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More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching : 0, were favour fo!
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go; -
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye;
My tongue should catch your congue's sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being 'bated,
The rest I'll give to be to you translated.
O teach me, how you look; and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.

Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach my

smiles
such skill!
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
Hel. Oh, that my prayers could such affection move!
Her. The more I hate, the more he follows me.
Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me,
Her. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
Hel. None, but your beauty; would that faule

were mine! Her. Take comfort; he no more shall see my face; Lysander and myself will fly this place. Before the time I did Lysander see, Seem'd Athens like a paradise to me.

Davies calls Elizabeth, lode-flone to hearts, and lode fone to all eyes. JOHNSON.

In Hall's Chronicle, Henry V. promises his friends to be their “ guide, lodesman, and conductor,” STEEVENS.

4 This emendation is taken from the Oxford edition. The old reading is, Your words I'd catch. Johnson.

s The folio and one of the quarto's read, His folly, Helena, is none of mine. JOHNSON.

• Perhaps every reader may not discover the propriety of these lines. Hermia is willing to comfort Helena, and to avoid all appearance of triumph over her. She therefore bids her not to confider the power of pleasing, as an advantage to be much envied or much desired, fince Hermia, whom the considers as possessing it in the supreme degree, has found no other effect of it than the loss of happiness. JOHNSON.

O then

O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell?

Lyf. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold;
To-morrow night, when Phæbe doth behold
Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass ;
(A time, that lovers flights doth still conceal)
Through Athens' gate have we devis'd to steal. .

Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lye,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsels sweet; ?
There, my Lysander and myself shall meet :
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewel, sweet playfellow : pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !

? Emptying our boforms of their counsels swellid;
There my Lysander and myself ball met;
And thence from Arrens turn away our eyes.
To seek new

friends, and strange companions.) This whole scene is strictly in rhyme; and that it deviates in these two couplets, I am persuaded, is owing to the ignorance of the first, and the inaccuracy of the later editors: I have therefore ventured to restore the rhymes, as I make no doubt but the poet first gave them. Sweet was easily corrupted into swellid, because that made an antithesis to emptying : and strange companions our editors thought was plain English ; but firanger comparies, a little quaint and unintelligible. Our author very often uses the fubftantive Stranger adjectively; and companies, to fignify companie ons: as Rich. II. act I.

To tread the stranger paths of bani foment. And Hen. V.

His Companies un'otter'd, rude and follow. THEOBALD. Dr. Warburton retains the old reading, and perhaps justifiably. Shakespeare is sometimes negligent in these small matters ; and a bofom swelld with secrets does not appear as an expression unlikely to have been used by our author, who speaks of a fluf'd bojom in Macbeth. Stesvens.

Keep

Keep word, Lysander :-we must starve our light
From lovers' food, 'till' morrow deep midnight.

[Exit Hermia,
Lys. I will, my Hermia-Helena, adieu ;
As you on him, Demetrius doat on you! (Exit Lys.

Hel. How happy fome, o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so:
He will not know; what all, but he, do know,
And as he errs, doating on Hermia's eyes.
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no 8 quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity :
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment tafte ;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy hafte;
And therefore is love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguild.
As waggish boys themselves in game forswear,
So the boy Love is perjur'd every where.
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
He hail'd down oaths, that he was only mine;

1

s no quantity] quality seems a word more suitable to the sense than quantity, but either may serve. Johnson.

. In game) Game here signifies not contentious play, but sport, jef, So Spenser,

'Twixt earnest and 'wixt game. JOHNSON.

Hermia'seyne,] This plural is common both in Chaucer
and Spenser.
Chaucer, Prierefs Prologue, 153;

.“ hir eyen gray as glas.”
Spenser, F.Q. b. i. c.4. ft. 9.
“ While Aalhing beams do dare his feeble eyen."

Steevens.

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And when this hail ' some heat from Hermia feel,
So he diffolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight :
Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night,
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expence.
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his fight thither, and back again. [Exit.

SCENE II.

A COTT A G E.

Enter Quince the carpenter, Snug the joiner, Bottom the

weaver, Flute the bellows-mender, Snout the tinker, and Starveling the taylor. 2 Quin. Is all your company here?

Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.

Quin. Here is the scrowl of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in

-this hail] Thus all the editions, except the quarto, 1600, printed by Roberts, which reads instead of abis hail, bis hail.

STEEVENS. 2 In this scene Shakespeare takes advantage of his knowledge of the theatre, to ridicule the prejudices and competitions of the players. Bottom, who is generally acknowledged the principal actor, declares his inclination to be for a tyrant, for a part of fury, tumult, and noise, such as every young man pants to perform when he first steps upon the sage. The fame Bottom, who seems bred in a tiring-room, has ancher histrionical parlion. He is for engrossing every part, and would exclude his inferiors from all possibility of dillinction. He is therefore desirous to play Pyramus, Thisbe and the Lyon at the same time. Johnson.

3 the fcrip.] A firip, Fr. fcript, now written cit.
So Chaucer, Troilus and Crefida, I. 2. 1130.
" Scripe nor bil.”

STEEVENS.

our

our interlude before the duke and dutchess, on his wedding-day at night.

Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors; and so grow on to a point.

Quin. Marry our play is—The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.

Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scrowl. Masters, spread yourselves.

Quin. Answer, as I call you.—Nick Bottom the weaver.

Bot. Ready: name what part I am for, and proceed.

Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.

Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant ?

Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly for love

Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. To the rest ;-yet, my chief humour is for a tyrant! I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in: 5 To make all split

" The 4 Dr. Warburton read go on; but grow is used, in allufion to his name, Quince. JOHNSON.

The quarto reads-grow 10 a point. STEEVENS.

And so grow on to a peint.] The sense, in my opinion, hash been hitherto mistaken; and instead of a point, a substantive, I would read appoint, a verb, that is, appoint what parts each actor is to perform, which is the real case. Quince first tells them the name of the play, then calls the actors by their names, and af:er that, tells each of them what part is set down for him to act WARNER.

s I could play Ercles rarely, or a fare 20 tear a Cat in.] We hould read,

A part 10 tear a CAP in. for as a ranting whore was called a rear-fest, [ad Part of Hen. IV.] so a ranting bully was called a tear.cap. For this reason it is, VOL. III.

the

ear.com

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