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the same is the sense in the foregoing scene, with observation strange.
JOHNSON, 8. –my gift :-] First folio, my guest. Rowe first read gift.
JOHNSON. 14. If thou dost break her virgin knot, before
All sanclimonious ceremonies, &c.] This, and the passage in Pericles Prince of Tyre,
“ Untide I still my virgin knot will keepe,” are manifest allusions to the zones of the ancients, which were worn as guardians of chastity by marriageable young women. Puellæ, contra, nondum viripotentes, hujusmodi zonis non utebantur: quod videlicit immaturis virgunculis nullum, aut certe minimum, a corruptoribus periculum immineret : quas propterea vocabant úpítges, nempe discinētas. There is a passage in Nonnus, which will sufficiently illustrate Prospero's expression :
Κέρης δε/γυς έκανε και άτρέμας άκρον έρύσσας
HENLEY. 19. No sweet aspersion--] Aspersion is here used in its primitive sense of sprinkling. At present it is expressive only of calumny and detraction.
STEEVENS. 40. --the rabble,] The crew of meaner sprits.
« Come, and trip it as you go
STEEVENS. 64. bring a corollary,] That is, bring more than are sufficient, rather than fail for want of num. bers. Corollary means surplus. Corolaire, Fr. See Cotgrave's Dictionary.
STEEVENS. 66. 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. 70. --thatch'd with stover, -] Stover, from Estovers, a law word, signifies an allowance in food or other necessaries of life. It is here used for provision in general for animals.
From the following instance, stover should mean the pointed blades of grass or corn:
“ Beard, be confin’d to neatness, that no bair
Love's Sacrifice, 1633.
stover fit." Again, in his Muse's Elysium: “ Their brows and stover waxing thin and scant."
STEVENS. 71. Thy banks with pionied and twilled 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. Spenser and the author of Muleasses the Turk, a tra. gedy, 1610, use pioning for digging. It is not there. fore difficult to find a 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 lillied brims, for Pliny, B. XXVII. ch. x. mentions the water-lily as a preServer of chastity; and says, elsewhere, that the Pæony medetur Faunorum in Quiete Ludibriis, &c. In a poem entitled The Herrings Tayle, 4to. 1598, “the mayden piony" is introduced. In the Arraignement of 'Paris, 1584, are mentioned,
“ The watry flow'rs, and lilies of the banks." And Edward Fenton in his Secrete Wonders of Nature, 4to. B. VI. 1569, asserts, that “the water-lily mortifieth altogether the appetite of sensualitie, and defends from unchaste thoughts and dreames of venery,"
In the 20th song of Drayton's Polyolbion, the Naiades are represented as making chaplets with all the tribe of aquatick flowers; and Mr. Tollet informs me, that Lyte's Herbal says, “ one kind of peonie is called by some, maiden or virgin peonie."
In Ovid's Banquet of Sense, by Chapman, 1595, I met 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 present reading, pioned and twilled, may uncontrovertibly stand.
Steevens. Thy bank with pioned and twilled brims] Mr. War. ton, in his notes upon Milton, after silently acquiescing 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 allowed, may it not be asked-If the word pionied can be any where found i-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 spungy 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 husbandry 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 sooner, but being more succulent than that of the turfy mountains, would, for want of this 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, occasioned by the heat, rains, and frosts of the preceding year, are made good, by opening the trenches from whence the banks themselves were at first raised, and facing them up afresh with the mire which 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 shufle together ;
* Virgil hath used a similar anticipation, by which he beautifully intimates that his precept is founded on experience :
“ Illa seges demum votis respondet avari
Agricolæ, bis quæ solem, bis frigora sensit: 6 Illius immensæ RUPERUNT horrea messes."
Georg. I. 47.