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Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Flu. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Flu. What is Thisby? a wandering knight?
Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
Flu. Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; I have a beard coming.
Quin. That 's all one ; you shall play it in a mask ", and you may speak as small

as you will.
Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too: I'll speak in a monstrous

little voice ;-" Thisne, Thisne,-Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby

dear! and lady dear!”
Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus; and, Flute, you Thisby.
Bot. Well, proceed.
Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor.
STAR. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother. – Tom Snout, the

tinker.
SNOUT. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's father ;-Snug, the joiner, you,

the lion's part:-and, I hope, here is a play fitted. Sxug. Have you the lion's part written ? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am

slow of study. Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring. Bot. Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good

to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, “ Let him roar again,

let him roar again.” Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the duchess and the

ladies, that they would shriek; and that were enough to hang us all. All. That would hang us, every mother's son. Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the ladies out of their wits,

they would have no more discretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you

an 't were any nightingale. Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus : for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man;

a proper man as one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, gentleman

like man; therefore you must needs play Pyramus.
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?
Quin. Why, what you will.
Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny

beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-coloured beard, your

perfect yellow. Quin. Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play

bare-faced.-But, masters, here are your parts : and I am to intreat you, request you, and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night: and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight; there we will

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rehearse : for if we meet in the city we shall be dogg‘d with company, and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw a bill of properties o

such as our play wants. I pray you fail me not. Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse more obscenely and courageous

ly. Take pains; be perfect; adieu. Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. Bot. Enough. Hold, or cut bow-strings a.

[Exeunt.

• Capell says, this is a proverbial expression derived from the days of archery:-“When a party was made at butts, assurance of meeting was given in the words of that phrase."

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Enter a Fairy on one side, and Puck on the other.
Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
FAI. Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough briar",
Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;

FF

VOL. I.

And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs a

upon

the

green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,

In those freckles live their savours :
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lobo of spirits, I 'll be gone ;

Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-night;

Take heed, the queen come not within his sight,
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her attendant, hath
A lovely boy stol'n from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a changelingd:
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild :
But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy,
Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy:
And now they never meet in grove, or green,
By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
But they do squaree; that all their elves, for fear,

Creep into acorn-cups, and hide them there.
FAI. Either I mistake your shape and making quite,

Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite,
Call’d Robin Goodfellow8; are you not he,
That frights the maidens of the villagery;

Orbs. The fairy rings, as they are popularly called; which, however explained by philosophy, will always have a poetical charm connected with the beautiful superstition that the night-tripping fairies have, on these verdant circles, danced their merry roundels. It was the Fairy's office to dew these orbs, which had been parched under the fairy-feet in the moonlight revels.

Pensioners. These courtiers, whom Mrs. Quickly put above earls (* Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II., Scene 2), were Queen Elizabeth's favourite attendants. They were the handsomest men of the first families,-tall, as the cowslip was to the fairy, and shining in their spotted gold costs like that flower under an April sun.

Lob-looby, lubber, lubbard.
Changelinga child procured in exchange.

Square—to quarrel. It is difficult to understand how to square, which, in the ordinary sense, is to agree, should mean to disagree. And yet there is no doubt that the word was used in this sense. Holinshed has “ Falling at square with her husband.” In · Much Ado about Nothing, Beatrice says, “ Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil ?" Mr. Richardson, after explaining the usual meaning of this verb, adds, To square is also, consequently, to broaden; to set out broadly, in a position or attitude of offence or defence-se quarrer).” The word is thus used in the language of pugilism. There is more of our old dialect in flash terms than is generally supposed.

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Skim milk; and sometimes labour in the querna;
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm b;
Mislead night wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck :

Are not you he ?
Puck.

Thou speak’st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In
very

likeness of a roasted crab;
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And tailor cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.-

But room, Fairy, here comes Oberon.
FAI. And here my mistress :—Would that he were gone!

SCENE II.-Enter OBERON, on one side, with his train, and TITANIA,

on the other, with hers.

OBE. Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania'.
Tita. What, jealous Oberon ? Fairy, skip hence;

I have forsworn his bed and company.
OBE. Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy lord ?
Tita. Then I must be thy lady: But I know

When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corn 10, and versing love
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India ?
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love,
To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come

Quern—a handmill; from the Anglo-Saxon, cuyrn.

b Barm-yeast. Holland, in his translation of Pliny, speaks of " the froth, or barm, that riseth from these ales or beers.”

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