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Her. O hell! to chufe love by another's eye!
Lyf. Or if there were a fympathy in choice,
War, death, or fickness did lay fiege to it;
Making it momentary as a found,

Swift as a fhadow, fhort as any dream,
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That (in a spleen) unfolds both heav'n and earth;
And ere a man hath power to fay, Behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up;
So quick bright things come to confufion.

Her. If then true lovers have been ever croft,
It stands as an edict in destiny:

Then let us teach our tryal patience;

Because it is a customary crofs,

As due to love, as thoughts and dreams and fighs,
Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers!

Lyf. A good perfuafion; therefore hear me, Hermia:

I have a widow-aunt, a dowager

Of great revenue, and the hath no child;

From Athens is her house remov'd seven leagues,
And the refpects me as her only fon.

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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 house to-morrow night;
And in the wood, a league without the town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena
To do obfervance to the morn of May,
There will I ftay for thee.

Her. My good Lyfander,

I fwear to thee by Cupid's ftrongeft bow,
By his beft 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 falfe Trojan under fail was feen;
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,


Lyf. Keep promife, love. Look, here comes Helena. SCENE III. Enter Helena.

Her. God fpeed fair Helena! whither away?
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unfay,
Demetrius loves you, fair; O happy fair!

Your eyes are load-ftars, and your tongue's fweet air
More tuneable than lark to fhepherd's ear,

When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching: oh, were favour fo,
Your's would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
My ear fhould catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's fweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The reft I'd give to be to you tranflated.
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 ftill.


Hel. Oh that your frowns would teach my fmiles fuch

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

Hel. Oh that my pray'rs 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 fault, oh Helena, is none of mine.

Hel. None but your beauty, would that fault were mine! Her. Take comfort; he no more fhall fee my face,

Lyfander and myself will fly this place.

Before the time I did Lyfander fee,

Seem'd Athens like a paradife to me.

O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven into hell?

Lyf. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold;
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
Her filver visage in the wat'ry glafs,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grafs,
(A time that lovers flights doth ftill conceal)
Through Athens' gate have we devis'd to steal.
Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bofoms of their counfels fweet;
There my Lyfander and myself shall meet,


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And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
To feek new friends and ftranger companies.
Farewel, fweet play-fellow; pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
Keep word, Lyfander, we must ftarve our fight
From lovers' food, 'till morrow deep midnight. [Ex. Her.
Lyf. I will, my Hermia. Helena, adieu

As you on him, Demetrius doat on you!

[Exit Lyfander.
Hel. How happy fome, o'er other fome, can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as the.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not fo:
He will not know, what all but he do know.
And as he errs, doating on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.

Things bafe and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can tranfpofe 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 tafte;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy hafte.
And therefore is love faid to be a child,
Because in choice he often is beguil❜d.
As waggish boys themselves in game forfwear,
So the boy Love is perjur'd ev'ry where.
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail fome heat from Hermia felt,
So he 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.

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Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Starveling. Quin. Is all our company here?

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

Quin. Here is the ferowl of every man's name, which

is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the Duke and the Dutchefs, on his weddingday 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 moft cruel death of Pyramus and Thify.

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

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 himfelf moft gallantly for love. Bot. That will afk 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 meafure. 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 plit The raging rocks, and shivering frocks fhall break the locks of prifon-gates- and Phibbus carr fhall shine from far, and make and mar the foolish fates *. This was lofty. Now name the rest of the players. This is Ercles' vein, tyrant's vein; a lover is more condoling.

Quin. Francis Flute the bellows-mender.

Flu. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. You must take Thisby on you.

Flu. What is Thisby, a wandring knight?

Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus muft love.

Flu. Nay faith let not me play a woman, I have a beard coming.

Quin. That's all one, you fhall play it in a mask, you may speak as fmall as you will.


Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thiby too; I'll speak in a monftrous little voice, Thilby, Thilby; ah, Pyramus, my lover dear, thy Thisby dear, and lady dear.

This was probably a piece of nonfenfical bombaft raken out of fome foolish play known at that time.


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Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and Flute,you,Thisby. Bot. Well, proceed.

Quin. Robin Starveling the taylor.

Star. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother. Tom Snowt the tinker.

Snowt. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father; Snug the joiner, you, the lion's part; I hope there is a play fitted.

Snug. Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am flow of study.

Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.

Bot. Let me play the lion too, I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me. I will roar, that I will make the Duke say, let him roar again, let him roar again.

Quin. If you should do it too terribly, you would fright the dutchefs and the ladies, that they would fhriek, and that were enough to hang us all.

All. That would hang us every mother's fon.

Bot. I grant you, friends, if you fhould fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more difcretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice fo, that I will roar you as gently as any fucking dove; I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale,

Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus, for Pyramus is a fweet-fac'd man, a proper man as one fhall fee in a fummer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man: therefore you must needs play Pyramus.

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I beft to play it in?

Quin. Why, what you will.

Bot. I will difcharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard,' or your French-crown-colour'd beard, your perfect yellow.

Quin. Some of your French-crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd. But, mafters, here are your parts, and I am to intreat you, request you, and defire you to con them by to-morrow night; and meet me in VOL. I,



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