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Walker suggested . fetch thee the new nuts. But in the distinct enunciation of fetch thee' the time of a syllable is gained, as in the case of 'moon's ' (ii, 1. 7), and night's' (iv. I. 95).
37. exposition, for ' disposition.'
39. be all ways away, disperse yourselves in every direction. The quartos and folios have always’ variously spelt, which Theobald corrected to all ways.'
40. So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle &c. Strictly speaking * woodbine' and 'honeysuckle' are the same, and in consequence various readings and modes of punctuating this passage have been proposed. Warburton suggested,
•So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,
Enrings,' &c. Upton would read 'woodrine,' that is, the bark of the wood, instead of 'woodbine'; and Steevens says, “ Were any change necessary, I would not scruple to read weedbind, i. e. smilax.' Johnson thought that'woodbine' was the plant, and "honeysuckle’ the flower, and the same distinction is apparently made in Baret's Alvearie, · Woodbin that beareth the Honiesuckle.' But this last-quoted passage perhaps only indicates that 'woodbine' was a name for many climbing plants, one of which was the honeysuckle. As a matter of fact it is to this day used in Suffolk to denote the large white convolvulus, and Boswell is correct in saying that ' in many of our counties, the woodbine is still the name for the great convolvulus.' Gifford quotes a very parallel passage from Ben Jonson's Vision of Delight:
With honeysuckle !' The word only occurs in two other passages of Shakespeare, viz. in the present play, ii. I. 251, where it is called “luscious woodbine,' an epithet which is appropriate to the honeysuckle; and in Much Ado about Nothing, iii. 1. 30, where the woodbine coverture' is the same as
· The pleached bower, Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun,
Forbid the sun to enter.' Supported by these instances, Steevens interprets the present passage thus: * So the woodbine, i.e. the sweet honeysuckle, doth gently entwist the barky fingers of the elm, and so does the female ivy enring the same fingers.' But the word entwist' seems to describe the mutual action of two climbing plants, twining about each other, and I therefore prefer to consider the woodbine and the honeysuckle as distinct, the former being the convolvulus, rather than to adopt a construction and interpretation which do violence to the reader's intelligence. Mr. R. G, White finds no difficulty, because in
America what are called the woodbine and honeysuckle are commonly found twining round each other ; but it appears from his description that he calls woodbine what we call honeysuckle, and that the honeysuckle of America is the trumpet honeysuckle, which is not indigenous in this country, and was unknown in Shakespeare's time. It is moreover instructive to observe, as shewing how loosely the word is used, that the term woodbine' in America is sometimes applied to the Virginia creeper. See Bartlett's Dictionary of Americanisms.
Ib. the female ivy, so called because it is as it were married to the elm; as Catullus says of the vine, lxii. 54:
* Ulmo conjuncta marito.' Compare Fairfax's Tasso, iii. 75:
The married Elme fell with his fruitfull vine.'
'Or they led the vine
Her marriageable arms.'
For · favours' see ii. I. 12. 50. rounded, encircled. Compare Richard II, iii, 2. 161:
- The hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king.' And Macbeth, iv. I. 88: the round and top of sovereignty.' 53. orient pearls, bright, shining pearls. So The Passionate Pilgrim, 133 :
Bright orient pearl, alack, too timely shaded ! The epithet appears to be originally applied to the pearl and other gems as coming from the orient or east, and to have acquired the general sense of bright and shining from the objects which it most commonly describes. Compare Milton, Paradise Lost, i. 546 :
* Ten thousand banners rise into the air,
With orient colours waving.' 54. flowerets', spelt flouriets ' in the quartos and folios.
59. her fairy, her chief attendant fairy. See ii. 1. 61. Dyce, here as in the former passage, reads "fairies.' It
may be that in ii. 1. 61 Titania gives
The birds such pleasure took,
Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cherries.'
· And other of such vinegar aspect.' 66. May all, that is, they may all, &c. See v. I. 69, Abbott, $ 399.
72. Dian's bud, if it has a botanical existence at all, may be, as Steevens suggests, the bud of the Agnus castus, or Chaste Tree, of which it is said in Macer's Herball, “The vertue of this herbe is, that he wyll kepe man and woman chaste.' But it is more probably a product of Shakespeare's imagination, which had already endued Cupid's flower,' the heart's ease, with qualities not recognized in botany. Steevens's suggestion is indeed supported by Chaucer ; see The Flower and the Leaf, 472-5:
• That is Diane, goddesse of chastite,
That agnus castus men call properly.' Ib. o'er, Thirlby's correction, adopted by Theobald. The quartos and folios have 'or.'
81. Than common sleep ... sense. The quartos and first two folios read * sleepe: of all these, fine the sense'; which was further altered in the third and fourth folios to sleep: of all these find the sense'; and by Rowe to
sleep. Of all these fine the sense.' The correction is Theobald's, and was made independently by Thirlby, 'these five' being the five sleepers.
85. rock the ground, like a cradle.
86. are new in amity, are again friends. It is difficult to say whether 'new' is here an adjective or adverb. Probably the latter, as in Hamlet, ii, 2. 510:
' Aroused vengeance sets him new a-work.' For 'amity’ (Fr. amitié) see The Merchant of Venice, iii. 2. 30:
“There may as well be amity and life
'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love.' 89. prosperity.
So the first quarto. The other early copies have * posterity,' which Monck Mason defends by referring to Oberon's blessing in V. I. 410 &c.
But see ii. 1. 73. 94. sad, grave, serious.
