The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0403 Thursday, 22 August 2013
Date: August 17, 2013 3:37:38 PM EDT
Subject: Query: Verges
I am reviewing Much Ado about Nothing (a play I often go back to). In the Arden edition, this is the annotation on Verges’s name:
i.e. verjuice, the acid juice of unripe fruit, formerly used in cookery and medicine. The name occurs in a satirical rhyme, ‘Uppon old Father Varges, a misserable usurer’—‘Here lies father Varges/Who died to save charges’ (MS. Ashmolean 38) Verges seems by no means as acidulous as the name suggests.
My question: Because the case against Borachio and Conrade ends up before a sexton in 4.2, why not consider Verges as associated with “verger,” a minor church official often associated with a sexton?