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As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
5 (A time that lover's flights doth still conceal) Of great revenue, and she hath no child :
Through Athens' gates have we devis’d to steal.'
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lye,
15 Keep word, Lysander : we must starve our sight There will I stay for thee.
From loverso tood, 'till morrow deep midnight. Her. My guod Lysender!
As you on him, Demetrius doat on you!
[Exit Lys. By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves; Hel. How happy some,o'er other some, can be! And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so ;
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste;
Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd. When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds ap- 35 As waggish boys themselves in game ' forswear, Sickness is catching: 0, were favour : so! So the boy Love is perjur'd every where : Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne, My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
He hail'd down oaths, that he was only mine; Mytongueshouldcatch yourtongue'ssweet melody And when this hail some heat from tiermia telt, Were the World mine, Demetrius being bated, °|40So he dissolv’d, and showers of oat is did melt. The rest I'll give to be to you translated “. I will go tell him of fair liermia's flight; 0, teach me how you look: and with what art Then to the wood will he to-morrow night, You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart. Pursue her; and for this intelligence Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
If I have thanks, it is a dear expence;
To have his sight thither, and back again. [Exit.
S CE N E II.
Enter Quince the carpenter, Snug the joiner, Bot-
tom the weaver, Flute the bllous-mender, Snout Hd. None but your beauty; would that fault
the tinker, and Starveling the taylor. were mine!
[face: Quin. Is all our company here?, Her. Take comfort ; he no more shall see my 55 Bot. You were best to call them generally, man Lysander and myself will fly this place.-- by man, according to the scrips. Before the time I did Lysander see,
Quin. Here is the scrowl o every man's name, Seemd Athens as a paradise to me:
(which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play O then, what graces in my love do dwell, in our interlude before the duke and dutchess, on That he bath turn'd a heaven unto a hell !
uis wedding-day at night. * That is, your beauty, or your complerion. ? The lode-star is the leading or guiding-star, that is, the pole-star. Fatour, here means feature, countenance. * To translate, here implies to change, wiransform. * i; e. in sport, in jest. i. e, the writing, or paper, N
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the Star. Here, Peter Quince. play treats on; then read the nanies of the actors; Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's and so grow to a point.
mother.-Tom Snout, the tinker. Quin. Marry our play is—the most lamentable Snout. Here, Peter Quince. comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and 5 Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's Thisby
father ;-Snug the joiner, you, the lion's part: Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and, I hope, there is a play fitted. and a merry:-Now, good Peter Quince, call Snug. Have you the lion's part written? Pray forth your actors by the scrowl: Masters, spread you, it it be, give it me, for I am slow of study. yourselves.
101. Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is no2uin. Answer, as I call you.— Nick Bottom the thing but roaring.
Bot. Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will proceed.
roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for 15 again, let him roar again. Pyramus.
Quin. An you should do it too terribly, youwould Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover or a tyrant? fright the dutchess and the ladies, that they would
Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly shriek; and that were enough to hang us all. for love,
All. That would hang us every mother's son. Bot. That will ask some tears in the true per-20 Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should forming of it: if I do it, let the audience look to fright the ladies out of their wits, they would their eyes;
I will move storms, I will condole in have no more discretion but to hang us: but I some measure. To the rest:--Yet my chief hu- will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar you as mour is for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, gently as any sucking-dove; I will roar you an or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split. 25 'twere any nightingale.
Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus : for “The raging rocks,
Pyramus is a sweet-fac'd man; a proper man, as “And shivering shocks,
one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, « Shall break the locks “ Of prison-gates:
gentleman-like man; therefore you must needs “ And Phibbus' car
30 play Pyramus. “ Shall shine from far,
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard “ And make and mar
were I best to play it in?
Quin. Why, what you will. “The foolish fates."
Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw.com This was lofty!—now name the rest of the play-35loured beard, your orange tawney beard, your ers.—This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ; a lover purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crownis more condoling:
colour beard', your perfect yellow. Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender. Quin. Some of your French-crowns' have no Flu. Here, Peter Quince.
hair at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd.Quin. You must take Thishy on you. 40 But, masters, here are your parts: and I am to Flu. What is Thisby? a wandering knight? entreat you, request you, and desire you, to con Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. them by to-morrow right: and meet me in the
Flu, Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonlave a beard coming.
light; there will we rehearse ; for if we meet in Quin. That's all one; you shall play it in a mask, 45 the city, we shall be dog’d with company, and and you may speak as small as you will.
our devices known. In the mean time, I will Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play This- draw a bill of properties“, such as our play wants. by too: I'll speak in a monstrous little voice ;- NI pray you, fail me not. " Thisne, Thisne, -Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse “ Thy Thisby dear! and lady dear!"
50 more obscenely, and courageously. Take pains; Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus, and be perfect; adieu. Flute, you Thisby.
Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. Bot. Well, proceed.
Bot. Enough; Hold, or cut bow-strings '. Quin. Robin Starveling the taylor.
[Ereunt. * To study a part, in the language of the theatre, is to get it by rote.? This alludes to the custom of wearing coloured beards. See note ?, p. 77. * See note , p. 68. 'Dr. Warburton savs, this proverbial phrase came originally from the camp. When a rendezvous was appointed, the militia foldiers would frequently make excuse for not keeping word, that their bowstrings were broke, i. e. their arms unserviceable. Hence when one would give another absolute assurance of meeting him, he would may proverbially-Hold ør çut bow-strings-i. e, whether the bow-string held or broke."
Neighing in likeness of a silly foal :
And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
very likeness of a roasted crab; Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck (or Robin
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob, Good-fellow) at another.
5 And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale., Puck . HOW now, spirit
! whither wander you? The wisest aunt', telling the saddest tale, Fai. (ver hill, over dale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
And taylor' cries, and falls into a cough:
16 And then the wholequire hold their hips and loffe, I do wander every where,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze and swear Swifter than the moones sphere;
A merrier hour was never wasted there. And I serve the fairy queen,
But room, Faery, here comes Oberon. To dew her orbs upon the green;
Fui. And here my mistress :-'Would that he The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
were gone! In their gold coats spots you see;
Enter Oberon, king of Fairies, at one door with bis train, I must go seek some dew-drops here,
and tbe queen at another, witb ber's. And hang a pearl in ev'ry cowslip's ear. 20 Ob. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania. Farewell, thou lob of spirits, I'll be gone; Queen. What, jealous Oberon? fairy, skip hence; Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
I have forsworn his bed and company. Puck.The king doth keep his revels here to-night; Ob. Tarry, rash wanton ; Am not I thy lord? Take heed, the queen come not within his sight. Queen. Then I must be thy lady: But I know For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
When thou hast stolen away from fairy land, Because that she, as her attendant, hath
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India? Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild: 301
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, But she, per-force, withholds the loved boy, [joy: Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love, Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come And now they never meet in grove or green,
To give their bed joy and prosperity. By fountain ciear, or spangled star-light sheen',
06. How can’st thou thus, for shame, Titania, But they do square*; that all their elves for fear, 35 Glance at my credit with Hippolita, Creep into acorn cups,and hide them there.[quite, Knowing I know thy love to Theseus; (night
Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite, From Perigune, whom he ravish'd? Calld Robin Good-fellow: are you not he, And make bin with fair Ægle break his faith, That frights the maidens of the villagʻry; 40 With Ariadne and Antiopa? Skim milk; and sometimes labourin the quern', Queen. These are the forgeries of jealousy: And bootless make the breathless huswife churn; And never since the middle summer's spring", And sometime make the drink to bear no barmo; Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm? By paved fountain, or by rushy brook, Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck”, 45 or on the beached margent of the sea, You do their work, and they shall have good luck: To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, Are not you he?
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. Puck. Thou speak'st aright;
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
* This allodes to the circles supposed to be made by the fairies on the ground, whose verdure pro.
That they have overborne their continents'. Since once I sat upon a promontory:
Ob.That very time I saw, (but thou could'st not) For lack of tread, are undistinguishable.
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, And loos’d his love-shaft sinartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts: That rheumatic diseases do abound':
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft And, thorough this distemperature *, we see
15 Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watry moon; The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
And the imperial votress passed on, Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose ; In maiden meditation, fancy-free®. And on old Flyem's chin, and icy crown,
Yet, mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell :
The childing'autum, angry winter, change And maidens call it, love in idleness'. (once ;
Will make or man or woman madly doat
Fetch me this herb ; and be thou here again, Ob. Do you amend it then; it lies in you :
Ere the leviathan can swim a league. Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth I do but beg a little changeling boy,
In forty miuutes. To be my henchman ?.
30 Ob. Having once this juice, Queen. Set your heart at rest,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep, The fairy land buys not the child of me.
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes: His mother was a votress of my order:
The next thing when she waking looks upon, And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
(Be it on liou, bear, or wolf, or bull, Full often hath she gossip'd by my side;
35 On meddling monkey, or on busy ape) And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, She shall pursue it with the soul of love. Marking the embark'd traders on the flood: And ere I take this charm off from her sight, When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive, (As I can take it with another herb) And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind: l'll make her render up her page to me. Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait, 40 But who comes here? 'I am invisible? (Following her womb then rich with my young And I will over-hear their conference. Would imitate; and sail upon the land, l’squire) Enter Demetrius, Helena following him. To fetch me trifles and return again,
Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. As from a voyage, rich with merchandize. Where is Lysander and fair Hermia? But she, being mortal, of that boy did die; 45 The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me. And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy; Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood, And, for her sake, I will not part with himn. And here am I, and wood 10 within this wood, Ob. How long within this wood intend you Because I cannot meet my Hermia. stay?
