Puslapio vaizdai


Or ruffet-pated choughs, many in fort,
Rifing and cawing at the gun's report
Sever themfelves, and madly fweep the sky;
So, at his fight, away his fellows fly:

And, at our stamp," here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.

The folio reads-mimmick; 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 Thife; 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 Thibe muft be answered, And forth my mimick (i. e. my ador) comes.' In this there feems no difficulty.

Mimick is ufed as fynonymous to actor, by Decker, in his Guls Hornebooke, 1609: "Draw what troop you can from the ftage after you; the mimicks are beholden to you for allowing them elbow room." Again, in his Saliromatix, 1602: "Thou [B. Jonson] haft forgot how thou ambled'ft in a leather pilch by a play-waggon in the highway, and took'ft mad Jeronymo's pait, to get service amongst the mimicks." MALONE.


choughs,] The chough is a bird of the daw kind. I is mentioned alfo in Macbeth:

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By magot-pies, and choughs, and rooks," &c. STRIVENS. -fort,] Company. So above:

and in Waller:

that barren fort;"

"A fort of lufty Shepherds frive." JOHNSON.

So, in Chapman's May-day, 1611:

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though we neuer lead any other company than a fort of quart-pots." STEEVENS.

9 And, at our lamp,] This feems to be a vicious reading. Fairies are never reprefented ftamping, or of a fize that fhould give force to a flamp, nor could they have diftinguifhed the ftamps of Puck from thofe of their own companions. I read:

And at a fump here o'er and o'er one falls."

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Their sense, thus weak, loft with their fears, thus


Made fenfelefs things begin to do them wrong:
For briers and thorns at their apparel fnatch;
Some, fleeves; fome, hats: from yielders all things

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I adhere to the old reading. The flamp of a fairy might be efficacious though not loud; neither is it neceffary to suppose, when fupernatural beings are spoken of, that the fize of the agent determines the force of the action. That fairies did ftamp to fome purpofe, may be known from the following paffage in Olaus Magnus de Gentibus Septentrionalibus. "Vero faltum adeo profundé in terram imprefferant, ut locus infigni ardore orbiculariter perefus, non parit arenti redivivum cefpite gramen. Shakspeare's own authority. however, is moft decifive. See the conclufion of the firft fcene of the fourth a&t:

"Come, my queen, take hand with me,

"And rock the ground where on these fleepers be."


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Honeft Reginald Scott, fays, "Our grandams maides wont to sett a boll of milke before Incubus, and his cousin Robin ́ Good-fellow, for grinding of malt or mustard, and sweeping the houfe at midnight: and-that he would chafe exceedingly, if the maid or good wife of the house, having compaffion of his nakednes, laid anie clothes for him beefides his meffe of white bread and milke, which was his ftanding fee. For in that cafe he faith, What have we here? Hemton, hamten, here will I never more tread nor flampen." Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584, p. 85.


2 Some, fleeves; fome hats:] There is the like image in Drayton, of queen Mab and her fairies flying from Hobgoblin:

"Some tore a ruff, and fome a gown,

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'Gainst one another juftling;

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I led them on in this diftracted fear,
And left fweet Pyramus tranflated there:
When in that moment (fo it came to pass,)
Titania wak'd, and ftraightway lov'd an ass.

OBE. This falls out better than I could devife. But haft thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?

PUCK. Itook him fleeping,-thatis finish'd too,And the Athenian woman by his fide;

That, when he wak'd, of force she must be ey'd,


OEE. Stand clofe; this is the fame Athenian. PUCK. This is the woman, but not this the man. DEM. O, why rebuke you him that loves you fo? Lay breath fo bitter on your bitter foe.

HER. Now I but chide, but I fhould use thee

For thou, I fear, haft given me cause to curse.
If thou haft flain Lyfander in his fleep,
Being o'er fhoes in blood,
And kill me too.

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plunge in the deep,

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-latch'd] Or letch'd, lick'd over, lécher, to lick, French.

In the North, it fignifies to infeat. STEEVENS.


Being o'er fhoes in blood,] An allufion to the proverb, Overshoes, over boots. JOHNSON.

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The fun was not fo true unto the day,
As he to me: Would he have ftol'n away
From fleeping Hermia? I'll believe as foon,
This whole earth may be bor'd; and that the moon
May through the center creep, and fo difplease
Her brother's noon-tide with the Antipodes."
It cannot be, but thou haft murder'd him;
So fhould a murderer look; fo dead, fo grim.
DEM. So fhould the murder'd look; and fo
fhould I,

Pierc'd through the heart with your ftern cruelty:
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering fphere.

HER. What's this to my Lyfander? where is he? Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?

noon-tide with the Antipodes.] Dr. Warburton would read-i' th' antipodes, which Mr. Edwards ridicules without mercy. The alteration is certainly not neceffary, but it is not fo unlucky, as he imagined. Shirley has the fame expreffion 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 fhown by the following paffage in The Death of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601: "And dwell one month with the Antipodes." Again, in K. Richard II:


"While we were wandring with the Antipodes."


fo dead,] All the old copies read-fo dead; in my copy of it, fome reader has altered dead to dread. JOHNSON.

Dead feems to be the right word, and our author again ufes it in K. Henry IV. P. II. A& I. fc. iii:

"Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
"So dull, fo dead in look, fo woe-begone."

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if thou marry

So alfo, in Greene's Doraftus and Fawnia: ". in age, thy wife's fresh colours will breed in thee dead thoughts and fufpicion." MALONE.

DEM. I had rather give his carcafe to my hounds. HER. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'ft me past the bounds

Of maiden's patience. Haft thou flain him then?
Henceforth be never number'd among men!

O! once tell true, tell true,
even for my fake;
Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake,
And haft thou kill'd' him fleeping? O brave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do fo much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou ferpent, never adder flung.
DEM. You spend your paffion on a mifpris'd
mood: "

I am not guilty of Lyfander's blood;

Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
HER. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.

Durft thou have look'd upon him, being awake,

And haft thou kill'd him fleeping?] She means, Haft thou kill'd him fleeping, whom, when awake, thou didst not dare to look upon? MALONE.


O brave touch!] Touch in Shakspeare's time was the fame with our exploit, or rather firoke. A brave touch, a noble flroke, un grand coup. Mafon was very merry, pleasantly playing both with the Shrewd touches of many curft loys, and the fmall difcretion of many lewd fchoolmasters." Afcham. JOHNSON.

A touch anciently fignified a trick. In the old black letter flory of Howleglas, it is always ufed in that fenfe : he did fome mad touch." STEEVENS.


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for at all times

mifpris'd mood:] Miftaken; fo below mifprifion is mistake.


Mood is anger, or perhaps rather in this place, capricious fancy.


I rather conceive that—“ on a mispriz'd mood" is put for—" in a mifpriz'd mood," i. e. in a miftaken manner." The prepofition-on, is licentiously used by ancient authors. When Mark Antony says that Auguftus Cæfar 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 conduct.


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