« PreviousContinue »
Ege. With duty and desire we follow you.
DEMETRIUS, and Train.
so pale ?
Her. Belike, for want of rain ; which I could well
Lys. Ah me! For aught that ever I could read,
Her. O cross! too high to be enthralled to low!
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
Her. If then true lovers have been ever crossed,
And she respects me as her only son.
If thou lov’st me then,
My good Lysander !
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 ;3 and your tongue's sweet air More tunable than lark to shepherd's ear, When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. Sickness is catching; 0, were favor 4 Yours 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.
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.
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, Seemed Athens like a paradise to me. 0, 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 LYSANDER. 1 i. e. changed, transformed.
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 vile, holding no quantity, Love can transpose to form and dignity. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged 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 beguiled. As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, So the boy Love is perjured every where; For ere Demetrius looked on Hermia's eyne, He hailed down oaths, that he was only mine; And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt, So he dissolved, 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, 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.
SCENE II. The same. A Room in a Cottage.
Enter SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, QUINCE, and
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.
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;
The foolish fates."
This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ; a lover is more condoling
Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
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.