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Bot. Give me your neif", monfieur Muftard-feed. Pray you, leave your courtefy, good monfieur. Muft. What's your will?
Bot. Nothing, good monfieur, but to help cavalero Cobwebs to fcratch. I muft to the barber's, monfieur; 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 scratch.
Queen. 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.
Queen. Or, fay, fweet love, what thou defir'ft to eat. 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.
Queen. I have a venturous fairy that fhall feek The fquirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of dried pease. But, I pray you, let none of your people ftir me; I have an expofition of fleep come upon me.
Queen. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms, Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away'.
7 -ncif,] i. e. fift. Henry IV. a&t ii. fc. 10: "Sweet knight, 1 kifs thy neif." GREY.
8 -cavalero Cobweb] Without doubt it should be Cavalero Peafe-bloffom; as for cavalero Cobweb, he had just been dispatched upon a perilous adventure. GREY.
9-the tongs-] The old ruftic mufic of the tongs and key. The folio has this ftage direction." Muficke Tongs, Rurall Muficke." STEEVENS.
In the former editions-and be always away.] What! was the giving her attendants an everlasting difmiffion? No fuch thing; they were to be ftill upon duty. I am convinced the poet meant; and be all ways away.
i. e. difperfe yourselves, and scout out feverally, in your watch, that danger approach us from no quarter. THEOBALD. Mr. Upton reads:
And be away-away. JOHNSON.
Mr. Heath would read: -and be always i' th' way. STEEVENS.
So doth the woodbine', the fweet honey-fuckle,
2 So doth the woodbine the fweet honey-fuckle
What does the woodbine entwiit? The honey-fuckle. But the wood-
So doth the woodbine, the fweet honey-fuckle,
The corruption might happen by the first blunderer dropping the
"So doth the woodrine the feet honey fuckle,
for bark of the wood. Shakspeare perhaps only meant, fo the leaves involve the flower, ufing woodbine for the plant, and honeyfuckle for the flower; or perhaps Shakspeare made a blunder.
JOHNSON. The following paffage in The Fatal Union, 1640, in which the honey-fuckle is fpoken of as the flower, and the woodbine as the plant, fupports Dr. Johnson's interpretation:
As fit a gift as this were for a lord-a honey-
The thought is Chaucer's. See his Troilus and Creffeide, v. 1236, lib. iii:
"And as about a tre with many a twist
" Bitrent and writhin is the fwete woodbine,
What Shakspeare feems to mean, is this-So the woodbine, i. e. the fweet honey-fuckle, doth gently entwift the barky fingers of the elm, and fo does the female ivy enring 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 illuftration, perhaps is this. In fome counties, by woodbine or woodbind 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 ufed for ivy:
*Shewing a flower.
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
Oberon advances. Enter Puck.
Ob. Welcome, good Robin.
Seeft thou this
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
"And, as the running wood-bind, fpread her arms
to make :
"Woodbin that beareth the honey-fuckle." STEEVENS,
But I think Mr. Steevens's interpretation the true one.
Were any change neceffary, I fhould not fcruple to read the aweedbind, i. e. fmilax: a plant that twifts round every other that grows in its way. STEEVENS.
In lord Bacon's Nat. Hift. Experiment 495, it is obferved 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 grafs. Perhaps thefe are meant in Dr. Farmer's quotation. The diftinction, however, may ferve to fhew why Shakspeare and other authors frequently added wood bine to honey-fuckle, when they mean the plant and not the grass.
the female ivy] Shakspeare calls it female ivy, becaufe it always requires fome fupport, which is poetically called its hufband. So Milton:
-led the vine
"To wed her elm: she spous'd about him twines
"Ulmo conjuncta marito." Catull.
"Evincet ulmos. Hor. STEEVENS.
Seeking fweet favours 4 for this hateful fool,
Be, as thou waft wont to be;
[Touching her eyes with an herb.
Ob. There lies your love.
Queen. How came thefe things to pass?
4-fiveet favours,] The first edition reads favours. STEEVENS, 5 Dian's bud, or Cupid's flower] Thus all the editions. The ingenious Dr. Thirlby gave me the correction, which I have inferted in the text. THEORALD.
Ob. Silence, a while.-Robin, take off this head.
Queen. Mufick, ho! mufick; fuch as charmeth fleep.
Ob. Sound, mufick. [Still mufick.]
And rock the ground whereon these fleepers be.
Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark;
Ob. Then my queen, in filence fad3,
Titania, mufick call, and ftrike more dead
7 Dance in duke Thefeus' boufe triumphantly,
to all FAR pofterity.
i. e. to the remoteft pofterity. WARBURTON.
Trip we after the night's fhade.]
Mr. Theobald fays, why fad? Fairies are pleafed to follow night.