It is also noteworthy that ‘tickle’ can be to play a stringed instrument (OED 6a). However, I am indebted to Dr Matt Steggle for his conjecture of ‘blush’. Q’s ‘blussle’ could be a misreading of MS ‘blushe’; the ‘h’ in this conjectured original is mis-set as the ‘long-s/l’ ligature in Q either through misreading of copy or, possibly, foul case resulting in the catchword error which is then taken up on the following page.

[9] caroche (‘Caraoch’ in Q) = “17th c. name of a coach or chariot of a stately or luxurious kind,” OED.

[10] pitch = height (OED V).

[11] stratagems, ‘Stratagem’s’ in Q. Retaining the apostrophe would require a new clause (punctuation and assumed ellipsis) after ‘hatred’, a simple plural makes sense of the syntax.

[12] Cf: 3Hen VI 3.2.182: Richard of Gloucester’s “Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile.”

[13] luxury = lust, lechery.

[14] mystery, OED: “10. an action or practice about which there is or is reputed to be some secrecy; esp. a highly skilful or technical operation in a trade or art.” A connection between cuckolds and a trade, guild or secret society reappears in Pynto’s drunken vision below, l. 118.

[15] -in-ordinary, ‘Of officials, persons employed, etc.: Belonging to the regular staff,’ OED a. 3b.

[16] apparently = blatantly, openly, flagrantly. (Crystal)

[17] “I am such another coxcomb; O my side too” in Q. I have tentatively amended to “I am such another coxcomb o’my side too.” The aside is adopted at a suggestion of Bang’s. Muretto is acknowledging his feelings of guilt in stirring Alphonso’s jealousy—and tipping a wink to the audience that all is not as it might seem.

[18] hope = expect, anticipate, envisage. (Crystal)

[19] ’Sfoot = God’s foot.

[20] Lines 78–89 are set as verse in Q. However, a number of factors suggest prose. The metre is extremely irregular. Two of the three speakers (Bufo and the Groom) are of ‘low status’ and are drunk. The section begins at the top of D1v (Bufo’s and the Groom’s immediately preceding speeches had been set as prose on the recto), a page which contains a long prose speech by Pynto (ll. 116 –131). If these initial lines were also set as prose in MS then almost the entire page would have been prose and it is harder to judge casting off in prose than verse. The compositor may have needed to space out his copy if his casting off estimate had been poor. Although such an explanation of apparent prose set as verse is losing favour (cf: LE Maguire, pp 440–442 in Scott Kastan, Companion), the unlikelihood of Bufo and the Groom speaking in verse and the sudden switch from prose to verse at the start of a new page with no dramatic motivation lead me to set as prose. See also discussion of “Let’t”, l. 88 and Note, below.

[21] if he say he, (“if a’ say a” in Q). ‘Say’ is subjunctive, here.

[22] Let’t. It is difficult to see how “Let’t” could be vocalized. One explanation for its appearance could be that it is an attempt to create an iambic foot (‘Let’t come’) which, if Q’s setting as verse were to be retained, could complete Bufo’s previous four-foot line. The rest of the Groom’s speech would then at least form a decasyllabic line (if not a pentameter). However, if the odd contraction comes from MS (or from the compositor attempting to versify prose—very unlikely), this does not explain all the other metrical irregularities in lines 78–89.

[23] ump, marks a physical buffet, as becomes clearer at l. 93. It is only used to coincide with two of the many blows suffered by Velasco in this scene. One cannot be certain whether it is intended to be vocalized or not.

[24] scrapers, ‘scappers’ in Q; cf: ‘drappers’, l. 122. ‘A derogatory term for a fiddler’ OED I. 2. b. earliest citation 1611.

[25] canters = chanters. I have not modernized since Bufo’s disdain ties into ‘cant’.

