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Have been deceived; for they swore you did. | nied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee Beat. Do not you love me?

out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; The

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ve the flower cups. Twilight, moonshine, ' interwoven, that they seem necessary to each other for

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the formation of a whole. Oberon is desirous of relier. Hippolita are, as it were, a splendid frame for the pic-
ing the lovers from their perplexities, and greatly adds ture; they take no part in the action, but appear with a
to them through the misapprehension of his servant, till stately pomp. The discourse of the hero and his Ama.
he at last comes to the aid of their fruitless amorous zon, as they course through the forest with their noisy
pain, their inconstancy and jealousy, and restores fide. hunting train, works upon the imagination like the fresh
lity to its o!d rights. The extremes of fanciful and vul. breath of morning, before which the shapes of nighs
gar are united when the enchanted Titania awakes and disappear.'*
falls in love with a coarse mechanic with an ass's head, This is a production of the youthful and vigourous
who represents, or rather disfigures the part of a tragi. imagination of the poet. Malone places the date of its
cal lover. The droll wonder of the transmutation of composition in 1594. There are two quarto editions,
Bottom is rely the transmutation of a metaphor in its both priuted in 1600 : one by Thomas Fisher, the other
literal sense; but, in his behaviour during the tender by James Roberts.
homage of the Fairy Queen, we have a most amusing
proof how much the consciousness of such a head-dress
heightens the effect of his usual folly. Theseus and

* Lectures on Dramatic Literature, ToL i-pr176.

THESEUS, Duke of Athens.

OBERON, King of the Fairies.
EGEUS, Fdher to Hermia.

TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies.

Puck, or ROBIN-GOODFELLOW, a Fairy.
fin love with Hermia.

PBILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus.


QUINCE, the Carpenter.

SNUG, the Joiner.

Bortom, the Weaver.

FLUTE the Bellows-mender.


Characters in the Interlude pe
SNOUT, the Tinker.

STARVELING, the Tailor.


formed by the Clowns.
HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
HERMIA, Daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander.
HELENA, in tove with Demetrius.

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it.

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ACT 1.

Stand forth, Demetrius ;-My noble lord,
SCENE I. Athens. A Room in the Palace of Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious duke,

This man hath my consent to marry her:
Theseus. Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Phi-
LOSTRATE, and Attendants.

This hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child :

Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes Theseus.

And interchang'd love tokens with my child :
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour

Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung,
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
Another moon; but, oh, methinks how slow And stol'n the impression of her fantasy
This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires, With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,

Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; messengers
Long withering out a young man's revenue. Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart;

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
Four nights will quickly dream away the time; To stubborn harshness :-And, my gracious duke,
And then the moon, like to a silver bow

Be it so she will not here before your grace
Now bent in heaven, shall behold the night Consent to marry with Demetrius,
Of our solemnities.

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;
Go, Philostrate,

As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;

Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth; Or to her death; according to our law,
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,

Immediately provided in that case.
The pale companion is not for our pomp.

The. What say you, Hermia ? be advis'd, fair (Exit PaiLOSTRATE.

maid :
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,

To you your father should be as a god;
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;

One that compos'd your beauties ; yea, and one
But I will wed thoe in another key,

To whom you are but as a form in wax,
With pomp, with triumph,' and with revelling. By him imprinted, and within his power
Enter Eceus, Hermia, LYSANDER, and DEME- Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

To leave the figure, or disfigure it.

Her. So is Lysander.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned dake !2 The.

In himself he is : The. Thanks, good Egeus : What's the news But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice, with thee?

The other must be held the worthier.
Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint Her. I would my father look'd but with my eyes.
Against my child, my daughter Hermia-

The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment

| A triumph was a public show, such as a mask,
pageant, prncesion, &c.

¿ luk, !!! ?old language, was used for a leader 4 Baubles, toys, trifles.
or chief, as the Luin Duta

5 This line has a smack of legal common place. 3 The old copies read, 'This man hath bewitched.' Shakspeare is supposed to have been placed while a The alteration was made in the second folio for the sake boy in an attorney's ofice; at least he often displays of the metre ; but a redundant syllable at the commence that he was well acquainted with the phraseology of ment of a verse perpetually occurs in our old dramas. ' lawyers.


