n.1.Behavior or manners of a clown; clownery.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
And yet, despite Tarlton's widespread fame, which drove Marlowe to famously dismiss the "jigging veins of rhyming mother-wits / And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay," (29) Shakespeare's Globe was not a place for a clown such as Kemp to thrive.
For the early modern stage, the nearest we can come to a similar vocabulary of gait for clowns is the not-surprising term "jig," associated at once with verse movement and physical movement in Marlowe's dismissal of his predecessors for their "jigging veins of rhyming mother wit/ And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay," in contrast to "the stately tent of war" containing Alleyn's Tamburlaine, famous for his tragic stalking.
Hornback concludes that religious ideology is actually a persistent feature of stage clownage at least until well beyond the end of Shakespeare's career despite the turn in taste to neoclassical decorum.
From jigging veins of rhyming mother wits, And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay, We'll lead you to the stately tent of war, Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine Threatening the world with high astounding terms, And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
Kahn's production cut Tamburlaine's famous, challenging prologue--a speech that, if delivered by the Shakespeare Theatre Company, might have suggested that the hallowed Bard himself was to blame for "jigging veins of rhyming mother wits, / And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay." Although the STC bravely presented Marlowe, they did so in a manner that justified both their previous failure to perform his plays and any future ignorance of his work.
For Marlowe especially he reserved an intense admiration, and his correspondence rings with praise for "dear olde Kit." Thus, according to a letter from 1928, four years before his suicide, Crane wrote that the following lines from Tamburlaine "set the key for the divinest human feasting" and he praises their "kindly jaggedness": From iygging vaines of riming mother wits, and such conceits as clownage keepes in pay.