Skip to main content

Full text of "The plays of William Shakespeare; in twenty-one volumes, with the corrections and illustrations of various commentators, to which are added notes"

See other formats





> w y 

. : * 



'-* ^ y . >*** . ■ "-^ ' r*j#!5 

. ■ 

,.• V 






rf v 


ttf '• 

\V» .• 

■ML' tfi. • 









Or? / 







Printed by T. Davison, Whitefriare. 











Printed for J. Nichols and Son ; F. C. and J. Rivington ; J. Stockdale 
W. Lowndes; G. Wilkie and J. Robinson; T. Egerton; J. Walker 
Scatcherd and Letternian; W. Clarke and Sons; J. Barker; J. Cnthell 
R. Lea; Lackingtou and Co. ; J. Deighton ; J. White ami Co. ; B. Crosby 
and Co.; W. Earle ; J. Gray and Son; Longman and Co.; Cadell and 
Davies; J. Harding; R. H. Evans; J. Booker; S. Bagstcr; J. Mawnian; 
Black and Co.; J. Black; J. Richardson; J. Booth; Newman and 
Co.; R. Pheney; R. Scholey; J. Murray; J. \sperne; J. Faultier; 
R. Baldwin; Cradock and Joy; Sharpe and Hailes ; Johnson and Co.; 
Gale and Co.; G. Robinson; C. Brown ; and Wilson and Son, York. 



v. ■ 



* Tempest.] The Tempest and The Midsummer Night's 
Dream are the noblest efforts of that sublime and amazing ima- 
gination peculiar to Shakspeare, which soars above the bounds 
of nature, without forsaking sense; or, more properly, carries 
nature along with him beyond her established limits. Fletcher 
seems particularly to have admired these two plays, and hath 
wrote two in imitation of them, The Sea Voyage and The Faith- 
ful Shepherdess. But when he presumes to break a lance with 
Shakspeare, and write in emulation of him, as he does in The 
False One, which is the rival of Antony and Cleopatra, he is not 
so successful. After him, Sir John Suckling and Milton catched 
the brightest fire of their imagination from these two plays; 
which shines fantastically indeed in The Goblins, but much more 
nobly and serenely in The Mask at Ludlovo Castle. 


No one has hitherto been lucky enough to discover the romance 
on which Shakspeare may be supposed to have founded this play, 
the beauties of which could not secure it from the criticism of 
Ben Jonson, whose malignity appears to have been more than 
equal to his wit. In the introduction to Bartholomew Fair, he 
says: " If there be never a servant monster in the fair, who can 
help it, he says, nor a nest of antiques'? He is loth to make 
nature afraid in his plays, like those that beget Tales, Tempests y 
and such like drolleries." Steevens. 

I was informed by the late Mr. Collins of Chichester, that 
Shakspeare's Tempest, for which no origin is yet assigned, was 
formed on a romance called Aurelio and Isabella, printed in 
Italian, Spanish, French, and English, in 1588. But though 
this information has not proved true on examination, an useful 
conclusion may be drawn from it, that Shakspeare's story is 
somewhere to be found in an Italian novel, at least that the story 
preceded Shakspeare. Mr. Collins had searched this subject 
with no less fidelity than judgement and industry; but his memory 
failing in his last calamitous indisposition, he probably gave me 
the name of one novel for another. I remember he added a cir- 
cumstance, which may lead to a discovery, — that the principal 
character of the romance, answering to Shakspeare's Prospero, 
was a chemical necromancer, who had bound a spirit like Ariel 
to obey his call, and perform his services. It was a common 
pretence of dealers in the occult sciences to have a demon at 
command. At least Aurelio, or Orelio, was probably one of the 
names of this romance, the production and multiplicity of gold 
being the grand object of alchemy. Taken at large, the magical 
part of the Tempest is founded on that sort of philosophy which 
was practised by John Dee and his associates, and has been 

called the Rosicrucian. The name Ariel came from the Tal- 
mudistick mysteries with which the learned Jews had infected 
this science. T. Wartox. 

Mr. Theobald tells us, that The Tempest must have been 
written after '600, because the Bermuda Islands, which are 
mentioned in it, were unknown to the English until that year; 
but this is a mistake. He might have seen in Hackluyt, 1600, 
folio, a description of Bermuda, by Henry May, who was ship- 
wrecked there in 1593. 

It was however one of our author's last works. In 1 598, he 
played a part in the original Every Man in his Humour. Two 
of the characters are Prospero and Stephano. Here Ben Jonson 
taught him the pronunciation of the latter word, which is always 
right in The Tempest: 

" Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?" 
And always wrong in his earlier play, The Merchant of Venice, 
which had been on the stage at least two or three years before 
its publication in HJOO: 

" My friend Stephano, signify I pray you," &c. 
— So little did Mr. Capell know of his author, when he idly sup- 
posed his school literature might perhaps have been lost by the 
dissipation qf youth, or the busy scene of publick life! Farmer. 

This play must have been written before 1614, when Jonson 
sneers at it in his Bartholomew Fair. In the latter plays of 
Shakspeare, he has less of pun and quibble than in his early 
ones. In The Merchant qf Venice, he expressly declares against 
them. This perhaps might be one criterion to discover the 
dates of his plays. Blackstonk. 

See Mr. Malone's Attempt to ascertain the Order qf Shakspeare' s 
Plays, and a Note on The cloud-capp'd towers, &c. Act IV. 


B 2 


Alonso, king o/'Naples. 

Sebastian, his brother. 

Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan. 

Antonio, his brother, the usurping Duke of Milan. 

Ferdinand, son to the king of Naples. 

Gonzalo, an honest old counsellor of Naples. 

Adrian, > 7 7 
xp • > lords. 

Irancisco, ) 

Caliban, a savage and deformed slave. 

Trinculo, a jester. 

Stephano, a drunken butler. 

Master of a ship, Boatswain, and Mariners. 

Miranda, daughter to Prospero. 

Ariel, an airy spirit. 



Juno, [► spirits. 



Other spirits attending on Prospero. 

SCENE, the sea, with a ship; afterwards an 
uninhabited island. 

* This enumeration of persons is taken from the folio 1623. 


T E M P E S T. 


On a Ship at Sea. 

A Storm with Thunder and Lightning. 

Enter a Ship-master and a Boatswain. 

Master. Boatswain, 1 — 

Boats. Here, master: What cheer? 

Mast. Good: Speak to the mariners: fall to't 
yarely, 2 or we run ourselves aground: bestir, bestir. 


1 Boatswain,'] In this naval dialogue, perhaps the first exam- 
ple of sailor's language exhibited on the stage, there are, as I 
have been told by a skilful navigator, some inaccuracies and con- 
tradictory orders. Johnson. 

The foregoing observation is founded on a mistake. These 
orders should be considered as given, not at once, but success- 
ive^, as the emergency required. One attempt to save the 
ship failing, another is tried. Ma lone. 

8 JuUto't yarely,] i.e. Readily, nimbly. Our author is 

frequent in his use of this word. So, in Decker's Satiromastix : 
" They'll make his muse as ijare as a tumbler." Steevens. 

Here it is applied as a sea-term, and in other parts of the 
BCene. So he uses the adjective, Act. V. sc. v: " Our ship is 
light and yare" And in one of the Henries: " yare are our 
ships." To this day the sailors say, " sit yare. to the helm." 
Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, Act II. sc. iii: " The tackles 
yarely frame the office." T. Warton. 

6 TEMPEST. acth 

Enter Mariners. 

Boats. Heigh, my hearts; cheerly, cheerly, my 
hearts; yare, yare: Take in the top-sail; Tend to 
the master's whistle. — Blow, till thou burst thy 
wind, 3 if room enough! 

Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Ferdinand, 
Gonzalo, and others. 

Alox. Good boatswain, have care. Where's the 
master? Play the men. 4 

3 Blow, till thou burst thy taind, &c] Perhaps it might be read: 
Blow, till thou burst, ivind, if room enough. Johnson. 

Perhaps rather — Blow, till thou burst thee, ivind! if room 
enough. Beaumont and Fletcher have copied this passage in 
The Pilgrim : 

" Blow, blow west wind, 

" Blow till thou rive!" 
Again, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609: 

" tst. Sailor. Blow, and split thyself!" 
Again, in K. Lear: 

" Blow, winds, and burst your cheeks!" 
Again, in Chapman's version of the fifth book of Homer's 
Odyssey : 

" Such as might shield them from the winter's worst, 

" Though steel it breath'd, and blew as it would burst" 
Again, in Fletcher's Double Marriage: 

" Rise, winds, 

" Blow till you burst the air. — " 
The allusion in these passages, as Mr. M. Mason observes, is 
to the manner in which the winds were represented in ancient 
prints and pictures. Steevens. 

* Play the men.'] i. e. act with spirit, behave like men. So, in 
Chapman's translation of the second Iliad: 

" Which doing, thou shalt know what souldiers play the 

" And what the cowards." 
Again, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 15()0, p. 2: 

" Viceroys and peers of Turkey, play the men." 
•Ii flkoi, dvipes is-s, Iliad, V. v. 529. Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 7 

Boats. I pray now, keep below. 

Ant. Where is the master, Boatswain? 

Boats. Do you not hear him ? You mar our la- 
bour; Keep your cabins: you do assist the storm. 5 

Gox. Nay, good, be patient. 

Boats. When the sea is. Hence! What care 
these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: si- 
lence : trouble us not. 

Gox. Good; yet remember whom thou hast 

Boats. None that I more love than myself. You 
are a counsellor; if you can command these ele- 
ments to silence, and work the peace of the pre- 
sent, 6 we will not hand a rope more; use your 
authority. If you cannot, give thanks you have 
lived so long, and make yourself ready in your 
cabin for the mischance of the hour, if it so hap. — 
Cheerly, good hearts. — Out of our way, I say. 


Gox. 7 I have great comfort from this fellow: 
methinks, he hath no drowning mark upon him; 
his complexion is perfect gallows. Stand fast, good 
fate, to his hanging! make the rope of his destiny 

Again, in scripture, 2 Sam. x. 12: " Be of good courage, and 
let us play the men for our people." Malone. 

* assist the storm. ,] So, in Pericles: 

" Patience, good sir; do not assist the storm." Steevens. 

6 of the present,'] i. e. qf the present instant. So, in the 

15th chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians: " of 

whom the greater part remain unto this present." Steevens. 

7 Gonzalo."] It may be observed of Gonzalo, that, being the 
only good man that appears with the king, he is the only man 
that preserves his cheerfulness in the wreck, and his hope on the 
island. Johnson. 

8 TEMPEST. act /.- 

our cable, for our own doth little advantage ! If he 
be not born to be hanged, our case is miserable. 


Re-enter Boatswain. 

Boats. Down with the top-mast; yare; lower, 
lower; bring her to try with main-course. 8 \_A cry 
within.^ A plague upon this howling! they are 
louder than the weather, or our office. — 

Re-enter Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo. 

Yet again? what do you here? Shall we give o'er, 
and drown? Have you a mind to sink? 

Seb. A pox o' your throat ! you bawling, blas- 
phemous, incharitable dog ! 

Boats. Work you, then. 

Ant. Hang, cur, hang ! you whoreson, insolent 
noise-maker, we are less afraid to be drowned than 
thou art. 

Gon. I'll warrant him from drowning; though 
the ship were no stronger than a nut-shell, and as 
leaky as an unstanched wench. 9 

8 bring her to try with main-course.] Probably from 

Hackluyt's Voyages, 15Q8: " And when the barke had way, we 
cut the hauser, and so gate the sea to our friend, and tried out 
all that day with ourmaine course.' 1 '' Malone. 

This phrase occurs also in Smith's Sea Grammar, 1627, 4to. 
under the article How to handle a ship in a Storme: " Let us lie 
at Trie with our maine course ; that is, to hale the tacke aboord, 
the sheat close aft, the boling set up, and the helme tied close 
aboord." P. 40. Steevens. 

9 an unstanched wench.'] Unstanched, I am willing to 

believe, means incontinent. Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 9 

Boats. Lay her a-hold, a-hold; 1 set her two 
courses; off to sea again, 3 lay her off. 

Enter Mariners wet. 

Mar. All lost! to prayers, to prayers! all lost! 


Boats. What, must our mouths be cold? 

Gojst. The king and prince at prayers! let us assist 
For our case is as theirs. 

Seb. I am out of patience. 

Ant. We are merely 3 cheated of our lives by 

drunkards. — 
This wide-chapped rascal; — 'Would, thou might'st 

lie drowning, 
The washing often tides! 

Gon. He'll be hanged yet ; 

1 Lay her a-hold, a-hold;"] To lay a ship a-hold, is to bring her 
to lie as near the wind as she can, in order to keep clear of the 
land, and get her out to sea. Steevens. 

2 set her two courses; off" to sea again,] The courses are 

the main sail and fore sail. This term is used by Raleigh, in his 
Discourse on Shipping. Johnson. 

The passage, as Mr. Holt has observed, should be pointed, 
Set her two courses; off", &c. 

Such another expression occurs in Decker's If this be not a good 

Play, the Devil is in it, 1012: " off with your Drablersand 

your Banners; out with your courses." Steevens. 

3 merely — ] In this place, signifies absolutely ; in which 

sense it is used in Hamlet, Act I. sc. iii: 

" Things rank and gross in nature 

" Possess it merely.** 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster; 

" at request 

" Of some mere friends, some honourable Romans." 


10 TEMPEST. act i. 

Though every drop of water swear against it, 
And gape at wid'st to glut him. 3 

\_A confused noise within] Mercy on us! — We split, 
we split! — Farewell, my wife and children! — Fare- 
well, brother! 4 — We split, we split, we split! — 

Ant. Let's all sink with the king. [Exit. 

Seb. Let's take leave of him. [Exit. 

Gon. Now would I give a thousand furlongs of 
sea for an acre of barren ground ; long heath, brown 
furze, 5 any thing: The wills above be done! but I 
would fain die a dry death. [Exit. 

3 to glut him.'] Shakspeare probably wrote, fenglut him, 

to swalloiv him; for which I know not that glut is ever used by 
him. In this signification englut, from engloutir, Fr. occurs fre- 
quently, as in Henry VI: 

" Thou art so near the gulf 

" Thou needs must be englutted." 
And again, in Timon and Othello. Yet Milton writes glutted 
offal for sivalloived, and therefore perhaps the present text may 
stand. Johnson. 

Thus, in Sir A. Gorges's translation of Lucan, B. VI: 

" oylie fragments scarcely burn'd, 

" Together she doth scrape and glut." 
i. e. swallow. Steevens. 

* Mercy on us! &c. — — — Farewell, brother! &c] All these 
lines have been hitherto given to Gonzalo, who has no brother 
in the ship. It is probable that the lines succeeding the confused 
noise tvithin should be considered as spoken by no determinate 
characters. Johnson. 

The hint for this stage direction, &c. might have been received 
from a passage in the second book of Sidney's Arcadia, where 
the shipwreck of Pyrocles is described, with this concluding cir- 
cumstance: " But a monstrous cry, begotten of many roaring 
voyces, was able to infect with feare," &c. Steevens. 

* — — — an acre of barren ground; long heath, brown furze, 
&c] Sir T. Hanmer reads — ling, heath, broom, furze. — Per- 
haps rightly, though he has been charged with tautology. I find 
in Harrison's description of Britain, prefixed to our author's good 

sc.ii. TEMPEST. 11 


The Island: before the cell o/*Prospero. 

Enter Prospero and Miranda. 

Mir a. If by your art, my dearest father, you have 
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them : 
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch, 
But that the sea, 6 mounting to the welkin's cheek, 
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffer'd 
With those that I saw suffer! a brave vessel, 
Who had no doubt some noble creatures in her, 7 
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock 
Against my very heart! Poor souls! they perish'd. 
Had I been any god of power, I would 
Have sunk the sea within the earth, or e'er 8 

friend Holinshed, p. 91 : " Brome, heth,Jirze, brakes, whinnes, 
ling, " & c . Farmer. 

Mr. Toilet has sufficiently vindicated Sir Thomas Hanmer 
from the charge of tautology, by favouring me with specimens of 
three different kinds of heath which grow in his own neighbour- 
hood. I would gladly have inserted his observations at length; 
but, to say the truth, our author, like one of Cato's soldiers who 
was bit by a serpent, 

Ipse latet penitus congesto corpore mersus. Steevens. 

But that the sea, &c] So, in King Lear: 

" The sea in such a storm as his bare head 

" In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up, 

" And quench'd the stelled fires." Malone. 

Thus, in Chapman's version of the 21st Iliad: 

" as if his waves would drowne the skic, 

" And put out all the sphere of fire." Steevens. 

7 creatures in her,'] The old copy reads — creature; but 

the preceding as well as subsequent words of Miranda seem to 
demand the emendation which I have received from Theobald. 


' or e'er— ] i. c. before. So, in Ecclesiastes, xii. 6 : 



It should the good ship so have swallowed, and 
The freighting souls within her. 

Pro. Be collected; 

No more amazement: tell your piteous heart, 
There's no harm done. 

Mir a. 0,woe the day! 

Pro. No harm. 9 

I have done nothing but in care of thee, 
(Of thee, my dear one! thee, my daughter!) who 
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing 
Of whence I am; nor that I am more better 1 
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell, 2 
And thy no greater father. 

" Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be bro- 
ken ." Again, in our author's Cymbeline: 

or e'er I could 

" Give him that parting kiss ." Steevens. 

9 Pro. No harm."] I know not whether Shakspeare did not 
make Miranda speak thus: 

O, tvoe the day! no harm? 
To which Prospero properly answers: 

/ have done nothing but in care of thee. 
Miranda, when she speaks the words, O, tooe the day! supposes, 
not that the crew had escaped, but that her father thought dif- 
ferently from her, and counted their destruction no harm. 


1 more better — ] This ungrammatical expression is very 

frequent among our oldest writers. So, in The History of Helyas 
Knight of the Swan, bl. 1. no date, imprinted by Wm. Copland: 
" And also the more sooner to come, without prolixity, to the 
true Chronicles," &c. Again, in the True Tragedies of Marius 
and Scilla, 1594: 

" To wait a message of more better worth." 
Again, ibid: 

" That hale more greater than Cassandra now." 


full poor cell,'] i.e. a cell in a great degree of poverty. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra; " I am full sorry." Steevens. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. is 

Mira. More to know 

Did never meddle with my thoughts. 3 

Pro. 'Tis time 

I should inform thee further. Lend thy hand, 
And pluck my magick garment from me. — So; 

[Lays down his mantle. 
Lie there my art. 4 — Wipe thou thine eyes ; have 

The direful spectacle of the wreck, which touch'd 
The very virtue of compassion 5 in thee, 
I have with such provision in mine art 
So safely order' d, that there is no soul — 6 

3 Did never meddle tdth my thoughts."] i. e. mix with them. 
To meddle is often used, with this sense, by Chaucer. Hence 
the substantive medley. The modern and familiar phrase by 
which that of Miranda may be explained, is — never entered my 
thoughts — never came into my head. Steevens. 

It should rather mean — to interfere, to trouble, to busy itself, 
as still used in the North, e. g. Don't meddle ivith me; i. e. Let 
me alone; Don't molest me. Ritson. 

See Howell's Diet. 1660, in v. to meddle; " se mesler de." 


* Lie there my art.] Sir Will. Cecil, lord Burleigh, lord high 
treasurer, &c. in the reign of queen Elizabeth, when he put off 
his gown at night, used to say, Lie there, lord treasurer. Ful- 
ler's Holy State, p. 257. Steevens. 

5 virtue of compassion — ] Virtue; the most efficacious 

part, the energetic quality; in a like sense we say, The virtue of 
a plant is in the extract. Johnson. 

6 that there is no soul — ] Thus the old editions read; 

but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. 
Warburton, read — that there is no soul lost, without any notice 
of the variation. Mr. Theobald substitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope 
follows him. To come so near the right, and yet to miss it, is 
unlucky: the author probably wrote no soil, no stain, no spot; 
for so Ariel tells ; 

Not a hair perish* d ; 

On their sustaining garments not a blemish, 
But fresher than before. 
And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being 

14 TEMPEST. act I. 

No, not so much perdition as an hair, 

Betid to any creature in the vessel 7 

Which thou heard'st cry, which thou saw'st sink. 

Sit down; 
For thou must now know further. 

' MIMA. You have often 

Begun to tell me what I am; but stopp'd 
And left me to a bootless inquisition; 
Concluding, Stag, not yet. — 

Pro. The hour's now come; 

The very minute bids thee ope thine ear; 
Obey, and be attentive. Can'st thou remember 
A time before we came unto this cell? 
I do not think thou can'st; for then thou wast not 
Out three years old. 8 

Mir A. Certainly, sir, I can. 

Pro. By what? by any other house, or person? 

drenched in the sea, keep notwithstanding their freshness and 
glosses. Of this emendation I find that the author of notes on 
The Tempest had a glimpse, but could not keep it. Johnson. 

no soul — ] Such interruptions are not uncommon to 

Shakspeare. He sometimes begins a sentence, and, before he 
concludes it, entirely changes its construction, because another, 
more forcible, occurs. As this change frequently happens in 
conversation, it may be suffered to pass uncensured in the lan- 
guage of the stage. Steevens. 

7 ' not so much perdition as an hair, 

Betid to any creature in the vessel — ] Had Shakspeare in his 
mind St. Paul's hortatory speech to the ship's company, where 
he assures them that, though they were to suffer shipwreck, 
" not an hair shoidd fall from the head of any of them?" Acts, 
xxvii. 34. Ariel afterwards says, " Not a hair perish' d." 

Holt White. 

8 Out three years old.] i. e. Quite three years old, three years 
old full-out, complete. 

So, in the '1th Act: " And be a boy right out." Steevens. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 15 

Of any thing the image tell me, that 
Hath kept with thy remembrance. 

Mir a. 'Tis far off; 

And rather like a dream than an assurance 
That my remembrance warrants : Had I not 
Four or five women once, that tended me ? 

Pro. Thou had'st, and more, Miranda: But how 
is it, 
That this lives in thy mind? What seest thou else 
In the dark backward and abysm of time? 9 
If thou remember'st aught, ere thou cam'st here, 
How thou cam'st here, thou may'st. 

Mira. But that I do not. 

Pro. Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years 
since, 1 
Thy father was the duke of Milan, and 
A prince of power. 

Mira. Sir, are not you my father? 

Pro. Thy mother was a piece of virtue, and 
She said — thou wast my daughter; and thy father 
Was duke of Milan ; and his only heir 

9 abysm of timef] i. e. Abyss. Tin's method of spelling 

the word is common to other ancient writers. They took it from 
the French abysme, now written abime. So, in Heywood's 
Brazen Age, ]6l3: 

" And chase him from'fche deep abysms below." 


1 Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since,'] Years, 
in the first instance, is used as a dissyllabic, in the second as a 
monosyllable. But this is not a licence peculiar to the prosody 
of Shakspeare. In the second book of Sidney's Arcadia are the 
following lines, exhibiting the same word with a similar prosodi- 
cal variation: 

" And shall she die? shall cruel ficr spill 

" Those beanies that set so many hearts on JireV 


16 TEMPEST. act i. 

A princess; — no worse issued. 2 

Mira. O, the heavens! 

What foul play had we, that we came from thence? 
Or blessed was't, we did? 

Pro. Both, both, my girl: 

By foul play, as thou say'st, were we heav'd thence ; 
But blessedly holp hither. 

Mira. O, my heart bleeds 

To think o' the teen 3 that I have turn'd you to, 
Which is from my remembrance! Please you, 
' further. 

Pro. My brother, and thy uncle, call'd An- 
tonio, — 
I pray thee, mark me,— that a brother should 
Be so perfidious! — he whom, next thyself, 
Of all the world I lov'd, and to him put 
The manage of my state; as, at that time, 
Through ail the signiories it was the first, 
And Prospero the prime duke ; being so reputed 
In dignity, and, for the liberal arts, 
Without a parallel; those being all my study, 
The government I cast upon my brother, 
And to my state grew stranger, being transported, 
And rapt in secret studies. Thy false uncle — 
Dost thou attend me? 

Mira. Sir, most needfully. 

Pro. Being once perfected how to grant suits, 

* A princess ; — no tvorse issued.] The old copy reads — " And 
princess." For the trivial change in the text I am answerable. 
Issued is descended. So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, l608: 

" For I am by birth a gentleman, and issued of such pa- 
rents," &c. Steevens. 

1 teen — ] is sorrow, grief, trouble. So, in Romeo and 

Juliet : 

" ■ ■■ ■ — to my teen be it spoken." Steevens. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 17 

How to deny them; whom to advance, and whom 4 
To trash for over-topping; 5 new created 

4 ——whom to advance, and whom — ] The old copy has ivho 
in both places. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. 


5 To traslifor over-topping ;] To trash, as Dr. Warburton ob- 
serves, is to cut away the superfluities. This word I have met 
with in books containing directions for gardeners, published in 
the time of queen Elizabeth. 

The present explanation may be countenanced by the follow- 
ing passage in Warner's Albion's England, l602, B. X. ch. 5J: 
" Who suftreth none by might, by wealth or blood to 

" Himself gives all preferment, and whom listeth him 
doth lop." 
Again, in our author's K. Richard II : 

" Go thou, and, like an executioner, 
" Cut off* the heads of too-fast-growing sprays 
" That look too lofty in our commonwealth." 
Mr. Warton's note, however, on — " trash for his quick hunt- 
ing," in the second act of Othello, leaves my interpretation of 
this passage somewhat disputable. 

Mr. M. Mason observes, that to trash for overtopping, " may 
mean to lop them, because they did overtop, or in order to pre- 
vent them from overtopping. So Lucetta, in the second scene 
of The Tivo Gentlemen of Verona, says: 

" I was taken up for laying them down, 
" Yet here they shall not We, for catching cold." 
That is, lest they should catch cold. See Mr. M. Mason's note 
on this passage. 

In another place (a note on Othello) Mr. M. Mason observes, 
that Shakspeare had probably in view, when he wrote the passage 
before us, " the manner in which Tarquin conveyed to Sextus 
his advice to destroy the principal citizens of Gabii, by striking 
off, in the presence of'his messengers, the heads of all the tallest 
poppies, as he walked with them in his garden." Steevens. 

I think this phrase means " to correct for too much haughti- 
ness or overbearing." It is used by sportsmen in the North w ben 
they correct a dog for misbehaviour in pursuing the game. This 
explanation is warranted by the following passage in Othello* 
Act II. sc. i: 

" If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash 

" For his quick hunting." 


is TEMPEST. act i. 

The creatures that were mine; I say, or chang'd 

Or else new form'd them: having both the key 6 
Of officer and office, set all hearts 7 
To what tune pleas'd his ear; that now he was 
The ivy, which had hid my princely trunk, 
And suck'd my verdure out on't. 8 — Thou attend'st 

I pray thee, mark me. 9 

Mira. O good sir, I do. 

Pro. I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicate 1 

It was not till after I had made this remark, that I saw Mr. War- 
ton's note on the above lines in Othello, which corroborates it. 


A trash is a term still in use among hunters, to denote a piece 
of leather, couples, or any other weight fastened round the neck 
of a dog, when his speed is superior to the rest of the pack; i. e. 
when he over-tops them, when he hunts too quick. C. 

See Othello, Act II. sc. i. Steevens. 

6 both the key — ] This is meant of a key for tuning the 

harpsichord, spinnet, or virginal; we call it now a tuning hammer. 

Sir J. Hawkins. 

7 Qf officer and office, set all hearts — ] The old copy reads — 
" all hearts i' th' state," but redundantly in regard to metre, and 
unnecessarily respecting sense; for what hearts, except such as 
were i* th' state, could Alonso incline to his purposes? 

I have followed the advice of Mr. Ritson, who judiciously pro- 
poses to omit the words now ejected from the text. Steevens. 

8 And suck'd my verdure out on't.'] So, in Arthur Hall's trans- 
lation of the first book of Homer, 1581, where Achilles swears 
by his sceptre: 

" Who having lost the sapp of wood, eft greenenesse cannot 
drawe." Steevens. 

9 I pray thee, mark me."] In the old copy, these words are the 
beginning of Prospero's next speech; but, for the restoration of 
metre, I have changed their place. Steevens. 

I I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicate — ] The old copy 
has — " dedicated;" but we should read, as in the present text, 
" dedicate." Thus, in Measure for Measure; 

se. ii. TEMPEST. 19 

To closeness, and the bettering of my mind 

With that, which, but by being so retir'd, 

O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother 

Awak'd an evil nature: and my trust, 

Like a good parent, 2 did beget of him 

A falsehood, in its contrary as great 

As my trust was; which had, indeed, no limit, 

A confidence sans bound. He being thus lorded, 

Not only with what my revenue yielded, 

But what my power might else exact, — like one, 

Who having, unto truth, by telling of it, 

Made such a sinner of his memory, 

To credit his own lie, 3 — he did believe 

" Prayers from fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate 
" To nothing temporal." Ritson. 

* Like a good parent, &c] Alluding to the observation, that a 
father above the common rate of men has commonly a son be- 
low it. Heroumjilii noxce. Johnson. 

3 like one, 

Who having, unto truth, by telling of it, 
Made suck a sinner of his memory, 

To credit his otvn lie,} There is, perhaps, no correlative, to 
which the word it can with grammatical propriety belong. Lie, 
however, seems to have been the correlative to which the poet 
meant to refer, however ungrammatically. 

The old copy reads — " into truth." The necessary correc- 
tion was made by Dr. Warburton. Steevens. 

Mr. Steevens justly observes that there is no correlative, &c. 
This observation has induced me to mend the passage, and to read: 

Who having unto truth, by telling oft — instead of, of it. 

And I am confirmed in this conjecture, by the following pas- 
sage quoted by Mr. Malone, &c. M. Mason. 

There is a very singular coincidence between this passage and 
one in Bacon's J //story of King Henry VII. [Perkin Warbeck] 
" did in all things notably acquit himself; insomuch as it was 
generally believed, that he was indeed Duke Richard. Nay, 

himself, with lung and continual counterfeiting, and ivith oft tell' 
ing a lye, urns turned by habit almost into the thing he seemed ta 
7/e; and from a liar to be a believer.'* Malone* 

r ° 

20 TEMPEST. act J. 

He was the duke; out of the substitution, 4 
And executing the outward face of royalty, 
With all prerogative: — Hence his ambition 
Growing, — Dost hear ? 

Mira. Your tale, sir, would cure deafness. 

Pro. To have no screen between this part he 
And him he play'd it for, he needs will be 
Absolute Milan: Me, poor man! — my library 
Was dukedom large enough; of temporal royalties 
He thinks me now incapable: confederates 
(So dry he was for sway 5 ) with the king of Naples, 
To give him annual tribute, do him homage; 
Subject his coronet to his crown, and bend 
The dukedom, yet unbow'd, (alas, poor Milan!) 
To most ignoble stooping. 

Mira. O the heavens ! 

Pro. Mark his condition, and the event; then 
tell me, 
If this might be a brother. 

Mira. I should sin 

To think but nobly 6 of my grandmother: 
Good wombs have borne bad sons. 

Pro. Now the condition. 

4 He was the duke; out of the substitution,'] The old copy reads 
— " He was indeed the duke." I have omitted the word indeed, 
for the sake of metre. The reader should place his emphasis on 
— was. Steevens. 


5 (So dry he was for sway)] i. e. So thirsty. The expression 
I am told, is not uncommon in the midland counties. Thus, in 
Leicester's Commonwealth: "against the designments of the hasty 
Erie who thirsteth a kingdome with great intemperance." Again, 
in Troilus and Cressida: " His ambition is dry." Steevens. 

6 To think but nobly — ] But, in this place, signifies otherwise 
than. Steevens. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 21 

This king of Naples, being an enemy 
To me inveterate, hearkens my brother's suit; 
Which was, that he in lieu o' the premises, 7 — 
Of homage, and I know not how much tribute, — 
Should presently extirpate me and mine 
Out of the dukedom; and confer fair Milan, 
With all the honours, on my brother: Whereon, 
A treacherous army levied, one midnight 
Fated to the purpose, did Antonio open 
The gates of Milan; and, i' the dead of darkness, 
The ministers for the purpose hurried thence 
Me, and thy crying self. 

Mir a. Alack, for pity! 

I, not rememb'ring how I cried out then, 8 
Will cry it o'er again; it is a hint, 9 
That wrings mine eyes. 1 

7 ■' - in lieu o' the premises, &c] In lieu of, means here, in 
consideration of; an unusual acceptation of the word. So, in 
Fletcher's Prophetess, the chorus, speaking of Drusilla, says: 

" But takes their oaths, in lieu of her assistance, 

" That they shall not presume to touch their lives." 

M. Mason. 

8 — — cried out — ] Perhaps we should read — cried on't. 


9 a hint,] Hint is suggestion. So, in the beginning speech 

of the second act: 

" our hint of woe 

" Is common ." 

A similar thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra, Act V. sc. i: 

" it is a tidings 

" To wash the eyes of kings." Steevens. 

1 That wrings mine eycsJ] i. e. squeezes the water out of them. 
The old copy reads — 

" That wrings mine eyes to't" 

To xvhat? every reader will ask. I have, therefore, by the 
advice of Dr. Fanner, omitted these words, which are unneces- 
sary to the metre; hear, at the beginning of the next speech, 
being used as a dissyllable. 

To wring, in the .sense I contend for, occurs in the Merry 

22 TEMPEST. act i. 

Pro. Hear a little further, 

And then I'll bring thee to the present business 
Which now's upon us; without the which, this 

Were most impertinent. 

Mira. Wherefore did they not 

That hour destroy us? 

Pro. Well demanded, wench ; 

My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst 

not ; 
(So dear the love my people bore me) nor set 
A mark so bloody on the business ; but 
With colours fairer painted their foul ends. 
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark ; 
Bore us some leagues to sea ; where they prepar'd 
A rotten carcass of a boat, 2 not rigg'd, 
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast ; the very rats 
Instinctively had quit it : 3 there they hoist us, 
To cry to the sea that roar'd to us ; 4 to sigh 
To the winds, whose pity, sighing back again, 
Did us but loving wrong. 

Mira. Alack! what trouble 

Was I then to you! 

Pro. O! a cherubim 

Thou wast, that did preserve me ! Thou didst smile, 
Infused with a fortitude from heaven, 

Wives of Windsor, Act I. sc. ii: " his cook, or his laundry, or 
his washer, and his tvringer." Steevens. 

2 of a boat,] The old copy reads — of a butt. Henley. 

It was corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone. 

-had quit it .•] Old copy — have quit it. Corrected by 

Mr. Rowe. Malone. 

4 To i cry to the sea that roar'd to us;~] This conceit occurs 
again in the Winter's Tale: — " How the poor souls roar'd, and 
the sea mock'd them," &c. Steevens. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 23 

When I have deck'd the sea 5 with drops full salt; 
Under my burden groan'd; which rais'd in me 
An undergoing stomach, 6 to bear up 
Against what should ensue. 

Mira. How came we ashore? 

Pro. By Providence divine. 
Some food we had, and some fresh water, that 

s deck'd the sea — ] To deck the sea, if explained, to 

honour, adorn, or dignify, is indeed ridiculous, but the original 
import of the verb deck, is to cover; so in some parts they yet 
say deck the table. This sense may be borne, but perhaps the 
poet wrote Jleck'd, which I think is still used in rustic language 
of drops falling upon water. Dr. Warburton reads mock , d; the 
Oxford edition brack'd. Johnsox. 

Verstegan, p. 6l. speaking of beer, says " So the over deck ins; 
or covering of beer came to be called berham, and afterwards 
barme." This very well supports Dr. Johnson's explanation. 
The following passage in Antony and Cleopatra may countenance 
the verb deck in its common acceptation : 

" do not please sharp fate 

" To grace it with your sorrows." 
What is this but decking it with tears'? 

Again, our author's Caliban says, Act III. sc. ii: 

" He has brave utensils, 

" Which, when he has a house, he'll deck withal." 


To deck, I am told, signifies in the North, to sprinkle. See 
Ray's Dict. of North Country ivords, in verb, to deg, and to 
deck; and his Dict. of South Country ivords, in verb. dag. The 
latter signifies deiv upon the grass; — hence daggle-taued. In 
Cole's Latin Dictionary, lb~g, we find, — " To dag, cullutulo, 
irroro.'* Ma lone. 

A correspondent, who signs himself Ehoracensis, proposes that 
this contested word should be printed degg'd, which, says he, 

signifies sprinkled, and is in daily use in the North of England. 
When clothes that have been washed are too much dried, it is 
necessary to moisten them before they can be ironed, which is 
always done by sprinkling ; this operation the maidens universally 
call degging. Reed. 

8 An undergoing stomach.] Stomach is stubborn resolution. So, 
Horace: " gravem Pelidte stomachum." Steevens. 

24 TEMPEST. act i. 

A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, 

Out of his charity, (who being then appointed 

Master of this design,) did give us; 7 with 

7 Some food we had, and some fresh mater, that 
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, 
Out qf his charity, (who being then appointed 
Master of this design) did give us;'] Mr Steevens has sug- 
gested, that we might better read — he being then appointed; and 
so we should certainly now write: but the reading of the old 
copy is the true one, that mode of phraseology being the idiom 
of Shakspeare's time. So, in the Winter's Tale : 

" This your son-in-law, 

" And son unto the king, [idiom heavens directing,) 
" Is troth-plight to your daughter." 
Again, in Coriolanus: 

" waving thy hand, 

" Which, often, thus, correcting thy stout heart, 
" Now humble as the ripest mulberry, 
" That will not hold the handling; or, say to them," &c. 


I have left the passage in question as I found it, though with 
slender reliance on its integrity. 

What Mr. Malone has styled " the idiom of Shakspeare's 
time," can scarce deserve so creditable a distinction. It should 
be remembered that the instances adduced by him in support of 
his position are not from the early quartos which he prefers on 
the score of accuracy, but from the folio 1623, the' inaccuracy 
of which, with equal judgement, he has censured. 

The genuine idiom of our language, at its different periods, can 
only be ascertained by reference to contemporary writers whose 
works were skilfully revised as they passed through the press, and 
are therefore unsuspected of corruption. A sufficient number of 
such books are before us. If they supply examples of phraseology 
resembling that which Mr. Malone would establish, there is an end 
of controversy between us: Let, however, the disputed phrases 
be brought to their test before they are admitted; for I utterly 
refuse to accept the jargon of theatres and the mistakes of printers, 
as the idiom or grammar of the age in which Shakspeare wrote. 
Every gross departure from literary rules may be countenanced, 
if we are permitted to draw examples from vitiated pages; and 
our readers, as often as they meet with restorations founded on 
such authorities, may justly exclaim, with Othello, — " Chaos is 
come again." Steevens. 


sc. //. TEMPEST. 25 

Rich garments, linens, stuffs, and necessaries, 
Which since have steaded much; so, of his gentle- 
Knowing I lov'd my books, he furnish'd me, 
From my own library, with volumes that 
I prize above my dukedom. 

Mir a. 'Would I might 

But ever see that man! 

Pro. Now I arise : 8 — 

Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow. 
Here in this island we arriv'd; and here 
Have I, thy school-master, made thee more profit 
Than other princes 9 can, that have more time 

8 Now I arise:'] Why does Prospero arise? Or, if he does it 
to ease himself by change of posture, why need he interrupt his 
narrative to tell his daughter of it? Perhaps these words belong 
to Miranda, and we should read: 

Mir. ' JVould I might 
But ever see that man! — Noiv I arise. 

Pro. Sit still, and hear the last of our sea-sorrow. 
Prospero, in p. 14, had directed his daughter to sit down, and 
learn the whole of this history; having previously by some magi- 
cal charm disposed her to fall asleep. He is watching the pro- 
gress of this charm ; and in the mean time tells her a long story, 
often asking her whether her attention be still awake. The story 
being ended (as Miranda supposes) with their coming onshore, 
and partaking of the conveniences provided for them by the loyal 
humanity of Gonzalo, she therefore first expresses a wish to see 
the good old man, and then observes that she may now arise, as 
the story is done. Prospero, surprized that his charm does not 
yet work, bids her sit still; and then enters on fresh matter to 
amuse the time, telling her (what she knew before) that he had 
been her tutor, &c. But soon perceiving her drowsiness coming 
on, he breaks off abruptly, and leaves her still sitting to her 
slumbers. Black stone. 

As the words — " now I arise" — may signify, " now I rise m 
my narration," — " now my story heightens in its consequence," 
I have left the passage in question undisturbed. We still say, 
that the interest of a drama rises or declines. Steevens. 

,J princes — ] The first folio reads — princesse. Henley. 

Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone. 

26 TEMPEST. act i. 

For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful. 

Mira. Heavens thank you for't! And now, I 
pray you, sir, 
(For still 'tis beating in my mind,) your reason 
For raising this sea-storm ? 

Pro. Know thus far forth. — 

By accident most strange, bountiful fortune, 
Now my dear lady, 1 hath mine enemies 
Brought to this shore : and by my prescience 
I find my zenith doth depend upon 
A most auspicious star; whose influence 
If now I court not, but omit, 2 my fortunes 
Will ever after droop. — Here cease more questions; 
Thou art inclin'd to sleep; 'tis a good dulness, 3 
And give it way; — I know thou can'st not 
choose. — [Miranda sleeps. 

Come away, servant, come: I am ready now; 
Approach, my Ariel; come. 

Enter Ariel. 

Ari. All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I 

1 Now my dear lady,] i. e. now my auspicious mistress. 

* I find my zenith doth depend upon 
A most auspicious star ; whose influence 
If now I court not, but omit, &c] So, in Julius Ccesar: 
" There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
" Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; 
" Omitted, all the voyage of their life 
" Is bound in shallows and in miseries." Malone. 

3 ■ 'tis a good dulness,"] Dr. Warburton rightly observes, 

that this sleepiness, which Prospero by his art had brought upon 
Miranda, and of which he knew not how soon the effect would 
begin, makes him question her so often whether she is attentive 
to his story. Johnson. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 27 

To answer thy best pleasure; be't to fly, 4 

To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride 

On the curl'd clouds; 5 to thy strong bidding, task 

Ariel, and all his quality. 6 

Pro. Hast thou, spirit, 

Perform'd to point 7 the tempest that I bade thee? 

Am. To every article. 
I boarded the king's ship ; now on the beak, 8 

4 All hail, great master ! grave sir, hail! I come 
To ansxver thy best pleasure; be't to Jly y &c] Imitated 
by Fletcher in The Faithful Shepherdess: 
" — — tell me sweetest, 
" What new service now is meetest 
" For the satyre; shall I stray 
" In the middle ayre, and stay 
" The sailing racke, or nimbly take 
" Hold by the moone, and gently make 
" Suit to the pale queene of night, 
" For a beame to give thee light? 
" Shall I dive into the sea, 
" And bring thee coral, making way 
" Through the rising waves, &c. Henley. 

* On the curl'd clouds ;] So, in Timon — Crisp heaven. 


6 and all his quality.] i. e. all his confederates, all who 

are of the same profession. So, in Hamlet : 

" Come give us a taste of your quality.'" See notes on this 
passage, Act II. sc. ii. Steevens. 

7 Perform'' d to point — ] i. e. to the minutest article; a literal 
translation of the French phrase — a point. So, in the Chances, 
by Beaumont and Fletcher: 

" are you all fit? 

" To point, sir." 
Thus, in Chapman's version of the second book of Homer's 
Odyssey, we have 

" — — — every due 

" Perform'd to full: - ." Steevens. 

8 — — noiv on the beak,] The beak was a strong pointed body 
at the head of the ancient gallies; it is used here for the fore- 
castle, or the boltsprit. Johnson. 

So in Philemon Holland's translation of the 2d chapter of the 

28 TEMPEST. act i. 

Now in the waist, 9 the deck, in every cabin, 
I flam'd amazement: Sometimes, I'd divide, 
And burn in many places; 1 on the top-mast, 
The yards and bowsprit, would I flame distinctly, 
Then meet, and join: Jove's lightnings, the pre- 
O' the dreadful thunder-claps, 2 more momentary 
And sight-out-running were not: The fire, and 

Of sulphurous roaring, the most mighty Neptune 
Seem'd to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble, 
Yea, his dread trident shake. 3 

32d book of Pliny's Natural History: — " our goodly tall and 
proud ships, so well armed in the beake-head with yron pikes," 
&c. Steevens. 

9 Now in the waist,] The part between the quarter-deck and 
the forecastle. Johnson. 

Sometimes, Pd divide, 

And burn in many places ;] Perhaps our author, when he 
wrote these lines, remembered the following passage in Hack- 
luyt's Voyages, 1598: " I do remember that in the great and 
boysterous storme of this foule weather, in the night there came 
upon the toppe of our maine yard and maine-mast a certaine 
little light, much like unto the light of a little candle, which the 
Spaniards call the Cuerpo Santo. This light continued aboord 
our ship about three houres, flying from maste to maste, and from 
top to top ; and sometimes it would be in two or three places at 
once." Malone. 

Burton says, that the Spirits offlre, m form of fire-drakes and 
blazing stars, " oftentimes sit on ship-masts," &c. Melanch. P. I. 
§ 2. p. 30. edit. 1632. T. Warton. 


0* the dreadful thunder-claps,'] So, in King Lear: 
" 'Vant couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts." 


3 Yea, his dread trident shake.'] Lest the metre should appear 
defective, it is necessary to apprize the reader, that in Warwick- 
shire and other midland counties, shake is still pronounced by the 
common people as if it was written shar/ke, a dissyllable. Farmer. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 29 

Pro. My brave spirit! 

Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil 
Would not infect his reason? 

Am. Not a soul 

But felt a fever of the mad, 4 and play'd 
Some tricks of desperation : All, but mariners, 
Plung'd in the foaming brine, and quit the vessel, 5 
Then all a-fire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand, 
With hair up-staring (then like reeds, not hair,) 
Was the first man that leap'd; cried, Hell is empty, 
And all the devils are here. 

Pro. Why? that's my spirit ! 

Cut was not this nigh shore? 

Am. Close by, my master. 

Pro. But are they, Ariel, safe? 

Ari. Not a hair perish'd; 

On their sustaining garments not a blemish, 

The word shake is so printed in Golding's version of the 9th 
book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, edit. 15/5: 

" Hee quaak't and shaak't and looked pale," &c. 


4 But felt a fever of the mad,'] If it be at all necessary to ex- 
plain the meaning, it is this: JSiot a soul but felt such a fever as 
madmen feci, ivhen the frantic ft is upon them. Steevens. 

5 and quit the vessel,] Quit is, I think, here used for 

quitted. So, in K. Lear: 

" 'Twas he inform'd against him, 

" And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment 
" Might have the freer course." 
So, in King Henri/ VI. P. I. lift, for lifted: 

" He ne'er lift up his hand, but conquered." Malone. 

6 sustaining — ] i.e. their garments that bore them up 

and supported them. Thus, in Chapman's translation of the 
eleventh Iliad: 

" Who fell, and crawled upon the earth with his sus- 
taining palmes." 
Again, in A'. Lear, Act IV. sc. iv: 
" In our sustaining corn." 

SO TEMPEST. act i. 

But fresher than before: and, as thou bad'st me, 
In troops I have dispers'd them 'bout the isle: 
The king's son have I landed by himself; 
Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs, 
In an odd angle of the isle, and sitting, 
His arms in this sad knot. 

Pro. Of the king's ship, 

The mariners, say, how thou hast dispos'd, 
And all the rest o' the fleet? 

Art. Safely in harbour 

Is the king's ship; in the deep nook, where once 
Thou call'dst me up at midnight to fetch dew 
From the still-vex'd Bermoothes, 7 there she's hid: 

Again, in Hamlet: 

" Her clothes spread wide 

" And, mermaid-like, a while they bore her up." 
Mr. M. Mason, however, observes that " the word sustaining 
in this place does not mean supporting, but enduring; and by 
their sustaining garments, Ariel means their garments which bore, 
without being injured, the drenching of the sea." Steevens. 

7 From the still-vex'd Bermoothes,] Fletcher, in his Women 
Pleased, says, " The devil should think of purchasing that egg- 
shell to victual out a witch for the Beermoothes." Smith, in his 
account of these islands, p. 172, says, " that the Bermudas -Mere 
so fearful to the world, that many called them The Isle of Devils. — 
P. 174. — to all seamen no less terrible than an inchanted den of 
furies" And no wonder, for the clime was extremely subject to 
storms and hurricanes; and the islands were surrounded with 
scattered rocks lying shallovvly hid under the surface of the water. 


The epithet here applied to the Bermudas, will be best under- 
stood by those who have seen the chafing of the sea over the 
rugged rocks by which they are surrounded, and which render 
access to them so dangerous. It was in our poet's time the cur- 
rent opinion, that Bermudas was inhabited by monsters, and 
devils. — Setebos, the god of Caliban's dam, was an American 
devil, worshipped by the giants of Patagonia. Henley. 

Again, in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in 
it, 1012: " Sir, if you "have made me tell a lye, they'll send me 
on a voyage to the island of Hogs and Devils, the Bermudas." 


sc. ii. TEMPEST. si 

The mariners all under hatches stow'd; 
Whom, with a charm join'd to their suffer'd labour, 
I have left asleep: and for the rest o' the fleet, 
Which I dispers'd, they all have met again; 
And are upon the Mediterranean flote, 8 
Bound sadly home for Naples; 
Supposing that they saw the king's ship wreck'd, 
And his great person perish. 

Pro. Ariel, thy charge 

Exactly is perform'd; but there's more work: 
What is the time o' the day ? 9 

Ari. Past the mid season. 

The opinion that Bermudas was haunted with evil spirits con- 
tinued so late as the civil wars. In a little piece of Sir John 
Berkinghead's intitled, Two Centuries of Paul's Church-yard, 
una cum indice expurgatorio, &c. 12°, in page 62, under the title 
Cases of Conscience, is this: 

" 34. Whether Bermudas and the Parliament-house lie under 
one planet, seeing both are haunted with devils." Percy. 

Bermudas was on this account the cant name for some privi- 
leged place, in which the cheats and riotous bullies of Shakspeare's 
time assembled. So, in The Devil is an Ass, by Ben Jonsou: 

" keeps he still your quarter 

" In the Bermudas?" 
Again, in one of his Epistles: 

" Have their Bermudas, and their straights i' th' Strand.'* 
Again, in The Devil is an Ass: 

" I gave my word 

" For one that's run away to the Bermudas." Steeven.s. 

8 the Mediterranean flote,] Flote is wave. Flot. Fr. 


1 What is the time o' the day?] This passage needs not be 
disturbed, it being common to ask a question, which the next 
moment enables us to answer: he that thinks it faulty, may 
easily adjust it thus: 

Pro. What is the time o* the day? Past the mid season ? 

Ari. At least two glasses. 

Pro. The time 'Iwixt six and now — . Joiixson". 

Mr. Upton proposes to regulate this passage differently: 
Ariel. Past the mid season, at least two glasses. 
Pros. The time, fire. MALotfE. 

32 TEMPEST. act i. 

Pro. At least two glasses : The time 'twixt six 
and now, 
Must by us both be spent most preciously. 

Ari. Is there more toil? Since thou dost give 
me pains, 
Let me remember thee what thou hast promis'd, 
Which is not yet perform'd me. 

Pro. How now? moody? 

What is't thou can'st demand? 

Art. My liberty. 

Pro. Before the time be out? no more. 

Ari. I pray thee 

Remember, I have done thee worthy service; 
Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, serv'd 1 
Without or grudge, or grumblings: thou didst 

To bate me a full year. 

Pro. Dost thou forget 2 

1 Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, served — ] The old 
copy has — 

" Told thee no lies, made thee no mistakings, serv'd — ." 

The repetition of a word will be found a frequent mistake in 
the ancient editions. Ritson. 

* Dost thou forget — ] That the character and conduct of Pros- 
pero may be understood, something must be known of the system 
of enchantment, which supplied all the marvellous found in the 
romances of the middle ages. This system seems to be founded on 
the opinion that the fallen spirits, having different degrees of guilt, 
had differenthabitations allotted them at their expulsion, some being 
confined in hell, some (as Hooker, who delivers the opinion of our 
poet's age, expresses it, ) dispersed in air, some on earth, some in 
water, others in caves, dens, or minerals under the earth. Of 
these, some were more malignant and mischievous than others. 
The earthy spirits seem to have been thought the most depraved, 
and the aerial the less vitiated. Thus Prospero observes of Ariel : 

Thou wast a spirit too delicate 

To act her earthy and abhorred commands. 
Over these spirits a power might be obtained by certain rites per- 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. S3 

From what a torment I did free thee ? 

Am. No. 

Pro. Thou dost? and think'st 
It much, to tread the ooze of the salt deep ; 
To run upon the sharp wind of the north; 
To do me business in the veins o' the earth, 
When it is bak'd with frost. 

Ari. I do not, sir. 

Pro. Thou liest, malignant thing! Hast thou 
The foul witch Sycorax, 3 who, with age, and envy, 
Was grown into a hoop? hast thou forgot her? 

Formed or charms learned. This power was called The black Art, 
or Knowledge of Enchantment. The enchanter being (as king- 
James observes in his Demonology) one who commands the devil, 
rvhereas the witch semes him. Those who thought best of this 
art, the existence of which was, I am afraid, believed very seri- 
ously, held, that certain sounds and characters had a physical 
power over spirits, and compelled their agency; others, who con- 
demned the practice, which in reality was surely never practised, 
were of opinion, with more reason, that the power of charms arose 
only from compact, and was no more than the spirits voluntarily 
allowed them for the seduction of man. The art was held by all, 
though not equally criminal, yet unlawful, and therefore Casau- 
bon, speaking of one who had commerce with spirits, blames him, 
though he imagines him one of the best kind, who dealt with them 
by way of command. Thus Prospero repents of his art in the last 
scene. The spirits were always considered as in some measure 
enslaved to the enchanter, at least for a time, and as serving with 
unwillingness; therefore Ariel so often begs for liberty; and Cali- 
ban observes, that the spirits serve Prospero with no good will, 
but hate him rootedly. — Of these trifles enough. Johnson. 

* The foul witch Sycorax,~\ This idea might have been caught 
from Dionyse Settle's Reporte of the Last Voyage of Capteine 
Frobisher, i2mo. bl. 1. 1577. He is speaking of a woman found 
on one of the islands described. " The old wretch, whome diuers 
of our Saylers supposed to be a Diuell, or a Witche, plucked off 
her buskins, to see if she were clouen footed, and for her ougly 
hewe and deformitie, we let her goe." Steevens. 

34 TEMPEST. act i. 

Ari. No, sir. 

Pro. Thou hast: Where was she born? 

speak; tell me» 

Ari. Sir, in Argier. 4 

Pro. O, was she so? I must, 

Once in a month, recount what thou hast been, 
Which thou forget'st. This damn'd witch, Sycorax, 
For mischiefs manifold, and sorceries terrible 
To enter human hearing, from Argier, 
Thou know'st, was banish'd; for one thing she did, 
They would not take her life: Is not this true? 

Ari. Ay, sir. 

Pro. This blue-ey'd hag was hither brought 

with child, 
And here was left by the sailors : Thou, my slave, 
As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant: 
And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate 
To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands, 
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee, 
By help of her more potent ministers, 
And in her most unmitigable rage, 
Into a cloven pine ; within which rift 
Imprison'd, thou did'st painfully remain 
A dozen years; within which space she died, 
And left thee there; where thou did'st vent thy 

As fast as mill-wheels strike : Then was this island, 
(Save for the son that she did litter here, 
A freckled whelp, hag-born,) not honour'd with 
A human shape. 

Ari. Yes ; Caliban her son. 

* • in Argier.] Argier is the ancient English name for Al- 

fliers. See a pamphlet entitled, A true Relation of the Travailes, 
&c. of William Davies, Barber-surgeon, &c. 1614. In this is a 
chapter « on the description, &c. of Argier.^ Steevens. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 35 

Pro. Dull thing, I say so; he, that Caliban, 
Whom now I keep in service. Thou best know'st 
What torment I did rind thee in: thy groans 
Did make wolves howl, and penetrate the breasts 
Of ever-angry bears ; it was a torment 
To lay upon the damn'd, which Sycorax 
Could not again undo; it was mine art, 
When I arriv'd, and heard thee, that made gape 
The pine, and let thee out. 

Ari. I thank thee, master. 

Pro. If thou more murmur'st, I will rend an oak, 
And peg thee in his knotty entrails, till 
Thou hast howl'd away twelve winters. 

Ari. Pardon, master: 

I will be correspondent to command, 
And do my spiriting gently. 

Pro. Do so; and after two days 

I will discharge thee. 

Ari. That's my noble master! 

What shall I do? say what? what shall I do? 

Pro. Go make thyself like to a nymph o'the sea; 
Be subject to no sight but mine; invisible 
To every eye-ball else. 6 Go, take this shape, 

to a nymph o* the sea ;] There does not appear to be 


sufficient cause why Ariel should assume this new shape, as he 
was to be invisible to all eyes but those of Prospero. Steevens. 

6 Be subject to no sight but mine; invisible 
To every eye-ball else."] The old copy reads — 
" Be subject to no sight but thine and mine; invisible," &c. 
But redundancy in the first line, and the ridiculous precaution 
that Ariel should not be invisible to himself, plainly prove that 
the words — and thine — were the interpolations of ignorance. 

Go make thyself like a nymph o y the sea : be subject 
To no sight but thine and mine ; invisible, &c] The words 
— " be subject" — having been transferred in the first copy of this 

D 2 

36 TEMPEST. act i. 

And hither come in't: hence, with diligence. 7 

[Exit Ariel. 
Awake, dear heart, awake ! thou hast slept well ; 

Mira. The strangeness 8 of your story put 
Heaviness in me. 

Pro. Shake it off: Come on; 

We'll visit Caliban, my slave, who never 
Yields us kind answer. 

Mira. 'Tis a villain, sir, 

I do not love to look on. 

Pro. But, as 'tis, 

play to the latter ofthese lines,by the carelessness of the transcriber 
or printer, the editor of the second folio, to supply the metre of 
the former, introduced the word to; — reading, " like to a nymph 
o' the sea." The regulation that I have made, shews that the 
addition, like many others made by that editor, was unnecessary. 


My arrangement of this passage admits the word to, which, I 

think, was judiciously restored by the editor of the second folio. 


7 And hither come in't: hence, tvith diligence.'] The old copy 
reads — 

" And hither come in't: go, hence with diligence." 
The transcriber or compositor had caught the word go from 
the preceding line. Ritson. 

8 The strangeness — ] Why should a wonderful story produce 
sleep? I believe experience will prove, that any violent agitation 
of the mind easily subsides in slumber, especially when, as in 
Prospero's relation, the last images are pleasing. Johnson. 

The poet seems to have been apprehensive that the audience, 
as well as Miranda, would sleep over this long but necessary tale, 
and therefore strives to break it. First, by making Prospero 
divest himself of his magic robe and wand: then by waking her 
attention no less than six times by verbal interruption: then by 
varying the action when he rises and bids her continue sitting: 
and lastly, by carrying on the business of the fable while Miranda 
sleeps, by which she is continued on the stage till the poet has 
occasion for her again. Warner. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 37 

We cannot miss him: 9 he does make our fire, 
Fetch in our wood; and serves in offices 
That profit us. What ho! slave! Caliban! 
Thou earth, thou! speak. 

Cal. \_Within~] There's wood enough within. 

Pro. Come forth, I say; there's other business 
for thee: 
Come forth, thou tortoise! when? 1 

Re-enter Ariel, like a water-nymph. 

Fine apparition! My quaint Ariel, 
Hark in thine ear. 

Art. My lord, it shall be done. [Exit. 

Pro. Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil 
Upon thy wicked dam, come forth! 

Enter Caliban. 

Cal. As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd 
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen, 
Drop on you both! 2 a south-west blow on ye, 
And blister you all o'er! 

9 We cannot miss him :] That is, we cannot do without him. 

M. Mason. 

This provincial expression is still used in the midland counties. 


1 Come forth, thou tortoise! when?] This interrogation, indica- 
tive of impatience in the highest degree, occurs also in Ki?ig 
Richard II. Act I. sc. i. : " When, Harry?" See note on this 
passage, Act I. sc. i. 

In Prospero's summons to Caliban, however, as it stands in 
the old copy, the word forth (which I have repeated for the sake 
of metre) is wanting. Steevens. 

? Cal. As tvicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd 

With raven 1 s feather from unwholesomefen, 

Drop on you both .'] It was a tradition, it seems, that 

33 TEMPEST. act L 

Pro. For this, be sure, to-night thou shalt have 
Side-stitches that shall pen thy breath up ; urchins 3 

Lord Falkland, Lord C. J. Vaughan, and Mr. Selden concurred 
in observing, that Shakspeare had not only found out a new cha- 
racter in his Caliban, but had also devised and adapted a new 
manner of language for that character. What they meant by it, 
without doubt, was, that Shakspeare gave his language a certain 
grotesque air of the savage and antique; which it certainly has. 
But Dr. Bentley took this, of a new language, literally; for, 
speaking of a phrase in Milton, which he supposed altogether 
absurd and unmeaning, he says, Satan had not the privilege, as 
Caliban in Shakspeare, to use new phrase and diction unknown to 

all others and again — to practise distances is still a Caliban 

style. Note on Milton's Paradise Lost, 1. iv. v. 945. But I 
know of no such Caliban style in Shakspeare, that hath new 
phrase and diction unknown to all others. Warburton. 

Whence these critics derived the notion of a new language 
appropriated to Caliban, I cannot find: they certainly mistook 
brutality of sentiment for uncouthness of words. Caliban had 
learned to speak of Prospero and his daughter; he had no names 
for the sun and moon before their arrival, and could not have 
invented a language of his own, without more understanding than 
Shakspeare has thought it proper to bestow upon him. His dic- 
tion is indeed somewhat clouded by the gloominess of his temper, 
and the malignity of his purposes; but let any other being enter- 
tain the same thoughts, and he will find them easily issue in the 
same expressions. Johnson. 

As wicked dew — ] Wicked; having baneful qualities. So 
Spenser says, wicked weed ; so, in opposition, we say herbs or 
medicines have virtues. Bacon mentions virtuous bezoar, and 
Dryden virtuous herbs. Johnson. 

So, in the Book of Haukyng, &c. bl. 1. no date : " If a wycked 
fellon be swollen in such a manner that a man may hele it, the 
hauke shall not dye." Under King Henry VI. the parliament 
petitioned against hops, as a wicked weed. See Fuller's Worthies : 
Essex. Steevens. 

3 urchins — 1 i. e. hed^eho^s. 

Urchins are enumerated by Reginald Scott among other terrific 
beings. So, in Chapman's May Day, 1 6l I : 

" to fold thyself up like an urchin." 

Again, in Selimus Emperor of the Turks, 1584: 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 39 

Shall, for that vast of night that they may work, 4 
All exercise on thee : thou shalt be pinch'd 

" What, are the urchins crept out of their dens, 
" Under the conduct of this porcupine!" 
Urchins are perhaps here put for fairies. Milton in his Masque 
speaks of " urchin blasts," and we still call any little dwarfish 
child, an urchin. The word occurs again in the next act. The 
echinus, or sea hedge-hog, is still denominated the urchin. 


In the Merry Wives of Windsor we have " urchins, ouphes, 
and fairies ;" and the passage to which Mr. Steevens alludes, 
proves, I think, that urchins here signifies beings of the fairy kind: 
" His spirits hear me, 

" And yet I needs must curse; but they'll nor pinch, 
" Fright me with urchin-shews, pitch me i' the mire," &c. 


In support of Mr. Steevens's note, which does not appear satis- 
factory to Mr. Malone, take the following proofs from Hormanni 
Vulgaria, 4to. 1515, p. 1(X): — " Urchyns or Hedgehoggis, full 
of sharpe pryckillys, whan they know that they be hunted, make 
them rounde lyke a balle." Again, " Porpyns have longer 
prykels than urchyns." Douce. 

4 for that vast of night that they may tvorl-,~] The vast of 

night means the night which is naturally empty and deserted, with- 
out action; or when all things lying in sleep and silence, makes the 
world appear one great uninhabited tvaste. So, in Hamlet : 

" In the dead ivaste and middle of the night." 
It has a meaning like that of nox vasta. 

Perhaps, however, it may be used with a signification somewhat 
different, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, l60p: 

" Thou God of this great vast, rebuke the surges." 

Vastum is likewise the ancient law term for waste, uncultivated 
land; and, with this meaning, vast is used by Chapman in his 
Shadoio of Night, 1594: 

" When unlightsome, vast, and indigest, 

" The formeless matter of this world did lye." 

It should be remembered, that, in the pneumatology of former 
ages, these particulars were settled with the most minute exactness, 
and the different kinds of visionary beings had different allotments 
of timesuitabletothevarietyor consequence of their employments. 
During these spaces, they were at liberty to act, but were always 
obliged to leave off at a certain hour, that they might not inter- 
fere in that portion of night which belonged to others. Among 

40 TEMPEST. act l 

As thick as honey-combs, each pinch more stinging 
Than bees that made them. 

Cal. I must eat my dinner. 

This island's mine, by Sycorax my mother, 
Which thou tak'st from me. When thou earnest 

first, 5 
Thou strok'dstme,andmad'stmuchof me; would'st 

give me 
Water with berries in't; and teach me how 
To name the bigger light, and how the less, 
That burn by day and night : and then I lov'd thee, 
And shew'd thee all the qualities o' the isle, 
The fresh springs, brine pits, barren place, and fer- 
Cursed be I that did so ! — All the charms 6 
Of Sycorax, toads, beetles, bats, light on you! 
For I am all the subjects that you have, 
Which first was mine own king: and here you sty me 
In this hard rock, whiles you do keep from me 
The rest of the island. 

Pro. Thou most lying slave, 

Whom stripes may move, not kindness: I have us'd 

these, we may suppose urchins to have had a part subjected to 
their dominion. To this limitation of time Shakspeare alludes 
again in K. Lear : " He begins at curfew, and walks till the second 
cock.'* Steevens. 

5 Which thou tak'st from me. When thou earnest fast,"] We 
might read — 

" Which thou tak'st from me. When thou cam'st here 
first — ." Ritson. 

6 All the charms — ] The latter word, like many others of 

the same kind, is here used as a dissyllable. Malone. 

Why should we encourage a supposition which no instance 
whatever countenances? viz. that charms was used as a dissyllable. 
The verse is complete without such an effort to prolong it: 
" Cursed | be I | that did | so! All | the charms — ." 


sc. ii. TEMPEST. 41 

Filth as thou art, with human care ; and lodg'd thee 
In mine own cell, till thou didst seek to violate 
The honour of my child. 

Cal. O ho, O ho! 7 — 'would it had been done! 
Thou didst prevent me ; I had peopled else 
This isle with Calibans. 

Pro. Abhorred slave; 8 

Which any print of goodness will not take, 
Being capable of all ill ! I pitied thee, 
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each 

One thing or other: when thou didst not, savage, 
Know thine own meaning, 9 but would'st gabble like 
A thing most brutish, I endow'd thy purposes 
With words that made them known : But thy vile 

race, 1 

7 ho, O hot] This savage exclamation was originally and con- 
stantly appropriated by the writers of our ancient Mysteries and 
Moralities, to the Devil; and has, in this instance, been trans- 
ferred to his descendant Caliban. Steevens. 

9 Abhorred slave;] This speech, which the old copy gives to 
Miranda, is very judiciously bestowed by Theobald on Prospero. 


Mr. Theobald found, or might have found, this speech trans- 
ferred to Prospero in the alteration of this play by Dryden and 
Davenant. Malone. 

9 when thou didst not, savage, 

Know thine own meaning,'] By this expression, however de- 
fective, the poet seems to have meant — When thou didst utter 
sounds, to which thou hadst no determinate meaning: but the fol- 
lowing expression of Mr. Addison, in his 38(jth Spectator, con- 
cerning the Hottentots, may prove the best comment on this 
passage: " — having no language among them but a confused 
gabble, which is neither well understood by themselves, or others." 


1 But ihu vile race,] The old copy has vild, but it is only 

the ancient mode of spelling vile. Race, in this place, seen t> J 
signify original disposition, inborn qualities. In this sense we biill 

42 TEMPEST. act i. 

Though t~iou didst learn, had that in't which good 

Could not abide to be with; therefore wast thou 
Deservedly confin'd into this rock, 
Who hadst deserv'd more than a prison. 

Cal. You taught me language ; and my profit 
Is, I know how to curse: The red plague rid you, 2 
For learning me your language ! 

Pro. Hag-seed, hence! 

Fetch us in fuel; and be quick, thou wert best, 
To answer other business. Shrug' st thou, malice? 
If thou neglect'st, or dost unwillingly 
What I command, I'll rack thee with old cramps ; 
Fill all thy bones with aches; make thee roar, 
That beasts shall tremble at thy din. 

Cal. No, 'pray thee! — 

I must obey : his art is of such power, \_Aside. 

say — The race of tune: Thus, in Massinger's New Way to pay 
old Debts : 

" There came, not six days since, from Hull, a pipe 

" Of rich canary. 

" Is it of the right race?" 
and Sir W. Temple has somewhere applied it to works of litera- 
ture. Steevens. 

Race and raciness in wine, signifies a kind of tartness. 


2 the red plague rid you,"] I suppose from the redness of 

the body, universally inflamed. Johnson. 

The erysipelas was anciently called the red plague. Steevens. 

So again, in Coriolanus : 

" Now the red pestilence strike all trades in Rome!" 
The word rid, which has not been explained, means to destroy. 
So, in K. Henry VI. P. II: 

" If you ever chance to have a child, 

" Look, in his youth, to have him so cut off, 
" As, deathsmen! you have rid this sweet young prince." 


sc. n. TEMPEST. 43 

It would control my dam's god, Setebos, 3 
And make a vassal of him. 

Pro. So, slave; hence! 

[Exit Caliban. 

Re-enter Ariel invisible? playing and singing; 
Ferdinand following him. 

Ariel's Song. 

Come unto these yellow sands, 

And then take hands: 
Court* sied "when you have, and Iriss'd, 

(The mid waves xchist,y 

3 my dam' 's god, Setebos,] A gentleman of great merit, 

Mr. Warner, has observed on the authority of John Barbot, that 
" the Patagons are reported to dread a great horned devil, called 
Setebos." — It may be asked, however, how Shakspeare knew any 
thing of this, as Barbot was a voyager of the present century?— 
Perhaps he had read Eden's History of Travayle, 1577,who tells 
i:S p. 434, that " the giantes, when they found themselves fet- 
tered, roared like bulls, and cried upon Setebos to help them." — 
The metathesis in Caliban from Canibal is evident. Farmer. 

We learn from Magellan's voyage, that Setebos was the supreme 
god of the Patagons, and Cheleule was an inferior one. Tollet. 

Setebos is also mentioned in Hackluyt's Voyages, 15QS. 


* Re-enter Ariel invisible,] In the wardrobe of the Lord Ad- 
miral's men, (i.e. company of comedians,) 15Q8, was — " a robe 
for to goo invisebcU." See the MS. from Dulwich college, quoted 
by Mr. Malone, Vol. III. Steevkns. 

' CourVsied when you have, and kiss'd,] As was anciently done 
at the beginning of some dances. So, in A'. Henry VIII. that 
prince says to Anna Hullen — 

" I were unmannerly to take you out, 
" And not to kiss you." 
The ivi/d waves whist;] i.e. the wild waves being silent. 
So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. VII. c. 7. s. 50: 

" So was the Titaness put down, and u-hisi " 

44 TEMPEST. act i. 

Foot itfeatly here and there; 

And, sweet sprites, the burden bear* 

Hark, hark! 
Bur. Bowgh, wowgh. \_dispersedly. 

The watch-dogs bark: 
Bur. Bowgh, wowgh. \_dispersedly. 

Hark, hark! I hear 
The strain of strutting chanticlere 
Cry, Cock-a-doodle-doo. 

Fer. Where should this musick be? i' the air, 
or the earth? 
It sounds no more: — and sure, it waits upon 
Some god of the island. Sitting on a bank, 
Weeping again the king my father's wreck, 7 

And Milton seems to have had our author in his eye. See 
stanza 5, of his Hymn on the Nativity: 
" The winds with wonder whist, 
" Smoothly the waters kiss'd." 
So again, both Lord Surrey and Phaer, in their translations of 
the second book of Virgil: 

" — Conticuere omnes. 

" They uihisted all." 
and Lyly, in his Maid's Metamorphosis, 1600: 

" But every thing is quiet, ivhist, and still.'* Steevens. 
6 the burden bear.'] Old copy — bear the burden. Cor- 
rected by Mr. Theobald. Malone. 

7 Weeping again the king my father's lured,] Thus the old 
copy ; but in the books of Shakspeare's age again is sometimes 
printed instead of against, [i. e. opposite to,] which I am per- 
suaded was our author's word. The placing Ferdinand in such a 
situation that he could still gaze upon the wrecked vessel, is one 
of Shakspeare's touches of nature. Again is inadmissible; for 
this would import that Ferdinand's tears had ceased for a time ; 
whereas he himself tells us, afterwards, that from the hour of his 
father's wreck they had never ceased to flow: 
- Myself am Naples, 


" Who with mine eyes, ne'er since at ebb, beheld 
" The king my father wreck'd." 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 45 

This musick crept by me upon the waters; 8 
Allaying both their fury, and my passion, 
With its sweet air: thence I have follow'd it, 
Or it hath drawn me rather: — But 'tis gone. 
No, it begins again. 

Ariel sings. 

Full fathom Jive thy father lies; 9 

Of his bones are coral made; 
Those are pearls that were his eyes: 

Nothing of him that doth fade, 1 

However, as our author sometimes forgot to compare the differ- 
ent parts of his play, I have made no change. Malone. 

By the word — again, I suppose the Prince means only to de» 
scribe the repetition of his sorrows. Besides, it appears from Mi- 
randa's description of the storm, that the ship had been swallowed 
by the waves, and, consequently, could no longer be an object of 
sight. Steevens. 

8 This musick crept by me upon the waters;] So, in Milton's 
Masque : 

" a soft and solemn breathing sound 

*' Rose like a steam of rich distill'd perfumes, 
" And stole upon the air." Steevens. 

9 Full fathom Jive thy father lies ; &c] Ariel's lays, [which have 
been condemned by Gildon as trifling, and defended not very suc- 
cessfully by Dr. Warburton,] however seasonable and efficacious, 
must be allowed to be of no supernatural dignity or elegance; they 
express nothing great, nor reveal anything above mortal discovery. 

The reason for which Ariel is introduced thus trifling is, that 
he and his companions are evidently of the fairy kind, an order of 
beings to which tradition has always ascribed a sort of diminutive 
agency, powerful but ludicrous, a humorous and frolick control- 
ment of nature, well expressed by the songs of Ariel. Johnson. 

The songs in this play, Dr. Wilson, who reset and published 
two of them, tells us, in his Court Ayres, or Ballads, published 
at Oxford, lbOO, that " Full fathom Jive,'* and " Where the bee 
sucks," had been first set by Robert Johnson, a composer con- 
temporary with Shakspeare. Burney. 

1 Nothing of him that doth fade, 
lint doth suffer a sea-change — ] The meaning is — Every thing 
about him, that is liable to alteration, is changed. Steevens. 

46 TEMPEST. act i. 

But doth suffer a sea-change 1 
Into something rich and strange. 
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell i 
Hark! now I hear them, — ding-dong, bell. 3 

[Burden, ding-dong. 4 

Fer. The ditty does remember my drown'd fa- 
ther : — 
This is no mortal business, nor no sound 
That the earth owes: 5 — I hear it now above me. 

Pro. The fringed curtains 6 of thine eye advance 

8 But doth suffer a sea-change — ] So, in Milton's Masque: 
" And underwent a quick immortal change" 


3 Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: 
Hark! now I hear them, — Ding-dong, bell. 

Burden, ding-dong.] 
So, in The Golden Garland of Princely Delight, &c. 13th edi- 
tion, 169O: 

" Corydon's doleful knell to the tune of Ding, dong." 
" I must go seek a new love, 
" Yet will I ring her knell, 

Ding, dong." 
The same burthen to a song occurs in The Merchant of Venice, 
Act III. sc. ii. Steevens. 

4 Burden, ding-dong."] It should be — 

Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong bell. Farmer. 

5 That the earth owes:] To owe, in this place, as well as many 
others, signifies to own. So, in Othello: 

" that sweet sleep 

u Which thou ow'dst yesterday." 
Again, in the Tempest : 

" thou dost here usurp 

" The name thou ow'st not." 
To use the word in this sense, is not peculiar to Shakspeare. 
I meet with it in Beaumont and Fletcher's Beggar's Bush : 

" If now the beard be such, what is the prince 

" That owes the beard?" Steevens. 

6 The fringed curtains, &c] The same expression occurs in 
Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609: 

« _ h er eyelids 

" Begin to part iheirjringes of bright gold." 

sc. il TEMPEST. 47 

And say, what thou seest yond\ 

MiRA. Wliat is't? a spirit? 

Lord, how it looks about! Believe me, sir, 
It carries a brave form : — But 'tis a spirit. 

Pro. No, wench; it eats and sleeps, and hath 

such senses 
As we have, such : This gallant, which thou seest, 
Was in the wreck; and but he's something stain'd 
With grief, that's beauty's canker, thou might'st 

call him 
A goodly person: he hath lost his fellows, 
And strays about to find them. 

Mira. I might call him 

A thing divine; for nothing natural 
I ever saw so noble. 

Pro. It goes on, 7 [Aside. 

As my soul prompts it: — Spirit, fine spirit! I'll free 

Within two days for this. 

Fer. Most sure, the goddess 

On whom these airs attend! 8 — Vouchsafe, my prayer 

Again, in Sidney's Arcadia, Lib. I: " Sometimes my eyes 
would lay themselves open — or cast my lids, as curtains, over the 
image of beauty her presence had painted in them." Ste evens. 

7 It goes o?i,] The old copy reads — " It goes on, / see," Set. 
But as the words / see, are useless, and an incumbrance to the 
metre, I have omitted them. Steevens. 

8 Most sure, &c] It seems, that Shakspeare, in The Tempest, 
hath been suspected of translating some expressions of Virgil; 
witness the O Dea certe. I presume we are here directed to the 
passage, where Ferdinand says of Miranda, after hearing the 
songs of Ariel: 

Most sure, the goddess 

On whom these airs attend! — 
And so very small Latin is sufficient for this formidable translation, 
that, if it be thought any honour to our poet, I am loth to depri\e 

48 TEMPEST. act i. 

May know, if you remain upon this island; 
And that you will some good instruction give, 
How I may bear me here : My prime request, 
Which I do last pronounce, is, O you wonder! 
If you be made, or no? 

Mir a. No wonder, sir; 

But, certainly a maid. 9 

him of it; but his honour is not built on such a sandy foundation. 
Let us turn to a real translator, and examine whether the idea 
might not be fully comprehended by an English reader, suppos- 
ing it necessarily borrowed from Virgil. Hexameters in our lan- 
guage are almost forgotten; we will quote therefore this time 
trom Stanyhurst: 

" O to thee, fay re virgin, what terme may rightly be fitted? 

** Thy tongue, thy visage no mortal frayltie resembleth. 

" No doubt, a goddesse!" Edit. 1583. Farmer. 

f 9 certainly a maid.'] Nothing could be more prettily ima- 
gined, to illustrate the singularity of her character, than this 
pleasant mistake. She had been bred up in the rough and plain- 
dealing documents of moral philosophy, which teaches us the 
knowledge of ourselves ; and was an utter stranger to the flattery 
invented by vicious and designing men to corrupt the other sex. 
So that it could not enter into her imagination, that complaisance, 
and a desire of appearing amiable, qualities of humanity which 
she had been instructed, in her moral lessons, to cultivate, could 
ever degenerate into such excess, as that any one should be will- 
ing to have his fellow-creature believe that he thought her a 
goddess, or an immortal. Warburton. 

Dr. Warburton has here found a beauty, which I think the 
author never intended. Ferdinand asks her not whether she was 
a created being, a question which, if he meant it, he has ill ex- 
pressed, but whether she was unmarried; for after the dialogue 
which Prospero's interruption produces, he goes on pursuing his 
former question: 

Oifa virgin, 

I'll make you queen of Naples. Johnson. 

A passage in Lyly's Galathea seems to countenance the present 
text: " The question among men is common, are you a maide?" 
— yet I cannot but think, that Dr. Warburton reads very rightly: 
" If you be made, or no." When we meet with a harsh expres- 
sion in Shakspeare, we are usually to look for a play upon words. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 49 

Feu. My language! heavens! — 

I am the best of them that speak this speech, 

Fletcher closely imitates The Tempest in his Sea Voyage: and he 
introduces Albert in the same manner to the ladies ot his Desert 

" Be not offended, goddesses, that I fall 
" Thus prostrate," &c. 
Shakspeare himself had certainly read, and had probably now in 
his mind, a passage in the third book of The Fairy Queen, be- 
tween Timias and Belphccbe: 

" Angel or goddess! do I call thee right? 

" There-at she blushing, said, ah! gentle squire, 

" Nor goddess I, nor angel, but the maid 

" And daughter of a woody nymph," &c. Farmer. 

So Milton, Comus, 265 : 

" Hail foreign wonder! 

" Whom certain these rough shades did never breed, 

" Unless the Goddess," &c. 
Milton's imitation explains Shakspeare. Maid is certainly a cre- 
ated being, a Woman in opposition to Goddess. Miranda immedi- 
ately destroys this first sense by a quibble. In the mean time, I 
have no objection to read made, i. e. created. The force of the 
sentiment is the same. Comus is universally allowed to have 
taken some of its tints from The Tempest. T. Warton. 

The first copy reads — if you be maid, or no. Made was not 
suggested by Dr. Warburton, being an emendation introduced by 
the editor of the fourth folio. It was, I am persuaded, the au- 
thor's word: There being no article prefixed adds strength to this 
supposition. Nothing is more common in his plays than a word 
being used in reply, in a sense different from that in which it was 
employed by the first speaker. Ferdinand had the moment before 
called Miranda a goddess; and the words immediately subjoined, 
— " Vouchsafe my prayer" — show, that he looked up to her as 
a person of a superior order, and sought her protection, and in- 
struction for his conduct, not her love. At this period, therefore, 
he must have felt too much awe to have flattered himself with the 
hope of possessing a being that appeared to him celestial ; though 
afterwards, emboldened by what Miranda says, he exclaims, " O, 
if a virgin," ftc. words that appear inconsistent with the supposition 
that he had already asked her whether she was one or not. She h-d 
indeed told him, she was; but in his astonishment at hearing her 
speak his own language, he may well be supposed to have forgotten 


50 TEMPEST. act i. 

Were I but where 'tis spoken. 

Pro. How! the best? 

Whatwert thou, if the king of Naples heard thee? 

Fer. A single thing, as I am now, that wonders 
To hear thee speak of Naples: He does hear me; 
And, that he does, I weep : myself am Naples ; 
Who with mine eyes, ne'er since at ebb, beheld 
The king my father wreck'd. 

Mira. Alack, for mercy! 

Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords; the duke of 
And his brave son, being twain. 1 

Pro. The duke of Milan, 

what she said; which, if he had himself made the inquiry, would 
not be very reasonable to suppose. 

It appears from the alteration of this play by Dryden and Sir W. 
D'Avenant, that they considered the present passage in this light: 

" Fair, excellence, 

" If, as your form declares, you are divine, 
f ' Be pleas'd to instruct me, how you will be worship'd ; 
" So bright a beauty cannot sure belong 
" To human kind." 
In a subsequent scene we have again the same inquiry: 
Alon. " Is she the goddess that hath sever'd us, 
" And brought us thus together?" 
Fer. " Sir, she's mortal." 
Our author might have remembered Lodge's description of Faw- 
nia, the Perdita of his Winter's Tale: " Yet he scarce knew 
her, for she had attired herself in rich apparel, which so increas- 
ed her beauty, that she resembled rather an angel than a crea- 
ture." Dorastus and Fatonia, 15Q2. Malone. 

The question, (I use the words of Mr. M. Mason,) is " whether 
our readers will adopt a natural and simple expression which re- 
quires no comment, or one which the ingenuity of many com- 
mentators has but imperfectly supported." Steevens. 

1 And his brave son, being twain."] This is a slight forgetful- 
ness. Nobody was lost in the wreck, yet we find no such cha- 
racter as the son of the duke of Milan. Theobald. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 51 

And his more braver daughter, could control thee, 1 
If now 'twere fit to do't: — At the first sight 

They have chang'd eyes: — Delicate Ariel, 
I'll set thee free for this! — A word, good sir; 
I fear, you have done yourself some wrong: 3 a 

Mira. Why speaks my father so ungently ? This 
Is the third man that e'er I saw; the first 
That e'er I sigh'd for: pity move my father 
To be inclin'd my way! 

Fer. O, if a virgin, 

And your affection not gone forth, I'll make you 
The queen of Naples. 

Pro. Soft, sir; one word more. — 

They are both in either's powers: but this swift 

I must uneasy make, lest too light winning \_Aside. 
Make the prize light. — One word more; I charge 

That thou attend me: thou dost here usurp 
The name thou ow'st not; and hast put thyself 
Upon this island, as a spy, to win it 
From me, the lord on't. 

Fer. No, as I am a man. 

Mira. There's nothing ill can dwell in such a 
temple : 

control thee,'] Confute thee, unanswerably contradict 

thee. Johnson. 

* I fear, you have done yourself some tvrong:"] i. e. I fear that, 
in asserting yourself to be King of Naples, you have uttered a 
falsehood, which is below your character, and, consequently, inju- 
rious to your honour. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor — 
" This is not well, master Ford, this vcrongs you.'* Steevens. 

£ 2 

32. TEMPEST. ACT 7. 

If the ill spirit have so fair an house, 
Good things will strive to dwell with't. 

Pro. Follow me. — [To Ferd. 

Speak not you for him; he's a traitor. — Come. 
I'll manacle thy neck and feet together: 
Sea-water shalt thou drink, thy food shall be 
The fresh-brook muscles, wither'd roots, and husks 
Wherein the acorn cradled: Follow. 

Fer. No; 

I will resist such entertainment, till 
Mine enemy has more power. [He draws, 

Mira. O dear father, 

Make not too rash a trial of him, for 
He's gentle, and not fearful. 4 

4 He's gentle, and not fearful.] Fearful signifies both terrible 
and timorous. In this place it may mean timorous. She tells 
her father, that as he is gentle, rough usage is unnecessary; and 
as he is brave, it may be dangerous. 

Fearful, however, may signify formidable, as in K. Henry IV: 
" A mighty and a fearful head they are." 
and then the meaning of the passage is obvious. Steevens. 

" Do not rashly determine to treat him with severity, he is 
mild and harmless, and not in the least terrible or dangerous." 


A late novellist has the following remark on this passage : — 
" How have your commentators been puzzled by the following 
expression in The Tempest — He's gentle, and not fearful ; as if it 
was a paralogism to say that being gentle, he must of course be 
courageous: but the truth is, one of the original meanings, if 
not the sole meaning, of that word was, noble, high minded: and 
to this day a Scotch woman in the situation of the young lady 
in The Tempest, would express herself nearly in the same terms. 
— Don't provoke him; for being gentle, that is, high spirited, he 
won't tamely bear an insult. Spenser, in the very first stanza 
of his Fairy Queen, says: 

" A gentle knight was pricking on the plain," 
which knight, far from being tame and fearful, was so stout that 

" Nothing did he dread, but ever was ydrad." 

Smollett's Humphrey Clinker, Vol. II. p. 182. 


sc. n. TEMPEST. 53 

Pro. What, I say, 

My foot my tutor! 5 — Put thy sword up, traitor; 
Who mak'st a shew, but dar'st not strike, thy con- 
Is so possess'd with guilt: come from thy ward; 6 
For I can here disarm thee with this stick, 
And make thy weapon drop. 

Mir a. Beseech you, father! 

Pro. Hence; hang not on my garments. 

Mir A. Sir, have pity; 

I'll be his surety. • 

Pro. Silence : one word more 

Shall make me chide thee, if not hate thee. What! 
An advocate for an impostor? hush! 
Thou think'st, there are no more such shapes as he, 
Having seen but him and Caliban: Foolish wench! 
To the most of men this is a Caliban, 
And they to him are angels. 

Mira. My affections 

Are then most humble ; I have no ambition 
To see a goodlier man. 

Pro. Come on; obey: \_To Ferd. 

* My foot my tutor .'] So, in The Mirrour for Magistrates, 
1587, p. 103: 

" What honest heart would not conceive disdayne, 
" To see thefoote surmount above the head.'" 

Again, in A'. Lear, Act IV. sc. ii. one of the quartos reads — 
" My foot usurps my head.'* 
Thus also Pope, Essay on Man, I. 200: 

" What, if the foot, ordain'd the dust to tread, 

" Or hand to toil, aspir'd to be the head?" Steevens. 

6 come from tin/ ward;] Desist from any hope of awing 

me by that posture of defence. Johnson. 

So, in K. Henry IV. P. I. Falstaffsays: — " Thou know'st my 
old ward; — here t lay, and thus I bore my point." Steevens. 

54 TEMPEST. act I. 

Thy nerves are in their infancy again, 7 
And have no vigour in them. 

Fer. So they are: 

My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up. 8 
My father's loss, the weakness which I feel, 
The wreck of all my friends, or this man's threats, 
To whom I am subdued, are but light to me, 9 
Might I but through my prison once a day 
Behold this maid: 1 all corners else o' the earth 
Let liberty make use of; space enough 
Have I in such a prison. 

Pro. It works: — Come on. — 

Thou hast done well, fine Ariel! — Follow me. — 

[To Ferd. and Mm. 
Hark, what thou else shalt do me. \_To Ariel. 

7 Thy nerves are in their infancy again,'] Perhaps Milton had 
this passage in his mind, when he wrote the following line in his 
Masque at Ludlow Castle: 

Thy nerves are all bound up in alabaster.'* Steevens. 

8 My spirits, as in a dream, are all bound up.] Alluding to a 
common sensation in dreams ; when we struggle, but with a total 
impuissance in our endeavours, to run, strike, &c. 


9 are but light to me,'] This passage, as it stands at pre- 
sent, with all allowance for poetical licence, cannot be reconciled 
to grammar. I suspect that our author wrote — " were but light 
to me," in the sense of — would be. — In the preceding line the 
old copy reads — nor this man's threats. The emendation was 
made by Mr. Steevens. Malone. 

1 Might I but through my prison once a day 
Behold this maid:] This thought seems borrowed from The 
Knight's Tale of Chaucer ; v. 1230: 

" For elles had I dwelt with Theseus 

" Yfetered in his prison evermo. 

" Than had I ben in blisse, and not in wo. 

" Only the sight of hire, whom that I serve, 

" Though that I never hire grace may deserve, 

" Wold have sufficed right ynough for me." Steevens. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 55 

Mira. Be of comfort; 

My fathers of a better nature, sir, 
Than he appears by speech; this is unwonted, 
Which now came from him. 

Pro. Thou shalt be as free 

As mountain winds: but then exactly do 
All points of my command. 

Ari. To the syllable. 

Pro. Come, follow: speak not for him. [Exeunt. 


Another part of the Island. 

Enter Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gonzalo, 
Adrian, Francisco, and others. 

Gox. 'Beseech you, sir, be merry: you have cause 
(So have we all) of joy; for our escape 
Is much beyond our loss : Our hint of woe 2 
Is common ; every day, some sailor's wife, 
The masters of some merchant, 3 and the merchant, 

1 Our hint of woe — ] Hint is that which recalls to the 

memory. The cause that fills our minds with grief is common. 
Dr. Warburton reads — stint of woe. Johnson. 

Hint seems to mean circumstance. " A danger from which 
they had escaped (says Mr. M. Mason) might properly be called 
a hint of woe.''* Steevens. 

3 The masters of some merchant, &c] Thus the old copy. If 
the passage be not corrupt (as I suspect it is) we must suppose 
that by masters our author means the owners of a merchant's ship, 
or the officers to whom the navigation of it had been trusted. 

56 TEMPEST. act ii. 

Have just our theme of woe: but for the miracle, 4 
I mean our preservation, few in millions 
Can speak like us: then wisely, good sir, weigh 
Our sorrow with our comfort. 

Alox. Pr'ythee, peace. 

Seb. He receives comfort like cold porridge. 

Axt. The visitor 5 will not give him o'er so. 

Seb. Look, he's winding up the watch of his 
wit; by and by it will strike. 

Gox. Sir, 

Seb. One: Tell. 

Gox. When every grief is entertain'd, that's 
Comes to the entertainer — 

Seb. A dollar. 

Gox. Dolour comes to him, indeed; 6 you have 
spoken truer than you purposed. 

I suppose, however, that our author wrote — 
" The mistress of some merchant," &c. 
Mistress was anciently spelt — maistresse or maistres. Hence, 
perhaps, arose the present typographical error. See Merchant 
of Venice, Act IV. sc. i. Steevens. 

* Have just our theme of 'woe: but for the miracle.] The words 
— of woe, appear to me as an idle interpolation. Three lines 
before we have " our hint of tuoe — ." Steevens. 

4 The visitor — ] Why Dr. Warburton should change visitor to 
'riser, for adviser, I cannot discover. Gonzalo gives not only 
advice but comfort, and is therefore properly called The Visitor, 
like others who visit the sick or distressed to give them consola- 
tion. In some of the Protestant churches there is a kind of 
officers termed consolators for the sick. Johnson. 

fi Gon. Dolour comes to him, indeed;'] The same quibble 
occurs in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 163/ : 

" And his reward be thirteen hundred dollars, 

" For he hath driven dolour from our heart." Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 57 

Seb. You have taken it wiselier than I meant 
you should. 

Gox. Therefore, my lord, — 

Axt. Fye, what a spendthrift is he of his tongue I 

Alox. I pr'ythee, spare. 

Gox. Well, I have done: But yet — 

Seb. He will be talking. 

Axt. Which of them, he, or Adrian, for a good 
wager, first begins to crow? 

Seb. The old cock. 

Axt. The cockrel. 

Seb. Done : The wasrer ? 

Axt. A laughter. 

Seb. A match. 

Adr. Though this island seem to be desert, — 

Seb. Ha, ha, ha ! 

Axt. So, you've pay'd. 7 

Adr. Uninhabitable, and almost inaccessible, — 

Seb. Yet, 

7 you've pay*dJ] Old copy — yoifr paid. Corrected by 

Mr. Steevens. To pay sometimes signified — to beat, but I have 
never met with it in a metaphorical sense ; otherwise I should have 
thought the reading of the folio right : you are beaten ; you have 
lost. Ma LONE. 

This passage scarcely deserves explanation ; but the meaning 
is this: 

Antonio lays a wager with Sebastian, that Adrian would crow 
before Gonzalo, and the wager was a laughter. Adrian speaks 
first, so Antonio is the winner. Sebastian laughs at what Adrian 
had said, and Antonio immediately acknowledges that by his 
laughing he has paid the bet. 

The old copy reads — you'r paid, which will answer as well, 
if those words be given to Sebastian instead of Antonio. 

M. Masok. 

58 TEMPEST. act n. 

Adr. Yet — 

Ant. He could not miss it. 

Adr. It must needs be of subtle, tender, and 
delicate temperance. 8 

Ant. Temperance was a delicate wench. 9 

Seb. Ay, and a subtle; as he most learnedly 

Adr. The air breathes upon us here most sweetly. 

Seb. As if it had lungs, and rotten ones. 

Ant. Or, as 'twere perfumed by a fen. 

Gon. Here is every thing advantageous to life. 

Ant. True; save means to live. 

Seb. Of that there's none, or little. 

Gon. How lush 1 and lusty the grass looks? how 
green ? 

* and delicate temperance.] Temperance here means 

temperature. Steevens. 

9 Temperance ivas a delicate wench."] In the puritanical times 
it was usual to christian children from the titles of religious and 
moral virtues. 

So Taylor, the water-poet, in his description of a strumpet : 
" Though bad they be, they will not bate an ace, 
" To be call'd Prudence, Temperance, Faith, or Grace.'* 


1 How lush &;c.~\ Lush, i. e. of a dark full colour, the opposite 
to pale and Jaint. Sir T. Hanmer. 

The words, how green? which immediately follow, might have 
intimated to Sir T. Hanmer, that lush here signifies rank, and 
not a dark full colour. In Arthur Golding's translation of Julius 
Solinus, printed 1587, a passage occurs, in which the word is 
explained. — " Shrubbes lushe and almost like a grystle." So, 
in A Midsummer Night's Dream: 

" Quite over-canopied with lushious woodbine." 


The word lush has not yet been rightly interpreted. It appears 
from the following passage in Golding's translation of Ovid, 
1587> to have signifiedjWcy, succulent: 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 59 

Ant. The ground, indeed, is tawny. 

Seb. With an eye of green in't. 2 

Ant. He misses not much. 

Seb. No ; he doth but mistake the truth totally. 

Gon. But the rarity of it is (which is indeed 
almost beyond credit) — 

Seb. As many vouch'd rarities are. 

Gon. That our garments, being, as they were, 
drenched in the sea, hold, notwithstanding, their 
freshness, and glosses; being rather new dy'd, than 
stain' d with salt water. 

Ant. If but one of his pockets could speak, 
would it not say, he lies? 

Seb. Ay, or very falsely pocket up his report. 

Gon. Methinks, our garments are now as fresh 
as when we put them on first in Africk, at the 

" What? seest thou not, how that the year, as representing plaine 
" The age ofman,departeshimself in quarters foure: first, baine 
" And tender in the spring it is, even like a sucking babe, 
" Then greene and void of strength, and lush and Jbggy is the 

" And cheers the husbandman with hope." 
Ovid's lines (Met. XV.) are these: 

" Quid? non in species succedere quattuor annum 
" Aspicis, aetatis peragentem imitamina nostrae? 
" Nam tener et lactens, puerique simillimus aevo, 
" Vere novo est. Tunc herba recens, et roboris expers, 
" Turget, et insolida est, et spe delectat agrestem." 
Spenser in his Shepheard's Calender, (Feb.) applies the epi- 
thet lusty to green : 

" With leaves engrain'd in lustie green." Malone. 

2 With an eye of green in't."] An eye is a small shade of colour: 
" Red, with an eye of blue, makes a purple." Boyle. 

Again, in Fuller's Church History, p. 23/, xvii Cent. Book XI: 
" — some cole-black (all eye of purple being put out therein) — ." 

