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That come before the swallow dares, and take
violets, dim, But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,] I suspect that our author mistakes Juno for Pallas, who was the goddess of blue eyes. Sweeter than an eye-lid is an odd image: but perhaps he uses sweet in the general sense, for delightful. Johnson.
It was formerly the fashion to kiss the eyes, as a mark of ex. traordinary tenderness. I have somewhere met with an account of the first reception one of our kings gave to his new queen, where he is said to have kissed her fayre eyes. So, in Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseiile, v. 1358:
“ This Troilus full oft her eyen two
“ Gan for to kisse," &c. Thus also, in the sixteenth Odyssey, 15, Eumæus kisses both the eyes of Telemachus:
ку κεφαλήν τε, και αμφω φάβα καλά,-" The same line occurs in the following Book, v. 39, where Pene. lope expresses her fondness for her son.
Again, in an ancient MS. play of Timon of Athens, in the possession of Mr. Strutt the engraver:
“O Juno, be not angry with thy Jove,
“But let me kisse thine eyes my sweetę delight." p. 6, b. Another reason, however, why the eyes were kissed instead of the lips, may be found in a very scarce book, entitled A courtlie Controversy of Cupid's Cautels : Conteyning Fiue tragicall Histories, &c. Translated out of French &c. by H. W. (Henry Wotton] 4to. 1578: “Oh howe wise were our forefathers to forbidde wyne so strictly unto their children, and much more to their wives, so that for drinking wine they deserved defame, and being taken with the maner, it was lawful to kisse their mouthes, whereas otherwise men kissed but their eyes, to showe that wine drinkers were apt to further offence.” The eyes of Juno were as remarkable as those of Pallas:
βοώπις πότνια "Ήρη.” Ηomer. But (as Mr. M. Mason observes) “ we are not told that Pallas was the goddess of blue eye-lids; besides, as Shakspeare joins in the comparison, the breath of Cytherea with the eye-lids of Juno, it is evident that he does not allude to the colour, but to the fra. grance of violets.” Steevens. So, in Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1613:
That eye was Juno's,
“ That virgin blush, Diana's.” Spenser, as well as our author, has attributed beauty to the eyelid:
“Upon her eye-lids many graces sate,
Fairy Queen, B. II, c. üi, st. 25.
Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses,
What? like a corse?
Again, in his 40th Sonnet:
“When on each eye-lid sweetly do appear
pale primroses, That die unmarried, ere they can behold &c.] So, in Pimlyco, or Runne Red-Cap, 1609:
s. The pretty Dazie (eye of day)
“ Beauty and Death are enemies." Again, in Milton's Lycidas:
the rathe primrose that forsaken dies.". Mr. Warton, in a note on my last quotation, asks “But why does the Primrose die unmarried? Not because it blooms and decays before the appearance of other flowers; as in a state of solitude, and without society. Shakspeare's reason, why it dies unmarried, is unintelligible, or rather is such as I do not wish to understand. The true reason is, because it grows in the shade, uncherished or unseen by the sun, who was supposed to be in love with some sorts of flowers.”
Perhaps, however, the true explanation of this passage may be deduced from a line originally subjoined by Milton to that already quoted from Lucidas:
“ Bring the rathe primrose that unwedded dies,
- bold oxlips,] Gold is the reading of Sir T. Hanmer; the former editions have bold. Johnson.
The old reuling is certainly the true one. The oxlip has not a weak flexible stalk like the cowslip, but erects itself boldly in the face of the sun. Wallis, in his History of Northumberland, says, that the great oxlip grows a foot and a half high. It should be confessed, however, that the colour of the oxlip is taken notice of by other writers. So, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584: yellow oxlips bright as burnish'd gold.”
Methinks, I play as I have seen them do
What you do,
not to be buried, But quick, and in mine arms.). So, Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1613:
“ Isab. Heigh ho, you 'll bury me, I see.
