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To have my love to bed, and to arise ;
1. Fa. Hail, mortal!
Bot. I cry your worships mercy, heartily.-I beseech, your worship's name.
byc of it.
The blunder is not in Shakspeare, but in those who have conArued too literally a poetical expreflion. It appears from every line of his writings that he had studied with attention the book of nature, and was an accurate observer of any obje& that fell within his notice. He must have known that the light of the glow-worm was seated in the tail; but surely a poet is justified in calling the luminous part of a glow-worm the cyc. It is a liberty we take in plain profe; for the point of greatest brightness in a furnace is commonly called the
Dr. Johnson might have arraigoed him with equal propriety for sending his fairies to light their tapers at the fire of the glow-worm, which in Hamlet he terms uneffe&ual:
“ The glow-worm fhews tbe matin to be near,
"And 'gins to pale his uneffe&ual fire. ' M. MASON. 6 Hail, mortal!] The old copies read--hail, mortal, hail! The second hail was clearly intended for another of the fairies, so as that cach of them should address Bottom. The regulation now adopted was proposed by Mr. Steevens, MALONE.
I shall desire you of more acquaintance,] This line has been very unnecessarily altered. The same mode of expression occurs in Lusty Juventus, a morality:
66 I shall desire you of better acquaintance. ' Such phraseology was very common to many of our ancient writers. So, in An Humorous Day's Mirth, 1599:
! I do desire you of more acquaintance. Again, in Golding's Version of the 14th Book of Ovid's Meta, morphosis :
good master Cobweb: If I cut my finger, I shall make buld with you. Your name, honest gentleman ! :
Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash, your mother, 9 and to malier Peascod, your father. Good maller Peas-blolsom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance too. — Your name, I beseech
he praid " Him earnefily, with careful voice, of furthrance and of
aid. Again, in Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, 1621 :
craving you of more acquaintance." STEEVENS. The alleration in the modern editions was made on the authority of the fift folio, which reads in the next speech but one — « I shall desire of you more acquaintance." But the old reading is undoubtedly the true one. So, io Spenser's Faery Queen, B. II. c. ix: " If it be I, of pardon I you praye.
MALONE. gnod master Colweb: If I cut my firger, I shall make bold with you. --- Your name, honeft gentleman?] In The Mayde's Metamore phosis, a comedy by Lyly, there is a dialogue between some forefters and a troop of fairies, very similar to the present:
Mopfo. I pray, sir, what might I call you?
Frisco. I pray you, sir, what might I call you?
2. Fai. My name is Cricket. " Fris. I would I were a chimney for your fake." The Maid's Metamorphosis was not printed till 1600, but was probably written fome years before. Mr. Warton says, (History of English Poetry, vol. II. p. 393.) that Lyly's last play appeared in 1597. MALONE. 9
mistress Squash, your mother, ) A squash is an immature pealcod. So, in Twelfth Night, Ad I. sc. v:
as a Squash is, before 'tis a peascod." STEVENS.
patience ? well: that same cowardly, giant-like, ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of
your house: I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I desire you more acquaintance, good master Mustard-feed. TITA. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my
bower. The moon, methinks, looks with a wat'ry eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
Lamenting some enforced chastity.
I know your
patience ] The Oxford edition reads parentage well. I believe the corređion is right. JOHNSON.
Parentage was not easily corrupted to patience. I fancy, the truc word is, pafsions, sufferings..
There is an ancient satirical Poem cotitled.-" The Poor Man's Pasions, [i. e. sufferings, ] or Poverty's patience." Patience and Passions are so alike in sound, that a careless transcriber or compositor might casily have substituted the former word for the latter.
FARMER. These words are spoken ironicalls. According to the opinion prevailing in our author's time, mustard was supposed to excite to cholero See note on Taming of the Shrew, A& IV. sc. iii. REED. Perhaps we should read -"I know you paling well.
M. MASON. my love's tongue, ] The old copies read my
lover's tongue. STEEVENS.
Our poet has again used lover as a monosyllable in Twelfth Night :
u Sad true lover never find iny grave.". MALONE. In the passage quoted from Twelfth Night, 66 true lover is evi. denily a mistake for so true love, a phrase which occurs in the very scene before us :
" And laid the love-juice on some true love's fight. Lover, in both the foregoing instances, I muli therefore fuppose to have been a printer's blunder for love, and have therefore continued Mr. Pope's emendation in the text. How is louer to be pronounced as a monofyllable? STELVEN.
S CE N E II.
Another part of the Wood,
OBE. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd;
Here comes my messenger.--How now, mad spirit?
Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love,
what night-rule - ] Night-rule in this place should seem
what frolick of the night, what revelry is going forward? So, in Tom Tyler and his Wife, 1061:
“ Marry, here is good rule!'" Again :
why how now ftrisc! here is pretty rule!" It appears, from the old song of Robin Goodfellow, in the third volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, that it was the office of this waggish fpirit " to viewe (or superiutend] the night-sports." STEEVENS.
- patches, ) Patch was in old language used as a term of opprobry; perhaps with much the same import as we use ragge. muffin, or tatterdemalion. JOHNSON.
Puck calls the players, - a crew of patches. A common opprobrious term, which probably took its rise from Patch cardinal Wolsey's fool. In the western countries, cross-patch is still used for perverso, ill-natur'd fool. T. WARTON.
The name was rather taken from the patch'd or pyed coats worn by the fools or jefters of those times,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
The patch is
So, in The Tempel:
what a py'd ninay's this?" Again, in Preston's Cambyses:
in Hob and Lob, ah ye country patches ! *. Again, in The Three Ladies of London, 1584 :
66 It is fimplicitie, that patch. STEEVENS, I should suppose patch to be merely a corruption of the Italian pazzo, which fignifies properly a fool. So', in The Merchant of Venice, A& II. sc. v. Shylock fays of Launcelot: kind enough; after having just called him, that food of Hagar's offSpring. TYRWHITT.
barren fort, ] Barren is dull, unpregnant. So, in Hamlet: " some quantity of barren fpe&ators,” &c. Sort is company.
STEEVENS. 7 An afs's nowl I fixed on his head;] A head. Saxon.
JOHNSON, So, Chaucer, in The History of Beryn, 1524:
• No fothly, quoth the steward, it lieth all in thy noll,
" Both wit and wysdon,” &c. Again, in The Three Ladies of London, 1584: el One thumps me on the neck, and another strikes me on the nole."
STEEVENS. The following receipt for the process tried on Bottom, occurs in Albertus Magnus de Secretis : « Si vis quod caput hominis affimilctur capiti afini, sume de fegimine aselli, & unge hominem in capite, & fic apparebit." There was a translation of this book in Shakspeare's time. DOUGE,
· mimick -] Minnock is the reading of the old quarto, and I believe right. Minnekin, now minx, is a nice trifling girl. Minnocke is apparently a word of contempt. JOHNSON,