Even ripe for marriage fight; this maid
Hight Philoten: and it is faid

For certain in our ftory, the

Would ever with Marina be:

Be't when the weav'd the fleided filk 8
With fingers, long, fmall, white as milk;

The rhyme shows evidently that it is corrupt. For the prefent regulation the reader is indebted to Mr. Steevens. MALONE.

7 Even ripe for marriage fight;] The first quarto reads:
Even right for marriage fight;-

The quarto, 1619, and all the fubfequent editions, have
Even ripe for marriage fight-

Sight was clearly mifprinted for fight. We had before in this play Cupid's wars. MALONE.

I would read:

Even ripe for marriage rites. PERCY.

Read-fight; i. e. the combats of Venus; or night, which needs no explanation.

"Let heroes in the dufty field delight,

"Those limbs were fashion'd for a fofter fight."

Dryden's verfion of Ovid's Epiftle from Helen to Paris. STEEVENS.

8 Be't when the weav'd the fleided filk-] The old copies read:

Be it when they weav'd &c.

But the context fhows that he was the author's word. To have praised even the hands of Philoten would have been inconfiftent with the general scheme of the present chorus. In all the other members of this fentence we find Marina alone mentioned:

"Or when he would &c.

65 - or when to the lute
"She fung," &c. MALONE,

Sleided filk is untwisted filk, prepared to be used in the weaver's fey or fay. PERCY.

For a further explanation of fleided filk, fee Vol. X. p. 112, n. 9; and Mr. Malone's edit. of our author, Vol. X. p. 353, n. 5. STEEVENS.

• With fingers, long, fmall, white &c.] So, in Twine's tranflation: "beautified with a white hand, and fingers long and flender." STEEVENS,

Or when she would with sharp neeld wound1
The cambrick, which fhe made more found
By hurting it; or when to the lute

She fung, and made the night-bird mute,
That ftill records with moan; or when
She would with rich and constant


Or when he would with sharp neeld wound-] All the copies read with fharp needle wound; but the metre shows that we ought to read neeld. In a subsequent paffage, in the firft quarto, the word is abbreviated :

"and with her neele compofes-."

So, in Stanyhurft's Virgil, 1582:

on neeld wrought carpets."

See alfo Vol. X. p. 511, n. 9. MALONE.

- or when to the lute

She fung, and made the night-bird mute,

That ftill records with moan;] The first quarto reads:
the night-bed mute,

That ftill records with moan;

for which in all the subsequent editions we find

and made the night-bed mute,

That ftill records within one.

There can, I think, be no doubt, that the author wrotenight-bird. Shakspeare has frequent allufions, in his works, to the nightingale. So, in his 101ft Sonnet:

"As Philomel in fummer's front doth fing,

"And ftops her pipe in growth of riper days,
"Not that the fummer is lefs pleasant now

"Than when her mournful hymns did huth thenight," &c.

Again, in his Rape of Lucrece, 1594:

"And for, poor bird, thou fingft not in the day,
"As fhaming anie eye should thee behold,—."

So, Milton's Paradife Loft, Book IV:

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"Were flunk; all but the wakeful nightingale ;
"She all night long her amorous defcant fung."

To record anciently fignified to fing. So, in Sir Philip Sidney's Ourania, by N. B. [Nicholas Breton] 1606:


Recording fongs unto the Deitie."

See Vol. IV. p. 297, n. 7.-" A bird (I am informed) is said to

Vail to her miftrefs Dian;3 ftill
This Philoten contends in skill
With abfolute Marina :4 fo

With the dove of Paphos might the crow
Vie feathers white.s Marina gets

All praises, which are paid as debts,

record, when he fings at firft low to himself, before he becomes master of his fong and ventures to fing out. The word is in conftant use with bird-fanciers at this day." MALONE.

3 with rich and confiant pen

Vail to her mistress Dian ;] To vail is to bow, to do homage. The author feems to mean-When he would compofe fuppli catory hymns to Diana, or verses expreffive of her gratitude to Dionyza.

We might indeed read-Hail to her mistress Dian; i. e. falute her in verfe. STEEVENS.

I strongly fufpect that vail is a mifprint. We might read: Wail to her mifirefs Dian.

i. e. compofe elegies on the death of her mother, of which the had been apprized by her nurse, Lychorida.

That Dian, i. e. Diana, is the true reading, may, I think, be inferred from a paffage in The Merchant of Venice; which may at the fame time perhaps afford the best comment on that before


"Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;
"With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
"And draw her home with mufick."

Again, in A Midfummer-Night's Dream:

"To be a barren fifter all your


"Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon."


• With abfolute Marina:] i. e. highly accomplished, perfect. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

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at fea

"He is an abfolute mafter."

Again, in Green's Tu Quoque, 1614: "from an abfolute and most complete gentleman, to a most abfurd,' ridiculous, and fond lover." MALONE.

s Vie feathers white.] See note on The Taming of a Shrew, Vol. IX. p. 89, n. 1. STEEVENS.

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And not as given. This fo darks
In Philoten all graceful marks,"
That Cleon's wife, with envy rare,?
A prefent murderer does prepare
For good Marina, that her daughter
Might ftand peerless by this flaughter.
The fooner her vile thoughts to stead,
Lychorida, our nurfe, is dead;
And curfed Dionyza hath

The pregnant inftrument of wrath 8

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The dove of Paphos might with the crow
Vie feathers white.

The fenfe requires a tranfpofition of thefe words, and that we should read:

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With the dove of Paphos might the crow
Vie feathers white. M. MASON.

I have adopted Mr. M. Mafon's judicious arrangement.

This fo darks


In Philoten all graceful marks,] So, in Coriolanus:

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and their blaze

"Shall darken him for ever."

Again, ibidem:

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You are darken'd in this action, fir, "Even by your own." MALONE.

with envy rare,] Envy is frequently ufed by our ancient writers, in the fenfe of malice. See Vol. XVI. p. 301, n. 2. It is, however, I believe, here ufed in its common acceptation. MALONE.

The pregnant inftrument of wrath - Pregnant, in this inftance, means prepared, inftructed. It is ufed in a kindred fenfe in Measure for Meafure. See Vol. VI. p. 191, n. 5.

Pregnant is ready. So, in Hamlet :



"And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,-."

Preft for this blow.9 The unborn event
I do commend to your content:*
Only I carry winged time 3


Poft on the lame feet of my rhyme;
Which never could I fo convey,

Unless your thoughts went on my way.→→→

Dionyza does appear,

With Leonine, a murderer.


Preft for this blow.] Preft is ready; pret. Fr. So, in The Tragicall Hiftory of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:

"I will, God lendyng lyfe, on Wensday next be prest "To wayte on him and you.”

See note on The Merchant of Venice, Vol. VII. p. 243, n.2. MALONE.

The unborn event

I do commend to your content :] I am not fure that I understand this paffage; but fo quaint and licentious is the phrafeology of our Pfeudo-Gower, that perhaps he means-I with you to tind content in that portion of our play which has not yet been exhibited.

Our author might indeed have written-confent, i. e. co-operation, your affiftance in carrying on our prefent delufion.



Only I carry-] Old copy-carried. STEEVENS.


winged time-] So, in the Chorus to The Winter's


"Now take upon me, in the name of time,
"To ufe my wings."

Again, in King Henry V:

"Thus with imagin'd wing our fwift scene flies,
"In motion of no lefs celerity

"Than that of thought." MALONE.

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