« PreviousContinue »
Let her shine as gloriously
Obe. Stand aside: the noise they make,
Puck. Then will two at once, woo one;
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.
Scorn and derision never come in tears:
In their nativity all truth appears.
Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more.
When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray! These vows are Hermia's: Will you give her o'er?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
Lys. I had no judgment, when to her I swore.
5 Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true!] This is said in allusion to the badges (i. e. family crests) anciently worn on the sleeves of servants and retainers. So, in The Tempest: s Mark the badges of these men, and then say if they be true." Steevens.
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Hel. O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
Taurus' snow,] Taurus is the name of a range of mountains in Asia. Johnson.
.? This princess of pure white,] Thus all the editions, as low as Sir Thomas Hanmer's. He reads:
This pureness of pure white; and Dr. Warburton follows him. The old reading may be justified from a passage in Sir Walter Raleigh's Discovery of Guiana, where the pine-apple is called The princess of fruits. Again, in Wyat's Poems: “ Of beauty princesse chief.” Steevens.
- seal of bliss.'] He has in Measure for Measure, the same image:
“ But my kisses bring again,
“ Seals of love, but scald in vain.” Johnson. More appositely, in Antony and Cleopatra:
My play-fellow, your hand; this kingly seal, “ And plighter of high hearts.” Steevens.
join, in souls,] i. e. join heartily, unite in the same mind. Shakspeare, in K. Henry V, uses an expression not unlike
- For we will hear, note, and believe in heart;" i. e. heartily believe: and in Measure for Measure, he talks of electing with special soul. In Troilus and Cressida, Ulysses, relating the character of Hector, as given him by Æneas, says:
with private soul “ Did in great Ilion, thus translate him to me.” And, in All Fools, by Chapman, 1605, is the same expression as that for which I contend:
Happy, in soul, only by winning her.” Again, in a masque called Luminalia, or The Festival of Light, 1637 :
“ You that are chief in souls, as in your blood.” Again, in Pierce Penniless, his Supplication to the Devil, 1595;
whose subversion in soul they have vow'd."
If you were men, as men you are in show,
Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. XII, ch. Ixxv:
“ Could all, in soul, of very God say as an Ethnick said
“ To one that preached Hercules ?" Again, in our author's Twelfth Night:
“ And all those swearings keep as true in soul.” Sir T. Hanmer would read-in flouts; Dr. Warburton, insolents. Steevens. I rather believe the line should be read thus:
“ But you must join, ill souls, to mock me too ?” Ill is often used for bad, wicked. So, in The Sea Voyage of Beaumont and Fletcher, Act IV, sc. i:
“ They did begin to quarrel like ill men;" which I cite the rather, because ill had there also been changed into in, by an error of the press, which Mr. Sympson has corrected from the edition, 1647. Tyrwhitt.
This is a very reasonable conjecture, though I think it hardly right. Johnson. We meet with this phrase in an old poem by Robert Dabourne:
Men shift their fashions
“ Is 't not enough thou hast suborn’d these women
“ To call him villain!" Malone. 1 A trim exploit, a manly enterprise, &c.] This is written much in the manner and spirit of Juno's reproach to Venus in the fourth Book of the Æneid:
Egregiam vero laudem et spolia ampla refertis,
uque puerque tuus; magnum et memorabile nomen, “ Una dolo divům si fæminą victa duorum est.” Steevens.
none, of noble sort,] Sort is here used for degree or quality. So, in the old ballad of Jane Shore:
Long time I lived in the court,
“ With lords and ladies of great sort.” Malone. 3
Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
yoll love Hermia; this, you know, I know:
Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
Helen, it is not so.
Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go? Her. What love could press Lysander from my side?
Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him bide, Fair Helena; who more engilds the night Than all yon fiery oess and eyes of light.
4 My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd;
And now to Helen it is home return'd,] The ancient copies read~" to ber.” Dr. Johnson made the correction, and exemplified the sentiment by the following passage from Prior:
“ No matter what beauties I saw in my way:
“ They were but my visits; but thou art my home.” Steevens. So, in our author's 109th Sonnet:
“ This is my home of love; if I have rang’d,
all yon fiery oes --] Shakspeare uses O for a circle. So, in the prologue to King Henry V:
“can we crowd
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
Her. You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
Hel. Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Again, in The Partheneia Sacra, 1633:
the purple canopy of the earth, powder'd over and beset with silver oes, or rather an azure vault,” &c. Again, in John Davies of Hereford's Microcosmos, 1605, p. 233:
“ Which silver oes and spangles over-ran.” Steevens. D'Ewes's Journal of Queen Elizabeth's Parliaments, p. 650, mentions a patent to make spangles and oes of gold; and I think haberdashers call small curtain rings, O's, as being circular.
Tollet. 6 The sister's vows,] We might read, more elegantly- The sis
VOWS, and a few lines lower,-All school-day friendship. The latter emendation was made by Mr. Pope; but changes, merely for the sake of elegance, ought to be admitted with great caution.
Malone. 7 For parting us,--0, and is all forgot?] The first folio omits the word-and. I have received it from the folio, 1632. Mr. Malone reads-now. Steevens.
The editor of the second folio, to complete the metre, introduced the word and;—“ 0, and is all forgot?” It stands so aukwardly, that I am persuaded it was not our author's word.
Malone. 0, and is all forgot?] Mr. Gibbon observes, that in a poem of Gregory Nazianzen on his own life, are some beautiful lines, which burst from the heart, and speak the pangs of in. jured and lost friendship, resembling these. He adds, “ Shakspeare had never read the poems of Gregory Nazianzen: he was ignorant of the Greek language; but his mother tongue, the language of nature, is the same in Cappadocia and in Britain.”
Gibbon's Hist. Vol. III, p. 15. Reed. artificial gods,] Artificial is ingenious, artful. Steevens,