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Fairly spoke :
Pro. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service
Arr. Before you can say, Come, and go,
she th' extended night
STEEVENS. the rabble,] The crew of meaner spirits. Johnson. 5 Some vanity of mine art ;] So, in the unprinted romance of EMARE, quoted by Mr. Warton in his dissertation on the Gesta Romanorum, (a prefix to the third vol. of the History of English Poetry);
“ The emperour said on hygh,
Sertes, thys is a fayry,
“Or ellys a vanite." i. e. an illusion. STEEVENS.
Emare has, since this note was written, been printed by Mr. Ritson. Romances, vol. ii. Boswell. Come, and
go, Each one, tripping on his toe,] So, in Milton's L'Allegro, v. 33:
“ Come, and trip it as you go
Will be here with mop and mowe :
Well I conceive. [Erit, Pro. Look, thou be true ; do not give dalliance Too much the rein; the strongest oaths are straw To the fire i' the blood : be more abstemious, Or else, good night, your vow! FER.
I warrant you, sir; The white-cold virgin snow upon my heart Abates the ardour of my liver. PRO.
Well. Now come, my Ariel ; bring a corollary?, Rather than want a spirit; appear, and pertly.No tongue 8; all eyes; be silent. [Soft musick,
A Masque. Enter Iris. Iris. Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and peas; Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep, And flat meads thatch'd with stover, them to
7 — bring a COROLLARY,] That is, bring more than are sufficient, rather than fail for want of numbers. Corollary means surplus. Corolaire, Fr. See Cotgrave's Dictionary. STEEVENS.
8 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.
9 - THATCH'd with stover,] Stover (in Cambridgeshire and other counties) signifies hay made of coarse rank grass, such as even cows will not eat while it is green. Stover is likewise used as thatch for cart-lodges, and other buildings that deserve but rude and cheap coverings. The word occurs in the 25th song of Drayton's Polyolbion :
“ To draw out sedge and reed, for thatch and stover fit.” Again, in his Muses' Elyzium : “ Their browse and stover waxing thin and scant."
Thy banks with pioned and twilled brims',
Thy bank with PEONIED, and Lilied brinis,] The old edition reads pioned and twilled brims, which gave rise to Mr. Holt's conjeciure, that the poet originally wrote:
with pioned and tilled brims.” Peonied is the emendation of Hanmer.
Spenser and the author of Muleasses 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 lilied brims; for Pliny, b. xxvi. ch. x. mentions the water-lily as a preserver of chastity; and says, elsewhere, that the Peony medeter Faunorum in Quiete Ludibriis
, &c. In a poem entitled The Herring's 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 aquatic 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, 1625, I meet 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 trvill-pants strew'd in Bacchus' bowers." If twill be the ancient name of any flower, the old reading, pioned and twilled, may stand. Steevens.
Mr. Warton, 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 any where be found ?-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 spongy APRIL?
To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom
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 own 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 over, but being more succulent than that of the turfy mountains, would, for want of 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 heats, 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 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 Muleasșes, 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 shuffle together; bedirt; begrime ; besmear :"-significations that join to confirm the explanation here given.
This “ bank with pioned and twilled brims is described, as *trimmed, at the behest of Ceres, by spongy April, with flowers, to make cold nymphs chaste crowns.' These flowers were neither peonies nor lilies, for they never blow at this season, but “ladysmocks all silver white," which, during this humid month, start up in abundance on such banks, and thrive like oats on the same kind of soil :-“ Avoine touillée croist comme enragée.”—That OU changes into W, in words derived from the French, is apparent in cordwainer, from cordouannier, and many
others. Henley. Mr. Henley's note contends for small proprieties, and abounds with minute observation. But that Shakspeare was no diligent botanist, may be ascertained from his erroneous descriptions of a cowslip, (in the Tempest and Cymbeline,) for who ever heard it characterized as a bell-shaped Aower, or could allow the drops at the bottom of it to be of a crimson hue? With equal carelessness, or want of information, in The Winter's Tale he enumerates “ lilies of all kinds," among the children of the spring, and as contemporaries with the daffodil, the primrose, and the violet ; and in his celebrated song, (one stanza of which is introduced at
Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
the beginning of the fourth act of Measure for Measure,) he talks of Pinks “ that April wears.” It might be added, (if we must speak by the card,) that wherever there is a bank there is a ditch; where there is a ditch there may be water; and where there is water the aquatic lilies may flourish, whether the bank in question belongs to a river or a field.-These are petty remarks, but they are occasioned by petty cavils. It was enough for our author that peonies and lilies were well known flowers, and he placed them on any bank, and produced them in any of the genial months, that particularly suited his purpose. He who has confounded the customs of different ages and nations, might easily confound the produce of the seasons.
That his documents de Re Rusticâ were more exact, is equally improbable. He regarded objects of Agriculture, &c. in the gross, and little thought when he meant to bestow some ornamental epithet on the banks appropriated to a Goddess, that a future critic would wish him to say their “ brims were filthily mixed or mingled, confounded, or shuffled together; bedirted, begrimed, and besmeared." Mr. Henley, however, has not yet proved the existence of the derivative which he labours to intro. duce as an English word ; nor will the lovers of elegant description wish him much success in his attempt. Unconvinced, therefore, by his strictures, I shall not exclude a border of flowers to make room for the graces of the spade, or what Mr. Pope, in his Dunciad, has styled “the majesty of mud." Steevens.
Piony is given by Johnson in his Dictionary as well as peony; and Mr. Todd derives it from the Saxon ponie. An anonymous correspondent suggested to Mr. Malone that twilled brims meant banks fringed with thickly matted grass, resembling the stuff called twilled cloth, in which the cords appear closely twisted together. Mr. Boaden has observed to me that Mr. Steevens might have offered a better defence than he has produced for his reading lillied, which Mr. Henley objected to, because lillies are not to be found in April. In Lord Bacon's Essay on Gardens, where he is enumerating the flowers which are in season at different periods of the year, we meet with the following passage : “ In April follow, the double-white violet; the wall-tower; the stock-gillyflower; the cowslip; flower-de-luces ; and lillies of all natures ; rose-mary flowers; the tulippe; the double piony, &c.
Boswell. - and thy broom groves,] Broom, in this place, signifies the Spartium scoparium, of which brooms are frequently made. Near Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire it grows high enough to conceal the tallest cattle as they pass through it; and in places where