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Is true as steel: Leave you your power to draw,
Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair ?
Hel. And even for that do I love you the more.
HEL. And I am sick, when I look not on you.
Den. You do impeach your modesty' too much,
Her Your virtue is my privilege for that?.
Quarto F. omits do. Certaine Secrete Wonders of Nature, bl. I. 1569, that --" there is now a dayes a kind of aclamant which draweth unto it feshe, and the same so strongly, that it hath power to knit and tie together, two mouthes of contrary persons, and drawe the heart of a man out of his bodie without offendyng any parte of him."
“ And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
- for that.] i. e. For leaving the city, &c. TYRWHITT.
is paraphrased from two lines of an ancient poet [Tibullus] :
Therefore I think I am not in the night :
Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you '. Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd; Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase; The dove pursues the griffin ; the mild hind Makes speed to catch the tiger: Bootless speed ! When cowardice pursues, and valour flies.
Dem. I will not stay thy questions ; let me go: Or, if thou follow me, do not believe But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, and * field, You do me mischief. Fye, Demetrius ! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
* Quarto F. the field. Tu nocte vel atra “Lumen, et in solis tu mihi turba locis.” Johnson. As the works of King David might be more familiar to Shakspeare than Roman poetry, perhaps, on the present occasion, the eleventh verse of the 139th Psalm was in his thoughts : “ Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day.” Steevens.
4 Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;] The same thought occurs in King Henry VI. P. II. :
A wilderness is populous enough,
“So Suffolk had thy heavenly company.” Malone. s The wildest hath not such a heart as you.]
“ Mitius inveni quam te genus omne ferarum.” Ovid. See Timon of Athens, Act IV. Sc. I. :
where he shall find “ The unkindest beasts more kinder than mankind." S. W'. 6 I will not stay thy QUESTIONS ;] Though Helena certainly puts a few insignificant questions to Demetrius, I cannot but think our author wrote-question, i. e. discourse, conversation. So, in As You Like It : "I met the duke yesterday, and had much question with him." STEEVENS.
We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
[Exeunt Dem. and Hel. Obe. Fare thee well, nymph : ere he do leave
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love,
Puck. Ay, there it is.
I pray thee, give it me.
7 TO DIE Upon the hand, &c.] To die upon, &c. in our author's language, I believe, means" to die by the hand.” So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“ I'll die on him that says so, but yourself.” STEEVENS.
whereon-] The old copy reads—where. Mr. Malone supposes where to be used as a dissyllable; but offers no example of such a pronunciation. Steevens.
If similar usages are shown in Shakspeare and other writers of his time, it is sufficient without producing express authority in every instance. Mr. Steevens saw no objection to desire as a trisyllable in Cymbeline, Act I. Sc. VII. :
“ Should make desire vomit emptiness." Yet no other example has been given. Malone.
9 Where ox-lips - ] The ox-lip is the greater cowslip. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, song xv.: “ To sort these Aowers of showe, with other that were sweet, “ The cowslip then they couch, and th' oclip for her meet.”
STEEVENS. the NODDING violet -] i. e. that declines its head, like a drowsy person. Steevens.
2 Quite over-canopied with luSCIOUS woodbine,] Thus all the old copies. On the margin of one of my folios an unknown hand has written lush woodbine, which, I think, is right. This hand I have since discovered to be Theobald's. Johnson.
Lush is clearly preferable in point of sense, and absolutely ne
There sleeps Titania, some time of the night,
cessary in point of metre. Oberon is speaking in rhyme; but woodbine, as hitherto accented upon the first syllable, cannot possibly correspond with eglantine. The substitution of lush will restore the passage to its original harmony, and the author's idea.
Ritson. I have inserted lush in the text, as it is a word already used by Shakspeare in The Tempest, Act II. :
“ How lush and lusty the grass looks ? how green?” Both lush and luscious (says Mr. Henley) are words of the same origin.
Dr. Farmer, however, would omit the word quite, as a useless expletive, and read :
O’er-canopied with luscious woodbine.” STEEVENS. That no alteration is required on account of the metre is shown in the Essay on Shakspeare's Versification. Boswell.
hath on.) I desire no surer evidence to prove that the broad Scotch pronunciation once prevailed in England, than such a rhyme as the first of these words affords to the second. Steevens.
Another part of the Wood.
Enter TITANIA, with her train. Tita. Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song ; Then, for the third part of a minute, hence';
4— a ROUNDEL, and a fairy song ;) Rounds, or roundels, were like the present country dances, and are thus described by Sir John Davies, in his Orchestra, 1622 :
“ Then first of all he doth demonstrate plain
“ The motions seven that are in nature found,
To this side, and to that, and turning round ;
Which he doth teach unto the multitude,
“ And ever with a turn they must conclude.
“As erst he did the shapeless mass of things,
And about trees to cast themselves in rings :
In a round dance for ever wheeling be.” Reed. A roundell, rondil, or roundelay, is sometimes used to signify a song beginning or ending with the same sentence: redit in orbem.
Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589, has a chapter On the roundel, or sphere, and produces what he calls A general resemblance of the roundel to God, and the queen. STEEVENS.
A roundel is, as I suppose, a circular dance. Ben Jonson seems to call the rings which such dances are supposed to make in the grass, rondels. Vol. V. Tale of a Tub, p. 23 : " I'll have no rondels, I, in the queen's paths."
TYRWHITT. So, in The Boke of the Governour, by Sir Thomas Elyot, 1537: “In stede of these we have now base daunces, bargenettes, pavyons, turgions, and roundes.” STEEVENS.
s Then, for the third part of A MIMUTE, hence:) Dr. Warburton reads:
- for the third part of the midnight