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Approach, ye furies fell! ?

2. O fates! come, come;

" Cut thread and thrum ;3
Quail, crush, conclude, and quell !* "

2. Approach, ye furies fell!] Somewhat like this our poet might possibly have recolle&ed in “ å lytell treaty se cleped La Conuj dunce d'amours. Printed by Richard Pynson." no date :

16 () ve moolt crucil and iabbyfhe lions fell,
" Conie nowe and teare the corps of Pyramus!
“ Ye sauage beeftes that in these rockes dwell,
"If blode to you be so delicious,
" Come and gnawe my wretched body dolorous !
" And on the kerchef with face pale and tryft,

" He loked, ofte, and it right swetely kift. ' STEEVENS. Approach, je furies Fell !

0 sates! comé, comie, &c.] The poet here, and in the following lines spoken by Thiibe,

16 O fifters three,
56 Coine, come to me,

" With hands as pale as milk -" probably intended to ridicule a passage in Damon and Pythias; by Richard Edward, i 582 :

" Ye furies, all at once
" On me your torments trie:

Gripe me, you greedy greefs,
.And present pangues of death,
" You ffers three, with cruel handes

" With speed come stop my breath !MALONE. 3 cut thread and thrum ;] Thrum is the end or extremity of a weaver's warp; it is popularly used for very coarse yarn. The maids now call a mop of yarn a ihrum mnop. Warner. So, in Hannibal and Scipio, 1637:

no rough pelt of thrums,, " To sight with weather.” Again, in Chapman's translation of the 16th Illiad : " And tapestries all golden fring'd, and curld with thrumbs

behind. So, in Howell's letter to Sir Paul Neale, knt. 66 Translations are like the wrong side of a Turkey carpet, which useth to be full of thrums and knois, and nothing to even as the right side.' The though: is borrowed froin Don Quixote, STEEVENS.

and quell!] To quell is io murther, to destroy. So, in the 12th

pageant of the Lulus Coventriæ, commonly called the Corpus Christi Play. MS. Cott. Vesp. D. viii :


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The. This paffion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look fad.

Hip. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
Pyr.“0, wherefore, nature, didil thoulions frame?

" Since lion vile hath here dellour'd my dear : " Which is--no, no--which was the faireit dame, " That liv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd,

with cheer."
"Come, tears, confound ;6

Out, sword, and wound
“ The pap of Pyramus :

Ay, that left pap,

" Where heart doth hop:7 Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.

« Now am I dead,

" Now am I fled; My foul is in the sky:

Tongue, lose thy light!

- Moon, take thy flight! " Now die, die, die, die, die.

[ Dies. Exit Moonshine. « That he the lawe may here do, 6. With ftonys her to quell." STEEVENS.

cheer. ] i. e. countenance. So, in Chaucer's Clerke's Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 8117:.

pasing any wight
" Of so yong age, as wel in chere as dede.” Strivens.
6 Come, tears, confound; ] Thus in Golding's Ovid:

one night (he fayd) shall louers two confounde.Ritson. 9 dy, that left pap,

Where heart doth hop:] Left our author should seemn chargeable with an inefficient rhime, it ought to be remembered that the broad pronunciation, now alınost peculiar to the Scotch, was ancienily current in England. Throughout the old copies of Shakspeare's Plays, “ tattered” is always spelt !« tottered” Pap therefore was founded, Pop. The context reminds us of a passage in the seventh Satire of Juvenal

"Le lava in parte mamille
6. Nil Salit"

Vol. VII.


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Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but


Lys. Less than an acę, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.

The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet recover and prove an ass."

Hip. How chance moonshine is gone, before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?

The. She will find him by star-light.-Here she comes; and her passion ends the play.

Enter THISBE. Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one, for such a Pyramus: I hope, she will be brief.

DEM. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better. 8

Lys. She hath spied him already, with those

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fweet eyes.

