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Oberon advances. 'Enter Puck.'
What Shakespeare seems to mean, is this So the woodbine, i.e. the sweet boney-fuckle, doth gently entwift the barky fingers of the elm, and so does the female i vy enring the same fingers. It is not unfre quent in the Poets, as well as other writers, to explain one word by another which is better known. The reason why Shakespeare thought woodbine wanted explanation, perhaps is this. In some countries, by woodbine or woodbind would be generally understood the Ivy, which he had occasion to mention in the very next line. Steevens.
3. the female ivy.) Shakespeare calls it female ivy, be: cause it always requires some support, which is poetically called its husband. So Milton :
led the vine “ To wed her elm : she spous'd, about him twines! “ Her marriageable arms" “ Ulmo conjuncta marito." Catull.
“ Platanusque celebs " Evincet Ulmos. Hor. STEEVENS. 4,-fweet favours,] The first edition reads favours. STEEVENS.
From off the head of the Athenian swain ;
Be, as thou wast wone to be;
Hath fuch force and blessed power.
Queen. My Oberon! what visions have I seen! Mechouyht, I was enamour'd of an ass.
Ob. There lies your love. Queen. How came these things to pass ? Oh, how mine eyes doth loath this vilage now! Ob. Silence, a while. Robin, take off this
head. Titania, musick call; and flrike more dead Than common seep of all these five the sense. Queen. Musick, ho! mufick : such as charmeth Пеер.
Still mufick. Puck. When thou awak'lt, with thine own fool's
eyes peep. s Dian's bud, or Cupid's flower.] Thus all the editions. The ingenious Dr. Thirlby gave me the correction, which I have inserted in the text. THEOBALD.
• Titania, mufick call, and frike more dead
Than common fleep Of all theje fine the sense.] This most certainly is both corrupt in the text and pointing. My emendation needs no juftification. The five, that lay asleep on the stage were Demetrius, Lysander, Hermia, Helena, and Boto tom. Dr. Thirlby likewise communicated this very tion. THEOBALD.
Ob, Sound, musick. Come, my queen, take hand
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark;
Ob. Then, my queen, in silence sad; .
Queen. Come, my lord, and in our fight
[Wind borns within. Enter Thesius, Egeus, Hippolita, and all his train. The. Go, one of you, find out the forefter ;
? Dance in Duke Theseus house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair pofierity ;] We should read,
10 al FAR pofterity. i. e. to the remotest pofterity. WARBURTON
8 Then, my queen, in filence sad;
Trip we after the nighi's shade.] Mr. Theobald says, wly fad ? Fairies are pleased to follow night. He will have it fade; and to, to mend the thime, spoils both the fenfe and grammar. But he mistakes the meaning of ad; it sige nifies only grave, sober ; and is opposed to their dances and revels, which were now ended at the singing of the morning lark,
-So Winter's Tale, act iv. Mv futber and the gentlemen are in SAD talk. For grave or serious. WARBURTON.
For now our observation is perform’d,'
Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once,
The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
. Our obfervation is perform’d.) The honours due to the morn. ing of May. I know not why Shakespear calls this play a MidJummer-Nighi's Dream, when he focarefully informs us that it happened on the night preceding May day. Johnson.
- bey bay'd the bear.] Thus all the old copies. I suppose we hould read, the boar. SteeVENS.
-fucb gallant chiding. ] Chiding in this instance means only Jeund. So in Hen. VIII.
“ As doth a rock against the chiding flood.”
“ I take great pride
STEEVENS. 3 So flew'd.) i. e. fo mouihed. Flews are the large chaps of a deep-mouthed hound. HANMER.
• So Janded.) So marked with small spots. JOHNSON.
Sandy'd means of a fandy colour, which is one of the true de. notements of a blood-hound. STEEVENS. Vol. III.
Was never halloo'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
Tbe. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe
Ege. It is, my lord.
Horns, and shout within ; Demetrius, Lysander, Hermia
and Helena, wake and start up. The. Good-morrow, friends ; faint Valentine is
past; Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
Lyf. Pardon, my lord. [They all kneel 10 Tbeseus.
L.yf. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
-fant Valentine is pafti] Alluding to the old saying, That birds begin to couple on St. Valentine's day. STEEVENS.