Again, in Sandys's Travels, lib. i : " — cloth of silver tissued 
with an eye of green — ." Steevens. 

GO TEMPEST. act n. 

marriage of the king's fair daughter Claribel 3 to 
the king of Tunis. 

Seb. 'Twas a sweet marriage, and we prosper 
well in our return. 

Adr. Tunis was never graced before with such 
a paragon to their queen. 

Gon. Not since Widow Dido's time. 

Ant. Widow? a pox o'that! How came that 
widow in? Widow Dido! 4 

3 Claribel — ] Shakspeare might have found this name in 

the bl. 1. History of George Lord Faukonbridge, a pamphlet that 
he probably read when he was writing King John. Clarabel 
is there the concubine of King Richard I. and the mother of 
Lord Falconbridge. Malone. 

4 Widow Dido!'] The name of a widow brings to their 

minds their own shipwreck, which they consider as having made 
many widows in Naples. Johnson. 

Perhaps our author remembered " An inscription for the statue 
of Dido," copied from Ausonius, and inserted in Davison's Poems : 

" O most unhappy Dido, 

" Unhappy wife, and more unhappy widow! 

" Unhappy in thy mate, 

" And in thy lover more unfortunate!" &c. 
The edition from whence I have transcribed these lines was 
printed in 1621, but there was a former in 1608, and another 
some years before, as I collect from the following passage in a 
letter from Mr. John Chamberlain to Mr. Carleton, July 8, l6()2: 
" It seems young Davison means to take another course, and 
turn poet, for he hath lately set oid certain sonnets and epigrams." 
Chamberlain's Letters, Vol. I. among Dr. Birch's MSS. in the 
British Museum. Malone. 

A ballad of Queen Dido is in the Pepysian collection, and is 
also printed in Dr. Percy's Reliques. It appears at one time to have 
been a great favourite with the common people. " O you ale- 
knights," exclaims an ancient writer, " you that devoure the 
marrow of the mault, and drinke whole ale-tubs into consump- 
tions; that sing Queen Dido over a cupp, and tell strange 
newes over an ale-pot," &c. Jacke of Dover his quest of Inqui- 
rie, or his privy Search for the veriest Foole in England, 4to. 1604, 
sig. F. Ritson. v«-< - -■ 

*. /. TEMPEST. 61 

Seb. What if he had said, widower .ZEneas too? 
good lord, how you take it! 

Adr. Widow Dido, said you? you make me 
study of that: She was of Carthage, not of Tunis. 

Gox. This Tunis, sir, was Carthage. 

Adr. Carthage? 

Gox. I assure you, Carthage. 

Ant. His word is more than the miraculous harp. 5 

Seb. He hath rais'd the wall, and houses too. 

Axt. What impossible matter will he make easy 
next ? 

Seb. I think he will carry this island home in 
his pocket, and give it his son for an apple. 

Axt. And, sowing the kernels of it in the sea, 
bring forth more islands. 

Gox. Ay? 

Axt. Why, in good time. 

Gox. Sir, we were talking, that our garments 
seem now as fresh, as when we were at Tunis at the 
marriage of your daughter, who is now queen. 

Axt. And the rarest that e'er came there. 

Seb. 'Bate, I beseech you, widow Dido. 

Axt. O, widow Dido; ay, widow Dido. 

Gox. Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first 
day I wore it? I mean, in a sort. 

Axt. That sort was w r ell fish'd for. 

Gox. When I wore it at your daughter's mar- 

the miraculous JiarpJ] Alluding to the wonders of Am- 

phion's music. Ste£VEN8i 

62 TEMPEST. act ii 

Alon. You cram these words into mine ears, 
The stomach of my sense: 6 'Would I had never 
Married my daughter there! for, coming thence, 
My son is lost; and, in my rate, she too, 
Who is so far from Italy remov'd, 
I ne'er again shall see her. O thou mine heir 
Of Naples and of Milan, what strange fish 
Hath made his meal on thee! 

Fran. Sir, he may live; 

I saw him beat the surges under him, 
And ride upon their backs ; he trod the water, 
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted 
The surge most swoln that met him: his bold head 
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar'd 
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke 
To the shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis bow'd, 
As stooping to relieve him: I not doubt, 
He came alive to land. 

Alok. No, no, he's gone. 

Seb. Sir,youmay thankyourself for this greatloss ; 
That would not bless our Europe with your 

But rather lose her to an African; 
WTiere she, at least, is banish'd from your eye, 
"Who hath cause to wet the grief on't. 

Alon. Pr'ythee, peace. 

Seb. You were kneel'd to, and importun'd other- 

6 The stomach of my sense:] By sense, I believe, is meant both 
reason and natural affection. So, in Measure for Measure: 

" Against all sense do you importune her." 
Mr. M. Mason, however, supposes " sense, in this place, means 
feeling." Steevens. 

sc. /. TEMPEST. 63 

By all of us ; and the fair soul herself 
Weigh'd, between lothness and obedience, at 
Which end o' the beam she'd bow. 7 We have lost 

your son, 
I fear, for ever: Milan and Naples have 
More widows in them of this business* making, 
Than we bring men to comfort them : 8 the fault's 
Your own. 

Alon. So is the dearest of the loss. 

Gok. My lord Sebastian, 

The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness, 
And time to speak it in : you rub the sore, 
When you should bring the plaster. 

Seb. Very well. 

Ant. And most chirurgeonly. 

Gox. It is foul weather in us all, good sir, 
When you are cloudy. 

7 Weigh'd, between lothness and obedience, at 

Which end o* the beam she'd boiu.~\ Weigh'd means deliberated. 
It is used in nearly the same sense in Love's Labour s Lost, and 
in Hamlet. The old copy reads — should bow. Shoidd was pro- 
bably an abbreviation of she would, the mark of elision being 
inadvertently omitted [sh'ould]. Thus he has is frequently exhi- 
bited in the first folio — h'as. Mr. Pope corrected the passage 
thus: " at which end the beam should bow." But omission of 
any word in the old copy, without substituting another in it's 
place, is seldom safe, except in those instances where the re- 
peated word appears to have been caught by the compositor's 
eye glancing on the line above, or below, or where a word is 
printed twice in the same line. Malone. 

8 Than xve bring men to comfort them:'] It does not clearly 
appear whether the king and these lords thought the ship lost. 
This passage seems to imply, that they were themselves confident 
of returning, but imagined part of the fleet destroyed. Why, 
indeed, should Sebastian plot against his brother in the following 
scene, unless he knew how to find the kingdom which he was 
to inherit? Johnson. 

64 TEMPEST. act it. 

Seb. Foul weather? 

Ant. Very foul. 

Gon. Had I plantation of this isle, my lord, — 

Ant. He'd sow it with nettle-seed. 

Seb. Or docks, or mallows. 

Gon. And were the king of it, What would I do? 

Seb. 'Scape being drunk, for want of wine. 

Gon. I' the commonwealth I would by con- 
Execute all things : for no kind of traffick 
Would I admit ; no name of magistrate ; 9 

-for no kind of traffick 

Would I admit; no name of magistrate; <$r.] Our author 
has here closely followed a passage in Montaigne's Essaies, 
translated by John Florio, folio, 1003: " It is a nation (would 
I answer Plato) that hath no kind of traffcke, no knowledge of 
letters, no intelligence of numbers, no name of magistrate, nor 
of politic superioritie ; no use of service, of riches, or of povertie, 
no contracts, no successions, no~partitions, no occupation, but 
idle; no respect of kindred but common ; no apparel but natural; 
no use of xvine, come, or metal. The very words that import 
lying, falshood, treason, dissimulations, covetousness, envie, de- 
traction and pardon, were never heard amongst them." — This 
passage was pointed out by Mr. Capell, who knew so little of 
his author as to suppose that Shakspeare had the original French 
before him, though he has almost literally followed Florio's 

Montaigne is here speaking of a newly discovered country, 
which he calls " Antartick France." In the page preceding 
that already quoted, are these words : " The other testimonie of 
antiquitie to which some will refer the discoverie is in Aristotle 
(if at least that little book of unheard-of wonders be his) where 
he reporteth that certain Carthaginians having sailed athwart the 
Atlanticke sea, without the strait of Gibraltar, discovered a great 
fertil Island, all replenished with goodly woods, and deepe 
rivers, farre distant from any land." 

Whoever shall take the trouble to turn to the old translation 
here quoted, will, I think, be of opinion, that in whatsoever 

sc. I. TEMPEST. 65 

Letters should not be known ; no use of service, 
Of riches or of poverty; no contracts, 
Successions; bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none: l 

novel our author might have found the fable of The Tempest, he 
was led by the perusal of this book to make the scene of it an 
unfrequented island. The title of the chapter, which is — " Of 
the Canniballes," — evidently furnished him with the name of one 
of his characters. In his time almost every proper name was 
twisted into an anagram. Thus, " / moyl in law," was the 
anagram of the laborious William Noy, Attorney General to 
Charles I. By inverting this process, and transposing the letters 
of the word Canibal, Shakspeare (as Dr. Farmer long since 
observed) formed the name of Caliban. Malone. 

1 Letters should not be knoivn; no use of service, 
Of riches or of poverty ; no contracts, 

Successions; bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none:'] The 
words already quoted from Florio's Translation (as Dr. Farmer 
observes to me) instruct us to regulate our author's metre as it 
is now exhibited in the text. 

Probably Shakspeare first wrote (in the room of partition, 
which did not suit the structure of his verse) bourn; but recol- 
lecting that one of its significations was a rivulet, and that his 
island would have fared ill without fresh water, he changed 
bourn to bound of land, a. phrase that could not be misunderstood. 
At the same time he might have forgot to strike out bourn, his 
original word, which is now rejected ; for if not used for a brook, 
it would have exactly the same meaning as bound of land. There 
is therefore no need of the dissyllabical assistance recommended 
in the following note. Steevens. 

And use of service, none; contract, succession, 
Bourn, boiind of land, tilth, vineyard, none."] The defective 
metre of the second of these lines affords a ground for believing 
that some word was omitted at the press. Many of the defects 
however in our author's metre have arisen from the words of one 
line being transferred to another. In the present instance the 
preceding line is redundant. Perhaps the words here, as in 
many other passages, have been shuffled out of their places. 
We might read — 

And use of service, none; succession, 
Contract, bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none. 
— succession being often used by Shakspeare as a quadrisyllable. 
It must however be owned, that in the passage in Montaigne's 

66 TEMPEST, act if. 

No use of metal, com, or wine, or oil: 
No occupation; all men idle, all; 
And women too; but innocent and pure: 
No sovereignty: — 

Seb. And yet he would be king on't. 

Ant. The latter end of his commonwealth for- 
gets the beginning. 2 

Gon. All things in common nature should pro- 
Without sweat or endeavour: treason, felony, 
Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine, 3 
Would I not have; but nature should bring forth, 
Of its own kind, all foizon, 4 all abundance, 
To feed my innocent people. 

Essays the words contract and succession are arranged in the 
same manner as in the first folio. 

If the error did not happen in this way, bourn might have 
been used as a dissyllable, and the word omitted at the press 
might have been none : 

contract, succession, 

None; bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none. 


* The latter end of his commonwealth forgets the beginning,'] 
All this dialogue is a fine satire on the Utopian treatises of 
government, and the impracticable inconsistent schemes therein 
recommended. Warburton. 

3 any engine,] An engine is the rack. So, in K. Lear: 

" like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature 

" From the fix'd place." 

It may, however, be used here in its common signification of 
instrument of war, or military machine. Steevens. 

* all foizon,] Foison, or foizon, signifies plenty, ubertas; 

not moisture, or juice of grass, as Mr. Pope says. Edwards. 

So, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. XIII. ch. 78: 
" Union, in breese, isfoysonous, and discorde works decay.'* 

Mr. Pope, however, is not entirely mistaken, as foison, oxjizon, 
sometimes bears the meaning which he has affixed to it. See 
Ray's Collection of South and East Country words. Steevens. 

ac. i. TEMPEST. C7 

Seb. No marrying 'mong his subjects? 

Axt. None, man ; all idle ; whores, and knaves. 

Gox. I would with such perfection govern, sir, 
To excel the golden age. 5 

Seb. 'Save his majesty! 

Axt. Long live Gonzalo! 

Gox. And, do you mark me, sir?— 

Alox. Pr'ythee, no more: thou dost talk no- 
thing to me. 

Gox. I do well believe your highness; and did 
it to minister occasion to these gentlemen, who are 
of such sensible and nimble lungs, that they always 
use to laugh at nothing. 

Axt. 'Twas you we laugh'd at. 

Gox. Who, in this kind of merry fooling, am 
nothing to you: so you may continue, and laugh 
at nothing still. 

Axt. What a blow was there given? 

Seb. An it had not fallen flat-long. 

nature should bring forth, 

Of its own kind, allfoizon, all abundance, 

To feed my innocent people.] " And if notwithstanding, in 
divers fruits of those countries that were never tilled, we shall 
find that in respect of our's they are most excellent, and as delicate 
unto our taste, there is no reason Art should gain the point of 
our great and puissant mother, Nature." Montaigne's Essaies, 
ubi sup. Malone. 

s I would ivith such perfection govern, sir, 
To excel the golden age.] So Montaigne, ubi supra: " Me 
seemeth that what in those [newly discovered] nations we see by 
experience, doth not only exceed all the pictures wherewith 
licentious poe sic hath proudly imbelli-hed the golden age, and 
all her quaint inventions to fain a happy condition of man, but 
also the conception and desire of philosophy." Malone. 

F 2 

68 TEMPEST. act n. 

Gon. You are gentlemen of brave mettle; 6 you 
would lift the moon out of her sphere, if she would 
continue in it five weeks without changing. 

Enter Ariel invisible, playing solemn musick. 1 

Seb. We would so, and then go a bat-fowling. 

Ant. Nay, good my lord, be not angry. 

Gon. No, I warrant you; I will not adventure 
my discretion so weakly. Will you laugh me asleep, 
for I am very heavy? 

Ant. Go sleep, and hear us. 

\_All sleep but Alon. See. and Ant. 

Alon. What, all so soon asleep! I wish mine 

Would, with themselves, shut up my thoughts : I 

They are inclin'd to do so. 

Seb. Please you, sir, 

Do not omit the heavy offer of it: 
It seldom visits sorrow; when it doth, 
It is a comforter. 

Ant. We two, my lord, 

Will guard your person, while you take your rest, 
And watch your safety. 

6 of brave mettle ;] The old copy has — metal. The two 

words are frequently confounded in the first folio. The epithet, 
brave, shews clearly, that the word now placed in the text was 
intended by our author. Malone. 

7 Enter Ariel, 8$c. playing solemn music.'] This stage-direction 
does not mean to tell us that Ariel himself was the Jidicen; but 
that solemn music attended his appearance, was an accompani- 
ment to his entry. Steevens. 

sc. I. TEMPEST. 69 

Alon. Thank you: Wond'rous heavy. — 

[Alonso sleeps. Edit Ariel. 

Seb. What a strange drowsiness possesses them ? 

Ant. It is the quality o* the climate. 

Seb. Why 

Doth it not then our eye-lids sink? I find not 
Myself dispos'd to sleep. 

Ant. Nor I; my spirits are nimble. 

They fell together all, as by consent; 
They dropp'd, as by a thunder-stroke. What 

Worthy Sebastian ? — O, what might? — No more : — 
And yet, methinks, I see it in thy face, 
What thou should'st be: the occasion speaks thee; 

My strong imagination sees a crown 
Dropping upon thy head. 

Seb. What, art thou waking? 

Ant. Do you not hear me speak? 

Seb. I do; and, surely, 

It is a sleepy language; and thou speak'st 
Out of thy sleep: What is it thou didst say? 
This is a strange repose, to be asleep 
With eyes wide open ; standing, speaking, moving, 
And yet so fast asleep. 

Ant. Noble Sebastian, 

Thou let'st thy fortune sleep — die rather; wink'st 
Whiles thou art waking. 

Seb. Thou dost snore distinctly; 

There's meaning in thy snores. 

Ant. I am more serious than my custom: you 
Must be so too, if heed me ; which to do, 

70 TEMPEST. act iu 

Trebles thee o'er. 8 

Seb. Well ; I am standing water. 

Ant. I'll teach you how to flow. 

Seb. Do so: to ebb, 

Hereditary sloth instructs me. 

Ant. O, 

If you but knew, how you the purpose cherish, 
Whiles thus you mock it! how, in stripping it, 
You more invest it! 9 Ebbing men, indeed, 

* / am more serious than my custom : you 
Must be so too, if heed me; which to do, 
Trebles thee o'er.] This passage is represented to me as an 
obscure one. The meaning of it seems to be — You must put on 
more than your usual seriousness, if you are disposed to pay a 
proper attention to my proposal ; which attention if you bestow, 
it will in the end make you thrice what you are. Sebastian is 
already brother to the throne; but, being made a king by 
Antonio's contrivance, would be (according to our author's idea 
of greatness ) thrice the man he was before. In this sense he 
would be trebled o'er. So, in Pericles, WOQ: 

" the master calls, 

" And trebles the confusion." 
Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, 1634: 

" thirds his own worth." Steevens. 

Again, in the Merchant of Venice: 

" Yet, for you, 

" I would be trebled twenty times myself." Malone. 

9 If you but knew, how you the purpose cherish, 
Whiles thus you mock it ! how, in stripping it, 
You more invest it!'] A judicious critic in The Edinburgh Ma- 
gazine for Nov. 1/8(5, offers the following illustration of this 
obscure passage. " Sebastian introduces the simile of water. It 
is taken up by Antonio, who says he will teach his stagnant water 
to flow. ' — It has already learned to ebb,' says Sebastian. To 
which Antonio replies, * if you but knew how much even that 
metaphor, which you use in jest, encourages to the design which 
I hint at ; how in stripping the words of their common meaning, 
and using them figuratively, you adapt them to your own 
situation .'" Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 71 

Most often do so near the bottom run, 
By their own fear, or sloth. 

Seb. Pr'ythee, say on: 

The setting of thine eye, and cheek, proclaim 
A matter from thee; and a birth, indeed, 
Which throes thee much to yield. 

Ant. Thus, sir: - 

Although this lord of weak remembrance, 1 this 
(Who shall be of as little memory, 
When he is earth'd,) hath here almost persuaded 
(For he's a spirit of persuasion only,) 
The king, his son's alive; 'tis as impossible 
That he's undrown'd, as he that sleeps here, swims. 5 

1 this lord of weak remembrance,] This lord, who, being 

now in his dotage, has outlived his faculty of remembering ; and 
who, once laid in the ground, shall be as little remembered him- 
self, as he can now remember other things. John&on. 

* hath here almost persuaded, 

(For he's a spirit of persuasion, only 
Professes to persuade) the king, his so?i's alive; 
*Tis as impossible that he's undroivn'd, 
As he, that sleeps here, swims.~\ Of this entangled sentence I 
can draw no sense from the present reading, and therefore imagine 
that the author gave it thus: 

For he, a spirit of persuasion, only 
Professes to persuade the king, his son's alive; 
Of which the meaning may be either, that he alone, who is a 
spirit of persuasion, professes to persuade the king; or that, He 
only professes to persuade, that is, without being so persuaded 
himself, he makes a show of persuading the king. Johnson. 

The meaning may be — He is a mere rhetorician, one who 
professes the art of persuasion, and nothing else ; i. e. he pro- 
fesses to persuade another to believe that of which he himself is 
not convinced; he is content to be plausible, and has no further 
aim. So, (as Mr. Malone observes,) in Troilus and Cressida : 
u — why he'll answer nobody, he professes not answering." 


The obscurity of this passage arises from a misconception of the 
word he's, which is not an abbreviation of he is, but of he has; 

72 TEMPEST. act n. 

Seb. I have no hope 
That lie's undrown'd. 

Ant. O, out of that no hope, 

anil partly from the omission of the pronoun who, before the word 
professes, by a common poetical ellipsis. Supply that deficiency, 
and the sentence will run thus: — 

" Although this lord of weak remembrance 

" hath here almost persuaded 

" For he has a spirit of persuasion, who, only 
" Professes to persuade, the king his son's alive;" — 
And the meaning is clearly this. — This old lord, though a mere 
dotard, has almost persuaded the king that his son is alive; for 
he is so willing to believe it, that any man who undertakes to 
persuade him of it, has the powers of persuasion, and succeeds 
in the attempt. 

We find a similar expression in The First Part of Henry IV. 
When Poins undertakes to engage the Prince to make one of 
the party to Gads-hill, Falstaff says : 

" Well! may'st thou have the spirit of persuasion, and he the 
ears of profiting ! that what thou speakest may move, and what 
he hears may be believed!" M. Mason. 

The light Mr. M. Mason's conjecture has thrown on this pass- 
age, I think, enables me to discover and remedy the defect in it. 

I cannot help regarding the words — "professes to persuade''' — ■ 
as a mere gloss or paraphrase on " — he has a spirit of persua- 
sion." This explanatory sentence, being written in the margin 
of an actor's part, or playhouse copy, was afterwards injudiciously 
incorporated with our author's text. Read the passage (as it 
now stands in the text) without these words, and nothing is 
wanting to its sense or metre. 

On the contrary, the insertion of the words I have excluded, 
by lengthening the parenthesis, obscures the meaning of the 
speaker, and, at the same time, produces redundancy of measure. 

Irregularity of metre ought always to excite suspicions of omis- 
sion or interpolation. Where somewhat has been omitted, through 
chance or design, a line is occasionally formed by the junction of 
hemistichs previously unfitted to each other. Such a line will 
naturally exceed the established proportion of feet; and when 
marginal observations are crept into the text, they will have just 
such aukward effects as I conceive to have been produced by one 
of them in the present instance. 

" Perhaps ( says that excellent scholar and perspicacious critic 
Mr. Porson, in his 6th Letter to Archdeacon Travis) you think 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 73 

What great hope have you ! no hope, that way, is 
Another way so high an hope, that even 
Ambition cannot pierce a wink beyond, 3 
But doubts discovery there. Will you grant, with 

That Ferdinand is drown'd? 

Seb. He's gone. 

Ant. Then, tell me, 

Who's the next heir of Naples? 

Seb. Claribel. 

Ant. She that is queen of Tunis; she that dwells 
Ten leagues beyond man's life; 4 she that from 

Can have no note, 5 unless the sun were post, 

it an affected and absurd idea that a marginal note can ever creep 
into the text: yet I hope you are not so ignorant as not to know- 
that this has actually happened, not merely in hundreds or thou- 
sands, but in millions of places," &c. &c. — 

" From this known propensity of transcribers to turn every 

thing into the text which they found written in the margin of 

their MSS. or between the lines, so many interpolations have 

proceeded, that at present the surest canon of criticism is, Prce- 

feratur lectio brevior^ P. 14 9, 150. 

Though I once expressed a different opinion, I am now well 
convinced that the metre of Shakspeare's plays had originally no 
other irregularity than was occasioned by an accidental use of 
hemistichs. When we find the smoothest series of lines among 
our earliest dramatic writers (who could fairly boast of no other 
requisites for poetry ) are we to expect less polished versification 
from Shakspeare? Steevens. 

J a ivink beyond,] That this is the utmost extent of the 

prospect of ambition, the point where the eye can pass no farther, 
and where objects lose their distinctness, so that what is there dis- 
covered is faint, obscure, and doubtful. Johnson. 

4 bei/ond man's life;'] i.e. at a greater distance than the 

life of man is long enough to reach. Steevens. 

6 she that from Naples 

Can have no note, #c.] Nate (as Mr. Malone observes) is 
notice, or inj'ormation. 

74 TEMPEST. act n. 

(The man i* the moon's too slow,) till new-born 

Be rough and razorable: she, from whom 6 
We were all sea-swallow'd, though some cast again; 7 
And, by that, destin'd 8 to perform an act, 
Whereof what's past is prologue; what to come, 
In yours and my discharge. 9 

Seb. What stuff is this?— How say you? 

'Tis true, my brother's daughter's queen of Tunis; 
So is she heir of Naples ; 'twixt which regions 
There is some space. 

Ant. A space whose every cubit 

Seems to cry out, How shall that Claribel 
Measure us back to Naples? — Keep in Tunis, 1 

Shakspeare's great ignorance of geography is not more conspi- 
cuous in any instance than in this, where he supposes Tunis and 
Naples to have been at such an immeasurable distance from each 
other. He may, however, be countenanced by Apollonius Rho- 
dius, who says, that both the Rhone and Po meet in one, and 
discharge themselves into the gulph of Venice; and by JEschylus, 
who has placed the river Eridanus in Spain. Steevens. 

6 — she, from whom — ] i. e. in coming from whom. The 
old copy has — she that from, &c. which cannot be right. The 
compositor's eye probably glanced on a preceding line, " she that 
from Naples — ." The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. 


7 though some cast again;] Cast is here used in the 

same sense as in Macbeth, Act. II. sc. iii: " — though he took my 
legs from me, I made a shift to cast him." Steevens. 

8 And, by that, destin'd — ] It is a common plea of wicked- 
ness to call temptation destiny. Johnson. 

The late Dr. Musgrave very reasonably proposed to substitute 
— destinW for— destiny. As the construction of the passage is 
made easier by this slight change, I have adopted it. Steevens. 

9 In yours and my discharge.'] i, e. depends on what you and 
I are to perform. Steevens. 

1 keep in Tunis,"] There is in this passage a propriety 

lost, which a slight alteration will restore: 

sc. I. TEMPEST. V5 

And let Sebastian wake ! — Say, this were death 
That now hath seiz'd them; why, they were no 

Than now they are : There be, that can rule Naples, 
As well as he that sleeps; lords, that can prate 
As amply, and unnecessarily, 
As this Gonzalo; I myself could make 
A chough 2 of as deep chat. O, that you bore 
The mind that I do! what a sleep were this 
For your advancement! Do you understand me? 

Seb. Methinks, I do. 

Ant. And how does your content 

Tender your own good fortune? 

Seb. I remember, 

You did supplant your brother Prospero. 

AbT. True: 

And, look, how well my garments sit upon me; 
Much feater than before : My brother's servants 
Were then my fellows, now they are my men. 

Seb. But, for your conscience — 

Ant. Ay, sir; where lies that? if it were a kybe, 
'Twould put me to my slipper; But I feel not 
This deity in my bosom : twenty consciences, 
That stand 'twixt me and Milan, candied be they, 

Sleep in TuniSy 

" And let Sebastian wake.'" Johnson - . 

The old reading is sufficiently explicable. Claribel (says he) 
keep where thou art, and allow Sebastian time to awaken those 
senses by the help nf which he mat/ perceive the advantage which 
now presents itself. Steevens. 

* A chough — ] Is a bird of the jack-daw kind. So, in Mac- 
beth, Act III. sc. iv: 

" By raagot-pies, and choughs, and rooks," &c. 


76 TEMPEST. act n. 

And melt, ere they molest! 3 Here lies your brother, 

No better than the earth he lies upon, 4 

If he were that which now he's like; whom I, 

With this obedient steel, three inches of it, 

Can lay to bed for ever: 5 whiles you, doing thus, 

To the perpetual wink for aye 6 might put 

3 And melt, ere they molest /] I had rather read — 

Would melt, ere they molest. 
i. e. Twenty consciences, such as stand between me and my hopes, 
though they were congealed, would melt before they could molest me, 
or prevent the execution of my purposes. Johnson. 

Let twenty consciences be first congealed, and then dissolved, 
ere they molest me, or prevent me from executing my purposes. 


If the interpretation of Johnson and Malone is just, and is cer- 
tainly as intelligible as or; but I can see no reasonable meaning in 
this interpretation. It amounts to nothing more as thus inter- 
preted, than My conscience must melt and become softer than it is 
before it molests me; which is an insipidity unworthy of the Poet. 
I would read " Candy'd be they, or melt;" and the expression 
then has spirit and propriety. Had I twenty consciences, says 
Antonio, they might be hot or cold for me ; they should not give 
me the smallest trouble. — Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1 yiQ. 


4 No better than the earth he lies upon,'] So, in Julius Ccesar: 

" at Pompey's basis lies along, 

" No worthier than the dust.'* Steevens. 

4 If he were that which now he's like; whom I, 
With this obedient steel, three inches of it, 
Can lay to bed &c] The old copy reads — 

" If he were that which now he's like, that's dead; 
" Whom I with this obedient steel, three inches of it, 
" Can lay to bed," &c. 
The words — " that's dead" (as Dr. Farmer observes to me) are 
evidently a gloss, or marginal note, which had found its way into 
the text. Such a supplement is useless to the speaker's meaning, 
and one of the verses becomes redundant by its insertion. 


? for aye — ] i. e. for ever. So, in K. Lear: 

" I am come 

" To bid my king and master aye good night." Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 77 

This ancient morsel, 7 this sir Prudence, who 
Should not upbraid our course. For all the rest, 
They'll take suggestion, as a cat laps milk; 8 
They'll tell the clock to any business that 
We say befits the hour. 

Seb. Thy case, dear friend, 

Shall be my precedent; as thou got'st Milan, 
I'll come by Naples. Draw thy sword : one stroke 
Shall free thee from the tribute which thou pay'st; 
And I the king shall love thee. 

Ant. Draw together: 

And when I rear my hand, do you the like, 
To fall it on Gonzalo. 

Seb. O, but one word. 

\_They converse apart. 

7 This ancient morsel,] For morsel, Dr. Warburton reads — 
ancient moral, very elegantly and judiciously; yet I know not 
whether the author might not write morsel, as we say a piece of 
a man. Johnson. 

So, in Measure for Measure: 

" How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress?" Steevens. 

8 take suggestion,] i. e. Receive any hint of villainy. 


So, in Macbeth, Act I. sc. iii: 

" If good, why do I yield to that suggestion 
" Whose horrid image," &c. Steevens. 

They'll take suggestion, as a cat laps milk;~] That is, will 
adopt, and bear witness to, any tale you shall invent; you may 
suborn them as evidences to clear you from all suspicion of having 
murthered the king. A similar signification occurs in The Tivo 
Gentlemen of Verona: 

" Love bad me swear, and love bids me forswear: 

" O sweet suggesting love, if thou hast sinn'd, 

" Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it." Henley. 

73 TEMPEST. act n. 

Mustek. Re-enter Ariel, invisible. 

Ari. My master through his art foresees the 
That these, his friends, are in; and sends me forth, 
(For else his project dies,) to keep them living. 9 

\_Sings in Gonzalo's ear. 

9 to keep them living.'] By them, as the text now stands, 

Gonzalo and Alonso must be understood. Dr. Johnson objects 
very justly to this passage. " As it stands, says he, at present, 
the sense is this. He sees your danger, and will therefore save 
them.'" He therefore would read — " That these his friends are in." 
The confusion has, I think, arisen from the omission of a single 
letter. Our author, I believe, wrote — 

" and sends me forth, 

" For else his projects dies, to keep them living." 
i. e. he has sent me forth, to keep his projects alive, which else 
wouhl be destroyed by the murder of his friend Gonzalo. — The 
opposition between the life and death of a project appears to me 
much in Shakspeare's manner. So, in Much Ado about Nothing: 
" What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?" — The 
plural noun joined to a verb in the singular number, is to be met 
with in almost every page of the first folio. So, to confine my- 
self to the play before us, edit. 1 623 : 

" My old bones akes." 
Again, ibid: 

" At this hour 

" Lies at my mercy all my enemies.^ 
Again, ibid: 

" His tears runs down his beard — ." 

Again : 

" What cares these roarers for the name of king." 
It was the common language of the time ; and ought to be cor- 
rected, as indeed it generally has been in the modern editions of 
our author, by changing the number of the verb. Thus, in the 
present instance we should read — Eer else his projects die, &c. 


I have received Dr. Johnson's amendment. Ariel, finding that 
Prospero was equally solicitous for the preservation of Alonso and 
Gonzalo, very naturally styles them both his friends, without ad- 
verting to the guilt of the former. Toward the success of Pros- 
pero's design, their lives were alike necessary. 

8c. t. TEMPEST. 79 

While you here do snoring lie, 
Open-ey'd conspiracy 

His time doth take: 
If of life you keep a ca?-e 9 
Shake off slumber, and beware: 

Awake I Awake ! 

Axt. Then let us both be sudden. 

Gox. Now, good angels, preserve the king! 

[They wake. 
Alox. Why, how now, ho! awake! Why are 
you drawn ? x 
Wherefore this ghastly looking ? 

Gox. What's the matter? 

Seb. Whiles we stood here securing your repose, 
Even now, we heard a hollow burst of bellowing 
Like bulls, or rather lions; did it not wake you? 
It struck mine ear most terribly. 

Alox. I heard nothing. 

Axt. O, 'twas a din to fright a monster's ear; 
To make an earthquake ! sure it was the roar 
Of a whole herd of lions. 

Alox. Heard you this, Gonzalo? 

Mr. Henley says that " By them are meant Sebastian and 
Antonio. The project of* Prospero, which depended upon Ariel's 
keeping them alive, may be seen, Act III." 

The Bong of Ariel, however, sufficiently points out which were 
the immediate objects of his protection. He cannot be supposed 
to have any reference to what happens in the last scene of the 
next Act. Steevens. 

— drawn?] Having your swords drawn. So, in Romeo 

and Juliet . 

" What, art thou dravrn among these heartless hinds?" 


80 TEMPEST. act n. 

Gox. Upon mine honour, sir, I heard a humming, 
And that a strange one too, which did awake me: 
I shak'd you, sir, and cry'd; as mine eyes open'd, 
I saw their weapons drawn: — there was a noise, 
That's verity: 'Best stand upon our guard; 2 
Or that we quit this place : let's draw our weapons. 

Alon. Lead off this ground; and let's make 
further search 
For my poor son. 

Gon. Heavens keep him from these beasts ! 

For he is, sure, i' the island. 

Alon. Lead away. 

Am. Prosper o my lord shall know what I have 

done : \_Aside. 

So, king, go safely on to seek thy son. \_Exeunt. 

2 That's verity: 'Best stand upon our guard;'] The old copy 
reads — 

" That's verily: 'Tis best tve stand upon our guard.'* 
Mr. Pope very properly changed verily to verity: and as the verse 
would be too long by a foot, if the words 'tis and we were re- 
tained, I have discarded them in favour of an elliptical phrase 
which occurs in our ancient comedies, as well as in our author's 
Cymbeline, Act III. sc. iii: 

" 'Best draw my sword;" 
i. e. it were best to draw it. Steevens. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 81 


Another part of the Island. 

Enter Caliban, uith a burden of wood. 

A noise of thunder heard. 

Cal. All the infections that the sun sucks up 
From bogs, fens, flats, on Prosper fall, and make 

By inch-meal a disease! His spirits hear me, 
And yet I needs must curse. But they'll nor pinch, 
Fright me with urchin shows, pitch me i' the mire, 
Nor lead me, like a fire-brand, in the dark 
Out of my way, unless he bid them; but 
For every trifle are they set upon me: 
Sometime like apes, that moe 3 and chatter at me, 
And after, bite me; then like hedge-hogs, which 
Lie tumbling in my bare-foot way, and mount 
Their pricks' at my foot-fall; sometime am I 
All wound with adders, 5 who, with cloven tongues, 
Do hiss me into madness: — Lo! now! lo! 

3 that moe Sfc."] i. e. make mouths. So, in the old version 

of the Psalms; 

" making moes at me." 

Again, in the Mystery of Candlemas-Day, 1512: 

" And make them to lye and mowe like an ape." 
Again, ii> Sidney's Arcadia, Book III: 

" Ape great thing gave, though he did mowing stand, 

" The instrument of instruments, the hand." Steevens. 

So, in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 155)3: " — found 
nohody at home hut an ape, that sate in the porch and made mops 
and mows at him." Malone. 

4 Th eir pricks — ] i. e. prickles. Steevens. 

\ wound with adders,'] Enwrapped by adders ivound or 

twisted about me. Johnson. 


82 TEMPEST. act ii, 

Enter Trinculo. 

Here comes a spirit of his; and to torment me, 
For bringing wood in slowly: I'll fall flat; 
Perchance, he will not mind me. 

Trin. Here's neither bush nor shrub, to bear off 
any weather at all, and another storm brewing; I 
hear it sing i' the wind: yond' same black cloud, 
yond' huge one, looks like a foul bumbard 6 that 
would shed his liquor. If it should thunder, as it 
did before, I know not where to hide my head: 
yond' same cloud cannot choose but fall by pail- 
fuls. — What have we here? a man or a fish? Dead 
or alive? A fish: he smells like a fish; a very 
ancient and fish-like smell; a kind of, not of the 

6 holes like afoul bumbard — ] This term again occurs in 

The First Part of Henry IV: " — that swoln parcel of dropsies, 
that huge bumbard of sack — " And again, in Henry VIII. 
" And here you lie baiting of bombards, when ye should do 
service." By these several passages, 'tis plain, the word meant 
a large vessel for holding drink, as well as the piece of ordnance 
so called. Theobald. 

Ben Jonson, in his Masque if Augurs, confirms the conjecture 
of Theobald: " The poor cattle yonder are passing away the 
time with a cheat loaf, and a bumbard of broken beer." 

So, again in The Martyr *d Soldier, by Shirley, 1(538: 
" His boots as wide as the black-jacks, 
" Or bumbards, toss'd by the king's guards." 
And it appears from a passage in Ben Jonson's Masque of Love 
Restored, that a bombard-man was one who carried about pro- 
visions. " I am to deliver into the buttery so many firkins of 
aurum potabile, as it delivers out bombards of bouge," &c. 

Again, in Decker's Match me in London, 1(531: 

" You are ascended up to what you are, from the black-jack 
to the bumbard distillation." Steevens. 

Mr. Upton would read — a. full bumbard. See a note on — 
" I thank the Gods, I am fouls" As you likeit t Act III. sc. iii. 


sc. ii. TEMPEST. 83 

newest, Poor-John. A strange fish! Were I in 
England now, (as once I was,) and had but this fish 
painted, 7 not a holiday fool there but would give a 
piece of silver: there would this monster make a 
man ; 8 any strange beast there makes a man : when 
they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, 
they will lay out ten to see a dead Indian. 9 Legg'd 

7 this fish painted,'] To exhibit fishes, either real or 

imaginary, was very common about the time of our author. 
So, in Jasper Maine's comedy of the City Match : 

" Enter Bright, &c. hanging out the picture of a strangefish." 

" This is the fifth Jish now 

" That he hath shewn thus." 

It appears from the books at Stationers' Hall, that in 1604 was 
published, " A strange reporte of a monstrous fish, that appeared 
in the form of a woman from her waist upward, seene in the sea." 

So likewise, in Churchyard's Prayse and Reporte of Maister 
Martyne Forboisher's Voyage to Meta Incognita, &c. bl. 1. 12mo. 
15/8: " And marchyng backe, they found a straunge Fish dead, 
that had been caste from the sea on the shore, who had a 
boane in his head like an Unicorne, which they brought awaye 
and presented to our Prince, when thei came home." 


8 make a man ;] That is, make a man's fortune. So, 

in A Midsummer Night's Dream: " — we are all made men.'" 


Again, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, l6ll: 

" She's a wench 

" Was born to make us all." Steevens. 

9 a dead Indian.] In a subsequent speech of Stephano, 

we have: " — savages and men oflnde;" in Love's Labour's Lost, 
" — a rude and savage man of Inde ;" and in K. Henry VIII. 
the porter asks the mob, if they think " some strange Indian, Ike. 
a come to court." Perhaps all these passages allude to the Indians 
brought home by Sir Martin Frobisher. 

Queen Elizabeth's original instructions to him (MS. now be- 
fore me) " concerning his voyage to Cathaia," &c. contain the 
following article: 

" You shall not bring aboue iii or iiii persons of that countrey, 
the which shall be of diuers ages, and shall be taken in such sort 
as you may best avoyde offence of that people." 

In the year 15/7, " A description of the portrayturc and shape 


84 TEMPEST. act ii. 

like a man! and his fins like arms! Warm, o* my 
troth! I do now let loose my opinion, 1 hold it no 
longer; this is no fish, but an islander, that hath 
lately suffered by a thunder-bolt. \_Thunder.~] Alas! 
the storm is come again : my best way is to creep 
under his gaberdine; 2 there is no other shelter 
hereabout: Misery acquaints a man with strange 
bedfellows. 3 I will here shroud, till the dregs of 
the storm be past. 

of those strange kinde of people which the wurthie Mr. Martin 
Fourbosier brought into England in A°. 15/6," was entered on 
the books of the Stationers' Company. 

By Frobisher's First Voyage for the Discoverie qfCataya, bl. 1. 
4to. 15/8, the fate of the first savage taken by him is ascer- 
tained. — " "Whereupon when he founde himself in captiuitie, for 
very choler and disdain he bit his tong in twaine within his 
mouth: notwithstanding, he died not thereof, but lined untill he 
came in Englande, and then he died of colde which he had taken 
at sea." Steevens. 

1 let loose my opinion, &c] So, in Love's Labour's Lost: 

" — Now you will be my purgation, and let me loose." 


9 his gaberdine:] A gaberdine is properly the coarse frock 

or outward garment of a peasant. Spanish Gaberdina. So, in 
Look about you, 16*00: 

" I'll conjure his gaberdine.'' 
The gaberdine is still worn by the peasants in Sussex. 


(t here however means, I believe, a loose felt cloak. Minsheu 
in his Dict. l6l/, calls it " a rough Irish mantle, or horseman's 
coat. Gaban, Span, and Fr. — Laena, i. e. vestis quae super 
caetera vestimenta imponebatur." See also Cotgrave's Dict. in 
v. gaban, and galleverdine. Malone. 

3 a very ancient and fish like smell — misery acquaints a man 

with strange bedfellows.] One would almost think that Shak- 
speare had not been unacquainted with a passage in the fourth 
book of Homer's Odyssey, as translated by Chapman : 

" The sea-calves savour was 

" So passing sowre (they still being bred at seas,) 

" It much afflicted us : for who can please 

" To lie by one of these same sea-bred whales ?" 


sc. ii. TEMPEST. 85 

Enter Stephano, singing ; a bottle in his hand. 

Ste. / shall no more to sea, to sea, 

Here shall I dye a-shore ; — 

This is a very scurvy tune to sing at a man's funeral : 
Weil, here's my comfort. [Drinks. 

The master, the swabber, the boatsxvain, and I, 

The gunner, and his mate, 
Lov'd Mall, Meg, and Marian, and Margery* 

But none of us car' d for Kate: 

For she had a tongue with a tang, 

Would cry to a sailor, Go, hang: 
She lov'd not the savour of tar nor of pitch, 
Yet a tailor might scratch her where-e 'er she did itch : 

Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang. 

This is a scurvy tune too: But here's my comfort. 


Cal. Do not torment me: O! 

Ste. What's the matter? Have we devils here? 
Do you put tricks upon us with savages, 4 and men 
of Inde? Ha! I have not 'scap'd drowning, to be 
afeard now of your four legs; for it hath been said, 
As proper a man as ever went on four legs, cannot 
make him give ground: and it shall be said so 
again, while Stephano breathes at nostrils. 

Cal. The spirit torments me: O! 

Ste. This is some monster of the isle, with four 

4 savages,] The folio reads — sahage.^ and rightly. It was 

the spelling and pronunciation of the time. So, in Spenser's 
Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. 8, St. 35 : 

" There dwelt a salvage nation," &c. Reed. 

S6 TEMPEST. act n. 

legs; who hath got, as I take it, an ague: Where 
the devil should he learn our language ? I will give 
him some relief, if it be but for that: If I can re- 
cover him, and keep him tame, and get to Naples 
with him, he's a present for any emperor that ever 
trod on neat's-leather. 

Cal. Do not torment me, pr'ythee; 
I'll bring my wood home faster. 

- Ste. He's in his fit now; and does not talk after 
the wisest. He shall taste of my bottle: if he have 
never drunk wine afore, it will go near to remove 
his fit: 6 if I can recover him, and keep him tame, 
I will not take too much 6 for him : he shall pay for 
him that hath him, and that soundly. 

Cal. Thou dost me yet but little hurt ; thou wilt 
Anon, I know it by thy trembling: 7 
Now Prosper works upon thee. 

b if he have never drunk 'wine afore, it will go near to re- 
move his Jit:'] This is no impertinent hint to those who indulge 
themselves in a constant use of wine. When it is necessary for 
them as a medicine, it produces no effect. Steevens. 

6 too much — ] Too much means, any sum, ever so much. 

So, in the Letters from the Paston Family, Vol. II. p. 2\Q: 
" And ye be beholdyng unto my Lady for hyr good wurde, for 
sche hath never preysyd yowe to much." i. e. though she has 
praised you much, her praise is not above your merit. 

It has, however, been observed to me, that when the vulgar 
mean to ask an extravagant price for any thing, they say, with a 
laugh, I won't make him pay twice for it. This sense sufficiently 
accommodates itself to Trinculo's expression. Mr. M. Mason 
explains the passage differently. — " I will not take for him even 
more than he is worth." Steevens. 

I think the meaning is, Let me take what sum I will, however 
great, I shall not take too much for him ; it is impossible for me 
to sell him too dear. Malone. 

7 / know it by thy trembling :] This tremor is always re- 
presented as the effect of being possessed by the devil. So, in 
the Comedy of Errors, Act. IV. sc. iv : 

" Mark how he trembles in his extacy !" Steevens. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 87 

Ste. Come on your ways; open your mouth: 
here is that which will give language to you, cat; 8 
open your mouth: this will shake your shaking, I 
can tell you,and that soundly: you cannot tell who's 
your friend ; open your chaps again. 

Trix. I should know that voice: It should be — 
But he is drowned; and these are devils: O! de- 
fend me! — 

Ste. Four legs, and two voices; a most delicate 
monster! His forward voice 9 now is to speak well 
of his friend ; his backward voice is to utter foul 
speeches, and to detract. If all the wine in my 
bottle will recover him, I will help his ague : 

Come, Amen! 1 I will pour some in thy other 


Trin. Stephano, — 

Ste. Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy! 
mercy! This is a devil, and no monster: I will leave 
him; I have no long spoon. 2 

Trin. Stephano ! — if thou beest Stephano, touch 
me, and speak to me; for I am Trinculo; — be not 
afeard, — thy good friend Trinculo. 

cat ;] Alluding to an old proverb, that good liquor ivill 

make a cat speak. Steevens. 

9 His forward voice &c] The person of Fame was anciently 
described in this manner. So, in Penelope's Web, by Greene, 
1601 : " Fame hath two faces, readie as well to back-bite as to 
flatter." Steevens. 

Amen /] Means, stop your draught : come to a con- 

clusion. / will pour some, &c. Steevens. 

2 / have no lung spoon.'] Alluding to the proverb, A long spoon 
to eat xuith the devil. Steevens. 

See Comedy of Errors, Act IV. sc. iii. and Chaucer's Squiers 
Tale, 10,916 of the late edit. 

" Therefore beho^eth him a full long spoone, 
" That shall etc with a fend." Tyrwhitt. 

S8 TEMPEST. act ii. 

Ste. If thou beest Trinculo, come forth; I'll 
pull thee by the lesser legs: if any be Trinculo' s 
legs, these are they. Thou art very Trinculo, in- 
deed: How cam'st thou to be the siege of this 
moon-calf? 3 Can he vent Trinculos? 

Trin. I took him to be killed with a thunder- 
stroke: — But art thou not drowned, Stephano? I 
hope now, thou art not drowned. Is the storm over- 
blown? I hid me under the dead moon-calf's ga- 
berdine, for fear of the storm : And art thou living, 
Stephano? O Stephano, two Neapolitans 'scap'd! 

Ste. Pr'ythee, do not turn me about; my sto- 
mach is not constant. 

Cal. These be tine things, an if they be not 
That's a brave god, and bears celestial liquor: 
I will kneel to him. 

Ste. How did'st thou 'scape? How cam'st thou 
hither? swear by this bottle, how thou cam'st hi- 
ther. I escaped upon a butt of sack, which the 
sailors heaved over-board, by this bottle! which I 
made of the bark of a tree, with mine own hands, 
since I was cast a-shore. 

Cal. I'll swear, upon that bottle, to be thy 
True subject; for the liquor is not earthly. 

3 — to be the siege of this moon-calf?] Siege signifies stool 

in every sense of the word, and is here used in the dirtiest. 

So, in Holinshed, p. 705 : " In this yeare also, a house on 
London Bridge, called the common siege, or privie, fell downe 
into the Thames." 

A moon-calf is an inanimate shapeless mass, supposed by Pliny 
to be engendered of woman only. See his Nat. Hist. B. X. ch. 64. 

Again, in Philemon Holland's Translation of Book XXX. 

ch. 14. edit. 1601 : " there is not a better thing to dissolve 

and scatter moon-calves, and such like false conceptions in the 
wombe." Steevens. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 89 

Ste. Here; swear then how thou escap'dst. 4 

Trix. Swam a-shore, man, like a duck; I can 
swim 5 like a duck, I'll be sworn. 

Ste. Here, kiss the book: Though thou canst 
swim like a duck, thou art made like a goose. 

Trix. O Stephano, hast any more of this? 

Ste. The whole butt, man; my cellar is in a 
rock by the sea-side, where my wine is hid. How 
now, moon-calf? how does thine ague? 

Cal. Hast thou not dropped from heaven? 6 

Ste. Out o* the moon, I do assure thee: I was 
the man in the moon, when time was. 

Cal. I have seen thee in her, and I do adore 

* Cal. Fll stvear, upon that bottle, to be thy 
True subject ; &C. 
Ste. Here ; sivear then hotv thou escap'dst.'] The passage 
should probably be printed thus : 

Ste. [to Cal.] Here, swear then, [to Trin.~\ How escap'dst 
thou ? 

The speaker would naturally take notice of Caliban's proffered 
allegiance. Besides, he bids Trinculo kiss the book after he has 
answered the question ; a sufficient proof of the rectitude of the 
proposed arrangement. Ritson. 

5 1 can swim — ] I believe Trinculo is speaking of Caliban, 
and that we should read — " '« can stoim," &c. See the next 
speech. Malone. 

I do not perceive how Trinculo could answer for Caliban's ex- 
pertness in swimming, having only lain under his gaberdine for 
an hour. 

Kitson's arrangement of the preceding line is well imagined. 

M. Mason. 

6 Hast thou not dropped from heaven?] The new-discovered 
Indians of the island of St. Salvador, asked, by signs, whether 
Columbus and his companions were not come doivnjrom heaven. 


90 TEMPEST. act n. 

My mistress shewed me thee, thy dog, and bush.* 

Ste. Come, swear to that; kiss the book : I will 
furnish it anon with new contents: swear. 

Trin. By this good light, this is a very shallow 
monster: — I afeard of him? — a very weak mon- 
ster: 8 — The man i' the moon? — a most poor cre- 
dulous monster: — Well drawn, monster, in good 

Cal. I'll shew thee every fertile inch o' the 
island ; 
And kiss thy foot: I pr'ythee, be my god. 9 

Trin. By this light, a most perfidious and 
drunken monster; when his god's asleep, he'll rob 
his bottle. 

Cal. I'll kiss thy foot: I'll swear myself thy sub- 

Ste. Come on then; down, and swear. 

Trin. I shall laugh myself to death at this puppy- 
headed monster: A most scurvy monster ! I could 
find in my heart to beat him, — 

Ste. Come, kiss. 

7 My mistress shewed me thee, thy dog, and bush.~\ The old 
copy, which exhibits this and several preceding speeches of Cali- 
ban as prose, (though it be apparent they were designed for 
verse,) reads — " My mistress shewed me thee, and thy dog and 
thy bush." Let the editor who laments the loss of the words — 
and and thy, compose their elegy. Steevens. 

8 1 afeard of him ? — a very weak monster : &cJ] It is to bo 
observed, that Trinculo, the speaker, is not charged with being 
afraid ; but it was his consciousness that he was so that drew this 
brag from him. This is nature. Warburton. 

9 And kiss thy foot : I pr'ythee, he my god.] The old copy re- 
dundantly reads : 

¥ And I tvill kiss thy foot," &c. Ritson. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 91 

Trix. — but that the poor monster's in drink: 
An abominable monster! 

Cal. I'll shew thee the best springs ; I'll pluck 
thee berries ; 
I'll fish for thee, and get thee wood enough. 
A plague upon the tyrant that I serve! 
I'll bear him no more sticks, but follow thee, 
Thou wond'rous man. 

Trin, A most ridiculous monster; to make a 
wonder of a poor drunkard. 

Cal. I pr'ythee, let me bring thee where crabs 
grow ; 
And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts; 
Shew thee a jay's nest, and instruct thee how 
To snare the nimble marmozet; I'll bring thee 
To clust'ring filberds, and sometimes I'll get thee 
Young sea-mells 1 from the rock: Wilt thou go with 

1 sea-mells — ] This word has puzzled the commenta- 
tors: Dr. Warburton reads shamois ; Mr. Theobald would read 
any thing rather than sea-mells. Mr. Holt, who wrote notes 
upon this play, observes, that limpets are in some places called 
scams, and therefore I had once suffered scamels to stand. 


Theobald had very reasonably proposed to read sea-malls, or 
sea-mells. An e, by these careless printers, was easily changed 
into a c, and from this accident, I believe, all the difficulty arises, 
the word having been spelt by the transcriber, seamels. Willoughby 
mentions the bird as Theobald has informed us. Had Mr. Holt 
told us in what part of England limpets arc called scams, more 
regard would have been paid to his assertion. 

I should suppose, at all events, a bird to have been design'd, 
as young and aid fish are taken with equal facility; but young 
hi nls are more easily surprised than old ones. Besides, Caliban 
had already proffered to jish for Trinculo. In Cavendish's se- 
cond voyage, the sailors eat young gulls at the isle of Penguins. 


I have no doubt but Theobald's proposed amendment ought to 
be received. Sir Joseph Banks informs me, that in Willoughby 's, 
or rather John Kay's Ornithology, p. 34, No. 3, is mentioned 

92 TEMPEST. act ii. 

Ste. I pr'ythee now, lead the way, without any 
more talking. — Trinculo, the king and all our com- 
pany else being drowned, we will inherit here. — 
Here; bear my bottle. Fellow Trinculo, we'll fill 
him by and by again. 

Cal. Farewell master; farewell, farewell. 

[Sings drunkenltf. 

Trix. A howling monster; a drunken monster. 

Cal. No more dams F 11 make for fish ; 
Nor fetch in firing 
At requiring, 
Nor scrape trenchering? nor wash dish; 
'Ban 'Ban, Ca — Caliban? 
Flas a new master — Get a new man. 4 

the common sea mall, Larus cinereus minor ; and that young 
sea gulls have been esteemed a delicate food in this country, we 
learn from Plott, who, in his History of Staffordshire, p. 231, 
gives an account of the mode of taking a species of gulls called 
in that country pewits, with a plate annexed, at the end of which 
he writes, " they being accounted a good dish at the most plenti- 
ful tables." To this it may be added, that Sir Robert Sibbald 
in his Ancient State of the Shire of Fife, mentions, amongst 
fowls which frequent a neighbouring island, several sorts of sea- 
vialL, and one in particular, the katieivake, a fowl of the Larits 
or mall kind, of the bigness of an ordinary pigeon, which some 
hold, says he, to be as savoury and as good meat as a partridge 
is. Reed. 

4 Nor scrape trenchering,] In our author's time trenchers were 
in general use ; and male domestics were sometimes employed in 
cleansing them. " I have helped (saysLyly, in his History of his 
Life and Times, ad an. 1620,) to carry eighteen tubs of water 
in one morning ; — all manner of drudgery I willingly performed ; 
scrape-trenchers" &c. Malone. 

3 'Ban 'Ban, Ca — Caliban,'] Perhaps our author remembered 
a song of Sir P. Sidney's : 

" Da, da, da — Daridan." 

Astrophel and Stella, fol. 1627- Malone. 

4 Get a new man.~] When Caliban sings this last part of 

his ditty, he must be supposed to turn his head scornfully toward 
the cell of Prospero, whose service he had deserted. Steevens. 

act in. TEMPEST. 93 

Freedom, hey-day! hey-day, freedom! freedom, 
hey-day, freedom! 

Ste. O brave monster! lead the way. [Exeunt. 


Before Prospero's Cell. 

Enter Ferdinand, bearing a log. 

Fer. There be some sports are painful; but their 
Delight in them sets off: 6 some kinds of baseness 
Are nobly undergone; and most poor matters 

5 There be some sports are painful ; but their labour 
Delight in them sets off:~\ 

Molliter austerum studio fallente laborem. 

Hor. sat. 2. lib. ii. 
The old copy reads: " — and their labour," &c. Steevens. 

We have again the same thought in Macbeth ; 
" The labour we delight in physicks pain.'''' 

After "and," at the same time must be understood. Mr. Pope 
unnecessarily reads — " But their labour — ," which has been fol- 
lowed by the subsequent editors. 

In like manner in Coriolanus, Act IV. the same change was 
made by him. " I am a Roman, and (i. e. and yet) my services 
are, as you are, against them." Mr. Pope reads — " I am a Ro- 
man, but my services," &c. Malone. 

I prefer Mr. Pope's emendation, which is justified by the fol- 
lowing passage in the same speech : 

" This my mean tusk would be 

" As heavy to me as 'tis odious ; but 
" The mistreSB that I serve," &C. 
It is surely better to change a single word, than to counte- 
nance one corruption by another, or suppose that four words, 
necessary to produce sense, were left to be understood. 


94 TEMPEST. act in. 

Point to rich ends. This my mean task would be 6 
As heavy to me, as 'tis odious; but 
The mistress, which I serve, quickens what's dead, 
And makes my labours pleasures: O, she is 
Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed; 
And he's composed of harshness. I must remove 
Some thousands of these logs, and pile them up, 
Upon a sore injunction: My sweet mistress 
Weeps when she sees me work; and says, such 

Had ne'er like executor. I forget: 7 
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my la- 
bours ; 
Most busy-less, when I do it. 8 

6 This my mean task would be — ] The metre of this line is 
defective in the old copy, by the words "would be being transferred 
to the next line. Our author and his contemporaries generally 
use odious as a trisyllable. Malone. 

Mr. Malone prints the passage as follows : 

" This my mean task would be 

" As heavy to me, as odious ; but — " 

The word odious, as he observes, is sometimes used as a tri- 
syllable. — Granted ; but then it is always with the penult, short. 
The metre, therefore, as regulated by him, would still be de- 

By the advice of Dr. Farmer, I have supplied the necessary 
monosyllable — His; which completes the measure, without the 
slightest change of sense. Steevens. 

7 / f or g e t •'] Perhaps Ferdinand means to say — I forget 

my task ; but that is not surprising, for I am thinking on Miranda, 
and these sweet thoughts, &c. He may, however, mean, that 
he forgets or thinks little of the baseness of his employment. 
Whichsoever be the sense, And, or For, should seem more pro- 
per in the next line, than But. Malone. 

8 Most busy-less, when I do it.] The two first folios read : 
" Most busy lest, when I do it." 
'Tis true this reading is corrupt ; but the corruption is so very 
little removed from the truth of the text, that I cannot afford to 
think well of my own sagacity for having discovered it. 


sc. i. TEMPEST. 95 

Enter Miranda; and Prospero at a distance. 

Mira. Alas, now! pray you, 

Work not so hard: I would, the lightning had 
Burnt up those logs, that you are enjoin'd to pile! 
Pray, set it down, and rest you : when this burns, 
'Twill weep for having wearied you: My father 
Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself; 
Pie's safe for these three hours. 

Fer. O most dear mistress, 

The sun will set, before I shall discharge 
What I must strive to do. 

Mira. If you'll sit down, 

I'll bear your logs the while: Pray, give me that; 
I'll carry it to the pile. 

Fer. No, precious creature: 

I had rather crack my sinews, break my back, 
Than you should such dishonour undergo, 
While I sit lazy by. 

Mira. It would become me 

As well as it does you: and I should do it 
With much more ease; for my good will is to it, 
And yours against. 9 

Pro. Poor worm! thou art infected; 

This visitation shews it. 

Mira. You look wearily. 

Fer. No, noble mistress; 'tis fresh morning with 

* And yonrs against.'] The old copy reads : — 
" And yours it is against." 
By the advice of Dr. Fanner I have omitted the words in Italicks, 
as they are mi dLhess to the sense of the passage, and would have 
rendered the hemistich too long to join with its successor in mak- 
ing a regular verse. Steevens. 

96 TEMPEST. act hi. 

When you are by at night. 1 I do beseech you, 
(Chiefly, that I might set it in my prayers,) 
What is your name? 

MiRA. Miranda : — O my father, 

I have broke your hest 2 to say so! 

Fee. Admir'd Miranda 

Indeed, the top of admiration ; worth 
What's dearest to the world! Full many a lady 
I have ey'd with best regard; and many a time 
The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage 
Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues 
Have I lik'd several women; never any 
With so full soul, but some defect in her 
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd, 
And put it to the foil : But you, O you, 
So perfect, and so peerless, are created 
Of every creature's best. 3 

1 "'tis fresh morning •with me, 

When you are by at night.] 

" Tu mihi curarum requies, tu node vel atra 

" Lumen ." 

Tibul. Lib. iv. El. xiii. Malone. 

2 hest — ] For behest ; i. e. command. So before, Act I. 

sc. ii : 

" Refusing her grand hests " Steevens. 

3 Of every creature 's best.'] Alluding to the picture of Venus 
by Apelles. Johnson. 

Had Shakspeare availed himself of this elegant circumstance, 
he would scarcely have said, " of every creatu re's best," because 
such a phrase includes the component parts of the brute creation. 
Had he been thinking on the judicious selection made by the 
Grecian Artist, he would rather have expressed his meaning by 
" every woman's" or " every beauty's best." Perhaps he had 
only in his thoughts a fable related by Sir Philip Sidney in the 
third book of his Arcadia. The beasts obtained permission from 
Jupiter to make themselves a King ; and accordingly created 
one of every creature's best; 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 97 

Mira. I do not know 

One of my sex ; no woman's face remember, 
Save, from my glass, mine own ; nor have I seen 
More that I may call men, than yon, good friend, 
And my dear father : how features are abroad, 
I am skill-less of; but, by my modesty, 
(The jewel in my dower,) I would not wish 
Any companion in the world but you ; 
Nor can imagination form a shape, 
Besides yourself, to like of: But I prattle 
Something too wildly, and my father's precepts 
Therein forget. 4 

Fer. I am, in my condition, 

A prince, Miranda ; I do think, a king ; 
(I would, not so !) and would no more endure 
This wooden slavery, than I would suffer 5 

" Full glad they were, and tooke the naked sprite, 
" Which straight the earth yclothed in his clay: 
" The lyon heart; the ounce gave active might; 
" The horse good shape; the sparrow lust to play; 
" Nightingale voice, entising songs to say, &c. &c. 
" Thus man was made; thus man their lord became." 
In the 1st book of the Arcadia, a similar praise is also be- 
stowed by a lover on his mistress: 

" She is her self'e of best things the collection." 


' Therein forge!.] The old copy, in contempt of metre, reads 
— " /therein do forget." Steevens. 

5 — — than I would suffer, &c] The old copy reads — Than 
to suffer. Tlii' emendation is Mr. Pope's. Steevens. 

The reading of the old copy is right, however ungrammatical. 
So, in All's well that ends well : " No more of this, Helena, 
go to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, 
than to have." Malone. 

The defective metre shows that some corruption had happened 
in the present instance. I receive no deviations from established 
grammar, on the single authority of the folio. Siefvevs. 


9S TEMPEST. act in. 

The flesh-fly blow my mouth. 6 — Hear my soul 

speak ; — 
The very instant that I saw you, did 
My heart fly to your service ; there resides, 
To make me slave to it ; and for your sake, 
Am I this patient log-man. 

Mir a. Do you love me ? 

Fer. O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this 
And crown what I profess with kind event, 
If I speak true ; if hollowly, invert 
What best is boded me, to mischief! I, 
Beyond all limit of what else i' the world, 7 
Do love, prize, honour you. 

Mira. I am a fool, 

To weep at what I am glad of. 8 

c The flesh-fly blow my mouth.] Mr. Malone observes, that 
to blotv, in this instance, signifies to " swell and inflame." But 
I believe he is mistaken. To blow, as it stands in the text, means 
the act of afy by which she lodges eggs in flesh. So, in Chap- 
man's version of the Iliad:- 

*' I much fear, lest with the blows of flies 

" His brass-inflicted wounds are fill'd — " Steevens. 

of what else i s the xvorld."] i. e. of aught else; of what- 

*J -* CD 

soever else there is in the world. I once thought we should read 
— aught else. But the old copy is right. So, in King Henry VI. 

A • 111 • 

" With promise of his sister, and what else, 

" To strengthen and support king Edward's place." 


8 / am a fool, 

To weep at what I am glad of.'] This is one of those touches 
of nature that distinguish Shakspeare from all other writers. It 
was necessary, in support of the character of MirandS, to make 
her appear unconscious that excess of sorrow andexcess of joy find 
alike their relief from tears; and as this is the first time that con- 
rummate pleasure had made any near approaches to her heart, 
she calls such a seeming contradictory expression of it, folly. 

sc. /. TEMPEST. 99 

Pro. Fair encounter 

Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace 
On that which breeds between them ! 

Fer. Wherefore weep you ? 

Mira. At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer 
What I desire to give ; and much less take, 
What I shall die to want : But this is trifling ; 
And all the more it seeks 9 to hide itself, 
The bigger bulk it shews. Hence, bashful cunning! 
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence ! 
[ am your wife, 1 if you will marry me ; 
If not, I'll die your maid : to be your fellow 2 
You may deny me ; but I'll be your servant, 
Whether you will or no. 

Fer. My mistress, dearest, 

And I thus humble ever. 

Mira. My husband then ? 

Fer. Ay, with a heart as willing 
As bondage e'er of freedom : here's my hand. 

Mira. And mine, with my heart in't: 3 And now 

The same thought occurs in Romeo and Juliet: 

" Back, foolish tears, hack, to your native spring! 

" Your tributary drops belong to woe, 

" Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy." Steevens. 

9 it seeks — ] i. e. my affection seeks. Malone. 

1 / am your rvi/'e, &c] 

" Si tibi non cordi fuerant connubia nostra, 
" Attamen in vestras potuisti ducere sedes, 
" Qua? tibi jucundo famularer serva labore; 
" Candida permulcens liquidis vestigia lymphis, 
" Purpureave tuum consternens veste cubile.'' 

Catul. 62. Maloxe. 

s your, fellow — ] i. e. comnanion. Steevens. 

here's my /mud. 

Miran. And mine, with my heart in I .-] It is still customary 

H 2 

100 TEMPEST. act ill. 

Till half an hour hence. 

Fer. A thousand ! thousand ! 

\_Ezeunt Fer. and Mir. 

Pro. So glad of this as they, I cannot be, 
Who are surpriz'd with all; 4 but my rejoicing 
At nothing can be more. I'll to my book ; 
For yet, ere supper time, must I perform 
Much business appertaining. \_Eait. 


Another 'part of the Island. 

Enter Stephano and Trinculo ; Caliban fol- 
lowing with a bottle. 

Ste. Tell not me ; — when the butt is out, we 
will drink water; not a drop before : therefore bear 

in the west of England, when the conditions of a bargain are 
agreed upon, for the parties to ratify it by joining their hands, 
and at the same time for the purchaser to give an earnest. To 
this practice the poet alludes. So, in The Winter's Tale: 

" Ere I could make thee open thy white hand, 

" And clap thyself my love ; then didst thou utter 

" / am yours for ever." 
And again, in The Trvo Gentlemen of Verona: 

" Pro. Why then we'll make exchange ; here, take you this. 

" Jul. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss. 

" Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy." 


4 So glad of this as they, I cannot be, 
Who are surpriz'd with all;] The sense might be clearer, 
were we to make a slight transposition: 

" So glad of this as they, who are surpriz'd 
" With all, I cannot be — " 
Perhaps, however, more consonantly with ancient language, we 
should join two of the words together, and read — 
" Who are surpriz'd withal." Steevens. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 101 

up, and board 'em : & Servant-monster, drink to 


Turn. Servant-monster ? the folly of this island ! 
They say, there's but five upon this isle : we are 
three of them ; if the other two be brained like us, 
the state totters. u 

Ste. Drink, servant-monster, when I bid thee ; 
thy eyes are almost set in thy head. 

Trin. Where should they be set else ? he were 
a brave monster indeed, if they were set in his 
tail. 7 

Ste. My man-monster hath drowned his tongue 
in sack : for my part, the sea cannot drown me : 
I swam, 8 ere I could recover the shore, five-and- 

5 bear up, and board 'em .-] A metaphor alluding to a 

chace at sea. Sir J. Hawkins. 

6 if the other tivo be brained like us, the state totters."} We 

meet with a similar idea in Antony and Cleopatra: " He bears 
the third part of the world." — " The third part then is drunk." 


7 he were a brave monster indeed, if they were set in his 

tail.'] I believe this to be an allusion to a story that is met with 
in Stotve, and other writers of the time. It seems in the year 
157^, a whale was thrown ashore near Ramsgate; " A mon- 
shousjish (says the chronicler) but not so monstrous as some re- 
ported — for his eyes were in his head, and not in his back.'" 

Summary, 1575, p. 562. Farmer. 

8 I siva m, &c] This play was not published till 1623. 

Albumazar made its appearance in 1614, and has a passage rela- 
tive to the escape of a sailor yet more incredible. Perhaps, in both 
instances, a sneer was meant at the Voyages of Ferdinando Mendez 
Pinto, or the exaggerated accounts of other lying travellers: 

" live days I was under water: and at length 

" Got up and spread myself upon a chest, 
11 Rowing with arms, and steering with my feet: 
" And thus in five days more got land." Act III. sc. v, 


102 TEMPEST. act in. 

thirty leagues, off and on, by this light. — Thou 
shalt be my lieutenant, monster, or my standard. 

Trin. Your lieutenant, if you list; he's no 
standard. 9 

Ste. We'll not run, monsieur monster. 

Trin. Nor go neither: but you'll lie, like dogs; 
and yet say nothing neither. 

Ste. Moon-calf, speak once in thy life, if thou 
beest a good moon-calf. 

Cal. How does thy honour? Let me lick thy 
shoe : 
I'll not serve him, he is not valiant. 

Trix. Thou liest, most ignorant monster ; I am 
in case to justle a constable : Why, thou deboshed 
fish thou, 1 was there ever man a coward, that hath 
drunk so much sack as I to-day ? Wilt thou tell 
a monstrous lie, being but half a fish, and half a 

9 or m y standard. 

Trin. Your lieutenant, if you list; he's no standard.] Mean- 
ing, he is so much intoxicated, as not to be able to stand. The 
quibble between standard, an ensign, and standard, a fruit-tree 
that grows without support, is evident. Steevens. 

1 thou deboshed Jish thou,] I met with this word, which 

I suppose to be the same as debauched, in Randolph's Jealous 
Lovers, 1634: 

" See, your house be stor'd 

" With the deboishest roarers in this city." 
Again, in Monsieur Thomas, \6'3Q: 

" saucy fellows, 

" Deboshed and daily drunkards." 
The substantive occurs in Partheneia Sacra, 1633: 

" — A hater of men, rather than the deboishments of their 

When the word was first adopted from the French language, it 
appears to have been spelt according to the pronunciation, and 
therefore wrongly; but ever since it has been spelt right, it has 
been uttered with equal impropriety. Steevens. 

sc. n. TEMPEST. 103. 

Cal. Lo, how he mocks me! wilt thou let him, 
my lord ? 

Trix. Lord, quoth he ! — that a monster should 
be such a natural! 

Cal. Lo, lo, again! bite him to death, I pr'ythee. 

Ste. Trinculo, keep a good tongue in your head; 
if you prove a mutineer, the next tree — The poor 
monster's my subject, and he shall not suffer indig- 

Cal. I thank my noble lord. Wilt thou be 
To hearken once again the suit I made thee ? 2 

Ste. Marry will I : kneel and repeat it ; I will 
stand, and so shall Trinculo. 

Enter Ariel, invisible. 

Cal. As I told thee 
Before, I am subject to a tyrant; 3 
A sorcerer, that by his cunning hath 
Cheated me of this island. 

Art. Thou liest. 

Cal. Thou liest, thou jesting monkey, thou ; 

* JT thank my nohle lord. Wilt thou be pleas' 'd 
To hearken once again the suit I made thee?] The old copy, 
which erroneously prints this and other of Caliban's speeches as 
prose, reads — 

" to the suit I made thee;" 

But the elliptical mode of expression in the text, has already 
occurred in the second scene of the first act of this play: 

" being an enemy 

" To me inveterate, hearkens my brother s suit." 


J — — a tyrant;] Tyrant is here employed as a trisyllable. 


104 TEMPEST. act in. 

I would, my valiant master would destroy thee : 
I do not lie. 

Ste. Trinculo, if you trouble him any more in 
his tale, by this hand, I will supplant some of your 

Trix. Why, I said nothing. 

Ste. Mum then, and no more. — [To Caliban.] 

Cal. I say, by sorcery he got this isle ; 
From me he got it. If thy greatness will 
Revenge it on him — ibr, I know, thou dar'st; 
But this thins; dare not. 

Ste. That's most certain. 

Cal. Thou shalt be lord of it, and I'll serve thee. 

Ste. How now shall this be compassed ? Can'st 
thou bring me to the party ? 

Cal. Yea, yea, my lord; I'll yield him thee 
Where thou may'st knock a nail into his head. 4 

Ari. Thou liest, thou canst not. 

Cal. What a pied ninny's this ? 5 Thou scurvy 
patch ! — 

* Til yield him thee asleep, 

Where thou may at knock a nail into his head.] Perhaps 
Shakspeare caught this idea from the 4th chapter of Judges, v. 21 : 
" Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a nail of the tent, and took a 
hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the 
nail into his temples. Sic. for he was fast asleep," &c. 


4 What a pied ninny's thisf] It should be remembered that 
Trinculo is no sailor, but a jester; and is so called in the ancient 
dramatis persons. He therefore wears the party-coloured dress 
of one of these characters. See fig. XII. in the plate annexed to 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 105 

I do beseech thy greatness, give him blows, 
And take his bottle from him : when that's gone, 
He shall drink nought but brine ; for I'll not shew 

Where the quick freshes are. 

Ste. Trinculo, run into no further danger : in- 
terrupt the monster one word further, and, by this 
hand, I'll turn my mercy out of doors, and make 
a stock-fish of thee. 

Trix. Why, what did I ? I did nothing ; I'll go 
further off. 

Ste. Didst thou not say, he lied ? 

Ari. Thou liest. 

Ste. Do I so ? take thou that. [Strikes him.~] As 
you like this, give me the lie another time. 

Trix. I did not give the lie : — Out o' your wits, 

and hearing too ? A pox o' your bottle ! this 

can sack, and drinking do. — A murrain on your 
monster, and the devil take your fingers ! 

Cal. Ha, ha, ha ! 

Ste. Now, forward with your tale. Pr'ythee stand 
further off. 

Cal. Beat him enough : after a little time, 
I'll beat him too. 

Ste. Stand further. — Come, proceed. 

the First Part of K. Henry IV. and Mr. Toilet's explanation of 
it. So, in the Devil's Laiv Case, 1623: 

" Unless I wear a pied fool's coat.'' Steevens. 

Dr. Johnson observes, that Caliban could have no knowledge 
of the striped coat usually worn by fools; and would therefore 
transfer this speech to Stephano. But though Caliban might not 
know this circumstance, Shakspeare did. Surely he who has 
given to all countries and all ages the manners of his own, might 
forget himself here, as well as in other places. Malone. 

106 TEMPEST. act in. 

Cal. Why, as I told thee, 'tis a custom with him 
I' the afternoon to sleep : there thou may'st brain him, 
Having first seiz'd his books; or with a log 
Batter his skull, or paunch him with a stake, 
Or cut his wezand with thy knife : Remember, 
First to possess his books ; for without them 
He's but a sot, as I am, nor hath not 
One spirit to command : 6 They all do hate him, 

* Remember, 

First to possess his books ;Jbr tvitkotd them 
He's but a sot, as I am, nor hath not 

One spirit to command:] Milton, in his Masque at Ludlow 
Castle, seems to have caught a hint from the foregoing passage: 
" Oh, ye mistook; ye should have snatch'd his wand, 
" And bound him fast; without his rod revers'd, 
" And backward mutters of dissevering power, 
" We cannot free the lady." Steevens. 

In a former scene Prospero says: 

" I'll to my book; 

" For yet, ere supper time, must I perform 

" Much business appertaining." 
Again, in Act V: 

" And deeper than did ever plummet sound, 

" I'll drown my book." 
In the old romances the sorcerer is always furnished with a 
book, by reading certain parts of which he is enabled to summon 
to his aid whatever daemons or spirits he has occasion to employ. 
When he is deprived of his book, his power ceases. Our au- 
thor might have observed this circumstance much insisted on in 
the Orlando Innamorato of Boyardo, (of which, as the Rev. 
Mr. Bowie informs me, the first three Cantos were translated and 
published in 15()8,) and also in Harrington's translation of the 
Orlando Furioso, 1591. 

A few lines from the former of these works may prove the best 
illustration of the passage before us. 

Angelica, by the aid of Argalia, having bound the enchanter 

" The damsel searcheth forthwith in his breast, 

" And there the damned booke she straightway founde, 

" Which circles strange and shapes of fiendes exprest; 

" No sooner she some wordes therein did sound, 

" And opened had some damned leaves unblest, 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 107 

As rootedly as I : Burn but his books ; 

He has brave utensils, (for so he calls them,) 

Which, when he has a house, he'll deck withal. 

And that most deeply to consider, is 

The beautv of his daughter • he himself 

Calls her a non-pareil : I ne'er saw woman, 7 

But only Sycorax my dam, and she ; 

But she as far surpasseth Sycorax, 

As greatest does least. 

Ste, Is it so brave a lass ? 

Cal. Ay, lord j she will become thy bed, I war- 
And bring thee forth brave brood. 

Ste. Monster, I will kill this man: his daughter 
and I will be king and queen ; (save our graces!) 
and Trinculo and thyself shall be viceroys : — Dost 
thou like the plot, Trinculo ? 

Trin. Excellent. 

Ste. Give me thy hand; I am sorry I beat thee: 
but, while thou livest, keep a good tongue in thy 

Cal. Within this half hour will he be asleep ; 
Wilt thou destroy him then ? 

" But spirits of th' ayre, earth, sea, came out of hand, 
M Crying alowde, what is't you us command?" 


7 Calls Iter a non-pareil: I ne'er saio woman,] The old copy 

" Calls her a non-pareil: I never saw a woman." But this 
verse, heing too long by a foot, Hanmer judiciously gave it as it 
now stands in the text. 

By means as innocent, the versification of Shakspeare, has, I 
hope, in many instances been restored. The temerity of some 
critics had too long imposed severe restraints on their successors. 


108 TEMPEST. act in. 

Ste. Ay, on mine honour. 

Ari. This will I tell my master. 

Cal. Thou mak'st me merry : I am full of plea- 
sure ; 
Let us be jocund : Will you troll the catch 8 
You taught me but while-ere ? 

Ste. At thy request, monster, I will do reason, 

any reason: Come on, Trinculo, let us sing. \_Sings. 

Flout 'em, and shout 'em; and shout 'em, and 

Jlout 'em ; 
Thought is free. 

Cal. That's not the tune. 

[Ariel plays the tune on a tabor and pipe. 

Ste. What is this same ? 

Trin. This is the tune of our catch, played by 
the picture of No-body. 9 

Ste. If thou beest a man, shew thyself in thy 
likeness : if thou beest a devil, take't as thou list. 

Trin. O, forgive me my sins ! 

* Will you troll the catch — ] Ben Jonson uses the word in 
Every Man in his Humour: 

" If he read this with patience, I'll troul ballads." 
Again, in the Cobler's Prophecy, 1594: 

" A fellow that will troul it off with tongue. 
" Faith, you shall hear me troll it after my fashion." 
To troll a catch, I suppose, is to dismiss it trippingly from the 
tongue. Steevens. 

9 This is the tune of our catch, played by the picture of No- 
body.] A ridiculous figure, sometimes represented on signs. 
Westward for Smelts, a book which our author appears to have 
read, was printed for John Trundle in Barbican, at the signe of 
the No-body. Malone. 

The allusion is here to the print of No-body, as prefixed to 
the anonymous comedy of" No-body and Some-body ;" without 
date, but printed before the year 1600. Reed. 

sc. ii. TEMPEST. 109 

Ste. He that dies, pays all debts : I defy thee : — 
Mercy upon us! 

Cal. Art thou afeard? 1 

Ste. No, monster, not I. 

Cal. Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, 
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt 

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments 
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices, 
That, if I then had wak'd after long sleep, 
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming, 
The clouds, methought, would open, and shewriches 
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I wak'd, ^ 
I cry'd to dream again. 

Ste. This will prove a brave kingdom to me, 
where I shall have my music for nothing. 

Cal. When Prospero is destroyed. 

Ste. That shall be by and by: I remember the 

Trin. The sound is going away: let's follow it, 
and after, do our work. 

Ste. Lead, monster; we'll follow. — I would, I 
could see this taborer: 2 he lays it on. 

1 afeard?] Thus the old copy. — To qffear is an obsolete 

verb, with the same meaning as to affray. 

So, in the Sliipmannes Tale of Chaucer, v. 13,330: 

" This wit' was not aferde ne qffraide." 
Between aferde and afaide, in the time of Chaucer, there 
might have been some nice distinction which is at present lost. 


8 / would I could see this taborer:] Several of the incidents 
in this scene, viz. — Ariel's mimickry of Trinculo — the time 
played on the tabor, — and Caliban's description of the twangling 
instrument, &c. — might have been borrowed from Marco Paolo, 
the old Venetian voyager; who in Lib. I. ch. 44, describing the 

110 TEMPEST. act in. 

Trix. Wilt come? I'll follow, Stephano. 3 



Another 'part of the Island. 

Enter Aloxso, Sebastian, Antonio, Gon- 
zalo, Adrian, Francisco, and others. 

Gox. By'r lakin, 4 I can go no further, sir; 
My old bones ache : here's a maze trod, indeed, 
Through forth-rights, and meanders! by your pa- 
I needs must rest me. 

desert of Lop in Asia, says — " Audiuntur ibi voces dcemonum, &c. 
voces Jingcntes eorum quos comitari se putant. Audiuntur inter- 
dum in aere concentus musicorum instrume?itorum," &c. This 
passage was rendered accessible to Shakspeare by an English 
translation entitled The most noble and famous Trauels of Marcus 
Paidus, one of the Nobilitie of the State of Venice, &c. bl. 1. 4to. 
15/9, by John Frampton. " — You shall heare in the ayre the 
sound of tabers and other instruments, to put the trauellers in 
feare, &c. by euill spirites that make these soundes, and also do 
call diuerse of the trauellers by their names" &c. ch. 36, p. 32. 
To some of these circumstances Milton also alludes: 

" calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire, 

" And aery tongues that syllable men's names, 
*' On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses." 


3 Wilt come ? I'll follow, Stephano.'] The first words are ad- 
dressed to Caliban, who, vexed at the folly of his new companions 
idly running after the musick, while they ought only to have at- 
tended to the main point, the dispatching Prospero, seems, for 
some little time, to have staid behind. Heath. 

The words — Wilt come? should be added to Stephano's speech. 
Til follow, is Trinculo's answer. Ritson. 

4 By'r lakin,] i. e. The diminutive only of our lady, i. e. 
ladykin. Steevens. 

sc. in. TEMPEST. 1 1 1 

Alon. Old lord, I cannot blame thee, 

Who am myself attach'd with weariness, 
To the dulling of my spirits: sit down, and rest. 
Even here I will put off my hope, and keep it 
No longer for my flatterer : he is drown'd, 
Whom thus we stray to And ; and the sea mocks 
Our frustrate search 5 on land : Well let him go. 

Ant. I am right glad that he's so out of hope. 

[Aside to Sebastian. 
Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose 
That you resolv'd to effect. 

See. The next advantage 

Will we take thoroughly. 

Ant. Let it be to-night ; 

For, now they are oppress'd with travel, they 
Will not, nor cannot, use such vigilance, 
As when they are fresh. 

See. I say, to-night : no more. 

Solemn and strange musick; and Prospero above, 
invisible. Enter several strange Shapes, bringing 
in a banquet; they dance about it with gentle ac- 
tions of salutation ; and, inviting the King, fyc. to 
eat, they depart. 

Alon. What harmony is this? my good friends, 
hark ! 

Gon. Marvellous sweet musick ! 

* Our frustrate search — ] Frustrate for frustrated. So, in 
Chapman's translation of Homer's Hymn to Apollo: 

" some God hath fill'd 

" Our frustrate sails, defeating what we will'd." 


112 TEMPEST. act in. 

Alon. Give us kind keepers, heavens! What 
were these ?' v * 

Seb. A living drollery : 6 Now I will believe, 
That there are unicorns ; that, in Arabia 
There is one tree, the phoenix* throne ; 7 one phcenix 
At this hour reigning there. 

Ant. I'll believe both ; 

And what does else want credit, come to me, 
And I'll be sworn 'tis true : Travellers ne'er did 
lie, 8 

6 A living drollery:] Shows, called drolleries, were in Shak- 
speare's time performed by puppets only. From these our mo- 
dern drolls, exhibited at fairs, &c. took their name. So, in 
Beaumont and Fletcher's Valentinian : 

" I had rather make a drollery till thirty." Steevens. 

A living drollery, i. e. a drollery not represented by wooden 
machines, but by personages who are alive. Malone. 

7 one tree, the phoenix' throne ;] For this idea, our author 

might have been indebted to Phil. Holland's Translation of Pliny, 
B. XIII. chap. 4 : " I myself verily have heard straunge things of 
this kind of tree ; and namely in regard of the bird Phcenix, 
which is supposed to have taken that name of this date tree ; 
[called in Greek, tpoivi%] ; for it was assured unto me, that the 
said bird died with that tree, and revived of itselfe as the tree 
sprung again." Steevens. 

Again, in one of our author's poems, p. 732, edit. 1/78: 
" Let the bird of loudest lay, 
" On the sole Arabian tree," &c. 
Our poet had probably Lyly's Euphues, and his England, 
particularly in his thoughts : signat. Q 3. — " As there is but 
one phcenix in the world, so is there but one tree in Arabia where- 
in she buildeth." See also, Florio's Italian Dictionary, 159S: 
" Rasin, a tree in Arabia, whereof there is but one found, and 
upon it the phcenix sits." Malone. 

8 And I'll be sworn 'tis true : Travellers ne'er did lie,] I sup- 
pose this redundant line originally stood thus : 

" And I'll be sworn to't : Travellers ne'er did lie — ." 
Hanmer reads, as plausibly : 

" And I'll be sworn 'tis true. Travellers ne'er lied." 


sen, TEMPEST. 113 

Though fools at home condemn them. 

Gox. If in Naples 

I should report this now, would they believe me? 
If I should say, I saw such islanders, 9 
(For, certes, 1 these are people of the island,) 
Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet, note, 
Their manners are more gentle-kind, 2 than of 
Our human generation you shall find 
Many, nay, almost any. 

Pro. Honest lord, 

Thou hast said well ; for some of you there present, 
Are worse than devils. [Aside. 

Alox. I cannot too much muse, 3 

Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound, express- 
(Although they want the use of tongue,) a kind 
Of excellent dumb discourse. 

Pro. Praise in departing. 4 


such islanders,] The old copy has islands. The emen- 

dation was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone. 

' For, certes, &c] Certes is an obsolete word, signifying cer- 
tainty. So, in Othello t 

" certes, says he, 

" I have already chose my officer." Steevens. 

Their manners are more gentle-kind,] The old copy has — 
" gentle, kind — ." 1 read (in conformity to a practice of our 
author, who delights in such compound epithets, of which the adjective is to be considered as an adverb,) gentle-kind. 
Thus, in A'. Richard III. we have childish^foolish, senseless-obsti- 
nate, and mortal-staring. Steevens. 

3 too much muse,] To muse, in ancient language, is to 

admire, to wonder. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends." 


4 Praise in departing.'] i. e. Do not praise your entertainment 

114 TEMPEST. act in. 

Fkax. They vanish'd strangely. 

Seb. No matter, since 

They have left their viands behind ; for we have 

stomachs. — 
Will't please you taste of what is here ? 

Alon. Not I. 

Gon. Faith, sir, you need not fear : When we 

were boys, 
Who would believe that there were mountaineers, 4 
Dew-lapp'd like bulls, whose throats had hanging 

at them 
Wallets of flesh ? or that there were such men, 
Whose heads stood in their breasts? 6 which now 

we find, 

too soon, lest you should have x-eason to retract your commenda- 
tion. It is a proverbial saying. 

So, in The Two angry Women of Abingdon, 1599 : 

" And so she doth ; but praise your luck at parting. 1 * 
Again, in Tom Tyler and his Wife, l66l. 
" Now praise at thy part ing." 
Stephen Gosson, in his pamphlet entitled, Playes confuted in 
five Actions, &c. (no date) acknowledges himself to have been 
the author of a morality called, Praise at Parting. Steevens. 

5 that there were mountaineers, fyc.~\ Whoever is curious 

to know the particulars relative to these mountaineers, may con- 
sult Maundeville's Travels, printed in 1503, by Wynken de 
Worde ; but it is yet a known truth that the inhabitants of the 
Alps have been long accustomed to such excrescences or tumours. 
Quis tumidum guttur miratur in Alpibus? Steevens. 

Whose heads stood in their breasts f) Our author might have 
had this intelligence likewise from the translation of Pliny, B. V. 
chap. 8 : " The Blemmyi, by report, have no heads, but mouth 
and eies both in their breasts." Steevens. 

Or he might have had it from Hackluyt's Voyages, 1598: " On 
that branch which is called Caora are a nation of people, whose 
heads appear not above their shoulders. They are reported to 
have their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle 
of their breasts." Malone. 

sen. TEMPEST. 115 

Each putter- out on five for one, 7 will bring us 
Good warrant of. 

Alox. I will stand to, and feed, 

Although my last : no matter, since I feel 

7 Each putter-oat &c."] The ancient custom here alluded to 
was this. In this age of travelling, it was a practice with those 
who engaged in long and hazardous expeditions, to place out a 
sum of money on condition of receiving great interest for it at their 
return home. So, Puntarvolo, (it is Theobald's quotation,) in 
Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour: " I do intend, 
this year of jubilee coming on, to travel ; and (because I will not 
altogether go upon expence) I am determined to put some Jive 
thousand pound, to be paid me Jive for one, upon the return of 
my wife, myself, and my dog, from the Turk's court in Constan- 

To this instance I may add another from The Ball, a comedy, 
by Chapman and Shirley, l6dg : 

" I did most politickly disburse my sums 
" To have fve for one at my return from Venice." 
Again, in Amends for Ladies, 103y: 

" I would I had put out something upon my return ; 
" I had as lieve be at the Bermoothes." 
" — on five for one" means on the terms of Jive for one. So, 
in Barnaby Riche's Faults, and nothing but Faults, 1607 : 
" — those whipsters, that having spent the greatest part of their 
patrimony in prodigality, will give out the rest of their stocke, to 
be paid tivo or three for one, upon their return from Rome," 
&c. &c. Steevens. 

Each putter-oid on five for one,~\ The old copy has : 

" of five for one." 

I believe the words are only transposed, and that the author 
wrote : 

" Each putter-out of one for five" 
So, in The Scourge of Folly, by J. Davies of Hereford, printed 
about the year 161 1: 

" Sir Solus straight will travel, as they say, 
" And given out one for three, when home comes he." 
It appears from Moryson's Itinerary, 1617, Part I. p. 198, 
that " this custom of giving out money upon these adventures 
was first used in court, and among noblemen ;" and that some 
years before his book was published, " bankerouts, stage-players, 
and men of base condition had drawn it into contempt," by 
undertaking journeys merely for gain upon their return. Malone. 

I 2 

116 TEMPEST. act ni. 

The best is past: 8 — Brother, my lord the duke, 
Stand to, and do as we. 

Thunder and lightning. Enter Ariel like a harpy; 9 
claps his wings upon the table, and, with a quaint 
device, the banquet vanishes. 1 

Ari, You are three men of sin, whom destiny 

8 I imll stand to, and feed, 

Although my last : no matter, since I feel 
The best is past :] I cannot but think that this passage was 
intended to be in a rhyme, and should be printed thus : 
" / will stand to and feed; although my last, 
" No matter, since I feel the best is past." M. Mason. 

9 Enter Ariel like a harpy ; &c.~] This circumstance is taken 
from the third book of the JEneid as translated by Phaer, bl. 1. 
4to. 1558 : 

" ■ fast to meate we fall. 

" But sodenly from down the hills with grisly fall to syght, 
^ The harpies come, and beating wings with great noys 

out thei shright, 
" And at our meate they snach ; and with their clawes," &c. 
Milton, Parad. Reg. B. II. has adopted the same imagery : 

" with that 

" Both table and provisions vanish'd quite, 

" With sound of harpies' wings, and talons heard." 


1 and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.'] Though 

I will not undertake to prove that all the culinary pantomimes ex- 
hibited in France and Italy were known and imitated in this 
kingdom, I may observe that flying, rising, and descending 
services were to be found at entertainments given by the Duke 
of Burgundy, &c. in J 453, and by the Grand Duke of Tuscany 
in 1600, &c. See M. Le Grand D'Aussi's Histoire de la vie 
privee des Franqois, Vol. III. p. 294, &c. Examples, there- 
fore, of machinery similar to that of Shakspeare in the present 
instance, were to be met with, and perhaps had been adopted 
on the stage, as well as at public festivals here in England. See 
my note on The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act. V. sc. v. from TEMPEST. 117 

(That hath to instrument this lower world, 2 
And what is in't,) the never-surfeited sea 
Hath caused to belch up ; and on this island 
Where man doth not inhabit ; you 'mongst men 
Being most unfit to live. I have made you mad ; 
[Seeing Alon. Seb. §c. draw their swords. 
And even with such like valour, men hang and 

Their proper selves. You fools ! I and my fellows 
Are ministers of fate ; the elements 
Of whom^your swords are temper'd, may as well 
Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs 
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish 
One dowle that's in my plume; 3 my fellow-ministers 

whence it appears that a striking conceit in an entertainment 
given by the Vidame of Chartres, had been transferred to another 
feast prepared in England as a compliment to Prince Alasco, 
1583. Steevens. 

* That hath to instrument this lower world, &c] i. e. that 
makes use of this world, and everything in it, as its instruments 
to bring about its ends. Steevens. 

3 One dowle that's in my plume;] The old copy exhibits the 
passage thus: 

" One dowle that's in my plumbc." Corrected by Mr. Rowe. 
Bailey, in his Dictionary, says, that dowle is a feather, or rather 
the single particles of the down. 

Since the first appearance of this edition, my very industrious 
and learned correspondent, Mr. Toilet, of Betley, in Stafford- 
shire, has enabled me to retract a too hasty censure on Bailey, to 
whom we were long indebted for our only English Dictionary. 
In a small book, entitled Humane Industry: or, A History of 
mo t Manual Arts, printed in 1601, page y3, is the following 
pa sage: " The wool-bearing trees in ^Ethiopia, which Virgil 
speaks of, and the Eriophori Arbores in Theopkrastus, are not. 
such trees as have a certain wool or uowj, upon the outside of 
them, as the small cotton ; but short trees that bear a ball upon 
the top, pregnant with wool, which the Syrians call Cott, the 
Grecians Gossypium, the Italians Bombagio, and we Bombase," 
— " There is a certain shell-fish in the sea, called Pinna, that 

118 TEMPEST. act in. 

Are like invulnerable: 4 if you could hurt, 
Your swords are now too massy for your strengths, 
And will not be uplifted : But, remember, 
(For that's my business to you,) that you three 
From Milan did supplant good Prospero ; 
Expos'd unto the sea, which hath requit it, 
Him, and his innocent child : for which foul deed 
The powers, delaying, not forgetting, have 
Incens'd the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures, 
Against your peace: Thee, of thy son, Alonso, 
They have bereft ; and do pronounce by me, 
Ling'ring perdition (worse than any death 
Can be at once,) shall step by step attend 
You, and your ways ; whose wraths to guard you 

(Which here, in this most desolate isle, else falls 

bears a mossy dowl, or wool, whereof cloth was spun and 
made." — Again, p. g5 : " Trichitis, or the hayrie stone, by some 
Greek authors, and Alumen plumaceum, or downy alum, by the 
Latinists : this hair or dowl is spun into thread, and weaved into 
cloth." I have since discovered the same word in The Plough' 
man's Tale, erroneously attributed to Chaucer, v. 3202 : 
" And swore by cock 'is herte and blode, 
" He would tere him every doule." Steevens. 

Cole in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, interprets " young dowle" 
by lanugo. Malone. 

4 the elements 

Of whom your swoids are tempered, may as well 
Wound the loud winds, or with bemocPd-at stabs 
Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish 
One dowle thafs in my plume; my fellow ministers 
Are like invulnerable:] So, in Phaer's Virgil, 1573: 

" Their swords by them they laid — 

" And on the filthy birds they beat — 

" But /ethers none do from them fal, nor wound for strok 
doth bleed, 

" Nor force of weapons hurt them can." Ritson. 

sen. TEMPEST. 119 

Upon your heads,) is nothing, but heart's sorrow, 
And a clear life 6 ensuing. 

He "vanishes in thunder: then, to soft musiclc, enter 
the Shapes again, and dance with mops and mowes 7 
and carry out the table. 

Pro. [Aside.'] Bravely the figure of this harpy 
hast thou 
Perform'd, my Ariel ; a grace it had, devouring: 
Of my instruction hast thou nothing 'bated, 
In what thou hadst to say: so, with good life, 8 

5 ' clear life — ] Pure, blameless, innocent. Johnson. 

So, in Timon : " — roots you clear heavens." Steevens. 

* — — is nothing, but heart's sorrow, 
And a clear life ensuing.'] The meaning, which is some- 
what obscured by the expression, is, — a miserable fate, which no* 
ihing but contrition and amendment of life can avert. 


7 i with mops and mowes — ] So, in K. Lear: 

" and Flibbertigibbet of mopping and mowing." 


The old copy, by a manifest error of the press, reads — with 
mocks. So afterwards : " Will be here with mop and mowe." 


To mock and to mowe, seem to have had a meaning some- 
what similar ; i. e. to insult, by making mouths, or wry faces. 


8 with good life,] With good life may mean, with exact 

presentation of their several characters, with observation strange 
of their particular and distinct parts. So we say, he acted to 
the life. Johnson. 

Thus in the 6th Canto of the Barons'* Wars, by Drayton: 
" Done for the last with such exceeding life, 
" As art therein with nature seem'd at strife." 

Again, in our author's King Henry VIII. Act. I. sc. i: 

" the tract of every thing 

" Would by a good discourse! lose some life, 
** Which action's self was tongue to." 

120 TEMPEST. act in. 

And observation strange, my meaner ministers 
Their several kinds have done: 9 my high charms 

And these, mine enemies, are all knit up 
In their distractions: they now are in my power ; 
And in these fits I leave them, whilst I visit 
Young Ferdinand, (whom they suppose is drown'd,) 
And his and my loved darling. 

\_Exit Prospero from above. 

Gon. V the name of something holy, sir, why 
stand you 
In this strange stare ? 

Good life, however, in Twelfth Night, seems to be used for 
innocent jollity, as we now say a bon vivant : " Would you (says 
the Clffam) have a love song, or a song of good life?" Sir Toby 
answers, " A love song, a love song;" — " Ay, ay, (replies Sir 
Andrew, ) I care not for good life." It is plain, from the cha- 
racter of the last speaker, that he was meant to mistake the sense 
in which good life is used by the Clotvn. It may, therefore, in 
the present instance, mean, honest alacrity, or cheerfulness. 

Life seems to be used in the chorus to the fifth act of K. Hen- 
ry V. with some meaning like that wanted to explain the appro- 
bation of Prospero : 

" Which cannot in their huge and proper life 

" Be here presented." 
The same phrase occurs yet more appositely in Chapman's 
translation of Homer's Hymn to Apollo: 

" And these are acted with such exquisite life, 

" That one would say, Now the Ionian strains 

" Are turn'd immortals." Steevens. 

To do any thing with good life, is still a provincial expression 
in the West of England, and signifies, to do it with the full bent 
and energy of mind: — " And observation strattge," is with such 
minute attention to the orders given, as to excite admiration. 


' Their several kinds have done :"] i. e. have discharged the 
several functions allotted to their different natures. Thus, in 
Antony and Cleopatra, Act V. sc. ii. the Clown says — " You 
must think this, look you, that the worm will do his kind." 


sen. TEMPEST. 121 

Alox. O, it is monstrous ! monstrous ! 

Methought, the billows spoke, and told me of it ; 
The winds did sing it to me ; and the thunder, 
That deep and dreadful organ-pipe, pronounc'd 
The name of Prosper; it did bass my trespass. 1 
Therefore my son i' the ooze is bedded ; and 
I'll seek him deeper than e'er plummet sounded, 
And with him there lie mudded. 2 \_TLxit. 

Seb. But one fiend at a time, 

I'll fight their legions o'er. 

Ant, I'll be thy second. 

[Exeunt Seb. and Ant. 

G.ox. All three of them are desperate; their great 
Like poison given 3 to work a great time after, 

1 bass my trespass.'] The deep pipe told it me in a rough 

bass sound. Johnson*. 

So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. 12: 

" the rolling sea resounding soft, 

" In his big base them fitly answered." Steevens. 

Again, in Davis's Microcosmos, 1605, p. 32 : 

" The singing bullets made his soul rejoice 
" As musicke that the hearing most alures; 
" And if the canons bas'd it with their voice 
" He seemed as ravisht with an heavenly noise." Reed. 
8 And with him there lie mudded. 
But one fiend — ] As these bemistichs, taken together, exceed 
the proportion of a verse, I cannot help regarding the words — 
•villi him, and but, as playhouse interpolations. 

The Tempest was evidently one of the last works of Shakspeare; 
and it is therefore natural to suppose the metre of it must have 
been exact and regular. Dr. Farmer concurs with me in this 
supposition. Steevens. 

/ i poison given, &c] The natives of Africa have been 
supposed to be poss* ssed of the secret how to temper poisons with 
such art as not to operate till several years alter they were ad- 
ministered. Their drugs were then as certain in their effect, as 
I ibtle in their preparation. So, in the celebrated libel called 

122 TEMPEST. activ: 

Now 'gins to bite the spirits : — I do beseech you 
That are of suppler joints, follow them swiftly, 
And hinder them from what this ecstacy 4 
May now provoke them to. 

Adr. Follow, I pray you. 



Before Prospero's Cell. 
Enter Prospero, Ferdinand, and Miranda. 

Pro. If I have too austerely punish'd you, 
Your compensation makes amends ; for I 
Have given you here a thread of mine own life, 5 

Leicester's Commonwealth : " I heard him once myselfe in pub- 
lique act at Oxford, and that in presence of my lord of Leicester, 
maintain that poyson might be so tempered and given, as it should 
not appear presently, and yet should kill the party afterwards at 
what time should be appointed." Steevens. 

* this ecstacy — ] Ecstacy meant not anciently, as at pre- 
sent, rapturous pleasure, but alienation of mind. So, in Hamlet, 
Act III. sc. iv: 

" Nor sense to ecstacy was e'er so thrall' d — ." 
Mr. Locke has not inelegantly styled it dreaming 'with our eyes 
open. Steevens. 

5 a thread of mine otvn life,'] The old copy reads — third. 

The word thread was formerly so spelt, as appears from the fol- 
lowing passage : 

" Long maist thou live, and when the sisters shall decree 
" To cut in twaine the twisted third of life, 
" Then let him die," &c. 
See comedy of Mucedorus, 1C19, signat. C 3. Hawkins. 

w A third of mine own life" is ajibre or a part of my own 

sc. I. TEMPEST. 123 

Or that for which I live ; whom once again 

I tender to thy hand : all thy vexations 

Were but my trials of thy love, and thou 

Hast strangely stood the test : 6 here, afore Heaven, 

I ratify this my rich gift. O Ferdinand, 

Do not smile at me, that I boast her off, 

For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise, 

And make it halt behind her. 

Fer. I do believe it, 

Against an oracle. 

life. Prospero considers himself as the stock or parent-tree, and 
his daughter as a fibre or portion of himself, and for whose bene- 
fit he himself lives. In this sense the word is used in Markham's 
English Husbandman, edit. lfi>35, p. 146: " Cut off all the 
maine rootes, within half a foot of the tree, only the small 
thriddes or twist rootes you shall not cut at all." Again, ibid : 
«' Every branch and thrid of the root." This is evidently the 
same word as thread, which is likewise spelt thrid by Lord Bacon. 


So, in Lingua, &c. 1607 ; and I could furnish many more 
instances : 

" For as a subtle spider closely sitting 
" In center of her web that spreadeth round, 
" If the least fly but touch the smallest third t 
" She feels it instantly." 
The following quotation, however, should seem to place the 
meaning beyond all dispute. In Acolastus, a comedy, 1540, is 
this passage : 

" — one of worldly shame's children, of his countenance, and 
THREDE of his body." Steevens. 

Again, in Tancred and Gisivund, a tragedy, 1592, Tancred, 
speaking of his intention to kill his daughter, says: 
" Against all law of kinde, to shred in twaine 
" The golden tkreede that doth 71s both maintain." 


6 strangely stood the test .] Strangely is used by way of 

commendation, nicrvcil/a/scnient, to a Wonder ; the same is the 
sense in the foregoing scene. Johnson. 

i. e. in the last scene of the preceding act : 

" with good life 

" And observation strange — ." Steevens. 

124 TEMPEST. act iv. 

Pro. Then, as my gift, and thine own acquisition 7 
Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter : But 
If thou dost break her virgin knot 8 before 
All sanctimonious ceremonies 9 may 
With full and holy rite be minister'd, 
No sweet aspersion 1 shall the heavens let fall 
To make this contract grow ; but barren hate, 
Sour-ey'd disdain, and discord, shall bestrew 
The union of your bed with weeds so loathly, 
That you shall hate it both : therefore, take heed, 
As Hymen's lamps shall light you. 

Fer. As I hope 

For quiet days, fair issue, and long life, 
With such love as 'tis now ; the murkiest den, 
The most opportune place, the strong'st suggestion 

7 Then, as my gift, and thine otvn acquisition — ] My guest, 
Jirst folio. Rowe first read — gift. Johnson. 

A similar thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra ; 

'" / send him 

" The greatness he has got." Steevens. 

8 her virgin knot — ] The same expression occurs in 

Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609: 

" Untide I still my virgin knot will keepe." Steevens. 

If thou dost break her virgin knot before 

All sanctimonious ceremonies &c] This, and the passage in 
Pericles Prince of Tyre, are manifest allusions to the zones of the 
ancients, which were worn as guardians of chastity by marriage- 
able young women. " Puellse, contra, nondum viripotentes, 
hujusmodi' zonis non utebantur : quod videlicet immaturis vir- 
gunculis nullum, aut certe minimum, a corruptoribus periculum 
immineret : quas proptereavocabantaju-jrpoy^, nempe disciyictas." 
There is a passage in Nonnus, which will sufficiently illustrate 
Prospero's expression. 

Kovpy]$ 5' sfyvs mays' aTps^ag ctapov spu<rtya$ 

Asspov a<rv\7)roio <pvXa,>tlopa, yuaalo [hirpv\s 

ieiSo^svr) TfaXay.rj, pj -mapQsvov vitvog sawr). Henley. 

1 No stveet aspersion — ] Aspersion is here used in its primitive 
sense of sprinkling. At present it is expressive only of calumny 
and detraction. Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 125 

Our worser Genius can, shall never melt 

Mine honour into lust ; to take away 

The edge of that day's celebration, 

Allien I shall think, or Phoebus' steeds are founder'd, 

Or night kept chain'd below. 2 

Pro. Fairly spoke : 3 

Sit then, and talk with her, she is thine own. — 
What, Ariel j my industrious servant Ariel! 

Enter Ariel. 

Art. What would my potent master ? here I am. 

Pro. Thou and thy meaner fellows your last 
Did worthily perform ; and I must use you 
In such another trick : go, bring the rabble, 4 
O'er whom I give thee power, here, to this place : 
Incite them to quick motion ; for I must 
Bestow upon the eyes of this young couple 
Some vanity of mine art; 5 it is my promise, 

s When I shall think, or Phoebus' steeds are founder 'd, 
Or night kept chain'd below.'] A similar train of ideas occur 
in the 23d Book of Homer's Odyssey, thus translated by Chap- 
man : 

" she th' extended night 

" With-held in long date ; nor would let the light 
" Her wing'd-hoof horse join : Lampus, Phaeton, 
" Those ever colts, that bring the morning on 
" To worldly men." Steevens. 

3 Fairly spoke:] Fairly is here used as a trisyllable. Steevens. 

4 the rabble,] The crew of meaner spirits. Johnson. 

* Some vanity of mine art ;] So, in the imprinted romance of 
EMARE, quoted by Mr. Warton in bis dissertation on the G'esta 
Romanorum, (a Prefix to tbe third Vol. of the History of En- 
glish Poetry): 

126 TEMPEST. act zr. 

And they expect it from me. 

Ari. Presently ? 

Pro. Ay, with a twink. 

Ari. Before you can say, Come, and go, 
And breathe twice ; and cry, so, so ; 
Each one, tripping on his toe, c 
Will be here with mop and mowe : 
Do you love me, master ? no. 

Pro. Dearly, my delicate Ariel : Do not ap- 
Till thou dost hear me call. 

Ari. Well I conceive. \_Exit. 

Pro. Look, thou be true ; do not give dalliance 
Too much the rein ; the strongest oaths are straw 
To the fire i' the blood : be more abstemious, 
Or else, good night, your vow ! 

Fer. I warrant you, sir ; 

The white-cold virgin snow upon my heart 
Abates the ardour of my liver. 

Pro. Well.— 

Now come, my Ariel ; bring a corollary, 7 

" The emperour said on hygh, 
" Sertes, thys is a fayry, 
" Or ellys a vanite." 
i. e. an illusion. Steevens. 

6 Come, and go, 

Each one, tripping on his toe,~\ So, in Milton's U Allegro, 
v. 33 : 

" Come, and trip it as you go 

" On the light fantastic toe." Steevens. 

7 bring a corollary,] That is, bring more than are suffi- 
cient, rather than fail for want of numbers. Corollary means 
surplus. Corolaire, Fr. See Cotgrave's Dictionary. Steevens. 

ac. /. TEMPEST. 127 

Rather than want a spirit; appear, and pertly. — 
No tongue ; 8 all eyes j be silent. \_Sqft musick. 

A Masque. Enter Iris. 

Iris. Ceres, most bounteous lady, thy rich leas 
Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, and pease ; 
Thy turfy mountains, where live nibbling sheep, 
And flat meads thatch'd with stover, 9 them to keep ; 
Thy banks with peonied and lilied brims, 1 
Which spongy April at thy best betrims, 

8 No tongue ;] Those who are present at incantations are 
obliged to be strictly silent, " else" as we are afterwards told, 
" the spell is marred." Johnson. 

9 thatch'd tvith stover,] Stover (in Cambridgeshire and 

other counties) signifies hay made of coarse, rank grass, such 
as even cows will not eat while it is green. Stover is likewise 
used as thatch for cart-lodges, and other buildings that deserve 
but rude and cheap coverings. 

The word occurs in the 25th Song of Drayton's Polyolbion : 
" To draw out sedge and reed, for thatch and stover fit." 
Again, in his Muses' Elyzium : 

" Their browse and stover waxing thin and scant." 


1 Thy banks tvith peonied and lilied brims,'] The old edition 
reads pioned and tivilled brims, which gave rise to Mr. Holt's 
conjecture, that the poet originally wrote : 
" ' ■■ with pioned and tilled brims." 

Peonied is the emendation of Hanmer. 

Spenser and the author of Muleasses the Turk, a tragedy, 
l6l0, use pioning for digging. It is not therefore difficult to 
find a meaning for the word as it stands in the old copy ; and re- 
move a letter from tivilled, and it leaves us tilled. I am yet, 
however, in doubt whether we ought not to read lilied brims ; 
for Pliny, B. XXVI. ch. x. mentions the water-lily as a preserver 
of chastity ; and says, elsewhere, that the Peony medetur Fauno- 
rum in Qiiiete Ludibriis, &c. In a poem entitled The Herring's 
Tai/le, 4to. 1598, "the mayden pinny" is introduced. In the 
Arruignement of Paris, 1584, are mentioned: 

" The watry flow'rs and Hides of the banks." 

128 TEMPEST. act ir. 

To make cold nymphs, chaste crowns; and thy 

broom groves, 2 
Whose shadow the dismissed bachelor loves, 

And Edward Fenton in his Secrete Wonders of Nature, 4to. 
B. VI. 156*9, asserts, that "the water-lily mortifieth altogether 
the appetite of sensualitie, and defends from unchaste thoughts 
and dreames of venery." 

In the 20th song of Drayton's Polyolbion, the Naiades are re- 
presented as making chaplets with all the tribe of aquatic flowers ; 
and Mr. Toilet informs me, that Lyte's Herbal says, " one kind 
of peonie is called by some, maiden or virgin peonie." 

In Ovid's Banquet of Sense, by Chapman, 1595, I meet with 
the following stanza, in which twill-pants are enumerated among 
flowers : 

" White and red jasmines, merry, melliphill, 
" Fair crown imperial, emperor of flowers ; 
" Immortal amaranth, white aphrodill, 

" And cup-like twill-pants strew'd in Bacchus' bowers." 
If twill be the ancient name of any flower, the old reading, 
pioned and twilled, may stand. Steevens. 

Mr. War ton, in his notes upon Milton, after silently acquiescing 
in the substitution of pionied for pioned, produces from the 
Arcades " Ladon's Hilled banks," as an example to countenance 
a further change of twilled to lillied, which, accordingly, Mr. 
Rann hath foisted into the text. But before such a licence is al- 
lowed, may it not be asked — If the word pionied can any where 
be found ? — or (admitting such a verbal from peony, like Milton's 
lillied from lily, to exist,)— On the banks of what river do peonies 
grow? — Or (if the banks of any river should be discovered to 
yield them ) whether they and the lilies that, in common with 
them, betrim those banks, be the produce of spongy April ? — 
Or, whence it can be gathered that Iris here is at all speaking of 
the banks of a river? — and, whether, as the bank in question is 
the property, not of a water-nymph, but of Ceres, it is not to 
be considered as an object of her care ? — Hither the goddess of 
husbandry is represented as resorting, because at the approach of 
spring, it becomes needful to repair the banks (or mounds) of 
the jiat meads, whose grass not only shooting over, but being 
more succulent than that of the turfy mountains, would, for want 
of precaution, be devoured, and so the intended stover [hay, or 
•winter keep,~] with which these meads are proleptically described 
as thatched, be lost. 

The giving way and caving in of the brims of those banks. 

sc.i. TEMPEST. 129 

Being lass-lorn ; 3 thy pole-clipt vineyard ; 4 
And thy sea-marge, steril, and rocky-hard, 

occasioned by the heats, rains, and frosts of the preceding year, 

are made good, by opening the trenches from whence the banks 

themselves were at first raised, and facing them up afresh with 

the mire those trenches contain. This being done, the brims of 

the banks are, in the poet's language, pioned and twilled. — Mr. 

Warton himself, in a note upon Comus, hath cited a passage in 

which pioners are explained to be diggers [rather trenchers) and 

Mr. Steevens mentions Spenser and the author of Muleasses, as 

both using pioning for digging. Twilled is obviously formed 

from the participle of the French verb toidller, which Cotgrave 

interprets filthily to mix or mingle; confound or shiifie together ; 

bedirt; begrime; besmear: — significations that join to confirm 

the explanation here given. 

This bank with pioned and twilled brims is described, as 
trimmed ', at the behest of Ceres, by spongy April, with flowers, 
to make cold nymphs chaste crowns. These flowers were neither 
peonies nor lilies, for they never blow at this season, but " lady- 
smocks all silver white," which, during this humid month, start 
up in abundance on such banks, and thrive like oats on the same 
kind of soil: — " Avoine touillee croist comme enragee." — That 
OU changes into W, in words derived from the French, is apparent 
in cordvfainer, from cordoxxannier, and many others. Henley. 

Mr. Henley's note contends for small proprieties, and abounds 
with minute observation. But that Shakspeare was no diligent 
Botanist, maybe ascertained from his erroneous descriptions of a 
Cowslip, (in the Tempest and Cymbeline,) for who ever heard it 
characterized as a bell-shaped flower, or could allow the drops at 
the bottom of it to be of a crimson hue? With equal carelessness, 
or want of information, in The Winter's Tale he enumerates 
" lilies of all kinds,''' among the children of the spring, and as 
contemporaries with the daffodil, the primrose, and the violet; 
and in his celebrated song, (one stanza of which is introduced at 
the beginning of the fourth act of Measure for Measure,) he talks 
of Pinks, " that April wears." It might be added, (it we must 
speak by the card,) that wherever there is a bank there is a ditch; 
where there is a ditch there may be water; and where there is 
water the aquatic lilies may flourish, whether the bank in question 
belongs to a river or a field. — These are petty remarks, but they 
are occasioned by petty cavils. — It was enough for our author that 
peonies and lilies were well known flowers, and he placed them 
on any bank, and produced them in any of the genial months, 


130 TEMPEST. act iv. 

Where thou thyself dost air: The queen o' the sky, 
Whose watery arch, and messenger, am I, 
Bids thee leave these ; and with her sovereign grace, 
Here on this grass-plot, in this very place, 
To come and sport: her peacocks fly amain; 
Approach, rich Ceres, her to entertain. 

Enter Ceres. 

Cer. Hail, many-colour'd messenger, that ne'er 
Dost disobey the wife of Jupiter; 

that particularly suited his purpose. He who has confounded the 
customs of different ages and nations, might easily confound the 
produce of the seasons. 

That his documents de Re Rustled were more exact, is equally 
improbable. Pie regarded objects of Agriculture, &c. in the 
gross, and little thought, when he meant to bestow some orna- 
mental epithet on the banks appropriated to a Goddess, that a 
future critic would wish him to say their brims were filthily 
mixed or mingled, confounded or shuffled together ; bedirtea, 
begrimed, and besmeared. Mr. Henley, however, has not yet 
proved the existence of the derivative which he labours to intro- 
duce as an English word ; nor will the lovers of elegant de- 
scription wish him much success in his attempt. Unconvinced, 
therefore, by his strictures, I shall not exclude a border of 
flowers to make room for the graces of the spade, or what Mr. 
Pope, in his Dunciad, has styled " the majesty of mud." 


and thy broom groves,'] Broom, in this place, signifies 

the Spartiwn scoparium, of which brooms are frequently made. 
Near Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire it grows high enough to con- 
ceal the tallest cattle as they pass through it; and in places where 
it is cultivated still higher : a circumstance that had escaped my 
notice, till I was told of it by Professor Martyn, whose name I 
am particularly happy to insert among those of other friends who 
have honoured and improved this work by their various commu- 
nications. Steevexs. 

3 Being lass-lorn;] Lass-lorn is forsaken of his mistress. 
So, Spenser: 

" Who after that he had fair Una lorn. ,i Steevexs. 

thy pole-dipt vineyard;] To clip is to twine round or 

embrace. The poles are clipped or embraced by the vines. Vine' 
yard is here used as a trisyllable. Steevens. 

sc.i. TEMPEST. 131 

Who, with thy saffron wings, upon my flowers 
Diffusest honey-drops, refreshing showers; 
And with each end of thy blue bow dost crown 
My bosky acres, 5 and my unshrubb'd down, 
Rich scarf to my proud earth ; Why hath thy queen 
Summon'd me hither, to this short-grass'd-green? e 

Iris. A contract of true love to celebrate ; 
And some donation freely to estate 
On the bless'd lovers. 

Cer. Tell me, heavenly bow, 

If Venus, or her son, as thou dost know, 
Do now attend the queen? since they did plot 
The means, that dusky Dis my daughter got, 
Her and her blind boy's scandal'd company 
I have forsworn. 

Iris. Of her society 

Be not afraid ; I met her deity 
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos ; and her son 
Dove-drawn with her : here thought they to have 

Some wanton charm upon this man and maid, 
Whose vows are, that no bed-rite shall be paid 
Till Hymen's torch be lighted : but in vain ; 
Mars's hot minion is return'd again: 

' My bosky acres, &c] Bosky is woody. Bosky acres are 
fields divided from each other by hedge-rows. Boscus is middle 
Latin for mood. Bosquet, Fr. So, Milton: 

" And every bosky bourn from side to side." 
Again, in A". Edward I. 1599: 

" Hale him from hence, and in this bosky wood 

" Bury liis corps." Steevens. 

" to this short-grass'd green?] The old copy reads short- 

'grafd green. Short-grazed green means grazed so as to be short. 
The correction was made by Mr. Howe. Steevens. 

K 2 

132 TEMPEST. act ir. 

Her waspish-headed son has broke his arrows, 
Swears he will shoot no more, but play with spar- 
And be a boy right out. 

Cer. Highest queen of state, 7 

Great Juno comes; I know her by her gait. 

Enter Juno. 

Jun. How does my bounteous sister? Go withme, 
To bless this twain, that they may prosperous be, 
And honour'd in their issue. 


Juno. Honour, riches, marriage-blessing, 
Long continuance, and increasing, 
Hourly joys be still upon you! 
Juno sings her blessings on you. 

7 Highest queen of state, 

Great Juno comes ; I know her by her gait .] Mr. Whalley 
thinks this passage a remarkable instance of Shakspeare's know- 
ledge of ancient poetic story; and that the hint was furnished by 
the Divum incedo Regina of Virgil. 

John Taylor, the water-poet, declares, that he never learned 
his Accidence, and that Latin and French were to him Heathen 
Greek; yet, by the help of Mr. Whalley's argument, I will 
prove him a learned man, in spite of every thing he may say to 
the contrary: for thus he makes a gallant address his lady; 
*' Most inestimable magazine of beauty ! in whom the port and 
majesty of Juno, the wisdom of Jove's brain-bred girle, and the 
feature of Cytherea, have their domestical habitation." Farmer. 

So, in The Arraignement of Paris, 1584: 

" First statelie Juno, with her porte and grace." 

Chapman also, in his version of the second Iliad, speaking of 
Juno, calls her — 

" ■ the goddesse of estate." Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 133 

Cer. Earth's increase* andfoison plenty? 
Barns, and garners never empty ; 
Vines, with clustering bunches growing} 
Plants, with goodly burden bowing ; 
Spring conie to you, at the farthest, 
In the very end of harvest! 
Scarcity, and want, shall shun you ; 
Ceres' blessing so is on you. 

Feu. This is a most majestic vision, and 
Harmonious charmingly : l May I be bold 

8 Earth's increase, and foison plenty, &c] All the editions, 
that I have ever seen, concur in placing this whole sonnet to 
Juno ; but very absurdly, in my opinion. I believe every accu- 
rate reader, who is acquainted with poetical history, and the dis- 
tinct offices of these two goddesses, and who then seriously reads 
over our author's lines, will agree with me, that Ceres's name 
ought to have been placed where I have now prefixed it. 


And is not in the old copy. It was added by the editor of the 
second folio. Earth's increase, is the produce of the earth. The 
expression is scriptural : " Then shall the earth bring forth her 
increase, and God, even our God, shall give us his" blessing." 
Psalm lxvii. Ma lone. 

This is one among a multitude of emendations which Mr. 
Malone acknowledges to have been introduced by the editor of 
the second folio ; and yet, in contradiction to himself in his 
Prolegomena, he depreciates the second edition, as of no import- 
ance or value. Fenton. 

9 -foison plenty ;] i. e. plenty to the utmost abundance ; 

foison signifying plenty. See p. 66. Steevens. 

1 Harmonious charmingly .•] Mr". Edwards would read: 
" Harmonious charming lay." 
For though (says he) the benediction is sung by two goddesses, 
it is yet but one lay or hymn, i believe, however, this passage 
appears as it was written by the poet, who, for the sake of the 
verse, made the words change places. 

We might read (transferring the last syllable of the second 
word to the end of the first) " Harmonious/,/ charming." 

Ferdinand has already praised this aerial Masque as an object 
of sight; and may not improperly or inelegantly subjoin that the 

134 TEMPEST. act if. 

To think these spirits ? 

Pro. Spirits, which by mine art 

I have from their confines call'd to enact 
My present fancies. 

Fer. Let me live here ever ; 

So rare a wonder'd father, 2 and a wife, 
Make this place Paradise. 

[Juno and Ceres whisper, and send Iris on 

Pro. Sweet now, silence ; 

Juno and Ceres whisper seriously ; 
There's something else to do : hush, and be mute, 
Or else our spell is marr'd. 

Iris. You nymphs, call'd Naiads, of the wan- 
d'ring brooks, 3 
"With your sedg'd crowns, and ever-harmless looks, 
Leave your crisp channels, 4 and on this green land 
Answer your summons ; Juno does command : 
Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate 
A contract of true love ; be not too late. 

charm of sound was added to that of visible grandeur. Both Juno 
and Ceres are supposed to sing their parts. Steevens. 

A similar inversion occurs in A Midsummer Night's Dream : 
" But miserable most to live unlov'd." Malone. 

2 a wonder'd father,"] i. e. a father able to perform or 

produce such wonders. Steevens. 

3 wand'ring brooks,'] The modern editors read — winding 

brooks. The old copy — windring. I suppose we should read — 
wand'ring, as it is here printed. Steevens. 

4 Leave your crisp channels^] Crisp, i. e. curling, winding, 
Lat. crispils. So, Henry IV. Part I. Act I. sc. iv. Hotspur, 
speaking of the river Severn : 

" And hid his crisped head in the hollow bank." 

Crisp, however, may allude to the little wave or curl (as it is 
commonly called) that the gentlest wind occasions on the sur- 
face of waters. Steevens. 

sc. z. TEMPEST, 13.5 

Enter certain Nymphs. 

You sun-burn'd sicklemen, of August weary, 
Come hither from the furrow, and be merry ; 
Make holy-day : your rye-straw hats put on, 
And these fresh nymphs encounter every one 
In country footing. 

Enter certain Reapers, properly habited : they join 
with the Nymphs in a graceful dance ; towards 
the end whereof Prospero starts suddenly, and 
speaks; after which, to a strange, hollow, arid 
confused noise, they heavily vanish. 

Pro. [aside. ,] I had forgot that foul conspiracy 
Of the beast Caliban, and his confederates, 
Against my life ; the minute of their plot 
Is almost come. — \_To the Spirits.^ Well done ; — 
avoid ; — no more. 


Fer. This is most strange: 5 your father's in 
some passion 
That works him strongly. 

MiRsL Never till this day, 

Saw I him touch'd with anger so distemper'd. 

Pro. You do look, my son, in a mov'd sort, 
As if you were dismay'd : be cheerful, sir : 
Our revels now are ended : these our actors, 
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and 
Are melted into air, into thin air : 

1 This is most strange :] I have introduced the word — most, 
on account of the metre, which otherwise is defective. — In the 
first line of Prospero'e next speech there is likewise an omission, 
but I have not ventured to supply it. Steevens. 

136 TEMPEST. act iv. 

And, like the baseless fabrick of this vision, 6 
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself, 
Yea, all which it inherit, 7 shall dissolve ; 
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, 8 

6 And, like the baseless fabrick of this vision, &c] The exact 
period at which this play was produced is unknown : it was not, 
however, published before 1623. In the year 16*03, the Tragedy 
of Darius, by Lord Sterline, made its appearance, and there I 
find the following passage : 

" Let greatness of her glassy scepters vaunt, 

" Not scepters, no, but reeds, soon bruis'd, soon broken ; 
" And let this worldly pomp our wits enchant, 

" All fades, and scarcely leaves behind a token. 
u Those golden palaces, those gorgeous halls, 

" With furniture superfluously fair, 
" Those stately courts, those sky-encount'ring walls, 
" Evanish all like vapours in the air." 
Lord Sterline 's play must have been written before the death 
of Queen Elizabeth, (which happened on the 24th of March, 
l603,) as it is dedicated to James VI. King of Scots. 

Whoever should seek for this passage (as here quoted from the 
4to. 1003) in the folio edition, 1637, will be disappointed, as 
Lord Sterline made considerable changes in all his plays, after 
their first publication. Steevens. 

7 all tvhich it inherit,] i. e. all who possess, who dwell 

upon it. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona ; 

" This, or else nothing, will inherit her." Malone. 

8 And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,] Faded means 
here— having vanished ; from the Latin, vado. So, in Hamlet ? 
" It faded on the crowing of the cock." 

To feel the justice of this comparison, and the propriety of the 
epithet, the nature of these exhibitions should be remembered. 
The ancient English pageants were shows exhibited on the recep- 
tion of a prince, or any other solemnity of a similar kind. They 
were presented on occasional stages erected in the streets. Origi- 
nally they appear to have been nothing more than dumb shows ; 
but before the time of our author, they had been enlivened by the 
introduction of speaking personages, who were characteristically 
habited. The speeches were sometimes in verse ; and as the pro- 
cession moved forward, the speakers, who constantly bore some 
allusion to the ceremony, either conversed together in the form 
of a dialogue, or addressed the noble person whose presence occa- 


sc. l TEMPEST. 137 

Leave not a rack behind: 9 We are such stuff 

sjoned the celebrity. On these allegorical spectacles very costly 
ornaments were bestowed. See Fabian, II. 382. Warton's Hist, 
of Poet. II. 199, 202. 

The well-known lines before us may receive some illustration 
from Stowe's account of the pageants exhibited in the year 1 oOi, 
(not very long before this play was written,) on King James, his 
Queen, &c. passing triumphantly from the Tower to Westminster; 
on which occasion seven gates or arches were erected in different 
places through which the procession passed. — Over the first gate 
" was represented the true likeness of all the notable houses, 
Towers and steeples, within the citie of London." — " The sixt 
arche or gate of triumph was erected above the Conduit in 
Fleete-Streete, whereon the Globe of the world was seen to 
move, &c. At Temple-bar a seaventh arche or gate was erected, 
the fore-front whereof was proportioned in every respect like a 
Temple, being dedicated to Janus, &c. — The citie of Westmin- 
ster, and dutchy of Lancaster, at the Strand had erected the in- 
vention of a Rainbow, the moone, sunne, and starres, advanced 
between two Pyramides," &c. Annals, p. 14-29, edit. 1005. 


9 Leave not a rack behind:'] " The winds (says Lord Bacon) 
which move the clouds above, which we call the rack, and are 
not perceived below, pass without noise." I should explain the 
word rack somewhat differently, by calling it the last jleet'mg 
vestige of the highest clouds, scarce perceptible on account of 
their distance and tenuity. What was anciently called the rack, 
is now termed by sailors — the scud. 

The word is common to many authors contemporary with 
Slutkspeare. So, in the Faithful Shepherdess, by Fletcher: 

" s hall I stray 

" In the middle air, and stay 

" The sailing rack." 

Again, in Datid and Bctlisabc, 1599: 

" Beating the clouds into their swiftest rack." 
Again, in the prologue to the Three Ladies of London, 158+ : 

" We list not ride the rolling rack that dims the chrystal 
Again, in Shakspeare's 33d Sonnet : 

" Anon permits the basest clouds to ride 

" With ugly rack on his celestial face." 
Again, in Chapman's version of the twenty-first Iliads 

" the cracke 

" His thunder gives, when out of heaven it tear? atwo 
his racke." 

13S TEMPEST. act iv. 

As dreams are made of, 1 and our little life 

Here the translator adds, in a marginal note, " The racke or 
morion of the clouds,ybr the clouds." 

Again, in Dryden's version of the tenth JEneid: 

" the doubtful rack of heaven 

" Stands without motion, and the tide undriven." 
Mr. Pennant in his Tour in Scotland observes, there is a fish 
called a rack-rider, because it appears in winter or bad weather ; 
Rack, in the English of our author's days, signifying the driving 
of the clouds by tempests. 

Sir Thomas Hanmer instead of rack, reads track, which may 
be countenanced by the following passage in the first scene of 
Timon of Athens: 

" But flies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on, 
" Leaving no tract behind" 
Again, in the Captain, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Act II. sc. i: 

" run quietly, 

" Leaving no trace of what they were behind them." 

Rack is generally used for a body of clouds, or rather for the 
course of clouds in motion; so, in Antony and Cleopatra: 
" That which is now a horse, even with a thought, 
" The rack dislimns." 
But no instance has yet been produced where it is used to signify 
a single smalljleeting cloud, in which sense only it can be figura- 
tively applied here. I incline, therefore, to Sir Thomas Han- 
mer's emendation. 

I am now inclined to think that rack is a mis-spelling for 
ivrack, i. e. wreck, which Fletcher likewise has used for a 
minute broken fragment. See his Wife for a Month, where we 
find the word mis-spelt as it is in The Tempest: 
" He will bulge so subtilly and suddenly, 
" You may snatch him up by parcels, like a sea-rack. 1 * 
It has been urged, that " objects which have only a visionary 
and insubstantial existence, can, when the vision is faded, leave 
nothing real, and consequently no wreck behind them." But 
the objection is founded on misapprehension. The words — 
" Leave not a rack (or wreck) behind," relate not to " the 
baseless fabrick of this vision," but to the final destruction of the 
world, of which the towers, temples, and palaces, shall (like a 
vision, or a pageant,) be dissolved, and leave no vestige behind. 


1 As dreams are made of,] The old copy reads — on. But this 
is a mere colloquial vitiation; of, among the vulgar, being still 
pronounced — on. Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 139 

Is rounded with a sleep. — Sir, I am vex'd: 

Bear with my weakness ; my old brain is troubled. 

Be not disturb'd with my infirmity : 

If you be pleas'd, retire into my cell, 

And there repose ; a turn or two I'll walk, 

To still my beating mind. 

Fer. Mira. We wish your peace. 


Pro. Come with a thought : — I thank you : — 
Ariel, come. 2 

Enter Ariel. 


Ari. Thy thoughts I cleave to: 3 What's thy 
pleasure ? 

Pro. Spirit, 

We must prepare to meet with Caliban. 4 

The stanza which immediately precedes the lines quoted by 
Mr. Steevens from Lord Sterline's Darius, may serve still further 
to confirm the conjecture that one of these poets imitated the 
other. Our author was I believe the imitator : 

" And when the eclipse comes of our glory's light, 

" Then what avails the adoring of a name? 
" A meer illusion made to mock the sight, 

" Whose best was but the shadow of a dream" 

* Fer. Mir. We wish your peace. 

Pro. Come with a thought: — / thank you: — Ariel, come.~\ 
The old copy reads " — I thank thee." But these thanks being 
in reply to the joint wish of Ferdinand and Miranda, I have sub- 
stituted^™/ for thee, by the advice of Mr. Ritson. Steevens. 

' Thy thoughts I cleave to:] To cleave to, is to unite with 
closely. So, in Macbeth: 

" Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould." 

" If you shall cleave to my consent." Steevens. 

4 to meet with Caliban."] To meet with is to counteract; 

to play .stratagem against Stratagem. — The parson knows thctemper 

140 TEMPEST. act jr. 

Ari. Ay, my commander : when I presented Ceres, 
I thought to have told thee of it; but I fear'd, 
Lest I might anger thee. 

Pro. Say again, where didst thou leave these 
varlets ? 

Ari. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with 
drinking ; 
So full of valour, that they smote the air 
For breathing in their faces ; beat the ground 
For kissing of their feet : yet always bending 
Towards their project: Then I beat my tabor, 
At which, like unback'd colts, they prick'd their 

Advanc'd their, eye-lids, 6 lifted up their noses, 

of every one in his house, and accordingly either meets with 
their vices, or advances their virtues. Herbert's Country 
Parson. Johnson. 

So, in Cynthia's Revenge, l6l3: 

" You may meet 

" With her abusive malice, and exempt 

" Yourself from the suspicion of revenge." Steevens. 

5 Advanc'd their eye-lids, &c] Thus Drayton, in his Nym- 
phidia, or Court ofFairie: 

" But once the circle got within, 

" The charms to work do straight begin, 

" And he was caught as in a gin: 

" For as he thus was busy, 
" A pain he in his head-piece feels, 
" Against a stubbed tree he reels, 
*' And up went poor Hobgoblin's heels: 

" Alas, his brain was dizzy. 
** At length upon his feet he gets, 
" Hobgoblin fumes, Hobgoblin frets ; 
" And as again he forward sets, 

" And through the bushes scrambles, 
" A stump doth hit him in his pace, 
" Down conies poor Hob upon his face, 
" And lamentably tore his case 

Among the briers and brambles/' Johnson. 


sc. t. TEMPEST. 141 

As they smelt musick; so I charm'd their ears, 
That, calf-like, they my lowing follow'd, through 
Tooth'd briers, sharp furzes, pricking goss, 6 and 

Which enter'd their frail shins : at last I left them 
P the filthy mantled pool 7 beyond your cell, 
There dancing up to the chins, that the foul lake 
O'erstunk their feet. 

Pro. This was well done, my bird : 

Thy shape invisible retain thou still : 
The trumpery in my house, go, bring it hither, 
For stale to catch these thieves. 8 

Ari. - I go, I go. [Exit. 

Pro. A devil, a born devil, on whose nature 
Nurture can never stick f on whom my pains, 

' pricking goss,] I know not how Shakspeare distin- 
guished goss Scorn furze; for what he ca\h furze is called goss or 
gorse in the midland counties. 

This word is used in the first chorus to Kyd's Cornelia, 15Q4: 
" With worthless gorse that, yearly, fruitless dies." 


By the latter, Shakspeare means the low sort of gorse that only 
grows upon wet ground, and which is well described by the 
name of tvhins in Markham's Farewell to Husbandry. It has 
prickles like those of a rose-tree or a gooseberry. Furze and 
whins occur together in Dr. Farmer's quotation from Holinshed. 


7 P the flthy mantled pool — ] Perhaps we should read — 
filth-ymantled. — A similar idea occurs in K. Lear : 

" Drinks the green mantle of the standing pool." 


8 For stale to catch these thieves.'] Stale is a word infolding, 
and is used to mean a bait or decoy to catch birds. 

So, in A Looking-glass for London and England, 1617: 
" Hence tools of wrath, stales of temptation!" 
Again, in Green's Mamilia, 15Q5 : " — that she might not strike 
at the stale, lest she were canvassed in the nets." Steevens. 

9 Nurture can never sticlc;] Nurture is education. A little 

142 TEMPEST. act iv. 

Humanely taken, all, all lost, quite lost ;' 
And as, with age, his body uglier grows, 
So his mind cankers:' 3 I will plague them all, 

Re-enter Ariel loaden with glistering apparel, §c. 
Even to roaring : — Come, hang them on this line. 

Prospero and Ariel remain invisible. Enter 
Caliban, Stepiiaxo, and Trixculo, all wet, 

Cal. Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole 
may not 
Hear a foot fall : 3 we now are near his cell. 

Ste. Monster, your fairy, which, you say, is a 

volume entitled The Boke 0/ Nurture, o?- Schoole of good Mancrs, 
&c. was published iu the reign of King Edward VI. 4to. bl. 1. 


1 all, all lost,] The first of these words was probably in- 
troduced by the carelessness of the transcriber or compositor. 
We might safely read — are all lost. Maloxe. 

s And as, nii/i age, his body uglier groics, 

So his mind cankers:'] Shakspeare, when he wrote this 
description, perhaps recollected what his patron's most intimate 
friend the great Lord Essex, in an hour of discontent, said of 
Queen Elizabeth: — " that she greu- old and canker'd, and that her 
mind toas become as crooked as her carcase:" — a speech, which, 
according to Sir Walter Raleigh, cost him his head, and which, 
we may therefore suppose, was at that time much talked of. 
This play being written in the time of King James, these ob- 
noxious words might be safely repeated. Maloxe. 

3 the blind mole may not 

Hear afoot fall:] This quality of hearing, which the mole 
is supposed to possess in so high a degree, is mentioned in 
Enphnes, 4to. 1561, p. (34: "Doth not the lion for strength, 
the turtle for love, the ant for labour, excel man? Doth not the 
eagle see clearer, the vulture smell better, the moale heare light- 
." Reed. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 143 

harmless fairy, has done little better than played the 
Jack with us. -1 

Trin. Monster, I do smell all horse-piss ; at 
which my nose is in great indignation. 

Ste. So is mine. Do you hear, monster ? If I 
should take a displeasure against you ; look you, — 

Trin. Thou wert but a lost monster. 

Cal. Good my lord, give me thy favour still : 
Be patient, for the prize I'll bring thee to 
Shall hood-wink this mischance: therefore, speak 

All's husli'd as midnight yet. 

Trin. Ay, but to lose our bottles in the pool, — 

Ste. There is not only disgrace and dishonour 
in that, monster, but an infinite loss. 

Trix. That's more to me than my wetting : yet 
this is your harmless fairy, monster. 

Ste. I will fetch off my bottle, though I be o'er 
ears for my labour. 

Cal. Pr'ythee, my king, be quiet: Seest thou 
This is the mouth o' the cell : no noise, and enter: 
Do that good mischief, which may make this island 
Thine own for ever, and I, thy Caliban, 
For aye thy foot-licker. 

Ste. Give me thy hand : I do begin to have 
bloody thoughts. 

Trin. O king Stephano ! O peer ! O worthy 

4 has done little better than played the Jack with us.~\ 

i. e. He has played Jack with a lantern ,• lias led us about like an 
ignis fatuus, by which travellers are decoyed into the mire. 



Stephano! look, what a wardrobe here is for thee ! 5 

Cal. Let it alone, thou fool ; it is but trash. 

Trix. O, ho, monster ; we know what belongs 
to a frippery : 6 — O king Stephano ! 

Ste. Put off that gown, Trinculo; by this hand, 
I'll have that gown. 

Trin. Thy grace shall have it» 

Cal. The dropsy drown this fool ! what do you 
To doat thus on such luggage ? Let's along, 7 

5 Trin. king Stephano! O peer! worthy Stephano! look 
what a wardrobe is here for thee!~\ The humour of these lines 
consists in their being an allusion to an old celebrated ballad, 
which begins thus : King Stephen was a worthy peer — and cele- 
brates that king's parsimony with regard to his wardrobe. — There 
are two stanzas of this ballad in Othello. Warburton. 

The old ballad is printed at large in The Reliques of Ancient 
Poetry, Vol. I. Percy. 

6 xve know ivhat belongs to a frippery:] A frippery was a 

shop where old clothes were sold. Fripperie, Fr. 

Beaumont and Fletcher use the word in this sense, in Wit 
without Money, Act II: 

" As if I were a running frippery. 9 * 
So, in Monsieur d' Olive, a comedy, by Chapman, \6o6'. 
" Passing yesterday by the frippery, I spied two of them hang- 
ing out at a stall, with a gambrell thrust from shoulder to shoul- 

The person who kept one of these shops was called a. J ripper. 

Strype, in the life of Stowe, says, that these J rippers lived in 
Birchin Lane and Cornhill. Steevens. 

7 Let's along,] First edit. Let' s alone. Johnson. 

I believe the poet wrote: 

" Let it alone, 

" And do the murder first." 
Caliban had used the same expression before. Mr. Theobald 
reads — Let's along. Malone. 

Let's alone, may mean — Let you and I only go to commit the 
murder, leaving Trinculo, who is so solicitous about the trash of 
dress, behind us. Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 145 

And do the murder first : if he awake, 

From toe to crown he'll rill our skins with pinches ; 

Make us strange stuff. 

Ste. Be you quiet, monster. — Mistress line, is 
not this my jerkin ? Now is the jerkin under the 
line: 8 now, jerkin, you are like to lose your hair, 
and prove a bald jerkin. 

Trin. Do, do : We steal by line and level, and't 
like your grace. 

Ste. I thank thee for that jest; here's a garment 
for't : wit shall not go unrewarded, while I am king 
of this country : Steal by line and level, is an excel- 
lent pass of pate ; there's another garment for't. 

Trin. Monster, come, put some lime 9 upon 
your fingers, and away with the rest. 

Cal. I will have none on't : we shall lose our 

9 under the line .•] An allusion to what often happens to 

people who pass the line. The violent fevers, which they con- 
tract in that hot climate, make them lose their hair. 

Edwards' MSS. 
Perhaps the allusion is to a more indelicate disease than any 
peculiar to the equinoxial. 

So, in The Noble Soldier, lG32: 

" 'Tis hot going under the line there.'* 
Again, in Lady Alimony, 16S9: ' 

" Look to the clime 

" Where you inhabit ; that's the torrid zone : 
" Yea, there goes the hair away." 
Shakspeare seems to design an equivoque between the equi- 
noxial and the girdle of a woman. 

It may be necessary, however, to observe, as a further eluci- 
dation of this miserable jest, that the lines on which clothes are 
hung, are usually made of twisted horse-/m/r. Steevens. 

9 put some lime fyc."] That is, birdlime. Johnson. 

So, in Green's Disputation between a He and She Conycatcher, 
1592 : " — mine eyes are stauls, and my hands lime twigs." 



146 TEMPEST. act iv. 

And all be turn'd to barnacles, or to apes * 
With foreheads villainous low. 2 

Ste. Monster, lay-to your fingers ; help to bear 
this away, where my hogshead of wine is, or I'll 
turn you out of my kingdom : go to, carry this. 

Trin. And this. 

Ste. Ay, and this. 

A noise of hunters heard? Enter divers Spirits, in 
shape of hounds, and hunt them about ; Pitos- 
pero and Ariel setting them on. 

1 to barnacles, or to apes — "] Skinner says barnacle is 

Anser Scoticus. The barnacle is a kind of shell-fish growing on 
the bottoms of ships, and which was anciently supposed, when 
broken off, to become one of these geese. Hall, in his Virgi- 
demiarum, Lib. IV. sat. 2, seems to favour this supposition : 

" The Scottish barnacle, if I might choose, 

" That of a worme doth waxe a winged goose," &c. 
So likewise Marston, in his Malecontent, 1604: 

" like your Scotch barnacle, now a block, 

" Instantly a worm, and presently a great goose." 
" There are" (says Gerard, in his Herbal, edit. 1597, page 
1391 ) " in the north parts of Scotland certaine trees, whereon do 
grow shell-fishes, &c. &c. which, falling into the water, do be- 
come fowls, whom we call barnakles ; in the north of England 
brant geese ; and in Lancashire tree geese/* &c. 

This vulgar error deserves no serious confutation. Commend 
me, however, to Holinshed, (Vol. I. p. 38,) who declares him- 
self to have seen the feathers of these barnacles " hang out of the 
shell at least two inches." And in the 27th song of Drayton's 
Polyolbion, the same account of their generation is given. 

8 With foreheads villainous low.] Loin foreheads were ancient- 
ly reckoned among deformities. So, in the old bl. 1. ballad, en- 
titled A Peerlesse Paragon ; 

" Her beetle brows all men admire, 

" Her forehead tvondrous fou>." 
Again, (the qui tationisMr.Malone's,) in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" And her forehead 

" As lotv as she would wish it." Steevens. 

3 A noise of hunters heard.] Shakspeare might have had in 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 147 

Pro. Hey, Mountain, hey ! 

Am. Silver ! there it goes, Silver ! 

Pro. Fury, Fury ! there, Tyrant, there ! hark, 
hark ! 

[Cal. Ste. and Trin. are driven out 
Go, charge my goblins that they grind their joints 
With dry convulsions ; shorten up their sinews 
With aged cramps ; and more pinch-spotted make 

Than pard, or cat o* mountain. 

Am. Hark, they roar. 

Pro. Let them be hunted soundly: At this hour 
Lie at my mercy all mine enemies : 
Shortly shall all my labours end, and thou 
Shalt have the air at freedom : for a little, 
Follow, and do me service. \_ExeunU 

view " Arthur's Chace, which many believe to be in France, and 
think that it is a kennel of black dogs followed by unknown 
huntsmen with an exceeding great sound of horns, as if it was a 
very hunting of some wild beast." See a Treatise of Spectres, 
translated from the French of Peter de Loier, and published in 
quarto, K)05. Grey. 

" Hecate, (says the same writer, ibid.) as the Greeks af- 
firmed, did use to send dogges unto men, to feare and terrifie 
them." Malone. 

See Gervase of Tilbery, who wrote in 1211, for an account of 
the Familia Arturi. Ot. Imper. Dec. II. c. 12. Steevens. 

I. 2 

148 TEMPEST. actv. 


Before the Cell of Prospero. 
Enter Prospero in his magick robes ; and Ariel, 

Pro. Now does my project gather to a head : 
My charms crack not; my spirits obey; and time 
Goes upright with his carriage. 4 How's the day ? 

Ari. On the sixth hour ; at which time, my lord, 
You said our work should cease. 

Pro. I did say so, 

When first I rais'd the tempest. Say, my spirit, 
How fares the king and his ? 5 

Ari. Confin'd together 

In the same fashion as you gave in charge ; 
Just as you left them, sir ; all prisoners 
In the lime-grove which weather-fends your cell ; 
They cannot budge, till your release. 6 The king, 
His brother, and yours, abide all three distracted ; 
And the remainder mourning over them, 
Brim-full of sorrow, and dismay ; but chiefly 
Him you term'd, sir, The good old lord, Gonzalo ; 

and time 

. with his carriage."] Alluding to one carrying a 
burthen. This critical period of my life proceeds as I could wish. 

Goes upright 
uurthen. This critical penoa" ot my lite proceeds as i coma wisn. 
Time brings forward all the expected events, without faultering 
under his burthen. Steevens. 

3 the king and his ?] The old copy reads — " the king and 

his followers?" But the word followers is evidently an interpola- 
tion, (or gloss which had crept into the text,) and spoils the metre 
without help to the sense. In King Lear we have the phraseo- 
logy I have ventured to recommend : 

" To thee and thine, hereditary ever," &c. Steevens. 

6 till your release.'] i. e. till you release them. Malone- 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 149 

His tears run down his beard, like winter's drops 
From eaves of reeds : your charm so strongly works 

That if you now beheld them, your affections 
Would become tender. 

Pro. Dost thou think so, spirit ? 

Arl Mine would, sir, were I human. 

Pro. And mine shall. 

Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling 7 
Of their afflictions ? and shall not myself, 
One of their kind, that relish all as sharply, 
Passion as they, 8 be kindlier mov'd than thou art ? 
Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the 

Yet, with my nobler reason, 'gainst my fury 
Do I take part : the rarer action is 
In virtue than in vengeance : they being penitent, 
The sole drift of my purpose doth extend 
Not a frown further : Go, release them, Ariel ; 
My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore, 
And they shall be themselves. 

Ari. I'll fetch them, sir. [Exit. 

7 a touch, a feeling — ] A touch is a sensation. So, in 

Cymbeline : 

" a touch more rare 

" Subdues all pangs, all fears." 
So, in the 14 1st sonnet of Shakspeare: 

" Nor tender feeling to base touches prone." 
Again, in the Civil Wars of Daniel, B. I : 

" I know not how their death gives such a touch" 


that relish alias sharply, 

Passion as they,'] I feel every thing with the same quick sen- 
sibility, and am moved by the same passions as they are. 
A similar thought occurs in K. Richard II : 

" Taste grief need friends, like you," &c. Steevens. 

1 50 TEMPEST. act r. 

Pro. Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, 
and groves ; 9 

9 Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves ;] This 
speech Dr. Warburton rightly observes to be borrowed from 
Medea's in Ovid : and, " it proves, says Mr. Holt, beyond con- 
tradiction, that Shakspeare was perfectly acquainted with the sen- 
timents of the ancients on the subject of inchantments." The 
original lines are these ; 

" Auraeque, & venti, montesque, amnesque, lacusque, 
" Diique omnes nemorum, diique omnes noctis, adeste." 
The translation of which, by Golding, is by no means literal, and 
Shakspeare hath closely followed it. Farmer. 

Whoever will take the trouble of comparing this whole passage 
with Medea's speech, as translated by Golding, will see evidently 
that Shakspeare copied the translation, and not the original. The 
particular expressions that seem to have made an impression on 
his mind, are printed in Italicks : 
" Ye ayres and windes, ye elves of hills, of brookes, of woodes 

" Of standing lakes, and of the night, approche ye every ch one. 
" Through help of whom (the c ~>oked bankes much wondering 

at the thing) 
" I have compelled streames to run clear backward to their spring. 
" By charms I make the calm sea rough, and make the rough seas 

" And cover all the skie with clouds, and chase them thence again. 
" By charms I raise and lay the "windes, and burst the viper's 

" And from the bowels of the earth both stones and trees do draw. 
" Whole woods and forrests I remove, / make the mountains 

" And even the earth itself to groan and fearfully to quake. 
u / call up dead men from their graves, and thee, O lightsome 

" I darken oft, though beaten brass abate thy peril soone. 
" Our sorcerie dimrnes the morning faire, and darks the sun at 

" The flaming breath of fierie bulles ye quenched for my sake, 
" And caused their unwieldy neckes the bended yoke to take. 
" Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal warre did set, 
** And brought asleep the dragon fell, whose eyes were never 

shet." Malone. 

Ye elves of hills, &c] Fairies and elves are frequently, in the 

sc. /. TEMPEST. 151 

And ye, that on the sands with printless foot 
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, 1 and do fly him, 
When he comes back ; you demy-puppets, that 
By moon-shine do the green-sour ringlets make, 
Whereof the ewe not bites j and you, whose pas- 
Is to make midnight mushrooms ; that rejoice 
To hear the solemn curfew ; by whose aid 
(Weak masters though ye be,)' 2 I have be-dimm'd 
The noon-tide sun, call'd forth the mutinous winds, 
And 'twixt the green sea and the azur'd vault 
Set roaring war : to the dread rattling thunder 

poets mentioned together, without any distinction of character 
that I can recollect. Keysler says, that alp and alf which is elf 
with the Suedes and English, equally signified a mountain, or a 
daemon of the mountains. This seems to have been its original 
meaning ; but Somner's Diet, mentions elves or fairies of the 
mountains, of the woods, of the sea and fountains, without any 
distinction between elves and fairies. Tollet. 

1 'with printlessyoo^ 

Do chase the ebbing Neptmie^ So Milton, in his Masque : 
" Whilst from off the waters fleet, 
" Thus I set my printless feet." Steevens. 

8 ( Weak masters though ye be,)~\ The meaning of this passage 
may be, Though you arc but inferior masters of these supernatural 
poivers — though you possess them but in a loiv degree. Spenser 
uses the same kind of expression in The Fairy Queen, B. III. 
cant. 8. st. 4 : 

" Where she (the witch) was wont her sprights to enter- 
" The masters of her art : there was she fain 
" To call them' all in order to her aid." Steevens. 

— by ivhose aid, 

{IVcak masters though ye be,)] That is; ye are powerful 
auxiliaries, but weak if left to yourselves; — your employment is 
then to make green ringlets, and midnight mushrooms, and to 
play the idle pranks mentioned by Ariel in his next song ; — yet 
by your aid I have been enabled to invert the course of nature. 
We say proverbially, " Fire is a good servant but a bad master." 




Have I given fire, and rifted Jove's stout oak 
With his own bolt : the strong-bas'd promontory 
Have I made shake ; and by the spurs pluck'd up 
The pine and cedar : graves, at my command, 
Have waked their sleepers; oped, and let them 

By my so potent art : But this rough magick 3 
I here abjure : and, when I have requir'd 
Some heavenly musick, (which even now I do,) 
To work mine end upon their senses, that 
This airy charm is for, I'll break my staff, 
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth, 
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound, 
I'll drown my book. [Solemn musick. 

.Re-enter Ariel : after him, Alonso, mth a fran- 
tick gesture, attended by Gonzalo ; Sebastian 
and Antonio in like maimer, attended by Adrian 
and Francisco : they all enter the circle which 
Prospero had made, and there stand charmed ; 
which Prospero observing, speaks. 

A solemn air, and the best comforter 
To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains, 4 

But this rough magick &c] This speech of Prospero 

sets out with a long and distinct invocation to the various ministers 
of his art : yet to what purpose they were invoked does not very 
distinctly appear. Had our author written — " All this," &c. 
instead of—" But this," &c. the conclusion of the address would 
have been more pertinent to its beginning. Steevens. 
4 A solemn air, and the best comforter 
To an unsettled fancy, cure thy brains, fyc."] Prospero does 
not desire them to cure their brains. His expression is optative, 
not imperative ; and means — May music cure thy brains ! i. e. 
settle them. Mr. Malone reads : " 

" To an unsettled fancy's cure ! Thy brains, 

" Now useless, boil within thy scull :" — Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 153 

Now useless, boil'd within thy skull ! 5 There stand, 

For you are spell-stopp'd. 

Holy Gonzalo, honourable man, 

Mine eyes, even sociable to the shew of thine, 

Fall fellowly drops. — The charm dissolves apace; 

And as the morning steals upon the night, 

Melting the darkness, so their rising senses 

Besrin to chase the ignorant fumes 7 that mantle 

Their clearer reason. — O my good Gonzalo, 

My true preserver, and a loyal sir 

To him thou follow' st ; I will pay thy graces 

Home, both in word and deed. — Most cruelly 

Didst thou, Alouso, use me and my daughter : 

The old copy reads— fan cy. For this emendation I am an- 
swerable. So, in King John ; 

" My widow's comfort, and my sorrow's care." 
Again, in Romeo and Juliet : 

" Confusion's cure 

" Lives not in these confusions." 
Prospero begins by observing, that the air which had been 
played was admirably adapted to compose unsettled minds. He 
then addresses Gonzalo and the rest, who had just before gone 
into the circle: " Thy brains, now useless boil within thy skull," 
&c. [the soothing strain not having yet begun to operate.] Af- 
terwards, perceiving that the musick begins to have the effect 
intended, he adds, " The charm dissolves apace." Mr. Pope 
and the subsequent editors read — boil'd. Ma lone. 

5 boil'd within thy shdl !~\ So, in A Midsummer Night's 

Dream : 

" Lovers and madmen have such seething brains," &c. 


Again, in The Winter's Tale: " Would any but these boil'd 
brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty, hunt this weather?" 


G fellovAy drops.] I would read, fellow drops. The 

additional syllable only injures the metre, without enforcing the 
tense. Fellowly, however, is an adjective used by Tusser. 


7 the ignorant fumes — ] i. e. the fumes of ignorance. 


154 TEMPEST. act v. 

Thy brother was a furtherer in the act ;-*- 
Thou'rt pinch'd for't now, Sebastian. — Flesh and 

blood, 8 
You brother mine, that entertain'd ambition, 9 
Expell'd remorse and nature; 1 who, with Sebastian, 
(Whose inward pinches therefore are most strong,) 
Would here have kill'd your king ; I do forgive 

Unnatural though thou art! — Their understanding 
Begins to swell ; and the approaching tide 
Will shortly fill the reasonable shores, 
That now lie foul and muddy. Not one of them, 
That yet looks on me, or would know me : — Ariel, 
Fetch me the hat and rapier in my cell ; 

\_Exit Ariel. 
I will dis-case me, and myself present, 
As I was sometime Milan : — quickly, spirit ; 
Thou shalt ere long be free. 

Ariel re-enters, singing, and helps to attire 

Ari. Wliere the bee sucks, there sack I; 
In a cowslip's bell I lie : 2 
There I coach when owls do cry. 3 
On the bafs back I dofiy, 
After summer, mei~rily : 4 

8 Thou'rt pinch'd forH now, Sebastian. — Flesh and blood,] 
Thus the old copy : Theobald points the passage in a different 
manner, and perhaps rightly : 

" Thou'rt pinch'd for't now, Sebastian, flesh and blood." 


9 — — . that entertain'd ambition,'] Old copy — entertain. Cor- 
rected by the editor of the second folio. Malone. 

• remorse and nature ;] Remorse is by our author and 

the contemporary writers generally used for pity, or tenderness 
nf heart. Nature is natural affection. Malone. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 155 

Merrih/i merrily, shall I live now, 

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough. 5 


In a cowslip's bell I lie :] So, in Drayton's Nymphidia : 

" At midnight, the appointed hour ; 

" And for the queen a fitting bower, 

" Quoth he, is that fair cowslip flower 

" On Hipcut hill that hloweth." 
The date of this poem not being ascertained, we know not 
whether our author was indebted to it, or was himself copied by 
Drayton. I believe, the latter was the imitator. Nymphidia 
was not written, I imagine, till after the English Don Quixote 
had appeared in 1612. Malone. 

3 when owls do cry.'] i. e. at night. As this passage is 

now printed, Ariel says that he reposes in a cowslip's bell during 
the night. Perhaps, however, a full point ought to be placed 
after the word couch, and a comma at the end of the line. If 
the passage should be thus regulated, Ariel will then take his 
departure by night, the proper season for the bat to set out upon 
the expedition. Malone. 

4 After summer, merrily:'] This is the reading of all the edi- 
tions. Yet Mr. Theobald has substituted sun-set, because Ariel 
talks of riding on the bat in this expedition. An idle fancy. 
That circumstance is given only to design the time of night in 
which fairies travel. One would think the consideration of the 
circumstances should have set him right. Ariel was a spirit of 
great delicacy, bound by the charms of Prospero to a constant 
attendance on his occasions. So that he was confined to the 
island winter and summer. But the roughness of winter is re- 
presented by Shakspeare as disagreeable to fairies, and such like 
delicate spirits, who, on this account, constantly follow summer. 
Was not this then the most agreeable circumstance of Ariel's 
new-recovered liberty, that he could now avoid winter, and follow 
summer quite round the globe? But to put the matter quite out 
of question, let us consider the meaning of this line : 

" There I couch when owls do cry." 

Where f in the cowslip's hell, and where the bee sucks, he tells 

us : this must needs be in summer. When ? xvhen owls cry. and 
..... " 

this is in winter : 

" When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul, 

" Then nightly sings the staring owl." 

The Song of Winter in Love's Labour's Lost. 

The consequence is, that Ariel Jlies after summer. Yet the 

156 TEMPEST. act v. 

Pro. Why, that's my dainty Ariel : I shall miss 
thee ; 

Oxford editor has adopted this judicious emendation of Mr. 
Theobald. Warburton. 

Ariel does not appear to have been confined to the island sum- 
mer and winter, as he was sometimes sent on so long an errand as 
to the Bermoothes. When he says, On the bat's back I dojly, 
Sec. he speaks of his present situation only ; nor triumphs in the 
idea of his future liberty, till the last couplet : 

" Merrily, merrily," &c. 
The bat is no bird of passage, and the expression is therefore pro- 
bably used to signify, not that he pursues summer, but that, after 
summer is past, he rides upon the warm down of a bat's back, 
which suits not improperly with the delicacy of his airy being. 
After summer is a phrase in K. Henry VI. P. II. Act II. sc. iv. 
Shakspeare, who, in his Midsummer Night's Dream, has 
placed the light of a glow-worm in its eyes, might, through the 
same ignorance of natural history, have supposed the bat to be a 
bird of passage. Owls cry not only in winter. It is well known 
that they are to the full as clamorous in summer ; and as a proof 
of it, Titania, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, the time of 
which is supposed to be May, commands her fairies to — 

" keep back 

" The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots." Steevens. 

Our author is seldom solicitous that every part of his imagery 
should correspond. I therefore think, that though the bat is 
" no bird of passage," Shakspeare probably meant to express 
what Dr. Warburton supposes. A short account, however, of 
this winged animal may perhaps prove the best illustration of the 
passage before us : 

" The bat (says Dr. Goldsmith, in his entertaining and in- 
structive Natural History, ) makes its appearance in summer, and 
begins its flight in the dusk of the evening. It appears only in 
the most pleasant evenings; at other times it continues in its re- 
treat ; the chink of a ruined building, or the hollow of a tree. 
Thus the little animal even in summer sleeps the greatest part of 
his time, never venturing out by day-light, nor in rainy weather. 
But its short life is still more abridged by continuing in a torpid 
state during the "winter. At the approach of the cold season, 
the bat prepares for its state of lifeless inactivity, and seems 
rather to choose a place where it may continue safe from inter- 
ruption, than where it may be warmly and commodiously lodged." 

When Shakspeare had determined to send Ariel in pursuit of 

$c. i. TEMPEST. 157 

But yet thou shalt have freedom : so, so, so. — 
To the king's ship, invisible as thou art : 
There shalt thou find the mariners asleep 
Under the hatches ; the master, and the boatswain, 
Being awake, enforce them to this place ; 
And presently, I pr'ythee. 

Arl I drink the air s before me, and return 
Or e'er your pulse twice beat. \_Exit Ariel, 

Gon. All torment, trouble, wonder, and amaze* 
Inhabits here : Some heavenly power guide us 
Out of this fearful country ! 

Pro. Behold, sir king, 

The wronged duke of Milan, Prospero : 
For more assurance that a living prince 
Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body ; 

summer, wherever it could be found, as most congenial to such 
an airy being, is it then surprising that he should have made the 
bat, rather than " the wind, his post-horse ;" an animal thus de* 
lighting in that season, and reduced by winter to a state of life- 
less inactivity ? Malone. 

5 shall I live noiv, 

Under the blossom that hangs on the bough."] This thought 
is not thrown out at random. It composed a part of the magi- 
cal system of these days. In Tasso's Godfrey of Bulloigne, by 
Fairfax, B. IV. st. IS: 

" The goblins, fairies, fecnds, and furies mad, 
" Ranged in flowrie dales, and mountaines hore, 
" And under rvrrie trembling leafe they sit." 
The idea was probably first suggested by the description of the 
venerable elm which Virgil planted at the entrance of the infernal 
shades. JEn. VI. v. 282 : 

" Ulmus opaca, ingens ; quam sedem somnio vulgo 
" Vuna tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibus liferent.'" 

Holt White. 

6 / drink the air — ] To drink the air — is an expression of 
swiftness of the same kind as to devour the way in K. Henry IV. 


158 TEMPEST. act v. 

And to thee, and thy company, I bid 
A hearty welcome. 

Alon. Whe'r thou beest he, or no, 7 

Or some enchanted trifle to abuse me, 
As late I have been, I not know : thy pulse 
Beats, as of flesh and blood ; and, since I saw thee, 
The affliction of my mind amends, with which, 
I fear, a madness held me : this must crave 
(An if this be at all,) a most strange story. 
Thy dukedom I resign ; 8 and do entreat 
Thou pardon me my wrongs : — But how should 

Be living, and be here ? 

Pro. First, noble friend, 

Let me embrace thine age j whose honour cannot 
Be measur'd, or confin'd. 

Gon. Whether this be, 

Or be not, I'll not swear. 

Pro. You do yet taste 

Some subtilties o' the isle, ° that will not let you 

7 Whe'r thou beest he, or no,~\ Whe'r for whether, is an ab- 
breviation frequently used both by Shakspeare and Jonson. So^ 
in Julius Ctesar : 

" See, whe'r their basest metal be not mov'd." 
Again, in the Comedy qf Errors: 

" Good sir, whe'r you'll answer me, or not." 

M. Mason. 

8 Thy dukedom I resign ;] The duchy of Milan being through 
the treachery of Antonio made feudatory to the crown of Naples, 
Alonso promises to resign his claim of sovereignty for the future. 


9 You do yet taste 

Some subtilties o' the isle,"] This is a phrase adopted from 
ancient cookery and confectionary. When a dish was so con- 
trived as to appear unlike what it really was, they called it a 
subtilty. Dragons, castles, trees, &c. made out of sugar, had 
the like denomination. See Mr. Pegge's glossary to the Form 
<rf Cury, &c. Article Sotiltees. 

sc. l TEMPEST. 1.59 

Believe things certain: — Welcome, my friends 

But you, my brace of lords, were I so minded, 

[Aside to Seb. mid Ant. 
I here could pluck his highness' frown upon you, 
And justify you traitors ; at this time 
I'll tell no tales. 

Seb. The devil speaks in him. [Aside. 

Pro. No : 

For you, most wicked sir, whom to call brother 
Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive 
Thy rankest fault ; all of them ; and require 
My dukedom of thee, which, perforce, I know, 
Thou must restore. 

Alon. If thou beest Prospero, 

Give us particulars of thy preservation : 
How thou hast met us here, who three hours since 1 

Froissard complains much of this practice, which often led liim 
into mistakes at dinner. Describing one of the feasts of his time, 
lie says there was " grant plante de mestz si etranges 8$ si 
desguisez qu'on ne les pouvait deviser ;" and L'Etoile speaking of 
a similar entertainment in 1597? adds " Tousles poisso?is estoieni 
fort dextrement desguisez en viande de chair, qui estoient monstres 
inarins pour la pluspart, qiCon avait fait venir expres de tous les 
costez." Steevens. 

1 n-ho three hours since — ] The unity of time is most 

rigidly observed in this piece. The fable scarcely takes up a 
greater number of hours than are employed in the representa- 
tion ; and from the very particular care which our author takes 
to point out this circumstance in so many other passages, as well 
as here, it should seem as if it were not accidental, but purposely 
designed to shew the admirers of Ben Jonson's art, and the ca- 
villers of the time, that he too could write a play within all the 
strictest laws of regularity, when he chose to load himself with 
the critick's fetters. 

The Boatswain marks the progress of the day again — tvhich 
but three glasses since, Sec. and at the beginning of this act the 
duration of the time employed on the stage is particularly ascer- 

160 TEMPEST. actv. 

Were wreck'd upon this shore ; where I have lost, 
How sharp the point of this remembrance is ! 
My dear son Ferdinand. 

Pro. I am woe for't, sir. 2 

Alon. Irreparable is the loss ; and patience 
Says, it is past her cure. 

Pro. I rather think, 

You have not sought her help ; of whose soft grace, 
For the like loss, I have her sovereign aid, 
And rest myself content. 

Alon: You the like loss ? 

Pro. As great to me, as late ; 3 and, portable 4 
To make the dear loss, have I means much weaker 
Than you may call to comfort you ; for I 
Have lost my daughter. 

Alon. A daughter ? 

O heavens ! that they were living both in Naples, 
The king and queen there ! that they were, I wish 
Myself were mudded in that oozy bed 
Where my son lies. When did you lose your daugh- 
ter ? 

tained ; and it refers to a passage In the first act, of the same ten- 
dency. The storm was raised at least two glasses after mid day, 
and Ariel was promised that the ivork should cease at the sixth 
hour. Steevens. 

2 I am woe Jbr't, sir.~\ i. e. / am sorry for it. To be "woe, is 
often used hy old writers to signify, to be sorry. 
So, in the play of The Four P's, 15&9 : 
" But be ye sure I tvould be ivoe 
** That you should chance to begyle me so." Steevens. 

* As great to me, as late ;] My loss is as great as yours, and 
has as lately happened to me. Johnson. 

4 portable — ] So, in Macbeth : 

" these are portable 

" With other graces weigh'd." 
The old copy unrnetrically reads — " ^portable." Steevens. 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 161 

Pro. In this last tempest. I perceive, these lords 
At this encounter do so much admire, 
That they devour their reason ; and scarce think 
Their eyes do offices of truth, their words 
Are natural breath : 5 but, howsoe'er you have 
Beenjustled from your senses, know for certain, 
That I am Prospero, and that very duke 
Which was thrust forth of Milan ; who most 

Upon this shore, where you were wreck'd, was 

To be the lord on't. No more yet of this ; 
For 'tis a chronicle of day by day, 
Not a relation for a breakfast, nor 
Befitting this first meeting. Welcome, sir ; 
This cell's my court : here have I few attendants, 
And subjects none abroad : pray you, look in. 
My dukedom since you have given me again, 
I will requite you with as good a thing ; 
At least, bring forth a wonder, to content ye, 
As much as me my dukedom. 

The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers Fer- 
dinand and Miranda playing at chess. 6 

Mira. Sweet lord, you play me false. 

4 their words 

Arc natural breath :] An anonymous correspondent thinks 
thai their is a corruption, and that we should read — these words. 
I lis conjecture appears not improbable. The lords had no doubt 
concerning themselves. Their doubts related only to Prospero, 
whom they at fust apprehended to be some " inchanted trifle to 
abuse them." They doubt, says he, whether what they see and 
hear is a mere illusion ; whether the person they behold is a 
living mortal, whether the words they hear are spoken by a hu- 
man creature. M A LONE. 

playing at chess.] Shakspearc might not have ventured 


162 TEMPEST. act v. 

Fer. No, my dearest love, 

I would not for the world. 

Mira. Yes, for a score of kingdoms, 7 you should 
And I would call it fair play. 

Alon. If this prove 

A vision of the island, one dear son 
Shall I twice lose. 

Seb. A most high miracle ! 

Fer. Though the seas threaten, they are merci- 
ful : 
I have curs'd them without cause. 

[Ferd. kneels to Alon. 

Alon. Now all the blessings 

Of a glad father compass thee about ! 
Arise, and say how thou cam'st here. 

to engage his hero and heroine at this game, had he not found 
Hnon de Bordeaux and his Princess employed in the same man- 
ner. See the romance of Huon, &c. chapter .53, edit. 1601 : 
" How King Ivoryn caused his daughter to play at the chesse 
with Huon," &c. Steevens. 

7 Yes, for a score o/kingdoms, <^c] I take the sense to be 
only this : Ferdinand would not, he says, play her false for the 
■world ; yes, answers she, I would allow you to do it for some- 
thing less than the world, for twenty kingdoms, and I wish you 
well enough to allow you, after a little wrangle, that your play 
was fair. So, likewise, Dr. Grey. Johnson. 

I would recommend another punctuation, and then the sense 
would be as follows : 

Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, 
And I would call it fair play ; 
because such a contest would be worthy of you. 

" *Tu honour, with most lands to be at odds," — 
says Alcibiades, in Timon of Athens. 

Again, in Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen : 

" They would show bravely 

" Fighting about the titles of two kingdoms." 


sc. i. TEMPEST. 162 

Mira. O ! wonder ! 

How many goodly creatures are there here ! 
How beauteous mankind is ! O brave new world, 
That has such people in't ! 

Pro. 'Tis new to thee. 

Alon. What is this maid, with whom thou wast 
at play ? 
Your eld'st acquaintance cannot be three hours : 
Is she the goddess that hath severed us, 
And brought us thus together ? 

Fer. Sir, she's mortal ; 

But, by immortal providence, she's mine ; 
I chose her, when I could not ask my father 
For his advice ; nor thought I had one : she 
Is daughter to this famous duke of Milan, 
Of whom so often I have heard renown, 
But never saw before ; of whom I have 
Received a second life, and second father 
This lady makes him to me. 

Alox. I am hers : 

But O, how oddly will it sound, that I 
Must ask my child forgiveness ! 

Pro. There, sir, stop ; 

Let us not burden our remembrances 8 
With a heaviness that's gone. 

Gox. I have inly wept, 

Or should have spoke ere this. Look down, you 

And on this couple drop a blessed crown ; 

8 our remembrances — ] By the mistake of the transcri- 
ber the word with being placed at the end of this line, Mr. Pope 
and the subsequent editors, for the sake of the metre, read — 
remembrance. The regulation now made renders change unne- 
cessary. Malone. 


164 TEMPEST. act r. 

For it is you, that have chalk'd forth the way 
Which brought us hither ! 

Alon. I say, Amen, Gonzalo ! 

Gox. Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his issue 
Should become kings of Naples ? O, rejoice 
Beyond a common joy ; and set it down 
With gold on lasting pillars : In one voyage 
Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis ; 
And Ferdinand, her brother, found a wife, 
Where he himself was lost ; Prospero his dukedom, 
In a poor isle ; and all of us, ourselves, 
When no man was his own. 9 

Alox. Give me your hands : 

[To Fer. and Mir. 
Let grief and sorrow still embrace his heart, 
That doth not wish you joy ! 

Gox. Be't so ! Amen ! 

Re-enter Ariel, mth the Master and Boatswain 
amazedly following. 

look, sir, look, sir ; here are more of us ! 

1 prophesied, if a gallows were on land, 

This fellow could not drown : — Now, blasphemy, 
That swear'st grace o'erboard, not an oath on shore ? 
Hast thou no mouth by land? What is the news ? 

Boats. The best news is, that we have safely 

9 When no man ivas his own."] For tvlien, perhaps should be 
read — -where. Johnson. 

When is certainly right ; i. e. at a time xvhen no one was in 
his senses. Shakspeare could not have written ivhere, [i. e. in the 
island,] because the mind of Prospero, who lived in it, had not 
been disordered. It is still said, in colloquial language, that a 
madman is not his oton man, i. e. is not master of himself. 


sc. i. TEMPEST. 165 

Our king, and company : the next our ship, — 
Which, but three glasses since, we gave out split, — 
Is tight, and yare, and bravely rigg'd, as when 
We first put out to sea. 

Ari. Sir, all this service } 

Have I done since I went. > Aside. 

Pro. My tricksy spirit ! l ) 

Alox. These are not natural events; they 
From strange to stranger : — Say, how came you 
hither ? 

Boats. If I did think, sir, I were well awake, 
I'd strive to tell you. We were dead of sleep, 3 

1 My tricksy spirit .'] Is, I believe, my clever, adroit spirit. 
Shakspeare uses the same word in The Merchant of Venice.: 

" that for a tricksy word 

" Defy the matter." 
So, in the interlude of The Disobedient Child, bl. 1. no date : 

" invent and seek out 

" To make them go tricksie, gallaunt and cleane." 


1 dead of sleep,'] Thus the old copy. Modern editors 

— asleep. 

Mr. Malone would substitute — on ; but on (in the present in- 
stance ) is only a vulgar corruption of — of. We still say, that a 
person dies o/such or such a disorder ; and why not that he is 
dead of sleep ? Steevens. 

" On sleep" was the ancient English phraseology. So, in 
Gascoigne's Supposes : " — knock again ; I think they be on 

Again, in a song said to have been written by Anna Boleyn : 
" O death, rock me on slepe." 
Again, in Campion's History of Ireland, l633 : " One officer 
in the house of great men is a tale-teller, who bringeth his lord 
on sleep with tales vaine and frivolous." Malone. 

In these instances adduced by Mr. Malone, on sleep, most 
certainly means asleep ; but they do not militate against my ex- 
planation of the phrase — " dead n/ - sleep." Steevens. 

163 TEMPEST. act v. 

And (how, we know not,) all clapp'd under hatches., 
Where, but even now, with strange and several 

Of roaring, shrieking, howling, gingling chains, 
And more diversity of sounds, all horrible, 
We were awak'd ; strait way, at liberty : 
Where we, in all her trim, freshly beheld 
Our royal, good, and gallant ship ; our master 
Capering to eye her : On a trice, so please you, 
Even in a dream, were we divided from them, 
And were brought moping hither. 

Ari. Was't well done ? \ 

Pro. Bravely, my diligence. Thou shalt V Aside. 
be free. } 

Alon. This is as strange a maze as e'er men trod: 
And there is in this business more than nature 
Was ever conduct of: 3 some oracle 
Must rectify our knowledge. 

Pro. Sir, my liege, 

Do not infest your mind with beating on 
The strangeness of this business ; 4 atpick'd leisure, 

3 conduct of:'] Conduct for conductor. So, in Ben 

Jonson's Every Mail out of his Humour : 

" Come, gentlemen, I will be your conduct." Steevens. 

Again, in The Housholders' Philosophic, 4 to. 1.58S, p. 1 : "I 
goe before, not to arrogat anie superioritie, but as your guide, 
because, perhaps you are not well acquainted with the waie. 
Fortune (quoth I) doth favour mee with too noble a conduct." 


Conduct is yet used in the same sense : the person at Cambridge 
who reads prayers in King's and in Trinity College Chapels, is 
still so styled. Henley. 

4 with beating on 

The strangeness &c] A similar expression occurs in The 
Second Part of K. Henry VI ; 

" thine eyes and thoughts 

" Beat on a crown." 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 167 

Which shall be shortly, single I'll resolve you 
(Which to you shall seem probable,) 5 of every 
These happen'd accidents : till when, be cheerful, 
And think of each thing well. — Come hither, 
spirit : [Aside. 

Set Caliban and his companions free : 
Untie the spell. [Eait Ariel.] How fares my gra- 
cious sir ? 
There are yet missing of your company 
Some few odd lads, that you remember not. 

Re-enter Ariel, driving in Caliban, Stephano, 
and Trinculo, in their stolen apparel. 

Ste. Every man shift for all the rest, and let no 

Beating may mean hammering, working in the mind, dwelling^ 
long upon. So, in the preface to Stanyhurst's translation of 
Virgil, 1582: " For my part, I purpose not to beat on everye 
childish tittle that concerneth prosodie." Again, Miranda, in 
the second scene of this play, tells her father that the storm is 
still beating in her mind. Steevens. 

A kindred expression occurs in Hamlet : 

" Cudgel thy brains no more about it." Malone. 

5 ( Which to you shall seem probable,)] These words seem, 
at the first view, to have no use ; some lines are perhaps lost with 
which they were connected. Or we may explain them thus : I 
will resolve you, by yourself, which metiiod, when you hear the 
story [of Antonio's and Sebastian's plot], shall seem, probable; 
that is, shall deserve your approbation. Johnson. 

Surely Prospero's meaning is : " I will relate to you the means 
by which 1 have been enabled to accomplish these ends ; which 
means, though they now appear strange and improbable, will 
then appear oth" ANONYMOUS. 

I will inform you how all these wonderful accidents have hap- 
pened ; which, though they now appear to you strange, will then 
seem probable. 

An anonymous writer pointed out the true construction of this 
passage, but his explanation is, 1 think, incorrect. Malone. 

l(5S TEMPEST. act v. 

man take care for himself; for all is but fortune : — 
Coragio, bully-monster, Coragio ! I 

■ Trix. If these be true spies which I wear in my 
head, here's a goodly sight. 

Cal. O Setebos, these be brave spirits, indeed.! 
How rine my master is ! I am afraid 
He will chastise me. 

Seb. Ha, ha ; 

What things are these, my lord Antonio ! 
Will money buy them ? 

Axt. Very like ; one of them 

Is a plain fish, 7 and, no doubt, marketable. 

Pro. Mark but the badges of these men, my lords, 
Then say, if they be true : 8 — This mis-shapen 


His mother was a witch ; and one so strong 
That could control the moon, 9 make flows and ebbs, 

c Coragio !] This exclamation of encouragement I find 

in J. Florio's Translation of Montaigne, 1603 : 

" You often cried Coragio, and called 5 a, 5 a." 

Again, in the Blind Beggar of Alexandria, 15g8. Steevens. 

7 Is a plain fish,] That is, plainly, evidently a fish. So, in 
Fletcher's Scornful Lady, " that visible beast, the butler," 
means the butler who is visibly a beast. M. Mason. 

It is not easy to determine the shape which our author designed 
to bestow on his monster. That he has hands, legs, &c. we 
gather from the remarks of Trinculo, and other circumstances in 
the play. How then is he plainly ajish ? Perhaps Shakspeare 
himself had no settled ideas concerning the form of Caliban. 


8 true :] That is, honest. A true man is, in the lan- 
guage of that time, opposed to a thief. The sense is, Mark 
ivhat these men wear, and say if they are honest. Johnson. 

9 His mother was a witch ; and one so strong 

That could control the moon, &c] This was the phraseo- 
logy of the times. After the statute against witches, revenge or 
ignorance frequentlyinducedpeople to charge those against whom 
they harboured resentment, or entertained prejudices, with the 

sc. i. TEMPEST. 269 

And deal in her command, without her power: 1 
These three have robb'd me ; and this demi-devil 
(For he's a bastard one,) had plotted with them 
To take my life : two of these fellows yon 
Must know, and own ; this thing of darkness I 
Acknowledge mine. 

Cal. I shall be pinch'd to death. 

Alox. Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler ? 

Seb. He is drunk now : where had he wine ? 

Alox. And Trinculo is reeling ripe : Where 
should they 
Find this grand liquor that hath gilded them ? 2 — 
How cam'st thou in this pickle ? 

crime of witchcraft, which had just then been declared a capital 
offence. In our ancient reporters are several cases where persons 
charged in this manner sought redress in the courts of law. And 
it is remarkable in all of them, to the scandalous imputation of 
being witches, the term — a strong one, is constantly added. In 
Michaelmas Term, Car. I. the point was settled that no action 
could be supported on so general a charge, and that the epithet 
strong did not inforce the other words. In this instance, I believe, 
the opinion of the people at large was not in unison with the sages 
in Westminster-Hall. Several of these cases are collected toge- 
ther in I. Viner, 422. Reed. 

That could control the moon,] From Medea's speech in Ovid, 
(as translated by Golding, ) our author might have learned that 
this was one of the pretended powers of witchcraft : 

" and thee, O lightsome moon, 

" I darken oft, though beaten brass abate thy peril soon." 

1 And deal in her command, without her power :] I suppose 
Prospero means, that Sycorax, with less general power than the 
moon, could produce the same effects on the sea. Steevens. 

* And Trinculo is reeling ripe : where should they 
Find this grand liquor that hath gilded them?] Shak- 
xpeare, to be sure, wrote — grand 'lixir, alluding to the grand 
Elixir of the alchymists, which they pretend would restore youth 
and confer immortality. This, as they said, being a preparation 
of gold, they called Aurum potabile ; which 2Shakspe;ire alluded 
i the word gilded ; as he does again in Antony and Cleopatra ; 

170 TEMPEST. actv. 

Tniif. I have been in such a pickle, since I saw 
you last, that, I fear me, will never out of my bones : 
I shall not fear fly-blowing. 3 

Seb. Why, how now, Stephano ? 

Ste. O, touch me not ; I am not Stephano, but 
a cramp. 4 

Pro. You'd be king of the isle, sirrah ? 

Ste. I should have been a sore one then. 5 

" How much art thou unlike Mark Antony ? 

" Yet coming from him, that great medicine hath, 

" With his tinct gilded thee." 
But the joke here is to insinuate that, notwithstanding all the 
boasts of the chemists, sack was the only restorer of youth and 
bestower of immortality. So, Ben Jonson, in his Every. Man 
out of his Humour : — " Canarie, the very Elixir and spirit of 
wine." This seems to have been the cant name for sack, of which 
the English were, at that time, immoderately fond. Randolph, 
in his Jealous Lovers, speaking of it, says, — " A pottle of Elixir 
at the Pegasus, bravely caroused." So, again in Fletcher's 
Monsieur Thomas, Act III : 

" Old reverend sack, which, for aught that I can read yet, 

" Was that philosopher's stone the wise king Ptolemeus 

" Did all his wonders by." 

The phrase too of being gilded, was a trite one on this occasion. 
Fletcher, in his Chances: — "Duke. Is she not drunk too? 
Whore. A little gilded o'er sir; old sack, old sack, boys /" 

As the alchymist's Elixir was supposed to be a liquor, the old 
reading may stand, and the allusion holds good without any 
alteration. Steevens. 

3 — — fly-blowing.] This pickle alludes to their plunge into 
the stinking pool ; and pickling preserves meat from fly-blowing. 


4 but a cramp.] i. e. I am all over a cramp. Prospero 

had ordered Ariel to shorten up their sinews with aged cramps. 
Touch me not alludes to the soreness occasioned by them. In 
his next speech Stephano confirms the meaning by a quibble on 
the word sore. Steevens. 

5 / should have been a sore one then.] The same quibble 
occurs afterwards in the Second Part of K. Henry VI; " Mass, 

SC. I, 


Alox. This is as strange a thing as e'er I look'd 
on. 6 [Pointing to Caliban. 

Pro. He is as disproportion 'd in his manners, 
As in his shape : — Go, sirrah, to my eell ; 
Take with you your companions ; as you look 
To have my pardon, trim it handsomely. 

Cal. Ay, that I will ; and I'll be wise hereafter, 
And seek for grace : What a thrice-double ass 
Was I, to take this drunkard for a god, 
And worship this dull fool ? 

Pro. Go to ; away ! 

Alox. Hence, and bestow your luggage where 
you found it. 

See. Or stole it, rather. 

[Exeunt Cal. Ste. and Trin. 

Pro. Sir, I invite your highness, and your train, 
To my poor cell : where you shall take your rest 
For this one night ; which (part of it,) I'll waste 
With such discourse, as, I not doubt, shall make it 
Go quick away : the story of my life, 
And the particular accidents, gone by, 
Since I came to this isle : And in the morn, 
I'll bring you to your ship", and so to Naples, 
Where I have hope to see the nuptial 
Of these our dear-beloved solemniz'd ; 
And thence retire me to my Milan, where 
Every third thought shall be my grave. 

'twill be sore law then, for he was thrust in the mouth with a 
spear, and 'tis not whole yet." Stephano also alludes to the 
sores about him. Steevens. 

G This is as strange a thing as e'er I look'd on.~] The old copy, 
disregarding metre, reads — 

" This is a strange thing as e'er I look'd on." 
For the repetition of the conjunetion as, &c. I am answerable. 


172 TEMPEST. act v. 

Alok. I long 

To hear the story of your life, which must 
Take the ear strangely. 

Pro. I'll deliver all ; 

And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales, 
And sail so expeditious, that shall catch 
Your royal fleet far off. — My Ariel ; — chick, — 
That is thy charge ; then to the elements 
Be free, and fare thou well ! — \_aside.~] Please you 
draw near, \_Exeunt. 




NOW my charms a?~e all o'erthrown, 
And what strength I have's mine own ; 
Which is most faint: now, 'tis true, 
I must be here conjin'd by you, 
Or sent to Naples : Let me not, 
Since I have my dukedom got, 
And pardon' d the deceiver, dwell 
In this bare island, by your spell ; 
But release me from my bands, 
With the help of your good hands J 
Gentle breath of yours my sails 
Musi f 11, or else my project fails, 
Which was to please : Now I want 
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant ; 

7 With the help of your good hands.'] By your applause, by 
chipping hands. Johnson. 

Noise was supposed to dissolve a spell. So, twice before in 
this play: 

M No tongue ; all eyes ; be silent." 
Again : 

" hush ! be mute ; 

" Or else our spell is marT'd." 
Again, in Macbeth, Act IV. sc. i: 

" Hear his speech, but say thou nought." 
Again, ibid : 

" Listen, but speak not to't." Steevjsns. 


And my ending is despair, 
Unless I be relieved by prayer ; 8 
Which pierces so, that it assaidts 
Mercy itself, and frees all faults. 

As you from crimes would pardon' d be, 
Let your indulgence set me free? 

* And my ending; is despair, 
Unless I be relieved by prayer ;~\ This alludes to the old stories 
told of the despair of necromancers in their last moments, and of 
the efficacy of the prayers of their friends for them. 


9 It is observed of The Tempest, that its plan is regular ; this 
the author of The Revisal thinks, what I think too, an accidental 
effect of the story, not intended or regarded by our author. But 
whatever might be Shakspeare's intention in forming or adopting 
the plot, he has made it instrumental to the production of many 
characters, diversified with boundless invention, and preserved 
with profound skill in nature, extensive knowledge of opinions, 
and accurate observation of life. In a single drama are here ex- 
hibited princes, courtiers, and sailors, all speaking in their real 
characters. There is the agency of airy spirits, and of an earthly 
goblin. The operations of magick, the tumults of a storm, the 
adventures of a desert island, the native effusion of untaught 
affection, the punishment of guilt, and the final happiness of the 
pair for whom our passions and reason are equally interested. 





* Two Gentlemen of Verona.] Some of the incidents in 
this play may be supposed to have been taken from The Arcadia, 
Book I. chap vi. where Pyrocles consents to head the Helots. 
(The Arcadia was entered on the books of the Stationers' Com- 
pany, Aug. 23d, 1588:) The love-adventure of Julia resembles 
that of Viola in Twelfth Night, and is indeed common to many 
of the ancient novels. Steevens. 

Mrs. Lenox observes, and I think not improbably, that the story 
of Proteus and Julia might be taken from a similar one in the 
Diana of George of Montemayor. — " This pastoral romance,'* 
says she, " was translated from the Spanish in Shakspeare's time.'* 
I have seen no earlier translation than that of Bartholomew Yong, 
who dates his dedication in November 1598 ; and Meres, in his 
Wit's Treasury, printed the same year, expressly mentions the 
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Indeed Montemayor was translated 
two or three years before, by one Thomas Wilson; but this 
work, I am persuaded, was never published entirely ; perhaps 
some parts of it were, or the tale might have been translated by 
others. However, Mr. Steevens says, very truly, that this kind 
of love-adventure is frequent in the old novelists. Farmer. 

There is no earlier translation of the Diana entered on the 
books of the Stationers' Company, than that of B. Younge, Sept. 
1598. Many translations, however, after they were licensed, 
were capriciously suppressed. Among others, " The Decameron 
of Mr. John Boccace, Florentine," was " recalled by my lord of 
Canterbury's commands." Steevens. 

It is observable (I know not for what cause) that the style of 
this comedy is less figurative, and more natural and unaffected, 
than the greater part of this author's, though supposed to be one 
of the first he wrote. Pope. 

It may very well be doubted whether Shakspeare had any other 
hand in this play than the enlivening it with some speeches and 
lines thrown in here and there, which are easily distinguished, as 
being of a different stamp from the rest. Hanmer. 

To this observation of Mr. Pope, which is very just, Mr. Theo- 
bald has added, that this is one of Shakspeare's worst plays, and 
is less corrupted than any other. Mr. Upton peremptorily de- 
termines, that if any proof can be drawn from manner and style,' 
this play must be sent packing, and seek for its parent elsewhere. 
How otherwise, says he, do painters distinguish copies from 
originals ? and have not aidhors their peculiar style and manner, 
from which a true critic can form as unerring judgement as a 
painter"? I am afraid this illustration of a critic's science will 
not prove what is desired. A painter knows a copy from an ori- 
ginal by rules somewhat resembling those by which critics know 

a translation, which, if it be literal, and literal it must be to re- 
semble the copy of a picture, will be easily distinguished. Copies 
are known from originals, even when the painter copies his own 
picture ; so, if an author should literally translate his work, he 
would lose the manner of an original. 

Mr. Upton confounds the copy of a picture with the imitation 
of a painter's manner. Copies are easily known ; but good imita- 
tions are not detected with equal certainty, and are, by the best 
judges, often mistaken. Nor is it true that the writer has always 
peculiarities equally distinguishable with those of the painter. 
The peculiar manner of each arises from the desh-e, natural to 
every performer, of facilitating his subsequent work by recur- 
rence to his former ideas ; this recurrence produces that repeti- 
tion which is called habit. The painter, whose work is partly 
intellectual and partly manual, has habits of the mind, the eye, 
and the hand ; the writer has only habits of the mind. Yet, some 
painters have differed as much from themselves as from any 
other ; and I have been told, that there is little resemblance be- 
tween the first works of Raphael and the last. The same varia- 
tion may be expected in writers ; and if it be true, as it seems, 
that they are less subject to habit, the difference between their 
works may be yet greater. 

But by the internal marks of a composition we may discover 
the author with probability, though seldom with certainty. When 
I read this play, I cannot but think that I find, both in the serious 
and ludicrous scenes, the language and sentiments of Shakspeare. 
It is not indeed one of his most powerful effusions ; it has neither 
many diversities of character, nor striking delineations of life ; 
but it abounds in yvtupui beyond most of his plays, and few have 
more lines or passages, which, singly considered, are eminently 
beautiful. I am yet inclined to believe that it was not very suc- 
cessful, and suspect that it has escaped corruption, only because 
being seldom played, it was less exposed to the hazards of 
transcription. Johnson. 

This comedy, I believe, was written in 1595. See An Attempt 
to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare' s Plays, Vol. II. Malone. 



Duke of Mi\-<m,father to Silvia. 

p . j ' > Gentlemen of Verona. 

Antonio, father to Proteus. 
Thurio, a foolish rival to Valentine. 
Eglamour, agent for Silvia, in her escape. 
Speed, a clownish servant to Valentine, 
Launce, servant to Proteus. 
Panthino, 2 servant to Antonio. 
Host, where Julia lodges in Milan. 

Julia, a lady of Verona, beloved by Proteus. 
Silvia, the duke's daughter, beloved by Valentine. 
Lucetta, waiting -woman to Julia. 

Servants, musicians. 

SCENE, sometimes in Verona ; sometimes in Milan ; 
and on the frontiers of Mantua. 

1 Proteus,] The old copy has — ProtAeus ; but this is merely 
the antiquated mode of spelling Proteus. See the Princely 
Pleasures at Kenelvcorth Castle, by G. Gascoigne, 1587j where 
" Prot/^eus appeared, sitting on a dolphyns back." Again, in 
one of Barclay's Eclogues : 

" Like as Protheus oft chaungeth his stature." 

Shakspeare's character was so called, from his disposition to 
change. Steevens. 

8 Panthino,"] In the enumeration of characters in the old copy, 
this attendant on Antonio is called Panthion, but in the play, 
always Panthino. Steevens. 





An open place in Verona. 

Enter Valentine and Proteus. 

Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus ; 
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits : 3 
Wer't not, affection chains thy tender days 
To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love, 
I rather would entreat thy company, 
To see the wonders of the world abroad, 
Than living dully sluggardiz'd at home, 
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness. 4 
But, since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein, 
Even as I would, when I to love begin. 

Pro. Wilt thou be gone? Sweet Valentine, adieu! 
Think on thy Proteus, when thou, haply, seest 

3 Home-keeping youth have ever homely "wits :~\ Milton lias the 
same play on words, in his Masque at Ludlow Castle: 
" It is for homely features to keep home, 
" They had their name thence." Steevens. 

* .shapeless idleness.] The expression is fine, as implying 

that idleness prevents the giving any form or character to the 
manners. Warburton. 

n 2 

180 TWO GENTLEMEN act i. 

Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel : 

Wish me partaker in thy happiness, 

When thou dost meet good hap ; and, in thy danger, 

If ever danger do environ thee, 

Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers, 

For I will be thy bead's-man, Valentine. 

Val. And on a love-book pray for my success. 

Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee. 

Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, 
How young Leander cross' d the Hellespont. 5 

Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love ; 
For he was more than over shoes in love. 

Val. 'Tis true ; for you are over boots in love, 
And yet you never swam the Hellespont. 

Pro. Over the boots? nay,give me not the boots. 

s some shallow story of deep love, 

Hotv young Leander cross'd the Hellespont.'] The poem of 
Musmis, entitled Hero and Leander, is meant. Marlowe's 
translation of this piece was entered on the Stationers' books, 
Sept. 18, 1593, and the first two Sestiads of it, with a small part 
of the third, (which was all that he had finished,) were printed, 
I imagine, in that, or the following year. See Blount's dedica- 
tion to the edition of 163/, by which it appears that it was ori- 
ginally published in an imperfect state. It was extremely popu- 
lar, and deservedly so, many of Marlowe's lines being as smooth 
as those of Dryden. Our author has quoted one of them in As 
you like it. He had probably read this poem recently before he 
wrote the present play; for he again alludes to it in the third act: 
" Why then a ladder, quaintly made of cords, 
" Would serve to scale another Herds tower, 
" So bold Leander would adventure it." 
Since this note was written, I have seen the edition of Mar- 
lowe's Hero and Leander, printed in 1598. It contains the first 
two Sestiads only. The remainder was added by Chapman. 


nay, give me not the boots.] A proverbial expression, 

though now disused, signifying, don't make a laughing stock of 
me ; don't play with me. The French have a phrase, Bailler 

sc.i. OF VERONA. 181 

Val. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not. 

Pro. What ? 

Val. To be 

In love, where scorn is bought with groans ; coy 

With heart-sore sighs ; one fading moment's mirth, 
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights : 
If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain ; 
If lost, why then a grievous labour won j 

Join en come; which Cotgrave thus interprets, To give one the 
boots ; to sell him a bargain. Theobald. 

Perhaps this expression took its origin from a sport the country- 
people in Warwickshire use at their harvest-home, where one 
sits as judge to try misdemeanors committed in harvest, and the 
punishment for the men is to be laid on a bench, and slapped on 
the breech with a pair of boots. This they call giving them the 
boots. I meet with the same expression in the old comedy called 
Mother Bombie, by Lyly : 

" What do you give mee the boots?" 
Again, in The Weakest goes to the Wall, a comedy, 1618 : 

" Nor your fat bacon can carry it away, if you 

offer us the boots." 

The boots, however, were an ancient engine of torture. In 
MS. Harl. 6ygQ — 48, Mr. T. Randolph writes to Lord Hunsdon, 
&c. and mentions, in the P. S. to his letter, that George Flecke 
had yesterday night the boots, and is said to have confessed that 
the E. of Morton was privy to the poisoning the E. of Athol, 
16 March, .1580: and in another letter, March 18, 1580: 
" — that the Laird of Whittingham had the boots, but without 
torment confess'd,'' Stc. Steevens. 

The boot was an instrument of torture used only in Scotland. 
Bishop Burnet in The History of his own Times, Vol. I. 332, 
edit. 1/54, mentions one Maccael, a preacher, who, being sus- 
pected of treasonable practices, underwent the punishment so 
late as Kjfitj : « — He was put to the torture, which, in Scotland, 
they call the boots ; for they put a pair of iron boots close on 
the leg, and drive wedges between these and the leg. The com- 
mon torture was only to drive these in the calf of the leg: but I 
have been told they were sometimes driven upon the shin bone." 


182 TWO GENTLEMEN act i. 

However, but a folly 7 bought with wit, 
Or else a wit by folly vanquished. 

Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool. 

Val. So,by your circumstance, Ifear,you'llprove. 

Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at ; I am not Love. 

Val. Love is your master, for he masters you : 
And he that is so yoked by a fool, 
Methinks should not be chronicled for wise. 

Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud 
The eating canker dwells, 8 so eating love 
Inhabits in the finest wits of all. 

Val. And writers say, As the most forward bud 
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow, 
Even so by love the young and tender wit 
Is turn'd to folly ; blasting in the bud, 
Losing his verdure even in the prime, 
And all the fair effects of future hopes. 
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee, 
That art a votary to fond desire ? 
Once more adieu : my father at the road 
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd. 

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine. 

Val. Sweet Proteus, no ; now let us take our 
At Milan, 9 let me hear from thee by letters, 

7 However, but a folly &c] This love will end in & foolish 
action, to produce which you are long to spend your •wit, or it 
will end in the loss of your wit, which will be overpowered by 
the folly of love. Johnson. 

8 As in the sweetest bud 

The eating canker dwells,] So, in our author's 70th Sonnet : 
" For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love." 


9 At Milan,] The old copy has — To Milan. The emendation 

sc.i. OF VERONA. 183 

Of thy success in love, and what news else 
Betideth here in absence of thy friend ; 
And I likewise will visit thee with mine. 

Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan ! 

Val. As much to you at home ! and so, farewell. 

\_Exit Valentine. 

Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love : 
He leaves his friends, to dignify them more ; 
I leave myself, my friends, and all for love. 
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me ; 
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time, 
War with good counsel, set the world at nought ; 
Made wit with musing weak, 1 heart sick with 


Enter Speed. 2 

Speed. Sir Proteus, save you: Saw you my 
master ? 

was made by the editor of the second folio. The first copy how- 
ever may be right. " To Milan'* — may here be intended as an 
imperfect sentence. I am now bound for Milan. 

Or the construction intended may have been — Let me hear 
from thee by letters to Milan, i. e. addressed to me there. 

Ma lone. 

1 Made ivit with musing toeak,"] For made read make. Thou 
Julia, hast made me war with good counsel, and make wit weak 
with musing. Johnson. 

Surely there is no need of emendation. It is Julia who " has 
already mafic wit weak with musing," &c. Steevens. 

' This whole scene, like many others in these plays (some of 
which, 1 believe, were written by Shakspeare, ana others inter- 
polated by the players,) is composed of the lowest and most tri- 
lling conceits, to he accounted for only from the gross taste of the 
age he lived in: Popido ut placer ent. 1 wish I had authority to 
leave them out ; hut 1 have done all I could, set a mark of re- 
probation upon them throughout this edition. Pope. 

That this, like many other scenes, is mean and vulgar, will be 

184 TWO GENTLEMEN act i. 

Pro. But now he parted hence, to embark for 

Speed. Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd already; 
And I have play'd the sheep, in losing him. 

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, 
An if the shepherd be awhile away. 

Speed. You conclude that my master is a shep- 
herd then, and I a sheep ? 3 

Pro. I do. 

Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whe- 
ther I wake or sleep. 

Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep. 

Speed. This proves me still a sheep. 

Pro. True ; and thy master a shepherd. 

Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. 

Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll prove it by another. 

Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not 
the sheep the shepherd ; but I seek my master, and 
my master seeks not me : therefore, I am no sheep. 

Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, 
the shepherd for food follows not the sheep ; thou 
for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages 
follows not thee : therefore, thou art a sheep. 

Speed. Such another proof will-make me cry baa. 

Pro. But dost thou hear ? gav'st thou my letter 
to Julia ? 

Speed. Ay, sir : I, a lost mutton, gave your let- 

universally allowed ; but that it was interpolated by the players 
seems advanced without any proof, only to give a greater licence 
to criticism. Johnson. 

3 a sheep?] The article, which is wanting in the original 

copy, was supplitd by the editor of the second folio. Malone. 

sc.t. OF VERONA. 185 

ter to her, a laced mutton ; 4 and she, a laced mut- 
ton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my la- 

Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such a store 
of muttons. 

Speed. If the ground be overcharged, you were 
best stick her. 

4 I, a lost mutton, grave your letter to her, a laced mutton ;] 
Speed calls himself a lost mutton, because he had lost his master, 
and because Proteus had been proving him a sheep. But why 
does he call the lady a laced mutton ? Wenchers are to this day 
called m utt on -mongers ; and consequently the object of their 
passion must, by the metaphor, be the mutton. And Cotgrave, 
in his English-French Dictionary, explains laced mutton, Une 
garse, putainjille dejoye. And Mr. Motteux has rendered this 
passage of Rabelais, in the prologue of his fourth book, Cail/es 
coiphees mignonnement chantdns, in this manner ; Coated quails 
a ,:il laced mutton waggishly singing. So that laced mutton has 
been a sort of standard phrase i'or girls of pleasure. Theobald. 

Nash, in his Have ivith you to Saffron Walden, 1595, speak- 
ing of Gabriel Harvey's incontinence, says : " he ixoidd not 
stick to extoll rotten lae'd mutton." So, in the comedy of The. 
Shoemaker s Holiday, or the Gentle Craft, l6lO: 

" Why here's good lae'd mutton, as I promis'd you." 
Again, in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 15/8 : 
" And I smelt he lov'd lae'd mutton well." 

Again, Heywood, in his Love's Mistress, 1636, speaking of 
Cupid, says, he is the " Hero of hie-hoes, admiral of ay-mes, 
and monsieur of mutton lae'd" Steevens. 

A laced mutton was in our author's time so established a term 
for a courtezan, that a street in ClerkenweU, which was much 
frequented by women of the town, was then called Mutton-lane. 
It seems to have been a phrase of the same kind as the French 
expression — caille coifee, and might be rendered in that language 
moteton en corset. This appellation appears to have been as old 
n- the time of King Henry III. " Item sequitur gravis pcena 
corporalis, sed sine amissione vitae vel membrorum, si raptus fit de 
ibind legitimi, vel a/id qtuestumfaeiente, sine delectu per- 
onasum : has quidem oves debet rex tueri pro pace sua." 
Bracton de Legibus, lib. ii. Malone. 


Pro. Nay, in that you are astray ; 5 'twere best 
pound you. 

Speed. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve 
me for carrying your letter. 

Pro. You mistake ; I mean the pound, a pinfold. 

Speed. From a pound to a pin ? fold it over 
and over, 
'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your 

Pro. But what said she ? did she nod ? 6 

[Speed nods. 

Speed. I. 

Pro. Nod, I ? why, that's noddy. 7 

* Nay, in that you are astray ;] For the reason Proteus gives, 
Dr. Thirlby advises that we should read, a stray, i. e. a stray 
sheep; which continues Proteus's banter upon Speed. Theobald. 

From the word astray here, and lost mutton above, it is 
obvious that the double reference was to the first sentence of the 
General Confession in the Prayer-book. Henley. 

6 ■ ■ did she nod?] These words were supplied by Theobald, 
to introduce what follows. Steevens. 

In Speed's answer the old spelling of the affirmative particle 
has been retained ; otherwise the conceit of Proteus (such as it 
is) would be unintelligible. Malone. 

7 ivhy, that's noddy.] Noddy tvas a game at cards. 

So, in The Inner Temple Mask, by Middleton, 1619 : " I leave 
them wholly (says Christmas) to my eldest son Noddy, whom 
during his minority, I commit to the custody of a pair of knaves, 
and one and thirty." Again, in Quarles's Virgin IVidotv, l64g: 
" Let her forbear chess and noddy, as games too serious." 


This play upon syllables is hardly worth explaining. The 
speakers intend to fix the name of noddy, that is, fool, on each 
other. So, in The Second Part of PasqaiVs Mad Cappe, 
1600, sig. E : 

" If such a Noddy be not thought a fool." 
Again, E 1 : 

" If such an asse be noddled for the nounce." 

sc.i. OF VERONA. 187 

Speed. You mistook, sir ; I say, she did nod : 
and you ask me, if she did nod ; and I say, I. 

Pro. And that set together, is — noddy. 

Speed. Now you have taken the pains to set it 
together, take it for your pains. 

Pro. No, no, you shall have it for bearing the 

Speed. Well, I perceive, I must be fain to bear 
with you. 

Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me ? 

Speed. Marry, sir, the letter very orderly; having 
nothing but the word, noddy, for my pains. 

Pro. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit. 

Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your slow 

Pro. Come, come, open the matter in brief: 
What said she ? 

Speed. Open your purse, that the money, and 
the matter, may be both at once delivered. 

Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains : What 
said she ? 

Speed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her. 

Pro. Why ? Could'st thou perceive so much 
from her ? 

Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from 
her ; no, not so much as a ducat for delivering 
your letter : And being so hard to me that brought 

Again, in Wits Private Wealthy l6l2: " If you see a trull, 
scarce give her a nod, but follow her not, least you prove a 

Again, in Cobles Prophecies, l6l4: 

" When fashions make mens bodies 

" And wits are rul'd by noddies.''* Reed. 

183 TWO GENTLEMEN act u 

your mind, I fear, she'll prove as hard to you in 
telling her mind. 8 Give her no token but stones ; 
for she's as hard as steel. 

Pro. What, said she nothing ? 

Speed. No, not so much as — take this for thy 
pains. To testify your bounty, I thank you, you 
have testern'd me ;-■ in requital whereof, hence- 
forth carry your letters yourself: and so, sir, I'll 
commend you to my master. 

Pro. Go, go, be gone, to save your ship from 
wreck ; 
Which cannot perish, 1 having thee aboard, 
Being destined to a drier death on shore : — 
I must go send some better messenger ; 
I fear, my Julia would not deign my lines, 
Receiving them from such a worthless post. 


8 in telling her mind."] The old copy has " — in telling 

your mind." But as this reading is to me unintelligible, I have 
adopted the emendation of the second folio. Steevens. 

The old copy is certainly right. The meaning is — She being 
so hard to me who was the bearer of your mind, I fear she will 
prove no less so to you, when you address her in person. The 
opposition is between brought and telling. Malone. 

9 you have testern'd me ;] You have gratified me with a 

tester, testern, or testen, that is, with a sixpence. Johnson. 

By the succeeding quotation from the Fruitful Sermons 
preached by Hugh Latimer, 15H4,fol. ()i, it appears that a tester 
was of greater value than our sixpence : " They brought him a 
denari, a piece of their current coyne that was worth ten of our 
usual pence, such another piece as our testerne^ Holt White. 

The old reading is cestern'd. This typographical error was 
corrected by the editor of the second folio. Malone. 

1 Which cannot perish, &c] The same proverb has already 
been alluded to in the first and last scenes of The Tempest. Reed. 

sen. OF VERONA. 189 


The same. Garden of Julia's house. 

Enter Julia and Lucetta. 

Jul. But say, Lucetta, now we are alone, 
Would'st thou then counsel me to fall in love ? 

Luc. Ay, madam ; so you stumble not unheed- 

Jul. Of all the fair resort of gentlemen, 
That every day with parle encounter me, 
In thy opinion, which is worthiest love ? 

Luc. Please you, repeat their names, I'll shew 
my mind 
According to my shallow simple skill. 

Jul. What think'st thou of the fair Sir Egla- 
mour ? ~ 

Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine ; 
But, were I you, he never should be mine. 3 

Jul. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio ? 

Luc. Well of his wealth ; bit of himself, so, so. 

1 What think'st thou of the fair Sir Eglamour ?] This Sir 
Eglamour must not be confounded with the persona dramatis of 
the same name. The latter lived at Milan, and had vowed 
" pure chastity" upon the death of his " true love." Ritson. 

he [Sir Eglamour] never should he mine.'] Perhaps Sir 

l xmour was once the common cant term for an insignificant 
inamorato. So, in Decker's Saliromastix : 

" Adieu, sir Eglamour ; adieu lute-string, curtain-rod, goose- 
quill," firC. Sir Eg/amour of Artoi/s indeed is the hero of an 
ancient metrical romance," Imprinted at London, in Foster-lane, 
at the eygne of the Ilarteshorne, by John Walley," bl. 1. no date. 


190 TWO GENTLEMEN act i. 

Jul. What think'st thou of the gentle Proteus ? 

Luc. Lord, lord ! to see what folly reigns in us ! 

Jul. How now ! what means this passion at his 
name ? 

Luc. Pardon, dear madam ; 'tis a passing shame, 
That I, unworthy body as I am, 
Should censure thus on lovely gentlemen. 4 

Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest ? 

Luc. Then thus, of many good I think him 


Jul. Your reason ? 

Luc. I have no other but a woman's reason ; 
I think him so, because I think him so. 

Jul. And would'st thou have me cast my love 
on him ? 

Luc. Ay, if you thought your love not cast away. 

Jul. Why, he of all the rest hath never mov'd me. 

Luc. Yet he of all the rest, I think, best loves ye. 

Jul. His little speaking shows his love but 


Luc. Fire, that is closest kept, burns most of all. 

Jul. They do not love, that do not show their 

Luc. O, they love least, that let men know their 

Jul. I would, I knew his mind. 

* Should censure thus &c] To censure means, in this place, 
to pass sentence. So, in Hinde's Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606 : 
" Eliosto and Cleodora were astonished at such a hard censure t 
and went to limbo most willingly." Steevens. 

To censure, in our author's time, generally signified to give 
one's judgement or opinion. Malone. 

sc. n. OF VERONA. 191 

Luc. Peruse this paper, madam. 

Jul. To Julia, — Say, from whom ? 

Luc. That the contents will shew. 

Jul. Say, say ; who gave it thee ? 

Luc. Sir Valentine's page ; and sent, I think, 
from Proteus : 
He would have given it you, but I, being in the way, 
Did in your namereceiveit; pardon the fault, Ipray. 

Jul. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker ! 5 
Dare you presume to harbour wanton lines ? 
To whisper and conspire against my youth ? 
Now, trust me, 'tis an office of great worth, 
And you an officer fit for the place. 
There, take the paper, see it be return'd ; 
Or else return no more into my sight. 

Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee than 

Jul. Will you be gone ? 

Luc. That you may ruminate. \Lccit. 

Jul. And yet, I would, I had o'erlook'd the 
It were a shame to call her back again, 
And pray her to a fault for which I chid her. 
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid, 
And would not force the letter to my view ? 
Since maids, in modesty, say No, to that" 

4 a goodly broker !] A broker was used for matchmaker, 

sometimes tor a procuress. Johnson. 

So, in Daniel's Complaint of Rosamond, 1599: 
" And flic (o flic) these bed-brokers unclean, 
" The monsters of our sex," &c. Steevens. 

say No, to that ftp.] A paraphrase on the old proverb 

Maids say nay, and take it." Steevens. 

193 TWO GENTLEMEN act i. 

Which they would have the profferer construe, Ay. 
Fie, fie ! how wayward is this foolish love, 
That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse, 
And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod ! 
How churlishly I chid Lucetta hence, 
When willingly I would have had her here ! 
How angerly I taught my brow to frown, 
When inward joy enforc'd my heart to smile ! 
My penance is, to call Lucetta back, 
And ask remission for my folly past : — 
What ho ! Lucetta ! 

Re-enter Lucetta. 

L uc. What would your ladyship ? 

Jul. Is it near dinner-time ? 

Luc. I would it were ; 

That you might kill your stomach on your meat, 7 
And not upon your maid. 

Jul. What is't you took up 

So gingerly ? 

Luc. Nothing. 

Jul. Why did'st thou stoop then ? 

Luc. To take a paper up that I let fall. 

Jul. And is that paper nothing ? 

IjUC. Nothing concerning me. 

Jul. Then let it lie for those that it concerns. 

Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns, 
Unless it have a false interpreter. 

Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you in 

7 stomach on your meat,'] Stomach was used for passion 

or obstinacy. Johnson. 

sc. il OF VERONA. 193 

Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune : 
Give me a note : your ladyship can set. 

Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible : 
Best sing it to the tune of Light o' love} 

Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune. 

Jul. Heavy ? belike, it hath some burden then. 

Luc. Ay ; and melodious were it, would you 
sing it. 

Jul. And why not you ? 

Luc. I cannot reach so high. 

Jul. Let's see your song : — How now, minion ? 

Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out : 
And yet, methinks, I do not like this tune. 

Jul. You do not ? 

Luc. No, madam ; it is too sharp. 

Jul. You, minion, are too saucy. 

Luc. Nay, now you are too flat, 
And mar the concord with too harsh a descant : 9 
There wanteth but a mean ■ to fill your song. 

Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly base. 

Luc. Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus. 2 

• Light o* love.'] This tune is given in a note on Much Ado 
about Nothing, Act III. sc. iv. Steevens. 

' too harsh a descant :] Descant is a term in music. See 

Sir John Hawkins's note on the first speech in K. Richard III. 


1 but a mean &c] The mean is the tenor in music. So, 

in the enterlude of Mary Magdalen 1 s Repentance, 15£>y : 
" Utilitie can sing the base full cleane, 
" And noble honour shall sing the mcane." Steevens. 

* Indeed, I bid the base Jbr Proteus.'] The speaker here turns 
the allusion ( which her mistress employed ) from the base in musick 
to a country exercise, Bid the base : in which some pursue, and 
others are made prisoners. So that Lucetta would intend, by 


194 TWO GENTLEMEN acti. 

Jul. This babble shall not henceforth trouble me. 
Here is a coil with protestation ! — 

\_Tears the letter. 
Go, get you gone ; and let the papers lie : 
You would be fingering them, to anger me. 

Luc. She makes it strange ; but she would be best 
To be so anger' d with another letter. \_Exit. 

Jul. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same ! 

hateful hands, to tear such loving words 1 
Injurious wasps ! to feed on such sweet honey, 
And kill the bees, that yield it, with your stings I 
I'll kiss each several paper for amends. 

And, here is writ — kind Julia ; — unkind Julia 1 
As in revenge of thy ingratitude, 

1 throw thy name against the bruising stones, 
Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. 
Look, here is writ — love-wounded Proteus : — 
Poor wounded name ! my bosom, as a bed, 

this, to say, Indeed I take pains to make you a captive to 
Proteus's passion. — He uses the same allusion in his Venus and 
Adonis : 

" To bid the winds a base he now prepares." 
And in his Cymbeline he mentions the game : 

" Lads more like 

" To run the country base." Warburton. 

Dr. Warburton is not quite accurate. The game was not called 
Bid the Base, but the Base. To bid the base means here, I be- 
lieve, to challenge to a contest. So, in our author's Venus and 
Adonis : 

" To bid the wind a base he now prepares, 
" And wh'er he run, or fly, they knew not whether." 
Again,in Hall's Chronicle, Hen.VI. 183 : " The queen marched 
from York to Wakefield, and bade base to the duke, even before 
his castle." Malone. 

Mr. Malone's explanation of the verb — bid, is unquestionably 
just. So, in one of the parts of A'. Henry VI: 

" Of force enough to bid his brother battle." Steevens. 

sc. n. OF VERONA. 195 

Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be throughly heal'd; 

And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. 

But twice, or thrice, was Proteus written down ? 3 

Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away, 

Till I have found each letter in the letter, 

Except mine own name ; that some whirlwind bear 

Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock, 

And throw it thence into the raging sea ! 

Lo, here in one line is his name twice writ,— 

Poor forlorn Proteus, passionate Proteus, 

To the meet Julia ; that I'll tear away ; 

And yet I will not, sith so prettily 

He couples it to his complaining names ; 

Thus will I fold them one upon another ; 

Now kiss, embrace, contend, do what you will. 

Re-enter Lucetta. 

hue. Madam, dinner's ready, and your father 

Jul. Well, let us go. 

Luc. What, shall these papers lie like tell-tales 
here ? 

Jul. If you respect them, best to take them up. 

hue. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down : 
Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold. 4 

* written down ?] To write down is still a provincial ex- 
pression for to write. Henley. 

4 Yet here the// shall not lie, for catching cold.] That is, as 
Mr. M. Mason observes, lest they shoidd catch cold. This mode 
of expression (he adds) is not frequent in Shakspeare, but occurs 
in every play of Beaumont and Fletcher. 
So, in The Captain: 

" We'll have a b\b, for spoiling of your doublet." 
Again, in Love's Pilgrimage: 

" Stir my horse, for catching cold." 

O 2 

196 TWO GENTLEMEN act i. 

Jul. I see, you have a month's mind to them. 5 

Again, in The Pilgrim ; 

" All her face patch'd,yor discovery." 
To these I shall add another instance from Barnabie Riche's 
Souldiers Wishe to Britons Welfare, or Captaine Skill and 
Captaine Pill, lt>04, p. 64 : " — such other ill disposed persons, 
being once pressed must be kept with continuall guard, &c.Jbr 
running away" 

Again, in Chapman's version of the first Iliad: 

" then forked anchor cast, 

" And 'gainst the violence of storms, for drifting made 
her fast." 
Again, in Tusser's Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie, 

" Take heed how thou laiest the bane for the rats, 
" For poisoning thy servant, thyself, and thy brats." 


s I see, you have a month's mind to them.'] A month's mind 
was an anniversary in times of popery ; or, as Mr. Ray calls it, 
a less solemnity directed by the will of the deceased. There was 
also a year's mind, and a week's mind. See Proverbial Phrases. 

This appears from the interrogatories and observations against 
the clergy, in the year 1552, Inter. 7 : " Whether there are any 
months' minds, and anniversaries?" Strype's Memorials of the 
Reformation, Vol. II. p. 354. 

" Was the month's mind of Sir William Laxton, who died the 
last month, (July 1556,) his hearse burning with wax, and the 
morrow mass celebrated, and a sermon preached," &c. Strype's 
Mem. Vol. III. p. 305. Grey. 

A month's mind, in the ritual sense, signifies not desire or in- 
clination, but remembrance ; yet I suppose this is the true ori- 
ginal of the expression. Johnson. 

In Hampshire, and other western counties, for " I can't re- 
member it," they say, " I can't mind it." Blackstone. 

Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589, chap. 24, speaking 
of Poetical Lamentations, says, they were chiefly used " at the 
burials of the dead, also at month's minds, and longer times :" 
and the churchwardens' accompts of St. Helen's in Abingdon, 
Berkshire, 1558, these month's minds, and the expences attend- 
ing them, are frequently mentioned. Instead of month's minds y 
they are sometimes called month's monuments, and in the Injunc- 
tions of K. Edward VI. memories, Injunct, 21. By memories, 

sc. in. OF VERONA. 197 

Luc. Ay, madam, you may say what sights you 
see ; 
I see things too, although you judge I wink. 

Jul. Come, come, will't please you go ? 



The same. A Room in Antonio's House. 

Enter Antonio and Panthino. 

Ant. Tell me, Panthino, what sad talk 6 was that, 
Wherewith my brother held you in the cloister ? 

Pant. 'Twas of his nephew Proteus, your son. 

Ant. Why, what of him ? 

Pant. He wonder'd, that your lordship 

Would suffer him to spend his youth at home ; 
While other men, of slender reputation, 7 
Put forth their sons to seek preferment out : 
Some, to the wars, to try their fortune there ; 

says Fuller, we understand the Obsequiafor the dead, which some 
say succeeded in the place of the heathen Parentalia. 

If this line was designed for a verse, we should read — monthes 
mind. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream ; 
" Swifter than the moonw sphere." 

Both these are the Saxon genitive case. Steevens. 

' ■ what sad talk — ] Sad is the same as grave or serious. 

So, in The Wise Woman of Hogsden, 1638 : 

" Marry, sir knight, I saw them in sad talk, 
" But to say they were directly whispering," &c. 
Again, in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 15/8 : 

" The king feigneth to talk sadly with some of his counsel." 


7 of slender reputation,] i. e. who are thought slightly of, 

are of little consequence. Steevens. 


Some, to discover islands far away; 8 

Some, to the studious universities. 

For any, or for all these exercises, 

He said, that Proteus, your son, was meet ; 

And did request me, to importune you, 

To let him spend his time no more at home, 

Which would be great impeachment to his age, 9 

In having known no travel in his youth. 

Ant. Nor need'st thou much importune me to 
Whereon this month I have been hammering. 
I have consider'd well his loss of time ; 
And how he cannot be a perfect man, 
Not being try'd, and tutor'd in the world : 
Experience is by industry atchiev'd, 
And perfected by the swift course of time : 
Then, tell me, whither were I best to send him ? 

Pant. I think, your lordship is not ignorant, 
How his companion, youthful Valentine, 
Attends the emperor in his royal court. 1 

8 Sotne to discover islands far away ;~\ In Shakspeare's time, 
voyages for the discovery of the islands of America were much 
in vogue. And we find, in the journals of the travellers of that 
time, that the sons of noblemen, and of others of the best 
families in England, went very frequently on these adventures. 
Such as the Fortescues, Collitons, Thornhills, Farmers, Picker- 
ings, Littletons, Willoughbys, Chesters, Hawleys, Bromleys, and 
others. To this prevailing fashion our poet frequently alludes, 
and not without high commendations of it. Warburton. 

9 great impeachment to his age,] Impeachment, as Mr. 

M. Mason very justly observes, in this instance signifies reproach 
or imputation. So, Demetrius says to Helena in A Midsummer 
Night's Dream: 

" You do impeach your modesty too much, 

" To leave the city, and commit yourself 

" Into the hands of one that loves you not." Steevens. 

1 Attends the emperor in his royal court.'] Shakspeare has been 
guilty of no mistake in placing the emperor's court at Milan in 
this play* Several of the first German emperors held their courts 

sc. m. OF VERONA. 199 

Ant. I know it well. 

Pant. 'Twere good, I think, your lordship sent 
him thither: 
There shall he practise tilts and tournaments, 
Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen ; 
And be in eye of every exercise, 
Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth. 

Ant. I like thy counsel ; well hast thou advis'd : 
And, that thou may'st perceive how well I like it, 
The execution of it shall make known ; 
Even with the speediest expedition 
I will despatch him to the emperor's court. 

Pant. To-morrow, may it please you, Don 
With other gentlemen of good esteem, 
Are journeying to salute the emperor, 
And to commend their service to his will. 

Ant. Good company; with them shall Proteus go: 
And, in good time, 2 — now will we break with him. 3 

there occasionally, it being, at that time, their immediate pro- 
perty, and the chief town of their Italian dominions. Some of 
them were crowned kings of Italy at Milan, before they received 
the imperial crown at Rome. Nor has the poet fallen into any 
contradiction by giving a duke to Milan at the same time that the 
emperor held his court there. The first dukes of that, and all 
the other great cities in Italy, were not sovereign princes, as they 
afterwards became ; but were merely governors, or viceroys, 
under the emperors, and removeable at their pleasure. Such 
was the Duke of Milan mentioned in this play. Mr. M. Mason 
adds, that " during the wars in Italy between Francis I. and 
Charles V. the latter frequently resided at Milan." Steevens. 

* in good time,] In good time was the old expression when 

something happened that suited the thing in hand, as the French 
say apropos. Johnson. 

So, in Richard III : 

" And, in good time, here comes the sweating lord." 


200 TWO GENTLEMEN act i. 

Enter Proteus. 

Pro. Sweet love! sweet lines L sweet life! 
Here is her hand, the agent of her heart; 
Here is her oath for love, her honour's pawn: 
O, that our fathers would applaud our loves, 
To seal our happiness with their consents! 

heavenly Julia ! 

Ant. How now? what letter are you reading 

Pro. May't please your lordship, 'tis a word or 
Of commendation sent from Valentine, 
Deliver'd by a friend that came from him. 

Ant. Lend me the letter ; let me see what news. 

Pro. There is no news,mylord; but that he writes 
How happily he lives, how well belov'd, 
And daily graced by the emperor; 
Wishing me with him, partner of his fortune. 

Ant. And how stand you affected to his wish? 

Pro. As one relying on your lordship's will, 
And not depending on his friendly wish. 

Ant. My will is something sorted with his wish: 
Muse not that I thus suddenly proceed; 
For what I will, I will, and there an end. 

1 am resolv'd, that thou shalt spend some time 
With Valentinus in the emperor's court; 
What maintenance he from his friends receives, 
Like exhibition 4 thou shalt have from me. 

3 ; ■ now will we break with him."] That is, break the matter 
to him. The same phrase occurs in Much Ado about Nothing) 
Act I. sc. i. M. Mason. 

4 Like exhibition — ] i. e. allowance. 

sc. in. OF VERONA. 201 

To-morrow be in readiness to go : 
Excuse it not, for I am peremptory. 

Pro. My lord, I cannot be so soon provided ; 
Please you, deliberate a day or two. 

Ant. Look, what thou want'st, shall be sent 
after thee : 
No more of stay ; to-morrow thou must go. — 
Come on, Panthino ; you shall be employ'd 
To hasten on his expedition. 

[Exeunt Ant. and Pant. 

Pro. Thus have I shunn'd the fire, for fear of 
burning ; 
And drench'd me in the sea, where I am drown'd : 
I fear'd to shew my father Julia's letter, 
Lest he should take exceptions to my love ; 
And with the vantage of mine own excuse 
Hath he excepted most against my love. 
O, how this spring of love resembleth 5 

So, in Othello : 

" Due reference of place and exhibition." 
Again, in the Devil's Laiv Case, 1623 : 

" in his riot does far exceed the exhibition I al- 
lowed him." Steevens. 

* O, how this spring of love resembleth — ] At the end of 
this verse there is wanting a syllable, for the speech apparently 
ends in a quatrain. I find nothing that will rhyme to sun, and 
therefore shall leave it to some happier critic. But I suspect 
that the author might write thus : 

hoxv this spring of love resembleth right, 

The uncertain glory of an April day ; 
Which now shews all the glory of the light, 
And by and by a cloud takes all aivay I 
Light was either by negligence or affectation changed to sun, 
which, considered without the rhyme, is indeed better. The 
next transcriber, finding that the word right did not rhyme to sun, 
supposed it erroneously written, and left it out. Johnson. 

It was not always the custom, among our early writers, to make 
the first and third lines rhyme to each other ; and when a word 


The uncertain glory of an April day ; 
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun, 
And by and by a cloud takes all away ! 

was not long enough to complete the measure, they occasionally 
extended it. Thus Spenser, in his Fairy Queen, B. III. c. 12: 

" Formerly grounded and fast setteled." 
Again, in B. II. ch. 12: 

" The while sweet Zephirus loud whisteled 

" His treble, a strange kind of harmony ; 

" Which Guyon's senses softly ticketed," &c. 
From this practice, I suppose, our author wrote resembeletk, 
which, though it aifords no jingle, completes the verse. Many 
poems have been written in this measure, where the second and 
fourth lines only rhyme. Steevens. 

Resembleth is here used as a quadrisyllable, as if it was written 
resembeleth. See Comedy of Errors, Act V. sc. the last: 

" And these two Dromios, one in semblance" 
As you like it, Act II. sc. ii : 

" The parts and graces of the tvrestler." 
And it should be observed, that Shakspeare takes the same li- 
berty with many other words, in which I, or r, is subjoined to 
another consonant. See Comedy qf Errors, next verse but one 
to that cited above : 

" These are the parents to these children.'* 
where some editors, being unnecessarily alarmed for the metre, 
have endeavoured to help it by a word of their own : 

" These plainly are the parents to these children." 


Thus much I had thought sufficient to say upon this point, in 
the edition of these plays published by Mr. Steevens in 177^* 
Since which the author of Remarks, &c. on that edition has been 
pleased to assert, p. 7 : " that Shakspeare does not appear, from 
the above instances at least, to have taken the smallest liberty in 
extending his words : neither has the incident of /, or /-, being 
subjoined to another consonant any thing to do in the matter." — 
" The truth is," he goes on to say, " that every verb in the 
English language gains an additional syllable by its termination 
in est, eth, ed, ing, or (when formed into a substantive) in err- 
and the above words, token rightly printed, are not only unex- 
ceptionable, but most just. Thus resemble makes resemble-eth ; 
•wrestle, ivrestle-er ; and settle, "whistle, tickle, make settle-ed, 
lohistle-ed, tickle-ed.** 

As to this supposed Canon of the English language, it would be 

sc. in. OF VERONA. 203 

Re-enter Panthino. 

Pant. Sir Proteus, your father calls for you 
He is in haste, therefore, I pray you, go. 

easy to shew that it Is quite fanciful and unfounded ; and what 
lie calls the right method of printing the above words is such as, I 
believe, was never adopted before by any mortal in writing them, 
nor can be followed in the pronunciation of them without the 
help of an entirely new system of spelling. But any further dis- 
cussion of this matter is unnecessary ; because the hypothesis, 
though allowed in its utmost extent, will not prove either of the 
points to which it is applied. It will neither prove that Shak- 
speare has not taken a liberty in extending certain words, nor 
that he has not taken that liberty chiefly with words in which /, 
or r, is subjoined to another consonant. The following are all 
instances of nouns, substantive or adjective, which can receive 
no support from the supposed Canon. That Shakspeare has 
taken a liberty in extending these words is evident, from the 
consideration, that the same words are more frequently used, by 
his contemporaries and by himself, without the additional syl- 
lable. Why he has taken this liberty chiefly with words in 
which /, or r, is subjoined to another consonant, must be obvi- 
ous to any one who can pronounce the language. 

Country, trisyllable. 
T. N. Act I. sc. ii. The like of him. Know'st thou this country ? 
Coriol. Act I. sc. iii. Die nobly for their country, than one. 

Remembrance, quadrisyllable. 
T. N. Act I. sc. i. And lasting in her sad remembrance. 
W. T. Act IV. sc. iv. Grace and remembrance be to you both. 

Angry, trisyllable. 
Timon. Act III. sc. v. But who is man, that is not angry. 

Henry, trisyllable. 
Bich. III. Act II. sc.iii.Sostoodthestate,whenf/e«rj/the Sixth—. 
2 H. VI. Act II. sc. ii. Crown'd by the name of Henry the Fourth. 
And so in many other passages. 

Monstrous, trisyllable. 
Macb. Act vi. Who cannot want the thought how monstrous. 
Othello. Act II. sc. iii. 'Tis monstrous. 1 ago, who began it ? 

Assembly, quadrisyllable. 
M. A. A. N. Act V. sc. last. Good morrow to this fair assembly. 

Douglas, trisyllable. 
1 H. IV. Act V. sc. ii. Lord Douglas go you and tell him so. 

204. TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

Pro. "Why, this it is ! my heart accords thereto ; 
And yet a thousand times it answers, no. \_Eoceunt. 


. Milan. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. 

Enter Valentine and Speed. 

Speed. Sir, your glove. 

Val. Not mine ; my gloves are on. 

Speed. Why then this may be yours, for this is 
but one. 6 

Val. Ha ! let me see : ay, give it me, it's mine : — • 
Sweet ornament that decks a thing divine ! 
Ah Silvia ! Silvia ! 

Speed. Madam Silvia ! madam Silvia ! 

Val. How now, sirrah ? 

Speed. She is not within hearing, sir. 

Val. Why, sir, who bade you call her ? 

Speed. Your worship, sir ; or else I mistook. 

England, trisyllable. 
Rich. II. Act IV. sc. i. Than Bolingbrooke return to England. 

Humbler, trisyllable. 
1 H. VI. Act III. sc. i. Methinks his lordship should be humbler. 

Nobler, trisyllable. 
Coriol. Act III. sc.ii. You do the nobler. Cor. I muse my mother — . 


6 Val. Not mine ; my gloves are on. 
Speed. Why then this may be yours, for this is but one.] 
It should seem from this passage, that the word one was an- 
ciently pronounced as if it were written on. The quibble here 
is lost by the change of pronunciation ; a loss, however, which 
may be very patiently endured. Malone. 

sc. I. OF VERONA. 205 

Val. Well, you'll still be too forward. 

Speed. And yet I was last chidden for being 
too slow. 

Val. Go to, sir ; tell me, do you know madam 
Silvia ? 

Speed. She that your worship loves ? 

Val. Why, how know you that I am in love ? 

Speed. Marry, by these special marks : First, 
you have learned, like sir Proteus, to wreath your 
arms like a male-content ; to relish a love-song, like 
a Robin-red-breast ; to walk alone, like one that 
had the pestilence ; to sigh, like a school-boy that 
had lost his A. B. C; to weep, like a young wench 
that had buried her grandam ; to fast, like one that 
takes diet ; 7 to watch, like one that fears robbing ; 
to speak puling, like a beggar at Hallowmas. 8 You 
were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock ; 
when you walked, to walk like one of the lions ; 9 

7 takes diet ;] To take diet was the phrase for being under 

regimen for a disease mentioned in Timon of Athens : 

" bring down the rose-cheek'd youth 

" To the tub-fast and the diet." Steevens. 

Hallotvmas.'} This is about the feast of All-Saints, 

when winter begins, and the life of a vagrant becomes less 
comfortable. Johnson. 

It is worth remarking that on All-Saints-Day the poor people 
in Staffordshire, and perhaps in other country places, go from 
parish to parish a souling as they call it ; i. e. begging and 
puling (or singing small, as Bailey's Diet, explains puling, ) for 
soul-cakes, or any good thing to make them merry. This custom 
is mentioned by Peck, and seems a remnant of Popish supersti- 
tion to pray for departed souls, particularly those of friends. 
The souler's song, in Staffordshire, is different from that which 
Mr. Peck mentions, and is by no means worthy publication.' 


9 to •walk like one of the lions ;] If our author had not 

been thinking of the lions in the Toiver, he would have writtea 
— " to walk like a lion." Kjtson. 

206 TWO GENTLEMEN act il 

when you fasted, it was presently after dinner ; 
when you looked sadly, it was for want of money : 
and now you are metamorphosed with a mistress, 
that, when I look on you, I can hardly think you 
my master. 

Val. Are all these things perceived in me ? 

Speed. They are all perceived without you. 

Val. Without me ? they cannot. 

Speed. Without you ? nay, that's certain, for, 
without you were so simple, none else would : 1 but 
you are so without these follies, that these follies are 
within you, and shine through you like the water 
in an urinal ; that not an eye, that sees you, but 
is a physician to comment on your malady. 

Val. But, tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia? 

Speed. She, that you gaze on so, as she sits at 
supper ? 

Val. Hast thou observed that ? even she I mean. 

Speed. Why, sir, I know her not. 

Val. Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, 
and yet knowest her not ? 

Speed. Is she not hard favoured, sir ? 

Val. Not so fair, boy, as well favoured. 

Speed. Sir, I know that well enough. 

Val. What dost thou know ? 

Speed. That she is not so fair, as (of you) well 

Val. I mean, that her beauty is exquisite, but 
her favour infinite. 

• none else would ;] None else would be so simple. 


sc. i. OF VERONA. 207 

Speed. That's because the one is painted, and 
the other out of all count. 

Val. How painted ? and how out of count ? 

Speed. Marry, sir, so painted, to make her fair, 
that no man counts of her beauty. 

Val. How esteemest thou me ? I account of her 

Speed. You never sawhersinceshe was deformed. 

Val. How long hath she been deformed ? 

Speed. Ever since you loved her. 

Val. I have loved her ever since I saw her ; 
and still I see her beautiful. 

Speed. If you love her, you cannot see her. 

Val. Why? 

Speed. Because love is blind. O, that you had 
mine eyes ; or your own had the lights they were 
wont to have, when you chid at sir Proteus for 
going ungartered ! 2 

Val. What should I see then ? 

Speed. Your own present folly, and her passing 
deformity : for he, being in love, could not see to 
garter his hose ; and you, being in love, cannot 
see to put on your hose. 

Val. Belike, boy, then you are in love ; for last 
morning you could not see to wipe my shoes. 

Speed. True, sir ; I was in love with my bed : 
I thank you, you swinged me for my love, which 
makes me the bolder to chide you for yours. 

* for going ungartered !] This is enumerated by Rosa- 
lind in As you like it. Act III. sc. ii. as one of the undoubted 
marks of love : " Then your hose should be ungartered, your 
bonnet unbanded," &c. Malone. 

208 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

Val. In conclusion, I stand affected to her. 

Speed. I would you were set ; 3 so, your af- 
fection would cease. 

Val. Last night she enjoined me to write some 
lines to one she loves. 

Speed. And have you ? 

Val, I have. 

Speed. Are they not lamely writ ? 

Val. No, boy, but as well as I can do them :— 
Peace, here she comes. 

Enter Silvia. 

Speed. O excellent motion ! O exceeding pup- 
pet ! now will he interpret to her. 4 

Val. Madam and mistress, a thousand good- 

Speed. O, 'give you good even ! here's a million 
of manners. \_Aside, 

3 I would you were set ;] Set for seated, in opposition to stand, 
in the foregoing line. M. Mason. 

4 O excellent motion ! &c.] Motion, in Shakspeare's time, 
signified puppet. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair it is fre- 
quently used in that sense, or rather perhaps to signify a puppet- 
show ; the master whereof may properly be said to be an inter- 
preter, as being the explainer of the inarticulate language of the 
actors. The speech of the servant is an allusion to that practice, 
and he means to say, that Silvia is a puppet, and that Valentine 
is to interpret to, or ratherybr her. Sir J. Hawkins. 

So, in The City Match, 1639, by Jasper Maine : 

" his mother came, 

" Who follows strange sights out of town, and went 

" To Brentford for a motion.''' 

Again, in The Pilgrim : 

" Nothing but a motion? 

" A puppet pilgrim ?" Steevens. 

sc. I. OF VERONA. 209 

Sil. Sir Valentine and servant, 5 to you two 

Speed. He should give her interest ; and she 
gives it him. 

Val. As you enjoin'd me, I have writ your letter, 
Unto the secret nameless friend of yours; 
Which I was much unwilling to proceed in, 
But for my duty to your ladyship. 

Sil. I thank you, gentle servant : 'tis very clerkly 

Val. Now trust me, madam, it came hardly off; 7 
For, being ignorant to whom it goes, 
I writ at random, very doubtfully. 

Sil. Perchance you think too much of so much 
pains ? 

Val. No, madam ; so it stead you, I will write, 
Please you command, a thousand times as much : 
And yet, — 

Sil. A pretty period ! Well, I guess the sequel ; 

4 Sir Valentine and servant,] Here Silvia calls her lover ser- 
vant, and again below, her gentle servant. This was the language 
of ladies to their lovers at the time when Shakspeare wrote. 

Sir J. Hawkins. 
So, in Marston's What you xvill, \Q0J : 

" Sweet sister, let's sit in judgement a little ; faith upon 

my servant Monsieur Laverdure. 
" Mel. Troth, well for a servant; but for a husband!" 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour: 

" Every man was not born with my servant Brisk's fea- 
tures." Steevens. 

6 *tu very clerkly done.~\ i. e. like a scholar. So, in The 

Merry Wives of Windsor: 

" Thou art clerkly, sir John, clerkly" Steevens. 

7 it came hardly off;] A similar phrase occurs in Thnon 

of Athens, Act I. sc. i : 

" This comes <yj' well and excellent." Steevens. 


210 TWO GENTLEMEN act u. 

And yet I will not name it : — and yet I care not ; — 
And yet take this again ; — and yet I thank you ; 
Meaning henceforth to trouble you no more. 

Speed. And yet you will ; and yet another yet. 

Val. What means your ladyship ? do you not 
like it ? 

Sil. Yes, yes ; the lines are very quaintly writ : 
But since unwillingly, take them again ; 
Nay, take them. 

Val, Madam, they are for you. 

Sil. Ay, ay ; you writ them, sir, at my request ; 
But I will none of them ; they are for you : 
I would have had them writ more movingly. 

Val. Please you, I'll write your ladyship another. 

Sil. And, when it's writ, for my sake readit over : 
And, if it please you, so ; if not, why, so. 

Val, If it please me, madam ! what then ? 

Sil. Why, if it please you, take it for your 
labour ; 
And so good-morrow, servant. \_Exit Silvia. 

Speed. O jest unseen, inscrutable, invisible, 
As a nose on a man's face, or a weathercock on a 

steeple ! 
My master sues to her; and she hath taught her 

He being her pupil, to become her tutor. 
O excellent device ! was there ever heard a better ? 
That my master, being scribe, to himself should 

write the letter ? 

Val. How now, sir? what are you reasoning 
with yourself? 8 

9 ' reasoning with yourself?] That is, discoursing, talking. 
An Italianism. Johnson. 

JR. J. OF VERONA. 211 

Speed. Nay, I was rhyming ; 'tis you that have 
the reason. 

Val. To do what ? 

Speed. To be a spokesman from madam Silvia. 

Val. To whom ? 

Speed. To yourself: why, she wooes you by a 

Val. What figure ? 

Speed. By a letter, I should say. 

Val. Why, she hath not writ to me ? 

Speed. What need she, when she hath made 
you write to yourself? Why, do you not perceive 

the jest ? 

Val. No, believe me. 

Speed. No believing you indeed, sir : But did 
you perceive her earnest ? 

Val. She gave me none, except an angry word. 

Speed. Why, she hath given you a letter. 

Val. That's the letter I writ to her friend. 

Speed. And that letter hath she deliver'd, and 
there an end/' 

Val. I would, it were no worse. 

Speed. I'll warrant you, 'tis as well : 
For often you have writ to her ; and she, in modesty, 
Or else for want of idle time, could not again reply ; 

So, in the Merchant of Venice : 

" I reasoned with a Frenchman yesterday." Steevens. 

9 and there an end.] i. e. there's the conclusion of the 

matter. So, in Macbeth : 

" the times have been 

" That when the brains were out, the man would die. 
" And there an end." Steevens. 

P 2 

212 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

Or fearing else some messenger, that might her mind l 

Herself hath taught her love himself to write unto 

her lover. — 
All this I speak in print ; T for in print I found it. — 
Why muse you, sir ? 'tis dinner time. 

Val. I have dined. 

Speed. Ay, but hearken, sir : though the came- 
leon Love can feed on the air, I am one that am 
nourished by my victuals, and would fain have 
meat : O, be not like your mistress ; be moved, be 
moved. [Exeunt. 


Verona. A Room in Julia's House. 

Enter Proteus and Julia. 

Pro. Have patience, gentle Julia. 

Jul. I must, where is no remedy. 

Pro. When possibly I can, I will return. 

Jul. If you turn not, you will return the sooner : 
Keep this remembrance for thy Julia's sake. 

[Giving a ring. 

' All this I speak in print ;] In print means ivith exactness. 
So, in the comedy of All Fooles, l605 : 

" not a hair 

" About his bulk, but it stands in print." 
Again, in The Portraiture of Hypocrisie, bl. 1. 1589: " — others 
lash out to maintaine their porte, which must needes bee in print" 
Again, in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 539: 
" — he must speake in print, walke in print, eat and drinke in 
print, and that which is all in all, he must be- mad in print.'" 


sc. in. OF VERONA. 213 

Pro. Why then we'll make exchange ; here, take 
you this. 

Jul. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss. 

Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy ; 
And when that hour o'er-slips me in the day, 
Wherein I sigh not, Julia, for thy sake, 
The next ensuing hour some foul mischance 
Torment me for my love's forgetfulness ! 
My father stays my coming ; answer not ; 
The tide is now : nay, not the tide of tears ; 
That tide will stay me longer than I should : 

[Exit Julia. 
Julia, farewell. — What ! gone without a word ? 
Ay, so true love should do : it cannot speak ; 
For truth hath better deeds, than words, to grace it. 

Enter Panthino. 

Pan. Sir Proteus, you are staid for. 

Pro. Go ; I come, I come : — 
Alas ! this parting strikes poor lovers dumb. 



The same. A Street. 

Enter Launce, leading a dog. 

Laun. Nay, 'twill be this hour ere I have done 
weeping ; all the kind of the Launces have this 
very fault : I have received my proportion, like the 
prodigious son, and am going with sir Proteus to 
the Imperial's court. I think, Crab my dog be the 
sourest-natured dog that lives: my mother weeping, 
my father wailing, my sister crying, our maid howl- 

214 TWO GENTLEMEN act it. 

ing, our cat wringing her hands, and all our house 
in a great perplexity, yet did not this cruel-hearted 
cur shed one tear : he is a stone, a very pebhle-stone, 
and has no more pity in him than a dog : a Jew 
would have wept to have seen our parting ; why, 
my grandam having no eyes, look you, wept herself 
blind at my parting. Nay, I'll show you the man- 
ner of it : This shoe is my father ; — no, this left 
shoe is my father ; — no, no, this left shoe is my 
mother; — nay, that cannot be so neither; — yes, it 
is so, it is so ; it hath the worser sole ; This shoe, 
with the hole in it, is my mother, and this my 
father ; A vengeance on't ! there 'tis : now, sir, 
this staff is my sister ; for, look you, she is as white 
as a liJv, and as small as a wand : this hat is Xan, 
our maid ; I am the dog: 2 — no, the dog is himself, 
and I am the dog, 3 — O, the dog is me, and I am 
myself; ay, so, so. Now come I to my father; 
Father^ your blessing ; now should not the shoe 
speak a word for weeping ; now should I kiss my 
father ; well, he weeps on : — now come I to my 
mother, (O, that she could speak now!) like a 
wood woman ; 4 — well, I kiss her ; — why there 'ti- ; 

4 I am the dog: &c] A similar thought occurs in a play 

printed earlier than the present. See A Christian turnd Turk, 

" you shall stand for the lady, you for her deer, and J the 

page ; you and the dog looking one upon another : the page pre- 
sents himself." Steevexs. 

I am the dog, &c] This passage is much confused, and 

of confusion the present reading makes no end. Sir T. Hanrner 
reads: I am the dog, no, the dog is himself and I am me, the dog 
is the dog, and I am myself. This certainly is more reasonable, 
but I know not how much reason the author intended to bestow 
on Launce's soliloquy. Johnson*. 

like a wood woman ; — ] The first folios agree in 

v:o" I d--xoman: for which, because it was a mystery to Mr. Pope, 

sc. in, OF VERONA. 215 

here's my mother's breath up and down : now come 
I to my sister ; mark the moan she makes : now the 
dog all this while sheds not a tear, nor speaks a 
word ; but see how I lay the dust with my tears. 

Enter Panthino. 

Pan. Launce, away, away, aboard ; thy master 
is shipped, and thou art to post after with oars. 
What's the matter? why weep'st thou, man? Away, 
ass ; you will lose the tide, if you tarry any longer. 

LiAUN. It is no matter if the ty'd were lost ; 5 for 
it is the unkindest ty'd that ever any man ty'd. 

he has unmeaningly substituted ould woman. But it must be 
writ, or at least understood,. waoiLwoman, i. e.crazy, frantic with 
grief; or distracted, from any other cause. The word is very 
frequently used in Chaucer ; and sometimes writ wood, some- 
times wode. Theobald. 

Print thus : " Now come I to my mother, (O, that she could 
speak now!) like a wood woman." 

Perhaps the humour would be heightened by reading — (O, 
that the shoe could speak now !) Blackstone. 

I have followed the punctuation recommended by Sir W. 
Blackstone. The emendation proposed by him was made, I 
find, by Sir T. Hanmer. Ma lone. 

O that she coidd speak now like a wood woman !] Launce is 
describing the melancholy parting between him and his family. 
In order to do this more methodically, he makes one of his shoes 
stand for his father, and the other for his mother. And when he 
has done taking leave of his father, he says, Now come I to my 
mother, turning to the shoe that is supposed to personate her. And 
in order to render the representation more perfect, he expresses 
his wish that it could speak like a woman frantic with grief! 
There could be no doubt about the sense of the passage, had he 
said — " O that it could speak like a wood woman !'' But he uses 
the feminine pronoun in speaking of the shoe, because it is sup- 
posed to represent a woman. M. Mason. 

* if the ty'd were lost ;] This quibble, wretched as it is, 

might have been borrowed by bhakspeare from Lily's Endi/rnioriy 

2 1 6 TWO GENTLEMEN act ii. 

Pan. What's the imkindest tide ? 

Laun. Why, he that's ty'd here ; Crab, my dog. 

Pan. Tut, man, I mean thou'lt lose the flood ; 
and, in losing the flood, lose thy voyage ; and, in 
losing thy voyage, lose thy master ; and, in losing 
thy master, lose thy service ; and, in losing thy 
service, — Why dost thou stop my mouth ? 

Laun. For fear thou should'st lose thy tongue? 

Pan. Where should I lose my tongue ? 

Laun. In thy tale. 

Pan. In thy tail ? 

Laun. Lose the tide, 6 and the voyage, and the 
master, and the service ? The tide ! 7 — Why, man, 
if the river were dry, I am able to fill it with my 
tears ; if the wind were down, I could drive the 
boat with my sighs. » 

Pan. Come, come away, man ; I was sent to 
call thee. 

Laun. Sir, call me what thou darest. 

Pan. W T ilt thou go ? 

Laun, Well, I will go. {Exeunt. 

1591 : " Epi. You know it is said, the tide tarrieth for no man. — 
Sam. True. — Epi. A monstrous lye : for I was tyd two hours, 
and tarried for one to unloose me." The same play on words 
occurs in Chapman's Andromeda Liberata, l6l4: 

" And now came roaring to the tied the tide." 


6 Lose the tide%\ Thus the old copy. Some of the modern 
editors read — the flood. Steevens. 

7 The tide f] The old copy reads — " and the tide." I 

once supposed these three words to have been repeated, through 
some error of the transcriber or printer ; but, pointed as the pas- 
sage now is, (with the omission of and,) it seems to have suffi- 
cient meaning. Steevens. 

sc. ir. OF VERONA. 217 

Milan. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. 

Enter Valentine, Silvia, Thurio, and Speed. 

Sil. Servant — 

Val. Mistress? 

Speed. Master, sir Thurio frowns on you. 

Val. Ay, boy, it's for love. 

Speed. Not of you. 

Val. Of my mistress then. 

Speed. 'Twere good, you knocked him. 

Sil. Servant, you are sad. 

Val. Indeed, madam, I seem so. 

Thu. Seem you that you are not ? 

Val. Haply, I do. 

Thu. So do counterfeits. 

Val. So do you. 

Thu. What seem I, that I am not ? 

Val. Wise. 

Thu. What instance of the contrary ? 

Val. Your folly. 

Thu. And how quote you my folly ? 8 

• hoiv quote you my folly ?] To quote is to observe. So, 

in Hamlet : 

" I am sorry that with hetter heed and judgement 
" I had not quoted him." Steevens. 

Valentine in his answer plays upon the word, which was pro- 
nounced as if written coat. So, in The Rape of Lucrece, 

218 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

Val. I quote it in your jerkin. 
Thu. My jerkin is a doublet. 
Val. Well, then, I'll double your folly. 
Thu. How? 

Sil. What, angry, sir Thurio ? do you change 
colour ? 

Val. Give him leave, madam ; he is a kind of 

Thu. That hath more mind to feed on your 
blood, than live in your air. 

Val. You have said, sir. 

Thu. Ay, sir, and done too, for this time. 

Val. I know it well, sir ; you always end ere 
you begin. 

Sil. A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and 
quickly shot off. 

Val. 'Tis indeed, madam ; we thank the giver. 

Sil. Who is that, servant ? 

Val. Yourself, sweet lady; for you gave the 
fire : sir Thurio borrows his wit from your lady- 
ship's looks, and spends what he borrows, kindly 
in your company. 

Thu. Sir, if you spend word for word with me, 
I shall make your wit bankrupt. 

Val. I know it well, sir : you have an exchequer 
of words, and, I think, no other treasure to give 

" the illiterate, that know not how 

" To cipher what is writ in learned books, 
" Will cote my loathsome trespass in my looks." 
In our poet's time words were thus frequently spelt by the ear. 


sc. if. OF VERONA. 219 

your followers ; for it appears by their bare liveries, 
that they live by your bare words. 

Sil. No more, gentlemen, no more ; here comes 
my father. 

Enter Duke. 

Duke. Now, daughter Silvia, you are hard beset. 
Sir Valentine, your father's in good health : 
What say you to a letter from your friends 
Of much good news ? 

Val. My lord, I will be thankful 

To any happy messenger from thence. 

Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your country- 
man ? 9 

Val. Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman 
To be of worth, and worthy estimation, 
And not without desert l so well reputed. 

Duke. Hath he not a son ? 

Val. Ay, my good lord; a son, that well deserves 
The honour and regard of such a father. 

Duke. You know him well ? 

Val. I knew him, as myself; for from our infancy 
We have convers'd, and spent our hours together : 
And though myself have been an idle truant, 
Omitting the sweet benefit of time, 
To clothe mine age with angel-like perfection ; 

9 Know you Don Antonio, your countryman ?~\ The word 
Don should be omitted; as besides the injury it does to the metre, 
the characters are Italians, not Spaniards. Had the measure 
admitted it, Shakspeare would have written Sigtlot. And yet, 
after making this remark, I noticed Don Alphonso in a preceding 
.scene. But for all that, the remark may be just. Kitson. 

1 not xvit/iout desert — ] And not dignified with so much 

reputation without proportionate merit. Johnson. 

220 TWO GENTLEMEN act it. 

Yet hath sir Proteus, for that's his name, 
Made use and fair advantage of his days : 
His years but young, but his experience old ; 
His head unmellow'd, but his judgement ripe ; 
And, in a word, (for far behind his worth 
Come all the praises that I now bestow,) 
He is complete in feature, and in mind, 
With all good grace to grace a gentleman. 

Duke. Beshrew me, sir, but, if he make this good, 
He is as worthy for an empress' love, 
As meet to be an emperor's counsellor. 
Well, sir ; this gentleman is come to me, 
With commendation from great potentates ; 
And here he means to spend his time a-while : 
I think, 'tis no unwelcome news to you. 

Val. Should I have wish'd a thing, it hadbeen he. 

Duke. Welcome him then according to his worth; 
Silvia, I speak to you ; and you, sir Thurio : — 
For Valentine, I need not 'cite him to it : 2 
I'll send him hither to you presently. \_~Exit Duke. 

Val. This is the gentleman, I told your ladyship, 
Had come along with me, but that his mistress 
Did hold his eyes lock'd in her crystal looks. 

SlL. Belike, that now she hath enfranchis'd them 
Upon some other pawn for fealty. 

Val. Nay, sure, I think, she holds them pri- 
soners still. 

Sil. Nay, then he should be blind ; and, being 
How could he see his way to seek out you ? 

Val. Why, lady, love hath twenty pair of eyes. 

Thu. They say, that love hath not an eye at all. 

* I need not 'cite him to it ;] i. e. incite him to it. Malone. 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 221 

Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself ; 
Upon a homely object love can wink. 

Enter Proteus. 

Sil. Have done, have done ; here comes the 

Val. Welcome, dear Proteus ! — Mistress, I be- 
seech you, 
Confirm his welcome with some special favour. 

Sil. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither, 
If this be he you oft have wish'd to hear from. 

Val. Mistress, it is : sweet lady, entertain him 
To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship. 

Sil. Too low a mistress for so high a servant 

Pro. Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant 
To have a look of such a worthy mistress. 

Val. Leave off discourse of disability : — 
Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant. 

Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else. 

Sil. And duty never yet did want his meed ; 
Servant, you are welcome to a worthless mistress. 

Pro. I'll die on him that says so, but yourself. 

Sil. That you are welcome ? 

Pro. No ; that you are worthless. 3 

1 No ; that you are worthless.] I have inserted the particle no, 
to fill up the measure. Johnson. 

Perhaps the particle supplied is unnecessary. Worthless was, 
I believe, used as a trisyllable. See Mr. Tynvhitt's note, p. 203. 


Is worthless a trisyllable in the preceding speech of Silvia ? Is 
there any instance of the licence recommended, respecting the 
adjective worthless, to be found in Shakspeare, or any other 
writer? St e evens. 

222 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

Enter Servant. 

Ser. Madam, my lord your father 4 would speak 
with you. 

SlL. I'll wait upon his pleasure. [Edit Servant. 
Come, Sir Thurio, 
Go with me : — Once more, new servant, welcome : 
I'll leave you to confer of home-affairs ; 
When you have done, we look to hear from you. 

Pro. We'll both attend upon your ladyship. 

[Exeunt Silvia, Thurio, and Speed. 

Val. Now, tell me, how do all from whence 
you came ? 

Pro. Your friends are well, and have them much 

Val. And how do yours ? 

Pro. I left them all in health. 

Val. How does your lady ? and how thrives your 

Pro. My tales of love were wont to weary you ; 
I know, you joy not in a love-discourse. 

Val. Ay, Proteus, but that life is alter'd now : 
I have done penance for contemning love ; 
Whose high imperious 5 thoughts have punish'd me 

4 Ser. Madam, my lord your father — ] This speech in all 
the editions is assigned improperly to Thurio ; but he has been 
all along upon the stage, and could not know that the duke 
wanted his daughter. Besides, the first line and half of Silvia's 
answer is evidently addressed to two persons. A servant, there- 
fore, must come in and deliver the message ; and then Silvia 
goes out with Thurio. Theobald. 

3 Whose high imperious — ] For whose I read those. I have 
contemned love and am punished. Those high thoughts, by which 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 223 

With bitter fasts, with penitential groans, 
With nightly tears, and daily heart-sore sighs ; 
For, in revenge of my contempt of love, 
Love hath chac'd sleep from my enthralled eyes, 
And made them watchers of mine own heart's 

O, gentle Proteus, love's a mighty lord ; 
And hath so humbled me, as, I confess, 
There is no woe to his correction, 6 
Nor, to his service, no such joy on earth ! 
Now, no discourse, except it be of love ; 
Now can I break my fast, dine, sup, and sleep, 
Upon the very naked name of love. 

Pro. Enough ; I read your fortune in your eye : 
Was this the idol that you worship so ? 

Val. Even she ; and is she not a heavenly saint ? 

Pro. No ; but she is an earthly paragon. 

Val. Call her divine. 

Pro. I will not flatter her. 

Val. O, flatter me ; for love delights in praises. 


I exalted myself above the human passions or frailties, have 
brought upon me fasts and groans. Johnson. 

I believe the old copy is right. Imperious is an epithet very 
frequently applied to love by Shakspeare and his contemporaries. 
So, in The Famous Historie of George Lord Faukonbridge, 4to. 
I6l6, p. 15: "Such an imperious God is love, and so com- 
manding." A few lines lower Valentine observes, that — " love's 
a mighty lord. 1 ' jMalone. 

6 no woe to his correction,'] No misery that can be com- 
pared to the punishment inflicted by love. Herbert called for 
the prayers of the liturgy a little before his death, saying, None 
to them, none to them. Johnson. 

The same idiom occurs in an old ballad quoted in Cupid's 
Whirligig, l6l6: 

" There is no comfort in the world 

" To women that are kind." M alone. 

224 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

Pro. When I was sick, you gave me bitter pills j 
And I must minister the like to you. 

Val. Then speak the truth by her ; if not divine, 
Yet let her be a principality, 7 
Sovereign to all the creatures on the earth. 

Pro. Except my mistress. 

Val. Sweet, except not any ; 

Except thou wilt except against my love. 

Pro. Have I not reason to prefer mine own ? 

Val. And I will help thee to prefer her too : 
She shall be dignified with this high honour, — 
To bear my lady's train ; lest the base earth 
Should from her vesture chance to steal a kiss, 
And, of so great a favour growing proud, 
Disdain to root the summer-swelling flower, 8 
And make rough winter everlastingly. 

7 a principality,] The first or principal of women. So 

the old writers use date. " She is a lady, a great state." Laty- 
mer. " This look is called in states warlie, in others otherwise." 
Sir T. More. Johnson. 

There is a similar sense of this word in St. Paul's Epistle to the 
Romans, viii. 38 : — " nor angels nor principalities." 

Mr. M. Mason thus judiciously paraphrases the sentiment of 
Valentine. " If you will not acknowledge her as divine, let her 
at least be considered as an angel of the first order, superior to 
every thing on earth." Steevens. 

8 summer-swelling^otuer,] I once thought that our poet 

had written summer-smelling ; but the epithet which stands in 
the text I have since met with in the translation of Lucan, by 
Sir Arthur Gorges, l6l4, B. VIII. p. 354: 

" no Roman chieftaine should 

" Come near to Nyle's Pelusian mould, 

" But shun that summer-swelling shore." 
The original is, " — ripasque cestate tumentes," 1. 829« May 
likewise renders it summer-swelled banks. The summer-swelling 
flower is the flower which swells in summer, till it expands it- 
self into bloom. Steevens. 

sc. if. OF VERONA. 225 

Pro. Why, Valentine, what braggardism is this ? 

Val. Pardon me, Proteus : all I can, is nothing 
To her, whose. worth makes other worthies nothing; 
She is alone. 9 

Pro. Then let her alone. 

Val. Not for the world: why, man, she is mine 
own ; 
And I as rich in having such a jewel, 
As twenty seas, if all their sand were pearl, 
The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold. 
Forgive me, that I do not dream on thee, 
Because thou seest me dote upon my love. 
My foolish rival, that her father likes, 
Only for his possessions are so huge, 
Is gone with her along ; and I must after, 
For love, thou know'st, is full of jealousy. 

Pro. But she loves you ? 

Val. Ay, and we are betroth'd ; 

Nay, more, our marriage hour, 
With all the cunning manner of our flight, 
Determin'd of: how I must climb her window ; 
The ladder made of cords ; and all the means 
Plotted; and 'greed on, for my happiness. 
Good Proteus, go with me to my chamber, 
In these affairs to aid me with thy counsel. 

Pro. Go on before ; I shall enquire you forth : 
I must unto the road, 1 to disembark 
Some necessaries that I needs must use ; 
And then I'll presently attend you. 

Val. W T ill you make haste ? 

9 She is alone.'] She stands by herself. There is none to be 
compared to her. Johnson. 

1 the road,] The haven, where ships ride at anchor. 


226 TWO GENTLEMEN act 11. 

Pro. I will. — [Exit Val. 

Even as one heat another heat expels, 
Or as one nail by strength drives out another, 
So the remembrance of my former love 
Is by a newer object quite forgotten. 2 
Is it mine eye, or Valentinus' praise, 3 
Her true perfection, or my false transgression, 
That makes me, reasonless, to reason thus ? 

s Even as one heat another heat expels. 

Or as one nail by strength drives out another, 
So the remembrance of my former love 
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.] Our author seems here 
to have remembered The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and 
Juliet , 1562: 

" And as out of a planke a nayle a nayle doth drive, 
" So novel love out of the minde the auncient love doth rive" 
So also, in Coriolanus: 

" One fire drives out one fire ; one nail one nail." 


3 Is it mine eye, or Valentinus' praise,"] The old copy reads — 
" Is it mine or Valentine's praise ?" Steevens. 

Here Proteus questions with himself, whether it is his own 
praise, or Valentine's, that makes him fall in love with Valentine's 
mistress. But not to insist on the absurdity of falling in love 
through his own praises, he had not indeed praised her any far- 
ther than giving his opinion of her in three words, when his 
friend asked it of him. 

A word is wanting in the first folio. The line was originally 

It is mine eye, or Valentino 1 s praise ? 
Proteus had just seen Valentine's mistress, whom her lover had 
been lavishly praising. His encomiums, therefore, heightening 
Proteus's ideas of her at the interview, it was the less wonder he 
should be uncertain which had made the strongest impression, 
Valentine's praises, or his own view of her. Warburton. 

The first folio reads: 

" It is mine or Valentine's praise." 
The second : 

" Is it mine then or Valentinean's praise ?" Ritson. 

I read, as authorized, in a former instance, by the old copy,— 
Valentinus. See Act I. sc. iii. p. 200. Steevens. 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 227 

She's fair ; and so is Julia, that I love ; — 
That I did love, for now my love is thaw'd ; 
Which, like a waxen image 'gainst a fire,* 
Bears no impression of the thing it was. 
Methinks, my zeal to Valentine is cold ; 
And that I love him not, as I was wont : 
O ! but I love his lady too, too much ; 
And that's the reason I love him so little. 
How shall I dote on her with more advice, 6 
That thus without advice begin to love her ? 
'Tis but her picture 6 I have yet beheld, 

* a waxen image ''gainst a fre,'] Alluding to the figures 

made by witches, as representatives of those whom they designed 
to torment or destroy. See my note on Macbeth, Act I. sc. iii. 


King James ascribes these images to the devil, in his treatise of 
Daemonologie: " to some others at these times he teacheth how 
to make pictures of waxe or claye, that by the roasting thereof 
the persons that they bear the name of may be continually melted, 
and dried away by continual sicknesse." See Servius on the 8th 
Eclogue of Virgil, Theocritus Idyl. 2. 22. Hudibras, p. 2. c. 2. 
v. 331. S.W. " 

4 tvith more advice,] With more advice, is on further 

hiovdedge, on better consideration. So, in Titus Andronicus; 

" The Greeks, upon advice, did bury Ajax." 
The word, as Mr. Malone observes, is still current among 
mercantile people, whose constant language is, " we are advised 
by letters from abroad," meaning informed. So, in bills of ex- 
change the conclusion always is — " Without further advice." 
So, in this very phi) : 

" Thi^ pride of hers, upon advice." &C. 
Again, in Measurefbr Measure: 

" Yet did repent me, after more advice." Steevens. 

'7/s bul hey picture — ] This is evidently a slip of attention, 
for he had seen her in the last scene, and in high terms offered 
her his service. Johnson. 

1 believe Proteus means, that, as yet, he had seen only her 
outnard form, without having known her long enough to have 
any acquaintance with her mind. 


228 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

And that hath dazzled my reason's light ; 

But when I look on her perfections, 7 

There is no reason but I shall be blind. 

If I can check my erring love, I will ; 

If not, to compass her I'll use my skill. \_ExiL 

The same. A Street. 

Enter Speed and Launce. 

Speed. Launce ! by mine honesty, welcome to 
Milan. 8 

Laun. Forswear not thyself, sweet youth; for I 
am not welcome. I reckon this always — that a man 
is never undone, till he be hanged; nor never wel- 
come to a place, till some certain shot be paid, and 
the hostess say, welcome. 

So, in Cymbeline: 

" All of her, that is out of door, most rich ! 
" If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare," &c. 
Again, in The Winter* s Tale, Act II. sc. i : 

" Praise her but for this her without-door form." 
Perhaps Proteus is mentally comparing his fate with that of 
Pyrocles, the hero of Sidney's Arcadia, who fell in love with 
Philoclea immediately on seeing her portrait in the house of Ka- 
Iander. Steevens. 

7 And that hath dazzled my reason's light; 
Bid when I look &c] Our author uses dazzled as a tri- 
syllable. The editor of the second folio not perceiving this, in- 
troduced so, (" And that hath dazzled so," &c.) a word as hurt- 
ful to the sense as unnecessary to the metre. The plain meaning 
is, Her mere outside has dazzled me ; — xvhen I am acquainted 
tvith the perfections of her mind, I shall be struck blind. 


■ to Milan.] It is Padua in the former editions. See the 

note on Act III. Pope. 

sc. r. OF VERONA. 229 

Speed. Come on, you mad-cap, I'll to the ale- 
house with you presently; where, for one shot of 
five pence, thou shaft have five thousand welcomes. 
But, sirrah, how did thy master part with madam 
Julia ? 

Laun. Marry, after they closed in earnest, they 
parted very fairly in jest. 

Speed. But shall she marry him ? 

La un. No. 

Speed. How then ? Shall he marry her ? 

Laun. No, neither. 

Speed. What, are they broken ? 

Laun. No, they are both as whole as a fish. 

Speed. Why then, how stands the matter with- 
them ? 

Laun. Marry, thus; when it stands well with 
him, it stands well with her. 

Speed. What an ass art thou ? I understand 
thee not. 

Laun. What a block art thou, that thou canst not ? 
My staff understands me. 

Speed. What thou say'st ? 

9 Mij staff understands me.] This equivocation, miserable as 
it is, has been admitted by Milton in his great poem, B. VI : 

" The terms we sent were terms of weight, 

" Such as, we may perceive, amaz'd them all, 
" And stagger'd many; who receives them right, 
" Had need from head to foot well understand; 
" Not understood, this gift they have besides, 
" To shew us when our foes stand not upright." 


The same quibble occurs likewise in the second part of The 
Three Merry Coblers, an ancient ballad: 

" Our work doth th' owners understand, 

" Thus still we arc on the mending hand." Steevens. 

230 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 

LAuy. Ay, and what I do too : look thee, I'll 
but lean, and my staff understands me. 

Speed. It stands under thee, indeed. 

Laun. Why,standunderandunderstandisallone. 

Speed. But tell me true, will't be a match ? 

Laun. Ask my dog : if he say, ay, it will ; if he 
say, no, it will; if he shake his tail, and say nothing, 
it will. 

Speed. The conclusion is then, that it will. 

Laun. Thou shalt never get such a secret from 
me, but by a parable. 

Speed. 'Tis well that I get it so. But, Launce, 
how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable 
lover ?* 

Laun. I never knew him otherwise. 

Speed. Than how ? 

Laun. A notable lubber, as thou reportest him 
to be. 

Speed. Why,thou whorsonass,thou mistakestme. 

Laun. Why, fool, I meant not thee ; I meant 
thy master. 

Speed. I tell thee, my master is become a hot 

Laun. Why, I tell thee, I care not though he 
burn himself in love. If thou wilt go with me to 
the ale-house, so ; 2 if not, thou art an Hebrew, a 
Jew, and not worth the name of a Christian. 

' 7ioto say'st thou, that my master is become a notable 

hverf] i.e. (as Mr. M. Mason has elsewhere observed,) What 
say'st thou to this circumstance, — namely, that my master is be- 
come a notable lover ? Malone. 

8 so ;] So, which is wanting in the first folio, was sup- 
plied by the editor of the second. Malone. 

sc. vi. OF VERONA. 231 

Speed. Why? 

Laun. Because thou hast not so much charity 
in thee, as to go to the ale 3 with a Christian: Wilt 
thou go ? 

Speed. At thy service. [Exeunt, 


The same. An Apartment in the Palace. 

Enter Proteus. 

Pro. To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn ; 
To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn ; 
To wrong my friend, I shall be much forsworn ; 
And even that power, which gave me first my oath, 

3 the ale ] Ales were merry meetings instituted in 

country places. Thus, Ben Jonson : 

" And all the neighbourhood, from old records 
" Of antique proverbs drawn from Whitson lords, 
" And their authorities at wakes and ales, 
" With country precedents, and old wives' tales, 
" We bring you now.'' 
Again, in Ascham's Toxopkilus, edit. 1589, p. 2: "—or else 
make merry with their neighbours at the ale." 

Again, as Mr. M.Mason observes, in the play of L ord Crom well: 
" O Tom, that we were now at Putney, at the ale 
there !" 
See also Mr. T. Warton's History of English Poetry, Vol. III. 
p. 128. Steevens. 

4 It is to be observed, that in the folio edition there are no 
directions concerning the scenes ; they have been added by the 
later editors, and may therefore be changed by any reader that 
can give more consistency or regularity to the drama by such 
alterations. I make this remark in this place, because I know 
not whether the following soliloquy of Proteus is so proper in the 
street. Johnson. 

The reader will perceive that the scenery has been changed, 
though Dr. Johnson's observation is continued. Steevens. 

232 TWO GENTLEMEN actii. 

Provokes me to this threefold perjury. 

Love bade me swear, and love bids me forswear : 

sweet-suggesting love/' if thou hast sinn'd, 
Teach me, thy tempted subject, to excuse it. 
At first I did adore a twinkling star, 

But now I worship a celestial sun. 
Unheedful vows may needfully be broken ; 
And he wants wit, that wants resolved will 
To learn his wit to exchange the bad for better. — 
Fye, fye, unreverend tongue ! to call her bad, 
Whose sovereignty so oft thou hast preferr'd 
With twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths. 

1 cannot leave to love, and yet I do ; 

But there I leave to love, where I should love. 

Julia I lose, and Valentine I lose : 

If I keep them, I needs must lose myself; 

If I lose them, thus find I by their loss, 

For Valentine, myself; for Julia, Silvia. 

I to myself am dearer than a friend ; 

For love is still more precious in itself: 

And Silvia, witness heaven, that made her fair! 

Shews Julia but a swarthy Ethiope. 

I will forget that Julia is alive, 

Rememb'ring that my love to her is dead ; 

And Valentine I'll hold an enemy, 

Aiming at Silvia as a sweeter friend. 

I cannot now prove constant to myself, 

Without some treachery used to Valentine : — 

This night, he meaneth with a corded ladder 

To climb celestial Silvia's chamber-window ; 

5 O sxveet-suggesting love,'] To suggest is to tempt, in our au- 
thor's language. So again : 

" Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested." 

The sense is, tempting love, if thou hast influenced me to 
sin, teach me to excuse it. Johnson. 

sc. vi. OF VERONA. 233 

Myself in counsel, his competitor: 6 
Now presently I'll give her father notice 
Of their disguising, and pretended flight; 7 
Who, all enrag'd, will banish Valentine ; 
For Thurio, he intends, shall wed his daughter : 
But, Valentine being gone, I'll quickly cross, 
By some sly trick, blunt Thurio's dull proceeding. 
Love, lend me wings to make my purpose swift, 
As thou hast lent me wit to plot this drift ! 8 [Exit* 

c in counsel, his competitor :] Myself, who am his com- 
petitor or rival, being admitted to his counsel. Johnson. 

Competitor is confederate, assistant, partner. 
So, in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" Is it not Caesar's natural vice, to hate 
" One great competitor ?" 
and he is speaking of Lepidus, one of the triumvirate. Steevens. 

Steevens is right in asserting, that competitor, in this place, 
means confederate, or partner. — The word is used in the same 
sense in Twelfth Night, where the Clown seeing Mark and Sir 
Toby approach, who were joined in the plot against Malvolio, 
says, " The competitors enter." And again, in K. Richard III. 
the messenger says : 

" The Guildfords are in arms, 

" And every hour more competitors 

" Flock to the rebels." 
So also, in Love's Labour's Lost: 

" The king, and his competitors in oath." M. Mason. 

7 pretended^?/"-/^;] Pretended flight is proposed or in~ 

tended flight. So, in Macbeth : 

" What good could the}' pretend" 

Mr. M. Mason justly observes, that the verb pretendre in 
French, has the same signification. Steevens. 

Again, in Dr. A. Borde's Introduction of Knoivledge, 1.542, 
sig. H 3 : " / pretend to return and come round about thorow 
(.tliL-r regyons in Europ." Reed. 

8 this drift /] I suspect that the author concluded the 

act with this couplet, and that the next scene should begin the 
third act ; but the change, as it will add nothing to the probabi- 
lity of the action, is of no great importance. Johnson. 

234 TWO GENTLEMEN act n. 


Verona. A Room in Julia's House, 

Enter Julia and Lucetta. 

Jul. Counsel, Lucetta ; gentle girl, assist me ! 
And, even in kind love, I do conjure thee, — 
Who art the table wherein all my thoughts 
Are visibly character'd and engrav'd, — 
To lesson me ; and tell me some good mean, 
How, with my honour, I may undertake 
A journey to my loving Proteus. 

Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long. 

Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary 
To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps ; 
Much less shall she, that hath love's wings to fly ; 
And when the flight is made to one so dear, 
Of such divine perfection, as sir Proteus. 

Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return. 

Jul. O, know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's 
food ? 
Pity the dearth that I have pined in, 
By longing for that food so long a time. 
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love, 
Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow, 
As seek to quench the fire of love with words. 

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire; 
But qualify the fire's extreme rage, 
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason. 

Jul. The more thou dam'st it up, the more it 
burns ; 
The current, that with gentle murmur glides, 
Thou know'st,being stopp'd,impatiently doth rage ; 

6c. vn. OF VERONA. 235 

But, when his fair course is not hindered, 

He makes sweet musick with the enamel'd stones, 

Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge 

He overtaketh in his pilgrimage ; 

And so by many winding nooks he strays, 

With willing sport, to the wild ocean. 

Then let me go, and hinder not my course : 

I'll be as patient as a gentle stream, 

And make a pastime of each weary step, 

Till the last step have brought me to my love ; 

And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil, 

A blessed soul doth in Elysium. 

Luc. But in what habit will you go along ? 

Jul. Not like a woman ; for I would prevent 
The loose encounters of lascivious men : 
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds 
As may beseem some well-reputed page. 

Luc. Why then your ladyship must cut your hair. 

Jul. No, girl ; I'll knit it up in silken strings, 
With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots : 
To be fantastic may become a youth 
Of greater time than I shall show to be. 

Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your 
breeches ? 

Jul. That fits as well, as — " \e\\ me, good my 
" What compass will you wear your farthingale ?" 
Why, even that fashion thou best lik'st, Lucetta. 

Luc. You must needs have them with a cod- 
piece, madam. 9 

* toith <? cod-piece, <$-c] Whoever wishes to be ac- 
quainted with this particular, relative to dress, may consult 
Bulvver's Artificial Changeling, in which such matters are very 

236 TWO GENTLEMEN act jr. 

Jul. Out, out, Lucetta! 1 that will be ill-favour' d. 

Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a 
Unless you have a cod-piece to stick pins on. 

Jul. Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have 
What thou think' st meet, and is most mannerly : 
But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me, 
For undertaking so unstaid a journey ? 
I fear me, it will make me scandaliz'd. 

Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go 

Jul. Nay, that I will not. 

Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go. 
If Proteus like your journey, when you come, 
No matter who's displeas'd, when you are gone : 
I fear me, he will scarce be pleas'd withal. 

amply discussed. It is mentioned, however, in Tyro's Roaring 
Megge, 1598 : 

" Tyro's round breeches have a cliffe behind ; 
" And that same perking longitude before, 
" Which for a, pin-case antique plowmen wore." 
Ocular instruction mav be had from the armour shown as 
John of Gaunt's in the lower of London. The same fashion 
appears to have been no less offensive in France. See Montaigne, 
Chap. XXII. The custom of sticking pins in this ostentatious 
piece of indecency was continued by the illiberal warders of the 
Tower, till forbidden by authority. Steevens. 

1 Out, out, Lucetta' &c] Dr. Percy observes, that this in- 
terjection is still used in the North. It seems to have the same 
meaning as apage, Lat. 

So, in Chapman's version of the thirteenth Iliad: 

" Out, out, I hate ye from my heart, ye retten-minded 
men !" Steevens. 

So, in Every Man out of his Humour, Act II. sc. vi : 

" Out, out ! unworthy to speak where he breatheth." 


sc. vii. OF VERONA. 237 

Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear : 
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears, 
And instances as infinite 2 of love, 
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus. 

Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men. 

Jul. Base men, that use them to so base effect ! 
But truer stars did govern Proteus* birth : 
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles ; 
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate ; 
His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart ; 
His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth. 

Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come 
to him ! 

Jul. Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that 
To bear a hard opinion of his truth : 
Only deserve my love, by loving him ; 
And presently go with me to my chamber, 
To take a note of what I stand in need of, 
To furnish me upon my longing journey. 3 
All that is mine I leave at thy dispose, 
My goods, my lands, my reputation ; 
Only, in lieu thereof, despatch me hence : 
Come, answer not, but to it presently ; 
I am impatient of my tarriance. \Lxeunt. 

2 as infinite ] Old edit. — ^infinite. Johnson. 

The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. 


3 my longing journey.] Dr. Grey observes, that longing 

is a participle active, with a passive signification ; for longed, 
wished, or desired. 

Mr. M. Ma»on supposes Julia to mean a journey which she 

shall pass in longing. Sxeevens. 

238 TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 


Milan. An Anti-room in the Duke's Palace. 

Enter Duke, Thurio, and Proteus. 

Duke. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I pray, awhile ; 

We have some secrets to confer about. 

\_Exit Thurio. 
Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me ? 

Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would 
The law of friendship bids me to conceal : 
But, when I call to mind your gracious favours 
Done to me, undeserving as I am, 
My duty pricks me on to utter that 
Which else no worldly good should draw from me. 
Know, worthy prince, sir Valentine, my friend, 
This night intends to steal away your daughter j 
Myself am one made privy to the plot. 
I know, you have determin'd to bestow her 
On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates ; 
And should she thus be stolen away from you, 
It would be much vexation to your age. 
Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose 
To cross my friend in his intended drift, 
Than, by concealing it, heap on your head 
A pack of sorrows, which would press you down, 
Being unprevented, to your timeless grave. 

Duke. Proteus, I thank thee for thine honest care ; 
Which to requite, command me while I live. 
This love of theirs myself have often seen, 
Haply, when they have judged me fast asleep ; 
And oftentimes have purpos'd to forbid 

sc. I. OF VERONA. 239 

Sir Valentine her company, and my court : 
But, fearing lest my jealous aim 4 might err, 
And so, unworthily, disgrace the man, 
(A rashness that I ever yet have shunn'd,) 
I gave him gentle looks ; thereby to find 
That which thyself hast now disclos'd to me. 
And, that thou may'st perceive my fear of this, 
Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested, 
I nightly lodge her in an upper tower, 
The key whereof myself have ever kept ; 
And thence she cannot be convey'd away. 

Pro. Know, noble lord, they have devis'd a mean 
How he her chamber-window will ascend, 
And with a corded ladder fetch her down ; 
For which the youthful lover now is gone, 
And this way comes he with it presently ; 
Where, if it please you, you may intercept him. 
But, good my lord, do it so cunningly, 
That my discovery be not aimed at ; 5 
For love of you, not hate unto my friend, 
Hath made me publisher of this pretence. 6 

Duke. Upon mine honour, he shall never know 
That I had any light from thee of this. 

Pro. Adieu, my lord ; sir Valentine is coming. 


* jealous aim — ] Aim is guess y in this instance, as in 

the following. So, in Romeo and Juliet : 

" I aim'd so near when I suppos'd you lov'd." Steevens. 

5 be not aimed at ;] Be not guessed. Johnson. 

6 of this pretence.] Of this claim made to your daughter. 


Pretence is design. So, in K. Lear : " — to feel my affec- 
tion to your honour, and no other pretence of danger." 

Again, in the- same play: " — pretence and purpose of un- 
kindness." Steevens. 

240 TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 

Enter Valentine. 

Duke. Sir Valentine, whither away so fast ? 

Val. Please it your grace, there is a messenger 
That stays to bear my letters to my friends, 
And I am going to deliver them. 

Duke. Be they of much import ? 

Val. The tenor of them doth but signify 
My health, and happy being at your court. 

Duke. Nay, then no matter; staywithmeawhile; 
I am to break with thee of some affairs, 
That touch me near, wherein thou must be secret. 
*Tis not unknown to thee, that I have sought 
To match my friend, sir Thurio, to my daughter. 

Val. I know it well, my lord; and, sure, the match 
Were rich and honourable ; besides, the gentleman 
Is full of virtue, bounty, worth, and qualities 
Beseeming such a wife as your fair daughter : 
Cannot your grace win her to fancy him ? 

Duke. No, trust me; she is peevish, sullen, fro- 
Proud, disobedient, stubborn, lacking duty ; 
Neither regarding that she is my child, 
Nor fearing me as if I were her father : 
And, may I say to thee, this pride of hers, 
Upon advice, hath drawn my love from her ; 
And, where 7 I thought the remnant of mine age 
Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty, 
I now am full resolved to take a wife, 
And turn her out to who will take her in : 
Then let her beauty be her wedding-dower ; 
For me and my possessions she esteems not. 

7 And, where — ] Where, in this instance, has the power of 
•whereas. So, in Pericles, Act I. sc. i : 

" Where now you're both a father and a son." Steevens, 

90. /. OF VERONA. 241 

Val. What would vour grace have me to do in 
this ? 

Duke. There is a lady, sir, in Milan, here, 8 
Whom I affect ; but she is nice, and coy, 
And nought esteems my aged eloquence : 
Now, therefore, would I have thee to my tutor, 
(For long agone I have forgot to court : 
Besides, the fashion of the time 9 is changed;) 
How, and which way, I may bestow myself, 
To be regarded in her sun-bright eye. 

Val. Win her with gifts, if she respect not words j 
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind, 
More than quick words, do move a woman's mind. 1 

8 sir, in Milan, here,'] It ought to be thus, instead of — in 

Verona, here — for the scene apparently is in Milan, as is clear 
from several passages in the first act, and in the beginning of the 
first scene of the fourth act. A like mistake has crept into the 
eighth scene of Act II. where Speed bids his fellow-servant 
Launce welcome to Padua. Pope. 

9 the fashion of the time — ] The modes of courtship, 

the acts by which men recommended themselves to ladies. 


1 Win her with gifts, if she respect not ivords ; 
Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind, 

More than quick words, do move a 'woman's mind.] So, in 
our author's Passionate Pilgrim : 
" Spare not to spend, — 
" The strongest castle, tower, and town, 
" The golden bullet beats it down." 
A line of this stanza — 

" The strongest castle, tower, and town," 
and two in a succeeding stanza — 

" What though she strive to try her strength, 

" And ban and brawl, and say thee nay," 

remind us of the following verses in Hie Historic of Graunde 
Amoure, [sign. I 2,] written by Stephen Hawes, near a century 
before those of Shakspeare : 

" forsake her not, though that she saye nay ; 
" A womans guise is evermore delay. 

242 TWO GENTLEMEN act in- 

Duke. But she did scorn a present that I sent her. 2 

Val. A woman sometimes scorns what best con- 
tents her : 

" No Castell can be of so great a strength, 
" If that there be a sure siege to it layed ; 
** It must yelde up, or els be won at length, 
" Though that 'to-fore it hath bene long delayed ; 
" So continuance may you right well ayde : 
" Some womans harte can not so harded be, 
" But busy labour may make it agree." 
Another earlier writer than Shakspeare, speaking of women, 
has also the same unfavourable (and, I hope, unfounded,) sen- 
timent : 

" 'Tis wisdom to give much ; a gift prevails, 
" When deep persuasive oratory fails." 

Marlowe's Hero and Leander. 


Again, in the First Part of Jeronimo, 1005, though written 

much earlier: 

" let his protestations be 

" Fashioned with rich jewels, for in love 
" Great gifts and gold have the best tongues to move. 
" Let him not spare an oath without a jewel 
" To bind it fast : oh, I know womens hearts 
" What stuff they are made of, my lord: gifts and giving, 
" Will melt the chastest seeming female living." 
The same rude sentiment was soon after adopted by Beaumont 

and Fletcher in The Woman Hater, 1607, Act IV. sc. ii : 

" your offers must 

u Be full of bounty ; velvets to furnish a gown, silks 

" For petticoats and foreparts, shag for lining ; 

" Forget not some pretty jewel to fasten after 

" Some little compliment ! If she deny this courtesy, 

" Double your bounties ; be not wanting in abundance : 

" Fullness of gifts, link'd with a pleasing tongue, 

" Will win an anchorite." Reed. 

that I sent her.] To produce a more accurate rhyme, 

we might read : 

" that I sent Sir:" 

Mr. M. Mason observes, that the rhyme, which was evidently 
here intended, requires that we should read — " what best content 
her." The word what may imply those which, as well as that 
•which, Steevens. 


sc. i. OF VERONA. 243 

Send her another ; never give her o'er ; 
For scorn at first makes after-love the more. 
If she do frown, 'tis not in hate of you, 
But rather to beget more love in you : 
If she do chide, 'tis not to have you gone ; 
For why, the fools are mad, if left alone. 
Take no repulse, whatever she doth say ; 
For, get you gojie, she doth not mean, away : 
Flatter, and praise, commend, extol their graces ; 
Though ne'er so black, say, they have angels' faces. 
That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man, 
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman. 

Duke. But she, I mean, is promis'd by her friends 
Unto a youthful gentleman of worth ; 
And kept severely from resort of men, 
That no man hath access by day to her. 

Val. Why then I would resort to her by night. 

Duke. Ay, but the doors be lock'd,and keys kept 
That no man hath recourse to her by night. 

Val. What lets, 3 but one may enter at her win- 
dow ? 

Duke. Her chamber is aloft, far from the ground ; 
And built so shelving that one cannot cljmb it 
Without apparent hazard of his life. 

Val. Why then, a ladder, quaintly made of cords, 
To cast up with a pair of anchoring hooks, 
Would serve to scale another Hero's tower, 
So bold Leander would adventure it. 

3 What lets,] i. e. what hinders. So, in Hamlet, Act I. 
pc. iv : 

" By heaven, I'll make a ghost ofbim that lets me." 


R 2 

244 TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 

Duke. Now, as thou art a gentleman of bloody 
Advise me where I may have such a ladder. 

Val. When would you use it? pray, sir, tell me 

Duke. This very night; for love is like a child, 
That longs for every thing that he can come by. 

Val. By seven o'clock I'll get you such a ladder. 

Duke. But, hark thee ; I will go to her alone; 
How shall I best convey the ladder thither ? 

Val. It will be light, my lord, that you may bear it 
Under a cloak, that is of any length. 

Duke. A cloak as long as thine will serve the turn ? 
Val. Ay, my good lord. 

Duke. Then let me see thy cloak ; 
I'll get me one of such another length. 

Val. Why, any cloak will serve the turn, my lord. 

Duke. How shall I fashion me to wear a cloak? — 
I pray thee, let me feel thy cloak upon me. — 
What letter is this same? What's here? — To Silvia? 
And here an engine fit for my proceeding ! 
I'll be so bold to break the seal for once. \_Reads. 
My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly ; 

And slaves they are to me, that send themfying: 
O, could their master come and go as lightly, 

^Himself would lodge, where senseless they are lying. 
My herald thoughts in thy 'pure bosom rest them; 

While I, their king, that thither them importune, 
Do curse the grace that with such grace hath bless 1 d 

Because myself do want my servants' fortune : 
I curse my self, for they are sent by me, 4 
That they should harbour where their lord should be. 

for they are sent by me,'] For is the same as for that, 

since. Johnson. 

jr /. OF VERONA. 245 

What's here ? 

Silvia, this night I will enfranchise thee: 
'Tis so ; and here's the ladder for the purpose. — 
Why, Phaeton, (for thou art Merops' son,; 5 
Wilt thou aspire to guide the heavenly car, 
And with thy daring folly burn the world ? 
Wilt thou reach stars, because they shine on thee? 
Go, base intruder ! over-weening slave ! 
Bestow thy fawning smiles on equal mates ; 
And think, my patience, more than thy desert, 
Is privilege for thy departure hence : 
Thank me for this, more than for all the favours, 
Which, all too much, I have bestow'd on thee. 
But if thou linger in my territories, 
Longer than swiftest expedition 
Will give thee time to leave our royal court, 
By heaven, my wrath shall far exceed the love 
I ever bore my daughter, or thyself. 
Be gone, I will not hear thy vain excuse, 
But, as thou lov'st thy life, make speed from hence. 

[Exit Duke. 

Val. And why not death, rather than living 
torment ? 
To die, is to be banish'd from myself; 
And Silvia is myself: banish'd from her, 

4 Merops* sow,)] Thou art Phaeton in thy rashness, but 

without his pretensions ; thou art not the son of a divinity, but a 
terra films, a low-born wretch ; Merops is thy true father, with 
whom Phaeton was falsely reproached. Johnson. 

This scrap of mythology Shakspeare might have found in the 
spurious play of A". John, 15Q1 : 

" as sometime Phaeton 

" Mistrusting silly Merops for his sire." 
Or in Robert Greene's Orlando Fnrioso, 15Q4: 

" Why, foolish, hardy, daring, simple groom, 

" Follower of fond conceited Phaeton," &c. Steevens. 

i>46 TWO GENTLEMEN act ni. 

Is self from self; a deadly banishment! 
What light is light, if Silvia be not seen ? 
What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by ? 
Unless it be to think that she is by, 
And feed upon the shadow of perfection.* 
Except I be by Silvia in the night, 
There is no musick in the nightingale ; 
Unless I look on Silvia in the day, 
There is no day for me to look upon : 
She is my essence ; and I leave to be, 
If I be not by her fair influence 
Foster'd, illumin'd, cherish'd, kept alive. 
I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom : 7 
Tarry I here, I but attend on death ; 
But, fly I hence, I fly away from life. 

Enter Proteus and Launce. 

Pro. Run, boy, run, run, and seek him out. 

Laun. So-ho ! so-ho ! 

Pro. What seest thou ? 

Laun. Him we go to find: there's not a hair 8 
on's head, but 'tis a Valentine. 

Pro. Valentine? 

Val. No. 

6 And feed upon the shadow of perfection.] 

" Animum pictura pascit inani." Virg. Henley. 

7 / fly not deaths to fly his deadly doom:] To fly his doom, 
used for by flying, or in flying, is a Gallicism. The sense is, by 
avoiding the execution of his sentence I shall not escape death. 
Jf I stay here, I suffer myself to be destroyed ; if I go away, I 
destroy myself. Johnson. 

8 there's not a hair — ] Launce is still quibbling. He is 

now running down the hare that he started when he entered. 


sc. I. OF VERONA. 247 

Pro. Who then ? his spirit ? 

Val. Neither. 

Pro. What then? 

Val. Nothing. 

Laun. Can nothing speak ? master, shall I strike? 

Pro. Whom?)would'st thou strike ? 

Laun. Nothing. 

Pro. Villain, forbear. 

Laun. Why, sir, I'll strike nothing: I pray 

Pro. Sirrah, I say, forbear : Friend Valentine, a 

Val. My ears are stopp'd, and cannot hear good 
So much of bad already hath possess'd them. 

Pro. Then in dumb silence will I bury mine, 
For they are harsh, untuneable, and bad. 

Val. Is Silvia dead ? 

Pro. No, Valentine. 

Val. No Valentine, indeed, for sacred Silvia ! — 
Hath she forsworn me ? 

Pro. No, Valentine. 

Val. No Valentine, if Silvia have forsworn me ! — 
What is your news ? 

Laun. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are 

Pro. That thou art banished, O, that's the news ; 
From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend. 

Val. O, I have fed upon this woe already, 

* Whom — ] Old copy — Who. Corrected in the second folio. 


24S TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 

And now excess of it will make me surfeit. 
Doth Silvia know that I am banished ? 

Pro. Ay, ay; and she hath offer'd to the doom, 
(Which, unrevers'd, stands in effectual force,) 
A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears : 
Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd ; 
With them, upon her knees, her humble self; 
Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became 

As if but now they waxed pale for woe : 
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up, 
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears, 
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire ; 
But Valentine, if he be ta'en, must die. 
Besides, her intercession chaf 'd him so, 
When she for thy repeal was suppliant, 
That to close prison he commanded her, 
With many bitter threats of 'biding there. 

Val. No more ; unless the next word that thou 
Have some malignant power upon my life : 
If so, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear, 
As ending anthem of my endless dolour. 

Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, 
And study help for that which thou lament'st. 
Time is the nurse and breeder of all good. 
Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love ; 
Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life. 
Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that, 
And manage it against despairing thoughts. 
Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence ; 
Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd 
Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love. 1 

1 Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.] So, in Hamlet: 
" These to her excellent white bosom," &c. 
Again, in Gascoigne's Adventures of Master F. I. first edit. 

sc. i. OF VERONA. 21 J 

The time now serves not to expostulate : 
Come, I'll convey thee through the city gate ; 
And, ere I part with thee, confer at large 
Of all that may concern thy love-affairs : 
As thou lov'st Silvia, though not for thyself, 
Regard thy danger, and along with me. 

Val. I pray thee,Launce,an if thou seest my boy, 
Bid him make haste,and meet me at the north-gate. 

Pro. Go, sirrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. 

Val. O my dear Silvia ! hapless Valentine ! 

[Exeunt Valentine and Proteus. 

Laun. I am but a fool, look you ; and yet I have 
the wit to think, my master is a kind of knave : 
but that's all one, if he be but one knave. 2 He 

p. 206: " — at deliuerie thereof, [i. e. of a letter,] she under- 
stode not for what cause he thrust the same into her bosome." 

Trifling as the remark may appear, before the meaning of this 
address of letters to the bosom of a mistress can be understood, it 
should be known that women anciently had a pocket in the fore 
part of their stays, in which they not only carried love-letters and 
love tokens, but even their money and materials for needle work. 
Thus Chaucer, in his Marchantes Tale: 

" This purse hath she in hire bosome. hid." 
In many parts of England the rustic damsels still observe the 
same practice ; and a very old lady informs me that she remem- 
bers, when it was the fashion to wear prominent stays, it was no 
less the custom for stratagem and gallantry to drop its literary 
favours within the front of them. Steevens. 

See Lord Surrey's Sonnets, 1557 : 

" My song, thou shalt attain to find the pleasant place, 
" Where she doth live, by whom I live ; may chance to 

have the grace, 
" When she hath read, and seen the grief wherein I serve, 
" Between her brests she shall thee put, there shall she thee 

reserve.'* Ma lone. 

* Laun. / am but a fool, look you ; and yet I have the wit to 
think, my master h a kind of knave: but that's all one, if he 
be but one KNAVE.] Where is the sense? or, if you won't allow 

250 TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 

lives not now, that knows me to be in love : yet I 
am in love ; but a team of horse shall not pluck ? 

the speaker that, where is the humour of this speech ? Nothing 
had given the fool occasion to suspect that his master was become 
double, like Antipholis in The Comedy of Errors. The last word 
is corrupt. We should read : 

if he be but one kind. 

He thought his master was a kind of knave; however, he keeps 
himself in countenance with this reflection, that if he was a knave 
but of one kind, he might pass well enough amongst his neigh- 
bours. This is truly humorous. Warburton. 

This alteration is acute and specious, yet I know not whether, 
in Shakspeare's language, one knave may not signify a knave on 
only one occasion, a single knave. We still use a double villain 
for a villain beyond the common rate of guilt. Johnson. 

This passage has been altered, with little difference, by Dr. 
Warburton and Sir T. Hanmer.— Mr. Edwards explains it, — 
" if he only be a knave, if / myself be not found to be another." 
I agree with Dr. Johnson, and will support the old reading and 
his interpretation with indisputable authority. In the old play of 
Damon and Pythias, Aristippus declares of Carisophus : " You 
lose money by him if you sell him for one knave, for he serves for 

This phraseology is often met with : Arragon says, in The 
Merchant of Venice: 

" With one fool's head I came to woo, 
" But I go away with fovo." 
Donne begins one of his sonnets : 
" I am two fools, I know, 
" For loving and for saying so." &c. 
And when Panurge cheats St. Nicholas of the chapel, which 
he vowed to him in a storm, Rabelais calls him " a rogue — a 
rogue and an half—Le gallant, gallant de demy." Farmer. 

Again, in Like Will to Like, quoth the Devil to the Collier, 

" Thus thou may'st be called a knave in graine, 
" And where knaves be scant, thou may'st go for tivayne." 


3 a team of horse shall not pluck — ] I see how Valentine 

suffers for telling his love-secrets, therefore I will keep mine close. 


$e. i. OF VERONA. 251 

that from me ; nor who 'tis I love, and yet 'tis a 
woman : but that woman, I will not tell myself; 
and yet 'tis a milk-maid : yet 'tis not a maid, for 
she hath had gossips : 4 yet 'tis a maid, for she is 
her master's maid, and serves for wages. She 
hath more qualities than a water-spaniel, — which 
is much in a bare christian. 5 Here is the cat- 
log [Pulling out a paper'] of her conditions^ Im- 
primis, She can fetch and carry. Why, a horse can 
do no more ; nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only 
carry ; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, 
She can milk ; look you, a sweet virtue in a maid 
with clean bands. 

Enter Speed. 

Speed. How now, signior Launce ? what news 
with your mastership ? 

Laun. With my master's ship ? 7 why, it is at sea. 

Perhaps Launce was not intended to shew so much sense ; 
but here indulges himself in talking contradictory nonsense. 


4 for she hath had gossips :] Gossips not only signify those 

who answer for a child in baptism, but the tattling women who 
attend lyings-in. The quibble between these is evident. 


4 a bare christian.'] Launce is quibbling on. Bare has 

two senses ; mere and naked. In Coriolanus it is used in the first : 
" 'Tis but a hare petition of the state." 
Launce uses it in both, and opposes the naked female to the 
water-spaniel covered xiith hairs of remarkable thickness. 


6 her conditions.] i. c. qualities. The old copy has con~ 

dilion. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone. 

7 With my master s ship?"] In former editions it is— 

With my mastership? tv/ii/, it is at sea. 
For how does Launce mistake the word ? Speed asks him about 
his mastership, and he replies to it literatim. But then how was 
his mastership at sea, and on shore too ? The addition of a letter 

252 TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 

Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the 
word : 
What news then in your paper ? 

Laun. Theblackest news that ever thou heard'st. 

Speed. Why, man, how black ? 

Laun. Why, as black as ink. 

Speed. Let me read them. 

Laun. Fye on thee, jolt-head ; thou canst not 

Speed. Thou liest, I can. 

Laun. I will try thee : Tell me this : Who begot 
thee ? 

Speed. Marry, the son of my grandfather. 

Laun. O illiterate loiterer ! it was the son of thy 
grandmother : 8 this proves, thatthoucanst not read. 

Speed. Come, fool, come : try me in thy paper. 

La un. There j and saint Nicholas be thy speed ! ; ' 

and a note of apostrophe, makes Launce both mistake the word, 
and sets the pun right : it restores, indeed, but a mean joke ; but, 
without it, there is no sense in the passage. Besides, it is in 
character with the rest of the scene ; and, I dare be confident, 
the poet's own conceit. Theobaid. 

8 the son of thy grandmother :] It is undoubtedly true 

that the mother only knows the legitimacy of the child. I sup- 
pose Launce infers, that if he could read, he must have read 
this well known observation. Steevens. 

9 saint Nicholas be thy speed J] St. Nicholas presided 

over scholars, who were therefore called St. Nicholas's clerks. 
Hence, by a quibble between Nicholas and Old Nick, highway- 
men, in The First Part of Henry the Fourth, are called Ni- 
cholas's clerks. Warburton. 

That this saint presided over young scholars, may be gathered 
from Knight's Life of Dean Colet, p. 362, for by the statutes of 
Paul's school there inserted, the children are required to attend 
divine service at the cathedral on his anniversary. The reason I 

sc. i. OF VERONA. 253 

Speed. Imprimis, She can milk. 

Laux. Ay, that she can. 1 

Speed. Item, She brews good ale. 

Laux. And thereof comes the proverb, — Bless- 
ing of your heart, 2 you brew good ale. 

Speed. Item, She can sew. 

Laux. That's as much as to say, Can she so ? 

Speed. Item, She can knit. 

Laux. What need a man care for a stock with 
a wench, when she can knit him a stock. 3 

Speed. Item, She can wash arid scour. 

Laux. A special virtue ; for then she need not 
be washed and scoured. 

Speed. Item, She can spin. 

take to be, that the legend of this saint makes him to have been 
a bishop, while he was a boy. Sir J. Hawkins. 

So, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 15Sg : " Methinks this 
fellow speaks like bishop Nicholas ; for on Saint Nicholas's night 
commonly the scholars of the country make them a bishop, who, 
like a foolish boy, goeth about blessing and preaching with such 
childish terms, as maketh the people laugh at his foolish coun- 
terfeit speeches." Steevens. 

1 Speed. Imprimis, She can milk. 
Laun. Ay, that the can."] These two speeches should evi- 
dently be omitted. There is not only no attempt at humour in 
them, contrary to all the rest in the same dialogue, but Launce 
clearly directs Speed to go on with the paper where he himself 
left off. See his preceding soliloquy. Farmer. 

* Blessing of your heart, &c] So, in Ben Jonson's 

Masque of Augurs : 

" Our ale's o' the best, 
" And each good guest 

" Prays for their souls that brew it." Steevens. 

3 knit him a stock.] i. e. stocking. So, in Twelfth 

Night : " — it does indifferent well in a Hame-colour'd stock." 


254 TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 

Laux. Then may I set the world on wheels, when 
she can spin for her living. 

Speed. Item, She hath many nameless virtues, 

Laux. That's as much as to say, bastard virtues ; 
that, indeed, know not their fathers, and therefore 
have no names. 

Speed. Here follow her vices. 

Laux. Close at the heels of her virtues. 

Speed. Item, She is not to be kissed fasting, 4 in 
respect of her breath. 

Laux. Well, that fault may be mended with a 
breakfast : Read on. 

Speed. Item, She hath a sweet mouth? 

Laux. That makes amends for her sour breath. 

Speed. Item, She doth talk in her sleep. 

Laux. It's no matter for that, so she sleep not 
in her talk. 

Speed. Item, She is slow in words. 

Laux. O villain, that set this down among her 

4 she is not to be kissed fasting^] The old copy reads — 

she is not to be fasting, &c. The necessary word — kissed, was 
first added by Mr. Rowe. Steevens. 

5 sweet mouth.'] This I take to be the same with what is 

now vulgarly called a sweet tooth, a luxurious desire of dainties 
and sweetmeats. Johnson. 

So, in Thomas Paynell's translation of Ulrich Hutten's Book 
De medicina Guaiaci &; Morbo Gallico, \52>Q: " — delycates 
and deynties, wherewith they may stere up their stveete mouthes 
and prouoke theyr appetites." 

Yet how a luxurious desire of dainties can make amends for 
offensive breath, I know not. A siveet mouth may, however, 
mean a likerish mouth, in a wanton sense. So, in Measure for 
Measure : 

" Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven's image," &c. 


sc. u OF VERONA. 255 

vices ! To be slow in words, is a woman's only vir- 
tue : I pray thee, out with't ; and place it for her 
chief virtue. 

Speed. Item, She is proud. 

Laun. Out with that too ; it was Eve's legacy, 
and cannot be ta'en from her. 

Speed. Item, She hath no teeth. 

Laun. I care not for that neither, because I love 

Speed. Item, She is curst. 

Laun. Well; the best is, she hath no teeth to bite. 

Speed. Item, She will often praise her liquor* 

Laun. If her liquor be good, she shall : if she 
will not, I will ; for good things should be praised. 

Speed. Item, She is too liberal. 7 

Laun. Of her tongue she cannot ; for that's writ 
down she is slow of: of her purse she shall not ; for 
that I'll keep shut : now, of another thing she may j 
and that I cannot help. Well, proceed. 7 

Speed. Item, She hath more hair than wit, and 
more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults. 

praise her liquor.'] That is, shew how well she likes it 

by drinking often. Johnson. 

7 She is too liberal.] Liberal, is licentious and gross in 

language. So, in Othello: " Is he not a profane and very liberal 
counsellor?" Johnson. 

Again, in The Fair Maid of Bristoia, 16*05, bl. 1 : 
" But Vallenger, most like a liberal villain, 
" Did give her scandalous ignoble terms." 
Mr. Malone adds another instance from Woman's a Weather- 
cock, by N. Field, 1612: 

" Next that the fame 

11 Of your neglect, and liberal talking tongue, 

" Which breeds my honour an eternal wrong." 


256 TWO GENTLEMEN act m. 

Laun. Stop there ; I'll have her : she was mine, 
and not mine, twice or thrice in that last article : 
Rehearse that once more. 

Speed. Item, She hath more hair than mr$ — 

Laun. More hair than wit, — it may be ; I'll prove 
it : The cover of the salt hides the salt, and there- 
fore it is more than the salt ; the hair that covers 
the wit, is more than the wit j for the greater hides 
the less. What's next ? 

Speed. — And more faults than hairs, — 

Laun. That's monstrous : O, that that were out ! 

Speed. — And more wealth than faults. 

Laun. Why, that word makes the faults gracious : 9 

8 She hath more hair than wit,] An old English proverb. 

See Ray's Collection : 

" Bush natural, more hair than wit." 
Again, in Decker's Satiromastix : 

" Hair! 'tis the basest stubble; in scorn of it 

" This proverb sprung, — He has more hair than wit." 
Again, in Rhodon and Iris, 1631 : 

" Now is the old proverb really perform'd ; 

" More hair than wit." Steevens. 

9 makes thefaidts gracious ;] Gracious, in old language, 

means graceful. So, in K. John : 

" There was not such a gracious creature born." 
Again, in Albion's Triumph, 1631 : 

" On which (the freeze) were festoons of several fruits in their 
natural colours, on which in gracious postures lay children 


Again, in The Mal-content, 1004: 
" The most exquisite, &c. that ever made an old lady gracious 
by torch-light." Steevens. 

Mr. Steevens's interpretation of the word gracious has been 
controverted, but it is right. We have the same sentiment in 
The Merry Wives of Windsor : 

" O, what a world of vile ill-favour'd^/fl?^.s 

" Look handsome in three hundred pounds a year!" 


sc. ii. OF VERONA. 257 

Well, I'll have her : And if it be a match, as no- 
thing is impossible, — 

Speed. What then ? 

Laux. Why, then I will tell thee, — that thy 
master stays for thee at the north gate. 

Speed. For me ? 

Laux. For thee ? ay ; who art thou ? he hath 
staid for a better man than thee. 

Speed. And must I go to him ? 

Laux. Thou must run to him, for thou hast staid 
so long, that going will scarce serve the turn. 

Speed. Why didst not tell me sooner ? 'pox of 
your love-letters ! \_Exit. 

Laux. Now will he be swinged for reading my 
letter : An unmannerly slave, that will thrust him- 
self into secrets ! — I'll after, to rejoice in the boy's 
correction. [Exit. 


The same. A Room in the Duke's Palace. 

Enter Duke and Thurio ; Proteus behind. 

Duke. Sir Thurio, fear not, but that she will 
love you, 
Now Valentine is banish'd from her sight. 

Thu. Since his exile she hath despis'd me most, 
Forsworn my company, and rail'd at me, 
That I am desperate of obtaining her. 

Duke. This weak impress of love is as a figure 

VOL. iv. s 

2$8 TWO GENTLEMEN act hi. 

Trenched in ice ; x which with an hour's heat 
Dissolves to water, and doth lose his form. 
A little time will melt her frozen thoughts, 
And worthless Valentine shall be forgot. — 
How now, sir Proteus ? Is your countryman, 
According to our proclamation, gone ? 

Pro. Gone, my good lord. 

Duke. My daughter takes his going grievously. 2 

Pro. A little time, my lord, will kill that grief. 

Duke. So I believe ; but Thurio thinks not so. — 
Proteus, the good conceit I hold of thee, 
(For thou hast shown some sign of good desert,) 
Makes me the better to confer with thee. 

Pro. Longer than I prove loyal to your grace, 
Let me not live to look upon your grace. 

DuKE.Thou know'stjhow willingly I would effect 
The match between sir Thurio and my daughter. 

Pro. I do, my lord. 

Duke. And also, I think, thou art not ignorant 
How she opposes her against my will. 

Pro. She did, my lord, when Valentine was here. 

Duke. Ay, and perversely she persevers so. 
What might we do, to make the girl forget 
The love of Valentine, and love sir Thurio ? 

1 Trenched in icef] Cut, carved in ice. Trancher, to cut, 
French. Johnson. 

So, in Arden of Feversham, 15t)2 : 

" Is deeply trenched in my blushing brow." Steevens. 

* grievously.'] So some copies of the first folio ; others 

have, heavily. The word, therefore, must have been corrected, 
while the sheet was working oif at the press. The word last, 
p. 256, 1. 2, was inserted in some copies in the same manner. 


SC. ii. OF VERONA. 259 

Pro. The best way is to slander Valentine 
With falshood, cowardice, and poor descent ; 
Three things that women highly hold in hate. 

Duke. Ay, but she'll think, that it is spoke in 

Pro. Ay, if his enemy deliver it : 
Therefore it must, with circumstance, 3 be spoken 
By one, whom she esteemeth as his friend. 

Duke. Then you must undertake to slander him, 

Pro. And that, my lord, I shall be loth to do ; 
'Tis an ill office for a gentleman 5 
Especially, against his very friend. 4 

Duke. Where your good word cannot advantage 
Your slander never can endamage him ; 
Therefore the office is indifferent, 
Being entreated to it by your friend. 

Pro. You have prevail'd, my lord: if I can do it, 
By aught that I can speak in his dispraise, 
She shall not long continue love to him. 
But say, this weed her love from Valentine, 
It follows not that she will love sir Thurio. 

Thu. Therefore, as you unwind her love 5 from 

1 xvith circumstance,'} With the addition of such incidental 

particulars as may induce belief. Johnson. 

4 his very/ "> lend.] Very is immediate. So, in Macbeth: 

" And the very ports they blow." Steevens. 

* as you unwind her love — ] As you wind oft* her love 

from him, make me the bottom on which you wind it. The 
housewife's term for a ball of thread wound upon a central body, 
is a bottom of thread. Johnson. 

So, in Grange's Garden, 1557: " in answer to a letter written 
unto him by a Curtyzan :'' 

s 2 

260 TWO GENTLEMEN act in. 

Lest it should ravel, and be good to none, 
You must provide to bottom it on me : 
Which must be done, by praising me as much 
As you in worth dispraise sir Valentine. 

Duke. And, Proteus, we dare trust you in this 
Because we know, on Valentine's report, 
You are already love's firm votary, 
And cannot soon revolt and change your mind. 
Upon this warrant shall you have access, 
Where you with Silvia may confer at large ; 
For she is lumpish, heavy, melancholy, 
And, for your friend's sake, will be glad of you j 
Where you may temper her, 6 by your persuasion, 
To hate young Valentine, and love my friend. 

Pro. As much as I can do, I will effect : — 
But you, sir Thurio, are not sharp enough ; 
You must lay lime, 7 to tangle her desires, 
By wailful sonnets, whose composed rhymes 
Should be full fraught with serviceable vows. 

Duke. Ay,much the force of heaven-bred poesy. 8 

Pro. Say, that upon the altar of her beauty 
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart : 
Write till your ink be dry ; and with your tears 

" A hottome for your silke it seems 

" My letters are become, 
" Which oft with winding off and on 

" Are wasted whole and some.*' Steevens. 

6 you may temper her,'] Mould her, like wax, to what- 
ever shape you please. So, in King Henry IV. P. II : "I have 
him already tempering between my finger and my thumb ; and 
shortly will I seal with him." Malone. 

7 lime,'] That is, birdlime. Johnson. 

8 Ay, much the force of heaven-bred poesy.] The old copy 
reads : 

Ay, much is, &c. Ritson. 

sc. n. OF VERONA. 261 

Moist it again ; and frame some feeling line, 

That may discover such integrity:^ — 

For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews; 1 

Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones, 

Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans 

Forsake unsounded deeps to dance on sands. 

After your dire lamenting elegies, 

Visit by night your lady's chamber-window, 

With some sweet concert : 2 to their instruments 

9 such integrity:'] Such integrity may mean such ardour 

and sincerity as would be manifested by practising the directions 
given in the four preceding lines. Steevens. 

I suspect that a line following this has been lost ; the import 
of which perhaps was — 

" As her obdurate heart may penetrate." Malone. 

1 For Orpheus 1 lute teas strung with poets' sinews ;] This 
shews Shakspeare's knowledge of antiquity. He here assigns 
Orpheus his true character of legislator. For under that of a 
poet only, or lover, the quality given to his lute is unintelligible. 
But, considered as a lawgiver, the thought is noble, and the 
imagery exquisitely beautiful. For by his lute, is to be under- 
stood his system of lavas ; and by the poet's sineivs, the power 
of numbers, which Orpheus actually employed in those laws to 
make them received by a fierce and barbarous people. 


Proteus is describing to Thurio the powers of poetry ; and 
gives no quality to the lute of Orpheus, but those usually and 
vulgarly ascribed to it. It would be strange indeed if, in order 
to prevail upon the ignorant and stupid Thurio to write a sonnet 
to his mistress, he should enlarge upon the legislative powers of 
Orpheus, which were nothing to the purpose. Warbur ton's ob- 
Mivations frequently tend to prove Shakspeare more profound 
and learned than the occasion required, and to make the Poet of 
Nature the most unnatural that ever wrote. M. Masox. 

* tvith some su-cet concert :] The old copy has consort, 

which I once thought might have meant in our author's time a 
band or company of musicians. So, in Romeo and Juliet: 
" Tyb. Mercutio, thou consort' si with Romeo. 
" Mer. Consort.' what, dost thou make us minstrels?" 
The subsequent words, " To their instruments—-," seem to 




Tune a deploring dump ; 3 the night's dead silence 

favour this interpretation ; but other instances, that I have since 
met with, in books of our author's age, have convinced me that 
consort was only the old spelling of concert, and I have accord- 
ingly printed the latter word in the text. The epithet sxveet an- 
nexed to it, seems better adapted to the musick itself than to the 
band. Consort, when accented on the first syllable, (as here) 
had, I believe, the former meaning ; when on the second, it 
signified a company. So, in the next scene : 

" What say st thou? Wilt thou be of our consort?" 


3 Tune a deploring dump •] A dump was the ancient term for 
a mournful elegy. 









I ~~ * 1 — Q — I ■ 5 I 1 

sc. n. 



Will well be come such sweet complaininggrievance. 
This, or else nothing, will inherit her. 4 


t mmm0 


3tt td £a 

:iu o 3 — • — - n=== « — — e e — 

tyfWjj Lj . JWJBWfari 


o ■ o 

e— ■ — ^- 


— =» — o-i — o 1 » loo^ : 

For this curiosity the reader is indebted to Stafford Smith, 
Esq. of his Majesty's Chapel Royal. Steevens. 

4 will inherit her.'] To inherit, is, by our author, some- 
times used, as in this instance, for to obtain possession of, with- 
out any idea of acquiring by inheritance. So, in Titus An- 
dronicus : 

" He that had wit, would think that I had none, 
" To bury so much gold under ;i tree, 
" And never after to inherit it." 
This sense of the word was not wholly disused in the time of 

264 TWO GENTLEMEN act if. 

Duke. This discipline shows thou hast been in 

Thu. And thy advice this night I'll put in practice : 
Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver, 
Let us into the city presently 
To sort 5 some gentlemen well skill' d in musick : 
I have a sonnet, that will serve the turn, 
To give the onset to thy good advice. 

Duke. About it, gentlemen. 

Pro. We'll wait upon your grace till after supper : 
And afterward determine our proceedings. 

Duke, Even now about it ; I will pardon you. 6 



A Forest, near Mantua. 

Enter certain Out-laws. 

1 Out. Fellows, stand fast ; I see a passenger. 

2 Out. If there be ten, shrink not, but down 

with 'em. 

Enter Valentine and Speed. 

3 Out. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have 

about you ; 

Milton, who in his Comus has — " disinherit Chaos," — meaning 
only, dispossess it. Steevens. 

5 To sort — ] i. e. to choose out. So, in K. Richard III : 
" Yet I will sort a pitchy hour for thee." Steevens. 

1 "will pardon yon.~] I will excuse you from waiting. 


sc. i. OF VERONA. 265 


If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you. 7 

Speed. Sir, we are undone ! these are the villains 
That all the travellers do fear so much. 

Val. My friends, — 

1 Out. That's not so, sir; we are your enemies. 

2 Out. Peace ; we'll hear him. 

3 Out. Ay, by my beard, will we j 
For he's a proper man. 8 

Val. Then know, that I have little wealth to lose ; 
A man I am, cross'd with adversity: 
My riches are these poor habiliments, 
Of which if you should here disfurnish me, 
You take the sum and substance that I have. 

2 Out. Whither travel you ? 
Val. To Verona. 

1 Out. Whence came you ? 
Val. From Milan. 

3 Out. Have you long sojourn'd there ? 

Val. Some sixteen months ; and longer might 
have staid, 
If crooked fortune had not thwarted me. 

1 Out. What, were you banish'd thence? 

7 If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle i/ouJ] The old cop) r reads 
- I have printed the passage. Paltry as the opposition between 
stand and sit may he thought, it is Shakspeare's own. My pre- 
decessors read — " we'll make you, sir" &c. Steevens. 

Sir, is the corrupt reading of the third folio. Malone. 

a proper man.] i. e. a well-looking man ; he has the ap- 

pearance of ;i gentleman. So, afterwards : 

" And partly, seeing you are beautified 
" With goodly shape ." Malone. 

Again, in Othello: 

" This Ludovico is a proper man." Steevens. 

266 TWO GENTLEMEN act ir. 

Val. I was. 

2 Out. For what offence ? 

Val.Yot that which nowtorments me to rehearse: 
I kilPd a man, whose death I much repent ; 
But yet I slew him manfully in fight, 
Without false vantage, or base treachery. 

1 Out. Why ne'er repent it, if it were done so: 
But were you banish'd for so small a fault ? 

Val. I was, and held me glad of such a doom. 

1 Out. Have you the tongues ? 

Val. My youthful travel therein made me happy; 
Or else I often had been miserable. 

3 Out. By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat 

friar, 9 

9 Robin Hood's fat fria r,~] Robin Hood was captain of a 

band of robbers, and was much inclined to rob churchmen. 


So, in A mery Geste of Robin Hoode, &c. bl. 1. no date : 

" These byshoppes and these archebyshoppes 

" Ye shall them beate and bynde," &c. 
But by Robin Hood's fat friar, I believe, Shakspeare means 
Friar Tuck, who was confessor and companion to this noted out- 
law. So, in one of the old songs of Robin Hood: 

" And of brave little John, 

" Of Friar Tuck and Will Scarlett, 

" Stokesly and Maid Marian." 
Again, in the 26th song of Drayton's Polyolbion : 

" Of Tuck the merry friar which many a sermon made, 

" In praise of Robin Hoode, his out-lawes, and his trade.'* 
Again, in Skelton's Play of Magnificence, f. 5. 6 : 

" Another bade shave halfe my berde, 

" And boyes to the pylery gan me plucke, 

" And wolde have made me freer Tucke 

" To preche oute of the pylery hole." 
See figure III. in the plate at the end of the first part of King 
Henry IV. with Mr. Toilet's observations on it. Steevens. 

Dr. Johnson seems to have misunderstood this passage. The 
speaker does not swear by the scalp of some churchman who had 

sc. i. OF VERONA. 267 

This fellow were a king for our wild faction. 

1 Out. We'll have him : sirs, a word. 

Speed. Master, be one of them; 

It is an honourable kind of thievery. 

Val. Peace, villain ! 

2 Out. Tell us this : Have you any thing to 

take to ? 

Val. Nothing, but my fortune. 

3 Out. Knowthen, that some of us aregentlemen, 
Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth 

Thrust from the company of awful men : l 
Myself was from Verona banished, 
For practising to steal away a lady, 
An heir, and near allied unto the duke. 2 

been plundered, but by tbe shaven crown of Robin Hood's 
chaplain. — " W e will live and die together, (says a personage in 
Peele's Edward I. 1~9',) like Robin Hood, little John, friar 
Tucke, and Maide Marian." Malone. 

1 awful men .•] Reverend, worshipful, such as magistrates, 

and other principal members of civil communities. Johnson. 

Awful is used by Shakspeare, in another place, in the sense of 
lavcfid. Second part of A'. Henry IV. Act IV. sc. ii : 

" We come within our axvful banks again." Tyrwhitt. 

So, in King Ilcnry V. l'JOO: 

" creatures that by awe ordain 

" An act of order to a peopled kingdom." Malone. 

I believe we should read — lawful men — i. e. legale* homines. 
So, in The A'eive Bake of Justices, 1560: " — commandinge 
him to the same to make an inquest and pannel of I axvful men of 
his countie." Tor this remark I am indebted to Dr. Farmer. 


Axvful men means men xvcll governed, observant of law and 
authority ; full of or subject to aive. In the same kind of sense 
as we usefearfuL Ritson. 

4 An heir, and near allied unto the duke.] All the impressions, 
from the first downwards, read — An heir and niece allied unto 
ihe duke. Rut our poet would never have expressed himself so 

268 TWO GENTLEMEN act ir. 

2 Out. And I from Mantua, for a gentleman, 
Whom, in my mood, I stabb'd unto the hearts) 

1 Out. And I, for such like petty crimes as these. 
But to the purpose, — (for we cite our faults, 
That they may hold excus'd our lawless lives,) 
And, partly, seeing you are beautified 

With goodly shape ; and by your own report 
A linguist ; and a man of such perfection, 
As we do in our quality 4 much want ; — 

2 Out. Indeed, because you are a banish'd man, 
Therefore, above the rest, we parley to you : 
Are you content to be our general ? 

stupidly, as to tell us, this lady was the duke's niece, and allied 
to him : for her alliance was certainly sufficiently included in 
the first term. Our author meant to say, she was an heiress, 
and near allied to the duke ; an expression the most natural that 
can be for the purpose, and very frequently used by the stage- 
poets. Theobald. 

A niece, or a nephew, did not always signify the daughter of 
a brother or sister, but any remote descendant. Of this use I 
have given instances, as to a nephew. See Othello, Act I. I have 
not, however, disturbed Theobald's emendation. Steevens. 

Heir in our author's time (as it sometimes is now) was applied 
to females, as well as males. The old copy reads — And heir. 
The correction was made in the third folio. Malone. 

3 Whom, in my mood, I stabb'd unto the heart.'] Thus, Dryden : 

" Madness laughing in his ireful mood.'''' 
Again, Gray : 

" Moody madness, laughing, wild." Henley. 

Mood is anger or resentment. Malone. 

4 in our quality — ] Our quality means our profession, 

calling, or condition of life. Thus, in Massinger's Roman Actor, 
Aretinus says to Paris the tragedian : 

" In thee, as being chief of thy profession, 
" 1 do accuse the quality of treason :" 
that is, the whole profession or fraternity. 

Hamlet, speaking of the young players, says, " will they pur- 
sue the quality no longer than they can sing?" &c. &c. 

M. Mason. 

sc. ii. OF VERONA. 269 

To make a virtue of necessity, 

And live, as we do, in this wilderness ? 

3 Out. What say'st thou ? wilt thou be of our 
consort ? 
Say, ay, and be the captain of us all : 
We'll do thee homage, and be rul'd by thee, 
Love thee as our commander, and our king. 

1 Out. But if thou scorn our courtesy, thou diest. 

2 Out. Thou shalt not live to brag what we 

have offer'd. 

Val. I take your offer, and will live with you ; 
Provided that you do no outrages 
On silly women, or poor passengers. 5 

3 Out. No, we detest such vile base practices. 
Come, go with us, we'll bring thee to our crews, 
And shew thee all the treasure we have got ; 
Which, with ourselves, all rest at thy dispose. 



Milan. Court of the Palace. 

Enter Proteus. 

Pro. Already have I been false to Valentine, 
And now I must be as unjust to Thurio. 
Under the colour of commending him, 
I have access my own love to prefer ; 
But Silvia is too fair, too true, too holy, 
To be corrupted with my worthless gilts. 

•vo outrages 

On silly women, or poor passengers.'] This was one of the 
s of Robin Hood's government. Steevens. 

270 TWO GENTLEMEN act m 

When I protest true loyalty to her, 
She twits me with my falshood to my friend ; 
When to her beauty I commend my vows, 
She bids me think, how I have been forsworn 
In breaking faith with Julia whom I lov'd : 
And, notwithstanding all her sudden quips, 6 
The least whereof would quell a lover's hope, 
Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love, 
The more it grows, and fawneth on her still. 
But here comes Thurio: now mustwetoherwindow, 
And give some evening musick to her ear. 

Enter Thurio, and Musicians. 

Thu. How now, sir Proteus ? are you crept be- 
fore us ? 

Pro. Ay, gentle Thurio ; for, you know, that 
Will creep in service where it cannot go. 7 

Thu. Ay, but, I hope, sir, that you love not here. 

Pro. Sir, but I do ; or else I would be hence. 

Thu. Whom? Silvia? 

Pro. Ay, Silvia, — for your sake. 

Thu. I thank you for your own. Now, gentlemen. 
Let's tune, and to it lustily a while. 

sudden quips,"] That is, hasty passionate reproaches 

and scoffs. So Macbeth is in a kindred sense said to be sudden ; 
that is, irascible and impetuous. Johnson. 

The same expression is used by Dr. Wilson in his Arte of 
Rhetorique, 1553 : " And make him at his wit's end through 
the sudden quip." Malone. 

7 you knoiv, that love 

Will creep in service where it cannot go.~\ Kindness will 
creep where it cannot gang, is to be found in Kelly's Collection 
of Scottish Proverbs, p. 220. Reed. 

sc. n. OF VERONA. 271 

Enter Host, at a distance ; and Julia in boy's 


Host. Now, my young guest ! methinks you're 
allycholly ; I pray you, why is it ? 

Jul, Marry, mine host,because I cannotbe merry. 

Host. Come, we'll have you merry : I'll bring 
you where you shall hear musick, and see the gen- 
tleman that you ask'd for. 

Jul. But shall I hear him speak ? 

Host. Ay, that you shall. 

Jul. That will be musick. [Music Jc plays. 

Host. Hark ! hark ! 

Jul. Is he among these ? 

Host. Ay : but peace, let's hear 'em. 


Who is Silvia ? what is she, 

That all our swains commend her ? 

Holy, fair, and wise is she ; 

The heavens such grace did lend her* 

That she might admired be. 

Is she kind, as she is fair ? 

For beauty lives with kindness : 
Love doth to her eyes repair, 

To help him if his blindness ; 
And, being helped, inhabits there. 

Who is Silvia f tvhat is she, &c. 

The heavens such grace did lend her,] So, in Pericles; 
" 80 buxom, blithe, and full of face, 
" As heaven had lent her all his grace." Douce. 

9 beauty lives win kindness .•] lk'uuty without kindness 

die; unenjoyed, and underlighting. Johnson. 

272 TWO GENTLEMEN act iv. 

Then to Silvia let us sing, 

That Silvia is excelling ; 
She excels each mortal thing, 

Upon the dull earth dwelling : 
To her let us garlands bring. 

Host. How now ? are you sadder than you were 
before ? 
How do you, man ? the musick likes you not. 

Jul. You mistake ; the musician likes me not. 

Host. Why, my pretty youth ? 

Jul. He plays false, father. 

Host. How ? out of tune on the strings ? 

Jul. Not so ; but yet so false that he grieves 
my very heart-strings. 

Host. You have a quick ear. 

Jul. Ay, I would I were deaf! it makes me have 
a slow heart. 

Host. I perceive, you delight not in musick. 

Jul. Not a whit, when it jars so. 

Host. Hark, what fine change is in the musick ! 

Jul. Ay ; that change is the spite. 

Host. You would have them always play but 
one thing ? 

Jul, I would always have one play but one 
thing. But, host, doth this sir Proteus, that we 
talk on, often resort unto this gentlewoman ? 

Host. I tell you what Launce, his man, told 
me, he loved her out of all nick. 1 

1 out of all nick.] Beyond all reckoning or count. 

Reckonings are kept upon nicked or notched sticks or tallies. 


sc. n. OF VERONA. 273 

Jul. Where is Launce ? 

Host. Gone to seek his dog ; which, to-morrow, 
by his master's command, he must carry for a pre- 
sent to his lady. 

Jul. Peace ! stand aside ! the company parts. 

Pro. Sir Thurio, fear not you ! I will so plead, 
That you shall say, my cunning drift excels. 

Tiiu. Where meet we? 

Pro. At saint Gregory's well. 

Tiiu. Farewell. \TLoceunt Thurio and Musicians. 

Silvia appears above, at her window. 

Pro. Madam, good even to your ladyship. 

Sil. I thank you for your musick, gentlemen : 
Who is that, that spake ? 

Pro. One, lady, if you knewhis pure heart's truth, 
You'd quickly learn to know him by his voice. 

Sil. Sir Proteus, as I take it. 

Pro. Sir Proteus, gentle lady, and your servant. 

Sil. What is your will ? 

Pro. That I may compass yours. 

Sil. You have your wish ; my will is even this, 2 — 
That presently you hie you home to bed. 

So, in A Woman never vex'd, 10*32 : 

" I have carried 

" The tallies at my girdle seven years together, 
** For I did ever love to deal honestly in the nick." 
As it is an inn-keeper who employs the allusion, it is much in 
character. Steevens. 

* You have your tuish ; my will is even this,'] The word tvill is 
here ambiguous. lie wishes to gain her prill: she tells him, it' 
he wants her will ho has it. Johnson. 


274 TWO GENTLEMEN act in 

Thou subtle, perjur'd, false, disloyal man ! 
Think'st thou, I am so shallow, so conceitless, 
To be seduced by thy flattery, 
That hast deceiv'd so many with thy vows ? 
Return, return, and make thy love amends. 
For me, — by this pale queen of night I swear, 
I am so far from granting thy request, 
That I despise thee for thy wrongful suit ; 
And by and by intend to chide myself, 
Even for this time I spend in talking to thee. 

Pro. I grant, sweet love, that I did love a lady ; 
But she is dead. 

Jul. 'Twere false, if I should speak it; 
For, I am sure, she is not buried. [Aside. 

SlL. Say, that she be ; yet Valentine, thy friend, 
Survives ; to whom, thyself art witness, 
I am betroth'd : And art thou not asham'd 
To wrong him with thy importunacy. 

Pro. I likewise hear, that Valentine is dead. 

SlL. And so, suppose, am I ; for in his grave 3 
Assure thyself, my love is buried. 

Pro. Sweet lady, let me rake it from the earth. 

SlL. Go to thy lady's grave, and call her's thence ; 
Or, at the least, in her's sepulchre thine. 

Jul. He heard not that. [Aside. 

Pro. Madam, if your heart be so obdurate, 
Vouchsafe me yet your picture for my love, 
The picture that is hanging in your chamber ; 
To that I'll speak, to that I'll sigh and weep: 
For, since the substance of your perfect self 

8 in his grave — ] The old copy has — her grave. The 

emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. 


m. //. OF VERONA. 275 

Is else devoted, I am but a shadow ; 

And to your shadow I will make true love. 

Jul. If 'twere a substance, you would, sure, de- 
ceive it, 
And make it but a shadow, as I am. \_Aslde. 

Sil. I am very loth to be your idol, sir ; . 
But, since your falshood shall become you well* 
To worship shadows, and adore false shapes, 
Send to me in the morning, and I'll send it : 
And so, good rest. 

4 But, since your falshood shall become you well — ] This is 
hardly sense. We may read, with very little alteration : 

" But since you re false, it shall become you well." 

There is no occasion for any alteration, if we only suppose 
that it is understood here, as in several other places: 

" But, since your falshood, shall become you well 
" To worship shadows and adore false shapes," 
i. e. But, since your falshood, it shall become you well, &c. 

Or indeed, in this place, To worship shadows, &c. may be con- 
sidered as the nominative case to shall become. Tyrwhitt. 

" I am very loth (says Silvia) to be your idol ; but since your 
falshood to your friend and mistress shall well become you, to 
worship shadows, and adore false shapes (i.e. will be properly 
employed in so doing, ) send to me, and you shall have my pic- 
ture." RlTSON. 

I once had a better opinion of the alteration proposed by Dr. 
Johnson than I have at present. I now believe the text is right, 
and that our author means, however licentious the expression, — 
But, since your falshood well becomes, or is well suited to, the 
worshipping of shadows, and the adoring of false shapes, send to 
me in the morning for my picture, &c. Or, in other words, 
But, since the worshipping of shadows and the adoring of false 
shapes dial] well become you, false as ami arc, send, &C. To 
worship shadow, &c. I consider as the objective case, as well as 
you. There are other instances in these plays of a double accu- 
sative depending on the same verb. I have therefore followed 
the punctuation of the old copy, and not placed a comma after 
falshood, as in the modern editions. Since is, I think, here an 
adverb, not a preposition. Malone. 

T 2 

276 TWO GENTLEMEN act jr. 

Pro. As wretches have o'er-night, 

That wait for execution in the morn. 

[Exeunt Proteus ; and Silvia, from above. 

Jul. Host, will you go ? 

Host. By my hallidom, I was fast asleep. 

Jul. Pray you, where lies sir Proteus ? 

Host. Marry, at my house : Trust me, I think, 
'tis almost day. 

Jul. Not so ; but it hath been the longest night 
That e'er I watch'd, and the most heaviest. 5 



The same. 

Enter Eglamour. 

Egl. This is the hour that madam Silvia 
Entreated me to call, and know her mind ; 
There's some great matter she'd employ me in. — 
Madam, madam ! 

Silvia appears above, at her window. 

Sil. Who calls ? 

Egl. Your servant, and your friend ; 

One that attends your ladyship's command. 
Sil. Sir Eglamour, a thousand times good mor- 

* most heaviest.'] This use of the double superlative is fre- 
quent in our author. So, in King Lear, Act. II. sc. iii : 
" To take the basest and most poorest shape." 


sc. in. OF VERONA. 277 

Egl. As many, worthy lady, to yourself. 
According to your ladyship's impose, 6 
I am thus early come, to know what service 
It is your pleasure to command me in. 

Sil. O Eglamour, thou art a gentleman, 
(Think not, I flatter, for, I swear, I do not,) 
Valiant, wise, remorseful, 7 well accomplished. 
Thou art not ignorant, what dear good will 
I bear unto the banish* d Valentine ; 
Nor how my father would enforce me marry 
Vain Thurio, whom my very soul abhorr'd. 
Thyself hast loved ; and I have heard thee say, 
No grief did ever come so near thy heart, 
As when thy lady and thy true love died, 
Upon whose grave thou vow'dst pure chastity. 8 

6 your ladyship's impose,] Impose is injunction, command. 

A task set at college, in consequence of a fault, is still called an 
imposition. Steevens. 

7 remorseful,] Remorseful is pitiful. So, in The Maids 

Metamorphosis, by Lyly, 1(500 : 

" Provokes my mind to take remorse of thee." 
Again, in Chapman's translation of the 2d book of Homer's 
Iliad, 1598 : 

" Descend on ourlong-toyled host with thy reynorsefuleye." 
Again, in the same translator's version of the 20th Iliad: 

" he was none of those remorsefull men, 

Gentle and affable; but fierce at all times, and mad then." 


* Upon whose grave thou voivdst pure chastity.] It was com- 
mon in former ages for widowers and widows to make vows of 
chastity in honour of their deceased wives or husbands. In 
Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire, page 1013, there is the 
form of a commission by the bishop of the diocese for taking a 
vow of chastity made by a widow. It seems that, besides ob- 
serving the vow, the widow was, for life, to wear a veil and a 
mourning habit. Some such distinction we may suppose to have 
been made in respect of male votarists; and therefore this cir- 
cumstance might inform the players how Sir Eglamour should be 


Sir Eglamour, I would to Valentine, 

To Mantua, where, I hear, he makes abode ; 

And, for the ways are dangerous to pass, 

I do desire thy worthy company, 

Upon whose faith and honour I repose. 

Urge not my father's anger, Eglamour, 

But think upon my grief, a lady's grief; 

And on the justice of my flying hence, 

To keep me from a most unholy match, 

Which heaven and fortune still reward with plagues. 

I do desire thee, even from a heart 

As full of sorrows as the sea of sands, 

To bear me company, and go with me : 

If not, to hide what I have said to thee, 

That I may venture to depart alone. 

Egl. Madam, I pity much your grievances; 9 
Which since I know they virtuously are plac'd, 
I give consent to go along with you ; 
Recking as little I what betideth me, 
As much I wish all good befortune you. 
When will you go ? 

Sil. This evening coming. 

Egl. Where shall I meet you ? 

Sil. At friar Patrick's cell, 

Where I intend holy confession. 

drest ; and will account for Silvia's having chosen him as a person 
in whom she could confide without injury to her own character. 


9 grievances ;] Sorrows, sorrowful affections. 


1 Recking as little — ] To reck is to care for. So, in Hamlet : 

" And recks not his own read." 
Both Chaucer and Spenser use this word with the same signi- 
fication. Steevens. 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 279 

Egl. I will not fail your ladyship : 
Good-morrow, gentle lady. 

SiL. Good-morrow, kind sir Eglamour. 



The same. 

Enter Launce, with his dog. 

When a man's servant shall play the curwith him, 
look you, it goes hard : one that I brought up of a 
puppy; one that I saved from drowning, when three 
or four of his blind brothers and sisters went to it ! I 
have taught him — even as one would say precisely, 
Thus I would teach a dog. I was sent to deliver 
him, as a present to mistress Silvia, from my master ; 
and I came no sooner into the dining-chamber, but 
he steps me to her trencher, and steals her capon's 
leg. O, 'tis a foul thing when a cur cannot keep 
himself 2 in all companies! I would have, as one 
should say, one that takes upon him to be a dog 3 
indeed, to be, as it were, a dog at all things. If 
I had not had more wit than he, to take a fault upon 
me that he did, I think verily he had been hanged 
for't ; sure as I live, he had suffered for't : you shall 
judge. He thrusts me himself into the company of 
three or four gentlemen-like dogs, under the duke's 
table : he had not been there (bless the mark) a 

* keep himself — ] i.e. restrain himself. Steevens. 

3 to be a do<r — ] I believe we should read — Tluouldhave, 

&c. one that takes upon him to be a dog, to be a dog indeed, to be t 
kc. Johnson. 

280 TWO GENTLEMEN act iv. 

pissing while ; 4 but all the chamber smelt him. Out 
with the dog, says one ; What cur is that? says an- 
other; Whip him out, says the third ; Hang him up, 
says the duke. I, having been acquainted with the 
smell before, knew it was Crab ; and goes me to the 
fellow that whips the dogs : 5 Friend, quoth I, you 
mean to whip the dog ? Ay, marry, do I, quoth he. 
You do him the more wrong, quoth I ; 'twas I did 
the thing you wot of. He makes me no more ado, 
but whips me out of the chamber. How many ma- 
sters would do this for their servant? 6 Nay, Til be 
sworn, I have sat in the stocks for puddings he hath 
stolen, otherwise he had been executed: Ihavestood 
on the pillory for geese he hath killed, otherwise he 
had suffered for't : thou think'st not of this now ! — 
Nay, I remember the trick you served me, when I 
took my leave of madam Silvia j 7 did not I bid thee 

* a pissingwhile,] This expression is used in Ben Jonson's 

Magnetic Lady : " — have patience but & pissing ivhile." It ap- 
pears from Ray's Collection, that it is proverbial. Steevens. 

s Thefelloiv that whips the dogs .•] This appears to have been 
part of the office of an usher of the table. So, in Mucedorus: 

" — I'll prove my office good: for look you, &c. — When a dog 
chance to blow his nose backward, then with a tvhip I give him 
good time of the day, and strew rushes presently." 


6 their servant?'] The old copy reads — his servant? 

Corrected by Mr. Pope. M alone. 

7 madam Silvia ;] Perhaps we should read of madam 

Julia. It was Julia only of whom a formal leave could have 
been taken. Steevens. 

Dr. Warburton, without any necessity I think, reads — Julia ; 
" alluding to the leave his master and he took when they left 
Verona." But it appears from a former scene, (as Mr. Heath has 
observed,) that Launce was not present when Proteus and Julia 
parted. Launce on the other hand has just taken leave of, i.e. 
parted from, (for that is all that is meant,) madam Silvia. 


sc. iv. OF VERONA. 281 

still mark me, and do as I do ? When didst thou 
see me heave up my leg, and make water against 
a gentlewoman's farthingale ? didst thou ever see 
me do such a trick ? 

Enter Proteus and Julia. 

Pro. Sebastian is thy name ? I like thee well, 
And will employ thee in some service presently. 

Jul. In what you please ; — I will do what I can. 

Pro. I hope, thou wilt. — How now, you whore- 
son peasant? \_To Launce. 
Where have you been these two days loitering ? 

Laux. Marry, sir, I carried mistress Silvia the 
dog you bade me. 

Pro. And what says she, to my little jewel ? 

Laux. Marry, she says, your dog was a cur ; and 
tells you, currish thanks is good enough for such 
a present. 

Pro. But she received my dog ? 

Laux. No, indeed, she did not : here have I 
brought him back again. 

Pro. What, didst thou offer her this from me ? 

Laux. Ay,sir ; the other squirrel 8 was stolen from 

Though Launce was not present when Julia and Proteus part- 
ed, it by no means follows that he and Crab had not likewise their 
audience of leave. Ritson. 

8 the other squirrel <!yc.] Sir T. Hanmer reads — " the 

other, Squirrel" &c. and consequently makes Squirrel the pro- 
per name of the beast. Perhaps Launce only speaks of it as a 
diminutive animal, more resembling a squirrel in size, than a 

dog. Steevens. 


The subsequent words, — " who is a dog as big as ten of yours 
shew that Mr. Stcevens's interpretation is the true one. M alone. 

2S2 TWO GENTLEMEN act iv. 

me by the hangman's boys in the market-place : 
and then I offered her mine own ; who is a dog as 
big as ten of yours, and therefore the gift the 

Pro. Go, get thee hence, and find my dog again. 
Or ne'er return again into my sight. 
Away, I say : Stay'st thou to vex me here ? 
A slave, that, still an end, 9 turns me to shame. 

\JLxit Launce. 
Sebastian, I have entertained thee, 
Partly, that I have need of such a youth, 
That can with some discretion do my business, 
For 'tis no trusting to yon foolish lowt ; 
But, chiefly, for thy face, and thy behaviour ; 
"Which (if my augury deceive me not) 
Witness good bringing up, fortune, and truth : 
Therefore know thou, 1 for this I entertain thee. 
Go presently, and take this ring with thee, 
Deliver it to madam Silvia : 
She loved me well, deliver'd it to me. 2 

Jul. It seems, you loved her not, to leave her 
token: 3 

9 an end,] i. e. in the end, at the conclusion of every 

business he undertakes. Steevens. 

Still an end, and most an end, are vulgar expressions, and 
mean commonly, generally. So, in Massinger's Very Woman, 
a Citizen asks the Master, who had slaves to sell, " What will 
that girl do ?" To which he replies : 

" sure no harm at all, sir, 

" For she sleeps most an end." M. Mason. 

1 knotv thou,] The old copy has — thee. The emendation 

was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone. 

8 She loved me well, deliver'd it to me.~] i. e. She, tvho delivered 
it to me, loved me well. Malone. 

3 It seems, you loved her not, to leave her token ;] Proteus 

SC. IV. 


She's dead, belike. 4 

Pro. Not so ; I think, she lives. 

Jul. Alas ! 

Pro. Why dost thou cry, alas ? 

Jul. I cannot choose but pity her. 

Pro. Wherefore should' st thou pity her ? 

Jul. Because, methinks, that she loved you as 
As you do love your lady Silvia : 
She dreams on him that has forgot her love ; 
You dote on her, that cares not for your love. 
'Tis pity, love should be so contrary ; 
And thinking on it makes me cry, alas ! 

does not properly leave his lady's token, he gives it away. The 
old edition has it : 

It seems you loved her not, not leave her token. 
I should correct it thus : 

It seems you loved her not, nor love her token. 

The emendation was made in the second folio. Malone. 

Johnson, not recollecting the force of the word leave, proposes 
an amendment of this passage, but that is unnecessary ; for, in 
the language of the time, to leave means to part with, or give^ 
aivay. Thus, in The Merchant of Venice, Portia, speaking of 
the ring she gave Bassanio, says : 

" and here he stands ; 

" I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it, 

" Or pluck it from his ringer, for the wealth 

" That the world masters." 
And Bassanio says, in a subsequent scene : 

" If you did know to whom I gave the ring, &c. 

" And how unwillingly I left the ring, 

" You would abate the strength of your displeasure." 

M. Mason. 

To leave, is used with equal licence, in a former scene, for to 
tease. " 1 leave to be," &C. Malone. 

4 S/je's dead, belike.] This is said in reference to what Proteus 
had asserted to Silvia in a former scene ; viz. that both Julia 
and Valentine were dead. Steevens. 

284 TWO GENTLEMEN act iv. 

Pro. Well, give her that ring, and therewithal 
This letter ; — that's her chamber. — Tell my lady, 
I claim the promise for her heavenly picture. 
Your message done, hie home unto my chamber, 
Where thou shalt find me sad and solitary. 

[Exit Proteus. 

Jul. How many women would do such a message? 
Alas, poor Proteus ! thou hast entertain'd 
A fox, to be the shepherd of thy lambs : 
Alas, poor fool ! why do I pity him 
That with his very heart despiseth me ? 
Because he loves her, he despiseth me ; 
Because I love him, I must pity him. 
This ring I gave him, when he parted from me, 
To bind him to remember my good will : 
And now am I (unhappy messenger) 
To plead for that, which I would not obtain ; 
To carry that which I would have refus'd ; 
To praise his faith, which I would have disprais'd. 5 
I am my master's true confirmed love ; 
But cannot be true servant to my master, 
Unless I prove false traitor to myself. 
Yet I will woo for him ; but yet so coldly, 
As, heaven, it knows, I would not have him speed. 

Enter Silvia, attended. 

Gentlewoman, good day ! I pray you, be my mean 
To bring me where to speak with madam Silvia. 

Sil. What would you with her, if that I be she ? 

Jul. If you be she, I do entreat your patience 
To hear me speak the message I am sent on. 

4 To carry that, 'which I would have refused ; &c] The sense 
is, to go and present that which I wish not to be accepted, to 
praise him whom I wish to be dispraised. Johnson. 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 285 

Sil. From whom ? 

Jul. From my master, sir Proteus, madam. 

Sil. O ! — he sends you for a picture ? 

Jul. Ay, madam. 

Sil. Ursula, bring my picture there. 

[Picture brought. 
Go, give your master this : tell him from me, 
One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget, 
Would better fit his chamber, than this shadow. 

Jul. Madam, please you peruse this letter. 

Pardon me, madam ; I have unadvis'd 
Delivered you a paper that I should not ; 
This is the letter to your ladyship. 

Sil. I pray thee, let me look on that again. 

Jul. It may not be j good madam, pardon me. 

Sil. There, hold. 
I will not look upon your master's lines : 
I know, they are stuff' d with protestations, 
And full of new-found oaths ; which he will break, 
As easily as I do tear his paper. 

Jul. Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring. 

Sil. The more shame for him that he sends it me ; 
For, I have heard him say a thousand times, 
His Julia gave it him at his departure : 
Though his false finger hath profan'd the ring, 
Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong. 

Jul. She thanks you. 
Sil. What say'st thou ? 

Jul. I thank you, madam, that you tender her : 
Poor gentlewoman ! my master wrongs her much. 

Sil. Dost thou know her ? 

Jul. Almost as well as I do know myself: 

286 TWO GENTLEMEN act iv. 

To think upon her woes, I do protest, 
That I have wept an hundred several times. 

Sil. Belike, she thinks that Proteus hath forsook 

Jul. I think she doth, and that's her cause of 

Sil. Is she not passing fair ? 

Jul. She hath been fairer, madam, than she is : 
When she did think my master lov'd her well, 
She, in my judgement, was as fair as you ; 
But since she did neglect her looking-glass, 
And threw her sun-expelling mask away, 
The air hath starv'd the roses in her cheeks, 
And pinch'd the lily-tincture of her face, 6 
That now she is become as black as I. 

Sil. How tall was she ? 7 

Jul. About my stature : for, at Pentecost, 
When all our pageants of delight were play'd, 
Our youth got me to play the woman's part, 
And I was trimm'd in madam Julia's gown ; 
Which served me as fit, by all men's judgement, 
As if the garment had been made for me : 
Therefore, I know she is about my height. 

6 And pinch'd the lily-tincture ofherjace,'] The colour of a 
part pinched, is livid, as it is commonly termed, black and blue. 
The weather may therefore be justly said to pinch when it pro- 
duces the same visible effect. I believe this is the reason why 
the cold is said to pinch. Johnson. 

Cleopatra says of herself: 

" think on me, 

" That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black." 


7 Sil. How tall was she?] We should read — " How tall is she ?" 
For that is evidently the question which Silvia means to ask. 


sc. iv. OF VERONA. 287 

And, at that time, I made her weep a-good, 8 
For I did play a lamentable part : 
Madam, 'twas Ariadne, passioning 
For Theseus' perjury, and unjust flight ; 9 

8 weep a-good,] i. e. in good earnest. Tout de bon. Fr. 

So, in Turberville's translation of Ovid's epistle from Ariadne to 
Theseus ; 

" beating of my breast a-good" Steevens. 

So, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633 : 

" And therewithal their knees have rankled so, 
" That I have laugh'd a-good" Malone. 

9 'twas Ariadne, passioning 

For Theseus' perjury, and unjust fight ;] The history of this 
twice-deserted lady is too well known to need an introduction 
here ; nor is the reader interrupted on the business of Shakspeare: 
but I find it difficult to refrain from making a note the vehicle for 
a conjecture which I may have no better opportunity of commu- 
nicating to the public. — The subject of a picture of Guido (com- 
monly supposed to be Ariadne deserted by Theseus and courted 
by Bacchus) may possibly have been hitherto mistaken. Who- 
ever will examine the fabulous history critically, as well as the 
performance itself, will acquiesce in the truth of the remark. 
Ovid, in his Fasti, tells us, that Bacchus (who left Ariadne to 
go on his Indian expedition) found too many charms in the 
daughter of one of the kings of that country. 
" Interea Liber depexus crinibus Indos 
" Vincit, et Eoo dives ab orbe redit. 
" Inter captivas facie pra?stante puellas 
" Grata nimis Baccho filia regis erat. 
" Flebat amans conjux, spatiataque littore curvo 

" Edidit incultis talia verba sonis. 
" Quid me desertis perituram, Liber, arenis 

" Servabas ? potui dedoluisse semel. 

" Ausus es ante oculos, adducta pellice, nostros 
M Tarn bene compositum sollicitare torum," drc. 

Ovid, Fast. 1. iii. v. 465. 
In tliis picture he appears as if just returned from India, bring- 
ing with him his new favourite, who hangs on his arm, and whose 
presence only causes those emotions so visible in the countenance 
of Ariadne, who had been hitherto represented on this occasion : 

" as passioning 

" For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight." 
From this painting a plate was engraved by Giacomo Freij, 


Which I so lively acted with my tears, 
That my poor mistress, moved therewithal, 
Wept bitterly ; and, would I might be dead, 
If I in thought felt not her very sorrow ! 

Sil. She is beholden to thee, gentle youth ! — 
Alas, poor lady ! desolate and left ! — 
I weep myself, to think upon thy words. 
Here, youth, there is my purse ; I give thee this 
For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thoulov'st her. 
Farewell. [Exit Silvia. 

Jul. And she shall thank you for't, if e'er you 
know her. — 
A virtuous gentlewoman, mild, and beautiful. 
I hope my master's suit will be but cold, 
Since she respects my mistress' love so much. 1 
Alas, how love can trine with itself! 

which is generally a companion to the Aurora of the same ma- 
ster. The print is so common, that the curious may easily sa- 
tisfy themselves concerning the propriety of a remark which has 
intruded itself among the notes on Shakspeare. 

To passion is used as a verb, by writers contemporary with 
Shakspeare. In The Blind Beggar of Alexandria, printed 1508, 
we meet with the same expression : " — what, art thou jiassion- 
ing over the picture of Cleanthes ?" 

Again, in Eliosto Libidinoso, a novel, by John Hinde, 1606 : 
" — if thou gaze on a picture, thou must, with Pigmalion, be 

Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. III. c. 12 : 

" Some argument of matter passioned?" 1 Steevens. 

Hivas Ariadne, passioning — ] On her being deserted 

by Theseus in the night, and left on the island of Naxos. 


1 my mistress' love so much.'] She had in her preceding 

speech called Julia her mistress ; but it is odd enough that she 
should thus describe herself, when she is alone. Sir-T. Hanmer 
reads — " his mistress ;" but without necessity. Our author 
knew that his audience considered the disguised Julia in the 
present scene as a page to Proteus, and this, I believe, and the 
love of antithesis, produced the expression. Malone. 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 289 

Here is her picture : Let me see ; I think, 
If I had such a tire, this face of mine 
Were full as lovely as is this of hers : 
And yet the painter flatter'd her a little, 
Unless I flatter with myself too much. 
Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow : 
If that be all the difference in his love, 
I'll get me such a colour'd periwig. 2 
Her eyes are grey as glass ; 3 and so are mine : 

2 I'll get me such a colour d periwig.] It should be remember- 
ed, that false hair was worn by the ladies, long before wigs were 
in fashion. These false coverings, however, were called peri- 
tags. So, in Northivard Hoe, \607 : " There is a new trade 
come up for cast gentlewomen, of perrhvig-making : let your 
wife set up in the Strand." — " Perxvickes,' , however, are men- 
tioned by Churchyard in one of his earliest poems. 


See Much Ado about Nothing, Act II. sc. iii : " — and her 
hair shall be of what colour it please God." And The Merchant 
of Venice, Act III. sc. ii : 

" So are crisped snaky golden locks," &c. 

Again, in The Honestie of this Age, proving by good Circum- 
stances that the World mis never honest till noiv, by Barnabe Rich, 
quarto, l6l.5 : " My lady holdeth on her way, perhaps to tin' 
tire-maker's shop, where she shaketh her crownes, to bestow e 
upon some new-fashioned attire ; — upon such artificial deformed 
periwigs, that they were fitter to furnish a theatre, or for her 
that in a stage play should represent some hag of hell, than to 
be used by a Christian woman." Again, ibid: " These attire- 
makers within these forty years were not known by that name ; 
and but now very lately they kept their lowzie commodity of 
periwigs, and their monstrous attires, closed in boxes, — and 
those women that used to weare them would not buy them but 
in secret. But now they are not ashamed to set them forth upon 
their stalls, — such monstrous mop-powles of haire, so propor- 
tioned and deformed, that but within these twenty or thirty 
years would have drawne the passers-by to stand and gaze, and 
to wonder at them." Ma lone. 


3 Her eyes are grey as glass ;] So Chaucer, in the character 
of his Prioress : 

" Ful Bemelyhire wimple y -pinched was ; 

" Hire nose tretis : hire eyen grey as glas" Theobald^ 


290 TWO GENTLEMEN act ir. 

Ay, but her forehead's low, 4 and mine's as high. 

What should it be, that he respects in her, 

But I can make respective 5 in myself, 

If this fond love were not a blinded god ? 

Come, shadow, come, and take this shadow up, 

For 'tis thy rival. O thou senseless form, 

Thou shalt be worshipp'd, kiss'd, lov'd, and ador'd; 

And, were there sense in his idolatry, 

My substance should be statue in thy stead. 6 

* her forehead's lotv,'] A high forehead was in our au- 
thor's time accounted a feature eminently beautiful. So, in The 
History of Guy of Warwick, " Felice his lady" is said to " have 
the same highjbrehead as Venus." Johnson. 

5 respective — ] i. e. respectable. Steevens. 

6 My substance should be statue in thy stead."] It would be easy 
to read, with no more roughness than is found in many lines of 
Shakspeare : 

" should be a statue in thy stead." 

The sense, as Mr. Edwards observes, is, " He should have my 
substance as a statue, instead of thee [the picture] who art a sense- 
less form." This word, however, is used without the article a 
in Massinger's Great Duke of Florence: 

" it was your beauty 

" That turn'd me statue." 
And again, in Lord Surrey's translation of the 4th JEneid: 

" And Trojan statue throw into the flame." 
Again, in Dryden's Don Sebastian : 

" try the virtue of that Gorgon face, 

" To stare me into statue." Steevens. 

Steevens has clearly proved that this passage requires no amend- 
ment ; but it appears from hence, and a passage in Massinger, 
that the word statue was formerly used to express a portrait. 
Julia is here addressing herself to a picture ; and in the City 
Madam, the young ladies are supposed to take leave of the 
statues of their lovers, as they style them, though Sir John, at 
the beginning of the scene, calls them pictures, and describes 
them afterwards as nothing but superficies, colours, and no sub- 
stance. M. Mason. 

statue — ] Statue here, I think, should be written 

statua, and pronounced as it generally, if not always, was in our 
author's time, a word of three syllables. It being the first time 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 291 

I'll use thee kindly for thy mistress' sake, 
That us'd me so ; or else, by Jove I vow, 

this word occurs, I take the opportunity of observing that altera- 
tions have been often improperly made in the text of Shakspeare, 
by supposing statue to be intended by him for a dissyllable. 
Thus, in King Richard III. Act III. sc. vii : 

" But like dumb statues or breathing stones." 

Mr. Rowe has unnecessarily changed breathing to wwbreathing, 
for a supposed defect in the metre, to an actual violation of the 

Again, in Julius Ccesar, Act II. sc. ii : 

" She dreamt to-night she saw my statue." 

Here, to fill up the line, Mr. Capell adds the name of Decius, 
and the last editor, deserting his usual caution, has improperly 
changed the regulation of the whole passage. 

Again, in the same play, Act III. sc. ii : 

" Even at the base of Pompey's statue." 

In this line, however, the true mode of pronouncing the word 
is suggested by the last editor, who quotes a very sufficient au- 
thority for his conjecture. From authors of the times it would 
not be difficult to fill whole pages with instances to prove that 
statue was at that period a trisyllable. Many authors spell it in 
that manner. On so clear a point the first proof which occurs 
is enough, lake the following from Bacon's Advancement of 
Learning, 4to. 1033 : " It is not possible to have the true pic- 
tures or statuaes of Cyrus, Alexander, Caesar, no nor of the 
kings or great personages of much later years," &c. p. S8. 
Again : " — without which the history of the world seemeth to 
be as the Stattta of Polyphemus with his eye out," &c. Reed. 

It may be observed, on this occasion, that some Latin words 
which were admitted into the English language, still retained 
their Roman pronunciation. Thus heroe and heroes are con- 
stantly used for trisyllables; as in the following instances, by 
Chapman : 

" His speare fixt by him as he slept, the great end in the 

" The point, that brisled the darke earth, cast a reflection 

" Like pallid lightnings throwne by Jove. Thus his 

Heme lay, 
" And under him a big oxe hide." \Oth Iliad. 
Again, in the same book : 

u 2 

292 TWO GENTLEMEN act r. 

I should have scratched out your unseeing eyes, 7 
To make my master out of love with thee. [Exit* 


• The same. An Abbey* 

Enter Eglamour. 

Egl. The sun begins to gild the western sky; 
And now, it is about the very hour 
That Silvia, at Patrick's cell, should meet me, 8 
She will not fail ; for lovers break not hours, 
Unless it be to come before their time j 
So much they spur their expedition. 

Enter Silvia. 

See, where she comes : Lady, a happy evening ! 

SlL. Amen, amen ! go on, good Eglamour ! 
Out at the postern by the abbey-wall ; 
I fear, I am attended by some spies. 

" This said, he on his shoulders cast a yellow lion's hide, 
" Big, and reacht earth ; then took his speare ; and 

Nestor's will applide, 
Rais'd the Heroes, brought them both. All met, the 
round they went." Steevens. 

7 your unseeing eyes,'] So, in Macbeth: 

" Thou hast no speculation in those eyes — ." Steevens. 

8 That Silvia, at Patrick's cell, should meet me.'] The old copy 
redundantly reads : " —friar Patrick's cell." But the omission 
of this title is justified by a passage in the next scene, where the 
duke says — 

" At Patrick's cell this even ; and there she was not." 


sc. n. OF VERONA. 293 

Egl. Fear not: the forest is not three leagues off; 
If we recover that, we are sure enough. 9 [Exeunt. 


Tlie same. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. 

Enter Thurio, Proteus, and Julia. 

Thu. Sir Proteus, what says Silvia to my suit ? 

Pro. O, sir, I find her milder than she was ; 
And yet she takes exceptions at your person. 

Thu. What, that my leg is too long ? 

Pro. No ; that it is too little. 

Thu. I'll wear a boot, to make it somewhat 

Pro. But love will not be spurr'd to what it 

Thu. What says she to my face ? 

Pro. She says it is a fair one. 

Thu. Nay, then the wanton lies; my face is black. 

Pro. But pearls are fair ; and the old saying is, 
Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes. 1 

9 sure enough.] Sure is safe, out of danger. Johnson. 

1 Black men are pearls <!yc] So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 

" a black complexion 

" Is always precious in a woman's eye." 
Again, in Sir Giles Goosecap: 

" but to make every black slovenly cloud a pearl in 

her eye" Steevens. 

" A black man is a jewel in a fair woman's eye," is one of 
Kay's proverbial sentences. Malone. 

294 TWO GENTLEMEN act v. 

Jul. 'Tis true, 2 such pearls as put out ladies' eyes ; 
For I had rather wink than look on them. \_Aside. 

Thu. How likes she my discourse ? 

Pro. Ill, when you talk of war. 

Thu. But well, when I discourse of love, and 
peace ? 

Jul. But better, indeed, when you hold your 
peace. [Aside. 

Thu. What says she to my valour ? 

Pro. O, sir, she makes no doubt of that. 

Jul. She needs not, when she knows it cowardice. 

\_ Aside. 

Thu. What says she to my birth ? 

Pro. That you are well deriv'd. 

Jul. True ; from a gentleman to a fool. [Aside. 

Thu. Considers she my possessions ? 

Pro. O, ay; and pities them. 

Thu. Wherefore? 

Jul. That such an ass should owe them. '[Aside. 

Pro. That they are out by lease. 3 

2 Jul. 'Tis true, &c] This speech, which certainly belongs to 
Julia, is given in the eld copy to Thurio. Mr. Rowe restored it 
to its proper owner. Steevens. 

That they are out by lease.] I suppose he means, because 
Thurio's folly has let them on disadvantageous terms. 


She pities Sir Thurio's possessions, because they are let to 
others, and are not in his own dear hands. This appears to me 
to be the meaning of it. M. Mason. 

" By Thurio's possessions, he himself understands his lands 
and estate. But Proteus chooses to take the word likewise in a 
figurative sense, as signifying his mental endowments : and when 

sc. n. OF VERONA. 295 

Jul. Here comes the duke. 

Enter Duke. 

Duke. How now, sir Proteus ? how now,Thurio? 
Which of you saw sir Eglamour 4 of late ? 

Tnu. Not I. 

Pro. Nor I. 

Duke. Saw you my daughter ? 

Pro. Neither. 

Duke. Why, then she's fled unto that peasant 
Valentine ; 
And Eglamour is in her company. 
'Tis true ; for friar Laurence met them both, 
As he in penance wander'd through the forest : 
Him he knew well, and guess'd that it was she ; 
But, being mask'd, he was not sure of it : 
Besides, she did intend confession 
At Patrick's cell this even ; and there she was not : 
These likelihoods confirm her flight from hence. 
Therefore, I pray you, stand not to discourse, 
But mount you presently ; and meet with me 
Upon the rising of the mountain-foot 
That leads towards Mantua, whither they are fled. 
Despatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me. [Exit. 

Thu. Why, this it is to be a peevish girl, 5 

he says they are out by /rase, lie means they are no longer en- 
joyed by their master, (who is a fool,) hut are leased out to an- 
other." Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. Steevens. 

* sir Eglamour — ] Sir, which is not in the old copy, was 

inserted by the editor of the second folio. Malone. 

s a peevish girl,"] Peevish, in ancient language, signifies 

foolish. So, in King Henry VI. P. I : 

" To send such peevish tokens to a king." Steevens. 

296 TWO GENTLEMEN act v. 

That flies her fortune when it follows her : 
I'll after ; more to be reveng'd on Eglamour, 
Than for the love of reckless Silvia. 6 \_Exit. 

Pro. And I will follow, more for Silvia's love, 
Than hate of Eglamour that goes with her. \_Exit. 

Jul. And I will follow, more to cross that love, 
Than hate for Silvia, that is gone for love. \_Exit. 


Frontiers of Mantua. The Forest. 

Enter Silvia, and Out-laws. 

Out. Come, come ; 
Be patient, we must bring you to our captain. 

Sil. A thousand more mischances than this one 
Have learn'd me how to brook this patiently. 

2 Out. Come, bring her away. 

1 Out. Where is the gentleman that was with 
her ? 

3 Out. Being nimble-footed, he hath out-run us, 
But Moyses, and Valerius, follow him. 

Go thou with her to the west end of the wood, 
There is our captain : we'll follow him that's fled ; 
The thicket is beset, he cannot 'scape. 

1 Out. Come, I must bring you to our captain's 
Fear not ; he bears an honourable mind, 
And will not use a woman lawlessly. 

Sil. O Valentine, this I endure for thee. \_Exeunt. 

6 reckless Silvia.'] i. e. careless, heedless. So, in Hamlet : 

" like a putf'd and reckless libertine." Steevens. 

Sc. iv. OF VERONA. 297 


Another part of the Forest. 

Enter Valentine. 

Val. How use doth breed a habit in a man ! 
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, 
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns : 
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any, 
And, to the nightingale's complaining notes, 
Tune my distresses, and record my woes. 7 
O thou that dost inhabit in my breast, 
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless ; 
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall, 
And leave no memory of what it was ! 8 
Repair me with thy presence, Silvia; 
Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain ! — 

7 record my tvoesJ] To record anciently signified to sing. 

So, in The Pilgrim, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" O sweet, sweet ! how the birds record too ?" 

Again, in a pastoral, by N. Breton, published in England's 
Helicon, 1614: 

" Sweet Philomel, the bird that hath the heavenly throat, 

" Doth now, alas! not once afford recording of a note." 
Again, in another Dittie^ by Thomas Watson, ibid : 

" Now birds record with harmonic" 
Sir John Hawkins informs me, that to record is a term still 
used by bird-fanciers, to express the first essays of a bird in 
singing. Steevens. 

8 thou that dost inhabit in my breast, 
Leave not the mansion so long tenantless ; 
Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall, 

And leave no memory of what it ivas .'] It is hardly possible 
to point out four lines, in any of the plays of Shakspeare, more 
remarkable for ease and elegance. Steevens. 


And leave no memory of what it ivas /] So, in Marlowe's 
Jtiv of Malta : 

" And leave no memory thai e'er /was." Ritson. 

298 TWO GENTLEMEN act v. 

What halloing, and what stir, is this to-day ? 
These are my mates, that make their wills their law, 
Have some unhappy passenger in chace : 
They love me well ; yet I have much to do, 
To keep them from uncivil outrages. 
Withdraw thee, Valentine ; who's this comes here ? 

[Steps aside. 

Enter Proteus, Silvia, and Julia. 

Pro. Madam, this service I have done for you, 
(Though you respect not aught your servant doth,) 
To hazard life, and rescue you from him 
That wou'd have forc'd your honour and your love. 
Vouchsafe me, for my meed, 9 but one fair look j 
A smaller boon than this I cannot beg, 
And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give. 

Val. How like a dream is this I see and hear ! 
Love, lend me patience to forbear a while. [Aside. 

SlL. O miserable, unhappy that I am ! 

Pro. Unhappy, were you, madam, ere I came ; 
But, by my coming, I have made you happy. 
Sil. By thy approach thou mak'st me most un- 

Jul. And me, when he approacheth to your 
presence. [Aside. 

Sil. Had I been seized by a hungry lion, 
t would have been a breakfast to the beast, 

my meed,] i. e. reward. So, in Titus Andronicus : 

" thanks, to men 

" Of noble minds, is honourable meed''' Steeven.s 

Again, in Gammer Gurton's Needle, 15/5 : 

" O Christ! that I were sure of it! in faith he should 
have his mede." 
See also Spenser, and almost every writer of the times. Reed. 

sc. m OF VERONA. 299 

Rather than have false Proteus rescue me. 
O, heaven be judge, how I love Valentine, 
Whose life's as tender to me as my soul ; 
And full as much, (for more there cannot be,) 
I do detest false perjur'd Proteus : 
Therefore be gone, solicit me no more. 

Pro. What dangerous action, stood it next to 
Would I not undergo for one calm look ? 
O, 'tis the curse in love, and still approv'd, 1 
When women cannot love where they're belov'd. 

Sil. When Proteus cannotlove where he's belov'd. 
Read over Julia's heart, thy first best love, 
For whose dear sake thou didst then rend thy faith 
Into a thousand oaths ; and all those oaths 
Descended into perjury, to love me. 
Thou hast no faith left now, unless thou hadst two, 
And that's far worse than none ; better have none 
Than plural faith, which is too much by one : 
Thou counterfeit to thy true friend ! 

Pro. In love, 

Who respects friend ? 

Sil. All men but Proteus. 

Pro. Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving words 
Can no way change you to a milder form, 
I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end ; 
And love you 'gainst the nature of love, force you. 

Sil. O heaven ! 

Pro. I'll force thee yield to my desire. 

Val. Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch ; 
Thou friend of an ill fashion ! 

and still approv'd,] Approv'd is felt, experienced. 


300 TWO GENTLEMEN act v. 

Pro. Valentine ! 

Val. Thou common friend, that's without faith 

or love ; 2 
(For such is a friend now,) treacherous man ! 
Thou hast beguil'd my hopes ; nought but mine eye 
Could have persuaded me : Now I dare not say 
I have one friend alive ; thou would'st disprove me. 
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand 3 
Is perjur'd to the bosom ? Proteus, 
I am sorry, I must never trust thee more, 
But count the world a stranger for thy sake. 
The private wound is deepest : 4 O time, most 

curst ! 
'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst ! 

2 that's without faith or love ;] That's is perhaps here 

used, not for who is, but for id est, that is to say. Malone. 

3 Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand — ] The 
word now is wanting in the first folio. Steevens. 

The second folio, to complete the metre, reads : 

" Who shall be trusted now, when one's right hand — ." 

The addition, like all those made in that copy, appears to 
have been merely arbitrary ; and the modern word [own, which 
was introduced by Sir Thomas Hanmer] is, in my opinion, more 
likely to have been the author's than the other. Malone. 

What ! " all at one fell swoop !" are they all arbitrary, when 
Mr. Malone has honoured so many of them with a place in his 
text ? Being completely satisfied with the reading of the second 
folio, I have followed it. Steevens. 

4 The private wound &c.~\ I have a little mended the mea- 
sure. The old edition, and all but Sir Thomas Hanmer's read: 

" The private wound is deepest : time most accurs'd." 

Deepest, highest, and other similar words, were sometimes 
used by the poets of Shakspeare's age as monosyllables. 
So, in our poet's 133d Sonnet : 

" But slave to slavery my sweetest friend must be." 


Perhaps our author only wrote — " sweet," which the tran- 
scriber, or printer, prolonged into the superlative — " sweets." 


sc. iv. OF VERONA. 501 

Pro. My shame and guilt confounds me. — 
Forgive me, Valentine : if hearty sorrow 
Be a sufficient ransom for offence, 
I tender it here ; I do as truly surfer, 
As e'er I did commit. 

Val. Then I am paid ; 

And once again I do receive thee honest : — 
Who by repentance is not satisfied, 
Is nor of heaven, nor earth ; for these are pleas'd ; 
By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeas'd : — 
And, that my love may appear plain and free, 
All that was mine in Silvia, I give thee. 5 

Jul. O me, unhappy ! [_Fainls. 

' All that ivas mine in Silvia, / give thee.] It is (I think) 
very odd, to give up his mistress thus at once, without any reason 
alledged. But our author probably followed the stories just as 
he found them in his novels as well as histories. Pope. 

This passage either hath been much sophisticated, or is one 
great proof that the main parts of this play did not proceed from 
Shakspeare ; for it is impossible he could make Valentine act 
and speak so much out of character, or give to Silvia so unna» 
tural a behaviour, as to take no notice of this strange concession, 
if it had been made. Hanmer. 

Valentine, from seeing Silvia in the company of Proteus, 
might conceive she had escaped with him from her father's 
court, for the purposes of love, though she could not foresee the 
violence which his villainy might offer, after he had seduced her 
under the pretence of an honest passion. If Valentine, how- 
ever, be supposed to hear all that passed between them in this 
scene, I am afraid I have only to subscribe to the opinions of 
my predecessors. Steevens. 

I give thee,'] Transfer these two lines to the end of 

Thurio's speech in page 305, and all is right. Why then should 
Julia faint ? It is only an artifice, seeing Silvia given up to Va- 
lentine, to discover herself to Proteus, by a pretended mistake 
of the rings. One great fault of this play is the hastening too 
abruptly, and without due preparation, to the denouement, 
which shews that, if it be Shakspeare's, (which 1 cannot doubt, ^ 
it was one of his very early performances. Blackstone. 


Pro. Look to the boy. 

Val. Why, boy ! why, wag ! how now ? what is 
the matter ? 
Look up ; speak. 

Jul. O good sir, my master charg'd me 

To deliver a ring to madam Silvia ; c 
Which out of my neglect, was never done. 

Pro. Where is that ring, boy ? 

Jul. Here 'tis : this is it. 

\_Gives a ring. 
Pro. How ! let me see : 7 
Why this is the ring I gave to Julia. 

Jul. O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook ; 
This is the ring you sent to Silvia. 

[Shows another ring. 

Pro. But, how cam'st thou by this ring ? at my 
I gave this unto Julia. 

Jul. And Julia herself did give it me j 
And Julia herself hath brought it hither. 

Pro. How ! Julia ! 

To deliver a ring to madam Silvia;'] Surely our author 
wrote — " Deliver a ring," &c. A verse so rugged as that in 
the text must be one of those corrupted by the players, or their 
transcriber. Steevens. 

7 Pro. How! let me see : &c] I suspect that this unmetrical 
passage should be regulated as follows : 

Pro. Hotv ! let me see it : Why, this is the ring 
I gave to Julia. 

Jul. '■ 'C?y you mercy, sir, 
I have mistook ; this is the ring you sent 
To Silvia. 

Pro. But how cam'st thou by this? 
At my depart, I gave this unto Julia. Steevens. 

sc. iv. OF VERONA. 303 

Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths, 8 
And entertain'd them deeply in her heart : 
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root ? 9 
O Proteus, let this habit make thee blush ! 
Be thou asham'd, that I have took upon me 
Such an immodest rayment ; if shame live 1 
In a disguise of love : 
It is the lesser blot, modesty finds, 
Women to change their shapes, than men their 

Pro. Than men their minds ! 'tis true : O hea- 
ven ! were man 
But constant, he were perfect : that one error 
Fills him with faults ; makes him run through all 

sins : 
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins : 
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy 
More fresh in Julia's with a constant eye ? 

Val. Come, come, a hand from either : 
Let me be blest to make this happy close, ; 
'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes. 

Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish for 

8 Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,] So, in Titus 
Andronicus, Act V. sc. iii : 

" But gentle people, give me aim a while." 
Both these passages allude to the aim-crier in archery. So, 
in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III. sc. ii : " — all my 
neighbours shall cry aim." See note, ibid. Steevens. 

9 How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root ?] Sir T. Han- 
mer reads — cleft the root on't. Johnson. 

cleft the root ?] i. e. of her heart. Malone. 

An allusion to cleaving the pin in archery. Steevens. 

//shame live — ] That is, if it be any shame to wear <* 

disguise for the purposes of love. Johnson. 

304 TWO GENTLEMEN act r. 

Jul. And I have mine. 2 

Enter Out-laws, with Duke and Thurio. 

Out. A prize, a prize, a prize ! 

Val. Forbear, I say ; it is my lord the duke. 3 
Your grace is welcome to a man disgrac'd, 
Banished Valentine. 

Duke. Sir Valentine ! 

Thu. Yonder is Silvia ; and Silvia's mine. 

Val. Thurio give back, or else embrace thy 
death ; 
Come not within the measure 4 of my wrath : 
Do not name Silvia thine ; if once again, 
Milan shall not behold thee. 5 Here she stands, 
Take but possession of her with a touch ; — 
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love. — 

Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I ; 

2 And I have mine.'] The old copy reads — " And I mine." 
— I have inserted the word have, which is necessary to metre, by 
the advice of Mr. Ritson. Steevens. 

3 Forbear, I say ; it is my lord the duke.] The old copy, 
without regard to meti-e, repeats the word forbear, which is 
here omitted. Steevens. 

the measure — ] The length of my sword, the reach of 

my anger. Johnson. 

4 Milan shall not behold thee.] All the editions — Verona shall 
not behold thee. But, whether through the mistake of the first 
editors, or the poet's own carelessness, this reading is absurdly 
faulty. For the threat here is to Thurio, who is a Milanese ; 
and has no concern, as it appears, with Verona. Besides, the 
scene is between the confines of Milan and Mantua, to which 
Silvia follows Valentine, having heard that he had retreated 
thither. And, upon these circumstances, I ventured to adjust 
the text, as I imagine the poet must have intended : i. e. Milan, 
thy country, shall never see thee again : thou shalt never live to 
go back thither. Theobald. 

sc. iv, OF VERONA. 305 

I hold him but a fool, that will endanger 
His body for a girl that loves him not : 
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine. 

Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou, 
To make such means for her as thou hast done, 6 
And leave her on such slight conditions. — 
Now, by the honour of my ancestry, 
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine, 
And think thee worthy of an empress' love. 7 
Know then, I here forget all former griefs, 8 
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again. — 
Plead a new state 9 in thy unrivalPd merit, 
To which I thus subscribe, — sir Valentine, 
Thou art a gentleman, and well deriv'd ; 
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserv'd her. 

Val. I thank your grace ; the gift hath made 
me happy. 
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake, 
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you. 

Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be. 

Val. These banish'd men, that Ihave kept withal, 
Are men endued with worthy qualities ; 
Forgive them what they have committed here, 

6 To make such meansyo?- her as thou hast done,'] i. e. to make 
such interest for, to take such disingenuous pains about her. So, 
in King Richard III : 

" One that made means to come by what he hath." 


7 And think thee worthy of an empress* love.] This thought 
has already occurred in the fourth scene of the second act: 

" He is as worthy for an empress' love." Steevens. 

8 all former griefs,] Griefs in old language frequently 

signified grievances, wrongs. Malone. 

9 Plead a new state — ] Should not this begin a new sentence ? 
Plead is the same as plead thou. Tyrwhitt. 

I have followed Mr. Tyrwhitt's direction. Steevens. 

306 TWO GENTLEMEN act n 

And let them be recall'd from their exile : 
They are reformed, civil, full of good, 
And fit for great employment, worthy lord. 

Duke. Thou hast prevail'd: I pardon them, 
and thee ; 
Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts. 
Come, let us go ; we will include all jars l 
With triumphs, 2 mirth, and rare solemnity. 

Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold 
With our discourse to make your grace to smile : 
What think you of this page, my lord ? 

Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him ; he 

Val. I warrant you, my lord ; more grace than 

Duke. What mean you by that saying ? 

Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along, 
That you will wonder what hath fortuned. — 
Come, Proteus ; 'tis your penance, but to hear 
The story of your loves discovered : 
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours ; 
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness. 


1 include all jars — ] Sir T. Hanmer reads — conclude. 


To include is to shut up, to conclude. So, in Macbeth : 

" and shut up 

" In measureless content." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV. ch. ix : 

" And for to shut up all in friendly love." Steevens. 

* With triumphs,"} Triumphs in this and many other passages 
of Shakspeare, signify Masques and Revels, &c. So, in King 
Henry VI. P. Ill : 

" With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows." 


9 In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and 


ignorance, of care and negligence. The versification is often ex- 
cellent, the allusions are learned and just ; but the author conveys 
his heroes by sea from one inland town to another in the same 
country ; he places the Emperor at Milan, and sends his young 
men to attend him, but never mentions him more ; he makes 
Proteus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her 
picture; and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mis- 
taking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all 
this confusion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel, 
which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forsook, sometimes 
remembered, and sometimes forgot. 

That this play is rightly attributed to Shakspeare, I have little 
doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom shall it be given ? 
This question may be asked of all the disputed plays, except 
Titus Andronicus ; and it will be found more credible, that 
Shakspeare might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than 
that any other should rise up to his lowest. Johnson. 

Johnson's general remarks on this play are just, except that 
part in which he arraigns the conduct of the poet, for making 
Proteus say, that he had only seen the picture of Silvia, when it 
appears that he had had a personal interview with her. This, 
however, is not a blunder of Shakspeare's, but a mistake of 
Johnson's, who considers the passage alluded to in a more literal 
sense than the author intended it. Sir Proteus, it is true, had 
seen Silvia for a few moments ; but though he could form from 
thence some idea of her person, he was still unacquainted with 
her temper, manners, and the qualities of her mind. He there- 
fore considers himself as having seen her picture only. — The 
thought is just, and elegantly expressed. — So, in The Scornful 
Lady, the elder Loveless says to her: 

" I was mad once when I loved pictures ; 

" For what are shape and colours else, but pictures ?" 

M. Mason. 

Mr. Ritson's reply to the objections of Mr. Tyrwhitt, was not 
only too long to appear in its proper place, but was communicated 
too late to follow the note on which it is founded. Steevens. 

Pro. O, how this spring of love resembleth, 8fC. pp. 201, 
202, 203. 

The learned and respectable writer of these observations is now 
Unfortunately no more ; but his opinions will not on that account 
have less influence with the readers of Shakspeare : I am there- 
fore still at liberty to enforce the justice and propriety of my own 
sentiments, which I trust I shall be found to do with all possible 
delicacy and respect toward the memory and character of the 
truly ingenious gentleman from whom 1 have the misfortune to 



differ. I humbly conceive that, upon more mature considera- 
tion, Mr. Tyrwhitt would have admitted, that, if the proposed 
method of printing the words in question were once proved to 
be right, it would be of little consequence whether the discovery 
had ever been " adopted before," or could " be followed in the 
pronunciation of them, without the help of an entire new sys- 
tem of spelling :" which, in fact, is the very object I mean to 
contend for ; or rather for a system of spelling, as I am perfectly 
confident we have none at present, or at least I have never been 
able to find it. We are not to regard the current or fashionable 
orthography of the day, as the result of an enquiry into the sub- 
ject by men of learning and genius ; but rather as the mechanical 
or capricious efforts of writers and printers to express by letters, 
according to their ear, the vulgar speech of the country, just as 
travelers attempt that of Chicksaws or Cherokees, without the 
assistance of grammar, and utterly ignorant or regardless of con- 
sistency, principle, or system. This was the case in Caxton's 
time, when a word was spelled almost as many different ways 
as it contained letters, and is no otherwise at this day ; and, 
perhaps, the prejudices of education and habit, even in minds 
sufficiently expanded and vigorous on other subjects, will always 
prevent a reform, which it were to be wished was necessary to 
objects of no higher importance. Whether what I call the right 
method of printing these words be " such as was never adopted 
before by any mortal," or not, does not seem of much conse- 
quence ; for, reasoning from principle and not precedent, I am 
by no means anxious to avail myself of the inconsistencies of an 
age in which even scholars were not always agreed in the ortho- 
graphy of their own name: a sufficient number of instances 
will, however, occur in the course of this note to shew that the 
remark was not made with its author's usual deliberation ; which 
I am the rather disposed to believe, from his conceiving that this 
method could not " be followed in pronunciation ;" since were 
it universally adopted, pronunciation neither would nor possibly 
could be affected by it in any degree whatever. " Fanciful and 
unfounded" too as my " supposed canon" may be, I find it laid 
down in Ben Jonson's Grammar, which expressly says that " the 
second and third person singular of the present are made of the 
firstby adding est and eth,which last is sometimes shortened intos." 
And afterward, speaking of the first conjugation, he tells us that 
*' it fetcheth the time past from the present by adding ed." I shall 
have reason to think myself peculiarly unfortunate, ifj after my 
hypothesis is " allowed in its utmost extent," it will not prove 
what it was principally formed to do, viz. that Shakspeare has 
not taken a liberty in extending certain words to suit the purpose 
of his metre. But, surely, if I prove that he has only given 


those words as they ought to be written, I prove the whole of 
my position, which should cease, of course, to be termed or con- 
sidered an hypothesis. A mathematical problem may, at first 
sight, appear " fanciful and unfounded" to the ablest mathema- 
tician, but his assent is ensured by its demonstration. I may 
safely admit that the words in question are " more frequently 
used" by our author's contemporaries, and by himself, " with- 
out the additional syllable ;" as this will only shew that his con- 
temporaries and himself have " more frequently" taken the 
liberty of shortening those words, than written them at length. 
Such a word as alarm 'd, for instance, is generally, perhaps con- 
stantly, used by poets as a dissyllable ; and yet, if we found it 
given with its full power a-larm-ed, we should scarcely say that 
the writer had taken the liberty of lengthening it a syllable. Thus 
too the word diamond is usually spoken as if two syllables, but 
it is certainly three, and is so properly given by Shakspeare : 

" Sir, I must have that diamond from you." 
Hadst is now a monosyllable, but did our author therefore take a 
liberty in writing Hadest? 

" Makes ill deeds done. Hadest thou not been by." 
Not only this word, but mayest, doest, doeth, and the like 
are uniformly printed in the bible as dissyllables. Does Butler, 
to serve his rhyme, stretch out the word brethren in the following 
passage ? 

?' And fierce auxiliary men, 

" That came to aid their brethren" 
Or does he not rather give it, as he found it pronounced, and 
as it ought to be printed ? The word idly is still more to the 
purpose : It is at present a dissyllable ; what it was in Shak- 
speare's time may appear from his Comedy of Errors, 1623 : 

" God helpe poore soules how idlely doe they talk :" 
or, indeed, from any other passage in that or the next edition, 
being constantly printed as a trisyllable. So, again, in Spenser's 
Fairy Queene, l6og, l6ll : 

" Both staring fierce, and holding idlely-" 
And this orthography, which at once illustrates and supports my 
system, appears in Shelton's Don Quixote, Sir T. Smith's Com- 
monwealth, Goulart's Histories, Holinshcd's Chronicle, and 
numberless other books ; and consequently proves that the word 
was not stretched out by Spenser to suit the purpose of his metre, 
though I am aware that it is misspelled idely in the first edition, 
which is less correctly printed. But the true and established 
spelling might have led Mr. Seward and Dr. Farmer to a better 
reading than gentily, in the following line of Beaumont and 
Fletcher : 

" For when the west wind courts her gently."' 



