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be my speed; such as neese, God help and St John; to the horse, God and St. Loy save thee.' Palsgrave (Lesclarcissement de la Langue Francoyse) has, “I nese, le esterne.' And Cotgrave gives both forms, “Esternuer. To neeze, or sneeze.'
58. Johnson on account of the metre would read .fairy' as a trisyllable. Dr. Abbott, for the same reason, would prolong‘room' (Shakesperian Grammar, $ 484). The metre is scarcely mended in either way. Pope read * make room.' Dyce in his second edition read · room, now.' Dr. Nicholson suggests 'roomer,' a sea term, which is applied to a ship when going from the wind.
59. In the stage direction as it appears in the quartos and folios Oberon is called the King of Fairies,' and Titania 'the Queen.'
61. Fairies, skip hence. The old copies have “Fairy,' which Capell understands of the leading fairy, her gentleman-usher, and therefore considers Theobald's change to · Fairies' unnecessary. See however l. 144.
67. pipes of corn, made of oat straw. Ritson quotes from Chaucer [House of Fame, iii. 134):
• And many a floyte and litling horne,
And pipes made of greene corne.' Compare Cotgrave, “Sampongne : f. A bagpipe, or oaten pipe.' And Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2. 913:
• When shepherds pipe on oaten straws.' Also Milton, Lycidas, 33 :
• Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to the oaten flute.' And Comus, 345:
• Or sound of pastoral reed with oaten stops.' Ib. versing love, making love in verse.
69. steppe. So the first quarto. The second, followed by the folios, reads steepe'; and this was apparently in Milton's mind when he wrote Comus, 139:
• Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
From her cabin'd loop-hole peep.' To the reading steppe' it is objected that the word in the sense in which it is applied to the vast plains of Central Asia was not known in Shakespeare's day, but it is dangerous to assert a proposition which may be disproved by a single instance of the contrary. There is certainly no a priori reason why the present passage should not furnish that instance, inasmuch as a word of similar origin, 'horde,' was perfectly well known in England at the beginning of the 17th century. On the other hand, too much weight must not be attached to the spelling of the first quarto, for in iii. 2. 85 sleep’ is misprinted slippe.'
75. Glance at, hint at, indirectly attack. Compare Julius Cæsar, i. 2. 324:
• Wherein obscurely Cæsar's ambition shall be glanced at.' For the substantive 'glance' in the sense of .hint, allusion,' see As You Like It, ii. 7. 57:
• The wise man's folly is anatomized
Even by the squandering glances of the fool.' And Bacon's Advancement of Learning, 1. 7, § 8 (p. 57, ed. Wright): * But when Marcus Philosophus came in, Silenus was gravelled and out of countenance, not knowing where to carp at him ; save at the last he gave a glance at his patience towards his wife.'
78. Perigenia. In North’s Plutarch she is called Perigouna, the daughter of the famous robber Sinnis, by whom Theseus had a son Menalippus,
79. Ægle. Rowe's correction. The quartos and folios have •Eagles.' In North’s Plutarch (ed. 1631), Theseus, p. 9, we read: •For some say, that Ariadne hung herselfe for sorrow, when she saw that Theseus had cast her off. Other write, that she was transported by mariners into the Ile of Naxos, where she was married unto Oenarus the priest of Bacchus : and they thinke that Theseus left her because he was in love with another, as by these verses should appeare,
Ægles the Nymph was lou'd of Theseus,
Who was the daughter of Panopeus.' 80. Antiopa, according to some, was the name of the Amazon queen, and the mother of Hippolytus. See North's Plutarch, p. 14.
82. middle summer's spring, the beginning of midsummer. Steevens quotes 2 Henry IV, iv. 4. 35:
• As humorous as winter and as sudden
As flaws congealed in the spring of day.' Also Luke i. 78: “Whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us.' Again we find in Gower's Confessio Amantis (ii. p. 97):
• For till I se the daies spring,
I sette slepe nought at a risshe.' 84. paved fountain, a fountain with pebbly bottom; not artificially paved, for a fountain of this kind would scarcely be frequented by fairies. See Milton, Comus 119, of the wood-nymphs' dance :
* By dimpled brook and fountain-brim.' And Paradise Lost, i. 783.
85. in, on. See below, l. 90, and compare Venus and Adonis, 118: “What seest thou in the ground ?' And the Lord's Prayer, · Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven.'
Ib. beached, formed by a beach, or which serves as a beach. Compare Timon of Athens, v. I. 219:
• Upon the beached verge of the salt flood.'
