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Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky;
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly:
And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.
Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus

strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong: .
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch ;
Some, sleeves; some, hats : from yielders all things

- catch.
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there :
When in that moment (so it came to pass,)
Titania wak’d, and straightway lov'd an ass.

Obe. This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd' the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice, as I bid thee do?

Puck. I took him sleeping,—that is finish'd too, And the Athenian woman by his side; That, when he wak’d, of force she must be ey’d.

Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA.

Obe. Stand close; this is the same Athenian. Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man. Dem. O; why rebuke you him that loves you

80? Lav breath so bitter on your bitter foe. Her. Now I but chide, but I should use thee

worse ; For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.

8 choughs,] The chough is a bird of the daw kind. 9 sort,] Company.

i latch'd -] 'Or Jetch'd, lick'd over, lecher, to lick, Fr. In the North, it signifies to infect.

If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.
The sun was not so true unto the day,
As he to me: Would he have stol'n away
From sleeping Hermia ? I'll believe as soon,
This whole earth may be bor'd; and that the

moon
May through the center creep, and so displease
Her brother's noon-tide with the Antipodes.
It cannot be, but thou has murder'd him ;
So should a murderer look; so dead, so'grim.
Dem. So should the murder'd look; and so

should I, Pierc'd through the heart with your stern cruelty : Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear, As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere. Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is

he? Ah, good Demetrius, wilt'thou give him me?

Dem. I had rather give his carcase to my hounds. Her. Out, dog ! out, cur! thou driv'st me past

the bounds Of maiden's patience. Has thou slain him then? Henceforth be never number'd among men ! Oh! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake; Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake, And hast thou kill'd him sleeping?? O brave touch!3 Could not a worm, an adder, do so much? An adder did it; for with doubler tongue Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

[graphic]

Durst thou have lookd upon him, being awake,

And hast thou kill'd him sleeping ?] Hast thou kill'd him sleeping, whom, when awake, thou didst not dare to look upon ?

30 brave touch!] Touch in Shakspeare's time was the same with our exploit, or rather stroke : but'a touch anciently signified a trick.

Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd

mood :3
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
Dem. An if I could, what should I get there-

fore? Her. A privilege, never to see me more.. And from thy hated presence part I so: See me no more, whether he be dead or no. [Erit. · Dem. There is no following her in this fierce

vein :
Here, therefore, for a while I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe;
Which now, in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.

[Lies down. Obe. What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken

quite, And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight: Of thy misprision must perforce ensue Some true-love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true. Puck. Then fate o'er-rules; that, one man hold

ing troth, A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind, And Helena of Athens look thou find : All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood

dear : By some illusion see thou bring her here; I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear.

3 - on a mispris’d mood :) is put for “ in a mispris’d mood;" i.e. “ in a mistaken manner.”

*— pale of cheer -] Cheer, from the Italian cara, is frequently used by the old English writers for countenance.

(Erit.

Puck. I go, I go; look, how I go;.
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.

Obe. Flower of this purple die,
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.

Will can. Then 's be sp

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!

Obe. 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 preposterously.

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,

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

s Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?] In allusion to the badges (i. e. family crests) anciently worn on the sleeves of servants and retainers.

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. Cawaking.] 0 Helen, goddess, nymph,

perfect, divine ! 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 : () 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 inerriment. 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 yow, 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 :

6 - Taurus' snow,] Taurus is the name of a range of moun. tains in Asia.

i join, in souls,] i. e. join heartily.

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