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Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall’d" to low!
Lyf. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ;
Her. O spight ! too old to be engag’d to young!
Lyf. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends :
Her. O hell! to chuse love by another's eye!
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or fickness did lay siege to it;
Making it momentary as a found,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream ;
Brief as the lightning in the colly'd 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 confusion.
Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
p It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach our tryal patience,
Because it is a customary cross;
As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers.
Lys. A good persuasion ; therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child,
And she respects me as her only fon :
From Athens is her house P remote seven leagues,
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us: If thou lov'st me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And, in the wood, a league without the town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
• a spleen, ]-a sudden fit.
To do observance to a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.
Her. My good Lysander !
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow ;
By his best arrow with the golden head;
By the simplicity of Venus' doves;
By that which knitteth fouls, and prospers loves ;
And by that fire which burn’d the Carthage queen,
When the false Trojan under fail was seen ;
By all the vows that ever men have broke,
In number more than ever women spoke ;-
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes Helena.
Her. God speed, fair Helena! Whither away ?
Hel. Call you me fair ? that fair again unsay. Demetrius loves your 'fair: O happy fair ! Your eyes are ' lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds appear. Sickness is catching; O, 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 rest I'll give to be to you "translated. O, teach me how you look; and with what art You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still,
' fair :)—fairness, is enamoured of your charms. • lode-stars ;]— leading, pole-stars. ' favour]-resemblance in features, air, look, speech, gesture. • bated,]-excepted.
Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach my smiles such
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
Hel. Oh, that my prayers could such affection move !
Her. The more I hate, the more he follows me.
Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me.
Her. His folly, Helena, is * no fault of mine.
Hel. None. — But your beauty ;-'Would that fault
Her. Take comfort; he no more shall see my face ;
Lysander and myself will fly this place.
Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me :
O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell !
Lyf. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
Her silver visage in the watry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
(A time that lovers' Aights doth still conceal)
Through Athens' gates have we devis’d to steal.
Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lye,
Emptying our bofoms of their counsels ' sweet ;
There my Lyfander and myself shall meet :
And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and a stranger companies.
Farewel, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !-
Keep word, Lysander : we must starve our sight
From lovers' food, 'till morrow deep midnight.
[ Exit Herm.
Lys. I will, my Hermia.--Helena, adieu :
none of mine.
2 strange companions.
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you ! [Exit Lyf.
Hel. How happy fome, o'er other some, can be !
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she,
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so ;
He will not know what all but he do know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
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 wing’d 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 oft beguild.
As waggish boys themselves in game forswear,
So the boy love is perjur'd every where:
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
He hail'd down oaths, that he was only mine ;
And when his hail some heat from Hermia felt,
* Soon it diffolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight :
Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night,
Pursue her; and for this intelligence .
If I have thanks, it is a dear expence :
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his fight thither, and back again. [Exit.
b this hail-this man of hail-like oaths.
Enter Quince the carpenter, Snug the joiner, Bottom the
weaver, Flute the bellows-mender, Snowt the tinker, and Starveling the taylor. Quin. Is all our company here?
Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.
Quin. Here is the scrowl of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and dutchess, on his wedding-day at night.
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors, and so grow on to a point.
Quin. Marry our play is—The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scrowl : Masters, spread yourselves.
Quin. Answer, as I call you.-Nick Bottom the weaver. Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and proceed. Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramụs. Bot. What is Pyramus ? a lover, or a tyrant ?
Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly for love.
Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it : If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. To the rest : — Yet my chief humour is for a tyrant : I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
fcrip.}-list, grow on to appoint-proceed to fix the part each actor is to perform.