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Now come, my Ariel; bring a corollary,6
bring a corollary,] That is, bring more than are suffi. cient, rather than fail for want of numbers. Corollary means surplus. Corolaire, Fr. See Cotgrave's Dictionary. Steevens.
7 No tongue;] Those who are present at incantations are obliged to be strictly silent, “else,” as we are afterwards told, “ the spell is marred.” Johnson.
thatch'd with stover,] Stover (in Cambridgeshire and other counties) signifies hay made of coarse, rank grass, such as even cows will not eat, while it is green. Stover is likewise used. as thatch for cart-lodges, and other buildings that deserve but rude and cheap coverings. The word occurs in the 25th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion :
• To draw out sedge and reed, for thatch and stover fit." Again, in his Muses' Elyzium: “ Their browse and stover, waxing thin and scant."
Steevens. 9 Thy banks with peonied, and lilied brims,] The old edition reads pioned and twilled brims, which gave rise to Mr. Holt's conjecture, that the poet originally wrote:
with pioned and tilled brims." Peonied is the emendation of Hanmer.
Spenser, and the author of Muleasses the Turk, a tragedy, 1610, use pioning for digging. It is not, therefore, difficult to find á meaning for the word, as it stands in the old copy; and remove a letter from twilled, and it leaves us tilled. I am yet, however, in doubt whether we ought not to read lilied brims; for Pliny, B. XXVI. ch. x. mentions the water-lily, as a preserver of chastity; and says, elsewhere, that the Peony medetur Faunorum in
Quiete Ludibriis, &c. In a poem, entitled The Herring's Tayle, 4to. 1598, “the mayden piony" is introduced. In the Arraigne. ment of Paris, 1584, are mentioned:
“ The watry flow'rs and lillies of the banks." In the 20th song of Drayton's Polyolbion, the Naiades are re. presented as making chaplets, with all the tribe of aquatic flowers; and Mr. Tollet informs me, that Lyte's Herbal says, kind of peonie is called by some, maiden or virgin peonie."
To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom
groves, Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
In Ovid's Banquet of Sense, by Chapman, 1595, I meet with the following stanza, in which twill-pants are enumerated among flowers :
“ White and red jasmines, merry, melliphill,
“ Fair crown imperial, emperor of flowers; “ Immortal amaranth, white aphrodill,
“ And cup-like twill-pants strew'd in Bacchus' bowers." If twill be the ancient name of any flower, the old reading, pioned and twilled, may stand. Steevens.
Mr. Warton, in his notes upon Milton, after silently acquies. cing in the substitution of pionied for pioned, produces from the ARCADES “ Ladon’s lillied banks," as an example to countenance a further change of twilled to lillied, which, accordingly, Mr. Rann hath foisted into the text. But, before such a licence is al. lowed, may it not be asked-If the word pionied can any where be found? -or (admitting such a verbal from peony, like Milton's lillied from lily, to exist,)
—On the banks of what river do peonies grow?-Or (if the banks of any river should be discovered to yield them) whether they and the lilies that, in common with them, betrim those banks, be the produce of spongy APRIL?Or, whence it can be gathered that Iris here is at all speaking of the banks of a river?-_and, whether, as the bank in question is the property, not of a water-nymph, but of Ceres, it is not to be considered as an object of her care !-Hither, the goddess of hus. bandry is represented as resorting, because, at the approach of spring, it becomes needful to repair the banks (or mounds) of the flat meads, whose grass not only shooting over, but being more succulent than that of the turfy mountains, would, for want of precaution, be devoured, and so the intended stover [hay, or winter keep,) with which these meads are proleptically described as thatched, be lost.
The giving way, and caving in, of the brims of those banks, oc. casioned by the heats, rains, and frosts of the preceding year, are made good, by opening the trenches whence the banks themselves were at first raised, and facing them up afresh, with the mire those trenches contain. This being done, the brims of the banks are, in the poet's language, pioned and twilled.-Mr. Warton himself, in a note upon Comus, hath cited a passage in which pioners are explained to be diggers, (rather trenchers) and Mr. Steevens mentions Spenser and the author of Muleasses, as both using pioning for digging. TWILLED is obviously formed from the participle of the French verb touiller, which Cotgrave interprets filthily to mix or mingle ; confound or shuffle together ; bedirt; begrime; besmear :- significations, that join to confirm the explanation, here given.
