Page images
PDF
EPUB

Is only Helena. To her, my Lord,
Was í betrothed e'er I did see Hermia;
But like a Sickness did I loath this Food;
But as in Health come to my natural Taste,
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.

Thes. Fair Lovers, you are fortunately met;
Of this Discourse we shall hear more anon.
Egens, I will over-bear your Will,
For in the Temple, by and by with us,
These Couples shall eternally be knit:
And for the Morning now is something worn,
Our purpos’d Hunting shall be set aside.
Away with us to Athens, three and three,
We'll hold a Feast in great Solemnity.
Come Hippolita.

[Exit Duke and Lords. Dene. These Things seem small and undistinguishable, Like far-off Mountains turned into Clouds.

Her. Methinks I see these things with parted Eye,
When every Thing seems double.
'. Hel. So methinks ;

And I have found Demetrius like a Jewel;
Mine own, and not mine own.

Dem. It seems so to me,
That we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
The Duke was here, and bid us follow him?

Her.. Yea, and my Father.
Hel. And Hippolita.
Lyf. And he bid us follow to the Temple.

Dem. Why then we are awake ; let's follow him, and by the Way let us recount our Dreams.

Exeunt.

. :. [Bottom wakes. Bot. When my Cue comes, call me, and I will answer, My next is, Moft fair Pyramus---Hey ho, Peter Quince! Flute the Bellows-mender! Snout the Tinker! Starveling! God's my Life! Stoln hence, and left me asleep. I have had a most rare Vision. I had a Dream past the Wit of Man to say what Dream it was : Man is but an Ass if he go about to expound this Dream. Methought I was, there is no Man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had. But Man is but a patch'd Fool, if he will offer to say what

methough

Bus-Herall me, and ; [Bottom Exenni.

methought I had. The Eye of Man hath not heard, the Ear of Man hath not seen; Man's Hand is not able to taste, his Tongue to conceive, nor his Heart to report what my Dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a Ballad of this Dream; it shall be callid Bottom's Dream, because it hath no Bottom; and I will fing it in the latter End of a Play before the Duke : Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall ling it at her Death.

[Exit. Enter Quince, Flute, Thisby, Snowt and Starveling. Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's House? Is he come Home yet

Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is trans

ported.

* This. If he come not, then the Play.is marr'd. It goes for. ward, doth it?

Quin. It is not possible; you have not a Man in all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.

This. No, he hath simply the best Wit of any Handycraft Man in Athens.

Quin. Yea, and the best Person too; and he is a very Paramour for a sweet Voice.

This. You must say, Paragon; a Paramour is (God bless us) a Thing of naught.

Enter Snug. . Snug. Masters, the Duke is coming from the Temples and there is two or three Lords and Ladies more married; If our Sport had gone forward, we had all been made Men.

This. O sweer Bully Bottom; thus hath he loft Six pence a Day during his Life; he could not have 'scaped Six pence a. Day; and the Duke had not given him Six pence a Day for Playing Pyramus, I'll be hang'd: He would have deservd it. Six pence a Day in Pyramns, or nothing.

Enter Bottom.
Bot. Where are these Lads? Where are these Hearts?

Quin. Bottom, 0 most couragious Day! O most happy Hour ! .

Bot. Masters, I am to discourse Wonders; but ask me not what; for if I tell you, I am no true. Athenian. I will tell you every thing as it fell out.

Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a Word of me; all I will tell you, is that the Duke hath dined. Get your Apparel together, good Strings to your Beards, new Ribbons to your Pumps, meet prefently at the Palace, every Man look o'er his Part; for che short and the long is, our Play is preferred: In any case let Thisby have clean Linnen; and let not him that plays the Lion ! pare his Nails, for they shall hang out for the Lion's Claws; and most dear Actors, eat no Onions, nor Garlick, for we are to utter sweet Breath ; and I do not doubt to hear them say, it is a sweet Comedy. No more Words ; away, go away.

[Exeunt.

A CT V. SCENE I.
Enter Theseus, Hippolica, Egeus and his Lords.

Hip.STIS strange, my Thefens, that these Lovers speak of.

T Ther. More strange than true. I never may believe There Antick Fables, nor these Fairy Toys; Lovers and Madmen have such seething Brains, Such shaping Phantasies, that apprehend more Than cool Reafon ever comprehends. The Lunatick, the Lover, and the Poet, Are of Imagination all compact : One sees more Devils than valt Hell can hold; That is the Madman. The Lover, all as frantick, . Sees Helen's Beauty in a Brow of Egypt. The Poet's Eye in a fine Frenzy rowling, Doth glance from Heav'n to Earth, from Earth to Heav'n: And as Imagination bodies forth the Forms of Things Unknown; the Poet's Pen turns them to Shapes, And gives to Airy Nothing a local Habitation, And à Name. Such Tricks hath strong Imagination, That if it would but apprehend some Joy, It comprehends some Bringer of that Joy: Or in the Night, imagining some Fear, How easie is a Bush supposod a Bear?

Hip. But all the Story of the Night told over,
And all their Minds transfigur'd fo together,
More witnesseth than Fancies Images,
And grows to something of great Constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.
Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and

Helena.
Thes. Here come the Lovers, full of Joy and Mirth.
Joy, gentle Friends, Joy and fresh days of Love
Accompany your Hearts.

Lyf. More than to us,
Wait on your Royal Walks, your Board, your Bed.
Thes. Come now, what Masks, what Dances shall we

have,
To wear away this long Age of three Hours,
Between our after-supper and Bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of Mirth?
What Revels are in hand? Is there no Play
To ease the Anguish of a torturing Hour

Call Egens

Ege. Here, mighty Theseus.

Thes. Say, what Abridgement have you for this Evening? What Mask? What Musick? How shall we beguile The lazy time, if not with some Delight?

Ege. There is a Brief how many Sports are rife: Make choice of which your Highness will see first.

Lyf. The Battel with the Centaur, to be sung By an Athenian Eunuch, to the Harp.

Ther. We'll none of that. That have I told my Love,

by Thes. Wenn Kinsman Hercul Bachanals,

Lys. The Riot of the tiplie Bachanals, Tearing the Thracian Singer in their Rage.

Thes. That is an old Device, and it was plaid When I from Thebes came last a Conqueror.

Lys. The thrice three Muses, mourning for the Death of Learning, late deceas'd in Beggary.

Thes. That is some Satyr keen and critical, · Not sorting with a Nuptial Ceremony.

Lys. A tedious brief Scene of young Pyramus, And his Love Thisby; very tragical Mirth.

Thef:

Thef. Merry and Trágical? Tedious and Brief? That is, hot Ice, and wondrous strange Snow. How shall we find the Concord of this Discord?..

Ege. A Play there is, my Lord, fome ten Words long, .
Which is as brief as I have known à Play;
But by ten Words, my Lord, it is too long,
Which makes it tedious: For in all the Play
There is not one Word apt, one Player fitted:
And Tragical, my Noble Lord, it is:
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which when I faw rehears’d, I must confess
Made mine Eyes water; but more merry Tears
The passion of loud Laughter never shed.

Thef. What are they that do play it?

Ege. Hard-handed Men, that work in Athens here)
Which never labour'd in their Minds till now;
And now have toiled their unbreathed Memories
With this same Play, against your Nuptials.

Thef. And we will hear it.

Ege. No, my Noble Lord, it is not for you. I have heard
It over, and it is nothing, nothing in the World,
Unless you can find sport in their Intents,
Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel Pain,.
To do you Service

Thes. I will hear that Play: For never any thing
Can be amiss, when Simpleness and Duty,tender it.
Go bring them in, and take your Places, Ladies.

Hip. I love not to see Wretchedness o’ercharg'd,
And Duty in his Service perishing.

Thes. Why, gentle Sweet, you shall see no such thing.
Hip. He says they can do nothing in this kind.

Thef. The kinder we, to give them Thanks for nothing.
Our Sport shall be, to take what they mistake;
And what poor Duty cannot do; noble Respect
Takes it in Might, not Merit.
Where I have come, great Clerks have purposed
To greet me with premeditated Welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver, and look pale,
Make Periods in the midst of Sentences,
Throttle their practis'd Accent in their Fears,
Vol II.

And

[ocr errors]

Throt periods in the them mited Welco,

« PreviousContinue »