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100. Spicy nut-brown ale:
ale seasoned with nutmeg, sugar, toast, and
roasted apples. Shakespeare refers to it as the "gossips' bowl."
101. Feat a striking act of strength, daring, or skill. From Fr. fait, p.p. of faire, to do, from Lat. facere.
102. Mab the queen of the fairies. — Junkets = sweetmeats, dainties. The original meaning was cream cheese served up on rushes, whence its name. From Ital. giunco, a rush Lat. juncum.
103. She and he two of the party telling their tales over the spicy ale. 104. Frier's lantern the ignis fatuus, or will-o'-the-wisp.
105. Goblin = a mischievous sprite or fairy. From O. Fr. gobelin Lat. gobelinus, an extension of cobalus Gr. kobalos, an impudent rogue,
110. Lubbar = a heavy, clumsy fellow; now spelled lubber. — Fiend = evil spirit; literally, enemy or hater. From A. S. feond, pres. p. of feon, to hate. Cf. Ger. Feind, enemy.
113. Cropful having a full crop or belly. - Flings throws himself, the reflexive pronoun being omitted.
114. Ere the first cock, etc. This was the signal for ghosts and evil spirits to vanish. morning. In the plural, morning prayers. Lat. matutinus, from Matuta, the goddess of morning.
From Fr. matin
I 20. Weeds garments; from A. S. waed, garment. Commonly used now only in the phrase "widow's weeds," a widow's mourning dress. 121. Store: = a great number.
122. Rain influence, upon the contending champions, as in the days of astrology the planets were supposed to do upon the lives of men.
124. Her the lady of the tournament, by whom the prize was bestowed upon the successful knight. Grace favor; from Fr. grace = Lat. gratia, favor.
the god of marriage; represented in the masks of the time
as clad in yellow silk, and bearing a torch in his hand.
128. Mask = a dramatic entertainment in which masks were worn.
128. Antique = ancient. In present usage these words are discriminated: ancient is opposed to modern; as ancient landmarks, ancient institutions. Antique is used to designate what has come down from the ancients, or what is made in imitation of them; as, an antique cameo, an antique temple. Antic is a doublet of antique. pompous exhibition or display. Pageant originally meant the scaffold or platform on which the miracle plays were represented, and afterwards the play itself. From Lat. pagina, scaffold or stage. Webster's probable etymology is wrong.
immediately, at once; from A. S. on an, in one (moment).
Ben Jonson, who was still living when this compliment was
· Sock comedy; literally, the light-heeled shoe or sock worn
by comic actors, whence a symbol for comedy. Buskin, a high-heeled boot
or legging worn by tragic actors, has come to stand for tragedy.
136. Lydian soft and voluptuous.
From Lydia, a country in Asia
Minor, whose people were notorious for luxurious effeminacy.
138. Meeting = sympathetic.
139. Bout= = turn, bending; also spelled bought.
141. Giddy = mirthful; from A. S. giddian, to sing, to be merry. In present usage it means unsteady, heedless.
145. Orpheus=a character in Greek mythology, who had power to move men and beasts, and even inanimate objects, by the music of his lyre. Heave raise; from A. S. hebban, to raise. Cf. Ger. heben, to lift. The connection of heaven with heave has not, according to Skeat, been clearly made out.
147. Elysian = pertaining to Elysium, the abode of the blessed in the other world. It was represented as a region of perpetual spring, clothed with continual verdure, enamelled with flowers, shaded by groves, and refreshed by never-failing fountains.
149. Pluto the god of the infernal regions; son of Saturn, and brother of Jupiter and Neptune.
150. Eurydice the wife of Orpheus. After her death, caused by the bite of a serpent, Orpheus descended into Hades, and so moved Pluto by his music that the god consented to her restoration to life, but only on the condition that the minstrel would not look back until the regions of day were reached. Fearing that his wife might not be following, the anxious husband cast a glance behind, and thereby lost her forever.
Vain = = empty, worthless; from Fr. vain Lat. vanus, empty. 3. Bested assist.
8. Gay motes, because of their lively motion in the sunbeam.
10. Pensioners dependants. Through the Fr. from Lat. pensus, p.p. of pendere, to weigh out, to pay. Literally, those to whom money is weighed out or paid. Morpheus: the god of dreams.
14. To hit the sense to suit or be adapted to the sense.
18. Memnon's sister: = some beautiful Ethiopian princess. Memnon, who was killed by Achilles in the Trojan war, was noted for his beauty. — Beseem suit or become.
