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Came here in grace of our solemnity.-
Ege. It is, my lord.
Horns, and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER,
HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up. THE. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is
Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
[He and the rest kneel to Theseus. TнE. .
I pray you all, stand up. I know, you are two rival enemies; How comes this gentle concord in the world, That hatred is so far from jealousy, To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity ?
Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly, Half sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear, I cannot truly say how I came here: But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,And now I do bethink me, so it is;) I came with Hermia hither : our intent Was, to be gone from Athens, where we might be Without the peril of the Athenian law. Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have
enough: I beg the law, the law, upon his head.They would have stoln away, they would, Deme
trius, Thereby to have defeated you and me:
Imprinted at London, in Fletestreat by William Griffith, Anno Domini 1570. The first of Maye." STEEVENS.
- Saint Valentine is past ;] Alluding to the old saying, that birds begin to couple on St. Valentine's day. STEEVENS.
You, of your wife; and me, of my consent;
Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
9 Fair Helena in FANCY following me.] Fancy is here taken for love or affection, and is opposed to fury, as before :
“Sighs and tears, poor Fancy's followers." Some now call that which a man takes particular delight in, his fancy. Flower-fancier, for a florist, and bird-fancier, for a lover and feeder of birds, are colloquial words. Johnson. So, in Barnaby Googe's Cupido Conquered, 1563;
“ The chyefe of them was Ismenis,
" Whom best Diana lov'd, “ And next in place sat Hyale
“ Whom Fancye never mov’d.” Again, in Hymen's Triumph, a Masque, by Daniel, 1623 :
“With all persuasions sought to win her mind
“To fancy him." Again :
“ Do not enforce me to accept a man
“ I cannot fancy.” Steevens. So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“A martial man to be soft fancy's slave ? " - as both the snow,] The word doth, which seems to have been inadvertently omitted, was supplied by Mr. Capel. The emendation here made is confirmed by a passage in K. Henry V.:
as doth the melted snow
Upon the vallies.” 9 – an idle GAWD,] See note on this word, p. 178.
Steevens. I-ere I saw Hermia :) The old copies read-ere I see.
But, like in sickness?, did I loath this food :
The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
tinguishable, Like far-off mountains turned into clouds. Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted
eye, When every thing seems double. HEL.
So methinks: And I have found Demetrius like a jewel, Mine own, and not mine own.
- like in sickness,] So, in the next line—“as in health—," The old copies erroneously read" like a sickness." I owe the present correction to Dr. Farmer. STEEVENS.
3 Come, Hippolyta.] I suppose, for the sake of measure, we should read—“Come, my Hippolyta.” Steevens. 4 And I have found Demetrius like a JEWEL,
Mine own, and not mine own.] Hermia had observed that things appeared double to her. Helena replies, so, methinks ; and then subjoins, that Demetrius was like a jewel, her own and not her own. He is here, then, compared to something which had the property of appearing to be one thing when it was another. Not the property sure of a jewel; or, if you will, of none but a false one.
We should read :
Mine own, and not mine own.
Are you sure That we are awake ? It seems to me
two such different parts, that she could hardly think them both played by one and the same Demetrius ; but that there were twin Demetriuses like the two Sosias in the farce. From Gemellus comes the French, Gemeau or Jumeau, and in the feminine, Gemelle or Jumelle : So, in Macon's translation of The Decameron of Boccace : “ Il avoit trois filles plus âgées que les masles, des quelles les deux qui estoient jumelles avoient quinze ans." Quatrieme Jour. Nov. 3. WARBURTON. This emendation is ingenious enough to deserve to be true.
Johnson. Dr. Warburton has been accused of coining the word gemell : but Drayton has it in the preface to his Baron's Wars : “ The quadrin doth never double; or to use a word of heraldrie, never bringeth forth gemels.” FARMER. Again : unless they had been all gemels or couplets.”
STEEVENS. Helena, I think, means to say, that having found Demetrius unexpectedly, she considered her property in him as insecure as that which a person has in a jewel that he has found by accident ; which he knows not whether he shall retain, and which therefore may properly enough be called his own and not his own. She does not say, as Dr. Warburton has represented, that Demetrius was like a jewel, but that she had found him like a jewel, &c. A kindred thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ Of what he has, and has not." The same kind of expression is found also in The Merchant of Venice :
“ Where every something, being blent together,
Exprest, and not exprest."
“ And so, though yours, not yours.” Malone, See, also, Mr. Heath's Revisal, p. 57. Reed.
s It seems to me,] Thus the folio. The quartos begin this speech as follows:
Are you sure “ That we are awake ? ” I had once injudiciously restored these words ; but they add no weight to the sense of the passage, and create such a defect in the measure as is best remedied by their omission. Steevens.
That yet we sleep, we dream.-Do not you think,
Her. Yea; and my father.
And Hippolyta. Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple. Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow
And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.
[Exeunt. As they go out, Bottom awakes. Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer:—my next is, Most fair Pyramus.—Hey, ho!-Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker ! Starveling ! God's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream,- past the wit of man to say what dream it was : Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had, -But man is but a patched fool', if he will offer to say what methought
“ Are you sure
“ That we are awake?” Sure is here used as a dissyllable : so sire, fire, hour, &c. The word now [That we are now awake, seems to be wanting, to complete the metre of the next line.
Malone. I cannot accede to a belief that sure was ever employed as a dissyllable, much less the end of a verse. Fire (anciently spelt fier) and hour (anciently spelt hower) might be dissyllabically used, because the duplicate vowels in each of them were readily separated in pronunciation. Our author might have written :
But are you sure
That we are now awake? Having exhibited this passage, however, only in my note on the hemistich that follows it, I have little solicitude for its reformation. STEEVENS. - patched fool,] That is, a fool in a parti-colourd coat.