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His woful queen leave at Ephess,
To Dian there a votaress.8

Now to Marina bend your mind,

Whom our fast-growing scene must find
At Tharsus, and by Cleon train'd

In musick, letters;1 who hath gain'd
Of education all the grace,

Which makes her both the heart and place
Of general wonder.2 But alack!

That monster envy, oft the wrack

8 His woful queen leave at Ephess,

To Dian there a votaress.] Old copy-we leave at Ephesus; but Ephesus is a rhyme so ill corresponding with votaress, that I suspect our author wrote Ephese or Ephess; as he often contracts his proper names to suit his metre. Thus Pont for Pontus, Mede for Media, Comagene for Comagena, Sicils for Sicilies, &c. Gower, in the story on which this play is founded, has Dionyze for Dionyza, and Tharse for Tharsus. Steevens.

To Dian there a votaress.] The old copies read-there's a votaress. I am answerable for the correction.


9 Whom our fast-growing scene must find-] The same expression occurs in the chorus to The Winter's Tale:

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your patience this allowing,

"I turn my glass, and give my scene such growing,
"As you had slept between." Malone.

1 In musick, letters;] The old copy reads, I think corruptly -In musicks letters. The corresponding passage in Gower's Confessio Amantis, confirms the emendation now made:


"My doughter Thaise by your leve


I thynke shall with you be leve
"As for a tyme: and thus I praie,
"That she be kepte by all waie,
"And whan she hath of age more
"That she be set to bokes lore," &c.

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she dwelleth

"In Tharse, as the Cronike telleth ;
"She was well kept, she was well loked,
"She was well taught, she was well boked;
"So well she sped hir in hir youth,
"That she of every wysedome couth

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2 Which makes her both the heart and place
Of general wonder.] The old copies read:
Which makes high both the art and place &c.


The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
Which makes her both the heart and place

Of general wonder.] Such an education as rendered her the VOL. XVII.


Of earned praise,3 Marina's life
Seeks to take off by treason's knife.
And in this kind hath our Cleon
One daughter, and a wench full grown,4
Even ripe for marriage fight;5 this maid
Hight Philoten: and it is said

For certain in our story, she

Would ever with Marina be:

center and situation of general wonder. We still use the heart of oak for the central part of it, and the heart of the land in much such another sense. Shakspeare in Coriolanus says, that one of his ladies is-" the spire and top of praise." Steevens. Place here signifies residence. So, in A Lover's Complaint: "Love lack'd a dwelling, and made him her place." In this sense it was that Shakspeare, when he purchased his house at Stratford, called it The New-Place. Malone.


oft the wrack

Of earned praise,] Praise that has been well deserved. The same expression is found in the following lines, which our author has imitated in his Romeo and Juliet:

"How durst thou once attempt to touch the honour of his name?

"Whose deadly foes do yeld him dew and earned praise.” Tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliet, 1562.

So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:

"If we have unearned luck." Malone.

4 And in this kind hath our Cleon

One daughter, and a wench full grown,] The old copy

And in this kind our Cleon hath

One daughter, and a full grown wench.


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

Even ripe for marriage fight;] The first quarto reads:
Even right for marriage sight; —.

The quarto, 1619, and all the subsequent editions, have—
Even ripe for marriage sight.

Sight was clearly misprinted for fight. We have before in this play Cupid's wars.

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 dusty field delight,

"Those limbs were fashion'd for a softer fight"

Dryden's version of Ovid's Epistle from Helen to
Paris. Steevens.

Be 't when she weav'd the sleided silk
With fingers, long, small, white as milk;
Or when she would with sharp neeld wound
The cambrick, which she made more sound
By hurting it; or when to the lute

She sung, and made the night-bird mute,
That still records with moan; or when
She would with rich and constant pen

Be 't when she wear'd the sleided silk-] The old copies read:

Be it when they wear'd &c.

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

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Sleided silk is untwisted silk, prepared to be used in the weaver's sley or slay. Percy.

For a further explanation of sleided silk, see Vol. VII, p. 93, n. 4; and Mr. Malone's edit. of our author, Vol. X, p. 353, n. 5.


