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Chaucer hints at the cursing by bell, and candle, Manciple's Tale, 1973, &c.
“ For clerkes say we shallin be fain" For their livelod to fweve änd swinke, “ And then right nought us geve again,
Neither to eat, ne yet to drink; “ Thei move by law, as that thei fain, “ Us curfe and dampne to hellis brink;
And thus thei puțin us to pain, "With candles queint, and bellis clink," : And again 2105_6. har
" And Christis people proudly curse “ With brode boke, and braying bell."
The manner of cursing, the following account is given by Henry Care. (c) “ The bishop, clergy, and all the several
forts of friars, assemble in the cathedral with the cross born before them, fupported with -two wax tapers lighted, and all the rabble of
the city runs to see this spiritual tragi-comedy. “A priest all in white mounts the pulpit, and
beginning his sermon, on that text, John vii. “ 13. Ef blafphemia in castris, there is blafpbe
my, or an accurfed thing in the camp, told the \ ftory most lamentably, and befought God, " and the Lady Mary, and every body else,
that the beretick might be found out : And “having spoken the Prologue, up steps the
bishop, with a part more tragical, chus.
(c) Sec Weekly Pacquet of Advice from Roxt, Vol. 5. numb. 21. p. 462: From Fox, fol. 947
« By the autbority of God the father almighty, " and of the blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint “ Peter and Saint Paul, and all the holy saints, " we excommunicate, and utterly curse and bann,
and commit and deliver unto the devil af bell, “ him or ber, (whatever he or she be) that bath, " in spight of God and Saint Peter (whose church “this is) in Spight of our holy father the Pope, “ God's vicar bere on earth, and in Spight of the "reverend father in God, John, our diocesan, and " the worshipful canons, masters, and priests, and "clerks, who serve God daily in this cathedral "church, fixed up, with wax, such cursed and “ beretical bills of blasphemy, upon the doors of " this, and other boly courches within this city ; « excommunicate plainly be be, the,' or they ple" nally, and delivered over to the devil, as per
petual malefactors, and fchifmaticks. Accursed
may they be, and given body and foul unto the " devil, as perpetual malefactors, and fchifmaticks.
Accurfed may they be, and given body and soul S to the devil. Cursed be they, be or she, in ci“ ties and towns, in fields, in bigbways, in parbs, “ in houses, and in all other places, standing,
lying, or rising, walking, fleeping, eating, drinka
ing, and whatsoever thing they do besides. We "separate bim, or ber from the threshold of "God), and from all the good prayers of the “ church, from the participation of the holy
mass, from all sacraments, chapels, and altars ; “ from boly bread, and holy water, from all she “ merits of God's holy priests, and religious men;
« and from all their cloysters, from all their par“dons, privileges, grants and immunities : And "we give them over utterly to the power of the « Fiend, and let us quench their fouls (if they « be dead) this night in hell-fire, as this candle is “ now quench'd and put out ; [and with that he
put out one of the candles] and let us pray to “God, (if they be alive) that their eyes may be “ pút out, as this candle light is ; [then he put
out another candle] and let us pray to God, " and our Lady, and to Saint Peter, and Saint “ Paul, and all boly faints, that all the senses of “ their bodies may fail them, and that they may " have no feeling, as now the light of this candle " is gone; (and so he put out the third can
dle] except they, be or fhe, come openly now, “ and confess their blasphemy, and by repentance
[as much as in them shall lie] make fatisfacti, “ on unto God, our Lady, Saint Peter, and the ". worsbipful company of this cathedral cburcb : “And as this holy cross now falletb down, fo may
they, unless they fhew themselves. --At which * word, one snatching away the stick, down * comes tumbling holy cross, and all the people "phouted, and stared, and trembled, as if old Nick had been amongst them in proper person.
For the more modern Popish excommunicatiöns, consult Mr. Baker's History of the Inquisition, in 4to. p. 112.
Act 3. sc. 5. p. 433.
K. John. If the midnight bell
Sound one into the drowsy race of night.) Bell
The first use of bells. in churches, was in the
And the first tuneable ring of bells in Eng
See Echard's History of England, Vol. 1. p. 89.5
Shakespeare wrote this, some time before the discovery of the circulation of the blood by the celebrated Dr. Harvey; which was about the year 1628. Had he lived till that time, he would have express'd his meaning with more propriety. The blood is convey'd by the aorta, (the greatest artery, which proceeds from the left ventricle of the heart, and has three valves) all over the body, and is return'd back thro' che veins ; in which, at proper distances, small valves are placed, to hinder its reflux, and to force it forward, at the fame time, into the vena cava, the largest vein of the body and
so calld, from its great capacity, or hollow fpace. . Id. ib. Then in despight of broad-ey'd, watchful
day.] Brooded, Folio 1632. Sc. 6. p. 434
K. Philip. So by a roaring tempest on the flood, A whole armado of collealed sail Is featter'd, and destroy'd from fellowsbip.]
Shakespeare does not allude to any tempest that then happened, but to the defeat of the French fleet (prepar'd to invade the dominions of the Earl of Flanders) in the Scheld, by the Earl of Salisbury, brother to King John, in the year 1213 In which 300 ships, laden with provisions, arms, and other valuable things, were taken ; and above 100 more funk, and burnt; and the rest destroy'd by their own hands, for fear of being taken by the enemy: Which put an end to King Philip's purpose of invading England.
Echard's History of England, Vol. 1. p. 249.
lafting night.] The couch, Folio 1632.
to't] Qu. unmanly scruples ?
By my christendom,