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Ege. With duty and desire we follow you.
Lys. How now, so pale ? How chance the roses there do fade so fast?
[Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, DEMETRIUS, and Train.
my love! Why is your cheek
Her. Belike, for want of rain; which I could well Beteem1 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!
Her. O cross! too high to be enthralled to low!
Her. If then true lovers have been ever crossed,
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross;
As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,
Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me, Her
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
great revénue, and she hath no child.
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
1 Bestow, or, according to Steevens, pour out.
3 Blackened, as with smut, coal.
And she respects me as her only son.
My good Lysander!
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves;
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 tunable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
1 Shakspeare forgot that Theseus performed his exploits before the Trojan war, and, consequently, long before the death of Dido.
2 Fair for fairness, beauty-very common in writers of Shakspeare's age.
3 The lode-star is the leading or guiding star, that is, the polar-star. The magnet is, for the same reason, called the lode-stone. 4 Countenance, feature.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still. Hel. O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love,-
Her. Take comfort; he no more shall see my face; Lysander and myself will fly this place.Before the time I did Lysander see, Seemed Athens like a paradise to me. O, then, what graces in my love do dwell, That he hath turned a heaven unto hell!
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
[Exit HERMIA. Lys. I will, my Hermia.-Helena, adieu. As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!
Hel. How happy some o'er other some can be!
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
SCENE II. The same. A Room in a Cottage.
Enter SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, QUINCE, and 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 on to a point.1
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? 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 humor is for a tyrant; I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
"The raging rocks,
Of prison gates;
This was lofty!-Now name the rest of the players -This is Ercles' vein, a 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.
1 Grow on to a point. This is the reading of the first folio, and is probably a misprint for go on to appoint, i. e. appoint the actors to their several parts.