Page images

Dem. I will not stay thy questions ; let me go:
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.

Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me mischief. Fye, Demetrius !
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex :
We cannot fight for love, as many men do;
We should be woord, and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.

[Exeunt Dem. and Hel. 06. Fare thee well, nymph : ere he do leave this

Thou shalt fy him, and he shall seek thy love.-

Re-enter Puck.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

Puck. Ay, there it is.

06. 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 lush 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 enamellia skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in :
And with the juice of this l'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove :
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.
Erect 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.


(5) 'The orlip is the greater cow slip. STEEVENS.

[6)--the manmohad on.) I desire po surer evidence to prove that the broad Scotch pronunciation ouce prevailed in Englan!, thad such a rhyme as the first of these words attords to the second. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

Another part of the wood. Enter TITANIA, with her Train.

Tita. Come, now a roundel,' and a fairy song ;
Then, for the third part of a minute, bence ;
Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds ;
Some, war with rear-mice for their leather wings,
To make my small elves coats ; and some, keep back
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders
At our quaint spirits : Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.


1 Fai. You spotted snakes, with double tongue,

Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen ;
Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong ;*

Come not near our fairy queen :
Chorus. Philomel, with melody,

Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby ; lulla, lulla, lullaby :

Never harm, nor spell nor harm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.

2 Fai. Weaving spiders, come not here;

Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence :
Beetles black, approach not near ;

Worm, nor snail, do no offence.
Chorus. Philomel, with melody, &c.

(7) A roundel is a darice in a ring. GRAY

Dr. Warburton reads :--for the third part of the midnight.-But the persons employed are fairies, to whom the third part of a minute might not be a very short time to do such work in. The critic might as well bave objected to the epithet tall, which tbe fairy bestows on the cowslip. But Shakespeare, through the play, bas preserved the proportion of other things in respect of these tiny beiogs, compared with whose size, a cowslip might be tall, and to whose powers of execution, minute might be equivalent to an age. STEEVENS.

(9) A tere-mouse is a bat, a mouse that raises itself from the ground by the aid of wiogs. STEEVENS.

[!] By both these terms, I suppose, our author means--forked ; as the tongues of soakes are sometimes represented in ancient tapestry and paintiogs, and, it may be added, are so in nature. STEEVENS.

(2) The rent is the eft, the blind-worm is the Cæcilia or slow-worm. They are botb'ingredients in the cauldron of Macbeth. See Macbeth Act IV. sc. i.



1 Fai. Hence, away ; now all is well : One, aloof, stand centinel.

[Eceunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps.

Obe. What thou seest, when thou dost awake,

(Squeezes the flower on Titania's eye-lids.
Do it for thy true love take ;
Love, and languish for his sake :
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear;
Wake, when some vile thing is near.

Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;

And to speak troth, I have forgot our way; We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,

And tarry for the comfort of the day.

Her. Be it so, Lysander : find you out a bed, For I upon this bank will rest my head.

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 can we 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 beshrew my manners, and

my pride, If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied.

[2] The ounce is a small tiger, or tiger-cat. JOHNSON [3] The idea is exactly similar to that of St. Paul : “ Love thinketh no evil.".

HENLEY [4] This word, of which the etymology is not exactly known, implies a sinister wish, and means the same as if she had said " now ill befall my manners," &c.

STEEVEXS. See Minsheu's etymology of it, which seems to be an imprecation or wish or such evil to one, as the venomous biting of the shrere- mouse. TOLLET.

But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy,
Lie further off ; in human modesty
Such 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 Enter Puck. Puck. Through the forest have I gone,

But Athenjan found I none,
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower's force in stirring love.
Night and silence ! who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear :
This is he, my master said,
Despised the Athenian maid ;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound,
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy.
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe :
When thou wak'st, let love forbid
Sleep bis seat on thy eye-lid.
So wake, when I am gone ;
For I must now to Oberon.

Enter Demetrius and Helena, running.
Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
Hel. 0, wilt thou darkling leave me ? do not so.
Dem. Stay, on thy peril ; 1 alone will go.

{Exit. Hel. 0, I am out of breath in this fond chace ! The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace. Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies; For she hath blessed and attractive eyes. How came her eyes so brigh: ? Not with salt tears : If so, my eyes are oftner wash'd than hers. No, no, I am as ugly as a bear; For beasts, that meet me, run away for fear: 3 Vol. III.

B 2

Therefore, no marvel, though Demetrius
Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne ?
-But who is here ?-Lysander ! on the ground!
Dead ? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound :
Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.
Lys. And run through fire I will, for thy sweet sake.

Transparent Helena ! Nature here shows art,
That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
Where is Demetrius ? O, how fit a word
Is that vile name, to perish on my sword !

Hel. Do not say so, Lysander; say not so:
What though he love your Hermja ? Lord, what though?
Yet Hermia still loves you : then be content.

Lys. Content with Hermia ? No: I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Not Hermia, but Helena now I love :
Who will not change a raven for, a dove ?
The will of man is by his reason sway'd ;
And reason says, you are the worthier maid.
Things growing are not ripe until their season :
So I, being young, till now ripe pot to reason ;
And touching now the point of human skill,
Reason becomes the marshal to my will."
And leads me to your eyes ; where I o'erlook
Love's stories, written in love's richest book.

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery, born ?
When, at your hands, did I deserve this scorn?
Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,
That I did never, no, nor never can,
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
In such disdainful manner me to woo.
But fare you well : perforce I must confess,
I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
0, that a lady, of one man refus'd,
Should, of another, therefore be abus'd !

[Exit. Lys. She sees not Hermia :-Hermia, sleep thou there; (5) That is, My will now follows reason. (6) Gentleness is equivalent to what, in modern language, we should call the spirit of a gentleman. PERCY.



« PreviousContinue »