Page images


If you were men, as men you are, in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so ;
To vow and swear, and super-praise my parts ;
When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia,
And now both rivals to mock Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprize,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes,
With your derision ! none of nobler fort,
Wouli so offend a virgin ; and extort'
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport. .

Lyf. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so,
For you love Hermia; this, you know, I know ;
And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Whom I do love, and will do to my death,

Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone.
'My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd;
And now to Helen it is home return'd,
There to remain..
Lyf. Helen, it is not fo.

Dem. Disparage not the faith, thou doft not know, Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dearm Look, where thy. love comes ; yonder is thy dear.


[ocr errors]

But you must join, ILL fouls, to mock me 100? Ill is often used for bad, wicked.

Observations and Conjectures, &c. printed at Oxford, 1766. This is a very reasonable conjecture, though I think it is hardly right. Johnson. 9 Extort a poor soul's patience.] Harrass, torment. JOHNSON. My heart to her.) We should read,

My beart with her but as guest-wife sojourn'd.
So Prior,

No matter wbat beauties I saw in my way,
Tbey were but my vifars, but then not my home.



Enter Hermia.
Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function

The ear more quick of apprehension makes:
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,

pays the hearing double recompence.-
Thou art not by mine eye, Lyfander, found;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy found.
But why unkindly did'st thou leave me fo?
Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth press

to go? Her. What love could press Lysander from my side?

Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him 'bide, Fair Helena; who more engilds the night, Then all yon fiery O's ? and

eyes of light. Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know, The hate, I bear thee, made me leave thee so?

Her. You speak not, as you think : it cannot be.

Hel. Lo, she is one of this confederacy! Now, I perceive, they have conjoin'd, all three, To fashion this false sport in spight to me. Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid ! Have you conspir’d, have you with these contriv'd To bait me with this soul derision? Is all the counsel that we two have fhar'd, The sisters vows, the hours that we have spent, When we have chid the hafty-footed time For parting us, O, and is all forgot? All school-days friendship, childhood innocence ? We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,

[ocr errors]

all yon fiery O's.] I would willingly believe that the poetwrote ficry orbs. Johnson. Shakespeare uses O for a circle. So in the prologue to Hen. V.

.“ can we crowd
“ Within this little O, the very casques
“ That did affright the air at Agincourt ?"

STEEVENS. 3-in spite of me.] I read, in spite to me. JOHNSON.


[ocr errors]

Have with our 8 needles created both one flower;
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion ;
Both warbling of one fong, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted;
But yet an union in partition,
Two lovely berries molded on one stem :
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart >
9 Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rend our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'eis not maidenly:
Our fex, as well as I, may chide you for it;
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Her. I am amazed at your passionate words:
I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.

Hel. Have you not fet Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me, and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius,
(Who even but now did spurn me at his foor)
To call me Goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial ? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates ? and wherefore doth Lysander
Deny your love so rich within his soul,
And tender me, forsooth, affection ;
But by your setting on, by your consent?

* Have with our needles, &c.] It was probably written by Shakespeare neilds (a common contraction in the inland counties at this day) otherwise the verse will be in harmonious, See Gammer Gurton's Needle. STEEVENS.

. Two of the firft life, ccals in heraldry,

Due but 10 one, and crowned with one creft:] The true correction of this passage I owe to the friendship and communication of the ingenious Martin Folkes, esq.-Two of the firft, fecond, &c. are terms peculiar in Heraldry, to disinguish the different quarterings of coats. THEOBALD. VOL. III.



What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, fo fortunate;
But miserable most, to love unlov'd ?
This you should pity rather than despise.

Her. I understand not what you mean by this.

Hel. Ay, do, persever', counterfeit fad looks,
Make mouths upon me, when I turn my back;
Wink at each other, hold the sweet jest up:
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
If you have any picy, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument:
But, fare ye well : 'tis partly mine own fault,
Which death, or abfence, foon shall remedy.

Lys. Stay, gentle Helena ; hear my excuse ;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena !

Hel. O excellent!
Her. Sweet, do not scorn her fo.
Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

Lyf. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
Thy threars have no more strength, than her weak

Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do;
I swear, by that which I will lose for thee,
To prove him false, that says I love thee not.

Dem. I say, I love thee more than he can do.
Lyy. If thou say 'so, withdraw and prove it too.


[ocr errors]

Ay, do, persever -] Perlever. is the reading of all the old copies. The word was formerly to pronounced. Thus our author in 'atl's Well that ends Well,' act iv. sc. 2.

- o'say thou art mine, and ever
My love, as it begins, so Mall perfever.

STEVENS. : -fach an argument. suclia fubjea of light merriment.

So Isabella, speaking to Lucio in Measure for Measure;-
* Make me not, fir, your fiory.” Steevens.

-than her weak prayers.] The old copies read,
ban her weak praise. STEEVENS.



[is this?

Dem. Quick, come-
Her. Lylander, whereto tends all this?
Lyf. Away, you Ethiop!

Dem. No, no; he'll
Seem to break loose, take on, as you would follow,
But yet come not : you are a tame, man, go.
Lys. Hang off thou cat, thou burr: vile thing,

let loose ; Or I will shake thee from me, like a serpent.

Her. Why are you grown so rude? what change Sweet love!

Lyf. Thy love ? out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine ! hated poison, hence!

Her. Do you not jest ?
Hel. Yes, sooth; and so do you.
Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

Dem. I would, I had your bond: for, I perceive, A weak bond holds you ; I'll not trust your word. Lyf. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her

dead? Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.

Her. What, can you do me greater harm than hate? Hate me! wherefore ? O me! what news, my love? Am not I Hermia ? are not you Lysander? I am as fair now, as I was ere-while. Sincenight, you lov’d me; yet, since night you left me: Why then you left me ?-0 the gods forbid ! -In earnest, shall I say?

Lys. Ay, by my life; And never did desire to see thee more. Therefore be out of hope, of question, doubt; Be certain, nothing truer ; 'tis no jest, That I do hate thee, and love Helena. Her. O me! you jugler! oh, you canker-blossom !*

You -you canker.blofom!) The canker-bl fom is not in this place the blossom of the canker or wild rose, which our author al. ludes to in Much Ado About Nothing, acti. sc. 6. F 2

« I had

« PreviousContinue »