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Nimphs and Satires skipping
Came together tripping;
Eccho euery cry exprest:
Venus by her power
Turn'd him to a flower,
Which the weareth in her creaft *.
-in ber creaft.] I suspect this is a misprint, and that the poet wrote breaft.
The word orped, which occurs in this ftanza, and of which I know not the derivation, is ufed by Golding, (as an anonymous writer has observed,) in his tranflation of Ovid's Metamorphofes, 1587, B. VIII. "Yet fhould this hand of mine,
"Even maugre dame Diana's hart, confound this orped swine." Again, in the thirteenth book:
"the orped giant Polypheme."
Again, in A Herrings Tale: containing a poetical fillion of diverse mattters worthy the reading, quarto, 1598:
"Straight as two launces coucht by orped knights at rest.” Gower uses the word in like manner in his Confessio Amantis, 1554, B. I. fol. 22:
"That thei woll gette of their accord
"Some orped knight to fle this lord."
So alfo Gawin Douglas in his translation of Virgil, Æn. X.
"And how orpit and proudly rufchis he
"Amid the Trojanis by favour of Mars, quod fche."
Per medios infignis equo tumidufque fecundo
Orped feems to have fignified, proud, fwelling; and to have included largeness of fize, as well as haughtiness and fiercenefs of demeanour. Skinner idly enough conjectures that it is derived from oripeau, Fr. leaf-brafs, or tinfel; in confequence of which in Cole's and Kerfey's dictionaries the word has been abfurdly interpreted gilded. MALONE.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, and BARON of TICHFIELD.
THE love I dedicate to your lordship is without end; whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a fuperfluous moiety'. The warrant I have of your honourable difpofition, not the worth of my untutored lines, makes it affured of acceptance. What I have done is yours; what I have to do is yours; being part in all I have devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty would fhew greater; mean time, as it is, it is bound to your lordship, to whom I wish long life, ftill lengthened with all happiness.
Your lordship's in all duty,
a fuperfluous moiety.] Moiety in our authour's time did not always fignify balf; it was fometimes ufed indefinitely for a portion or part. See Vol. V. p. 195, n. 1. MALONE.
Lucius Tarquinius (for his exceffive pride furnamed Superbus) after he had caufed his own father-in-law, Servius Tullius, to be cruelly murdered, and, contrary to the Roman laws and cuftoms, not requiring or staying for the people's fuffrages, had poffeffed himself of the kingdom; went, accompanied with his fons and other noblemen of Rome, to befiege Ardea. During which fiege, the principal men of the army meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king's fon, in their discourses after fupper every one commended the virtues of his own wife; among whom, Collatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucretia. In that pleasant humour they all pofted to Rome; and intending, by their fecret and fudden arrival, to make trial of that which every one had before avouched, only Collatinus finds his wife (though it were late in the night) fpinning amongit her maids; the other ladies were all found dancing and revelling, or in feveral difports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded Collatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius being inflamed with Lucrece' beauty, yet fmothering his paffions for the prefent, departed with the reft back to the camp; from whence he fhortly after privily withdrew himself, and was (according to his eftate) royally entertained and lodged by Lucrece at Collatium. The fame night, he treacherously ftealeth into her chamber, violently ravished her, and early in the morning speedeth
2 This argument appears to have been written by Shakspeare, being prefixed to the original edition in 1594; and is a curiofity, this, and the two dedications to the earl of Southampton, being the only profe compofitions of our great poet (not in a dramatick form) now remaining.
To the edition of 1616, and that printed by Lintot in 1710, a fhorter argument is likewife prefixed, under the name of Contents; which not being the production of our authour, nor throwing any light on the poem, is now omitted. MALONE