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*To 'leve the figure, or disfigure it: Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

Her. So is Lysander.

The. In himself he is;
But in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
The other must be held the worthier.

Her. I would, my father look d but with my eyes.
The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.

Her. I do intreat your Grace to pardon me:
+ I know not, by what pow'r I am made bold;
Nor how it may concern my modesty,
In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts:
But, I beseech your Grace, that I may know
The worst that may befal me in this case,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

The. Either to die the death, or to abjure
For ever the society of men.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your defires;
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun;
For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,
To live a barren filter all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold, fruitless, moon ?
Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood,
To undergo fuch maiden pilgrimage!
But earthlier happy is the rose distillid,
Than that,which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.

Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,

*To 'leve the figure,&c. ) i. e.releve, to heighten or add to the Beauty of the Figure, which is said to be imprinted by him. 'Tis from the French, relever.

I know not, by what power I am made bold;] It was the Opinion of the Ancients, that when a Person did or said any Thing tha exceeded his common Faculties of Performance, that he did it by the Alliste ance of some God. So here she insinuates, that it was Love that en. abled her to plead his Cause.



you marry him.

Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship, to whose unwish'd yoak
My soul consents not to give Sou'reignty.

The, Take time to pause; and by the next new moon,
(The sealing day betwixt my love and me,
For everlasting bond of fellowship)
Upon that day either prepare to die,
For disobedience to your father's will;
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would ;
Or on Diana's altar to protest,
For aye, austerity and single life.

Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia; and, Lysander, yield Thy crazed title to my certain right.

Lyf. You have her father's love, Demetrius ; Let me have Hermia's; do

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.

am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,
As well possest: my love is more than his:
My fortune's 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 fhe, fweet lady, doats,
Devoutly doats, doats in Idolatry,
Upon this spotted and inconftant man.

The. I must confess, that I have heard so much,
And with Demetrius thought t'have spoke thereof;
But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
And come, Egeus; you



I have some private schooling for you both.
For you, fair Hermia, look, you arm yourself


Lyf. I

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 Hippolita ;' what cheer, my love?"-
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along;
I must employ you in some business
Against our nuptials, and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
Ege. With duty and desire we follow you.


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Manent Lysander and Hermia.
OW 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. Hermia, for aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But, either it was different in blood-
Her. O cross! too high, to be enthrall'd to

low! -
Lyf. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years
Her. O spight! 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 eye!

Lyf. Or if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it;

* Come, my Hippolita ; what cheer, my love?] Hippolita had not said one ingle Word all this while. Had a modern Poet had the teaching of her, we should have found her the busiest amongst them; and, without Doubt, the Lovers might have expected a more equitable Decision. But Shakespear knew better what he was about; and observed Decorum. + Betecm, or pour down upon them.

E 6


Mr. Pope.

Making it momentary 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 heav'n 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 croft, 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 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 remov'd feven leagues,
And she respects me as her only fon.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue 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 observance to the morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.

Her. My good Lysander,
* Brief as the lightning in the collied Night,

That, a Spleen, unfolds both Heaven and Earth.] Tho' the Word Spleen be here employed odly enough, yet I believe it right. ShukeJpear always hurried on by the Grandeur and Multitude of his Ideas assumes, every now and then, an uncommon Licence in the Use of his Words. Particularly in complex moral Modes it is usual with him to employ one, only to express a very few Ideas of that Number of which it is composed. Thus wanting here to Express the Ideas ---of a sudden, or- in a trice, he uses the Word Spleen; which, pariially considered, fignifying a hafty-sudden Fit is enough for him, and he never troubles hiinself about the further or fuller Signification of the Word. Collied or black.


Lys. 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 fouls, and prospers 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 woman spoke;

Her. In that same place thou haft appointed me,
To morrow truly will I meet with thee.

Lys. Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.

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O D fpeed, fair Helena! whither away?

Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay;
Demetrius loves you, fair; O happy fair !
Your eyes are load-stars, and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd'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

My car should catch your voice, my eye your eye;
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being 'bated,
The rest I'll give to be to you translated.
O teach


look; and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.

Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach


smiles such skill! Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. Hel. Oh, that my prayʻrs could such affection move! Her. The more I haie, the more he follows me. Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me. Her. His Folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.


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