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The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd.
These two poems, which Dr. Warburton gives to Shakspere, are, by writers nearer that time, disposed of, one to Marlow, the other to Raleigh. They are read in different copies with great variations.
JOHNSON In England's Helicon, a collection of love-verses printed in Shakspere's life-time, viz. in 1600, the first of them is given to Marlow, the second to a person unknown: and Dr. Piercy, in the first volume of his. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry', observes, that there is good reason to believe that (not Shakspere, but) Christopher Marlow wrote the song, and sir Walter Raleigh the Nymph's Reply; for so we are positively assured by Isaac Walton, writer of some credit, who has inserted them both in his Compleat Angler, under: the character of “That smooth song which was made by Kit Marlow, now at least fifty years ago ; and an Answer to it, which was made by sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days ..... Old fashioned poetry, but. choicely good.” See the Reliques, &c. vol. I. p. 218. 221, third edit.
In Shakspere's sonnets, printed by Jaggard, 1599, this poem is attributed to Shakspere. Mr. Malone, however, observes, that, " What seems to ascertain it to be Marlowe's, is, that one of the lines is found (and not as a quotation) in a play of his-The few of Malta ; which, though, not printed till 1633, must have been written before 1593, as he died in that year.'
“ Thou in those groves, by Dis above,
love." STEEVENS. Gij
The tụne to which the former was sung, I have lately discovered in a MS. as old as Shakspere's time, and it is as follows:
Come live with me,
love, and we will all the plea-sures prove,
that hills and
lies, dale and field, and
SIR J. HAWKINS. 23. When as I sat in Babylon-] This line is from the old version of the 137th psalm :
" When we did sit in Babylon,
« The rivers round about,
“ The tears for grief burst out." The word rivers, in the second line, may be supposed to have been brought to sir Hugh's thoughts by
the line of Marlowe's Madrigal, that he has just repeated; and in his fright he blends the sacred and prophane song together. The old quarto has“ There liv'd a man in Babylon,” which was the first line of an old song, mentioned in Twelfth Night: but the other line is more in character. MALONE.
84. - for missing your meetings and appointments.]
These words, which are not in the folio, were recovered from the early quarto, by Mr. Pope.
MALONE. 91. Peace, I say, Gallia and Gaul, French and Welch, -] Possibly Gallia and Guallia. FARMER. Thus, in K. Henry IV. Gualtier for Walter.
Steevens. The quarto, 1602; confirms Dr. Farmer's conjec
It reads--Peace I say, Gawle and Gawlia, French and Welch, &c.
MALONE. -make-a de sot of us?] Sot in French, signifies a fool.
-scald, scurvy, ] -Scall was an old word of reproach, as scab was afterwards. Chaucer impre.. cates on his scrivener: “ Under thy longe lockes mayest thou have the scalle."
Johnson. Scall, as Dr. Johnson interprets it, is a scab breaking out in the hair, and approaching nearly to the leprosy. It is used by other writers of Shakspere's time. You will find what was to be done by persons amicted with it by looking into Leviticus, ch. xiii.
WHALLEY. G iij
30, 31, &c.
159 -so seeming mistress Page, seeming is specious. So, in K. Lear, “ If aught within that little seeming substance."
STEEVENS. 162. -shall
cry aim.] i. e. shall encourage. The phrase is taken from archery. See a note in K. John, act ii.
STEEVENS. 174. We have linger'd] They have not linger'd very long. The match was proposed by sir Hugh but the day before.
JOHNSON. Shallow represents the affair as having been long in hand, that he may better excuse himself and Slender from accepting Ford's invitation on the day when it was to be concluded.
STEEVENS. 184. he writes verses, he speaks holy-day,-) i.e. in an high-flown, fustian style. It was called a holz-day style, from the old custom of acting their farces of the mysteries and moralities, which were turgid and bombast, on holy-days. So, in Much ado about Nothing,
“ I cannot woo in festival terms." And again, in The Merchant of Venice, * Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him."
WARBURTON. -he speaks holy-day, -] So, in K. Henry IV. Part I. "With many holiday and lady terms."
-'tis in his buttons ;] Alluding to an ancient custom among tlie country fellows, of trying