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See p. 29. Is but a quintaine, &c.] Dr. Warburton's explanation would, I think, have been lefs exceptionable, had it been more fimple: yet he is here charged with a fault of which he is feldom guilty-want of refinement. This (fays Mr. Guthrie) is but an imperfect (to call it no worse) explanation of a beautiful paffage. The quintaine was not the object of the darts and arms; it was a stake, driven into a field, upon which were hung a fhield and trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode with a lance. When the fhield and trophies were all thrown down, the quintaine remained. Without this information, how could the reader understand the allufion of my better parts

Are all thrown down.

In the present edition I have avoided, as much as poffible, all kind of controverfy; but in those cafes where errors, by having been long adopted, are become inveterate, it becomes in fome measure neceffary to the enforcement of truth.

one.

It is a common, but a very dangerous miftake, to fuppofe that the interpretation which gives most spirit to a paffage is the true In confequence of this notion, two paffages of our author, one in Macbeth, and another in Othello, have been refined, as I conceive, into a meaning that I believe was not in his thoughts. If the moft fpirited interpretation that can be imagined happens to be inconfiftent with his general manner, and the phrafeology both of him and his contemporaries, or to be founded on a custom which did not exift in his age, moft affuredly it is a false interpretation. Of the latter kind is Mr. Guthrie's explanation of the paffage before us.

The military exercife of the quintaine is as ancient as the time of the Romans; and we find from Matthew Paris, that it fubfifted in England in the thirteenth century. Tentoria variis ornamentorum generibus venuftantur; terræ infixis, fudibus fcuta apponuntur, quibus in craftinum quintance ludus, fcilicet equeftris, exerceretur. M. Paris, ad ann. 1253. These probably were the very words that Mr. Guthrie had in contemplation. But Matthew Paris made no part of Shakspeare's library; nor is it at all material to our present point what were the cuftoms of any century preceding that in which he lived. In his time, without any doubt, the quintaine was not a military exercife of tilting, but a mere ruftic fport. So Minshieu, in his DICT. 1617: "A quintaine or quintelle, a game in request at marriages, when Jac and Tom, Dic, Hob and Will, ftrive for the gay garland." So alfo, Randolph at fomewhat a later period [Poems, 1642]:

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"Foot-ball with us may be with them [the Spaniards]
balloone;

"As they at tilts, fo we at quintaine runne;
"And those old paftimes relish beft with me,

"That have leaft art, and most fimplicitie."

But old Stowe has put this matter beyond a doubt; for in his Survey of London, printed only two years before this play appeared, he has given us the figure of a quintaine, as represented in the margin.

"I have feen (fays he) a quinten fet up on Cornehill, by the Leaden Hall, where the attendants on the lords of merry disports have runne, and made greate pastime; for hee that hit not the broad end of the quinten was of all men laughed to fcorne; and hee that hit it full, if he rid not the fafter, had a found blow in his necke with a bagge full of fand hanged on the other end."

Here

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we fee were no fhields hung, no trophies of war to be thrown down. "The great defign of the sport, (fays Dr. Plott, in his Hiftory of Oxfordshire,) is to try both man and horse, and to break the board; which whoever does, is for the time Princeps juventutis." Shakfpeeare's fimiles feldom correspond on both fides. 66 My better parts being all thrown down, my youthful Spirit being fubdued by the power of beauty, I am now (fays Orlando) as inanimate as a wooden quintaine is (not when its better parts are thrown down, but as that lifeless block is at all times)." Such, perhaps, is the meaning. If, however, the words "better parts," are to be applied to the quintaine, as well as, to the speaker, the board above-mentioned, and not any Shield or trophy, muft have been alluded to.

Our author has, in Macbeth, ufed “ my better part of man" for manly Spirit.

"Accurfed be the tongue that tells me fo,

"For it has cow'd my better part of man." MALone. The explanations of this paffage, as well as the accounts of the quintain, are by no means fatisfactory; nor have the labours of the critick or the antiquary been exhaufted. The whole of Orlando's speech fhould feem to refer to the quintain, but not to fuch a one as has been deferibed in any of the preceding notes. Mr. Guthrie is accused of having borrowed his account from Matthew Paris, an author with whom, as it has been already obferved, Shakspeare was undoubtedly not acquainted; but this charge is erroneous, for no fuch paffage as that above

