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Her. What, can you do me grcaler harm than Dem. You are too officious,

In her behalf that scorns your services :
Hate me! wherefore ? () me! what news, my love? Let her alone; speak not of Helena;
Am not 1 Hermia ? Are not you Lysander ? Take not her part : for if thou dost intends
I am as fair now as I was crewhile.

Never so little show of love to her,
Since night you lov'd me; yet since night you left Thou shalt aby it.


Now she holds me not; Why, then you left me,-0, the gods forbid ! Now follow is thou dar'st, to try whose right, In earnest shall I say?'

Or thine, or mine, is most in Helena.
Ay, by my life;

Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thee cheek by And never did desire to see thee more.


(Ereunt Lys, and Dev. Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt, Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you : Be certain nothing truer ; 'tis 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. fExit. Hel.

Fine, i'faith! Her. I am amaz’d, and know not what to sav. Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,

[Erit, 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. Her. 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 compare

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 I 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 dwarfisi, and so low?

Hie, therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
How low am I, thou painted maypule ? speak; The starry welkin cover thou anon
How low am I? I am not yet so low,

With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes. And lead these testy rivals so astray,

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 ;?

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:
Lower! hark, again.

Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye :
Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
I evermore did love you, Hermia,

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 wend But he hath chid me hence: and threaten'd me With league whose date will 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 back,

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 see how simple and how fond I am.

Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste; Her. Why, get 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 whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and Her. What! with Lysander ?

there, Hel.

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 : And, though she be but little, she is fierce. I with the Morning's love's have oft made sport * Her. Little again? nothing but low and little ?- And, like a forester, the groves may tread, Why will you suffer her to floui me thus?

Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red, Let me come to her.

Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams, Get you gonc, you dwarf; Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams." You minimus of hind’ring knot-grass* made; But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay : You bead, you acorn.

We may effect this business yet ere day.

[Exit OBERON. 1 A worm that preys on the leaves or buds of flowers, always beginning in the middle.

10 The ghosts of self-murderers, who are buried in 2 i e. froward, cross, ill-conditioned, or IU-spoken. cross-roads; and of those who being drowned were . 3 Foolish.

condemned (according to the opinion of the ancients) to 4 Ancierely knot-grass was believed to prevent the wander for a hundred years, as the rites of sepulchro growth of children.

had never been regularly bestowed on their bodies. 5 Pretend.

11. Or that thy beauties lie in woriny bed.-Milto's 6 Aby it, for ahide it, i. e. pay dearly for it, rue it. Ode on the Death of a fair Infant. 7 Chance, fall out, from sori, French. 8 Go. 12 Cephalus, the mighty hunter, and paramour of Au. 9 So in Cymbeline, Act ii. Sc. 11 :

rora, was here probably meant. • Swift, swisi, ye dragons of the night.”

13 Oberon here boasts that he was not compelled. liko See note on that passage.

meaner spirits, to vanish at the first dawn

you ?


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Puck. Up and down, up and down, I can no further crawl, no further go; I will lead ihem up and down:

My legs can keep no pace with my desires. I am fcar'd in field and town;

Here will I rest me, till the break of day, Goblin, lead them up and down.

Heaven shield Lysander, if they mean a frav! Here comes one.

(Lies down Puck. On the ground Enter LYSANDER.

Sleep sound: Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak

I'll apply thou now.

To your eye, Puck. Here, villain ; drawn and ready. Where Gentle lover, remedy. art thou ?

(Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eye Lys. I will be with thee straight.

When thou wak'st, Puck.

Follow me then

Thou tak'st To plainer ground. (Exit Lys. as following the voice.

True delight

In the sight

of thy former lady's eye
Lysander! speak again.

And the country proverb known, Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ?

That every man should take his own, Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy

In your waking shall be shown : head?

Jack shall have Jill; Purk. Thou coward, art thon bragging to the stars,

Nought shall go ill; Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars, The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be And wilt not come? Come, recreant ; come, thou

well." child,

[Exit Puck.-DEM. Hel. &-c. sleep. I'll whip thee with a rod: He is defil'd, That draws a sword on thee.

ACT IV. Dem.

Yea; art thou there? SCENE I. The same. Enter Titania and BotPuck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood

Tou, Fairies allending ; OBERON behind unseen. here,

(Ereunt. Re-enter LYSANDER.

Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,

While I thy amiable cheeks do coy, Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on;

And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, When I coine where he calls, then he is gone.

And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy. The villain is much lighter heel'd than I:

Bot. Where's Peas-blossom? I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;

Peas. Ready. That fallen am I in dark uneven way,

Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.-Where's And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!

monsicur Cobweb? (Lies down.

Cob. Ready. For if but once thou show me thy gray light, Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get your I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite." [Sleeps. weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hippe: Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.

humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monPuck. Ho, ho! ho, ho!! Coward, why com’st too much in the action, monsieur; and, good mon,

sieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself thou not? Dem. Abide me, if thou dar’st; for well I wot, be loath to have you overtown with the honey-bag,

sieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;

signior. Where's monsieur Mustard-seed ? And dar’st not stand, nor look me in the face.

Must. Ready.
Where art thou ?
Come hither; I am here.

Bot. Give me your neis, monsieur Mustard-secu.

leave Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt

your courtesy, good monsieur.

Must. What's your will ? buy this dear.? If ever I thy face by day-light sce:

Bot. Nothing, good nonsieur, but to help ca

valero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me

monsieur ; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy To measure out my length on this cold bed.

about the face and I am such a tender ass, if my By day's approach look to be visited.

hair do but tickle me, I must scratch. [Lies down and sleeps.

Tita. What, wilt thou hear some music, my Enter HELENA.

sweet love? Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,

Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in music: let Abate thy hours: shine, comforts from the east;

us have the tongs and the bones. That I may back to Athens by day-light,

Tila. Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat. From these that my poor company detest :

Bot. Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,

your good dry oais. Meihinks, I have a great deSteal me awhile from mine own company. [Sleeps. sire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath Puck. Yet but three? Come one more ;

no fellow, Two of both kinds makes up four.

Tila. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek Here she comes, curst and sad :

The squirrel's hoard, and fetch theo new nuts. Cupid is a knavish lad,

Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of driel Thus to make poor females inad.

peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir

me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me. Enter HERMIA.

Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms. Her. Never so weary, never so in woe,

Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away. Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briars ; So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,

Gently entwist,--the female ivy so 1 This exclamation would have been uttered with more propriety by Puck, if he were not now playing an wood's Epigrams, or Three Hundred Proverbs. Steeassumed character, which he seems to forget. In the vens thinks we should read still instead of well, for the old song printed by Percy, in which all his gambols are sake of the rhyme. related, he concludes every stanza with ho! ho! ho ! 4 To coy, is to stroke or soothe with the hand. The It was also the established dramatic exclamation given behaviour of Titania on this occasion seems copied frons to the devil whenever he appeared on the stage, and at that of the lady in Apuleius, lib. viii. tributed to him whenever he appeared in reality.

5 That is fiel. So in K. Henry IV. Part II. Pistol 2 Johnson says, the poet perhaps wrote, “thou shalt says: 'Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif.' by this dear;' as in another place, thou shalt aby it.' 6 The old rough rustic music of the tongs. The folio 3 These ihree last lines are to be found in Hay. (has this stage direction:'Musicke Tongs, Rurall Music

Pray you,

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.'

And since we have the vaward of the day, O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

My love shall bear the music of my hounds. [They sleep. Uncouple in the western valley; go:

Despatch, I say, and find the forester.
OBERON advances. Enter Pock.

We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top, Obe. We!come, good Robin. See'st thou this And mark the musical confusion sweet sight?

Of hounds and echo in conjunction. Her dotage now I do begin to pity.

Hip. I was with Herculos, and Cadmus, once, For meeting her of late behind the wood,

When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool, With hounds of Sparta : never did I hear I did upbraid her, and fall out with her :

Such gallant chiding;' for, besides the groves, For she his hairy temples then had rounded

The skies, the fountains, every region near With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers ;

Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard And that same dew, which sometime on the buds So musical a discord, such sweet thunder. Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind, Stood now within the pretty flourets' eyes,

So flew'd, so sanded ;' and their heads are hung Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail. With ears that sweep away the morning dew; When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her, Crook-knee'd, and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian hulls; And she, in mild terms, begg'd my patience, Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells, I then did ask of her her changeling child;

Each under each. A cry more tuneable Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent

Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn, To bear him to my bower in fairy land.

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly : And now I have the boy, I will undo

Judge, when you hear.—But, soft; what nymphs This hateful imperfection of her eyes.

are these? And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep: From off the head of this Athenian swain ; And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is; That he awaking when the other do,

This Helena, old Nedar's Helena: May all to Athens back again repair ;

I wonder of their being here together. And think no more of this night's accidents,

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe But as the fierce vexation of a dream.

The rite of May ; and, hearing our intent, But first I will release the fairy queen.

Came here in grace of our solemnity:Be, as thou wast wont to be."

But, speak, Egeus ; is not this the day (Touching her eyes with an herb. That Hermia should give answer of her choice ? See, as thou wast wont to see:

Ege. It is, my lord. Dian's bud' o'er Cupid's flower

The. Go, bid tho huntsmen wake them with their Hath such force and blessed power.

horns. Now, my Titania; wake you, my gwcet queen.

Horns, and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER, Tita. My Oberon! what visions have I seen! HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up. Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.

The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentne is Obe. There lies your love.

past; Tita.

How came these things to pass ? Begin these wood-birds but to couple now? O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

Lys. Pardon, my lord. Obe. Silence, awhile.-Robin, take off this head.

[He and the rest kneel to Theseus. Titania, music call; and strike more dead


I pray you all, stand up. Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.

I know you are two rival enemies ; Tita. Music, ho music; such as charmeth How comes this gentle concord in the world, sleop.

That hatred is so far from jealousy, Puck. Now, when thou wak’st, with thine own To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity ? fool's eyes peep.

Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly, Obe. Sound, music. [Still music.]

Come, my

Hali 'sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear, queen, take hands with me,

I cannot truly say how I came here: And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.

But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,Now thou and I are new i amity;

And now I do bethink me, so it is ;) And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly,

I came with Hermia hither: our intent Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly, Wns to be gone from Athens, where we might be And bless it to all fair posterity:

Without the peril of the Athenian law. There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be

Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough: Wedded, with Theseus, all in joility.

I beg the law, the law, úpon his head.-
Puck. Fairy king, attend and mark; They would have stol'n away, they would, Demetrius,
I do hear the morning lark.

Thereby to have defeated you and me :
Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad, You, of your wife ; and me, of my consent;
Trip we after the night's shade :

Of my consent that she should be your wife.
We the globe can compass soon,

Dem. My lord, fair Holen told me of their stealth, Swifter than the wand'ring moon.

of this their purpose hither, to this wood; Tita. Come, my lord ; and in our föght,

And I in fury hither followed them; Tell me how it came this night,

Fair Helena in fancy?" following me. That I sleeping here was found,

But, my good lord, I wot not by what power With those mortals on the ground. [Ereunt. (But by some power it is), my love to Hermia,

[Horns sound within. Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now Enter THESEUS, HippoLYTA, Egers, and Train. As the remembrance of an idle gawd," The. Go, one of you, find out the forester ;

Which in my childhood I did dote upon : For now our observation is perform’d:5

5 i. e. the honours due to the morning of May. So in 1 Steevens says, what Shakspeare seems to mean is a former scene-to do obserrunce to a morn of May.' this-So the woodbine, i. e. the sweet honeysuckle doch 6 Forepart. gently entwist the barky fingers of the elm, and so doch 7 Chiding means here the cry of hounds. To chide the female ivy enring the same fingers.

is used sometimes for to sound, or make a noise, without 2 This was the phraseology of the time. So in K. any reference to scolding. Henry IV. Part 1.- and unbound the rest, and then Ś The fleus are the large chaps of a deep-mouthed came in the other.

hound. 3 Dian's bud is the bud of the Agnus Castus, or 9 Sanded means of a sandy colour, which is ore of Chaste Tree. The vertue of this hearbe is, that he the true denotements of a blood-hound. will kepe man and woman chaste.'

10 Fancy is here love or affection, and is opposed to 4 Sad here signifies only grave, serious.


11 Toy.



And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,

Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and ho is & The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,

very paramour, for a sweet voice. Is only Helena. To her, my lord,

Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is, Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:

God bless us, a thing of nought.
But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food:

Enter Snug.
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,

Snug Masters, the duke is coming from the temAnd will for evermore be true to it.

ple, and there is two or three lords and ladies mora The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met: married: if our sport had gone forward, we had all Of this discourse we more will hear anon.

been made men. Egeus, I will overbear your will ;

Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost For in the temple, by and by with us,

sixpence a-day during his life ; he could not have These couples shall eternally be knit.

