An Essay in Illustration of the Belief in the Existence of Devils, and the Powers Possessed By Them, as It Was Generally Held during the Period of the Reformation, and the Times Immediately Succeeding; with Special Reference to Shakspere and His Works
would occur to the mind of the reader of the present day under such circumstances, would be an action for breach of promise of marriage, and he would probably be aware of the very recent origin of that method of procedure. The only reply, therefore, that he would expect from Roberto would be a mild and sympathetic assurance of inability to interfere; and he must be somewhat taken aback to find this claim of Camiola admitted as indisputable. The riddle becomes somewhat further involved when, having established her contract, she immediately intimates that she has not the slightest intention of observing it herself, by declaring her desire to take the veil.
5. This can only be explained by the rules current at the time regarding spousals. The betrothal, or handfasting, was, in Massinger's time, a ceremony that entailed very serious obligations upon the parties to it. There were two classes of spousals--sponsalia de futuro and _sponsalia de praesenti_: a promise of marriage in the future, and an actu