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Approach, ye furies fell!'
co O fates! come, come ;
" Cut thread and thrum ;3
Approach, ye furies fell!] Somewhat like this our poet might possibly have recolle&ed in " a lytell treatyse cleped La Conuj dunce d'amours. Printed by Richard Pynson. no date :
" () ye mooft cruell and rabby she lions fell,
" He loked, ofte, and it right swetely kist.” STEEVENS. Approach, furies Tell!
O fates! come, come, &c.] The poet here, and in the following lines spoken by Thiibe,
16 O fifters three,
" With hands as pale as milk –" probably intended to ridicule a passage in Damon and Pythias; by Richard Edward, i582 :
" Ye furies, all at once
Gripe me, you greedy greefs,
"And present pangues of death, no You sisters three, with cruel handes
“ With speed come stop my breath!” MALONE. j
cut thread and thrum;] Thrum is the end or extremity of a weaver's warp; it is popularly used for very coarse yarn. The maids now call a mop of yarn a thrum mop. WARNER. So, in Hannibal and Scipio, 1637:
no rough pelt of thrums, " To fight with weather." Again, in Chapman's translation of the 16th Illiad : " And tapestries all golden fring'd, and curld with thrumbs
behind, So, in Howell's letter to Sir Paul Neale, knt. - Translations are like the wrong side of a Turkey carpet, which useth to be full of thrums and knois, and nothing to even as the right side. The though: is borrowed from Don Quixote, STEEVENS.
and quell!] To quell is to murther, to destroy. So, in the 12th pageant of the Lufus Coventriæ, commonly called the Corpus Chrifti Play. MS. Cott. Vesp. D. viii :
Tue. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look fad.
Hip. Befhrew my heart, but I pity the man.
Since lion vile hath here deflour'd my dear: " Which is--- no, no—which was the faireit dame, " That liv’d, that lov’d, that lik’d, that look'd,
Out, sword, and wound
Ay, that left pap,
" Where heart doth hop:7 + Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
6. Now am I dead,
" Now am I fled; My soul is in the sky:
Tongue, lose thy light!
Moon, take thy flight! “ Now die, die, die, die, die.
[ Dies. Exit Moonshine. " That he the lawe may here do, " With ftonys her to quell." STEEVENS.
cheer. ] i. e. countenance. So, in Chaucer's Clerke's Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. V. 8117:,
passing any wight " Of so yong age, as wel in chere as dede." STEVENS. 6 Come, trars, confound;] Thus in Golding's Ovid:
one night (he fayd) fhall louers two confounde. RITSON. 7 dy, that left pap,
Where heart doth hop:] Left our author should seem chargeable with an inefficient rhime, it ought to be remembered that this broad pronunciation, now almost peculiar to the Scotclı, was ancienily current in England. Throughout the old copies of Shakspeare's Plays, stattered” is always spelt ! tottered” Pap therefore was founded, Pop. The context reminds us of a passage in the seventh Satire of Juvenal
"Le lava in parte mamille
Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is bat
Lys. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.
The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet recover and prove an ass."
Hip. How chance moonshine is gone, before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?
THE. She will find him by star-light.—Here she comes; and her passion ends the play.
Enter THISBE. Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one, for such a Pyramus: I hope, she will be brief.
DEM. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better. 8
Lys. She hath spied him already, with those
Dem. And thus fhe moans,' videlicet.
and prove an ass, ] The chara&er of Theseus throughout this play is more exalted in its humanity, than its greatness. Though some fenfible observations on life, and animated descriptions fall from him, as it is said of lago, you fall taste him more as a soldier than as a wit, which is a diftin&ion he is here Atriving to deserve, though with little success, as in support of his pretenfions he never rises higher than a pun, and frequently finks as low as a quibble. STEEVENS.
7 A mote will turn the balance,] The old copies have — moth; but Mr. Malone very juftly observes that moth was merely the ancient mode of spelling moie. So, in King Henry V : " Wash every moth (i. e. mote out of his conscience." STEEVENS.
8 The first quarto makes this speech a little longer, but not better. JOHNSON. The passage omitted is, • He for a man, God warn'd us;
she for a woman, God bless us. STEEVENS.
9 And thus the moans, ] The old copies concur in reading → means, which Mr. Theobald changed into
" moans ; and the next speech of Thisbe appears to countenance his alteration.
" Lovers, make moan. STEEVINS.
Mr. Theobald alters means to mnans : but means had anciently the same signification. Mr. Pinkerton ( under the name of Robers Heron, Esq.) observes that it is a common term in the Scotch law, signifying to tell, to relate, to declare; and that petitions to the lords of sellion in Scotland, run, To the lords of council and sellion humbly means and shows your petitioner." Here, however, it evidently signifies complains. Bills in Chancery begin in a similar
Humbly complaining (heweth unio your lordship," &c. The word occurs in an ancient manuscript in my own poffeflion:
6. This ender day wen me was wo,
" Under a bugh ther I lay,
Naght gale to mene me to.'
“ I hard ane inay fair mwrne and mene." RITSON.
• These lily lips," &c. STEEVENS. All Thilbe's lamentation, till now, runs in regular rhime and
But both, by some accident, are in this single instance interrupted. I fufpe& the poet wrote:
" These lily brows,
" This cherry nose." Now black brows being a beauty, lily brows are as ridiculous as a cherry nose, green eyes, or cowslip cheeks. THEOBALD. Theobald's emendation is supported by the following passage in
like it :
so 'Tis not your inky brows, your black filk hair ~," And by another, in The Winter's Tale :
not for because
Lily lips are changed to lily brows for the sake of the rhyme,
“ These yellow cowslip cheeks,
Are gone, are gone :
Lovers, make moan!
Come, come, to me,
Lay them in gore,
" Since you have shore
Tongue, not a word:
" Come, trufly sword;
And farewel, friends ;
“ Thus Thisb; ends : " Adieu, adieu, adieu."
[ Dies. THE. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead.
DEM. Ay, and wall too.
Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the
but this cannot be right: Thisbe has before celebrated her Pytamus, as
" Lilly-white of hue," It should be:
"! These lips lilly,
" This nose cherryo' This mode of position adds not a little to the burlesque of the paffage. FARMER!
We meet with somewhat like this passage in George Pecle's Old Wives Tale, 1595.
" Her corall lippes, her crimson chinne. -- Thou art a flouting knave. Her corall lippes, her crimson chinne !” STEEVENS.
3 His eyes were green as leeks. ] Thus also the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, speaking of Paris, says,
an cagle, madam, “ Hath not lo green, so quick, so fair an eye." See note on this passage. STEEVENS.