Notes on Act II, scene ii
glass house: glass factory; there was a famous one near the Blackfriars theater (Lucas)
instrument: double entendre, referring to the glass blower's tube and to the male genitals
The orange tree ... well: Bosola suggests that women in all seasons of life are lustful, some for pure love, others for pay. In the spring of life young women have sex for love; in their autumn years older women may sell themselves in order to eat.
showers: Zeus impregnated Danae (the mother of Perseus) by falling into her lap as a golden shower.
center: allusion to the lap of a whore, visited by many men (image borrowed from Montaigne's Essays III.v)
foster-daughters: suggesting that the old lady is a madam in charge of younger prostitutes
the devil ... time passes: the devil tempts old women in their lustfulness to think they are still sexually attractive, not acknowledging the passage of time.
posterns: back gates
Switzer: Swiss guard, mercenary
cod-piece: baglike flap in the front of men's breeches, now replaced by the fly.
ladies’ chambers: the ladies would have searched his codpiece if given the chance
cannibal: savage, with wordplay on “cannonball” (bullet) in the previous line
plate: gold or silver tableware
cabinet: private room
wood-yard: Bosola insults these men by referring to them as lowly woodcutters.
blackguard: kitchen servants
daunt whole man in us: to rob us of our bravery
set a figure: work out his baby's horoscope, based on when he was born.
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