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We know that Shakespeare was fond of Ovid; and the copy discovered in the Greenock Library and mentioned in the Sh. Jahrbuch as probably that poet's, has aroused deep interest. Prof. Zelinsky of the university here has called my attention to a passage in the Ars Amatoria II 699, which, as far as I know, has never been mentioned: Scilicet Hermionem Helenae praeponere posses? Ovid may have supplied Shakespeare with two of his names in Midsummer Night's Dream, Hermia and Helena, and Hermione in The Winter's Tale.

Finland 1899.

R. Boyle.


1. Couch' in the following passage from Arden of Feversham III 1, offers some difficulty, and has not yet been satisfactorily explained.

Arden. No, Franklin, no: if fear or stormy threats,

If love of me or care of womanhood,

If fear of God or common speech of men,

Who mangle credit with their wounding words,

And couch dishonour as dishonour buds,
Might join repentance in her wanton thoughts,
No question then but she would turn the leaf
And sorrow for her dissolution. (11. 1-8.)

Warnke explains couch as 'spread', comparing couch-grass. Now in the first place the first part of couch-grass has no connection. whatever with the verb to couch, but is simply a variant of quitch



AS. cwice; and in the second place couch is 'spread' only in three cases: 1. »With inverted construction: to lay, overlay, inlay, spread, set with, (of). Chiefly ') in pa. pple. 2. Malting. To lay or spread (grain after steeping) on a floor to promote germination. 3. Paper Manuf. To lay (a sheet of pulp) upon a felt to be pressed«.) For instances see Oxf. Dict. Now none of these meanings, two of which are strictly technical, and the first of which also has a very limited sense, will suit the context.

Ronald Bayne in a note to his edition in the 'Temple Dramatists' says: »Is the word used in its surgical sense? The line would then mean 'Cut the bud of dishonour so that it bursts into flower'«. But couch in its surgical sense does not mean 'to cut', but to remove a cataract'. Moreover couch dishonour as dishonour buds could, even if it meant 'cut', hardly stand for what the Rev. Bayne suggests: it would denote »cut off dishonour« as couch always retains something of its primary meaning, viz. to lay, put down'.

In my opinion only one meaning of couch will suit the context. The 15th sense of couch in the Oxf. Dict., common to the present day, is: »To put together, frame, shape, arrange (words, a sentence, etc.); to express in language, put into words; to set down in writing. Now always to couch in such and such terms, words, language etc.<< If we apply this to the above passage it becomes clear and simple and we need no longer have recourse to a strained comparison: 'men, who mangle credit with their wounding words, and put dishonour into words (report it) as soon as dishonour buds.<<

2. Disturbed thoughts drives me from company
And dries my marrow with their watchfulness;
Continual trouble of my moody brain

Feebles my body by excess of drink,

And nips me as the bitter north-east wind

Doth check the tender blossoms in the spring.

III 5, 1-6.

Bayne says: >>perhaps we ought to read think«. This is hardly probable and would sound very queer to say the least of it: 'by excess of think!' I believe the only way out of this difficulty is the insertion of 'as': Feebles my body as by excess of drink« where 'body as' is contracted (cp. Abbott, Shakespearian Grammar 462). We must scan it as III 5, 47, (where fire is dissyllabic).

1) Exclusively?

2) Oxf. Dict. s. v.


A. E. H. Swaen.


Dem Lamia - band von 1820 ist folgendes, auf den Hyperion bezügliche 'Advertisement' vorausgeschickt, welches in den neueren Keats-ausgaben (natürlich mit ausnahme der Forman'schen) vielfach weggelassen wird.

If any apology be thought necessary for the appearance of the unfinished poem of Hyperion, the publishers beg to state that they alone are responsible, as it was printed at their particular request, and contrary to the wish of the author. The poem was intended to have been of equal length with Endymion, but the reception given to that work discouraged the author from proceeding.

Fleet-Street, June 26, 1820.

