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Dem.

You are too officious, In her behalf that scorns your services. Let her alone; speak not of Helena; Take not her part: for if thou doit intends Never so little fhow of love to her, Thou shalt aby it." Lys.

Now she holds me not; Now follow, if thou dar'st, to try whose right, Or thine or mine, is most in Helena: 7

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

“ 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 Renoda us his Dispensatory, 1657, informs us that knot-grafs " is a low repiant hearb, with exile, copious, nodose, and geniculated branches." Perhaps no hypochondriack is to be found, who might not derive his cure from the perusal of any single chapter in this work. STEEVENS.

intend-] i. c. pretend. So, in Msuch ado about No. thing: Intend a kind of zcal both to the prince and Claudio."

STEEVENS. 6 Thou shalt aby it.] To aby is to pay dear for, to-suffer. So, in 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, 1599:

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 suspeded 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.

you, I;

Did not you

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 Nor longer stay in your

curft

company. Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray; 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'st,
Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.

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 I esteem a sport.

OBE. Thou seest, these lovers seeka place to fight:
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,

Then ftir 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:

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

STEEVENS.

Then crush this herb into Lysander'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 1 in this affair do thee employ, I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;. And then I will her charined

eye

release From monster's view, and all things shall be peace: Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with

haite ; 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 spirits all, That in cross-ways and floods have burial,"

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virtuous property,] Salutiferous. So he calls, in The Tempeft, poisonous dew, wicked dew. JOHNSON.

wind,] i, e. 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:

“ Swift, swist, 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 Tempeft:

“. Among the carth-bred brothers you a mortal war did set, 66 And brought alleep the dragon féll, whose eyes were never

Mhet." MALONE.

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

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Already to their

wormy beds are gone;
For fear lest day thould look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye confort with black-brow'd night.

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

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

" Let some preest a gospel saye
" For doute of fendes in the foule." STEVENS.

to their wormy beds -- ] This périphrafier the grave has been borrowed by Milton, in his Ode on the design of a fair Infant:

" Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed.ASTEEVENS.

black-brow'd night. ] So, in King John:
Why, here walk 1, in the black brow of night."

STEEVENS, 5 I with the morning's love have oft made sport; ] Thus, all the old copies, and I tank, rightly. Tithonus was the husband of Aurora, and Tithonus was no young deity. Thus, in Aurora, a collection of fonuets, by lord Sterline, 1604:

6. And why should Tithon thus, whose day grows late,

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

" Aurora yet keeps chaste oli Tiihon's bed;

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

As faire Aurora riling hasily,
" Doch by her blushing tell that she did lys

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

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

6 Thou risest ever-maiden!" How such a waggish spirit as the King of the Fairies might make sport with an antiquated lover, or his mistress in his abfence, may be easily understoor. Dr. Johnson reads with all the modern editors, “I with the morning light, &c. STEEVENS.

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

I

a

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

Pujck. 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.

Enter LYSANDER.

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. Puck.

Follow me thep To plainer ground.

(Exit Lys. as following the voice.

Enter DEMETRIUS.

DEM.

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

head?

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

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

STEEVENS.

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