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A colder time in world was never seen :
"In Spenser's ' Epithaliam,' (1595:)—
expression in our early writers. The “middle summer" Ne let house-fyres, nor lightning's helpelesse harms,
is the midsummer.
“ – PAVED fountain"-A“ fountain," or clear stream, Ne let hobgoblins, etc.
rushing over pebbles-certainly not an artificially paved Again, in the ninth book of Golding's translation of fountain," as Johnson has supposed. The paved founOvid's · Metamorphoses,' (1587 :)
tain is contrasted with the ru brook. The epithet and the country where Chymæra, that same pooke,
“paved" is used in the same sense as in the pearl. Hath goatish bodie," etc.
paved ford" of Drayton, the “ pebble-paved channel" We have a New-York Americanism, which comes
of Marlowe, and the “coral-paven bed" of Milton. through the Dutch, from the same root-spook; mean - the winds, piping to us in vain"-In Churching, any fearful and supernatural visitor, though gen yard's “ Charitie," a poem published in 1595, the “dis. erally a ghost. Ben Jouson calls his Robin Good. temperature" of that year is thus described :fellow, whose occupations are described as resembling Puck's, Pug, in the play of which Pug is the hero, (“The The skies do lower, the sun and moon wax dim; Devil is an Ass.") Burton (“Anatomy of Melancholy")
Summer scarce known but that the leaves are green.
The winter's waste drives water o'er the brim; soon after speaks of a Puck as a peculiar sort of demon,
Upon the land great floats of wood may swim. like a “Will of the Wisp." It would appear, therefore,
Nature thinks scom to do her duty right, to have been already long a familiar name, and not of Because we have displeased the Lord of Light. the Poet's invention. Yet there is a curious coincidence
progeny of evils” has been recorded by the between the name and a similar sounding one familiar theologians as well as the poets. In Strype's “Annals," to the language of our North American Indians, and we have an extract from a lecture preached by Dr. J. connected with a similar playful superstition:
King, in which are enumerated the signs of divine wrath An ingenious attempt has been made by our country. with which England was visited in 1593 and 1594. woman, Mrs. E. Oakes Smith, to identify the Puck of The lecturer says:—"Remember that the spring (that Shakespeare with a noted personage, of similar name, year when the plague broke out) was very unkind, by who figures in our aboriginal mythology. Her theory means of the abundance of rains that fell. Our July is based upon the curious Indian researches of H. Ř. hath been like to a February; our June even as an Schoolcraft
, Esq., published some years since in New April: so that the air must needs be infected." Then, York. Puck-pa-wis, it seems, is the name of a mytho- having spoken of three successive years of scarcity, be logical character who figures in the fictitious lodge adds—“And see, whether the Lord doth not threaten legends of the Algonquins; whose language, now the us much more, by sending such unseasonable weather, principal tongue among the lake-tribes of the north and storms of rain among us: which if we will observe, west, formerly prevailed, with some variations of dia and compare it with that which is past, we may say that lect, from the St. Lawrence to the Roanoke, at the time the course of nature is very much inverted. Our years when those regions were visited by Raleigh, and other are turned upside down. Our summers are no summers: contemporaries of Shakespeare. Puck-pa-wis (accord our harvests are no harvests: our seed-times are no ing to Schoolcraft) is always represented as “a roving, seed-times. For a great space of time, scant any day jumping, dancing, adventure-hunting character-a kind hath upon us of harum-scarum merry-Andrew, who performs all sorts of feats and pranks.'
manuscript diary of the theatrical astrologist, Dr. For. frequently has an attendant company of sprites called
man, which has recently thrown so much light on Shake. Puck-wudj-inninees”-an epithet commonly translated
the little vanishers,” or, to render it more clearly, spearian chronology, as our readers will find in various (inninee being the diminutive form of the term for man.)
parts of this edition, (see CYMBELINE, “ Introductory * the little wild vanishing men of the woods." They
Remarks,") gives an account of the weather in 1594, which translates into homely prose the fairy poetry
of are described as inhabiting rocky ledges and crevices,
the dramatist :or frequenting rural and romantic points of land on lakes, bays, and rivers, particularly if they be crowned
“ Ther was moch sicknes but lyttle death, moch fruit, with pine-trees. They are depicted, in the oral language
and many plombs of all sorts this yeare and small nuts,
but fewe walnuts. This monethes of June and July of the Algonquins, as flitting among thickets, or running with a whoop up the sides of mountains, and over plains.
were very wet and wonderfull cold like winter, that the Puck-pa-wis, the chief of the troop, is sometimes de.
