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COB. Ready.

Bot. Monsieur Cobweb: good monsieur, get your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hip’d humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monfieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret your. self too much in the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you over-flown * with a honey-bag, fignior.---Where's monsieur Mustardfeed ?

Must. Ready.

Bot. Give me your neif,' monsieur Mustardfeed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.

Must. What's your will?

Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help cavalero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy about the face: and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch. TITA. What, wilt thou hear some musick, my

fwcet love? Bot. I have a reasonable good earin' musick: let us have the tongs and the bones.

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over-flown - | It should be overflow'd ; but it appears from a rhyme in another play that the mistake was our author's.

MALONE. I perceive no mistake. Overflown is the participle paslive. Scc Johnson's Dia. STEEVENS.

neif, ] ii e. fift. Sa, in K. Henry IV. A& II. sc. x: 6. Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif." GREY.

cavalero Cobweb - ) Without doubt it should be Cavalero Peas-blossom ; as for cavalero Cobweb, he had just been dispatched upon a perilous adventure.

GREY. - the tongs – ] The old rustic musick of the tongs and key. The folio has this stage diredion.--" Muficke Tongs, Rurall Muficke."

STEEVENS,

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Tita. Or, say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to

eat.

Bot. Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, .fweet hay, hath no fellow.

TITA. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek The squirrel's hoard, 8 and fetch thee new nuts. Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of

But, I pray you,, let none of your people ftir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my

dried peas.

arms.

Fairies, bergone, and be all ways away.”
So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,

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S* The Squirrel's hoard, ] Hoard is here employed as a disfyllable.

STEEVENS. - and be all ways away. ] i. c. disperse yourselves, and scout out severally, in your watch, that danger approach us from no quarter. THEOBALD.

The old copies read be always." Corređed by Mr. Theobald, MALONE. Mr. Upton reads:

" And be away-away." JOHNSON. Mr. Heath would read and be always i' th' way. STEEVENS. : So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,

Gently entwift,--the female ivy so

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm. ] What does the woodbine entwist? The honey-fickles But the woodbine and honey suckle were, till now, but two names for one and the same plant. Florio, iu his lialian Didionary, interprets Madre Selva by woodbine or hone' nie-suckle. We must therefore find a support for the woodbine as well as for the ivy. Which is done by reading the lines thus :

u So doth the woodbine, the sweet honey-suckle,
" Gently entwist the maple; ivy so

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm." The corruption might happen by the first blunderer dropping the in writing the word najle, which word thence became male. A

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Gently entwist,—the female ivyo so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

[They sleep

following transcriber, for the sake of a little sense and measure, thought fit to change this male into female; and then tacked it as an epithet to ivy. WARBURTON. Mr. Uptou reads :

"So doth the woodrine the sweet honey suckle," for bark of the wood. Shakspeare perhaps only meant, so the leaves involve the flower, using woodbine for the plani, and honeyJuckle for the flower; or perhaps Shakspeare made a blunder.

JOHNSON. The thought is Chaucer's. See his Troilus and Creffeide, •. 1236, Lib. III:

And as about a tre with many a twist
" Bitient and writhin is the swele woodlinde,

" Gan eche of hem in armis other winde." What Shakspeare seems to mean, is this--So the woodbine, i. e. the sweet honey-suckle, doth gently entwist the barky fingers of the elm, and so does the female ivy enring the same fingers. It is not unfrequent in the poéis, as well as other writers, io explain one word by another which is better known. The reason why Shakspeare

ught woodbine wanted illustration, perhaps is this. In fome counties, by woodline or woodlind would have been generally un. derstood the ivy, which he had occasion to mention in the very next line.

