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So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy,
Quin. Well, it shall be só. But there is two Of ali be hated; but the most of me!
hard things; that is, to bring the moon-light into
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of
the great chamber window, where we play, open ;
says the story, did talk through the chink of a wall.
Snug. You never can bring in a wall.-What
say you, Bottom?
Bol. Some man or other must present wall: and SCENE I. The same. The Queen of Fairies ly- let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some
ing asleep. Enter QUINCE, Snug, BOTTOM, rough-cast about him, to signify wall; or let him FLUTE, Scout, and STARVELING.
hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Bot. Are we all met?
Pyramus and Thisby whisper. Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous conve- Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, nient place for our rehearsal : This green plot shall sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your be our stage, this hawthorn brake out tyring house ; parts. Pyramus, you begin : when you have spoand we will do it in action, as we will do it before ken your speech, enter into that brake,' and so the duke.
every one according to his cue. Bot. Peter Quince,
Enter Puck behind.
Puck. What herpen home-spuns have we swag. and Thishy, that will never please. First
, Pyramus so hear the cradle of the fairy queen?
gering here, must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies What, a play toward ? I'll be an auditor ; cannot abide. How answer you that? Snout. By’rlakin,2 a parlous' fear.
An actor, too, perhaps, if I see cause. Star. I believe, we must leave the killing out,
Quin. Speak, Pyramus :- Thisby, stand forth. when all is done.
Pyr. Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet, Bot. Not a whit; I have a device to make all
Quin, Odours, odours. well. Write me a prologue : and let the prologue
Pyr. -odours savours sweet : seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords;
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear. and that Pyramus is not killed indeed: and for the But, hark, a voice ! stay thou but here a while, more better assurance, tell them, that I Pyramus
And by and by I will to thee appear. (Exit. am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: This
Puck. A stanger Pyramus than e'er play'd here ! will put them out of fear.
(Àside.-Exit. Quin. Well, we wiil have such a prologue ; and
This. Must I speak now? at shall be written in eight and six, 4
Quin. Ay, marry, must you: for you must underBot. No, make it two more ; let it be written in stand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and eight and eight.
is to come again. Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
This. Most radiant Pyramus,most lilly-white of hue, Star. I fear it, I promise you.
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your
Most brisky Juvenal, and eke most lovely Jew, selves: to bring in, God shield us! a on
48 true as truest horse, that yet would never tire,
among adies, is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a
I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb. more fearful: wild-fowl than your lion, living; and
Quin. Ninus' tomb, man: Why you must not we ought to look to it.
you answer to Pyramus : you Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell, he speak all your part at once, cues' and all.-Pýrais not a lion.
mus, enter; your cue is past; it is, never tire. Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half Re-enter Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head. his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and
This. 0,-As true as truest horse, that yet would he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to
never tire. the same defect ---Ladies, or fair ladies, I would
Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would en
Quin. O monstrous ! O strange! we are haunted. treat you, not to fear, not to tremble: my life for Pray, masters ! fly, masters! help! yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were
(Ereunt Clowns. pity of my life: No, I am no such thing; I am a Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, man as other men are:--and there, indeed, let him
Through bog, through bush, through brake, name his name; and tell them plainly he is Snug through brier; the joiner.
among others Harry Goldingham was to represent 1 By all that is dear.
Arion upon the Dolphin's backe; but finding his voice 2 i. c. by our ladykin or little lady, as ifakins, is a to be verye hoarse and unpleasant when he came to per. corruption of by my faith.
form it, he tears off his disguise, and swears he was 3 Corrupted from perilous; but used for alarming, none of Arion, not he, but even honest Harry Golding. amazing.
ham ; which blunt discoverio pleased the queen better 4 That is, in alternative verses of eight and six sylla. than if he had gone through in the right way :-yet he oles.
could order his voice to an instrument exceeding well! 5 Terrible.
7 Thicket. 6 Shakspeare may here allude to an incident said to 8 Young man. have occurred in his time, which is recorded in a collec. 9 The cues were the last words of the preceding dion of anecdotes, stories, &c. entitled 'Mery Passages speech, which serve as a hint to him who was to speak and Jeasts,' MS. Harl. 6395. “There was a spectacle next; and generally written out with that which was to presented to Queen Elizabeth upon the water, and be learnt by rote.
Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman ;
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire; Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
[Erit. The honey bags steal from the humble-bees, Bot. Why do they run away? this is a knavery And, for night tapers, crop their waxon thighs, of them, to make me afeard.
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise ;
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies, see on thee?
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
2 Fai. Hail !
3 Fai. Hail ! Quin. Bless thee, Bottom ! bless thee! thou art
4 Fai. Hail ! translated.
Bot. I cry your worship's mercy, heartily. I be. Bot. I see their kavery! this is to make an ass
seech, your worship's name? of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not
Cob. Cobweb. stir from this place, do what they can: I will walk
Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall good master Cobweb: f I cut my finger, I shall lear I am not afraid.
make bold with you. Your name, honest gentle.
Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress
Squash, your mother, and to master Peascod, The wren with little quill.
your father. Good master Peas-blossom, I shall Prta. What angel wakes me from my flowery desire you of more acquaintance too.-Your name, bed?
(Waking. I beseech you, sir?
Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your
patiences well: that same cowardlý, giant-like oxAnd dares not answer, nay ;
beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house:
I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a water ere now. "I desire you more acquaintance, bird ? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry, good master Mustard-seed. cuckoo, never so?
Tita. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again ;
bower. Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note,
The moon methinks looks with a watery eye;
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Here comes my messenger.--How now, mad spirit?
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's now!?" I fixed on his head;
Anon, his 'Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic! comes : When they him spy 3 Fai.
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
And I. Or russet-pated choughs, 1a 'many in sort, 13
ken ironically, as it was the prevailing opinion in Shak.
a corruption of the Italian pazzo, or derived from the 2 j. e. jest or scoft
patch'd clothes sometimes worn by persons of low con-
verb pæcan, to deceive by false appearances.
10 A head. The metamorphosis of Bottom might
have 5 A squash is an immature peascod. So in Twelfth been suggested by a similar trick played by Dr. Feos Night, Act i. Sc. 5:
tus. See his History, c. xliii.
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Obe. What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky;
quite, So, at his sight, away his fellows fly:
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight :
All fancy-sick“ she is, and pale of cheers I led them on in this distracted fear,
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear • And left sweet Pyramus translated there :
By some illusion see thou bring her here; When in that moment (so it came to pass,) I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear. Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass. Puck. I go, I'go; look, how I go :
Obe. This falls out better than I could devise. Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. (Erd But hast thou yet latch'd' the Athenian's eyes
Obe. Flower of this purple die, With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
Hit with Cupid's archery, Puck. I took him sleeping,—that is finish'd too, Sink in apple of his eye! And the Athenian woman by his side ;
When his love he doth espy,
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wak’st, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.
Helena is here at hand;
Pleading for a lover's fee;
Shall we their fond pageant see ? Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
Lord, what fools these mortals be! And kill me too.
Obe. Stand aside : the noise they make, The sun was not so true unto the day,
Will cause Demetrius to awake. As he to me: Would he have stolen away
Puck. Then will two at once woo ono ;
That must needs be sport alone;
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.
Lys. Why should you think, that I should woo Dem. So should the murder'd look; and so should I,
in scorn ? Pierc'd through the heart with your stern cruelty : Scorn and derision never come in tears : Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so bom
In their nativity all truth appears.
Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true ?
Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more. Her. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past When truth kills truth, O devilish holy fray! the bounds
These vows are Hermia's ; Will you give her o'er ? Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh. Henceforth be never number'd among men!
Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales, 0! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake ; Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake,
Will even weigh; and both as light as tales.
Lys. I had no judgment when to her I swore. And hast thou kill'd him sleeping ? O brave touch !!
Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er. Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you. An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Dem. (awaking.) O Helen, goddess, nymph, per Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
lect divine ! Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd' To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne ? mood:
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow! Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
That pure congealed white, high Taurus's snow, Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow, Dem. An if I could, what should I get therefore ? When thou hold'st up thy hand : O let me kiss
Her. A privilege, never to see me more.And from ihy haied presence part I so:
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss !
spite! 'O hell! I see you all are bent
You would not do me thus much injury:
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
If you were men, as men you are in show,
signifying the face, visage, sight, or countenance, look
or cheere of a man or woman.' The old French chere 1 Latch'd or letch'd, licked or smeared over.
had the same meaning. ? A touch anciently signified a trick. Ascham tas 6 So in K. Henry VI. we have 'blood-consuming,' • the shrewd touches of many curst boys.' And in the blood-drinking,' and 'blood-sucking sighs. All allud. old story of Howlegias, 'for at all times he did some mading to the ancient supposition, that every sigh was indul. touch.'
ged at the expense of a drop of blood. 3 · On a mispris'd mood,' i. e. in a mistaken manner. 7 So in Antony and Cleopatra : On was sometimes used licentiously for in.
My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal, 4 Love-sick.
And plighter of high hearts. 3 Cheer here signifies countenance, from cera, Ital. 8 i. e. join heartily, unite in the same mind
for it ;
You would not use a gentle lady so;
Two of the first,' like coats in heraldry,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend ?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly :
Our sex, as well as I may chide
you To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes, Though I alone do feel the injury. With your derision! none of noble sorti
Her. I am amazed at your passionate words: Would so offend a virgin; and extort
I scorn you not ; it seems that you scorn me.
He. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
you love Hermia: this, you know, I know: And made your other love, Demetrius,
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare, And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Precious, celestial ? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates ? and wherefore doth Lysander
But by your setting on, by your consent?
What though I be not so in grace as yoth
So hung upon with love, so fortunate
But miserable most, to love unlov'd ?"
This you should pity, rather than despise.
Hel. Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
Wink at each other; hold the sweet jest up: Enter HERMIA.
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument. The ear more quick of apprehension makes ;
But, fare ye well : 'tis partly mine own fault; Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
Whích death, or absence, soon shall remedy. It pays the hearing double recompense :
Lys. Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena !
Hel ó excellent!
Sweet, do not scorn her so. Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth press
Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel. to go?
Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat; Her. What love could press Lysander from my Thy threats have no more strength, than her weak side ?
I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
To prove him false, that says I love thee not.
Dem. I say I love thee more than he can do. know,
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw and prove
Dem. Quick, come,
Lysander, whereto tends all this? Hel. Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!
he'l-Sir, To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Seem to break loose ; take on as you would follow ;
But yet come not: You are a tame man, go!
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.
Her. Why are you grown so rude? what change
Sweet loye ?
Lys. Thy love ! out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine ! hated potion, hence !
Her. Do you not jest ?
Yes, 'sooth: and so do you.
Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee. As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,
Dem. I would, I had your bond; for, I perceive, Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
A weak bond holds you; I'll not trust your word. Like to a double cherry, seeming parted;
Lys. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.
7 Mr. Douce thus explains this passage : Helen says,
"we had two seeming bodies, but only one heart' She 1 Degree, or quality,
then exemplifies the position by a simile-- we had tro 2 Pay dearly for it, rue it.
of the first, i. e. bodies, like the double coats in heraldry 3 i, e, circles.
that belong to man and wife as one person, but which 4 'Is all the counsel that we two have shared, &c. like our single heart, have but one crest.' Malone ex
Gregory of Nazianzen's poem on his own life con- plains the heraldric allusion differently, but not so clearly la ing some beautiful lines (resembling these) which burst nor satisfactorily. from the heart and speak the pange of injured and lost 8 Make mouths. friendship. Shakspeare had never read the poems of 9 i. e. such a subject of light merriment. Gregory; he was ignorant of the Greek language ; but 10 This arrangement of the text is Malone's, who this his mother tongue, the language of nature, is the same explains it. The words he'll are not in the folie, and in Cappadocia as in Britain. -Gibbon's Hist, vol y p. sir is not in the quarto. Demetrius I suppose would say. 17, 8vo, ed.
no, no, he'll not nave the resolution to disengage himsel . e. ingenious, artful. Artificiose, Lat
But turning to Lysander, he addresses o 1. 6. needles
bim ironically : 'Sir, seem to break loose;" &c
Her. What, can you do me grealer harm than Dem. You are too officious,
In her behalf that scorns your services :
Never so little show of love to her,
Now she holds me not, Why, then you left me,-0, the gods forbid !-- Now follow if thou dar’st, to try whose right, In earnest shall I say?