See iii. 2. 237. 95. night's, a disyllable, as moon's' in ii. I. 7, and earth's' in The Tempest, iv. I. IIO:
• Earth's increase, foison plenty.' The first quarto reads "nights,' the second quarto and the folios the night's.
103. our observation. The observance to a morn of May' spoken of in i. 1. 167. See below, l. 131.
104. the vaward, the vanguard (Fr. avantgarde), or advanced guard of an army, and hence, the early part of the day. In this metaphorical sense it occurs in 2 Henry IV, i. 2. 199: “And we that are in the vaward of our youth, I must confess, are wags too.' For the literal meaning see Henry V, iv. 3. 130:
• My lord, most humbly on my knee I beg
The leading of the vaward.'
108. We will, fair queen, up &c. See iii. 2. 433.
112. they bay'd the bear. Hanmer substituted "boar' for 'bear'; but the references to bear' and bear-hunting' in Shakespeare are sufficiently numerous to justify the old reading, without going into the naturalist's question whether there are bears in Crete. See for instance Venus and Adonis, 884:
· For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud.' Besides, according to Pliny (viii. 83), there were neither bears nor boars in the island. We may therefore leave the natural history to adjust itself, as well as the chronology which brings Cadmus with Hercules and Hippolyta into the hunting field together. To · bay,' which signifies to bark, or bark at, is used technically for 'to bring to bay,' that is, to drive the animal pursued to turn upon his pursuers. Compare Julius Cæsar, iii. 1. 204: Here wast thou bay'd, brave hart.' And as 'graft' is a corruption of 'graff,' and hoist' of 'hoise,' so 'bait' may be a corruption of .bay.' Cotgrave has
Abbay: m. a barking, or baying of a dogge': and 'Aux derniers abbois. At his last gaspe, or, breathing his last; also, put to his last shifts, driuen to vse his last helpes : A metaphor from hunting: wherein à Stag is sayd, Rendre les abbois, when wearie of running, he turnes vpon the hounds, and holds them at, or puts them to, a bay.'
113. hounds of Sparta. The Spartan hounds were celebrated for their swiftness and quickness of scent. Compare Virgil, Georgics, iii. 405:
• Veloces Spartæ catulos acremque Molossum
Pasce sero pingui.' And see Sophocles, Ajax, 8; Callimachus, Dian. 94. Compare also the description of Actæon's dogs in Ovid's Metamorphoses, iii. (Golding's translation, ed. 1603, fol. 33 a): * His Hounds espyde him where he was, and Blackfoote first of all And Stalker speciall good of sent began aloud to call.
This latter was a hound of Crete, the other was of Spart.' And Gorges' translation of Lucan's Pharsalia, iv. p. 144:
• And therewithall in cooples clogges
His Spartane, and his Cretan dogges.' 114. Chiding, used of noise simply, as in As You Like It, ii. 1. 7:
• As the icy fang And churlish chiding of the winter's wind”; where however the word has also somewhat of the sense of rebuke or scolding. Compare I lený IV, iii. I. 45:
*Clipp'd in with the sea That chides the banks of England, Scotland, Wales ’; that is, dashes noisily against. So Henry VIII, iii. 2. 197:
• As doth a rock against the chiding flood.'
119. so flew'd. The flews of a hound are the large overhanging chaps. Warton quotes from Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, iii. (fol. 33 b, ed. 1603):
' And shaggie Rugge with other twaine that had a Sire of Crete, And Dam of Sparta : Tone of them callde Iolly-boy, a great
And large flewd hound.'
120. Steevens quotes inaccurately from Heywood's Brazen Age [ii. 2, Works iii. p. 190]:
• The fierce Thessalian hounds
From the moist earth,' 121. dewlapp'd. See ii. 1. 50.
122. match'd in mouth like bells. Compare Markham's Country Contentments, p. 6: 'If you would have your Kennel for sweetness of cry, then you must compound it of some large dogs, that have deep solemn Mouths, and are swift in spending, which must as it were bear the base in the consort ; then a double number of roaring, and loud-ringing Mouthes, which niust bear the counter-tenor; then some hollow plain sweet Mouths, which must bear the mean or middle part; and so with these three parts of Musick, you shall make your cry perfect.'
Ib, mouth, used of the bark of a dog. Compare Venus and Adonis, 695: Then do they spend their mouths.' And i Henry VI, ii. 4. 12:
* Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth.' 130. I wonder of &c. We should now say 'I wonder at,' but as 'at' marks the object of the wonder, so 'of' is used with that in respect of which the wonder is excited. Compare Timon of Athens, iii. 4. 10: ‘I wonder on't'; where 'on’t’=of it. So below, l. 135, 'of' =concerning.
131-132. to observe The rite of May. Compare i. 1. 167. The quartos and folios have 'right' for 'rite.' See note on The Tempest, iv. I. 96 (Clar. Press. ed.). 133. in grace of, in honour of. Compare Hamlet, i. 2. 124:
• In grace whereof,
But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell.' Id. solemnity. See i. I. II. 140. Capell adds the stage-direction, 'He and the rest kneel to Theseus.'
144. To sleep &c. For the omission of as' after .so' see Abbott, § 281, As You Like It, ii. 3. 7, and The Merchant of Venice, iii. 3. 10.
145. amazedly, confusedly; in a state of astonishment or confusion of mind. Compare the stage direction in The Tempest, v, I. 215, and Winter's Tale, v. 1. 187: