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of our pious duties ; as through them we honour the Creator, who ordained this relation between us. This precept, then, should seem to have a double tie

upon us, as partaking both of piety and morals ; and therefore, however the latter bond may chance to be cancelled, the first ought never to be dispensed with.

In fine, there is something so fond and endearing in the idea and exercise of a child's obedience and deference towards a parent, that how rotten must the root be, or how blighted the branches, if such a tree should fail of producing its natural fruit !

Thus far, by way of general reflection, only; for I must, notwithstanding, admit, that the particular instance of the daughter's compliance, exacted by the father, in this piece, of resigning an husband of her own choice, upon equal terms, and accepting another, chosen arbitrarily for her, by caprice merely, was too severe a trial of obedience. Egeus here, like Abraham, would sacrifice his child at the altar, not only without the command of God, but contrary to his express purpose, proclaimed aloud by the voice of Nature, and further confirmed from the deductions of virtuous affection, free will, and rational election.

When I said that the duty of a child was natural, I did not mean to invest the parent with an authority which was not so; and I cannot blame Hermia, therefore, upon the severe laws of Athens being declared to her, for the chaste and spirited resolution fhe frames to herself on that occasion.

So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up.
Unto his lordfhip ; to whole unwished yoke
My foul confents not to give sovereignty,

S CE N'E II. Lysander, the suitor elect of Hermia, here makes an obfervation upon the state of love, which is too often verified in life : That a sympathy of affections,

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with other fitness of circumstances, are seldom found

meet together, so as to compleat an happy
union.
Lysander. Ab me! for aught that ever I could read,

Could ever hear, by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But either it was different in blood
Or elfe misgrafted in respect of years-
Or else it food upon the choice of friends-
Or if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, Death, or Sickness did lay siege to it;
Making it momentary as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,

.
That in a spleen * unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say, Behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confufion!

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In this scene we are charmed with that mildness, modesty, and generous eulogium, with which the fond and unhappy Helena accosts a rival beauty, and woo'd by the man she loves.

Hermia. God speed, fair Helena! whither away?
Helena. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay ;

Demetrius loves you, fair- happy fair !
Your eyes are load-stars t, and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching-Oh! were favour so!
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
My ear should catch your voice ; my eye your eye;
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody,
Were the world mine, Demetrius being 'bated,
The reft I'd give to be to you translated

teach me how you look, and with what art You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart !

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Spleen, for a sudden or hafty fit.
† The polar far, by which mariners are guided in their course.

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Hermia had used no arts, no coquetry, to allure her lover from her ; for, as she expresses it, just after, in the same dialogue,

His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. She had, indeed, happened to have done her an injury, but no wrong ; and therefore the forsaken maid shews her justice in plaining her own ill fortune, only, without expressing the least manner of resentment against her unoffending rival.

Hermia, in the same fcene, alludes to the magic power of love, which concenters all our ideas in one, making us prefer a cottage to a palace, and a desert to a grove, according to the situation or circumstances of the object of our affections. After having declared the purpose of Aying her country with her lover, she adds,

Before the time I did Lysander fee,
Seemed Athens like a Paradise to me.
O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hach turned a heaven into hell ?
And Helena, afterwards, carries on the same idea,
in the following lines :

Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind ;
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste :
Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste,
And therefore is love said to be a child,

Because in choice he is fo oft beguiled.
Theseus too, in a passage of his speech, in the first
Scene of the Fifth Act of this Play, accords with the
above sentiinent :

While the lover all as frantic
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt.
And Shakespeare has hinted a moral, on this latter
subject, with regard to irregular or ill placed affec-
tion, as Dr. Warburton has justly observed, " by
“ as fine a metamorphosis as any in Ovid,” in the
last line of the following speech, in the second Scene

of

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MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

19

aia had ufed no arts, no coquetry, to allur. er from her ; for, as she expresses it

