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Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Philostrate, with attendants,
Another moon : but, oh, methinks, how Now This old moon wanes ! fhe lingers my desires,
' It is probable that the hint for this play was received from Chaucer's Knight's Tale: thence it is, that our author speaks of Theseus as duke of Athens. The Tale begins thus :
" Whylome as olde stories tellin us,
“ Of Athens he was lord and governour, &c.” Lidgate too, the monk of Bury, in his Translation of the Trage dies of John Bochas, calls him the same. chap. xii. 1. 21.
“ Duke Theseus had the victorye.” Creon, in the tragedy of Jocasta, translated from Euripides in 1566, is called Duke Creon. So Skelton,
“ Not lyke Duke Hamilcar,
“ Nor lyke Duke Asdruball.” And Stanyhurst, in his Translation of Virgil, calls Æneas, Duke Æneas.
The Pastorals of Drayton, quoted in the notes, were printed in 1593
STEEVENS. B 2
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
The. Go, Philostrate,
up the Athenian youth to merriments : Awake the perc and nimble spirit of mirth; Turn melancholy forth to funerals, The pale companion is not for our pomp. (Exit Phi.
. Hippolica, I woo'd thee with my sword; And won thy love, doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key, With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.
Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius. Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke ! Tbe. Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with
thee? Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia.Stand forth, Demetrius :- My noble lord, This man hath my consent to inarry her. Stand forth, Lylander ;--and, my gracious duke, This man hath : witch'd the bosom of my child : Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhimes, And interchang'd love tokens with
Long WITHERING OUT a young man's revenue.). Long wie thering out is, certainly, not good English. I rather think shakespeare wrote, Long wiNTERING ON a young man's revenue,
WARBURTON. That the common reading is not good English, I cannot perceive, and therefore find in myself no temptation to change it.
JOHNSON. 3 The old copies read bewitch'd. Johnson.
Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung,
The. What lay you, Hermia ? be advis'd, fair maid. To you your father should be as a God, o
+ gawds,-) i. e. baubles, toys, trifles. Our author has the word frequently : See King John, act 3. sc. 5. Steevens.
s Or to ber death, according to our law.] By a law of Solon's, parents had an absolute power of life and death over their chil. dren. So it suited the poet's purpose well enough, to fuppose the Athenians had it before.- Or perhaps he neither thought nor know any thing of the matter. WARBURTON.
you your father should be as a God,
To leave the figure or disfigure it.)
90'LEVE the figure, &c. i. e. releve, to heighten or add to the beauty of the figure, which is said to be imprinted by him. 'Tis from the French, relever. Thus they say, Tariffries relevées d'or. In the same sense they use enliver, which Maundevile makes English of in this manner“ And alle the walles withinne ben covered with gold and /ylver, in fyn plates : and in the plates ben stories ard barayles of Knightes ENLEVED.
One, that compos’d your beauties; yea, and one,
Her. So is Lysander.
The. In himself he is :
Her. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes.
The. Either to die the death, ? or to abjure
p. 228. Rabelais, with a strain of buffoon humour, that equals the fober elegance of this passage in our poet, calls the small gentry of France, Gentilhommes de bas relief. WARBURTON,
I know not why so harsh a word hould be admitted with so little need, a word that, sprken, could not be understood, and of which no example can be down. The sense is plain, you owe 10 your fuiber a being which he may at pleajure continue or dejiroy.
JOHNSON. -n die the death,-) Shakespeare employs this scriptural expreffion in king John ; and I meet with it again in the iccond part of the Downfail of Robert Earl of fiuntingdon, 1601.
“ We will, ny liege, else let us die the diath.” Steevens. * Know of your youth,] Bring your youth to the question. Confider your youth. JOHNSON.
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
Her. So will I grow, fo live, so die my lord,
moon, (The sealing day betwixt my love and me, For everlasting bond of fellowship). Upon that day either prepare to die, For disobedience to your father's will; Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would ; Or on Diana's altar to protest, For aye, austerity and single life. Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia ; --and, Lysander,
yield Thy crazed title to my certain right.
Lyf. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's; do you marry him.
Ege. Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love ; And what is mine, my love shall render him :
9 But earıblier happy is the role diflilld.) 1 hus all the copies, yet ear: hli-r is so harsh a word, and earıblier bappy for happier earthly, a mode of speech so unusual, that I wonder none of the editors have propoled earlier happy. JOHNSON.
It has since been observed, that Mr. Pope did propose earlier. ''-10 whale unwih'd yoke] Thus the modern editors ; the particle to is wanting in the old copies. Steevens.