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Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
The. Take time to pause: and, by the next new
(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's: do
you marry him. Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love, And what is mine my love shall render him; And she is mine; and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius.
Ever. 7 Earthlier happy for earthly happier, which Capel proposed to substitute.
Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, As well possess'd; my love is more than his; My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd, If not with vantage, as Demetrius'; And, which is more than all these boasts can be, I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia: Why should not I then prosecute my right? Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head, Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry, Upon this spotted and inconstant man.
The. I must confess, that I have heard so much, And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; But, being over-full of self-affairs, My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come; And come, Egeus; you shall go with me, I have some private schooling for you
both. For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself To fit your fancies to your
father's will; Or else the law of Athens yields you up (Which by no means we may extenuate) To death, or to a vow of single life.Come, my Hippolyta; What cheer, my love?Demetrius, and Egeus, go along: I must employ you in some business Against our nuptial; and confer with you Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. Ege. With duty and desire follow
you. [Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS,
DEMETRIUS, and Train.
8 As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked. So in Cavendish's Metrical Visions :
• The spotted queen causer of all this strife.' and again:
Spotted with pride, viciousnes, and cruelty.'
Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek
so pale? How chance the roses there do fade so fast?
Her. Belike, for want of rain; which I could well Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read,
Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall’d to low!
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd, It stands as an edíct in destiny: Then let us teach our trial patience, Because it is a customary cross;
9 Bestow, give, afford, or deign to allow. The word is used by Spenser:
So would I, said the Enchanter, glad and fain
Beteem to you his sword, you to defend.' Thus also in Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 2:
. That he might not beteeme the winds of heaven
Visit her face too roughly.' 10 Momentary
11 Blackened, as with smut, coal, &c.; figuratively, darkened. See Othello, Act ii. Sc. 3.
As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,
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 souls, and prospers loves; And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen 13, When the false Trojan under sail 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.
Enter HELENA. Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away? Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. 12 Fancy is love. So afterwards in this play:
* Fair Helena in fancy following me.' And again in the celebrated passage applied to Q. Elizabeth :
* In maiden meditation fancy-free.' 13 Shakspeare forgot that Theseus performed his exploits before the Trojan war, and consequently long before the death of Dido.
Demetrius loves your fair 14: O happy fair !
lody. Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, The rest I'll give to be to you translated 17. 0, 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. Hel. O, that your frowns would teach my
smiles such skill! Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. Hel. O, 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
14 Fair for fairness, beauty. Very common in writers of Shakspeare's age.
15 The lode-star is the leading or guiding star, that is the polar star. The magnet is for the same reason called the lodestone. The reader will remember Milton's beauty :
• The cynosure of neighb'ring eyes. 16 Countenance, feature. 17 i. e. changed, transformed.