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worm, or an insect; of a moth or a fly; feeding on odure; or of some ravenous animal. Many of their transmigrations have a fanciful and ludicrous relation to the crime which they are intended to punish. For example; if a mau steal grain, they affirm, that at his next birth he will be born a rat; if flesh-meat, a vulture; if honey, a great stinging gnat; if perfumes, a musk rat. For certain crimes, such as accepting in alms the bed which a person died upon, or a buffalo, or wbatever is bestowed in the temple of Chrishna, the offender, at his next birth, from a man will become a woman; and in some instances, a female is supposed to become a man in her regenerate state, and a Mileetchy or infidel, a Brahinin.
Connected with the doctrine of transmigration, the superstitious Hindoos believe, that the various inaladies that afflict the human fraine, are punishments for crimes committed in a former state of existence, which must be expiated by acts of vigorous penance and devotion, before the sufferer can be restored to health. Dumbness is the punishment of an unauthorised reader of the Vedas; and blindness that of a stealer of lamps; an adulterer ois punished with an infirmity in the generative organs; and a horse-stealer with lameness. The head-ache is a punishment for having spoken, in a former state of existence, irreverently to father and mother; madness for the crime of filial disobedience; and epilepsy for having administered poison to any one at the command of another. In short, there is scarce a disease to which the human body is subject, which the Brahmins do not believe to have proceeded from the sins of a former life; and which are only to be removed by a course of religious ceremonies and observances.
V. 650. As iron in Greenland does the touch.] Those persons (says Dr. Grey,) who have been so unfortunate as to winter in Greenland, and survived it, tell us, that the cold is so intense, that if they tonch a piece of iron, it will stick to their fingers, and even bring off the skin,
V. 672. The foxes weigh the geese they carry.) This is an allusion to a story in Sir Kenelm Digby's Treatise of Bodies, of a fox who had stolen a goose, and having á river to pass, did not choose to venture into the stream with his prey, until he had first tried his strength with a log of wood about the weight of the goose; and having found that he was able to swim over the river with it, he retarned and fetched his goose. V. 687-8. Still amorous, and fond, and billing,
Like Philip and Mary on a shilling.) In Philip and Mary's shillings, coined in the year 1555, the faces are placed opposite to each other, and pretty close. V. 693-4. Tho'when their heroes 'spouse the dames,
We hear no more of charms and flames.] Ray, in his collection of English Proverbs, produces
coarse proverbial sayings upon this subject. " When a couple (says he) are newly married, the first month is called honey-moon, or smick smack; the second is hither and thither; the third is thwick thwack; the fourth, the devil take them that brought thee and I together." V. 699-700. Which th'ancients wisely signify'd,
By th' yellow mantua of the bride.] In the nuptial ceremonies of the ancients, it was usual for the bride to wear a yellow veil; and in the poets Capid is frequently described as the god with a yellow robe, croceo delatus amictu, to signify the cares and inconveniences of marriage. V. 707-8. For though Chineses go to bed,
And lie in, in their ladies' stead.) We are toid by some authors, that the Chinese men of quality, when their wives are brought to bed, are nursed and attended with as much care as women here, and are supplied with the best strengthening and nourishing diet, in order to qualify them for future services. This is also the custom of the Brasilians, if we may believe Maffeus, (see Purchase's Pilgrims, vol. v. bouk is. chap. iv.) who observes, that women in travail are delivered without great difficulty, and presently go about their household business; but the husband keeps his bed in her stead, is visited by his neighbonrs, hath his broths made him, and junkets sent to comfort him.” V. 719-20. And are not with their bodies bound,
'To worship only when they 're sound.] Alluding to the words to be spoke by the man in the office of matrimony: “ With my body I thee worship." V. 745-6. The conjugal petard that tears
Down all portcullises of ears.) A petard is an hollow engine of metal, in the form of a high crowned hat, charged with fine powder, and fixed to a thick plank, called the madrier, in order to break down gates, portcullises, &c.-Portcullis is a falling gate or door, like a harrow, hung over the gates of fortified places, let down to keep an enemy out of the city. Petruchio, in the Taming of the Shrew, seems not to have entertained so formidable an opinion of a woman's tongue. “ Think you (says he) a little din can daunt my ears?
Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
Like Sirens with their charming notes.] The Sirens were sea-nymphs, who charmed so much with their melodious voices, that all forgot their employments to listen with more attention, and at last died for want of food. They were three in number, called Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia, and they usually lived in a small island near Cape Pelorus, in Sicily. Some authors suppose that they were monsters, who had the form of a woman above the waist, and the rest of the body like that of a bird; or rather, that the wbole body was covered with feathers, and bad the shape of a bird, except the head, which was that of a beautiful female. This monstroas form they had received from Ceres, who wished to punish them because they had not assisted her daughter when carried away by Plato. But, according to Ovid, they were so disconsolate at the rape of Proserpine, that they prayed the Gods to give them wings, that they might seek her in the sea as well as by land. The Sirens were informed by the oracle, that as soon as any persons passed by them without suffering themselves to be charmed by their songs, they should perish ; and their melody had prevailed io calling the attention of all passengers, till Ulysses, informed of the power of their voice by Circe, stopped the ears of his companions with was, and ordered himself to be tied to the mast of his ship, and no attention to be paid to his commands, should he wish to stay and listen to the song. This was a salutary precaution. Ulysses made signs for his companions to stop, but they were disregarded, and the fatal coast was pas. sed with safety. Upon this artifice of Ulysses the Sirens were so disappointed, that they threw themselves into the sea and perished. Some authors say, that the Sirens challenged the Muses to a trial of skill in singing, and that the latter proved victorious, and plucked the feathers from the wings of their adversaries, with which they made themselves crowns. Some suppose that the Sirens were a number of lascivious women in Sicily, who prostituted themselves to strangers, and made them forget their pursuits wbiledrowned in unlawful pleasures. V. 754-5. Or those enchanting murmurs made
By th' husband mandrake and the wife ) Dr. Grey observes on this passage, that “ Naturalists report, that if a male and female mandrake lie near each other, there will often he heard a sort of murmur. ing noise;" but Miller, in his Botanical Dictionary, says, “ The reports of tying a dog to this plant, in order to roo: it up, and prevent the certain death of the
person who dares to attempt such a deed, and of the groans emitted by it when the violence is offered, are equally fabulous."
V. 757. Quoth he, these reasons are but strains, &c.] The Knight seems here to have too much courage and good sense to be baffled by the artful widow; for he defends matrimony with more wit, and a greater justness, than she had discovered in the ridicule of it. V. 761-2. Man was not man in Paradise
Until he was created twice.) Butler seems to have borrowed this thought from Du Bartas, who, in his Divine Weeks, expresses himself in the following manner : “ You that have seen this ample table,
Among so many models admirable,
V. 764. Carv'd from the original, his side.] Meibo mius, in his work De Rer. Germ, says, “God extracted a rib from his side, out of which he formed a woman, whom he named Eve. And he did not form her out of his head, that she might not rule over man; nor out of his feet, that she might not be contemned by man; but he formed her out of his side, that they might be bound together in bonds of equal love."
V. 772. Of all the world the anagram.) A conceit arising from the letters of a name transposed. Donne, in his Satires, says, " Though all her parts be not in th' usoal place,
She hath yet the anagrams of a good face,