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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 Athenian 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 his seat on thy eye-lid.
So wake, when I am gone ;
For I must now to Oberon.

[Exit.
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; I alone will go.

Erit. 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 brigkt ? Not with salt tears : If so, my eyes are oftner wash'd than hers. No, no, I am as ugly as a bear; Por 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 !
lead? 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.

[Waking
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 Hermia ? 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 not 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.
O, 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. 16] Gentleness is equivaled what, in modern language, we should call the spirit of a gentlemant. PERC

6

JOHNSON

And never may'st thou come Lysander near ;
For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings;
Or, as the heresies, that men do leave,
Are hated most of those they did deceive ;
So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy,
Of all be hated ; but the most of me !
And all my powers, address your love and might,
To honour Helen, and to be her knight!

[Exit. Iler. [starting.] Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy

best, To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast ! Ah me, for pity!

--what a dream was here? Lysander, look, how I do quake with fear : Methought a serpent eat my heart away, And you sat smiling at his cruel prey :Lysander! what, removid ? Lysander! lord ! What, out of hearing ? gone ? no sound, no word ? Alack, where are you? speak, an if you hear; Speak, of all loves; I swoon almost with fear. No ?-then I well perceive you are not nigh: Either death, or you, I'll find immediately. [Exit.

ACT III.

SCENE I.-The same. The Queen of Fairies lying asleep.

Enter Quince, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, Snout, and STARVELING."

Bottom. ARE we all met?

Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal : This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyring-house ; and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the duke.

Bot. Peter Quince,-
Quin. What say’st thou, bully Bottom ?

[?] Io the time of Shakespeare there were many companies of players, sometimes five at the same time, contending for the favour of the public. Of these some were undoubtedly very upskilful and very poor, and it is probable that the design of this scene was to ridicule their ignorance, and the odd expedients to which they might be driven by the want of proper decorations. Bottom was per. haps the bead of a rival house, and is therefore honoured with an ass's bead.

JOHNSON

Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby, that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies cannot abide. How answer you

that ? Snout. By’rlakin, a parlous fear.'

Star. I believe, we must leave the killing out, when all is done.

Bot. Not a whit; I have a device to make all well. Write me a prologue : and let the prologue seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords; and that Pyramus is not killed, indeed : and, for the more better assurance, tell them, that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: This will put them out of fear.

Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue ; and it shall be written in eight and six.

Bot. No, make it two more ; let it be written in eight and eight.

Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion ?
Star. I fear it, I promise you.

Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves : to bring in, God shield us ! a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing: for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion, living ; and we ought to look to it.

Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell, he is not a lion.

Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect, Ladies, or fair ladies, I would wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble : my life for yours.

If
you

think I come hither a lion, it were pity of my life : No, I am no such thing ; I am a man as other men are:-and there, indeed, let him name his name ; and tell them plainly, he is Snug the joiner.

as

[8] By our lady-kin, or little lady; as ifakin is a corruption of by my faith. Parlous, a word corrupted from perilous, i. e. dangerous. STEEVENS.

(9] There are probably many temporary allusions to particular incidents and characters scattered through our author's plays, which gave a poignancy to certain passages, while the events were recent, and the persons pointed at yet living.--In the speech now before us, I think it not improbable that he meant to allude to a fact wbich happened in his time, at an entertainment exhibited before Queen Elizabeth. It is recorded in a manuscript collection of anecdotes, stories, &c. entitled, Merry Passages and Jeasts, MS. Harl. 6395 : “ There was a spectacle presented to Queen Elizabeth upon the water, and among others Harry Goldingham was to represent Arion upon the dolphin's backe ; but finding his voice to be

Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard things; that is, to bring the moon-light into a chamber : for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moon-light.

Snug. Doth the moon shine, that night we play our play?

Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac ; find out moon-shine, find out moon-shine.

Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.

Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of the great chamber window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the casement.

Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and say, he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-shine. Then, there is another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby, says the story, did talk through the chink of a wall.

Snug. You never can bring in a wall.-What say you, Bottom

Bot. some man or other must present wall: and let him have some plaster, or some lome, or some roughcast, about him, to signify wall; or let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.

Quin If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin: when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake ;' and so every one according to his

cue.

Enter Puck behind.
Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering

here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen ?
What, a play toward ? I'll be an auditor;
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.

Quin. Speak, Pyramus Thisby, stand forth.
Pyr. Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet,
Quin. Odours, odours.

Terye boarse and unpleasant, when he came to perform it, he tears off his digquise, and swears he was none of Arion, not he, but even honest Harry Goldingham, which blunt discoverie pleased the queene better than if it had gone through in the right way," &c. MALONE.

[1] Brake in the west of England is used to express a large extent of ground overgrown with furze, and appears both here and in the next scene to convey the same idea, HENLEY

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