Puslapio vaizdai

But that, forfooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Your bufkin'd miftrefs, and your warrior love,
To Thefeus must be wedded; and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.

OBE. How canft thou thus, for fhame, Titania, Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,

Knowing I know thy love to Thefeus?

Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night

From Perigenia, whom he ravifhed?'

And make him with fair Eglé break his faith,
With Ariadne, and Antiopa?

TITA. Thefe are the forgeries of jealoufy:
And never, fince the middle fummer's fpring.

4 Didft thou not lead him through the glimmering night glimmering night is the night faintly illuminated by ftars. pur author fays:


In Macbeth

"The weft yet glimmers with fome freaks of day."


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 fubject would admit, knew, from the life of Thefeus, that her name was Perygine, (or Perigune,) by whom Thefeus had his fon Melanippus. She was the daughter of Sinnis, a cruel robber, and tormenter of paffengers in the Ifthmus. Plutarch and Athenæus are both exprefs in the circumftance of Thefeus ravishing her. THEOBALD.

In North's tranflation of Plutarch (Life of Thefeus) this lady is called Perigouna. The alteration was probably intentional, for the fake of harmony. Her real name was Perigune. MALONE.

Eglé, Ariadne, and Antiopa were all at different times miftreffes to Thefeus. 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 fummer's fpring, &c.] By the middle Summer's Spring, our author feems to mean the beginning of middle


Met we on hill, in dale, foreft, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rufhy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,


To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou haft difturb'd our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,

or mid fummer. Spring, for beginning, he uses again in King Henry IV. P. II:

"As flaws congealed in the fpring of day:"

which expreffion has authority from the fcripture, St. Luke, i. 78: whereby the ay-fpring from on high hath vifited us.'

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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. III. c. x:

"He wooed her till day-fpring he efpyde." STEEVENS. So Holinfhed, p. 494: "the morowe after about the Spring of

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The middle fummer's Spring, is, I apprehend, the feafon when trees put forth their fecond, or as they are frequently called their midfummer fhoots. Thus, Evelyn in his Silva: "Cut off all the fide boughs, and especially at midfummer, if you spy them breaking Out." And again, Where the rows and brush lie longer than midfummer, unbound, or made up, you endanger the lofs of the fecond Spring." HENLEY.

7 Paved fountain,] A fountain laid round the edge with ftone. JOHNSON. Perhaps paved at the bottom. So, Lord Bacon in his Efay on Gardens: As for the other kind of fountaine, which we may call a bathing-poole, it may admit much curiofity and beauty. As that the bottom be finely paved .

the fides likewife," &c.


The epithet feems here intended to mean no more than that the beds of these fountains were covered with pebbles in oppofition to thofe of the rufhy brooks which are oozy.

The fame expreffion is ufed by Sylvefter in a fimilar fenfe:

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By fome cleare river's lillie-paved fide." HENLEY.

8 Or on the beached margent-] The old copies read - Or in. Correded by Mr. Pope. Malone.


the winds, piping -] So, Milton :

While rocking winds, are piping leud." JOHNSON,


As in revenge, have fuck'd up from the fea.
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made fo proud,
That they have overborne their continents:
The ox hath therefore ftretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman loft his fweat; and the green corn
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard: 3
The fold flands empty in the drowned field,.
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;


And Gawin Douglas, in his Tranflation of the Eneid, p. 69. 1710. fol. Edinb.

The foft piping wynd calling to fe."

The Gloffographer 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 river -] Thus the quartos: the folio reads — petty. Shakspeare has in Lear the fame word, low pelting farms. The meaning is plainly, despicable, mean, forry, wretched; but as it is a word without any reasonable etymology, I fhould be glad to difmifs it for petiy yet it is undoubtedly right. We have "petty pelting officer" in Measure for Measure. JOHNSON.

So, in Gascoigne's Glafs of Government, 1575:

Doway is a pelting town pack'd full of poor scholars." This word is always ufed as a term of contempt. So, again, in Lyly's Midas, 1592: - attire never used but of old women and pelting priests." STEEVENS.


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overborne their continents: ] Born down the banks that contain them. So, in Lear:



clofe pent up guilts,

"Rive your concealing continents!" JOHNSON.

and the green corn

Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard: ] So, in our author's 12th Sonnet :

"And fummer's green all girded up in heaves,

"Borne on the bier with white and briftly beard."


murrain flock;] The murrain is the plague in cattle. It is here ufed by Shakspeare as an adjective! as a fubftantive by others:

fends him as a murrain

"To ftrike our herds; or as a worfer plague,

"Your people to destroy."

Heywood's Silver Age, 1613. STEEVENS.

The nine-men's morris is fill'd up with mud;'

The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud;] In that part of Warwickshire where Shakspeare was educated, and the neighbour. ing parts of Northamptonshire, the fhepherds and other boys dig up the turf with their knives to reprefent a fort of imperfe& chefsboard. It confifts of a square, fometimes only a foot diameter, fometimes three or four yards. Within this is another fquare, every fide 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 ftones, which they move in fuch a manner as to take up each other's men as they are called, and the area of the inner fquare 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 grafs at the end of ploughed lands, and in rainy seasons never fail to be choaked up with mud. JAMES.

See Peck on Milton's Mafque, 115, Vol. I. p. 135. STEEVENS. Nine mens morris is a game ftill play'd by the fhepherds, cowkeepers, &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 perfons take each nine ftones, 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,
For lack of tread, are undiftinguishable :


The human mortals want their winter here;7

ftraight line, may then take off any one of his adverfary's, where he pleafes, till one, having loft all his men, lofes the game.


In Cotgrave's Didionary, under the article Merelles, is the following explanation. "Le Jeu des Merelles. The boyish game called Merils, or fivepenny morris; played here most commonly with ftones, 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 mulberry. TOLLET.

The jeu de merelles was alfo a table-game. A representation of two Monkies engaged at this amufement, may be seen in a German edition of Petrarch de remedio utriufque fortunæ, B. I. chap. 26. The cuts to this book were done in 1590. DOUCE.

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the quaint mazes in the wanton green, ] This alludes to a fport fill followed by boys; i. e. what is now called running the figure of eight. SIEFVENS.

6 The human mortals -] Shakspeare might have employed this epithet, which, at firft fight, appears redundant, to mark the difference between men and fairies. Fairies were not human, but they were yet fubject to mortality. It appears from the Romance of Sir Huon of Bordeaux, that Oberon himself was mortal.


"This however (fays Mr. Ritfon,) does not by any means appear to be the cafe. Oberon, Titania, and Puck, never dye; the inferior agents must necessarily be fuppofed to enjoy the fame 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 oppofition 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 Shakfpeare, that fo much of their time is obliged to be employed in explaining and contradi&ing unfounded conjectures and affertions. Spenfer, in his Faery Queen, B. II. c. x. fays, (I use the words of Mr. Warton; Obfervations on Spenfer, 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 iffue of Elfe

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