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Is true as steel: Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.

Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair ?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you—I do not, nor I cannot love you ?

Hel. And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love,
(And yet a place of high respect with me,)
Than to be used as you do * use your dog ?
Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my

For I am sick, when I do look on thee.

HEL. And I am sick, when I look not on you.

Den. You do impeach your modesty' too much,
To leave the city, and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
To trust the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.

Her Your virtue is my privilege for that?.
It is not night, when I do see your face ",

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."

IMPEACH your modesty -] i. e. bring it into question.
So, in The Merchant of Venice, Act III. Sc. II. :

“ And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
“ If they deny him justice." STEEVENS.

- for that.] i. e. For leaving the city, &c. TYRWHITT.
3 It is not night, when I do see your face, &c.] This passage

is paraphrased from two lines of an ancient poet [Tibullus] :



Therefore I think I am not in the night :
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company';
For you, in my respect, are all the world :
Then how can it be said, I am alone,
When all the world is here to look on me ?
DEM. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the

And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

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;
We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well?.

[Exeunt Dem. and Hel. Obe. Fare thee well, nymph : ere he do leave

this grove,

Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love,

Re-enter Puck.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

Puck. Ay, there it is.

I pray thee, give it me.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where ox-lips and the nodding violet' grows ;
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine :



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,
Lulld in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enameli'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in :
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove :
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes ;
But do it, when the next thing he espies
May be the lady : Thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on".
Effect it with some care; that he may prove
More fond on her, than she upon her love:
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Puck. Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.


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.



the MAN


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';



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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,
· Upward and downward, forth, and back again,

To this side, and to that, and turning round ;
“ Whereof a thousand brawls he doth compound,

Which he doth teach unto the multitude,

“ And ever with a turn they must conclude.
“ Thus when at first love had them marshalled,

“As erst he did the shapeless mass of things,
“ He taught them rounds and winding hays to tread,

And about trees to cast themselves in rings :
As the two Bears whom the first mover flings
• With a short turn about heaven's axle-tree,

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

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