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So quick bright things come to confusion.

HER. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd, It stands as an edíct in destiny : Then let us teach our trial patience, Because it is a customary cross; As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers ?. Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me,

I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child :
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us: If thou lov'st me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And in the wood, a league without the town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
To do observance to * a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.

My good Lysander !
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow;
By his best arrow with the golden head';


* First folio, for. FANCY's followers.] Fancy is love. So afterwards in this play :

Fair Helena in fancy following me.” Steevens.
So, in Turberville's Tragicall Tales :

“ The noblest nymphes that ever were alive,
“ The queyntest queenes the force of fancy felt."

Malone. 8 From Athens is her house Remote seven leagues ;] Remote is the reading of both the quartos; the folio has—remov'd.

Steevens. his best ARROW with the golden head ;] So, in Sidney's Arcadia, book ü. :

arrowes two, tipt with gold or lead : “Some hurt, accuse a third with horny head.” STEEVENS.



By the simplicity of Venus' doves;
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves ;
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen',
When the false Trojan under sail was seen;
By all the vows that ever men have broke,
In number more than ever women spoke ;-
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes

Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away ?

Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
Demetrius loves your fair 2: O happy fair!
Your eyes are lode-stars"; and your tongue's sweet


by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,) Shakspeare had forgot that Theseus performed his exploits before the Trojan war, and consequently long before the death of Dido.

STEEVENS. · Demetrius loves your fair :) Fair is used again as a substantive in The Comedy of Errors, Act III. Sc. IV.:

My decayed fair,

A sunny look of his would soon repair."
Again, in The Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 :

“ But what foul hand hath arm’d Matilda's fair ?” Again, in A Looking-Glass for London and England, 1598:

* And fold in me the riches of thy fair.Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1599 :

“ Then tell me, love, shall I have all thy fair?" Again, in Greene's Never Too Late, 1616: “ Though she were false to Menelaus, yet her fair made him brook her follies.” Again :

Flora in tawny hid up all her flowers,
“ And would not diaper the meads with fair."

STEEVEXS. 3 Your eyes are lode-STARS ;] This was a complement not unfrequent among the old poets. The lode-star is the leading or guiding star, that is, the pole-star. The magnet is, for the same reason, called the lode-stone, either because it leads iron, or because it guides the sailor. Milton has the same thought in L'Allegro:

More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching ; 0, were favour so*!
Your's would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet

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. O, that your frowns would teach my smiles

such skill! Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. HEL. 0, 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.

“ Towers and battlements it sees
“ Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
“ Where perhaps some beauty lies,

“ The cynosure of neighb'ring eyes."
Davies calls Queen Elizabeth:
Lode-stone to hearts, and lode-stone to all


JOHNSON. So, in the Spanish Tragedy:

“ Led by the loadstar of her heavenly looks." Again, in The Battle of Alcazar, 1594 :

The loadstar and the honour of our line." Steevens.

(), were favour so!] Favour is feature, countenance. So, in Twelfth-Night, Act II. Sc. IV.:


“ Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves."

Steevens. s Yours would I catch) This emendation is taken from the Oxford edition. The old reading is—“Your words I catch.”

Johnson. 6 - to be to you TRANSLATED.) To translate, in our author, sometimes signifies to change, to transform. So, in Timon:

to present slaves and servants “ Translates his rivals." Steevens.

Her. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine?
Hel. None, but your beauty; 'Would that fault

were mine 8! 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:
O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto hell !

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

Her. And in the wood, where often you and I Upon faint primrose-beds 'were wont to lie, Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet ? :

Quarto F. as. 7 His folly, Helena, is no FAULT of mine.] The folio, and the quarto printed by Roberts, read :

His folly, Helena, is none of mine." Johnson. 8 None, but your beauty; 'Would that fault were mine!] I would point this line thus : “None.- But your beauty ;-'Would that fault were mine!"

HENDERSON. 9 Take comfort ; he no more shall see my face;

Lysander and myself will fly this place.

Before the time I did Lysander see,] 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 consider the power of pleasing, as an advantage to be much envied or much desired, since Hermia, whom she considers as possessing it in the supreme degree, has found no other effect of it than the loss of happiness.

JOHNSON. FAINT primrose-beds -] Whether the epithet faint has reference to the colour or smell of primroses, let the reader determine. STEEVENS.

2 Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet ;] That is, emptying our bosoms of those secrets upon which we were wont to consult each other with so sweet a satisfaction. HEATH.


There my Lysander and myself shall meet:
And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,

Emptying our bosoms of their counsel swell d; “ There my Lysander and myself shall meet : “ And thence, from Athens, 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 swelld, because that made an antithesis to emptying : and strange companions our editors thought was plain English ; but stranger companies, a little quaint and unintelligible. Our author very often uses the substantive, stranger, adjectively; and companies to signify companions : as in Richard" II. Act I. :

“ To tread the stranger paths of banishment.” And in Henry V.: “ His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow."

Theobald. Dr. Warburton retains the old reading, and perhaps justifiably; for a bosom swelled with secrets does not appear as an expression unlikely to have been used by our author, who speaks of a stuff"d bosom in Macbeth.

In Lyly's Midas, 1592, is a somewhat similar expression : “ I am one of those whose tongues are swell’d with silence.Again, in our author's King Richard II. :

the unseen grief “ That swells in silence in the tortur'd soul." Of counsels swell’d” may mean—swell’d with counsels.

Of and with, in other ancient writers have the same signification. See also, Macbeth-Note on

Of Kernes and Gallow-glasses was supplied." i. e. with them.

In the scenes of King Richard II. there is likewise a mixture of rhyme and blank yerse. Mr. Tyrwhitt, however, concurs with Theobald.

Though I have thus far defended the old reading, in deference to the opinion of other criticks I have given Theobald's conjectures a place in the text. Steevens.

I think, sweet, the reading proposed by Theobald, is right.

The latter of Mr. Theobald's emendations is likewise supported by Stowe's Annales, p. 291, edit. 1615 : “ The prince himself was faine to get upon the high altar, to girt his aforesaid companies with the order of knighthood." Mr. Heath observes, that our author seems to have had the following passage in the 55th Psalm, (v. 14, 15,) in his thoughts : « But it was even thou,

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