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Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

Boi, Not so, neither : but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.

Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go;
Thou shalt 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 sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep:
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
- Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed!

Enter four Fairies.
1 Fai. Ready.
2 Fai. And I.
3 Fai, And I.
4 Fai. Where shall we go?

Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks, and dewberries,”
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
The honey bags steal from the humble-bees,
And, for night tapers, crop their waxen thighs,
And light them 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.

17) Demberries are gooseberries, which are still so called in several parts of the kingdom. HENLEY.

(8) I know not how Shakespeare, who commonly derived his knowledge of nature from his own ob-ervation, happened to place the glow-worm's light in his eyes, wbich is only in his tail. JOHNSON

The blunder is not ia Shakespeare, but in those who have construed too literally a poetical expression. It appears from every line of his writings that he had studied with attention the book of nature, and was an accurate observer of any object that sell within his notice. He must have known that the light of the glow-worm was seated in the tail; but surely a poet is justified in calling the luminous part of a glow-worm the eye. It is a liberty we take in plain prose; for the point of greatest brightness in a furnace is commonly called the eye of it.

Dr Johnson might have arraigned him with equal propriety for sending his fairies to light their tapers at the fire of the glow-worm, which in Hamlet be terms uneffectual :

“ The glow-worm shews the matin to be dear,
" And 'gias to pale bis udeffectual fire." M. MASON.

1 Fai. Hail, mortal! 2 Fai, Hail ! 3 Fai, Hail ! 4 Fai, Hail !

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

Cob. Cobweb.

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good master Cobweb : If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you.—Your name, honest gentleman ?

Peas. Peas-blossom.

Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash, your mother, and to master Peascod, your father. Good master Peas-blossom, I shall desire 'you of more acquaintance too.—Your name, I beseech you, sir ?

Mus. Mustard-seed.

Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well :9 that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house : I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I desire you more acquaintance, good master Mustard-seed.

Tita. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.

The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye;
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,

Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently. [Exe.

Another Part of the Wood. Enter OBERON.
Ob. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd ;
Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on in extremity.

Enter Puck.
Here comes my messenger.—How now, mad spirit ?
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,

[9] These words are spoken ironically. According to the opinion prevailiog in qur autbor's time, mustard was supposed to excite choler. KEED.

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A crew of patches,' rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene, and enter'd in a brake :
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's nowl I fixed on his head;
Anon, his Thisby must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes : When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet pated choughs' many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky;
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly:
And, at our stamp,' here o'er and o'er one falls ;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.
Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong:
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch ;
Some, sleeves ; some, hats : from yielders all things catcb.
I led them on in this distracted fear,

[1] Patch was in old language used as a term of opprobry; perhaps with much the same import as we use raggamuffin, or latterdemalion. JOHNSON

I should suppose patch to be merely a corruption of the Italian pazzo, which signifies properly a fool. TYRWHITT.

(2) The chough is a bird of the daw kind. STEEVENS

(3) This seems to be a vicious reading Fairies are never represented stamping, or of a size that should give force to a stamp, nor could they have distinguisbed the stamp of Pack from those of their own companioos. I read: And at a stump here o'er and o'er one falls. JOHNSON

I adhere to the old reading. Tbe slamp of a fairy might be efficacious though pot loud; neither is it necessary to suppose, when supernatural beings are spoken of that the size of the agent determines the force of the action. That fairies did stamp to some purpose, may be known from the following passage in Olaus Magnus de Gentibus Septentrionalibus : -- Vero saltum adeo profunde in terram impresserant, ut locus insigni adore orbiculariter persus, non parit arenti redivivum cespite gramen.". Shakespeare's own authority, however, is most decisive. See the conclusion of the first scene of the fourth Act :

“Come, my queen, take hand with me,

* Aod rock the ground w bereoo these sleepers be." STEEVENS Honest Reginald Scott, says: “Our grandars maids were want to set a boll of milke before Iocubus, and his cousin Robin Good-fellow, for grinding of malt or mustard, and sweeping the house at midnight: and--that he would chase esceedingly, if the maid or good wife of the house, having compassion of his nakedness, laid anie clothes for him beesides bis messe of white bread and milke, which was his standing fee. For in that case he saith, What have we bere ! Hemton, hamten, here will I never more tread por stampen." Discoverie a Mitcheraft, 1518. p. 85. RITSON.

And left sweet Pyramus translated there :
When in that moment (so it came to pass)
Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass.

Ob. This falls out better than I could devise.
Byt hast thou yet latch'd' the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice, as I bid thee do?

Puck. I took him sleeping,—that is finish'd too,-
And the Athenian woman by his side ;
That, when he wak'd, of force she must be ey'd.

Ob. Stand close ; this is the same Athenian.
Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man.

Dem. O, why rebuke you him that loves you so ?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

Her. Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse ; For thou, I fear, bast given me cause to curse. If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep, Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep, And kill me too. The sun was not so true unto the day, As he to me : Would he have stol'n away From sleeping Hermia ? I'll believe as soon, This whole earth may be bor'd; and that the moon May through the center creep, and so displease Her brother's noon-tide with the antipodes. It cannot be, but thou hast murder'd him ; So should a murderer look; so dead, so grim.

Dem. So should the murder'd look ; and so should I, Pierc'd through the heart with your stern cruelty : Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear, As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

Her. What's this to my Lysander ? where is he? Ab, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me ?

Dem. I had rather give his carcase to my hounds.

Her. Out, dog ! out, cur ! thou driv’st me past the bounds Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then ? Henceforth be never number'd among men ! O! once tell true, tell true, even for

my Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake ? And hast thou kill'd him sleeping ? O brave touch!' (4) Latch'd, or letch', lick'd over, Irener, to lick, French. HANMER. Jo the North, it signifies to infect. STEEVENS. (5) Touch in Shakespeare's time was the same with our erploit, or rather stroke. A bidle touch, a noble alloke, un


coup. JOHNSOY.

Could not a worm, an adder, do so much ?
An add did it ; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd mood :6
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
Dem. An if I could, what should I get therefore ?

Her. A privilege, never to see me more
And from thy hated presence part I so:
See me no more, whether he be dead, or no. [Exit.

Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vein :
Here, therefore, for a while I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe ;
Which now, in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.

[Lies down.
Ob. What hast thou done ? thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight :
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Some true-love turn’d, and not a false turn'd true.
Puck. Then fate o'er-rules; that, one man holding

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

Ob. About the wood go swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou find :
All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer?
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear:8
By some illusion see thou bring her here ;
I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear.
Puck. I

go, I go ; look, how I go; Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. [Exit.

[6] i. e. Mistaken; so below misprision is mistake. JOHNSON.

I rather conceive that on a mispris'd mood” is put for" in a mispris'd mood;" i. e. " in a mistaken manner." The preposition-on, is licentiously used by ancient authors. When Mark Antony says that Augustus Cæsar " dealt on lieutenantry," he does not mean that he“ dealt his blows on lieutenants," but that he “ dealt in them;" i. e. achieved his victories by their conduct.

STEEVENS (7] Cheer from the Italian cara, is frequently used by the old English writers for countenance. Even Dryden says-“ Pale at the sudden sight, she chang'd her cheer." Edin. Magazine.

STEEVENS. [8] So, in King Henry VI. we bave “ blood-consuming,"

," “ blood-drinking," and “ blood-sucking siglas." All alluding to the ancient supposition that every sigte was indulged at the expeuse of a drop of blood. STEEVENS.

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