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You are too officious, In her behalf that fcorns your services. Let her alone; speak not of Helena; Take not her part: for if thou dost intend' Never so little flow of love to her, Thou shalt aby it. Lys,

Now the holds me not; Now follow, if thou dar'it, to try whose right, Or thine or mine, is most in Helena:*

Beaumont and Fletcher mention this property of it in The Knight of the Burning Pejile:

“ Should they put him into a straight pair of gaskins, 'twere worse than knot-grass, he would never grow after it."

Again, in The Cóxcomb :

" We want a boy extremely for this fundion, kept under, for a year, with milk and knot-grass." Daisy-roots were supposed to have the same effe&t.

That prince of verbose and pedantic coxcombs, Richard Tomlinson, apothecary, in his translation of Renodaus his Dispensatory, 1657, informs us that knot-grass « is a low repiant hearb, with exile, copious, nodose, and geniculated branches." Perhaps no hypochondriack is to be fou who might noi derive his cure from the perusal of any single chapter in this work. STEEVENS. s

- intend -] i. e. pretend. So, in Muchado about No. thing: “ Intend a kind of zeal both to the prince and Claudio."

STEEVENS. 6 Thou shalt aby it.] To aby is to pay dear for, 'to suffer. So, ia The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 :

Had I sword and buckler here, " You should aby these questions." The word has occurred before in this play. Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1199:

but thou shalt dear aby this blow." STEEVENS. 7 Or thine or mine,] The old copies read--Of thine. The emendation is Mr. Theobald's. I am not sure that the old reading is corrupt. If the line had run-". Of mine or thine," I should have suspected that the phrase was borrowed from the Latin :-Now follow, to try whose right of property, — of meum or tuum, -is the greatest in Helena. MALONE.

DEM. Follow ?

nay, l'll go with thee, cheek by jole.

Exeunt Lys. and DEM. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is ’long of you: Nay, go not back. HEL.

I will not trust you, I; Nor longer stay in your

curit company. Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fras; My legs are longer though, to run away. [Exit. HER. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.

[Exit, pursuing HELENA. OBE. This is thy negligence: ftill thou mistak'ft, Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.

Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook. Did not you tell me, I should know the man By the Athenian garments he had on? And so far blameless proves my enterprize, That I have ’nointed an Athenian's eyes: And so far am I glad it so did sort, As this their jangling 1 esteem a sport.

Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight: Hie therefore, Robin, overcait the night; The starry welkin cover thou anon With drooping fog, as black as Acheron; And lead these telty rivals so astray, As one come not within another's way. Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue, Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong; And sometime rail thou like Demetrius; And from each other look thou lead them thus, 'Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:

- so did sort,) So happen in the issue. JOHNSON. So, in Monsieur D'Olive, 1606: never look to have any adion fort to your honor."


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Then crush this herb into Lyfander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted fight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league, whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles l in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy ;.
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monfler's view, and all things shall be peace.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with

For night's swift dragons' cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and

there, Troop home to church-yards: damned [pirits all, That in cross-ways and floods have burial,"



virtuous property, ] Salutiferous. So he calls, in The T'empeft, poisonous dew, wicked dew. JOHNSON.

wend,] i. c. go. So, in The Comedy of Errors:

Hopeless and helpless doth Ægeon wend." STEEVENS. 9 For night's swift dragons, &c.] So, in Cymbeline, A& II. sc. ii:

“ Swist, swift, ye dragons of the night!" See my note on this passage, concerning the vigilance imputed to the serpent tribe. STEEVENS.

This circumstance Shakspeare might have learned from a passage in Golding's Translation of Ovid, which he has imitated in The Tempest:

Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal war did set, " And brought alleep the dragon fell, whose eyes were never

Mhet." MALONE.

damned spirits all, That in cross-ways and floods have burial,] i. e. The ghosts of self-murderers, who are buried in cross-roads; and of those who bcing drowned, were condemned (according to thc opinion of the

Already to their wormy beds : are gone;
For fear lest day thould look their fhames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye confort with black-browd night."

OBE. But we are spirits of another fort:
I with the morning's love have oft made sport; .



ancients ) to wander for a hundred years, as the rites of fepulturc had never been regularly beltowed on thor bolies. That the waters were sometimes the place of resideirce for damned Spirits, we learn froin the ancient bl. l. Romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys, no date :

• Let some preeit a gospel faye
" For doute of Jendes in the foule." STEEVENS.

to their wormy beds - ] This periphrafis the grave has been borrowed by Milton, in his Oide on the light of a fair Infant:

- Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed." STEEVENS.

black-brow'd night. ] So, in King john:
Why, here walk I, in the black brow of night."

STEEVENS. 5 I with the morning's love havo oft made sport;] Thus, all the old copies, and I twuk, rightly. Tichonus was the hudband of Aurora, and Tithonus was no young deity. Thus, in Aurora, a colleation of connets, by lord Sterline, 1004:

" And why should Tithon thus, whose day grows late,

Enjoy the morning's love?"
Again, in The' Parafitajler, by J. Maiston, 1606:

" Aurora yet keeps chaile ola Tiihon's bed;

6 Yet blushes at it when the rises." Again, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. III. c. iii:

". As faire Autura riling hallily,
* Doch by her blushing teil that the did lys

" All night in old Tithonus' frozen bed." Again, in The Faithful Shepherdess of Fletcher :

0, lend me all thy red,
" Thou shame-fac'd moruing, when from Tithon's bed

- Thou risest ever-maiden!" How fuch a waggish spirit as the King of the Fairies might make sport with an antiquaieil lover, or his mistress iu his abfence, may be easily understoord. Dr. Johnson reads with all the modern edi. tors, “I with the morning light, &c. STEEVENS.

Will not this passage bear a different explanation? By the morning's love I apprehend Cephalus, the mighly launter and paramour Vol. VII.


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And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate,' all fiery-red,
Opening on Neptune with fair bleiled beams,
Turns into yellow gold his falt-green streains.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
We may effect this business yet ere day. [Exit Obe.

Puck. Up and down, up and down;
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town;

Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.


Lys. Where art thou; proud Demetrius ? speak

thou now. Puck. Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where

art thou?

Lys. I will be with thee straight.

Follow me thep To plainer ground.

{ Exit Lys. as following the voice.



Lyfander! speak again. Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy


of Aurora, is intended. The contert, “ And, like a forester," &c. seems to show that the chace was the sport which Oberon boasts he partook with the morning's love. Hout WHITE.

s. Even till. the easiern gate, &c.] What the fairy Monarch means to inform Puck of, is this. That he was not compelled, like meaner {pirits, to vanish at the first appearance of the dawn.


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