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Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rbymes,
Immediately provided in that case.
To you your father should be as a god;
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
In himself he is :
The other must be held the worthier.
I know not by what power I am made bold,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
For ever the society of men.
To live a barren sister all your life,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
For aye, austerity and single life.
Thy crazed title to my certain right.
Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him.
And what is mine my love shall render him;
I do estate unto Demetrius.
As well possess'd; my love is more than his ; * Earthly happier-more happy in an earthly sense. The reading of all the old copies is earthlier happy, and this has been generally followed, although Pope and Johnson proposed earlier happy, and Steevens earthly happy. We have no doubt that Capell's reading, which we have adopted, is the true one; and that the old reading arose out of one of the commonest of typographical errors. The orthography of the folio is earthlier happie ;-if the comparative had not been used, it would have been earthlie happie; and it is easy to see, therefore, that the r has been transposed.
Lordship-authority. The word dominion in our present translation of the Bible (Romans, ch. vi.) is lordship in Wickliffe's translation.
• This is one of those elliptical expressions which frequently occur in our poet. The editor of the second folio, who was not scrupulous in adapting Shakspere's language to the changes of a quarter of a century, printed the lines
“ Unto his lordship, to whose unwish'd yoke," &c. The to must be understood after sovereignty. In the same manner, the particle on must be understood in a passage in Cymbeline;'
“ Whom heavens, in justice, (both on her and hers)
Have laid most heavy hand.” (on.)
" What conjurations and what mighty magic
I won his daughter." (with.)
My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,
Upon this spotted a and inconstant man.
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
[Exeunt THES., HIP., EGE., Dem., and train. Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the roses there do fade so fast? HER. Belike for want of rain; which I could well
Beteem b them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Could ever hear by tale or history,
But, either it was different in blood ;-
* Spotted-stained, impure; the opposite of spotless.
Beteem-pour forth. • The folio omits the “Eigh me!" of the quartos.
Ever I, in the folio. I could ever, in the quartos. • The quartos and the folio, read
“O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to love." Theobald altered love to loro; and the antithesis, which is kept up through the subsequent lines, justifies the change:-high-lovo; old-young.
HER. O spite ! too old to be engag'd to young!
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it;
So quick bright things come to confusion.
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy'se followers.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Friends. So the quartos. In the folio we find
“ Or else it stood upon the choice of merit." The alteration in the folio was certainly not an accidental one; but we hesitate to adopt the reading, the meaning of which is more recondite than that of friends. The “choice of merit" is opposed to the " sympathy in choice;"—the merit of the suitor recommends itself to “ another's eye,” but not to the person beloved.
Momentary. So the folio of 1623; the quartos read momentany, which Johnson says is the old and proper word. Momentany has certainly a more antique sound than momentary ; but they were each indifferently used by the writers of Shakspere's time. We prefer the reading of the folio, because momentary occurs in four other passages in our poet's dramas; and this is a solitary example of the use of momentany, and that only in the quartos. The reading of the folio is invariably momentary.
· Collied-black, smutted. This is a word still in use in the Staffordshire collieries. Shakspere found it there, and transplanted it into the region of poetry.
« In a spleen-in a sudden fit of passion or caprice.
• Fancy's followers—the followers of Love. Fancy is here used in the same sense as in the exquisite song in · The Merchant of Venice:'
" Tell me where is fancy bred." The word is repeated with the same meaning three times in this play: in Act II., Scene 2–
" In maiden meditation, fancy-free;" — in Act III., Scene 2–
“All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer;"and in Act IV., Scene 1–
“Fair Helena in fancy following me." Remov'd-the reading of the folio. In the quartos we find remote. The reading of the folio is supported by several parallel passages; as in Hamlet,
“ It wafts you to a more removed ground;"
And she respects me as her only son.
My good Lysander ! .
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Demetrius loves your faira : 0 happy fair !
(Your words I catch <,) fair Hermia, ere I go, and in. As You Like It'_“Your accent is somewhat finer than you could purchase in so removed a dwelling." Milton has in 'Il Penseroso,'
“Some still removed place will fit." Upon this line Warton observes, “ Removed is the ancient English participle passive for the Latin remote." • Fair used as a substantive for beauty. As in 'The Comedy of Errors,'—
“My decayed fair
A sunny look of his would soon repair."
“I have surely seen him;
His favour is familiar to me;" in 'Measure for Measure,' “ Surely, sir, a good favour you have;" and in · Hamlet,' “ Tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come.”
• The reading of all the old editions is, Your words I catch. The substitution of Yours would I catch was made by Hanmer. We leave the text as in the old editions. It is in the repetition of