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Much Ado about Nothing, ii. 1. Cp. parallel passage (Romeo and Juliet, v. 3),
• Unsubstantial death is amorous,' &c. 1. 6. In Shakespeare's poem, Venus says of the boar that killed Adonis, 'He thought to kiss him.'
envermeil, tinge with vermilion. 1. 8. Aquilo (whose Greek name was Boreas), the north-wind, carried off to Thrace Orithyia, daughter of Erechtheus, king of Athens. The story is told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, vi. 677, &c.
1. 12. Spenser also accentuates infámous" (Faery Queene, iii. 6. 13), agreeably to the classical quantity of the second syllable. Cp. Comus 424.
1. 14. 'Pluto is said by Claudian to have carried off Proserpine from the same motive.
1. 16. Cp. Paradise Lost, i. 516.
1. 18. quest, search (from Lat. quaerere). The word is specially applied to the mission of a knight in romance (Faery Queene, iii. 7. 53).
1. 23. unweeting, unwitting; from witan, to know. Cp. Samson Agonistes 1684.
1. 25. Eurotas, a river in Laconia. Hyacinth was the son of a king of Sparta. He was accidentally slain by Apollo with a quoit. The 'purple flower inscribed with woe' (Lycidas 106), is that which bears his name. On its leaves are certain marks, said to be AI, AI, (alas !) or T the Greek initial of Hyacinth.
1. 31. wormy bed occurs in Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2; Puck's speech.
1. 39. Cp. Paradise Lost, iii. 482 ; and see note on Arcades 69.
1. 41. say, for ‘tell.' Spenser (Faery Queene, vi. 7. 50) defers an intended narrative
• Till Mirabella's fortunes I do further say.' 1. 44. shak't, used before and in Milton's time. It is found in Shakespeare (Troilus and Cressida, 1. 3), and “unshak’d' in Cymbeline,
• Shaked' is found in Spectator No. 4, quoted in Earle's Philology, P. 255.
1. 45. true beboof. To behove is to be expedient, to be required for the accomplishment of any special purpose; behoof is what is so required, hence advantage, furtherance, use. A. S. bebofian, to be right, fit, stand in need of; bebefe, advantage, beboof. (Wedgwood.) It is thus used in 2 Henry VI, iv. 7, Lord Say's speech.
1. 47. The Titans were • Earth's sons.' Their contest with Zeus was often confounded (as here) with the attack of the giants on Olympus.
1. 48. sheeny, bright. Spenser uses sheen also as an adjective, but Shakespeare only as a substantive, spangled starlight sheen' (Mid
summer Night's Dream, ii. 1); and Milton observes the same use (Epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester, 1. 73).
1. 49. Cp. Lycidas 175. 1. 50. Astræa, who quitted the earth when the golden age was ended,
the righteous maid That for disdain of sinful world's upbraid Fled back to Heaven.'
(Spenser, Mother Hubberd's Tale.) 1. 53. The line being defective, “Mercy' has been conjecturally supplied in most editions. Truth, Justice, and Mercy are associated in the fifteenth stanza of the Nativity Hymn.
1. 57. Cp. Il Penseroso 52, Conius 214.
1. 68. The plague was then raging in London. There died 5000 a week. (Evelyn) • While we are now speaking,' said a Member of Parliament, “the bell is tolling every minute.'
The Houses were adjourned to Oxford in consequence.
1. 75. render is here used in its primary sense of giving back.' Ben Jonson tells the parents of the Marchioness of Winchester that they
• Have paid again a blessing was but lent.' The stanzas of this ode are not of nine lines, as in Spenser, but of seven, as in Sackville's Mirror for Magistrates. They differ from the stanzas of that poem by ending with an Alexandrine.
Vacation Exercise. First printed in ed. 1673.
1. 14. daintest ; from daint or dainty, a word used by Chaucer (Prologue 168), and Spenser (Faery Queene, ii. 12. 42). It is derived by Wedgwood from Welsh daint, tooth, (Lat. dens). Cp. English toothsome.
