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Were but my trials of thy love, and thou
Hast strangely stood the test;" here, afore Heaven,
I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand,
Do not smile at me, that I boast her off,
For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,
And make it halt behind her.

Fer. I do believe it,
Against an oracle.

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!

Enter 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.

Ari. Presently

Pro. Aye, with a twink.

Ari. Before you can say, Come, and go,
And breathe twice; and cry so, so ;
Each one, tripping on his toe,
Will be here with mop and mowe:
Do you love me, master? no.

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.

Pro. Well.—

7 Fairly spoke sj Fairly is here used as a trisyllable.
8 the rabble,l. The crew of meaner spirits.
* Some vanity of mine art ;] i. e. illusion of mine art.

Now come, my Ariel: bring a corollary,'
Rather than want a spirit: appear, and pertly.—
No tongue;’ all eyes; be silent. § musick.

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,
Being lass-lorn ;" thy pole-clipt vineyard;’
And thy sea-marge, steril, and rocky-hard,
Where thou thyself dost air: The queen o' the sky,
Whose watery arch, and messenger, am I,
Bids thee leave these ; and with her sovereign grace,
Here on this grass-plot, in this very place,
To come and sport: her peacocks fly amain;
Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain.

Enter CEREs.

Cer. Hail many-colour'd messenger, that ne'er
Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter;
Who, with thy saffron wings, upon my flowers
Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers;
And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown
My bosky acres,” and my unshrubb'd down,
Rich scarf to my proud earth; Why hath thy queen
Summon'd me hither, to this short-grass'd-green;"

Iris. A contract of true love to celebrate;
And some donation freely to estate
On the bless'd lovers.

Cer. Tell me, heavenly bow,
If Venus, or her son, as thou dost know,
Do now attend the queen since they did plot
The means, that dusky Dis my daughter got,
Her and her blind boy's scandal'd company
I have forsworn.

Iris. Of her society
Be not afraid; I met her deity

* 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
Dove any with her: here thought they to have
Some wanton charm upon this man and maid,
Whose vows are, that no bed-rite shall be paid
Till Hymen's torch be lighted: but in vain;
Mars's hot minion is return’d again;
Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows,
Swears he will shoot no more, but play with spar-
And be a boy right out.
Cer. Highest queen of state,
Great Juno comes: I know her by her gait.

Enter JUNo.

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,
Long continuance, and increasing,
Hourly joys be still upon you !
Juno sings her blessings on you.

Cer. Earth's increase, and foison plenty,'
Barns, and garmers never empty;
Vines, with clust'ring bunches growing ;
Plants, with goodly burden bowing ;
Spring come to you, at the farthest,
In the very end of harvest /
Scarcity, and want, shall shun you ;
Ceres' blessing so is on you.

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.

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