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THE. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with thee?

EGE. Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my-child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius;- My noble lord,
This man hath my confent to marry her:-
Stand forth, Lyfander; and, my gracious duke,
This hath bewitch'd' the bofom of my child:
Thou, thou, Lyfander, thou haft given her rhimes,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child:
Thou haft by moon-light at her window fung,
With feigning voice, verfes of feigning love;
And ftol'n the impreffion of her fantafy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,


Creon, in the tragedy of Jocasta, tranflated from Euripides in 1566, is called Duke Creon.

So likewife Skelton:

Not lyke Duke Hamilcar,

"Nor lyke Duke Afdruball."

Stanyhurst, in his Tranflation of Virgil, calls Æneas, Duke Eneas; and in Heywood's Iron Age, Part II. 1632, Ajax is ftyled Duke Ajax, Palamedes, Duke Palamedes, and Neflor, Duke Nef

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Our verfion of the Bible exhibits a fimilar mifapplication of a modern title; for in Daniel iii. 2. Nebuchadonozar, King of Babylon, fends out a fummons to the Sheriffs of his provinces.

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7 This hath bewitch'd-] The old copies read This man hath bewitch'd- The emendation was made for the fake of the me

tre, by the editor of the fecond folio. It is very probable that the
compofitor caught the word man from the line above. MALONE.
gawds, i. e. baubles, toys, trifles. Our author has
the word frequently. See K. John, A& III. fc. v.
Again, in Appius and Virginia, 1576:
When gain is no grandier,

"And gandes not fet by," &c.

Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf:

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and in her lap

"A fort of paper puppets, gands and toys."

The Rev. Mr. Lambe, in his notes on the ancient metrical hiftory of the Battle of Floddon, obferves that a gawd is a child's toy, and

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Knacks, trifles, nofegays, sweet-meats; meffengers
Of ftrong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
With cunning haft thou filch'd my daughter's heart;
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To ftubborn harfhnefs:-And, my gracious duke,
Be it fo fhe will not here before your grace
Confent to marry with Demetrius,

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;
As fhe is mine, I may difpofe of her:
Which fhall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death; according to our law,'
Immediately provided in that cafe.


THE. What fay you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair


To you your father fhould be as a god;

One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power,
To leave the figure, or disfigure it. 3
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

HER. So is Lyfander.


In himself he is:

But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
The other must be held the worthier..

that the children in the North call their play-things gowdys, and their baby-houfe a goudy-house. STEEVENS.

9 Or to her death; according to our law, ] By a law of Solon's, parents had an abfolute power of life and death over their children. So it fuited the poet's purpose well enough, to suppose the Athenians had it before. Or perhaps he neither thought nor knew any thing of the matter. WARBURTON.


Immediately provided in that cafe.] Shakspeare is grievously fufpe&ed of having been placed, while a boy, in an attorney's office. The line before us has an undoubted fmack of legal common-place. Poetry difclaims it. STEEVENS.

3 To leave the figure, or disfigure it. ] The fenfe is, you owe to your father a being which he may at picafure continue or`destroy.


HER. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes. THE. Rather your eyes muft with his judgement look.

HER. I do entreat your grace to pardon me,
I know not by what power I am made bold;
Nor how it may concern my modefly,

In fuch a prefence here, to plead my thoughts:
But I beseech your grace, that I may know
The worst that may befal me in this cafe,

If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

THE. Either to die the death, or to abjure For ever the fociety of men.

Therefore, fair Hermia, queftion your defires,

Know of your youth,' examine well

your blood, Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, You can endure the livery of a nun;


For aye to be in fhady cloifter mew'd,

To live a barren fifter all your life,

Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitlefs moon. Thrice bleffed they, that mafler fo their blood, To undergo fuch maiden pilgrimage:

But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd, '


to die the death, ] So, in the Second part of The Downfall

of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 :

"We will, my liege, elfe let us die the death." See notes on Meafure for Measure, Ad H. fc. iv.


5 Know of your youth, ] Bring your youth to the question. Con

fider your youth.

6 For aye

lowe, 1622:

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"And fit for aye enthronized in heaven." STEEVENS. "But earthlier happy is the rofe difill'd,] Thus all the copies. yet earthlier is fo harfh a word, and earthlier happy, for happier earthly, a mode of fpeech fo unufual, that I wonder none of the editors have proposed earlier happy. JOHNSON.

It has fince been obferved, that M. Pope did propofe earlier. We might read earthly happier.

Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in fingle blessedness.
HER. So will I grow, fo live, fo die, my lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

Unto his lordship, whole unwifhed yoke
My foul confents not to give fovereignty.


THE. Take time to paufe: and, by the next new


(The fealing-day betwixt my love and me,

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the rofe difill'd, ] So, in Lyly's Midas, 1592: bee all young and faire, endeauour to bee wife and vertuous; that when, like rofes, you fhall fall from the ftalke, you may be gathered, and put to the fill."

This image however, muft have been generally obvious, as in Shakspeare's time the diftillation of rofe water was a common procefs in all families. STEEVENS.

This is a thought in which Shakspeare feems to have much delighted. We meet with it more than once in his Sonnets. See 5th, 6th, and 54th Sonnet. MALONE.

whofe unwifhed yoke

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Thus both the quartos 1600,

and the folio 1623. The fecond folio reads

"to whofe unwifhed yoke." STEEVENS.

Dele to, and for unwish'd, r. unwifhed. Though I have been in general extremely careful not to admit into my text any of the innovations made by the editor of the fecond folio, from ignorance of our poet's language or metre, my caution was here over-watched; and I printed the above lines as exhibited by that and all the fubfequent editors, of which the reader was apprized in a note. The old copies fhould have been adhered to, in which they appear thus: Ere I will yield my virgin patent up "Unto his lordship, whofe unwished yoke "My foul confents not to give fovereignty."

i. c. to give fovereignty to. See various infiances of this kind of phrafeology in a note on Cymbeline, fcene the laft. The change was certainly made by the editor of the fecond folio from his ignorance of Shakspeare's phrafcology. MALONE.

I have adopted the prefent elliptical reading, because it not only renders the line fmoother, but ferves to exclude the disgusting recurrence of the prepofition. to; and yet if the authority of the first folio had not been supported by the quartos, &c. I should have pre◄ ferred the more regular phrafeology of the folio 1632. STEEVENS.

For everlafting bond of fellowfhip,)
Upon that day either prepare to die,
For difobedience to your father's will;
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would:
Or on Diana's altar to proteft,

For aye, aufterity and fingle life.

DEM. Relent, fweet Hermia;-And, Lyfander, yield

Thy crazed title to my certain right.

Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him." EGE. Scornful Lyfander! true, he hath my love; And what is mine, my love fhall render him; And she is mine; and all my right of her I do eftate unto Demetrius.

Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, As well poffefs'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 boafts can be,
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia:

Why fhould not I then profecute my right?
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
And won her foul; and fhe, fweet lady, dotes,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,

Upon this spotted and inconftant man.

THE. I must confefs, that I have heard fo much, And with Demetrius thought to have fpoke thereof; 9 You have her father's love, Demetrius ;

Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him. ] I suspe& that Shakspeare wrote:

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"Let me have Hermia; do you marry him."


•Spotted] As spotless is innocent, fo Spotted is wicked.


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