10 dae of Julii many did syt by the fyer, yt was so cold; scribed as carrying a magic shell ; sometimes he is toss
and soe was yt in Maye and June; and scarce too fair
dais together all that tyme, but yt rayned every day ing a tiny ball before him. He is always represented as very small, and frequently being invisible-vanishing
more or lesse. Yf yt did not raine, then was yi cold
and cloudye. Mani murders were done this quarter. and re-appearing to those whom he visits with his pranks. (See SCHOOLCRAFT's “Algic Researches.")
There were many gret Audes this sommer, and about
Michelmas, thorowe the abundaunce of raine that fell " And “TAILOR' cries"-—" The custom of crying 'tai sodeinly, the brige of Ware was broken downe, and at lor,' at a sudden fall backwards, I think I remember to Stratford Bowe, the water was never seen so byg as yt have observed. He that slips beside his chair falls as a was: and in the lattere end of October, the waters tailor squats upon his board.”—Johnson.
burst down the bridg at Cambridge. In Barkshire " — WAXEN in their mirth”—Dr. Farmer's conjec
were many gret waters, wherewith was moch harm ture, that " waxen” is a misprint for yexen, (i. e. hiccup:)
done sodenly." makes a broader picture. However, waxen," as the “ – every pelting river”-i. e. Petly, or rather pal. old plural of war, is also comic enough. They increase try; for the original word H. Tooke shows to have been their mirth, without new cause, till they sneeze. palting-whence our paltry. We have, in this sense, “Neeze" is the antiquated spelling of sneeze, and re pelting farm,” in Richard II., (act ii. scene 1.) tained as late as our common version of the Bible.
- their conTINENTS"-i. e. Banks. A "continent" - PERIGENIA, whom he ravished"--Her true name is that which contains. seems to have been Perigone. North, in his “ Translation of Plutarch,” (1579,) calls her Perigouna. This
“ The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud"-" In last would have suited Shakespeare's verse as well as
that part of Warwickshire (says James) where Shake** Perigenia,” and perhaps he did not procure the name
speare was educated, and the neighbouring parts of from North's " Plutarch."
Northamptonshire, the shepherds and other boys dig up
the turf with their knives, to represent a sort of imper " – the MIDDLE SUMMER'S SPRING"—The “spring" fect chess-board. It consists of a square, sometimes only is the beginning; as the spring of the day—a common a foot in diameter; sometimes three or four yards.
Ho deur om perforatione porte Contagious fors; which falling in the land_The
Within this is another square, every side of which is Still I do not think this sufficient to disturb the authority parallel to the external square ; and these squares are of three original editions, concurring in an image which joined by lines drawn from each corner of both squares, has, I believe, been used by ancient poets, and certainly and the middle of each line. One party, or player, has by modern painters. wooden pegs, the other stones, which they move in such a manner as to take up each other's men, as they
“ The childing autumn"—i. e. Productive, teeming. are called ; and the area of the inner square is called the
or pregnant; as the Poet has in his “ Sonnets :'pound, in which the men taken up are impounded.
The teeming autumn big with rich increase. The figures are, by the country-people, called Nine
"- a fair vestal"-It is well known that a comMen's Morris,' or Merrils : and are so called because
pliment to Queen Elizabeth was intended in this very each party has nine men.”
beautiful passage. Warburton has attempted to show, " — HUMAN MORTALS"—This expression has been
that by the mermaid, in the preceding lines, Mary. supposed to indicate the difference between mankind
Queen of Scots, was intended. It is argued with his and fairy-kind, in the following manner-that they were
usual fanciful ingenuity, but will not bear the test of exeach mortal, but that the less spiritual beings were dis
amination, and has been refuted by Ritson. Whiter, in tinguished as human. Upon this assertion of Stevens,
his ingenious attempt to trace the association of ideas, Ritson and Reed enter into fierce controversy. Chap
which prompted many of Shakespeare's allusions and man, in his “ Homer," has an inversion of the phrase, images, maintains that these images were derived from “mortal humans ;" and we suppose that, in the same
the masques and pageants which abounded in that age; way, whether Titania were, or were not, subject to
and that the Poet even may have alluded to some actual death, she employed the language of poetry in speaking
exhibition of splendid court-flattery. of "human mortals," without reference to the condi.
