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74. a misprised mood, a mistaken humour or caprice; a temper of mind arising from a mistake. "You spend your passion on, that is, in giving vent to this mistaken mood. So below, l. 90, misprision' is 'mistake.'
78. An if. See ii. 2. 153.
Ib. therefore, for that, thereby. So Troilus and Cressida, iii. 3. 20: * Often have you thanks therefore.'
80, 81. part I so: See me &c. This is Pope's correction of the reading of the quartos and folios, which is ‘part I, see me no more Whether &c.' with neither rhyme nor metre.
81. whether, a monosyllable, as in i. 1. 69.
85. sleep, misprinted • slippe' in the first quarto, and slip' in the second and in the folios. Rowe corrected it.
87. tender, offer; keeping up the figure of debt and payment in the previous lines. Compare The Tempest, ii. 1. 194:
• Do not omit the heavy offer of it:
It seldom visits sorrow.' 90. misprision, mistake. See above, l. 74, and Much Ado about Nothing, . iv, I. 187:
“There is some strange misprision in the princes.' 92. troth. See ii. 2. 42. One man holding troth,' while one man keeps faith.
93. confounding oath on oath, breaking one oath after another. For * confound' in the sense of ruin, destroy,' see Lucrece, 1202:
“My shame be his that did my fame confound.' 96, fancy-sèck, love-sick. See i. 1. 155.
Ib. cheer, countenance ; Fr. chère, Ital. ciera, or cera. Compare The Merchant of Venice, iii. 2. 314:
Bid your friends welcome, shew a merry cheer.' And i Henry VI, i. 2. 48:
Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appall’d'; that is, your countenance turned pale.
97. sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear. •Costs' is here attracted into the singular by the word 'love' which comes between it and its subject. See notes on Hamlet, i. 2. 38, King Lear, iii. 6. 4, where the verb is plural instead of singular. The following from The Comedy of Errors, v. 1. 70, is exactly parallel to the present passage:
The venom clamours of a , jealous woman
Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.'
Like a spendthrift sigh,
And 2 Henry VI, iii. 2. 61:
• Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans
Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs.' 101. the Tartar's bow. Compare Romeo and Juliet, i. 4. 5:
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath. Also Bacon's Advancement of Learning, Bk, II. xiv. II: “Yet certain it is that words, as a Tartar's bow, do shoot back upon the understanding of the wisest.' The Tartars were famous for their skill in archery, like the ancient Parthians. Douce quotes from Golding's translation of Ovid's Met. x. [fol. 128 b] :
And though that she Did fly as swift as Arrow from a Turkye bowe.' 103. Cupids archery. See ii. 1. 165. 112. mistook. For this form of the participle see Hamlet, v. 2. 395.
114. fond. See ii. 2. 88. Their fond pageant,' the foolish spectacle they present.
119. sport alone, to which nothing can be compared. See Twelfth Night, i. 1. 15:
•So full of shapes is fancy
'I am alone the villain of the earth.' 124. vows so born, vows being so born.
127. badge of faith, in allusion to the badges of metal worn by servants and marked with a device to indicate the family to which they belonged. Compare Lucrece, 1054:
• To clear this spot by death, at least I give
A badge of fame to slander's livery.' And 2 Henry VI, v. 1. 201:
* And that I'll write upon thy burgonet,
Might I but know thee by thy household badge.' 129. When truth kills truth. If Lysander's present protestations are true they destroy the truth of his former vows to Hermia, and the contest between these two truths, which in themselves are holy, must in the issue be devilish and end in the destruction of both.
133. Will even weigh, will counterbalance each other.
134. as light as tales, or idle words. There is the same contrast between truths and tales in Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 2. 136:
• Truths would be tales, Where now half tales be truths.' 138. eyne. See i. 1. 242.
141. Taurus, a lofty range of mountains in Asia Minor.
“I take thy hand, this hand,
By the northern blasts twice o'er.' 144. This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss. Steevens compares Antony and Cleopatra, iii. 13. 125:
My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal
And plighter of high hearts.' And Staunton justifies his adoption of impress' for 'princess,' Mr. Collier's conjecture, by a reference to Beaumont and Fletcher, Double Marriage, iv. 3:
“May I not take this hand, and on it sacrifice
The sorrows of my heart? white seal of virtue!'
146. To set against me, attack me.
150. join in souls, combine heart and soul, join heartily. For this expression, the meaning of which is so clear, it has been proposed to read join in fouts,' join insolents,' 'join in soul,' 'join, ill souls,' join in sport,' 'join insults.
153. superpraise, overpraise, praise to excess.
157. a trim exploit, a pretty achievement! •Trim' is used many times by Shakespeare ironically. Compare i Henry IV, v. 1, 137: “What is honour ? A word. What is in that word honour ? what is that honour ? air. A trim reckoning !' 159. sort, quality, kind. Compare 2 Henry IV, v. 2. 18:
• How many nobles then should hold their places,
That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort!' Cotgrave has ‘Gens de mise. Persons of worth, sort, qualitie.'
160, 161, extort A poor soul's patience, wrest it from her, make her impatient. Compare Much Ado about Nothing, v. 1. 102; We will not wake your patience.
169. I will none, will none of her, desire her not. Compare Romeo and Juliet, iii. 5. 140:
“Ay, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks.' The full phrase occurs in 2 Henry IV, iii. 2. 271: 'And for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you come unto it: I will none of you.'
171. to her, in regard to her my heart was but as a sojourner. Johnson read with her.' Deļius suggests that 'to her as guest-wise' is equivalent to as a guest to her. There are other instances of 'to’in Shakespeare in a sense not far different from that in the present passage. Compare Measure for Measure, i. 2. 186:
•Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputy.' Two Gentlemen of Verona, i. 1. 57:
•To Milan let me hear from thee by letters.' Comedy of Errors, iv. I. 49:
You use this dalliance to excuse Your breach of promise to the Porpentine.' In all these cases the sense is quite clear, but there is a confusion in the construction. In the Devonshire dialect `to' is frequently used for 'at,' and it is a common Americanism.
175. aby it, pay for it, atone for it. See below, l. 335, and Spenser, Fairy Queen, iv, 1. 53:
• Yet thou, false squire, his fault shalt deare aby.' The folios read “abide' in both passages, as does the second quarto here. There is another word "aby,' in an entirely different sense, which is etymologically the same as abide'; but our word is from A.S. abicgan, to redeem. And abide,' which is synonymous with the former, is often confounded with the latter.
188. oes, circles, orbs. Compare Antony and Cleopatra, v. 2. 81: “The little O, the earth.' Steevens quotes John Davies of Hereford's Microcosmus, 1605, p. 233:
•Which silver oes and spangles over-ran.'
195. Injurious, insulting. See ii. 1. 147.
Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill him ?' 200. chid. So in l. 312. Shakespeare also uses chidden' as the participle of “chide.' So Two Gentlemen of Verona, ii. 1. 12: · And yet I was last chidden for being too slow.'
201. O, is all forgot? The verse is defective, as is frequently the case when there is a pause in the middle. To mend it the second and later folios read .O, and is all forgot ?' Malone, 'O, is all now forgot ?' Reed, 'O, now is all forgot ?' Mr. Spedding proposes the slightest change, O, is it all forgot ?' But the broken line is suitable to the hurried ejaculations of Hermia.
202. childhood innocence. Compare The Merchant of Venice, i. 1. 144: • I urge this childhood proof.
203. two artificial gods, two gods exercising their creative skill in art; in this case the art of embroidery.
204. needles, a monosyllable; for which Steevens substituted the old form • neelds.' But see Lucrece, 319:
* And griping it, the needle his finger pricks.' And King John, v. 2. 157:
• Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change,
Their needles to lances, and their gentle hearts
To fierce and bloody inclination.' 206. warbling of one song. See i, 1, 231, Abbott, Shakespeare Grammar, § 178, and note on King Lear, ii. 1. 39 (Clar. Press ed.).
208. incorporate. See v. I. 399. 213. Two of the first, like coats in heraldry. The quartos and folios read life' for 'like,' which Theobald substituted at the suggestion of Folkes. Shakespeare borrows the language of heraldry, in which, when a tincture has been once mentioned in the description of a coat of arms, it is always afterwards referred to according to the order in which it occurs in the description; and a charge is accordingly said to be of the first,' of the second,' &c., if its tincture be the same as that of the field which is always mentioned first, or as that of the second or any other that has been specified. Hence Douce's explanation is the correct one: *Helen says, “we had two seeming bodies but only one heart.” She then exemplifies her position by a simile“we had two of the first, i. e. bodies, like the double coats in heraldry that belong to man and wife as one person, but which, like our single heart, have but one crest.”' 215. rent, the old form of 'rend. Compare A Lover's Complaint, 55:
• This said, in top of rage the lines she rents.' It occurs also in several passages of the Authorised Version of the Bible, but has been modernised in later editions, and is only left in Jer. iv. 30.
220. passionate. So the folios. The quartos omit.
237. Ay, do, persever. The first quarto reads • I doe. Persever ;' which Hunter maintains is the true reading, making Helena refer to what Hermia had said, 'I understand not,' &c. To which Helena replies, 'I do. Persever,' &c. The reading of the second quarto and of the folios is ‘I, do, persever, which is the same as that adopted in the text, 'I' being the common form of Ay' in the printing of Shakespeare's time.
Ib. persever, with the accent on the second syllable, as uniformly in Shakespeare. Compare King John, ii. 1. 421 :
• Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.' Ib. sad. See ii. 1. 51, iv. I. 94.
238. Make mouths upon me, make faces at me in scorn. See Hamlet, iv. 4. 50:
• Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd