Imatges de pÓgina
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"I saw a cherry weep, and why?
Why wept it? but for shame;
Because my Julia's lip was by,
And did out-red the same.
But, pretty fondling, let not fall
A tear at all for that;

Which rubies, corals, scarlets, all,
For tincture, wonder at."

21 SCENE II.—" O, and is all forgot?" &c.

Gibbon compares this beautiful passage with some lines of a poem of Gregory Nazianzen on his own life.

22 SCENE II." So, with two seeming bodies," &c.

Mr. Monck Mason's explanation of this pas sage seems more intelligible than some other interpretations:-"Every branch of a family is called a house; and none but the first of the first house can bear the arms of the family without some distinction; two of the first, therefore, means two coats of the first house, which are properly due but to one." But we have pleasure in giving the explanation of an anonymous correspondent, signing himself "A Lover of Heraldry:"

"It is not easy to see how Monck Mason's explanation bears on this passage, or why 'the first house' should have two coats due to him: to a herald his reasoning is very vague.

"I propose to take the passage as it stands, and then the expression 'two of the first' will have nothing to do with the coats of heraldry, but refers to what Helena has just said, 'two seeming bodies :'

So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart,

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24 SCENE II.-" For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast."

The chariot of night was drawn by dragons, on account of their watchfulness. They were the serpents, "whose eyes were never shut." In Milton's 'Il Penseroso :'

"Cynthia checks her dragon yoke."

25 SCENE II. "I with the morning's love have oft made sport."

Whether Oberon meant to laugh at Tithonus, the old husband of Aurora, or sport "like a forester" with young Cephalus, the morning's love, is matter of controversy.

26 SCENE II.-"Even till the eastern gate,” &c. This splendid passage was perhaps suggested by some lines in Chaucer's 'Knight's Tale :'— "The besy larke, the messager of day,

Salewith in hire song the morwe gray:
And firy Phebus riseth up so bright,
That all the orient laugheth of the sight,
And with his stremes drieth in the greves
The silver dropes, hanging on the leves."

SCENE II." Ho, ho! ho, ho!"

The devil of the old mysteries was as well known by his Ho, ho! as Henry VIII. by his

Two of the first, (i. e. two bodies,) like coats in heraldry, Ha, ha! Robin Good-fellow succeeded to the Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.'

There is a double comparison here: 1st, of the two bodies, compared to two coats of heraldry; and, 2ndly, of the one heart, compared to the one crest and the one owner. 'Our bodies are two, but they are as united under one heart, as two coats of arms (when quartered or impaled) are borne by one person under one crest.'"

23 SCENE II." Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision."

Mr. Guest classes this line in the division of

pass-word of the ancient devil. Of the old song, which we quoted in Act II., each stanza ends with "ho, ho, ho!"

28 SCENE II." When thou wak'st, Thou tak'st." The second line is generally corrupted into

"See thou tak'st."

The structure of the verse is precisely the same as in the previous lines"On the ground

Sleep sound.'

ACT IV.

SCENE I.-" So doth the woodbine,” &c. ACCORDING to Steevens "the sweet honeysuckle" is an explanation of what the poet means by "the woodbine," which name was sometimes applied to the ivy. "The honeysuckle" doth entwist-" the female ivy" enrings -"the barky fingers of the elm." Upon this interpretation the lines would be thus printed :

"So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle, Gently entwist,-the female ivy so Enrings, the barky fingers of the elm." This is certainly very different from the usual Shaksperian construction. Nor is our poet fond of expletives. If the "elm" is the only plant entwisted and enringed, we have only one image. But if the "woodbine" is not meant to be identical with the "honeysuckle," we have two images, each distinct and each beautiful. Gifford pointed out the true meaning of the passage, in his note upon a parallel passage in Ben Jonson :

"behold!

How the blue bindweed doth itself enfold
With honeysuckle, and both these entwine
Themselves with bryony and jessamine."

"In many of our counties," says Gifford, "the woodbine is still the name for the great convolvulus."

"This mene I now by mighty Theseus,
That for to hunten is so desirous,
And namely at the grete hart in May,
That in his bed ther daweth him no day
That he n'is clad, and redy for to ride
With hunte and horne, and houndes him beside.
For in his hunting hath he swiche delite,
That it is all his joye and appetite
To ben himself the grete hartes bane,
For after Mars he serveth now Diane."

(The Knightes Tale.)

31 SCENE II." Good strings to your beards." In the first Act, Bottom has told us that he will discharge" the part of Pyramus, "in either your straw-coloured beard, your orangetawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow." He is now solicitous that the strings by which the artificial beards were to be fastened should be in good order. The custom of wearing coloured beards was not confined to In the comedy of Ram-alley' the stage. (1611,) we have :

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"What colour'd beard comes next by the window?" "A black man's, I think."

"I think, a red; for that is most in fashion."

In the Alchemist' we find, "he had dyed his beard and all." Stubbs, the great dissector of 'Abuses,' gives us nothing about the coloured beards of men; but he is very minute about the

3 SCENE I.-"Go one of you, find out the solicitude of the ladies to procure false hair,

forester."

and to dye their hair. We dare say the

The Theseus of Chaucer was a mighty anxiety was not confined to one sex. hunter:

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"If we offend, it is with our good will

That you should think we come not to offend;
But with good will to show our simple skill.
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider then. We come: but in despite

We do not come. As, minding to content you,
Our true intent is all for your delight.

