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121. My hounds are bred, &c.] This passage has been imitated by Lee in his Theodosius: “ Then through the woods we chac'd the foaming
boar, “ With hounds that open'd like Thessalian bulls, « Like tygers flew'd, and sanded as the shore, “ With ears and chests that dash'd the morning dew."
MALONE. 122. So flew'd, -] Sir T. Hanmer justly remarks, that flews are the large chaps of a deep-mouth'd hound. Sir Arthur Golding uses this word in his translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, finished 1567, a book with which Shakspere appears to have been well acquainted. The poet is describing Actzon's hounds, B. III. p. 33. b. 1603. Two of them, like our anthor's, were of Spartan kind, bred from a Spartan bitch and a Cretan dog :
" —with other twaine, that had a sire of Crete, “ And dam of Spart: th' one of them called
Jollyboy, a grete “ And large-flew'd hound.” Shakspere mentions Cretan hounds (with Spartan) af. terwards in this speech of Theseus. And Ovid's translator, Golding, in the same description, has them both in one verse, ibid.
p. 33. a. This latter was a hound of Crete, the other was of a Spart."
-so sanded,---] Sandy'd means of a sandy colour, which is one of the true denotements of a blood.lound.
-Saint Valentine is past ;] Alluding to the old saying, thạt birds begin to couple on St. Valentine's day
STEEVENS, 366. 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, bis fancy. Flower-fancier, for a florist, and bird-fancier, for a lover and feeder of birds, are col. loquial words.
JOHNSON So, in Hymen's Triumph, a Masque, by Daniel, 1628:
“ With all persuasions sought to win her mind
“ To fancy him.”
“ Do not enforce me to accept a man
STEEVENS. 169. -is- -] Omitted in the early edition.
MALONE 173. -an idle gawd, ] See before, act i.
STEEVENS 195. And I have found Demetrius like a Jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.] Helena, I think, means to say, that having found Demetrius unexpectedly, she considered her property in himn as insecure as that which a person has in a jewel that he has found by accident, which he knows not whether he shall rerain, and which therefore may properly enough be called his own, and not his own.
Helena does not say, as Dr. Warburton represented, that Demetrius was like a jewel, but that slie 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 ev'ry something, being blent together,
MALONE See also the REVISAL, p. 57. 197. Are you sure,
That we are awake? - ] This passage, hitherto omitted, I have restored from the quarto, 1600.
STEEVENS. 215 man is but a patch'd fool,] The quarto, 1600, gives the passage thus: “ But man is but patch'd a fool," &c.
Steevens, 224 -at her death.] He means the death of Thisbe, which is what his head is at present full of.
-a thing of nought.] So, in Hamlet :
“ Ham. Of nothing." See the note on this passage.
STEEVENS. 242. made men.] In the same sense as in the Tempest, any monster in England makes a man.
JOHNSON. 247.-sixpence a day in Pyramus or nothing.] Shakspere has already ridiculed the title-page of Cambyses by Thomas Preston; and here he seems to aim a personal stroke at him. Preston acted a part in John Ritwise's play of Dido, before queen Elizabeth at Cambridge, in 1564; and the queen was so well pleased, that she bestowed on him a pension of twenty pounds a year, which is little more than a shilling a day. Our poet, in the first part of Henry IV. has made Falstaff declare, that when he presented the prince's father, he would do it “ In King Cambyses' vein."
Line 2. TAIS E beautiful lines are in all the old editions thrown out of metre. They are very well restored by the later 'editors.
JOHNSON. 8. Are of imagination all compact :) i. c. made up of mere imagination. So, in As You Like It: « If he, compact of jars, grow musical."
STEEVENS. That is the madman : the lover, all as frantick,] Such is the reading of all the old copies ; instead of which, the modern editors have given us : " The madman : while the lover all as frantick."
STEE Y ENS. Hiij
in a fine frenzy rolling, ] This seems to have been imitated by Drayton in his Epistle to 3. Reynolds on Poets and Poetry : describing Marlowe, he says :
that fine madness still he did retain, “ Which rightly should possess a poet's brain!"
MALONE. The powers of imagination were never more phi. losophically or poetically expressed than by Shakspere in this description. The word habitation, in line 17, will illustrate the poet's use of inhabit in Macbeth, which, in defiance of every thing like sense, has been changed to inhibit.
HENLEY. 26. Constancy;] Consistency, stability, certainty.
JOHNSON. 39. Call Philostrate.] In the folio, 1623, it is, Call Egeus, and all the speeches afterwards spoken by Philostrate, except, that beginning, “ No, my noble lord,” &c. are there given to that character. But the modern editions, from the quarto 1600, have rightly given them to Philostrate, who appears in the first scene as master of the revels to Theseus, and is there sent out on a similar kind of errand.
In the Knight's Tale of Chaucer, Arcite, under the name of Philostrate, is 'squire of the chamber to Theseus.
STEEVENS. 41. Say, what abridgment, &c.] By abridgment our author means a dramatick performance, which crowds the events of years into a few hours. So, in