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you sure That we are awake ? It seems to me 5
two such different parts, that she could hardly think them both played by one and the same Demetrius; but that there were twin Demetriuses like the two Sosias in the farce. From Gemellus comes the French, Gemeau or Jumeau, and in the feminine, Gemelle or Jumelle : So, in Maçon's translation of The Decameron of Boccace: “ Il avoit trois filles plus âgées que les masles, des quelles les deux qui estoient jumelles avoient quinze ans." Quatrieme Jour. Nov. 3. WARBURTON. This emendation is ingenious enough to deserve to be true.
Johnson. Dr. Warburton has been accused of coining the word gemell : but Drayton has it in the preface to his Baron's Wars : “ The quadrin doth never double; or to use a word of heraldrie, never bringeth forth gemels." Farmer. Again : unless they had been all gemels or couplets."
STEEVENS. Helena, I think, means to say, that having found Demetrius unexpectedly, she considered her property in him as insecure as that which a person has in a jewel that he has found by accident ; which he knows not whether he shall retain, and which therefore may properly enough be called his own and not his own, She does not say, as Dr. Warburton has represented, that Demetrius was like a jewel, but that she had found him like a jewel, &c. A kindred thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ Of what he has, and has not.” The same kind of expression is found also in The Merchant of Venice :
“Where every something, being blent together,
“Exprest, and not exprest.' Again, ibidem :
“ And so, though yours, not yours." Malone. See, also, Mr. Heath's Revisal, p. 57. Reed.
s It seems to me,] Thus the folio. The quartos begin this speech as follows:
Are you sure “ That we are awake ?" I had once injudiciously restored these words; but they add no weight to the sense of the passage, and create such a defect in the measure as is best remedied by their omission. Steevens.
That yet we sleep, we dream.-Do not you think,
Her. Yea; and my father.
And Hippolyta. Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple. DEM. Why then, we are awake: let's follow
And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.
[Ereunt. As they go out, Bottom awakes. Bor. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer :-my next is, Most fair Pyramus.- Hey, ho!-Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream,-past the wit of man to say what dream it was : Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had,—But man is but a patched fool®, if he will offer to say what methought
“ Are you sure
“ That we are awake ? " Sure is here used as a dissyllable : so sire, fire, hour, &c. The word now [That we are now awake,] seems to be wanting, to complete the metre of the next line.
Malone. I cannot accede to a belief that sure was ever employed as a dissyllable, much less at the end of a verse. Fire (anciently spelt fier) and hour (anciently spelt hower) might be dissyllabically used, because the duplicate vowels in each of them were readily separated in pronunciation. Our author might have written :
But are you sure
That we are now awake ? Having exhibited this passage, however, only in my note on the hemistich that follows it, I have little solicitude for its reformation. Steevens. - patched fool,] That is, a fool in a parti-colour'd coat.
I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen; man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream : it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the duke: Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death?.
Athens. A Room in Quince's House.
Enter Quince, Flute, Snout, and STARVELING.
Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house ? is he come home yet ?
7- I shall sing it at her death.] At whose death? In Bottom's speech there is no mention of any she-creature, to whom this relative can be coupled. I make not the least scruple but Bottom, for the sake of a jest, and to render his voluntary, as we may call it, the more gracious and extraordinary, said :- I shall sing it after death. He, as Pyramus, is kill'd upon the scene ; and so might promise to rise again at the conclusion of the interlude, and give the Duke his dream by way of song. The source of the corruption of the text is very obvious. The f in after being sunk by the vulgar pronunciation, the copyist might write it from the sound,-a'ler; which the wise editors not understanding, concluded, two words were erroneously got together; so, splitting them, and clapping in an h, produced the present reading--at her. THEOBALD.
Theobald might have quoted the following passage in The Tempest in support of his emendation.
“ This is a very scurvy, tune (says Trinculo,) for a man to sing at his funeral.”—Yet 'I believe the text is right. Malone.
- at her death." He may mean the death of Thisbe, which his head might be at present full of; and yet I cannot but prefer the happy conjecture of Mr. Theobald to my own attempt at explanation. Steevens. VOL. V.
Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt, he is transported.
Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred; It goes not forward, doth it?
Quin. It is not possible : you have not a man in all Athens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he.
Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handycraft man in Athens.
Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and he is a very paramour, for a sweet voice.
Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of nought®.
Enter Snug. Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married : if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made meno.
- a thing of nought.] This Mr. Theobald changes with great pomp to a thing of naught; i. e. a good for nothing thing.
Johnson. A thing of naught may be the true reading. So, in Hamlet :
“ Ham. The king is a thing
“ Ham. Of nothing." See the note on this passage.
Paramour being a word which Flute did not understand, he may design to say that it had no meaning, i. e. was a thing of nought.
Mr. M. Mason, however, is of a different opinion. “The ejaculation, (says he,) God bless us ! proves that Flute imagined he was saying a naughty word.” Steevens.
The double meaning (understanding paramour in the sense of concubine) was undoubtedly intended to be conveyed. See King Richard III. Act. II, Sc. I. :
“ Bra. With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.
“ Rich. Naught to do with Mistress Shore !
“ Were best to do it secretly, alone.” MALONE. 9 — MADE men.] In the same sense as in The Tempest, - any monster in England makes a man." Johnson.
Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a-day during his life; he could not have 'scaped sixpence a-day: an the duke had not given him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged; he would have deserved it : sixpence a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing.
Enter Bottom. Bor. Where are these lads? where are these hearts?
Quin. Bottom !-0 most courageous day! 0 most happy hour!
Bor. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not what; for, if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right * as it fell out.
Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
Bor. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, is, that the duke hath dined: Get your apparel together; good strings to your beards ?, new ribbons
* Folio omits right. 1-sixpence a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing.) Shakspeare has already ridiculed the title-page of Cambyses, by Thomas Preston; and here he seems to allude to him, or some other person who, like him, had been pensioned for his dramatic abilities. Preston acted a part in John Ritwise's play of Dido before Queen Elizabeth at Cambridge, in 1564; and the Queen was so well pleased, that she bestowed on him a pension of twenty pounds a year, which is little more than a shilling a day. Steevens.
- good strings to your beards,] i. e. to prevent the false beards, which they were to wear, from falling off
. Malone. As no false beard could be worn, without a ligature to fasten it on, (and a slender one would suffice,) the caution of Bottom, considered in such a light, is superfluous. I suspect therefore that the good strings recommended by him were ornamental, or employed to give an air of novelty to the countenances of the performers. Thus, in Measure for Measure, (where the natural beard is unquestionably spoken of,) the Duke, intent on disfiguring the head of Ragozine, says: “0, death's a great disguiser ; and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard."