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Claud If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle. | learned constable is too cunning to be understood. Rene. Shall I speak a word in your ear?

What's your offence?

aud. God bless me from a challenge? Bene. You are a villain;-I jest not:-I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare:-Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you: Let me hear from you. Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.

D. Pedro. What,a feast? a feast? Claud. I'faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf's head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught.Shall I not find a woodcock too?

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily. D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day: I said thou hadst a fine wit: True, says she, a fine little one: No, said I, a great wit; Right, says she, a great gross one: Nay, said I, a good wit; Just, said she, it hurts nobody: Nay said I, the gentleman is wise; Certain, said she, a wise gentleman: Nay said I, he hath the tongues; That I believe, said she for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue; there's two tongues. Thus did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular virtues; yet, at last, she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy. Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said she cared not.

D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet for all that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly: the old man's daughter told us all.

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the married man?

Bene. Fare you well, boy; you know my mind; I will leave you now to your gossip-like humor: you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not.-My lord, for your many courtesies, I thank you: I must discontinue your company your brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina: you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady: For my lord lack-beard, there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him. [Exit BENEDICK.

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee!
Cland. Most sincerely.

D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he
goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit!
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with
CONRADE and BORACHIO.

Claud. He is then a giant to an ape: but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be; pluck up, my heart, and be sad! Did he not say, my brother was fled?

Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.

D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound? Borachio, one!'

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord! D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done!

Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes; what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who, in the night, over heard me confessing to this man, how don Johr your brother incensed me to slander the lady Hero: how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you disgraced her, when you should marry her: my villany they have upon record; which I had rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame: the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing bu the reward of a villain.

Bora.
Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain; thou bely'st thyself;
Here stand a pair of honorable men,
A third is fled, that had a hand in it:-
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death;
Record it with your high and worthy deeds;
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak: Choose your revenge yourself;
D. Pedro. He is in earnest.
Impose me to what penance your invention
Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll war-Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not,
rant you, for the love of Beatrice.
But in mistaking.

Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth, and lastly they nave belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified just things; and. to conclude, they are lying knaves. D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge?

D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?

Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited. D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters; that you are thus bound to your answer? this

1 Serious.

Claut. I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.
D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it
D. Pedro. He is compos'd and frame'd of trea
chery:-

And fled he is upon this villany.

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I loved it first.

D. Pedro.

By my soul, nor I;
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live,
That were impossible: but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died: and, if your love
Can labor aught in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night:-
To-morrow morning come you to my house,
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us;
Give her the right you should have given her cousm,
And so dies my revenge.

Claud.
O, noble sir,
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.

Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming
To-night I take my leave.-This naughty man
un-Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,

Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

Bora.

No, by my soul, she was not;
Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to ine
But always hath been just and virtuous,
In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, sir,(which, indeed, is not under white and black,) this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered • Acquaint.

Incited.

• Combined.

Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs; by this time our sexton hath reformed signior Leonato ot the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specity when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, and the sexton too.

Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton.

Leon. Which is the villain? Let me see his eycs
That when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him: Which of these is he?
Bora. If you would know your wronger, look

slave, that with thy breath

on me.

Leon. Art thou the hast kill'd Mine innocent child?

in his punishment: And also the watch heard them talk of one Deforined: they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it; and borrows money in God's name; the which he hath used so long, and never paid, that now men grow hardhearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake: Pray you, examine him upon that point.

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. Dagh. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you. Lon. There's for thy pains. Dogb. God save the foundation! Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which, I beseech your worship, to correct yourself, for the example of others. God keep your worship; I wish your worship well; God restore you to health: I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it-Come, neighbor.

Ex. DOG BERY, VERGES, and Watch. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. Ant. Farewell, my lords; we look for you to

morrow.

D. Pedro. We will not fail.
Claud.

To-night I'll mourn with Hero. [Exeunt Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO. Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk with Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow. [Exeunt.

SCENE IL-Leonato's Garden. Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting. Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, deArve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

Mirg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty!

Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for in most comely truth, Lapu deserves it.

Murg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs?

Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.

Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.

Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so I pray thee, call Beatrice: give thee the bucklers.

