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There pinch the maids as blue as bilberry :S
Fal. They are fairies; he, that speaks to them, shall die : I'll wink and couch: No man their works must eye.
[Lies down upon his face, Eva. Where's Bede 26_Go you, and where you find a
But found alight in the morning. This phrase is ftill current in several of our midland counties. ST LEVENS.
$ The bilberry is the wborileberry. Fairies were always supposed to have a strong aversion to suttery. STIEVENS.
Thus the first folio. The quartos --Pead. It is remarkable that, throughout this metrical business, Sir Hugh appears to drop his Welch proa nunciation, though he resumes it as soon as he speaks in his own character. As Falstaff, however, supposes him to be a Welch Fairy, his peculiarity of utterance must have been preserved on the stage, though it be not distinguithed in the printed copies. STEEVENS.
? The sense of this speech is-hat she, who had performed her religious duties, should be secure against the illufion 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 pow's 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, lay :
“ From fairies, and the tempters of tibe nigbt,
« Guard me, beseech ye !". And this is the sense ; l-t us see how the common reading expresses it;
“ Raise up tbe organs of ber fantasy;" i. e. infame her imagination with sensual ideas; which is just the con. trary to what the poet would have the speaker say. We cannot therefure but conclude he wrote:
" Rein up the organs of ber fantasy;" i. e, curb them, that the be no more difturbed by irregular imaginations, than children in their feep. For he adds immediately : “ Sleep she as found as careless infancy
WARBURTON. This is highly plausible ; and yet, raise up the organs of ber fantasy, may mean, elevate ber ideas above fenjuality, exalt them to the noblest contemplation.
Mr. Malone fupposes the sense of the passage, collectively taken, to be as follows. Go you, and wherever you find a maid asleep, thar hath thrice prayed to the deity, though, in consequence of her innocence, the Necp as foundly as an infant, elevate her fancy, and amuse her tranquil mind with fome delightful vision ; but those whom you find alleep, without having
But those as sleep, and think not on their fins,
Quick. About, ajout;
previously thought on their fins, and prayed to heaven for forgiveness, pinch, &c. It ihould be remembered that those persons who Neep very soundly, feldom dream. Hence the injunction to raise up the organs of her fantasy," “ Sleep the," &c. i. e. though she seep 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 difturbs Titania in A Midsummer-Night's Dream :
« There Beeps Titania;
" And make her full of bateful fantasies. Dr. Warburton, who appears to me to have tocally misunderstood this passage, reads, Rein up, &c. in which he has been followed, in my opinion too hastily, by the subsequent editors., MALONE.
Wbolfome here fignities integer. He wishes the castle may stand in its présent state of perfection, which the following words plainly how ;
mas in ftate 'tis fit." WARBURTON. 9 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 be 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 tbe 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 suficiently reasonable and intelligible without alteration. STEEVINS.
2 It was an article of our ancient luxury, to rub tables, &c. with aromatic herbs. Pliny informs us, thac the Romans did the same, to drive away evil spirits. STIEVENS.
The expressure that it bears, green let it be,
3 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 fenfible 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, instead of mending one falfe step, they have made two, by bringing saphire, pearl, and rich embroidery under one predicament. These lines were wrote thus by the poet:
" In emerald tufts, flowers purfled, blue, and white;
6. Like fapbire, pearl, in rich embroidery." i. e. let there be blue and white flowers workes on the greensward, like saphire and pearl in rich embroidery. To purfle, is to over-lay with tinfel, gold thread, &c. fo our ancestors called a certain lace of this kind of work a purfling-laie. 'Tis from the French pourfiler. So Spenser:
-the was yclad,
• Purfled upon, with many a folded plight.” The change of and into in in the second verse, is necessary. For flow. ers worked, or purfled in the grass, were not like saphire and pearl fimply, but saphire and pearl in embroidery. How the corrupt 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 littled 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.
4 For the matter with which they make letters. JOHNSON.
Bullokar, in his English. Expositor improved by R. Browne, 12mo. says, that chara&tery is “ a writing by characters in strange marks.” In 1588 was printed CbaraEtery, an arte of thorte, swift, and secrete writing by character. Invented by Timothie Brighte, Doctor of Phisike.” This seems to have been the first book upon thort-hand writing printed in England. Douce.
5 The metre requires us to read! Jock hands." STEEVENS.
And twenty glow-worms fall our lanterns be,
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welch fairy! lest he transform me to a piece of cheese!
Pift. Vile worm, thou wast o’er-look'd even in thy birth.
Quick. With trial-fire touch me his finger-end:
Pift. A trial, come.
[They burn him with their tapers,
Eva. It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries and iniquity,
Fie on luji and luxury !
Pinch him for his villainy;
Spirits are supposed to inhabit the ethereal regions, and fairies to dwell under ground; men therefore are in a middle station. JOHNSON.
The author of THE REMARKS says, the phrase signifies neither more nor less, than the eartb or world, from its imaginary situation in the midft or middle of the Ptolemaic system, and has not the least reference to either fpirits or fairies. REED.
7 The old copy reads-vild, which was not an error of the press, but the old spelling and the pronunciation of the time. MALONE.
8 i. e. Nighted as soon as born. STEEVENS.
9 This appears to have been the common phraseology of our author's ame.' MALONE.
2 Luxury is here used for incontinence. STEEVENS.
During this fong, the fairies pinch Falftaff. Doctor Caius
comes one way, and Realsaway a fairy in green; Slender another
and takes off a fairy in white; and Fenton. comes, and steals away Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is made within. All the fairies run away. Falstaff pulls off his buck's head, and rises. Enter Page, FORD, Mrs. Pace, and Mrs. FORD. They
lay hold on him. Page. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watch'd you
now ; Will none but Herne the hunter serve
turn? Mrs. Page. I pray you, come; hold up the jest no higher :Now, good fir John, how like you Windsor wives ? See
you thefe, husband ? do not these fair yokes Become the foreft better than the town ?4
Ford. Now, fir, who's a cuckold now? - Master Brook, Falftaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, Master Brook: And, master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing
4 Mrs. Page's meaning was this. Seeing the horns (the types of cuckoldom) in Falstaff's hand, she asks her husband, whether those yokes are not more proper in the forest than in tbe town;, i. e, than in his own family. THEOBALD.
The editor of the second folio changed yoaks to oaks. MALONI.
Perhaps only the printer of the second folio is to blame, for the omission of the letter y. STEEVENS.
I am confident that oaks is the right reading. I agree with Theobald that the words, “ See you tbese husbands ?" relate to the buck's horns; but what resemblance is there between the horns of a buck and a yoak? What connection is there between a yoak and a foreft? Why, none; whereas on the other hand, the connection between a forest and an oak is evident; nor is the resemblance less evident between a tree and the branches of a buck's horns; they are indeed called branches from that very resemblance; and the horns of a deer are called in French les bois.
Though horns are types of cuckoldom, yoaks are not; and surely the types of cuckoldom, whatever they may be, are more proper for a town than for a foreft. I am surprised that the subfequent editors Thould have adopted an amendment, which makes the passage nonsense. M. Mason.
I have inserted Mr. M. Mason's note, because he appears to think it brings conviction with it. Perhaps, however, fas Dr. Farmer obferves to me) he was not aware that the extremities of yokes for cattle, as still used in several counties of England, bend upwards, and rilling very high, in Mape resemble korns. STEITINA