'scaped sixpence a-day: an thé duke had not given And, for the morning now is something worn, him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside. hang'd; he would have deserved it: sixpence a-day, Away, with us, to Athens : Three and three, in Pyramus, or nothing." We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.

Enter Bottom. Come, Hippolyta. (Ereunt The. Hip. EGE. and Train.

Bot. Where are these lads? where are these hearts? Dem. These things seem small and undistinguish

Quin. Bottom!-0 most courageous day! O most able,

happy hour! Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

Bul. Masters, I am to discourse wonders : but Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye, Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right as it

ask me not what; for, if I tell you, I am no true When every thing seems double.

fell out. Hel.

So methinks : And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,

Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, Mine own, and not mine own."

is, that the Duke hath dined: Get your apparel to: Dem.

Are you sure That we are awake? It seems to me,

gether; good strings to your beards, new ribbons to That yet we sleep, we dream.-Do not you think,

your pumps; meet presently at the palace; every The duke was here, and bid us follow him ?

man look o'er his part; for, the short and the long Her. Yea; and my father.

is, our play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby Hel.

And Hippolyta.

have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.

Lion, pare his nails, for they shall hang out for the Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow him ; Lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions,

nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.

do not doubt, but to hear them say, it is a sweet

comedy. No more words; away; go, away. As they go out, Bottom awakes.

(Ereunt. Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will

ACT V. answer :--my next is, Most fair Pyramus.-Hey, ho!-Peter Quince ! 'Flute, the bellows-mender! SCENE I. The same. An Apartment in the Palace Snout, the tinker ! Starveling ! God's my life! stolen of Theseus. Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Phihence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare

LOSTRATE, Lords, and Attendants. vision. I have had a dream,-past the wit of man to say what dream it was: Man is but an ass, if he

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers go about to expound this dream. Methought I was

speak of. there is no man can tell what. Methought I was; These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.

The. More strange than true. I never may believe and methought I had, -But man is but a patched Lovers, and madmen, have such scething brains, fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend not seen; man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue The lunatick, the lover, and the poet,

More than cool reason ever comprehends. to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my

Are of imagination all compact :S was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream ; it shall be called Bottom's Dream, be one sees more devils than vast hell can hold; latter end of a play, before the duke : Peradventuro, The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, cause it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the That is, the madman : the lover, all as frantick,

Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt : to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at

her Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth 10 death.2


heaven; SCENE II. Athens. A Room in Quince's House. And, as imagination bodies forth Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, Snout, and Starve- The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he A local habitation, and a name. come home yet?

Such tricks hath strong imagination;
Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt, he That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
is transported.

It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred; or, in the night, imagining some fear,
It goes not forward, doth it?

How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear?
Quin. It is not possible : you have not a man in

Hip. But all the story of the night told over, all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.

And all their minds transfigur'd so together, Flu. No; be hath simply the best wit of any

More witnesseth than fancy's images,

And handicraft man in Athens.

grows to something of great constancy ;*

But, howsoever, strange and admirable. 1 Helena, perhaps, means to say, that having found Demetrius uñerpectedly, she considered her property

3 Steevens says that Preston, the actor and author of in him as insecure as that which a person has in a jewel Cambyses, was meant to be ridiculed here. The queen that he has found by accident, which he knows not having bestowed a pension on him of twenty pounds a whether he shall retain, and which therefore may pro- year for the pleasure she received from his acting in tha perly enough be called his own and not his own. War. play of Dido, at Cambridge, in 1664. burton proposed to read gemell, i. e. double; and it has 4 So in the Tempest: also been proposed to read giminal, which signifies a

thy brains, poubl: ring.

Now useless, boild within thy skull.) 2 Theobald conjectured, happilý enough, that wo 5 i. e. are made of mere imagination. should road after death."

6 i. e. consistency, stability, certainty.


Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and For never any thing can be amiss,

When simpleness and duty tender it The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and Go, bring them in ;-and take your places, ladies. mirth.

