Page images
PDF
EPUB

06. Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye!
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.-
When thou wak’st, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.

Re-enter Puck.
Puck. Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand;
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover's fee;
Shall we their fond pageant see ?
Lord, what fools these mortals be !

Ob. Stand aside : the noise they make
Will cause Demetrius to awake.

Puck. Then will two at once, woo one ;
That must needs be sport alone;
And those things do best please me,
That befal prepost'rously.

Enter LYSANDER and Helena.
Lys. Why should you think, that I should woo in scorn?

Scorn and derision never come in tears : Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,

lo their nativity all truth appears. How can these things in me seem scorn to you, Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true ?

Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more.

When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
These vows are Hermia's; Will you give her o'er ?

Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh :
Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales,
Will even weigh ; and both as light as tales.

Lys. I had no judgment, when to her I swore.
Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
Dem. [awaking.) O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect,

divine !

(0) This alludes to what was said before :

-the bolt of Copid sell:
" It fell upon a little western dower,
* Before in ilk-white, now purple with love's wound." STEEVENS.

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne ?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow !
That pure congealed white, high Taurus’ snow,'
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow,
When thou hold'st up thy hand: 0 let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss !

Hel. O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me, for your merriment.
If you were civil, and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But

you must join, in souls, to mock me too ?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so ;
To vow, and swear, and superpraise 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 enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes,
With your derision! none, of noble sort,
Would so offend a virgin ; and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.

Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so; For you love Hermia ; this, you know, I know : 1 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.

Lys. Helen, it is not so.

Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know, Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear. -Look, where thy love comes ; yonder is thy dear. (0) Taurus is the name of a range of mountains in Asia. JOHNSON. [2] He has in Measure for Measure, the same image:

** But my kisses bring again,

Seals of love, but seal'd in vain. JOHNSOS. (3) Harass, lormeat JOHNSON,

pays

Enter HERMIA. Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes, The ear more quick of apprehension makes ; Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense, It the hearing double recompense :Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found ; Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound. But why unkindly didst thou leave me so ?

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 Than all yon fiery oes 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 spite of me.-
Injurious Hermia ! most ungrateful maid !
Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd
To bait me with this foul derision ?
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd,
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the basty-footed time
For parting us,-0, and is all forgot ?s
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence ?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our neelds created both one flower ;
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,

1) Shakespeare uses O for a circle. STEEVENS.

D'Ewes's Journal of Queen Elisabeth's Parliaments, p. 650, mentions a patent to make spangles and oes of gold:

and I thiok haberdashers call small curtain rings O's, as being circular. TOLLET.

(5] Mr Gibbon observes, that in a poem of Gregory Nazianzen on his own life, are some beautiful lines which burst from the heart, and speak the pangs of injured and lost friendship, resembling these. He adds, “ Shakespeare had never read the poems of Gregory Nazianzen : he was ignorant of the Greek language ; but his mother tongue, the language of nature, is the same in Cappadocia and in Britain." Gibbon's Hisl. Vol. II. p. 15. REED,

[6] Most of our modern editors, with the old copies, have-needles; but the Ford was probably written by Shakespeare neelds, (a common contraction in the inland counties at this day.) otherwise the verse would be inharmonious. In the age of Shakespeare many contractions were used. or the evisceration and extension of words, however, T. Churchyard atľords the most numerous and glariog instances; for be has not scrupled even to give us rune instead of ruin, and miest iostead of mist, when he wants rhymes to soon and criest.

STEEVENS.

Both warbling of one song, 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 a union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem :
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
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, 'tis not maidenly:
Our sex, 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 set 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 with his foot,)
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 ?
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, so 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, perséver, counterfeit sad 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 pity,

1, grace, or manders,
You would not make me such an argument.
But, fare well: 'tis partly mine own fault;
Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy.

ye

(7] These are, as Theobald observes, terms peculiar to heraldry; but that observation does not help to explain them.-Every branch of a family is called a house : and none but the first of the first house can bear the arms of the family, without some distinction. Two of the first, therefore, means two coats of the first house, which are properly due but to one. M. MASON,

[ocr errors]

Lys. Stay, gentle Helena ; hear my excuse ;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena !
Hel. O excellent !
Her. Sweet, do not scorn ber so.
Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat ;
Thy threats have no more strength, than her weak

prayers.
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.

Dein. I say, I love thee more than he can do.
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw, and

prove

it too.
Dem. Quick, come,
Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!

Dem. No, no, sir :-he will
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 is this,
Sweet love?

Lys. Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine ! hated potion, 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, 1 perceive,
A weak bond holds you ; l'll not trust your word.

Lys. 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 erewhile.
Since night, 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,

Vol. III,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »