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Her. O crofs! too high to be enthrall'd" to low!
Lyf. Or elfe mifgraffed, in refpect of years;
Her. O fpight! too old to be engag'd to young!
Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends:
Her. O hell! to chufe love by another's eye!
Lys. Or, if there were a fympathy in choice,
War, death, or fickness did lay siege to it;
Making it momentary as a found,

Swift as a fhadow, fhort as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the colly'd night,

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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.

Her. If then true lovers have been ever crofs'd, 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 fighs,
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers.

Ly. A good perfuafion; therefore, hear me, Hermia. I have a widow aunt, a dowager

Of great revenue, and fhe hath no child,

And the refpects me as her only fon:

From Athens is her house remote feven leagues,
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
And to that place the fharp Athenian law
Cannot purfue us: If thou lov'ft me then,
Steal forth thy father's houfe to-morrow night;
And, in the wood, a league without the town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,

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To do obfervance to a morn of May,
There will I ftay for thee.

Her. My good Lyfander!

I fwear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow;
By his best arrow with the golden head;
By the fimplicity of Venus' doves;

By that which knitteth fouls, and profpers 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 fame place thou haft appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.

Lys. Keep promife, love: Look, here comes Helena.

Enter Helena.

Her. God fpeed, fair Helena! Whither away ? Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. Demetrius loves your' fair: O happy fair!

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Your eyes are lode-ftars; and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to fhepherd'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 fhould catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue fhould catch your tongue's fweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being " bated,
The reft I'll give to be to you" translated.
O, teach me how you look; and with what art.
You fway the motion of Demetrius' heart.
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still,


'fair:]-fairness, is enamoured of your charms. lode-ftars ;]-leading, pole-ftars.

favour]-refemblance in features, air, look, fpeech, gefture.





Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach my fmiles fuch fkill!

Her. I give him curfes, yet he gives me love.

Hel. Oh, that my prayers could fuch 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 were mine!

Her. Take comfort; he no more shall fee my face

Lyfander and myself will fly this place.
Before the time I did Lyfander fee,
Seem'd Athens as a paradife to me :
O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell!

Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
Her filver vifage in the watry glass,

Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grafs,
(A time that lovers' flights 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 counfels ' fweet;
There my Lyfander and myself shall meet:
And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,
To feek new friends and ftranger companies.
Farewel, fweet playfellow: pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !—
Keep word, Lyfander: we must starve our fight
From lovers' food, 'till morrow deep midnight.

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Lys. I will, my Hermia.-Helena, adieu:

[Exit Herm.

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As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!

[Exit Lyf.

Hel. How happy fome, o'er other fome, can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she,
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not fo;
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 faid to be a child,
Because in choice he is oft beguil❜d.

As waggish boys themselves in game forfwear,
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 fome heat from Hermia felt,
'Soon it diffolv'd, and fhowers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night,
Purfue 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.

So be; Lo, he.


b this bail-this man of hail-like oaths.


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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 beft to call them generally, man by man, according to the fcrip.


Quin. Here is the fcrowl of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and dutchefs, on his wedding-day at night.


Bot. First, good Peter Quince, fay what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors; and fo grow on to a point.

Quin. Marry our play is-The moft lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.

Bot. A very good piece of work, I affure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scrowl: Mafters, fpread yourselves.

Quin. Anfwer, as I call you.-Nick Bottom the weaver. Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and proceed. Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are fet down for Pyramus. Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant? Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly for love. Bot. That will ask fome tears in the true performing of it: If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move ftorms, I will condole in fome measure. To the reft: -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.

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d fcrip.]-lift,

grow on to appoint-proceed to fix the part each actor is to perform. "The

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