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53. lanthorn. This spelling is purposely left on account of the joke in v. I. 231: “This lanthorn doth the horned moon present.'
60. present, act the part of. See iii. 2. 14, and The Tempest, iv. 1. 167: • When I presented Ceres.'
65. every mother's son. See i. 2. 80. 67. brake. See l. 4.
Ib. cue, a player's word; from Fr. queue, a tail. It technically denotes the last words of a speed which give the next speaker the hint when to begin. Hence it signifies generally the part an actor has to perform. See Othello, i. 2. 83:
• Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it,
Without a prompter.' 70. a play toward, or ready to be acted. Compare As You Like It, V. 4. 35: • There is, sure, another flood toward, and these couples are coming to the ark.'
73. odious. The same blunder reversed is put into Dogberry's mouth in Much Ado about Nothing, iii. 5. 18: Comparisons are odorous.'
76. awhile. Theobald reads 'a whit’ to rhyme with sweet. Malone supposes two lines to be lost, one rhyming with sweet,' the other with 'a while.'
84. juvenal. See Love's Labour 's Lost, i. 2. 8: How canst thou part sadness and melancholy, my tender juvenal?' The word was affectedly used and
appears to have been designedly ridiculed by Shakespeare. 92. Malone proposed to print the line thus :
• If I were, fair Thisby, I were only thine.' 97. To make up the line Johnson proposed to read •Through bog, through mire &c.'; Ritson, · Through bog, through burn &c.' 98. Sometime, sometimes. See King Lear, ii. 3. 19:
• Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers.' 100. The folios here insert the stage direction, 'Enter Piramus with the Asse head,' which the quartos omit.
105. Johnson proposed to add to Snout's speech, “An ass's head?' in order to give point to what Bottom says.
106. you see an ass-head of your own. Bottom indulges in what appears to have been a piece of familiar banter of the time, without knowing how much it affected himself. Compare Mrs. Quickly's speech in The Merry Wives of Windsor, i. 4. 134: “You shall have an fool's head of your own.'
107. translated, transformed. See i. 1. 191.
114. The ousel cock, the male blackbird. In the quartos and folios it is spelt "woosell,' or 'woosel,' and is probably the same as Fr. oiseau, of which the old form was oisel. Cotgrave (Fr. Dict.) gives, “ Merle : m. A Mearle, Owsell, Blackbird. Merle noir. The Blackbird, or ordinarie
Owsell.' Florio (Ital. Dict.) has, Merlo, an Owsell, a Blackmacke, a Merle, or Blacke-bird.' In a note written by Douce he says, on the authority of Lewin's English Birds, that the ousel differs from the blackbird by having a white crescent on the breast. This is true of what is now called the ring ousel. Willoughby (Ornithology, B. ii. ch. 16) says, 'Of Blackbirds or Ouzels England breeds and feeds three kinds, 1. The Common Blackbird ; 2. The Ring-Ouzels ; 3. The Water-Ouzel' In Breton's Arbor of Amorous Devises (1587] occur the two following lines which Steevens quotes from Capell's copy in Trinity College Library :
• The chattering Pie, the lay, and eke the Quaile,
The Thrustle-Cock that was so blacke of hewe.' 115. orange-tawny. See i. 2. 85. This is descriptive of the colour of 'the bill of the male bird only, which is of a deep orange yellow. Compare Drayton, Polyolbion, xiii. 58:
• The Woosell neere at hand, that hath a golden bill.' 116. The throstle, or song-thrush. Compare The Merchant of Venice, i. 2. 65: “If a throstle sing, he falls straight a capering. Steevens quotes a passage from Thomas Newton's Herball to the Bible (p. 200) to show that the throstle and thrush are different birds : • There is also another sort of myrte or myrtle which is wilde, whose berries the mauisses, throssels, owsels, and thrushes, delite much to eate.' But it proves no more than that 'throssel,' 'mavis,' and 'thrush,' were names indiscriminately used for the same bird; for a mavis or mavish to this day is a thrush in Suffolk, and Cotgrave (Fr. Dict.) has, “Mauvis: f. A Mauis ; a Throstle, or thrush.' In Willoughby's Ornithology (B. ii
. ch. 17, § 2) is a section on “The Mavis, Throstle, or Song-Thrush.' Compare Drayton's Shepherd's Garland, Eclogue iii. 67:
• The wosell and the throstle cock, chief musick of our May.' 120. plain-song cuckoo, so called from his monotonous note. The plainsong was the simple melody on which variations were made. Warton quotes from Skelton [Works, ed. Dyce, i. 64]:
• But with a large and a longe
The culuer, the stockedowue.' 123. would set his wit to so foolish a bird, would match his wit against a cuckoo's. So Troilus and Cressida, ii. 1. 94: “Will you set your wit to a fool's?'