1

Mirg. Give us the sword, we have bucklers of

our own.

Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice; and they are dangerous

reapons for maids.

Mirg well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I
Ank, hath legs.
[Exit MARGARET.
Bene. And therefore will come.

[Singing.]

The got of love,
That sits above,

And knows me, and knows me,
How pitiful I deserve,-

I mean, in singing: but in loving,-Leander the
good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pan-
dars, and a whole book full of these quondam car-
pet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the
even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so
truly turned over and over as my poor self, in love:
Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have tried; I
can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an innocent
rhyme; for scorn, horn, a hard rhyme; for school,
f a babbling rhyme; very ominous endings:
No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor 1
Cannot woo in festivial terms.

Enter BEATRICE.

Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called
bre?

Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.
Bne. 0. stay out till then!

Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now:-And yet, ere I go, let me go with that I care for, which is, with knowing what hath passed between ou and Claudio.

Sene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will tiss then.

Wicked.

Beat. Foul words are but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit: But I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?

Beat. For them all together; which maintained so politic a state of evil, that they will not adinit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me? Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.

Beat. In spite of your heart, I think; alas! poor heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.

Bens. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.

Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time of good neighbors: if a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monument than the bell rings, and the widow weeps.

Beat. And how long is that, think you?

Bene. Question?-Why, an hour in clamor, and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is most expedient for the wise, (if don Worm his consciense find no impediment to the contrary,) to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So much for praising myself, (who, I myself will bear witness is praise-worthy,) and now tell me, How doth your cousin?

Beat. Very ill.

Bene. And how do you?

Beat. Very ill too.

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there, will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.

Enter URSULA.

Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle; yonder's old coils at home: it is proved, my lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused; and don John is the author of all, who is fled and gone: will you come presently?

Beut. Will you go hear this news, signior? Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes, and, moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.-The Inside of a Church. Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and Attendants, with music and tapers.

Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato ?
Atten. It is, my lord.
Claud. [Reads from a scroll.]

Dome to death by slanderous tongues,
Was the Hero that here lies:
Death in guerdon of her wrongs,

Gives her fame which never dies:
So the life, that died with shame,
Lives in death with glorious jume.

Hang thou there upon the tomb, [Affixing
Praising her when I am dumb.-

music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.

SONG.

Pardon, goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight,
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.
Midnight, assist our moun;
Help us to sigh and groan,
Heavily, heavily:

Graves yawn, and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,
Heavily, heavily.

Claud. Now unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite.

D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters; put your
torches out:
The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day
Reward

• Stir.

Now,

112

I am your husband, if you like of me.
Hero. And when I lived I was your other wife:
[Unmasking.
And when you loved, you were my other husband.
Claud. Another Hero?

Hero.

before the wheels of Phoebus, round about

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey: Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well. Claud. Good morrow, masters; each his several

way.

D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds; And then to Leonato's we will go. Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speeds, Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe!

[Exeunt. SCENE IV.-A Room in Leonato's House. Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, URSULA, Friar, and HERO.

Friat Did I not tell you she was innocent? Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her,

Upor. the error that you heard debated:
But Margaret was in some fault for this,
Although against her will, as it appears
In the true course of all the question.

Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

Leon. Well, daughter, and you, gentlewoman all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves; And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd: The prince and Claudio promised by this hour To visit me:- You know your office, brother; You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies. Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. Friar. To do what, signior?"

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior, Your niece regards me with an eye of favor. Leon. That eye my daughter lent her: 'Tis most

true.

me,

Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her.
Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from
From Claudio and the prince; But what's your will?
Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
But, for my will, my will is, your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the estate of honorable marriage;-

In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
Leon. My heart is with your liking.
Friar.
And my help.

Here comes the prince, and Claudio.
Enter Don PEDRO, and CLAUDIO, with Attendants.
D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.
Leon. Good morrow, prince: good morrow, Clau-
dio;

We here attend you; are you yet determin'd
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar
ready.
[Exit ANTONIO.
D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's
the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull:Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with And all Europa shall rejoice at thee; A3 once Europa did at fusty Jove,

When he would play the noble beast in love.
Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;

And some such strange bull leap'd your father's

COW, And got a calf in that same noble feat, Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

Re-enter ANTON10, with the Ladies masked. Claud. For this I owe you: here come other

reckonings. Which is the lady I must seize upon?

Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her. Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me see your face. Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand, Before this friar, and swear to marry her. Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar;

Nothing certainer:

One Hero died defil'd; but I do live,
And, surely as I live, I am a maid.

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead! Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander lived.

Friar. All this amazement can I qualify;
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:
Mean time let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.

Bene. Soft and fair. friar.-Which is Beatrice !
Beat. I answer to that name; [Unmasking.)
What is your will?

Bene. Do not you love me? Beat. No, no more than reason. Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and Claudio, Have been deceived; for they swore you did. Beat. Do you not love me? Bene. No, no more than reason. Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did. Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret,and Ursula,

Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for me. Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me. Bene. 'Tis no such matter:-Then you do not love me?

Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense.
Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the
gentleman.
Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves
her;

For here's a paper, written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain.
Fashion'd to Beatrice.

Hero.

And here's another, Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket, Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts!- Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.

Beat. I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to save your life; for I was told you were in a consumption.

Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth

Bene. I'll tell thee what prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor: Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram: No: If a man will be beaten with brains, he shall

wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, since I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin. Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have de

gold,nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out

[Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married man?

of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends.- let's have a dance, ere we are married, that we might lighten our own hearts and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.

Bene. First, on my word; therefore, play, music. Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife: there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in fight, And brought with armed men back to Messina. Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up, pipers. [Danie.-Lxeunt

Because.

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SCENE L-Athens. A Room in the Palace of
Theseus.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and
Attendants.

The. Now, fair Hyppolyta, our nuptual hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how slow
This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young man's revenue.
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in
nights;

Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

The.

Go, Philostrate,

Stir
up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
[Exit PHILOSTRATE.
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.

Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS.

SCENE, Athens; and a Wood not far from it.

ACT I.

OBERON, King of the Fairies.
TITANIA, Queen of the fairies.
PUCK, or ROBIN-GOODFELLOW, a Fairy
PEAS-BLOSSOM,
COBWEB,

Моти, CORD

M

Ere. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke! The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with thee?

Pyramus, Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, Lion,

Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia,Stand forth, Demetrius;- My noble lord, This man hath my consent to marry her:Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious duke, This hath bewitched the bosom of my child: Thou, tho, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,

Fairies.

Characters in the Interlud performed by the Clowns

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen Attendants on Theseus and Hyppolyta.

And interchanged love-tokens with my child:
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
And stol'n the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gauds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart;
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness:- And, my gracious duke,
Be it so she will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;
As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death; according to our law,
Immediately provided in that case.

The. What say you, Hermia? be advised, fair maid:

[blocks in formation]

For ever the society of men.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,
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 sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage:
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
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,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.

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.

Thy crazed title to my certain right.

Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius: Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.

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.

Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, As well possess'd; my love is more than his; My fortunes 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:

Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia;-And, Lysander, By all the vows that ever men have broke,

yield

In number more than ever woman 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.

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 she, sweet lady, dotes
on this spotted and inconstant man.

The. I must confess, that I have heard so much. And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; But, being over-full of self-affairs,

My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
And come, Egeus; you shall go with me;
I have some private schooling for you both.-
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
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 Hippolyta; What cheer, my love?
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along:

I must employ you in some business
Against our nuptual; and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
Ege. With duty and desire, we follow you.

Exeunt THES., HIP., EGE., 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 momentanya 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:
Bo quick bright things come to confusion.
Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
1 Wicked.
a Give, bestow.

• Momentary.

• Black.

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 inarry 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.

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;

Enter HELENA.

Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away? Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. Demetrius loves you 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 favor so!
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your ey
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melo
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. O, that your frowns would teach my smiler such skill!

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 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,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me:

then, what graces in my love do dwell, That he hath turn'd a heaven unto hell!

Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unsold To-morrow night when Phoebe 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 sweet; There my Lysander and myself shall meet: And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes, To seek new friends and stranger companies. Farewell, sweet play-fellow; 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. Erit HERM. Lys. I will, my Hermia-Helena, adieu: As you on him. Demetrius dote on you! | Eri! 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;

• Love's.

Pole stars.

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