Obrázky stránek


thee now,

me ?

Dogb. Moreover, sir (which, indeed, is not under good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of panwhite and black,) this plaintiff here, the offender, ders, and a whole book full of these quondam cardid call me ass: I heseech you, let it be remem- pet mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the bered in his punishment: And also, the watch heard even road of a blank verse, why, they were never them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a

so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it ;' and love : Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have burrows money in God's name; the which he hath tried; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an used so long, and never paid, that now men growinnocent rhyme ; for scarn, horn, a hard rhyme ; for liard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake : school, fool, a babbling rhyme; very ominous endPray you, examine him upon that point.

ings: No, I was not born under a rhyming planen Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. nor I cannot woo in festival terms. — Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful

Enter BEATRICE. and reverend youth : and I praise God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains.

Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called Dogb. God save the foundation.2

thee? Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and

Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me. I thank thee.

Bene. O, stay but till then! Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your wor

Beat. Then, is spoken ; sare you well now :ship; which, I beseech your worship, to correct and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for,

which yourself, for the example of others. God keep

is, with knowing what hath passed between

you and Claudio. your worship; I wish your worship well; God restore you to health: humbly give you leave to

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss depart; and if a merry meeting may be wished,

thee. God prohibit it.--Come, neighbour.

Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind

is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; there(Exeunt DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Watch. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. fore I will depart unkissed. Ant. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his

right sense, so forcible is thy wit : But, I must tell D. Pedro. We will not fail.

thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge; Claud.

To-night I'll mourn with Hero. and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will [Excunt Don Pedro and CLAUDIO.

subscribe hin a coward. And, I pray Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk tell me, for which of iny bad parts didst thou first with Margaret,

fall in love with me? How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

Brat. For them all together; which maintained (Ereunt.

so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit

any good part to intermingle with them. But for SCENE II. Leonato's Garden. Enter Bene- which of my good parts did you first suffer love for

DICK and MARGARET, meeting.
Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, de-

Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer serve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech love, indeed, for I love thee against my will

. of Beatrice.

Beat. In spite of your heari, I think; alas! poor Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise for yours ; for I will never love that which my friend

heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it of my beauty ?

hates. Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely

Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. truth, thou deservest it.

Boat. Ii appears not in this confession: there's Murg. To have no man come over me ? why, himself.

not one wise man among twenty that will praise shall I always keep below stairs ?4 Benc. "Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's lived in the time of good neighbours: if a man do

. old,

old instance, Beatrice, that mouth, it catches.

Marg: And your’s as blunt as the fencer's foils, not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he which hit, but hurt not,

shall live no longer in monument, than the bell Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not

rings, and the widow weeps. hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice :

Beat. And how long is ihat, think you ? I give thee the bucklers.5

Bene. Question !'_Why, an hour in clamour, Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of and a quarter in rheum : Therefore it is most es

pedient for the wise (if Don Worm, his conscience, Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put find no impediments to the contrary,) to be ito in the pickes with a vice; and they are dangerous trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So

much for praising myself, (who, I myself will bear weapons for maids.

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I witness, is praise-worthy,) and now tell me, think hath legs.

doth [Exit MARGARET.

your cousin ? Bene. And therefore will come.

Beat. Very ill.

Bene. And how do you?
The god of love, (Singing Beat. Very ill too.
That sits above,

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there
And knows me, and knows me,

will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste. How pitiful I deserve,

Enter URSULA. I mean, in singing; but in loving, -Leander the

Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle ; i It was one of the fantastic fashions of Shakspeare's time to wear a long hanging lock of hair dangling by 4 Theobald proposed to read, abore stairs , and the the ear; it is often mentioned by colemporary writers, sense of the passage seems to require some such altera; and may be observed in some ancient portraits. The lion: perhaps a word has been lost, and we mais pas humour of this pass:ige is in Dogberry's supposing the why, shan'l always keep them below stairs?" or this lock to have a key to it. 2 A phrase used by those who received alms at the find the meaning.'

passage Dr. Johnson says, “I suppose every reader will gates of religious houses.

Dogberry probably de. 5 i, e. ' I yield. signed to say, 'God save the founder.

6 i, e. 'in choice phraseology." 3 Here leiod has not the common meanine; nor do I 7 ls under challenge, or now stands challenged, by think it can be used in the more uncommon sense of me. ignorant; but rather means knapish, ungracious, 8 i. e. " when men were not envious, but every one naughty, which are the synonymes used with it in ex- gave another his due.' plaining the latin prarus in dictionaries of the sixteenth

a question indeed !-or that is the question!