127-129. In the folios and second quarto, line 129 precedes line 126. 128. thy fair virtue's force, the power of thy beauty.
134. gleek, jest, scoff. See Henry V, v. 1. 78: 'I have seen you gleeking and galling at this gentleman twice or thrice.' The substantive occurs in i Henry VI, iii. 2. 123:
• Now where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks?' Staunton remarks upon this: "The all-accomplished Bottom is boasting of his versatility. He has shown, by his last profound observation on the disunion of love and reason, that he possesses a pretty turn for the didactic and sententious; but he wishes Titania to understand that, upon fitting occasion, he can be as waggish as he has just been grave.' But a 'gleek' is rather a satirical than a waggish joke, and in this vein Bottom flatters himself he has just been rather successfully indulging. In Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary Glaik’ is defined as a glance of the eye, or a reflected gleam or glance in general. Hence 'to fling the glaiks in one's e’en' is to dazzle the eyes, throw dust in one's eyes, and so to cheat. Similarly to play the glaiks with one' is to cheat; and to get the glaiks' is to be cheated. With the derived sense of glaik' compare 'glance' in this play, ii. 1. 75.
140. still, ever, constantly. See iii. 2. 345, and The Merchant of Venice, i. 1. 136:
* And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honour.'
Was he not companion with the riotous knights
That tend upon my father ?' 144. jewels from the deep. Steevens quotes from Richard III [i. 4. 31]:
• Reflecting gems Which woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep.' To which may be added what occurs a few lines before:
• Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea.' 148. Moth. Mr. R. G. White regards this as equivalent to ‘Mote' and prints it accordingly. No doubt'mote' is commonly though not uniformly spelt moth the early editions of Shakespeare. For instance in Love's Labour 's Lost, iv. 3. 161 the first folio has :
•You found his Moth, the King your Moth did see:
But I a Beame doe finde in each of three.' See also the present play, v. 1. 306.
152. apricocks, the earlier and more correct spelling of apricots. See note on Richard II, iii. 4. 29:
"Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks.' The word has a curious history. In Latin the fruit was called praecoqua (Martial, Epig. xiii. 46), or praecocia (Pliny, H. N. xv. 11) from being early ripe ; Dioscorides (i. 165) called it in Greek paucókia. Hence in Arabic it became barquq or birquq, and with the article al-barquq or albirquq, Spanish albarcoque, Italian albricocco (Torriano), French abricot, and English abricot, abricoct (Holland's Pliny, xv. 11), apricock, or apricot.
Ib. dewberries, the fruit of the dewberry bush or blue bramble, of which the botanical name is Rubus caesius. None of these fruits of course are ripe when the action of the play is supposed to take place, and the same remark applies to them as to the flowers in ii. 2. 250.
