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Spenser and the author of Mulcasses the Turk, a tragedy, 1610, use pioning for digging. It is not therefore 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, as Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History mentions the water-lilly as a preserver of chastity. STEEVENS.

Line 74. and thy broom groves,] i. e. A shrub, of which brooms are made.

Line 77.

Line 77.

lorn;] i. e. Forsaken.

thy pole-clipt vineyard,] To clip is to twine round or embrace. The poles are clipt or embraced by the vines. STEEVENS.

Line 90. My bosky acres, &c.] Bosky is woody. Bosquet, Fr. So Milton,

"And every bosky bourn from side to side." STEEVENS. Line 92. -to this short-grass'd green?] The old copy reads short-graz'd green. Short-graz'd green means grazed so as to be short.


Line 115. Highest queen of state, &c.] Mr. Whalley thinks this passage in The Tempest,

High queen of state,

Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait,

a remarkable instance of Shakspeare's knowledge of ancient poetic story; and that the hint was furnished by the Divûm 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 contrary: 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 braine-bred girle, and the feature "of Cytherea, have their domestical habitation." FARMER.

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Line 124. Earth's increase, and foison plenty;] Foison, i. e. plentiful in a great degree. All the editions that I have ever seen concur in placing this whole sonnet to Juno; but very absurdly, in my opinion. I believe every accurate reader, who is acquainted

with poetical history, and the distinct offices of these two goddesses, and who then seriously reads over our author's lines, will agree with me, that Ceres's name ought to have been placed where I have now prefixed it. THEOBALD.

Line 133. Harmonious charmingly:- -] Mr. Edwards would read,

Harmonious charming lay:·

For though (says he) the benediction is sung by two goddesses, it is yet but one lay or hymn. I believe this passage appears as it was written by the poet, who, for the sake of the verse, made the words change places; and then the meaning is sufficiently obvious. STEEVENS.

-a wonder'd father,] i. e. A father who per

Line 139. forms such wonders.

Line 145. wand'ring brooks,] The modern editors read winding brooks. The old copy-windring. I suppose we should read wand'ring, as it is here printed. STEEVENS.

Line 148. Leave your crisp channels,] Crisp, i. e. curling, winding. Lat. crispus. So Henry IV. Part 1. Act 1. Sc. 4. Hotspur speaking of the river Severn,

"And hid his crisped head in the hollow bank." STEEVENS, Line 176. And like this insubstantial pageant faded,] To understand properly the meaning of this comparison, it should be remembered that pageants, or shows, were common in our author's time; on some extraordinary occasions they became costly, as on regal processions, &c.

Line 179. Leave not a rack behind: -] "The winds" (says lord Bacon)" which move the clouds above, which we call the "rack, and are not perceived below, pass without noise."

The word is common to many authors contemporary with Shakspearė.

Sir Thomas Hanmer, instead of rack, reads arbitrarily track. To rack, in this sense, is sometimes used as a verb. So in the old play of The Raigne of King Edward III. 1596.

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"That, rack'd upon the carriage of the winds,

"Encrease and die."

Line 191.


-to meet with Caliban.] To meet with is to coun

teract; to play stratagem against stratagem.-The parson knows the temper of every one in his house, and accordingly either meets with their vices, or advances their virtues.

HERBERT's Country Parson.


Line 207. pricking goss,-] I know not how Shakspeare distinguished goss from furze; for what he calls furze is called goss or gorse in the midland counties.


Line 216. For stale to catch these thieves.] Stale is a word in fouling, and is used to mean a bait or decoy to catch birds.

Line 225. the blind mole may not


Hear a foot fall:] It is supposed that this animal possesses the quality of hearing in a particular degree.

Line 228. he has done little better than play'd the Jack with us.] Has led us about like an ignus fatuus, by which travellers are decoyed into the mire.


Line 254. Trin. O king Stephano! O peer! O worthy Stephano! Look, what a wardrobe here is for thee!] The humour of these lines consists in their being an allusion to an old celebrated ballad, which begins thus: King Stephen was a worthy peer and celebrates that king's parsimony with regard to his wardrobe,- -There are two stanzas of this ballad in Othello.