9 This phrase appears to be equivalent to you ask ecntury.

our own.

yonder's old coils at home : it is proved, my lady

Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. Hero hath been falsely accused, ihe Prince and Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains I think. Claudio miglily abused; and Don John is the Friar. To do what, signior ? author of all, who is fled and gone : Will you come Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.presently?

Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior ? Your niece regards me with

an eye of favour. Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and Leon. That eye my daughter lent her: 'Tis most be buried in thy eyes; and moreover, I will go with

true. thee to thy uncle's.


Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. SCENE III. The Inside of a Church. Enter From Claudio, and the prince : But what's your will }

Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me, Don Pedro, CLAUDIO, and Attendants, with

Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical : Music and Tapers.

But, for my will, my will is, your good will Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato ?

May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd Atten. It is, my lord.

In the estate of honourable marriage ;Claud. (Reads from a scrol]

In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

Leon. My heart is with your liking, Done to death by slanderous tongues


And my help.
Was the Hero that here lies :

Here comes the prince, and Claudio.
Death, in the guerdono of her wrongs,
Gives her fame which never dies :

Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with Attendants. So the life, that died with shame,

D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.
Lives in death with glorious fame.

Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Hang thou there upon the tomb, [affixing it.

Claudio. Praising her when I am dumb.

We here attend you; are you yet determin’d Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.

To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?

Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope. SONG.

Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar Pardon, Goddess of the night,


[Erit ANTONIO. Those that slew thy virgin knight :*

D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's For the which, with songs of woe,

the matter.
Round about her tomb they go.

That you have such a February face,
Midnight, assist our moan;

So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
Help us to sigh and groan,

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull.
Heavily, heavily.

Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold.
Graves yawn and yield your dead,

And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;
Till death be uttered,

As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
Heavily, heavily.

When he would play the noble beast in love.

Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low:
Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night! And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
Yearly will I do this rite.

And got a calf in that same noble feat,
D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters; put your Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

torches out:
The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day,

Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked. Before the wheels of Phæbus, round about

Claud. For this I owe you; here comes other Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray :

reckonings. Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well. Which is the lady I must seize upon ? Claud. Good morrow, masters; each his seve

Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her.

Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other see your face. weeds;

Leon. No, that you shall not till you take her hand And then to Leonato's we will go.

Before this friar, and swear to marry her. Cland. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speeds, Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar; Than this, for whom we render'd

I am your husband if you like of me. this woe! up (Exeunt. Hero. And when I lived, I was your other wife :

[Unmasking. SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato s House. Enter And when you loved, you were my other husband.

Leonato, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, Claud. Another Hero!
URSULA, Friar, and Hero.


Nothing certainer:

One Hero died defild; but I do live, Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent ?

And surely as I live I'am a maid. Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who ac

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead! cused her

Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander Upon the error that you heard debated :

lived. Bat Margaret was in some fault for this;

Friar. All this amazement can I qualify; Although against her will, as it appears

When, after that the holy rites are ended, In the true course of all the question.

I'll tell Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.

you largely of fair Hero's death :

Mean time, let wonder seem familiar, Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd

And to the chapel let us presently.. To call young Claudió to a reckoning for it.

Bene. Soft and fair, Friar. Which is Beatrice? Leon Well, daughter, and you gentlewoman all,

Beat. I answer to that name; (Unmasking] Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves ;

What is your will ? And when I send for you come hither mask'd;

Bene. Do not you love me? The prince and Claudio promis’d by this hour


Why, no, no more than reason. To visit me :-You know your office, brother ;

Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and You must be father to your brother's daughter,

Claudio, And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies.

3 Reward. 1 Old coil is great or abundant bustle. Old was a 4 Diana's knight, or virgin knight, was the common cornmon augmentative in ancient familiar language. poetical appellation of virgins in Shakspeare's time.

2 This phrase occurs frequently ja writers of Shak. 5 i.e. till death be spoken of." apeare's tíme, it appears to be derived from the French 6 Still alluding to the passage quoted from Hierony. phrase, fuire mourir. See note on K. Henry VI. Part mo, or the Spanish Tragedy, in the first scene of the UL Act i. 5c. I.


ral way.

for me.

