Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/111

This page needs to be proofread.


12 S. X. FEB. 4, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 85 pet topic of his. The appearance of one of the most characteristic of his verbs amble | Hircius : . . . mine eyes . . . cry aloud, and curse my feet for not ambling up and down to feed colon. is another significant mark, as also the ob- servation of Harpax : ... now that you see The bonfire of your lady's state burnt out. But though the whole scene is as unmis- takably Dekker's as any in the play, it is, of course, quite possible that Massinger may have added or altered a word here and there. This seems, indeed, to have happened in the very speech of Hircius from which I have just quoted. I do not recognize the ex- pression "to feed colon" ( = to satisfy my hunger) as Dekker's. It is very likely Massinger' s. Compare : But how shall I do, to satisfy colon. (' Unnatural Combat,' I. i.) Having no meat to pacify colon. (' Picture,' II. i.) Act IV., scene i. This scene (hitherto attributed entirely to Dekker) shows clear signs of Massinger' s collaboration. In fact, up to the stage- 1 direction " Re-enter Sapritius, dragging in Dorothea by the hair," it is substantially Massinger' s. It is all in metre. The scene opens with " Antoninus on a couch asleep, with doctors about him," Sapritius making a rhetorical appeal to the doctors to use then* utmost endeavours to save his life. He addresses them thus : O you that are half-gods, lengthen that life Their deities lend us ; turn o'er all your volumes Of your mysterious ./Esculapian science, To increase the number of this young man's days, just after the fashion of Sforza's speech to - the doctors in ' The Duke of Milan,' V. ii. : O you earthly gods, You second natures, that from your great master, Who joined the limbs of torn Hippolytus, iitl drew upon himself the Thunderer's envy, Arc taught those hidden secrets that restore To life death-wounded men, &c. The first doctor begins his reply to Sapritius with ]'/tat art can do, we promise. Compare the surgeon's remark to his patient (Paulinus) in ' The Emperor of the East,' IV. iv. : - I hnve done as much as art can do to stop The violent course of your fit, &c. That Massinger' s influence in the early part of the scene (the conversation between Sapri- tius, Macrinus and the doctor) is paramount, " T ' n be obvious if we- compare Macrinus' s will description of the behaviour of Antoninus in his illness with the Waiting Woman's de- scription of the distracted Almira in ' A Very Woman ' : Macrinus : ... Stand by his pillow Some little while, and, in his broken slumbers, Him you shall hear cry out on Dorothea ; And, when his arms fly open to catch her, Closing together, he falls fast asleep, . . . let him hear The voice of Dorothea, nay, but the name, He starts up with high colour in his face, &c. A moment later, Antoninus awakes, crying out : Thou kill'st me, Dorothea ; oh, Dorothea ! . In ' A Very Woman,' II. iii., Leonora asks one of the Waiting Women if Almira has slept, and the Waiting Woman answers : ... If she slumber'd, straight, As if some dreadful vision had appear 'd, She started up, her hair unbound, and with Distracted looks staring about the chamber, She asks aloud, " Where is Martino ? " &c. Here is the same conception of mental dis- traction, the broken slumbers," starting up " in bed, and crying out the name of the lover. The doctor who has already spoken, first suggests that music would be beneficial, and then, when Antoninus receives this sugges- tion by rising from his bed with a curse, tells him to return to it, sleep being " a sovereign physic." " Thou stinking clyster -pipe," exclaims Antoninus, . . . where's the god of rest, Thy pills and base apothecary drugs Threatened to bring unto me ? Out, you im- postors ! Quacksalving, cheating mountebanks ! In ' A Very Woman,' II. ii., Paulo praises the two surgeons attending Antonio. They have not, he says, treated their patient's wound with oils or balsams . . . bought Of cheating quacksalvers, or mountebanks. So far only suggestions of Massinger' s pen have been noticed. The term " stinking clyster -pipe " applied to a doctor is, however, almost certainly Dekker's. He uses it (of Dr. Ropus) in ' The Whore of Babylon ' (Pearson, ii. 250) and again (" sweet Doctor Glister -pipe ") in 'Westward Hoe,' I. i. I know of no instance of its use thus elsewhere as early as these. The first example given in ' N.E.D.,' is of 1661. It may also be re- marked that " stinking" is an adjective of extraordinarily frequent occurrence in Dek- ker ; and he has " stinking surgeon " in ' Northward Hoe,' IV. i. After the stage -direction " Re-enter Sapri- tius," &(?., the scene is no doubt mainly of Dekker's writing, but even here a careful