Proved, I suppose, is rarety found a dissyllable in poetry, if 
even pronounced as one in prose ; but, in the Articles of Reli- 
gion, Oxford, 1728, it is spelled and divided after my own 
heart : " — whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be prove-ed 
thereby, &c.'' The words observation and affection are usually 
pronounced, the one- as consisting of three, the other of four 
syllables, but each of them is in reality a syllable longer, and is 
so properly given by our author : 

" With observation, the which he vents :** 

" Yet have I fierce affections, and think.'' 
Examples, indeed, of this nature would be endless ; I shall 
therefore content myself with producing one more, from the old 
ballad of The Children in the Wood : 

" You that executors be made, 
" And overseers eke." 
In this passage the word overseers is evidently and properly 
used as a quadrisyllable ; and, in one black letter copy of the 
ballad, is accurately printed as such, overseeers ; which, if Shak- 
speare's orthography should ever be an editor's object, may serve 
as a guide for the regulation of the following line ; 

" That high all-seer that I dallied with." 
Of the words quoted by Mr. Tyrwhitt, as instances of the 
liberty supposed to have been taken by Shakspeare, those which 
I admit to be properly a syllable shorter, certainly obtained the 
same pronunciation in the age of this author which he has 
annexed to them. Thus, country, monstrous, remembrance, 
assembly, were not only pronounced, in his time, the two first 
as three, the other as four syllables, but are so still ; and the 
reason, to borrow Mr. Tyrwhitt's words, " must be obvious to 
every one who can pronounce the language." Henry was not 
only usually pronounced, (as indeed it is at present,) but fre- 
quently written as a trisyllable ; even in prose. Thus, in Dr. 
Hutton's Discourse on the Antiquities qf Oxford, at the end of 
Hearne's Textus Rqffensis : " King Henery the eights colledge." 
See, upon this subject, Wallisii Grammatica, p. 57. That Mr. 
Tyrwhitt should have treated the words angry, humbler, nobler, 
used as trisyllables, among those which could " receive no sup- 
port from the supposed canon," must have been owing to the 
obscure or imperfect manner in which I attempted to explain it ; 
as these are, unluckily, some of the identical instances which 
the canon, if a canon it must be, is purposely made to support, 
or, rather, by which it is to be supported : an additional proof 
that Mr. Tyrwhitt, though he might think it proper to reprobate 
my doctrine as " fanciful and unfounded," did not give himself 
the trouble to understand it. This canon, in short, is nothing 
but a most plain and simple rule of English grammar, which 


has, in substance, at least, been repeated over and oyer : — Every 
word, compounded upon the principles of the English or Saxon 
language, always preserves its roots unchanged : a rule which, 
like all others, may be liable to exceptions, but I am aware of 
none at present. Thus humbler and nobler, for instance, are 
composed of the adjectives humble, noble, and er, the sign of 
the comparative degree ; angry, of the noun anger, and y the 
Saxon adjective termination 15. In the use of all these, as tri- 
syllables, Shakspeare is most correct ; and that he is no less so 
in England, which used to be pronounced as three syllables, and 
is so still, indeed, by those who do not acquire the pronunciation 
of their mother tongue from the books of purblind pedants, who 
want themselves the instruction they pretend to give, will be 
evident from the etymology and division of the word, the cri- 
teria or touchstones of orthography. Now, let us divide Eng- 
land as we please, or as we can, we shall produce neither its 
roots nor its meaning ; for what can one make of the land of the 
Engs or the gland of the Ens ? but write it as it ought to be 
written, and divide it as it ought to be divided, En-gle-land, (in- 
deed it will divide itself, for there is no other way, ) and you will 
have the sense and derivation of the word, as well as the origin 
of the nation, at first sight ; from the Saxon 8:15k lanfea, the 
land or country of the Engles or Angles : just as Scotland, Ire- 
land, Finland, Lapland, which neither ignorance nor pedantry 
has been able to corrupt, design the country of the Scot, the Irie, 
the Fin, and the Lap ; and yet, in spite of all sense and reason, 
about half the words in the language are in the same aukward 
and absurd predicament, than which nothing can be more dis- 
torted and unnatural ; as, I am confident it must have appeared 
to Mr. Tyrwhitt, had he voluntarily turned his attention that 
way, or actually attempted, what he hastily thought would be 
very easy, to shew that this " supposed canon was quite fanciful 
and unfounded ;'' or, in short, as it will appear to any person, 
who tries to subject the language to the rules of syllabication, or 
in plainer English to spell his words; a task which, however use- 
ful, and even necessary, no Dictionary-maker has ever dared to 
attempt, or, at least, found it possible to execute. Indeed, the 
same kind of objection which Mr. Tyrwhitt has made to my sys- 
tem, might be, and, no doubt, has, by superficial readers, been 
frequently made to his own, of inserting the final syllable in 
the genitives Peneus's, Theseus' s, Venus' s, ox's, ass's, St. James's, 
Thomas's, Wallis's, &c. and printing, as he has done, Peneuses, 
Theseuses, Venuses, oxes, asses, St. Jameses, Thomases, JVallises ; 
an innovation neither less singular, nor more just, than the one 
I am contending for, in the conjugation, or use in composition, of 
resemble, wrestle, whistle, tickle, &c. But, as I am conscious 


that I burn day-light, so my readers are probably of opinion 
that the game is not worth the candle : I shall, therefore, take 
the hint ; and, to shew how much or little one would have oc- 
casion, in adopting my system, to deviate from the orthography 
at present in use, I beg leave, in the few words I add, to intro- 
duce that which, as a considerable easy and lasting improvement, 
I wish to see established. Tedious, then, as my note has be- 
come, and imperfect as I am obligeed to leave it, I flatter my- 
self I have completely justify ed this divineest of authors from the 
il founded charge of racking his words, as the tyrant did his 
captives. I hope too I have, at the same lime, made it appear 
that there is something radically defective and erroneous in the 
vulgar methods of speling, or rather mispeling ; which requires 
correction. A lexicographer of eminence and abilitys wil have 
it very much in his power to introduce a systematical reform, 
which, once established, would remain unvaryed and invariable 
as long as the language endureed. This Dr. Johnson might have 
had the honour of; but, learned and eloquent as he was, I must 
be permited to think that a profound knowlege of the etymo- 
logy, principles, and formation of the language he undertook to 
explain, was not in the number of those many excellencys for 
which he will be long and deserveedly admireed. Ritson. 



* A Midsummer-Night's Dream.] This play was entered 
at Stationers' Hall, Oct. 8, 1600, by Thomas Fisher. It is pro- 
bable that the hint for it was received from Chaucer's Knight's 

There is an old black letter pamphlet by W. Bettie, called 
Titana and Theseus, entered at Stationers' Hall, in 1608 ; but 
Shakspeare has taken no hints from it. Titania is also the name 
of the Queen of the Fairies in Decker's Whore of Babylon, 
1607- Steevens. 

The Midsummer-Night's Dream I suppose to have been writ- 
ten in 1592. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shak- 
speare's Plays, Vol. II. Malone. 


Theseus, Duke of Athens. 

Egeus, Father to Hermia. 

Lysander, > . 7 -. 7 tj 

tV , . ' > in love with Hermia. 

Demetrius, ) 

Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus. 

Quince, the Carpenter. 

Snug, the Joiner. 

Bottom, the Weaver. 

Flute, the Bellows-mender. 

Snout, tlie Tinker. 

Starveling, the Tailor. 

Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to 

Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander. 
Helena, in love with Demetrius. 

Oberon, King of the Fairies. 
Titania, Queen qf the Fairies. 
Puck, or Robin-goodfellow, a Fairy. 
Peas-blossom, "\ 
Cobweb, f . . 

Moth, > Fames. 

Pyramus, <v 

11/ ij ^ I Characters in the Interlude per- 

Moonshine, \ > W & the Clowns. 
Lion, y 

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen. 
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. 

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it. 

1 The enumeration of persons was first made by Mr. Rowe. 




Athens. A Room in the Palace of Theseus. 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, and 


The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour 
Draws on apace ; four happy days bring in 
Another moon : but, oh, methinks, how slow 
This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires, 
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager, 
Long withering out a young man's revenue. 2 

Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in 
nights ; 3 

4 Like to a step-dame, or a dowager, 
Long withering out a young man's revenue.] The authen- 
ticity of this reading having been questioned by Dr. Warburton, 
1 shall exemplify it from Chapman's translation of the 4th Book 
of Homer : 

" there the goodly plant lies mtkering out his grace." 


" Ut piget annus 

" Pupil/is, quos dura premit custodia matrum, 

" Sic mihi tarda jluunt ingrataque tcmpora." Hor. 


3 — — steep themselves in nights;'] So, in Cymbelme, Act V. 

sc. iv : 

" neither deserve, 

" And yet are steep'd in favours." Steevens. 

3 1 8 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act j. 

Four nights will quickly dream away the time ; 
And then the moon, like to a silver bow 
New bent 4 in heaven, shall behold the night 
Of our solemnities. 

The. Go, Philostrate, 

Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments ; 
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth ; 
Turn melancholy forth to funerals, 
The pale companion is not for our pomp. — 

\_Exit Philostrate. 
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, 
And won thy love, doing thee injuries j 
But I will wed thee in another key, 
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling. 5 

4 New bent — ] The old copies read — Noiv bent. Corrected 
by Mr. Rovve. Malone. 

* With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.'] By triumph, 
as Mr. Warton has observed in his late edition of Milton's Poems, 
p. 56, we are to understand shows, such as masks, revels, &c. 
So, again in King Henri/ VI. P. Ill : 

" And now what rests, but that we spend the time 
" With stately triumphs, mirthful comick shows, 
" Such as bent the pleasures of the court?" 
Again, in the preface to Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, 1624 : 
" Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, enter- 
tainments, trophies, triumphs, revels, sports, playes." Jonson, 
as the same gentleman observes, in the title of his masque called 
Love's Triumph through Callipolis, by triumph seems to have 
meant a grand procession ; and in one of the stage-directions, it 
is said, " the triumph is seen far off." Malone. 

Thus also, (and more satisfactorily,) in the Duke of Anjou's 
Entertainment at Antwerp, 15bl : " Yet notwithstanding, their 
triumphes [those of the Romans] have so borne the bell above 
all the rest, that the word triumphing, which commeth thereof, 

hath beene applied to all high, great, and statelie dooings." 


sc. i. DREAM. 319 

Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and Deme- 

Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke ! 6 

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 consent to marry her : — 
Stand forth, Lysander ; — and, my gracious duke, 
This hath bewitch'd 7 the bosom of my child: 

6 our renoivned duke !] Thus, in Chaucer's Knight's 

Tale ; 

" Whilom as olde stories tellen us, 

" There was a Duk that highte Theseus, 

" Of Athenes he was lord and governour," &c. 

Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. S6l . 
Lidgate too, the monk of Bury, in his translation of the Tra- 
gedies of John Bochas, calls him by the same title, ch. xii. 1. 21 : 
" Duke Theseus had the victorye." 
Creon, in the tragedy of Jocasta, translated from Euripides in 
15oo, is called Duke Creon. 
So likewise Skelton : 

" Not like Duke Hamilcar, 
" Nor like Duke Asdruball." 
Stanyhurst, in his translation of Virgil, calls ./Eneas, Duke 
./Eneas; and in Heywood's Iron Age, Part II. 1632, Ajax is 
styled Duke Ajax, Palamedes, Duke Palamedes, and Nestor, 
Duke Nestor, &c. 

Our version of the Bible exhibits a similar misapplication of a 
modern title ; for in Daniel iii. 2, Nebuchadnezzar, King of 
Babylon, sends out a summons to the Sheriffs of his provinces. 

See also the 1st Book of The Chronicles, ch. i. v. 51, & seqq. 
a list of the Dukes of Edom. Harris. 

7 This hath bewitch,' d — ] The old copies read — This man hath 
bewitch'd — . The emendation was made for the sake of the me- 
tre, by the editor of the second folio. It is very probable that the 
compositor caught the word man from the line above. Malone. 


Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, 

And interchang'd love-tokens with my child : 

Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung, 

With feigning voice, verses of feigning love j 

And stol'n the impression of her fantasy 

With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, 8 conceits, 

Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats ; messengers 

Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth : 

With cunning hast thou fllch'd my daughter's heart; 

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me, 

To stubborn harshness : — And, my gracious duke, 

Be it so she will not here before your grace 

Consent to marry with Demetrius, 

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens ; 

As she is mine, I may dispose of her : 

Which shall be either to this gentleman, 

Or to her death ; according to our law, 9 

Immediately provided in that case. 1 

8 gawds,] i. e. baubles, toys, trifles. Our author has the 

word frequently. See King John, Act III. sc. v. 
Again, in Appius and Virginia, 15/6: 
" When gain is no grandsier, 
" And gaudes not set by," &c. 
Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf; 

" and in her lap 

" A sort of paper puppets, gauds and toys." 
The Rev. Mr. Lambe, in his notes on the ancient metrical 
history of The Battle of Flodden, observes that a gawd is a child's 
toy, and that the children in the North call their play-things 
govodys, and their baby-house a gotvdy-house. Steevens. 

9 Or to her death ; according to our law,"] By a law of Solon's, 
parents had an absolute power of life and death over their chil- 
dren. So it suited 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. 

1 Immediately provided in that case.~\ Shakspeare is grievously 
suspected of having been placed, while a boy, in an attorney's 
office. The line before us has an undoubted smack of legal 
common-place. Poetry disclaims it. Steevens. 

SB. i. DREAM. 321 

The. What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair 
maid : 
To you your father should 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. 2 
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. 

Her. So is Lysander. 

The. In himself he is : 

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

Her. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes. 

The. Rather your eyes must with his j udgement 

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 modesty, 
In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts : 
But I beseech your grace that I may know 
The worst that may befal me in this case, 
If I refuse to wed Demetrius. 

The. Either to die the death, 3 or to abjure 
For ever the society of men. 
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires, 
Know of your youth, 4 examine well your blood, 

To leave thejigure, or disfigure it.'] The sense is, you oive 
to your father a being which he may at pleasure continue or 
destroy. Johnson. 

3 to die the death,'] So, in the second part of The 

Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 : 

" We will, my liege, else let us die the death" 
See notes on Measure for Measure, Act II. sc. iv. Steevens. 

4 Knoiv of your youth,] Bring your youth to the question. 
Consider your youth. Johnson. 


.322 .MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act i. 

Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, 

You can endure the livery of a nun ; 

For aye 5 to be in shady cloister mew'd, 

To live a barren sister all your life, 

Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. 

Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood, 

To undergo such maiden pilgrimage : 

But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd, 6 

Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, 

Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness. 

Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, 
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up 
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke 7 
My soul consents not to give sovereignty. 

5 For aye — ] i. e. for ever. So, in K. Edward II. by Mar- 
lowe, 1622: 

" And sit for aye enthronized in heaven." Steevens. 

5 But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,] Thus all the co- 
pies : yet earthlier is so harsh a word, and earthlier happy, for 
happier 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 earlier. 
We might read — earthly happy. 

the rose distill'd,] So, in Lyly's Midas, 1592: " — You 

bee all young and faire, endeavour to bee wise and vertuous ; 
that when, like roses, you shall fall from the stalke, you may be 
gathered, and put to the still." 

This image, however, must have been generally obvious, as 
in Shakspeare's time the distillation of rose water was a common 
process in all families. Steevens. 

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

7 ivhose unwished yoke — ] Thus both the quartos 16OO, 

and the folio 1(523. The second folio reads — 

to whose unwished yoke — . Steevens. 

Dele to, and for tarnish' d r. unwished. — Though I have been 
in general extremely careful not to admit into my text any of 

sc. i. DREAM. 323 

The. Take time to pause : and, by the next 
new moon, 
(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me, 
For everlasting bond of fellowship,) 
Upon that day either prepare to die, 
For disobedience to your father's will ; 
Or else, to wed Demetrius, as he would : 
Or on Diana's altar to protest, 
For aye, austerity and single life. 

Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia ; — And, Lysander, 
Thy crazed title to my certain right. 

Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius ; 
Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him. 8 

the innovations made by the editor of the second folio, from ig- 
norance 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 subsequent editors, of which the reader was apprized 
in a note. The old copies should have been adhered to, in which 
they appear thus : 

lire 1 Hill yield my virgin patent up 

Unto his lordship, n-ho.:e unwished yoke 

My soul consents not to give sovereignty. 
i. e. to give sovereignty to. See various instances of this kind of 
phraseology in a note on Cymbeline, scene the last. The change 
was certainly made by the editor of the second folio, from his 
ignorance of Shakpeare's phraseology. Malonk. 

I have adopted the present elliptical reading, because it not 
only renders the line smoother, but serves to exclude the dis- 
gusting recurrence of the preposition — to ; and yet if the au- 
thority of the first folio had not been supported by the quartos, 
&C I should have preferred the more regular phraseology of 
the folio i6'J2. Steevens. 

8 Youh father's love, Demel riu i ; 

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

Let me have Hermia} do you marry him. Tyrwhitt. 

\ 2 

j<24 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act i. 

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. 

Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, 
As well possessed ; 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. 

The. I must confess, that I have heard so much, 
And with Demetriusthoughttohave spoke thereof \ 
But, being over-full of self-aflairs, 
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 
To fit your fancies to your father's will ; 
Or else the law of Athens yields you up 
(Which by no means we may extenuate,) 
To death, or to a vow of single life. — 
Come, my Hippolyta ; What cheer, my love ? — 
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along : 
I must employ you in some business 

So, in King Lear : 

" Let pride which she calls plainness marry her." 


1 spotted — ] As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked. 


sc. i. DREAM. 32.5 

Against our nuptial ; and confer with you 
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. 

Ege. With duty, and desire we follow you. 

{Exeunt Thes. Hip. Ege. Dem. and train, 

Lys. How now, my love ? Why is your cheek so 
pale ? 
How chance the roses there do fade so fast ? 

Her. Belike, for want of rain ; which I could 
Beteem them 1 from the tempest of mine eyes. 

Lys. Ah me ! for aught that ever I could read, 
Could ever hear by tale or history, 
The course of true love 2 never did run smooth : 
But, either it was different in blood ; 

Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low! 3 

1 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." Fairy Queen. 
Again, in The Case is Altered. How? Ask Dalio and Milo, 

" I could betccme her a better match." 
But I rather think that to beteem, in this place, signifies (as 
in the northern counties) to pour out ; from tommcr, Danish. 


The course of true love — ] This passage seems to have been 
imitated by Milton. Para- Lost, B. X. — 89O. & seqq. 


■too high to be 1 Td to low !] Love — po s all 

the editions, but carries no just meaning in it. Nor was 1 Icrmia 
displeas'd at being in love ; but regrets the inconveniences that 
generally attend the passion; either, the parties are dispropor- 
tioned, 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 repre- 
sented by Lysander; and Hermia, to answer to the iirst, as she 
has done to the other two, must necessarily say: 
O cross ! too high to be enthralPd to low ! 


Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ; 

Her. O spite ! too old to be engag'd to young 

Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends 

Her. O hell ! to choose love by another's eye 

Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, 
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it ; 
Making it momentany as a sound, 4 . 
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream ; 
Brief as the lightning in the coliied night, 5 
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, 
And ere a man hath power to say, — Behold ! 
The jaws of darkness do devour it up : 6 

So the antithesis is kept up in the terms ; and so she is made 
to condole the disproportion of blood and quality in lovers. 


The emendation is fully supported, not only by the tenour of 
the preceding lines, but by a passage in our author's Venus and 
Adonis, in which the former predicts that the course of love 
never shall run smooth : 

" Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend, 

" Ne'er settled equally, too high, or /ou>," &c. 


4 momentany as a sound,'] Thus the quartos. The first 

folio reads — momentary. Momentany (says Dr. Johnson) is the 
old and proper word. Steevens. 

" that short momentany rage," — is an expression of 

Dryden. Henley. 

4 Brief as the lightning in the coliied night,'] Coliied, i. e. 
black, smutted with coal, a word still used in the midland coun- 
ties. So, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster : 

" Thou hast not coliied thy face enough." 


8 That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, 
And ere a man hath power to say,— Behold ! 
The jaws of darkness do 'devour it up ••] Though the word 
spleen be here employed eddly enough, yet I believe it right. 
Shakspeare, always hurried on by the grandeur and multitude 
of his ideas, assumes every now and then, an uncommon licence 
in the use of his words. Particularly in complex moral modes 

sc. i. DREAM. 327 

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 trial patience, 
Because it is a customary cross ; 
As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, 
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers. 7 

Lys. A good persuasion ; therefore, hear me, 
I have a widow aunt, a dowager 
Of great revenue, and she hath no child : 
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ; 8 
And she respects me as her only son. 
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee ; 
And to that place the sharp Athenian law 
Cannot pursue us : If thou lov'st me then, 
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night ; 
And in the wood, a league without the town, 
Where I did meet thee once with Helena, 
To do observance to a morn of May, 
There will I stay for thee. 

it is usual with him to employ one, only to express a very few 
ideas of that number of which it is composed. Thus wanting 
here to express the ideas — of a sudden, or — in a trice, he uses 
the word spleen ; which, partially considered, signifying a hasty 
sudden fit, is enough for him, and he never troubles himself 
about the further or fuller signification of the word. Here, he 
uses the word spleen for a sudden hasty jit ; so just the contrary, 
in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, he uses sudden for splenetic : 
" sudden quips." And it must be owned this sort of conversa- 
tion adds a force to the diction. Warburton. 

7 fancy's followers.'] Fancy is love. So afterwards in 

this play : 

" Fair Helena in fancy following me." Steevens. 

8 From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ;] Remote is 
the reading of both the quartos ; the folio has — rcmovd. 



Her. My good Lysander ! 

I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow ; 
By his best arrow with the golden head ; 9 
By the simplicity of Venus' doves ; 
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves ; 
And by that fire which burn'd the Cartilage queen J 
When the false Trojan under sail was seen ; 
By all the vows that ever men have broke, 
In number more than ever women spoke ; — 
In that same place thou hast appointed me, 
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. 

Lys. Keep promise, love : I^ook, here comes 

Enter Helena. 

Her. God speed fair Helena ! Whither away ? 

Hel. Call you me fair ? that fair again unsay. 
Demetrius loves your fair : 2 O happy fair ! 
Your eyes are lode-stars ; 3 and your tongue's sweet 

9 his best arrow with the golden head f\ So, in Sidney's 

Arcadia, Book II : 

" arrowes two, and tipt with gold or lead : 

" Some hurt, accuse a third with horny head." 


1 by that fire •which burn'd the Carthage queen,] Shak- 

speare had forgot that Theseus performed his exploits before the 
Trojan war, and consequently long before the death of Dido. 


4 Demetrius loves your fair :] Fair is used again as a substan- 
tive in The Comedy of Errors, Act III. sc. iv : 

" My decayedfair, 

" A sunny look of his would soon repair." 
Again, in The Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1(301 : 

" But what foul hand hath arm'd Matilda'sjftw'?" 
Again, in A Looking-Glassfbr London and England, 15QS: 

11 And fold in me the riches of thy fair." 

sc. i. DREAM. 329 

More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, 
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. 
Sickness is catching ; O, were favour so ! 4 
Your's would I catch, 5 fair Hermia, ere I go ; 

Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 15gg: 

" Then tell me, love, shall I have all thy fair ?'* 
Again, in Greene's Never too late, 1616 : " Though she were 
false to Menelaus, yet her fair made him brook her follies." 
Again : 

" Flora in tawny hid up all her flowers, 

" And would not diaper the meads with fair." 

3 Your eyes are lode-stars ;] This was a compliment not un- 
frequent among the old poets. The lode-star is the leading or 
guiding star, that is, the pole-star. The magnet is, for the same 
reason, called the lode-stone, either because it leads iron, or be- 
cause it guides the sailor. Milton has the same thought in 
L* Allegro : 

" Towers and battlements it sees 

" Bosom'd high in tufted trees, 

" Where perhaps some beauty lies, 
" The cynosure of neighb'ring eyes." 
Davies calls Queen Elizabeth : 

" Lode-stone to hearts, and lode-stone to all eyes." 

So, in The Spanish Tragedy: 

" Led by the loadstar of her heavenly looks." 
Again, in The Battle of Alcazar, 1594: 

" The loadstar and the honour of our line." Steevexs. 

- O, were favour so /] Favour is feature, countenance. 

So, in Twelfth- Night, Act II. sc. iv 

" thine eye 

" Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves." 

* Yoitr'x would I catch,'] This emendation is taken from the 
Oxford edition. The old reading is — Your ivords I catch. 

Mr. Malone reads — " Your ivords Pd catch." Steevens. 

The emendation [Pd catch] was made by the editor of the 
second folio. Sir T. Hanmer reads — " Yours would I catch :" 
in which he has been followed by the subsequent editors. As 
the old reading (xvords) is intelligible, I have adhered to the an- 
cient copies. Malonk. 


My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye, 
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody. 
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, 
The rest I'll give to be to you translated. 6 
O, teach me how you look ; and with what art 
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart. 

Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still. 

Hel. O, that your frowns would teach my smiles 
such skill ! 

Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. 

Hel. O, that my prayers could such affection 

Her. The more I hate, the more he follows me. 

Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me. 

Her. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. 7 

Hel. None, but your beauty; 'Would that fault 
were mine ! 8 

Her. Take comfort ; he no more shall see my 
Lysander and myself will fly this place. — 

I have deserted the old copies, only because I am unable to 
discover how Helena, by catching the words of Hermia, could 
also catch hex favour, i. e. her beauty. Steevens. 

6 - to be to you translated.] To translate, in our author, 
sometimes signifies to change, to transform. So, in Timon : 

" ' to present slaves and servants 
" Translates his rivals." Steevens. 

7 His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.] The folio, and the 
quarto printed by Roberts, read : 

His folly, Helena, is none of mine. Johnson. 

8 None, but your beauty; 'Would that fault ivere mine!'} I 
would point this line thus : 

None. — But your beauty ; — ' Would that fault were mine ! 


sc. l DREAM. 331 

Before the time I did Lysander see, 9 
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me : 
O then, what graces in my love do dwell, 
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto hell ! 

Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold : 
To-morrow-night when Phcebe doth behold 
Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass, 
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass, 
(A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,) 
Through Athens' gates have Ave devis'd to steal. 

Her. And in the wood^ where often you and I 
Upon faint primrose-beds 1 were wont to lie, 
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet : 2 
There my Lysander and myself shall meet : 

' Take comfort ; he no more shall see my face ; 

Lysander and myself 'ivillfy this place. — 

Before the time I did Lysander see,] Perhaps every reader 
may not discover the propriety of these lines. Hermia is willing 
to comfort Helena, and to avoid all appearance of triumph over 
her. She therefore bids her not to consider the power of pleas- 
ing, as an advantage to be much envied or much desired, since 
Hermia, whom she considers as possessing it in the supreme de- 
gree, has found no other effect of it than the loss of happiness. 


1 faint primrose-beds — ] Whether the epithet faint has 

reference to the colour or smell of primroses, let the reader de- 
termine. Steevens. 

8 Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet :] That is, 
emptying our bosoms of those secrets upon which we were wont 
to consult each other with so sweet a satisfaction. Heath. 

Emptying our bosoms of their counsel swell'd ; 

There my Lysander and myself shall meet : 

And thence,from Athens, turn axvay our eyes, 

To seek new friends, and strange companions.] This whole 
tfcent- is strictly in r!i\ me ; ;nul that it dev iatea in these two coup- 
lets, I am persuaded, is owing to the ignorance of the first, and 
the inaccuracy of the later editor*. I have therefore ventured 
to restore the rhymes, as I make no doubt but the poet first gave 
them. Sweet was easily corrupted into siveU*d t because that 


And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes, 
To seek new friends and stranger companies. 
Farewell, sweet playfellow ; pray thou for us, 
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius ! — 

made an antithesis to emptying: and strange companions our 
editors thought was plain English ; but stranger companies, a 
little quaint and unintelligible. Our author very often uses the 
substantive, stranger, adjectively ; and companies, to signify com- 
panions: as in Richard II. Act I : 

" To tread the stranger paths of banishment." 
And in Henry V: 

" His companies unlettered, rude and shallow." 


Dr. Warburton retains the old reading, and perhaps justifiably ; 
for a bosom swell'd with secrets does not appear as an expression 
unlikely to have been used by our author, who speaks of a stujf'd 
bosom in Macbeth. 

In Lyly's Midas, 1592, is a somewhat similar expression : 
" I am one of those whose tongues are swell'd toith silence." 
Again, in our author's King Richard II: 

" the unseen grief 

" That swells in silence in the tortur'd soul." 

" 0/"counsels swell'd" may mean — swell'd with counsels. 

Of and with, in other ancient writers have the same significa- 
tion. See also, Macbeth — Note on — 

" OfKernes and Gallow-glasses was supplied." 
i. e. with them. 

In the scenes of King Richard II. there is likewise a mixture 
of rhyme and blank verse. Mr. Tyrwhitt, however, concurs witb 

Though I have thus far defended the old reading, in deference 
to the opinion of other criticks I have given Theobald's conjec- 
tures a place in the text. Steevens. 

I think, sweet, the reading proposed by Theobald, is right. 

The latter of Mr. Theobald's emendations is likewise supported 
by Stowe's Annates, p. 291, edit. lf)15 : " The prince himself 
was faine to get upon the high altar, to girt his aforesaid compa- 
nies with the order of knighthood." Mr. Heath observes, that 
our author seems to have had the following passage in the 55th 
Psalm, (v. 14, 15,) in his thoughts: " But it was even thou, 
my companion, my guide, and mine own familiar friend. We 
took sweet counsel together, and walked in the house of God as 
friends." Malone. 

sc. i. DREAM. 333 

Keep word, Lysander : we must starve our sight 
From lovers' food, till morrow deep midnight. 3 

[Exit Herm. 

Lys. I will, my Hermia. — Helena, adieu : 
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you ! 

[Exit Lys. 

Hel. How happy some, o'er other some can be ! 
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she. 
But what of that ? Demetrius thinks not so ; 
He will not know what all but he do know. 
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes, 
So I, admiring of his qualities. 
Things base and vile, holding no quantity, 4 
Love can transpose to form and dignity. 
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind ; 
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind : 
Nor hath love's mind of any judgement taste ; 
Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste : 
And therefore is love said to be a child, 
Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd. 
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, 
So the boy love is perjur'd every where : 

3 ivhe n Phcebe cloth behold, &c. 

deep midnight.] Shakspeare has a little forgotten him- 
self*. It appears from p. 318, that to-morrow night would be 
within three nights of the new moon, when there is no moon- 
shine at all, much less at deep midnight. The same oversight 
occurs in Act III. sc. i. Blackstone. 

* holding no quantity,] Quality seems a word more 

suitable to the sense than quantity, but either may serve. 


Quantity is our author's word. So, in Hamlet, Act III. sc. ii : 
" And women's fear and love hold quantity." 


* ■ in game — ] Game here signifies not contentious play, 
but sport, jest. So Spenser : 

" 'twixt earnest, and 'twixt game" Johnson. 


For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne, 6 
He faail'ii down oaths, that he was only mine ; 
And when this hail 7 some heat from Hermia felt, 
So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt. 
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight : 
Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night, 
Pursue her ; and for this intelligence 
If I have thanks, it is a dear expence : 8 
But herein mean I to enrich my pain, 
To have his sight thither, and back again. [Exit. 


The same. A Room in a Cottage. 

Enter Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, Quince, 
and Starveling. 9 

Quin. Is all our company here ? 

6 Hermia's eyne,] This plural is common both in Chaucer 

and Spenser. So, in Chaucer's Character of the Prioresse, Tyr- 
whitt's edit. v. 152 ; 

" hir eyen grey as glass." 

Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. iv. st. 9 : 

" While flashing beams do dare his feeble eyen." 


7 this hail — ] Thus all the editions, except the 4to. 16OO, 

printed by Roberts, which reads instead of this hail, his hail. 


8 it is a dear expence :] i. e. it will cost him much, (be a 

severe constraint on his feelings,) to make even so slight a re- 
turn for my communication. Steevens. 

9 In this scene Shakspeare takes advantage of his knowledge 
of the theatre, to ridicule the prejudices and competitions of the 
players. Bottom, who is generally acknowledged the principal 
actor, declares his inclination to be for a tyrant, for a part of 
fury, tumult, and noise, such as every young man pants to per- 

sc. ii. DREAM. 335 

Bot. You were best to call them generally, man 
by man, according to the scrip. 1 

Quin. Here is the scroll of every man's name, 
which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play 
in our interlude before the duke . and duchess, on 
his wedding-day at night. 

Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play 
treats on ; then read the names of the actors ; and 
so grow to a point. 2 

form when he first steps upon the stage. The same Bottom, 
who seems bred in a tiring-room, has another histrionical passion. 
He is for engrossing every part, and would exclude his inferiors 
from all possibility of distinction. He is therefore desirous to 
play Pyramus, Thisbe, and the Lion, at the same time. 


1 the scrip.] A scrip, Fr. escript, now written ecrit. So, 

Chaucer, in Troilus and Cressida, 1. 2. 1 130 : 

" Scripe nor bil." 
Again, in Hey wood's, If you knovo not me you hwiv Nobodi/, 
1006, P. II: 

" I'll take thy own word without scrip or scroll." 
Holinshed likewise uses the word. Steevens. 

* grow to a point.'] Dr. Warburton reads — go on ; but 

groiv is used, in allusion to his name, Quince. Johnson. 

To grow to a point, I believe, has no reference to the name of 
Quince. I meet with the same kind of expression in Wily Be- 

" As yet we are grown to no conclusion." 
Again, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584: 

" Our reasons will be infinite, I trow, 

" Unless unto some other point toe grow" Steevens. 

And so grow to a point.] The sense, in my opinion, hath been 
hitherto mistaken; and instead of a point, a substantive, I would 
read appoint a verb, that is appoint what part each actor is to 
perform, which is the real case. Quince first tells them the name 
of the play, then calls the actors by their names, and after that, 
tells each of them what part is set down for him to act. 

Perhaps, however, only the particle a may be inserted by the 
printer, and Shakspeare wrote to point, i. c. to appoint. The 


Quin. Marry, our play is — The most lamentable 
comedy, 3 and most cruel death of Pyramus and 

Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, 
and a merry. 4 — Now, good Peter Quince, call forth 
your actors by the scroll : Masters, spread your- 

Quin. Answer, as I call you. — Nick Bottom, 
the weaver. 

Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and 

Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Py- 

Bot. What is Pyramus ? a lover, or a tyrant ? 

Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly 
for love. 

word occurs in that sense in a poem by N. B. 1614, called 
I would and I ivould not, stanza iii : 

" To point the captains every one their fight." 


3 The most lamentable comedy, &c] This is very pro- 
bably a burlesque on the title page of Cambyses: " A lament- 
able Tragedie, mixed full of pleasant Mirth, containing, The 
Life of Cambises king of Percia," &c. By Thomas Preston, 
bl. 1. no date. 

On the registers of the Stationers' company, however, appears 
" the boke of Perymus and Thesbye" 1562. Perhaps Shak- 
speare copied some part of his interlude from it. Steevens. 

A poem entitled Pyramus and Thisbe, By D. Gale, was pub- 
lished in 4to. in 1597 ; but this, I believe, was posterior to the 
Midsummer- Nigh fs Dream. Malone. 

4 A very good piece of ivork, and a merry.] This is designed 
as a ridicule on the titles of our ancient moralities and interludes. 
Thus Skelton's Magnificence is called " a goodly interlude and 
a mery." Steevens. 

4 — — spread yourselves.'] i. e. stand separately, not in a group, 
but so that you may be distinctly seen, and called over. 


sc. ii. DREAM. 337 

Bot. That will ask some tears in the true per- 
forming of it : If I do it, let the audience look to 
their eyes ; I will move storms, I will condole in 
some measure. 6 To the rest : — Yet my chief hu- 
mour is for a tyrant : I could play Ercles rarely, or 
a part to tear a cat in, 7 to make all split. 3 

" The raging rocks, 

" With shivering shocks, 9 

" Shall break the locks 

c / will condole in some measure.'] When we use this verb 

at present, we put with before the person for whose misfortune 
we profess concern. Anciently it seems to have been employed 
without it. So, in A Pennyworth of good Counsell, an ancient 

" Thus to the wall 

" I may condole." 
Again, in Three Merry Coolers, another old song: 

" Poor weather beaten soles, 

" Whose case the body condoles.''* Stebvens. 

7 / could -play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in,~\ In 
the old comedy of The Roaring Girl, l6ll, there is a character 
called Tear-cat, who says: " I am called, by those who have 
seen my valour, Tear-cat.'" In an anonymous piece called 
Hislriomastix, or The Player Whipt, l6lO, in six acts, a parcel 
of soldiers drag a company of players on the stage, and the 
captain says : " Sirrah, this is you that would rend and tear a 
cat upon a stage," &c. Again, in The Isle of Gulls, a comedy 
by J. Day, 1606: " I had rather hear two such jests, than a 
whole play of such Tear-cat thunderclaps." Steevens. 

8 to make all split.] This is to be connected with the pre- 
vious part of the speech; not with the subsequent rhymes. It 
was the description of a bully. In the second act of The Scom- 

fid Ladij, we meet with " two roaring boys of Rome, that 
made all split." Farmer. 

I meet with the same expression in The Widow Tears, by 
Chapman, l6l2: " Her wit I must employ upon this business 
to prepare my next encounter, but in such a fashion as shall 
make all split." Malone. 

9 With shivering shocks,'] The old copy reads — " And shiver- 
ing," &c. The emendation is Dr. Farmer's. Steevens, 




" Of prison-gates : 
" And Phibbus' car 
" Shall shine from far, 
" And make and mar 

" The foolish fates." 

This was lofty! — Now name the rest of the play- 
ers. — This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ; a lover 
is more condoling. 

Quin. Francis Mute, the bellows-mender. 1 

Flu. Here, Peter Quince. 

Quin. You must take Thisby on you. 

Flu. What is Thisby? a wandering knight? 

Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. 

Flu. Nay, faith, let me not play a woman ; I 
have a beard coming. 

Quin. That's all one ; you shall play it in a mask, 
and you may speak as small as you will. 2 

the bellows-mender.] In Ben Jonson's Masque of Pan* s 

Anniversary, &c. a man of the same profession is introduced. I 
have been told that a bellow-mender was one who had the care 
of organs, regals, &c. Steevens. 

9 as small &c] This passage shows how the want of 

women on the old stage was supplied. If they had not a young 
man who could perform the part with a face that might pass for 
feminine, the character was acted in a mask, which was at that 
time a part of a lady's dress so much in use, that it did not give 
any unusual appearance to the scene : and he that could modu- 
late his voice in a female tone, might play the woman very suc- 
cessfully. It is observed in Downes's Roscius Anglicanus, that 
Kynaston, one of these counterfeit heroines, moved the passions 
more strongly than the women that have since been brought 
upon the stage. Some of the catastrophes of the old comedies, 
which make lovers marry the wrong women, are, by recollec- 
tion of the common use of masks, brought nearer to probability. 


Dr. Johnson here seems to have quoted from memory. Downes 
does not speak of Kynaston's performance in such unqualified 

sc. n. DREAM. 239 

Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby 
too: I'll speak in a monstrous little voice; — Thisne, 
Thisne, — Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby 
dear! and lady dear! 

Quix. No, no; you must play Pyramus, and, 
Flute, you Thisby. 

Bot. Well, proceed. 

Quix. Robin Starveling, the tailor. 

Star. Here, Peter Quince. 

Quix. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby 's 
mother. 3 — Tom Snout, the tinker. 

Sxout. Here, Peter Quince. 

Quix. You, Pyramus's father ; myself, Thisby's 
father ; — Snug, the joiner, you, thelion's part : — 
and, I hope, here is a play fitted. 

Sxug. Have you the lion's part written? pray 
you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study. 4 

terms. His words are — " It has since been disputable among 
the judicious, whether any women that succeeded him, (Kynas- 
ton,) so sensibly touched the audience as he." Heed. 

Prynne, in his Histriomastix, exclaims with great vehemence 
through several pages, because a woman acted a part in a play 
at Blackfryars in the year i(?28. Steevens. 

— ■ — you must play Thisby's mother.'] There seems a double 
forgetfulness of our poet, in relation to the characters of this 
interlude. The father and mother of Thisby, and the father of 
Pyramus, are here mentioned, who do not appear at all in the 
interlude ; but Wall and Moonshine are both employed in it, of 
whom there is not the least notice taken here. Theobald. 

Theobald is wrong as to this last particular. The introduction 
of Wall and Moonshine was an after-thought. See Act III. 
sc. i. It may be observed, however, that no part of what is re- 
hearsed is afterwards repeated, when the piece is acted before 
Theseus. Steevens. 

* • iloiv of study.] Study is still the cant term used in a 



Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing 
but roaring. 

Bot. Let me play the lion too : I will roar, that I 
will do any man's heart good to hear me ; I will 
roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him roar 
again, Let him roar again. 

Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would 
fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would 
shriek ; and that were enough to hang us all. 

All. That would hang us every mother's son. 

Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should 
fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have 
no more discretion but to hang us : but I will ag- 
gravate my voice so, that I will roar you as gently 
as any sucking dove ; I will roar you an 'twere any 
nightingale. 5 

Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus : for 
Pyramus is a sweet-faced man ; a proper man, as 
one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, 
gentleman-like man ; therefore you must needs play 

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard 
were I best to play it in? 

Quin. Why, what you will. 

Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-co- 
loured beard, your orange-tawny beard, your pur- 
ple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour 
beard, your perfect yellow. 6 

theatre for getting any nonsense by rote. Hamlet asks the player 
if he can "study a speech." Steevens. 

5 an 'twere any nightingale.] An means as if. So, in 

Troilus and Cressida : — " He will weep you, an 'twere a man 
born in April." Steevens. 

' your perfect yellow.'] Here Bottom again discovers a 

sc. ii. DREAM. 341 

Quix. Some of your French crowns have no hair 
at all, and then you will play bare-faced. 7 — But, 
masters, here are your parts : and I am to entreat 
you, request you, and desire you, to con them by 
to-morrow night; and meet me in the palace wood, 
a mile without the town, by moon-light; there will 
we rehearse: for if we meet in the city, we shall 
be dog'd with company, and our devices known. 
In the mean time I will draw a bill of proper- 
ties, 8 such as our play wants. I pray you, fail me 

Box. We will meet; and there we may rehearse 
more obscenely, and courageously. Take pains j 
be perfect ; adieu. 

true genius for the stage by his solicitude for propriety of dress, 
and his deliberation which beard to choose among many beards, 
all unnatural. Johnson. 

So, in the old comedy of Ram- Alley, l6l I : 

" What colour d beard comes next by the window ? 
" A black man's, I think ; 
" I think, a red: for that is most in fashion." 
This custom of wearing coloured beards, the reader will find 
more amply explained in Measure for Measure, Act IV. sc. ii. 


7 ■ French croivns &c] That is, a head from which the 

hair has fallen in one of the last stages of the lues venerea, 
called the corona veneris. To this our poet has too frequent 
allusions. Steevens. 

8 properties,'] Properties are whatever little articles are 

wanted in a play for the actors, according to their respective 
parts, dresses and scenes excepted. The person who delivers 
them out is to this day called the property-man. In The Bas- 
singboume Hall, i/ni, we rind " garnements and propyrts." 
See Warton's History of English Poetry, Vol. III. p. 320." 

Again, in Albumazar, l6l5: 
" Furbo, our beards, 

" Black patches for our eyes, and other properties." 
Again, in Westward-Hoe, 160": 

" I'll go make ready my rustical proper tics.'" Steevens. 


Quix. At the duke's oak we meet. 

Bot. Enough ; Hold, or cut bow-strings. 9 


9 At the duke's oak we meet. 

Hold, or cut bow-strings.] This proverbial phrase came 

originally from the camp. When a rendezvous was appointed, 
the militia soldiers would frequently make excuse for not keep- 
ing word, that their bow-strings were broke, i. e. their arms un- 
serviceable. Hence when one would give another absolute as- 
surance of meeting him, he would say proverbially — hold or cut 
boiv-strings — i. e. whether the bow-strings held or broke. For 
cut is used as a neuter, like the verb fret. As when we say, 
the stringfrets, the silk frets, for the passive, it is cut ox fretted. 


This interpretation is very ingenious, but somewhat dis- 
putable. The excuse made by the militia soldiers is a mere sup- 
position, without proof; and it is well known that while bows 
were in use, no archer ever entered the field without a supply of 
strings in his pocket ; whence originated the proverb, to have 
two strings to one's bow. In The Country Girl, a comedy by 
T. B. 1647, is the following threat to a fidler: 

" fiddler, strike; 

" I'll strike you, else, and cut your begging bowstrings." 
Again, in The Ball, by Chapman and Shirley, 163Q: 

" have you devices to jeer the rest ? 

" Luc. All the regiment of 'em, or I'll break my bow- 
The bowstrings in both these instances may only mean the 
strings which make part of the bow with which musical instru- 
ments of several kinds are struck. The propriety of the allusion 
I cannot satisfactorily explain. Let the curious reader, how- 
ever, consult Ascham's Toxophilus, edit. 15SQ, p. 38. b. 


To meet, whether bow-strings hold or are cut, is to meet in all 
events. To cut the bowstring, when bows were in use, was pro- 
bably a common practice of those who bore enmity to the archer. 
" He hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bowstring, (says Don 
Pedro in Much Ado about Nothing, J and the little hangman dare 
not shoot at him." Malone. 

Hold, or cut cod piece point, is a proverb to be found in Kay's 
Collection, p. 57, edit. 1737. Collins. 



A Wood near Athens. 
Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck at another. 

Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you? 

Fai. Over hill, over dale, 1 

Thorough bush, thorough briar, 
Over park, over pale, 

Thorough flood, thorough fire, 
I do wander every where, 
Swifter than the moones sphere j* 
And I serve the fairy queen, 
To dew her orbs upon the green : 3 

* Over hill, over dale, &c.J So Drayton, in his Nymphidia, 
or Court of Fairy : 

" Thorough brake, thorough brier, 

" Thorough muck, thorough mire, 

" Thorough water, thorough fire." Johnson. 

2 the moones sphere;'] Unless we suppose this to be the 

Saxon genitive case, (as it is here printed,) the metre will be de- 
fective. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. III. c. i. st. 15: 
" And eke through feare as white as tvhales bone." 
Again, in a letter from Gabriel Harvey to Spenser, 1580: 
" Have we not God hys wrath, for Goddes wrath, and a thou- 
sand of the same stampe, wherein the corrupte orthography in 
the most, hath been the sole or principal cause of corrupte 
prosodye in over-many?" 

The following passage, however, in the 3d Book of Sidney's 
Arcadia, may suggest a different reading : 

" what mov'd me to invite 

" Your presence, (sister deare,) first to my moony sphere?" 


To dciv her orbs upon the green/] The orbs here men- 
tioned are circles supposed to be made by the fairies on the ground, 


The cowslips tall her pensioners be ; 4 
In their gold coats spots you see ; 5 
Those be rubies, fairy favours, 
In those freckles live their savours : 

whose verdure proceeds from the fairies' care to water them. 

Thus, Drayton: 

" They in their courses make that round, 

" In meadows and in marshes found, 

" Of them so called the fairy ground." Johnson. 

Thus, in Olaus Magnus de Gentibus Septentrionalibus : 
" — similes illis spectris, quae in multis locis, praesertim noctur- 
no tempore, suum saltatorium orbem cum omnium musarum con- 
centu versare solent." It appears from the same author, that 
these dancers always parched up the grass, and therefore it is 
properly made the office of the fairy to refresh it, Steevens. 

4 The cowslips tall her pensioners be /] The cowslip was a 
favourite among the fairies. There is a hint in Drayton of their 
attention to May morning : 

" For the queen a fitting tower, 

" Quoth he, is that fair cowslip flower. 

" In all your train there's not a fay 

" That ever went to gather May, 

" But she hath made it in her way, 

" The tallest there that groweth." Johnson. 

This was said in consequence of Queen Elizabeth's fashionable 
establishment of a band of military courtiers, by the name of 
pensioners. They were some of the handsomest and tallest young 
men, of the best families and fortune, that could be found. 
Hence, says Mrs. Quickly, in The Merry Wives, Act II. sc. ii: 
" — and yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pen- 
sioners.' 1 '' They gave the mode in dress and diversions. — 
They accompanied the Queen in her progress to Cambridge, 
where they held staff-torches at a play on a Sunday evening, in 
King's College Chapel. T. Warton. 

4 In their gold coats spots you seef\ Shakspeare, in Cynt- 
beline, refers to the same red spots! : 

" A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drops 
" /' th* bottom of a cowslip." Percy. 

Perhaps there is likewise some allusion to the habit of a pen- 
sioner. See a note on the second Act of the The Merry Wives 
of Windsor, sc. ii. Steevens. 

sc. i. DREAM. 345 

I must go seek some dew-drops here, 
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. 6 
Farewell, thou lob of spirits, 7 I'll be gone ; 
Our queen and all her elves come here anon. 

Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to- 
night ; 
Take heed, the queen come not within his sight. 
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, 
Because that she, as her attendant, hath 
A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king ; 
She never had so sweet a changeling : 8 

6 And hang a pearl in every cowslips ear.] The same thought 
occurs in an old comedy call'd The Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll, 
1 600 ; i. e. the same year in which the first printed copies of 
this play made their appearance. An enchanter says : 

" 'Twas I that led you through the painted meads 
" Where the light fairies danc'd upon the flowers, 
" Hanging on every leaf an orient pearl." Steevens. 

7 ' lob of spirits,'] Lob, lubber, looby, lobcock, all denote 
both inactivity of body and dulness of mind. Johnson. 

Both lob and lobcock are used as terms of contempt in The 
Rival Friends, 1632. 

Again, in the interlude of Jacob and Esau, 156*8 : 
" Should find Esau such a lout or a /o<5." 

Again, in the second book of Homer, as translated by Arthur 
Hall, 1.581: 

" yet fewe he led, bycause he was a lobbed* 

Again, in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Beaumont 
and Fletcher : " There is a pretty tale of a witch that had the 
devil's mark about her, that had a giant to her son, that was 
called Lob-lye-by-thc-fire.' n This being seems to be of kin to the 
lubber-fiend of Milton, as Mr. Warton has remarked in his Ob- 
servations on the Fairy Queen. Ste evens. 

8 changeling;'] Changeling is commonly used for the 

child supposed to be left by the fairies, but here for a child taken 
away. Johnson. 

So, Spenser, B. I. e. x : 

" And her base elfin brood there for thee left, 
** Such men do changelings call, so call'd by fairy theft." 



And jealous Oberon would have the child 
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild: 9 
But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy, 
Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her 

And now they never meet in grove, or green, 
By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, 1 
But they do square ; 2 that all their elves, for fear, 
Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there. 

It is here properly used, and in its common acceptation ; that 
is, for a child got in exchange. A fairy is now speaking. 


9 trace the forests 'wild:'] This verb is used in the same 

sense in Browne's Britannia's Pastorals, B. II. Song II. 1613 : 
" In shepherd's habit seene 
" To trace our woods." 
Again, in Milton's Comus, v. 423 : 

" May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths." 

Holt White. 

1 sheen,'] Shining, bright, gay. Johnson. 

So, in Tancred and Gismund, 1592: 

" but why 

" Doth Phoebus' sister, sheen despise thy power?" 
Again, in the ancient romance of Syr Tryamoure, bl. 1. no 
date : 

" He kyssed and toke his leave of the quene, 

" And of other ladies bright and shene." Steevens. 

* But they do square ;] To square here is to quarrel. The 
French word contrecarrer has the same import. Johnson. 

So, in Jack Drum'' s Entertainment, l60l : 

" let me not seem rude, 

" That thus I seem to square with modesty." 

" pray let me go, for he'll begin to square," &c. 

Again, in Promos and Cassandra, 1.578: 

" Marry, she knew you and I were at square, 
" And lest we fell to blowes, she did prepare." 


It is somewhat whimsical, that the glasiers use the words 
square and quarrel as synonymous terms for a pane of glass. 


sc. i. DREAM. 347 


Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making 

Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite, 
Call'd Robin Good-fellow: 3 are you not he, 
That fright 4 the maidens of the villagery ; 
Skim milk ; and sometimes labour in the quern, 
And bootless make the breathless housewife 

churn ; 5 

Robin Good-felloxvi ;] This account of Robin Good- 

fellow corresponds, in every article, with that given of him in 
Harsenet's Declaration, ch. xx. p. 134: " And if that the bowle 
of curds and creame were not duly set out for Robin Good- 
fellow, the frier, and Sisse the dairy-maid, why then either the 
pottage was burnt-to next day in the pot, or the cheeses would 
not curdle, or the butter would not come, or the ale in the fat 
never would have good head. But if a Peeter-penny, or an 
housle-egge were behind, or a patch of tythe unpaid, — then 
'ware of bull-beggars, spirits," &c. He is mentioned by Cart- 
wright [Ordinary, Act III. sc. i.] as a spirit particularly fond of 
disconcerting and disturbing domestic peace and ceconomy. 

T. Warton. 

Reginald Scot gives the same account of this frolicksome spirit, 
in his Discoverie of Witchcraft, Lond. 1584, 4to. p. 66: " Your 
grandames' maids were wont to set a bowl of milk for him, for 
his pains in grinding malt and mustard, and sweeping the house 
at midnight — this white bread and bread and milk, was his stand- 
ing fee." Steevexs. 

* That fright — ] The old copies read— frights ; and in gram- 
matical propriety, I believe, this verb, as well as those that fol- 
low, should agree with the personal pronoun he, rather than with 
you. If so, our author ought to have written— frights, skims, la- 
bours, makes, and misleads. The other, however, being the more 
common usage, and that which he has preferred, I have correct- 
ed the former word. Malone. 

4 Skim milk ; and sometimes labour in the quern, 
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn ;] The 
sense of these lines is confused. Are not you he, (says the fairy,) 
that fright the country girls, that skim milk, work in the hand- 
mill, and make the tired dairy-ivoman churn xoithout effect? 
The mention of the mill seems out of place, for she is not now 
telling the good, but the evil that he does. I would regulate the 
lines thus: 


And sometime make the drink to bear no barm ; 6 
Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm ? 
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, 7 
You do their work, and they shall have good luck : 

And sometimes make the breathless housewife churn 
Skim milk, and bootless labour in the quern. 
Or, by a simple transposition of the lines : 

And bootless make the breathless housetvife churn 
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern. 
Yet there is no necessity of alteration. Johnson. 
Dr. Johnson thinks the mention of the mill out of place, as the 
Fairy is not now telling the good, but the evil he does. The ob- 
servation will apply, with equal force, to his skimming the milk, 
which, if it were done at a proper time, and the cream preserved, 
would be a piece of service. But we must understand both to 
be mischievous pranks. He skims the milk, when it ought not 
to be skimmed : — 
(So, in Grim the Collier of Croydon : 

" But woe betide the silly dairy-maids, 
" For I shall fleet their cream-bowls night by night.") 
and grinds the corn, when it is not wanted ; at the same time 
perhaps throwing the flour about the house. Ritson. 

A Quern is a hand-mill, kuerna, mola. Islandic. So, in 
Chaucer's Monkes Tale: 

" Wheras they made him at the querne grinde." 
Again, in Stanyhicrsfs translation of the first book of Virgil, 
1582, quern-stone?, are mill-stones: 

" They re corne in quem-stoans they do grind,' ' &c. 
Again, in The More the Merrier, a collection of epigrams, l608: 
" Which like a querne can grind more in an hour." 
Again, in the old Song of Robin Goodfelloiv, printed in the 3d 
volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry: 
" I grind at mill, 
" Their malt up still," &c. Steevens. 

6 no barm ;] Barme is a name for yeast, yet used in our 

midland counties, and universally in Ireland. So, in Mother 
Bombie, a comedy, 1594 : " It behoveth my wits to work like 
barme, alias yeast." Again, in The Humorous Lieidenant of 
Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" I think my brains will work yet without barm.' 1 '' 


7 Those that Hobgoblin call you, and street Puck, 

You do their work,'] To those traditionary opinions Milton 
has reference in V Allegro: 

sc. i. DREAM. 349 

Are not you he ? 

" Then to the spicy nut-brown ale, 
" With stories told of many a feat, 
" How fairy Mab the junkets eat ; 
" She was pinch'd and pull'd, she said, 
" And he by frier's lanthorn led ; 
" Tells how the drudging goblin sweat 
" To earn his cream-bowl duly set, 
" When in one night, ere glimpse of morn, 
" His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn 
" That ten day-labourers could not end ; 
" Then lies him down the lubber fiend." 
A like account of Puck is given by Drayton, in his Nymphidia: 
" He meeteth Puck, which most men call 
" Hobgoblin, and on him doth fall. 

" This Puck seems but a dreaming dolt, 
" Still walking like a ragged colt, 
" And oft out of a bush doth bolt, 

" Of purpose to deceive us ; 
" And leading us makes us to stray, 
" Long winter's nights out of the way, 
" And when we stick in mire and clay, 
" He doth with laughter leave us." 
It will be apparent to him that shall compare Drayton's poem 
with this play, that either one of the poets copied the other, or, 
as I rather believe, that there was then some system of the fairy 
empire generally received, which they both represented as accu- 
rately as they could. Whether Drayton or Shakspeare wrote 
first, I cannot discover. Johnson. 

Gervase of Tilbury, speaking of the Portunus, a species of 
daemon, says : — " Cum inter ambiguas noctis tenebras Angli 
solitarii equitant, Portunus nonnunquam invisus equitanti se 
copulat, et cum diutius comitatur euntem, tandem loris arreptis 
equum in lutum ad manum ducit, in quo dum infixus volutatur, 
Portunus exiens cachinmim facit, & sic hujuscemodi ludibrio 
humanam simplicitatem deridet." See also Mr. Tyrwhitt on 
v. 6441, of the Cant. Tales of Chaucer. 

The same learned editor supposes Drayton to have been the 
follower of Shakspeare ; for, says he, " Don Quixote (which was 
not published till 160.5) is cited in the Nymphidia, whereas we 
have an edition of A Midsummer-Night" s Dream in ltfOO." 

In this century some of our poets have been as little scrupulous 

350 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act ii. 

Puck. Thou speak'st aright ; 8 

I am that merry wanderer of the night. 

in adopting the ideas of their predecessors. In Gay's ballad, in- 
serted in The What d'ye call it, is the following stanza : 
" How can they say that nature 
" Has nothing made in vain ; 
" Why then beneath the water 

" Should hideous rocks remain ?"&c. &c. 
Compare this with a passage in Chaucer's Frankeleines Talc, 
Tyrwhitt's edit. v. i. 11,179, &c. 

" In idel, as men sain, ye nothing make, 
" But, lord, thise grisly fendly rockes blake," &c. &c. 
And Mr. Pope is more indebted to the same author for beau- 
ties inserted in his Eloisa to Abelard, than he has been willing 
to acknowledge. Steevens. 

If Drayton wrote The Nymphidia after A Midsummer-Night's 
Dream had been acted, he could with very little propriety say : 
" Then since no muse hath been so bold, 
" Or of the later or the ould, 
" Those elvish secrets to unfold 

" Which lye from others reading ; 
" My active muse to light shall bring 
" The court of that proud fayry king, 
" And tell there of the revelling ; 

" Jove prosper my proceeding." Holt White. 

Don Quixote, though published in Spain in 1605, was proba- 
bly little known in England till Skelton's translation appeared in 
It) 12. Drayton's poem was, I have no doubt, subsequent to 
that year. The earliest edition of it that I have seen, was printed 
in 1619. Malone. 

sweet Puck,] The epithet is by no means superfluous ; as 

Puck alone was far from being an endearing appellation. It 
signified nothing better than fiend, or devil. So, the author of 
Pierce Ploughman puts the poulc for the devil, fol. lxxxx. B. V. 
penult. See also, fol. lxvii. v. 15 : " none helle powke." 

It seems to have been an old Gothic word. Puke, puken ; 
Sathanas, Gudm. And. Lexicon Island. Tyrwhitt. 

In The Bugbears, an ancient MS. comedy in the possession of 
the Marquis of Lansdowne, I likewise met with this appellation 
of a fiend: 

" Puckes, puckerels, hob howlard, by gorn and Robin Good- 

sc. i. DREAM. 351 

I jest to Oberon, and make him smile, 

When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, 

Neighing in likeness of a filly foal : 

And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl, 

In very likeness of a roasted crab ; 9 

And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob, 

Again, in The Scourge of Venus, or the wanton Lady, with if te 
rare Birth of Adonis, l6l5: 

" Their bed doth shake and quaver as they lie, 

" As if it groan'd to bear the weight of sinne ; 
" The fatal night-crowes at their windowes flee, 

" And cry out at the shame they do live in : 
" And that they may perceive the heavens frown, 
" The poukes and goblins pul the coverings down." 
Again, in Spenser's Epithalamion, 15Q5 : 

" Ne let house-fyres, nor lightning's helpelesse harms, 

" Ne let the pouke, nor other evil spright, 
" Ne let mischievous witches with their charmes 
" Ne let hobgoblins," &c. 
Again, in the ninth Book of Golding's translation of Ovid's 
Metamorphoses, edit. 158/, p. 126: 

" and the countrie where Chymaera, that same 

" Hath goatish bodie," &c. Steevens. 

8 Puck. Thou speak 1 'st aright;"] I would fill up the verse which 
I suppose the author left complete : 
/ am, thou speak'st aright ; 

It seems that in the fairy mythology, Puck, or Hobgoblin, was 
the trusty servant of Oberon, and always employed to watch or 
detect the intrigues of Queen Mab, called by Shakspeare, Titania. 
For in Drayton's Nymphidia, the same fairies are engaged in the 
same business. Mab has an amour with Pigwiggen : Oberon 
being jealous, sends Hobgoblin to catch them, and one of Mab's 
nymphs opposes him by a spell. Johnson. 

9 a roasted crab ;] i. e. a wild apple of that name. So, 

in the anonymous play of Ki?ig Henry V. &c. 

" Yet we will have in store a crab in the fire, 

" With nut-brown ale," &c. 
Again, in Damon and Pythias, 1582: 

" And sit down in my chaire by my wife fair Alison, 

" And turne a crabbc in the fire," &c. 


And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale. 
The wisest aunt, 1 telling the saddest tale, 
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me ; 
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, 
And tailor cries, 2 and falls into a cough ; 
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and 

loffe; 3 
And waxen 4 in their mirth, and neeze, and swear 
A merrier hour was never wasted there. — 

In Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600, Christmas is de- 
scribed as — 

" sitting in a corner, turning crabs, 

" Or coughing o'er a warmed pot of ale." Steevens. 

1 The wisest aunt,] Aunt is sometimes used for procuress. In 
Gascoigne's Glass of Government, 15/5, the bawd Pandarina is 
always called aunt. " These are aunts of Antwerp, which can 
make twenty marriages in one week for their kinswoman." See 
Winter's Tale, Act IV. sc. i. Among Ray's proverbial phrases 
is the following : " She is one of mine aunts that made mine 
uncle to go a begging." The wisest aunt may therefore mean 
the most sentimental bawd, or, perhaps, the most prosaic old 
woman. Steevens. 

The first of these conjectures is much too wanton and injuri- 
ous to the word aunt, which in this place at least certainly means 
no other than an innocent old "woman. Ritson. 

* And tailor cries,] The custom of crying tailor at a sudden 
fall backwards, I think I remember to have observed. He that 
slips beside his chair, falls as a tailor squats upon his board. The 
Oxford editor, and Dr. Warburton after him, read — and rails or 
cries, plausibly, but I believe not rightly. Besides, the trick of 
the fairy is represented as producing rather merriment than anger. 

This phrase perhaps originated in a pun. Your tail is now on 
the ground. See Camden's Remaines, i6"l4, Provekbs. " Be- 
tween two stools the tayle goeth to the ground." Ma lone. 

3 hold their hips, and loffe;] So, in Milton's L' Allegro : 

" And laughter holding both his sides." Steevens. 

* And waxen — ] And encrease, as the moon waxes. 

A feeble sense may be extracted from the foregoing words as 

Sf, /. DREAM. 353 

But room, Faery, 5 here comes Oberon. 

Fai. And here my mistress: — 'Would that he 
were gone ! 

they stand ; but Dr. Farmer observes to me that ivazen is proba- 
bly corrupted from yoxen, or yexen. Yoxe Saxon, to hiccup* 
Yyxyn. Singu/tio. Prompt. Parv. 

Thus in Chaucer's Reve's Tale, v. 4149: 

" He yoxetli, and he speaketh thurgh the nose." 
Again, in the preface to XII. mery Jestes of the IVyddoiv Edyth, 
15/5 : 

" Beside the cough, a bloudy flyx, 
" And cuir among a deadly yex." 
Again, iu Philemon Holland's translation of the 27th Book of 
Pliny, chap v: " — and also they do stay the excessive yex or 

That yex, however, was a familiar word so late as the time of 
Ainsworth the lexicographer, is clear from his having produced 
it as a translation of the Latin substantive — singultus. 

The meaning of the passage before us will then be, that the 
objects of Puck's waggery laughed till their laughter ended in a 
yex or hiccup. 

It should be remembered, in support of this conjecture, that 
Puck is at present speaking with an affectation of ancient phrase- 
ology. STEBVEN8. 

s But room, Faery,] Thus the old copies. Some of our modern 
editors read — " But make room, Fairy." The word Fairy, or 
Faery, was sometimes of three syllables, as often in Spenser. 


vol. IV. A A 



Enter Oberon, 6 at one door, with his train, and 
Titania, 7 at another, with hers. 

Obe. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania. 

Tita. What, j ealous Oberon ? Fairy, skip hence ; 
I have forsworn his bed and company. 

Obe. Tarry, rash wanton ; Am not I thy lord ? 

Tita. Then I must be thy lady: But I know- 
When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land, 
And in the shape of Corin sat all day, 
Playing on pipes of corn, 8 and versing love 9 

6 Enter Oberon,] Oberon had been introduced on the stage 
in 1594, by some other author. In the Stationers' books is en- 
tered " The Scottishe Story of James the Fourthe, slain at Flod- 
den, intermixed with a pleasant Comedie presented by Oberon, 
King of Fairies." The judicious editor of The Canterbury Tales 
of Chaucer, in his Introductory Discourse, (See Vol. IV. p. l6l,) 
observes that Pluto and Proserpina in The Merchant's Tale, ap- 
pear to have been " the true progenitors of Oberon and Titania." 


7 Titania,'] As to the Fairy Queen, (says Mr. Warton, in 
his Observations on Spenser, ) considered apart from the race of 
fairies, Chaucer, in his Rime of Sir Thopas, mentions her, to- 
gether with a Fairy land. Again, in The Wif of Bathes Tale t 
v. 6439 : 

" In olde dayes of the king Artour, 

" Of which that Bretons speken gret honour ; 

" All was this lond fulfilled of faerie ; 

" The Elf-quene, with hire joly compagnie 

" Danced ful oft in many a grene mede : 

" This was the old opinion as I rede." Steevens. 

8 Playing on pipes of corn,] Richard Bratlnvaite ( Strappado 
for the Devil, 1615,) has a poem addressed " To the queen of 

harvest, &c. much honoured by the reed, corn-pipe, and whistle :" 
and it must be remembered, that the shepherd boys of Chaucer's 
time, had — 

sc.ri. DREAM. 35 3 

To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here, 
Come from the farthest steep of India ? 
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, 
Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love, 
To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come 
To give their bed joy and prosperity. 

Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania, 
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta, 
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus ? 
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering 

night * 
From Perigenia, whom he ravished? 2 

" many a floite and litling home, 

" And. pipes made qfgreent come." Ritson. 

9 versing love — ] Perhaps Prior was the last who em- 
ployed this verb : 

" And Mat mote praise what Topaz verseth." 


1 Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night — ] 
The glimmering night is the night faintly illuminated by stars. 
In Macbeth our author says : 

" The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day." 


! From Perigenia, whom he ravished?'} Thus all the editors, 
but our author who diligently perused Plutarch, and gleaned from 
him, where his subject would admit, knew, from the life of 
Theseus, that her name was Perygine, (or Perigune,) by whom 
Theseus had his son Melanippus. She was the daughter of 
Sinnis, a cruel robber, and tormenter of passengers in the 
Isthmus. Plutarch and Athenaeus are both express in the cir- 
cumstance of Theseus ravishing her. Theobald. 

In North's translation of Plutarch (Life of Theseus) this lady 
is called Perigouna. The alteration was probably intentional, 
for the sake of harmony . Her real name was Perigx 


Mg\6, Ariadne, and Antiopa, were all at different times mis- 
tresses to Theseus. See Plutarch. 

Theobald cannot be blamed for his emendation ; and yet it Ls 
well known that our ancient authors, as well as the French and 

A A 2 

356 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act it: 

And make him with fair 2Eg\e break his faith, 
With Ariadne, and Antiopa ? 

Tita. These are the forgeries of jealousy: 
And never, since the middle summer's spring, 3 
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, 
By paved fountain, 4 or by rushy brook, 

the Italians, were not scrupulously nice about proper names, but 
almost always corrupted them. St-eevens. 

3 And never, since the middle summer's spring, fyc] By the 
middle summer's spring, our author seems to mean the beginning 
of middle or mid summer. Spring, for beginning, he uses again 

V TT rrr T-« tt r ° ° b ° 

in Ring Henry IV. P. II: 

" As flaws congealed in the spring of day :" 
which expression has authority from the scripture, St. Luke, i. /8 : 

" whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us." 

Again, in the romance of Kyng Appolyn of Thyre, 1510: 

" arose in amornynge at the sprynge of the day," &c. 

Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. III. c. x: 

" He wooed her till day-spring he espyde." Steevens, 

So Holinshed, p. 4£)4 : " — the morrowe after about the spring 
of the daie — ." Malone. 

The middle summer's spring, is, I apprehend, the season when 
trees put forth their second, or, as they are frequently called, 
their midsummer shoots. Thus, Evelyn in his Silva : " Cut off 
all the side boughs, and especially at midsummer, if you spy them 
breaking out." And again, " Where the rows and brush lie 
longer than midsummer, unbound, or made up, you endanger the 
loss of the second spring." Henley. 

* Parted fountain,'] A fountain laid round the edge with stone. 


Perhaps paved at the bottom. So, Lord Bacon in his Essay 
on Gardens : " As for the other kind offountaine, which we 
may callabathing-poole, it may admit much curiosity and beauty 
.... As that the bottom be finely paved .... the sides like- 
wise," &c. Steevens. 

The epithet seems here intended to mean no more than that 
the beds of these fountains were covered with pebbles, in oppo- 
sition to those of the rushy brooks which are oozy. 

The same expression is used by Sylvester in a similar sense : 
• "- By some cleare river's \iWie-paved side." Henley. 

sc.n. DREAM. 351 

Or on the beached margent 5 of the sea, 
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, 
Bat with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. 
Therefore the winds, piping 6 to us in vain, 
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea 
Contagious fogs ; which falling in the land, 
Have every pelting river 7 made so proud, 
That they have overborne their continents : 8 
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, 
The ploughman lost his sweat ; and the green corn 
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard : 9 

s Or on the beached margent — ] The old copies read — Or in. 
Corrected by Mr. Pope. M alone. 

the wind*, piping — ] So, Milton: 

" While rocking winds, are piping loud." Johnson. 

And Gawin Douglas, in his translation of the JEneid, p. 6Q, 
1/10, fol. Edinb. 

" The soft piping wynd calling to se." 

The Glossographer observes, " we say a. piping wind, when an 
ordinary gale bloivs, and the wind is neither too loud nor too 
calm.'" Holt White. 

7 pelting river — ] Thus the quartos: the folio reads — 

petti/. Sbakspeare has in Lear the same word, low pelting farms. 
The meaning is plainly, despicable, mean, sorry, wretched; but 
as it is a word without any reasonable etymology, I should be 
glad to dismiss it for petty: yet it is undoubtedly right. We have 
" petty pelting officer" in Measure for Measure. Johnson. 

So, in Gascoigne's Glass of Government, 15/5 : 

" Doway is a pelting town pack'd full of poor scholars.'? 
This word is always used as a word of contempt. So, again, 
in Lyly's Midas, I5y2 : " — attire never used but of old women 
and pelting priests." Steevens. 

9 overborne their continents:] Borne down the banks 

that contain them. So, in Lear : 

" close pent up guilts, 

" Hive your concealing continents!" Johnson. 

and the green corn 

Hath rolled, ere his youth attain d a beard:] So, in our 
author's 12th Sonnet: 


The fold stands empty in the drowned field, 
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock ; l 
The nine men's morris is fiil'd up with mud ; 2 

" And summer's green, all girded up in sheaves, 
" Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard." 


1 murrain flock ;] The murrain is the plague in cattle. 

It is here used by Shakspeare as an adjective ; as a substantive 
by others : 

" sends him as a murrain 

" To strike our herds ; or as a worser plague, 
" Your people to destroy." 

Heywood's Silver Age, 1613. Steevens. 

* The nine men's morris is Jill* d up with mud ;] In that part of 
Warwickshire where Shakspeare was educated, and the neigh- 
bouring parts of Northamptonshire, the shepherds and other boys 
dig up the turf with their knives to represent a sort of imperfect 
chess-board. It consists of a square, sometimes only a foot dia- 
meter, sometimes three or four yards. Within this is another 
square, every side of which is parallel to the external square; and 
these squares are joined by lines drawn from each corner of both 
squares, and the middle of each line. One party, or player, has 
wooden pegs, the other stones, which they move in such a man- 
ner as to take up each other's men as they are called, and the 
area of the inner square is called the pound, in which the men 
taken up are impounded. These figures are by the country peo- 
ple called Nine Men*s Morris, or Merrils ; and are so called, 
because each party has nine men. These figures are always cut 
upon the green turf or leys, as they are called, or upon the gi'ass 
at the end of ploughed lands, and in rainy seasons never fail to 
be choaked up with mud. James. 

See Peck on Milton's Masque, 115, Vol. I. p. 135. 


Nine men's morris is a game still played by the shepherds, cow- 
keepers, &c. in the midland counties, as follows : 

A figure is made in the ground (like this which I have drawn) 
by cutting out the turf; and two persons take each nine stones, 
which they place by turns in the angles, and afterwards move 
alternately, as at chess or draughts. He who can place three in 
a straight line, may then take oft' any one of his adversary's, where 
he pleases, till one, having lost all his men, loses the game. 

SC. II. 



And the quaint mazes in the wanton <p'een, 3 
For lack of tread, are undistinguishabie : 


In Cotgrave's Dictionary, under the article Merelles, is the 
following explanation : " Le Jeu des Merelles. The boyish game 
called Merils, or fivepenny morris; played here most commonly 
with stones, but in France with pawns, or men made on purpose, 
and termed merelles." The pawns or figures of men used in the 
game might originally be black-, and hence called morris, or me- 
relles, as we yet term a black cherry a morello, and a small black 
cherry a merry, perhaps from Maurus or Moor, or rather from 
7norum, a mulberry. Tollet. 

The jeu de merelles was also a table-game. A representation 
of two monkies engaged at this amusement, may be seen in a 
German edition of Petrarch de remedio utriusque fortunae, 13. I. 
ch. 2(5. The cuts to this book were done in 1520. Douce. 

3 the quaint mazes in the wanton green,'] This alludes to 

a sport still followed by boys ; i. e. what is now called running 
ihejigure of eight. Steevens. . 


The human mortals 4 want their winter here; 5 

4 The human mortals — ] Shakspeare might have employed this 
epithet, which, at first sight, appears redundant, to mark the dif- 
ference between men and fairies. Fairies were not human, but 
they were yet subject to mortality. It appears from the romance 
of Sir Huon of Bordeaux, that Oberon himself was mortal. 

The same phrase, however, occurs in Chapman's translation of 
Homer's address to Earth, the mother of all : 

" referr'd to thee 

" For life and death, is all the pedigree 

" Of mortal humans." Steevens. 

" This, however, (says Mr. Ritson,) does not by any means 
appear to be the case. Oberon, Titania, and Puck, never dye ; 
the inferior agents must necessarily be supposed to enjoy the same 
privilege : and trie ingenious commentator may rely upon it, that 
the oldest woman in England never heard of the death of a Fairy. 
Human mortals is, notwithstanding, evidently put in opposition 
to f .iries who partook of a middle nature between men and spi- 
rit . , It is a misfortune, as well to the commentators as to the 
readers of Shakspeare, that so much of their time is obliged to 
be t m loved m explaining and contradicting unfounded conjec- 
tures and assertions. Spenser in his Fairy Queen, B. II. c. x. 
says, (I use the words of Mr. Warton ; Observations on Spenser, 
Vol. I. p. 55,) " That man was first made by Prometheus, was 
called FJfe, who wandering over the world, at length arrived at 
the gardens of Adonis, where he found a female whom he called 
Fay. — The issue of Fife and Fay were called Fairies, who soon 
grew to be a niighty people, and conquered all nations. Their 
eldest son Flfin governed America, and the next to him, named 
Elfinan, founded the city of Cleopolis, which was enclosed with 
a golden wall bv Elfinine. His son Elfin overcame the Gobbe- 
lines : but of all fairies, Elfant was the most renowned, who 
built Panthea of chrystal. To these succeeded Elfar, who slew 
two brethren giants ; and to him Elfinor, who built a bridge of 
glass over the sea, the sound of which was like thunder. At 
le igth, Elfich os ruled the Fairy-land with much wisdom, and 
highly advanced its power and honour: he left two sons, the 
eldest of which, fair Elferon, died a premature death, his place 
being supplied by the mighty Oberon ; a prince, whose ' wide 
memorial' still remains ; who dying left Tanaquil to succeed him 
by will, she being also called Gloriaa or Gloriana." I transcribe 
this pedigree, merely to prove that in Shakspeare's time the no- 
tion of Fairies dying was generally known. Reed. 

sc. it. BREAM. S6i 

No night is now with hymn or carol blest : 6 — 
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, 
Pale in her anger, washes all the air, 
That rheumatick diseases do abound : 7 

Mr. Reed might here have added the names of many divines 
and philosophers, whose sentiments coincide with his own posi- 
tion on this subject : " — post prolixuin tempus moriuntur om- 
nes :" i. e. aerial and familiar spirits, &e. were all mortal. See 
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1032, p. 42. 


5 their winter here ;] Here, in this countr} r . — I once 

inclined to receive the emendation proposed by Mr. Theobald, 
and adopted by Sir T. Hanmer, — their winter cheer ; but perhaps 
alteration is unnecessary. " Their winter" may mean those 
sports with which country people are wont to beguile a winter's 
evening, at the season of Christmas, which, it appears from the 
next line, was particularly in our author's contemplation : 

" The wery winter nights restore the Christmas games, 
" And now the seson doth invite to banquet townish 
dames." Romeus and Juliet, 1562. Maloxe. 

I have already expressed my opinion, that winter-cheer is the 
true reading ; and am confirmed in it by the following passage in 
Fletcher's Prophetess, where the shepherd says : 

" Our evening dances on the green, our songs, 

" Our holiday good cheer ; our bagpipes now, boys, 

" Shall make the wanton lasses skip again !" 

M. Mason-. 

6 No night is now with hymn or carol blest :] Since the com- 
ing of Christianity, this season, [winter,] in commemoration of 
the birth of Christ, has been particularly devoted to festivity. 
And to this custom, notwithstanding the impropriety, hymn or 
carol bled certainly alludes. Wauburtox. 

Hymns and carols, in the time of Shakspeare, during the sea- 
son of Christmas, were sung every night about the streets, as a 
pretext for collecting money from house to house. Steevens. 

7 Thai rheumatick diseases do abound;] Rheumatick diseases 
signified in Shakspeare's time, not what we now <?all rheumatism, 
but distillations from the head, catarrhs, &c. So, in a paper en- 
titled " The State of Sir H. Sydney's bodie, &c. Feb. 1507 ;" 
Sydney's Memorials, Vol. I. p. cj-1 : " — he hath verie much 
distempered diverse parts of his bodie, as namely, his hedde,'his 


And thorough this distemperature, 8 we see 

stomach, &c. and thereby is always subject to coughes, distilla- 
tions, and other rumatic diseases" Malone. 

Therefore the moon, the governess of Jloods, &c] The re- 
peated adverb therefore, throughout this speech, I suppose to 
have constant reference to the first time when it is used. All 
these irregularities of season happened in consequence of the dis- 
agreement between the king and queen of the fairies, and not 
in consequence of each other. Ideas crouded fast on Shakspeare ; 
and as he committed them to paper, he did not attend to the 
distance of the leading object from which they took their rise. 
Mr. Malone concurs with me on this occasion. 

That the festivity and hospitality attending Christmas, de- 
creased, was the subject of complaint to many of our ludicrous 
writers. Among the rest to Nash, whose comedy called Sum- 
mer's Last Will and Testament, made its first appearance in the 
same year with this play, viz. loOO. There Christmas is intro- 
duced, and Summer says to him : 

" Christmas, how chance thou com'st not as the rest, 
" Accompanied with some music or some song ? 
" A merry carrol would have grac'd thee well, 
" Thy ancestors have us'd it heretofore." 
" Christmas. Ay, antiquity was the mother of ignorance," &c. 
and then proceeds to give reasons for such a decay in mirth and 

The confusion of seasons here described, is no more than a 
poetical account of the weather, which happened in England 
about the time when the Midsummer- Night's Dream was writ- 
ten. For this information I am indebted to chance, which fur- 
nished me with a few leaves of an old meteorological history. 

The date of the piece, however, may be better determined by 
a description of the same weather in Churchyard's Charitie, 
1595, when, says he, " a colder season, in all sorts, was never 
seene." He then proceeds to say the same over again in rhyme : 
" A colder time in w 7 orld was neuer seene : 
" The skies do lowre, the sun and moone waxe dim ; 
" Sommer scarce knowne but that the leaues are greene. 
" The winter's waste driues water ore the brim ; 
" Upon the land great flotes of wood may swim. 
" Nature thinks scorne to do hir dutie right, 
" Because we have displeasde the Lord of Light." 
Let the reader compare these lines with Shakspeare's, and he 

sc. ii. DREAM. 363 

The seasons alter : hoary-headed frosts 

will find that they are both descriptive of the same weather and 
its consequences. 

Churchyard is not enumerating, on this occasion, fictitious but 
real misfortunes. He wrote the present poem to excite Charity 
on his own behalf; and among his other sufferings very naturally 
dwelt on the coldness of the season, which his poverty had ren- 
dered the less supportable. 

L'Allegro, and il Penseroso, will naturally impute one incident 
to different causes. Shakspeare, in prime of life and success, 
fancifully ascribes this distemperature of seasons to a quarrel be- 
tween the playful rulers of the fairy world ; while Churchyard, 
broken down by age and misfortunes, is seriously disposed to re- 
present the same inclemency of weather, as a judgement from 
the Almighty on the offences of mankind. Steevens. 

Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, &c] This line 
has no immediate connection with that preceding it (as Dr. 
Johnson seems to have thought). It does not refer to the omis- 
sion of hymns or carols, but of the fairy rites, which were dis- 
turbed in consequence of Oberon's quarrel with Titania. The 
moon is with peculiar propriety represented as incensed at the 
cessation — not of the carols, (as Dr. Warburton thinks,) nor of 
the heathen rites of adoration, (as Dr. Johnson supposes,) but 
of those sports, which have been always reputed to be celebrated 
by her light. 

As the whole passage has been much misunderstood, it ma} r 
be proper to observe, that Titania begins witii saying : 
" And never, since the middle summer's spring, 
" Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, — 
" But with thy brawls thou hast disturb' d our sport." 
She then particularly enumerates the several consequences that 
have flowed from their contention. 1 he v. hole is divided into 
four clauses : 

1. " 'l'h ere fore the winds, &c. 

" That they have overborne their continents : 

2. " The ox hath therefore streteh'd his yoke in vain; 
" The ploughman lost his sweat ; 

" No night is now with hymn or carol blest; 

3. " Therefore the moon — washes all the air, 
" That rheumatick diseases do abound : 

4. " And, thorough this distemperature, we see, 
" The seasons alter ; 


and the 'mazed world, 

By their increase, now knows not which is which 

864 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act /j. 

Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose ; 9 
And on old Hyenas' chin, 1 and icy crown, 
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds 

" And this same progeny of evils comes 
" From our debate, from our dissention." 
In all this there is no difficulty. All these calamities are the 
consequences of the dissention between Oberon and Titania ; as 
seems to be sufficiently pointed out by the word therefore, so 
often repeated. Those lines which have it not, are evidently 
put in apposition with the preceding line in which that word is 
found. Malone. 

8 this distemperature,] Is, this perturbation of the 

elements. Steevens. 

By distemperature, I imagine is meant, in this place, the per- 
turbed state in which the king and queen had lived for some 
time past. Malone. 

Perhaps Mr. Malone has truly explained the force of the 
word in question. So, in Romeo and Juliet : 

" Thou art up-rous'd by some distemperature" 


9 Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose ;] To have " snow 
in the lap of June," is an expression used in Northward Hoe, 
1607, and Shakspeare himself in Coriolanus, talks of the " con- 
secrated snow that lies on Dian's lap:'" and Spenser in his 
Fairy Queen, B. II. c. ii. has : 

" And fills with flow'rs fair Flora's painted lap." 


This thought is elegantly expressed by Goldsmith in his Tra- 
veller : 

" And winter lingering chills the lap of May." 

M. Mason. 

» Hi/ems' chin,] Dr. Grey, not inelegantly, conjectures, 

that the poet wrote : 

on old Hi/ ems* chill and icy croivn. 

It is not indeed easy to discover how a chaplet can be placed 
on the chin. Steevens. 

I believe this peculiar image of Hyem's chin must have come 
from Virgil, ( JEneid iv. 253,) through the medium of the 
translation of the day : 

" turn flumina mento 

" Precipitant senis, et glacie riget hprrida barba;" S. W. 

Thus translated by Phaer, 1561 : 

u. DREAM. 365 

Is, as in mockery, set : The spring, the summer, 
The childing autumn, 2 angry winter, change 
Their wonted liveries ; and the 'mazed world, 

" and from his hoary beard adowne, 

" The streames of waters fall ; with yce and frost his 

face doth frowne." 
This singular image was, I believe, suggested to our poet by 
Golding's translation of Ovid, Book II : 

" And lastly, quaking for the colde, stood Winter all 

" With rugged head as white as dove, and garments all 

to torne, 
" Forladen with the isycles, that dangled up and downe 
" Upon his gray and hoarie beard, and snowie frozen 

crown." Malone. 

1 should rather be for thin, i. e. thin-hair'd. Tyrwhitt. 

So, Cordelia, speaking of Lear : 

" to watch, poor perdu ! 

" With this thin helm." 
Again, in King Richard II: 

" White-beards have arm'd their thin and hairless scalps 
" Against thy majesty; — " Steevens. 

Thinne is nearer to chinne (the spelling of the old copies) than 
chill, and therefore, I think, more likely to have been the au- 
thor's word. Malone. 

2 The childing autumn,'] Is the pregnant autumn, frugifer 
autumnus. So, in Heywood's Brazen Age, 1(3 13 : 

" Fifty in number childed all one night." 
Again, in his Golden Age, l6ll : 

" I childed in a cave remote and silent." 
Again, in his Silver Age, 1613 : 

" And at one instant he shall child two issues." 
There is a rose called the childing rose. Steevens. 

Again, in Tasso's Godfrey ofBulloigne, by Fairfax, B. XVTII. 
st. 20 : 

" An hundreth plants beside (even in his sight) 
" Child* d an hundreth nymphes so great, so dight." 
Childing is an old term in botany, when a small flower grows 
out of a large one; " the childing autumn," therefore means 
the autumn which unseasonably produces Mowers on those of 
summer. FlorUtS have also a childing daisy, and a childing 
iitahious. Holt Wjhte. 

366 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act ii. 

By their increase, 3 now knows not' which is which : 
And this same progeny of evils comes 
From our debate, from our dissention ; 
We are their parents and original. 

Obe. Do you amend it then ; it lies in you : 
Why should Titania cross her Oberon ? 
I do but beg a little changeling boy, 
To be my henchman. 4 

3 By their increase,] That is, By their produce. Johnson. 

So, in our author's 9/th Sonnet : 

" The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, 
" Bearing the wanton burthen of the prime." 
The latter expression is scriptural : " Then shall the earth 
bring forth her increase, and God, even our God, shall give us 
his blessing." Psalm lxvii. M alone. 

4 henchman.'] Page of honour. This office was abolished 

by Queen Elizabeth. Grey. 

This office might beabolished at court, but probably remained 
in the city. Glapthorne, in his comedy called Wit in a Consta- 
ble, 1640, has this passage: 

" 1 will teach his hench-boys, 

" Serjeants, and trumpeters to act, and save 
" The city all that charges." 
So, again : 

" When she was lady may'ress, and you humble 
" As her trim hench-boys^ 
Again, in Ben Jonson's Christmas Masque : " — he said grace 
as well as any of the sheriff's hench-boys." 

Skinner derives the word from Hine A. S. quasi domesticus 
famulus. Spelman from Hengstman, equi curator, 'nrrfOKopOf. 


In a letter to the Earl of Shrewsbury dated 1 1th of December, 
1565, it is said: " Her Highness (i. e. Queen Elizabeth) hathe 
of late, whereat some doo moche marvell, dissolved the auncient 
office of Henchemen." (Lodge's Illustrations, Vol. I. p. 358.) 
On this passage Mr. Lodge observes that Henchmen were " a cer- 
tain number of youths, the sons of gentlemen, who stood or 
walked near the person of the monarch on all public occasions. 
They are mentioned in the sumptuary statutes of the 4th of Ed- 
ward the Fourth, and 24th of Henry VIII, and a patent is pre- 
served in the Fcedera, Vol. XV. 242, whereby Edward VI. 

sc. ii. DREAM. 367 

Tit a. Set your heart at rest, 

The fairy land buys not the child of me. 
His mother was a vot'ress of my order : 
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night, 
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side ; 
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, 
Marking the embarked traders on the flood ; 
When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive, 
And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind : 5 

gives to William Buklcy, M. A. propter gravitatem morum et 
doctrines abundantiam, qfficium docendi, erudiendi, atque insti- 
fuendi adolescentidos vocatos Henchmen; with a salary of* 40l. 
per annum. Henchman, or Heinsmen, is a German word, as 
Blount informs us in his Glossographia, signifying a domestic, 
whence our ancient term Hind, a servant in the house of a 
farmer. Dr. Percy, in a note on the Earl of Northumberland's 
household-book, with less probability, derives the appellation 
from their custom of standing by the side, or Haunch, of their 
Lord. Reed. 

Upon the establishment of the household of Edward IV. were 
" henxmen six enfant s, or more, as it pleyseth the king, eatinge 
in the halle, &c. There was also a maister of the henxmen, to 
shewe them the schoole of nurture, and learne them to ride, to 
"wear their harnesse ; to have all cnrtesie — to teach them all 
languages, and other virtues, as harping, pipynge, singing, 
dauncing, with honest behavioure of temperaunce and patyencc.^ 
MS. Harl. 2y3. 

At the funeral of Henry VIII. nine henchmen attended with 
Sir Francis Bryan, master of the henchmen. 

Strype's Eccl. Mem. v. 2. App. n. 1. Tyrwiiitt. 

Henchman, Quasi haunch-man. One that goes be- 
hind another. Pcdisequus. Blackstone. 

The learned commentator might have given his etymology 
some support from the following passage in King Henry IV. 
P. II. Act IV. sc. iv: 

" O Westmoreland, thou art a summer bird, 
" Which ever in the haunch of winter sings 
" The lifting up of day." Steevens. 

J And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind.] Dryden, in 
his translation of the i»t Book of Homer's Iliad (and Pope after 
him) were perhaps indebted to the foregoing passage: 

368 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act ii. 

Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait, 
(Following her womb, then rich with my young 

Would imitate ; and sail upon the land, 
To fetch me trifles, and return again, 
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize. 
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die ; 
And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy : 
And, for her sake, I will not part with him. 

" winds suffic'd the sail 

" The bellying canvas strutted with the gale." Hryden. 

" indulgent gales 

" Supply'd by Phoebus, fill the swelling sails, 
*"* The milk-white canvas bellying as they blow." 


* Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait, 
Following (her womb, then rich with my young 'squire,) 
Would imitate — ] Perhaps the parenthesis should begin 
sooner ; as I think Mr. Kenrick observes : 

(Following her womb, then rich with my young ''squire.) 
So, in Trulla's combat with Hudibras : 

" She press'd so home, 

" That he retired, and follow' d's bu?n.' > * 
And Dryden says of* his Spanish Friar, " his great belly walks 
in state before him, and his gouty legs come limping after it." 

I have followed this regulation, (which is likewise adopted by 
Mr. Steevens, ) though I do not think that of the old copy at all 
liable to the objection made to it by Dr. Warburton. " She did 
not, (he says,) follow the ship whose motion she imitated; for 
that sailed on the water, she on land." But might she not on 
land move in the same direction with the ship at sea, which cer- 
tainly would outstrip her? and what is this but following? 

Which, according to the present regulation, must mean — > 
which motion of the ship with swelling sails, &c : according to 
the old regulation it must refer to " embarked traders." 

. Malone. 

This passage, as it is printed, appears to me ridiculous. Every 
woman who walks forward mustfllow her womb. The absurdity 
is avoided by leaving the word.— following out of the parenthesis. 
Warburton's grammatical objection has no foundation. 

M. Mason, 

sc. n. DREAM. S69 

Obe. IIow long within this wood intend you stay ? 

Tita. Perchance, tillafter Theseus' wedding-day. 
If you will patiently dance in our round, 
And see our moon-light revels, go with us ; 
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts. 

Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee. 

Tita. Not for thy kingdom. — Fairies, away: 7 
We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay. 

\_Ejceunt Titania, and her train. 

Obe. Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this 
Till I torment thee for this injury. — 
My gentle Puck, come hither : Thou remember'st 
Since once I sat upon a promontory, 
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back, 
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath, 
That the rude sea grew civil at her song ; 
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, 
To hear the sea-maid's musick. 8 

' Not for thy kingdom. — Fairies, away :] The ancient copies 
read : 

Not for thy fairy kingdom. — Fairies, away. 

By the advice of* Dr. Farmer I have omitted the useless ad- 
jective fairy, as it spoils the metre ; Fairies, the following sub- 
stantive, being apparently used, in an earlier instance, as a 
trisyllable. STEEVEK8. 

1 Thou remember'st 

Since once I sat upon' a promontory, 

And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back, 

Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath, 

That the rude sea grew civil at her song ; 

And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, 

To hear the sea-maid's musick.'] The first thing observable 
on these words is, that this action of the mermaid is laid in the 
same time and place with Cupid's attack upon the vestal. By 
the vestal every one knows is meant Queen Elizabeth. It is very 
natural and reasonable then to think that the mermaid stands for 


Puck. I remember. 

Obe. That very time I saw, (but thou could'st 

some eminent personage of her time. And if so, the allegorical 
covering, in which there is a mixture of satire and panegyric, 
will lead us to conclude that this person was one of whom it had 
been inconvenient for the author to speak openly, either in praise 
or dispraise. All this agrees with Mary Queen of Scots, and 
with no other. Queen Elizabeth could not bear to hear her 
commended ; and her successor would not forgive her satirist. 
But the poet has so well marked out every distinguished circum- 
stance of her life and character in this beautiful allegory, as will 
leave no room to doubt about his secret meaning. She is called 
a mermaid, 1. to denote her reign over a kingdom situate in the 
sea, and 2. her beauty, and intemperate lust : 

" Ut turpiter atrum 

" Desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne." 
for as Elizabeth for her chastity is called a vestal, this unfortu- 
nate lady on a contrary account is called a mermaid. 3. An 
ancient story may be supposed to be here alluded to. The em- 
peror Julian tells us, Epistle 41, that the Sirens (which, with all 
the modern poets, are mermaids,) contended for precedency with 
the Muses, who, overcoming them, took away their wings. 
The quarrels between Mary and Elizabeth had the same cause, 
and the same issue. 

on a dolphin's back,] This evidently marks out that dis- 
tinguishing circumstance of Mary's fortune, her marriage with 
the dauphin of France, son of Henry II. 

Uttering such didcet and harmonious breath,] This alludes to 
her great abilities of genius and learning, which rendered her 
the most accomplished princess of her age. The French writers 
tell us, that, while she was in that court, she pronounced a 
Latin oration in the great hall of the Louvre, with so much grace 
and eloquence, as filled the whole court with admiration. 

That the rude sea grew civil at her song ;~\ By the rude sea is 
meant Scotland encircled with the ocean ; which rose up in arms 
against the regent, while she was in France. But her return 
home presently quieted those disorders : and had not her strange 
ill conduct afterwards more violently inflamed them, she might 
have passed her whole life in peace. There is the greater justness 
and beauty in this image, as the vulgar opinion is, that the 
mermaid always sings in storms : 

And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, 

To hear the sea-maid's musick.'] This concludes the description, 

sen. DREAM. 371 

Flying between the cold moon and the earth, 

with that remarkable circumstance of this unhappy lady's fate, 
the destruction she brought upon several of the English nobility, 
whom she drew in to support her cause. This, in the boldest 
expression of the sublime, the poet images by certain stars shoot- 
ing madly from their spheres : By which he meant the Earls of 
Northumberland and Westmoreland, who fell in her quarrel ; 
and principally the great Duke of Norfolk, whose projected mar- 
riage with her was attended with such fatal consequences. Here 
again the reader may observe a peculiar justness in the imagery. 
The vulgar opinion being that the mermaid allured men to de- 
struction with her songs. To which opinion Shakspeare alludes 
in his Comedy of Errors : 

" O train me not, sweet mermaid, with thy note, 
" To droivn me in thy sisters flood of tears." 
On the whole, it is the noblest and justest allegory'that was ever 
written. The laying it in fairy land, and out of nature, is in 
the character of the speaker. And on these occasions Shakspeare 
always excels himself. He is borne away by the magic of his 
enthusiasm, and hurries his reader along with him into these 
ancient regions of poetry, by that power of verse which we may 
well fancy to be like what, 

" Olim fauni vatesque canebant." Warburton. 