cited is to be found in M. Paris. This writer does indeed speak of the quintain under the year 1253, but in very different words. Eodem tempore juvenes Londinenfes ftatuto pavone pro bravio ad ftadium quod quintena vulgariter dicitur, vires proprias & equorum curfus funt experti. He then proceeds to ftate that fome of the King's pages, and others belonging to the houfhold, being offended at these sports, abused the Londoners with foul language, calling them fcurvy clowns and greafy rascals, and ventured to dispute the prize with them; the confequence of which was, that the Londoners received them very briskly, and fo belaboured their backs with the broken lances, that they were either put to flight, or tumbled from their horfes and moft terribly bruifed. They afterwards went before the King, the tears ftill trickling from their eyes, and complained of their treatment, befeeching that he would not fuffer fo great an offence to remain unpunished; and the King, with his ufual fpirit of revenge, extorted from the citizens a very large fine. So far M. Paris; but Mr. Malone has through some mistake cited Robertus Monachus, who wrote before M. Paris, and has left an extremely curious account of the Crufades. He is defcribing the arrival of fome meffengers from Babylon, who, upon entering the Chriftian camp, find to their great aftonishment (for they had heard that the Christians were perifhing with fear and hunger) the tents curiously ornamented, and the young men practifing themselves and their horfes in tilting against fhields hung upon poles. In the oldeft edition of this writer, inftead of "quintanæ ludus," it is "ludus equeftris." However, this is certainly not the quintain that is here wanted, and therefore Mr. Malone has fubftituted another, copied indeed from a contemporary writer, but ftill not illuftrative of the paffage in queftion. I fhall beg leave then to prefent the reader with fome others, from which it will appear, that the quintain was a military exercise in Shakspeare's time, and not a mere ruftic fport, as Mr. Malone imagines.

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No. 1, is copied from an initial letter in an Italian book, printed in 1560. Here is the figure of a man placed upon the trunk of a tree, holding in one hand a fhield, in the other a bag of fand. No. 2, is the Saracen quintain from Pluvinel, inftruction du Roi Louis XIII. dans l'exercife de monter à cheval. This fort of quintain, according to Meneftrier, was invented by the Germans, who, from their frequent wars with the Turks, accustomed their foldiers to point their lances against the figure of their enemy. The fkill confifted in fhivering the lance to pieces, by ftriking it against the head of the man, for if it touched the fhield, the figure turned round and generally ftruck the horfeman a violent blow with his fword. No. 3, is the Flemish quintain, copied from a print after Wouvermans; it is called La bague Flamande, from the ring which the figure holds in his left hand; and here the object was to take away the ring with the point of the lance, for if it ftruck any other part, the man turned round and hit the rider with his fand-bag. This is a mixture of the quintain and running at the ring, which two fports have been fome how or other in like manner confounded by the Italians, who fometimes exprefs the running at the ring correre alla quintana. The principle of all these was the

fame, viz. to avoid the blow of the sword or fand-bag, by striking the quintain in a particular place.

It might have been expected that fome inftance had been given of the ufe of these quintains in England; and for want of it an objection may be taken to this method of illustrating the prefent fubject: but let it be remembered, that Shakspeare has indifcriminately blended the usages of all nations; that he has oftentimes availed himself of hearfay evidence; and again, that as our manners and customs have at all times been borrowed from the French and other nations, there is every reafon to infer that this fpecies of the quintain had found its way into England. It is hardly needful to add, that a knowledge of very many of our ancient sports and domeftic employments is not now to be attained. Hiftorians have contented themselves to record the vices of kings and princes, and the minutiae of battles and fieges; and, with very few exceptions, they have considered the difcuffion of private manners (a theme perhaps equally interesting to pofterity) as beneath their notice, and of little or no importance.

As a military sport or exercise, the ufe of the quintain is very ancient, and may be traced even among the Romans. It is mentioned in Juftinian's Code, Lib. III. tit. 43; and its most probable etymology is from "Quintus," the name of its inventor. In the days of chivalry it was the fubftitute or rehearsal of tilts and tournaments, and was at length adopted, though in a ruder way, by the common people, becoming amongst them a very favourite amusement. Many inftances occur of its ufe in feveral parts of France, particularly as a feignorial right exacted from millers, watermen, new-married men, and others; when the party was obliged, under fome penalty, to run at the quintain upon Whitfunday and other particular times, at the lord's caftle, for his diverfion. Sometimes it was practifed upon the water, and then the quintain was either placed in a boat, or erected in the middle of the river. Something of this kind is described from Fitzftephen by Stowe in his Survey, p. 143, edit. 1618, 4to. and still continues to be practised upon the Seine at Paris. Froiffart mentions, that the shield quintain was used in Ireland in the reign of Richard II. In Wales it is still practifed at weddings, and at the village of Offham, near Town Malling in Kent, there is now ftanding a quintain, resembling that copied from Stowe, oppofite the dwelling-house of a family that is obliged under fome tenure to fupport it; but I do not find that any use has been ever made of it within the recollection of the inhabitants.

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