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Had roused him here, and shook his feathers, wet
Maia to the king and queen, (vol. vi. p. 462,) there is a reference to this favourite poet:
“The spice that from Panchaia comes,
The odour that Hydaspes lends.”
Quicquid odoratus longe blanditur Hydaspes.
while his aunt doth sport her,] i. e. his wanton mistress. Thus Brome:
Cicely. Is she your kinswoman-your aunt, or cousin ?
Toten. Court. But our old dramatists used this word in a very loose way. As the Gentleman's Recreation says of brach, it “ seems to be a mannerly word,” for an appellation peculiarly offensive to female ears. See vol. vi. p. 86.
With honey-suckle, &c.] This passage settles the meaning of the speech of Titania, in Midsummer Night's Dream, on which
With honey-suckle, and both these intwine
Masquers are discovered as the Glories of the
Whence is it that the air so sudden clears,
child, Of all the treasure that great Nature's worth, And makes her every minute to bring forth ? How comes it winter is so quite forced hence, And lock'd up under ground ? that every sense Hath several objects ? trees have got their heads, And fields their coats ? that now the shining meads Do boast the paunce, the lily, and the rose; And every flower doth laugh as Zephyr blows? so much has been written, and which, after all, is so little under stood.
“So doth the woodbine the sweet honey-suckle
Gently entwist.” The woodbine of Shakspeare is the blue bindweed of Jonson : in many of our counties the woodbine is still the name for the great convolvolus. If the reader will turn to this quotation, in the variorum Shakspeare, he will find three pages of nonsense, quotation heaped upon quotation to no purpose ; and this place in Jonson, which gives an easy and intelligent explanation of it, not once noticed! It should be added, that Steevens and Malone, to make out even their no-meaning, have been compelled to corrupt the text. This, however, was infinitely preferable to having recourse to “old Ben,” without any prospect of calumniating him.
That seas are now more even than the land ?
How is't each bough a several music yields ?
Behold a king;
Here they danced their Entry, after which they
Cho. Again! again! you cannot be
And if they could the object prize,
But wish their bodies all were eyes.
And thence did Venus learn to lead
The Idalian brawls, and so to tread
Nor prest a flower, nor bow'd a stalk.
Revels followed; after which AURORA appeared, (the Night and Moon being descended,) and this Epilogue followed.
Aur. I was not wearier where I lay By frozen Tithon's side to-night ;8
8 I was not wearier where I lay
By frozen Tithon's side to-night, &c.] The ingenious Mr. Chalmers, the Lepidus of the grand triumvirate of Jonson's enemies, would probably start, had he ever looked into his works, at discovering that there was something in them besides “malice to Shakspeare," something, in short, from which the critic himself, vast as his knowledge confessedly is, might occasionally derive information. In illustrating the word Titan, which he explains with laudable accuracy to be a “poetical name for the Sun,” Mr. Chalmers brings forward this confirmation of it from the Phænix Nest,
“ Aurora now began to rise again
Lindsay, vol. iii. p. 488. Now though “ Titan " may be old, it is not very likely, I think, that he should be frozen; and as Jonson is generally allowed to be pretty correct in his epithets, it will be worth Mr. Chalmers' while to consider, previously to the republication of his glossary, whether Titan and Tithon may not be distinct personages.