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BOT. Monfieur Cobweb: good monfieur, get your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hip'd humble-bee on the top of a thiftle; and, good monfieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret your felf too much in the action, monfieur; and, good monfieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you over-flown with a honey-bag, fignior.--Where's monfieur Muftardfeed?
BOT. Give me your neif,' monfieur Muflardfeed. Pray you, leave your courtefy, good monfieur. MUST. What's your will?
BOT. Nothing, good monfieur, but to help cavalero Cobweb to fcratch. 1 muft to the barber's, monficur; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy about the face: and I am fuch a tender afs, if my hair do but tickle me, I muft fcratch.
TITA. What, wilt thou hear fome mufick, my fweet love?
BOT. I have a reasonable good ear in mufick: let us have the tongs and the bones.
It fhould be overflow'd; but it appears from a rhyme in another play that the mistake was our author's.
I perceive no mistake. Overflown is the participle paffive. See Johnfon's Dict.
neif, ] i. e. fift. So, in K. Henry IV. A& II. fc. x: "Sweet knight, I kifs thy neif." GREY.
cavalero Cobweb ] Without doubt it should be Cavalero Peas-bloom as for cavalero Cobweb, he had just been dispatched upon a perilous adventure. GREY.
the tongs] The old ruftic mufick of the tongs and key. The folio has this ftage direction.-" Muficke Tongs, Rurall Muficke.”
TITA. Or, fay, fweet love, what thou defir'ft to
BOT. Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great defire to a bottle of hay: good hay, fweet hay, hath no fellow.
TITA. I have a venturous fairy that fhall feek The squirrel's hoard, 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 ftir me; I have an expofition of fleep come
TITA. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my
Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away.
8 The Squirrel's hoard,] Hoard is here employed as a dissyllable.
9 - and be all ways away. ] i. e. difperfe 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. Theobald. MALONE.
Mr. Upton reads:
“And be away-away." JOHNSON.
Mr. Heath would read-and be always i' th' way. STEEVENS. • So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,
Gently entwift, the female ivy fo
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.] What does the woodbine entwift? The honey-fuckle But the woodbine and honey fuckle were, till now, but two names for one and the fame plant. Florio, iu his Italian Didionary, interprets Madre Selva by woodbine or honnie-fuckle. We must therefore find a fupport for the woodbine as well as for the ivy. Which is done by reading the lines thus: "So doth the woodbine, the sweet honey-fuckle,
Gently entwift the maple; ivy fo
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm."
The corruption might happen by the firft blunderer dropping the in writing the word maple, which word thence became male. A
Gently entwift,the female ivy' so
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!
following transcriber, for the fake of a little fenfe and measure, thought it to change this male into female; and then tacked it as an epithet to ivy. WARBURTON.
Mr. Uptou reads:
So doth the woodrine the sweet honey fuckle,"
for bark of the wood. Shakspeare perhaps only meant, fo the leaves involve the flower, ufing woodbine for the plant, and honeyJuckle for the flower; or perhaps Shakspeare made a blunder.
JOHNSON. The thought is Chaucer's. See his Troilus and Creffeide, . 1236,
"And as about a tre with many a twift
Bittent and writhin is the fwete woodlinde, "Gan eche of hem in armis other winde."
What Shakspeare feems to mean, is this-So the woodbine, i. c. the fweet honey-fuckle, doth gently entwist the barky fingers of the elm, and fo does the female ivy curing the fame fingers. It is not unfrequent in the poets, as well as other writers, to explain one word by another which is better known. The reafon why Shakspeare
thought woodbine wanted illustration, perhaps is this. In fome counties, by woodbine or woodlind would have been generally understood the ivy, which he had occafion to mention in the very next line. In the following inftance from Old Fortunatus, 1600, woodbind is used for ivy:
And, as the running wood-bind, spread her arms "To choak thy with ring boughs in her embrace." And Barret in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, enforces the fame diflination that Shakipeare thought it necessary
Woodbin that beareth the honey-fuckle." STEEvens. This paffage has given rife to various conjectures. It is certain, that the wood-bine and the honey-fuckle were sometimes confidered as different plants. In one of Taylor's poems, we have The woodline, primrose, and the cowlip fine, "The honifuckle, and the daffadill."
But I think Mr. Steevens's interpretation the true one. writers did not always carry the auxiliary verb forward, as Mr. Capell feems to fuppofe by his alteration of enrings to enring. So bishop Lowth, in his excellent Introduction to Grammar, p. 118, has without reafon correded a fimilar passage in our tranflation of St. Matthew. FARMER.
OBERON advances. Enter PUCK.
OBE. Welcome, good Robin. See'ft thou this. fweet fight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late, behind the wood,
Were any change neceffary, I should not fcruple to read the weedbind, i. e. fmilax: a plant that twifts round every other that grows in its way. STEEVENS.
In lord Bacon's Nat. Hift. Experiment 496, it is observed that there are two kinds of " honeyfuckles, both the woodbine and the trefoil. i. e. the first is a plant that winds about trees, and the other is a three-leaved grass. Perhaps thefe are meant in Dr. Farmer's quotation. The diftin&tion, however, may ferve to fhew why Shakspeare and other authors frequently added woodbine to honey-fuckle, when they mean the plant, and not the grafs. TOLLET.
The interpretation of either Dr. Johnson or Mr. Steevens removes all difficulty. The following paffage in Sicily and Naples, or The Fatal Union, 1640, in which the honeyfuckle is spoken of as the flower, and the woodbine as the plant, adds fome fupport to Dr. Johnson's expofition:
as fit a gift
As this were for a lord, -a honey-fuckle,
"The amorous woodbine's offspring.
But Minfhieu in v. Woodbinde, fuppofes them the fame: "Alio nomine nobis Anglis Hongfuckle diâus." If Dr. Johnfon's explanation be right, there fhould be no point after woodbine, honeyfuckle, or enrings. MALONE.
the female ivy-] Shakspeare calls it female ivy, because it always requires fome fupport, which is poetically called its huf
"To wed her elm: fhe fpous'd, about him twines
"Her marriageable arms.
"Ulmo conjunca marito.
Though the ivy here reprefents the female, there is, notwithftanding, an evident reference in the words enrings and fingers, lo the ring of the marriage rite. HENLEY.
In our ancient marriage ceremony, (or rather, perhaps, contract,) 'the woman gave the man a ring, as well as received one from him.
Seeking fweet favours 3 for this hateful fool,
To this cuftom the conduct of Olivia (fee Twelfth Night, fc. ult.)
"A contract of eternal bond of love, &c.
"Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings." STEEVENS. fweet favours -] Thus Roberts's quarto and the first folio. Fisher's quarto reads-favours; which, taken in the fenfe of ornaments, fuch as are worn at weddings, may be right. STEEVENS. - 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. STEEVENS. 5 That he awaking when the other do,] Such is the reading of the old copies, and fuch was the phrafeology of Shakspeare's age; though the modern editors have departed from it. So, in King Henry IV. P. I: and unbound the reft, and then came in the
Again, in King Henry IV. P. II: "For the other, Sir John, let me fee, &c.
So, in the epifle prefixed to Pierce Pennileffe his Supplication to the Devil, by Thomas Nafhe, 4to. 1592: “I hope they will give me leave to think there be fooles of that art, as well as of all ether. MALONE.