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Ege. With duty, and desire, we follow you. [Ereunt THes. HIP. E.G.E. DEM. and train. 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, 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 ! 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 eye' 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 revénue, 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; And to that place the sharp Athenian law Cannot pursue us: If thou lov'st me then,
* Beteem—] Pour out upon them. * — Momentany-–] i.e. Momentary. k collied—) i. e. Black, smutted with coal. * — spleen,) i. e. Sudden hasty fit. in fancy—] i. e. Love.
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night:
Her. My good Lysander!
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes Helena.
Enter H E LEN A.
Her. God speed you fair Helena | Whither away 2
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. Demetrius loves your fair:PO 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 hawthorn buds appear. Sickness is catching; O, were favour so." Your's would 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, The rest I’ll give to be to you translated."
best arrow—l So in Sidney's Arcadia, book ii.-" Arrows two, and tipt with gold or lead.”—STEEvess.
o by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen, Shakspeare had forgot that Theseus performed his exploits before the Trojan war, and consequently long before the death of Dido.—Stre v1 Ns.
* Your fair:J Fair is used as a substantive here and in the Comedy of Errors: and in various other places of different authors.--STEEve Ns.
* Your eyes are load-stars;] This was a compliment not unfrequent among the old poets. The load-star is the leading or guiding star, that is, the polestar.—Joh N so N.
favour—] i. e. Appearance.
s to be to you translated.] To translate, in our author, sometimes signifies to transform.—St E Evrss.
O, teach me how you look; and with what art
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Enter SNUG, Botto M, FLUTE, SN out, QUINce, and STAR v ELING."
Quin. Is all our company here?
in game—l Game here signifies not contentious play, but sport, jest.— Johnson. u
Hermia's eyne,) This plural is common both in Chaucer and Spenser. - it is a dear expence:] i. e. It will cost him much, (be a severe constraint on his feelings,) to make even so slight a return for my communication. —STEEvens.
* In this scene Shakspeare takes advantage of his knowledge of the theatre, to ridicule the prejudices and competitions of the players. Bottom, who is generally acknowledged the principal actor, declares his inclination to be for a tyrant, for a part of fury, tumult, and noise, such as every young man pants to perform when he first steps upon the stage. The same Bottom, who seems bred in a tiring-room, has another histrionical passion. He is for engrossing every part, and would exclude his inferiors from all possibility of distinction. He is therefore desirous to play Pyramus, Thisbe, and the Lion, at the same time.—Joh Nso N.
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 on 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 weaver. Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed. Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus. Bot. What is Pyramus 2 a lover, or a tyrant? Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly for love. Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it: If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. To the rest:-Yet my chief humour is for a tyrant; I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in," to make all split.
“The raging rocks,
* — the scrip.] A scrip, Fr. escrip, now written eerit.
- grow on to a point.] This is the reading of the first folio, and I have not a doubt but Mr. Warner is correct in supposing it to be a misprint for go on to appoint—i.e. appoint the actors to their several parts.
b The most lamentable conedy, &c.] This is very probably a burlesque on the title page of Cambyses. “A lamentable tragedy mixed full of pleasant mirth, containing the life of Cambises, king of Persia,”—Steev ENs.
c to tear a cat—] This was in our author's day the cant expression for theatrical ranting.—“I had rather heare two good jests, than a whole play of such tear-cat thunder claps.” Day's Isle of Gulls.-Archdeacon Nares supposes the phrase to have been derived from, “a cruel act of the kind having been performed by some daring ruffian to excite surprise and alarm."
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