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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 8 My foul consents not to give sovereignty. THE. Take time to pause: and, by the next new
moon, (The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
the rose distillid, ] So, in Lyly's Midas,
- 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 fill."
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. STELVENS.
This is a thought in which Shakspeare seems to have much dclighted. We meet with it more than once in his Sonnets. See 5th, 6th, and 54th Sonnet. MALONE. S
whose unwished yoke ] Thus both the quartos' 1600, and the folio 1623. The second folio reads
us to whose unwilhed yoke -." STEVENS. Dele to, and for unwish’d, 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-watched ; 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:
“ Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
My soul consents not to give sovereignty." i. c. to give sovereignty to. See various instances of this kind of phraseology in a noie 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 folio 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 poffess'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 suspeå that Shakspeare wrote : ". Let me have Hermia ; do you marry him."
TYRWHITT. spotted -] As spotlefs is innocent, fo 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
How chance the roses there do fade so fast ?
Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read,
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 :
66 I could beteome her a better match." But I rather think that to beteeni, in this place, fignifies (as in the northern counties) to pour out ; from tömmer, Danish.
STEEVENS, 3 The course of true love .] This passage seems to have been imitated by Milion. Paradise Lof, 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 - possesses all the editions, but carries no just meaning in it. Nor was Hermia displeas'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 respeå 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 say :
" 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.
THEOBALD. The emendation is fully supported, not only by the renour of the preceding lines, but by a paffage in our author's Venus und 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 first folio reads momentary. Momentany ( says Dr. Johnson) is the old and proper word. 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, io Ben Jonson's Poetaster :
Thou baft not collied thy face enough." STEEVENS:
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
Her. If then true lovers have been ever crofs'd,
? 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 spices be here employed oddly enough, yet I believe it right. Shakspeare, always hurried on by the grandeur and multitude of his ideas, asfumes 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 confidered, signifying a hafty sudden fit, is enough for him, and he never troubles himself about the further or fuller signification of the word. Here, he uses the word Spleen for a Sudden hafly fit ; so just the contrary, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, he uses sudden for splenetic : ' sudden 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
1. Fair Helena in fancy following me." STEEVENS. 9 From Athens is her house remote , seven leagues , ] Remote is the reading of both the quartos ; the folio has remov'd.