19. Starr'd Ethiop Queen = Cassiope, wife of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia. Having offended the Nereids by her presumption in setting herself above them in beauty, Neptune, sympathizing with the anger of the seamaidens, laid waste the realms of Cepheus by an inundation and sea-monster. After her death Cassiope was changed into a constellation; whence the epithet starred.
23. Vesta goddess of the fireside or domestic hearth. Of yore= of old. From A. S. geara, formerly; originally genitive plu. of gear,
24. Solitary Saturn the father of Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto, who were concealed by their mother. He was accustomed to devour his offspring, whence he is called solitary.
30. No fear of Jove, that is, before he was banished from the throne by Jupiter.
of modest look; from O. Fr. de murs, i.e., de bons
32. Demure: murs, of good manners.
33. Darkest grain 35. Stole = a long, loose garment reaching to the feet, the characteristic robe of the Roman matron; but here denoting probably a hood or veil, in which sense the word is used by Spenser. - Cyprus lawn. A dark kind of lawn was made in Cyprus. From Lat. linum, flax, through the French. modest, because covered. From Fr. decent:
pres. p. of
enraptured; from Lat. raptus, p.p. of rapere, to transport. devotion; from Fr. passion = Lat. passionem, from pati,
59. Cynthia the moon. A surname of Diana, from Mt. Cynthus, in the island of Delos, where she was born. Her chariot, however, was not, according to classic mythology, drawn by dragons. Ovid speaks of the moon's "snow-white horses."
60. Accustomed oak
accustomed to sing.
the particular oak in which the nightingale was
61. Noise of folly = the sounds of revelry.
68. Highest noon = highest point of ascension
= a portion of flat, even ground; a variation of plot.
the ringing of a bell at nightfall as a signal to extinguish fires and lights. The custom was introduced into England by William the Conqueror.
78. Removed 80. Counterfeit
Lat. contra and facere.
imitate; from Fr. contre, against, and faire, to make;
83. Bellman's drowsy charm
the watchman, who with a bell patrolled
the streets at night before the establishment of the present police system, and I called out the hours. Charm = song, incantation; from Fr. charme = Lat. The bellman frequently made use of rhyme; as,
87. Outwatch the Bear. - The "Bear" refers to the constellation of that name, which in England never sets. The poet means that he will remain awake all night.
88. Thrice-great Hermes = a personification of the Egyptian priesthood; to him was ascribed the invention of language and writing, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, medicine, music, religion, etc.
= a celebrated Greek philosopher born 429 B.C. his spirit means to call it back from Elysium.
95. Consent harmony, agreement.
cum, together, and sentire, to feel.
98. Sceptred pall
royal robe. Pall = A. S. paell, from Lat. palla, a
99. Oedipus of Thebes, Pelops, and the heroes of the Trojan war, were the favorite subjects of Attic tragedy.
102. Buskin'd. See note on L'Allegro, 132. Milton was probably thinking of Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear.
104. Musaus = an early Greek bard.
105. Orpheus. - See note on L'Allegro, 145, 150.
Chaucer. The reference is to the "Squire's Tale," which was left unfinished. Cambuscan was a Tartar king, who had two sons, Camball and Algarsife, and a daughter Canace.
probably Tasso, Ariosto, and Spenser, who
120. Where more is meant, etc.-. A reference no doubt to Spenser's Faery Queene," in which the poet had a high moral purpose.
122. Civil-suited = dressed in the garb of a plain citizen.
123. Trick'd = tricked out, showily dressed. - Frounced = frizzled and curled.
124. Attic boy Cephalus, whom she carried off.
125. Kercheft = having the head covered. A more correct spelling would be curchief; from Fr. couvre, cover, and chef, head. Cf. curfeu. 134. Sylvan Sylvanus, god of the woods. From Lat. sylva, woods.
136. Heaved uplifted. See note on L'Allegro, 145.
140. Profaner = unsympathetic. From Lat. pro, before, and fanum, temple; hence, outside the temple, not sacred, secular.
142. Honied thigh. — This is a mistake, for the bee collects the honey in What we see on the "thigh" is pollen.
156. Studious cloysters pale = an enclosure or place of retirement devoted to study and religion. He is probably thinking of St. Paul's, where he went to school.
174. Strain = rank, character; in which sense it is now obsolete.