Have been decelred; for they swore you did. nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thea
Beat. Do not you love me?

out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer ;
Bene. Troth, no, no more than reason. which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin
Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends :-let's have Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did. a dance ere we are married, that we may lighrea Bene. They swore that you were almost sick our own hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards. Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead Bene. First o'my word: therefore play, musicfor me.

Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a Bene. 'Tis no such matter :-Then you do not wife : there is no staff more reverend than cae love me?

tipped with horn.?
Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in fight, Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves her; And brought with armed men back to Messina. For here's a paper, written in his hand,

Bene. Think not on him till 10-morrow ; I'll deA halting sonnet of his own pure brain,

vise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up, Fashion d to Beatrice.


[Dance, Escurt Hero

And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle ! here's our own hands against this play may be justly said to contain two of the most our hearts !--Come, I will have thee ; but, by this sprighdy characters thai Shakspeare ever drew. The light, I take thee for pity.

wit, the humourist, the gentleman, and the soldier are Beat. I would not deny you; but, by this good combined in Benedick. It is to be lamented, iudeed, day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to that the first and most splendid of these distinctions is save your life, for I was told you were in a con- disgraced by unnecessary profaneness ; for the good

ness of his heart is hardly sufficient to atone for the lisumption. Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth. [Kissing her: Hlashes out in the conversation of Beatrice, may be er:

cence of his tongue. The too sarcastic levity, which D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married cused on account of the steadiness and friendship soap man ?

parent in her behaviour, when she urges her lover to Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of risk his life by a challenge to Claudio. In the conduct wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour : of the fable, however, there is an imperfection similar Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram ? to that which Dr. Johnson has pointed out in the Merry No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall Wires of Windsor :--the second contrivance is less in. wear nothing handsome about him : In brief, since senious ihan the first :-or, to speak more plainly, the

same incident is become stale by repetition. I wisb I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any some other method had been found to enurap Beatrice, purpose that the world can say against it; and than that very one which before had been succeesfully therefore never flout at me for what I have said against practised on Benedick.) it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my con

Much Ado about Nothing, (as I understand from ona clusion.--For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have of Mr. Vertue's MSS.) formerly passed under the title beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my on the 20th of May, 1613, the sum of forty pounds, aut

of Benedick and Beatrix. Heming the player received, kinsman, live unbruised and love my cousin.

twenty pounds more as his Majesty's gratuity, for ex. Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have de-hibiting six plays al Hampton Couri, among which was

this comedy.



1 Because.

2 Stecvens, Malone, and Reed, conceive that there 3 Mr. Pye thus answers the objection of Steevens is an allusion here to the staff used in the ancient trial The intention of the poel was to show that persons of by wager of battle ; but Mr. Douce thinks it is more either sex might be ma le in love with each other by probable the walking stick or staff of elderly persons was supposing themselves beloved, though they were before intended, such sticks were often lipped or headed with enemies, and how he could have done this by any other horn, sometimes crosswise, in imitation of the crutched means I do not know. He wanted to show the sexes sticks or potences of the friars, which were borrowed were alike in this case, and to have employed different from the celebrated tau of St. Anthony.

motives would have counteracted his own design.'




WE may presume the plot of this play to have been dew, and spring-perfumes are the element of these ten.

the invention of Shakspeare, as the diligence of his der spirits; they assist nature in embroidering her car. commentators has failed to trace the sources from pet with green leaves, many coloured flowers, and daz. whence it is derived. Steevens says that the hint for it zling insects; in the human world they merely sport in was probably received from Chaucer's Knight's Tale. a childish and wayward manner with their beneficent or

In the Midsummer Night's Dream,' says Schlegel, noxious influences. Their most violent rage dissolves there flows a luxuriant vein of the boldest and most in good-natured raillery ; their passions, stripped of all fantastical invention ; the most extraordinary combina earthly matter, are merely an ideal dream. To cortes. tion of the most dissimilar ingredients seems to have pond with this, the loves of mortals are painted as a arisen without effort by some ingenious and lucky acci- poetical enchantment, which, by a contrary enchant. dent, and the colours are of such clear transparency that ment, may be immediately suspended, and then renew. we think that the whole of the variegated fabric may be ed again. The different parts of the plot; the wedding blown away with a breath. The fairy world here'de of Theseus, the disagreement of Oberon and Titania, fcribed resembles those elegant pieces of Arabesque, the flight of the two pair of lovers, and the theatrical where little Genii, with butterfly wings, rise half em operations of the mechanics, are so lightly and happily bodied above the flower cups.' Twilight, moonshine, 'interwoven, that they scem necessary to cach other for

