THE NOBLE SPANISH SOLDIER by THOMAS DEKKER
This Posthumous – the now dead author of the play.
Fury’s – in classical mythology, the Furies were three daughters of mother
earth that personified conscience and punished crimes against kindred blood.
Furriers in the Quarto.
Lacrymae’s - the personification of tearfulness, believed to be a reference to
a tune by the luteist, John Dowland, known as ‘Lachrimae , or seven tears’.
4. Pinnace – a boat for communicating between ship and shore, also a procurer.
Galleasses – large fast sailing vessel, indicative of wealth, also sexual
Aesculapius - in Greek mythology, Aesculapius, son of Apollo, was a Greek healer
who became a Greek demigod, and was a famous physician.
Eyes – joys in the Quarto.
Prive – prove, establish.
Than – Q reads ‘then’.
Caitiff - a contemptible or cowardly person.
Leman – lover, sweetheart.
Mercer’s – merchant’s.
Muschatoes - A pair of moustaches.
Fly-boat – small vessel supporting large ship
Jennets – riders of small horses. Balthazar is making a contrast between his
martial exploits and the courtly life of the Dons.
Whorson muscod – scented fop.
Buskined – wearing thick-soled boots as worn by tragical actors.
Van … vaw – the van was the rear of an army’s battle formation, the vaw,
although not a recognised usage, is taken to mean the front.
Insconce – make secure base.
Sconce – lights.
Petronel – a hand-cannon.
Culverin – a long cannon.
Aqua Coelestis – a sweet cordial.
Spurn-point – an old game, believed to be similar to hop-scotch.
Trencher – a wooden board or plate on which food is served.
Bastard – sweet Spanish Wine.
Goll – hand.
Suspiration – Breath.
Ghesse – ghost.
Mine – thine in the Quarto.
Gage – a pledge.
Choke-pear - A kind of pear that has a rough, astringent taste, and is swallowed
with difficulty, or which contracts the mucous membrane of the mouth.
Coiner - counterfeiter.
Gyre – revolution. Cyre in the Quarto
Rosin – oil or resin, used for lubricating violin stings.
Solus Rex me facit miseram – the sun king makes me miserable.
Assa foetida – dried resin, used as a nervous tonic.
Glister-pipe – also known as a clyster-pipe. A tube used to inject liquid
through the anus to stimulate evacuation.
39. Hypocronicall – a nonce word whose meaning is unclear. Possibly should read Hypocondricall, meaning ‘of a melancholy humour’. Fredson Bowers transcribed the word as 'Hypercronicall' which is suggested to refer to the timings of the various amorous meetings. Another editor of NSS, Zachary Lesser, suggests that the word should read 'Hippocronical' this being a word for "related to Hippocrates, i.e., related to medicine", on the basis that much of the following nonsense language derives from humoral and medical terms. Dr Lesser is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois and is working on a version of the play to be published in the Globe Quartos series.
Carp pies – suggests secrecy, based on the belief that the carp has no tongue.
Dial of good days – a reference to lists of good and bad days compiled by
producers of almanacs.
Bounce Buckram – from the proverb ‘Bounce buckram, velvet’s dear,
Christmas comes but once a year, and when it comes it brings good cheer, but
when it’s gone it’s never the near.’
Mulligrubs – depression.
Coranta – a court dance.
Sealed with butter – a reference to the musical publications printed by the
newsmonger Nathaniel Butter.
Aesculapian – relating to medicine.
Escurial – the chief palace
Linstock – pole for firing a cannon.
Salsa-perilla – a drug used in the treatment of syphilis
50. Toot – to pry.
Croaking – creaking in the Quarto. Compare with W. Shakespeare, Hamlet,
3.2.233, ‘the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge’, itself a misquotation
from the anonymous ‘The True Tragedy of Richard III’.
Rosemary – herb worn at both weddings and funerals. In NSS, it signifies
opposition to the King in a manner reminiscent of the Wars of the Roses.
Bantam – in fact, a trade centre in
Callenture – guilty knowledge.
Trul – whore.
Collinquintida – a bitter apple of the gourd family whose soft fruit made a
Magical weed / Which hags at
catch the seed – the Peony, which needed to be gathered in the dark as the
birdlife were believed to be protective of it.
Mittimus – notice to quit.
Shambles – a slaughterhouse.
O’es – An allusion to the manner of posting scores in an ale-house.
Barber’s washing – Barbers were users of scent, like Cockadillio.