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Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet

e SW

eyes.

Dem. And thus she moans, videlicet.

This. “ Asleep, my love?

“ What, dead, my dove? " O Pyramus, arise,

“ Speak, speak. Quite dumb?

“ Dead, dead? A tomb
“ Must cover thy sweet eyes.

“ These lily brows,

" This cherry nose,
" These yellow cowslip cheeks,

“ Are gone, are gone:

“ Lovers, make moan!
“ His eyes were green as leeks.

« O sisters three,

“ Come, come, to me,
« With hands as pale as milk;

« Lay them in gore,

" Since you have shore
“ With shears his thread of silk.

“ Tongue, not a word:

« Come, trusty sword;
« Come, blade, my breast imbrue:

" And farewell, friends;

“ Thus Thisbe ends: « Adieu, adieu, adieu.”

[Dies. The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead.

Dem. Ay, and wall too.

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance, between two of our company?

- a Bergomask dance,] A dance after the manner of the peasants of Bergomasco, a country in Italy, belonging to the Venetians.

The. No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it, had play'd Pyramus, and hanged himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tragedy: and so it is, truly; and very notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue alone. [Here a dance of Clowns. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time. I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn, As much as we this night have overwatch'd. This palpable-gross play hath well beguil'd The heavy gait’ of night.-Sweet friends, to bed. A fortnight hold we this solemnity, In nightly revels, and new jollity.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Enter Puck.
Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,

And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task fordone.3
Now the wasted brands do glow,

Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud,
Puts the wretch, that lies in woe,

In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night,

That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the church-way paths to glide:

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And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecat's team,
From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolick; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent, with broom, before,

To sweep the dust behind the door."
Enter Oberon and Titania, with their Train.
Obe. Through this house give glimmering

light,
By the dead and drowsy fire:
Every elf, and fairy sprite,

Hop as light as bird from brier ;
And this ditty, after me,
Sing, and dance it trippingly.

Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote:
To each word a warbling note,
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

BERON

ITAN

ise

SONG, AND DANCE.
Obe. Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue, there create,
Ever shall be fortunate.
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be:
And the blots of nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;

4 I am sent, with broom, before,

To sweep the dust behind the door.] Cleanliness is always necessary to invite the residence and the favour of the fairies.

Adew cait : bless, peace

Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
Shall upon their children be.-
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;8
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace with sweet peace :
E’er shall it in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.

Trip away;

Make no stay;
Meet me all by break of day.

Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and Train. Puck. If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, (and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here,
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I'm an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck?
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends, ere long :
Else the Puck a liar call.
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends. (Exit.

5 Nor mark prodigious,] Prodigious for portentous.

- take his gait;] i. e. take his way, or direct his steps.

- unearned luck-] i. e, if we have better fortune than we have deserved.

8 Nou: to 'scape the serpent's tongue,] That is, if we be dismissed without hisses.

! Give me your hands,] That is, Clap your hands. Give us you applause. Johnson.

Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their various modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion ; common tradition had made them familiar, and Spenser's poem had made them great. Johnson.

Johnson's concluding observation on this play, is not conceived with his usual judgment. There is no analogy or resemblance whatever between the Fairies of Spenser, and those of Shakspeare. The Fairies of Spenser, as appears from his description of them in the second book of the Fairy Queen, canto x. were a race of mortals created by Prometheus, of the human size, shape, and affections, and subject to death. But those of Shakspeare, and of common tradition, as Johnson calls them, were a diminutive race of sportful beings, endowed with immortality and supernatural power, totally different from those of Spenser. M. Mason.

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