For similar instances of adjectives formed from substantives, see .guiled,' Merchant of Venice, iii. 2. 97; 'disdain’d,' i Henry IV, i. 3. 183 ; simpleanswer'd,' that is, simple in your answer, furnished with a simple answer, which is the reading of the folios in King Lear, iii. 7. 43: ‘the caged cloister,' the cloister which serves as a cage, A Lover's Complaint, 249 : ‘ravin’d,' for ravenous, Macbeth, iv. 1. 24: 'poysened' for poisonous, Lyly, Euphues (ed. Arber), p. 196: “Nylus breedeth the precious stone and the poysened serpent.' Ib. margent, margin. So in A Lover's Complaint, 39:
• Which one by one she in a river threw,
Upon whose weeping margent she was set.' And Romeo and Juliet, i. 3. 86:
"And what obscured in this fair volume lies
Find written in the margent of his eyes.' For the form of the word, compare ‘aliant' for 'alien,''tyrant'from Túpavvos, and 'vild' which is a corrupt spelling of vile.' Milton has the same spelling in Comus, 232:
* By slow Mæander's margent green.' Shakespeare never uses 'margin'; but in The Tempest, iv. I. 69, he has
• And thy sea-marge, sterile and rocky-hard.' 86. dance our ringlets. See above, 1. 9.
87. brawls, quarrels. Originally a brawl was a French dance, as in Love's Labour's Lost, iii. I. 9: “Will you win your love with a French brawl?' And it was a dance of a violent and boisterous character, as appears by the following extract from Cotgrave: “Bransle: m. A totter, swing, or swidge; a shake, shog, or shocke; a stirring, an vncertain and inconstant motion; . . also, a brawle, or daunce, wherein many (men, and women) holding by the hands sometimes in a ring, and otherwhiles at length, moue altogether.' It may be however that there is no etymological connexion between these two words which are the same in form; and "brawl' in the sense of 'quarrel' may be an imitative word and akin to .brabble.'
88. piping to us in vain, because we could not dance to them. See Matthew xi. 17: “We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.' 89, 90. Compare King Lear, ii. 4. 168, 169:
• Infect her beauty, You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful sun.' 91. Have. So Rowe corrected the ‘Hath' of the quartos and folios, which is attracted into the singular by the preceding · land. See note on Hamlet, i. 2. 38.
Ib. pelting, paltry, insignificant. The folios have 'petty.' The two
words occur together in Measure for Measure, ii. 2. 112 : 'Every pelting, petty officer. Compare Richard II, ii. 1. 60:
• Like to a tenement or pelting farm.' And King Lear, ii. 3. 18 :
• Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills.' 92. That they &c. The plural follows loosely as representing the collection of individual rivers.
Ib, their continents, the banks that contain them, or hold them in. Compare King Lear, iii. 2. 58:
• Close pent-up guilts, Rive your concealing continents, and cry
These dreadful summoners grace.' And Hamlet, iv. 4. 64:
• Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain.' 95. a beard. Malone quotes Sonnet xii. 8:
* And summer's green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard.' 97. fatted, fattened. Compare Hamlet, ii, 2. 607:
'I should have fatted all the region kites
With this slave's offal.' Ib. murrion. So the quartos and folios. Warburton altered it to 'murrain,' the more common spelling. The murrain was a disease among cattle, see Exodus ix. 3, and the murrion or murrain flock is the flock that had died of the cattle plague. For the variety of the spelling compare King Lear, i. 1. 65, where the folios are divided between champains' and champions.'
98. nine men's morris. A rustic game, which is still extant in some parts of England, so called from the counters (Fr. merelles) with which it is played. It is described by James in the Variorum Shakespeare as follows: • In that part of Warwickshire where Shakspeare was educated, and the neighbouring parts of Northamptonshire, the shepherds and other boys dig up the turf with their knives to represent a sort of imperfect chess-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 seasons never fail to be choked up with mud.' Another variety of the game as described by Alchorne in the Variorum Shakespeare corresponds with what I have seen in Suffolk. Three squares, instead of two, are drawn one within the other, and the middle points of the parallel sides are joined by straight lines, leaving the innermost square for the pound. But the corners of the squares are not joined. The corners of the squares and the middle points of the sides are the places where the men may be put, and they move from place to place along the line which joins them. • A figure is made on the ground 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 chess or draughts. He who can play three in a 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.' See also Strutt’s Sports and Pastimes, iv. 2, § 13.
99. the quaint mazes in the wanton green. This alludes,' says Steevens, 'to a sport still followed by boys; i. e. what is now called running the figure of eight.' But I have seen very much more complicated figures upon village greens, and such as might strictly be called mazes or labyrinths. On St. Catherine's Hill, Winchester, near the top of it, on the north-east side, is the form of a labyrinth, impressed upon the turf, which is always kept entire by the coursing of the sportive youth through its meanderings. The fabled origin of this Dædalæan work is connected with that of the Dulce Domum song.' (Milner, History of Winchester, ii. 155.)
101. human mortals. Titania speaks as a fairy. Compare what she says below, l. 135 :
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die.'
• At mine unworthiness that dare not offer
What I shall die to want.' Ib. their winter here. Their winter' Malone explains by 'those sports with which country people are wont to beguile a winter's evening, at the season of Christmas, which, it appears from the next line, was particularly in our author's contemplation.' For “here' Theobald proposed and Hanmer adopted cheer,'. perhaps the true reading.
102. carol, Christmas carol.
• The moist star Upon whose influence Nepiune's empire stands.' 104. Pale in her anger. For a similar fancy, compare Romeo and Juliet,
ii. 2. 4: