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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,
Gently entwift,-the female ivy3 so


2 So doth the woodbine the fweet honey-fuckle
Gently entwift; the FEMALE ivy fo
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.]

What does the woodbine entwiit? The honey-fuckle. But the wood-
bine and honey fuckle were, till now, but two names for one and
the fame plant. Florio, in his Italian Dictionary, interprets Ma-
dre Selva by woodbine or hennie-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 fweet honey-fuckle,
Gently entwift the MAPLE; ivy fo
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.

The corruption might happen by the first blunderer dropping the
in writing the word maple, which word thence became male. A
following tranfcriber, for the fake of a little fenfe and measure,
thought fit to change this male into female; and then tacked it as
an epithet to ivy. WARBURTON.
Mr. Upton reads:

"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 amorous woodbine's offspring."


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,
"Gan eche of hem in armis other winde.".

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.


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Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

Oberon advances. Enter Puck.

Ob. Welcome, good Robin.
fweet fight?

Seeft thou this

Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late behind the wood,

"And, as the running wood-bind, fpread her arms
"To choak thy with ring boughs in her embrace."
And Barrett in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580,
enforces the fame distinction that Shakspeare thought it necessary

to make :

"Woodbin that beareth the honey-fuckle." STEEVENS,
This paflage has given rife to various conjectures. It is cer
tain, that the wood-bine and the honey-fuckle were fometimes
confidered as different plants: In one of Taylor's poems, we have
"The woodbine, primrofe, and the cowflip fine,
"The bonifuckle, and the daffadill."

But I think Mr. Steevens's interpretation the true one.
The old
writers did not always carry the auxiliary verb forward, as the
late editor feems to fuppofe by his alteration of enrins to enring.
So bishop Lowth, in his excellent Introduction to Grammar, p.
126, has without reafon corrected a fimilar paffage in our tranfla
tion of St. Matthew. FARMER.

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
"Her marriageable arms


"Ulmo conjuncta marito." Catull.

"Platanufque cælebs

"Evincet ulmos. Hor. STEEVENS.

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Seeking fweet favours 4 for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her:
For the his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of frefn and fragrant flowers;
And that fame dew, which fometime on the buds
Was wont to fwell, like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flouret's eyes,
Like tears, that did their own difgrace bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And fhe, in mild terms, begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Which strait she gave me,, and her fairy fent
'To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And, now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed fcalp
From off the head of the Athenian fwain;
That he awaking when the others do,
May all to. Athens back again repair;
And think no more of this night's accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen;

Be, as thou waft wont to be;

[Touching her eyes with an herb.
See, as thou waft wont to fee:
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath fuch force and bleffed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
Queen. My Oberon! what vifions have I seen!
Methought, I was enamour'd of an afs.

Ob. There lies your love.

Queen. How came thefe things to pass?
Oh, how mine eye doth loath his visage now!

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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.
Titania, mufick call; and ftrike more dead
Than common fleep, of all these five the fenfe'.

Queen. Mufick, ho! mufick; fuch as charmeth fleep.
Pack. When thou awak'ft, with thine own fool's
eyes peep.

Ob. Sound, mufick. [Still mufick.]
queen, take hands with me,

Come my

And rock the ground whereon these fleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity;
And will, to-morrow midnight, folemnly,
Dance in duke Thefeus' houfe triumphantly,
And blefs it to all fair 7 pofterity:
There fhall these pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Thefeus, all in jollity.

Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.

Ob. Then my queen, in filence fad3,
Trip we after the night's fhade:
We the globe can compass foon,
Swifter than the wand'ring moon.

Titania, mufick call, and ftrike more dead
Than common fleep. Of all these fine the fenfe.]
This moft certainly is both the text and pointing. My
emendation needs no juftification. The five, that lay afleep on the
ftage were Demetrius, Lyfander, Hermia, Helena, and Bottom.-
Dr. Thirlby likewife communicated this very correction.


7 Dance in duke Thefeus' boufe triumphantly,
And blefs it to all FAIR pofterity.
We fhould read:

to all FAR pofterity.

i. e. to the remoteft pofterity. WARBURTON.
Then, my queen, in filence fad,

Trip we after the night's fhade.]

Mr. Theobald fays, why fad? Fairies are pleafed to follow night.
He will have it fade; and fo, to mend the rhime, fpoils both the
fenfe and grammar. But he mistakes the meaning of fad; it fig-
nifies only grave, fober; and is oppofed to their dances and re-
vels, which were now ended at the finging of the morning lark,
-So Winter's Tale, act iv: "My father and the gentlemen are in
SAD talk." For grave or ferious. WARBURTON.

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