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MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM.

ACT I. SCENE I.

317. “ She lingers my desires.

Lingers, a verb active. Long withering out a young man's révenue.

Revenue has not always this accentuation : in Hamlet we find it,

“That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits.” 322. “ But earthlier happy is the rose,&c.

This anomalous comparison of an adverb is not singular. See the Tempest, Act 2, Scene 1.

“ You have taken it wiselier than I meant.”

And Milton, more than once, uses the same licence. “Now amplier known thy Saviour and thy Lord.”

Paradise Lost. B. 12. For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd.The poet was very good to make a christian of Theseus.

324. I must employ you in some busínéss."

Business a trisyllable. 326. “ And ere a man hath power to say, -Be

hold ! The jaws of darkness do devour it up.This thought, a little varied, occurs in Romeo and Juliet.

- Too sudden, "Too like the lightning, that doth cease to be “ Ere one can say—it lightens !” 327. Then let us teach our trial patience.Patience a trisyllable.

To make all split.Thus in Hamlet, “To split the ears of the groundlings.”

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335. And so grow to a point."

To support Mr. Warner's conjecture, we must not only read to appoint for 'to a point, but alter grow to go, and so go to appoint; but, I believe, no change is necessary, and that the sense is only, and so proceed to a point or conclusion. 338.“ Ercles' vein.

A corruption, I suppose, of Hercules.

ACT II. SCENE I.

351. " A roasted crab.

It is really too much for patience to observe Mr. Steevens, explaining and bringing instances to confirm his remark, that a crab is a wild apple.

SCENE II.

352. The wisest aunt,” &c.

Mr. Steeven's note on this passage, informing us that “ wisest aunt” means the most sentimental bawd, is truly Warburtonian, as the expression taken in its direct sense is much more humorous; such notes make me sick: we shall by and by be informed when Hamlet says mother, he means capital bawd, because mother Needham's character is well known.

Heron's Letters of Literature. Mr. Steevens's note seems to merit the severity of this reprehension. LORD CHEDWORTH. 353. But room, Faery, here comes Oberon.

Fairie or Faerie is, certainly, as Dr. Johnson observes, sometimes a trisyllable with our old writers; but never, I believe, with the accent as bere placed on the second syllable Făēry : perhaps we should read

“But Fairy, room, for here comes Oberon.” 355. Knowing I know thy love to Theséús.

Theseus a trisyllable.

360. The human mortals."

I cannot think that any distinction is meant between men and fairies, but between mankind and the rest of perishable nature: a general and destructive disease is described; the corn is rotted, the cattle are drowned, or die of sickness; the human beings feel the want of the accustomed season. 363. The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts

Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose; And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown, An odorous chuplet of sweet summer buds Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the

summer, The childing autumn, angry winter,

change Their wonted liveries ; and the 'mazed

world, By their increase, now knows not which

is which." Lee seems to have made use of this description in his dipus.

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The seasons “ Lie all confus’d; and, by the heavens neglected, “ Forget themselves; blind Winter meets the

Summer “ In his mid-way; and, knowing not his livery, “ Has driven him headlong back,"

“The childing autumn,” i. e. the teeming, productive, abundant autumn. 369. “ Not for thy kingdom.- Fāěries, away.

Faeries again a trisyllable, but with the accent more commodiously placed.

373. “Love in idleness.

I cannot discover why Mr. Steevens should object to the praise bestowed by Dr. Warburton upon this passage, except on account of the epithet irregular, which certainly is misapplied ; the moral being that love, in general, has power only when the mind is unemployed, of which the lines produced by Mr. Steevens, from The Taming of a Shrew, are an illustration.

SCENE III. 378. I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of 1 hell,

To die upon the hand I love so well.To die upon the hand, says Mr. Steevens, is to die by the hand; and he brings, in confirmation of this sense, a passage from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, “I'll die on him that says so but yourself:” but surely Proteus, when he says this, does not mean he'll die by him; but either that he will kill him, or contend with him to death, and in this latter sense I am inclined to interpret the present passage. 386. “ Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.

To correct the redundancy of this line, Mr. Steevens omits the repetition of “this,” but the verse will still be faulty, unless we make courtesy a dissyllable only, and place the accent on the latter part of it.

“ Pretty soul! she durst not lie

“Near this lack-love, kill cŭrt'sy." Theobald proposed

“ Near to this kill-courtesy'."

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