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A trim exploit, a manly enterprize,
Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
HEL. Never did mockers walte more idle breath.
Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none: If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone. My heart with her but, as guest-wise, fojourn'd; And now to Helen it is home return'd,
3. A trim exploit, a manly enterprize, &c.] This is written much in the manner and spirit of Juno's reproach to Venus in the fourth book of the Eneid:
" Egregiam vero laudem & fpolia ampla refertis,
STEEVENS. none, of noble fort,] Sort is here used for degree or quality. So, in the old ballad of Jane Shore :
Long time I lived in the court,
A poor soul's patience,] Harrass, torment. Johnson. 6 My heart with her but, as gueft-wise, Sojourn'd;
And now to Helen it is home return'd, ] The ancient copies read --66 to her." Dr. Johnsou made the corre&ion, and exemplified the sentiment by the followiug passage from Prior:
1. No matter what beauties I saw in my way;
STEEVENS, So, in our author's 100th Sonnet :
" This is my home of love ; if I have rang'd,
There to remain.
Helen, it is not fo.
Her, Dark night, that from the eye his function
takes, The ear more quick of apprehension makes; Wherein it doth impair the feeing sense, It pays the hearing double recompence: Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found; Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy found. But why unkindly did'st thou leave me fo? Løs. Why should he stay, whom love doth press
to go? HER. What love could press Lysander from my
fide ? Lys. Lyfander's love, that would not let him bide, Fair Helena; who more engilds the night Than all yon fiery oes' and eyes of light. Whyfeek'st thou me? could not this make thee know, The hate I bare thee made me leave thee fo?
all yon fiery oes-] Shakspeare uses O for a circle. So, in the prologue to K. Henry V.
can we crowd
" That did aflright the air at Agincourt?" Again, in The Partheneia Sacra, 1633 :
the purple canopy of the carth, powder'd over and belet with filver oes, or rather an azure vault," &c. STEEVENS.
D'Ewes's Journal of Queen Elizabeth's Parliaments, p. 650, men. tions a patent to make spangles and oes of gold; and I think haberdashers call small curtain rings, O's, as being circular. TOLLIT.
Her. You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
HEL. Lo, flie is one of this confederacy! Now I perceive they have conjoin'd, all three, To fashion this falle sport in spite of me. Injurivus Ilermia! moll ungrateful maid ! Have you confpir’d, have you with these contriv'd To baitive with this foul derision? Is all the counsel ihat we two have shar'd, The sisters' vows, 8 the hours that we have spent, When we have chid the halls-footed time For parting us,-0, and is all forgot?' All school-day's friendship, childhood innocence? We, Hermia, like two artificial gods, Have with our neelds 3 created both one flower,
8 The liflers vows,] We might read more elegantly,– The fifter vous, and a íw 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. 9 For parting us,-0, and is all forgot?] he first folio omits the word - and. I have received it from the folio 1632. Mr. Malone reads--920w. STELVES,
The editor of the second solio, to complete the metre, introduced the word and ;--0, and is all fargor!" It Nands so aukwardly, that I am persuaded it was not the 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 jines which burit from the heart, and speak the pangs of injured and lost friendship, resembling these. He adds." Shakspeare had never read the poems of Gregory Nazianzen : he was ignorant of the Greek language ; bu his mother tongue, the language of nas. ture, is the same in Cappadocia and in Britain."
Gibbon's Hif. Vol. XIII. p. 277. REED. - artificial gods,] Artifcial is ingenious, artful.
STEEVENS. 3 Have with our peelds, &c.] Most of our modern editors, with the old copies, have-needles; but the word was probably written by Shakspeare neeids, ( a common contradion in the inland counties at this day) otherwise the verse will be inharmonious. Scc Gammer Gurton's Needle.
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Again, in fir Arthur Gorges' translation of Lucan, 1614:
" Thus Cato spake, whose feeling words
" Like pricking neelds, or points of swords," &c. Again, in Stanyhurst's Virgil, 1582:
on neeld-wrought carpets."
" The cambrick," &c. Again, ibid.
• Deep clerks she dumbs, and with her neele composes
16 Nature's own shape.' In the age of Shakspeare many contradions were used. Ben Jonson has wher for whether in the prologue to his Sad Shepherd ; and in the earl of Sterline's Darius is Sport for support, and twards for towards.
Of the cvisceration and extension of words, however, T. Churchyard affords the most numerous and glaring instances ; for he has not scrupled even to give us rune instead of ruin, and miest instead of mis, when he wants rhimes to soon, and crieft. STEEVENS.
In the old editions of these plays many words of two syllables are printed at length, though intended to be pronounced as one. Thus spirit is almost always so written, though often used as a monosyllable; and whether, though intended ofien tu be contraded, is always, I think, improperly,) written at length. MALONE. 4 Two of the forfit
, like coats in heraldry, · Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.] Tlie old copies read-life coats, &c. 3TLEVENS,
And will you rent our ancient love afunder,
HER. I am amazed at your passionate words: I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.
Hei. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn, To follow me, and praise my eyes and face? And made your other love, Demetrius, (Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,) To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare, Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander Deny your love, so rich within his soul, And tenderime, forsooth, affcction; But by your setting on, by your consent? What though I be not so in grace as you, So hung upon with love, so fortunate;
The true correâion of ihe passage I owe to the friendship and communication of the ingenious Martin Folkes, cliq.--Two of the firft, fecond, &c. are terms peculiar in heraldry, to distinguish the different quaricrings of coats. THEOBALD.
These are, as Theobald observes, terms peculiar to heraldry; but that observation does not help to explain them. Every branch of a family is called a house; and none but the first of the first house can bear the arms of the family, without some distinction. Two of the first, therefore, means two coats of the first house, which are properly due but to one. M. MASON,
According to the rules of heraldry, the first house only, (e. g. a father who has a son living, or an elder brother as distinguished from a younger,) has a right to bear the family coat. The son's coat is distinguished from the father's by a label; the younger brother's from the elder's by a mullet. The same crest is common to both. Helena therefore means to say, that she and her friend were as closely united, as much one person, as if they were both of the first house; as if tliey both had the privilege due but to one perfon, (viz. to him of the first house,) the right of bearing the family coat without any distinguishing mark. MALONE,