156. the fiery glow-worm's eyes. Johnson thought that Shakespeare's observation was at fault, whereas he only uses the license of a poet. Compare Herrick’s Night-piece, to Julia (Hesperides, ii. 7, ed. 1846):
• Her Eyes the Glow-worme lend thee.' 157. To have my love to bed and to arise, to conduct him to his bed and to attend him when he rises. Compare Comedy of Errors, ii. 2. 10:
• Your mistress sent to have me home to dinner?' And Taming of the Shrew, Ind. 2. 39:
• Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch.' See also 2 Kings xi. 15: ‘Have her forth without the ranges.'
161-164. The distribution of these speeches among the four fairies was made by Capell
. The quartos and folios make but three speakers, giving * Haile, mortall, haile' to the first.
165, &c. With this conversation of Bottom with the fairies Malone compares Lyly's Maydes Metamorphosis, in which there is a dialogue between some foresters and a troop of fairies : • Mopso. I pray, Sir, what might I call you ? i Fai. My name is Penny. Mop. I am sorry I cannot purse you. Frisco. I pray you, Sir, what might I call you ? 2 Fai. My name is Cricket. Fris. I would I were a chimney for your sake.'
168. I shall desire you of more acquaintance. The same construction is found in The Merchant of Venice, iv. I. 402 :
• I humbly do desire your grace of pardon.' And in As You Like It, v. 4. 56: 'I desire you of the like.' Again in Chapman's An Humerous Dayes Mirth (Works, i. 55): 'I do desire you of more acquaintance.'
169. if I cut my finger, a cobweb being sometimes used to stanch blood.
172. Squash, an unripe peascod. Compare Twelfth Night, i. 5. 166: • Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod.'
177. your patience, your endurance, what you have endured. There is no necessity to alter this, with Hanmer, to ‘ your parentage,' or with Farmer to your passions'; and Mason's “I know you passing well' is feeble. Reed supposes the words to be spoken ironically, because mustard was thought to excite to ang But what follows shows that they are used in their natural sense. The house of Mustard had endured much oppression from the giant Ox-beef.
179. I promise you. See I. 26.
180, 181. your more acquaintance. So the third and fourth folios. The other early copies read 'you more,' and Porson conjectured 'you of more' as above, which was adopted by Dyce in his second edition.
186. love's. Pope's correction. The quartos and folios read lovers,' which Malone contended was the true reading and to be pronounced as a monosyllable, as in Twelfth Night, ii. 4. 66 :
•Sad true lover never find my grave.' Steevens however maintained that here also true lover' was a mistake for 'true love.'
3. in extremity, in the highest degree, to the utmost, excessively.
5. night-rule, night-order, revelry, or diversion. “Rule' is used in the sense of conduct in Twelfth Night, ii. 3. 132: Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's favour at anything more than contempt, you would not give means for this uncivil rule.' 7. close, secret, private, retired. So 2 Henry VI, ii. 2. 3:
•Give me leave In this close walk to satisfy myself.' 9. patches, fools, foolish fellows; used as a familiarly contemptuous term, as in The Merchant of Venice, ii. 5. 46, Shylock says of Launcelot:
• The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder.' It is probably derived from the Italian pazzo. See note on The Tempest, iii. 2. 63 (Clar. Press ed.). Patch was the name of Cardinal Wolsey's fool, whom he sent as a present to the king. Ib. mechanicals, mechanics, artisans. Compare 2 Henry VI, i. 3. 196:
* Base dunghill villain and mechanical.' 13. thick-skin. So in Merry Wives of Windsor, iv. 5. 2: What wouldst thou have, boor? what, thickskin ?'
Ib. barren, witless, stupid. Compare Twelfth Night, i. 5.90: 'I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal : I saw him put down the other day with an ordinary fool that has no more brain than a stone.' And Hamlet, iii. 2. 46: 'For there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too.' Ib. sort, company, crew. See Richard II, iv. 1. 246:
• And yet salt water blinds them not so much,
But they can see a sort of traitors here.' And 2 Henry VI, iii. 2. 277:
• The lord ambassador Sent from a sort of tinkers to the king.' 14. Who Pyramus presented, played the part of Pyramus. See iii. 1. 60.