1. 19. new-fangl’d; properly new-fangol (as A. S. ficol, fickle). It is used by Chaucer (Manciple's Tale) in the sense of inconstant. (Wedgwood.) Shakespeare has it in Sonnet xci. ; As You Like It, iv. 1.
toy; an ellipse for play-toy, instruments of play, as Germ. spielzeug ; zeug being equivalent to material, stuff, implements. (Wedgwood.) It is defined (1 Henry VI, iv. 1)'a thing of no regard.'
1. 20. take is used for charm,'• captivate,' in Tempest, v. 1 (“That must take the ear strangely'); in Ben Jonson's Epitaph on Shakespeare (“That did so take Eliza and our James'); and the hoot of Tennyson's Owl that 'took Echo with delight.' 'Lisping affected fantasticoes' are denounced by Mercutio (Romeo and Juliet, ii. 4). Todd thinks the fantastics meant are Lyly (author of Euphues), Gabriel Harvey (friend of Spenser), and their followers. But it is more probable that Milton here glanced at his own college acquaintance, of whom he had already spoken (in College Exercise i. Masson's translation), as ‘priding themselves on a certain overboiling, and truly laughable foam of words; from whom if you strip the rags that they have borrowed from new-fangled authors, how much barer than my nail would you behold them!' Cp. Nativity Ode 98, Comus 256, 558.
1. 21. attire, here=head-dress (Keightley). But tire seems to have been used in that sense, and attire for the rest of the costume. Attired in a robe of white' (Merry Wives of Windsor, iv. 4).
1. 22. spirit is continually used as a monosyllable by Milton. Spenser has spright as the shortened form.
1. 29. The earliest indication we possess of Milton's deliberation in the selection of a subject.
1. 31. coffers; here used for the chests in which apparel was kept.
1. 33. deep, for 'high'-as Latin altus has both meanings. Cp. the lines in Milton's Spring Elegy (Cowper's translation) :
'I mount, and undepressed by cumbrous clay
And no Tartarean depths elude my sight.' 1. 36. thunderous is used by Milton (Paradise Lost, x. 702); but • Thunderer's throne' has been proposed.
1. 37. unshorn is the classic epithet of Apollo in Horace (Odes, i. 21. 2), and Pindar (Pyth. Od. iii. 26).
1. 38. Cf. Solemn Music 18.
1. 40. Cf. Ode on the Nativity 21. This passage resembles that in a Du Bartas, in which the soul is represented as soaring into the airy regions where she
learns to know
Of rain and ice, and strange exhaled forms.' 1. 41. piled thunder ; referring to the thunderbolts. Cp. Othello's speech (v. 2), “ Are there no stones in heaven, but what serve for the thunder?'
1. 43. green-ey'd. This is a translation of the adjective graviós (glaucus), used in Homer of the eyes of Athena, and in Virgil (Georg. iv. 451) of those of Proteus. From its application to the sea, its primary meaning of glistening, gleaming, seems to have been subordinated in Milton's mind to the conventional colour of the sea, green. But it is employed in classical writers to express light gray or blue. (Vide Liddell and Scott, Lexicon.)
1. 46. beldam. Nares says that this word is used in Spenser in the sense of belle dame,' but gives no reference. Todd remarks that it here implies great age, being used by old writers for “grandmother.' * Probably because a respectful form of address would be more frequent towards an elderly than a young person, beldam became appropriated to an old woman, and finally to an ugly and decrepit old woman.' (Wedgwood.)
1. 48. Demodocus, bard of Alcinous, king of the Phæacians, at whose song Ulysses wept (Odyssey, viii. 522).
1. 58. In the Aristotelian logic, Ens or Being is regarded as containing everything that is, while of everything one or more of the socalled predicaments might be asserted, and nothing else. They are ten in number ; Substance, Quantity, Quality, Relation, Time, Place, Position, Possession, Action, Passion. They were all represented in various forms and habits on the occasion for which Milton wrote these versesi The following address of Ens is, as Warton says, a very ingenious enigma on substance.' (Keightley.)
1. 66. The substance, being a mere abstraction, is of course invisible.
1. 69. Sibyl, a prophetess. According to the old derivation, from Διός βουλή, Doric Σιδς βόλλα, she that tells the will of Zeus.
1. 71. This was the property of the virtuous glass (Il Penseroso 113) in the Squire's Tale of Chaucer.
1. 74. “The substance stands under, underlies the accidents. It is the invisible ground of the visible phenomena. No dispute can touch it; all disputes must be about them.' Yet one of the greatest disputes the world had seen was whether or not the invisible and imperceptible substance underlying bread and wine could be exchanged for another substance (also invisible and imperceptible) by the formula of consecration, the accidents, the visible phenomena, remaining unaltered.
1. 88. those that are at enmity, the inconsistent accidents.
1. 90. The assembled Phrygians were told by an oracle that a waggon should bring them a king. Immediately after, the peasant Gordius appeared, riding in his waggon. Having being chosen king, Gordius dedicated his wain to Zeus, and foretold that whoever could unloose the knot by which the pole was fastened to the yoke, should be ruler of Asia. Alexander, on his march against Darius, came to Gordium, and cut the knot to fulfil the prophecy.
1. 91. This enumeration of the rivers is based on Spenser's Faery Queene, iv. II, and Drayton's Polyolbion. A writer in the Saturday Review (vol. vii. p. 130) suggests that the part of Relation was performed by a youth named Rivers, thus accounting for the singular invocation whether thou be.'
1. 94. The thirty floods of name' are mentioned by Drayton, Polyolbion, 28. 1. 95. At Mickleham, Surrey, this river
* Like a nousling mole doth make His way still underground till Thames he overtake.' (Spenser.) 1. 96. maiden's death, Sabrina's. Cp. Comus 824 et seqq. 1. 98. Cp. Lycidas 55.
• Dee that long agone, Did Britons call divine.' (Faery Queene, iv. II. 39.) * Hallowed Dee' is Drayton's epithet.
1. 99. Humber, in Polyolbion, asserts that his name was derived from that eastern king, Humber, King of Huns, once drowned in him. Spenser mentions six knights, six Yorkshire rivers.
* All whom a Scythian king that Humber hight
(Faery Queene, iv. 11. 37.) Milton, in his History of England, relates that Humber having invaded the territory of Locrine, King of Logria (the middle part of Britain), was by him defeated, and was ' in a river drowned, which to this day bears his name.'
1. 100. See note on Arcades 21, quotation by Spenser.
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity.
1. 6. forfeit, from foris facere=extraneum facere, to misdo. (Fr. forfait.) * All this suffered our Lord Jesus Christ that never forfeited,' i.e. did amiss. (Persones Tale.) In Lord Berners' translation of Froissart, forfeit is used for barm, “a country that never did us forfeit.' It here signifies the penalty of misduing, as when the Duke (Measure for Measure, v. I) says to Lucio,
• Thy slanders I forgive, and therewithal
Remit thy other forfeits.' 1. 10. wont (from A. S. wunian, to dwell, thence to do habitually) here='used, was wont.' Spenser has his strange weapon, never wont in war,' i.e. used. (Faery Queene, v. 4. 44.)
1. 17. strain, from Fr. estreindre, and that from Lat. stringere, to squeeze, wring, strain (Wedgwood). In ed. 1645, the spelling is strein. Cp. tone from tóvos, tension. 1. 23. Spenser calls wise men wisards, Faery Queene, i. 4. 12, and iv.
The termination -rd carries with it usually the idea of depreciation, as drunkard. In wizard, from witch, it has the power of a masculine form. (Latham.) See also Glossary to Faery Queene, Bk. ii.
I 2. 2.