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As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers. To-morrow night, when Phæbe doth behold
Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me, Her silver visage in the watry glass,
Hermia,

Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
I have a widow aunt, a dowager

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.'
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ; Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
And she respects me as her only son.

Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lye,
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee; Emptying our bosoms of their counsels swelld;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law 10 There my Lysander and myself shall meet:
Cannot pursue us: if thou lov'st me then, And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night; To seek new friends and strange companions.
And, in the wood, a league without the town, Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena, And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !
To do observance to a morn of May,

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!

[Erit Herm.
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow; Lys. I will, my Hermia.—Helena, auieu :
By his best arrow with the golden head;

As you on him, Demetrius doat on you!
By the simplicity of Venus' doves;

20

[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.
When the false Trojan under sail was seen;

But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so ;
By all the vows that ever men have broke, He will not know what all but he do know.
In number more than ever women spoke ;- 25 And as he errs, doating on Hermia's eyes,
In that same place thou hast appointed me,

So I, admiring of his qualities.
Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee. [Helena. Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes Love can transpose to form and dignity,
Enter Helena.

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
Her. God speed, fair Helena! Whither away: 30 And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind:
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay:

Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste;
Densetrius loves your fair' : O happy fair ! [air Wings, and no eyes, figure unbeedly haste:
Your eyes are lode-stars“; and your tongue's sweet And therefore is Love said to be a child,
More tuneable than lark to sbepherd's ear, (pear.

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;
Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach my 45 But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
smiles such skill!

To have his sight thither, and back again. [Exit.
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
Hel. Oh, that my prayers could such affection

S CE N E II.
move!

A Cottage.
Her. The niore I hate, the more he follows me. 50
Hil. The more I love, the more he hateth me.

Enter Quince the carpenter, Snug the joiner, Bot-
Hér. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.

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

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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."

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SCENE :I.

Neighing in likeness of a silly foal :
A Wood.

And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In

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;
Thorough bush, thorough briar, Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
Over park, over pale,

And taylor' cries, and falls into a cough:
Thorough flood, thorough fire,

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;

15

were gone! In their gold coats spots you see;

SCENE II.
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:

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,

123

When thou hast stolen away from fairy land, Because that she, as her attendant, hath

And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king; Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love
She never had so sweet a changeling:

To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
And jealous Oberon would have the child

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,
I am that merry wanderer of the night.

As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile, 50 Contagious togs; which falling in the land,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Have every pelting 2 river made so proud,

* This allodes to the circles supposed to be made by the fairies on the ground, whose verdure pro.
ceeds from the fairy's care to water them. * Lob, lubber, looby, lobcock, all imply both indolence of
body and dulness of mind. 'i. e. shining. "To square here signities, to quarrel." A quern is a hand-
mill. • Barm is a name for yeast, still used in our midland counties. Puck is said to bave been an
old Gothick word, signifying fiend or devil. * In Statfordshire the epithet of aunt is still applied indis-
criininately to old women, and is there pronounced naunt. ? This may perhaps allude to a custom of
crying taylor at a sudden fall backwards, as a person who slips beside his chair falls as a taylor squats
upon his board. " i.e. encrease." By the middle summer's spring, our author seems to mean the
beginning of middle of mid summer. i. e. despicable, meun.
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That they have overborne their continents'. Since once I sat upon a promontory:
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back,
The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green corn Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
Haih rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard: That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
The fold stands empty in the drowned field, 5 and certain stars shot madly from theirspheres,
And crows are fatted with the murrain stock: To hear the sea-maid's musick.
The nine-men's morris ? is tilld up with mud; Puck. I remember.
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,

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,
The human mortals want their winter here, 10 Cupid all arm’d: a certain aim he took
No night is now with hymn, or carol blest :- At a fair vestal, throned by the west;

Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, And loos’d his love-shaft sinartly from his bow,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air.

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 :
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds It fell upon a little western flower,– (wound,
Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer, 20 Before, milk-white; now purple with love's

The childing'autum, angry winter, change And maidens call it, love in idleness'. (once ;
Their wonted liveries; and the 'mazed world, Fetch me that flower; the herb ( shewa thee
By their increase, now knows not which is which : The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid,
And this same progeny of evils comes
76

Will make or man or woman madly doat
From our debate, from our dissention ; 25 Upon the next live creature that it sees.
We are their parents and original.

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.

[day.

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Neglect me,

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.

SCENE III.
Dem. You do impeach your modesty too much,

Another part of the Wood.
To leave the city, and commit yourself 10]
Into the hands of one that loves you not;

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:

301

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.
Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,

Second Fairy
You do me mischief. 'Fie, Demetrius !
Your wrongs do set a scándal on my sex: 35

Weaving spiders, come not here;
We cannot fight for love, as men may do;

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.

Chorus.
To die upon the hand I love so well. [Ereunt.
Ob. Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave 40

Philomel, with melody, &c.

First Fairy. Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.

Hence, away; now all is well:
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

One, aloof, stand sentinel.
Re-enter Puck.

[Exeunt Fairies. The Queen sleops. Puck. Ay, there it is.

115

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.

this grove,

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