, je the same dialogue,

His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. 1, indeed, happened to have done her z ut no wrong ; and therefore the forsaken ma. er justice in plaining her own ill fortuna Ethout expresing the least manner of relea: ainst her unoffending rival. ia, in the same scene, alludes to the mag f love, which concenters all our ideas in ox us prefer a cottage to a palace, and a detet ove, according to the situation or circus of the object of our affections. After havia

the purpose of flying her country with a ne adds, e the time I did Lylander fee, ed Athens like a Paradise to me. en, what graces in my love do dwell, he bach turned a heaven into hell ? Helens, afterwards, carries on the fame ich fancy, with the vain terrors of a dejected mind, are es base and vile, holding no quantity, can transpose to form and dignity. cooks not with the eyes, but with the mind ; herefore is winged Cupid painted blind; ath love's mind of any judgment talte : , and no eyes, figure unheedy haste, herefore is love said to be a child, le in choice he is fo oft beguiled.

of A& the Second; the whole of which I Thall
transcribe here, in order to fhew how juftly and
poetically he has pointed to the different effects of
pasfon upon busy and contemplative minds, as well
as on idle and dissipated ones.

Oberon 10 Puck.
That very time I saw, but thou could't not,
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all armed : a certain aim he took
At a fair veftal, throned by the West *,
And loosed his love-haft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts.
But I might see young Cupid's fiery thaft
Queached in the chaste beams of the war'sy moon,
And the imperial votress passed on,
In meiden miditation, fancy free.
Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell ;
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with Love's wound,
And maidens call it Love in wleness.

!

А сту. SCENE I.
The deceptions of an enthusiastic or over-heated

ollowing lines :

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well described in part of the following speech; in
which our author classes the lunatic, the lover, and the
poet

, together; and might have taken in the fanatic
too, along with them, under the description of those,
who, as he says, in the first part of the same

Speech,

as too, in a passage of his speech, in the #

the Fifth Act of this Play, accords with leftus. Such tricks hath strong imagination, tiinent :

Have such feething brains,
Sach shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool season ever comprehends.
Thar if it would but apprehend tome joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy
Or in the night imagining some fear,
How caly is a bush suppoled a bear ?

the lover all as frantic elen's beauty in a brow of Egypt

. hakespeare has hinted a moral, on this lata

or afe.

brief of Sports, as it is called, to Dr. Warburton has justly observed," N exhibited before Theseus, on his wedding day, this a metamorphosis as any in Ovid," in the title of one :

• This is meant as a compliment to Queca Elizabeth. f the following speech, in the lecond Scezal

C2

The

1. The thrice thrée Muses mourning for the death

Of: Learning,, late decen jed in beggary. Mr. Warton imagines this paffage to have alluded to a poem of Spenser's, stiled The Tears of the Muses, on the Neglect and Contempt of Learning, sin his time. Though this was not properly, a complaint of that age, only; it has been so much the grievance of all times, that it has; long since, obtained into a proverb, As poor as a poet. The case of such unfortunate persons,

" Of those whom Phoebus, in his ire,

“ Hath blafted with poetic fire *; is certainly very hard. Persons who apply their minds to letters, must unavoidably neglect their temporal concerns; and those who employ their time in the reformation or entertainment of the world, should be supported by it-Not by merely accidental and precarious emoluments, but upon fome more permanent foundation; like the Clergy, who have had a provision made for them, for the fame reafon as above; and the name of Clerk, tho now appropriated to the latter, was formerly the cominon appellation of both. The honour of such an establishinent would be considerable to a State, and the expence but small--for the numbers are but few..

Theseus expresses a just sentiment in a prince, when Philostrate, the Master of his Revels, objects to his being present at a play, which the affections of the lowest rank of the Athenian citizens had framed for the celebration of his nuptials. Pbilofirate. No, my noble Lord,

It is not for you. I have heard it over,
And it is nothing; nothing in the world;
Unless yon can, find sport in their intents,

Extremely 'Itretched, and conned with cruel päin, 8. To do you fervice.

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