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Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall’d to low !
Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ;-
Her. O spite! too old to be engag'd to young!
Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends! :-
Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eyes!

Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
Making it momentany as a sound',
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied night ,
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 confusion.

Her. If, then, true lovers have been ever cross'd,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then, let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross,
As due to love as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers.

Lys. A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child :
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,


8 O cross ! too high to be enthralld to Low !) “Low” is printed love in all the old copies. Theobald corrected the mistake, and the typographical error was easy. The context and the designed antithesis seem fully to warrant the alteration.

the choice of FRIENDS :) For “friends” the first folio reads, merit; and it is difficult to account for the variation, which is certainly no improvement.

but «

1 Making it MOMENTANY as a sound,] The folio changes “momentany," into momentary : momentany is the older word, though still in use (as Henley has shown) in Dryden's time. Philip Stubbes, in 1593, preferred momentany to momentary, when in the list of errors of the press, before his “Motive to Good Works,” he enumerated misprinting momentary, instead of momentany, in the following passage, p. 188 :-" this life is but momentary, short and transitory; no life, indeed, but a shadow of life.”

? — in the collied night,] i. e. In the black night.

3 From Athens is her house REMOTE -) So the two 4tos. The folio has remor'd, a needless change.

And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us.

If thou lov'st 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 observance to a morn of May)*
There will I stay for thee.

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,
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.

Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away?

Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
Demetrius loves your fair®: O happy fair !
Your eyes are lode-stars, and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching; 0, were favour so!
Your words I catch’, fair Hermia; ere I go,
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,

• To do observance to a morn of May)] The folio, 1623, has “ for a morn.”

* By that which knitteth souls, and prospers Loves,] So Fisher's 4to; and, independently of the rhyme, as “souls” is in the plural, probably“ loves intended to be so too ; but Roberts's 4to. and the folio have love. 6 Demetrius loves your fair :] i. e. fairness or beauty. See note 3, p. 126.

? Your words I catch,] The meaning is, that Helena only catches the words and not the voice of Hermia. “Favour,” in the preceding line, is beauty.

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The rest I'll give to be to you translated.
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

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 mines.
Hel. None, but your beauty: would that fault were

Her. Take comfort : he no more shall see my face;
Lysander and myself will fly this place.-
Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seemd Athens as a paradise to me':
O then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven into hell!

Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
To-morrow night when Phæbe doth behold
Her silver visage in the wat’ry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
(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 lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel swell’d,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and strange companions '0.

8 His folly, Helena, is no Fault of mine.) So Fisher's 4to. Roberts's 4to. and the folio read, none for “no fault.”

. Seem's Athens as a paradise to me :) So Fisher's 4to. The folio, 1623, has like for“ as,” in which it follows Roberts's 4to. In the next line but one, Fisher's 4to. has," unto a hell," instead of “ into hell."

10 To seek new friends and STRANGE COMPANIONS.) All the ancient copies concur in this reading, as well as of " counsel swell’d," in the third line of this speech. We therefore make no change, admitting at the same time that Theobald's alterations to counsel sweet” and “stranger companies” are plausible for the sake of the rhyme. If the sense required any improvement, the case would be different ; but other parts of the scene are not in rhyme.

Farewell, sweet playfellow : pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius -
Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
From lovers' food, till morrow deep midnight.

[Exit HERM. Lys. I will, my Hermia.—Helena, adieu : As you on him, Demetrius dote on you! [Exit Lys.

Hel. How happy some, o'er other some can be! Through Athens I am thought as fair as she; But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so ; 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 said to be a child, Because in choice he is so oft beguild ". As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, 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 this hail some heat from Hermia felt, So he dissolv’d, and showers of oaths did melt. I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight; Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night, Pursue her; and for this intelligence If I have thanks, it is a dear expense : But herein mean I to enrich my pain, To have his sight thither, and back again. [Exit.

11 he is so oft beguild.] The folio, 1623, spoils the line, by reading “he is OFTEN beguild."


The Same. A Room in a Cottage. .


STARVELING Quin. Is all our company here?

Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.

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

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

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

Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry.—Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.

Quin. Answer, as I call you.— Nick Bottom, the


Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.

Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus. Bot. What is Pyramus ? a lover, or a tyrant ?

Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallant for loves.

Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing

1 Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and Starveling.) The old stagedirection gives their different trades,—“ Enter Quince, the carpenter; and Snug, the joiner ; and Bottom, the weaver ; and Flute, the bellows-mender; and Snout, the tinker; and Starveling, the tailor."

and so grow to a point.) The folio, 1623, has “ and so grow on to a point.” Our reading is that of both quartos.

3 — most Gallant for love.) So the 4to, editions: the folio improves the grammar, but renders the expression less characteristic, by reading gallantly.


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