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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 mows upon me when I turn my back; Wink at each other; hold the sweet jest up: This fport, well carried; shall be chronicled. If you have any pity, grace, or manners, You would not make me such an argument. 6 But, fare ye well: 'tis partly mine own fault; Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy.

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

HEL. O excellent!
HER.

Sweet, do not fcorn her so. DEM. If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

Lys. Thou canst compelno more than she en treat; Thy threats have no more strength, than her weak

prayers. Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do;

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s Ay, do, perséver,] Perférer is the reading of all the old copies. The word was formerly so pronounced. Thus our author, in All's Well that ends well, Aa IV. sc. ii:

fay thou art mine, and ever

My love, as it begins, so shall perséver." Again, in Glapthorne's Argalus and Parthenia, 1639;

for ever " May they in love and union ftill perséver." STEEVENS. - such an argumeņt.] Such a subject of light merriment.

JOHNSON. So, in the first part of King Henry IV. Ad II. sc. ii.

it would be argument for a week,” &c. STEEVENS. -than her weak prayers.] The old copies read:

-than her weak praise." STEEVENS. Mr. Theobald proposed to read -- prays. A noun thus formed from the verb, 10 pray, is much in our anthor's manner; and the transcriber's car might have been calily deceived by the fimilarity of sounds. MALONE.

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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.

Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!
DEM.

No, no, fir:-he will : Seem to break loose; takeon, 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!

Hur. Do you not jest?

$ No, no, fir:- he will, &c.] This passage, like almost all those in these plays in which there is a sudden transition, or the sense is hastily broken off, is much corrupted in the old copies. My text [No, no; she'llo-fir,] is formed from the quarto printed by Filher and the first folio. The words 66 hill' are not in the folio, and Sir is not in the quarto. Demetrius, I suppose, would say, No, no ; he'll not have resolution to disengage himself from Here mia.

But turning abrupily to Lysander, he addresles him ironi. cally: "Sir, seem to break loose;" Lc. MALONE.

No critical remedy is nearer at hand, than a supposition that obscure passages are sentences designedly abrupt and imperfe&. – Lysander calls Hermia an • Æthiop." "No, no, fir:" replies Demetrius; i. c. she is none; and then ironically fpeaks to her of Lyfander, as of one whose ftruggle to break loosc is merely a pretended effort. He next addrelles his provocation personally to Lysander.-I have left the text as I found it; only reading (for the sake of metre,) he will, iuftcad of hello STEEVENS.

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HEL.

Yes, 'footh ; 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 fo. 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, ihall 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 juggler! you canker-blossom!' You thief of love! what, have you come by night, And stol'n my love's heart from him?

90 me! you juggler! you cariker-blolom!} Juggler in this line is used as a trisyllable: So again, in K. Henry VI. P. I:

o. She and the dauphin have been juggling." So also tickling, wrestler, and many more. MALONE.

- you canker-blossom!] The canker-blossom is not in this place the blossom of the canker or wild rose, which our author alludes to in Much ado about Nothing, A& J. sc. iii:

“ 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 beginning in the middle. So, in this play, A& II. sc. iii: "Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds "

STEEVENS. 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? 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 prevail'd with him.
And are you grown fo 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 curft;
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 something lower than myself,
That I can match her.
HER.

Lower! hark, again. Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with

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me.

I evermore 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

Curs ;] i. c. Ihrewish or mischievous. Thus in the old proverbial saying: Curst cows have short horns." STEEVENS.

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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 foolith heart, that I leave here behind.
HER. What, with Lysander ?
HEL.

With Demetrius.
Lys. Be not afraid : she shall not harm thee,

Helena.
Dem. No, fir; she shall not, though you take her

part.
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 flout me thus ? Let me come to her. Lys.

Get

you gone, you dwarf; You minimnus, of hind'ring knot-grass made; You bead, you acorn.

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- how fond I am.] Fond, i. 6. foolish. So, in The Mere chant of Venice:

I do wonder,
" Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond

• To come abroad with him." STEEVENS. 4 She was a vixen, when she went to school;] Vixen or fixen pri. mitively signifies a female fox. So, in The boke of hunting, that is cleped Mayster of Game; an ancient MS. in the colleâion of Francis Douce, Efqr. Grays Inn: “ The fixen of the Foxe is aflaute onys

She hath venomous biting as a wolfe." "STEEVENS.

of hind'ring knot-grass made ;] It appears that knot.grass was anciently supposed to prevent the growth of any animal or

in the yer.

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