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A Room in the Palace of Theseus.



THE. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace; four happy days bring in Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how flow This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires, Like to a step-dame, or à dowager, Long withering out a young man's revenue. Hır. Four days will quickly steep themselves in

nights; } Four nights will quickly dream away the time; And then the moon, like to a silver bow

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2 Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,

Long withering out a young man's revenue.] The authenticity of this reading having been questioned by Dr. Warburton, I shall exemplify it from Chapman's Translation of the 4th Book of Homer. there the goodly plant lies withering out his grace."

Ut piget annus
Pupillis, quos dura premit cuftodia 'matrum,
Sic mihi tarda fluunt ingrataque tempora." Hor.

MALONE steep themselves in nights ; ] So, in Cymbeline, A& V. fc. ive

neither deserve,
" And yet are steep'd in favours." STEEVENS.



New bent“ in heaven, 'shall behold the night
Of our folemnities.

Go, Philostrate,
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,
The palé companion is not for our pomp: —

Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling."

Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!

4 New bent -] The old copies read Now bent. Correded by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

s With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling. By triumph, as Mr. Warton has observed in his late edition of Milton's Poems, p. 56, we are io uuderstand shows, such as masks, revels, &c. So, again in King Henry VI. P. III :

" And now what rests, but that we spend the time
" With stately triumphs, mirthful comick shows,

" Such as befit the pleasures of the court?” Again, in the preface to Burton's Anatomie of Melancholy, 1624 : " Now come tidings of weddings, malkings, mummeries, entertainments, tropbies, triumphs, revels, sports, playes." Jonson, as the same gentleman observes, in the title of his masque called Love's Triumph through Callipolis, by triumph seems to have meant a grand proceflion; and in one of the stage-diređions, it is said, " the triumph is seen far off.” MALONE.

our renowned duke!). Thus in Chaucer's Knight's Tale : 66 Whilom as olde stories tellen us, " There was a Duk that highte Theseus, 66 Of Athenes he was lord and governour," &c.

Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 861. Lidgate too, the monk of Bury, in his translation of the Tragedies of John Bochas, calls him by the same title, chap. xii. l. 21:

" Duke Theseus had the vi&orye,'*


The. Thanks, good' Egeus: What's the news

with thee? EGE. Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia. Stand forth, Demetrius; - My noble bord, This man hath my consent to marry her:Stand forth, Lysander; — and, my gracious dake, This hath bewitch'd” the bofom of my child: Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhimes, And interchang'd love-tokens with my child: Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung, With feigning voice, verses of feigning love; And stol'n the impression of her fantasy With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, é conceits,

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Creon, in the tragedy of Jocasta, translated from Euripides in 1566, is called Duke Creon. So likewise Skelton:

" Not lyke Duke Hamilcar,

" Nor lyke Duke Asdruball." Stanyhurst, in his Translation of Virgil, calls Æneas , Duke Æneas ; and in Heywood's Iron Age, Part°II. 1632, Ajax is ftyled Duke Ajax, Palamedes, Duke Palamedes, and Nestor, Duke Nela

&c. Our version of the Bible exhibits a similar misapplication of a modern title; for in Daniel iii. 2. Nebuchadonozar, King of Babylon, sends out a summons to the Sheriffs of his provinces.

STEEVENS. 7 This hath bewitch'd-] The old copies read

This man hath bewitch'd-. The emendation was made for the sake of the me, tre, by the editor of the second folio.

It is very probable that the compositor caught the word man from the line above. MALONE.

gawds, ] i. c. baubles, toys, trifles. Our author has the word frequently. See K. John, A& III. sc. v. Again, in Appius and Virginia, 1576 :

" When gain is no grandfier,

" And gaudes not set by," &c. Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf:

and in her lap " A sort of paper puppets, gauds and toys." The Rev. Mr. Lambe, in his notes on the ancient metrical history of the Battle of Floddon, observes that a gawd is a child's toy,



Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
With cunning haft thou filch'd my daughter's heart;
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness:--And, my gracious duke,
Be it so she will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;
As the is nine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death; according to our law,
Immediately provided in that case. ?
THE. What say you, Hermia ? be advis'd, fair

maid: you your father should be as a god; One that compos'd your beautics; yea, and one To whom you are but as a form in wax, By him imprinted, and within his power, To leave the figure, or disfigure it. ? Demetrius is a worthy gendeman.

Hur. So is Lysander.

In himself he is: But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice, The other must be held the worthier. that the children in the North call their play-things gowdys, and their baby-house a gowdy-house. STEEVENS.

y Or to her death ; according to our law, ] By a law of Solon's, parents had an absolute power of life and death over their children. So it suited the poet's purpose well enough, to suppose the Athenians had it before. Or perhaps he'neither thought nor knew any thing of the matter. WAREURTON.

Immediately provided in that cafe. ] Shakspeare is grievously fufpe&ed of having been placed, while a boy, in an attorney's oflice. The line before us has an undoubted smack of legal common-place. Poetry disclaims it. STEEVENS.

3. To leave the figure, or disfigure it. ] The sense is, you owe to your father a being which he may at pleasure continue or destroy.


tefall on


Her. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes.
The. Rather your eyes must with his judgement

Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me,
I know not by what power I am made bold;
Nor how it may concern my modesty,
In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts:
But I beseech your grace, that I may

The worst that may befal me in this case,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

THE. Either to die the death, or to abjure
For ever the society of men.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,
Know of your youth,' examine well your blood,
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun;

6 to be in thady cloister mew'd,
To live a barren filter all
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage:
But earthlier happy is the role distill’d,'

For aye

your life,


6 For aye

to die the death, ) So, in 'the Second part of The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon,, 1601 :

" We will, my liege, elle let us die the death." See notes on Measure for Measure, Ac II. sc. iv. STEEVENS.

ŞKnow of your youth, '] Bring your youth to the question. ' Con« sider your youth. JOHNSON.

] i. c. for ever. So, in K. Edward II. by Mar. lowe, 1622 :

" And fit for are enthronizer in heaven." STEEVENS. ? But carthlier kappy is the rage difill’d, ] Thus all the copies yet' earthlier is so harsh a word, and earthlier happy, for happior earthly, a mode of speech so unusual, that I wondei none of the cditors have proposed carlier happy. JOHNSON.

It has since been observed, that Mr. Pope did propose carlier, We might read cartály hujpier,

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