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But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
OBE. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,
TITA. These are the forgeries of jealousy:
4 Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night — ] The glimmering night is the night faintly illuminated by stars. In Macbeth our author says: “ The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day.”
STEEVENS, 5 From Perigenia, whom he ravished?] Thus all the editors, but our author who diligently perus’d Plutarch, and glean'd from him, where his subject would admit, knew, from the life of Theseus, that her name was Perygine, (or Perigune,) by whom Theseus had his fon Melanippus. She was the daughter of Sinnis, a cruel robber, and tormenter of passengers in the Ilhmus. Plutarch and Athenæus are both express in the circumstance of Theseus ravishing her. THEOBALD.
In North's translation of Plutarch (Life of Theseus) this lady is called Perigouna. The alteration was probably intentional, for the fake of harmony. Her real name was Perigune. MALONE.
Æglé, Ariadne, and Antiopa were all at different times mistresses to Theseus. See Plutarch.
Theobald cannot be blamed for his emendation; and yet it is well known that our ancient authors, as well as the French and the Italians, were not scrupulously nice about proper names, but almost always corrupted them. STEEVENS.
6 And never, fince the middle summer's spring, &c.] By the middle Summer': Spring, our author seems to mean the beginning of middle
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
or mid summer. Spring, for beginning, he uses again in K. Henry IV. P. II:
" As flaws congealed in the spring of day:" which expression has authority from the scripture, St. Luke, i. 78: “ — whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us." Again, in the romance of Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, 1510:
" — arose in a mornynge at the sprynge of the day,” &c. Again, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. 111. c. x:
“ He wooed her till day-spring he espyde.” Steevens, So Holinshed, p. 494:-" the morowe after about the spring of the daie”. MALONE.
The middle summer's Spring, is, I apprehend, the season when trees put forth their second, or as they are frequently called their midsummer fboots. Thus, Evelyn in his Silva: “ Cut off all the side boughs, and especially at midsummer, if you spy them breaking out.” And again, “ Where the rows and brush lie longer than midsummer, unbound, or made up, you endanger the loss of the fecond spring.” Henley. 7 Paved fountain,] A fountain laid round the edge with stone.
Johnson. Perhaps paved at the bottom. So, Lord Bacon in his Esay on Gardens : “ As for the other kind of fountaine, which we may call a bathing-poole, it may admit much curiosity and beauty. .... As that the bottom be finely paved .... the fides likewise," &c.
STEEVENS. The epithet seems here intended to mean no more than that the beds of these fountains were covered with pebbles in opposition to those of the rushy brooks which are oozy. The same expression is used by Sylvester in a similar sense :
“ By some cleare river's lillie-paved side.” Henley.' 8 Or on the beached margent -] The old copies read-Or in, Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone. 9 — the winds, piping -] So, Milton :
“ 17bile rocking winds, are piping loud.” JOHNSON,
As in revenge, have fuck'd up from the fea
And Garwine Donglas, in his Tranflation of the Eneid, p. 69. 1710. fol. Edinb.
“ The soft piping wynd calling to fe.” The Glossographer obferves, “ we fay a piping wind, when an ordinary gale blows, and the wind is neither too loud nor too calm.”
HOLT WHITE. 9 - pelting vider -] Thus the quartos : the folio rcads-petty. Shakspeare has in Lear the same word, low pelting farms. The meaning is plainly, despicable, 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 “ petty pelting officer" in Measure for Meafure. Johnson. So, in Gascoigne's Glass of Government, 1975:
“ Doway is a pelting town pack'd full of poor scholars." This word is always used as a term of contempt. So, again, in Lyly's Midas, 1592 : “ — attire never used but of old women and pelting priests." Steevens.
_ overborne their continents :) Born down the banks that contain them. So, in Lear: “
close pent up guilts, “ Rive your concealing continents !" JOHNSON, 3 and the green corn .
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard :) So, in our author's 12th Sonnet :
“ And summer's green all girded up in foeaves,
MALONE. 4 murrain flock;] The murrain is the plague in cattle. It is here used by Shakspeare as an adjective; as a substantive by others :
" - sends him as a marrain
Heywood's Silver Age, 1613. STEEVENS.
The nine-men's morris is fill'd up with mud;s
s The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mod;} In that part of Warwickshire where Shakspeare was educated, and the neighbour. ing parts of Northamptonshire, the shepherds and other boys dig up the turf with their knives to represent a fort of imperfect chefs board. It consists of a square, sometimes only a foot diameter, sometimes three or four yards. Within this is another square, every side of which is parallel to the external square; and these squares are joined by lines drawn from each corner of both squares, and the middle of each line. One party, or player, has wooden pegs, the other stones, which they move in such a manner as to take up each other's men as they are called, and the area of the inner square is called the Pound, in which the men taken up are impounded,
These figures are by the country people called Nine Men's Morris, or Merrils; and are so called, because each party has nine men. These figures are always cut upon the green turf or leys, as they are called, or upon the grass at the end of ploughed lands, and in rainy feasons never fail to be choaked up with mud. JAMES.
See Peck on Milton's Masque, 115, Vol. I. p. 135. STEBVENS.
Nine mens' morris is a game still play'd by the shepherds, cow. keepers, &c. in the midland counties, as follows:
A figure is made on the ground (like this which I have drawn) by cutting out the turf; and two persons take each nine stones, which they place by turns in the angles, and afterwards move alternately, as at chefs or draughts. He who can place three in a
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,s
straight line, may then take off any one of his adversary's, where he pleases, till one, having lost all his men, loses the game.
ALCHORNE. In Cotgrave's Dictionary, under the article Merelles, is the following explanation. « Le Jeu des Merelles. The boyish game called Merils, or fivepenny morris ; played here moft commonly with stones, but in France with pawns, or men made on purpose, and termed merelles.” The pawns or figures of men used in the game might originally be black, and hence called morris, or merelles, as we yet term a black cherry a morello, and a small black cherry a merry, perhaps from Maurus a Moor, or rather from morum a mul. berry. "Toller.
The jeu de merelles was also a table-game. A representation of two Monkies engaged at this amusement, may be seen in a German edition of Petrarch de remedio utriusque fortunæ, B. I. chap. 26. The cuts to this book were done in 1520. Douce.
the quaint mazes in the wanton green,] This alludes to a sport ftill followed by boys; i. e. what is now called running the figure of eight. Steevens
6 The human mortals — ] Shakspeare might have employed this epithet, which, at first sight, appears redundant, to mark the difference between men and fairies. Fairies were not human, but they were yet subject to mortality. It appears from the Romance of Şir Huon of Bordeaux, that Oberon himself was mortal.
STEVENS. “ This however (says Mr. Ritson,) does not by any means appear to be the case. Oberon, Titania, and Puck, never dye; the inferior agents must necessarily be supposed to enjoy the same privilege; and the ingenious commentator may rely upon it, that the oldest woman in England never heard of the death of a Fairy. Human mortals is, notwithstanding, evidently put in opposition to fairies who partook of a middle nature between men and spirits.” It is a misfortune as well to the commentators, as to the readers of Shakspeare, that so much of their time is obliged to be employed in explaining and contradicting unfounded conjectures and affertions. Spenser, in his Faery Queen, B. II. c. X. fays, (I use the words of Mr. Warton; Observations on Spenser, Vol. I. p. 55.) “ That man was first made by Prometheus, was called Elfe, who wandering over the world, at length arrived at the gardens of Adonis, where he found a female whom he called Fay.—The issue of Elfe