[26] a town top = a large whipping top. Cf: Twelfth Night 1.3.41, “his brains turn o’ th’ toe, like a parish top,” and also Fletcher’s The Night-Walker (1633): “And dances like a town-top, and reels and hobbles,” (l. 342 in LION text). Malone (in his note on the TN reference) suggests: “This is one of the customs now laid aside. A large top was formerly kept in every village, to be whipped in frosty weather, that the peasants may be kept warm by exercise, and out of mischief.” Gatty (from whom I take the Malone gloss) sees the practice as an example of a Frazerian “Periodic Expulsion of Evils”, the top being an inanimate ‘scapegoat’.

[27] scantly = scarcely; OED 1.

[28] Mahound = Muslim; OED 5. The reference is to the Koranic prohibition on alcohol.

[29] fillip = flick with a finger (OED 1) or a smart blow (OED 2). The mocking context suggests the former.

[30] swinge = to beat, flog, whip, thrash. OED 1.

[31] come aloft, sirrah, the implication is that the two leave the stage before reappearing aloft (Blackfriars had an upper-space—cf: photo of Blackfriars reconstruction, p 92, Wells Shakespeare). The mimed buffeting of Velasco played out in the upper space during Pynto’s drunken speech could, perhaps, have a certain low comic effect; and Pynto’s uncertainty whether he sees the moon or a mooncalf (line 131) suggests that Velasco is above him. However, it appears that Velasco must be on the main stage when Mopas and Lodovico enter at line 138, and there is probably insufficient time for a descent from the upper space between this entrance and Pynto’s reference to ‘moon’. Moreover, the Groom’s words at line 136 (“having taken breath, have at ye once more,”) suggest that there has been a pause in the beating during Pynto’s speech. The evidence seems to be mixed, and insufficient for the addition of a stage direction taking Velasco and the Groom aloft. It would be interesting to see how the action here could be staged.

[32] Avaunt = be gone. Pynto appears to be seeing the 17th century equivalent of pink elephants.

[33] blackjack = leather jug of beer, covered with tar; ‘black Jack’ in Q.

[34] company […] corporation, OED: ‘4. An incorporated company of traders having (originally) the monopoly and control of their particular trade in a borough or other place; a trade-guild, a city ‘company’.’ Note the apparent connection between cuckolds and trade-guilds in l. 50, above.

[35] recognizances = signs, tokens. Rams and bulls, like cuckolds, are horned.

[36] whirr, whirr. OED 1b has ‘a commotion of mind or feeling’ which seems appropriate here, note “my brains burn in sulphur”, l. 128 below.

[37] thin-bearded thief­, ‘thin bearded thief’ in Q, which begs the question of whether the thief or the beard is thin. I have opted for the latter since Mercury (the thief) is usually depicted as a young man, too young for a ‘thick’ beard.

[38] drapers, ‘Drappers’ in Q; cf  “scrappers”, l. 91 and Note, above.

[39] still-yard = the stand upon which a cask is set. OED’s earliest citation is 1725.

[40] bever, ‘beaver’ in Q. ‘Bever’ = “a small repast between meals; a snack,” (OED 3); cf: Marlowe’s Faust 6.147: “Thirty meals a-day and ten bevers.” OED recognizes ‘beaver’ as a variant.

[41] brown bills = a kind of halberd used by watchmen.

[42] Malaga, ‘maligo’ in Q. A fortified wine, more fully ‘Malaga sack’.

[43] Hiren, ‘hiren’ in Q. Cf: 2Hen IV 2.4.171. “Have we not Hiren here?” spoken by a drunken Pistol. The allusion is to Peele’s The Turkish Mahamet and Hyrin the fair Greek, from which Hiren came to mean a seductive woman, a harlot. OED’s latest citation 1615.

[44] mooncalf = a monstrosity, misshapen creature. Bufo’s reply “’tis a stockfish” suggests a memory here of The Tempest 3.2 where ‘mooncalf’ and ‘stockfish’ appear in ll. 20 & 69 respectively.

[45] stockfish. The reference to ‘stockfish’ in The Tempest (see previous note) is also in the context of ‘beating’. Stockfish was dried cod which benefited from tenderizing before consumption.

[46] Charles his wain. ‘Charle’s Wain’ was a popular name for the constellation of the Great Bear, the Plough. Two of the stars of this constellation are used as pointers to find the (north) Pole Star. Possibly also a pun present on ‘poll’ = ‘head’.

