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enim perspecta vis est rationis ejus qua causa rerum atque exitus cognoscuntur, mirus quidam omnium quasi consensus doctrinarum, concentusque reperitur.” De oratore, lib. iii. Among English writers, the similitude in sound and an inattention to orthography have contributed to their common and promiscuous use.
Mr. Steevens inclines to the meaning above given of concent, and yet he adops consent in his text; nor are his instances uniform. Thus in the quotation from Cicero De nat. deorum, concentus simply means concord or agreement. In the passage from Milton consent evidently denotes the same thing. The rest of his quota. tions relate to musical concent.
Mr. Mason, in his own words, assents to Mr. Steevens's explanation; yet his instances are all unfortunately calculated to illustrate the other sense of barely agreeing.
The books of Elizabeth's time indiscriminately use both modes of orthography. Thus we have, “ Broughton's concent of Scripture,” for consent; though, as is shown already, either will serve for agreement
In the two passages cited by Mr. Steevens from Spenser, the orthography varies, though the meaning is evidently the same, i. e. musical concent. His expectations will be often disappointed who shall seek an exact meaning from some parti. cular mode of orthography in ancient writers. There does not perhaps exist a more fallible rule ; and it was reserved for the superior accuracy of modern times to affix any thing like uniformity of spelling, and consequently of sense, to our language.
It is impossible at this time to collect precisely what the author of the lines in question intended, The only guide we have is the passage quoted by Mr. Malone from another part of this play, “ You all consented unto Salisbury's death." Yet, had the poet written concented, the sense in both places might be, you all acted in concert, or jointly in unison, to accomplish the death &c. This accords with the following passage in Peri. cles, Act i. Sc. 1.
• The senate house of planets all did sit
To knit in her their best perfections."
An opportunity here presents itself of remarking how injudiciously we have discarded the more expressive and legitimate term consort, as a company of musicians playing together, for the new. fangled Italian concert. The other would be vulgar to a modern ear, and is now marked in our dictionaries as a corrupt spelling.
Scene 1. Page 584.
Forbidden late to carry any weapon,
This fact is borrowed, with some variation, from Stowe or Fabian. “Men being forbidden to bring swords or other weapons, brought great battes and staves on their neckes; and when those weapons were inhibited them, they took stones and plomets of lead, &c.”
Sc. 1. p. 587.
Mr. Steevens has on this occasion, for the sake of the last word, introduced two notes which might very well have been spared. There is no doubt that Warwick means to say that the young king has given Winchester a gentle reproof. This is the plain and obvious meaning of gird. Dr. Johnson is wide, very wide, of the mark.
Scene 3. Page 645. , Puc. You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear. · The monarch of the North was Zimimar, one of the four principal devils invoked by witches. The others were, Amaimon king of the East, Gor. son king of the South, and Goap king of the West. Under these devil kings were devil marquesses, dukes, prelates, knights, presidents and earls. They are all enumerated, from Wier De præstigiis dæmonum, in Scot's Discoverie of witchcraft, book xv, c. 2 and 3.
KING HENRY VI. PART II.
Scene 2. Page 20. Duch. With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch. Ir appears from Rymer's Fædera, vol. x. p. 505, that in the tenth year of King Henry the Sixth, Margery Jourdemayn, John Virley clerk, and friar John Ashwell were, on the ninth of May 1433, brought from Windsor by the constable of the castle, to which they had been committed for sorcery, before the council at Westminster, and afterwards, by an order of council, delivered into the custody of the lord chancellor. The same day it was ordered by the lords of council that whenever the said Virley and Ashwell should find security for their good behaviour they should be set at liberty, and in like manner that Jourdemayn should be discharged on her husband's finding security. This woman was