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Theseus, Duke of Athens.
Charakters in the Interlude
performed by the Clowns. Lion,
Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
* The enumeration of persons was first made by Mr. Rowe.
D R E A
A C Τ Ι.
Athens. A Room in the Palace of Theseus.
Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Philostrate, and
The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace; four happy days bring in Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how slow This old moon wanes! The lingers my desires, Like to a step-dame, or a dowager, Long withering out a young man’s revenue.” Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in
nights; Four nights will quickly dream away the time; And then the moon, like to a silver bow
* Like to a ftep-dame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young man's revenue.) The authenticity of this reading having been questioned by Dr. Warburton, I shall exemplify it from Chapman's Translation of the 4th Book of Homer : - there the goodly plant lies witbering out his grace.”
STEEVENS. Ut piget annus “ Pupillis, quos dura premit cuftodia matrum, “ Sic mibi tarda fluunt ingrataque tempora.” Hor.
MALONE. 3 steep themselves in nights;] So, in Cymbeline, AA V. sc. iv,
New bent " in heaven, shall behold the night
Enter Egeus, Hermia, LYSANDER, and Demetrius,
Eçe. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke !6
4 New bent -] The old copies read-Now bent. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.] By triumph, as Mr. Warton has observed in his late edition of Milion's Poems, p. 56, we are to understand shows, such as masks, revels, &c. So, again in King Henry VI. P. III :
“ And now what rests, but that we spend the time
“ Such as befit the pleasures of the court ?".
our renoruned duke!) Thus in Chaucer's Knight's Tale:
Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 861.
The. 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 marry her :Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious duke, This hath bewitch'd' the bosom of my child : Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhimes, And interchang'd love-tokens with my child: Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung, With feigning voice, verses of feigning love; And stol'n the impression of her fantasy With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Creon, in the tragedy of Jocasta, translated from Euripides in 1566, is called Duke Creon, So likewise Skelton :
“ Not lyke Duke Hamilcar,
“ Nor lyke Duke Asdruball.” Stanyhurst, in his Translation of Virgil, calls Æneas, Duke Æneas; and in Heywood's Iron Age, Part II. 1632, Ajax is styled Duke Ajax, Palamedes, Duke Palamedes, and Neftor, Duke Neftor, &c.
Our version of the Bible exhibits a similar misapplication of a modern title ; for in Daniel iii. 2. Nebuchadonozar, King of Babylon, fends out a fummons to the Sheriffs of his provinces.
Steevens. ? This hath bewitch'd-] The old copies read-This man hath bewitch'd - The emendation was made for the sake of the metre, by the editor of the second folio. It is very probable that the compositor caught the word man from the line above. Malone. 8
gawds,] i. e. baubles, toys, trifles. Our author has the word frequently. See K. John, A& III. sc. v. Again, in Appius and Virginia, 1576:
“ When gain is no grandfier,
“ And gaudes not set by," &c. Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf:
and in her lap “ A sort of paper puppets, gands and toys." The Rev. Mr. Lambe, in his notes on the ancient metrical history of the Battle of Floddon, observes that a gaud is a child's toy, and
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats ; messengers
Her. So is Lysander.
In himself he is :
that the children in the North call their play-things gowdys, and their baby-house a gowdy-house. Steevens.
9 Or to her death; according to our law,] By a law of Solon's, parents had an absolute power of life and death over their children. So it suited the poet's purpose well enough, to suppose the Athenians had it before. Or perhaps he neither thought nor knew any thing of the matter. WARBURTON.
? Immediately provided in that cafe.] Shakspeare is grievously suspected of having been placed, while a boy, in an attorney's office. The line before us has an undoubted smack of legal common-place. Poetry disclaims it. Steevens.
3 To leave the figure, or disfigure it.] The sense is, you owe to your father a being which he may at pleasure continue or destroy.