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1. 475. A raven on the left was regarded by the Romans as a sure prophet, and Dryden probably has Virgil in memory:
• Quod nisi me quacumque novas incidere lites
Nec tuus hic Moeris nec viveret ipse Menalcas.' Ecl. ix. 14. 1. 490. mad divineress. The insana vates' of Virgil, who so describes the Sibyl of Cumae, committing het prophecies to leaves.
Insanam vatem adspicies : quae rupe sub ima
Fata canit, folisque notas et nomina mandat.' Aen. iii. 443. 1. 494. XENOWY (Chelidon) is the Greek for a swallow.
1. 520. Nostradamus. This general name for a prophet is derived from Michel Notre Dame, a famous French physician and prophet, who was born 1503, and died 1566.
1. 538. Of Ahaz' dial and of Joshua's day. For the former see 2 Kings xx., and for the latter Joshua x.
1. 547. Dryden says in a note that swifts are otherwise called martlets.'
Dryden and Lee's dipus, Act iv.
1. 637. And there his corps, unblessed, is hanging still. are is in the early editions instead of is, but this must have been a mistake.
1. 638. To show the change of winds with his prophetic bill. Scott says, • It is a vulgar idea that a dead swallow, suspended in the air, intimates a change of wind by turning its bill to the point from which it is to blow.'
1. 655. The old fanatic author' who 'summed up the scandals' of the Panther's Church by centuries,' was John White, a Puritan member of the Long Parliament, who published in 1643 a work entitled The First Century of Scandalous Malignant Priests made and admitted into Benefices by the Prelates. No second part of the work appeared. White died in 1645. He acquired from this work the name of Century White.
1. 667. Pardalis, the Greek and Latin name for a panther, mispelt Pardelis in all the editions from the original one.
11. 690, 691. Here Dryden borrows the language which the young men advised Rehoboam to use in answer to Jeroboam, and to those who asked him to lighten his father's yoke. Thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins. And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.' (1 Kings xii. 1o, 11.)
1.733. Yet David's bench is bare. This is supposed to mean the exclusion of the Roman Catholic peers from the House of Lords, effected by the Test Act of 1678,
1. 749. sterve. Sterve is retained here as printed by Dryden. But starve is more commonly printed in Dryden's original editions, and starve is printed in line 975, where it rhymes with serve. Serve and deserve were, however, pronounced at that time sarve and desarve. The word is printed sterve in one of Dryden's Prologues to the University of Oxford, 1681 (Globe Edition, p. 451):
• How ill soe'er our action may deserve, e
Oxford's a place where wit can never sterve.' 11. 754, 755. Tobias drove away the evil spirit which haunted his bride Raguel by fumigation (Tobit viii. 1-3). “And when they had supped, they brought Tobias in unto her. And as he went, he remembered the words of Raphael, and took the ashes of the perfumes, and put the heart and the liver of the fish thereupon, and made a smoke therewith. The which smell when the evil spirit had smelled, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, and the angel bound him.'
1. 759. A misprint in this line of but for butt was in the original edition, and has been perpetuated by editors, who have one after the other printed it without any attempt to explain or correct it. The but and peace' is perfectly unintelligible. •The butt and peace' is a reference to Dryden's Tempest, where the butt plays a great part in a contention of Trinculo with Stephano and Ventoso. Stephano desires permission to drink from the butt before he returns to deliberate on the terms offered by Trinculo. • That,' says Trinculo, 'I refuse, till acts of hostility be ceased. Then rogues are rather spies than ambassadors. I must take heed of my butt.' Stephano returns with his friends Ventoso and Mustacho, and the following conversation takes place :
• Vent. Duke Trinculo, we have considered.
Trin. Peace or war?
Act iv. Sc. 3.
•Peace and the butt is all our business here.' 1.767. This refers to Aeneas and Latinus in Book vii. of the Aeneid. . 818. O Proteus Conscience, never to be tied ! Compare •Quo teneam vultus mutantem Protea nodo?'
Horace, Epist. i. 1. 90. 11. 823, 824. Immortal powers the term of Conscience know.
But Interest is her name with men below.
“Ον Βριάρεων καλέoυσι θεοί, άνδρες δε τε πάντες
1. 862. reprise, for «reprisal'; so used elsewhere by Dryden. But Dryden also uses reprise as the French reprise : • Disease, despair, and death as three reprises bold.'
Britannia Rediviva, 231. 11. 876–880. These lines refer to James II's open support and aid given to the French Protestant refugees. Bishop Burnet thus speaks of James's decided measures and language about the persecution of the Huguenots by Louis XIV. Though all endeavours were used to lessen the clamour this had raised, yet the King did not stick openly to condemn it as both unchristian and unpolitic. He took pains to clear the Jesuits of it, and laid the blame of it chiefly on the King, on Madame de Maintenon, and the Archbishop of Paris. He spoke often of it with such vehemence, that there seemed to be an affectation in it. He did more. He was very kind to the refugees. He was liberal to many of them. He ordered a brief for a charitable collection over the nation for them all; upon which great sums were sent in. They were deposited in good hands, and well distributed.