The old ballad is printed at large in The Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. 1. PERCY. Line 258.

we know what belongs to a frippery:-] A frippery was a shop where old clothes were sold.


Line 264. Let's along,] First edit. Let's alone. JOHNSON.

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An allusion to what often
The violent fevers, which

happens to people who pass the line.

they contract in that hot climate, make them lose their hair.


I cannot think that this has any indelicate allusion, as Mr.

Steevens supposes.

Line 278.


-put some lime, &c.] i. e. Birdlime.

-to barnacles, or to apes] Skinner says barnacle is Anser Scoticus. The barnacle is a kind of shell-fish growing

on the bottoms of ships, and which was anciently supposed, when broken off, to become one of these geese,

"There are" (says Gerard, in his Herbal, edit. 1597, page 1291) "in the north parts of Scotland certaine trees, whereon "do growe shell-fishes, &c. &c. which, falling into the water, "do become fowls, whom we call barnakles, in the north of "England brant geese, and in Lancashire tree geese," &c. For this extract from Gerard, I am indebted to Mr. Collins of Hampstead. STEEVENS.

Line 287. A noise of hunters heard.] Shakspeare might have had in view "Arthur's Chase, which many believe to be in "France, and think that it is a kennel of black dogs followed by "unknown huntsmen with an exceeding great sound of horns, " as if it was a very hunting of some wild beast." See A Treatise of Spectres, translated from the French of Peter de Loier, and published in quarto, 1605. Dr. GREY,

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Goes upright with his carriage.-] Alluding to one carrying a burthen. This critical period of my life proceeds as I could wish. Time brings forward all the expected events, without faultering under his burthen. STEEVENS,

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the king and his ?-] i. e. And his followers.

-till your release.

-] i. e. Till your release of

-that relish all as sharply,

Passion as they,- -] I feel every thing with the same quick sensibility, and am moved by the same passions as STEEVENS.

they are.

Line 40. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves,] This speech Dr. Warburton rightly observes to be borrowed from Medea's in Ovid: and it proves, says Mr. Holt, beyond contradiction, that Shakspeare was perfectly acquainted with the sentiments of the ancients on the subject of enchantments. FARMER. Line 43. - -with printless foot

Do chase the ebbing Neptune,-] So Milton, in his


"Whilst from off the waters fleet,

"Thus I set my printless feet."


· Line 49. (Weak masters though ye be)] The meaning of this passage may be; Though ye are but inferior masters of these supernatural powers,-though you possess them but in a low degree.

Line 84. read entertain.


-that entertain'd ambition,] In the old copy we

Line 99. There I couch when owls do cry.] Mr. Malone thinks the punctuation of this line incorrect: a full stop should be put after the word couch, which will render the succeeding line in the text free from confusion.

Line 101. After summer, merrily:] This is the reading of all the editions. Yet Mr. Theobald has substituted sun-set, because Ariel talks of riding on the bat in this expedition. An idle fancy. That circumstance is given only to design the time of night in which fairies travel. One would think the consideration of the circumstances should have set him right. Ariel was a spirit of great delicacy, bound by the charms Prospero to a constant attendance on his occasions. So that he was confined to the island winter and summer. But the roughness of winter is represented by Shakspeare as disagreeable to fairies, and such like delicate spirits, who, on this account, constantly follow summer. Was not this then the most agreeable circumstance of Ariel's new recovered liberty, that he could now avoid winter, and follow summer quite round the globe?

The consequence is, that Ariel flies after summer. Yet the Oxford Editor has adopted this judicious emendation of Mr. Theobald. WARBURTON.

Line 103. Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.] Mr. Steevens annexes more importance to this phrase than it deserves; it must be felt and admitted by all readers of poetry, that “fairies" haunt the groves.

Line 112. I drink the air] Is an expression of swiftness, of the same kind as to devour the way in Henry IV. JOHNSON. Line 124. —whe'r- -] An abbreviation of whether.

-131. Thy dukedom I resign,-] The dutchy of Milan being through the treachery of Anthonio made feudatory to the

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