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LITERARY AND HISTO THE title of this play was probably suggested (like Tæelfi

which it was first performed ; viz, at Midsummer :--Entertainment of a Midsummer Night." No other grouu has given to it ; since the action is distinctly pointed o The piece was written in 1592; and, according to Steve Tale in Chancer, or, as Capell supposes, Shakspeare m ton's fantastical poem, called Nymphidia, or, The Court made use of the materials which Shakspeare had rend Johnson) that there is no analogy or resemblance betw other. The same critics are also at issue upon the ge clares that all the parts, in their various modes, are » ages are insignificant- the fable meagre and uninteresti from sny other female ; and the solicitudes of Hermia childish and frivolous. Theseus, the companion of Hero nok and reputation : "he goes out a Maying; meets promote their happiness; but when supernatural event and concludes the entertainment by uttering some miseri These faults are, however, almost wholly redeemed, which Shakspeare has displayed in the poetry ; by the of grossness) which enlivens the blunt-witted devices o admirable satire which he has passed on those self-conceit would monopolize the favours of the public, trample up: Bottom was perhaps the leading tragedian of some rival ass's head.

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able comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard and Tbisby.

were I best to play it in? Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, Quin. Why, what you will. and a merry.--Now, good Peter Quince, call Bot. I will discharge it in either your stratr. forth your actors by the scroll : Masters, spread coloured beard, your orange-tawy beard, yourselves.

your purple.iu-grain beard, or your French Quin. Answer as I call you.—Nick Bottom, crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow. the weaver.

Quin. Some of your French crowns have no Bot. Ready : Name what part I am for, and hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced. proceed.

-- Buit, masters, here are your parts : and 1 an Quin. You, Nick Bottom are set down for to entreat you, request you, and desire you, to Pyrampus.

con then by tomorrow night ; and meet me in Bot. What is Pyramus ? a lover, or a tyrant ? the palace wood, a mile without the town, by

Quir. A lover, that kills himseli most gallant- moon-light; there will we rehearse : for if we ly for love.

meet in the city, we shall be dog'd with comBot. That will ask some tears in the true pany, and our devices knoull. in the mean performning of it: If I do it, let the audience time I will draw a bill of properties, such as look to their eyes : 1 will move storms, I will our play wants. I pray you, fail ine not. condole in some measure. To the rest :-- Yet Bot. We will meet; aud there we may remy chief humour is for a tyrant: I could play bearse

obscenely, and courageously. Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, tu Take pains ; be perfect ; adieu. make all split.

Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. " The raging rocks,

Bot. Enough; Hold, gr cut buw-strings. + “ With shivering shocks,

(Exeunt. Shall break the locks

“ of prison-gates :
And Phibbus' car
" Shall shine from far,

" And make and mar
" The foolish fates."

SCENE 1.-A Wood near Athens.
This was lofty !--Now, name the rest of the
players.--This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ;

Enter a FAIRY at one door, and Puck at

another. a lover is more condoiing.

Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-unender. Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you F1, Here, Peter Quince.

Fai. Over hill, over dale, Quin. You inust take Thisby on you.

Thorough bush, thorough brier, flu. What is Thisby? a wandering knight? Over park, over pale, Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. Thorough food, thorough fire,

ilu. Nay, faith let me not play a woman ; I do wander every where, I have a beard coming.

Swifter than the moones sphere ;
Quin. That's all one; you shall play it in And I serve the fairy queen,
a mask, and you may speak as small as you To dew her orbs t upon the green :

The cowslips tall her pensioners be ;
Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play In their gold coats spots you see ;
Thisby too: I'll speak in a monstrous little Those be rubies, fairy favours,
Toice ;--Thisne, Thisne,-Ah! Pyramus, my In those freckles live their savours :
lorer dear ; thy Thisby dear! and lady deur? I must go seek some dew-drops here,

Quin. No, no ; you inust play Pyramus, and, And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Flute, you Thisby.

Farewell, thou lobs of spirits, I'll be gone : Bot. Well, proceed.

