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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 well
Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read,
Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall’d to low!
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross’d,
Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me, Hermia.
Momentany-- ] i.e. Momentary, collied-] i. e. Black, smutted with coal. spleen,) i. e. Sudden hasty fit.
- fancy-] i. e. Love.
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night :
My good Lysander!
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
best arrow W—] So in Sidney's Arcadia, book ii.—" Arrows two, and tipt with gold or lead.”-STEEVENS.
by that fire which turn'd the Carthage queen,] Shakspeare had forgot that Theseus performed his exploits before the Trojan war, and consequently long before the death of Dido.-STEVENS.
p Your fair:) Fair is used as a substantive here and in the Comedy of Errors ; and in various other places of different authors.--STEEVENS.
9 Your eyes are loai-stars ;] This was a compliment not unfrequent among the old poets. The load-star is the leading or guiding star, that is, the polestar.-JOHNSON. favour-) i. e. Appearance.
to be to you translated.] To translate, in our author, sometimes signifies to transform.-STEEVENS.
0, teach me how you look; and with what art
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
Her. Take comfort; he no more shall see my face; (mine!
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold :
[Erit HERM. Lys. I will, my Hermia.—Helena adieu : As you on him, Demetrius dote on you ! [Exit Lys.
Hel. How happy some, o'erother some can be !
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Enter SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, QUINCE, and
Quin. Is all our company here?
in game-] Game here signifies not contentious play, but sport, jest.JOHNSON,
Hermia's eyne,] This plural is common both in Chaucer and Spenser.
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 retum for my communication. -STEEVENS.
y. 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 perform 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.-Johnson.
Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.'
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 on to a point.
Quin. Marry, our play is—The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry.—Now good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll: Masters, spread yourselves.
Quin. Answer as I call you.—Nick Bottom the weaver.
Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. To the rest :-Yet my chief humour is for a tyrant; I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
“The raging rocks,
“Of prison gates :
The foolish fates."
the scrip.) A scrip, Fr. 'escrip, now written ecrit.
grow on to a point.] This is the reading of the first folio, and I have not a doubt but Mr. Warner is correct in supposing it to be a misprint for go on to appoint—i. e. appoint the actors to their several parts.
The most lamentable coinedy, &c.] This is very probably a burlesque on the title page of Cambyses. “A lamentable tragedy mixed full of pleasant mirth, containing the life of Cambises, king of Persia,"-STBEVENS.
C— 10 tear a cat-] This was in our author's day the cant expression for theatrical ranting.-"I'had rather heare two good jests, than a whole play of such tear-cat thunder claps.” Day's Isle of Gulls.-Archdeacon Nares supposes the phrase to have been derived from," a cruel act of the kind having been performed by some daring ruffian to excite surprise and alarm."