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To the fire i' th' blood: be more abftemious,
I warrant you, Sir;
The white, cold, virgin-fnow upon my heart
Vanity of human Nature.
Prof, Our revels now are ended: these our actors (As I foretold you) were all spirits, and Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vifion,
I do know,
When the blood burns, how prodigal the foul
And in All's well that ends well, the countess observes,
Nat'ral rebellion done in the blaze of youth,
(33) Shall diffolve.] "This," fays Upton," is exactly from fcripture," 2 Peter iii. 11, 12. "Seeing then that all these things fhall be diffolved, &c. the heavens being on fire shall be diffolved, and the elements fhall melt with fervent heat." And Ifaiah xxxiv. 4. "And all the hoft of heaven fhall be diffolved." See Obfervations on Shakespear, p. 224.
(34) A rack.] i. e. No track or path. See Upton's Obfervations, p. 212. "The winds," fays Lord Bacon, "which move the clouds above, which we call the rack, and are not perceived below, pafs without noife."
As dreams are made of; and our little life (35) Is rounded with a fleep.
Drunkards inchanted by Ariel.
Ariel. I told you, Sir, they were red-hot with drinking;
So full of valour, that they fmote the air
(35) See Anthony and Cleopatra, A& 4.
The fringed curtains of thine eye advance. A&t 1. Drayton, in his Court of Fairie, of Hobgoblin caught in a Spell, has thefe lines,
But once the circle got within
A pain he in his head-piece feels,
Alas, his brain was dizzy.
And through the bufhes fcrambles,
I' th' filthy mantled pool beyond your cell,
Prof. A devil, a born devil, on whofe nature
Light of Foot
Pray (37) you, tread foftly, that the blind mole may not Hear a foot fall.
Do, do: we steal by line and level, and't like your grace.
for 't: wit fhall not of this country:
Ste. I thank thee for that jeft; here's a garment go unrewarded, while I am king Steal by line and level," is an excellent pafs of pate: there's another garment for't.
A CT V.
Fine Sentiment, of Humanity on Repentance.
(37) Pray, &c.]
Thou found and firm-fet earth, Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear The very ftones prate of my where-about.
Macbeth, A& 2. Sc. 2. See the whole paffage.
His tears run down his beard, like winter drops
Prof. Do'st thou think fo, fpirit?
Haft thou, who art but air, a touch, a feeling
Fairies and Magic.
(40) Ye elves of hills, brooks, ftanding lakes, and groves
(38) Pafion] is a verb in S. "I feel every thing with the fame quick fenfibility, and am moved by the fam paffrons as they are." So in the Gentlemen of Verona,
Madam, 'twas Ariadne paffioning
Again in his Venus and Adonis,
Stantia concutio cantu freta, nubila pello,
Dumbly the passions, franticly she doateth.
(39) See Meafure for Measure, A& 2. Sc. 7. &c, (40) S. is in nothing confeffedly more inimitable than in his fairies and magic, of which, this play and the Midfummer Night's Dream are ftriking proofs. How inferior is Ovid to him, when he makes Medea, the most celebrated forcerefs, fpeak thus,
Vipereafque rumpo verbis & carmine fauces;
Viva faxa, & mugire folum, are as ftrong as graves wak'd their fleepers in our author, which every true reader of S. will immediately acknowledge the genuine reading; it is indeed extremely bold, and for that reafon, the more likely to be his yet it may be justified by the ufage of other poets, as Theobald has obferved. Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Bonduca, speak of the power of Fame, as waking graves;
Wakens the ruin'd monument, and there
Where nothing but eternal death and sleep is,
And Virgil fpeaking of Rome, as a city, fays, It furrounded its feven hills with a wall.
Scilicet & rerum facta eft pulcherrima Roma,
Great Reme became the mistress of the world, And single with her walls feven hills inclos'd. Trapp, G. 2. at the end. But the reader will find, in Measure for Measure, an expreffion of S's, equally bold with this in queftion. See p. 137. and n. 46.
The reader is defired to turn back to the 234th page, MidSummer Night's Dream.