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The. Either to die the death", or to abjure
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
9—to die the death-) See notes on Measure for Measure, act II. sc.
STEEVENS. · Know of your youth,] Bring your youth to the question. Consider your youth. JOHNSON. 2 For aye,] i. £. for ever.
STEEVENS. 3 But earthlier happy is the rose distilld,] Thus all the copies : yet earthlier is so haríh a word, and earthlier happy, for bappier earthly, a mode of speech so unusual, that I wonder none of the editors have proposed earlier happy. JOHNSON.
It has since been observed, that Mr. Pope did propose carlier. We might read, earthly bappier. STBEVENS.
This is a thought in which Shakspeare seems to have much delighted. We ineet with it more than once in his Sonnets. Sce 5th, 6th, and 54th Sonnets. MALONE.
to whose unwish'd yoke] Thus the modern editors ; the particle to is wanting in the old copies. STEEVENS.
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.
Ege. Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love; And what is mine, my love shall render him: And she is mine; and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius.
Lyf. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, As well possess’d; my love is more than his; My fortunes every way as fairly rank’d, If not with vantage, as Demetrius'; And, which is more than all these boasts can be, I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia: Why should not I then prosecute my right? Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head, Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry, Upon this spotted and inconstant man 6.
The. I must confess that I have heard so much, And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; But, being over-full of self-affairs, My mind did lose it.—But, Demetrius, come; And come, Egeus; you shall go with me, I have some private schooling for you both. For you fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
5 You have her father's love, Demetrius;
Let me have Hermia's; do you marry him.] I suspect that Shakspeare wrote: " Let me have Hermia; do you marry him."
TYRWHITT. 6 Spotted] As spotless is innocent, fo spotted is wicked.
To fit your fancies to your father's will;
[Exeunt Thef. Hip. Egeus, Dem, and train. Lyf. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so
How chance the roses there to fade so fast ?
Her. Belike, for want of rain ; which I could well ? Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Lyf. Ah me! for aught that I could ever read,
7 Beteem them-] Give them, bestow upon them. The word is used by Spenser. Johnson,
“ So would I, said th' enchanter, glad and fain
“ Beteem to you his sword, you to defend.” Faery Queen. Again, in The Case is Altered. Hoiv? Ask Dalio and Milo, 1005:
" I could betreme her a better match." But I rather think that to betrem in this place fignifies (as in the northern counties) to pour out; from tommer, Danili. Steevens.
8 The course of true love &c.] This passage seems to have been imitated by Milton. Paradise Loft, B. 10.- -896. Malone.
9 Too bigh to be enthratld to love.) This reading possesses all the editions, but carries no just meaning in it. Nor was Hermia displeas'd at being in love; but regrets the inconveniencies that generally attend the passion : either, the parties are disproportioned, in degree of blood and quality; or unequal, in respect of years; or brought together by the appointment of friends, and not by their own choice. These are the complaints represented by Lysander ; and Hermia, to answer to the first, as the has done to the other two, muft necessarily say:
Lyf. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ;
Lyf. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
O crofs !~too high to be enthrall'd to low! So the antithesis is kept up in the terms ; and fo fhe is made to condole the disproportion of blood and quality in lovers.
THEOBALD. Sir T. H. adheres to the old reading. STEEVENS.
8 The old editions read momentany, which is the old and pro. per word. The modern editors, momentary. JOHNSON. The first folio has not momentany
MALONE. 9 Brief as the lightning in the colly'd night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both beaven and earth,
The jaws of darkness do devour it up :) Though the word /pleen be here employed oddly enough, yet I believe it right. Shakspeare, always hurried on by the grandeur and multitude of his ideas, assumnes every now and then, an uncommon licence in the use of his words. Particularly in complex moral modes it is usual with himn to employ one, only to express a very few ideas of that number of which it is coinposed. Thus wanting here to express the ideas --of a sudden, or--a trice, he uses the word spleen ; which, partially confidered, fig. nifying a hasty sudden fit, is enough for him, and he never trou. bles himself about the further or fuller lignification of the word. Here, he uses the word fplcen for a fudden bally fit; fo just the contrary, in the Two Ġentiemen of Verona, he uses fulden for Splenetic fudden quips. And it must be owned this sort of conversation adds a force to the diction. WARBURTON,
Brief as the lightning in the colly'd night,] colly'd, i. e. black, fmutted with coal, a word ftill used in the midland counties. So, in Ben Johnson's Poetajter :
4 - Thou hast not collicd thy face enough," STEEVENS.
So quick bright things come to confusion.
Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross’d, It stands as an edict in destiny : Then let us teach our tryal patience, Because it is a customary cross; As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and fighs, Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers. Lyf. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me,
Her. My good Lysander !
And "I have a widow aunt, &c.] These lines perhaps might more properly be regulated thus :
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
And to that place-JOHNSON. - remote,-) Remote is the reading of both the quartos; the folio has,
remov'd. STEVENS. From Athens is her house remote feven leagues.] Remov'd, which is the reading of the folio, was, I believe, the author's word. He uses it again in Hamlet, før remote: • He wafts you to a more removed ground." MALONE.
3 Lyf. If thou lov'l me tben,
Her. My good Lysander !