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By their increase, now knows not which is which :
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissention ;
We are the parents and original.

06. 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 henchman.S

Tita. Set your heart at rest,
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a vot’ress of my order:
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossip'd by my

side

e; And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, Marking the 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 merchandize. But she, being mortal, of that boy did die ; And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy : Aud, for her sake, I will not part with him.

06. 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 moon-light revels, go with us ;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

Ob. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.

Tiw. Not for thy kingdom.–Fairies, away : We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay.

[Exe. Tita. and her Train. Ob. Well, go thy way : thou shalt not from this grove, Till I torment thee for this injury.

(7) ie By their product. JOHNS. -The expression is scriptural : “ Then shall the earth bring forth her increase, and God, even our God, shall give us bis blessing"

Psalm lxvii. MALONE. (6) Page of honour. To is office was abolished by queen Elizabeth. GREY.

Upon the establishment of the bousehold of Edvard IV. were “henomen six enfants, or more, as it pleyseth the king, eatinge in the halle, sc. There was also a riaister of the heurmeni to shewe them the schoole of nurture, and learne them to Tide, to wear their hornisse; to have all curlesie - to teach them all languages, and other virtues, as harping, pipynge, singing, dauncing, rrith honest behavioure of tenperaunce and paljence."' Ms. Harl. 293. TYRWHITT. Vol. III.

B

-My gentle Puck, come hitber: Thou remember'st
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.

(9)

-thou rememberist
Since once I sat upon a promontory.
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back,
Ultering such dulcel and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea gren civil at her song ;
And certain stars shol madly from their spheres,

To hear the sea-maid's music.] The first thing observable on these words that this action of the mermaid is laid in the same time aod place with Cupid's attack upon the vestal. By the vestal every one knows is meant Queen Elizabeth. It is very natural and reasonable thed to think, that the mermaid stands for some eminent personage of her time. And if so, the allegorical covering, in which there is a mixture of satire and panegyric, will lead us to conclude, that this person was one of whom it had been inconvenient for the author to speak openly, either io praise or dispraise. All this agrees with Mary queen of Scots, and with no other. 'Queen Elizabeth could not bear to hear her commended; and her successor would not forgive her satyrist. But the poet has 80 well marked out every distinguishing circumstance of her life and character in this beautiful allegory, as will leave no room to doubt about his secret meaning. She is called, mermaid, 1. to denote her reigo over a kingdom situate in the sea, and 2. her beauty, and intemperate lust :

-Ut turpiter atrum “ Desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne." For as Elizabeth for her chastity is called a vestal, this unfortunate lady on a contrary account is called a mermaid. 3. An ancient story may be supposed to be here alluded to The emperor Julian tells us, Epis. 41, that the Syrens (which, with all the modern poets, are mermaids) contended for precedency with the Muses, who, overcoming them, took away their wings. The quarrels between Mary and Elizabeth had the same cause, and the same issue.

on a dolphin's back,] This evidently marks out that distinguishing circumstance of Mary's fortune, her marriage with the daupbio of France, son of Henry II.

Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,] This alludes to her great abilities of genius and learning, which rendered her the most accomplished princess of her age. The French writers tell us, that, while she was in that court, she pronounced a Latin oration in the great hall of the Louvre, with so much gruce and eloquence, as filled the wbole court with admiration.

That the rude sea gren civil at her song ;] By the rude sea is meant Scotland encircled with the ocean; which rose up in arms against the regent, while she was in France. But her return home presently quieted those disorders; and had not her strange ill conduct afterwards more violently indamed them, she might have passed her whole life in peace. There is the greater beauty in this image, as the vulgar opinion is, that the mermaid always sings in storms. . And certain stars shot madly from their spheres

To hear the sea-maid's music.) This concludes the description, with that reinarkable circumstance of this unhappy lady's fate, the destruction she brought upon several of the English pobility, whom she drew in to support her cause. This, in the boldest expression of the sublime, the poet images by certain stats skooting madly from their spheres: By which he meant the earls of Nortbumber land and Westmoreland, wbo sell in ber quarrel; and principally tbe great duke of

Puck. I remember.
05. That very time I saw, (but thou couldst not)
Flying beiween the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm’d: 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 :
But I might see yo ing Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the wat'ry moon;
And the imperial vot'ress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free.'
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell :

