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By paved fountain, or by rushy brook, s
Ruricolafque loves liko dedit : arvaque juffit
Sideraque ventique nocent. The middle summer's spring.) We should read that. For it appears to have been some years fince the quarrel first began.
WARBURTON. By the middle summer's spring, our author seems to mean the beginning of middle or mid summer. Spring for beginning our ay. thor again uses : 2d. P. Hen. IV.
As flaws congealed in tbe spring of day. which expression has its original from scripture, St. Luke, c. i. v. 78. " whereby the day-J;ring from on high hath visited us.
Ovid had been translated by Golding :--the first four books in 1565, and all the rest, in a few years afterwards. Steevens. s Paved Fountain.) A fountain laid round the edge with fone,
JOHNSON, • - be winds piping] So Milton,
Wbile ricking winds are piping loud. Johnson. ?--pelting river,] Thus the quarto's: the folio reads petty.
Shakespeare has in Lear the same word, low pelting farms. The meaning is plainly, despi alle, mean, forry, wretched; but as it is a word without any reasonable etymology, I should be glad to dismiss it for petty, yet it is undoubtedly right. We have petry pelting officer in Measure for Measure. Johnson.
8 Överborn their continents.] Born down the banks that contained them. So in Lear,
Close pent guilts
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard,
No 'The nine-mens morris.] This was fome kind of rural game played in a marked ground. But what it was more I have not found. JOHNSON.
2 The human mortals want their winter Here, ] But sure it was not one of the circumstances of misery, here recapitulated, that the sufferers wanted their winter. On the contrary, in the poetical descriptions of the golden age, it was always one circumstance of their happiness that they wanted winter. This is an idle blunder of the editors. Shakespeare without question wrote,
The human mortals want their winter HERYED, i.e. praised, celebrated. The word is obsolete; but used both by Chaucer and Spencer in this fignification,
Tho’ wouldest thou learne to CAROLL of love,
Spenc. Cal. Feb. The following line confirms the emendation.
No night is now with Hymn or Carol bleft; and the propriety of the sentiment is evident. For the winter is the season of rural rejoicing, as the gloominess of it and its vacancy from country labours give them the inclination and opportue nity for mirth ; and the fruits, now gathered in, the means. Well therefore might she say, when he had described the dearths of the seasons and fruitless toil of the husband men, that
The buman mortals want their winter heryed. But, principally, since the coming of Chriftianity this season, in commemoration of the birth of Christ, has been particularly devoted to feftivity. And to this custom, notwithtanding the impropriety, Hymn or Carol blef certainly alludes. Mr. Theobald says, be poould undoubtedly have advanced this conjetture unto the text, but that Shakespeure seems rather fond of hallow'd. Rather than what? ballowed is not synonymous to beryed but to bleft. What was he thinking of? The ambiguity of the English word bleft confounded him, which fignifies either prais'd or Janetifid.
No night is now with hymn or carol bleft.
Pale After all the endeavours of the editors, this passage still remains to me unintelligible. I cannot see why winter is, in the general confufion of the year now described, more wanted than any other season. Dr. Warburton observes that he alludes to our pra&ice of finging carols in December ; but though Shakespeare is no great chronologer in his dramas, I think he has never so mingled true and false religion, as to give us reason for believing that he would make the moon incensed for the omission of our carols. I therefore imagine him to have meant heathen rites of adoration. This is not all the difficulty. Titania's account of this calamity is not fufficiently consequential. Men find no winter, therefore they fing no hymns; the moon provoked by this omiffion, alters the seafons; that is, the alteration of the seasons produces the alteration of the seasons. I am far from supposing that Shakespeare might not sometimes think confusedly, and therefore am not sure that the passage is corrupted. If we should read,
And human mortals want their wonted year, yet will not this licence of alteration much mend the narrative ; the cause and the effect are ftill confounded. Let us carry critical temerity a little further. Scaliger transposed the lines of Vir. gil's Gallus. Why may not the fame experiment be yentured upon Shakespeare.
The human mortals want their wonted year,
From our debate, from our dilennon. I know not what credit the reader will give to this emendation, which I do not much credit myself. JOHNSON.
The confusion of seasons here described, is no more than a poetical account of the weather, which happened in England about the
Pale in her anger washes all the air ;
The childing autumn', angry winter, change
Ob. Do you amend it then, it lies in you.
Queen. time when this play was first published. For this information I am indebted to chance, which furnished me with a few leaves of an old meteorological history. Steevens.
? –Hyems' chin.] Dr. Gray, not inelegantly conjectures, that the poet wrote,
- On old Hyems' chill and icy crown.” It is not indeed easy to discover how a chaplet can be placed on tbe chin. STEEVENS. 3 The childing autumn,) is the pregnant autumn, frugifer autumnus.
STEEVENS. 4 By their increase.] That is, By their produce. JOHNSON.
s Henchman.) Page of honour. This office was abolished by queen Elizabeth.
GRAY. The office might be abolished at court, but probably remained in the city. Glapthorne, in his comedy called Wit'in a Con. stable, 1637, has this passage:
." I will teach his hench.boys,
Queen. Set your heart at rest,
squire, Would imitate ; and fail upon the land,
To Again, in Ben Jonson's Christmas Masque," he said grace as “ well as any of the sheriff's bench-toys. Steevens.
Upon the establishment of the household of Edward IV. were benxman fix enfants, or more, as it pleyfeth the king, eatinge in the kalle, &c. There was also a maister of the henxmen, to jewe them the schoole of nurture, and learne them to ride, to wear their harnıfje; to have all carie—10 teach them all languages, and other virtus, as barpinge, pypinge, finginge, dauncinge, wirb honeft behavioure of temperaunce and pa!yence.
MS. Harl. 293. At the funeral of Henry VIII. nine benchmen attended with fir Francis Bryan, mafier of the benchmer. . Strype's Eccl. Mem. v. 2. App. n. 1.
T.T. 6 II hich me with pretty and wi!h swimming gate FOLLOWING (hir womb then rich with my young 'quire)
Wculd imilate -] Following what? Me did not follow the ship, whose motion the imitated: for that failed on the water, the on the land. If by following, we are to understand imitating, it will be a mere pleonasm-imitating would imitate. From the poet's description of the actions, it plainly appears we should read,
Wcud imitate; i. e. wantoning in sport and gaiety. Thus the old English write ers and they believen FOLYLY and fallly-says fir J. Maundeville, from and in the sense of folâtrer, to play the wanton. This exactly agrees to the action dcfcribed-full ofren bas for golpe by my side-and-when we have la:rgb'd io fee.
WARBURTON. The foregoing no:e is very ingenious, but since follying is a word of which i know not any example, and the Fairy's favour