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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.

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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.

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

It is used in many of these senses by Chaucer.

Fame
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.

SECT.

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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.

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* 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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