Our queen and all our elves come here alive. Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor.

Puck. The hing doth keep his reveis here Star. Here, Pe.er Quince.

to-night; Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Take beed, the queen come not within his sight, Thisby's mother.-Tom Snout, the tinker. Fur Oberon is passing fell and wraih, Snout. Here, Peter Quince.

Because that she, as her attendant, hath Quin. You, Pyramus' father ; myself, This. A lovely boy, stol'u froin an ludian king ; by's father ;-Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's She never had so sweet a changeling : part :-and, I hope, here is a play fitted. And jealous Oberon would have the child

Snug. Have you the lion's part written ? Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild : pray you, if it be, give it me, for I ain slow of But she, perforcr, witbbolds the loved boy, study.

Crowns him with flowers, and makes hi'n ail Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is

ber joy ; nothing but roaring.

And now they never meet in grove, or greu, Bor. Let me play the lion too : I will roar, By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, that I will do any mau's heart good to hear But they do square ; that all their elves, for me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say,

fear, Let kin rour again, Let him roar again. Creep into acorn clips, and hide them there.

Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you Foi. Either I mistake your shape and making would fright the duchess and the ladies, that

qnite, they would shriek; and that were enough to or else you are that shrewd and knarisli sprite, baog us all.

Callid Robin Good-fellow : are you not he, All. Tbat would hang us every mother's son. That fright the maidens of the villagery ;

Bot. I grant you, friends, if ihat you should Skim milk; and sometimes labour in the quern, fright the ladies out of their wils, they would And bootless make the breathless botisewife kave no more discretion but to haug us: buil

churn; I will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar Aud sometime make the drink to bear no as gently as any sucking dove; 1

barm; Icar you an. 'tuere any nightingale.

Mislead might wanderers, laughing at Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus :

Those that Hobgoblin call yon, and swert Pick, for Pyramus is a sweet-faced mar ; a proper You do thar work, and bey shall base wood man, as one shall see in a sumujer's day; a

luck: most lovely, gentleman-like


therefore Are not you be? og must needs play Pyramus.

• Articles required in performing a play.

+ Aileseni. 1 (cus. A term of calamb • As ir.

S. * Qualinis



Puck. Thou speak’st aright;

Is, as in mockery, set : The spring, the summer, I am that merry wanderer of the night.

The cbilding antumn, angry winter change I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,

Their wonted liveries ; and the 'inazed world, When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, By their increase, + now knows not which is Neigbing in likeness of a filly foal :

which : Aud sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl, And this same progeny of evils comes In very likeness of a roasted crab;

Froin our debate, from our dissention ;
And, when she drioks, against ber lips I bob, We are their parents and original.
And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale. Obe. Do you amend it then ; it lies in you:
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,

Why should Titania cross ber Oberon 1
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; I do but beg a little changeliug boy,
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, To be my henchman. I
And tailor cries, and falls into a cough :

Tita. Set your beart at rest,
And then the whole quire bold their hips, and The fairy land buys not the child of me.
Toffe ;

His inother was a vot'ress of my order :
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
A merrier hour was never wasted there.-

Full often hath she gossip'd by my side ; But room, Fairy bere coines Oberon,

And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, Fai. And here my mistress :-'Would that Marking the embarked traders on the food; be were goue !

When we have laugh'u to see the sails conceive,

And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind: SCENE II.

Which she, with pretty and with swimming Enter O BERON, at one door, with his train, (Following bier womb, then rich with my young and TITANIA, at another, with her's.

'squire,) Obe, Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania.

Would imitate ; and sail upon the land, Tita. What, jealous Oberon ? Fairy, skip To fetch me trifles, and return again, hence ;

As from a voyage, rich with merchandise. I have forsworn his bed and company.

But she, being mortal, of that boy did die; Obe. Tarry, rash wanton : Am not I thy lord? And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy :

Tita. Then I must be thy lady: But I know And for her sake, I will not part with him. When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land,

Obe. How long within tbis wood intend you And in the shape of Corin sat all day,

stay? Playing on pipes of coru, and versing love Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding. To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,

day. Come from the farthest steep of india ?

