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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!

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.

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 ?5

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,

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?

5 Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true!] This is said in allusion to the badges (i. e. family crests) anciently worn on the sleeves of servants and retainers. So, in The Tempest: s Mark the badges of these men, and then say if they be true." Steevens.



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: O let me kiss
This princess of pure white,? this seal of bliss!8

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?



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Taurus' snow,] Taurus is the name of a range of mountains in Asia. Johnson.

.? This princess of pure white,] Thus all the editions, as low as Sir Thomas Hanmer's. He reads:

This pureness of pure white; and Dr. Warburton follows him. The old reading may be justified from a passage in Sir Walter Raleigh's Discovery of Guiana, where the pine-apple is called The princess of fruits. Again, in Wyat's Poems: “ Of beauty princesse chief.” Steevens.

- seal of bliss.'] He has in Measure for Measure, the same image:

“ But my kisses bring again,

Seals of love, but scald in vain.” Johnson. More appositely, in Antony and Cleopatra:

My play-fellow, your hand; this kingly seal, “ And plighter of high hearts.” Steevens.

join, in souls,] i. e. join heartily, unite in the same mind. Shakspeare, in K. Henry V, uses an expression not unlike

- For we will hear, note, and believe in heart;" i. e. heartily believe: and in Measure for Measure, he talks of electing with special soul. In Troilus and Cressida, Ulysses, relating the character of Hector, as given him by Æneas, says:

with private soul “ Did in great Ilion, thus translate him to me.” And, in All Fools, by Chapman, 1605, is the same expression as that for which I contend:

Happy, in soul, only by winning her.” Again, in a masque called Luminalia, or The Festival of Light, 1637 :

“ You that are chief in souls, as in your blood.” Again, in Pierce Penniless, his Supplication to the Devil, 1595;

whose subversion in soul they have vow'd."



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, 2
Would so offend a virgin; and extort
A poor soul's patience,3 all to make you sport.

Again, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. XII, ch. Ixxv:

“ Could all, in soul, of very God say as an Ethnick said

“ To one that preached Hercules ?" Again, in our author's Twelfth Night:

“ And all those swearings keep as true in soul.Sir T. Hanmer would read-in flouts; Dr. Warburton, insolents. Steevens. I rather believe the line should be read thus:

“ But you must join, ill souls, to mock me too ?” Ill is often used for bad, wicked. So, in The Sea Voyage of Beaumont and Fletcher, Act IV, sc. i:

“ They did begin to quarrel like ill men;" which I cite the rather, because ill had there also been changed into in, by an error of the press, which Mr. Sympson has corrected from the edition, 1647. Tyrwhitt.

This is a very reasonable conjecture, though I think it hardly right. Johnson. We meet with this phrase in an old poem by Robert Dabourne:

Men shift their fashions
They are in souls the same." Farmer.
A similar phraseology is found in Measure for Measure:

“ Is 't not enough thou hast suborn’d these women
To accuse this worthy man, but in foul mouth

“ To call him villain!" Malone. 1 A trim exploit, a manly enterprise, &c.] This is written much in the manner and spirit of Juno's reproach to Venus in the fourth Book of the Æneid:

Egregiam vero laudem et spolia ampla refertis,

uque puerque tuus; magnum et memorabile nomen, “ Una dolo divům si fæminą victa duorum est.” Steevens.

none, of noble sort,] Sort is here used for degree or quality. So, in the old ballad of Jane Shore:

Long time I lived in the court,

“ With lords and ladies of great sort.Malone. 3

A poor soul's patience,] Harass, torment. Fohnson.



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Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;

yoll love Hermia; this, you know, I know:
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.

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.

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 pays 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 oess and eyes of light.

4 My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd;

And now to Helen it is home return'd,] The ancient copies read~" to ber.” Dr. Johnson made the correction, and exemplified the sentiment by the following passage from Prior:

“ No matter what beauties I saw in my way:

“ They were but my visits; but thou art my home.Steevens. So, in our author's 109th Sonnet:

“ This is my home of love; if I have rang’d,
“ Like him that travels, I return again.” Malone.

all yon fiery oes --] Shakspeare uses O for a circle. So, in the prologue to King Henry V:

“can we crowd
" Within this little O, the very casques
“ That did affright the air at Agincourt?”


Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
The hate I bare 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 sister's vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us-0), and is all forgot??
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,8


Again, in The Partheneia Sacra, 1633:

the purple canopy of the earth, powder'd over and beset with silver oes, or rather an azure vault,” &c. Again, in John Davies of Hereford's Microcosmos, 1605, p. 233:

“ Which silver oes and spangles over-ran.” Steevens. D'Ewes's Journal of Queen Elizabeth's Parliaments, p. 650, mentions a patent to make spangles and oes of gold; and I think haberdashers call small curtain rings, O's, as being circular.

Tollet. 6 The sister's vows,] We might read, more elegantly- The sis

VOWS, and a few lines lower,-All school-day friendship. The latter emendation was made by Mr. Pope; but changes, merely for the sake of elegance, ought to be admitted with great caution.

Malone. 7 For parting us,--0, and is all forgot?] The first folio omits the word-and. I have received it from the folio, 1632. Mr. Malone reads-now. Steevens.

The editor of the second folio, to complete the metre, introduced the word and;—“ 0, and is all forgot?” It stands so aukwardly, that I am persuaded it was not our author's word.

Malone. 0, and is all forgot?] 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 in. jured and lost friendship, resembling these. He adds, “ Shakspeare 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 Hist. Vol. III, p. 15. Reed. artificial gods,] Artificial is ingenious, artful. Steevens,

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