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Queen. Set your heart at reft,

The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votrefs of my order:
And, in the fpiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath the goffip'd by my fide;
And fat with me on Neptune's yellow fands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laugh'd to fee the fails conceive,
And grow big bellied, with the wanton wind:
Which the, with pretty and with fwimming gate,
(Following her womb then rich with my young
Iquire ')


Again, in Ben Jonfon's Chrifimas Mafque," he faid grace as
well as any of the sheriff's bench-boys.
Skinner derives the word from Hine A. S. quafi domefticus famu-
Jus. Spelman from Hengitman, equi curator, inoxμ


Upon the establishment of the houshold of Edward IV. were """henxmen fix enfants, or more, as it pleyfeth the king, eatinge in the halle, &c. There was also a maißer of the henxmen, to shewe them the fchoole of nurture, and learne them to ride, to swear their barneffe to have all curtefie-to teach them all languages, and other virtues, as harping, pypinge, finginge, dauncinge, with honeft behavioure of temperaunce and patyence." MS. Harl. 293.

At the funeral of Henry VIII. nine henchmen attended with fir Francis Bryan, mafter of the henchman.

Strype's Eccl. Mem. v. 2. App. n. 1.

-Henchman. Quafi haunch-man.

other. Pedifequus. BLACKSTONE,


One that goes behind an

The learned commentator might have given his etymology fome fupport from the following paflage in K. Henry IV. P, ÏÏ, act iv. fc. 4.

"Q Westmoreland, thou art a fummer bird,

Which ever in the haunch of winter fings

"The lifting up of day." STEEVENS.
Which she with pretty and with fwimming gate
FOLLOWING (ber womb then rich with my young 'fquire)

Would imitate

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Following what? fhe did not follow the fhip, whofe motion she iris tated; or that failed on the water, the on the land. If by fellowing, we are to understand imitating, it will be a mere pleon

Would imitate; and fail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But fhe, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And, for her fake, I do rear up her boy;
And for her fake, I will not part with him.
Ob. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Queen. Perchance, till after Thefeus' wedding-day,
If you will patiently dance in our round,
And fee our moon-light revels, go with us;
If not, fhun me, and I will fpare your haunts.

Ob. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee, Queen. Not for thy fairy kingdom.-Fairies, away; We fhall chide down-right, if I longer ftay.

[Exeunt Queen, and her train. Ob. Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this


'Till I torment thee for this injury.

afm-imitating would imitate. From the poet's defcription of the actions, it plainly appears we should read:


Would imitate;

fays fir J. Maunplay the wanton. full often has be

i. e. wantoning in fport and gaiety. Thus the old English writers" and they beeleven FOLYLY and falfly". deville, from and in the fenfe of folatrer, to This exactly agrees to the action defcribed gofip'd by my fide-and-when we have laugh'd to fee.


The foregoing note is very ingenious, but fince follying is a word of which i know not any example, and the Fairy's favourrite might, without much licentioufnefs of language, be faid to follow a fhip that failed in the direction of the coaft, I think there is no fufficient reafon for adopting it. The coinage of new words is a violent remedy, not to be used but in the last neceffity.

JOHNSON. Perhaps the parenthefis fhould begin fooner; as I think Mr. Kenrick obferyes:

(Following her womb, then rich with my young 'fquire,). So, in Trulla's combat with Hudibras :


She prefs'd fo home,

"That he retired, and follow'd's bum."

And Dryden fays of his Spanish Friar, "his great belly walks in ftate before him, and his gouty legs come limping after it."



My gentle Puck, come hither: Thou remember'st Since once I fat upon a promontory,

Thou remember'ft

Since once I fat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering fuch dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude fea grew civil at her fong;
And certain fars Jhot madly from their spheres,
To bear the fea-maid's mufick.-]


The first thing obfervable on thefe words is, that this action of the mermaid is laid in the fame time and place with Cupid's attack upon the veftal. By the vefal every one knows is meant queen Elizabeth. It is very natural and reasonable then to think that the mermaid stands for fome eminent perfonage of her time. And. it fo, the allegorical covering, in which there is a mixture of fatire and panegyric, will lead us to conclude, that this perfon was one of whom it had been inconvenient for the author to speak openly, either in praife or difpraife. All this agrees with Mary queen of Scots, and with no other. Q. Elizabeth could not bear to hear her commended; and her fucceffor would not forgive her fatyrift. But the poet has fo well marked out every diftinguished circumstance of her life and character in this beautiful allegory, as will leave no room to doubt about his fecret meaning. She is called a mermaid, 1. to denote her reign over a kingdom fituate in the fea, and 2. her beauty, and intemperate luft:


Ut tupiter atrum

"Definat in pifcem mulier formofa fupernè.”

for as Elizabeth for her chastity is called a veftal, this unfortunate lady on a contrary account is called a mermaid. 3. An ancient ftory may be fuppofed to be here alluded to. The emperor Julian tells us, Epiftle 41. that the Sirens (which, with all the modern poets, are mermaids) contended for precedency with the Mufes, who overcoming them took away their wings. The quarrels between Mary and Elizabeth had the fame caufe, and the fame iffue.

on a dolphin's back,] This evidently marks out that diftinguishing circumftance of Mary's fortune, her marriage with the dauphin of France, fon of Henry II.