In the following instance from Old Fortunatus, 1600, woodbind is used for ivy:

And, as the running wood-bind, spread her arms

“ To choak tlıy with'ring boughs in her embrace." And Barret in his Alvearic, or Quadruple Didionary, 1580, enforces the same dislinaion that Shakspeare thought it necessary to make :

" Woodbin that beareth the honey-fuckle." STEEVENS. This passage has given rise to various conje&ures. 'It is certain, that the wood-bine and the honey-fuckle were sometimes considered as different plants. In one of Taylor's poems, we have

“ Tbe woodbine, primrose, and the cowilip fine,

" The honisuckle, and the daffadill." But I think Mr. Steevens's interpretation the true one. The old writers did not always carry the auxiliary verb forward, as Mr. Capell seems to suppose by his alteration of enrings to enring. So bishop Lowth, in his excellent Introduction to Grammar, p. 118, has without reason correded a {imilar pallage in our translation of St. Matthew. FARMER.

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Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this.

sweet sight? Her dotage now I do begin to pity. For meeting her of late, behind the wood,

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Were any change necessary, I should not scruple to read the weedbind, i. e, smilax: a plant that twists round every other that grows in its way. STEEVENS.

In lord Bacon's Nat. Hif. Experiment 496, it is observed that there are two kinds of u honeysuckles, both the woodbine and the trefoil, i. e. the first is a plant that winds about trees, and the other is a three-leaved grass. Perhaps these are meant in Dr. Farmer's quotation. The diftin&ion, however, may serve to thew why Shakspeare and other authors frequently added woodbine to Thoney-fuckle, when they mean ihe plant, and not the grass. Tollet.

The interpretation of either Dr. Johnson or Mr. Steevens removes all difficulty. The following pallage in Sicily and Naples, or The Fatal Union, 1640, in which the honeysuckle is spoken of as the flower, and the woodbine as the plant, adds some fupport to Dr. Johnson's exposition :

as fit a gift
56 As this were for a lord, honey-fuckle,

". The amorous woodbine's offspring
But Minshieu in v. Woodbinde, supposes them the same: 66 Alio
nomine nobis Anglis Honysuckle di&us." If Dr. Johnson's expla-
nation be right, there should be no point after woodbine, honey-
fuckle, or enrings. MALONE.

the female ivy - ] Shakspeare calls it female ivy, because it always requires some support, which is poetically called its husband. So Milton :

led the vine
" To wed- her elm: she spous'd, about him twines
"s 'Her marriagcable arms.
" Ulmo conjun&a marilo. Catull.

Platanusque cælebs
66 Evincet ulmos.' Hor. STEEVENS.
Though the ivy here represents the female

, there is, notwithftanding, an evident reference in the words enrings and fingers, la the ring of the marriage rite. Henley.

In our ancieot marriage ceremony, (or rather, perhaps, contra&,) 'the woman gave the nan a ring, as well as received one from him.

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Seeking sweet favours 3. for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her:
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that fame dew, which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearis,
Stood now within the pretty flourets' eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgraee bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in mild terms, begg'd. my patience,
I then did alk of her her changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That he awaking when the other do,'

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To this cuftom the conduđ of Olivia (see Twelfth Night, sc. ult.) bears sufficient teftimony:

" A contract of eternal bond of love, &c.

Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings. STEEVENS.

- sweet savours - ] Thus Roberts's quarto and the first folio. Fisher's quarto reads -- favours; which, taken in the sense of ornaments, such as are worn at weddings, may be right. STEEVENS.

flourets' eyes.] The eye of a flower is the technical term for its center. Thus Milton, in his Lycidas, v. 139 ; “Throw hither all your quaint enameld cyes.

STEEVENS. 5 That he awaking when the other do, ] Such is the reading of the old copies, and such was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age ; though the modern editors have departed from it. So, in King Henry IV. P. I: 66 -- and unbound ihe reit, and then came in the other."

Again, in King Henry IV. P. II: " For the other, Sir John, let me see, &c.

So, in the epifle prefixed to Pierce Pennilele his Supplication to the Devil, by Thomas Nashe, 4to. 1592: hope they will give me leave to think there be fooles of that art, as well as of all ether. " MALONE.

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