the formation of a whole. Oberon is desirous of reliev. Hippolita are, as it were, a splendid frame for the pic. ing the lorers from their perplexities, and greatly adds ture; they take no part in the action, but appear with a to them through the misapprehension of his servant, till stately pomp. The discourse of the hero and his Amahe al last comes to the aid of their fruitless amorous zon, as they course through the forest with their noisy pere, their inconstancy and jealousy, and restores fide- hunting train, works upon the imagination like the fresh Liy to its old rights. The extremes of fanciful and vul. breath of morning, before which the shapes of night gar are united when the enchanted Titania awakes and disappear.* lalls in love with a coarse mechanic with an ass's head, This is a production of the youthful and vigourous who represents, or rather disfigures the part of a tragi. imagination of the poet. Malone places the date of its cal lover. The droll wonder of the transmutation of composition in 1594. There are two quarto editions, Bolluin is merely the transmutation of a metaphor in its both printed in 1600 : one by Thomas Fisher, the other literal sense ; bul, in his behaviour during the tender by James Roberts. homage of the Fairy Queen, we have a most amusing proof how much the consciousness of such a head-dress heightens the effect of his usual folly. Theseus and

* Lectures on Dramatic Literature, vol. ii. p. 176.


OBERON, King of the Fairies.
EGEus, Father to Hermia.

TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies.
in love with Hermia.

Puck, or Robin-GOODFELLOW, a Fairy.

PEAS-BLOSSOM, ParlosTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus. COBWEB,

Fairies. QUINCE, the Carpenter.

Моти, Ssuc, the Joiner.

MUSTARD-SEED, Bortom, the Weaver.

PYRAMUS, Plute the Bellows-mender,


Characters in the Interlude perSoom, the T'inker.



formed by the Clouns.

Lion. HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen. Theseus. HERMIA, Daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. HELENA, in love with Demetrius.

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it.


[ocr errors]


Stand forth, Demetrius ;-My noble lord, SCENE I. Athens. A Room in the Palace of This man hath

my consent to marry her :Theseus. Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Phi. This hath bewitch'd' the bosom of my child :

Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious duke, LOSTRATE, and Attendants.

Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, Theseus.

And interchang'd love tokens with my child : Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour

Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung, Draws on apace; four happy days bring in With feigning voice, verses of feigning love; Another moon: but, oh, methinks how slow And stol'n the impression of her fantasy This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires, With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits, Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,

Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; messengers Long withering out a young man's revenue. of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth: Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart; nights;

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me, Four nights will quickly dream away the time; To stubborn harshness :- And, my gracious duke, And then the moon, like to a silver bow

Be it so she will not here before your grace
Now bent in heaven, shall behold the night Consent to marry with Demetrius,
of our solemnities.

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens ;
Go, Philostrate,

As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments; Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth; Or to her death; according to our law,
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,

Immediately provided in that case.. The pale companion is not for our pomp.

The. What say you, Hermia ? be advis'd, fair [Erit PailOSTRATE.

maid: Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,

To you your father should be as a god; And won thy love, doing thee injuries;

One that compos'd your beauties ; yea, and one But I will wed thee in another key,

To whom you are but as a form in wax, With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling. By him imprinted, and within his power Enter Egeus, Hermia, LYSANDER, and Deme- To leave the figure, or disfigure it.

Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

Her. So is Lysander. Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke !? The.

In himself he is : The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice, with thee?

The other must be held the worthier. Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint

Her. I would my father look'd but with my eyes. Against my child, my daughter Hermia

The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment

look. 1 A triumph was a public show, such as a mask, pageant, procession, &c.

Lule, in our old language, was used for a leader 4 Baubles, toys, trifles. or chief, as the Latin Dur.

6 This line has a smack of legal common place. a The old copies read, This man hath bewitched.' Shakspeare is supposed to have been placed while a The alteration was made in the second folio for the sake boy in an allorney's office ; at least he often displays of the metre; but a redur,dant syllable at the commence that he was well acquainted with the phraseology of ment of a verse perpetually occurs in our old dramas. lawyers.


Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me. Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek I know not by what power I am made bold;

so pale?' Nor how it may concern my modesty,

How chance the roses there do fade so fast? In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts : Her. Belike, for want of rain ; which I could weli But I beseech your grace that I may know Beteem“ them from the tempest of mine eyes. The worst that may befall me in this case,

Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read, If I refuse to wed Demetrius,

Could ever hear by tale or history, The. Either to die the death, or to abjure The course of true love never did run smooth: For ever the society of men.

But, either it was different in blood; Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires, Her. O cross! too high to be enthrallid to low! Know of your youth, examine well your blood, Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years; Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, Her. O spite! too old to be engaged to young! You can endure the livery of a nun;.

Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends : For ayel to be in shady cloister mew'd,

Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eye! To live a barren sister all your life,

Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it; Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood, Making it momentanys as a sound, To undergo such maiden pilgrimage :

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream; But earthlier happy? is the rose distill'd, Brief as the lightning in the collied night, Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, That, in a spleen, unfolds both beaven and earth, Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness. And ere a man hath power to say,-Behold!

Her.' So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, The jaws of darkness do devour it up; Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

So quick bright things come to confusion. Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke

Her. If then true lovers have been ever crossid, My soul consents not to give sovereignty. It stands as an edict in destiny: The. Take time to pause: and, by the next new Then let us teach our trial patience, moon,

Because it is a customary cross; (The sealing-day betwixt my love and me, As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, For everlasting bond of fellowship,)

Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's? followers. Upon that day either prepare to die,

Lys. A good persuasion ; therefore, hear me, For disobedience to your father's will;

Hermia. Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would :

I have a widow aunt, a dowager Or on Diana's altar to protest,

Of great revenue, and she hath no child: For aye, austerity and single life.

From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ; Dem. Relent, sweet Hernia ;-And, Lysander, And she respects me as her only son. yield

There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee : Thy crazed title to my certain right.

And to that place the sharp Athenian law Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Cannot pursue us: If thou lov'st me then, Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him. Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;

Ege. Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love, And in the wood, a league without the town And what is mine my love shall render him; Where I did meet thee once with Helena, And she is mine; and all my right of her To do observance to a morn of May, I do estate unto D netrius.

There will I stay for thee Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,


My good Lysander! As well possess'd; my love is more than his; I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow; My fortunes every way as fairly rank’d,

By his best arrow with the golden head; If not with vantage, as Demetrius';

By the simplicity of Venus' doves; And, which is more than all these boasts can be, By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves; I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia:

And by that fire which burn’d the Carthage queen, Why should not I then prosecute my right? When the false Trojan under sail was seen; Demetrius, I'll avouch ít to his head,

By all the vows that ever men have broke, Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,

In number more than women ever spoke;And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, In that same place thou hast appointed me, Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,

To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. Upon this spotted' and inconstant man.

Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes The. I must confess, that I have heard so much,

Helena. And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;

Enter HELENA. But, being over-full of self-affairs,

Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away? My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come: Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. And come, Egeus; you shall

with me,

Demetrius loves your fair : O happy fair!
I have some private schooling for you both. Your eyes are lode-stars;1and your tongue's
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself

sweet air To fit your fancies to your father's will;

More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, Or else the law of Athens yields you up.

When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. (Which by no means we may extenuate)

Sickness is catching; o, were favour'l so! To death, or to a vow of single life.

Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go; Come, my Hippolyta: What cheer, my love ?- My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye, Demetrius, and Egeus, go along :

My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet meI must employ you in some business

lody. Against our nuptial; and confer with you

Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, or something nearly that concerns yourselves. The rest I'll give to be to you translated.12 Ege. With duty and desire we follow you. [Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, 7 Fancy is love. So afterwards in this play: DEMETRIUS, and Train.

Fair Helena in fancy following mo." 8 Shakspeare forgot that Theseus performed his er

ploits before the Trojan war, and consequently long be. 1 Ever.

fore the death of Dido. 2 Earthlier happy for earthly happier, which Capel 9 Fair for fairness, beauty. Very common in writers proposed to substitute. 3 Ax spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked.

of Shakspedestar is the leading or guiding star, that is

10 The 4 Bestow, give, afford, or deign to allow.

the polar star. The magnet is for the same reason cal. 5 Momentary,

led the lode-stone. 6 Blackened, as with smut, coal, &c.; figuratively, 11 Countenance, feature. darkened. See Othello, Act ii. Sc. 3.

12 j. e. changed, transformed.


« PředchozíPokračovat »