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more. Queen. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding-50. Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant; If you will patiently dance in our round, But yet you draw not iron, for my heart And see our moon-light revels, go with us; Is true as steel: Leave you your power to draw, If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts. And I shall have no power to follow you.
Ob. Give me that boy, and I wil go with thee. Dem. Do I entice you? do I speak you fair? Queen. Not for thy fairy kingdom—Fairies,away:155Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth We shall chide downright, if Ì longer stay. Tell you--- I do not, nor I cannot love you?
[Ereunt Queen and her train. Hél. And even for that do I love you the more; Oh. Well, go thy way: thou shalt not fron this I am your spaniel ; and Demetrius, 'Till I torment thee for this injury.- [grove. The more you beat me, I will fawn on you; My gentle Puck, come hither: Thou remember'sí/60 Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
· Meaning their banks. Nine men's morris is a game still played by the shepherds, cow-keepers, &c. in the midland counties. The confusion of seasons here described, is no more than a poetical account of the weather, which happened in England about the time when this play was first publisbed. ... That is perturbation. That is, the pregnant. That is, produce.
Page of honour. This was intended as a compliment to Queen Elizabeth. 'i. e. heart's-ease. 1: Wood, here means mad, wild, raving. In this sense it was formerly spelled wode.
e, lose me; only give me leave, May be the lady: Thou shalt know the man Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
By the Athenian garments he hath on. What worser place can I beg in your love,
Eilect it with some care, that he may prove (And yet a place of high respect with me) More fond on her, than she upon her love: Than to be used as you use your dog? [rit: 5 And look thou nieet me ere the first cock crow.
Dom. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spi- Puck. Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so. For I am sick, when I do look on thee.
Excunt. Hel. And I am sick, when I look not on you.
Another part of the Wood.
Enter the Queen of Fuiries, with her train. Totrust the opportunity of night,
Queen. Come, now a roundel?, and a fairy song; And the ill counsel of a desert place.
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence: With the rich worth of your virginity.
Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds; Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that. 15 Some, war with rear-mice on ' for their leathern It is not night, when I do see your face,
wings Therefore I think, I am not in the night:
To make my small elves coats; and some keep back Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;
Theclain'rous owlthat nightly hoots and wonders For you, itt my respect, are all the world: At ourquaint spirits : Sing me now asleep; Then how can it be said, I am alone,
20 Then to your offices, and let me rest. When all the world is here to look on me?
First Fairy. Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide meinthebrakes, You spotted snakes, with double tongue, And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Thorny hedge-hogs be not seen; Hel. The wildest has not such a heart as you. Nexts, and blind-worms, do no wrong; Run when you will, the story shall be chang’d: 125 Come not neur our fairy queen : Apollo flies, and Daplıne holds the chase;
Chorus. The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Philomel, with melody, Makes speed to catch the tyger: Bootless speed !
Sing in your sweet lullaby: When cowardice pursues and valour flies.
Lulla, lulla, lullaby ; lullu, lilla, lullaby; Dem. I will not stay thy questions ; let me go:
Never harm, nor spell nor charm, Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
Come our lovely lady nigh; But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
So, good night, with lullaby.
Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence you long-legg'd spinners, hence: We shou'd be woo'd, and were not made to woo.
Bettles black, approuch not near : I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell.
Worm, nor snail, do no offence.
Philomel, with melody, &c.
First Fairy. Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.
Hence, away; now all is well:
One, aloof, stand sentinel.
[Exeunt Fairies. The Queen sleops. Puck. Ay, there it is.
Enter Oberon. Ob. I pray thee, give it me,
Ob. What thou seest, when thou dost wake, I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
[Squeezes the flower on her eye-lids. Where ox-lips' and the nodding violet grows; Do it for thy true love take; Quite over-canopy'd with luscious woodbine, Love, and languish for bis sake: With sweet musk roses, and with eglantine: 50 Be it ounce': or cat, or bear, There sleeps Titania, some time of the night, Pard, or boar with bristled hair, Lulld in these flowers with dances and delight; In thy eye that shall appear And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin, When thou wak'st, it is thy dear; Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
Wake when some vile thing is near. [Exit Ober. And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes, 155
Enter Lysander and Hermia. And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
wood; A sweet Athenian lady is in love
And to speak truth, I have forgot our way! With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes; We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good, But do it when the next thing he espies 60 And tarry for the comfort of the day.
· The greater cowslip. 'A roundel is a dance in a ring 'A rere-mouse is a bat. • Dr. Warburton reads quaint sports. The ounice is a small tyger, or tyger-cat.