Die letztere angabe dieses vorworts hat wohl mit den anstoss zu jener legende gegeben, dass Keats' vorzeitiger tcd durch den gram über die schmährezensionen seines Endymion verursacht sei, einer mythe, die namentlich durch Byron's spottverse (Who kill'd John Keats? etc. und Don Juan 11, 60) in weite kreise getragen wurde. Die thatsächliche unrichtigkeit derselben ist längst durch äusserungen des dichters selbst wie seiner freunde erwiesen (vgl. s. 4 f. meiner Hyperion-ausgabe). Aber es musste immerhin auffallend erscheinen, dass Keats seinen verlegern Taylor und Hessey gestattete, dem band von 1820 eine derartige unrichtige mitteilung vorauszuschicken, die jenen gerüchten anscheinend eine gewisse unterlage gab.

Ich habe in meiner vor dreiviertel jahren erschienenen ausgabe des Hyperion (Berlin, Felber, 1899; heft 3 meiner Engl. textbibliothek) die vermutung ausgesprochen, dass diese behauptung >> wohl mehr auf buchhändlerischer effekthascherei als auf thatsachen beruhte<<. Diese auffassung erhält jetzt durch eine handschriftliche äusserung des dichters eine unzweideutige, sehr energische bekräftigung.

Alfred Ainger berichtet im Athenaeum (26. Aug. 1899, s. 292) von einem exemplar des Lamia-bandes, das kürzlich in seinen besitz gelangt sei, es ist ein dedikationsexemplar des dichters an einen Hampsteader nachbarn und freund aus jenem jahr und trägt den namen des empfängers with J. Keats's compliments auf dem titelblatt.

In diesem exemplar nun hat Keats eigenhändig mit starken tintestrichen das vorwort der verleger durchgestrichen und darüber geschrieben: I had no part in this; I was ill at the time. Hinter den schlusssatz über Endymion aber, den er sorgfältig eingeklammert hat, schrieb er die kräftigen worte: This is a lie! Das genügt zur klarstellung der sache!

Über die wahren gründe für das fallenlassen des Hyperion habe ich s. 28 ff. meiner ausgabe eingehend gehandelt.

Heidelberg, 3. Jan. 1900.

Johannes Hoops.


The following passages in Keats and Tennyson have, so far as I know, not yet been noted. While some of these comparisons may perhaps be considered too fanciful, yet others furnish unmistakable evidence of the close study bestowed by Tennyson upon the text of Keats:

1. Where swarms of minnows show their little heads, Staying their wavy bodies 'gainst the streams, To taste the luxury of sunny beams Tempered with coolness. How they ever wrestle With their own sweet delight, and ever nestle Their silver bellies on the pebbly sand. If you but scantily hold out the hand, That very instant not one will remain.

-I Stood Tiptoe, etc., p. 7.') 2. The clang of clattering hoofs. -Calidore, p. 17.

3. But who, of men, can tell that fish would have bright mail, The earth its dower of river, wood, and vale, The meadows runnels, runnels pebblestones . . . -End. I 835-838.

1. But at the flash and motion of the man, They vanish'd panicstricken, like a shoal of darting fish, that on a summer morn Adown the crystal dykes at Camelot Come slipping o'er their shadows on the sand, But if a man who stands upon the brink But lift a shining hand against the sun, There is not left the twinkle of a fin Betwixt the cressy islets white in flower.

-Geraint and Enid, p. 361.") 2. And clattering flints battered with clanging hoofs.

-A Dream of Fair Women, p. 57. 3. The babbling runnel crispeth. —Claribel, p. 2.

The dashing runnel.
-The Lover's Tale', pp. 489, 490.

1) References are to Forman's edition, London, Reeves & Turner, 1896. 2) References are to the Complete Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson; London, Macmillan & Co., 1895.

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4. Thine the myriad - rolling


-Boadicea, p. 242.

5. Or when I feel about my feet The berried briony fold.

-The Talking Oak, p. 90.

6. There is a good chance that we shall hear the hounds: Here often they break covert at our feet.

-The Marriage of Geraint, p.343. 7. When round him bent the spirits of the hills With all their dewy hair blown back like flame. -Guinevere, p. 460.

8. Her melancholy eyes divine. -Mariana in the South, p. 30. 9. Then stole I up, and trancedly Gazed on the Persian girl alone, Serene with argent-lidded eyes amorous.

-Recollections of the Arabian Nights, p. 11. IO. the summer night, that paused Among her stars to hear us; stars that hung love-charmed to listen.

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