Page images

Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.

Bot. Why then may you leave a casement of the greatchamber window, where we play, open; and the moon. may shine in at the casement.

Quin. Ay, or else one must come in with a bath of thorns and a lanthorn, and say, he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-fhine. Then there is another thing; we must have a wall in the great chamber, for Pyra rus and Thisby (says the story) did talk through the chink of a wall.

Snug. You can never bring in a wall. What say yous. Betton ?

Bot. Some man or other must present wall; and let him have some plaster, or some lome, or some roughcaft aboat him, to signify wall : Or let him hold his fingers thus; and through the cranny Shall Pyramus and Thuifby whisper.

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, fit down every mother's son, and rehearse your parts.. Pyramus, you begin; when you have spoken your fpeech, enter into that brake; and so every one accord.. ing to his cue.

Enter Puck, behindi
Puck. What hempen home-fpuns have we swagger-

ing here,
So near the cradle of the fairy Queen
What, a play tow'rd ? I'll be an auditor;
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.

Quin. Speak, Pyramus; Thisby, stand forth.
Pyr. Thisby, the flower of odious favours sweet..
Quin. Odours, odours.
Pyr. Odours, favours sweet.

So doth thy breath, my deareft Thisoy, dear;
But hark, a voice! ftay thou but here a whit!

And, by and by, I will to thee appear. [Exit Pyr


(15) Stay tbou but bere a while;] The verses here, 'tis plain, should be alternately in rhyme; but seveet in the clofe of the firft line, and wbile in the third, will not do for this purpose. The Avibor, doubtless, gave it ;. fay thou but here e whit;

Puck. A ftranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here! [Aide. This. Must I speak now?

Quin. Ay, marry, muft you; for you must under-. fand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again. Tbil

. Most radiant Pyramus, most lilly-white of huer Of colour like the red rose on triumphant briar,, Moft brisky Juvenile,, and eke most lovely Jew,

As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.

Quin. Ninus' tomb, man; why you must not speak: that yet: that you answer to Pyramus ; you speak allí your part at once, cues and all.. Pyramus, enter; your cue is paft; it is, never tire.

Re-enter Bottom, with an Ass-head: Tbil. O, as true as trueft horse, that yet would nevertire. Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine..

Quin. O monstrous! O ftrange! we are havnted ;; pray, masters; fly, masters; help! (The Clowns exeunt..

Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through:

briar, Sometimes a horse I'll be, sometimes a hound,

A hog, a headless bear, sometimes a fire, And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar and burn, Like horfe, hound, hog, bear, fire at every turn. [Exit.

Bot. Why do they run away! this is a knavery of. them to make me afeard..

Enter. Snowt: Snowt: 0 Bottom, thou art chang'd; what do I fee on thee? i. e. a little while : for so it fignifes, as also any thing of no price, or confideration ; a trifle : in which senle it is very frequent with Our Author. Botton before this Scene says;

Not a wbit; I have a device to make all well;
And, in Hamlet ;

No, not a wbit ; we defy augury.
And in Ricbard III.
Woe, woe, for England ! not a wbit, før me,



[ocr errors]

Bot. What do


see an ass-head of your own, do you?

Enter Quince.
Quin. Bless chee, Bottom, blefs thee; thou art translated..

Exit. Bot. I see their knavery, this is to make an ass of me, to fright me if they could; but I will not stir from this place, do what they can; I will walk up and down here, and I will fing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.

[Sings.. The ousel cock, so black of hue,

With orange-tawny bill,
The throftle with his note so true,

The wren with little quill.
Queen. What angel wakes me from my flow'ry bed?

Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark, [Sings.

The plain-long cuckow gray, Whore full

many a man doth mark, And dares not answer, nay. For, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lye, tho’ he cry

cuckow never for

Queen. I pray thee, gentle mortal, fing again;
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note, (16)
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 now-a-days. The


(16) Mine ear is mucb enamour'd of thy note,

On the firf vicw to say, to swear, I love thee;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy soape,

And iby fair virtue's force (perforce) dotb move me.] Thus the generality of the impressions have shuffled, and confused these verses, to the utmost degree of obscurity and nonsense : but I have from one of the old Quarto's reduced 'em to clearness and order : and as, without knowing such an authority for it, Ds. Thirlby inges siously hinted to me, they fhould be placedo


more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.

Queen. 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 own turn.

Queen. Out of this wood do not desire to go, Thou Thalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. I am a spirit of no common rate; The summer still doth tend upon my state, And I do love thee; therefore, go with me, I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee; And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep, And fing, while thou on preffed flowers doft sleep: And I will purge thy mortal grossness so, That thou Mali like an airy spirit go. Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard seed! (17)

Enter four Fairies. i Fair. Ready. 2 Fair. And I. 3 Fair. And I. 4 Fair. And I, where shall we go? Queen. Be kind, and courteous to this gentleman; Hop in his walks, and gambole in his eyes; Feed him with apricocks and dewberries, With purple grapes, green figs and mulberries, The honey-bags fteal from the humble bees, And for night tapers crop their waxen thighs, And light ihem at the fiery glow-worm's eyes, To have my love to bed, and to arise: And pluck the wings from painted butterflies, To fan the moon beams from his sleeping eyes ; Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

1 Fair. Hail, mortal, hail!

(17) Enter Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustard seed, and four Fairies. ] Here the common editions have been so extravagant as to split four Fairies into eight: but the old Quarto impreffons both cime in to my affiftance to reduce 'em to their right number. The Queen calls them their respective names, and immediately the four Fairies enter vpon call,

? Fair,

2 Fair. Hail! 3 Fair. Hail!

Bot. I cry your worship's mercy heartily; I beseech, your worship's name.

Cob. Cobweb.

Bet. I fall defire of you more acquaintance, good master Cobweb; if I cut my finger, I shall make bold. with you. Your name, honeft gentleman?

Pease. Peafeblossom.

Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squafb: your mother, and to master Peafood your father. Good master Peajeblofom, I Mall defire of you more acquaintance too.. Your name, I. beseech you, Sir?

Muf. Mustardfeed.

Bot. Good master Mustardseed, I know your patience well: that fame cowardly giant-like ox-beef hath devour'd many a gentleman of your house. I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I defire more of your acquaintance, good master Mus. tardfeed. Queen. Come; wait upon him, lead him to


bower.. The moon, methinks, looks with a watry eye, And when she weeps, weep ev'ry little flower,

Lamenting some enforced chastity! Tie up my love's tongue, bring him filently. Exeunt.

Enter King of Fairies.
Ob. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd :
Then what it was that next came in her eye,
Which the muft doat on in extremity.

Enter Pack,
Here comes my messenger! how now, mad sprite,
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian italls,


« PreviousContinue »