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Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest,
That I do hate thee, and love Helena.

Her. O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom !*
You thief of love ! what, have you come by night,
And stol'n my love's heart from him ?

Hel. Fine, i' faith!
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue ?
Fye, fye! you counterfeit, you puppet you !

Her. Puppet! why so ? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures, she hath urg'd her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevaild with him.-
And are you grown so high in his esteem,
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low?
How low am I, thou painted may-pole ? speak;
How low am I ? I am not yet so low,
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me : I was never curst;
I have no gift at all in shrewdness ;
I am a right maid for my cowardice ;
Let her not strike me : You, perbaps, may think,
Because she's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.

Her. Lower! hark, again.

Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I evermore did love you, Hermia,
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you ;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth unto this wood :
He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd bim.
But he hath chid me hence; and threaten'd me
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too :
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no further: Let me go :

[8] The canker-blossom is not in this place the blossom of the canker or wild rose, which our author alludes to in Much Ado about Nothing, Act I sc. lii. but a word that preys on the leaves or buds of dowers, always beginning in tbe middle. So io the famous passage,

Feed on her damask check." STEEVENS.

" Like a worm i' the bud,

You see how simple and how fond I am.

Her. Why, get you gone : Who is't that hinders you?
Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
Her. What, with Lysander ?
Hel. With Demetrius.
Lys. Be not afraid : she shall not harm thee, Helena.
Dem. No, sir ; she shall not, though you take her part.

Hel. 0, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd:
She was a vixen,' when she went to school ;
And, though she be but little, she is fierce.

Her. Little again ? nothing but low and little ? Why will


suffer her to flout me thus ? Let me come to her.

Lys. Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made ;'
You bead, you acorn.

Dem. You are too officious,
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone ; speak not of Helena ;
Take not ber part: for if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it."

Lys. Now she holds me not ;
Now follow, if thou dar’st; to try whose right,
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.

[Exe. Lysan. and Deń, Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you : Nay, go not back.

Hel. I will not trust you,
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray ;
My legs are longer though, to run away.

(Exit. Her. I am amaz’d, and know not what to say.

[Exit, pursuing Helena.

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Dixer, or firen, primitively signified a female for. STEEVENS.
It appears that knol-grass was anciently

supposed to prevent the growth of any animal or child. Daisy-roots were supposed to have the same effect.

Tbat prince of verhose and pedantic coxcombs, Richard Tomlinson, apothecary. io his translation of Renodrus his Dispensatory, 1657, informs us that knot-grass " is a low reptant herb, with exile, copious, nodose, and geniculated branches." Perhaps no hypocondriac is to be found, who might not derive his cure from the perusal of any single chapter in this work. STEEVENS.

(2) Aby it, is abide by it; i. e. stand to it, answer to it. So, in Psalm cxxx. V. 3, in Common Prayer: - If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is doas amics: O Lord, w bo may abide it?" HARRIS.


06. This is thy negligence : still thou mistak’st, Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.

Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, 1 mistook.
Did you not tell me, I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprize,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes :
And so far am I glad it so did sort,
As this their jangling 1 esteem a sport.

Ob. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight :
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With dropping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league, whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste; For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast, And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger; At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there, Troop home to church-yards : damned spirits all,“

(3) Salutiferous. So he calls, in The Tempest, poisonous dew, wicked dem.

JOHNSON. [4] The ghosts of self-murderers, who are buried in cross-roads ; and of those who being drowned, were condemned (according to the opinion of the ancients) to wanrier for a huotred years, as the rites of sepulture had never been regularly bestowed on tbeir bodies. That the waters were sometimes the place of residence

[Exit OB.

That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone ;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully exile themselves from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night

Ob. But we are spirits of another sort :
I with the morning's love have oft made sport ;-
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste ; make no delay :
We may effect this business yet ere day.

Puck. Up and down, up and down ;
I will lead them up and down :
I am fear'd in field and town;

Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.

Enter LYSANDER. Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now. Puck. Here, villain ; drawn and ready. Where art thou ? Lys. I will be with thee straight.

Puck. Follow me then To plainer ground. (Erit Lys. as following the voice.

Enter DEMETRIUS. Dem. Lysander! speak again. Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Speak. In some bush ? Where dost thou hide thy head ?

Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
And wilt not come ? Come, recreant ; come, thou child ;
I'll whip thee with a rod : He is defil'd,
That draws a sword on thee.

Dem. Yea; art thou there?
Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.

Re-enter LysanDER.

Lys. He

before and still dares me on ;


for damned spirits, we learn from the ancient bl. 1. romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys, no date :

· Let some preest a gospel says,

" For doute of fendes in the flode." STEEVENS. [5] What the fairy monarch means to inform Puck of, is this. That he was not compelled, like meaner spirits, to vanish at the first appearance of the dawn.


When I come wbere be calls, then he is gone.
The villain is much lighter heeld than I :
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!

(Lies down, For if but once thou show me thy grey light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.

Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS. Puck. Ho, ho ! ho, ho ! Coward, why comest thou not?

Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st ; for well I wot,
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;
And dar’st not stand, por look me in the face,
Where art thou ?

Puck. Come bither; I am here.
Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy

this dear,
If ever I thy face by day-light see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
By day's approach look to be visited.

[Lies down and sleeps.

Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,

Abate thy hours : shine, comforts, from the east; That I may back to Athens, by day-light,

From these that my poor company detest :-
And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
Steal me a while from mine own company. [Sleeps,
Puck. Yet but three ? Come one more ;

Two of both kinds make up four.
Here she comes, curst and sad :-
Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.

Her. Never so weary, never so in wo,

Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers;
I can no further crawl, no further go ;
My legs can keep no pace with


desires. Here will I rest me, till the break of day. Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!

(Lies down.

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