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A LOVER'S COMPLAINT.
From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded
Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Re-orded, echoed. 2 Laid. So the original. But it is usually more correctly printed lay. The idiomatic grammar of Shakspeare's age ought not to be removed.
Oft did she heave her napkin' to her eyne,
Sometimes her levelled eyes their carriage ride,
Her hair, nor loose, nor tied in formal plat,
i Napkin, handkerchief. Iago says, of Desdemona's fatal handkerchief,
“I am glad I have found this napkin.” 2 Conceited characters, fanciful figures worked on the handkerchief.
3 Laund'ring, washing.
5 Shakspeare often employs the metaphor of a picce of ord. nance ; but what in his plays is generally a slight allusion here becomes a somewhat quaint conceit.
6 Thorbéd. We retain orbéd as a dissyllable, according to the original. Mr. Dyce has the orbed.
7 Sheaved, made of straw, collected from sheaves.
A thousand favors from a maund? she drew
Of folded schedules had she many a one,
1 Maund, a basket. The word is used in the old translation of the Bible.
2 Bedded. So the original, the word probably meaning jet imbedded, or set, in some other substance. Steevens has beaded jet, - jet formed into beads; which Mr. Dyce adopts. 3 Mo, more.
This word is now invaribly printed more. It occurs in subsequent stanzas. Why should we destroy this little archaic beauty by a rage for modernizing ?
4 Sleided silk. The commentators explain this as “ untwisted silk.” In the chorus to the fourth act of Pericles, Marina is pictured, —
• When she weaved the sleided silk With fingers long, small, white as milk.”
Percy, in a note on this passage, says, “ untwisted silk, prepared to be used in the weaver's sley." The first part of this description is certainly not correct. The silk is not untwisted, for it must be spun before it is woven ; and a strong twisted silk is exactly what was required when letters were to be sealed “ feat” (neatly)“ to curious secresy." In Mr. Ramsay's introduction to his valuable edition of the Paston Letters, the old mode of sealing a letter is clearly described : " It was carefully folded, and fastened at the end by a sort of paper strap, upon which the seal was affixed ; and under the seal a string, a silk thread, or even a straw, was fre. quently placed running
around the letter."