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Were but my trials of thy love, and thou
Fer. I do believe it,
Pro. Then, as my gift, and thine own acquisition Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter: But If thou dost break her virgin knot before All sanctimonious ceremonies' ma With full and holy rite be minister'd, No sweet aspersion" shall the heavens let fall To make this contract grow: but barren hate, Sour-ey'd disdain, and discord, shall bestrew The union of your bed with weeds so loathly, That you shall hate it both : therefore, take heed, As Hymen's lamps shall light you.
Fer. - As I hope For quiet days, fair issue, and long life, With such love as 'tis now; the murkiest den, The most oppértune place, the strong'st suggestion. Our worser Genius can, shall never melt Mine honour into lust; 'to take away The edge of that day's celebration, When I shall think, or Phoebus' steeds are founder'd, Or night kept chain'd below.
strangely stood the test: I so is used by way of commendation, merveilleusement, to a wonder.
* If thou dost break her virgin knot before All sanctimonious ceremonies, &c.] This is a manifest allusion to the zones of the ancients which were worn as guardians of chastity by marriageable young women. HENLEY.
* No sweet aspersion —j Aspersion is here used in its primitive sense of sprinkling. At present it is expressive only of calumny and detraction. STEEvens.
Pro. Fairly spoke:7 Sit then, and talk with her, she is thine own.— What, Ariel; my industrious servant Ariel!
Ari. What would my potent master? here I am.
Pro. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last service Did worthily perform; and I must use you In such another trick: go, bring the rabble,” O'er whom I give thee power, here, to this place: Incite them to quick motion; for I must Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple Some vanity of mine art;" it is my promise, And they expect it from me.
Pro. Aye, with a twink.
Ari. Before you can say, Come, and go,
Pro. Dearly, my delicate Ariel: Do not approach, Till thou dost hear me call.
Ari. 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.
7 Fairly spoke sj Fairly is here used as a trisyllable.
Now come, my Ariel: bring a corollary,'
A Masque. Enter IRIs.
Iris. Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and pease; Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep, And flat meads thatch'd with stover,’ them to keep; Thy banks with peonied and lilied brims,” Which spongy April at thy hest betrims, To make cold nymphs chaste crowns; and thy broom
"—bring a corollary, i.e. bring more than are sufficient, rather than fail for want of numbers. Corollary means surplus.
* 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.
*— 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.
* Thy banks with peonied and lilied brims, J. The old edition reads pioned and twilled brims, which gave rise to Mr. Holt's conjecture, 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. Mr. Henley would read pioned and twilled; but Mr. Steevens adheres to the reading in the text, and adds, That 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.
5 and thy broom groves, J. 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 it is cultivated, still higher.
Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves,
Cer. Hail many-colour'd messenger, that ne'er
Iris. A contract of true love to celebrate;
Cer. Tell me, heavenly bow,
Iris. Of her society
* Being lass-lorn ;J Lass-lorn is forsaken of his mistress.
7 thy pole-clipt vineyard:] To clip is to twine round or embrace. The poles are clipped or embraced by the vines.
8 o bosky acres, &c.] Bosky is woody. Bosky acres are fields divided from each other by hedge-rows. Boscus is middle Latin for wood.
9 to this short-grass'd green I The old copy reads shortgrass'd green. Short graz'd green means grazed so as to be short.
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos; and her son
Jun. How does my bounteous sister : Go with me, To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be, And honour'd in their issue.
Jun. Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,
Cer. Earth's increase, and foison plenty,'
Earth's increase, and foison plenty, &c.] Earth's increase, is the produce of the earth. foison plenty, i.e. plenty to the utmost abundance ; foison signifying plenty.