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Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me. Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek I know not by what power I am made bold;

so pale ?
Nor how it may concern my modesty,

How chance the roses there do ade so fast ?
In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts : Her. Belike, for want of rain ; which I could well
But I beseech your grace that I may know Beteem* them from the tempest of mine eyes.
The worst that may befall me in this case,

Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

Could ever hear by tale or history,
The. Either to die the death, or to abjure The course of true love never did run smooth:
For ever the society of men.

But, either it was different in blood;
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires, Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low!
Know of your youth, examine well your blood, Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ;
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, Her. O spite! too old to be engaged to young!
You can endure the livery of a nun;

Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends:
For aye' to be in shady cloister mew'd,

Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eye!
To live a barren sister all your life,

Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it;
Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood, Making it momentanys as a sound,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage :

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
But earthlier happy? is the rose distillid,

Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
l'han that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness. And ere a man hath power to say,-Behold!

Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, The jaws of darkness do devour it up;
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

So quick bright things come to confusion.
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke

Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.

It stands as an edict in destiny:
The. Take time to pause: and, by the next new Then let us teach our trial patience,

Because it is a customary cross;,
(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me, As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,
For everlasting bond of fellowship,)

Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's' followers.
Jpon that day either prepare to die,

Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me,
For disobedience to your father's will;

Dr else to wed Demetrius, as he would :

I bave a widow aunt, a dowager
Dr on Diana's altar to protest,

Of great revenue, and she haih no child:
for aye, austerity and single life.

From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ; Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia ;-And, Lysander, And she respects me as her only son. yield

There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee; rhy crazed title to my certain right.

And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Cannot pursue us: If thou lov'st me then,
wet me have Hermia's : do you marry him. Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;

Ege. Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love, And in the wood, a league without the town
And what is mine my love shall render him; Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
And she is mine ; and all my right of her To do observance to a morn of May,
I do estate unto Demetrius.

There will I stay for thee
Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,


My good Lysander!
As well possess'd; my love is more than his; I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow;
My fortunes every way as fairly rank’d,

By his best arrow with the golden head;
If not with vantage, as Demetrius';

By the simplicity of Venus' doves;
And, which is more than all these boasts can be, By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves;
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia :

And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,"
Why should not I then prosecute my right? When the false Trojan under sail was seen;
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,

By all the vows that ever men have broke,
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,

In nuniber more than women ever spoke ;-
And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, In that same place thou hast appointed me,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,

To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

Lys. Keep promiso, love: Look, here comes
The. I must confess, that I have heard so much,

And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;

But, being over-full of self-affairs,

Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away?
My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come: Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
And come, Egeus; you shall go with me, Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
I have some private schooling for you both.- Your eyes are lode-stars;10 and your tongue's
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself

sweet air
To fit your fancies to your father's will;

More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
Or else the law of Athens yields you up.

When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. (Which by no means we may extenuate)

Sickness is catching; 0, were favour!! so!
To death, or to a vow of single life.-

Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go ;
Come, my Hippolyta: What cheer, my love ?— My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
Demeirius, and Egeus, go along :

My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet me-
I must employ you in some business

lody. Against our nuptial; and confer with you Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, of something nearly that concerns yourselves. The rest I'll give to be to you translated. 12 Ege. With duty and desire we follow you. [Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, 7 Fancy is love. So afterwards in this play: DEMETRIUS, and Train.

"Fair Helena in fancy following me.' 8 Shakspeare forgot that Theseus performed his ex

ploits before the Trojan war, and consequently long be1 Ever.

Tore the death of Dido. 2 Earthlier happy for earthly happier, which Capel 9 Fair for fairness, beauty. Very common in writers proposed to substitute.

of Shakspeare's age. 3' As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked. 10 The lode-star is the leading or guling star, that is 4 Be tow, give, afford, or deign to allow.

the polar star. The magnet is for tit matintola o cal. 5 Momentary.

led the lode-stone. 6 Blackened, as with smut, coal, &c.; figuratively, 11 Countenance, feature. Junkened. See Othello, Act ii. Sc. 3.

12 i. e. changed, transformed

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