The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0503  Tuesday, 24 February 2004

From:           David Evett <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Saturday, 21 Feb 2004 12:32:55 -0500
Subject:        Query: Brewer Satire

I'm doing character notes for the CORD database, and am working on a
curious little piece by Thomas Brewer, *The Knot of Fooles* (1624,
entered in the Stationers' Register August 1623).  It's not really a
play, but what G. E. Bentley called "a semi-dramatic satire in
dialogue."  In it, the philosopher Democritus offers 27 "characters," in
the Hall-Overbury sense, of Jacobean types.  These are introduced not
with a clear label - the Lawyer, the Sycophant, the Social Climber, or
whatever - but with a presumptively appropriate proverbial phrase.

Most of them can be identified readily enough, but one has me baffled,
and I would welcome help from the list in interpreting it.  I give it in
its entirety, starting with the half-line that fills out the line with
which the previous character, of the False Swearer, ends, representing
the long dashes that appear in the text, and marking the original
italics with asterisks:

     *First come, first served.*

------------ ------------- ------------ Who can chuse
But laugh at this: Why here's a running Stewes
Hurries them on.  This waight was wont to ride,
Not on *foure* wheeles, but *one* on either side,
And that me thinks shewd better. ---------------

David Evett

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