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You thief of love! what, have you come by night,
And stol'n my love's heart from him?

Hel. Fine, i'faith!
Have you no modesty, no maiden fhame,
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you !

Her. Puppet! why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now, I perceive, that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urg'd her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevaild with him.-
And are you grown so high in his esteem,
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole ? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low,
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me : I was never curst;
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid, for my cowardice:
Let her not strike me, You, perhaps, may think,
Because she's fomething lower than myself,
That I can match her.

Her, Lower! hark, again.

Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I ever more did love you, Hermia,'
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth unto this wood :
He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him.
But he hath chid me hence, and threaten'd me

- I had rather be a canker in a hedge

“ Than a rose in his grace.”
but a worm that preys on the leaves or buds of flowers, always be-
ginning in the middle. . So in the famous pasage,

" like a worm i'th'bud,
« Feed on her damalk cheek.” STEEVENS,



To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no further. Let me go:
You see how simple and how fond I am. S

Her. Why, get you gone: Who is't that hinders



Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
Her. What, with Lysander ?
Hel. With Demetrius.
Lyf. Be not afraid, she shall not harm thee, Helena.
Dem. No, sir; she shall not, though you take her

Hel. O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd:
She was a vixen when she went to school;
And though she be but little, she is fierce.

Her. Little again ? nothing but low, and little ? -
Why will you suffer her to fout me thus?
Let me come to her.

Lys. Get you gone, you dwarf,
You . Minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made ;

You .bow fond I am.] Fond, i.e. foolish ; often us'd in that sense by our author :-Merchant of Venice, act ii. sc. 4.

I do wonder
“ Thou naughty goaler that thou art so fond .

* To come abroad with him."
* You Minimus,-) Shakespeare might have given it,

You Minim, you, i. e. You Diminutive of the Creation, you Repuile, as in Milton.

THEOBALD. _ bindring knot-grass made. It appears that knot; grass was anciently supposed to prevent the growth of any animal or child.

Beaumont and Fletcher mention this property of it in The Knight of the Burning Peftle:

“ Should they put him into a frait pair of gaskins, 'twere " worse than knor-grass, he would never grow after it."

Again in The Coxcomb:

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You bead, you acorn.

Dem. You are too officious,
In her behalf that scorns your services,
Let her alone; speak not of Helena,
Take not her part: for if thou dost intend
Never so little shew of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it,

Lys. Now she holds me not;
Now follow, if thou dar'ft; to try whose right,
Or thine, or mine, is most in Helena,
Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by

[Exit Lysander and Demetrius, Her. You, mistress, all this coyl is long of you : Nay, go not back.

Hel. I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company,
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray ;
My legs are longer, though, to run away.
Her. I am anaz’d, and know not what to say.

[Exeunt : Hermia pursuing Helena. Ob. This is thy negligence : ftill thou mistak'st, Or else commit’it thy knaveries willingly.'

Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook. Did not you tell me, I should know the man By the Athenian garments he had on? And so far blameless proves my enterprize, That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes :

“ We want a boy extremely for this function, kept under, for “ a year, with milk and kno-grass." Daisy-roots were supposed to have the fame effect.

STEEVENS. 8. Tkou frati aby it.] To aby is to pay dear for, to suffer. So in the Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 :

" Had I a sword and buckler here,

« You should aby these questions." The word has occur'd before in this play. STEEVENS,

9 ---Thy knaveries willingly.] The quarto in 1600 reads wilfully. Stevens


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And so far am I glad it did so fort,
As this their jangling! esteem a sport.

Ob. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight;
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fogs, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander, fonetime, frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou, like Demetrius,
And from each other, look, thou lead them thus,
'Till o'er their brows death counterfeiting fleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye,
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with its might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend
With league, whose date 'till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy ;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monsters view, and all things shall be peace.

Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste; For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fart, And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger ; At whose approach ghosts wandering here and there Troop home to church-yard; damned spirits all, : That in cross-ways and foods have burial,

Already lo fort.) So happen in the issue. JOHNSON, virtuous property.] Salutiferous. So he calls, in the Tempest, poisonous dew, wicked dew. 'JOHNSON,

-damned fpirits all, That in cross-ways and foods kave burial.] it. The ghosts of self-murderers, who are buried in cross-roads;




[Exit Ol.

Already to their wormy beds are gone ;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully exile themselves from light,
And must for aye confort with black-brow'd night.

Ob. But we are spirits of another fort;
I with the morning's love have oft made sport ; *
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his falt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay :
We may effect this business yet ere day.

Puck. Up and down, up and down:
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field in town;
Goblin, lead them


and down, Here comes one.

Enter Lysander. Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak

thou now. Puck. Here, villain ; drawn and ready. Where

art chou? Lys. I will be with thee straight.

Puck. Follow me then To plainer ground. [Lys. goes out, as following Dem.

and of thofe who being drowned, were condemned (according to the opinion of the ancients) to wander for a hundred years, as the rites of sepulture had never been regularly bestowed on their bodies. STEEVENS.

* I with the n.orning's love have oft made sport.] Thus all the old copies, and I think, rightly. Tithonus was the husband of Aurora, and Tithonus was no young Deity. How such a waggilh spirit as the King of the Fairies might make sport with an antiquated lover may be easily understood. Dr. Johnson reads with all the modern editors, “I with the morning light, &c."


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