[Exit PHILOSTRATE. Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love,

Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd,

And duty in his service perishing.
Accompany your hearts?
More than to us

The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed!

thing. The. Come now; what masks, what dances shall Hip. He says they can do nothing in this kind. we have,

The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for no To wear away this long age of three hours,

thing Between our after-supper, and bed time?

Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake : Where is our usual manager of mirth?

And what pour duty cannot do, What revels are in hand ? Is there no play,

Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.' To case the anguish of a torturing hour ?

Where I have come, great clerks have purposed Call Philostrate.

To greet me with premeditated welcomes; Philost. Here, mighty Theseus.

Where I have seen them shiver and look pale, The. Say, what abridgment' have you for this Make periods in the midst of sentences,

Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears,
What mask ? what music? How shall we beguile And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
The lazy time, if not with some delight?

Not paying me a welcome : Trust me, sweet, Philost. There is a brief, how many sports are

Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome;

And in the modesty of fearful duty sipe;

I read as much, as from the rattling tongue Make choice of which your highness will see first.

[Giving a paper.

Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
The. (Reads.) The battle with the Centaurs, to be Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,

In least speak most, to my capacity.
By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.

Enter PhilOSTRATE. We'll none of that: that have I told my love, Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is In glory of my kinsman Hercules.

addrest. The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,

The. Let him approach. (Flourish of trumpets.' Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.

Enter Prologue.
That is an old device; and it was play'd
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.

Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will.
The thric: three Muses mourning for the death

That you should think we come not to offend, Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.)

But with good-will. To shew our simple skill, That is some satire, keen, and critical,

That is the true beginning of our end. Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

Consider then, we come but in despite. A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,

We do not come as mining to content you, And his love Thishe : very tragical mirth.

Our true intent is. All for your delight, Merry and trayical! Tedious and brief!

We are not here. That you should here repent you. That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.

The actors are at hand : and, by their show, How shall we find the concord of this discord ?

You shall know all, that you are like to know. Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten words

The. This fellow doth not stand upon points. long;

Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt, Which is as brief as I have known a play;

he knows not the stop. "A good moral, my lord : It But by ten words, my lord, it is too long;

is not enough to speak, but to speak true. Which makes it tedious: for in all the play

Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue like There is not one word apt, one player fitted.

a child on a recorder;'0' a sound, but not in governAnd tragical, my noble lord, it is ; For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; noWhich, when I saw rehears’d, I must confess,

thing impaired, but all disordered. °Who is next? Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, The passion of loud laughter never shed.

and Lion, as in dumb show. The. What are they that do play it?

Prol. “Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens

show; here, Which never labour'd in their minds till now;

“ But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.

“ This man is Pyramus, if you would know; And now have toild their unbreath'd memories

“ This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. With this same play, against your nuptial. “ This man, with lime and rough-cast doth present The. And we will hear it.

“Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers sonPhilost. No, my noble lord,

der: It is not for you: I have heard it over,

“ And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are And ii is nothing, nothing in the world:

content Unless you can find sport in their intents, Exremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain,

“To whisper; at the which let no man wonder.

“ This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorr To do


“ Presenteth moon-shine ; for, if you will know, The.

I will hear that play; “ By moon-shine did these lovers think no scorn i Steevens thought, that by abridgment was meant 6 Indents may be put for the object of their attention. a dramatic performance which crowds the events of To intend and to attend were anciently synonymous. years into a few hours. Surely the context seems to 7 The sense of this passage appears to be :-- "What require a different explanation ; an abridgment appears dutifulness tries to perform without ability, regardful ge. to mean some pastime to shorten the tedious evening. nerosity receives with complacency; estimating it, not 2 Short account.

by the actual meril, but according to the power or might 3 This may be an allusion to Spenser's poem: 'The of the humble but zealous performers.' Tears of the Muses on the Neglect and Contempt of 8 Ready. Learning;' first printed in 1591.

9 Anciently the prologue entered after the third sound. + It is thought that Shakspeare alludes here to 'cering of the trumpets, or, as we should now say, after the tain good hearted men of Coventry,' who petitioned that third music. they moucht renew their old storial shewy before the 10 A kind of flageolet. To record anciently signified Queen at Keuilworth: where the poet bimself may have to modulate ; perhaps the name arose from birds being Deen present, as he was then twelve years old

taught to record by it. 6 1. e. unexercised, unpractised.

li i. e. not regularly, according to the time.


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