Norfolk, whose projected marriage with her was atteo-led with such fatal consequen es. Here again the reader may observe a peculiar justness in the imazery. The vulgar opinion heing that the mermaid allured men to destruction by ber soogs. To which opinion Shakespeare alludes in bis Comedy of Errors:

"O train me not, skeet mermaid, with thy note,

To d'onn me in thy sister's fiood of tears" On the whole, it is the noblest and justest allezory that was ever written. The laying it in fairy land, and out of nature. is in the character of the speaker

Amon these of avions Shakespeare always excels himself He is borne away by the magic of' his enthusiasm, and hurries his reader along with him into these ancient regions of poetry, by that power of verse, which we may well fancy to be like what,

"Olimn sauni valesque canebant." WARBURTON. Every reader may be induced to wish that the foregoing allusion, pointed out by 80 acute a critic as Dr. Warburton, should remain uncontroverted; and yet I cannot diesemble tv doubts concerning it. --Wby is the thrice-married Queen of Scotland stylet a Sea-maid! and is it probable that Shakespeare (who understood his own politial as well as poetical interest) should have ventured such a panegyric on this ill-fated Princess, during the reign of ber rival Elizabeth ? If it was unintelligible to his audience, it was thrown away; if obvious, there was danger of offence to ber siajesty.

“ A star dis-orbid," however, (See Troilus and Cressida) is one of our author's favourite images : and he has no where else so happily expressed it as in Antony and Cleopatra :

"--the good stars that were my former guides,
Have empty lift their orbs, and shot their fires

“ Joto th' abysma of hell" To these remarks may be added others of a like tendency, which I met with in The Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786.-" That a compliment to Queen Elizabeth was intended in the expression of the fair Vestal thrond in the l'est, seems to be generally allowed; but how far Shakespeare designed, under the image of the ver mail, to figure Mary Queen of Scots, is more doubtful ir by the rude sea grem ciril at her song, is meant, as Dr. Warburton supposes, that the tumults of Scotland were appeased by her address, the observation is not true; for that sea was in a storm during the whole of Mary's reign. Neither is the figure just, if by the stars shouting madlu from their sphere's to hear the sca-moid's music, the poet alluded to the fate of the Earis of Northumberland and Westmoreland, and particularly of the Duke of Norfolk, whose projected marriage with Mary was the occasion of his tuin. It would have been absurd and irrecoprileable to the good «Pose of the poet, to have represented a nobleman aspiring to marry a Queen, by the image of a star shouting or descending from its sphere." STEEVENS.

[1] i. e. exempt from the power of love. STEEVENS.

1

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 eye-lids 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.

[Exit Ob. 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 over-hear their conference.

Enter DEMETRIUS, Helena following him.
Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia ?
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Thou told'st me, they were stol'n into this wood,
And here am I, and wood' within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant ;
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart

[2]. The flower or violet, commonly called pansies, or heart's ease, is named love-in-idleness in Warwickshire, and in Lyte's Herbal. There is a reason why Shakespeare says it is " now purple with love's wound,” because one or two of its petals are of a purple colour. TOLLET.

(3] I thought proper here to observe, tbat, as Oberon and Puck his attendant may be frequently observer to speak, when there is no mention of their entering; they are designed the poet to be supposed on the stage during the greatest part of the remaimer og je piay; and to mix, as they please, as spirits, with the other actors; and embroil the plot, by their interposition, without being seen, or beard, but when to their own purpose. THEOBALD.

(4) Wood, or mad, wild, raving. POPE.

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 so 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

ti
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 Alies, and Daphne holds the chase ; The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind Makes speed to catch the tiger : Bootless speed ! When cowardice pursues, and valour flies. [5] This passage is parapbrased from two lines of an ancient poet (Tibullus)

Tu pocte vel atra “ Lumeo, et in solis tu mibi turba locis." JOHNSON As the works of King David might be more familiar to Shakespeare than Roman poetry, perbaps, on the present occasion, the lith verse of the 139th Psalm was in his thoughts : " Yea, the darkness is po darkness with tboe, but the night is as clear u the day." STEEVENS.

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