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Two bosoms interchained3 with an oath;
Her. Lysander riddles very prettily :-
Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair pray'r, say I;
But Athenian found I none;'
interchained - ] Thus the quartos; the folio interchanged.
Steevens. 4 Now much beshrew, &c.] This word, of which the etymology is not exactly known, implies a sinister wish, 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:
“ Beshrew your amorous rhetorick."" Again:
“ Well, Paris, I beshrew you with my heart.”. Steevens. See Minsheu's etymology of it, which seems to be an imprecation or wish of such evil to one, as the venomous biting of the shrew-mouse. Tollet.
5 But Athenian found I none,] Thus the quarto, 1600, printed by Fisher. That by Roberts, and the folio, 1623, read: - find I none."
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
[Exit Dem. Hel. O, I am out of breath in this fond chase! The more my pray’r, the lesser is my grace."
o Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy.] 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.
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 court'sy, who shall cope bim first.”
Malone. Court'sy can never be admitted at the end of a verse, the penult being always short. Steevens. 7 All the power this charm doth owe:
:] i. e. all the power it pose
let love forbid
Sleep shall neither night nor day
wilt thou darkling leave me?] i. e. in the dark. So, in The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599: “— we 'll run away with the torch, and leave them to fight darkling.” The word is likewise used by Milton. Steevens.
Again, in King Lear: “ And so the candle went out, and we were left darkling." Ritson.
my grace.] My acceptableness, the favour that I can gain. Johnson.
Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;
arvel, though Demetrius
[Waking. Transparent Helena! Nature here shows art, That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart. Where is Demetrius? (), how fit a word Is that vile name, to perish on my sword!
Hel. Do not say so, Lysander; say not so:
Lys. Content with Hermia? No: I do repent
Nature [here] shows art,] Thus the quartos. The folio reads-Nature her shows art,-perhaps the error of the press for
-Nature shows her art. The editor of the second folio changed her to here. Malone.
I admit the word-here, as a judicious correction of the second folio. Here, means in the present-instance. On this occasion, says Lysander, the work of nature resembles that of art, viz. (as our author expresses it in his Lover's Complaint) an object “glaz'd with crystal.” Steevens.
till now ripe not to reason ;] i. e. do not ripen to it. Ripe, in the present instance, is a verb. So, in As you like it : 5. And so, from hour to hour, we ripe, and ripe
And touching now the point of human skill,*
Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mock’ry born?
[Erit. Lys. She sees not Hermia:-Hermia, sleep thou there And never may'st thou come Lysander near! For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things The deepest loathing to the stomach brings; Or, as the heresies, that men do leave, Are hated most of those they did deceive; So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy, Of all be hated; but the most of me! And all my pow'rs, address your love and might, To honour Helen, and to be her knight! [Exit.
Her. [starting] Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best,
touching now the point of human skill,] i. e. my senses being now at the utmost height of perfection. So, in King Henry VIII: “ I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness."
Steevens. 5. Reason becomes the marshal to my will,] That is, My wil now follows reason. Johnson. So, in Macbeth: “ Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going." "Steevens.
leads me to your eyes; where I o'erlook Love's stories, written in love's richest book.] So, in Romeo and Fuliet:
- what obscur'd in this fair volume lies,
true gentleness.] Gentleness is equivalent to what, in modern-language, we should call the spirit of a gentleman. Percy.
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast !
ACT 111...SCENE I.”
The Queen of Fairies lying asleep. Enter QUINCE, SNUG, Bottom, FLUTE, SNOUT, ånd
STARVELING. Bot. Are we well met?
Quin. Pat, pat: and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal: This green plot shall be our
8 And you - ) Instead of you, the first folio reads-yet. Mr. Pope first gave the right word from the quarto, 1600. Steevens.
9 Speak, of all loves ;] Of all loves is an adjuration more than once used by our author. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, sc. viii:
to send her your little pages of all loves.” Steevens. 1 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 King Henry V:
“ Either past, or not arriv'd to pith and puissance." Again, in Julius Cesar :
“ Either led or driven, as we point the way.” Again, in Othello:
“ Either in discourse of thought, or actual deed." So also, Marlowe in his Edward II, 1598:
Either banish him that was the cause thereof." The modern editors read-Or death, or you, &c. Malone.
2 In the time of Shakspeare there were many companies of players, sometimes five at the same time, contending for the fa. vour of the publick. Of these some were undoubtedly very un.