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May all to Athens back again repair ;
[ Touching her eyes with an herb.
Hath such force and blessed power.
Tita. My Oberon! wha't visions have I seen! Methought, I was enamour'd of an afs.
OBE. There lies your love.
How came these things to pass ?
head.Titania, musick call; and strike more dead Than common sleep, of all these five the sense."
TITA. Musick, ho!mufick; such as charmeth sleep. Puck. Now, when thou wak's, with thine own
fool's eyes peep: Obe. Sound, musick. [Still mufick. ] Come, my
queen, take hands with me, And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
6 Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower - ] The old copiés read Cupid's. Corrected by Dr. Thirlby. The herb now employed is styled Diana's bud, because it is applyed as an antidote to that charm which had constrained Titanja to dote on Bottom with “ the foul of love." MALONE.
Dian's bud, is the hud of the Agnus Caftus, or Chalte Troc. Cupid's flower, is the Viola tricolor, or Love in Idleness. Steevens. of all these five the sense. ] The old copies read
these fire; but this most certainly is corrupt. My emendation needs no justification. The five, that lay asleep on the stage were Demetrius, Lysander, Hermia, Helena, and Bottom. – Dr. Thirlby likewiss communicated this very corrc&tion. THEOBALD,
Now thou and I are new in amity;
Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark ;
OBE. Then, my queen, in silence sad,
& Dance in duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
to all far posterity." to the remoteft posterity. WARBURTON. Fair pofterity is the right reading. In the concluding song, where Oberon blesses the nuptial bed, part of his benedidion is, that the posterity of Theseus shall be fair:
" And the blotsagf nature's hand
to all fair prosperity:] I have preferred this, which is the reading of the first and best quarto, printed by Fisher, to that of the other quarto and the folio, (posterity, ) induced by the fol-s lowing lines in a former scene:
your warrior love
" To give their bed joy and prosperity.” MALONE. 9 Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night's Made :] Sad signifies only grave, rober; and is opposed to their dances and revels, which were now caded at the fingiog of the morniog lark. So, in The Winter's Tale, A& IV: “ My father and the gentlemen are in fad talk." For grave or serious. WARBURTON.
A statute 3 Henry VII. c. xiv. direås certain offences committed in the king's palace, to be tried by twelve sad men of the king's houshold. BLACKSTONE.
We the globe can compass soon,
Tita. Come, my lord ; and in our flight,
(Horns found within.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLITA, EGEUS, and train,
THE. Go, one of you, find out the forefter ;-
— Our observation is perform'd:] The honours due to the morning of May. I know not why Shakspeare calls this play A Midsummer Night's-Dream, when he so carefully informs us that it happened on the night preceding May day. JOHNSON.
The title of this play seems no more intended, to denote the precise time of the adtion, than that of The Winter's Tale; which we fiud, was at the season of sheep-lhcaring. FARMER. The same phrase has been used in a former scene:
" To do observance to a morn of May." I imagine that the title of this play was suggefted by the time it was first introduced on the stage, which was probably at Midsum
" A Dream for the entertainment of a Midsuinmer-pight." Twelfth Night and The Winter's Tale had probably their titles from a fimilar circumstance. MALONE.
In Twelfth Night, Aa III. sc. iv. Olivia observes of Malvolio's seeming frenzy, that it " is a very Midsummer madness." That time of the year we may therefore suppose was anciently thought produđive of mevtal vagaries resembling the scheme of Shiakspeare's Play. To this circumfance it might have owed its title.
STEEVENS. the vaward of the day, ] V'award is compounded of van and ward, the forepart. In Knolles's History of the Turks, the word vayvod is used in the same sense. Edinburgh Magazine, for. Nov, 1786. STLEVENS.
Uncouple in the western valley; go :-
Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once,
- they bay'd the bear -] Thus all the old copies.
And thus in Chaucer's Knightes Tale, v. 2020. Tyrwhitt's eüit:
“ The hunte yltrangled with the wild beres."
Bearbaiting was likewise once a diversion esteemed proper for royal .personages, even of the softer sex. While the princess Elizabeth remained at Hatfield House, under the custody of Sir Thomas Pope, fhe was visited by queen Mary. The next morning they were entertained with a grand exhibition of bearbaiting, with which their highnesses were righé well content. Sce Life of Sir Thomas Pope, cited by Warton in his History of English Poetry, vol. II. p. 391. STEEVENS.
In The Winter's Tale Antigonus is destroyed by a bear, who is chaced by hunters. See also our poet's Venus and Adonis :
" For now the hears it is no gentle chase,
MALONE. Holinihed, with whose histories our poet was well acquainted, fays ut the beare is a beast commonlie hunted in the East countrie." Sce Vol. I. p. 206; and in p. 226, he says, " Alexander ai vacant time hunted the tiger, the pard, the bore, and the beare," Pliny, Plutarch, &c, mention bear-hunting. Turberville, in his Book of Hunting, has two chapters ou hunting the bear. As the persons mentioned by the poet are foreiguers of the heroic strain, he miglit perhaps think it nobler sport for them to hunt the bear than the boar. Shakspeare must have read the Knight's Tale in Chaucer, wherein are mentioned Theseus's " white alandes (grey-hounds) to huntin at the lyon, or the wild bere." TOLLET.
fuch. gallant chiding;] Chiding in this inftance means only Sound. So, in K. Henry VIII:
“ As doth a rock against the chiding flood."
The skies, the fountains,' every region near
kind, So flew’d,? so sanded ;; and their heads are hung
Again, in Humour out of Breath, a comedy, by John Day, 1608:
I take great pride “ To hear soft musick, and thy shrill voice chide." Again, in the 22d chapter of Drayton's Polyolbion :
- drums and trumpets chide." - STEEVENS. 7 The skies, the fountains, ] Instead of fountains, Mr. Heath would tead - mountains. The change had been proposed 10 Mr. Theobald, who has well supported the old reading, by observing that. Virgil and other poets have made rivers, lakes, &c. responsive to sound:
" Tum vero exoritur clamor, ripæque lacusque
MALONE. 8 Seem'd all one miutual cry:] The old copies concur in reading - seem ; but, as Hippolyta is speaking of time past, I have adopted Mr. Rowe's corredion. STEEVENS.
9 My hounds are bred, &c.] This passage has been imitated by Lee in his Theodorus:
" Then through the woods we chac'd th'e foaming boar,
MALONE. · So flew'd, ] Sir T. Hanmer juilly remarks, that fiews are the large chaps of a deep-mouth'd hound. Arthur Golding uses this word in his translation of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, finished 1567, a book with which Șhakspeare appears to have been well acquainted. The poet is describing A&zon's hounds, B. III. p. 34. b. 1575. Two of themi like our author's, were of Spartan kind; bred from a Spartan bitch and a Gietan dog:
- with other twaine, that had a syre of Crete, “ And dam of Sparta : tone of them called Jollyboy, a
great " And large-flew'd hound." Shakspeare mentions Cretan hounds (with Spartan) afterwards in this speech of Theseus. And Ovid's transator, Golding, in Vol. VII.