• — LOVE-IN-IDLENESS”—The tri-coloured violet, com: tions of fairy existence.
monly called pansies, or heart's-ease, is here meant. “ – their winter HERE"-"The emendation proposed One or two of its petals are of a purple colour. It has by Theobald, “their winter cheer,' is plausible. The other fanciful and expressive names, such as—“Cuddle original reading is—
me to you," Three faces under a hood,"
“ Herh The humane mortals want their winter heere.
trinity," etc. Johnson says 'here' means in this country, and their • winter signifies their winter evening sports. The in
“ The one I'll stay"- This is the invariable reading
of the old copies. Theobald, followed by most of the genious author of a pamphlet, • Explanations and Emend.
editors, changed it toations,' etc., (Edinburgh, 1814,) would read
The one I'll slay, the other slayath me.
But the old reading does not need this violent change The writer does not support his emendation by any ar
of sense, though the verbal change may be small. He gument; but we believe that he is right. The swollen
will not allow Helena to "stay" him, but he will stay" rivers have rotted the corn, the fold stands empty, the
(stop) Hermia: Lysander "stayeth” (hindereth) him. flocks are murrain, the sports of summer are at an end, - LUSCIOUS 1000dbine"-In the editions of Stevens. the human mortals want. This is the climax. Their
and those who follow his text, for the sake of closer winter is here-is come-although the season is the lat regularity of metre, with little regard to its melody, the ter summer, or autumn; and in consequence the hymns “ luscious woodbine" of the old copies is changed into and carols which gladdened the nights of a seasonable lush woodbine. winter are wanting to this premature one. The therefore which follows introduces another clause in the
Thou shalt know the MAN catalogue of evils produced by the brawls of Oberon and
By the Athenian garments he hath on." Titania ; as in the case of the preceding use of the same “I desire no surer evidence to prove that the broad emphatic word in two instances :
Scotch pronunciation once prevailed in England, than Therefore, the winds, piping to us in vain, etc.
such a rhyme as the first of these words affords to the And
second."-STEVENS. The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain," etc.
There is an ultraism of the long slender sound of a,
KNIGHT. which has of late become an affectation among some “– on old Hyems' chin, and icy croun"— This line speakers; and this, it is clear, could not rhyme with on. is printed in all the older editions, as well as the modern But man, with the a sounded as in tan, hat, is among
the purest English sounds, as can be shown from numeAnd on old Hyem's chin, and icy crown
rous rhymes which would not allow the sound of mon. which does not show any necessity of conjectural emend.
The latitude of an occasional rhyme like this is a comation. The image of the snowy beard of Winter, as
mon poetical license-like that in Puck's speech, (act well as his "icy crown," being wreathed with "sweet
iii. scene 2,) where one rhymes with alone. summer buds," is sufficiently clear, as well as poetical, and suits the personification of Hyem. Thus, in Gold
SCENE II. ing's “ Ovid," a great storehouse of the mythology and poetical imagery of the Elizabethan poets, we have
noro a ROUNDEL"-The “roundel," or round, as
its name implies, was a dance of a circular kind. Ben Winter forlorne, Forladen with the icicles that dangled up and downe,
Jonson, in the Tale of a Tub," seems to call the rings. Upon his gray and hoarie beard, and snowy frozen crowne. which such fairy dances are supposed to make in the This has, with much probability, been thought to have
grass, rondelssuggested the present image-chin being used, with little
I'll have no rondels, I, in the queen's paths. stretch of poetical license, for beard. Yet there is some
REAR-MICE"-A rere-mouse is a bat. ground for the emendation insisted upon by Gifford and Dyce-"Hyems, with a chaplet of summer buds upon “Love takes the meaning in love's conference"-i. e. his chin, (says Dyce,) is a grotesque figure, which must “In the conversation of those who are assured of each startle the dullest reader." “What child (says Gifford) other's kindness, not suspicion, but love takes the meandoes not see that the line should be
ing.. No malevolent interpretation is to be made, but And on old Hyems' thin and icy crown !"
all is to be received in the sense which love can find, Certainly thinne, the old spelling, may have been mis.
and which love can dictate."-Johnson. printed chinne ; and we have in Richard II. a similar " — wilt thou DARKLING leave me”-i. e. In the dark, phraseology:
a word found also in Lear, and in Milton. It is now White beards have armed their chin and hairless scalps. antiquated to the general reader, though Johnson, in his
uoble poein, the “ Vanity of Human Wishes," attempted pleased the queen better than if it had gone through in to revive it,
ihe right way ; yet he could order his voice to an instru. Roll darkling down the torrent of his fate.
ment exceeding well.' It is by no means improbable "Speak, of all loves”—“Of all loves” is a pleasing and has applied it in the case of “Snug, the joiner.
that Shakespeare was familiar with this local anecdote, adjuration used by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Bottom, and Quince, and the other hard-handed men,' it may be found in OTHELLO.
must also have been exceedingly like the citizens of
Coventry, who played their Hock play before the queen, ACT III.—SCENE I.
on the memorable occasion of her visit to their neigh
bourhood."-KNIGHT. "- in Eight and six”-i. e. In alternate verse of eight and six syllables.
