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(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 nuptial ; and confer with you
Of something, nearly that concerns yourselves.
Ege. With duty and desire, we follow you.

[Exeunt Thes. Hip. Egeus, Dem. and Train. Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so

pale? How chance the roses there do fade so fast?

131 Her. Belike, for want of rain ; which I could well Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes.

Lys. Ah, me! for aught that I could ever 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; 139
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 chuse 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 colly'd night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say, -Behold!


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The jaws of darkness do devour it up:

150 So quick bright things come to confusion.

Her. If then true lovers have been ever crossid,
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 siglis,
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers.
Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me,

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;
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.

17 Her. 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, 180
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes He-



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 car, When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds ap

pear. Sickness is catching; 0, were favour so! Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go ; 190 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. 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. Oh, that your frowns would teach my smiles

such skill! Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. 199 Hel. Oh, that my prayers could such attection

move ! Her. The more I hate, the more he follows ine.


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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

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

Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
To-morrow night, when Phæbe doth behold
Her silver visage in the watry 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 counsels swell'd;

my Lysander and myself shall meet :
And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and strange companions.
Farewel, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !
Keep word, Lysander : we must starve our sight
From lover's 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 othersome, can be ! Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.

230 But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so; lle 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: 240 And therefore is love said to be a child, Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd. As waggish boys themselves in game 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, 250 Pursue 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 sight thither and back again.




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