We are not here that you should here repent you.
The actors are at hand; and, by their show,
You shall know all that you are like to know."

We fear that we have taken longer to puzzle out this enigma, than the poet did to produce

it.

34 SCENE I." Myself the man th' moon do seem to be."

was a considerable

The "man in the moon personage in Shakspere's day. He not only walked in the moon, ("his lantern,") with his "thorn-bush" and his "dog," but he did sundry other odd things, such as the man in the moon has ceased to do in these our unimaginative days. There is an old black-letter ballad of the time of James II., preserved in the British Museum, entitled 'The Man in the Moon drinks Claret,' adorned with a wood-cut of this remarkable tippler.

35 SCENE I." This palpable-gross play." There is a general opinion, and probably a correct one, that the state of the early stage is shadowed in the Pyramus and Thisbe.' We believe that the resemblance is intended to be general, rather than pointed at any particular example of the rudeness of the ancient drama. The description by Quince of his play-The most lamentable Comedy,' is considered by Steevens to be a burlesque of the title-page of Cambyses, A lamentable Tragedie, mixed full of pleasant mirth.' Capell thinks that "in the Clown's Interlude you have some particular burlesques of passages in 'Sir Clyomen and Sir Chlamydes,' and in Damon and Pithias.'"

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"O sisters three

Come, come to me,"

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36 SCENE II." Now the hungry lion roars," &c.

"Very Anacreon," says Coleridge, “in perfectness, proportion, grace, and spontaneity. So far it is Greek; but then add, O! what wealth, what wild ranging, and yet what compression and condensation of English fancy. In truth, there is nothing in Anacreon more perfect than these thirty lines, or half so rich and imagina tive. They form a speckless diamond.”— (Literary Remains,' vol. ii. p. 114.)

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COSTUME.

For the costume of the Greeks in the heroical ages we must look to the frieze of the Parthenon. It has been justly remarked, that we are not to consider the figures of the Parthenon frieze as affording us "a close representation of the national costume," harmony of composition

having been the principal object of the sculptors. But, nevertheless, although not one figure in all the groups may be represented as fully attired according to the custom of the country, nearly all the component parts of the ancient Greek dress are to be found in the

frieze.

Horsemen are certainly represented with no garment but the chlamys, according to the practice of the sculptors of that age; but the tunic which was worn beneath it is seen upon others, as well as the cothurnus, or buskin, and the petasus, or Thessalian hat, which all together completed the male attire of that period. On other figures may be observed the Greek crested helmet and cuirass; the closer skull-cap, made of leather, and the large circular shield, &c. The Greeks of the heroic ages wore the sword under the left arm-pit, so that the pommel touched the nipple of the breast. It hung almost horizontally in a belt which passed over the right shoulder. It was straight, intended for cutting and thrusting, with a leafshaped blade, and not above twenty inches long. It had no guard, but a cross bar, which, with the scabbard, was beautifully ornamented. The hilts of the Greek swords were sometimes of ivory and gold. The Greek bow was made of two long goat's horns fastened into a handle. The original bow-strings were thongs of leather,

but afterwards horse-hair was substituted. The knocks were generally of gold, whilst metal and silver also ornamented the bows on other parts. The arrow-heads were sometimes pyramidal, and the shafts were furnished with feathers. They were carried in quivers, which, with the bow, was slung behind the shoulders. Some of these were square, others round, with covers to protect the arrows from dust and rain. Several which appear on fictile vases seem to have been lined with skins. The spear was generally of ash, with a leaf-shaped head of metal, and furnished with a pointed ferule at the butt, with which it was stuck in the ground -a method used, according to Homer, when the troops rested on their arms, or slept upon their shields. The hunting-spear (in Xenophon and Pollux) had two salient parts, sometimes three crescents, to prevent the advance of the wounded animal. On the coins of Ætolia is an undoubted hunting-spear.

The female dress consisted of the long sleeveless tunic (olola or calasiris), or a tunic

with shoulder-flaps almost to the elbow, and fastened by one or more buttons down the arm (axillaris). Both descriptions hung in folds to the feet, which were protected by a very simple sandal (solea or crepida). Over the tunic was worn the heplum, a square cloth or veil fastened to the shoulders and hanging over the bosom as low as the zone (tænia or strophum) which confined the tunic just beneath the bust. Athenian women of high rank wore hair-pins (one ornamented with a cicada or grasshopper, is engraved in Hope's 'Costume of the Ancients,' Plate 138), ribands or fillest, wreaths of flowers, &c. The hair of both sexes was worn in long, formal ringlets, either of a flat and zigzagged or of a round and corkscrew shape.

The lower orders of Greeks were clad in a short tunic of coarse materials; over which slaves wore a sort of leathern jacket, called diphthera; slaves were also distinguished from free men by their hair being closely shorn.

The Amazons are generally represented on the Etruscan vases in short embroidered tunics with sleeves to the wrist (the peculiar distinetion of Asiatic or barbaric nations), pantaloons, ornamented with stars and flowers to correspond with the tunic, the chlamys, or short military cloak, and the Phrygian cap or bonnet. Hippolyta is seen so attired on horseback contending with Theseus. Vide Hope's 'Costumes.'

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