" Rob. In the swan's down, and tomb thee in my arms." Again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609:
O come, be buried
Each your doing, &c.] That is, your manner in each act crowns the act. Johnson.
but that your youth, And the true blood which fairly peeps through it,] So, Marlowe, in his Hero and Leander :
Through whose white skin, softer than soundest sleep,
“ With damaske eyes the ruby blood doth peep." The part of the poem that was written by Marlowe, was pub. lished, I believe, in 1593, but certainly before 1598, a Second Part or Continuation of it by H Petowe having been printed in that
year. It was entered at Stationers' Hall in September 1593, and is often quoted in a collection of verses entitled Englands Parnassus, printed in 1600. From that collection it appears, that Marlowe wrote only the first two Sestiads, and about a hundred lines of the third, and that the remainder was written by Chap
I think, you have
I 'll swear for 'em.1
He tells her something, That makes her blood look out:2 Good sooth, she is
9 I think, you have
As little skill to fear,] To have skill to do a thing was a phrase then in use equivalent to our to have a reason to do a thing. The Oxford editor, ignorant of this, alters it to:
As little skill in fear, which has no kind of sense in this place. Warburton.
I cannot approve of Warburton's explanation of this passage, or believe that to have a skill to do a thing, ever meant to have reason to do it; of which, when he asserted it, he ought to have, produced one example at least.
The fears of women, on such occasions, are generally owing to their experience. They fear, as they blush, because they un. derstand. It is to this that Florizel alludes, when he says, that Perdita had little skill to fear.–So Juliet says to Romeo:
“But trust me, gentleman, I'll prove more true
This is the prettiest &c. Johnson.
I'll swear for one. i. e. I will answer or engage for myself. Some alteration is absolutely necessary. This seems the easiest, and the reply will then be perfectly becoming her character. Ritson. 2 He tells her something,
That makes her blood look out:] The meaning must be this. The prince tells her something that calls the blood up into her cheeks, and makes her blush. She, but a little before, uses a like expression to describe the prince's sincerity:
Do plainly give you out an unstain'd shepherd. Theobaldo
of curds and cream. Clo.
Come on, strike up. Dor. Mopsa must be your mistress: marry, garlick, To mend her kissing with. Mop.
Now, in good time! Clo. Not a word, a word; we stands upon our manCome, strike up.
[Musick Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses. Pal. Pray, good shepherd, what Fair gwain is this, which dances with your daughter?
Shep. They call him Doricles; and he boasts himself To have a worthy feeding:5 but I have it Upon his own report, and I believe it; He looks like sooth:6 He says, he loves my daughter; I think so too; for never gaz'd the moon Upon the water, as he 'll stand, and read, As 'twere, my daughter's eyes: and, to be plain, I think, there is not half a kiss to choose,
we stand &c.] That is, we are now on our behaviour.
Johnson So, in Every Man in his Humour, Master Stephen says: “Nay, we do not stand much on our gentility, friend."
Steevens. and he boasts himself - ] The old copy reads—and boasts himself; which cannot, I think, be right. The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. Perhaps Shakspeare wrote-a boasts himself. Malone.
- a worthy feeding:] I conceive feeding to be a pasture, and a worthy feeding to be a tract of pasturage not inconsiderable, not unworthy of my daughter's fortune. Fohnson. Dr. Johnson's explanation is just. So, in Drayton's Moon-calf:
Finding the feeding for which he had toild
“ To have kept safe, by these vile cattle spoil'd.” Again, in the sixth song of the Polyolbion :
so much that do rely “Upon their feedings, flocks, and their fertility.” “ A worthy feeding (says Mr. M. Mason) is a valuable, a substantial one. Thus, Antonio, in Twelfth Night :
“ But were my worth, as is my conscience, firm,
" You should find better dealing.” Worth here means fortune or substance. Steedens.
6 He looks like sooth:) Sooth is truth. Obsolete. So, in Lyly's Woman in the Moon, 1597 :
“ Thou dost dissemble, but I mean good sooth.” Steevens ?