“—cues and all”—Untheatrical readers may require
to be informed that in Shakespeare's day, as at present, "— a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing"There is an odd coincidence between this passage and
a cue, technically, is the last word of the preceding
speech, from which the next speaker commences. a real occurrence at the Scottish court, in 1594. Prince Henry, the oldest son of James the First, was christened “Ahog, a headless bear, sometime a fire"-So, in in August, in that year. While the king and queen
“Robin Good-fellow, his Mad Pranks and Merry Jests," were at dinner, a triumphal chariot, with several alle reprinted by the Percy Societygorical personages on it, was drawn in " by a black
Thou hast the power to change thy shape moore. This chariot should have been drawn in by a
To horse, to hog, to dog, to ape. lyon, but because his presence might have brought some
And in the ballad in the “Introduction" to the same fear to the nearest, or that the sight of the lighted torches might have commoved his tameness, it was
Sometimes a walking fire he'd be,
And lead them from their way. thought meet that the Moore should supply that roome.” “ – tell them plainly he is Snug, the joiner"-" This
“ The Oos EL-COCK, 80 black of hue"-By the "ooselpassage will suggest to our readers Sir Walter Scott's
cock,” in Shakespeare's day, was meant the black-bird, description of the pageant at Kenilworth, when Lam
and not another bird which has in later days been bourne, not knowing his part, tore off his vizard, and
known as the oosel-cock. Yarrell states, (* British swore, Cogs-bones! he was none of Arion or Orion
Birds," i. 211,) of the black-bird, “the beak and the either, but honest Mike Lambourne, that had been
edges of the eye-lids in the adult male are gamboge drinking her majesty's health from morning till mid- yellow,", which is what Bottom means by "orangenight, and was come to bid her heartily welcome to
tawney." Kenilworth Castle.' But a circumstance of this nature “ PLAIS-song cuckoo"-The “cuckoo," having no actually happened upon the queen's visit to Kenilworth, variety of note, sings in “plain song," (plano cantu ;) by in 1575; and is recorded in the Merry Passages and which expression the uniform modulation or simplicity Jests,' compiled by Sir Nicholas Lestrange, and lately of the chant was distinguished in opposition to prickpublished by the Camden Society, from the Harleian song, or variated music sung by note. MS.:— There was a spectacle presented to Queen Elizabeth upon the water, and, among others, Harry Gold
“ — I can GLEEK"-To "gleek” is to joke, scoff, or ingham was to represent Arion upon the dolphin's back, gird. Bottom is congratulating himself on the humour but finding his voice to be very hoarse and unpleasant of what he has just said. when he came to perform it, he tears off his disguise “ Be kind and courteous to this gentleman"—Hazlitt and swears he was none of Arion, not he, but even happily contrasts this exquisitely fanciful passage with honest Harry Goldingham; which blunt discovery the spirited freshness of the dialogue between Theseus
Ay, that left pap,
W Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.
Lys. Less than an ace, man, for he is dead; he Co is nothing
The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet recover, and yet prove an ass.
ADE Hip. How chance moonshine is gone, before The.ME Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?
Dem. A The. She will find him by starlight.—Here she Bot. Ne comes, and her passion ends the play.
parted the Enter Thisbe.
two of our Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one for The. N such a Pyramus : I hope she will be brief.
no excuse. Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which all dead, the Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, he that we God warrant us; she for a woman, God bless us. himself in
Lys. She hath spied him already with those tragedy; a sweet eyes.
charged. Dem. And thus she moans, videlicet.
epilogue al This. “ Asleep, my love ?
The iron te What, dead, my dove ?
Lovers, to O Pyramus! arise :
I fear we Speak, speak! Quite dumb?
As much a Dead, dead ? A tomb
This palpa Must cover thy sweet eyes.
The heavy These lily lips,
A fortnight This cherry nose,