If you will patiently dance in our round, But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,

And see our moon-light revels, go with as; Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love,

If not shun me, and I will spare your baunts. To Theseus must be wedded: and you come

Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with To give their bed joy and prosperity:

thee. Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, Tita.

Tita. Not for thy kingdom.-- Fairies, away : nia,

We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay. Glance at my credit with Hyppolyta,

(Ereunt TITANIA, and her treir. Knowing I know thy love to Theseus !

Obe. Well, go thy way : thoa sbait bot íroon Didst thou not lead bim through the glimmer.

this grove, ing night

Till I torment thee for this injnry. From Perigenia, wbom he ravish'd ?

My gentle Puck, come hitber: Thon remembers And make him with fair Æylé break his faith,

Since once I sat upon a promontory, With Ariadne, and Antiopa?

Aud heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back, Tila. These are the forgeries of jealousy : Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath, And never, since the middle suinner's spring,

That the rude sea grew civil at ber song ; Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, And certaiu stars shot madly from their spberes, By paved fountain or by rushy brook,

To hear the sea-maid's music. Or on the beached margent of the sea,

Puck. I remember. To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, Obe. That very time I saw, (but thou coal's But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our

not,) sport.

Flying between the cold moon and the earth, Therefore the winds piping to us in vain, Capid all arm'd : a certain aim he took As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea At a fair vestal, tbroned by tbe west; Contagious fogs ; wbicb falling in the land, And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from bis bon Have every pelting + river made so proud, As it should pierce a bundred thousand hearts: That they have overborne their continents : 1 But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft The ox bath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, Quench'd in the cbaste btains of the way The plougbman lost his sweat; and the green

moon; corn

And the imperial vot'ress passed on, Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard :

In maiden meditation, fancy-free. $ The fold stands empty in the drowned field,

Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell : Aud crows are fatted with the murrain flock; It fell upon a little western flower.The nine men's morris j is fill'd up with mud ; Before, milk wbite ; now purple with love's And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,

wound, For lack of tread are undistinguishable :

And maidens call it, love-in-idleness. The human mortals want their winter here ; Fetch me that fluwer; the berb I sbou'd thee No night is now with bymn or carol blest :

once: Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,

The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid, Pale in her anger, washes all the air,

Will make or man or woman madly dote That rheumatic diseases Jo abound:

l'pon the best live creature that it sees. And thorough this distemperature, we see Fetch me this herb: and be thou here again, The seasons alter : boary headed frusts

Ere the leviathan can swim a league. Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose ;

Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth Aud on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown,

in forty minutes.

(Exit PLCE. An oderous chaplet of sweet summer buds

Obe. Having once this juice, • Wild apple.

+ Petty. 1 Banks which contain them.

• Anton producing flowers unseasoundls. A game played by boys.

Exempe from lore.

t Produce.

I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,

I'll follow thee, and make a beaven of bell, And drop the liquor of it in her eyes :

To die upon the band I love so well. The nexi tbing then she waking looks apon,

(Ereunt Don. and HEL. (Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,

Obe. Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,)

this grove, She shall pursue it with the soul of love. Thou shalt fly biun, and he sball seek thy love.And ere I take this charm off from her sight, (As I can take it, with another herbs,)

Re-enter Pock. I'll make her render up her page to me.

Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wan. But who comes here? I am invisible ;

derer. dud I will over-bear their conference.

Puck. Ay, there it is.

Obe. I pray thee, give it me. Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him.

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursae me Where ox-lips + and the nuditing violet grows; not.

Quite over-canopied with lush I woodbine, Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia?

With sweet muk-roses, and with eglantine : The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.

There sleeps Titania, some time of the night, Tbou fuld'st me, they were stol'n into this Lull'd in these flowers with dauces and de. wood,

light; And here am I, and wood within this wood, And there the snake throws her enamelld skin, Because I can not meet with Huia.

Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in : Hence, get ibee gone, and follow me no more. And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes, Hel. You draw me, you bard-bearted ada. And make her full of baterul fautasies. miant ;

Take thou some of it, and seek through this But yet you draw not iron, for my heart

grove : Is true as steel : Leave you your power to A sweet Athenian lady is in love draw,

With a disdainful youth : anoint his eyes ; And I shall have no power to follow you.

But do it, when the next thing he espies, Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair ? May be the lady : Thou shalt know the man Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth

By the Athenian garments be bath on. Tell you- 1 do not, nor i capuot love you ? Effect it with some care ; that he may prove Hel. And even for that do I love you the more fond on her, than she upon her love : more,

And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow. I am your spaniel; and, Demetrilis,

Puck. Fear not, my lord, your servant shall The more you beat me, I will fawn on you :

do so.

(Exeunt. Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,

Neglect me, lose me ; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.

Another part of the Wood.
What worser place can I beg in your love,

Enter TITANIA, with her train. (And yet a place of bigh respect with me,) Than to be used as you use your dog?

Tita. Come, now a roundel, ý and a fairy Dem. Tempt not too much the batred of my Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;

; spirit; For I am sick, when I do look on thee.

Some, war with rear-mice | for their leathern Hel. And I am sick, when I look not on


(back you.

To make my small elves coats ; and some, keep Dem. You do impeach + your modesty too The clamorous owl, ibat nightly hoots, and much,

wonders To leave the city, and commit yourself

At our quaint spirits : Sing me now asleep; Into the bands of one that loves you not ; Then to your offices, and let me rest. To trust the opportunity of night, And the ill counsel of a desert place,

Song. With tbe ricb worth of your virginity.

1 Fai. You spotted snakes, with double tongue, Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that.

Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen; It is pot night, when I do see your face,

Neuts, **

and blind-worms, it do no Therefore I think I am not in the night":

wrong; Nor dotb this wood lack worlds of company i

Come not near our fairy queen : For you, in my respect, are all the world : Then bow can it be said, I am alone,

CHORUS. When all the world is here to look on me ?

Philomel, with melody, Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the

Sing in our sweet lullaby ; brakes,

Lulla, lulla, lullaby ; luila, lulla, lub. And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

laby : Hel. The wildest bath not such a beart as Never harm, nor spell nor charm, you.

Come our lovely lady nigh :
Run when you will the story sball be chang'd;

So, good night, with lullaby.
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase ;
The dove pursues the griffin ; the mild hind

Makes speed to catch the tiger : Bootless speed !

2 Fai. Wearing spiders, come not here, W ben cowardice pursues, and valour flies. Dem. I will not stay thy questions ; let me

Hence, you long-legg'd spinners

hence : go:

Beetles black, approach not near ; Or, if thou follow me, do not believe But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.

Worin, nor snail, do no offence. Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the

CHORUS. field, You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius !

Philomel, with melody, &c. Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex :

1 Fai. Hence, away ; now all is well: We cannot fight for love, as men may do ;

One, aloof, stand sentinel. We should be woo'd, and were not made to

Éreuní Fairies.--TITANIA sleeps.


• Mad, raving
+ Bring in question.

• By.

+ The greater cowslip. Vigorous. SA kind of dance,

I Bats.

Sports .. Elts.

1. Slow-worms.


Hel. Oh! I am out of breath in this fond

chase! Obe. What thou seest, when thou dost wake, (Squeezes the flower on TITANIA's eye-lids. The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace

Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies Do t for thy true love take;

For she hath blessed and attractive eyes. Love, and languish for his sake :

How came her eyes so bright Not with salt Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,

tears : Pard, or boar with bristled hair, In thy eye that shall appear

Il so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than ber's When thou wak'st, it is thy dear;

No, no, I am as ugly as a bear ;

For beasts that meet me, run away for fear : (Exit.

Therefore, no marvel, though Demetrius

Do, as a monster, fly my presence tbus.

