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Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.
HER. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke® My soul confents not to give fovereignty. THE. Take time to pause: and, by the next new
moon, (The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
the rose distill’d, ] So, in Lyly's Midas, 1592: " - You bee all young and faire, endeauour to bee wise and vertuous; that when, like roses, you shall fall from the stalke, you may be gathered, and put to the still."
This image however, must have been generally obvious, as in Shakspeare's time the distillation of rose water was a common process in all families. STEEVENS.
This is a thought in which Shakspeare seems to have much delighted. We meet with it more than once in his Sonnets. See 5th, 6th, and 54th Sonnet. MALONE.
whose unwished yoke -- ] Thus both the quartos' 1600, and the folio 1623. The second folio reads
" to whose unwilhed yoke -," STEEVENS. Dele to, and for unwishod, r. unwished. Though I have been in general extremely careful not to admit into my text any of the innovations made by the editor of the second folio, from ignorance of our poet's language or metre, my caution was here over-watch. ed ; and I printed the above lines as exhibited by that and all the subsequent editors, of which the seader was apprized in a note. The old copies should have been adhered to, in which they appear thus :
6. Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
My soul consents not to give sovereignty."
give sovereignty to. See various instances of this kind of phraseology in a note on Cymbeline, scene the last. The change was certainly made by the editor of the second folio from his ignorance of Shakspeare's phraseology. Malone.
I have adopted the present elliptical reading, because it not only Tenders the line smoother, but serves to exclude the disgusting recurrence of the preposition - to; and yet if the authority of the first folio had not been supported by the quartos, &c. I should have preferred the more regular phraseology of the folia 1632. STEEVENS.
For everlasting bond of fellowship,)
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.'
Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love; And what is mine, my love shall render him; And she is mine; and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius.
Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, As well possess’d; my love is more than his; My fortunes every way as fairly rank’d, If not with vantage, as Demetrius'; And, which is more than all these boasts can be, I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia: Why should not I then prosecute my right? Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head, Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry, Upon this spotted and inconstant man.
THE. I must confess, that I have heard so much, And with Denietrius thought to have spoke thereof; 9 You have her father's love, Demetrius ;
Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him. ] I fufpe& that Shakspeare wrote : 66 Let me have Hermia ; do you marry
TYRWHITT. : - — , -spotted - ) As Spotless is innocent, so Spotied is wicked.
But, being over-full of self-affairs,
(Exeunt Thes. Hip. EGE. DEM. and train. Lys. How now, my love? Why is your
cheek fo pale? 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:
2 Beteem them - ] Give them, bestow upon them. The word is used by Spenser. JOHNSON.
" So would I, said th' enchanter, glad and fain
" Beteem to you his sword, you to defend." Faery Queen, Again, in The Case is Altered. How? Ask Dalio and Milo, 1605 :
"I could beteeme her a better match." But I rather think that to beieen, in this place, fignifies ( as in the northern counties) to pour out; from tömmer, Danish.
STEEVENS, 3 The course of true love .] This paffage seems to have been imitated by Milion. Paradise Loft, B. X. - 896. & feqq.
But, either it was different in blood;
Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low!*
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
too high to be enthrall’d to low!] Love. poslesses all the editions, but carries no just meaning in it. Nor was Hermia difpleas'd at being in love; but regrets the inconveniences that generally attend the passion; either, the parties are disproportioned, in degree of blood and quality ; or unequal, in respe& 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 she has done to the other two, muft necessarily fay :
" O cross! too high to be enthrall'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.
THIOBALD, The emendation is fully supported, not only by the renour of the preceding lines, but by a passage in our author's Venus and Adonis, in which the former predi&s that the course of love never shall run smooth :
" Sorrow on love hercafter shall attend,
momentany as a sound, ] Thus the quarios. The fust folio reads — momentary. Momentany (says Dr. Johnson) is the old
STEEVENS. that short momentany rage," is an expression of Dryden.
HENLEY. 6 Brief as the lightning in the collied night, ] Collied, i. e. black, smutted with coal, a word still used in the midland counties. So, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster :
Thou haft not collied thy face enough." STEEVENS:
and proper word.
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
7 That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say, · Behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:) Though the word Spleers be here employed oddly enough, yet I believe it right. Shakspeare, always hurried on by the grandeur and multitude of his ideas, assumes every now and then, an uncommon licence in the use 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, or — - in a trice, he uses the word spleen ; which, partially considered, fignifying a hafty sudden fit, is enough for him, and he never troubles himself about tlie further or fuller fignification of the word. Here, he uses the word Spleen for a Sudden hafly fit; so just the contrary, in The Two Genilemen of Verona, he uses sudden for splenetic : "fudden quips.” And it must be owned this sort of conversation adds a force to the di&ion.
WARBURTON. fancy's followers. ] Fancy is love. So afterwards in this play
is Fair Helena in fancy following me." STEEVENS. 9 From Athens is her house remote seven leagues , ] Remote is the reading of both the quartos į the folio has remou'd.