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The sister's 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,
Created with our needles both one Aower,
Both on one sampler, fitting on one cushion;
Both warbling of one song, both in one key ;.
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds
Had been incorp'rate. 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 ;
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry, (19).
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest,
And will you rend our ancient love afunder,
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 Lysanders
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;.
(19) Two of the first life, coats in beraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one creft.] The true correcs tion of this passage l'owe to the friendship and communication of the ingenious Martin Folks, Esq;
-Two of the firfi, second, &c. are terms peculiar in beraldry to distinguish the different quarterings of coats,
But miserable most, to love unlov'd ?
This you should pity, rather than despise.
understand not what
Hel. Ay, do, persevere, counterfeit fad looks,
you mean by this.
Make mouths upon me, when I turn my back,
Wink each at other, hold the sweet jest up:
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument:
But fare ye well, 'tis partly mine own fault,
Which death or absence soon shall remedy.
Lyf. Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Heléna.
Hel. O excellent!
Her. Sweet, do not scorn her so.
Dem. If she cannot intreat, I can compel.
Lyf. Thou canst compel, no more than me intreat: Thy threats 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.
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too.
Dem. Quick, come.
Her. Lyjander, whereto tends all this?
Lyf. Away, you Ethiope!
Dem. No, no, he'll seem
To break away; take on as he would follow,
But yet come not; you are a tame man, go.
Lyf.Hang off, thou cat, thou burr; vile thing, let loofe ; Or I will shake thee from me, like a serpent.
(20) Tby threats bave no more strength than ber weak praise.] This line is certainly but an enlargement upon, or rather a variation in terms of the fense of the preceding line. But, in that, there is a désign'd Antit befis betwixt comfel and intreat: this contract of terms is wanting, in ihreats and praise : wherefore we need make no difficulty of substituting prayers. Indeed, my suspicion is, the Poet might have coin'd a subitantive plural, (from the verb, to pray) prays; i. e. prayings, entreaties, beseechings; and the identity of found might give birth to the corruption of it into praise. But I have chosen the known and familiar word.
Her. Why are you grown fo rude i what changes this? sweet love?
Lys. Thy love ? out, tawny Tartar, out;
Out, loathed medicine : hated poison, hence.
Her. Do you not jest?
Hel. Yes, sooth, and fo do you.
Lyf. 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.
Lys. What, should i hurt her, strike her, kill her dead? Although I hate her, I'll not harm her fo.
Her. What, can you do me greater harm, than hate? Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my
Am not I Hermia ? are not you Lyfander ?
I am as fair now, as I was ere-while.
Since night, you lov’d me; yet, fince night, you left mes
Why then you left me the Gods forbid !)
In earnest, fhall I say?
L. 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 jeft;
That I do hate thee, and love Helena.
Her. O me, you jugler; oh, you canker-bloffom, You thief of love ; what, have you come by night, And stoll'n my love's heart from him?
Hel. Fine, i' faith!
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness ? what, will you tear
'Impatient answers from my gentle tongue ?
Fy, fy, you counterfeit; you pupper, you.
Her. Puppet! why, so : ay, that way goes the game
Now, I perceive, that she hath made compare
Between our ftatures ; 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 fo high in his esteem,
Because I am fo dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? fpeak,
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 curft ; I have no gift at all in Threwishness ;
right maid, for my cowardice :
You, perhaps, may think,
Because the's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.
Her, Lower ! hark, again.
Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me;
I evermore did love you, Hermia,
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you ;
Save that, in love ento 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
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.
Her. Why, get you gone? who is’t, that hinders you?
Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
Her. What, with Lysander?
Hel. With Demetrius.
Lys. Be not afraid, the shall not harm thee, Helena.
Dem. No, Sir, she hall not, though you take her part.
Hel. O, when he's angry, the is keen and shrewd;
She was a vixen, when the 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.
Lyf. Get you gone, you dwarf,
You Minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made, (21)
You bead, you acorn.
Dem. (21) Tou Minimus, - ] This is no term of art, that I can finds and I can scarce be willing to think, that Sbakespeare would use the masculine of an adjective to a woman. He was not so deficient in Brammar. I have not ventur'd to disturb the text; but the Author, perbaps, might bave wrote ;
You, Minim, you,
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 thew of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.
Lys. Now she holds me not ;
Now follow, if thou dar'lt ; to try whose right,
Or thine, or mine, is most in Helena.
with thee cheek by jowl
. [Exeunt Lyfander 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 curft company,
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer, though, to run away,
[Exeunt : Hermia pursuing Helena.
Enter Oberon and Puck.
Ob. This is thy negligence : ftill thou mistak'it,
Or elle committit 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
And so far am I glad it did so fort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
Ob. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fights
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
i. e. You diminutive of the creation, you reptile. In this sense, to use a more recent authority, Milton uses the word in the 7th book of Paradise Loft.
These as a line their long dimension drew;
Streaking the ground with finuous trace; not all
Minims of nature: