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To give their bed joy and prosperity.
OBE. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,

Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus ?
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigenia, whom he ravished ?
And make him with fair Æglé break his faith,

With Ariadne, and Antiopa?
TITA. These are the forgeries of jealousy:

And never, since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore, the winds, piping to us in vain",
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which, falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made so proud,
That they have overborne their continentsd:
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green corn
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard:
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;
The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud";
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable;

The human mortalse want; their winter heref, * Middle summer's spring. The spring is the beginning—as the spring of the day, a common expression in our early writers. The middle summer is the midsummer.

Paved fountain—a fountain, or clear stream, rushing over pebbles,-certainly not an artificially paved fountain, as Johnson has supposed. The paved fountain is contrasted with the rushy brook. The epithet pared is used in the same sense as in the “ pearl-paved ford” of Drayton, the “ pebble-paved channel" of Marlowe, and the “ coral-paven bed” of Milton.

Pelting-petty, contemptible. See note on “ pelting farm," in ‘Richard II., Act II, Scene 1. Pelting is the reading of the quarto; the folio has petty.

e Continents-banks. A continent is that which contains.

Human mortals. This beautiful expression has been supposed to indicate the difference between mankind and fairykind in the following manner-that they were each mortal, but that the less spiritual beings were distinguished as human. Upon this assertion of Steevens, Ritson and Reed enter into fierce controversy. Chapman, in his Homer, has an inversion of the phrase, “mortal humans;" and we suppose that, in the same way, whether Titania were, or were not, subject to death, she employed the language of poetry in speaking of " human mortals," without reference to the conditions of fairy existence. * Their winter here

. The emendation proposed by Theobald, their winter cheer, is very plausible. The original reading is

The humane mortals want their winter heere." Johnson says here means in this country, and their winter signifies their winter evening sports.

No night is now with hymn or carol bless'd :-
Therefore, the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyems' thin and icy crowna,
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the mazed world,
By their increase', now knows not which is which :
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;

We are their parents and original.
OBE. Do you amend it then : it lies in you:

Why should Titania cross her Oberon ?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,

To be my henchmand,

Set your heart at rest, The fairy land buys not the child of me.

His mother was a vot’ress of my order : The ingenious author of a pamphlet, ' Explanations and Emendations,' &c. (Edinburgh, 1814), would read

“ The human mortals want; their winter here,

No night is now with hymn or carol bless'd." The writer does not support his emendation by any argument; but we believe that he is right. The swollen rivers have rotted the corn, the folds stand empty, the flocks are murrain, the sports of summer are at an end, the human mortals want. This is the climax. Their winter is hereis come-although the season is the latter summer, or autumn; and in consequence the hymns and carols which gladdened the nights of a seasonable winter are wanting to this premature one. The " therefore,” which follows, introduces another clause in the catalogue of evils produced by the “ brawls" of Oberon and Titania; as in the case of the preceding use of the same emphatic word in two instances :

Therefore, the winds, piping to us in vain," &c., and

“ The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,” &c. Hyems' thin and icy crown. The old copies read chin. Tyrwhitt proposed the change of a single letter to produce thin. Gifford sanctions this reading. “When Ovid paints winter," says Mr. Dyce,“ with icicles hanging from his beard and crown, we have such pictures presented to us as the imagination not unwillingly receives; but Hyems with a chaplet of summer buds on his chin is a grotesque which must surely startle even the dullest reader."

Childing-producing. The childing autumn” is “the teeming autumn" of our poet's 97th Sonnet.

• Increase-produce.
Benchman—a page-originally a horseman. In Chaucer we find-

"And every knight had after him riding

Three henshmen on him a waiting." It has been conjectured that henchman is haunchman-one that follows a chief or lord at his haunch. The derivation from the Anglo-Saxon hengest, a horse, seems more probable.

And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side;
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking th' embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive,
And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind:
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait,
Following, (her womb then rich with my young squire,)
Would imitate ; and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy:

And, for her sake, I will not part with him.
OBE. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding-day.

If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;

If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
OBE. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Tita. Not for thy fairy a kingdom. Fairies, away:

We shall chide downright, if I longer stay. (Exeunt TITANIA and her train. OBE. Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove,

Till I torment thee for this injury.
My gentle Puck, come hither: Thou remember'st 13
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,

To hear the sea-maid's music.

I remember.
OBE. That very time I saw, (but thou couldst not,)

Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd b: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal, throned by the west;
And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,

As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts : * Fairy. This epithet is not found in modern editions, being rejected by Steevens-“ By the advice of Dr. Farmer I have omitted the useless adjective fairy, as it spoils the metre."

Al arm'd. One of the commentators turned this epithet into “alarm’d." The original requires no explanation, beyond the recollection of the Cupid of the poets:

" He doth bear a golden bow,
And a quiver hanging low,
Full of arrows that outbrave
Dian's shafts.”—(BEN JONSON.)

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But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon;
And the imperial votaress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower, —
Before, milk-white, now purple with love's wound, -
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee once;
The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb: and be thou here again,

Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth

In forty minutes

Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes :
The next thing then she waking looks upon,
(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,)
She shall pursue it with the soul of love.
And ere I take this charm off from her sight,
(As I can take it, with another herb,)
I 'll make her render up her page to me.
But who comes here? I am invisible;
And I will overhear their conference.

[Exit Puck

Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him. DEM. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.

Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia?

The one I 'll stay, the other stayeth me b. • This is the reading of Fisher's quarto. That of Roberts, and the folio, omit round, printing the passage as one line:

" I'll put a girdle about the earth in forty minutes." • This is the invariable reading of the old copies. Theobald, upon the suggestion of Dr. Thirlby, changed it to

“ The one I 'll slay, the other slayeth me.” But it is surely unnecessary to assign to Demetrius any such murderous intents. Helena has betrayed her friend

“ I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:

Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night,

Pursue her.”
He is pursuing her, when he exclaims-

“ The one I 'll stay, the other stayeth me." He will stay-stop-Hermia; Lysander stayethhindereth-him.

Thou told'st me, they were stol'n into this wood.
And here am I, and wood a within this wood,
Because I cannot meet myb Hermia.

Hence, get thee gone, apd follow me no more.
HEL. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;

But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as steel: Leave you your power to draw,

And I shall have no power to follow you.
Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair ?

Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth

Tell you—I do not, nor I cannot love you?
HEL. And even for that do I love you the more.

I am your spaniel ; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love,
(And yet a place of high respect with me,)

Than to be used as you use your dog?
Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;

For I am sick when I do look on thee.
HEL. And I am sick when I look not on you.
Dem. You do impeach your modesty too much,

To leave the city, and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
To trust the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,

With the rich worth of your virginity.
HEL. Your virtue is my privilege for that.

It is not night, when I do see your face,
Therefore I think I am not in the night:
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;
For you, in my respect, are all the world :
Then how can it be said, I am alone,

When all the world is here to look on me?
Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes,

And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
HEL. The wildest hath not such a heart as you.

Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd:
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;

• Wood-wild-mad.

My Hermia. This has been enfeebled by some editor, who has been followed without apology by others, into

“ Because I cannot meet with Hermia."

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