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upwards, but below is wholly fish, was carried some miles up the water of Dévron." In 1824 a mermaid or merman made its appearance, when, as the papers of that day inform us, "upwards of 150 distinguished fashionables" went to see it.

The "Mermaid" was a famous tavern, situated in Bread Street. As early as the fifteenth century, we are told it was one of the haunts of the pleasure - seeking Sir John Howard, whose trusty steward records, anno 1464: "Paid for wyn at the Mermayd in Bred Street, for my mastyr and Syr Nicholas Latimer, xd. ob." In 1603 Sir Walter Raleigh established a Literary Club in this house, among its members being Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Selden, Carew, Martin, Donne, etc. It is often alluded to by Beaumont and Fletcher.

Minnow. This little fish, from its insignificant character, is used by "Coriolanus" (iii. 1) as a term of contempt: "Hear you this Triton of the minnows?" and, again, in "Love's Labour's Lost" (i. 1), it occurs: "that base minnow of thy mirth.''

Pike. An old name for this fish was luce. In the "Merry Wives of Windsor" (i. 1) we are told that "The luce is the fresh fish." There can be no doubt, too, that there is in this passage an allusion to the armorial bearings of Shakespeare's old enemy, Sir Thomas Lucy. Among the various instances of the use of this term we may quote Isaac Walton, who says: "The mighty luce or pike is taken to be the tyrant, as the salmon is the king, of the fresh waters." Stow, in his "Survey of London," describes a procession of the Fishmongers' Company in 1298, as having horses painted like sea-luce: "Then four salmons of silver on foure horses, and after them sixe and fortie armed knightes riding on horses made like luces of the sea.

Porpoise. According to sailors, the playing of porpoises round a ship is a certain prognostic of a violent gale of wind; hence the allusion in "Pericles" (ii.. 1), where one of the

1 "History of Sign-boards," 1866, p. 226.

fishermen says, speaking of the storm: "Nay, master, said not I as much, when I saw the porpus, how he bounced and tumbled?" Thus, too, in the "Canterbury Guests, or a Bargain Broken," by Ravenscroft, we read: "My heart begins to leap and play, like a porpice before a storm." And a further reference occurs in Wilsford's "Nature's Secrets:" "Porpoises, or sea-hogs, when observed to sport and chase one another about ships, expect then some stormy weather." Sea-monster. The reference in "King Lear" (i. 4), to the 66 sea-monster


'Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,

More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
Than the sea-monster!"—

is generally supposed to be the hippopotamus, which, according to Upton, was the hieroglyphical symbol of impiety and ingratitude.' Sandys' gives a picture said to be portrayed in the porch of the temple of Minerva, at Sais, in which is the figure of a river-horse, denoting “murder, impudence, violence, and injustice; for they say that he killeth his sire and ravisheth his own dam." His account is, no doubt, taken from Plutarch's "Isis and Osiris;" and Shakespeare may have read it in Holland's translation (p. 1300), but why he should call the river-horse a "sea-monster" is not very clear. It is more likely, however, that the whale is meant."

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Wright's "Notes to King Lear," 1877, p. 133.

2 "Travels," 1673, p. 105.


3 Cf. "King Lear," iv. 2; “Troilus and Cressida,” v. 5 ; All's Well that End's Well," iv. 3.



ALMANACS. In Shakespeare's day these were published under this title: "An Almanack and Prognostication made for the year of our Lord God, 1595." So, in the "Winter's Tale" (iv. 3), Autolycus says: "the hottest day prognostication proclaims;" that is, the hottest day foretold in the almanac. In Sonnet xiv. the prognostications in almanacs are also noticed:

"Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
And yet methinks I have astronomy,

But not to tell of good or evil luck,

Of plagues, of dearths, or season's quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,

Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind:

Or say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in heaven find."

In "Antony and Cleopatra” (i. 2) Enobarbus says: “They are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report;" and in "2 Henry IV." (ii. 4), Prince Henry says: "Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! what says the almanac to that ?"

Amulets. A belief in the efficacy of an amulet or charm to ward off diseases and to avert contagion has prevailed from a very early period. The use of amulets was common among the Greeks and Romans, whose amulets were principally formed of gems, crowns of pearls, necklaces of coral, shells, etc. The amulet of modern times has been of the most varied kinds; objects being selected either from the animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdom, pieces of old rags or garments, scraps of writing in legible or illegible characters, in fact, of anything to which any superstitious property has

been considered to belong.' This form of superstition is noticed in "I Henry VI." (v. 3), in the scene laid at Angiers, where La Pucelle exclaims:


The regent conquers, and the Frenchmen fly.
Now help, ye charming spells and periapts"

—periapts being charms which were worn as preservatives against diseases or mischief. Thus Cotgrave' explains the word as "a medicine hanged about any part of the bodie." Ceremonies. These, says Malone, were "omens or signs deduced from sacrifices or other ceremonial rites." Thus, in "Julius Cæsar" (ii. 1), Cassius says of Cæsar, that—

"he is superstitious grown of late,

Quite from the main opinion he held once
Of fantasy, of dreams, and ceremonies."

And in the next scene Calpurnia adds:

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Charms. These, as Mr. Pettigrew has pointed out, differ little from amulets, the difference consisting in the manner in which they are used rather than in their nature. Thus, whereas the amulet was to be suspended on the person when employed, the charm was not necessarily subjected to such a method of application. In days gone by, and even at the present day, in country districts, so universal has been the use of this source of supposed magical power that there is scarcely a disease for which a charm has not been given. It is not only to diseases of body and mind that the superstitious practice has been directed; having been in popular request to avert evil, and to counteract supposed malignant influences. As might be expected, Shakespeare

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French and English Dictionary;" see Dyce's "Glossary to Shakespeare," p. 316; Nares describes it as a bandage, tied on for magical purposes, from εрιάπтм;" see Brand's "Pop. Antiq.," 1849, vol. iii. pp. 324–326; Douce's “Illustrations of Shakespeare," 1839, pp. 305–307. 3 "Medical Superstitions," p. 55.

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has given various allusions to this usage, as, for example, in "Cymbeline" (v. 3), where Posthumus says:

"To day, how many would have given their honours
To have sav'd their carcases! took heel to dc't,
And yet died too! I, in mine own woe charm'd,
Could not find death where I did hear him groan,
Nor feel him where he struck "

-this passage referring to the notion of certain charms being powerful enough to keep men unhurt in battle.

Othello (iii. 4), speaking of the handkerchief which he had given to Desdemona, relates:

"That handkerchief

Did an Egyptian to my mother give;

She was a charmer, and could almost read
The thoughts of people."

And in the same play (i. 1), Brabantio asks:


Is there not charms,

By which the property of youth and maidhood

May be abus'd ?"

Again, in "Much Ado About Nothing" (iii. 2), Benedick, who is represented as having the toothache, after listening to the banter of his comrades, replies: "Yet is this no charm for the toothache."

Perfect silence seems to have been regarded as indispensable for the success of any charm; and Pliny informs us that "favete linguis" was the usual exclamation employed on such an occasion. From this circumstance it has been suggested that the well-known phrase "to charm a tongue may have originated. Thus we have the following dialogue in "Othello" (v. 2):


Go to, charm your tongue.

Emilia. I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak."

Thus, on the appearance, amid thunder, of the first apparition to Macbeth, after the witches have performed certain charms (iv. 1), Shakespeare introduces the following dialogue:

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