And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,'] So, in our 
author's Rape of Lucrece : 

" And little stars shot from their fixed places." 


Every reader maybe induced to wish that the foregoing allu- 
sion, pointed out by so acute a critic as Dr. Warburton, should 
remain uncontroverted ; and yet I cannot dissemble my doubts 
concerning it. — Why is the thrice-married Queen of Scotland 
stiled a .SVa-MAiD? and is it probable that Shakspeare (who un- 
derstood his own political as well as poetical interest) should have 
ventured such a panegyric on this ill-fated Princess, during the 
reign of her rival Elizabeth >. If it was unintelligible to his 
audience, it was thrown away ; if obvious, there was danger of 
onxnee to her Majesty. 

11 A star dis-orb'd," however, (See Troilus and Cressida,) is 
one of our author's favourite images ; and he has no where else 
so happily expressed it as in Antony and Cleopatra ; 

" the good stars, that were my former guides, 

" Have empty left their orbs, and shot their fires 
" Into th' abysm of hell." 

B B 2 


Cupid all arm'd :° a certain aim he took 

To these remarks may be added others of a like tendency, 
which I met with in The Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1/86. — 
" That a compliment to Queen Elizabeth was intended in the 
expression of the fair Vestal throned in the West, seems to be 
generally allowed ; but how far Shakspeare designed, under the 
image of the Mermaid, to figure Mary Queen of Scots, is more 
doubtful. If by the rude sea grew civil at her song, is meant, 
as Dr. Warburton supposes, that the tumults of Scotland were 
appeased by her address, the observation is not true ; for that sea 
was in a storm during the whole of Mary's reign. Neither is 
the figure just, if by the stars shooting madly from their spheres 
to hear the sea-maid's musick, the poet alluded to the fate of the 
Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, and particularly of 
the Duke of Norfolk, whose projected marriage with Mary, was 
the occasion of his ruin. It would have been absurd and irre- 
concileable to the good sense of the poet, to have represented a 
nobleman aspiring to marry a Queen, by the image of a star 
shooting or descending from its sphere." 

See also Mr. Ritson's observations on the same subject. On 
account of their length, they are given at the end of the play. 


9 Cupid all arm'd :] All arm'd does not signify dressed in pa- 
noply, but only enforces the word armed, as we might say, all 
booted. Johnson. 

So, in Greene's Never too late, l6l6: 

" Or where proud Cupid sat all arm'd with fire." 
Again, in Lord Surrey's translation of the 4th Book of the 

" All utterly I could not seem forsaken." 
Again, in King Richard III: 

*' His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights." 
Shakspeare's compliment to Queen Elizabeth has no small de- 
gree of propriety and elegance to boast of. The same can hardly 
be said of the following, with which the tragedy of Soliman and 
Perseda, 1599, concludes. Death is the speaker, and vows he 
will spare — 

" none but sacred Cynthia s friend, 

" Whom Death did fear before her life began ; 

" For holy fates have grav'n it in their tables, 

" That Death shall die, if he attempt her end 

" Whose life is heaven's delight, and Cynthia's friend," 

sc. //. DREAM. 373 

At a fair vestal, throned by the west j 1 

And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow, 

As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts : 

But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft 

Quench'd in the chaste beams of the wat'ry moon ; 

And the imperial vot'ress passed on, 

In maiden meditation, fancy-free. 2 

Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell : 

It fell upon a little western flower, — , 

Before, milk-white; nowpurplewithlove's wound, — 

And maidens call it, love-in-idleness. 3 

If incense was thrown in cart-loads on the altar, this propi- 
tious deity was not disgusted by the smoke of it. Steevens. 

1 At a fair vestal, throned by the ivest ;] A compliment to 
Queen Elizabeth. Pope. 

It was no uncommon thing to introduce a compliment to this 
resolute, this determined virgin, in the body of a play. So 
again, in Tancred and Gismund, \5g r 2: 

" There lives a virgin, one without compare, 
" Who of all graces hath her heavenly share; 
" In whose renowne, and for whose happie days, 
" Let us record this Paean of her praise." Cantant. 


1 fancy-free^ i. e. exempt from the power of love. Thus, 

in Queen Elizabeth's Entertainment in Snffblke and Norfolke, 
written by Churchyard, Chastity deprives Cupid of his bow, and 
presents it to her Majesty: " — and bycause that the Queene 
bad chosen the best life, she gave the Queene Cupid's bow, to 
learne to shoote at whome she pleased : since none could wound 
her highnesse hart, it was meete (said Chastitie) that she should 
do with Cupid's bowe and arrowes what she pleased.'' 


3 And maidens call it, love-in-idleness.] This is as fine a me- 
tamorphosis as any in Ovid: with a much better moral, intimat- 
ing, that irregular love lias only power when people are idle, or 
not well employed. Wahhurton. 

I bt lieye the singular beauty of this metamorphosis to have been 
quite accidental, as the poet is of another opinion, in The Taming 
of a Shrffai, Act I. sc. iv : 

374 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act it. 

Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee once ; 
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid, 
Will make or man or woman madly dote 
Upon the next live creature that it sees. 
Fetch me this herb : and be thou here again, 
Ere the leviathan can swim a league. 

Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth 4 
In forty minutes. [Exit Puck. 

Obe. Having once this juice, 

I'll watch Titania when she is asleep, 
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes : 
The next thing then she waking looks upon, 

" But see, while idly I stood looking on, 
" I found th' effect of love in idleness ; 
" And now in plainness I confess to thee, 
" Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio, 
" If I achieve not this young modest girl." 
And Lucentio's was surely'a regular and honest passion. It 
is scarce necessary to mention, that love-in-idleness is a flower. 
Taylor, the water-poet, quibbling on the names of plants, men- 
tions it as follows : 

" When passions are let loose without a bridle, 
" Then precious time is turn'd to love-in-idle" 


The flower or violet, commonly called pansies, or heart's ease, 
is named love-in-idleness in Warwickshire, and in Lyte's Herbal. 
There is a reason why Shakspeare says it is " now purple with 
love's wound," because one or two of its petals are of a purple 
colour. Tollet. 

It is called in other counties the Three coloured violet, the 
Herb of Trinity, Three faces in a hood, Cuddle me to you, &c. 


4 Pll put a girdle round about the earth — ] This expression 
also occurs in The Bird in a Cage, 1633 : 

" And when I have put a girdle 'bout the world, 
" This purchase will reward me." 
Perhaps it is proverbial. 

Again, in Bussy d'Ambois, by Chapman, 1613: 
" To put a girdle round about the "world." 
And in other plays. Steevens. 

sc. ii. DREAM. 375 

(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, 
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,) 
She shall pursue it with the soul of love. 
And ere I take this charm off from her sight, 
(As I can take it, with another herb,) 
I'll make her render up her page to me. 
But who comes here ? I am invisible ; 5 
And I will over-hear their conference. 

Enter Demetrius, Helen a following him. 

Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. 
Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia ? 
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me. c 
Thou told'st me, they were stol'n into this wood, 
And here am I, and wood within this wood, 7 

s / am invisible ;] I thought proper here to observe, 

that, as Oberon, and Puck his attendant, may be frequently ob- 
served to speak, when there is no mention of their entering, they 
are designed by the poet to be supposed on the stage during the 
greatest part of the remainder of the play ; and to mix, as they 
please, as spirits, with the other actors ; and embroil the plot, 
by their interposition, without being seen, or heard, but when 
to their own purpose. Theobald. 

See Tempest, page 43, note 4. Steevens. 

The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.] The old copies 
read — 

" The one I'll stay, the other stayeth me." Steevens. 

Dr. Thirlby ingeniously saw it must be, as I have corrected 
in the text. Theobald. 

7 — — and wood within this wood,'] Wood, or mad, wild, 
raving. Pope. 

In the third part of the Countess of Pembroke's Ivy-Church, 
1591, is the same quibble on the word : 

" Daphne goes to the woods, and vowes herself to Diana ; 
" Phoebufl growsstarkuwodfor love andfancieto Daphne." 
We also find the same word in Chaucer, in the character of 
the Monh-r, Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 184 : 

" What shulde he studie, and make himselven wood?" 

376 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act ii, 

Because I cannot meet with Hermia. 

Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more. 

Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant ; 
But yet you draw, not iron, 8 for my heart 
Is true as steel : Leave you your power to draw, 
And I shall have no power to follow you. 

Dem. Do I entice you ? Do I speak you fair ? 
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth 
Tell you — I do not, nor I cannot love you ? 

Hel. And even for that do I love you the more. 
I am your spaniel ; and, Demetrius, 
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you : 
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me, 
Neglect me, lose me ; only give me leave, 
Unworthy as I am, to follow you. 
What worser place can I beg in your love, 
(And yet a place of high respect with me,) 
Than to be used as you use your dog ? 

Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my 
spirit ; 
For I am sick, when I do look on thee. 

Hel. And I am sick, when I look not on you. 

Spenser also uses it, JEglogue III. March : 
" The elf was so wanton, and so wodeJ" 

" The name Woden," says Verstegan in his Restitution of 
Decayed Intelligence, &c. 1605 : signifies fierce or furious ; and 
in like sense we still retain it, saying when one is in a great rage, 
that he is wood, or taketh on as if he were wood." Steevens. 

See Tivo Gentlemen of Verona, Act II. sc. iii. p. 215. Harris. 

8 You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant; 
But yet you draw not iron,] I learn from Edward Fenton's 
Certaine Secrete Wonders of Nature, bl. 1. 156p, that — " there 
is now a dayes a kind of adamant which draweth unto it fleshe, 
and the same so strongly, that it hath power to knit and tie to- 
gether, two mouthes of contrary persons, and drawe the heart of 
a man out of his bodie without ofFendyng any parte of him." 


sc. n. DREAM. 377 

Dem. You do impeach your modesty too much, 
To leave the city, and commit yourself 
Into the hands of one that loves you not ; 
To trust the opportunity of night, 
And the ill counsel of a desert place, 
With the rich worth of your virginity. 

Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that. 1 
It is not night, when I do see your face, 2 
Therefore I think I am not in the night : 
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company; 3 
For you, in my respect, are all the world : 
Then how can it be said, I am alone, 
When all the world is here to look on me ? 

Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the 
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts. 

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you. 4 

9 impeach your modesty — ] i. e. bring it into question. 

So, in The Merchant of Venice, Act III. sc. ii : 

" And doth impeach the freedom of the state, 
" If they deny him justice." Steevens. 

1 for that.'] i. e. For leaving the city, &C. Tyrwhitt. 

2 It is not night, tvhen I do see your face, &c] This passage 
is paraphrased from two lines of an ancient poet [Tibullus] : 

" Tu nocte vel atra 

" Lumen, et in solis tu mihi turba locis." Johnson. 

As the works of King David might be more familiar to Shak- 
speere than Roman poetry, perhaps, on the present occasion, the 
eleventh verse of the 139th Psalm, was in his thoughts: " Yea, 
the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear 
as the day." Steevens. 

Vor doth this wood lack worlds of company ;] The same 
thought occurs in King Hc/try VI. P. II: 
" A wilderness is populous enough, 
" So Suffolk had thy heavenly company.'' Malone. 

* The Viildest hath not such a heart as unn.~] 

" Mitius inveni quain te germs omne ferarum." Ovid. 


Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd ; 
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase ; 
The dove pursues the griffin ; the mild hind 
Makes speed to catch the tiger : Bootless speed ! 
When cowardice pursues, and valour flies. 

Dem. I will not stay thy questions; 5 let me go : 
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe 
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood. 

Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field, 
You do me mischief. Fye, Demetrius ! 
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex : 
We cannot fight for love, as men may do ; 
We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo. 
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell, 
To die upon the hand I love so well. 6 

\_Exeunt Dem. and Hel. 

Obe. Fare thee well, nymph : ere he do leave 
this grove, 
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love. — 

Re-enter Puck. 

Hast thou the flower there ? Welcome, wanderer. 
Puck. Ay, there it is. 

See Timon of Athens, Act IV. sc. i : 

" where he shall find 

" The unkindest beasts more kinder than mankind." S.W. 

4 I will not stay thy question.? ;] Though Helena certainly puts 
a few insignificant questions to Demetrius, I cannot but think our 
author wrote — question, i. e. discourse, conversation. So, in As 
you like it : " I met the duke yesterday, and had much question 
with him." Steevens. 

To die upon the hand, &c] To die upon, &c. in our author's 
language, I believe, means — " to die by the hand." So, in The 
Two Gentlemen of Verona : 

" I'll die on him that says so, but yourself." Steevens. 

sc. ii. DREAM. 379 

Obe. I pray thee, give it me. 

I know a bank whereon 7 the wild thyme blows, 
Where ox-lips 8 and the nodding violet 9 grows j 
Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine, 1 
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine: 
There sleeps Titania, some time of the night, 
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight; 
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin, 
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in : 
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes, 
And make her full of hateful fantasies. 

7 whereon — ] The old copy reads — inhere. Mr. Malone 

supposes where to be used as a dissyllable ; but offers no example 
of such a pronunciation. Steevens. 

8 Where ox-lips — ] The oxlip is the greater cowslip. 

So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song XV: 

" To sort these flowers of showe,with other that were sweet, 
" The cowslip then they couch, and th' oxlip for her meet." 


9 the nodding violet — ] i. e. that declines its head, like a 

drowsy person. Steevens. 

1 Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine,] All the old editions 
read — luscious woodbine. 

On the margin of one of my folios an unknown hand has writ- 
ten lush woodbine, which, 1 think, is right. This hand I have 
since discovered to be Theobald's. Johnson. 

Lush is clearly preferable in point of sense, and absolutely ne- 
cessary in point of metre. Oberon is speaking in rhyme ; but 
woodbine, as hitherto accented upon the first syllable, cannot 
possibly correspond with eglantine. The substitution of lush will 
restore the passage to its original harmony, and the author's idea. 


I have inserted lush in the text, as it is a word already used 
by Shakspeare in The Tempest, Act II : 

" How lush and lusty the grass looks? how green ?" 
Both lush and (uscious (says Mr: Henley) are words of the 

same origin. 

Dr. Farmer, however, would omit the word quite, as a useless 
expletive, and read : 

" O'er-canopied with luscious woodbine." Steevens. 


Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove : 
A sweet Athenian lady is in love 
With a disdainful youth : anoint his eyes ; 
But do it, when the next thing he espies 
May be the lady : Thou shalt know the man 
By the Athenian garments he hath on. 2 
Effect it with some care ; that he may prove 
More fond on her, than she upon her love : 
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow. 

Puck. Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so. 



Another part of the Wood. 
Enter Titania, with her train. 
Tita. Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song ; 3 

9 the man hath on.] I desire no surer evidence to 

prove that the broad Scotch pronunciation once prevailed in Eng- 
land, than such a rhyme as the first of these words affords to the 
second. Steevens. 

3 a roundel, and a fairy song;'} Roicnds, or roundels, 

were like the present country dances, and are thus described by 
Sir John Davies, in his Orchestra, 1 622 : 

" Then first of all he doth demonstrate plain 

" The motions seven that are in nature found, 
" Upward and downward, forth, and back again, 
" To this side, and to that, and turning round ; 
" Whereof a thousand brawls he doth compound, 
" Which he doth teach unto the multitude, 
" And ever with a turn they must conclude. 
'« Thus when at first love had them marshalled, 
" As erst he did the shapeless mass of things, 
" He taught them rounds and winding hays to tread, DREAM. 381 

Then, for the third part of a minute, hence ; 4 
Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds ; 5 
Some, war with rear-mice* for their leathern wings, 

" And about trees to cast themselves in rings : 
" As the two Bears whom the first mover flings 
" With a short turn about heaven's axle-tree, 
" In a round dance for ever wheeling be." Reed. 

A roundell, rondill, or roundelay, is sometimes used to signify 
a song beginning or ending with the same sentence; redit in orbem. 

Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 158Q, has a chapter On the 
roundel, or sphere, and produces what he calls A general resem- 
blance of' the roundel to God, and the queen. Steevens. 

A roundel is, as I suppose, a circular dance. Ben Jonson 
seems to call the rings which such dances are supposed to make 
in the grass, rondels. Vol. V. Tale of a Tub, p. 23 : 
" I'll have no rondels, I, in the queen's paths." 


So, in The Boke of the Governour, by Sir Thomas Elyot, 153/: 
" In stede of these we have now base daunces, bargenettes, 
pavyons, turgions, and roundest Steevens. 

* Then, for the third part of a minute, hence ;] Dr. Warburton 
reads : 

for the. third part of the midnight — . 

But the persons employed are fairies, to whom the third part 
of a minute might not be a very short time to do such work in. 
The critick might as well have objected to the epithet tall, which 
the fairy bestows on the cowslip. But Shakspeare, throughout 
the play, has preserved the proportion of other things in respect 
to these tiny beings, compared with whose size, a cowslip might 
be tall, and to whose powers of execution, a minute might be 
equivalent to an age. Steevens. 

5 in the musk-rose buds ;] What is at present called the 

Musk Rose, was a flower unknown to English botanists in the 
time of Shakspeare. About fifty years ago it was brought into 
this country from Spain. Steevens. 

6 with rear-mice — ] A rere-mouse is a bat, a mouse that 

rears itself from the ground by the aid of wings. So, in Albertus 
Wallcnstcin, 16-40: 

" Half-spirited souls, who strive on rere-mice wings." 
Again, in Ben Jonson's New Inn: 

" I keep no shades 

" Nor shelters, I, for either owls or rere-mice.^ 

382 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act it. 

To make my small elves coats; and some, keep back 
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders 
At our quaint spirits : 7 Sing me now asleep ; 
Then to your offices, and let me rest. 


1 Fat You spotted snakes, with double tongue* 
Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen; 
Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong ; 9 
Come not near our fairy queen : 

Again, in Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis, 
B. IV. edit. 1587, p. 58, b : 

" And we in English language bats or reremice call the 
Gawin Douglas, in his Prologue to Maphaeus's 13th Book of 
the JEneid, also applies the epithet leathern to the wings of the 

" Up gois the bah with her pelit leddren flicht." 


7 quaint spirits i\ For this Dr. Warburton reads against 

all authority : " — quaint sports." 

But Prospero, in The Tempest, applies quaint to Ariel. 


" Our quaint spirits." Dr. Johnson is right in the word, and 
Dr. Warburton in the interpretation. A spirit was sometimes 
used for a sport. In Decker's play, If it be not good, the Devil 
is in it, the king of Naples says to the devil Ruffman, disguised 
in the character of Shalcan : " Now Shalcan, some new spirit ? 
Huff. A thousand wenches stark-naked to play at leap-frog. 
Omnes. O rare sight!" Farmer. 

8 ivith double tongue,"] The same epithet occurs in a 

future scene of this play : 

" with doubter tongue 

" Than thine, thou serpent ^ &c. 
Again, in The Tempest: 

" adders, who, with cloven tongues, 

" Do hiss me into madness." 
By both these terms, I suppose, our author means— forked ; 



Philomel, with melody, 
Sing in our sweet lullaby ; 
Lu/la, lulla, lullaby; Mia, lulla, lullaby: 
Never harm, nor spell nor charm, 
Come our lovely lady nigh; 
So, good night, with lullaby. 


2 Fai. Weaving spiders, come not here; 

Hence, you long-legg'd sphiners, hence: 
Beetles black, approach not near; 
Worm, nor snail, do no offejice. 


Philomel, with melody, &c. 

1 Fai. Hence, away ; now all is well : 
One, aloof, stand sentinel. 1 

\_Exeunt Fairies. Titania sleeps. 

as the tongues of snakes are sometimes represented in ancient 
tapestry and paintings, and, it may be added, are so in nature. 


9 Newts, and blind-worms,] The newt is the eft, the blind- 
iLonyi is the Ccecilia or slow-worm. They are both ingredients 
in the cauldron of Macbeth. See Macbeth, Act IV. sc. i. 


1 Hence, away ; &c] This, according to all the editions, is 
made part of the song ; but, I think, without sufficient reason, 
as it appears to be spoken after the song is over. In the quarto 
l6oo, it is given to the second Fairy ; but the other division is 
better. Steevens. 



Enter Oberon. 

Obe. What thou seest, when thou dost wake, 
[Squeezes the flower on Titania's eye-lids. 
Do it for thy true love take ; 
Love, and languish for his sake : 
Be it ounce, 2 or cat, or bear, 
Pard, or boar with bristled hair, 
In thy eye that shall appear 
When thou >vak' 
Wake, when some vile thing is near. ) [Exit. 

itn Diisueu nan, 
shall appear 1 

:'st, it is thy dear ; > 
me vile thing is near. } 

Enter Lysander and Hermia. 

Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the 

And to speak troth, I have forgot our way ; 
WV11 rest us, Hermia, if you think it good, 
And tarry for the comfort of the day. 

Her. Be it so, Lysander : find you out a bed, 
For I upon this bank will rest my head. 

Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both j 
One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. 

Her. Nay, good Lysander ; for my sake, my 
Lie further off yet, do not lie so near. 

Lys. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence ; 3 
Love takes the meaning, in love's conference. 4 

2 Be it ounce,'] The ounce is a small tiger, or tiger-cat. 


3 O, take the sense, sxoeet, of my innocence ;] Lysander, in tlie 
language of love, professes, that as they have one heart, they 
shall have one bed ; this Hermia thinks rather too much, and 
intreats him to lie further off'. Lysander answers : 

sc. in. DREAM. 385 

I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit ; 
So that but one heart we can make of it : 
Two bosoms interchained 5 with an oath ; 
So then, two bosoms, and a single troth. 
Then, by your side no bed-room me deny; 
For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie. 

Her. Lysander riddles very prettily: — 
Now much beshrew 6 my manners and my pride, 
If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied. 
But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy 
Lie further off; in human modesty 

" 0, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence ;'' 
Understand the meaning of my innocence, or my innocent mean- 
ing. Let no suspicion of ill enter thy mind. Johnson. 

4 Love takes the meaning, in love's conference.] In the con- 
versation of those who are assured of each other's kindness, not 
suspicion hut love takes the meaning. No malevolent interpre- 
tation is to be made, but all is to be received in the sense which 
love can find, and which love can dictate. Johnson. 

The latter line is certainly intelligible as Dr. Johnson has ex- 
plained it ; but, I think, it requires a slight alteration to make it 
connect well with the former. I would read : 

Love take the meaning in love's conference. 

That is, Let love take the meaning. Tyrwhitt. 

There is no occasion for alteration. The idea is exactly simi- 
lar to that of St. Paul: " Love thinketh no evil." Henley. 

4 interchained — ] Thus the quartos ; the folio inter- 
changed. Steevens. 

6 Now much beshrew <!yc.] This word, of which the ety- 
mology is not exactly known, implies a sinister wish, and means 
the same as if she had said " now ill befall my manners,'' &c 
It is used by Ileyvvood in his Iron Age, 1632: 

" Beshrew your amorous rhetorick." 
Again : 

" Well, Paris, I beshrew you, with my heart." 


See Minsheu's etymology of it, which seems to be an impre- 
cation or wish of such evil to one, as the venomous biting of 
the shrcxu-moHsc. ToLLET. 



Such separation, as, may well be said, 
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid: 
So far be distant ; and good night, sweet friend: 
Thy love ne'er alter, till thy sweet life end ! 

Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I j 
And then end life, when I end loyalty! 
Here is my bed : Sleep give thee all his rest ! 

Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be 
press'd ! [ They sleep. 

Enter Puck. 

Puck. Through the forest have I gone, 
But Athenian found I none, 7 
On whose eyes I might approve 
This flower's force in stirring love. 
Night and silence ! who is here ? 
Weeds of Athens he doth wear : 
This is he, my master said, 
Despised the Athenian maid ; 
And here the maiden, sleeping sound, 
On the dank and dirty ground. 
Pretty soul ! she durst not lie 
Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy. 8 

7 But Athenian found 7" none,'] Thus the quarto, l600, 
printed by Fisher. That by Roberts, and the folio, \QTl, read: 
" —find I none." Steevens. 

8 Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy. ~\ The old copies read: 

" Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy." 
Mr. Theobald and Sir T. Hanmer, for the sake of the mea- 
sure, leave out this lack-love. I have only omitted — this, 


Might we not adhere to the old copy, and at the same time 
preserve the measure, by printing the line thus : 
" Near this lack-love, this kill-court'sy." 

sc. in. DREAM. 387 

Churl, upon thy eyes I throw 

All the power this charm doth owe :' J 

When thou wak'st, let love forbid 

Sleep his seat on thy eye-lid. 1 

So awake, when I am gone ; 

For I must now to Oberon. \JE$it 

Enter Demetrius and Helena, runn'mg. 

Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Deme- 

Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt 
me thus. 

Hel. O, wilt thou darkling leave me? 2 do not/So. 

Dem. Stay, on thy peril j I alone will go. 

\_Efflt Demetrius. 

We meet with the same abbreviation in our author's Venus 
and Adonis ; 

" They all strain court's//, who shall cope him first." 

CourVsij can never be admitted at the end of a verse, the 
penult being always short. Steevens. 

9 All the power this charm doth owe :] i. e. all the power it 
possesses. So, in Othello: 

" Shall never medicine thee to that sweet sleep 
" Which thou otv'dst yesterday." Steevens. 

1 let lore forbid 

Sleep his scat on thy rye-lid.~\ So, in Macbeth : 
" Sleep shall neither mghl nor day 
" Hang upon his pent-house lid." Steevens. 

8 tvitt thou darkling leave met"] i. e. in the dark. So, 

in The Trvo angri/ Women of Abington, 15QQ: " — we'll run 
away with the torch, and leave them to fight darkling." The 
word is likewise used by Milton. Steevens. 

Again, in King Lear : " And so the candle went out, and we 
were left da>Uin<r." Uitson. 

C c 2 


Hel. O, I am out of breath in this fond chase ! 
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace. 3 
Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies ; 
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes. 
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears: 
If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers. 
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear ; 
For beasts that meet me, run away for fear : 
Therefore, no marvel, though Demetrius 
Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus. 
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine 
Made me compare with Hermia' s sphery eyne? — 
But who is here ? — Lysander ! on the ground ! 
Dead ? or asleep ? I see no blood, no wound : — 
Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake. 

Lys. And run through fire I will, for thy sweet 
sake. [ Waking. 

Transparent Helena ! Nature here shows art, 4 
That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart. 
Where is Demetrius ? O, how fit a word 
Is that vile name, to perish on my sword ! 

Hel. Do not say so, Lysander ; say not so : 
What though he love your Hermia ? Lord, what 
though ? 

my grace.'] My acceptableness, the favour that I can 

gain. Johnson. 

* Nature [here] sheivs art,] Thus the quartos. The 

folio reads — Nature her shews art, — perhaps the error of the 
press for — Nature shews her art. The editor of the second folio 
changed her to here. Malone. 

I admit the word — here, as a judicious correction of the second 
folio. Here, means — in the present instance. On this occasion, 
says Lysander, the work of nature resembles that of art, viz. 
(as our author expresses it in his Lover's Complaint,) an object 
" glaz'd with crystal." Steevens. 

sc. in. DREAM. 389 

Yet Hermia still loves you : then be content. 

Lys. Content with Hermia? No: I do repent 
The tedious minutes I with her have spent. 
Not Hermia, but Helena I love : 
Who will not change a raven for a dove ? 
The will of man is by his reason sway'd ; 
And reason says you are the worthier maid. 
Things growing are not ripe until their season : 
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason ; 5 
And touching now the point of human skill, 6 
Reason becomes the marshal to my will, 7 

* till now ripe not to reason ;] i. e. do not ripen to it. 

Jiipe, in the present instance, is a verb. So, in As you like it : 
•" And so, from hour to hour, we ripe, and ripe — ." 


6 touching now the point of human skill,'] i. e. my senses 

being now at the utmost height of perfection. So, in King 
Hear// VIII: 

" I have touch' d the highest point of all my greatness." 


7 Reason becomes the marshal to my to///,] That is, My will 
now follows reason. Johnson. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" Thou marshal' st me the way that I was going." 


A modern writer [Letters of Literature, 8vo. 1785,] contends 
that Dr. Johnson's explanation is inaccurate. The meaning, 
says he, is, " my will now obeys the command of my reason, 
not my will follows my reason. Marshal is a director of an 
army, of a turney, of a feast. Sydney has used marshal for 
herald or poursuivant, but improperly." 

Of such flimzy materials are many of the hyper-criticisms 
composed, to which the labours of the editors and commentators 
on Shakspeare have given rise. Who does not at once perceive, 
that Dr. .Johnson, when he speaks of the will following reason, 
uses the word not literally, but metaphorically ? " My will 
follows or obeys the dictates of reason." Or that, if this were 
not the case, he would yet be justified by the context, (And leads 
me — ) and by the passage quoted from Macbeth? — The heralds, 


And leads me to your eyes ; where I o'erlook 
Love's stories, written in love's richest book. 8 

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery 
born ? 
When, at your hands, did I deserve this scorn ? 
Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man, 
That I did never, no, nor never can, 
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye, 
But you must flout my insufficiency ? 
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do, 
In such disdainful manner me to woo. 
But fare you well: perforce I must confess, 
I thought you lord of more true gentleness. 9 
O, that a lady, of one man refus'd, 
Should, of another, therefore be abus'd ! \_Exit. 

Lys. She sees not Hermia: — Hermia, sleep thou 
there ; 
And never may'st thou come Lysander near ! 
For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things 
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings ; 
Or, as the heresies, that men do leave, 
Are hated most of those they did deceive ; 
So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy, 
Of all be hated ; but the most of me ! 

distinguished by the names of " jjoursuivants at arms," were 
likewise called marshals. See Minsheu's Dict. l6l/, in v. 


6 leads me to your eyes ; ixhere I overlook 

Love's stories, written in love's richest book.] So, in Romeo 
and Juliet : 

" what obscur'd in this fair volume lies, 

" Find written in the margin of his eyes, 

lt This precious book of love — ." Steevens. 

D true gentleness.] Gentleness is equivalent to what, in 

modern language, we should call the spirit of a gentleman. 


sc.iii. DREAM. 391 

And all my powers, address your love and might, 
To honour Helen, and to be 'her knight! [Exit. 

Her. [starting.'] Help me, Lysander, help me ! 
do thy best, 
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast ! 
Ah me, for pity ! — what a dream was here ? 
Lysander, look, how I do quake with fear : 
Methought a serpent eat my heart away, 
And you 1 sat smiling at his cruel prey : — 
Lysander ! what, remov'd ? Lysander ! lord ! 
What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word? 
Alack, where are you? speak, an if you hear; 
Speak, of all loves ; 2 I swoon almost with fear. 
No ? — then I well perceive you are not nigh : 
Either death, or you, I'll find immediately. 3 {Exit. 

1 And you — ] Instead of you, the first folio reads — yet. Mr. 
Pope first gave the right word from the quarto 1 600. Stee vens. 

2 Speak, of all loves ;] Of all loves is an adjuration more than 
once used by our author. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, 
Act II. sc. viii : 

" to send her your little page, of all loves." 


3 Either death, or you, 1 7/ find immediately.'] Thus the 
ancient copies, and such was Shakspeare's usage. He frequently 
employs either, and other similar words, as monosyllables. So, 
in King Henry IV. P. II: 

" Either from the king, or in the present time." 
Again, in King Henry V : 

" Either past, or not arriv'd to pith and puissance." 
Again, in J id i us Cccsar: 

" Either led or driven, as we point the way." 
Again, in King Richard III : 

" Either thou wilt die by God's just ordinance — ." 
Again, in Othello : 

" Either in discourse of thought, or actual deed." 
So also, Marlowe in his Edward II. I.J()8: 

" Either banish him that was the cause thereof — ." 
The modern editors read— Or death or you, &c. Malone. 



The same. The Queen of Fairies lying asleep. 

Enter Quince, 5 Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, 

and Starveling. 

Bot. Are we all met ? 

Quiy. Pat, pat ; and here's a marvellous conve- 
nient place for our rehearsal : This green plot shall 
be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyring-house ; 
and we will do it in action, as we will do it before 
the duke. 

Bot. Peter Quince, — 

Quin. What say'st thou, bully Bottom ? 

Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramas 
and Thisby, that will never please. First, Pyramus 
must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies 
cannot abide. How answer you that ? 

Snout. By'rlakin, a parlous fear. 6 

* In the time of Shakspeare there were many companies of 
players, sometimes five at the same time, contending for the 
favour of the publick. Of these some were undoubtedly very 
unskilful and very poor, and it is probable that the design of this 
scene was to ridicule their ignorance, and the odd expedients to 
which they might be driven by the want of proper decorations. 
Bottom was perhaps the head of a rival house, and is therefore 
honoured with an ass's head. Johnson. 

4 Enter Quince, &c.~j The two quartos 1600, and the folio, 
read only, Enter the Clowns. Steevens. 

6 By'rlakin, a parlous fear.~\ By our ladyldn, or little lady, 
as ifakins is a corruption of by my faith. The former is used in 
JPreston's Cambyses : 

" The clock hath stricken vive, ich think, by laken." 

sc. /. DREAM. 393 

Star. I believe, we must leave the killing out, 
when all is done. 

Bot. Not a whit ; I have a device to make all 
well. Write me a prologue : and let the prologue 
seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords ; 
and that Pyramus is not killed indeed : and, for 
the more better assurance, tell them, that I Py- 
ramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver : 
This will put them out of fear. 

Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue ; and 
it shall be written in eight and six. 7 

Bot. No, make it two more ; let it be written 
in eight and eight. 

Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion? 

Stab. I fear it, I promise you. 

Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your- 
selves : to bring in, God shield us ! a lion among 
ladies, is a most dreadful thing : for there is not a 
more fearful wild-fowl than your lion, Eving ; and 
we ought to look to it. 

Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell, 
he is not a lion. 

Again, in Magnificence, an interlude, written by Skelton, and 
printed by Rastill : 

" By our lutein, syr, not by my will." 
Parlous is a word corrupted from perilous, i. e. dangerous. 
So, Pliaer and Twyne translate the following passage in the 
JEneid, Lib. VII. 302 : 

" Quid Syrtes, aut Scyllamihi? quid vasta Charybdis 

" Profiiit? " 

" What good did Scylla me ? What could prevail 

Charybdis wood ? 
" Or Sirtes parlous sands ?" Steevens. 

7 in eight and six.] i. c. in alternate verses of eight and 

six syllables. Malone. 

394 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act hi. 

Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half 
his face must be seen through the lion's neck ; and 
he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to 
the same defect, — Ladies, or fair ladies, I would 
wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would en- 
treat you, not to fear, not to tremble : my life for 
yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it 
were pity of my life : No, I am no such thing ; I 
am a man as other men are : — and there, indeed, 
let him name his name ; and tell them plainly, he 
is Snug the joiner. 8 

Quix. Well, it shall be so. But there is two 
hard things ; that is, to bring the moon-light into 
a chamber : for you know, Pyramus and Thisby 
meet by moon-light. 

Snug. Doth the moon shine, that night we play 
our play ? 

8 No, I am no such thing ; I am a man as other nun are : — 
and there, indeed, let him name his name ; and tell them plainly, 
he is Snug the joiner.'] There are probably many temporary allu- 
sions to particular incidents and characters scattered through our 
author's plays, which gave a poignancy to certain passages, while 
the events were recent, and the persons pointed at yet living. — 
In the speech now before us, I think it not improbable that he 
meant to allude to a fact which happened in his time, at an en- 
tertainment exhibited before Queen Elizabeth. It is recorded in 
a manuscript collection of anecdotes, stories, &c. entitled, Merry 
Passages and Jeasts, MS. Harl. 6395 : 

" There was a spectacle presented to Queen Elizabeth upon 
the water, and among others Harry Goldingham was to repre- 
sent Avion upon the dolphin's backe ; but finding his voice to 
be verye hoarse and unpleasant, when he came to perform it, he 
tears off his disguise, and swears he tvas none of Avion, not he, 
bid even honest Havvy Goldingham ; which blunt discoverie 
pleased the queene better than if it had gone through in the 
right way : — yet he could order his voice to an instrument ex- 
ceeding well.'' 

The collector of these Merry Passages appears to have been 
nephew to Sir Roger L' Estrange. Malone. 

sc. i. DREAM. 39 

Bot. A calendar, a calendar ! look in the alma- 
nack ; find out moon-shine, find out moon-shine. 

Quix. Yes, it doth shine that night. 

Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of 
the great chamber window, where we play, open ; 
and the moon may shine in at the casement. 

Quix. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush 
of thorns and a lanthorn, and say, he comes to 
disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-shine. 
Then, there is another thing : we must have a wall 
in the great chamber ; for Pyramus and Thisby, 
says the story, did talk through the chink of a 

Snug. You never can bring in a wall. — "What 
say you, Bottom ? 

Bot. Some man or other must present wall: and 
let him have some plaster, or some lome, or some 
rough-cast about him, to signify wall ; or let him 
hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny 
shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper. 

Quix. If that may be, then all is well. Come, 
sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your 
parts. Pyramus, you begin : when you have spoken 
your speech, enter into that brake ; 9 and so every 
one according to his cue. 


9 that brake ;] Brake, in the present instance, signifies 

a thicket or furze-bush. So, in the ancient copy of the Not- 
brouue Maijde, 1521 : 

" for, dry or wete 

" Ye must lodge on the playne; 
" And us abofe none other rote 
" But a brake bush, or tvvayne." 
Again, in Milton's Masaue at Ludlow Castle: 

" Eufl to your shrouds within these brakes and trees." 



Enter Puck behind. 

Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swag- 
gering here, 
So near the cradle of the fairy queen ? 
What, a play toward ? I'll be an auditor ; 
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause. 

Qujn. Speak, Pyramus : — Thisby, stand forth. 

Pyr. Thisby ', thejlowers of odious savours sweet, — 

Quik. Odours, odours. 

Pyr. odours savours sweet: 

So doth thy breath, 1 my dearest Thisby dear. — 
But, hark, a voice ! stay thou but here a while, 2 
And by and by I will to thee appear. \JLocit. 

Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here! 3 

[Aside. — Exit. 

Brake in the west of England is used to express a large extent 
of ground overgrown with furze, and appears both here and in 
the next scene to convey the same idea. Henley. 

1 So doth thy breath,'] The old copies concur in reading: 

" So hath thy breath," 

Mr. Pope made the alteration, which seems to be necessary. 

4 stay thou but here a while,] The verses should be alter- 
nately in rhyme : but sweet in the close of the first line, and 
•while in the third, will not do for this purpose. The author, 
doubtless, gave it : 

" stay thou but here a whit,''' 

i. e. a little while : for so it signifies, as also any thing of no price 
or consideration ; a trifle : in which sense it is very frequent 
with our author. Theobald. 

Nothing, I think, is got by the change. I suspect two lines to 
have been lost; the first of which rhymed with " savours sweet," 
and the other with " here a while." The line before appears to 
me to refer to something that has been lost. Malone. 

3 than e'er playd here !] I suppose he means in that 

theatre where the piece was acting. Steevens. 

sc. i. DREAM. S97 

This. Must I speak now ? 

Quix. Ay, marry, must you : for you must un- 
derstand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, 
and is to come again. 

This. Most radiant Pyramus, most lilly -white of 

Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, 
Most brisky juvenal* and eke most lovely Jew, 

As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, 
I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny* s tomb. 

Quin. Ninus' tomb, man : Why you must not 
speak that yet ; that you answer to Pyramus : you 
speak all your part at once, cues and all. 5 — Py- 
ramus enter ; your cue is past ; it is, never tire. 

Re-enter Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head. 

This. O, — As true as truest horse, that yet would 
never tire. 

Pyr. If I were fair, g Thisby, I were only thine : — 

Quix. O monstrous! O strange ! we are haunted. 
Pray, masters ! fly, masters ! help ! 

{Exeunt Clowns. 

4 juvenal,"] i. e. young man. So, Falstaff: " — the 

juvenal thy master." Steevens. 

5 cues and al!.~\ A cue, in stage cant, is the last words 

of the preceding speech, and serves as a hint to him who is to 
speak next. So, Othello: 

" Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it 
M Without a prompter." 
Again, in The Return from Parnassus : 

" Indeed, master Knnpe, you are very famous: but that is as 
well for works in print, as your part in cue." Kempe was one 
of Shakspeare's fellow comedians. Steevens. 

c IfIu:ereJ'air,&c.~\ Perhaps we ought to point thus: If I 
were, [i. e. as true, &c] fair Thisby, I were only thine. 


398 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act hi. 

Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, 
Through bog, through bush, through brake, 
through brier ; 7 
Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound* 

A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire ; 
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn, 
Like horse, hound, hog, bear, lire, at every turn. 


Bot. Why do they run away r this is a knavery 
of them, to make me afeard. 8 

Re-enter Snout. 

Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed ! what do 
I see on thee ? 9 

Bot. "What do you see ? you see an ass's head 
of your own ; Do you ? 

7 Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier;! 
Here are two syllables wanting. Perhaps, it was written : 
" Through bog, through mire," . Johns ox. 

So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. VI. c. viii : 

" Through hills, through dales, through bushes and 

through briars, 
" Long thus she bled," &c. VTaloxe. 

The alliteration evidently requires some word beginning with 
a b. We may therefore read : 

11 Through bog, through burn, through bush, through 
brake, through brier." Ritsox. 

8 to make me afeard.] A fear is from to fear, by the old 

form of the language, as an hungered, from to hunger. So adry, 
for thirsty. Johxsox. 

9 Bottom, thou art changed ! "vchat do I see on thee?] It is 
plain by Bottom's answer, that Snout mentioned an ass's head. 
Therefore we should read : 

Snout. Bottom, thou art changed ! zvhat do I see on thee? 
An ass's head ? Johxsox. 

sc. i. DREAM. 399 

Re-enter Quince. 

Quix. Bless thee, Bottom ! bless thee ! thou art 
translated. [Exit. 

Bot. I see their knavery : this is to make an ass 
of me ; to fright me, if they could. But I will not 
stir from this place, do what they can : I will walk 
up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall 
hear I am not afraid. [Sings. 

The ousel-cock, 1 so black of hue, 

With orange- taxcnei/ bill, 
The throstle 2 with his note so true, 

The xvren with little quill; 

1 The ousel-cock,] The ouzel cock is generally understood to 
be the cock blackbird. Ben Jonson uses the word in The Devi! 
is 07i Ass: 

" stay till cold weather come, 

" I'll help thee to an ouzel and a field-fare." 
P. Holland, however, in his translation of Pliny's Nat. Hist. 
13. X. c. xxiv. represents the ouzle and the blackbird as different 

In The Arbor of Amorous Devises, 4to. bl. 1. are the following- 
lines : 

" The chattering pie, the jay, and eke the quaile, 
" The thrustle-cock that tvas so black of helve." 
The former leaf and the title-page being torn out of the copy 
I consulted, I am unable either to give the two preceding lines oi' 
the stanza, or to ascertain the date of the book. Steevens. 

From the following passage in Gwazzo's Civile Conversation, 
1580", p. 139, lt appears that ousels and blackbirds were the 
same birds : " She would needs have it that they were two ousels 
or blackbirds.'''' Kked. 

The Ousel differs from the Black-bird by having a white cres- 
cent upon the breast, and is besides rather larger. See Lewin's, 
English Birds. Douce. 


* The throstle — ] So, in the old metrical romance of The 
Squkr qflmo Degree, bl. 1. no date : 
" The pee and the popinjaye, 
" The thrustclr, si\ inge both nyght and dayc." 

400 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act in. 

Tita. What angel wakes me from my flowery- 
bed ? 3 [ Waking. 

Box. The finch , the sparrow, and the lark, 
The plain-song cuckoo gray* 
JJliose note full many a man doth mark, 
And dares not answer, nay ; — 

for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a 
bird ? who would give a bird the lie, though he 
cry, cuckoo, never so ? 

Again, in the first book of GowerDe Cottfessione Amantis, 1554: 
" The throstel with the nightingale." 
It appears from the following passage in Thomas Newton's 
Herball to the Bible, 8vo. 1587, that the throstle is a distinct 
bird from the thrush: " — There is also another sort of myrte 
or myrtle which is wild, whose berries the mavises, throssels, 
owsells, and thrushes delite much to eate." Steevens. 

3 What angel tvakes me from my Jlotvery bed?] Perhaps a 
parody on a line in The Spanish Tragedy, often ridiculed by the 
poets of our author's time : 

" What outcry calls me from my naked bed ?" 

The Spanish Tragedy was entered on the Stationers' books in 
1592. Malone. 

4 plain-song cuckoo &c.) That is, the cuckoo, who, hav- 
ing no variety of strains, sings in plain song, or in piano cantu; 
by which expression the uniform modulation or simplicity of the 
chaunt was anciently distinguished, in opposition to prick-song, 
or variegated musick sung by note. Skelton introduces the 
birds singing the different parts of the service of the funeral of 
his favourite sparrow : among the rest is the cuckoo. P. 227, 
edit. Lond. 1736: 

" But with a large and a long 

" To kepe just playne songe 

" Our chanters shall be your cuckoue, ,y &c. T. Warton. 

Again, in The Return from Parnassus : 

" Our life is a. plain song with cunning penn'd." 
Again, in Hans Beer-pofs Invisible Comedy, &c. 
" The cuckoo sings not worth a groat, 
" Because she never changeth note.'' Steevens. 

sc. i. DREAM. 401 

Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again : 
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note, 
80 is mine eye enthralled to thy shape ; 
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me, 
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee. 5 

Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little 
reason for that : And yet, to say the truth, reason 
and love keep little company together now-a-days : 
The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will 
not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek 6 upon 

* Mine ear is much enamour 'd of thy note, 
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape ; 
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me, 
On the Jirst view, to say, to swear, I love thee.] These lines 
are in one quarto of 1600, the first folio of l(j'23, the second of 
1632, and the third of 1664, &c. ranged in the following or- 
der : 

Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note, 
On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee ; 
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape, 
And tli y fair virtue's force (perforce) doth move me. 
This reading I have inserted, not that it can suggest any 
thing hetter than the order to which the lines have been re- 
stored by Mr. Theobald from another quarto, [Fisher's,] but to 
show that some liberty of conjecture must be allowed in the 
revisal of works so inaccurately printed, and so long neglected. 


6 gleek,'] Joke or scoff. Pope. 

Gleek was originally a game at cards. The word is often used 
by other ancient comic writers, in the same sense as by our 
author. So, in Mother Bombic, \5g4 : 

" There's gleek for you, let me have my gird." 
Again, in 7*0771 Tyler and his Wife: 

" The more that I get her, the more she doth gleek me." 
Again, in Greene's Farewell to Folhe, 10*17: 

" Meaaieur Benedetto galled Peratio with this glcek. ,y 
Mr. Lambe observes in his notes on the ancient metrical his- 
tory of The Battle of Floddcu, that, in the North, to gleek is to 


Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. 

Bot. Not so, neither : but if I had wit enough 
to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve 
mine own turn. 

Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go ; 
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. 
I am a spirit, of no common rate ; 
The summer still doth tend upon my state, 
And I do love thee : therefore, go with me ; 
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee ; 
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep, 7 
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep : 
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so, 
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go. — 
Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed! 

Enter four Fairies. 

1 Fai. Ready. 

2 Fai. And I. 

3 Fai. And I. 

4 Fai. Where shall we go ? * 

Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman; 
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes ; 
Feed him with apricocks, and dewberries, 9 

deceive, or beguile ; and that the reply made by the queen of the 
fairies, proves this to be the meaning of it. Steevens. 

7 jewelsyrow the deep,] So, in King Richard III: 

" reflecting gems 

" That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep." Steevens. 

* 4 Fai. Where shall we go?] In the ancient copies, this, 
and the three preceding speeches, are given to the Fairies col- 

By the advice of Dr. Farmer I have omitted a useless repeti- 
tion of — " and I" which overloaded the measure. Steevens. 

sc. i. DREAM. 40 

With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries ; 
The honey bags steal from the humble-bees, 
And, for night tapers, crop their waxen thighs, 
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes, 1 
To have my love to bed, and to arise ; 
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies, 
To fan the moon-beams from his sleeping eyes : 
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies. 

1 Fat. Hail, mortal! 2 


9 clexvberries,'] Deivberries strictly and properly are the 

fruit of one of the species of wild bramble called the creeping 
or the lesser bramble : but as they stand here among the more 
delicate fruits, they must be understood to mean raspberries, 
which are also of the bramble kind. T. Hawkins. 

Dewberries are gooseberries, which are still so called in several 
parts of the kingdom. Henley. 

the fiery gloiv-worm's eyes,'] I know not how Shak- 

speare, who commonly derived his knowledge of nature from 
his own observation, happened to place the glow-worm's light 
in his eyes, which is only in his tail. Johnson. 

The blunder is not in Shakspeare, but in those who have con- 
strued too literally a poetical expression. It appears from every 
line of his writings that he had studied with attention the book 
of nature, and was an accurate observer of any object that fell 
within his notice. He must have known that the light of the 
glow-worm was seated in the tail ; but surely a poet is justified 
in calling the luminous part of a glow-worm the eye. It is a 
liberty we take in plain prose ; for the point of greatest bright- 
ness in a furnace is commonly called the eye of it. 

Dr. Johnson might have arraigned him with equal propriety 
for sending his furies to light their tapers at the fire of the glow- 
worm, which in Hamlet he terms uneffectual : 

" The glow-worm shews the matin to be near, 

" And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire." M. Mason. 

* Hail, mortal!] The old copies read — hail, mortal, hail! 
The second hail was clearly intended for another of the fairies, 
so as that each of them should address Bottom. The regulation 
now adopted was proposed by Mr. Steevens. Malone. 

d n 2 

434 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act in. 

2 Fai. Hail ! 

3 Fai. Hail ! 

4Fal Hail! 

itor. I cry your worships mercy, heartily. — I 
beseech, your worship's name. 

Cob. Cobweb. • 

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, 9 
good master Cobweb : If I cut my ringer, I shall 
make bold with you. — Your name, honest gentle- 
man ? 4 

3 / shall desire you of more acquaintance,'] This line has 
been very unnecessarily altered. The same mode of expression 
occurs in Lusty Juvenilis, a morality: 

" I shall desire you of 'better acquaintance." 
Such phraseology was very common to many of our ancient 

So, in An Humorous Day's Mirth, 15QQ : 

" I do desire you of more acquaintance." 
Again, in Golding's version of the 14th Book of Ovid's 
Metamorphosis : 

" he praid 

" Him earnestly, with careful voice, of furthrance and 
of aid." 
Again, in Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, 1621 : 

" — — craving you o/*more acquaintance." Steevens. 

The alteration in the modern editions was made on the au- 
thority of the first folio, which reads in the next speech but 
one — " I shall desire of you more acquaintance." But the old 
reading is undoubtedly the true one. 

So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. ix : 

" If it be I, of pardon I you pray." Malone. 

4 good master Cobweb : If I cut my finger, I shall make 

bold with you. — Your name, honest gentleman ?] In The Mayde's 
Metamorphosis, a comedy by Lyly, there is a dialogue between 
some foresters and a troop of fairies, very similar to the 
present : 

" Mopso. I pray, sir, what might I call you ? 
" 1 Fai. My name is Penny. 

sc. i. DREAM. 405 

Peas. Peas-blossom. 

Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash, 
your mother, 5 and to master Peascod, your father. 
Good master Peas-blossom, I shall desire you of more 
acquaintance too. — Your name, I beseech you, sir? 

Mus. Mustard-seed. 

Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your 
patience 6 well : that same cowardly, giant-like ox- 
beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your 
house : I promise you, your kindred hath made my 
eyes water ere now. I desire you more acquaint- 
ance, good master Mustard-seed. 

" Moj). I am sorry I cannot purse you. 

" Frisco. I pray you, sir, what might I call you ? 

" 2 Fai. My name is Cricket. 

" Fris. I would I were a chimney for your sake." 
The Maid's Metamorphosis was not printed till l600, but was 
probably written some years before. Mr. Warton says, ( History 
of English Poetry, Vol. II. p. 3Q'd,) that Lyly's last play appear- 
ed in 1597. Malone. 

mistress Squash, your mother, - ] A squash is an imma- 

ture peascod. So, in Tivetfth-Night, Act I. sc. v : 

" as a squash is, before 'tis a peascod." Steevens. 

6 patience — ] The Oxford edition reads — / knoiv 

your parentage ivell. I believe the correction is right. 


Parentage was not easily corrupted to patience. I fancy, the 
true word is, passions, sufferings. 

There is an ancient satirical Poem entitled — " The Poor 
Man's Passions, [i. e. sufferings,] or Poverty's patience.'" Pati- 
ence and Passions are so alike in sound, that a careless transcri- 
ber or compositor might easily have substituted the former word 
for the latter. Farmer. 

No change is necessary. These words are spoken ironically. 
According to the opinion prevailing in our author's time, mustard 
was supposed to excite to choler. See note on Taming of the 
Shrew, Act IV. sc. iii. Reed. 

Perhaps we should read — " I know you passing well." 

M. Mason. 

406 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act in. 

TlTA. Come, wait upon him ; lead him to my 

The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye ; 
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, 
Lamenting some enforced chastity. 
Tie up my love's tongue, 7 bring him silently. 



Another part of the Wood. 

Enter Oberon. 

Obe. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd ; 
Then, what it was that next came in her eye, 
Which she must dote on in extremity. 

Enter Puck. 

Here comes my messenger. — How now,mad spirit? 
What night-rule 8 now about this haunted grove ? 

Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love. 

■ my love's tongue,"] The old copies read — " my lovers 

tongue." Steevexs. 

Our poet has again used lover as a monosyllable in Twelfth' 

" Sad true lover never find my grave." Malone. 

In the passage quoted from Twelfth-Night, " true lover" is 
evidently a mistake for — " true-love," a phrase which occurs in 
the very scene before us : 

" And laid the love-juice on some true love's sight." 

Lover, in both the foregoing instances, I must therefore sup- 
pose to have been a printer's blunder for love ; and have there- 
fore continued Mr. Pope's emendation in the text. How is lover 
to be pronounced as a monosyllable ? Steevens. 

1 what night-rule — ] Night-rule in this place should 

sc. ii. DREAM. 407 

Near to her close and consecrated bower, 
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour, 
A crew of patches, 9 rude mechanicals, 
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls, 
Were met together to rehearse a play, 
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day. 
The shallowest thick-skin \ of that barren sort, 2 
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport 

*eem to mean, what frolick of the night, what revelry is going 
forward? So, in Tom Tyler and his Wife, \QQ\ : 

" Marry, here is good rule /" 
Again : 

" why how now strife ! here is pretty rule !" 

It appears, from the old song of Robin Goodfelloiv, in the 
third volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 
that it was the office of this waggish spirit " to viewe [or su- 
perintend] the night-sports." Steevens. 

9 'patches,'] Patch was in old language used as a term 

of opprobry ; perhaps with much the same import as we use 
raggamuffin, or tatterdemalion. Johnson. 

Puck calls the players, " a crew of patches."" A common 
opprobrious term, which probably took its rise from Patch, Car- 
dinal Wolsey's fool. In the western counties, cross-patch is still 
used for perverse, ill-natur\lfool. T. Warton. 

The name was rather taken from the patch'd or pied coat* 
worn by the fools or jesters of those times. 
So, in The Tempest : 

" what a pied ninny's this ?" 

Again, in Preston's Cambyses : 

" Hob and Lob, ah ye country patches /" 
Again, in The Three Ladies of London, 1584: 

" It is simplicitie, that patch." Steevens. 

I should suppose patch to be merely a corruption of the 
Italian pazzo, which signifies properly a fool. So, in The Mer- 
chant of I'cnice, Act II. sc. v. Shylock says of Launcelot: The 
patch is kind enough ; — after having just called him, that fool cf 
Hagar's off-spring. Tyrwhitt. 

■thick-skin — ] See Merry Wives of Windsor, Act IV. 

sc. v. Steeven.s. 

408 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act hi. 

Forsook his scene, and enter'd in a brake : 

When I did him at this advantage take, 

An ass's nowl I fixed on his head ; 3 

Anon, his Thisbe must be answered, 

And forth my mimick 4 comes : When they him spy, 

As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye, 

* barren sort,] Barren is dull, unpregnant. So, in 

Hamlet : 

" some quantity of barren spectators," &c. 

Sort is company. Steevens. 

3 An ass's nowl IJixed on his head ;] A head. Saxon. 


So, Chaucer, in The History ofBeryn, 1524 : 

" No sothly, quoth the steward, it lieth all in thy noil, 
" Both wit and wysdom," &c. 

Again, in The Three Ladies of London, 1584- : 
" One thumps me on the neck, and another strikes me on the 
yiole." Steevens. 

The following receipt for the process tried on Bottom, occurs 
in Albertus Magnus de Secretis : " Si vis quod caput hominis 
assimiletur capiti asini, sume de segimine aselli, & unge homi- 
nem in capite, & sic apparebit." There was a translation of 
this book in Shakspeare's time. Douce. 

The metamorphosis of Bottom's head, might have been sug- 
gested by a similar trick played by Dr. Faustus. See his History, 
chap, xliii. Steevens. 

* mimick — ] Minnock is the reading of the old quarto, 

and I believe right. Minnekin, now minx, is a nice trifling girl. 
Minnock is apparently a word of contempt. Johnson. 

The folio reads — mhnmick : perhaps for mimick, a word more 
familiar than that exhibited by one of the quartos, for the other 
reads — minnick. Steevens. 

Mimmick is the reading of the folio. The quarto printed by 
Fisher has — minnick ; that by Roberts, minnock : both evidently 
corruptions. The line has been explained as if it related to 
Thisbe ; but it does not relate to her, but to Pyramus. Bottom 
had just been playing that part, and had retired into a brake ; 
(according to Quince's direction : " When you have spoken 
your speech, enter into that brake.") " Anon his Thisbe must 
be answered, And forth my mimick (i. e. my actor) comes.'" In 
this there seems no difficulty. 

9C. n. DREAM. 409 

Or russet-pated choughs, 5 many in sort, 6 

Rising and cawing at the gun's report 

Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky ; 

So, at his sight, away his fellows fly : 

And, at our stamp, 7 here o'er and o'er one falls; 

He murder cries, and help from Athens calls. 

Mimich is used as synonymous to actor, by Decker, in his 
Guls Hornebooke, lQog: " Draw what troop you can from the 
stage after you ; the mimicks are beholden to you for allowing 
them elbow room." Again, in his Satiromastix, 1602: " Thou 
[B. Jonson] hast forgot how thou ambled'st in a leather pilch by 
a play-waggon in the highway, and took'st mad Jcronymd's part, 
to get service amongst the mimicks." Malone. 

choughs,] The chough is a bird of the daw kind. It 

is mentioned also in Macbeth : 

" By magot-pies, and choughs, and rooks," &c. 


6 sort,] Company. So above : 

" that barren sort ;" 

and in Waller : 

" A sort of lusty shepherds strive.' 1 '' Johnson. 

So, in Chapman's May-day l6ll : 

" though we neuer lead any other company than a sort 

of quart-pots." Steevexs. 

7 And, at our stamp,] This seems to be a vicious reading. 
Fairies are never represented stamping, or of a size that should 
give force to a stamp, nor could they have distinguished the stamps 
of Puck from those of their own companions. I read : 

And at a stump here o'er and o'er onejtdh. 
So Drayton : 

" A pain he in his head-piece feels, 

" Against a stubbed-tree he reels, 

" And up went poor Hobgoblin's heels; 

" Alas, his brain was dizzy. 

" At length upon his feet he gets, 
" Hobgoblin tunics, Hobgoblin frets, 
" And as again he forward sets, 

" And through the bushes scrambles, 
" \ stump doiii trip him in his pace, 
M Down fell poor Hob upon his face, 
" And lamentably tore his case, 

" Among the briers and brambles." Johnson. 


Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus 

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong : 
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch ; 
Some, sleeves; some, hats: 8 from yielders all things 

I led them on in this distracted fear, 
And left sweet Pyramus translated there : 
When in that moment (so it came to pass,) 
Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass. 

I adhere to the old reading. The stamp of a fairy might be 
efficacious though not loud ; neither is it necessary to suppose, 
when supernatural beings are spoken of, that the size of the agent 
determines the force of the action. That fairies did stamp to 
some purpose, may be known from the following passage in 
Olaus Magnus de Gentibus Septentrionalibus ; — " Vero saltum 
adeo profundi in terram impresserant, ut locus insigni adore 
orbiculariter peresus, non parit arenti redivivum cespite gramen." 
Shakspeare's own authority, however, is most decisive. See the 
conclusion of the first scene of the fourth Act : 
" Come, my queen, take hand with me, 
" And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be." 


Honest Reginald Scott says : " Our grandams maides were 
wont to set a boll of milke before Incubus, and his cousin Robin 
Good-fellow, for grinding of malt or mustard, and sweeping the 
house at midnight: and — that he would chafe exceedingly, if the 
maid or good wife of the house, having compassion of his naked- 
nes, laid anie clothes for him beesides his messe of white bread 
and milke, which was his standing fee. For in that case he saith, 
What have we here ? Hemton, hamten, here will I never more 
tread nor stampen" Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584, p. 85. 


8 Some, sleeves ; some, hats :~\ There is the like image in 
Drayton, of queen Mab and her fairies flying from Hobgoblin: 
" Some tore a ruff, and some a gown, 

" 'Gainst one another justling ; 
" They flew about like chaff i' th' wind, 
" For haste some left their masks behind, 
" Some could not stay their gloves to find, 
" There never was such bustling." Johnson. 

sc. ii. DREAM. 411 

Obe. This falls out better than I could devise. 
But hast thou yet latch'd 9 the Athenian's eyes 
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do ? 

Puck. I took him sleeping, — that is finish'dtoo, — 
And the Athenian woman by his side ; 
That, when he wak'd, of force she must be ey'd. 

Enter Demetrius and Hermia. 

Obe. Stand close ; this is the same Athenian. 

Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man. 

Dem. O, why rebuke you him that loves you so ? 
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe. 

Her. Now I but chide, but I should use thee 
worse ; 
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse. 
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep, 
Being o'er shoes in blood, 1 plunge in the deep, 
And kill me too. 

The sun was not so true unto the day, 
As he to me : Would he have stol'n away 
From sleeping Hermia ? I'll believe as soon, 
This whole earth may be bor'd; and that the moon 
May through the center creep, and so displease 
Her brother's noon-tide with the Antipodes. 2 

■ latch'd—'] Or letch'd, lick'd over, lecher, to lick, Fr. 

In the North, it signifies to inject. Steevens. 

1 Bring o'er shoes in blood,'] An allusion to the proverb, 
Over shoes, over boots. Johnson. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" I ain in blood, 

" Stept in .so far," &c. Steevens. 

* noon-tick' u/th the Antipodes.] Dr. Warburton would. 

read — p Ih' antipodes, which Mr. Edwards ridicules without 

412 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act in. 

It cannot be, but thou hast murder'd him ; 
So should a murderer look ; so dead, 3 so grim. 

Dem. So should the murder'd look; and so 
should I, 
Pierc'd through the heart with your stern cruelty : 
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear, 
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere. 

Heb. What's this to my Lysander? where is he ? 
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me ? 

Dem. I had rather give his carcase to my hounds. 

Her. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past 
the bounds 
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then? 
Henceforth be never number'd among men ! 
O ! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake ; 
Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake, 

mercy. The alteration is certainly not necessary ; but it is not 
so unlucky as he imagined. Shirley has the same expression in 
his Andromana : 

" To be a whore, is more unknown to her, 

" Then what is done in the antipodes.'* 
In for among is frequent in old language. Farmer. 

The familiarity of the general idea, is shown by the following 
passage in The Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 : 

" And dwell one month tvith the Antipodes." 
Again, in King Richard II: 

" While we were wandring xvith the Antipodes." 


s 50 dead,] All the old copies read — so dead ; in my copy 

of it, some reader has altered dead to dread. Johnson. 

Dead seems to be the right word, and our author again uses 
it in King Henry IV. P. II. Act I. sc. iii : 

" Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless, 

" So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone." Steevens. 

So also, in Greene's Dorastus and Favonia : " — if thou marry 
in age, thy wife's fresh colours will breed in thee dead thoughts 
and suspicion." Malone. 


And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? 4 O brave touch! 5 
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much ? 
An adder did it ; for with doubler tongue 
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung. 

Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd 
mood : 6 
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood ; 
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell. 

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well. 

Dem. An if I could, 7 what should I get there- 
fore ? 

Her. A privilege, never to see me more. — 

4 Durst thou have looked upon him, being awake, 
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping?"] She means, Hast thou 
kill'd him sleeping, whom, when awake, thou didst not dare to 
look upon? Malone. 

s brave touch !] Touch in Shakspeare's time was the 

same with our exploit, or rather stroke. A brave touch, a noble 
stroke, un grand coup. " Mason was very merry, pleasantly 
playing both with the shrewd touches of many curst boys, and 
the small discretion of many lewd schoolmasters." Ascham. 


A touch anciently signified a trick. In the old black letter 
story of Hoxvleglas, it is always used in that sense : " — for at 
all times he did some mad touch.' 1 '' Steevens. 

6 misprised mood :] Mistaken ; so below misprision is 

mistake. Johnson. 

Mood is anger, or perhaps rather in this place, capricious 
fancy. Malone. 

I rather conceive that — " on a mispris'd mood''' is put for — 
"in a mispris'd mood;" i.e. 11 in a mistaken manner.'" The 
preposition — on, is licentiously used by ancient authors. When 
Mark Antony says that Augustus Caesar " dealt on lieutenantry," 
he does not mean that he " dealt his blows on lieutenants," but 
that he dealt in them ; i. e. achieved his victories by their con- 
duct. Steevens. 

7 An if / could, fire] This phraseology was common in 
Shakspeare's time. Thus, in Romeo and Juliet, Act V. sc. i : 

" An if a. man did need a poison now." 


And from thy hated presence part I so : 8 

See me no more, whether he be dead or no. \_~Exit. 

Dem. There is no following her in this fierce 
vein : 
Here, therefore, for a while I will remain. 
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow 
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe ; 
Which now, in some slight measure it will pay, 
If for his tender here I make some stay. 

[Lies down. 

Obe. What hast thou done ? thou hast mistaken 
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight : 
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue 
Some true-love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true. 

Puck. Then fate o'er-rules ; that, one man hold- 
ing troth, 
A million fail, confounding oath on oath. 

Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind, 
And Helena of Athens look thou find : 
All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer 9 
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear : J 

Again, in Lodge's Illustrations, Vol. I. p. 85 : " — meanys was 
made unto me to see an yff^- wold appoynt," &c. Reed. 

8 part I so :] So, which is not in the old copy, was in- 
serted, for the sake of both metre and rhyme, by Mr. Pope. 


■pale of cheer — ] Cheer, from the Italian car a, is fre- 

quently used by the old English writers for countenance. Even 
Dryden says — 

" Pale at the sudden sight, she chang'd her cheer." 

Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. Steevens. 

1 sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear :] So, in 

King Henry VI. we have " blood-consuming," — " blood-drink- 
ing," and " blood-sucking sighs." All alluding to the ancient 
supposition that every sigh was indulged at the expence of a 
drop of blood. Steevens. 

sc. n. DREAM. 41 


By some illusion see thou bring her here ; 
I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear. 

Puck. I go, I go ; look, how I go ; 
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. 2 [Exit. 

Obe. Flower of this purple die, 
Hit with Cupid's archery, 3 
Sink in apple of his eye ! 
When his love he doth espy, 
Let her shine as gloriously 
As the Venus of the sky. — 
When thou wak'st, if she be by, 
Beg of her for remedy. 

Re-enter Puck. 

Puck. Captain of our fairy band, 
Helena is here at hand ; 
And the youth, mistook by me, 
Pleading for a lover's fee ; 
Shall we their fond pageant see ? 
Lord, what fools these mortals be ! 

Obe. Stand aside : the noise they make, 
Will cause Demetrius to awake. 

* Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.] So, in the 10th 
Book of Ovid's Metamorphosis : translated by Golding, 150/ : 

" and though that she 

" Did fly as swift as arrow from a Turkye bowe." 


11 A Tartar's painted bow of lath" is mentioned in Romeo and 
Juliet. Steevens. 

3 Hit with Cupid's archery,~) This alludes to what was said 
before : 

" the bolt of Cupid fell : 

" It fell upon a little western flower, 

" Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound." 



Fuck. Then will two at once, woo one ; 
That must needs be sport alone ; 
And those things do best please me, 
That befal preposterously. 

Enter Lysander and Helena. 

Lys. Why should you think, that I should woo 
in scorn ? 

Scorn and derision never come in tears : 
Look, when I vow, I weep ; and vows so born, 

In their nativity all truth appears. 
How can these things in me seem scorn to you, 
Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true ? 4 

Hel. You do advance your cunning more and 
« more. 

When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray ! 
These vows are Hermia's ; Will you give her o'er ? 
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing 
weigh : 
Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales, 
Will even weigh ; and both as light as tales. 

Lys. I had no judgment, when to her I swore. 

Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her 

Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you. 

Dem. [awaking. - ] O Helen, goddess, nymph, 
perfect, divine ! 
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne ? 

4 Bearing the badge ofjaith, to prove them true ?] This is 
said in allusion to the badges (i. e. family crests) anciently worn 
on the sleeves of servants and retainers. So, in The Tempest ; 
" Mark the badges of these men, and then say if they be 
true." Steevens. 

sc. u. DREAM. 417 

Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show 
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow ! 
That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow, 
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow, 
When thou hold'st up thy hand : O let me kiss 
This princess of pure white, 6 this seal of bliss ! ? 

Hel. O spite ! O hell ! I see you all are bent 
To set against me, for your merriment. 
If you were civil, and knew courtesy, 
You would not do me thus much injury. 
Can you not hate me, as I know you do, 
But you must join, in souls, 8 to mock me too ? 

* Taurus' snoxv,~\ Taurus is the name of a range of 

mountains in Asia. Johnson. 

6 This princess of pare white,'] Thus all the editions as low 
as Sir Thomas Hanmer's. He reads : 

This purencss of pure white; 
and Dr. Warburton follows him. The old reading may be justi- 
fied from a passage in Sir Walter Raleigh's Discovery qf Guiana, 
where the pine-apple is called The princess of fruits. Again, in 
JVt/at's Poems : " Of beauty princesse chief." Steevens. 

In The Winter's Tale we meet with a similar expression : 
good sooth, she is 

The queen of curds and cream" Malone. 
7 seal of bliss !~\ He has in Measure for Measure, the 

same image : 

But my kisses bring again, 
" Seals ofloxe, but sealed in vain." Johnson. 

More appositely, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" My play-fellow, your hand ; this kingly seal, 
" And plighter of high hearts." Steevens. 

8 join, in souls,] i. e. join heartily, unite in the same 

mind. Shakspeare, in K. Henry V. uses an expression not un- 
like this : 

" For we will hear, note, and believe in heart ;" 
i.e. heartily believe: and in Measure for Measure, he talks of 
electing with special soui. In Troilus and Cressida, Ulysses, re- 
lating the character of Hector as given him by iEneas, says : 


418 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act in. 

If you were men, as men you are in show, 

You would not use a gentle lady so ; 

To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts, 

When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts. 

You both are rivals, and love Hermia ; 

And now both rivals, to mock Helena : 

« w ith private soul 

" Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me." 
And, in All Fools, by Chapman, 1005, is the same expression 
as that for which I contend : 

" Happy, in soul, only by winning her." 
Again, in a masque called Luminalia, or The Festival of Light, 
163J : 

" You that are chiefs souls, as in your blood." 
Again, in Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil, 15Q5 '• 

" whose subversion in soul they have vow'd." 

Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. XII. ch. lxxv: 

" Could all, in soul, of very God say as an Ethnick said 

" To one that preached Hercules?" 

Again, in our author's Twelfth-Night : 

" And all those swearings keep as true in soid." 
Sir T. Hanmer would read — injlouts ; Dr. Warburton, in- 
solents. Steevens. 

I rather believe the line should be read thus : 

" But you must join, ill souls, to mock me too ?" 
Ill is often used for bad, wicked. So, in The Sea Voyage of 
Beaumont and Fletcher, Act IV. sc. i : 

" They did begin to quarrel like ill men ;" 
which I cite the rather, because ill had there also been changed 
into in, by an error of the press, which Mr. Sympson has cor- 
rected from the edition 1647. Tyrwhitt. 

This is a very reasonable conjecture, though I think it hardly 
right. Johnson. 

We meet with this phrase in an old poem by Robert Dabourne : 

" Men shift their fashions — 

" They are in souls the same." Farmer. 

A similar phraseology is found in Measure for Measure : 
" Is't not enough thou hast suborn'd these women 
" To accuse this worthy man, but in foul mouth 
" To call him villain !" Malone. 

tic. it. DREAM. 419 

A trim exploit, a manly enterprize, 9 

To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes, 

With your derision ! none, of noble sort, 1 

Would so offend a virgin ; and extort 

A poor soul's patience, 2 all to make you sport. 

Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius ; be not so ; 
For you love Hermia ; this, you know, I know : 
And here, with all good will, with all my heart, 
In Hermia's love I yield you up my part ; 
And yours of Helena to me bequeath, 
Whom I do love, and will do to my death. 

Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath. 

Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia ; I will none : 
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone. 
My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd ; 
And now to Helen is it home return'd, 3 

9 A trim exploit, a manly enterprize, &c] This is written 
much in the manner and spirit of Juno's reproach to Venus in 
the fourth Book of the JEneid : 

" Egregiam vero laudem et spolia ampla refertis, 

" Tuque puerque tuus ; magnum et memorabile nomen, 

" Una doio divum si fcemina victa duorum est." 


1 none, of noble sort,] Sort is here used for degree or 

quality. So, in the old ballad of Jane Shore : 
" Long time I lived in the court, 
" With lords and ladies of great sort." Malone. 

* extort 

A poor souVs patience ,] Harass, torment. Johnson. 

3 My heart with her but, as gucst-ivise, sojouni'd ; 
And now to Helen it is home return'd,] The ancient copies 
read — " to her." Dr. Johnson made the correction, and exem- 
plified the sentiment by the following passage from Prior: 
" No matter what beauties I saw in my way, 
" They were but my visits; but thou art my home." 


So, in our author's 109th Sonnet: 

" This is my home of love ; if I have rang'd, 

" Like him that travels, I return again." Malone. 

F. E2 

420 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act iil 

There to remain. 

Lys. Helen, it is not so. 

Dem. Disparage not the faith tliou dost notknow, 
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear. — 
Look, where thy love comes ; yonder is thy dear. 

Enter Hermia. 

Her. Dark night, that from the eye his func- 
tion takes, 
The ear more quick of apprehension makes ; 
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense, 
It pays the hearing double recompense : — 
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found ; 
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound. 
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so ? 

Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth press 
to go ? 

Her. What love could press Lysander from my 
side ? 

Lys. Lysander's love, that wouldnot let him bide, 
Fair Helena ; who more engilds the night 
Than all yon fiery oes 4 and eyes of light. 

4 all yon fiery oes — ] Shakspeare uses O for a circle. So, 

in the prologue to King Henry V: 

" can we crowd 

" Within this little O, the very casques 
" That did affright the air at Agincourt ?" 
Again, in The Partheneia Sacra, 1633 : 

" — the purple canopy of the earth, powder'd over and beset 
with silver oes, or rather an azure vault," &c. 

Again, in JohnDavies of Hereford's Microcosmos, 1605, p.233: 
" Which silver oes and spangles over-ran." Steevens. 

D 1 'Ewes's Journal of Queen Elizabeth's Parliaments, p. 650, 
mentions a patent to make spangles and oes of gold ; and I think 
haberdashers call small curtain rings, O's, as being circular. 


sc. n. DREAM. 421 

Why seek'st thou me ? could not this make thee 

The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so ? 

Her. You speak not as you think ; it cannot be. 

I I el. Lo, she is one of this confederacy ! 
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd, all three, 
To fashion this false sport in spite of me. 
Injurious Hermia ! most ungrateful maid! 
Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd 
To bait me with this foul derision ? 
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd, 
The sisters' vows, 5 the hours that we have spent, 
When we have chid the hasty-footed time 
For parting us, — O, and is all forgot ? G 
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence ? 
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods, 7 

5 The sisters* votvs,~\ We might read more elegantly — The 
sister vows, and a few lines lower, — All school-day friendship. 
The latter emendation was made by Mr. Pope ; but changes 
merely for the sake of elegance ought to be admitted with great 
caution. Malone. 

6 For parti us; us, — (), and is all forgot?] The first folio omits 
the word — and. I have received it from the folio 1032. Mr. 
Malone reads — now. Stelykn.s. 

The editor of the second folio, to complete the metre, intro- 
duced the word and; — " O, and is all forgot?" It stands so 
aukwardly, that I am persuaded it was not our author's word. 


0, and is all forgo'?} Mr. Gibbon observes, that in 

a poem of Gregory Nazianzeo on his own life, are some beau- 
tiful Lines which burst from the heart, j id speak the pangs of 
injured and losl friendship, resembling these. He adds " Shak- 
speare had never read the poems of Gregory Nazianzen : he was 
ignorant (. I language; but his mother tongue, tie lan- 

guage of nature, i.^ the same in Cap] i and in Britain." 

Gibbon's Hist. Vol. III. p. 15. Heed. 

7 artificial gods,'] Arlijicial is ingenious, artful. 


422 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act hi. 

Have with our neelds 8 created both one flower, 
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion, 
Both warbling of one song, both in one key ; 
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds, 
Had been incorporate. So we grew together, 
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted j 
But yet a union in partition, 

8 Have with our neelds #c] Most of our modern editors, 
with the old copies, have — needles ; but the word was probably- 
written by Shakspeare neelds, (a common contraction in the 
inland counties at this day, ) otherwise the verse would be inhar- 
monious. See Gammer Gurtorfs Needle. 

Again, in Sir Arthur Gorges' translation of Lucan, l6l4: 
" Thus Cato spake, whose feeling words 
" Like pricking neelds, or points of swords," &c. 
Again, in Stanyhurst's Virgil, 1582: 

" on nceld-wroxx^ht carpets." 

The same ideas occur in Pericles Prince of Tyre, l6op : 

" she 

" Would ever with Marina be : 
" Be't when they weav'd the sleded silk, 
" With fingers long, small, white as milk, 
" Or when she would with sharp ueeld wound 
" The cambrick," &c. 
Again, ibid : 

" Deep clerks she dumbs, and with her neele composes 
" Nature's own shape." 
In the age of Shakspeare many contractions were used. Ben 
Jonson has wher for whether, in the prologue to his Sad Shep- 
herd ; and in the Earl of Sterline's Darius, is sport for support, 
and tivards for towards. 

Of the evisceration and extension of words, however, T. 
Churchyard affords the most numerous and glaring instances ; 
for he has not scrupled even to give us rune instead of ruin, and 
micst instead of mist, when he wants rhymes to soon, and criest. 


In the old editions of these plays many words of two syllables 
are printed at length, though intended to be pronounced as one. 
Thus spirit is almost always so written, though often used as a 
monosyllable ; and whether, though intended often to be con- 
tracted, is always (I think, improperly,) written at length. 


SC. IT. DREAM. 423 

Two lovely berries moulded on one stem : 

So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart ; 

Two of the first, like coats in heraldry, 

Due but to one, and crowned with one crest. 9 

And will you rent our ancient love asunder, 

To join with men in scorning your poor friend ? 

It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly : 

Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it j 

Though I alone do feel the injury. 

Her. I am amazed at your passionate words : 
I scorn you not ; it seems that you scorn me. 

Hel. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn, 
To follow me, and praise my eyes and face ? 
And made your other love, Demetrius, 

9 Txvo of the Jirst, like coats in heraldry, 
Due but to one, and croivned ivith one cresti] The old copies 
read — life coats, &e. Steevens. 

The true correction of the passage I owe to the friendship and 
communication of the ingenious Martin Folkes, Esq. — Two of 
the Jirst, second, &c. are terms peculiar in heraldry, to distinguish 
the different quarterings of coats. Theobald. 

These are, as Theobald observes, terms peculiar to heraldry ; 
but that observation does not help to explain them. — Every 
branch of a family is called a house ; and none but the Jirst of the 
Jirst house can bear the arms of the family, without some distinc- 
tion. Two of the jirst, therefore, means two coats of the Jirst 
house, which are properly due but to one. M. Mason. 

According to the rules of heraldry, the Jirst house only, (e.g. 
a father who has a son living, or an elder brother as distinguished 
from a younger,) has a right to bear the family coat. The son's 
coat is distinguished from the father's by a label ; the younger 
brother's from the elder's by a mullet. The same crest is com- 
mon to both. Helena therefore means to say, that she and her 
friend were as closely united, as much one person, as if they were 
both of the jirst house; as if they both had the privilege due but 
to one person, (viz. to him of the first house,) the right of 
bearing the family coat without any distinguishing mark. 


424 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act in. 

(Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,) 

To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare, 

Precious, celestial ? Wherefore speaks he this 

To her he hates ? and wherefore doth Lysander 

Deny your love, so rich within his soul, 

And tender me, forsooth, affection ; 

But by your setting on, by your consent ? 

What though I be not so in grace as you, 

So hung upon with love, so fortunate ; 

But miserable most, to love unlov'd ? 

This you should pity, rather than despise. 

Her. I understand not what you mean by this. 

Hel. Ay, do, persever, 1 counterfeit sad looks, 
Make mows upon me when I turn my back ; 
Wink at each other ; hold the sweet jest up : 
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled. 
If you have any pity, grace, or manners, 
You would not make me such an argument. 2 
But, fare ye well : 'tis partly mine own fault ; 
Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy. 

Lys. Stay, gentle Helena ; hear my excuse ; 
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena ! 

1 Ay, do, persever,] Persever is the reading of all the old 
copies. The word was formerly so pronounced. Thus our au- 
thor, in All's ivell that ends well, Act IV. sc. ii : 

" say thou art mine, and ever 

" My love, as it begins, so shall persever.'''' 
Again, in Glapthorne's Ar gains and Parthenia, 1639 : 

" for ever 

" May they in love and union still persever." 


* such an argument.] Such a subject of light merriment. 


So, in the first part of King Henry IV. Act II. sc. ii : 
" it would be argument for a week," &c. 


SC. IT. DREAM. 425 

Hel. O excellent ! 

Her. Sweet, do not scorn her so. 

Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel. 

Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she en- 
treat ; 

Thy threats have no more strength, than her weak 
prayers. 5 — 

Helen, I love thee ; by my life, I do ; 

I swear by that which I will lose for thee, 

To prove him false, that says I love thee not. 

Dem. I say, I love thee more than he can do. 

Lys. If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too. 

Dem. Quick, come, — 

Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this ? 

Lys. Away, you Ethiop! 

Dem. No, no, sir : — he will 4 

3 than her tveak prayers.] The old copies read : 

" than her weak praise." Steevens. 

Mr. Theobald proposed to read — -prays. A noun thus formed 
from the verb, to pray, is much in our author's manner ; and 
the transcriber's ear might have been easily deceived by the 
similarity of sounds. Malone. 

4 No, no, sir; — he will &c] This passage, like almost all 
those in these plays in which there is a sudden transition, or the 
sense is hastily broken oil', is much corrupted in the old copies. 
My text [No, no • hell — sir,'] is formed from the quarto printed 
b\ Fisher and tin' first folio. The words " he' W are not in the 
folio, and Sir is not in the quarto. Demetrius, I suppose, 
would say, No, no ; he'll not have the resolution to disengage 
elf from Ilennia. But turning abruptly to Lysander, lie 
addresses him ironically: — " Sir, seem to break loose;" &c. 


No critical remedy is nearer at hand, than a supposition that 
obscure passages are sentences designedly abrupt and imperfect. 
— L\ Bander calls 1 lermia an " /Kthiop." — " No, no, sir :" replies 
Demetrius; i. e. she is none; and then ironically speaks to her 
of Lysander, as of one whose struggle to break loose is merely 
ii pretended effort. He next addresses his provocation personally 


Seem to break loose ; take on, as you would follow ; 
But yet come not : You are a tame man, go ! 

Lys. Hang off, thou cat, thou burr : vile thing 
let loose ; 
Or I will shake thee from me, like a serpent. 

Her. Why are you grown so rude ? what change 
is this, 
Sweet love ? 

Lys. Thy love ? out, tawny Tartar, out ! 

Out, loathed medicine ! hated potion, hence ! 

Her. Do you not jest ? 

Hel, Yes, 'sooth ; and so do you. 

Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee. 

Dem. I would, I had your bond ; for, I perceive, 
A weak bond holds you ; I'll not trust your word. 

Lys. What should I hurt her, strike her, kill 
her dead ? 
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so. 

Her. What, can you do me greater harm, than 

hate ? 
Hate me ! wherefore ? O me ! what news, my love ? 
Am not I Hermia ? Are not you Lysander ? 
I am as fair now, as I was erewhile. 
Since night, you lov'd me ; yet, since night you 

left me : 
Why, then you left me, — O, the gods forbid ! — 

to Lysander. — I have left the text as I found it ; only reading 
(for the sake of metre) he will, instead of he'll. Steevens. 

The only difficulty in this passage arises from the words — he 
•will, sir, which are omitted in the second folio. In that edition 
it runs thus : 

" No, no, sir, seeme to breake loose ; 
" Take on as you would follow, 
" But yet come not : you are a tame man, go." 
This appears to me the true reading. M. Mason. 

sc. n. DREAM. 427 

In earnest, shall I say ? 

Lys. Ay, by my life ; 

And never did desire to see thee more. 
Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt, 
Be certain, nothing truer ; 'tis no jest, 
That I do hate thee, and love Helena. 

Her. O me ! you juggler ! you canker-blossom \ b 
You thief of love ! what, have you come by night, 
And stol'n my love's heart from him ? 

Hel. Fine, i'faith ! 

Have you no modesty, no maiden shame, 
No touch of bashfulness ? What, will you tear 
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue ? 
Fie, fie ! you counterfeit, you puppet you ! 

Her. Puppet ! why so ? Ay, that way goes the 
Now I perceive that she hath made compare 
Between our statures, she hath urg'd her height ; 
And with her personage, her tall personage, 
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him. — 
And are you grown so high in his esteem, 
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low ? 
How low am I, thou painted maypole ? 6 speak ; 

5 O me ! you juggler ! you canker-blossom /] Juggler in this 
line is used as a trisyllable. So again, in A'. Henry VI. P. I : 
" She and the dauphin have been juggling?* 
So also lidding, wrestler^ and many more. Malone. 

you canker-blossom !] The canher-blossom is not in this 

place the blossom of the canker or ivild rose, which our author 
alludes to in Much Ado about Nothing, Act I. sc. iii : 

" I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace:'* 
but a worm that preys on the leaves or buds of flowers, always 
beginning in the middle. So, in this play Act II. sc. iii. 
" Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds." 


s thou painted maypole?] So, in Stubbes's Anatomic 


How low am I ? I am not yet so low, 

But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes. 

Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentle- 
Let her not hurt me : I was never curst ; 7 
I have no gift at all in shrewishness ; 
I am a right maid for my cowardice ; 
Let her not strike me : You, perhaps, may think, 
Because she's something lower than myself, 
That I can match her. 

Her. Lower ! hark, again. 

Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. 
I evermore did love you, Hermia, 
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you ; 
Save that, in love unto Demetrius, 
I told him of your stealth unto this wood : 
He follow'd you ; for love, I follow'd him. 
But he hath chid me hence ; and threaten'd me 
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too : 
And now, so you will let me quiet go, 
To Athens will I bear my folly back, 
And follow you no further : Let me go : 
You see how simple and how fond I am. 8 

of Abuses, 8vo. 1583: "But their cheefest iewell thei bryng 
from thence is their Male pole, whiche thei bryng home with 
great veneration, as thus : Thei have twentie or fourtie yoke of 
oxen, every oxe hauyng a sweete nosegaie of flowers placed on 
the tippe of his homes, and these oxen drawe home this Male 
pole, (this stinckyng idoll rather) whiche is couered all ouer with 
flowers and hearbes bounde rounde aboute with strynges from 
the top to the bottome, and some tyme painted ivith variable co- 
lours" &c. Steevens. 

7 curst ;] i. e. shrewish or mischievous. 

Thus in the old proverbial saying : ** Curst cows have short 
liorns." Steevens. 

8 homo fond J am.'] Fond, i. e. foolish. So, in The Mer- 
chant of Venice: 

sc. ii. DREAM. 429 

Her. Why, get you gone : Who is't that hinders 

Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind. 

Her. What, with Lysander? 

Hel. With Demetrius. 

Lys. Be not afraid : she shall not harm thee, 

Dem. No, sir; she shall not, though you take her 

Hel. 0,whenshe'sangry,she is keen andshrewd: 
She was a vixen, when she went to school ; 9 
And, though she be but little, she is fierce. 

Her. Little again ? nothing but low and little? — 
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus? 
Let me come to her. 

Lys. Get you gone, you dwarf; 

You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made; 1 

I do wonder, 

" Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond 
" To come abroad with him." Steevens. 

9 She tuas a vixen, when she Went to school ;] Vixen or JUsen 
primitively signifies a female fox. So, in The Bohe of Hunting, 
that is cleped Maijster of Game ; an ancient MS. in the collec- 
tion of Francis Douce, Esq. Gray's Inn: " The fxen of the 
Foxe is assaute onys in the yer. She hath venomous biting as 
a wolfe." Steevens. 

1 qfhituPring knot-grass made;] It appears that knot- 

grass uas anciently supposed to prevent the growth of any ani- 
mal or child. 

Beaumont and Fletcher mention this property of it in The 
Knight of the Burning Pestle: 

" Should they put him into a straight pair of gaskins, 'twere 
worse than kmi-grosSf he would never grow after it." 

Again, in the Coxcomb: 

" We want a boy extremely for this function, kept under, for 
a \rar, with milk and h/iot-grass." Daisy-roots were supposed 
to have the same eH'ect. 

430 MIDSUMMER-NIG HT'S act iii. 

You bead, you acorn. 

Dem. You are too officious, 

In her behalf that scorns your services. 
Let her alone ; speak not of Helena ; 
Take not her part : for if thou dost intend 2 
Never so little show of love to her, 
Thou shalt aby it. 3 

Lys. Now she holds me not ; 

Now follow, if thou dar'st, to try whose right, 
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena. 4 

Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by 
jole. [Exeunt Lys. and Dem. 

Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you : 
Nay, go not back. 

That prince of verbose and pedantic coxcombs, Richard Tom- 
linson, apothecary, in his translation of Renodceus his Dispensa- 
tory, 1657, informs us that knot-grass " is a low reptant hearb, 
with exile, copious, nodose, and geniculated branches." Perhaps 
no hypochondriack is to be found, who might not derive his cure 
from the perusal of any single chapter in this work. Steevens. 

8 intend — ] i. e. pretend. So, in Much Ado: 

" Intend a kind of zeal both to the prince and Claudio." 


3 Thou shalt aby it.~\ To aby is to pay dear for, to suffer. So, 
in The Downfall of Robert Earl qf Huntingdon, 16OI : 

" Had 1 sword and buckler here, 

" You should aby these questions." 
The word has occurred before in this play. See p. 420, line 4. 
Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1599 : 

" but thou shalt dear aby this blow." Steevens. 

Thou shalt aby it.] Aby it, is abide by it ; i. e. stand to it, an- 
swer to it. So, in Psalm cxxx. v. 3, in Common Prayer : " If 
thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss : O Lord, 
who may abide it ?" Harris. 

4 Or thine or mine, &c] The old copies read — Of thine. The 
emendation is Mr. Theobald's. I am not sure that the old read- 
ing is corrupt. If the line had run — " Of mine or thine," I 
should have suspected that the phrase was borrowed from the 
Latin : — Now follow, to try whose right of property t — of meum 
or tuum, — is the greatest in Helena. Malone. 

sc. n. DREAM. 431 

Hel. I will not trust you, I ; 

Nor longer stay in your curst company. 
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray; 
My legs are longer though, to run away. \_Exit. 

Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say. 

[Exit, pursuing Helena. 

Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st, 
Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully. 

Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook. 
Did not you tell me, I should know the man 
By the Athenian garments he had on ? 
And so far blameless proves my enterprize, 
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes : 
And so far am I glad it so did sort, 5 
As this their jangling I esteem a sport. 

Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight : 
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night ; 
The starry welkin cover thou anon 
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron ; 
And lead these testy rivals so astray, 
As one come not within another's way. 
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue, 
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong ; 
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius ; 
And from each other look thou lead them thus, 
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep 
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep : 
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye ; 
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property, 6 

i so did sort,] So happen in the issue. Johnson. 

So, in Monsieur D' Olive, 1606: 

" never look to have any action sort to your honour." 


— virtuous propertyj\ Salutiferous. So lie calls, in The 
Tempest, poisonous dew, wicked dew. Johnson. 


To take from thence all error, with his might, 
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight. 
When they next wake, all this derision 
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision ; 
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend, 7 
With league, whose date till death shall never end. 
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ, 
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy ; 
And then I will her charmed eye release 
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace. 

Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with 

haste ; 
For night's swift dragons 8 cut the clouds full fast, 
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger ; 
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and 

Troop home to church-yards : damned spirits all, 
That in cross-ways and floods have burial, 9 

7 wend.~\ i. e. go. So, in The Comedy of Errors: 

" Hopeless and helpless doth iEgeon wend" Steevens. 

8 For night's swift dragons 8f€.~\ So, in Cymbeline, Act II. 
sc. ii : 

" Swift, swift, ye dragons of the night /" 

See my note on this passage, concerning the vigilance imputed 
to the serpent tribe. Steevens. 

This circumstance Shakspeare might have learned from a pas- 
sage in Golding's translation of Ovid, which he has imitated in 
The Tempest: 

" Among the earth-bred brothers you a mortal war did set, 
" And brought asleep the dragon fell, whose eyes tvere 
never shet." Malone. 

damned spirits all, 

That in cross-ways and floods have burial,'] The ghosts of 
self-murderers, who are buried in cross-roads ; and of those who 
being drowned, were condemned (according to the opinion of the 
ancients) to wander for a hundred years, as the rites of sepulture 
had never been regularly bestowed on their bodies. That the 
waters were sometimes the place of residence for damned spirits, 

sc. ii. DREAM. 433 

Already to their wormy beds 1 are gone ; 

For fear lest day should look their shames upon, 

They wilfully themselves exile from light, 

And must for aye consort with black-brow* d night. 2 

Obe. But we are spirits of another sort : 
I with the morning's love have oft made sport j 3 

we learn from the ancient bl. 1. romance of Syr Eglamoure of 
Artoys, no date : 

" Let some preest a gospel saye, 

" For doute of fendes in the fade." Steevens. 

1 — — to their wormy beds — ] This periphrasis for the grave 
has been borrowed by Milton, in his Ode on the Death of a fair 
Infant ; 

" Or that thy beauties lie in ivormy bed." Steevens. 

* black-brow'd night.] So, in King John: 

" Why, here walk I, in the black-brow of night." 


3 / ivith the morning's love have oft made sport ;~\ Thus all the 
old copies, and I think, rightly. Tithonus was the husband of 
Aurora, and Tithonus was no young deity. 

Thus, in Aurora, a collection of sonnets, by Lord Stcrline, 

" And why should Tithon thus, whose day grows late, 

" Enjoy the morning's love?" 
Again, in The Parasit aster, by J. Marston, 1606: 

" Aurora yet keeps chaste old Tithon's bed ; 

" Yet blushes at it when she rises." 
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. III. c. iii : 

" As faire Aurora rising hastily, 

" Dotli by her blushing tell that she did lye 

" All night in old Tithonus' frozen bed." 
Again, in Thr Faithful Shepherdess of Fletcher: 

" O, lend me all thy red, 

" Thou Bhame-fac'd morning, when from Titho?i's bed 

" Thou risest ever-maiden !" 
How such ;t waggish spirit as the King of the Fairies might 
make sport with an antiquated lover, or his mistress in his absence, 
may be easily understood. Dr. Johnson reads with all the mo- 
dern editors : " 1 with the mornins light.'* &c. Steevens. 

Will not this passage bear a different explanation ? By the 
morning's love I apprehend L'ephalus, the mighty hunter and 


43 * MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act in. 

And, like a forester, the groves may tread, 
Even till the eastern gate, 4 all fiery-red, 
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams, 
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams. 
But, notwithstanding, haste ; make no delay : 
We may effect this business yet ere day. 

\_Exit Oberon. 

Puck. Up and down, up and down j 
I will lead them up and down : 
I am fear'd in field and town ; 
Goblin, lead them up and down. 
Here comes one. 

Enter Lysander. 

Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak 
thou now. 

Puck. Here villain ; drawn and ready. Where 
art thou ? 

Lys. I will be with thee straight. 

paramour of Aurora, is intended. The context, " And, like a 
forester," &c. seems to show that the chace was the sport which 
Oberon boasts he partook with the morning's love. 

Holt White. 

The connection between Aurora and Cephalus is also pointed 
out in one of the Poems that form a collection intitled The Phoe- 
nix Nest, &c. 4to. 1593, p. 95 : 

" Aurora now began to rise againe 

" From watrie couch and from old Tithons side, 

" In hope to kiss upon Acteian plaine 

" Yong Cephalusy' &c. Steevens. 

* Even till the eastern gate, &c.~] What the fairy monarch 
means to inform Puck of, is this. That he was not compelled, 
like meaner spirits, to vanish at the first appearance of the dawn. 


sen. DREAM. 433 

Puck. Follow me then 

To plainer ground. 

[Exit Lys. as following the voice. 

Enter Demetrius. 

Deal Lysander ! speak again. 

Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? 
Speak. In some bush ? Where dost thou hide thy 
head ? 

Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the 

Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars, 
And wilt not come ? Come, recreant ; come, thou 

child ; 
I'll whip thee with a rod : He is dehTd, 
That draws a sword on thee. 

Dem. Yea ; art thou there ? 

Puck. Follow my voice ; we'll try no manhood 
here. \_~ExeanL 

Re-enter Lysander. 

Lys. lie goes before me, and still dares me on j 
When I come where he calls, then he is gone. 
The villain is much lighter heel'd than I : 
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly ; 
That fallen am I in dark uneven way, 
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day ! 

[Lies down. 
For if but once thou show me thy grey light, 
I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps. 

T V 2 


Re-enter Puck and Demetrius. 

