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Uncouple here, and let us make a bay,
Horns wind a Peal. Enter SATURNINUS, TAMO-
TIT. Many good morrows to your majefty;
SAT. And you have rung it luftily, my lords,
I fay, no;
I have been broad awake two hours and more.
SAT. Come on then, horfe and chariots let us have, And to our sport :-Madam, now shall ye fee Our Roman hunting.
I have dogs, my lord,
Will roufe the proudest panther in the chase,
Again, more appofitely, in Venus and Adonis, which decifively fupports the reading of the old copy:
"Mine eyes are grey and bright, and quick in turning." MALONE.
A lady's eye of any colour may be bright; but ftill grey cannot mean aerial blue, nor a grey morning a bright one. Malone fays grey is blue. Is a grey coat then a blue one?
TIT. And I have horfe will follow where the
Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain.
DEM. Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horfe nor
But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.
A defert Part of the Foreft.
Enter AARON, with a Bag of Gold.
AAR. He, that had wit, would think that I had none,
To bury fo much gold under a tree,
And never after to inherit it."
Let him, that thinks of me fo abjectly,
Know, that this gold muft coin a stratagem;
very excellent piece of villainy :
And fo repose, sweet gold, for their unreft,"
[Hides the Gold.
6 -to inherit it.] To inherit formerly fignified to poffefs. See Vol. IV. p. 136, n. 7; and Vol. X. p. 194, n. 5.
7 - for their unreft,] Unreft, for difquiet, is a word frequently used by the old writers. So, in The Spanish Tragedy,
"Thus therefore will I reft me in unrest."
Again, in Eliofto Libidinofo, an ancient novel, by John Hinde, 1606:
"For the ease of whofe unreft,
"Thus his furie was expreft.'
Again, in Chapman's tranflation of the ninth Iliad:
That have their alms out of the emprefs' cheft.
TAM. My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'ft thou fad,9
"Both goddeffes let fall their chins upon their ivorie breasts,
"Sat next to Jove, contriving ftill afflicted Troy's unrefts."
Again, in An excellent paftorall Dittie, by Shep. Tonie; publifhed in England's Helicon, 1600 :
"With lute in hand did paint out her unreft."
That have their alms &c.] This is obfcure. It seems to mean only, that they who are to come at this gold of the empress are to fuffer by it. JOHNSON.
9 My lovely Aaron, wherefore look ft thou fad,] In the courfe of the following notes feveral examples of the favage genius of Ravenscroft, who altered this play in the reign of King James II. are fet down for the entertainment of the reader. The following is a specimen of his defcriptive talents. Inftead of this line with which this speech of Tamora begins, fhe is made to say:
"The emperor, with wine and luxury o'ercome,
"And troops of flaves ftand round with fans perfum'd,
"And cool him into golden flumbers:
"This time I chofe to come to thee, my Moot.
"My lovely Aaron, wherefore," &c.
An emperor who has had too large a dofe of love and wine, and in confequence of fatiety in both, falls afleep on a bed which partakes of the nature of a failor's hammock, and a child's cradle, is a curiofity which only Ravenscroft could have ventured to defcribe on the stage. I hope I may be excused for transplanting a few of his flowers into the barren defart of our comments on this tragedy. STEEVENS.
My lovely Aaron, &c.] There is much poetical beauty in this
When every thing doth make a gleeful boaft?
As if a double hunt were heard at once,——
Be unto us, as is a nurfe's fong
Of lullaby, to bring her babe afleep.3
fpeech of Tamora. It appears to me to be the only one in the play that is in the ftyle of Shakspeare. M. MASON.
1 a checquer'd fhadow-] Milton has the fame expreffion :
many a maid
Dancing in the checquer'd fhade."
The fame epithet occurs again in Locrine. STEEVENS.
2 As if a double hunt were heard at once,] Hence, perhaps, a line in a well known fong by Dryden :
"And echo turns hunter, and doubles the cry."
as is a nurse's fong
Of lullaby, to bring her bale afleep.] Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, fays, "it is obfervable that the nurfes call fleep by, by; lullaby is therefore lull to fleep." But to lull originally fignified to fleep. To compofe to fleep by a pleafing found is a fecondary sense retained after its primitive import became obfolete. The verbs to toll and lollop evidently fpring from the fame root.
AAR. Madam, though Venus govern your defires,
No, madam, these are no venereal figns;
And by meant houfe; go to by is go to houfe or cradle. The common compliment at parting, good by is good house, may your houfe profper; and Selby, the Archbishop of York's palace, is great houfe. So that lullaby implies literally fleep in houfe, i. e. the cradle. HOLT WHITE.
though Venus govern your defires,
Saturn is dominator over mine:] The meaning of this paffage may be illuftrated by the aftronomical description of Saturn, which Venus gives in Greene's Planetomachia, 1585: "The ftar of Saturn is especially cooling, and fomewhat drie," &c. Again, in The Sea Voyage, by Beaumont and Fletcher:
for your afpect
"You're much inclin'd to melancholy, and that
Thus alfo, Propertius, L. IV. i. 84:
"Et grave Saturni fydus in omne caput." STLEVENS.
s His Philomel &c.] See Vol. XVIII. p. 471, n. 9.