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Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet
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
“ These lily brows,
" This cherry nose,
“ Are gone, are gone:
“ Lovers, make moan!
« O sisters three,
“ Come, come, to me,
« Lay them in gore,
" Since you have shore
“ Tongue, not a word:
« Come, trusty sword;
" 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.
And the wolf behowls the moon;
All with weary task fordone.3
Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud,
In remembrance of a shroud.
That the graves, all gaping wide,
In the church-way paths to glide:
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecat's team,
Following darkness like a dream,
To sweep the dust behind the door."
Hop as light as bird from brier ;
Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote:
SONG, AND DANCE.
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,
Make no stay;
Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and Train. Puck. If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, (and all is mended,
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.