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1. Fai: You spotted snakes, with double tongue,'
Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen;
Come not near our fairy queen :
Philomel, with inelody,
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Never harm, nor spell nor charm,
9. Fai. Weaving Spiders, come not heren
Hence, you long-legg'd Spinners, hence: Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm, nor snail, do no offence.
Philomel, with melody, &c.
with double tongue,] The same epithet occurs in a future Icene of this play:
os with doubler tongue
" Than thine, thou serpent, " &c. Again, in The Tempeft:
adders, who, with cloven tongues, " Do hiss me into madness. By both these terms, I suppose, our author means
ins-forked; as the
tongues of snakes are sometimes represented in ancient tapestry and paintings. SteeveNS.
6 Newts, and blind-worms, ] The newt is the oft, the blinda worm is the Cæcilia or Now-worm. They are both ingredients in the cauldron of Macbeth. STELVENS. Vol. VII.
1. Fai. Hence, away; now all is well:
One, aloof, stand sentinel. ?
[ Exeunt Fairies, TITANIA sleeps.
Enter OBERON. OBE. What thou feeft, when thou dost wake,
(Squeezes the flower on Titania's eye-lids. Do it for thy true love take; Love, and languish for his sake: Be it ounce,
or cat, or bear, Pard, or boar with bristled hair, In thy eye that shall appear When thou wak'st, it is thy dear; Wake, when some vile thing is near. [Exit.
Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA. Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the
wood; And to speak troth, I have forgot our way: We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
And tarry for the comfort of the day.
Her. Be it so, Lyfander: find you out a bed, For 1 upon this bank will rest my head. .
Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both; One heart, one bed, two bofoms, and one troth. Her. Nay, good Lysander; for my fake, my
dear, Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.
7. Hence, away; &c.] This, according to all the editions, is made part of the song; but, I think, without sufficient reason, as it appears :o be spoken after the song is over. in the quarto 1600, it is given to the 20 Fairy ; but the other division is better.
STEEVENS. 8 Be it ounce, ] The ounce is a small tiger, or tiger-cat.
Lys. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence; Love takes the meaning, in love's conference.* I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit; So that but one heart we can inake of it: Two bosoins interchained with an oath; So then, two bosoms, and a single troth. Then, by your side no bed-room me deny; For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
Her. Lysander riddles very prettily:Now much beshrew“ my manners and my pride, If Herinia meant to say, Lysander lied.
90, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence:] Lysander in the language of love professes, that as they have one heart, they shall have one bed; this Hermia thinks rather too much, and intreats him to lye further off. Lysander answers :
o, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence; " Understand the meaning of my innocence, or my innocent meaning. Let no suspicion of ill enter thy mind. Johnson.
2 Love takes the meaning, in love's conference.] In the conversation of those who are assured of each other's kindness, not juspicion but love takes the meaning. No malevolenı interpretation is to be made, but all is to be received in the sease which love can find, and which love can diđate. JOHNSO
The latter line is certainly intelligible as Dr. Johnson has explained it; but, I think, it requires a slight alteration to make it conned well with the former. I would read:
" Love take the meaning in love's conference." That is, Let love take the meaning. TYRWHITT,
There is no occafion for alteration. The idea is exaâly similar to that of St. Paul : ". Love thinketh no evil. " HENLEY. interchained — ) Thus the quartos; the folio inierchangela
STEEVENS. 4 Now much beshrew, &c.] This word, of which the etymology is not exa&tly known, implies a finifter will, and means the same as if she had said " now ill befall my manners,
&c. It is used by Heywood in his Iron Age, 1632 :
Befhrew your amorous rhetorick,". Again, • Well, Paris, I beshrew you, with my heart.
But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
( They sleep.
Puck. Through the forest have I gone,
See Minsheu's etymology of it, which seems to be an imprecation or wish of such evil 10 one, as the venomous biting of the shrewmouse. Toller.
3 But Athenian found 1 none, ] Thus the quarto, 1600, printed by Fisher. Thai by Roberts, aud the folio, 1623, read :
- find 1 none. STEEVENS. + Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy. 1 The old copies read
" Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.' Mr. Theobald and Sir T. Hanmer, for the sake of the measure, leave out this lack-love. I have only omitted-this. STEEVENS.
Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Deme
trius. Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me
thus. HEL, O, wilt thou darkling leave me?? do not fo. Dem. Stay, on thy peril; I alone will go.
[ Exit DEMETRIUS.
Might we not adhere to the old copy, and at the same time preserve the measure, by printing the line thus :
" Near this lack-love, this kill-court'sy. We meet with the same abbreviation in our author's Venus and Adonis : " They all strain courtsy, who shall cope him first."
MALONE. Courtly can never be admitted at the end of a verse, the penult being always short. STEEVENS.
s All the power this charm doth owe:) i. e. all the power it pol les. So, in Othello:
" Shall never medicine thee to that sweet Deep
let love forbid
Sleep shall neither night nor day
SreevenS. wilt thou darkling leatie me? i. e. in the dark. So, in The Two Angry Women of Abinglon, 1599:
we'll run away with the torch, and leave them to fight darkling." The word is likewise ufed by Milton. STEEVENS.