[47] catch-poles = warrant officers who arrest for debt; bum-bailiffs.

[48] again = in return, in response (Crystal).

[49] invincible armada, ‘armado’ in Q. The Spanish invasion fleet of 1588 was designated ‘the Invincible’ (cf: OED 2 ‘armada’). Q’s ‘armado’ is a common variant.

[50] brown-paper rags = unbleached rags used to make cheap paper.

[51] Bilbo = a swash-buckler or bully, taken from the name of a sword. Earliest OED citation for this personified usage is 1676, though compare Ford’s use of it in The Lady’s Trial 2.177ff (1639): “Hast thou a spirit then ha? speakes thy weapon / Toledo language, Bilbo, or dull Pisa? / If an Italian blade, or spanish mettall, / Be briefe, we challenge answer,” where the reference is to a weapon, though one that ‘speaks’. Alternatively, Mopas might be apostrophizing his sword, “Come forth,” meaning “Unsheath.”

[52] dare, ‘dares’ in Q.

[53] your, ‘you’ in Q.

[54] given him the gleek. To give one the gleek = ‘to make a jest at his expense; to mock, make sport of, play a trick upon him.’ OED 1b.

[55] wanting = lacking

[56] For love’s sake, ‘For loves sakes’ in Q. The OED gives no support for a plural of ‘sake’ in such a structure, so I follow a suggestion of Bang’s in removing the ‘s’.

[57] Methinks, ‘My thinks’ in Q.

[58] masque, ‘mask’ in Q (D2v). The visiting of one court to another in the guise of ‘masque’ appears to have been a familiar device, cf: Love’s Labour’s Lost, 5.2, where it is the males who initiate the masque.

[59] shall not, “shannot” in Q.

[60] The Queen’s figurative mention of poisoning via the ear echoes the method by which King Hamlet was despatched (Hamlet 1.5.63). Harold Jenkins suggests that Shakespeare may have based the idea on the reported murder of the Duke of Urbino in 1538 (Hamlet Arden2 p 102).

[61] It is the letter, rather than Muretto, which she kisses.

[62] Takes Petruchi aside, it soon emerges that no-one else knows of the gift of the ring, hence the addition of this SD.

[63] proved me another man, in the test (proof) of the recent civil war.

[64] ie: the ring Muretto gave to Petruchi—more valuable in the Queen’s eyes since it was the King’s.

[65] What’s, ‘What’ in Q. The verb is required for sense, though it could be elided. However, Bang suggested emendation so he presumably felt that such an elided form was un-Fordian. However, a similar missing copula occurs at 4.1.86. (which has also been supplied in this edition).

[66] Set as verse in Q, D3r.

[67] with milksops. A piece of bread soaked in milk.

[68] Lodovico, know:, “Lodovico, no;” in Q. The semicolon frequently does the work of a modern colon in Q and the best sense seems to come from an assumption that the compositor confused the homophones while setting a section of text he had in his head.

[69] circumstance = superfluous detail.

[70] hoot, ‘whoot’ in Q.

[71] crook-legged, ‘crook’t legged’ in Q (D3r). Q’s ‘crook’t’ would modernize to ‘crooked’ but ‘crooked legged’ would be difficult to articulate; the compound adjective used here should substantially retain the sound of the original.

[72] manchet = a small loaf or roll of fine wheaten bread. The ‘rubbing out’ context suggests that bread could be used as an eraser.

[73] friend. Presumably Velasco is addressing only Lodovico (he would not call his “gentleman usher” a friend).

[74] are, confusion of proximity, cf: Abbot §412. Abbot comments: “[such constructions] (though a not uncommon Shakespearian idiom) would be called an unpardonable mistake in modern authors.” The ‘Shakespearian idiom’ seems to be making a comeback today.

[75] sound here, a verb = ‘play’.

[76]Almada” in Q; cf: 1.1.188 & Note.