Uttering fuch dulcet and harmonious breath,] This alludes to her great abilities of genius and learning, which rendered her the most accomplished princefs of her age. The French writers tell us, that, while fhe was in that court, fhe pronounced a Latin oration in the great hall of the Louvre, with so much grace and eloquence, as filled the whole court with admiration.

That the rude fea grew civil at her fong;] By the rude fea is meant Scotland encircled with the ocean; which rofe up in arms against


And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering fuch dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude fea grew civil at her fong;
And certain ftars fhot madly from their spheres,
To hear the fea-maid's mufick.

Puck. I remember.

Ob. That very time I faw, (but thou could'st not)

Flying between the cold moon and the earth,

the regent, while fhe was in France. But her return home prefently quieted thofe diforders: and had not her ftrange ill conduct afterwards more violently inflamed them, fhe might have paffed her whole life in peace. There is the greater juftnefs and beauty in this image, as the vulgar opinion is, that the mermaid always fings in storms:

And certain ftars fhot madly from their spheres

To hear the fea-maid's mufick.]

Thus concludes the defcription, with that remarkable circumstance of this unhappy lady's fate, the deftruction fhe brought upon feveJal of the English nobility, whom the drew in to fupport her caufe. This, in the boldeft expreffion of the fublime, the poet images by certain fars fhooting madly from their fpheres: By which he meant the earls of Northumberland and Weftmorland, who fell in her quarrel; and principally the great duke of Norfolk, whofe projected marriage with her was attended with fuch fatal confequences. Here again the reader may obferve a peculiar juftnefs in the imagery. The vulgar opinion being that the mermaid allured men to deftruction by her fongs. To which opinion Shakspeare alludes in his Comedy of Errors:

"O train me not, fweet mermaid, with thy note,
"To drown me in thy fifter's flood of tears."

On the whole, it is the nobleft and juftest allegory that was ever written. The laying it in fairy land, and out of nature, is in the character of the fpeaker. And on these occafions Shakspeare always excels himself. He is borne away by the magic of his enthusiasm, and hurries his reader along with him into these ancient regions of poetry, by that power of verfe, which we may well fancy to be like what:

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And certain fars hot madly from their Spheres,] So, in our au thor's Rape of Lucrece:

And little fars fhot from their fixed places.'


3 Cupid all arm'd a certain aim he took At a fair veftal, throned by the weft4;

3 Cupid all arm'd:] Surely, this prefents us with a very unclaffical image. Where do we read or fee, in ancient books, or monuments, Cupid armed more than with his bow and arrow; and with these we for ever fee him armed. And these are all the arms he had occafion for in this prefent action; a more illustrious one than any, his friends, the claflicks, ever brought him upon.The change I make is fo finall, but the beauty of the throught fo great, which this alteration carries with it, that, I think, we are not to hesitate upon it. For what an addition is this to the compliment made upon this virgin queen's celibacy, that it alarmed, the power of love? as if his empire was in danger, when this imperial votrefs had declared herself for a fingle life: fo powerful would her great example be in the world.-Queen Elizabeth could not but be pleased with our author's addrefs upon this head. WARBURTON.

All armed, does not fignify dreffed in panoply, but only enforces the word armed, as we might fay all booted. I am afraid that the general fenfe of alarmed, by which it is ufed for put into fear or care by whatever caufe, is later than our author. JOHNSON. So, in Greene's Never too Late, 1616:

"Or where proud Cupid fate all arm'd with fire." So, in Lord Surrey's tranflation of the 4th book of the Æneid: "All utterly I could not feem forfaken."

Again, in K. Richard III:

"His horfe is flain, and all on foot he fights." Shakspeare's compliment to queen Elizabeth has no fmall degree of propriety and elegance to boast of. The fame can hardly be faid of the following with which the tragedy of Soliman and Perfeda, 1599, concludes. Death is the fpeaker, and vows he will fpare none but facred Cynthia's friend,


"Whom Death did fear before her life began;
"For holy fates have grav'n it in their tables,
"That Death fhall die if he attempt her end

"Whofe life is heav'n's delight, and Cynthia's friend." If incenfe was thrown in cart loads on the altar, this propitious deity was not difgufted by the finoke of it. STEEVENS.

4 At a fair veftal, throned by the weft;] It was no uncommon thing to introduce a compliment to queen Elizabeth in the body of a play. So, again, in Tancred and Gifmund, 1592:

"There lives a virgin, one without compare,
"Who of all graces hath her heavenly fhare;
"In whofe renown, and for whofe happy days,
"Let us record this Pran of her praife." Cantant.


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