7 With fingers, long, small, white &c.] So, in Twine's translation: " beautified with a white hand, and fingers long and slender." Steevens.

8 Or when she would with sharp neeld wound —] All the copies read-with sharp needle wound; but the metre shows that we ought to read neeld. In a subsequent passage, in the first quarto, the word is abbreviated :


and with her neele composes So, in Stanyhurst's Virgil, 1582:

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— on neeld-wrought carpets." See also Vol. VII, p. 407, n. 9. Malone.

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She sung, and made the night-bird mute,


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

That still records with moan;

for which in all the subsequent editions we find

and made the night-bed mute,

That still records within one.

There can, I think, be no doubt, that the author wrote-night-bird. Shakspeare has frequent allusions, in his works, to the nightingale. So, in his 101st Sonnet:

"As Philomel in summer's front doth sing,

"And stops her pipe in growth of riper days,

Vail to her mistress Dian;1 still
This Philoten contends in skill
With absolute Marina:2 so

With the dove of Paphos might the crow
Vie feathers white.3 Marina gets

"Not that the summer is less pleasant now

"Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,” &c.

Again, in his Rape of Lucrece, 1594:

"And for, poor bird, thou sing'st not in the day,
"As shaming anie eye should thee behold,

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

"Recording songs unto the Deitie —"

Sce Vol. II, p. 231, n. 4.—“ A bird (I am informed) is said to record, when he sings at first low to himself, before he becomes master of his song and ventures to sing out. The word is in

constant use with bird-fanciers at this day." Malone.


With rich and constant pen

Vail to her mistress Dian;] To vail is to bow, to do homage. The author seems to mean-When she would compose supplicatory hymns to Diana, or verses expressive of her gratitude to Die


We might indeed read-Hail to her mistress Dian; i. e. salute her in verse. Steevens.

I strongly suspect that vail is a misprint. We might read : Wail to her mistress Dian.

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

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

"Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;

"With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
"And draw her home with musick."

Again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:

"To be a barren sister all your life,

"Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.” Malone. 2 With absolute Marina:] i. e. highly accomplished, perfect. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :

at sea

"He is an absolute master."

Again, in Green's Tu Quoque, 1614:


from an absolute and

most complete gentleman, to a most absurd, ridiculous, and fond lover."


3 Vie feathers white.] See note on the Taming of a Shrew,

Vol. VI, p. 75, n. 5.

Old copy:


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All praises, which are paid as debts,
And not as given. This so darks
In Philoten all graceful marks,"
That Cleon's wife, with envy rare,5
A present murderer does prepare
For good Marina, that her daughter
Might stand peerless by this slaughter.
The sooner her vile thoughts to stead,
Lychorida, our nurse, is dead;
And cursed Dionyza hath

The pregnant instrument of wrath
Prest for this blow. The unborn event

I do commend to your content:8

The dove of Paphos might with the crow

Vie feathers white. M. Mason.

The sense requires a transposition of these words, and that we should read:


The dove of Paphos might with the crow

Vie feathers white. M. Mason.

I have adopted Mr. Mason's judicious arrangement. Steevens.

This so darks

In Philoten all graceful marks,] So, in Coriolanus:
and their blaze

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"Shall darken him for ever."

Again, ibidem:

66 You are darken'd in this action, sir,
"Even by your own." Malone.

5 with envy rare,] Envy is frequently used by our ancient writers, in the sense of malice. See Julius Cæsar, Act II, sc. i, Vol. XIV. It is, however, I believe, here used in its common acceptation. Malone.

6 The pregnant instrument of wrath -] Pregnant, in this instance, means prepared, instructed. It is used in a kindred sense in Measure for Measure. See Vol. III, p. 453, n. 7. Steevens: Pregnant is ready. So, in Hamlet:

"And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee,” Malone. 7 Prest for this blow.] Prest is ready; pret. Fr. So, in The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562:

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

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See note on The Merchant of Venice, Vol. IV, p. 318, n. 2.

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I do commend to your content:] I am not sure that I under stand this passage; but so quaint and licentious is the phraseo

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