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Her house from Athens is remov’d seven leagues,
And to that place Johnson. 161. —remote—j Remote is the reading of both the quartos. STE Evens.
Remov’d, which is the reading of the folio, was, I believe, the author's word.—He uses it again in Hamlet, for remote : “He wafts you to a more removed ground.” MALONE. 176. —by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen, I Shakspere had forgot that Theseus performed his exploits before the Trojan war, and consequently long before the death of Dido. Steevens. 186. Tour eyes are lode-stars;—] This was a compliment not unfrequent among the old poets. The lode-star is the leading or guiding star, that is, the pole-star. The magnet is, for the same reason, called the lode-stone, either because it leads iron, or because it guides the sailor. Milton has the same thought in I'Allegro : “ Tow'rs and battlements he sees “Bosom'd high in tufted trees, “Where perhaps some beauty lies, “The cynosure of neighboring eyes.” Johnson. 189. —0, were favour so s] Favour, is feature, countenance. So, in Twelfth Night : “—thine eye “Hath stay’d upon some favour that it loves.” . Bij STE Eve Ns. 190. This emendation is taken from the Oxford edition. The old reading is, Tour words I catch. Johnson. 194. —to be to you translated.] To translate, in our author, sometimes signifies to change, to transform. So, in Timon: go to present slaves and servants Translates his rivals.” STE Evens. 203. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.] The folio and one of the quartos read, His folly, Helena, is none of mine. Johnson. 204. None, but your beauty; would that fault were mine !] I would point this line thus: None.—But your beauty;-Would that fault were mine / Henderson. 207. Perhaps every reader may not discover the propriety of these lines. Hermia is willing to comfort Helena, and to avoid all appearance of triumph over her. She therefore bids her not to consider the power of pleasing, as an advantage to be much envied or much desired, since Hermia, whom she considers as possessing it in the supreme degree, has found no other effect in it than the loss of happiness. - Johnson. 219. Emptying our bosoms of their counsels swell'd ; There my Lysander and myself shall meet: And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes, To seek new friends and strange companions.] This whole scene is strictly in rhyme; and that it deviates in these two couplets, I am persuaded, is owing to the ignorance of the first, and the inaccuracy of the later editors: I have therefore ventured to restore the rhimes, as I make no doubt but the poet first gave them. Sweet was easily corrupted into swell’d, because that made an antithesis to emptying : and strange companions our editors thought was plain English; but stranger companies, a little quaint and unintelligible. Our author very often uses the substantive, Stranger, adjectively ; and companies to signify companions: as Richard II. “To tread the stranger paths of banishment.” And Henry V. “His companies unlettered, rude, and shallow.” THEob Ald. Dr. Warburton retains the old reading, and, perhaps justifiably : for a bosom swell'd with secrets does not appear as an expression unlikely to have been used by our author, who speaks of a stuff'd bosom in Macbeth. In Lylly's Midas, 1592, is a somewhat similar expression: “I am one of those whose tongues are swell'd with silence.” Again, in our author's King Richard II. & 4 the unseen grief “That swells in silence in the tortur’d soul.” In the scenes of K. Richard II, there is likewise a mixture of rhime and blank verse. I have therefore restored the old reading, strange companions. Mr. Tyrwhitt concurs with Theobald. STE Ev ENs. B iij I thinks
I think, sweet, the reading proposed by Theobald, is right. * Counsels relates in construction to emptying—and not to the last word in the line, as it is now made to do by reading swell’d. A similar phraseology is used by writer contemporary with Shakspere : - * - “So ran the poor girls filling the air with shrieks, - “Emptying of all the colour their pale cheeks.” Heywood's Apology for Aétors, Sig: B. 4. 1610. The adjećtive all here added to colour, exačtly answers, in construction, to sweet in the text, as regulated by Theobald. MA Lone. 226. —when Phaebe doth behold, &c. —deep midnight.] Shakspere has a httle forgotten himself. It appears from ačt i. line 7, that to-morrow night would be within three nights of the new moon, when there is no moonshine at all, much less at deep midnight. The same oversight occurs in ačt ii. BLAckston E. 235. —no quantity.] Quality seems a word more suitable to the sense than quantity, but either may Serve. Johnson. 245. —in game—J Game here signifies not contentious play, but sport, jest. So, Spenser: “—'twixt earnest, and 'twixt game.” Johnson. 245. —Hermia's eyne, This plural is common both in Chaucer and Spenser. So, in Chaucer's Character of the Prioresse, late edit. v. 152. 46 - hir eyen grey as glas.”
Again, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B.I. c. 4. st. 9. “While flashing beams do dare his feeble eyen.” STE evens. 247. —this hail—] Thus all the editions, except the quarto, 16oo, printed by Roberts, which reads instead of this hail, his hail. STE Evens. 255. the bellows-mender, In Ben Jonson's masque of Pan's Anniversary, &c. a man of the same profession is introduced. I have been told that a
bellows-mender was one who had the care of organs,
regals, &c. STE Evens. 255. In this scene Shakspere takes advantage of his knowledge of the theatre, to ridicule the prejudices and competitions of the players. Bottom, who is generally acknowledged the principal ačtor, declares his intention to be for a tyrant, for a part of fury, tumult, and noise, such as every young mafi pants to perform when he first steps upon the stage. The same Bottom, who seems bred in a tiring-room, has another histrionical passion. He is for engrossing every part, and would exclude his inferiors from all possibility of distinétion. He is therefore desirous to play Pyramus, Thisbe, and the Lyon at the same time. Jo HN son. 257. —the scrip.] A scrip, Fr. escript, now written ęcrit. So, Chaucer, in Troilus and Cressida, L. II. 1130. “Scripe nor bil.” . . . Again, in Heywood's, If you know not me, you know Nobody, 1633, Part II. 4; I'll