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And she is mine ; and all my right of her
Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,
The. I must confess, that I have heard so much,
-Come, my Hippolita ; what chear, my love?
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along ;
[Excuit Thef Hip. Ezeus, Dem, and trair.. Lyf. How now, my love? why is your cheek so
? Spotted.] As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked.
How chance the roses there do fade fo fast ?
Her. Belike, for want of rain; which I could well · Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Lys. Ah me, * for aught that ever I could read, Could ever hear by tale or history, The course of true love never did run smooth. But, either it was different in blood,-
Her. O cross !-too high to be enthrall'd to low! Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ;Her. O spight! too old, to be engag'd to young! Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends Her. O hell! to chuse love by another's eye! Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it; Making ito momentany as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
3 Beteem ehem-) give them, bestow upon them. The word is used by Spenser. JOHNSON.
The word is used by yet later writers. I meet with it in The Cafe is alter'd, How ? a dramatic dialogue, 1653.—“I could “ beteem her a better match.” STEEVENS.
s Too high to be in bralld to love.] This reading poffefses all the editions, but carries no just meaning in it. Nor was Hermia displeas'd at being in love; but regrets the inconveniencies that generally attend the passion : either, the parties are disproportioned, in degree of blood and quality; or unequal, in respect of years; or brought together by the appointment of friends, and not by their own choice. These are the complaints represented by Lysander; and Hermia, to answer to the first, as the has done to the other two, must necessarily say;
O cross !-100 bigb to be inthrall'd to low! So the antithesis is kept up in the terms; and so she is made to condole the disproportion of blood and quality in lovers.
THEOBALD. Sir T. H. adheres to the old reading. Steevens.
6 The old editions read morentany, which is the old and proper word. The modern editors, momentary. Johnson.
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
Her. If then true lovers have been ever crost,
The jaws of darkness do dezour it up.] Though the word Sphen be here employed oddly enough, yet I believe it right Shakespeare, always hurried on by the grandeur and multitude of his ideas, assumes every now and then, an uncommon licence in the ule of his words. Particularly in complex moral modes it is usual with him to employ one, only to express a very few ideas of that number of which it is composed. Thus wanting here to express the ideas of a sudden, orain a trice, he uses the word jolien; which, partially confidered, fig. nifying a hatty sudden fit, is enough for him, and he never troubles himse.f about the further or luiler fignification of the word. Here, he uses the word jpen for a jud in hafty fit; so just the contrary, in the Two Gentemen of Verona, he uses fuad'n for Spleena is- fuden quips. And it muit be owned this sort of conversation adus a force to the viction. W’ARBURTON.
Brief as the ligbenig in the cellied chi, colied, i. e. black, smutted with cool, a word till used in the midland counties. So in Ben Jonson's Foetaljer:
- Thou hast not com.au thy face enough. Steevens. I have a widow aunt, &c.] These lines perhaps might more properly be regulated thus:
From Athens is her house remote ' feven leagues,
If thou lov'ft me then,
Her. My good Lysander,
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
JOHNSON. 9-remote,-) Remote is the reading of both the quarto's; the folio reads, -remov'd. STEEVENS.
Lyf. -If thou lov's me then,
Her. My good Lysander,
To morrow truly will I meet with thee.] Lysander does but just propose her running away from her father at midnight, and itraight the is at her oaths that she will meet him at the place of rendezvous. Not one doubt or hesitation, not one condition of assurance for Lysander's conftancy. Either Me was nauseously coming; or she had before jilted him; and he could not believe her without a thousand oaths. But Shakespeare observed nature at another rate.—The speeches are divided wrong, and must be thus rectified ; when Lyfander had proposed her running away with him, the replies,
Her. My good Lysander and is going on, to ask security for his fidelity. This he per ceives, and interrupts her with the grant of what he demands.
By his best arrow with the golden head,
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
Lyf. I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow, &c. By all the vows that ever men have broke
In number more than ever woman /poke Here she interrupts him in her turn; declares herself satisfied, and confents to meet him in the following words,
Her. In that same place thou hast oppointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. This division of the lines, besides preserving the character, gives the dialogue infinitely more force and spirit. WARBURTON.
This emendation is judicious, but not necessary. I have therefore given the note without altering the text. "The cenfure of men, as oftner perjured than women, seems to make that linc more proper for the lady. Johnson.
? The quarto reads--your fair. JOHNSON.
3 Your eyes are lode-fiar..] This was a complement not unfrequent among the old poets. The lode ftar is the leading or guiding ítar, that is, the pole-ftar. The magnet is, for the same reason, called the lide-fiore, either 'because it leads iron, or because it guides the failor. Milton has the same thought in L'Allegro:
Tow'rs and basiliments he fees