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the passion of the soul says, they are One. And here, let it be remembered, that, upon this topic generally, unity is vitality : do away this, and either it is gone, or it assumes a very difter. ent denomination.
Dr. Johnson may perhaps say, without affectation, that these lines are obscure and affected. They are, in our conception, of a very different character : and so far from being such, and fit, as he says, to be expunged, we think, that these abstractions and this high mood, beyond their intrinsic value, teach us, that what Milton derived from Plato and the Greek philosophy, our author could draw from nature and his own resources alone.
The general idea or maxim inculcated in the first part of this sentence, and afterwards so beautifully and philosophically amplified, we find insisted upon in Othello." They say, base men, being in love, have then a Nobility in their natures, more than is native to them.” II. 1. Iago.
And the term itself is also employed by our author, when speaking of the highest and most exquisite qualities and properties of our nature.
" Spirits are not finely touched,
“ But to fine issues. M. for M. I. 1. Duke. And,
“ Those that with the fineness of their souls
Tr. and Cr. I. 3. Ulyss, And
“ Love-or some joy too fine,
Ib. III. 2. Troil. And, in the following Sonnet, does he not advance and illustrate his own more particular and philosophical doctrine, contained in the second part of the above sentence?
“ Is it thy wil, thy Image should keepe open
LXI. 4to. 1609.
(40) Hey non nonny] This was the burden of an old song. To nonny, Mr. Steevens tells us, signifies, among the common people of Norfolk, to “ trifle, or play with ;” and he instances the term in Heywood's Wether :
“ Gyve boys wether, quoth a nonny nonny."
This, too, is the language of Edgar, when acting the_madman, Lear, III. 3. It occurs too in As you, &c. V. 3. Page's song.
(41) Sing, Down-a-down] This, also, is the burthen of an
“ Trowle the bowle, the jolly nut-browne bowle,
“ And heere kind mate to thee !
Downe a-downe, hey downe a-downe,
Hey dery, dery, downe a-downe.
Mr. Steevens cites a Sonnet of Lodge's, in England's Helicon, 1600 :
" Downe a-downe,
“ By fancie once distress'd:
And as such it is used by Mrs. Quickly in M. W. of W. I. 4.
(42) O, how the wheel becomes it] • How well is this ditty adapted to the wheel :" 'tis a song, as Mr. Malone instances, which
“ The spinsters, and the knitters in the sun
« Fleshed to the presse
Hall's Virgidem. 1597. Mr. Steevens says, the wheel may mean no more than the burthen of the song, which she had just repeated, and as such was formerly used: and cites from memory a quarto M.S. before Shakespeare's time.
“ The song was accounted a good one, though it was not moche graced by the wheele, which in no wise accorded with the subject
(43) Rosemary, that's for remembrance) Rosemary, conceived to have the power of strengthening the memory, and prescribed in old medical books for that purpose, was an emblem of remembrance, and of the affection of lovers; and thence, probably, was worn at weddings, as it also was at funerals.
- There's rosemarie ; the Arabians justifie
“ Betweene us daie and night ;
“ You present in my sight."
“ Shee hath given thee a nosegay of flowers, wherein, as a top-gallant for all the rest, is set in rosemary for remembrance." Greene's Never too late, 1616.
« Will I be wed this morning,
“ A piece of rosemary" Ram Alley, 1611.
6 What is here to do? wine and cakes, and rosemary and nosegaies? what, a wedding D" The Wit of a Woman, 1504.
Steevens and MALONE. We shall add, “ My mother hath stolne a whole pecke of flower for a bride cake, and our man hath sworne he will steale a brave Rosemary Bush, and I have spoken for ale that will make a cat speake.” Nich. Breton's Poste, &c. 4to. 1637.
“The bride-laces, that I give at my wedding, will serve to tye rosemary to.” The Honest Whore, signat. K 3, b. and see I H. IV. Lady Percy, II. 3.
(44) pansies, that's for thoughts] “ Since I have lincked myselle in mariage, I have never bin without pensees nor soucy."
The marginal note says, “ Penseez is a little flower, called in
“ What Aowers are these ?
“ O, that's for lovers' thoughts !!!
