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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.
O, 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 smiles 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 a.
HEL. None. But your beauty; would that fault wero 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 like a paradise to me:
O then, what graces in my love do dwell,

That he bath turn'd a heaven unto a hello!
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:

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' Aights 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 c. the word fair that Helena catches the words of Hermia; but she would also catch her voice, her intonation, and her expression, as well as her words. We do not think, as Mr. Halliwell thinks, that the reading of the second folio helps the matter :-" Your words I'd catch.” * This is the reading of the quarto printed by Fisher. That by Roberts, and the folio, read

“ His folly, Helena, is none of mine."
Unto a hell. So Fisher's quarto. The others, into hell.
* In the original editions we have the following reading: -

"And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms, of their counsel swell’d,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet,
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes

To seek new friends and strange companions." It will be observed that the whole dialogue is in rhyme; and the introduction, therefore, of four lines of blank verse has a harsh effect. The emendations were made by Theobald; and they are

[Exit HER.

[Exit LYSANDER.

Farewell, sweet playfellow; 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.
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 !

Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
He 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 vild“, 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 :
And therefore is love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguild.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy love is perjur'd everywhere:
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 be dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's fight:
Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night,
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.

[Exit.

certainly ingenious and unforced. Companies for companions has an example in 'Henry V.:'

“ His companies unletter'd, rude, and shallow." We cannot carry our reverence for the old texts so far as to exclude such an evident improvement.

• Vildhvile. The word repeatedly occurs in Shakspere, as in Spenser; and when it does so occur we are scarcely justified in substituting the vile of the modern editors.

So oft, in the quartos. The folio, often.

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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 the 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 ? 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,
And shivering shocks,
Shall break the locks

Of prison-gates;
And Phibbus' car
Shall shine from far,
And make and mar

The foolish fates." This was lofty!-Now name the rest of the players. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is more condoling.

Scrip-script-& written paper. Bills of exchange are called by Locke“ scrips of paper;" and the term is still known upon the Stock Exchange.

• Bottom and Sly both speak of a theatrical representation as they would of a piece of cloth or a pair of shoes. Sly says of the play, “ 'T is a very excellent piece of work."

Ercles-Hercules-was one of the roaring heroes of the rude drama which preceded Shakspere. In Greene's . Groat's-worth of Wit' (1592), a player says, “ The twelve labours of Hercules have I terribly thundered on the stage.” There is a passage in Heywood's ' Apology for Actors' which strikingly exhibits the Hercules of the drama for the multitude,—" fighting with Hydra, murdering Geryon, slaughtering Diomed, wounding the Stymphalides, killing the Centaurs," &c., &c.

as

Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Flu. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Flu. What is Thisby? a wandering knight?
QUIN. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
Flu. Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; I have a beard coming.
Quin. That 's all one; you shall play it in a mask®, and you may speak as small

you

will. Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too: I ll speak in a monstrous

little voice ;—"Thisne, Thisne, -Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby

dear! and lady dear!" QUIN. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and, Flute, you Thisby. Bor. Well, proceed. Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor. STAR. Here, Peter Quince. Quin. Robert Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.-Tom Snout, the

tinker. SNOUT. Here, Peter Quince. Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father ;-Snug, the joiner, you,

the lion's part:-and, I hope, here is a play fitted. SNUG. Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am

slow of study. Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring. Bot. Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good

to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, “Let him roar again,

let him roar again." QUIN. An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the duchess and the

ladies, that they would shriek; and that were enough to hang us all. All. That would hang us, every mother's son. Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the ladies out of their wits,

they would have no more discretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you

an 't were any nightingale. Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus : for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man;

a proper man as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, gentleman

like man; therefore you must needs play Pyramus. Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in ? Quin. Why, what you will. Bor. I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny

beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-coloured beard, your

perfect yellow. Quin. Some of your French crowns have no bair at all, and then you will play

bare-faced.—But, masters, here are your parts: and I am to intreat you, request you, and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night: and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight; there we will rehearse : for if we meet in the city we shall be dogg'd with company, and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw a bill of properties 6

such as our play wants. I pray you fail me not. Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse more obscenely and cou

rageously. Take pains; be perfect; adieu. Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. Bor. Enough. Hold, or cut bow-strings *

[Exeunt.

• Capell says, this is a proverbial expression derived from the days of archery :—“When a party was made at butts, assurance of meeting was given in the words of that phrase."

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