Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Hel. O, I am out of breath, in this fond chace! The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace. Happy is Hermia, wherefoe'er she lies; For she hath blessed, and attractive eyes. How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears: If so, my eyes are oftner wash'd than hers. No, no, I am as ugly as a bear; For beasts that meet me, run away for fear: Therefore, no marvel, though Demetrius Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus. What wicked and dissembling glass of mine Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne? But who is here ? Lyfander! on the ground! Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound:Lylander, if you live, good fir, awake. Lys. And run through fire I will, for thy sweet sake.

[Waking. Transparent Helena! Nature here shows art, That through thy bofom makes me see thy heart, Where is Demetrius? O how fit a word Is that vile name, to perish on my sword!

Hel. Do not say so, Lyfander; fay not so: What though he love your Hermia ? Lord, what

though?

8

9

Again, in King Lear: 46 And so the candle went out, and we were lefi darkling. Ritson. my grace.] My acceptableness, the favour that I can gain,

Johnson. Nature ( here ) fhews art, ] Thus the quartos. I be folio reads--Nature her shews art, -perhaps pn error of the press for — Nature shows her art. The editor of the fecond folio changed her to hire,

MALONE. I admit the word here, as a judicious correâion of the second folio, Here, means -- in the present instance. On this occasion, says Lyfa oder, the work of nature reseinbles that of art, viz. (as our author expreffes it in his Lover's Complaint,) an objca - glazed with cryftal. " STEEVENS,

Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.

Lys. Content with Hermia? No: I do repent The tedious minutes I with her have spent. Not Hermia, but Helena I love: Who will not change a raven for a dove? The will of man is by his reason sway'd; And reason says you are the worthier maid. Things growing are not ripe until their season: So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason; And touching now the point of human skill, Reason becomes the marshal to my will, *

2

[ocr errors]

3

till nou ripe not to reason; } i. c. do not ripen to it. Ripo, in the present instance, is a verb. So, in As you like it: " And so, from hoạir to hour, we ripe, and ripe ,

STEEVENS, -touching now the point of human skill,] i. e. my senses being now at the utmost height of perfe&ion. So, in King Henry VINI: " I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness.

STEEVENS. 4 Reafon becomes the marshal to my will, ] That is, My will now follows reason. JOHNSON. So, in Macbeth : “ Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going."

STEEVENS. A modern writer (Letters of Literature, &vo. 1985, ] contends that Dr. Johnson's explanation is inaccurate. The meaning, says he, is, «

my will now obeys the command of my reason, not my will follows my reason. Marshal is a dire&or of an army, of a lurney, of a feast. Sydney has used marfiial for herald or poursuivant, but improperly.

Of such flimzy materials are many of the hyper-criticisms composed, to which the labours of the editors and commentators on Shakspeare have given rise. Who does not at once perceive, that Dr. Johnson, when he speaks of the will following reason, uses the word not literally, byt meiaphorically? 6. My will follows or obeys the di&lates of reason.' Or that, if this were not the case, he would yet be justified by the context, ( And leads me--) and by the passage quoted from Macbeth ? The heralds, distinguished by the names of " poursuivants at arms, were likewise called mar/halsa See Minshcu's Dict. 1617, in v. MALONE.

And leads me to your eyes; where I o'erlook
Love's stories, written in love's richest book. ?

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
When, at your hands, did I deserve this scorn?
Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,
That I did never, no, nor never can,
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth, you do me wrong, good footh, you do,
In such disdainful manner me to woo.
But fare you well : perforce I must confess,
I thought you lord of more true gentleness."
O, that a lady, of one man refus'd,
Should, of another, therefore be abus'd!

[Exit. Lys. She sees not Hermia:- Hermia, sleep thou

there; And never may'st thou come Lyfander near! For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things The deepest loathing to the stomach brings; Or, as the herefies, that men do leave, Are hated most of those they did deceive; So thou, my surfeit, and my herely, Of all be hated; but the most of me! And all my powers, address your love and might, To honour Helen, and to be her knight! [Exit. Her. Marting.] Help me, Lysander, help me!

do thy beit, To pluck his crawling ferpent from

my

breast ! leads me to your eyes; where I o'erlook Love's Stories, written in love's richeft book. ] So, in Romeo and Juliet:

what obfcur'd in this fair volume lies, 5. Find written in the margin of his eyes,

". This precious book of lovem.” Steevens.

a true gentleness. ] Gentleness is equivalent to what, in modern language, we should call the spirit of a gentleman, l'erçy.

3

Ah me, for pity! — what a dream was here?
Lysander, look, how I do quake with fear:
Methought, a serpent eat my heart away,
And
you

* fat smiling at his cruel prey: -
Lysander! what, remov'd? Lyfander! lord!
What, out of hearing? gone ? nofound, no word ?.
Alack, where are you? speak, an if you hear?
Speak, of all loves; ' I fwoon almost with fear..
No ? — then I well perceive you are not nigh:
Either death, or you, I'll find immediately. [Exit.

[ocr errors]

4 And you] Instead of you, the first folio reads-yet. Mr. Pope first gave the right word from the quarto 1600. STEEVENS.

s Speak, of all loves ;] Of all loves is an adjuration more than once used by our author. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ad 11. sc. viii: to send her your little page, of all loves.

STEEVENS. 6 Either death, or you, I'll find immediately. ] Thus the ancient copies, and such was Shakspeare's usage. He frequently employs either, and other similar words, as monosyllables. So, in King Henry IV. P. II.

" Either from the king, or in the present time." Again, in Ķ. Henry V.

Either past, or not arriv'd to pith and puissance." Again, in Julius Cæsar :

6. Either led or driven, as we point the way. Again, in K. Richard 111.

Either thou wilt die by God's just ordinance,-. Again, in Othelio:

s. Either in discourse of thought, or adual deed." So also, Marlowe in his Edward II. 1598 :

5. Either banish him that was the cause thereof." The modern editors read-Or death or you, &c. MALONE,

[ocr errors]

1

A C T III. S CE N E 1.6

The same. The Queen of Fairies lying asleep.

Enter Quince,’ SNUG, Bottom, FLUTE, SNOUT,

and STARVELING.

Bot. Are we all met?

Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal: This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyring-house; and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the duke

Bot. Peter Quince, —
Quin. What say'st thou, bully Bottom?

Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby, that will never, please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies cannot abide. How answer

you

that? Snout. By'rlakin, a parlous fear. 8

6 In the time of Shakspeare there were many companies of players, sometimes five at the same time, contending for the favour of the publick. Of these some were undoubtedly very unskilful and very poor, and it is probable that the design of this scene was to ridicule their ignorance, and the odd expedients to which they might be driven by the want of proper decorations. Bottom was perhaps the head of a rival house, and is therefore honoured with an ass's head. JOHNSON.

q Enter Quince, &c.] The two quartos 1600, and the folio, read only, Enter the Clowns. STEBVENS.

8 By’rlakin, a parlous fear. ] By our ladykin, or little lady, as ifakins is a corruption of by my faith. The former is used in Preston's Cambyses :

** The clock hath Aricken vive, ich think, by laken. "

« AnteriorContinuar »