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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.
You are too officious
Thou shalt aby it.
Now she holds me not,
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Nay, go not back.
I will not trust you, I;
My legs are longer though, to run away.
Or else committ'st thy knaveries willingly,
Did not you tell me, I should know the man
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
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.
The starry welkin cover thou anon
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
I with the morning's love have oft made sport 25;
We may effect this business yet ere day.
I will lead them up and down :
Goblin, lead them up and down.
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.
Dem. Lysander! speak again.
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ?
Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head ?
Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars,
That draws a sword on thee.
Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we 'll try no manhood here.
When I come, where he calls then he is gone.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.
Puck. Ho, ho, ho 27! Coward, why com'st thou not?
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;
Where art thou nowa ?
Come hither; I am here.
If ever I thy face by daylight see:
[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.
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
To your eye,
When thou wak’st,
In the sight
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill;
[Exit Puck.- DEM., HEL., &c., sleep.
• 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."
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 kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
• Do coy. To coy is here to caress.