The King also ordered them to be denised without paying fees, and gave them great immunities. So that in all there came over, first to last, between forty and fifty thousand of that nation. (Hist. of Own Times, i. 664.)
1. 906. Here begins the fable of the Pigeons and the Buzzard, the second episode of the poem. The Buzzard is Dr. Burnet, afterwards Bishop of Salisbury, whom the pigeons or doves, the clergy of the Church of England, choose for their king. The 'plain good man, whose name is understood,' is James II.
1. 941. the fabric where he prayed is James II's Roman Catholic chapel at Whitehall. 1. 946. A sort of Doves. sort means ' number.'
• As when a sort of wolves infect the night.
Waller's Poems, p. 314, ed. 1705. l. 975. Here starved is printed in the original and early editions, though rhyming with served. See note on line 749, where it is sterved, rhyming with deserved.
1. 991. crops impure. crops, which is the word of the original editions, was changed by Broughton into corps, and this has been copied by succeeding editors, who print corpse, as Scott. Corpse, singular, is clearly inappropriate. Crops is evidently the right word.
1. 995. his poor domestic poultry. James II's Roman Catholic priests.
1. 1006. The bird that warned St. Peter of his fall. The cock,' says Scott, is made an emblem of the regular clergy of Rome, on account of their nocturnal devotions and matins.
1. 1024. And sister Partlett, with her hooded head: this is the nun.
1. 1056. No Holland emblem could that malice mend. The Dutch were famous for emblems and pictures. In Prior and Montague's parody there is a reference to this hit at the Dutch. Mr. Bayes is made to boast of his drawings. Oh Lord I nothing at all. I could design twenty of 'em in an hour, if I had but witty fellows about me to draw 'em. I was proffered a pension to go into Holland and continue these emblems; but hang 'em, they are dull rogues and would spoil my invention.'
l. 1064. The birds of Venus, the Doves; and the phrase was doubtless intended to convey a reflection on the Church of England clergy.
11. 1093, 94. This couplet is a free translation of two Greek lines, a fragment of Euripides preserved by Athenagoras :
"Όταν δε δαίμων ανδρί πορσύνη κακά
Τον νούν έβλαψε πρώτον. Translated into Latin thus,
•Quem Deus vult perdere prius dementat.' 1. 1119. The musquet is the male of the sparrow-hawk; the coystrel (or • kestrel) according to Johnson, is 'a species of degenerate hawk.' 1. 1174, A Greek, and bountiful, forewarns us twice. Compare
• Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Virg. Aen. ii. 49. 11. 1179-82. This denunciation against Burnet is supposed to refer to evidence given by him in 1675, before a committee of the House of Commons, revealing private conversations of the Duke of Lauderdale with himself, to the effect that he wished the Presbyterians in Scotland would rebel, that he might bring over the French papists to cut their throats.
1. 1188. And runs an Indian muck at all he meets. Dryden here takes a great liberty with the phrase “run amuck,' which is of Malay origin, and has no connexion with our word muck. Scott, in his note on this passage, has the following: •To run a-muck is a phrase derived from a practice of the Malays. When one of this nation has lost his whole substance by gaming, or sustained any other great and unsupportable calamity, he intoxicates himself with opium, and having dishevelled his hair, rushes into the streets, crying A mocca or Kill, and stabbing every one whom he meets with his creeze, until he is cut down, or shot like a mad dog.'
1. 1192. Captain of the Test. Burnet was at this time carrying on a controversy with Parker, Bishop of Oxford, who had proposed the abrogation of the Test. This probably is why this name is given to Burnet.
11. 1257, 58. The reference in this couplet is to Genesis xlix. 10: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come.'
l. 1260. Like Dionysius to a private rod. Dionysius, the tyrant of Syracuse, became, after he was depe sed, a schoolmaster at Corinth.
1. 1268. the smiths of their own foolish fate. A translation from the Latin, in a passage quoted from Appius in a piece ascribed to Sallust,
• Epistola ad Caesarum de Republica Ordinanda,' i. 1 : 'Res docuit id verum esse quod in carminibus Appius ait, fabrum esse quemque fortunae suae.'
1. 1283. Bare benting times, times when the pigeons have no food but bent, a coarse grass.
• The pigeon never knoweth woe
Until she doth a benting go.' (Old proverb, quoted in Latham's edition of Johnson's Dictionary.) The word bent is rare. Browning uses it:
• For the rabbit that robs scarce a blade or a bent.'