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P. 181, 1. 30-32. For you there's rosemary, and
rue; these keep Seeming, and savour, all the winter long;
Grace, and remembrance, be to you both, ] Ophelia distributes the same plants, and accompanies them with the same documents. "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. There's rue for you: may call it herb of grace." The qualities of retaining seeming and savour, appear to be the reason why these plants were considered as emblematical of grace and remembrance.
The nosegay distributed by Perdita with the significations annexed to each flower, reminds one of the aenigmatical letter from a Turkish lover, described by lady M. W. Montagu.
HENLEY Rue was called herb of Grace. Rosemary was the emblem of remembrance; I know not why, unless because it was carried at funerals. JOHNSON,
Rosemary was anciently supposed to strengthen the memory ,
and is prescribed for that purpose in the books of ancient physick. STEEVENS. P. 152, 1. 12. 13. There is an art, which, in their
piedness, shares With great creating nature.] That is, as Mr. T. Warton observes, „There is an art which can produce flowers, with as great a variety of colours as nature herself."
This art is pretended to be taught at the ends of some of the old books that treat of cookery, etc. but, being utterly impracticable, is not worth exempli. fication. STEEVENS. P. 152, 1. 25. Then maké your garden rich in gilly
flowers, ] There is some further con eit relative to gillyflowers than has yet been discovered. The old copy, (in both instances where this word occurs,) reads Gilly'vors, a term still used by low people
in Sussex, to denote a harlot. In A Wonder, or a Woman never vex'd, 1632, is the following passage: A lover is behaving with freedom to his mistress as they are going into a garden, and after she has allud. ed to the quality of many herbs, he adds: „You have fair roses, have you not ?" „Yes, Sir, (says she,) but no gillyflowers." Meaning, perhaps, that she would not be treated like a gill.flirt, i. e. wanton, a word ofien met with in the old plays, but written flirt. gill in Romeo and Juliet. I suppose gill-flirt to be derived, or rather corrupted, from gilly flower or carnation, which, though beautiful in its appear. ance, is apt, in the gardener's phrase, to run from its colours, and change as often as a licentions female.
Prior, in his Solomon, has taken notice of, the same variability in this species of flower:
the fond carnation loves to shoot ..Two various colours from one parent root." In Lyte's Herbal, 1578, some sorts of gilliflowers are called small honesties, cuckoo gillofers, etc. And in A W's. Commendation of Gascoigne and his Posies, is the following remark on this species of flower: „Some thinke that gilliflowers do yield a
gelous smell." See Gascoigne's Works, 1587. ST&EVENS. P. 152, l. 28. The dibble is an instrument used by gardeners to make holes in the earth for the reception of young plants. See it in Minsheu, STEEVENS. P. 153, 1. 14. 15.
violets, dim, But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes, ] I suspect that our author mistakes Juno for Pallas, who was the goddess of blue eyes. Sweeter than an eye-lid is odd image: but perhaps he uses swcet in the general sense, for delightful. JOHNSON.
It was formerly the fashion to kiss the eyes, as a mark of extraordinary tenderness. I have somewhere met with an account of the first reception one of our Kings gave to his new Queen, where he is said to have kissed her fayre eyes. So, in an ancient MS. play of Timon of Athens, in the possession of Mr. Strutt the engraver:
,,O Juno, be not angry with thy Jove,
p. 6. b.
The eyes of Juno were as remarkable as those of Pallas.
βούπις πότνια "Ηρη. Ηomer. But (as Mr. M. Mason observes) ..we are not tolà that Palias was the goddess of blue eye-lids; besides, as Shakspeare joins in the comparison, the breath of Cytherea with the eye-lids of Juno, it is evident that he does not allude to the colour, but to the fragrance of violets." STREVENS. P. 153, l. 16–18.
pale primroses, That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus in his strength, ) So, in Milton's Lycidas:
the rathe primrose that forsaken dies." Mr. Warton, in a note on this quotation, asks this, „But why does the Primrose die unmarried? Not because it blooms and decays before the appear. ance of other flowers; as in a state of solitude, and without society. - Shakspeare's reason, why it dies unmarried, is unintelligible, or rather is such as I do not wish to understand. The true reason is, be. cause it grows in the shade, uncherished or unseen by the sun, who was supposed to be in love with some sorts of flowers." STEEVENS.
P. 153, 1. 19. – bold oxlips,] Gold is the reading of Sir T. Hanmer; the former editions have bold.
JOHNSON The old reading is certainly the true one. The oxlip has not a weak flexible stalk like the cowslip, but erects itself boldly in the face of the sun. Wal. lis, in his Hist. of Northumberland, says, that the great oxlip grows a foot and a half high. It should be confessed, however, that the colour of the oxlip is taken notice of by other writers.
STEEVEN. P. 154, 1.4-6. Each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
deeds,) That is, your manner in ea h act crowns the act. JOHNSON, P. 154, 1. 14. 15. I think, you have
As little skill to fear, as etc.] To have skill to do a thing was a phrase then in use equivalent to our to have a reason to do a thing. The Oxford editor, ignorant of this, alters it to:
As little skill in fear. which has no kind of sense in this place.
WARBURTON I cannot approve of Warburton's explanation of this passage, or believe that to have a skill to do a thing, ever meant, to have reason to do it; of which, when he asserted it, he ought to have pro duced one example at least.
The fears of women, on such occasions, are generally owing to their experience. They fear, as they blush, because they understand. It is to this that Florizel alludes, when he says, that Perdita had little skill to fear. M. Mason. P. 154, 1. 19. 20. l'er. I'll swear for 'em.
Pol. This is the prettiest low-born lass, )
fancy this half line is placed to a wrong person.
This is the prettiest, etc. JOHNSON.
I'll swear for one. i. e. I will answer or engage for myself. Some alteration is absolutely necessary. This seems the easiest, and the reply will then be perfectly becoming her character. RITSON. P. 151, 1. 24. 25. He tells her something,
That makes her blood look out:] The meaning must be this. The Prince tells her something that calls the blood up into her cheeks, arid ma. ke; her blush, THEOBALD.
P. 154, 1. 31. we stand upon our manners. - :) That is, we are now on our behaviour. JOHNSON.
P. 155, l. 5. To have a worthy feeding :) I con. ceive feeding to be a pasture, and a worthy feed. ing to be a tract of pasturage not inconsiderable, not linworthy of my daughter's fortune. JOHNSON
P. 155, 7. Sooth is truth. Obsolete. STEEVENS.
P. 155, 1. 12. Who loves another best. ] Surely we should read Who loves the other best.
M. MASON. P. 153, 1. 30. - no milliner can so fit his customers with gloves ;) In the time of our author, and long afterwards, the trade of a milliner was carried on by men. MALONE.
P. 155, 1. 33. with such delicate burdens of dildo's ) ..With a hie dildo dill" is the burthen of the Bache. lors Feast, an ancient ballad, and is likewise call. ed the Tune of it. STEEVENS.
P. 155, l. 33. and fadings:] An Irish dance of this name is mentioned by Ben Jonson, in The Irish Masque at Court. TYRWHITT.