Being lass-lorn;2 thy pole-clipt vineyard:3
This bank, with pioned and twilled brims, is described, as trimmed, at the behest of Ceres, by spongy April, with flowers, to make cold nymphs chaste crowns. These flowers were neither peonies nor lilies, for they never blow at this season, but “ lady-smocks all silver white,” which, during this humid month, start up in abundance, on such banks, and thrive like oats, on the same kind of soil : -“ Avoine touillée croist comme enragée.”—That OU changes into W, in words derived from the French, is apparent in cordwainer, from cordouannier, and many others. Henley.
Mr. Henley's note contends for small proprieties, and abounds with minute observation. But that Shakspeare was no diligent Botanist, may be ascertained from his erroneous descriptions of a Cowslip, (in the Tempest and Cymbeline,) for who ever heard it characterized as a bell-shaped flower, or could allow the drops at the bottom of it to be of a crimson hue? With equal carelessness, or want of information, in The Winter's Tale, he enumerates “lilies of all kinds,” among the children of the spring, and as contemporaries with the daffodil, the primrose, and the violet; and in his celebrated song, (one stanza of which is introduced at the beginning of the fourth act of Measure for Measure, he talks of Pinks “ that April wears." It might be added, (if we must speak by the card,) that wherever there is a bank there is a ditch ; where there is a ditch there may be water; and where there is water the aquatic lilies may flourish, whether the bank in question belongs to a river, or a field.—These are petty remarks, but they are occasioned by petty cavils.-It was enough for our author that peonies and lilies were well known flowers, and he placed them on any bank, and produced them in any of the genial months, that particularly suited his purpose. He, who has confounded the customs of different ages and nations, might easily confound the produce of the seasons.
That his documents de Re Rusticâ were more exact, is equally improbable. He regarded objects of Agriculture, &c. in the gross, and little thought, when he meant to bestow some ornamental epithet, on the banks appropriated to a Goddess, that a future critic would wish him to say their brims were filthily mixed or mingled, confounded or shuffled together ; bedirted, begrimed, and besmeared. Mr. Henley, however, has not yet proved the existence of the derivative, which he labours to introduce, as an English word; nor will the lovers of elegant description wish him much success in his attempt. Unconvinced, therefore, by his strictures, I shall not exclude a border of flowers, to make room for the graces of the spade, or what Mr. Pope, in his Dunciad, has styled “the majesty of mud.” Steevens.
and thy broom groves,] Broom, in this place, signifies the Spartium scoparium, of which brooms are frequently made. Near Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire, it grows high enough to con
Where thou thyself dost air: The queen o' the sky,
Iris. A contract of true love to celebrate;
Tell me, heavenly bow,
ceal the tallest cattle as they pass through it; and, in places where it is cultivated, still higher a circumstance, that had escaped my notice, till I was told of it by Professor Martyn, whose name I am particularly happy to insert among those of other friends, who have honoured and improved this work by their various communications. Steevens.
2 Being lass-lorn;] Lass-lorn is forsaken of his mistress. So, Spenser:
" Who after that he had fair Una lorn.” Steevens.
thy pole-clipt vineyard;] To clip is to twine round or embrace. The poles are clipped or embraced by the vines. Vineyard is here used as a trisyllable. Steevens.
4 My bosky acres, &c.] Bosky is woody. Bosky acres are fields divided from each other by hedge-rows. Boscus is middle Latin for wood. Bosquet, Fr. So, Milton:
“ And every bosky bourn from side to side.” Again, in K. Edward, I. 1599:
“ Hale him from hence, and in this bosky wood
Bury his corps.” Steevens. 5 to this short-grass'd green?] The old copy reads shortgras'd green. Short-graz'd green means grazed so as to be short. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. Steevens.
Her and her blind boy's scandal'd company
Of her society
Highest queen of state, Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait.
Enter Juno. Jun. How does my bounteous sister? Go with me, To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be, And honour'd in their issue.
Long continuance, and increasing,
6 Highest queen of state,
Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait.) Mr. Whalley thinks this
passage a remarkable instance of Shakspeare's knowledge of ancient poetic story; and that the hint was furnished, by the Divum incedo Regina of Virgil.
John Taylor, the water-poet, declares, that he never learned his Accidence, and that Latin and French were to him Heathen Greek; yet, by the help of Mr. Whalley's argument, I will prove him a learned man, in spite of every thing he may say to the con. trary: for thus he makes a gallant address his lady; “ Most in estimable magazine of beauty ? in whom the port and majesty of Juno, the wisdom of Jove's brain-bred girle, and the feature of Cytherea, have their domestical habitation." Farmer. So, in The Arraignement of Paris, 1584:
“ First statelie Funo, with her porte and grace.” Chapman also, in his version of the second Iliad, speaking of Juno, calls her the goddesse of estate.” Steevens.