“ Your fenell did declare
“ (As simple men can showe)
“ Where friendship ought to grow."
Mr. Malone, Florio's Ital. Dict. 1.598. “ Dare finocchio, to give fennel,--to flatter, to dissemble.”
And Mr. Holt White, Browne's Britannia's Pastorals, B. I. Song ii. 1613 :
«« The columbine in tawny often taken,
(46) -there's rue for you; and here's some for me :-we may call it herb of grace o'Sundays] Mr. Malone tells us, that under the word ruta, in Florio's Ital., and Rue, in Cotgrave's Fr. Dict., it is interpreted herb of grace. When Ophelia, presenting it to the queen, reserves some for herself, she certainly means to infer, that they were both visited by Ruth, or Sorrow; as the words are in terms associated in Rich. II.: and as contrition or sorrow is a sign of grace, it may thence have been called herb of grace, and in the passage referred to, it is called sour herb of grace.
“ Rue, sour herb of grace, “ Rue, ev'n for ruth.” III.4. Gardener. She adds, " we may call it herb of grace o'Sundays;" i. e. as is conceived on festivals, as being a holyday or softer name.
Mr. Steevens also says, "herb of grace is one of the titles which Tucca gives to William Rufus, in Decker's Satiromastix. I suppose the first syllable of the surname Rufus introduced the quibble."
In Doctor Do-good's Directions, an ancient ballad, is the same allusion :
“ If a man have light fingers that he cannot charme,
“ And drink the herb grace in a posset luke-warme.” Mr. Todd cites Jer. Taylor's Diss. from Popery, c. II. s. 10. • They (the Romish exorcists) are to try the devil by holy water, incense, sulphur, rue ; which from thence, as we suppose, came to be called herb of grace."
(47) you may wear your rue with a difference] The slightest variation in the bearings, their position or colour, constituted a different coat in heraldry; and between the ruth and wretchedness of guilt, and the ruth and sorrows of misfortune, it would be no difficult matter to distinguish.
“ If he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse,” M. ado, &c. 1. 1. Beatr.
(48) There's a daisy] Greene, in his Quip for an Upstart Courtier, has explained the significance of this flower: “- Next them
grew the DISSEMBLING DAISIE, to warne such light-of
love wenches not to trust every faire promise that such amorous bachelors make them."
(49) For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy] This is part of an
I can sing the broom “ And Bonny Robin.” Two Noble Kinsmen, IV. 1. In the books of the Stationers' Company, 26 April, 1594, is entered, “ A ballad, intituled, A doleful adewe to the last Erle of Darbie, to the tune of Bonny sweet Robin."
STE EVENS. The “ Courtly new ballad of the princely wooing of the faire maid of London, by King Edward,” is also “ to the tune of Bonny sweet Robin." Ritson.
(50) His beard was as white as snob, &c.] This, and several circumstances in the character of Ophelia, seem to have been ridiculed in Eastward Hoe, a comedy, written by Ben Jonson, -Chapman, and Marston, printed in 1605, Act III :
“ His head as white as milk,
“ All flaxen was his hair ;
“ And never will come again,
(51) I must common with your grief ] Confer, have some discussion or argument with. Commune is the reading of the quartos and the folio of 1632 : but, as Mr. Steevens observes, this word, pronounced as anciently spelt, is still in frequent provincial use. So, in The Last Voyage of Captaine Frobisher, by Dionyse Settle, 12mo. bl. 1. 1577 : “ Our Generall repayred with the ship boat to common or sign with them.”. Again, in Hollinshed's account of Jack Cade's insurrection : “-to whome were sent from the king the archbishop &c. to common with him of his griefs and requests."
(52) No trophy, sword, nor hatchment, o'er his bones) Not only the sword, but the helmet, gauntlet, spurs, and tabard (i.e. a coat whereon the armorial ensigns were anciently depicted, from whence the term coat of armour,) are hung over the grave of every knight.
SIR J. HAWKINS. (53) No'noble rite, nor formal ostentation,
Cry to be heard] All these multiplied incitements are things which cry, &c. We have in M. ado, &c. :
“ Maintain a mourning ostentation." IV. 1. Friar.
(54) let the great are fall? i. e. the axe « that is to be laid to the root.”