What wicked and dissembling glass of mine

Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyse ! Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in But who is here --Lysander ! on the ground! the wood;

Dead I or asleep? I see no blood, no wound:Aud to speak troth, I have forgot our way ; Lysander, if you live, good Sur, awake. We'll rest us, Herinia, if you think it good, Lys. And run through tire I will, for thy street And tarry for the comfort of the day.


(Waking. Her. Be it so, Lysander : find you out a Transparent Helena! Nature bere show's art, bed,

That through thy bosom makes me see thy For I vpon this bank will rest my bead.

heart. Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us Where is Demetrius ? Oh! how ft a word both;

Is that vile name, to perish ou my sword ! One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. Hel. Do not say so, Lysander ; say not so: Her. Náy, good Lysander ; for my sake, my what though he love your Hermia ? Lord, obat dear,

though? Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.

Yet Hermia still loves you : then be content. Lys. O take the sense, sweet, of my inno- Lys. Content with Hermia! No: I do recence ;

Love take the meaning, in love's conference. The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
I mean, that my heart unto your's is knit ; Not Hermia, but Helena I love :
So that but one heart we can make of it :

Who will not change a raven for a dove!
Two bosoms intercbained with an oath ;

The will of man is by his reason sway'd; So tbc, two bosoms, and a single troth.

And reason says you are the worthier uaid. Tben, by your side no bed-room me deny ; Things growing are not ripe until their seaFor, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

800 : Her. Lysander riddles very prettily :

So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason; Now much beshrew my manners and my And touching now the point of human sku, pride,

Reason becomes the marsbal to my will, If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied.

And leads me to your eyes; where I o'eriook ; But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy

Love's stories written in love's riches: book. Lie further off; in hunan modesty

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery Such separation, as, may well be said,

boru? Becomes a virturons bachelor and a maid: When, at your bands, did I deserve this scorn! So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend : Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man, Thy love pe'er alter, till thy sweet life end ! That I did never, no, nor Dever can, Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I ;

Deserve a sweet look from Demetrins' eve, And then end life, when I end loyalty !

But you must tout my iusufhic eucy! Here is my bed : Sleep give thee all his rest! Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you Her. With balf 'that wish the wisher's eyes be

do. press'd!

(They sleep. In such disdainful manner me to woo.

But fare you well : perforce I must confess, Enter Puck.

I thought you lord of more true gentleness. Puck. Through the forest have 1 gone,

Ob ! tbat a lady, of one man refus'd,
But Athenian found I none,

Should, of another, therefore be abus'd!
On whose eyes I might approve
This fower's force in stirring love.

Lys. She sees not Hermia :-Hernia, skeep
Night and silence ! who is here I

thou there; Weeds of Athens he doth wear :

And never may'st thou come Lysander bear!
This is he, my master said,

For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
Despised the Attenian maid :

The deepest loathing to the stomach brings ;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound,

Or, as the heresies, that Dien do leave,
On the dank and dirty ground.

Are hated most of ihose they did deceive ;
Picity soul! sbe durst not lie

So thou, my surfeit, and my beresy,
Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy.

of all be hated ; but the most of me!
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw

Aud all my powers, address your love and All the power this charm doth owe: 1

When thou wak'st, let love forbid

To honour Helen, and to be her knight!
Sleep his seat on thy eye-lid.

So awake, when I am gone;

Her. (starting.) Help me, Lysander, be:p me! For I must now to Oberon. (Exit.

do thy best,

To pluck this crawling serpent from my brras! Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running. Ah! me, for pity !-what a dream was arre! Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Deme-Lysander, look, how I do quake with lear: trius.

Methought a serpent eat my heart away, . Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt And you sat smiling at his cruel prey me tbits.

Lysander I wbat, remov'd! Lysander! lad! Hel. O wilt thou darkling : leave me? do W out of hearing! gone ? no sound, DO not so.

word? Dem. Stay, on thy peril; I alone will go.

Alack, where are you? spcak, an if you hear;
(Exit DEMETRIUS. Speak, of all loves; •'T Shoun almes with

• The small tiger.
i Possess
I in the dark

• By all that is dear.

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