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[Exeunt Lys. and DEM.

She was a vixen, when she went to school ;

And, though she be but little, she is fierce. HER. Little again ? nothing but low and little ?

Why will you suffer ber to flout me thus ?

Let me come to her. Lys.

Get you gone, you dwarf; You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass a made;

You bead, you acorn.
DEM.

You are too officious
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone; speak not of Helena;
Take not her part: for if thou dost intend b
Never so little show of love to her,

Thou shalt aby it.
Lys.

Now she holds me not,
Now follow, if thou dar'st, to try whose right,

Or thine or mine, is most in Helena.
DEM. Follow ? nay, I 'll go with thee, cheek by jole.
HER. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you :

Nay, go not back.
HEL.

I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray;

My legs are longer though, to run away.
HER. I am amaz’d, and know not what to say d.
OBE. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,

Or else committ'st thy knaveries willingly,
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.

Did not you tell me, I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes :
And so far am I glad it so did sort,

As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
OBE. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight :

Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;

[Exit. [Exit, pursuing HELENA.

Knot-grass—" a low reptant herb,” according to Richard Tomlinson, a botanical apothecary of the seventeenth century. It was a vulgar error that it had the power of hindering growth.

Intend. Steevens explains this word by pretend. That is scarcely the meaning, which is rather to direct. Aby it-suffer for it. Thus, in Beaumont and Fletcher:

“Foolhardy knight, full soon thou shalt aby

This fond reproach." The folio, as in a former instance, has abide.

This line is not found in the folio of 1623, but is in the previous quartos. • Willingly, in the folio; wilfully in the quartos.

d

The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye,
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision 23 ;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league, whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I ll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release

From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste;

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards : damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone ;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,

And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
OBE. But we are spirits of another sort :

I with the morning's love have oft made sport 25;
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams 26.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:

We may effect this business yet ere day.
Puck. Up and down, up and down;

I will lead them up and down :
I am fear'd in field and town;

Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.

Exit OBERON.

Enter LYSANDER. Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak thou now. Puck. Here, villain ; drawn and ready. Where art thou ? Lys. I will be with thee straight. Puck. Follow me then to plainer ground. [Exit Lys. as following the voice.

Enter DEMETRIUS.

Dem. Lysander! speak again.

Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ?

Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head ?
Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,

Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars,
And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child ;
I'll whip thee with a rod : He is defild

That draws a sword on thee.
DEM.

Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we 'll try no manhood here.

[Exeunt.

Re-enter LYSANDER.
Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on;

When I come, where he calls then he is gone.
The villain is much lighter heeld than I:
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!
For if but once thou show me thy gray light,
I 'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite.

[Lies down.

[Sleeps.

Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.

Puck. Ho, ho, ho 27! Coward, why com'st thou not?
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot,

Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;
And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face.

Where art thou nowa ?
Puck.

Come hither; I am here.
Dem. Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,

If ever I thy face by daylight see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
By day's approach look to be visited.

[Lies down and sleeps.

* Now is only found in Fisher's quarto.

Buy. So the old copies. This may be meant for the aby used before; but tuy it dear is still a familiar form of expression.

Enter HELENA. HEL. O, weary night, O, long and tedious night,

Abate thy hours: shine, comforts, from the east, That I may back to Athens by daylight,

From these that my poor company detest:And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye, Steal me awhile from mine own company.

Sleeps. Puck. Yet but three? Come one more;

Two of both kinds makes up four.
Here she comes, curst and sad :
Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.

Enter HERMIA.
Her. Never so weary, never so in woe,

Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers; I can no further crawl, no further go;

My legs can keep no pace with my desires. Here will I rest me, till the break of day. Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!

(Lies down. Puck.

On the ground
Sleep sound:
I'll apply

To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy. Squeezing the juice on Lys.'s eye.

When thou wak’st,
Thou tak'st 28
True delight

In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye:
And the country proverb known,
That every man should take his own,
In your waking shall be shown:

Jack shall have Jill;

Nought shall go ill;
The man shall have his mare again,
And all shall be wella.

[Exit Puck.- DEM., HEL., &c., sleep.

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• The country proverb to which Puck alludes is also given in Fletcher's 'Chaucer:' "Why, the man has his mare again, and all 's well."

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Enter TITANIA and BOTTOM, Fairies attending; OBERON behind unseen. TITA. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,

While I thy amiable cheeks do coya,
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,

And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Bot. Where's Peas-blossom?

Do coy. To coy is here to caress.

VOL. I.

HH

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