Puck. Ho, ho ! ho, ho ! Coward, why coni'st 
thou not? 5 

Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st ; for well I wot, 

s Puck. Ho, ho ! ho, ho ! Coward, why coni'st thou not?] This 
exclamation would have been uttered by Puck with greater pro- 
priety, if he were not now playing an assumed character, which 
he, in the present instance, seems to forget. In the old song 
printed by Peck and Percy, in which all his gambols are related, 
he concludes every stanza with Ho, ho, ho ! So, in Grim the 
Collier of Croydon : 

" Ho, ho, ho, my masters ! No good fellowship ! 

" Is Robin Goodfellow a bug-bear grown, 

" That he is not worthy to be bid sit down ?" 
Again, in Drayton's Nymphidia : 

" Hoh, hoh, quoth Hob, God save thy grace." 
It was not, however, as has been asserted, the appropriate ex- 
clamation, in our author's time, of this eccentric character ; the 
devil himself having, if not a better, at least an older, title to it. 
So, in Histriomastix (as quoted by Mr. Steevens in a note on 
King Richard III.) a roaring devil enters, with the Vice on 
his back, Iniquity in one hand, and Juventus in the other, 
crying : 

" Ho, ho, ho ! these babes mine are all." 
Again, in Gammer Gurton's Needle: 

" But Diccon, Diccon, did not the devil cry ho, ho, ho?" 
And, in the same play : 

" By the masse, ich saw him of late cal up a great blacke 

" O, the knave cryed ho, ho, he roared and he thundered." 
So, in the Epitaph attributed to Shakspeare : 

" Hoh! quoth the devil, 'tis my John o'Coombe." 
Again, in Goulart's Histories, 1607: 

" The fellow . . . coming to the stove . . . sawe the Diuills 
in horrible formes, some sitting, some standing, others walking, 
some ramping against the walles, but al of them assoone as they 
beheld him ran unto him, crying Hoh, Hoh, what makest thou 
here ?" 

Again, in the same book : 

" The black guests returned no answere, but roared and 

sc. n. DREAM. 431 

Thou rurm'st before me, shifting every place ; 
And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face. 
Where art thou ? 6 

Puck. Come hither ; I am here. 

Dem. Nav, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt 
buy this dear, 7 
If ever I thy face by day-light see : 
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me 
To measure out my length on this cold bed. — 
By day's approach look to be visited. 

[_Lies down and sleeps. 

cryed out, Hoh sirra let alone the child, or we will teare thee all 
to pieces." 

Indeed, from a passage in Wily Beguiled, 1606, (as quoted in 
the new edition of Dodsley's Old Plays, ) I suspect that this same 
" knavish sprite" was sometimes introduced on the stage as a 
demi-devil : " I'll rather," it is one Robin Goodfellow who 
speaks, " put on myjlashing red nose, and my jlaming face, and 
come wrap'd in a calf's skin, and cry ho, hoS' See also, Grim 
the Collier of Croydon. Ritson. 

The song above alluded to may be found in Percy's Reliques 
of Ancient Poetry, Vol. III. p. 203. Malone. 

6 Where art thou?] For the sake of the measure, which is 
otherwise imperfect, I suppose we ought to read : 
" Where art thou nolo?" 
Demetrius, conceiving Lysander to have still been shifting his 
ground, very naturally asks him where he is at that instant. 


7 buy this dear,'] i. e. thoti shalt dearly pay for this. 

Though this is sense, and may well enough stand, yet the poet 
perhaps wrote — thou shalt 'by it dear. So, in another place, 
thou shalt aby it. So, Milton, " Hotv dearly I abide that boast 
so vain.' 1 Johnson, 


Enter Helena. 

Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night, 
Abate thy hours : shine, comforts, from the 
That I may back to Athens, by day-light, 

From these that my poor company detest : — 
And, sleep, that sometime shuts up sorrow's eye, 
Steal me a while from mine own company. 8 


Puck. Yet but three ? Come one more ; 
Two of both kinds makes up four. 
Here she comes, curst and sad : — 
Cupid is a knavish lad, 
Thus to make poor females mad. 

Enter Hermia. 

Her. Never so weary, never so in woe, 

Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers^ 
I can no farther crawl, no further go ; 

My legs can keep no pace with my desires. 
Here will I rest me, till the break of day. 
Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray ! 

[Lies cloxvn. 

Puck. On the ground 
Sleep sound : 
I'll apply 
To your eye, 
Gentle lover, remedy. 

[Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eye. 

8 Steal me a while from mine own company.] Thus also in an 
address to sleep, in Daniel's tragedy of Cleopatra: I.599: 
" That from ourselves so steal'st ourselves away." 


sc. ii. DREAM. $39 

When thou wak'st, 

Thou tak'st 9 

True delight 

In the sight 
Of thy former lady's eye : 
And the country proverb known, 
That every man should take his own, 
In vour waking: shall be shown : 

Jack shall have Jill ; 1 

Nought shall go ill : 
I he man shall have his mare again, and all shall 

be well. 2 

[Exit Puck. — Dem. Hel. &c. sleep. 

9 When thou toak'st, 
Thou tak'st &c] The second line would be improved, 1 
think, both in its measure and construction, if it were written 
thus : 

When thou ivak'st, 

See thou tak'st, 

True delight, &c. Tyrwhitt. 

1 Jack shall have Jill; &c] These three last lines are to be 
found among Heywood's Epigrams on Three Hundred Proverbs. 


* all shall be well.] Well is so bad a rhyme to ill, that I 

cannot help supposing our author wrote — still ; i. e. all this dis- 
cord shall subside in a calm, become hushed and quiet. So, in 

" Ha ! no more moving ? 

" Still as the grave.'* Steevens. 

440 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act ir. 


The same. 

Enter Titania and Bottom, Fairies attending ; 
Oberon belmid unseen. 

Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed, 
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, 4 
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, 
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy. 

Bot. Where's Peas-blossom ? 

Peas. Ready. 

s I see no reason why the fourth Act should begin here, when 
there seems no interruption of the action. In the old quartos of 
l600, there is no division of acts, which seems to have been 
afterwards arbitrarily made in the first folio, and may therefore 
be altered at pleasure. Johnson. 

4 do coy,] To coy, is to sooth, to stroke. So, in The 

Arraignment of Paris, 1584 : 

" Plays with Amyntas' lusty boy, and coys him in the 
Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, Book VI. ch. xxx: 
" And whilst she coys his sooty cheeks, or curls his sweaty 
Again, in Sir A . Gorges' translation of Lucan, B. IX : 

" his sports to prove, 

" Coying that powerful queen of love." 
Again, in Golding's translation of the /th Book of Ovid's Meta- 

" Their dangling dewclaps with his hand he coid unfear- 
Again, ibid: 

" and with her hand had coid 

" The dragons' reined neckes — ." 
The behaviour of Titania, on this occasion, seems copied from 
that of the lady in Apideius, Lib. VIII. Stekvens. 

sc. i. DREAM. .. 441 

Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom. — Where's 
monsieur Cobweb ? 

Cob. Readv. 

Bot. Monsieur Cobweb ; good monsieur, get 
your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red- 
hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle ; and, 
good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not 
fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur ; 
and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag 
break not ; I would be loath to have you over- 
flown ? with a honey-bag, signior. — Where's mon- 
sieur Mustard-seed ? 

Musr. Ready. 

Bot. Give me your neif, 6 monsieur Mustard- 
seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur. 

Must. What's your will ? 

Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help ca- 
valero Cobweb 7 to scratch. I must to the barber's, 
monsieur ; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy 
about the face : and I am such a tender ass, if my 
hair do but tickle me, I must scratch. 

Tita. What, wilt thou hear some musick, my 
sweet love ? 

Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in musick : 
let us have the tongs 8 and the bones. 

a over-Jlu-Aii — ] It should be overflow' d ; but it appears 

from a rhyme in another play that the mistake was our author's. 


1 perceive no mistake. Overflown is the participle passive. 
See Dr. .Johnson's Diet. Steevkns. 

r ' '"','/>] '• e> hst. So, in King Henry IV. Act If. sc. x : 

" Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif.'''' Grey. 

■ cavalero Cobweb — ] Without doubt it should be cava- 

lero Peas-blossom ; as for cavalero Cobweb, he had just been dis- 
patched upon a perilous adventure. Grey. 

e the tongs — ] The old rustick musick of the tongs and 

442 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act jr. 

Tita. Or, say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to 

Bot. Truly, a peck of provender ; I could munch 
your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great 
desire to a bottle of hay : good hay, sweet hay, 
hath no fellow. 

Tita. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek 
The squirrel's hoard, 9 and fetch thee new nuts. 

Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of 
dried peas. But, I pray you, let none of your 
people stir me j I have an exposition of sleep come 
upon ine. 

Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my 

"key. The folio has this stage direction : " Musiche Tongs, Ru- 

rall Musicke." 

This rough rousick is likewise mentioned by Marston, in an 

address ad rithmum prefixed to the second Book of his Satires, 


" Yee wel-match'd twins (whose like-tun'd tongs affords 
" Such musical delight)" &c. Steevens. 

At a banquet given by Ralph Freman, Lord Mayor of Lon- 
don, to the King and Queen, g Car. I. 1033, at Merchant Tay- 
lor's hall, the ceremonial of which is set forth in Channcy's 
Hertfordshire, p. 123, the musick of the tongs is introduced ; 
and from the manner in which it is mentioned, could not be 
of very agreeable sound, though well adapted to the delicacy of 
Bottom's ears. In the procession it is said, " These horsemen 
had for their musick about a dozen of the best trumpeters in their 
liveries sounding before them ; after whom came the antimask- 
ers, representing cripples and beggars, on the poorest leanest 
jades the dirt carts could afford, who had their musick of keys 
and tongs, and the like snaping, and yet playing in a consort 
before them ; the variety and change from such noble musick 
and gallant horses as went before unto the proper musick and 
pitiful horses of these cripples made the greater divertisement." 


9 The squirrel's hoard,] Hoard is here employed as a dissyl- 
lable. Steevens. 

so. i. DREAM. 443 

Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away. 1 

So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle, 2 

1 and be all ways away.] i. e. disperse yourselves, and 

scout out severally, in your watch, that danger approach us from 
no quarter. Theobald. 

The old copies read — " be always" Corrected by Mr. Theo- 
bald. Malone. 

Mr. Upton reads : 

And be away — away. Johnson. 

Mr. Heath would read — " and be always V the way." 


s So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle, 
Gently entwist, — the female ivy so 

Enrings the barley Jingers of the elm.~\ What does the wood- 
bine entwist ? The honey-suckle. But the woodbine and honey- 
suckle were, till now, but two names for one and the same plant, 
llorio, in his Italian Dictionary, interprets Madre Selva by ivood- 
bine or honie-suckle. We must therefore find a support for the 
woodbine as well as for the ivy. Which is done by reading the 
lines thus : 

So doth the woodbine, the sweet honey-suckle, 
Gently entwist the maple ; ivy so 
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm. 
The corruption might happen by the first blunderer dropping 
the p in writing the word maple, which word thence became 
male. A following transcriber, for the sake of a little sense and 
measure, thought fit to change this male mto female ; and then 
tacked it as an epithet to ivy. Warburton. 

Mr. Upton reads : 

.So doth the woodrine the sweet honey suckle, 
for bark of the wood. Shakspeare perhaps only meant, so the 
leaves involve the flower, using woodbine for the plant, and honey- 
suckle for the flower ; or perhaps Shakspeare made a blunder. 


The thought is Chaucer's. See his Troilus and Cresscide> 
v. r236, Lib. Ill: 

" And as about a tre with many a twist 
" Bitrent and writhin is the swete Woodbindc, 
" Gail 1 1 he of hem in annis other winde." 
What Shakspeare seems to mean, is this — So the woodbine, 
i. e. the sweet honeysuckle, doth gently en/wist the barky fingers 
of the elm, and so does the female ir./ curing the Home fingers. 
It is not unfrequeiit in the poets, as well as other writers, to 
explain one word by another which i^ Utter known. The 

444 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act iv. 

Gently entwist, — the female ivy 3 so 

reason why Shakspeare thought "woodbine wanted illustration, 
perhaps is this. In some counties, by woodbine or woodbind 
would have been generally understood the ivy, which he had 
occasion to mention in the very next line. In the following in- 
stance from Old Fortunatus, ltJOO, woodbind is used for ivy : 
" And, as the running wood-bind, spread her arms 
" To choak thy with'ring boughs in her embrace." 
And Barrett in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, 
enforces the same distinction that Shakspeare thought it neces- 
sary to make : 

" Woodbin that beareth the honey-suckle." Steevens. 

This passage has given rise to various conjectures. It is certain, 
that the wood-bine and the honey-suckle were sometimes consider- 
ed as different plants. In one of Taylor's Poems, we have — 
" The woodbine, primrose, and the cowslip fine, 
" The honisuckle, and the daffadill." 

But I think Mr. Steevens's interpretation the true one. The 
old writers did not always carry the auxiliary verb forward, as 
Mr. Capell seems to suppose by his alteration of enrings, to en- 
ring. So, Bishop Lowth, in his excellent Introduction to Gram- 
mar, p. 126, has without reason corrected a similar passage in 
our translation of St. Matthew. Farmer. 

Were any change necessary, I should not scruple to read the 
weedbind, i. e. similax : a plant that twists round every other 
that grows in its way. 

In a very ancient translation of " Macer's Herball, practysed 
by Docter Linacre," is the following passage : " Caprifolium is 
an herbe called woodbynde or withwynde, this groweth in hedges 
or in woodes, and it wyll beclyp a tre in her growynge, as doth 
yvye, and hath white flowers." Steevens. 

In Lord Bacon's Nat. Hist. Experiment 496, it is observed, 
that there are two kinds of " honey -suckles, both the woodbine 
and trefoil?'' i. e. the first is a plant that winds about trees, and 
the other is a three-leaved grass. Perhaps these are meant in 
Dr. Farmer's quotation. The distinction, however, may serve 
to shew why Shakspeare and other authors frequently added 
woodbine to honey-suckle, when they mean the plant and not 
the grass. Tollet. 

The interpretation of either Dr. Johnson or Mr. Steevens re- 
moves all difficulty. The following passage in Sicily and Naples, 
or The Fatal Union, 1640, in which the honeysuckle is spoken 
of as the flower, and the woodbine as the plant, adds some sup- 
port to Dr. Johnson's exposition : 

sc. i. DREAM. 445 

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm. 
O, how I love thee ! how I dote on thee ! 

[They sleep. 

Ojberon advances. Enter Puck. 

Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this 
sweet sight ? 
Her dotage now I do begin to pity. 
For meeting her of late, behind the wood, 
Seeking sweet savours 4 for this hateful fool, 
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her : 
For she his hairy temples then had rounded 
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers $ 

" as fit a gift 

" As this were for a lord, — a honey-suckle, 

" The amorous woodbine's offspring." 
But Minshieu in v. Woodbinde, supposes them the same : 
" Alio nomine nobis Anglis Honysucklc dictus." If Dr. John- 
son's explanation be right, there should be no point after xvood- 
bine, honeysuckle, or enrings. Malone. 

3 the female ivy — ] Shakspeare calls it female ivy, be- 
cause it always requires some support, which is poetically called 
its husband. So Milton : 

" led the vine 

" To wed her elm : she spous'd, about him twines 

" Her marriageable arms — ." 

" Ulmo conjuncta marito." Catull. 

" Platanusque ccelebs 

" Evincet ulmos." Hor. Steevens. 

Though the ivy here represents the female, there is, notwith- 
standing, an evident reference in the words enrings andfngers, 
to the ring of the marriage rite. Henley. 

In our ancient marriage ceremony, (or rather, perhaps, con- 
tract,) the woman gave the man a ring, as well as received one 
from him. To this custom the conduct of Olivia (See Tvcclfth- 
Night, sc. ult.) bears sufficient testimony: 

" A contract of eternal bond of love, &c. 

" Strengthened by inter changement of your rings." 


4 Itoieet savours — ] Thus Roberts's quarto and the first 


And that same dew, which sometime on the buds 

Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls, 

Stood now within the pretty flourets* eyes, 5 

Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail. 

When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her, 

And she, in mild terms, begg'd my patience, 

I then did ask of her her changeling child ; 

Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent 

To bear him to my bower in fairy land. 

And now I have the boy, I will undo 

This hateful imperfection of her eyes. 

And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp 

From off the head of this Athenian swain; 

That he awaking when the other do, 6 

May all to Athens back again repair ; 

And think no more of this night's accidents, 

But as the fierce vexation of a dream. 

But first I will release the fairy queen. 

Be, as thou w r ast wont to be ; 

[Touching her eyes with an herb. 

See, as thou wast wont to see : 

folio. Fisher's quarto reads— favours ; which, taken in the 
sense of ornaments, such as are worn at weddings, may be 
right. Steevens. 

5 flourets' eyes,] The eye of a flower is the technical 

term for its center. Thus Milton, in his Lycidas, v. 139 : 

" Throw hither all your quaint enamel' d eyes.''' 


6 That he aivaJcing token the other do,~\ Such is the reading of 
the old copies, and such was the phraseology of Shakspeare's 
age ; though the modern editors have departed from it. — So, in 
King Henry IV. P. I : " — and unbound the rest, and then 
came in the other." 

Again, in King Henry IV. P. II : " For the other, Sir John, 
let me see," &c. 

So, in the epistle prefixed to Pierce Pennilesse his Supplication 
to the Devil, by Thomas Nashe, 4to. 1592 : " I hope they will 
give me leave to think there be fooles of that art, as well as of 
all other." Malone. 

sc. i. DREAM. 447 

Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower 7 
Hath such force aud blessed power. 
Now, my Titauia ; wake you, my sweet queen. 

Tita. My Oberon ! what visions have I seen ! 
Methought, I was enamour'd of an ass. 

Obe. There lies your love. 

Tita. How came these things to pass ? 

O, how mine eyes do loath his visage now ! 

Obe. Silence, a while. — Robin, take off this 
head. — 
Titauia, musick call ; and strike more dead 
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense. 8 

Tita. Musick, ho ! musick ; such as charmeth 

Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own 
fool's eyes peep. 

Obe. Sound, musick. [Still musick.'] Come, my 
queen, take hands with me, 
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be. 

7 Dian's bud o'er Cupid's jloixer — ] The old copies read — or 
Cupid's. Corrected by Dr. Thirlby. The herb now employed 
is styled Dianas bud, because it is applied as an antidote to that 
charm which had constrained Titania to dote on Bottom with 
" the soul of love." Malone. 

Dian's bud, is the bud of the Agnus Castus, or Chaste Tree. 
Thus, in " Macers Herball, practysyd by Doctor Lynacre, 
translated out of Laten into Englysshe," &c. bl. 1. no date : 
" The vertue of this herbe is, that he wyll kepe man and woman 
chaste," &c. Cupid's f owe r, is the Viola tricolor, or Love in 
Idleness. Steevens. 

8 of all these five the sense.'] The old copies read — these 
fine. ; but this most certainly is corrupt. My emendation needs 

no justification. They've, that lay asleep on the stage were De- 
metrius, Lysander, Hcrmia, Helena, and Bottom. — Dr. Thirlby 
likewise communicated this very correction. Thkqbajld. 

448 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act iv. 

Now thou and I are new in amity ; 

And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly, 

Dance in duke Theseus' house triumphantly, 

And bless it to all fair posterity : 9 

There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be 

Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity. 

Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark : 
I do hear the morning lark. 

Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad, 
Trip we after the night's shade * 


Dance in duJce Theseus 1 house triumphantly, 

And bless it to all fair posterity :] We should read : 

to all far posterity. 

i. e. to the remotest posterity. Warburton. 

Fair posterity is the right reading. 

In the concluding song, where Oberon blesses the nuptial bed, 
part of his benediction is, that the posterity of Theseus shall be 
fair ; 

" And the blots of nature's hand 

" Shall not in their issue stand ; 

" Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar, 

" Nor mark prodigious, such as are 

" Despised in nativity, 

" Shall upon their children be." M. Mason. 

to all fair prosperity :] I have preferred this, which is 

the reading of the first and best quarto, printed by Fisher, to 
that of the other quarto and the folio, (posterity, ) induced by 
the following lines in a former scene : 

" your warrior love 

" To Theseus must be wedded, and you come 

" To give their bed joy and prosperity." Malone. 

1 Then, my queen, in silence sad, 

Trip we after the night's shade .•] Sad signifies only grave, 
sober ; and is opposed to their dances and revels, which were 
now ended at the singing of the morning lark. So, in The 
Winter's Tale, Act IV : " My father and the gentlemen are in 
sad talk.'" For grave or serious. Warburton. 

A statute 3 Henry VII. c. xiv. directs certain offences com- 
mitted in the king's palace, to be tried by twelve sad men of the 
king's houshold. Blackstone. 

sc. i. DREAM. 449 

We the globe can compass soon, 
Swifter than the wand'ring moon. 

Tit a. Come, my lord ; and in our flight, 
Tell me how it came this night, 
That I sleeping here was found, 
With these mortals, on the ground. \_Exennt. 

\_Horns sound within. 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and train. 

The. Go, one of you, find out the forester; — 
For now our observation is perform'd : 2 
And since we have the vaward of the day, 3 
My love shall hear the musick of my hounds. — 

8 our observation is performed .•] The honours due to 

the morning of May. I know not why Shakspeare calls this play 
A Midsummer-Night' s Dream, when he so carefully informs us 
that it happened on the night preceding May day. Johnson. 

The title of this play seems no more intended, to denote the 
precise time of the action, than that of The Winter's Tale ; 
which we find, was at the season of sheep-shearing. Farmer. 

The same phrase has been used in a former scene : 
" To do observance to a morn of May." 

I imagine that the title of this play was suggested by the time 
it was first introduced on the stage, which was probably at Mid- 
summer. " A Dream for the entertainment of a Midsummer- 
night." Twelfth- Sight and The Winter s Tale had probably 
their titles from a similar circumstance. Ma lone. 

In Twelfth-Night, Act III. sc. iv. Olivia observes of Malvo- 
lio's Beeming frenzy, that it " is a very M\ xer madness." 

That time of the year we may therefore suppose was anciently 
thought productive of mental vagaries resembling the scheme of 
Shakspeare's play. To this circumstance it might have owed its 
title. Steevens. 

■ the vaward of the day.~\ Vaiuard is compounded of 

van and toard, the forepart. Jn Knolles's History of the Turks, 
the word vayvod is used in the same sense. Edinburgh Maga- 
zine, for Nov. i ;s(j. ! ns. 


450 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act if. 

Uncouple in the western valley ; go : — 
Despatch, I say, and find the forester. — 
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top, 
And mark the musical confusion 
Of hounds and echo in conjunction. 

Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once, 
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear 4 
With hounds of Sparta : never did I hear 
Such gallant chiding; 6 for, besides the groves, 


* they bay'd the bear — ] Thus all the old copies. And 

thus in Chaucer's Knightes Tale, v. 2020, Tyrwhitt's edit : 
" The hunte y strangled with the wild beres." 

Bearbaiting was likewise once a diversion esteemed proper for 
royal personages, even of the softer sex. While the princess 
Elizabeth remained at Hatfield House, under the custody of Sir 
Thomas Pope, she was visited by Queen Mary. The next 
morning they were entertained with a grand exhibition of bear- 
baiting, with which their highnesses xvere right well content. See 
Life of Sir Thomas Pope, cited by Warton in his History of 
English Poetry, Vol. II. p. 391. Stf.evens. 

In The Winter's Tale Antigonus is destroyed by a bear, who 
is chaced by hunters. See also our poet's Venus and Adonis : 
" For now she hears it is no gentle chace, 
" But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud." 


Holinshed, with whose histories our poet was well acquainted, 
says, " the beare is a beast commonlie hunted in the East coun- 
tries See Vol. I. p. 206 ; and m p. 226, he says, " Alexander 
at vacant time hunted the tiger, the pard, the bore, and the 
beare." Pliny, Plutarch, &c. mention bear-hunting. Turber- 
ville, in his Book of Hunting, has two chapters on hunting the 
hear. As the persons mentioned by the poet are foreigners of 
the heroic strain, he might perhaps think it nobler sport for them 
to hunt the bear than the boar. Shakspeare must have read the 
Knight's Tale in Chaucer, wherein are mentioned Theseus's 
" white alandes [grey-hounds] to huntin at the lyon, or the wild 
here" Tollet. 

i such gallant chiding ;] Chiding in this instance means. 

only sound. So, in King Henry VIII : 

" As doth a rock against the chiding flood." 

sc. i. DREAM. 451 

The skies, the fountains, 6 every region near 
Seem'd all one mutual crv: 7 I never heard 


So musical a discord, such sweet thunder. 

The. My hounds are bred 8 out of the Spartan 
So flew'd, 9 so sanded ; x and their heads are hung 

Again, in Humour out of Breath, a comedy, by John Day, 

" I take great pride 

" To hear soft musick, and thy shrill voice chide" 
Again, in the 22d chapter of Drayton's Polyolbion : 

" drums and trumpets chide. — " 

This use of the word was not obsolete in the age of Milton, 
who says, in his Smectymnuus : " I may one day hope to have 
ye again in a still time, when there shall be no eluding. Not in 
these noises." See edit. 1753, p. 118. Steevens. 

6 The skies, the fountains,] Instead of fountains, Mr. Heath 
would read — mountains. The change had been proposed to 
Mr. Theobald, who has well supported the old reading, by ob- 
serving that Virgil and other poets have made rivers, lakes, &c. 
responsive to sound : 

" Turn vero exoritur clamor, ripa?que hicusque 

" Responsant circa, et ccelum tonat omne tumultu." 


7 Seemed all one mutual cry „•] The old copies concur in 
reading — seem ; but, as Hippolyta is speaking of time past, I 
have adopted Mr. Rowe's correction. Steevens. 

8 My hounds are bred &c] This passage has been imitated by 
Lee, in his Theodosius :' 

" Then through the woods we chae'd the foaming boar, 

" With hounds that opened like Thessalian bulls ; 

" Like tigers flew'd, and sanded as the shore, 

" With ears and chests that dash'd the morning dew." 


8 So Jlciv*d,] Sir T. Hanmer justly remarks, that fexvs are 
the large chaps of a deep-mouth'd hound. Arthur Golding uses 
this word in his translation of Ovid's Metainorphosis, finished 
1567, a book with which Shakspeare appears to have been well 
acquainted. The poet is describing Actaxm's hounds, 13. III. 
p. 34, b. 1575. Two of them, like our author's, were of 
Spartan kind; bred from a Spartan bitch and a Cretan dog: 

G G 2 

452 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act ir. 

With ears that sweep away the morning dew ; 2 
Crook-knee'd, and dew-lap'd like Thessalian bulls; 
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells, 
Each under each. A cry more tuneable 
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn, 
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly : 
Judge, when you hear. — But, soft ; what nymphs 
are these ? 

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep ; 
And this, Lysander ; this Demetrius is ; 
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena : 
I wonder of 3 their being here together. 

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe 

" with other twaine, that had a syre of Crete, 

" And dam of Sparta : th'one of them called Jollyboy, 

a great 
" And large-Jlew'd hound." 
Shakspeare mentions Cretan hounds (with Spartan) afterwards 
in this speech of Theseus. And Ovid's translator, Golding, in 
the same description, has them both in one verse, ibid. p. 34, a : 
" This latter was a hounde of Crete, the other was of 
Spart." T. Warton. 

1 So sanded ;] So marked with small spots. Johnson. 

Sanded means of a sandy colour, which is one of the true de- 
notements of a blood-hound. Steevens. 

s With ears that sweep away the morning dew;'] So, in 
Hey wood's Brazen Age, 1613 : 

" the fierce Thessalian hounds, 

" With their flag ears, ready to sweep the dew 
<c From their moist breasts." Steevens. 

3 I wonder of — ] The modern editors read — I wonder at &c. 
But changes of this kind ought, I conceive, to be made with 
great caution ; for the writings of our author's contemporaries 
furnish us with abundant proofs that many modes of speech, 
which now seem harsh to our ears, were justified by the phra- 
seology of former times. In All's well that ends well, we have : 

" thou dislik'st 

" Of virtue, for the name." Malone. 

SC. I. DREAM. 453 

The rite of May ; 4 and, hearing our intent, 
Came here in grace of our solemnity. — 
But, speak, Egeus ; is not this the day 
That Hermia should give answer of her choice ? 

Ege. It is, my lord. 

The. Go,bid the huntsmen wake them with their 

Horns, and shout "within. Demetrius, Lysander, 
Hermia, and Helena, wake and start up. 

The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is 
past; 5 
Begin these wood-birds but to couple now ? 

Lys. Pardon, my lord. 

\_He and the rest kneel to Theseus. 

The. I pray you all, stand up. 

I know, you are two rival enemies ; 
How comes this gentle concord in the world, 

* they rose up early, to observe 

The rite of May :] The rite of this month was once so 
universally observed, that even authors thought their works would 
obtain a more favourable reception, if published on May-Day. 
The following is a title-page to a metrical performance by a once 
celebrate! poet, Thomas 1 h arch yard: 
" Come bring in Maye with me, 

" My Mage is fresh and gre me; 
" A subiectes harte, an humble mind, 
" To serue a mayden Queene." 
" A discourse of Rebellion, drawne forth for to warne the 
wanton wittes how to kepe their h ads on their shoulders." 

" Imprinted at London, in 11 teBtreat by William Griffith, L 
Anno Domini 1570. Theirs* of Maye.*' Stesvens. 

3 Saini Valentine is past ;] Alluding to the old saying, 

that birds begin to couple on St. Valentine's day. Steewe NS. 

454 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act ir. 

That hatred is so far from jealousy, 
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity ? 

Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly, 
Half 'sleep, half waking : But as yet, I swear, 
I cannot truly say how I came here : 
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,— 
And now I do bethink me, so it is ;) 
I came with Hermia hither : our intent 
Was, to be gone from Athens, where we might be 
Without the peril of the Athenian law. 

Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have 
enough : 
I beg the law, the law, upon his head. — 
They would have stol'n away, they would, Deme- 
Thereby to have defeated you and me : 
You, of your wife ; and me, of my consent ; 
Of my consent that she should be your wife. 

Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their 
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood ; 
And I in fury hither follow'd them ; 
Fair Helena in fancy following me. 6 

6 Fair Helena in fancy following me.~\ Fancy is here taken 
for love or affection, and is opposed to fury, as before : 
" Sighs and tears, poor Fancy's followers." 

Some now call that which a man takes particular delight in, 
his fancy. Flower fancier, for a florist, and bird fancier, for a 
lover and feeder of birds, are colloquial words. Johnson. 

So, in Barnaby Googe's Cupido Conquered, 15(53 : 
" The chyefe of them was Ismenis, 

" Whom best Diana lov'd, 
" And next in place sat Hyale 
" Whom Fancye never mov'd." 
Again, in Hymen's Triumph, a Masque, by Daniel, 1023 : 
" With all persuasions sought to win her mind 
" To J amy him." 

sc. r. DREAM. 455 

But, my good lord, I wot not by what power, 
(But by some power it is,) my love to Hermia, 
Melted as doth the snow, 7 seems to me now 
As the remembrance of an idle gawd, 8 
Which in my childhood I did dote upon : 
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart, 
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye, 
Is only Helena. To her, my lord, 
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia: 9 
But, like in sickness, 1 did I loath this food: 
But, as in health, come to my natural taste, 
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it, 
And will for evermore be true to it. 

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met : 
Of this discourse we more will hear anon. — 
Egeus, I will overbear your will ; 
For in the temple, by and by with us, 
These couples shall eternally be knit. 
And, for the morning now is something worn, 
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside. — 
Away, with us, to Athens : Three and three, 

Again : 

" Do not enforce nje to accept a man 
" I cannot /rtwcy." Steevens. 

7 as doth the snoiv,] The word doth, which seems to have 

been inadvertently omitted, was supplied by Mr. Capel. The 
emendation here made is confirmed by a passage in K. Henry V; 

" as doth the melted snow 

" Upon the vailies." Malone. 

* an idle gawd,] See note on this word, p. 320. 


9 ere I saw Hermia .•] The old copies read — ere I see — . 


1 like in sickness,'] So, in the next line — " as in health — ." 

The old copies erroneously read — " like a sickness." I owe the 
present correction to Dr. Fanner, Steevens. 

456 MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act if. 

We'll hold a feast in great solemnity. — 
Come, Hippolyta. 2 

[Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, 
and train. 

Dem. These things seem small, and imdistin- 
Like far-off mountains turned into clouds. 

Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted 
When every thing seems double. 

Hel. So methinks : 

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel, 
Mine own, and not mine own. 3 

* Come^ Hippolyta."] I suppose, for the sake of measure, we 
should read — " Come my Hippolyta." Steevens. 

3 And I have found Demetrius like a jewel, 
Mine own, and not mine own.] Hermia had observed that 
things appeared double to her. . Helena replies, so methinks ; 
and then subjoins, that Demetrius was like & jewel, her own and 
not her own. He is here, then, compared to something which 
had the property of appearing to be one thing when it was an- 
other. Not the property sure of a jewel ; or, if you will, of 
none but a false one. We should read : 

And I have found Demetrius like a gemell, 
Mine own, and not mine own. 

From Gemellus, a twin. For Demetrius had that night acted 
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 Macon's translation of The Deca- 
meron ojBcrxace : " II avoit trois filles plus agees que les masles, 
des quelles les deux qui estoient jumelles avoient quinze ans." 
iixatrieme Jour. Nov. 3. Warburton. 

This emendation is ingenious enough to deserve to be true. 


Dr. Warburton has been accused of coining the word, gemell : 
but Drayton has it in the preface to his Baron's Wars : " The 

ea i. DREAM. 437 

Dem. It seems to me, 4 

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.'' 


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 there- 
fore may properly enough be called his own and not his own. 
She does not say, as Dr. Warburton has represented, that De- 
metrius was like a jewel, but that she had found him, like a 
jewel, &C. 

A kindred thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" by starts 

" His fretted fortunes give him hope and fear 

" Of what he has, and has not." 
The same kind of expression is found also in The Merchant of 

" Where ev'ry something, being blent together, 

" Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy, 

" Exprest, and not exprtist*" Malone. 

See, also, Mr. Heath's Revisal, p. 57. Reed. 

* It seems to me,') Thus the folio. The quartos begin this 
speech as follows : 

Are you sure 

That we arc 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. 

Are you sure 

That we are awake f] Sure is here used as a dissyllable: so 
sire, fire, /.our, &c. The word now [That we are now awake?] 
seems to be wanting, to complete the metre of the next line. 


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 //,'/-) wadhour (anciently spelt howcr) might be dissy'labi- 
calh used, because the duplicate vowels in each of them were 
readily separated in pronunciation. 


That yet we sleep, we dream. — Do not you think, 
The duke was here, and bid us follow him ? 

Her. Yea ; and my father. 

Hel. And Hippolyta. 

Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple. 

Dem. Why then, we are awake : let's follow 
him ; 
And, by the way, let us recount our dreams. 


As they go out, Bottom awakes. 

Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will 

answer: — my next is, Most fair Pyramns. 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, 5 if he will offer to say what methought 
I had. The eye of man 6 hath not heard, the ear 

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 reform- 
ation. Steevens. 

9 patched jbol,~] That is, a fool in a particolour'd coat. 


6 The eye of man &c] He is here blundering upon the 

scriptural passage of " Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither 

have entered into the heart of man the things," &c. 1 Cor. ii. 9. 


sc. i. DREAM. 459 

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 Bot- 
tom'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. 7 [Exit. 

7 / 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'ter; 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 ofThisbe, 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 ex-i 
planation. Steevens. 



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 ? 

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. 8 

8 a thing of nought.'] This Mr. Theobald changes with 

great pomp to a thing of naught ; i. e. a good for nothing thing. 


A thing of nought may be the true reading. So, in Hamlet: 

" Ham. The king is a thing 

" Guil. A thing, my lord ? 
" 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 

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. 

sen. DREAM. 461 

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 men. 9 

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. 1 

Enter Bottom. 

Bot. Where are these lads ? where are these 
hearts ? 

Quin. Bottom ! — O most courageous day ! O 
most happy hour ! 

Bot. 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. 

Qujy. Let us hear, sweet Bottom. 


Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, 

9 made men.~\ In the same sense as in The Tempest, 

« — any monster in England makes a man." Johnson. 

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 per- 
son who, like him, had been pensioned for his dramatic abilities. 
Preston acted a pari in John Ritwise's play of Dido before Queen 
Elizabeth at Cambridge, in 1504; 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 sliilling a day. Steevens. 


is, that the duke hath dined : Get your apparel to- 
gether ; good strings to your beards, 2 new ribbons 
to your pumps ; meet presently at the palace ; every 
man look o'er his part ; for, the short and the long 
is, our play is preferred. 3 In any case, let Thisby 
have clean linen ; and let not him, that plays the 
lion, pare his nails, for they shall hang out for the 
lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, 
nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath ; and I 
do not doubt, but to hear them say, it is a sweet 
comedy. No more words ; away j go, away. 


2 good strings to your beards,"] i. e. to prevent the false 

beards, which they were to wear, from falling off. M alone. 

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 disfigur- 
ing the head of Ragozine, says: " O, death's a great disguiser ; 
and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard." 


3 our play is preferred.] This word is not to be under- 
stood in its most common acceptation here, as if their play was 
chosen in preference to the others ; (for that appears afterwards 
not to be the fact ; ) but means, that it was given in among others 
for the duke's option. So, in Julius Caesar, Decius says : 
" Where is Metellus Cimber ? let him go 
" And presently prefer his suit to Caesar." Theorald. 

act v. DREAM. 463 


The same. An Apartment in the Palace of Theseus. 

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, 
Lords, and Attendants. 

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers 
speak of. 

The. More strange than true. Inever maybelieve 
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. 
Lovers, and madmen, have such beething brains, 4 
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend 
More than cool reason ever comprehends. 
The lunatick, the lover, and the poet, 5 
Are of imagination all compact: 6 
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold ; 
That is, the madman : the lover, all as frantick, 7 

* such seething brains,"] So, in The Tempest : 

" thy brains, 

" Now useless, boil'd within thy scull." Steevens. 
We meet with the same expression in The Winter's Tale; 
" Would any but these boil'd brains of three and twenty hunt 
this weather ?" Ma lone. 

s The lunatick, the lover, and the poct,~\ An ingenious modern 
writer supposes that our author had here in contemplation Orestes, 
Mark Antony, and himself; but I do not recollect any passage 
in his works that shows him to have been acquainted with the 
story of Agamemnon's son, — scelerum Jttriis agitatui Orestes: 
and indeed, if even such were found, the supposed allusion would 
Still remain very problematical. Malone. 

6 Are of imagination all compact .] i. e. are made of mere 
imagination. So, in As you like it : 

" If he, compact of jars, grow musical.'* Steevens. 

7 That is, the madman : the lover, all as Jrantick,'] Such is 

46 i- MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S act r. 

Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt : * 

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, 9 

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to 

heaven ; 
And, as imagination bodies forth 
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing 
A local habitation, and a name. 
Such tricks hath strong imagination ; 
That, if it would but apprehend some joy, 
It comprehends some bringer of that joy; 
Or, in the night, imagining some fear, 
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear ? 

Hip. But all the story of the night told over, 
And all their minds transfigur'd. so together, 
More witnesseth than fancy's images, 
And grows to something of great constancy; 1 
But, howsoever, strange, and admirable. 

the reading of all the old copies ; instead of which, the modern 
editors have given us : 

" The madman : tvhile the lover," &c. Steevens. 

8 Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt :] By " a brow of 
Egypt," Shakspeare means no more than the broiv of a gipsy. So 
much for some ingenious modern's ideal Cleopatra. See note 5. 


9 in a fine frenzy rolling^ This seems to have been 

imitated by Drayton in his Epistle to J. Reynolds on Poets and 
Poetry : describing Marlowe he says : 

" that fine madness still he did retain, 

" Which rightly should possess a. poet's brain." 


1 constancy y] Consistency, stability, certainty. 


sc. I. DREAM. 465 

Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and 


The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and 
mirth. — 
Joy, gentle friends ! joy, and fresh days of love, 
Accompany your hearts ! 

Lys. More than to us 

Wait on 2 your royal walks, your board, your bed ! 

The. Come now; what masks, what dances shall 
we have, 
To wear away this long age of three hours, 
Between our after-supper, and bed-time ? 
AVhcre is our usual manager of mirth ? 
What revels are in hand ? Is there no play, 
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour? 
Call Philostrate. 3 

Philost. Here, mighty Theseus. 

The. Say, what abridgment 4 have you for this 
evening ? 

* Wait on — ] The old copies have — wait in. Corrected by 
Mr. Roue. Ma lone. 

3 Call Philostrate.] In the folio, 10C3, it is, Call Egeus, and 
all the speeches afterward:-; spoken by Philostrate, except that 
beginning, " No, my noble lord,'' &c. are there given to that 
character. But the modern editions, from the quarto l600, have 
rightly given them to Philostrate, who appears in the first scene 
as master of the revels to Theseus, and is there sent out on a 
similar kind of errand. 

In The Knight's Tale of Chaucer, Arcite, under the name of 
Philostrate, is squire of the chamber to Theseus. Steevexs. 

* Say, what abridgment $fc.~\ By abridgment our author may 
mean a dramatick performance, which crouds the events of 
years into a few hours. So, in Hamlet, Act FI. sc. vii. he calls 
the players " abridgments, abstracts, and brief chronicles of the 

VOL. i\ . H II 


What mask? what musick? How shall we beguile 
The lazy time, if not with some delight ? 

Phjlost. There is a brief, 5 how many sports are 
ripe ; 6 
Make choice of which your highness will see first. 

[Giving a paper. 

The. reads. 7 ^ The battle with the Centaurs, to be 

By an Athenian eunuch to the harp. 9 

Again, in K. Henry V : 

" Then brook abridgment ; and your eyes advance 

" After your thoughts ." 

It may be worth while, however, to observe, that in the North 
the word abatement had the same meaning as diversion or amuse- 
ment. So, in the Prologue to the 5th Book of G. Douglas'* 
version of the JEneid : 

" Ful mony mery abaitmentis followis here." 


Does not abridgment in the present instance, signify amuse- 
ment to beguile the tediousness of the evening ? or, in one word, 
pastime? Henley. 

* a brief,] i. e. a short account or enumeration. So, in 

Gascoigne's Dulce Bellum Inexpertis : 

" She sent a brief 'unto me by her mayd." 
Again, in King John : 

" the hand of time 

" Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume." 


are ripe ;] One of the quartos has — ripe ; the other 

eld editions — rife. Johnson. 

Ripe is the reading of Fisher's quarto. Rife, however, is a 
word used both by Sidney and Spenser. It means abounding, 
but is now almost obsolete. Thus, in the Arcadia, Lib. II : 
" A shop of shame, a booke where blots be rife.'" 

Again, in Stephen Gosson's School of Abuse, 15JQ : " — you 
shall find the theaters of the one, and the abuses of the other, 
to be rife among us." Steevens. 

7 The. reads.] This is printed as Mr. Theobald gave it from 
both the old quartos. In the first folio, and all the following 

sc. i. DREAM. 467 

"We'll none of that : that have I told my love, 
In glory of my kinsman Hercules. 

The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals, 
Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage. 

That is an old device ; and it was play'd 
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror. 

The thrice three Muses mourning for the death 
Of learning^ late deceased in beggary. 

That is some satire, keen, and critical, 1 
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony. 

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus, 
And his love This be ; very tragical niirth. 

Merry and tragical ? 2 Tedious and brief? 

editions, Lysander reads the catalogue, and Theseus makes the 
remarks. Johnson. 

8 By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.'] This seems to imply 
a more ancient practice of castration for the voice, than can bo 
found in opera annals. Burney. 

9 The tJirice three Muses mourning for the death 

Of learning, &c.] 1 do not know whether it has been be- 
fore observed, that Shakspeare here, perhaps, alluded to Spenser's 
poem, entitled The Tears of the Muses, on the neglect and con- 
tempt of learning. This piece first appeared in quarto, with 
others 15<)1. The oldest edition of this play now known is dated 
ltiOO. If Spenser's poem be here intended, may we not pre- 
sume that there is some earlier edition of this? But, however, 
if the allusion be allowed, at least it seems to bring the play be- 
low 1591. T. Warton. 

1 keen, and critical,] Critical here means criticising, 

censuring. So, in Othello: 

" O, I am nothing if not critical."' Steevens. 

* Merry and tragical?} Our poet is still harping on Cambyses, 
of which the first edition might have appeared in 15(x>-/0; 
when " an Enterlude, a lamentable Tragedy full of pleasant 
Myrth" was licensed to John Aide, Regist. Stat. fol. 1S4, b. 


II H 2 

<68 MIDSUxMMER-NIG HT'S act v. 

That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow. 3 
How shall we find the concord of this discord? 

Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten words 
long ; 
Which is as brief as I have known a play ; 
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long ; 
Which makes it tedious : for in all the play 
There is not one word apt, one player fitted. 
And tragical, my noble lord, it is ; 
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself. 
Which, when I saw rehears'd, I must confess, 

* That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.] The non- 
sense of this line should be corrected thus : 

" That is, hot ice, a wonderous strange show." 


Mr. Upton reads, and not improbably : 

" And wonderous strange black snow." Johnson. 

Sir Thomas Hanmer reads — wondrous scorching snow. Mr. 
Pope omits the line entirely. I think the passage needs no change, 
on account of the versification ; for wonderous is as often used as 
three, as it is as two syllables. The meaning of the line is — 
" hot ice, and snow of as strange a quality." 

There is, however, an ancient pamphlet entitled, " Tarlton\ 
Devise upon this unlooked for grete Snowe." And perhaps the 
passage before us may contain some allusion to it. This work 
is entered on the books of the Stationers' Company ; as also, 
" A ballet of a Northerne Man's Report of the wonderful great 
Snowe In the Southerne parts," &c. Steevens. 

As there is no antithesis between strange and snow, as there 
is between hot and ice, I believe we should read — " and wonder- 
ous strong snow." M. Mason. 

In support of Mr. Mason's conjecture it may be observed that 
the words strong and strange are often confounded in our old 

Mr. Upton's emendation also may derive some support from a 
passage in Macbeth : 

" when they shall be opened, black Macbeth 

" Shall seem as pure as snow" Malone. 

sc. i. DREAM. 46& 

Made mine eyes water ; but more merry tears 
The passion of loud laughter never shed. 

The. What are they, that do play it? 

Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens 
Which never labour'd in their minds till now ; 
And now have toiPd their unbreath'd memories 4 
With this same play, against your nuptial. 

The. And we will hear it. 

Philost. No, my noble lord, 

It is not for you : I have heard it over, 
And it is nothing, nothing in the world ; 
Unless you can find sport in their intents, 5 
Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain, 
To do you service. 

The. I will hear that play : 

For never any thing can be amiss, 
When simpleness and duty tender it. 6 
Go, bring them in; — and take your places, ladies. 

[Exit Philostrate. 

4 unhreath'd memories — ] That is, unexercised, unprac- 
tised memories. Steevens. 

i Unless you can find sport in their intents,] Thus all the 
copies. But as I know not what it is to stretch and con an in- 
tent, I suspect a line to be lost. Johnson. 

To intend and to attend were anciently synonymous. Of this 
use several instances are given in a note on the third scene of the 
first Act of Othello. Intents therefore may be put for the object 
of their attention. We still say a person is intent on his business. 


never any thing caii he amiss, 

When simpleness and duly tender it."] Ben Jonson in Cynthia's 
Revels has employed this sentiment of humanity on the same oc- 
casion, when Cynthia is preparing to see a masque: 
" Nothing which duty ana desire to please, 
" Bears written on the forehead, comes amiss." 



Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd, 
And duty in his service perishing. 

The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such 

Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind. 

The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for 
Our sport shall be, 7 to take what they mistake : 
And what poor duty cannot do, 8 
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit. 9 

7 Our sport shall be, &c] Voltaire says something like this of 
Louis XIV. who took a pleasure in seeing his courtiers in confu- 
sion when they spoke to hin; 

I am told, however, by a writer in the Edinburgh Magazine, 
for Nov. 17b6, that I have assigned a malignant instead of a 
humane sentiment to Theseus, and that he really means- — We "will 
accept with pleasure even their blundering attempt. Steevens. 

8 And "what poor duty cannot do,~\ The defective metre of 
this line shews that some word was inadvertently omitted by the 
transcriber or compositor. Mr. Theobald supplied the defect by 
reading " And what poor trilling duty," &c. Malone. 

9 And what poor duty cannot do, 

Noble respect takes it in might, not merit. ] The sense of 
this passage, as it now stands, if it has any sense, is this: What 
the inability of duty cannot perform, regardjul generosity re- 
ceives as an act of ability, though not of merit. The contrary 
is rather true: IV hat dutifulness tries to perform without ability, 
regardful generosity receives as having the merit, though not the 
power, of complete performance. 
We should therefore read: 

And what poor duty cannot do, 

Noble respect takes not in might, but merit. Johnson. > 

In might, is, perhaps, an elliptical expression for what might 
have b< in, Steevens. 

If this passage is to stand as it is, the meaning appears to be 
this: — " and what poor duty would do, but cannot accomplish, 
noble respect considers as it might have been, not as it is." 

M. Mason. 

And what dutifulness tries to perform without ability, regard- 

sc. /. DREAM. 471 

"Where I have come, great clerks have purposed ! 
To greet me with premeditated welcomes ; 
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale, 
Make periods in the midst of sentences, 
Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears, 
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off, 
Not paying me a welcome : Trust me, sweet, 
Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome ; 
And in the modesty of fearful duty 
I read as much, as from the rattling tongue 
Of sawcy and audacious eloquence. 
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity, 
In least, speak most, to my capacity. 

Enter Philostrate. 

Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is 
addrest. 2 

The. Let him approach. [Flourish of trumpets. 9 

ful generosity receives with complacency, estimating it not by 
the actual merit of the performance, but by what it might have 
been, were the abilities of the performers equal to their zeal. — 
Such, I think, is the true interpretation of this passage ; for 
which the reader is indebted partly to Dr. Johnson, and partly 
to Mr. Steevens. Malone. 

1 Where I have come, great clerks have purposed &c] So, 
in Pericles : 

" She sings like one immortal, and she dances 
" As goddess like to her admired lays ; 
" Deep clerks she dumbs." 
It should be observed, that periods in the text is used in tht 
sense of full points. Malone. 

* addrest. ~] That is, ready. So, in King Henry V: 

" To-morrow for our march we are addrest." 


3 Flourish of trumpets.] It appears from The Guls Hornbook, 
by Decker, l6o(}, that the prologue was anciently ushered in by 
trumpets. " Present not yourseli'e on the stage (especially at a 


Enter Prologue. 

Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will. 

That you should think, we come not to offend, 
But with 'good-Will. To show our simple skill, 

That is the true beginning of our end. 
Consider then, we come but in despite. 

We do not come as minding to content you, 
Our true intent is. All for your delight, 

We are not here. That you should here repent you, 
The actors are at hand ; and, by their show, 
You shall know all, that you are like to know. 

The. This fellow doth not stand upon points. 

Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt; 
he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord : 
It is not enough to speak, but to speak true. 

Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue, 
like a child on a recorder ; 4 a sound, but not in 
government. 6 

new play) until the quaking prologue hath (by rubbing) got 
cullor in his cheekes, and is ready to give the trumpets their cue 
that hee's upon point to enter." Steevens. 

4 —7— on a recorder ;] Lord Bacon in his Natural History t 
cent. iii. sect. 221, speaks of recorders and flutes at the same in- 
stant, and says, that the recorder hath a less bore, and a greater, 
above and below ; and elsewhere, cent. ii. sect. 187, he speaks 
of it as having six holes, in which respect it answers to the 
Tibia minor or Flajolet of Mersennus. From all which particu- 
lars it should seem that the flute and the recorder were different 
instruments, and that the latter in propriety of speech was no 
other than the flagelet. Hawkins's History of Music k, Vol. IV. 
p. 479. Reed. 

Shakspeare introduces the same instrument in Hamlet ; and 
Milton says : 

" To the sound of soft recorders." 
The recorder is mentioned in many of the old plays. Steevens. 

- but not in government.^ That is, not regularly, ac- 
cording to the tune. Steevens. 

sc.i. DREAM. 473 

The. His speech was like a tangled chain ; no- 
thing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next ? 

Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, 
and Lion, as in dumb show. 6 

Prol. " Gentles, perchance, you wonder at 

this show ; 
" But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. 
" This man is Pyramus, if you would know ; 
" This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. 7 

Hamlet, speaking of a recorder, says : — " Govern these 
ventages with your fingers and thumb ; give it breath with your 
mouth ; and it will discourse most eloquent music." — This ex- 
plains the meaning of government in this passage. M. Mason. 

6 In this place the folio, 1023, exhibits the following prompter^ 
direction. Tavoyer with a trumpet before them. Steevex^. 

7 This beauteous lady Thisbe is, certain.] A burlesque was 
here intended on the frequent recurrence of " certain'" as a 
bungling rhyme in poetry more ancient than the age of Shak- 

Thus in a short poem entitled " " A lytell Treatise called the 
Dysputacyon or the Complaynte of the Herte through perced 
with the Lokynge of the Eye. Imprynted at Lodon in Flete- 
ttrete at the Sygne of the Sonne by Wynkyn de Worde:" 
" And houndes syxcscore and mo certayne — 
" To whome my thought gan to strayne certayne — 
" Whan I had fyrst syght of her certayne — 
" In all honoure she hath no pere certayne — 
" To loke upon a fayre Lady certayne — 
" As moch as is in me I am contente certayne — 
" They made there both two theyr promysse certayne — 
" All armed with margaretes certayne — 
" Towardes Venus when they sholde go certayne,'* &c. 
Again, in the ancient MS. romance of the Soivdun q/^Baby- 
Loyac : 

" He saide the xii peres bene alle dede, 
" And ye Bpende your good in vayne, 
" And therefore doth noue by my rede, 
M Ye sliull nee them no more certeyn" 




" This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth pre- 
" Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers 
sunder : 
" And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are 
" To whisper ; at the which let no man wonder. 
This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn, 
" Presenteth moon-shine : for, if you will know, 
By moon-shine did these lovers think no scorn 
" To meet at Ninus* tomb, 8 there, there to woo. 
" This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, 9 
" The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, 
" Did scare away, or rather did affright : 

Again, ibid : 

" The kinge turned him ageyn, 

" And alle his ooste him with, 

" Towarde Mountribble certeyne" &c. Steevens. 

8 To meet at Ninus' tomb, &c] So, in Chaucer's Legend of 
Thisbe of Babylon : 

" Thei settin markes ther metingis should be, 
" There king Ninus was graven undir a tre.'* 

Again : 

" And as she ran her wimple she let fall," &c. 

Again, Golding in his version of Ovid's Metamorphosis, B. IV. 
has a similar line : 

" And as shejled away for haste, she let her mantle fall." 


•which by name lion hight,"] As all the other parts of 

this speech are in alternate rhyme, excepting that it closes with 
a couplet ; and as no rhyme is left to name, we must conclude, 
either a verse is slipt out, which cannot now be retrieved ; or, 
by a transposition of the words, as I have placed them, the poet 
intended a triplet. Theobald. 

Hight, in old English, signifies — is called. — I think it more 
probable that a line, following the words — by night, has been 
lost, Malone. 

5C. i. DREAM. 475 

" And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall ; I 

" Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain : 
" Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall, 

" And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain : 
" Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, 2 

" He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast ; 
" And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade, 

" His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, 
" Let lion, moon-shine, wall, and lovers twain, 
" At large discourse, while here they do remain." 
\_Exeunt Prol. Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine. 

1 her mantle she did fall ;] Thus all the old copies. The 

modern editors read — " she let fall," unnecessarily. To fall in 
this instance is a verb active. 

So, in The Tempest, Act II. sc. i : 

" And when I rear my hand, do you the like, 
" To fall it on Gonzalo." Steevens. 

* JVherea', with blade, with bloody blameful blade,'] Mr. 
Upton rightly observes, that Shakspeare in this line ridicules the 
affectation of beginning many words with the same letter. He 
might have remarked the same of — 
" The raging rocks 
" And shivering shocks." 
Gascoigne, contemporary with our poet, remarks and blames 
the same affectation. Johnson. 

It is also ridiculed by Sidney in his Astrophel and Stella, 15 : 
" You that do Dictionaries' method bring 
" Into your rimes, running in rattling rovves." 
But this alliteration seems to have reached the height of its 
fashion in the reign of Henry VIII. Ihe following stanza is 
quoted from a poem On the Fall and evil Success of Rebellion, 
written in 1537, by Wilfride Holme: 

" Loe, leprous lurdeins, lubricke in loquacitie, 
" Vah, vaporous villeins, with venim vulnerate, 
" Proh, prating parenticides, plexious to pinnositie, 
" Fie, frantike tabulators, furibund, and fatuate, 
" Out, oblatrant, oblict, obstacle, and obsecate. 
" Ah addict algoes, in acerbitie acclamant, 
" Magnall in mischief, malicipus to mugilate, 
" Repriving your Roy so renowned and radiant." 
in TuBser'a Husbandry, p.'ioi, there is a poem of which every 




The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak. 

Dem. No wonder, my lord : one lion may, when 
many asses do. 

Wall. " In this same interlude, it doth befall, 
" That I, one Snout by name, present a wall : 
And such a wall, as I would have you think, 
That had in it a cranny* d hole, or chink, 
Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, 
Did whisper often very secretly. 
This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth 
" That I am that same wall ; the truth is so : 
" And this the cranny is, 3 right and sinister, 
" Through which the fearful lovers are to whis- 

The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak 
better ? 

word begins with a T; and in the old play entitled : The Historic 
of the Tivo valiant Knights, Syr Clyomon Knight of the Golden 
Sheeld, Sonne to the King of Denmark; and Clamydes the 
White Knight , Son to the King of Suavia, 15gg, is another re- 
markable instance of alliteration : 

" Bringing my bark to Denmark here, to bide the bitter 

" And beating blowes of billows high," &c. Steevens. 

3 And this the cranny is,~\ So, in Golding's Ovid, 1567 : 

" The wall that parted house from house had riuen therein 

a crany 
" Which shronke at making of the wall. This fault not 

markt of any 
" Of many hundred yeares before (what doth not loue 

" These louers first of all found out, and made a way 

" To talk togither secretly, and through the same did 

'* Their louing •whisperings verie light and safely to and 

fro." Ritson. 

sc. I. DREAM. 477 

Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard 
discourse, my lord. 4 

The. Pyramus draws near the wall : silence ! 

Enter Pyramus. 

Pyr. " O grim-look* d night ! O night with hue 

so black ! 
" O night, which ever art, when day is not ! 
O night, O night, alack, alack, alack, 
" I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot ! — 
And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall, 
" That stand'st between her father's ground and 

mine ; 
Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, 
" Shew me thy chink, to blink through witli 
mine eyne. [Wall holds up Ids fingers. 
" Thanks, courteous wall : Jove shield thee well 

for this ! 
" But what see I ? No Thisby do I see. 
" O wicked wall, 5 through whom I see no bliss ; 
" Curst be thy stones for thus deceiving me I" 

The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should 




curse again. 

Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving 

* It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my 
lord.~] Demetrius is represented as a punster : I believe the pas- 
sage should be read : This is the wittiest partition, that ever I 
heard in discourse. Alluding to the many stupid partitions in 
the argumentative writings of the time. Shakspeare himself, as 
well as his contemporaries, uses discourse for reasoning ; and he 
here avails himself of the double sense ; as he had done before 
in the word, partition. Farmer. 

* O wicked wall, &c] So, in Chaucer's Legend of Thisbe : 

" Thus would thei saine, alas ! thou wicked wal," &c. 



me, is Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am 
to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will 
fall pat as I told you : — Yonder she comes. 

Enter Thisbe. 

This. " O wall, full often hast thou heard my 

" For parting my fair Pyramus and me : 
u My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones ; 
" Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee. 6 " 

Pyr. " I see a voice : now will I to the chink, 
" To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. 
" Thisby!" 

This. " My love ! thou art my love, I think." 

Pyr. " Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's 
grace ; 
" And like Limander am I trusty still. 7 " 

This. " And I like Helen, till the fates me kill." 

Pyr. " Not Shafalus to Proems was so true." 

This. " As Shafalus to Proems, I to you." 

Pyr. " O, kiss me through the hole of this vile 

This. " I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at 
all. 8 " 

6 -knit up in thee.'] Thus the folio. The quarto reads— 

knit nolo again. Steevens. 

7 And like Limander, &c."| Limander and Helen, are spoken 
by the blundering player, for Leander and Hero. Shafalus and 
Procrus, for Cephalus and Procris. Johnson. 

8 / kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.] So, Holding's Ovid : 

" When night drew nere, they bade adevv, and eche gave 

kisses sweete 
" Unto the parget on their side, the which did never 

mete." Hitson. 

sc. i. DREAM. 479 

Pvr. " Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me 
straightway ? 9 " 

This. " Tide life, tide death, I come without 

Wall." Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so ; 
" And, being done, thus wall away doth go." 

[Exeunt Wall, Pyramus, and Thisbe. 

The. Now is the mural down between the two 

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so 
wilful to hear without warning. 1 

Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. 

The. The best in this kind are but shadows : and 
the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them. 

Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not 

The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they 
of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. 
Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a 
lion. 2 

• Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?] So, 
Golding's Ovid : 

" They did agree at Ninus tomb to meete without the 
towne." Ritson. 

1 Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so ml fid to hear 
tvithout warning.'] This alludes to the proverb, " Walls have 
ears.'' 1 A wall between almost any two neighbours would soon be 
down, were it to exercise this faculty without previous warning. 


The old copies read — moral, instead of mural. Mr. Theobald 
made the correction. Malone. 

9 Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.] The old 
copies read — a man, &c. Steevens. 

I don't think the jest here is either complete, or right. It i* 


Enter Lion and Moonshine. 

Liox. " You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts 

do fear 
" The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on 

" May now, perchance, both quake and tremble 

" When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. 

differently pointed in several of the old copies, which, I suspect, 
may lead us to the true reading, viz : 

Here come two noble beasts — in a man and a lion. 
immediately upon Theseus saying this, Enter Lion and Moon- 
shine. It seems very probable, therefore, that our author wrote: 

in a moon and a lion. 

the one having a crescent and a lanthorn before him, and repre- 
senting the man in the moon; the other in a lion's hide. 


Mr. Theobald reads — a moon and a lion, and the emendation 
was adopted by the subsequent editors ; but, I think, without 
necessity. The conceit is furnished by the person who repre- 
sents the lion, and enters covered with the hide of that beast ; 
and Theseus only means to say, that the man who represented 
the moon, and came in at the same time, with a lantern in his 
hand, and a bush of thorns at his back, was as much a beast as 
he who performed the part of the lion. Malone. 

Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion. I cannot 
help supposing that we should have it, a moon-calf. The old 
copies read — a man ; possibly man was the marginal interpreta- 
tion of moon-calf; and, being more intelligible, got into the 

The man in the moon was no new character on the stage, and 
is here introduced in ridicule of such exhibitions. Ben Jonson in 
one of his masques, call'd Netvs from the New World in the 
Moon, makes his Factor doubt of the person who brings the in- 
telligence : " I must see his dog at his girdle, and the bush of 
thorns at his back, ere I believe it." — " Those, replies one of the 
heralds, are stale ensigns o' the stage. , ' > Farmer. 

sc. i. DREAM. 481 

" Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am 
" A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam : 3 
" For if I should as lion come in strife 
" Into this place, 'twere pity on my life." 

The. A very gentle beast, and of a good con- 

Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er 
I saw. 

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour. 

The. True ; and a goose for his discretion. 

Dem. Not so, my lord : for his valour cannot 
carry his discretion ; and the fox carries the goose. 

The. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his 
valour ; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well : 
leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the 

Moon. " This lantern doth the horned moon 

present :" 
Dem. He should have worn the horns onhis head. 

The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invi- 
sible within the circumference. 

Moon. " This lantern doth the horned moon 
present ; 
" Myself the man i'th'moon do seem to be." 

3 Thru knotv, that I, one Suns; the joiner, am 

A lion Jell, nor else no /ion's dam:'] That is, that I am Snug 
the joiner ; and neither a lion, nor a lion's dam. Dr. Johnson 
has justly observed in a note on All's well that ends well, that 
nor in the phraseology of our author's time often related to two 
members of a sentence, though only expressed in the latter. So 
in the play just mentioned : 

" contempt nor bitterness 

" Were in his pride or sharpness." 
The reading of the text is that of the folio. The quartos read 
— that I as Snug the joiner, &c. Malone. 


The. This is the greatest error of all the rest : 
the man should be put into the lantern : How is it 
else the man i'the moon ? 

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle : 
for, you see, it is already in snuff. 4 

Hip. I am aweary of this moon : Would, he 
would change ! 

The. It appears, by his small light of discretion, 
that he is in the wane : but yet, in courtesy, in all 
reason, we must stay the time. 

Lys. Proceed, moon. 

Moon. All that I have to say, is, to tell you, that 
the lantern is the moon ; I, the man in the moon ; 
this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush ; and this dog, my 

Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern ; 
for they are in the moon. But, silence ; here comes 

Enter Thisbe. 

This. " This is old Ninny's tomb: Where is my 
love ?" 

Lion. " Oh—." 

\_The Lion roars. — Thisbe runs off. 

4 in snuff.] An equivocation. Snuff" signifies both the 

cinder of a candle, and hasty anger. Johnson. 

So, in Love's Labour's Lost ; 

" You'll mar the light, by taking it in snuff.'" 


Again, in The Atheist's Tragedy, l6ll: 

" Do you take that in snuff sir ?" 
See also, note on Love's Labour's Lost, Act V. sc. ii. and First 
Part of King Henry IV. Act I. sc. iii. Reed. 

sc. i. DREAM. 4SS 

Dem. Well roared, lion. 

The. Well run, Thisbe. 

Hip. Well shone, moon. — Truly, the moon shines 
with a good grace. 

The. Well moused, lion. 5 

\_The Lion tears Thisbe's mantle, and exit. 

Dem. And so comes Pyramus. 

Lys. And then the moon vanishes. 

Enter Pyramus. 

Pyr. " Sweet moon, I thank thee for thy sunny 

beams ; 
" I thank thee, moon, for shining now so bright: 
" For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering streams, 7 
" I trust to taste of truest Thisby's sight. 

5 Well moused, Hon.] So, in an ancient bl. 1. ballad on this 
story, intitled, The Constancy of true Love : &c. 
" And having musled thus the same, 
" Thither he went whence first he came." 
Theseus means that the lion has well tumbled and bloodied the 
veil of Thisbe. Steevens. 

I believe this should be " Well mouthed lion," alluding either 
to his roaring, or to his tearing with his mouth the mantle of 
Thisbe : 

" Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain." 

M. Mason. 

Well moused lion /] To mouse signified to mammock, to tear 
in pieces, as a cat tears a mouse. Malone. 

Dem. And so comes Pyramus. 
Lys. And then the moon vanishes.] The old copies read: 
" Dem. And then came Pyramus," 
" Lys. And so the lion vanished." 
It were needless to say any thing in defence of Dr. Farmer's 
emendation. The reader indeed may ask why this glaring cor- 
ruption was suffered to remain so long in the text. Steevexs. 

glittering st>ra»iy,~\ The old copies read — beams. 


I I 2 


" But stay ; — O spite ! 

" But mark ; — Poor knight, 
" What dreadful dole is here ? 

" Eyes, do you see ? 

" How can it be ? 
" O dainty duck ! O dear ! 

" Thy mantle good, 

" Wliat, stain'd with blood ? 
M Approach, ye furies fell! 8 

" O fates ! come, come ; 

" Cut thread and thrum ; 9 
Quail, crush, conclude, and quell! 1 " 


The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio, 


* Approach, ye Juries Jell!'] Somewhat like this our poet 
might possibly have recollected in " A lytell Treatyse cleped La, 
Conusannce d" Amours. Printed by Richard Pynson," no date : 
" O ye moost cruell and rabbyshe lions fell, 
" Come nowe and teare the corps of Pyramus ! 
" Ye sauage beestes that in these rockes dwell, 
" If blode to you be so delicious, 
" Come and gnawe my wretched body dolorous ! 
" And on the kerchef with face pale and tryst, 
" He loked ofte, and it right swetely kist." Steevens. 

Approach, ye Juries Jell ! 

O Jates ! come, come, &c] The poet here, and in the 
following lines spoken by Thisbe — 
" O sisters three, 
" Come, come to me, 
" With hands as pale as milk — " 
probably intended to ridicule a passage in Damon and Pythias, 
by Richard Edwards, 1582: 
" Ye Juries, all at once 
*< On me your torments trie : — 
" Gripe me, you greedy greefs, 

" And present pangues of death, 
" You sisters three, tvith cruel handes 

" With speed come stop my breath /" Malone. 

9 cut thread and thrum ;] Thrum is the end or extremity 

of a weaver's warp ; it is popularly used for very coarse yarn. 
The maids now call a mop of yarn a thrum mop. Warner. 

sc. I. DREAM. 485 

The. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, 
would go near to make a man look sad. 

Hip. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man. 

Pyr. " O, wherefore, nature, didst thou lions 

frame ? 
" Since lion vile hath here deflour'd my dear : 
*' Which is — no, no — which was the fairest dame, 
" That liv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd 
with cheer. 2 
" Come, tears, confound; 3 
"Out, sword, and wound 
" The pap of Pyramus : 
" Ay, that left pap, 
" Where heart doth hop : 4 — 
" Thus die I, thus, thus, thus. 

So, in Hannibal and Scipio, 1637 : 

" no rough pelt of thrums, 

" To fight with weather." 
Again, in Chapman's translation of the l6th Iliad: 

" And tapestries all golden fring'd, and curl'd with 
thr iimbs behind." 
So, in Howell's Letter to Sir Paid Neale, Knt. " Transla- 
tions are like the wrong side of a Turkey carpet, which useth to 
be full of thrums and knots, and nothing so even as the right side." 
The thought is borrowed from Don Quixote. Steevens. 

1 and quell !] To quell is to murther, to destroy. So, 

in the 12th pageant of the Lusus Coventrice, commonly called 
the Corpus Chnsti Play. MS. Cott. Vesp. D. viii : 
" That he the lawe may here do, 
" With stonys her to quell.'" Steevens. 

* cheer.] i. e. countenance. So, in Chaucer's Clerke's 

Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. v. SI 17 : 

" passing any wight 

" Of so yong age, as wel in chere as dede." Steevens. 

' Come, tears, confound ;] Thus, in Golding's Ovid : 

" one night (he sayd) shall louers two cvnfounde." 


* Ay, that left pap, 

Where heart doth hop ;] Lest our author should seem charge- 


" Now am I dead, 

" Now am I fled ; 
" My soul is in the sky : 

" Tongue, lose thy light ! 

" Moon, take thy flight ! 
" Now die, die, die, die, die. 

\_Dies. — Exit Moonshine. 

Dem, No die, but an ace, for him ; for he is but 

Lys. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he 
is nothing. 

The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet 
recover, and prove an ass. 5 

Hip. How chance moonshine is gone, before 
Thisbe comes back and finds her lover ? 

The. She will find him by star-light. — Here she 
comes ; and her passion ends the play. 

Enter Thisbe. 

Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one, 
for such a Pyramus : I hope, she will be brief. 

able with an inefficient rhyme, it ought to be remembered that 
the broad pronunciation, now almost peculiar to the Scotch, 
was anciently current in England. Throughout the old copies 
of Shakspeare's plays, " tattered" is always spelt " tottered ;" 
Pap therefore was sounded, Pop. The context reminds us of a 
passage in the seventh Satire of Juvenal : 

" Iceva in parte mamillee 

" Nil salit — ." Steevens. 

and prove an ass.~\ The character of Theseus through- 

out this play is more exalted in its humanity, than its greatness. 
Though some sensible observations on life, and animated descrip- 
tions fall from him, as it is said of Iago, you shall taste him more 
as a soldier than as a "wit, which is a distinction he is here striving 
to deserve^ though with little success ; as in support of his pre- 
tensions he never rises higher than a pun, and frequently sinks 
as low as a quibble. Steevens. 

sc. I. DREAM. 487 

Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which Py- 
ramus, which Thisbe, is the better. 7 

Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet 

Dem. And thus she moans, 8 videlicet. 

This. " Asleep, my love ? 

" What, dead, my dove ? 
" O Pyramus, arise, 

" Speak, speak. Quite dumb ? 

" Dead, dead ? A tomb 
" Must cover thy sweet eyes. 

6 A mote ivill turn the balance,] The old copies have — moth ; 
but Mr. Malone very justly observes that moth was merely the 
ancient mode of spelling mote. So, in King Henry V : " Wash 
every moth (i. e. mote) out of his conscience." Steevens. 

7 The first quarto makes this speech a little longer, but not 
better. Johnson. 

The passage omitted is, — " He for a man, God warned us ; 
she for a woman, God bless us." Steevens. 

8 And thus she moans,] The old copies concur in reading — 
means ; which Mr. Theobald changed into — moans ; and the 
next speech of Thisbe appears to countenance his alteration : 

" Lovers, make moan." Steevens. 

Mr. Theobald alters means to moans : but means had an- 
ciently the same signification. Mr. Pinkerton (under the name 
of Robert Heron, Esq.) observes that it is a common term in the 
Scotch law, signifying to tell, to relate, to declare ; and the pe- 
titions to the lords of session in Scotland, run : " To the lords of 
council and session humbly means and shows your petitioner." 
Here, however, it evidently signifies complains. Bills in Chan- 
cery begin in a similar manner : " Humbly complaining sheweth 
unto your lordship," &c. The word occurs in an ancient manu- 
script in my own possession : 

11 This ender day wen me was wo, 
" Under a bugh ther I lay, 

" Naght gale to mene me to." 
So again, in a very ancient Scottish song : 

" I hard ane may sair mwrne and ?nei/ne." Ritson- 





" These lily brows, 
" This cherry nose, J 

These yellow cowslip cheeks, 
" Are gone, are gone : 
" Lovers, make moan ! 

His eyes were green as leeks. 1 

Thus also, in the Cronykil of A. Wyntotvn, B. VIII. ch. xxxvL 
v. S7: 

" Bot playnt ; na duie, na yhit mening 
" Mycht helpe noucht — ;" 
See also, v. 1 10. Steevens. 

9 These lily brows, 
This cherry nose,] The old copy reads : 
" These lily lips," &c. Steevens. 

All Thisbe's lamentation, till now, runs in regular rhyme and 
metre. But both, by some accident, are in this single instance 
interrupted. I suspect the poet wrote : 
These lily brows, 
This cherry nose. 
Now black brows being a beauty, lily brows are as ridiculous 
as a cherry nose, green eyes, or cowslip cheeks. Theobald. 

Theobald's emendation is supported by the following passage 
in As you like it : 

" 'Tis not your inky brotvs, your black silk hair — ." 
And by another, in The Winter's Tale: 

" ■ — not for because 

" Your brows are blacker, yet black brovos they say 

" Become some women best." Ritson. 

Lily lips are changed to lily brotvs for the sake of the rhyme, 
but this cannot be right : Thisbe has before celebrated her Py- 
ramus, as — - 

" Lilly-white of hue." 
It should be : 

" These lips lilly, 

" This nose cherry." 
This mode of position adds not a little to the burlesque of the 
passage. Farmer. 

We meet with somewhat like this passage in George Peele's 
Old Wives Tale, 15Q5: 

' Her corall lippes, her crimson chinne. — Thou art a flouting 
knave. Her corall lippes her crimson chinne /" Steevens. 

sc. i. DREAM. 489 

" O sisters three, 

" Come, come, to me, 

" With hands as pale as milk ; 

" Lay them in gore, 

" Since you have shore 
" With shears his thread of silk. 

" Tongue, not a word : — 

" Come, trusty sword ; 
" Come, blade, my breast imbrue : 

" And farewell, friends ; — 

" Thus Thisbe ends : 
" Adieu, adieu, adieu." [Dies. 

The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the 

Dem. Ay, and wall too. 

Bot. No, I assure you ; the wall is down that 
parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the 
epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance, 2 between 
two of our company ? 3 

1 His eyes "were green as leeks.] Thus also the nurse in Romeo 
and Juliet, speaking of Paris, says : 

" an eagle, madam, 

" Hath not so green, so quick, so fair an eye." 
See note on this passage. Steevens. 

2 a Bergomask dance,'] Sir Thomas Hanmer observes in 

his Glossary, that this is a dance after the manner of the pea- 
sants of Bcrgomasco, a country in Italy, belonging to the Vene- 
tians. All the buffoons in Italy affect to imitate the ridiculous 
jargon of that people ; and from thence it became also a custom 
to imitate their manner of dancing. Steevens. 

3 our company?] At the conclusion of Beaumont and 

Fletcher's Beggar s Bush, there seems to be a sneer at this cha- 
racier of Bottom ; but I do not very clearly perceive its drift. 
The beggars have resolved to embark for England, and exercise 
their profession there. One of them adds: 

" we have a course ; — 

" The spirit of Bottom, is grown bottomle IS ' 


The. No epilogue, I pray you ; for your play 
needs no excuse. Never excuse ; for when the 
players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. 
Marry, if he that writ it, had play'd Pyramus, and 
hanged himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have 
been a fine tragedy : and so it is, truly ; and very 
notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask : 
let your epilogue alone. 

\_Here a dance of Clowns. 
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve : — 
Lovers, to bed ; 'tis almost fairy time. 
I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn, 
As much as we this night have overwatch'd. 
This palpable-gross play hath well beguil'd 
The heavy gait 4 of night. — Sweet friends, to bed. — 
A fortnight hold we this solemnity, 
In nightly revels, and new jollity. \_Exeunt. 

This may mean, that either the publick grew indifferent to 
bad actors, to plays in general, or to characters, the humour of 
which consisted in blunders. Steevens. 

4 heavy gait — ] i. e. slow passage, progress. So, in 

Love's Labour's Lost : " You must send the ass upon the horse, 
for he is slow-gaited." In another play we have — " Jieavij- 

gaited toads." Steevens. 

sc. ii. DREAM. 491 


Enter Puck. 

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars, 5 
And the wolf behowls the moon ; 6 

Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, 
All with weary task fordone. 7 

4 Nolo the hungry lion roars, &c.~\ It has been justly observed 
by an anonymous writer, that, " among this assemblage of fami- 
liar circumstances attending midnight, either in England or its 
neighbouring kingdoms, Shakspeare would never have thought 
of intermixing the exotick idea of the hungry lion roaring, 
which can be heard no nearer than in the deserts of Africa, if he 
had not read in the 104th Psalm : " Thou makest darkness that 
it may be night, wherein all the beasts of the forest de move ; 
the lions roaring after their prey, do seek their meat from God." 


Shakspeare might have found the midnight roar of the Lion 
associated with the hotvl of the Wolf, in Phaer's translation of 
the following lines in the seventh JEneid : 

" Hinc exaudiri gemitus iraeque leonum 

" Vincla recusantum, et sera sub node rudentum ; 

" ■ ac formas magnorum ulidare luporum. 

I do not, however, perceive the justness of the foregoing ano- 
nymous writer's observation. Puck, who could " encircle the 
earth in forty minutes," like his fairy mistress, might have snuffed 
" the spiced Indian air ;" and consequently an image, foreign to 
Europeans, might have been obvious to him. He therefore was 
at liberty to — 

" Talk as familiarly of roaring lio)is, 

" As maids of fifteen do of puppy-dogs." 
Our poet, however, inattentive to little proprieties, has some- 
times introduced his wild beasts in regions where they are never 
found. Thus in Arderi, a forest in French Flanders, we hear of 
a lioness, and a bear destroys Antigonus in Bohemia. Steevenn. 

6 And the 7co//'beho\\ Is the moon ;] In the old copies: " And 
the wolf beholds the moon." As 'tis the design of these lines to 
characterize the animals, as they present themselves at the hour 
of midnight ; and as the wolf is not justly characterized by say- 
ing he behohk the moon, which other beasts of prey, then awake. 


Now the wasted brands do glow, 

Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud, 

Puts the wretch, that lies in woe, 
In remembrance of a shroud. 

do : and as the sounds these animals make at that season, seem 
also intended to be represented, I make no question but the poet 
wrote : 

" And the wolf behowls the moon." 
For so the wolf is exactly characterized, it being his peculiar 
property to hotel at the moon. (Behowl, as bemoan, beseem, 
and an hundred others.) Warburton. 

So, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, where the whole pas- 
sage seems to be copied from this of our author : 

" Now barks the wolfe against the full cheek'd moon, 

" Now lyons half-clam'd entrals roar for food, 

" Now croaks the toad, and night-crows screech aloud, 

" Flutt'ring 'bout casements of departing souls ; 

" Now gape the graves, and thro' their yawns let loose 

" Imprison'd spirits to revisit earth." Theobald. 

The alteration is better than the original reading ; but perhaps 
the author meant only to say, that the wolf gazes at the moon. 


I think, " Now the wolf behowls the moon,'''' was the original 
text. The allusion is frequently met with in the works of our 
author and his contemporaries. " 'Tis like the howling of Irish 
wolves against the moon," says he, in his As you like it ; and 
Massinger, in his New Way to pay old Debts, makes an usurer 
feel only — 

" as the moon is mov'd 

" When wolves with hunger pin'd, howl at her brightness." 


The word beholds was in the time of Shakspeare frequently 
written behoidds, (as, I suppose, it was then pronounced,) which 
probably occasioned the mistake. 

It is observable, that in the passage of Lodge's Rosalynda, 
1592, which Shakspeare seems to have had in his thoughts, when 
he wrote, in As you like it : — " ' Tis like the howling of Irish 
wolves against the moon :" — the expression is found, that Mar- 
ston has used instead of behowls. " In courting Phebe, thou 
barkest with the wolves of Syria against the moon." 

These lines also in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. v. St. 30. 
which Shakspeare might have remembered, add support to the 
emendation now made : 

se. n. DREAM. 493 

Now it is the time of night, 8 

That the graves, all gaping wide, 
Every one lets forth his sprite, 

In the church-way paths to glide : 
And we fairies, that do run 

By the triple Hecat's team, 
From the presence of the sun, 

Following darkness like a dream, 
Now are frolick ; not a mouse 
Shall disturb this hallow'd house : 
I am sent, with broom, before, 
To sweep the dust behind the door. 9 

" And all the while she [Night] stood upon the ground, 

" The wakeful dogs did never cease to bay; — 

" The messenger of death, the ghastly owle, 

" With drery shrieks did also her bewray ; 

" And hungry ivofves continually did howle 

" At her abhorred face, so filthy and so fowle." 


— fordone.'] i. e. overcome. So, Spenser, Fairy Queen t 
B. I. c. x. st. 33: 

" And many souls in dolour h&dforedone." 
Again, in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607 : 

" — fore-wearied with striving, and fore-done with the ty- 
rannous rage of her enemy." 

Again, in the ancient metrical romance of Sir Bevis of Hamp- 
ton, bl. 1. no date : 

" But by the other day at none, 

" These two dragons weveforedone." Steevens. 

• Novo it is the time of night, &c] So, in Hamlet : 
" 'Tia noiv the very witching time of night, 
" When churchyards yawn — ." Steevens. 

9 I am scnt,tvilh broom, before, 

To siveep the dust behind the door,] Cleanliness is always 
necessary to invite the residence and the favour of the fairies : 
" These make our girls their slutt'ry rue, 
" By pinching them both black and blue, 
" And put a penny in their shoe 
" The house for cleanly sweeping." Drayton. 

John son". 



Enter Oberon and Titania, with their Train. 

L 5 

Obe. Through this house give glimmering 
light, 1 

By the dead and drowsy fire : 
Every elf, and fairy sprite, 

Hop as light as bird from brier ; 2 
And this ditty, after me, 
Sing, and dance it trippingly. 

Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote : 
To each word a warbling note, 
Hand in hand, with fairy grace, 
Will we sing, and bless this place. 

To sweep the dust behind the door, is a common expression, 
and a common practice in large old houses ; where the doors of 
halls and galleries are thrown backward, and seldom or ever 
shut. Farmer. 

1 Through this house give glimmering light,"] Milton perhaps 
had this picture in his thought: 

" And glowing embers through the room 

" Teach light to counterfeit a gloom." // Penseroso. 

So, Drayton : 

" Hence shadows, seeming idle shapes 
" Of little frisking elves and apes, 
" To earth do make their wanton 'scapes, 
" As hope of pastime hastes them." 

I think it should be read : 

" Through this house in glimmering light." Johnson. 

2 as light as bird from brier ;] This comparison is a very 

ancient one, being found in one of the poems of Lawrence 
Minot, p. 3 1 : 

" That are was blith als brid on brere." Steevens. 

sc. ii. DREAM. 495 


Obe. Now, until the break of day, 3 
Through this house each fairy stray. 
To the best bride-bed will we, 
Which by us shall blessed be ; 4 
And the issue, there create, 
Ever shall be fortunate. 
So shall all the couples three 
Ever true in loving be : 

^ ■ Now, until &c] This speech, which both the old quartos 
give to Oberon, is in the edition of 1623, and in all the follow- 
ing, printed as the song. I have restored it to Oberon, as it 
apparently contains not the blessing which he intends to bestow 
on the bed, but his declaration that he will bless it, and his orders 
to the fairies how to perform the necessary rites. But where 
then is the song i — I am afraid it is gone after many other things 
of greater value. The truth is that two songs are lost. The 
series of the scene is this ; after the speech of Puck, Oberon 
enters, and calls his fairies to a song, which song is apparently 
wanting in all the copies. Next Titania leads another song, 
which is indeed lost like the former, though the editors have en- 
deavoured to find it. Then Oberon dismisses his fairies to the 
despatch of the ceremonies. 

The songs, I suppose were lost, because they were not in- 
serted in the players' parts, from which the drama was printed. 


4 To the best bride-bed will we, 

Which by us shall blessed be ;] So, in Chaucer's Mar- 
chantes Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 9693 : 

" And whan the bed was with the preest yblessed — ." 

We learn also from " Articles ordained by King Henry VII. 
for the Regulation of his Household," that this ceremony was 
observed at the marriage of a Princess. " — All men at her 
comming in to bee voided, except woemen, till shee bee brought 
to her bedd ; and the man both ; he sittinge in his bedd in "his 
shirte, with a gowne cast about him. Then the Bishoppe, with 
the Chaplaines, to come in, and blesse the bedd : then everie man 
to avoide without any drinke, save the twoe estates, if they liste, 
priviely." p. 129. Steevens. 


And the blots of nature's hand 

Shall not in their issue stand ; 

Never mole, hare-lip, 5 nor scar, 

Nor mark prodigious, 6 such as are 

Despised in nativity, 

Shall upon their children be. — 

With this field-dew consecrate, 

Every fairy take his gait ; 7 

And each several chamber bless, 8 

Through this palace with sweet peace : 

5 hare-lip,] This defect in children seems to have beer* 

so much dreaded, that numerous were the charms applied for its 
prevention. The following might be as efficacious as any of the 
rest. " If a woman with chylde have her smocke slyt at the 
neather ende or skyrt thereof, &c. the same chylde that she then 
goeth withall, shall be safe from having a cloven or hare lippe" 
Thomas Lupton's Fourth Book of Notable Thingcs, 4to. bl. 1. 


6 Nor mark prodigious,] Prodigious has here its primitive 
signification of portentous. So, in King Richard III : 

" If ever he have child, abortive be it, 

" Prodigious, and untimely brought to light." Steevens. 

7 take his gait;] i. e. take his tvay, or direct his steps. 

So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I. c. viii : 

" And guide his weary gate both to and fro." 
Again, in a Scottish Proverb : 

" A man may speer the gate to Rome." 
Again, in The Mercer's Play, among the Chester collection 
of Whitsun Mysteries, p. — : 

" Therefore goe not through his cuntrey, 

" Nor the gate you came to day." 
Again, and more appositely, in one of the poems of Lawrence 
Minot, p. 50 : 

" Take thi gate unto Gines, 

" And grete tham wele thare ; " Steevens. 

By gate, I believe, is meant, the door of each chamber. 

M. Mason. 

Gait, for a path or road, is commonly used at present in the 
northern counties. Harris. 

• Every fairy take his gait ; 
And each several chamber bless, &c] The same superstitious 

sc. ii. DREAM. 497 

E'er shall it in safety rest, 
And the owner of it blest. 

Trip away; 

Make no stay ; 
Meet me all by break of day. 

[Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and Train. 

Puck. If we shadows have offended. 

Think but this, {and all is mended?) 
That you have but slumber* d here, 
While these visions did appear. 
And this weak and idle theme, 
No more yielding but a dream, 
Gentles, do not reprehend; 
If you pardon, we will mend. 
And, as Tm an honest Puck, 9 
If we have unearned luck l 
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue? 
We will make amends, ere long : 

kind of benediction occurs in Chaucer's Miller's Tale, v. 3479, 

Tyrwhitt's edition : 

" I crouche thee from elves, and from wightes. 

" Thenvith the nightspel said he anon rightes 

" On foure halves of the hous aboute, 

" And on the threswold of the dore withoute. 

" Jesu Cris;, and Seint Benedight, 

" Blisse this hous from every wicked wight, 

" Fro the nightes mare, the wite Paternoster," &c. 


9 an honest Puck,] See Mr. Tyrwhitt's note, &c. Act II. 

sc. i. on the words — " siveet Puck." Steevens. 

1 unearned tuck — ] i. e. if we have better fortune than 

we have deserved. Steevens. 

2 AW* fa 'scape the serpent's tongue,} That is, if we be dismissed 
without h^scs. Johnson. 

So, in J. Markhain's English Arcadia, 1607 : 
" But the nymph, after the custom of distrest tragedians, 
whose first act is entertained with a snaky salutation," &c. 




Else the Puck a liar call. 

So, good night unto you all. 

Give me your hands? if we befriends, 

And Robin shall restore amends. 

[Exit. 4 

3 Give me your hands,] That is, Clap your hands. Give us 
your applause. Johnson. 

4 Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their 
various modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure 
which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in 
fashion ; common tradition had made them familiar, and Spen- 
ser's poem had made them great. Johnson. 

Johnson's concluding observation on this play, is not con- 
ceived with his usual judgment. There is no analogy or re- 
semblance whatever between the Fairies of Spenser, and those 
of Shakspeare. The Fairies of Spenser, as appears from his de- 
scription of them in the second book of the Fairy Queen, 
canto x. were a race of mortals created by Prometheus, of the 
human size, shape, and affections, and subject to death. But 
those of Shakspeare, and of common tradition, as Johnson calls 
them, were a diminutive race of sportful beings, endowed with 
immortality and supernatural power, totally different from those 
of Spenser. M. Mason. 

See pp.369, 370, 371. 

And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's bach, &c. &c. &c] Dr. 
Warburton, whose ingenuity and acuteness have been long ad- 
mired, is now, I believe, pretty generally thought to have some- 
times seen not only what no other person would ever have been 
able to discover, but what, in reality, unless in his own playful 
imagination, did not exist. Criticism is a talisman, which has, 
on more than one occasion, dispelled the illusion of this mighty 
magician. I shall not dispute, that, by the fair vestal, Shak- 
speare intended a compliment to Queen Elizabeth, who, I am 
willing to believe, at the age of sixty-eight, was no less chaste 
than beautiful; but whether any other part of Oberon's speech 
have an allegorical meaning or not, I presume, in direct opposi- 
tion to Dr. Warburton, to contend that it agrees with any other 

DREAM. 499 

rather than with Mary Queen of Scots. The " mixture of 
satire and panegyrick" I shall examine anon: I only wish to 
know, for the present, why it would have been *' inconvenient 
for the author to speak openly" in "dispraise" of the Scotish 
Queen. If he meant to please " the imperial votress," no in- 
cense could have been half so grateful as the blackest calumny. 
But, it seems, " her successor would not forgive her satirist." 
Who then was her "successor" when this play was written ? 
Mary's son, James ? I am persuaded that, had Dr. Warburton 
been better read in the history of those times, he would not have 
found this monarch's succession quite so certain, at that period, 
as to have prevented Shakspeare, who was by no means the re- 
fined speculatist he would induce one to suppose, from gratifying 
the " fair vestal" with sentiments so agreeable to her. How- 
ever, if " the poet has so well marked out every distinguishing 
circumstance of her life and character, in this beautiful allegory, 
as will leave no room to doubt about his secret meaning," there 
is an end of all controversy. For, though the satire would be 
cowardly, false, and infamous, yet, since it was couched under 
an allegory, which, while perspicuous as glass to Elizabeth, 
would have become opake as a mill-stone to her successor, Shak- 
speare, lying as snug as his own Ariel in a cowslip's bell, would 
have had no reason to apprehend any ill consequences from it. 
Now, though our speculative bard might not be able to foresee 
the sagacity of the Scotish king in smelling out a plot, as I be- 
lieve it was some years after that he gave any proof of his ex- 
cellence that way, he could not but have heard of his being an 
admirable witch-finder ; and, surely, the skill requisite to detect 
a witch must be sufficient to develope an allegory ; so that I 
must needs question the propriety of the compliment here paid 
to the poet's prudence. Queen Mary " is called a Mermaid, 
1. to denote her reign over a kingdom situate in the sea." In 
that respect at least Elizabeth was as much a mermaid as herself. 
" And 2. her beauty and intemperate lust ; for as Elizabeth for 
her chastity is called a Vestal, this unfortunate lady, on a contrary 
account, is called a mermaid." All this is as false as it is foolish : 
The mermaid was never the emblem of lust ; nor was the " gen- 
tle Shakspeare" of a character or disposition to have insulted the 
memory of a murdered princess by so infamous a charge. The 
most abandoned libeler, even Buchanan himself, never accused 
her of " intemperate lust ;" and it is pretty well understood at 
present that, if either of these ladies were remarkable for her 

Eurity, it was not Queen Elizabeth. " 3. An ancient story may 
e supposed to be here alluded to : the Emperor Julian tells u* 
that the Sirens (which with all the modern poets are mermaids) 
contended for precedency with the Muses, who overcoming; 

K K 2 


them took away their wings." Can any thing be more ridi- 
culous? Mermaids are half women and h&\i' Jishes : where 
then are their wings ? or what possible use could they make of 
them if they had any ? The Sirens which Julian speaks of were 
partly women and partly birds : so that " the pollusion," as 
good-man Dull hath it, by no means " holds in the exchange." 
" The quarrels between Mary and Elizabeth had the same cause 
and the same issue." That is, they contended for precedency, 
and Elizabeth overcoming took away the others wings. The 
secret of their contest for precedency should seem to have been 
confined to Dr. Warburton : It would be in vain to enquire 
after it in the history of the time. The Queen of Scots, in- 
deed, flew for refuge to her treacherous rival, (who is here 
again the mermaid of the allegory, alluring to destruction, by 
her songs or fair speeches,) and wearing, it should seem, like a 
cherubim, her wings on her neck, Elizabeth, who was deter- 
mined she should fly no more, in her eagerness to tear them 
away, happened inadvertently to take off her head. The situa- 
tion of the poet's mermaid, on a dolphins back, " evidently 
marks out that distinguishing circumstance in Mary's fortune, 
her marriage with the dauphin of France." A mermaid would 
seem to have but a strangely aukward seat on the back of a 
dolphin ; but that, to be sure, is the poet's affair, and not the 
commentators : the latter, however, is certainly answerable for 
placing a Queen on the back of her husband : a very extraor- 
dinary situation one would think, for a married lady ; and of 
which I only recollect a single instance, in the common print of 
" a poor man loaded with mischief." Mermaids are supposed 
to sing, but their dulcet and harmonious breath must in this in- 
stance to suit the allegory, allude to " those great abilities of 
genius and learning," which rendered Queen Mary " the most 
accomplished princess of her age." This compliment could not 
fail of being highly agreeable to the " fair Vestal." " By the 
rude sea is meant Scotland incircled with the ocean, which rose 
up in arms against the regent, while she [Mary] was in France. 
But her return home quieted these disorders: and had -not 'her 
strange ill conduct afterwards more violently inflamed them, she 
might have passed her whole life in peace." Dr. Warburton, 
whose skill in geography seems to match his knowledge of his- 
tory and acuteness in allegory, must be allowed the sole merit of 
discovering Scotland to be an island. But, as to the disorders 
of that country being quieted by the Queen's return, it appears 
from history to be full as peaceable before as it is at any time 
after that event. Whether, in the revival or continuance of 
these disorders, she, or her ideot husband, or fanatical subjects 
were most to blame, is a point upon which doctors still differ^; 

DREAM. 501 

but, it is evident, that, if the enchanting song of the commenta- 
tor's mermaid civilized the rude sea for a time, it was only to 
render it, in an instant, more boisterous than ever : those great 
abilities of genius and learning, which rendered her the most ac- 
complished princess of her age, not availing her among a parcel 
of ferocious and enthusiastic barbarians, whom even the lyre of 
Orpheus had in vain warbled to humanize. Brantome, who 
accompanied her, says she was welcomed home by a mob of 
five or six hundred ragamuffins, who, in discord with the most 
execrable instruments, sung psalms (which she was supposed to 
dislike) under her chamber window: He! adds he, quelle 
musique 8$ quelle repos pour sa nuit /" However, it seems 
" there is great justness and beauty in this image, as the vulgar 
opinion is, that the mermaid always sings in storms.'* " The 
vulgar opinion," I am persuaded, is peculiar to the ingenious 
commentator ; as, if the mermaid is ever supposed to sing, it 
is in calms, which presage storms. I can perceive no propriety 
in calling the insurrection of the Northern earls the quarrel of 
Queen Mary, unless in so far as it was that of the religion she 
professed. But this perhaps is the least objectionable part of a 
chimerical allegory of which the poet himself had no idea, and 
which the commentator, to whose creative fancy it owes its 
existence, seems to have very justly characterized, in telling us 
it is " out of nature ;"~that is, as I conceive, perfectly ground- 
less and unnatural. Ritson. 



Los Angeles 

This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 



|tf* 25 
URL NOV 22 Wf 

NOV 231971 

968FEB 1 1988' 
i96BJAN 51988 

r^£ ?r 


MAY 1 4 1979 

— -." 

vo -^ 

,- <"\ 



Form L9-32m-8,'58(5876s4)444 

.2253 ohakftspftaTv* - : 

J63 Tensest; Two 

v.^ Gentlemen of 

Verona ; Mid summer 



3 1158 00 

46 9476 


A A 000 177 329