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of her fantasy,
Go you, and where you find a maid, Raise up the organs of her fantasy;] The sense of this speech is—that she, who had performed her religious duties, should be secure against the illusion of fancy; and have her sleep, like that of infancy, undisturbed by disordered dreams. This was then the popular opinion, that evil spirits had a power over the fancy; and, by that means, could inspire wicked dreams into those who, on their going to sleep, had not recommended themselves to the protection of heaven. So Shakspeare makes Imogen, on her lying down, say:
“ From fairies, and the tempters of the night,
“ Guard me, befeech ye!". As this is the sense, let us see how the common reading expreffes it;
“ Raise up the organs of her fantasy;". i. e. inflame her imagination with sensual ideas; which is just the contrary to what the poet would have the speaker say. We cannot therefore but conclude he wrote:
“ Rein up the organs of her fantasy;". i. e. curb them, that she be no more disturbed by irregular imaginations, than children in their neep. For he adds immediately :
Sleep fbe as found as careless infancy." So, in The Tempeft:
“ Do not give dalliance
« Too much the rein." And, in Measure for Measure:
“ I give my sensual race the rein.” To give the rein, being just the contrary to rein up. The same thought he has again in Macbeth:
“ Gives way to in repose.” WARBURTON. This is highly plausible; and yet, raise up the organs of her fartaly, may mean, elevate her ideas above Jenjuality, exalt them to ibe noblest contemplation.
Mr. Malone supposes the sense of the paffage, collectively taken, to be as follows.
Go you, and wherever you find a maid asleep, that hath thrice prayed to the deity, though, in consequence of her innocence, the
Quick. About, about;
sleep as foundly as an infant, elevate her fancy, and amuse her tranquil mind with fome delightful vision; but those whom you find asleep, without having previously thought on their sins, and prayed to heaven for forgiveness, pinch, &c. It should be remembered that those persons who feep very foundly, seldom dream. Hence the injunction to “ raise up the organs of her fantasy," “ Sleep she," &c. i. e. though she sleep as found, &c.
The fantasies with which the mind of the virtuous maiden is to be amused, are the reverse of those with which Oberon disturbs Titania in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
“ There sleeps Titania;
• And make her full of hateful fantafies.'
on every sacred room ;] See Chaucer's Cant. Tales, v. 3482, edit. Tyrwhitt.“ On four halves of the hous aboute,” &c.
Malone, 5 In ftate as wholesome,] Wholfome here fignifies integer. He wishes the castle may stand in its present state of perfection, which the following words plainly show;
as in state 'tis fit." WARBURTON. 6 Worthy the owner, and the owner it.] And cannot be the true reading. The context will not allow it; and his court to queen Elizabeth directs us to another :
- as the owner it." For, sure, he had more address than to content himself with wishing a thing to be, which his complaisance must suppose actually was, namely, the worth of the owner. WARBURTON.
Surely this change is unnecessary. The fairy wishes that the castle and its owner, till the day of doom, may be worthy of each other. Queen Elizabeth's worth was not devolvable, as we have seen by the conduct of her foolish successor. The prayer of the fairy is therefore sufficiently reasonable and intelligible without alteration. STEEVENS.
The several chairs of order look you scour
The several chairs of order look you fcour
With juice of balm, &c.] It was an article of our ancient luxury, to rub tables, &c. with aromatic herbs. Pliny informs us, that the Romans did the same, to drive away evil spirits. Steevens. 8 In emerald tufts, flowers purple, blue, and white;
Like saphire, pearl, and rich embroidery,] These lines are most miserably corrupted. In the words -Flowers purple, blue, and white-the purple is left uncompared. To remedy this, the editors, who seem to have been sensible of the imperfection of the comparison, read—AND rich embroidery; that is, according to them, as the blue and white flowers are compared to saphire and pearl, the purple is compared to rich embroidery. Thus, inftead of mending one false step, they have made two, by bringing saphire, pearl, and rich embroidery under one predicament. The lines were wrote thus by the poet :
“ In emerald tufts, flowers purfled, blue, and white;
“ Like Japhire, pearl, in rich embroidery." i. e. let there be blue and white flowers worked on the greenfward, like faphire and pearl in rich embroidery. To purfle, is to over-lay with tinsel, gold thread, &c. so our ancestors called a certain lace of this kind of work a purfling-lace. 'Tis from the French pourfiler. So Spenser:
- she was yclad,
Purfled upon, with many a folded plight." The change of and into in in the second verse, is necessary. For flowers worked, or purfled in the grass, were not like faphire and pearl simply, but saphire and pearl in embroidery. How the cor.
Away; disperse: But, till 'tis one o'clock,
in order fet :
rupt reading and was introduced into the text, we have shown above. WARBURTON.
Whoever is convinced by Dr. Warburton's note, will show he has very little studied the manner of his author, whose splendid incorrectness in this instance, as in some others, is surely preferable to the insipid regularity proposed in its room. STEEVENS. 9 charaktery.] For the matter with which they make letters.
“ All the charaktery of my fad brows."
“ Wherein was writ in sable chare&try.” STEEVENS. Bullokar, in his English Expositor improved by R. Browne, 12 mo. says that charactery is “ a writing by characters in ftrange marks." In 1588 was printed—“ Charactery, an arte of Morte, swift, and fecrete writing by character. Invented by Timothie Brighte, Doctor of Phisike. This seems to have been the first book
shorthand writing printed in England. Douce.
lock hand in hand ;] The metre requires us to read “ lock hands." Thus Milton, who perhaps had this passage in his mind, when he makes Comus say—
“ Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
“ In a light fantastic round.” STEEVENS. 3 - of middle earth.) Spirits are supposed to inhabit the ethereal regions, and fairies to dwell under ground; men therefore are in a middle station. JOHNSON.
So, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick, bi, 1. no date :
“ And win the fayrest mayde of middle erde."
ower, De Confessione Amantis, fol. 26:
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welch fairy!
Again, in the MSS. called William and the Werwolf, in the library of King's College, Cambridge, p. 15:
“ And seide God that madeft man, and all middel ertbe." Ruddiman, the learned compiler of the Glossary to Gawin Douglas's Translation of the Æneid, affords the following illustration of this contested phrase. “ It is yet in use in the North of Scotland among old people, by which they understand this earth in which we live, in opposition to the grave: Thus they say, There's no man in middle erd is able to do it, i. e, no man alive, or on this earth, and so it is used by our author. But the reason is not so easy to come by ; perhaps it is because they look upon this life as a middle state (as it is) between Heaven and Hell, which last is frequently taken for
Or that life is as it were a middle betwixt non-entity,
-“ Myddil erd is borrowed from the A. S. MIDDAN-EARD, MID-
The author of The REMARKS says, the phrase fignifies neither
- Vile worm,] The old copy reads-vild. That vild, which so
« EARTH. What goddess, or how ftylid?
“ EARTH. Hence false virago vild.” MALONE. .
4 With trial-fire, &c.] So Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Faiitful Shepherdessi
In this flame his finger thruft,