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1598 he had printed the last words “to make it shew the better."


MACBETH. Act I. Sc. 3. (vii., 103.)
Aroint thee, witch ! the rump-fed ronyon cries."

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No one, as far as I know, has discovered an early example of the word aroint in any other author. Mr. Hunter, however, asserts that “such are to be found, though they are rare;' but he only supplies one, and that from a History of Perkin Warbeck, quoted, with a very curious title, in the “ Monthly Mirror” for October, 1810. See “ New Illustrations,” vol. ii.,

P. 166.

Mr. Hunter confesses he never saw this History. Has any body else ? It is scarcely worth while to transcribe the title and extract given by Mr. Hunter, but it is advisable to caution any one against receiving it as an evidence without farther inquiry. I cannot help thinking it bears the appearance of a forgery. It would really be satisfactory to find an example of aroint of unquestionable authority, for till then a doubt may perhaps exist with some, as to whether a corruption may not have crept into the text.

MACBETH. Act V. Sc. 6. (vii., 181.)

“Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,
Till famine cling thee.”

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Mr. Collier is certainly right in explaining cling to shrink, the meaning given by Kennett in MS. Lansd., 1033. It is from A. S. clingan. Kennett has also “ clung, clinged or shrunk up;” and in Cooper's edition of Eliote’s Dictionarie, 1559, is the following entry — “Coriago, the sickenesse of cattall whan they are clounge, that their skynnes dooe cleve fast to their bodies, hyde bounde.” The commentators have confused two words in their notes on the passage. It should, however, be observed that in the Craven Glossary, i., 79, clung is explained “hungry or empty, emaciated,” which perhaps agrees still better with the context in the passage under consideration. On the whole, I should explain cling in this place “to wither,” no single word better expressing the intended force of the threat.

“ Theo nessche clay hit makith clyng."

Kyng Alisaunder, 915. “My bonys were stronge, and myghtyly made; But now thei clynge, and waxe all drye.”

Seoen Penetential Psalms, ed. Black, p. 29.

Art. VII. - The Performance of Dramas by Parish Clerks

and Players in Churches.


In the course of my examinations of the registers and tokenbooks preserved at St. Saviour's, Southwark, for the purpose of the volume of “ Memoirs of the Principal Actors in the Plays of Shakespeare,” I met with some valuable documents, which had belonged to the church of St. Margaret, before it was pulled down, and the parish united with that of St. Mary Overy. They extend from 1444 to 1534, and are among the most ancient parish records in existence: they will be especially interesting to the Shakespeare Society, in connexion with our early drama and stage, since they afford distinct evidence that plays were periodically represented in the church itself by persons who were regularly paid for their performances.

By way of fixing the locality, it may be mentioned that the church of St. Margaret stood on the “hill” in Southwark which is still called by her name. In Stow's time, part of the edifice

Since this paper was written, I have been favoured with the following note by Sir H. Ellis, communicating a very remarkable entry on the subject, contained in one of the MSS. in the British Museum:

“79, Great Russell Street,

“Dec. 13, 1846. “My dear Sir—In perusing one of the small volumes of Excerpts from the Registers of Lincoln, preserved in the Harleian Library, I fell upon a passage which brought to my remembrance the church expences of St. Margaret, Southwark, which you spoke of at the last Council of the Shakespeare Society.

“ It appears from one of the Dean and Chapter's Registers (notat. E E. f. 18) that on June 7th, 1483, the Citizens of Lincoln had leave to perform a Play in the Nave of the Cathedral, as had been their custom upon the Assumption of the Virgin Mary: ‘Ludum, sive Serimonium, de


was still standing, and was used as “a court, wherein the assizes and sessions be kept ; and a Court of Admiraltie is also there kept : one other part of the same church is now a prison, called the Compter in Southwarke.”! The demolition of the church, on the union of the parishes, was not therefore total : and it appears, by one of the papers still extant, that as late as 1534, a piece of ground belonging to what had been called “the Lord Ferrer's place” was added to the churchyard, with the intention of avoiding the necessity for pulling down the church by reason of the crowded state of the burial-place.

Without farther preface, I will proceed to quote from these accounts, commencing as early as 9th December, 23 Henry VI., such particulars as appear interesting with reference to the performance of plays (no doubt of a scriptural or moral character) in the church of St. Margaret, accompanying the extracts with such explanatory remarks as seem to be called for, or necessary.

We find in the earlier entries of receipts and payments that money was “ gathered in the church” on particular days, including the saints' days of St. Margaret and St. Lucy, July 20th and December 13th; and farther on we meet with an explanation why such sums were collected: the account is headed

“Theis be the percell of Goodis bought and enprocurid be the chyrche Wardens afore wryten in theyre tyme: the yere of Kyng Harry the vjt the xxiijti.”

Assumptione, sive Coronatione beatæ Mariæ prout consuetum fuerat in Navi dictæ Ecclesiæ." Harl. MS. 6954, p. 152.

“ It is not impossible but that you may yourself have seen this passage before. At all events, I send it to you.

“ Yours, my dear sir,

“Most truly,

“ HENRY ELLIS." Survey of London, p. 334, edit. 1599. Edit. by Thoms, p. 153.


and it includes this item :

“ Also peid for a play vpon seynt Lucy day,

and for a play vpon seynt Margrete day... xiijs iiijd.” The memorandum is repeated in the same words in the next year, but in 26 Henry VI. it is stated that only one play was acted in the course of the year, and the item is

“ Also peid for a pley vpon seynt Margrete



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The avoiding of the additional expenditure upon St. Lucy's day may have been occasioned by the fact, that in this year the church had been furnished with “a peyre of newe Organes,” which cost £6 6s. 8d., while 13s. 4d. was disbursed “ for a pleyer to pley vpon the same Organes, hyred in Chepe,” while an additional 128. was given to a person named Mighell, also for “pleying vpon the Organes.” The particular dates of these payments are not given. It merits observation that the single organ-player, who had been hired in Cheapside, cost as much as was paid to all the actors who had represented the two plays in 1444. In 27th Henry VI., there was no dramatic performance, possibly because the church was undergoing considerable repairs. Nevertheless, John Fychette, the organplayer, was allowed a salary of 408. in 1447 and 1448.

This salary seems to have been reduced in 28 Henry VI., for we then read—“ Also peyd to the organ pleyer for an hole yere, xxvje viija ;" and on 13th December a play was performed: the singularity of this memorandum is, that we are told that it was represented by the “clerks,” meaning, of course, the association of Parish Clerks. Stow speaks of the performances of the Parish Clerks at Skinner's Well as early as 1391, nearly sixty years before the period to which we are

The following very curious particulars relating to this very performance are derived from Mr. F. Devon's valuable work, “Issues of the

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