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And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
Fetch me that flower: the herb I show'd thee once :
And ere I take this charm off from her sight
Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him.
Is true as steel; Leave you your power to draw,
Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
What worser place can I beg in your love,
(And yet a place of high respect with me, Than to be used as you do your dog?
Then how can it be said, I am alone,
Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Dem. I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
[Exeunt DEM. and HEL. Obe. Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
Obe. I pray thee, give it me. I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows; Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania, some time of the night, Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight; And there the snake throws her enamel'd skin, Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in: And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes, And make her full of hateful fantasies. Take thou some of it, and seek through this A sweet Athenian lady is in love With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes; But do it, when the next thing he espies May be the lady: Thou shalt know the man By the Athenian garments he hath on. Effect it with some care, that he may prove More fond on her, than she upon her love: And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow. Puck. Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.
SCENE III. Another part of the Wood.
TITANIA, with her train.
Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
For I am sick, when I do look on thee.
Hel. And I am sick, when I look not on you.
Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that.
1 Exempt from the power of love.
2 The tricolored violet, commonly called pansies, or heartsease, is here meant; one or two of its petals are of a purple colour. It has other fanciful and expressive names, such as-Cuddle me to you; Three faces under a hood; Herb trinity, &c.
3 Mad, raving.
4 There is now a dayes a kind of adamant which draweth unto it fleshe, and the same so strongly, that it hath power to knit and tie together two mouthes of con trary persons, and draw the heart of a man out of his bodie without offending any part of him.' Certaine Secrete Wonders of Nature, by Edward Fenton, 1569.
Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds; Some, war with rear-mice1" for their leathern wings, To make my small elves coats; and some, keep
so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers. No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
For beasts that meet me, run away for fear:
Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound:
And to speak troth, I have forgot our way;
Her. Be it so, Lysander; find you out a bed,
Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both; One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. Her. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear, Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.
Lys. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence ; Love takes the meaning, in love's conference. I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit; So that but one heart we can make of it: Two bosoms interchained with an oath; So then, two bosoms, and a single troth. Then, by your side no bed-room me deny; For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
Her. Lysander riddles very prettily:Now much beshrew3 my manners and my pride, If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied. But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy Lie further off; in human modesty Sach separation, as, may well be said, Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid, So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend: Thy love ne'er alter, till thy sweet life end! Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I; And then end life, when I end loyalty! Here is my bed: Sleep give thee all his rest! Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd! [They sleep.
Puck. Through the forest have
But Athenian found I none,
The small tizer, or tiger-cat. 2 i, e. understand the meaning of my innocence, or by innocent meaning. Let no suspicion of ill enter thy d. In the conversation of those who are assured of ach other's kindness, not suspicion but love takes the
Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.
Hel. Do not say so, Lysander; say not so: What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?
Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.
Lys. Content with Hermia? No: I do repent
Who will not change a raven for a dove?
Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
And never mayst thou come Lysander near!
5 So in Macbeth:
Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his pent-house lid.'
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy,
To pluck this crawling serpent from
SCENE I. The same. The Queen of Fairies ly-
Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal: This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake out tyring house; and we will do it in action, as we will do it before
Bot. Peter Quince,
Quin. What say'st thou, bully Bottom?
Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby, that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?
Snout. By'rlakin, a parlous fear.
Star. I believe, we must leave the killing out, when all is done.
Bot. Not a whit; I have a device to make all well. Write me a prologue: and let the prologue seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords; and that Pyramus is not killed indeed: and for the more better assurance, tell them, that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: This will put them out of fear.
Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be written in eight and six.4
Bot. No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your-
Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell, he
is not a lion.
Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard things; that is, to bring the moon-light into a chamber: for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moon-light.
Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half
Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanack; find out moon-shine, find out moonshine.
6 Shakspeare may here allude to an incident said to have occurred in his time, which is recorded in a collec tion of anecdotes, stories, &c. entitled 'Mery Passages and Jeasts,' MS. Harl. 6395. There was a spectacle presented to Queen Elizabeth upon the water, and
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of the great chamber window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the casement.
