Imatges de pÓgina

The starry welkin cover thou anon

With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;

And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye,
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision 23;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league, whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,

I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;

And then I will her charmed eye release

From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
PUCK. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste;
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast",
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;

At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards: damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;

For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
OBE. But we are spirits of another sort:

I with the morning's love have oft made sport 25;
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams 26.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
We may effect this business yet ere day.
PUCK. Up and down, up and down;

I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town;
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.



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.

DEM. Lysander! speak again.

[Exit Lys. as following the voice.


Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?

Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head? PUCK. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,

Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,

And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
I'll whip thee with a rod: He is defil'd

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DEM. Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buyb this dear,

If ever I thy face by daylight see:

Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me

To measure out my length on this cold bed.

By day's approach look to be visited.

Now is only found in Fisher's quarto.


[Lies down. [Sleeps.

[Lies down and sleeps.

Buy. So the old copies. This may be meant for the aby used before; but buy it dear is still a familiar form of expression.


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,

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• 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."

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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 stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.

BOT. Where's Peas-blossom?

Do coy. To coy is here to caress.



PEAS. Ready.

Bor. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.-Where's monsieur Cobweb? COв. Ready. Bor. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you overflowna with a honey bag, signior.-Where's monsieur Mustard-seed?

MUST. Ready.

BOT. Give me your neif, monsieur Mustard-seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.

MUST. What's your will?

BOT. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help cavalero Cobwebs to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me I must scratch.

TITA. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?

BOT. I have a reasonable good ear in music: let us have the tongs and the bones d

TITA. Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat.

BOT. Truly, a peck of provender: I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

TITA. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek

The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

BOT. I had rather have a handful, or two, of dried peas. But, I pray you, let

none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me. TITA. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.

Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away.

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle

Gently entwist; the female ivy so

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm 29.

O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

[They sleep.

Overflown-flooded-drowned. The sense in which this word is here used may explain a passage in Milton, which has been thought corrupt:


"Then wander forth the sons

Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine."-(Paradise Lost, book i.) Neif-fist. Thus in 'Henry IV., Part II.,' Act II., Scene 4:-"Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif. Cobweb. This is probably a misprint for Peas-blossom. Cobweb has been sent after the "redhipped humble-bee;" and Peas-blossom has already been appointed to the honoured office in which Mustard-seed is now called to assist him.

The folio has here a stage-direction:-" Music, Tongs; Rural music."

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