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Her and her blind boy's scandal'd company
I have forsworn.
Iris.

Of her society
Be not afraid; I met her deity,
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos; and her son
Dove-drawn with her: here thought they to have done
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 sparrows,
And be a boy right out.
Cer.

Highest queen of state, 6
Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait.

Enter Juno. I descends slowly 1
Jun. How does my bounteous sister? Go with me,
To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be,
And honour'd in their issue.

SONG. iníawded mi theels.c41632, Juno. Honour, riches, marriage-blessing',

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

6 Highest queen of state,

Great Funo comes; I know her by her gait.) Mr. Whalley thinks this passage a remarkable instance of Shakspeare's knowledge of ancient poetic story; and that the hint was furnished, by the Divum incedo Regina of Virgil.

John Taylor, the water-poet, declares, that he never learned his Accidence, and that Latin and French were to him Heathen Greek; yet, by the help of Mr. Whalley's argument, I will prove him a learned man, in spite of every thing he may say to the contrary: for thus he makes a gallant address his lady; “ Most ina estimable magazine of beauty? in whom the port and majesty of Juno, the wisdom of Jove's brain-bred girle, and the feature of Cytherea, have their domestical habitation.” Farmer. So, in The Arraignement of Paris, 1584:

“ First statelie Funo, with her porte and grace.” Chapman also, in his version of the second Iliad, speaking of Juno, calls her the goddesse of estate." Steedens.

Cer. Earth's increase, and foison plenty,

Barns, and garners never empty;
Vines, with clust'ring bunches growing ;

Plants, with goodly burden bowing ;
Rain ms.1632. 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.
Fer. This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmonious charmingly:9 May I be bold
To think these spirits?
Pro.

Spirits, which by mine art

8

7 Earth's increase, and foison plenty, &c.] All the editions, that I have ever seen, concur in placing this whole sonnet to Juno ; but very absurdly, in my opinion. I believe every accurate read. er, who is acquainted with poetical history, and the distinct of fices of these two goddesses, and who then seriously reads over our author's lines, will agree with me, that Ceres's name ought to have been placed, where I have now prefixed it. Theobald.

And is not in the old copy. It was added by the editor of the second folio. Earth's increase, is the produce of the earth. The expression is scriptural: “ Then shall the earth bring forth her increase, and God, even our God, shall give us his blessing." Psalm lxvii. Malone.

This is one among a multitude of emendations which Mr. Malone acknowledges to have been introduced by the editor of the second folio; and yet, in contradiction to himself, in his Prolegomena, he depreciates the second edition, as of no importance or value. Fenton.

foison plenty;] i. e. plenty to the utmost abundance ; foison signifying plenty. See p. 54. Steevens. 9 Harmonious charmingly:] Mr. Edwards would read:

Harmonious charming lay" For though (says he) the benediction is sung by two goddesses, it is yet but one lay or hymn. I believe, however, this passage appears, as it was written by the poet, who, for the sake of the verse, made the words change places.

We might read (transferring the last syllable of the second word to the end of the first) “ Harmoniously charming."

Ferdinand has already praised this aerial Masque, as an object of sight; and may not improperly or inelegantly subjoin, that the charm of sound was added to that of visible grandeur. Both Juno and Ceres are supposed to sing their parts. Steevens. A similar inversion occurs in A Midsummer Night's Dream:

“But miserable most to live unlov’d,” Malone. Why acthur Juno on Ceres should wish Spring to be do ling deferred is untelligita. May rain" kell after hawest is to deprecated, every agncultmist knews.

1.

i

I have from their confines call'd, to enact
My present fancies.
Fer.

Let me live here ever;
So rare a wonder'd father, and a wife,
Make this place Paradise.

[Juno and CEREs whisper, and send Iris on employment.
Pro.

Sweet now, silence;
Juno and Ceres whisper seriously;
There's something else to do: hush, and be mute,
Or else our spell is marr’d.
Iris. You nymphs, call’d Naiads, of the "wand'ring
brooks,

winding
With your“sedg’d crowns, and ever-harmless looks, vedpe-crowy
Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land
Answer your summons; Juno does command:
Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
A contract of true love; be not too late.

Enter certain Nymphs.
You sun-burn'd sicklemen, of August weary,
Come hither from the furrow, and be merry;
Make holy-day: your rye-straw hats put on,
And these fresh nymphs encounter every one,
In country footing.
Enter certain Reapers, properly habited: they join with the

Nymphs, in a graceful dance; towards the end whereof,
PROSPERO starts suddenly, and speaks; after which, to
a strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish.

Pro. [aside.] I had forgot that foul conspiracy
Of the beast Caliban, and his confederates,
Against my life; the minute of their plot
Is almost come-[To the Spirits.] Well done ;--avoid;

-no more.

1 - a wonder'd father,] i.e. a father able to perform, or produce such wonders. Steevens.

2 Leave your crisp channels,] Crisp, i. e. curling, winding, Lat. crispus. So, Henry IV. Part I. Act I. sc. iv. Hotspur, speaking of the river Severn:

And hid his crisped head in the hollow bank.” Crisp, however, may allude to the little wave or curl (as it is commonly called) that the gentlest wind occasions on the surface of waters. Steevens. I This was always printed "and a wise" erkenning to the

father till Malone altered it. The Ms. com. confering him. 2. Windring mr.fol. 1632 corr. Ms. to winding

Fer. This is most strange; your father's in some passion That works him strongly. Mira.

Never till this day,
Saw I him touch'd with anger so distemper’d.

Pro. You do look, my son, in a mov'd sort,
As if you were dismay’d: be cheerful, sir:
Our revels now are ended: these our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabrick of this vision, 3
The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit,+ shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

5

3 And, like the baseless fabrick of this vision, &c.] The exact period at which this play was produced is unknown: it was not, however, published before 1623. In the year 1603, the Tragedy of Darius, by Lord Sterline, made its appearance, and there I find the following passage:

“ Let greatness of her glassy sceptres vaunt,

“ Not sceptres, no, but reeds, soon bruis'd, soon broken; “ And let this worldly pomp our wits enchant,

“ All fades, and scarcely leaves behind a token.
“ Those golden palaces, those gorgeous halls,

“ With furniture superfluously fair,
“ Those stately courts, those sky-encount'ring walls,
“ Evanish all

, like vapours in the air.” Lord Sterline's play must have been written before the death of Queen Elizabeth, (which happened on the 24th of March, 1603,) as it is dedicated to James VI. King of Scots.

Whoever should seek for this passage (as here quoted from the 4to. 1603) in the folio edition, 1637, will be disappointed, as Lord Sterline made considerable changes in all his plays, after their first publication. Steevens.

all which it inherit,] i. e. all who possess, who dwell upon it. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

“ This, or else nothing, will inherit her.Malone. 5 And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,] Faded means here -having vanished; from the Latin, vado. So, in Hamlet:

It faded on the crowing of the cock.” To feel the justice of this comparison, and the propriety of the epithet, the nature of these exhibitions should be remembered. The ancient English pageants were shows, exhibited on the reception of a prince, or any other solemnity of a similar kind. They were presented on occasional stages, erected in the streets. Originally, they appear to have been nothing more than dumb shows;

4

Leave not a rack behind:6 We are such stuff

but, before the time of our author, they had been enlivened, by the introduction of speaking personages, who were characteristically habited. The speeches were sometimes in verse; and, as the procession moved forward, the speakers, who constantly bore some allusion to the ceremony, either conversed together in the form of a dialogue, or addressed the noble person, whose presence occasioned the celebrity. On these allegorical spectacles very costly ornaments were bestowed. See Fabian, II. 382. Warton's Hist. of Poet. II. 199, 202.

The well-known lines before us may receive some illustration from Stowe's account of the pageants, exhibited in the year 1604, (not very long before this play was written,) on King James, his Queen, &c. passing triumphantly from the Tower to Westminster; on which occasion seven gates or arches were erected, in different places, through which the procession passed.–Over the first gate “ was represented the true likeness of all the notable houses, Towers and steeples, within the citie of London.”“ The sixt arche, or gate of triumph was erected above the Con. duit in Fleete-Streete, whereon the GLOBE of the world was seen to move, &c. At Temple-bar, a seaventh arche or gate was erected, the fore-front whereof was proportioned in every respect like a TEMPLE, being dedicated to Janus, &c.—The citie of Westminster, and dutchy of Lancaster, at the Strand had erected the invention of a Rainbow, the moone, sunne, and starres, advanced between two Pyramides,” &c. ANNALS, p. 1429, edit. 1605.

Malone. 6 Leave not a rack behind: ] “ The winds (says Lord Bacon) which move the clouds above, which we call the rack, and are not perceived below, pass without noise.” I should explain the word rack somewhat differently, by calling it the last fleeting vestige of the highest clouds, scarce perceptible, on account of their distance and tenuity. What was anciently called the rack, is now termed by sailors—the scud.

The word is common to many authors contemporary with Shakspeare. So, in the Faithful Shepherdess, by Fletcher:

shall I stray
“ In the middle air, and stay

“ The sailing rack.'
Again, in David and Bethsabe, 1599:

“ Beating the clouds into their swiftest rack." Again, in the prologue to the Three Ladies of London, 1584:

“ We list not ride the rolling rack that dims the chrystal

skies." Again, in Shakspeare's 33d Sonnet:

“ Anon permits the basest clouds to ride

“ With ugly rack on his celestial face." Again, in Chapman's version of the twenty-first Iliad:

the cracke “ His thunder gives, when out of heaven it tears atwo bis

racke.

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