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Usher the Third

Adding to our survey of Gentleman Ushers as allusions to the SAQ, I’ll add Chapman’s comedy, The Widow’s Tears, to our list.

This link will pull up the 10 posts on Quake-speare Shorterly that includes discussion of Argus in The Widow’s Tears.

I discussed this allusion previously, especially the well-promising fore-head here.

Here’s the text from  Act V, sc iii,323-335.

Governor. Well said, o’ mine honour! A good significant fellow,
i’faith! What is he? He talks much. Does he follow your ladyship?

Argus. No, an’t please your honour, I go before her.

Governor. A good undertaking presence: a well-promising fore-head! Your gentleman usher madam?

Eudora. Yours if you please, my lord!

Governor. Born i’th’ city?

Argus. Ay, an’t please your honour, but begot i’th’ Court.

Governor. Tressel-legged?

Argus. Ay, an’t please your honour.

Governor. The better: ut vears  vreaadtgm najes a riin i; vitg dues, Might I not see his pace?

Argus. Yes, an’t please your honour.   Argus stalks

Governor. ‘Tis well, ’tis very well.

The name Argus is from the Greek god with 1000 eyes. Vere was “Eyed to Argus” according to Gabriel Harvey as noted by Rambler. The ‘tressel-legged’  and ‘pace’ allusions have also been well-parsed by Rambler. I’ll have more to say on the concept of pace in later posts in this series. Also, notice and file ‘begot i’th’ Court.‘  That comment will figure in future discussions as well.

We now have three Gentleman Usher appearances in plays of the period that are allusively linked to Vere/Shaksper.

  1. Chapman’s The Gentleman Usher
  2. Jonson’s A Tale of A Tub
  3. Chapman’s The Widow’s Tears. 

more anon.



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