Dem. And thus she moans,' videlicet.

and prove an ass, ] The chara&er of Theseus throughout this play is more exalted in its humanity, than its greatness. Though some fenfible observations on life, and animated descriptions fall from him, as it is said of lago, you fall taste him more as a soldier than as a wit, which is a diftin&ion he is here striving to deserve, though with little success, as in support of his pretenfions he never rises higher than a pun, and frequently finks as low as a quibble. STEEVENS.

? A mote will turn the balance,] The old copies have moth; but Mr. Malone very justly observes that moth was merely the ancient mode of spelling mole. So, in King Henry V : " Walh every moth (i. e. mote) out of his conscience. STEEVENS.

• The first quarto makes this speech a little longer, but not better. JOHNSON.

The passage omitted is, " He for a man, God warn'd us; she for a woman, God bless us. STEEVENS.

9 And thus the moans, ] The old copies concur in reading means, which Mr. Theobald changed into

and the next speech of Thisbe appears to countenance his alteration, * Lovers, make moan.


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6 moans ;




This." Asleep, my love?

" What, dead, my dove? " ( Pyramus, arise,

Speak, speak. Quite dumb ?

" Dead, dead ? A tomb
“ Must cover thy sweet eyes.

“ These lily brows,
“ This cherry nose,


Mr. Theobald alters means to innans : but means had anciently the same fignification. Mr. Pinkerton (under the name of Robert Heron, Esq.) observes that it is a common term in the Scotch law, fignifying to tell, to relate, to declare; and that petitions to the lords of sellion in Scotland, run,

6. To the lords of council and lellion humbly means and shows your petitioner." Here, however, it evidenily signifies complains. Bills in Chancery begin in a similar

Humbly complaining heweth unio your lordship," &c. The word occurs in an apcient manuscript in my own poffeflion:

". This ender day wen me was wo,

“ Under a bugh ther I lay,

“ Naght gale to mene me to.'
So again, in a very ancient Scottish song:

“ I hard ane inay fair mwrnc and mene." RITSON.
These lily brows,
This cherry nose, ) The old copy reads. -

" These lily lips," &c. STEEVENS. All Thisbe's lamentation, till now, runs in regular rbime and

But both, by some accident, are in this single instance interrupted. I suspe& the poet wrote:

These lily brows,

" This cherry nose." Now black brows being a beauty, lily brows are as ridiculous as a cherry nose, green eyes, or cowslip cheeks, THEOBALD.

Theobald's emendation is supported by the following passage in As you like it :

" 'Tis not your inky brows, your black filk hair," And by another, in The Winter's Tale :

not for because
Your brows are blacker, yet black brows they say
16 Become some womea beft. RITSON.


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Lily lips are changed to lily brows for the sake of the rhyme,

These yellow cowslip cheeks,

" Are gone, are gone :

" Lovers, make moan!
.. His eyes were green as leeks 3

"O fifters three,

Come, come, to me,
" With hands as pale as milk;

Lay them in gore,

“ Since you have shore
" With thears his thread of filk.

Tongue, not a word:

Come, trusly sword;
" Come, blade, my breaft imbrue:

. And farewel, friends;

“ Thus Thisb; ends : " Adieu, adieu, adieu."

[ Dies. THE. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead.

DEM. Ay, and wall too.

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is «down 'that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the

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but this cannot be right: Thisbe has before celebrated her Pytamus, as

Lilly-white of huc," It should be:

"! These lips lilly,

" This nose cherry." This mode of position adds not a little to the burlesque of the paffage. FARMER.

We meet with somewhat like this passage in George Pecle's Old Wives Tale, 1595.

" Her corall lippes, her: crimson chinne. Thou art a flouting knave. Her corall lippes, her crimson chinne!STEEVENS.

3. His eyes were green as leeks. ] Thus also the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, speaking of Paris, says,

an cagle, madam, “ Hath not to green, so quick, so fair an eye." See note on this passage. STEEVENS.

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