Page images

Milton likewise has followed this learned meaning, in a passage imitated from Homer [Il. 7'. 441. Il. E. 514.]

6. Now let us PLAY
“ As meet is, after such delicious fare."

IX, 1027

He uses SHADOW, as the Latins use UMBRA, In the second


of K. Henry IV. Act II. Poius. I am your shadow, my Lord, I'll


“ follow you."

So Horace, speaking of those who attended Mæcenas as unbidden guests,

Quos Mecenas adduxerat UMBRAS. L. 2.8.

Again, L. 1. Ep. 5.

Locus est et pluribus 'UMBRIS. 'Tis a pretty allusion of constant attendants, in the sunshine of fortune, and who then cannot easily be shaken off. The same allusion Milton has,

Thou, my SHADE * Inseparable, muft with me along." X, 249. In a Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III. He uses not a word form'd from the Latin, but the Latin word itself. Lysander speaks to Hernia,

“ Get

[ocr errors]

« Get you gone, you dwarf, “ You Minimus.

[ocr errors]

He was


“ This is (says Mr. Theobald) no term of art,
" that I can find ; and I can scarce be willing to
“ think, that Shakespeare would use the maf-
“ culine of an adjective to a woman.
< not so deficient in grammar.

I have not ven“ tur'd to disturb the text ; but the author, perhaps, might have wrote,

You, Minim, you. " i. e. You diminutive of the creation, you “ reptile. In this sense, to use a more recent “ authority, Milton uses the' word in the 7th a book of Paradise Lost.

[ocr errors]

“ These as a Line their long dimensions drew,

Streaking the ground with sinuous trace; not

66 all

66 Minims of nature.”

[ocr errors]

Mr. Theobald, who was no bad scholar, might have remembered that the masculine gender is often used, where the person is considered more than the sex ; as here 'tis by Shakespeare. Milton's expression seems to be from Prov. xxx. 24. according to the vulgate, Quatuor ista sunt minima terre. MINIMs are an order of Friars,

Minimi i

X 3

Minimi; so named thro' affected himility. From this adjective Spencer form'd his substantive, MINIMENTS, trifles, toys; res minimi pretii. B. 4. c. 8. st. 6. “ Upon a day as she him sate beside, 5. By chance he certaine miniments forth drew." Minim in music is half a femibreve: to which he alludes, in B. 6. C, 10. ft. 28. 45 Pardon thy shepherd mongst so many lays $ As he hath sung of thee in all his days, “ To make one minime of thy poor handmaid." ’n Othello, Act III,

« Now by yond Marble Heav'n.”

So in Timon, Act IV.

"The marbled mansion all above."

ç The

And Milton, B. III. 564.

. pure

Marble air.” Virgil, Æquor Marmoreum, Aen. VI, 729. which Phaer renders

[ocr errors][merged small]

And Douglas,
$6 Under the flekit fe of marbil hew."


6. His

Homer led the way, Il. E. 275. aa& fusepaagénu, which the scholiaft interprets by deuxúv. The sea, as well as the sky, is called Marble, from its being resplendent, and shining like marble. And 'tis to be remembered that the poets predicate the same things reciprocally both of the sky and waters. In the first part of K. Henry IV. speaking of the Severn, he says, - crisped head." And in the Tempest, Act IV. he has, “ Crisp channels.” Crisp, or crisped, is curled. Lat. Crispus, crispatus. So of the Clouds, in the Tempest, Act I. “ All hail, great master ! grave Sir, hail !

66 I come “ To answer thy beft pleasure : be’t to fly, " To swim, to dive into the fire ; to ride " On the CURL'D clouds."

And fo in Timon, Act IV. < With all abhorred births below SCRISP heav'n, “ Whereon Hyperion's quickning firedoth shine.

5" Crisp heav'n.) We should read Cript, i e. vaulted, “ from the Latin Cripta, a vault.” Mr. W.-But that we should read, as the poet red, Crifp. is plain from the above citations.--One may ask too where is Cript to be found ? Add to that Cripta is a vault under ground, anò Tô xqualew, hence the Italians have formed Grotta, a grotto.

In Othello, Act III.

“ But in a man that's just, « They're cold dilations, working from the heart, So That passion cannot rule."

Dilations, à Lat. dilationes, delayings, pauses, à differendo. But in Act I. That I would all my pilgrimage dilate. i. e. à dilatando, enlarge upon, exspatiate, &c.”

In K. Lear, Act II.

W I tax not you, you elements “ You owe me no subscription."

Subscriptio, is a writing underneath, a registering our names so as to take part in any cause, suit or service. Hence it signifies, allegiance, fubmission, &c. And the verb subscribere is not only to write under, but to aid and help, to abet and approve, &c.

Ovid Trist. L. I. EI. II.

Dii maris et caeli (quid enim nisi vota super

“ sunt) “ Solvere quaffatae parcite membra ratis : " Neve precor magni subscribite Caefaris irae.

« PreviousContinue »