Quin, Ay; or else one must come in with a say, bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-shine. Then, there is another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby, says the story, did talk through the chink of a wall. Snug. You never can bring in a wall.-What say you, Bottom?
Bot. Some man or other must present wall: and let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; or let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.
Quin. If that may be, then all is well. sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin: when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake," and so every one according to his cue.
Enter Puck behind.
Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swag-
Quin. Speak, Pyramus:-Thisby, stand forth.
Pyr. odours savours sweet :
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.But, hark, a voice! stay thou but here a while, [Eri And by and by I will to thee appear. Puck. A stanger Pyramus than e'er play'd here [Aside.-E.
This. Must I speak now?
Quin. Ay, marry, must you: for you must understand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
This. Most radiant Pyramus,most lilly-white of hut.
Quin. Ninus' tomb, man: Why you must not
Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.Quin. O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters! fly, masters! help!
[Exeunt Clowns. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier;
among others Harry Goldingham was to repres
hear I am not afraid.
The ousel-cock, so black of hue,
Tita. What angel wakes me from my flowery
for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a
Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again; Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note, So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape; And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me, On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee. Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that: And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays: The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek2 upon occasion.
Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. Bot. Not so, neither; but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine
Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go;
The sunimer still doth tend upon my state,
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep:
1 Fai. Ready.
All. Where shall we go?
1 The cuckoo, having no variety of note, sings in plain song (plano cantu), by which expression the uniform modulation or simplicity of the chaunt was anciently distinguished in opposition to prick-song, or vatiated music sung by note.
2 i. e. jest or scoff.
3 The fruit of a bramble called Rubus cæsius: times called also the blue-berry.
Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
2 Fai. Hail!
3 Fai. Hail!
4 Fai. Hail!
Here comes my messenger.-How now, mad spirit?
And forth my mimic comes: When they him spy,
ken ironically, as it was the prevailing opinion in Shak-
8 A patch sometimes means a fool, or simpleton; but
4 'I shall desire you of more acquaintance. kind of phraseology was not uncommon. 5A squash is an immature peascod. So in Twelfth Night, Act i. Sc. 5:
'As a squash is before 'tis a peascod.' 6 Mason proposes to read 'passing well,' which is plausible if change be necessary. The words are spo
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong:
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
Obe. This falls out better than I could devise.
Puck. I took him sleeping,-that is finish'd too,-
Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA.
Obe. Stand close; this is the same Athenian. Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man. Dem. O, why rebuke you him that loves you so? Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
Her. Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse;
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
The sun was not so true unto the day,
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then?
O! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake;
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
Obe. What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind, And Helena of Athens look thou find : All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer' With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear: By some illusion see thou bring her here; I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear. Puck. I go, I go; look, how I go: Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. [Erit. Obe. Flower of this purple die, Hit with Cupid's archery, Sink in apple of his eye! When his love he doth espy, Let her shine as gloriously As the Venus of the sky.When thou wak'st, if she be by, Beg of her for remedy.
Puck. Captain of our fairy band,
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Obe. Stand aside: the noise they make,
Puck. Then will two at once woo one;
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA. Lys. Why should you think, that I should woo in scorn?
Scorn and derision never come in tears:
How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more. When truth kills truth, O devilish holy fray! These vows are Hermia's; Will you give her o'er? Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh: Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales, Will even weigh; and both as light as tales.
Lys. I had no judgment when to her I swore. Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er. Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you. Dem. [awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, perTo what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne? fect divine! Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
pure congealed white, high Taurus's snow,
signifying the face, visage, sight, or countenance, look
blood-drinking,' and 'blood-sucking sighs. All allud 6 So in K. Henry VI. we have 'blood-consuming,' ing to the ancient supposition, that every sigh was indulged at the expense of a drop of blood. 7 So in Antony and Cleopatra:
My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal, And plighter of high hearts.'
Si. e. join heartily, unite in the same mind.