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The collars, of the moonshine's watry beams ;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lafh, of film ;
Her waggoner a small grey coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm,
Prickt from the lazy finger of a maid.
Her chariot is an empty
Made by the joyner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies coach-makers :
And in this state she gallops night by night,
Through lovers brains, and then they dream of love :
On courtiers knees, that dream on curtsies strait :
O'er lawyers fingers, who ftrait dream on fees :
O'er ladies lips, who strait on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blistere plagues,
Because their breaths with sweet-meats tainted are,
Sometimes the gallops o'er a (2) courtier's nole,
(2) O'er a courtier's nose.] Tho' lawyer's is here used in almoft all the modern editions, it is very observable, that in the old ones the word used ís, Courtier's ; but the modern editors, having no idea what the poet could mean by a courtier's (melling out a suit, notwithstanding he had introduced the lawyers before, gave them another place, in this fine fpeech. Mr. Warburton has very well explain'd it, by observing that “in our author's time, a courtsollicitation was callà fimply a suit ; and a process, a fuit at lazu to diftinguish it from the other. The king (says an anony. mous cotemporary writer of the life of Sir William Cecil) called him (Sir William Cecil] and after long talk with bim, being much delighted with his answers, willed bis father to find [i.e. smell out) a suit for bim. Whereupon be became fuitor for the reversion of the Cuftos Brevium office in the Common-Pleas. Which the king willingly granted it, being the first fuit be bad in bis life.” Nor can it be objected, as Mr. Warburton also observes, that there will be a repetition in this fine fpeech if we read courtiers, as there is, if we read lawyers, it having been said before,
On courtiers knees that dream on curtfies straight. Because they are fhewn in two places under different views ; in the first their foppery, in the second their rapacity is ridiculed.' Besides, we may add, that in the firft line he seems to allude to the court ladies, in these under conțideration to the gentle, meri, The custom being so much out of use, it is not amils that
And then dreams he of sinelling out a suit :
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
in the modern readings of this speech, and also on the flage, we
find the doctors introduced,
O'er Doétors fingers, who straight dream on fees.
But there seems no doubt of the genuineness of the word in the
Tha Ang WE Thi Tha Mal Thi
Tho' the following passages have something similar in general to this celebrated speech, yet they serve only to fhew the superiority of Shakespear's fancy, and the vast range of his boundless imagination. If the reader will consult the 4th book and 959th Jine of Lucretius, he will find more on the subject than I have quoted : Shakespear has an expression in Oibello, concerning dreams, which is conformable to what Lucretius and Petronius obferve, and which is an instance of his great knowledge of nature ; here he pronounces, dreams are notbing, there, when Othello's paffions are to be raised, 'tis remark'd that they
Denote a foregone conclufion. See Othello, A. 3: S. &,
Lucretius, Book IV.
Et quoi quisque fere fudio, &c.
Whatever studies please, whatever things
'The mind pursues, or dwells on with delight,
The same in dreams, engage our chief concern :
The lawyers plead, and argue what is law :
The folders fight, and thro' the battle rage :
The failors work and strive against the wind:
Me an enquiry into natures laws,
And writing down my thoughts constant employs.
Comnia quæ mertes, &c.
When in our dreams the forms of things arise,
In mimic order plac'd before our eyes,
Nor heav'n, nor hell the airy vision sends,
But every breast its own delusion lends.
For when soft fleep the body lays at ease,
And from the heavy mafs the fancy frees :
Whate'er it is, in which we take delight,
And think of most by day, we dream at night:
Thus he who shakes proud ftates, and cities burns,
Sees showers of darts, forc'd lines, disorder'd wings,
Fields drown din blood, and obsequies of kings :
The lawyer dreams of terms and double fees,
And trembles when he long vacations fees :
Tickling the parson as he lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes the driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep į and then anon
Drums in his ears, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And cakes the elf-locks in foul fluttish hairs,
Which once untangled, much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs;
That presses them, and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage
This is the
Rom. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace :
Thou talk'st of nothing.
Mer. True, I talk of dreams ;
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing, but vain phantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air,
And more unconstant than the wind; who woces
Ev'n now the frozen bosom of the north,
And being anger'd, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping fouth,
The miser hides his wealth, new treasure finds
In ecchoing woods his horn the huntsman winds :
The sailors dream a fh pwreck'd chance describes
The whore writes billet-doux ; th' adulcress bribes :
The op'ning dog the tim'rous hare pursues,
And misery in sleep its pains renews.
A Beauty defcrib'de a diana
O fhe doth teach the torches to burn bright;tsi! T
Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night,
Like a rich jewel in an Æthiop's ear:
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So fhews a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows,
A C T II. 'SCENE II.
(3) The Courtship between Romeo and Juliet, in
Rom. He jests at scars that never felt a wound in
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the fun!
[Juliet appears above at a window.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she,
-Be not her maid, fince The is envious:
Her vestal livery is but fick and green,
And none but fools do wear it, cast it off-
She speak, yet fhe says nothing ; what of that?
Her eye discourfes, I will answer it -
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she fpeaks :
Two of the faireft stars of all the heav'n,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
(3) Tbe, &c.] The elegance, and natural fimplicity of this scene is enough to recommend it, and must render it agreeable to every header who hath any taste for tenderness, delicacy, and fincere affection : but when we have seen it so justly performed, and so beautifully graced by fume of the best and most judicious actors that ever appear'd on any stage, we shall want no comment to enter into its particular excellencies, no chart to guide us to those beauties, which all must have sensib felt, on hearing them so feelingly and pathetically expreft, in their own bofoms. The reader will find some remarks in the Aftor on this celebrated scene.
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As day-light dotb a lamp: her eyes in heav'n,
Would through the airy region stream fo bright,
That birds would fing, and think it were not night,
See how she leans her cheek upon her haid !.
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek! I!
Jul. Ah me!
Rom. She speaks.
Oh speak again, bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this * fight, being o'er my head,
As is a winged messenger from heav'n,
Unto the white up-turned wandring eyes
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him,
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds,
And fails upon the bosom of the air.
Jul. O Romeo, Romeo-wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father, and refuse thy name :
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll:no longer be a Capulet.
Rom. Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
[afide Jul. 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy
What's in a name ? that which we call a rose,
other name would smell-as fweet. !!!
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,...
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title ; Romeo, quit thy name, 's
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all my self.
Sigblo Mr. Tbeobald, valg. Nigbe.