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Could ever hear by Tale or Hiftory,
The Courfe of true Love never did run finooth,
But either it was different in Blood.

Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to Love.
Lyf. Or elfe mifgraffed, in refpect of Years
Her, O Spight! too old to be engag'd too young.
Lyf. Or else it ftood upon the choice of Merit
Her. O Hell! to chufe Love by another's Eye.
Lyf. Or if there were a Sympathy in Choice,
War, Death, or Sicknefs, did lay Siege to it;
Making it momentary as a Sound,
Swift as a Shadow, fhort as any Dream,
Brief as the Lightning in the collied Night,
That in a Spleen unfolds both Heaven and Earth;
And e'er a Man hath Power to fay, Behold,
The Jaws of Darkness do devour it up;
So quick bright Things come to Confufion.

Her. If then true Lovers have been ever croft,
It ftands as an Edi& in Destiny:

Then let us teach our Trial Patience,
Because it is a customary Crofs,


As due to Love, as Thoughts, and Dreams, and Sighs, Wishes and Tears, poor Fancy's Followers.

Lyf. A good Perfuafion; therefore hear me, Hermia, I have a Widow-Aunt, a Dowager,

Of great Revenue, and the hath no Child;
From Athens is her House remov'd feven Leagues,
And the refpects me as her only Son:
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
And to that Place, the harp Athenian Law
Cannot purfue us. If thou lov'ft me, then
Steal forth thy Father's Houfe to Morrow Nigh;
And in the Wood, a League without the Town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,

To do Obfervance for a Morn of May,
There will I ftay for the.

Her. My good Lyfander,

I fwear to thee, by Cupid's ftrongest Bow,
By his Beft Arrow with the Golden head,
By the Simplicity of Venus Doves,

By that which knitteth Souls, and profpers Love,

B 4


And by that Fire which burn'd the Carthage Queen,
When the falfe Trojan, under Sail, was feen;
By all the Vows that ever Men have broke,
In number more than ever Women spoke,
In that fame Place thou haft appointed me,
To Morrow truly will I meet with thee,
Lys. Keep promife Love. Look, here comes Helena.
Enter Helena.

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Her. God fpeed fair Helena, whither away?
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unfay,
Demetrius loves you fair; O happy fair!
Your Eyes are Load-ftars, and your Tongue's fweet Air,
More tunable than Lark to Shepherd's Ear,
When Wheat is green, when Haw-thorn Buds appear.
Sickness is catching: O were Favour fo,
Your Words I'd catch, fair Hermia, e'er I go,
My Ear fhould catch your Voice, my Eye your Eye,
My Tongue fhould catch your Tongue's fweet Melody.
Were the World mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'll give to be to you tranflated.
O teach me how you look, and with what Art
You fway the Motion of Demetrius Heart.

Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me ftill.
Hel. O that your Frowns would teach my Smiles fuch
Her. I give him Curfes, yet he gives me Love. (Skill.
Hel. O that my Prayers could fuch 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 none of mine.

Hel. None but your Beauty, would that Fault were mine. Her. Take Comfort; he no more fhall fee my Face, Lyfander and my felf will fly this Place.

Before the time I did Lyfander fee,
Seem'd Athens like a Paradife to me.
O then, what Graces in my Love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a Heav'n into Hell?

Lyf. Helen, to you our Minds we will unfold,
To Morrow Night, when Phabe doth behold
Her Silver Vifage in the wat'ry Glass,
Decking with Liquid Pearl the bladed Grafs,:

A Time that Lovers Flights doth ftill conceal,
Through Athens Gate have we devis'd to steal.

Her. And in the Wood, where often you and I
Upon faint Primrose-beds were wont to lye,
Emptying our Bofoms of their Counfel fwell'd;
There my Lyfander and my self shall meet,
And thence from Athens turn away our Eyes,
To feek new Friends and ftrange Companions.
Farewel fweet Play-fellow, pray thou for us,
And good Luck grant thee thy Demetrius.
Keep Word, Lysander, we must ftarve our Sight
From Lovers Food, 'till Morrow deep Midnight.

[Exit Hermia.

Lyf. I will, my Hermia. Helena adieu, As you on him, Demetrius doats on you. [Exit Lyfander.

Hel. How happy fome, o'er other fome can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as fhe.
But what of that; Demetrius thinks not fo:
He will not know, what all but he doth know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's Eyes,
So I, admiring of his Qualities:
Things bafe and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can tranfpofe 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 tafte;
Wings and no Eyes, Figure unheedy haft.
And therefore is Love faid to be a Child,
Because in Choice he often is beguil'd.
As waggifh Boys themselves in Game forfwear,
So the Boy Love is perjur'd every where.
For e'er Demetrius lookt on Hermia's Eyne,
He hail'd down Oaths that he was only mine.
And when this Hail fome Heat from Hermia felt,
So he diffolv'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
Purfue 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.

[Exit. Enter

Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Straveling. Quin. Is all our Company here?

Bot. You were beft to call them generally, Man by Man, according to the Scrip.

Quin. Here is the Scrowl of every Man's Name, which is thought fit through all Athens, to play in our Enterlude before the Duke and the Dutchefs, on his Wedding-day at Night.

Bot. First, good Peter Quince, fay what the Play treats on; then read the Names of the Actors; and fo grow on to a Point.

Quin. Marry, our Play is the most lamentable Comedy, and moft cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisby.

Bot. A very good piece of Work I affure you, and a merry. Now good Peter Quince, call forth your Actors by the Scrowl. Mafters fpread your felves.

Quin. Aufwer as I call you. Nick Bottom the Wea


Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and proceed. Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are fet 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 fome Tears in the true performing of it; if I do it, let the Audience look to their Eyes; I will condole in fome mea fure. To the reft 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 to raging Rocks, and shivering Shocks fhall break the Locks of Prison-Gates, and Phibbus's Carr fhall fhine from far, and make and mar the Foolifh Fates. This was lofty. Now name the reft 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.

Flu. What is Thisby, a wandring Knight?

Quin. It is the Lady that Pyramus must love.

Fla. 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 fmall as you will.

Bot. And I may hide my Face, let me play Thisby too; I'll fpeak in a monstrous little Voice, Thifne, Thine, ah Pyramus my Lover dear, thy Thisby dear, and Lady dear.

Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus, and Flute your Thisby.

Bat. Well, proceed.

Quin. Robin Starveling the Taylor.
Star. Here Peter Quince.

Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's Mother.

Tom Snowt, the Tinker.

Snowt. Here Peter Quince.


Quin. You Pyramus's Father; my felf, Thisby's Father; Snug, the Joiner, you the Lion's part; and I hope there is a Play fitted..

Snug. Have you the Lion's Part written? Pray you if it be give it me, for I am flow 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 fay, Let him roar again, let him roar again.

Quin. If you fhould do it too terribly, you would fright the Dutchefs and the Ladies, that they would fhriek, and that were enough to hang us all.

All. That would hang us every Mother's Son.

Bot. I grant you Friend, if that you should fright the Ladies out of their Wits, they would have no more Dif cretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my Voice fo, that I will roar you as gently as any fucking Dove; I will roar and 'twere any Nightingal,

Quin. You can play no Part but Pyramus, for Pyramış iş a fweet-fac'd Man, a proper Man as one fhall fee in a Summer's Day; amoft lovely Gentleman-like-mar, therefore you muft needs play Pyramus.

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What Beard were I beft to play it in?

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