Or thine, or mine, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thee cheek by And never did desire to see thee more.
(Eseunt Lys. and Dem. Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt, Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you: Be certain nothing truer 'lis no jest,
Nay, go not back. That I do hate thee, and love Helena.
I will not trust you, I; Her. O me, you juggler! you canker-blossom!' Nor longer stay in your curst company. You thief of love ! what, have you come by night, Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray; And stol'n my love's heart from him ?
My legs are longer though, to run away. (Éril. Hel.
Fine, i'faith! Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say. Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
(Exit, pursuing HELENA. No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear Obe. This is thy negligence : still thou mistak'st, Impatient answers from my gentle tongue ? Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully, Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet you!
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook. He. Puppet! why so ? Ay, that way goes the Did not you tell me, I should know the man game.
By the Athenian garments he had on? Now I perceive that she hath made
And so far blameless proves my enterprise, Between our statures, she hath urg'd her height; That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes : And with her personage, her tall personage,
And so far am I glad it so did sort," Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.- As this their jangling 1 esteem a sport, And are you grown so high in his esteem,
Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight : Because I am so dwarfisa, and so low?
Hie, therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen, As one come not within another's way. Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;a
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue, I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong; I am a right maid for my cowardice;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius : Let her not strike me : 'You, perhaps, may think, And from each other look thou lead them thus, Because she's something lower than myself, Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep That I can match her.
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye:
To take from thence all error with his might, Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you; And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
When they next wake, all this derision I told him of your stealth unto this wood:
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision; He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd him.
And back to Athens shall the lovers wende But he hath chid me hence: and threaten'd me With league whose date till death shall never end. To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too : Whiles I in this affair do thee employ, And now, so you will let me quiet go,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy; To Athens will I bear my folly I ack,
And then I will her charmed eye release And follow you no further : Let me go:
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace, You sec bow simple and how fond” I am.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste; Her. Why, gei you gone: Who is't that hinders For night's swift dragons' cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger; Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind. At wbose approach, ghosts, wandering here and Her. What! with Lysander ?
With Demetrius. Troop home to church-yards : damned spirits all, Lys. Be not afraid : she shall not harm thee, He- That in cross-ways and floods have burial," lena.
Already to their wormy beds" are gone; Dem. No, sir ; she shall not, though you take her For fear lest day should look their shames upon, part.
They wilfully themselves exile from light, Hel. O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd: And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night She was a vixen, when she went to school ;
Obe. But we are spirits of another sort :
Her. Little again ? nothing but low and littlo?- And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams. You minimus of hind'ring knot-grass* made; you gone, you dwarf;
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay : You bead, you acorn.
We may effect this business yet ere day.
(Exit OBEROX, I A worm that preys on the leaves or buds of flowers, always beginaing in the middle.
10 The ghosts of self-murderers, who are buried in 2 1 e. froward, cross, ill-conditioned, or jll-spoken. cross-roads; and of those who being drowned were 3 Foolish.
condemned (according to the opinion of the ancients) 19 à Arcierly knot-grass was believed to prevent the wander for a hundred years, as the rites of sepulchre growth of children.
had never been regularly bestowed on their bodies. 5 Pretend.
11. Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed.:-Milio's & Aby it, for abide it, i. e. pay dearly for it, rue it. Ode on the Death of a fair Infant. 7 Chance, fall out, from sort, French.
12 Cephalus, the mighty hunter, and paramour of Au. 9 so in Cymbeline, Act ii. Sc. 11:
rora, was here probably meant. • Swift, swift, ye dragons of the night.'
13 Oberon here boasts that he was not compelled, like See note on that passage.
meaner spirits, :0 vanish at the first dawn