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be used adverbially, for quickly, immediately. It is plainly the old french word, Preste, quick, or nimble, which sometimes is used adverbially. Dr. Jortin derives it from præfto adese.


For what art thou
That makst thyself his dayes-man to prolong
The vengeance PREST?

2. 8. 28.

That is, “ instant or present vengeance."

Who him affronting, soone to fight was readie prest.

4. 3. 22. That is, “ ready, quickly."

In which his work he had fixe servants PREST.

4. 5. 36. That is, “ fix ready, or nimble servants;” or perhaps « present.”

So hard behind his backe his foe was PREST.

4. 8. 41. That is, “ his foe was very near him behind."

To warn her foe to battell soone be PRESS.

5. 7. 27. That is, “ be soon ready to fight with her.”

Finding there ready PREST

Sir Arthegall.

5. 8. 8.

K 2


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That is, “ with his weapons ready, prepared.”

It is used in many of these senses by Chaucer.

Was throughout Troy ifled with pref wings
That is, “ with nimble or ready wings.”

Also these wickid tonguis ben so PREST
To speke us harm t.

That is, “ so ready to speak, &c.”

Neither was fowle, that commeth of engendrure,
That there ne was prest in her presence f.

That is, “ that was not present before her."

This word is to be met with in most of our old english poets, particularly Lord Surrey, Wyat, Tuberville, &c. Harrington much uses it in his Ariosto g.

* Troil, and Cr. 4. ver. 661. + Ibid. 9. v. 785.

I Assemble of fowles. $ See Junii Etymolog. Where also what I have observed of Endling

Charmes, Herse, Lair, Sty, may be improved from what is said of Along, Clirme, Chirre, Hearfe; Laire, Siay, by the author, and his learned ediror Nr. Lye.

B. vii.

B. vii. c. vi. f. xxviii.

Like a sort of steeres.

SORT occurs perpetually in Spenser, for flock, troop,

company, &c.

And like a sort of bees in clusters swarmed.

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That is, “ a great number, a large assembly of, &c.”

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That is, “ a company of thepherds hunting.”

It is not unfrequent in Harrington's Ariosto. We find it in the Psalms, where few perhaps understand its true sense. “ How long will ye imagine mischief e against every man? Ye shall be Nain

man? Ye shall be flain all the fort

« of you *.” i. e. Your whole company or multitude, shall be slain. The septuagint render it, Ews mol Οιθεσθε επ' ανθρωπον και Φονευσέλε ΠΑΝΤΕΣ.

But I forbear proceeding any further in a subject most happily preoccupied, and which will be discussed with so much superior learning and penetration, by a writer who intends shortly to oblige his country with a dictionary of its language t : a work, for which he is unquestionably qualified, as we may judge from a series of effays, in which not only criticism, humour, and morality have appeared with new lustre, but from which the english language has received new grace, {pirit, and dignity.

* Pfal, 62. 3. 4 This was written just before the publication of Johnson's di&tionary.

See his RAMFLER for the rest.


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Mr. Upton's Opinion, concerning several passages in this

Poem, examined.


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S that part of criticism which consists in ree

tifying the doubtful readings, and explaining the more obfcure passages, of antient authors, necefsarily deals much in conjecture; and as those who are employed in this province are often tempted to deduce their determinations, not from what is, but what seems to be, the truth; no disquisition affords a greater diversity of sentiments concerning the same thing. It is here that we see the force of mere OPINION, supported by demonstration, in its full extent; while the lucky corrections and illustrations of one commentator, appear improbable and absurd to the more fagacious eyes of another. Under these considerations, I hope the mistakes I may have committed in departing from the sentiments of a learned and ingenious critic *, will be received with candour and indulgence.


* None of Mr. Upton's criticisms on our author, but such as occur in his Letter to G. Wej, 6, and Obferuanons on Shakespeare, are here confidered,

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