[77] A speech I find difficult. The underlying thrust is Alphonso’s preparation of the ground for his accusation of the Queen’s adultery, but the surface meaning would seem to be that he refuses to accept “equality in love” and instead insists on loving the Queen more than she can love him. The speech seems intentionally ambiguous, an ambiguity picked up on by the Queen in her reply (“if I mistake not,”).

[78] Resolvèd—one of the few -ed suffixes in the verse sections of the play to be given a syllabic value it would not normally have.

[79] The Queen expresses her hope that Alphonso’s apparent jealousy betokens love.

[80] This iamb is part of the preceding line in Q giving it an extrametrical foot. Both metrically and rhetorically, it seems better to make it the first foot of a three-part single line of verse chiming on “this ring” (not that any such distinction would be noticeable in the theatre, of course).

[81] I take word to mean ‘maxim, adage’ (mot = motto, cf: Pericles 2. 2. 21: “The word, Lux tua vita mihi.”) If so, “the word” refers to “’tis won and lost,” (italicized in Q, D3v). This then is the “watchword” referred to at l. 3 above, hence my insertion of an exclamation mark.

[82] a guard There is some ambiguity in the language of the SD with the possible implication that Bufo enters with the guard, in which case he must have left the stage at around ll. 6–8. However, since no such SD is given, and the entries and exits in Q appear to be generally reliable, I will assume he joins in the seizure of Petruchi from a position on the stage.

[83] chaps = jaws (chops), so the sense is: ‘shut your mouth.’ The more common variant ‘chops’ is used by Mopas at 4.1.22; I see no need to regularize, however, since both variants are possible and are given to different characters.

[84]which can proclaim” should be understood. It is his ‘loud-speaking conscience’, not Petruchi himself, which proclaims the Queen’s guilt.

[85] Come, sir, there is no playing fast and loose for a ducat now, “Come, sir, there is no playing fast and loose which fit a ducat now” in Q (D4r); in this edition, ‘which’ has been dropped and ‘fit’ amended to ‘for’.          

                Firstly, ‘playing fast and loose’ alludes to a fairground cheating game in which a dupe cannot win (cf: Moore’s note in Love’s Sacrifice, p 239); it is a phrase used three times in Shakespeare; in Love’s Labour’s Lost 1.2.151 there is, as here, a punning reference to imprisonment. Its figurative use, as here, is that to play fast and loose is to be slippery, so = “there’s no slipping away.”

                There is something strange going on here. An almost identical phrase appears in Ford’s Love’s Sacrifice, as noted by Bang: “Here’s fast and loose, / Which, for a ducat, now the game’s on foot,” 5.1.28 (Bang, so far as I can tell from his German end-notes, states that the text is corrupt but does not attempt a solution beyond pointing to the line in LS).

                AT Moore, in his Revels edition of Love’s Sacrifice, describes the use of ‘which’ in LS as “probably a loose connective, perhaps = ‘as to which;’” he does not seem to be aware of the parallel line in The Queen. In LS, the connective looks to “the game;” there is no such referent in the present line. However, the line in LS perhaps helps us explain Q’s ‘fit’ which should perhaps read ‘for’ as in LS. Throughout Q, the type for ‘t’ and ‘r’ are almost identical and easily confused (the Full-Text Transcription of the Harvard quarto, available on EEBO, frequently confuses the two letters). It is probably a ‘t’ in Q (Bang reads it as such) but since the type is so similar, it could easily have been redistributed into the ‘r’-compartment. This would not explain the proposed ‘i’ for ‘o’ error however—perhaps the MS copy was particularly poor here.

                I have no explanation as to why the problematic ‘which’ should appear in both LS and the present play but, since here it has no clear referent, I have decided to drop it from my text. Q’s ‘fit’ has been amended to ‘for’ on the precedent of the Love’s Sacrifice line and for sense.

[86] and will be worth you eternal memory. The sense is ‘will be worth eternal memory to you,’ with the direct and indirect object switching position and the preposition dropped. Abbot notes the omission of a preposition after some verbs of worth or value in § 198a. Alternatively, as Lisa Hopkins points out, ‘you’ could be an error for ‘your’.

[87]Almada and Collummello” in Q; cf: 1.1.188 & Note.