Abbildungen der Seite

Do (as a monfter) fly my prefence thus.
What wicked and diffembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne?
But who is here? Lyfander on the ground:
Dead or afleep? I fee no blood, no wound:
Lyfander, if you live, good Sir, awake.

Lyf. And run thro' fire I will for thy fweet fake. [Waking.
Tranfparent Helen, nature here fhews art,
That through thy bofom makes me fee thy heart.
Where is Demetrius? Oh, how fit a word
Is that vile name, to perifh on my fword

Hel. Do not fay fo, Lyfander, fay not fo;
What tho' he love your Hermia? lord, what tho'?
Yet Hermia ftill loves you; then be content.
Lyf. Content with Hermia? no: I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent ;
Not Hermia, but Helena I love:

Who will not change a raven for a dove?
The will of man is by his reafon fway'd,
And reafon fays you are the worthier maid.
Things growing are not ripe until their season;
So I being young 'till now not ripe to reafon,
And touching now the point of human skill,
Reafon becomes the marshal to my will,
And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook
Love's ftories, written in love's richest book.

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mock'ry born?
When at your hands did I deserve this fcorn?
Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,
That I did never, no, nor never can
Deferve a fweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?

Good troth you do me wrong, good footh you do,
In fuch difdainful manner me to woo :

But fare you well.

Perforce I must confefs,

I thought you lord of more true gentleness;

Oh, that a lady of one man refus'd,»

Should of another therefore be abus'd!


Lyf. She fees not Hermia; Hermia fleep thou there,.. And never may'st thou come Lyfander near;


For as a furfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to a stomach brings;
Or as the herefies that men do leave
Are hated most of those they did deceive;
So thou, my furfeit and my herefie,
Of all be hated, but the most of me!
And, all my pow'rs, addrefs your love and might
To honour Helen, and to be her Knight!

Her. Help me, Lyfander, help me, do thy beft
To pluck this crawling ferpent from my breast:
Ay me, for pity, what a dream was here?
Lafander, look, how do I quake with fear?
Me-thought a ferpent eat my heart away,
And you fat fmiling at his cruel prey:
Lyfander! what, remov'd? Lyfander, lord!
What, out of hearing, gone? no found, no word?
Alack, where are you? fpeak, and if you hear,
Speak, of all loves; I fwoon almost with fear.
No, then I well perceive you are not nigh,
Or death or you I'll find immediately.




Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt and Starveling. The Queen of Fairies lying afleep.


we all met?

•ARE w Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous con

venient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hauthorn-brake our tyring house, and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the Duke. Bot. Peter Quince!

Quin. What fay'ft thou, bully Bottom?

Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby, that will never pleafe. Firft, Pyramus muft draw a fword to kill himself, which the ladies cannot abide. How anfwer you that?

Snowt. By'rlaken, 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; VOL. I.



write me a prologue, and let the prologue feem to say, will do no harm with our fwords, and that Pyramus isot kill'd indeed; and for more better affurance tell them, th IPyramus am not Pyramus but Bottom the weaver; this w put them out of fear.

Quin. Well, we will have fuch a prologue, and it fall be written in eight and fix.

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

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

Bot. Mafters, you ought to confider with your felves to bring in, God fhield us, a lion among ladies, is a mot dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wild-fow! than your lion living; and we ought to look to it.

[ocr errors]

Snowt. Therefore another prologue muft 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 mult fpeak through, faying thus or to the fame defect; ladies, or fair ladies, I would with you, or I would request you, or I would intreat you, not to fear, not to tremble; my life for yours; if you think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life; no, I am no fuch 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.

Quin. Well, it fhall be fo; but there is two hard things, that is, to bring the moon-light, into a chamber; for you know Pyramus and Thifty meet by moon-light.

Snug. Doth the moon fhine that night we play our play? Bot. A kalendar, a kalendar! look in the almanack; find out moon-fhine, find out moon-shine.

Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.

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

Quin. Ay, or elfe one must come in with a bufh of thorns and a lanthorn, and fay he comes to disfigure or to prefent the perfon of Moon-thine. Then there is another thing, we must have a wall in the great chamber, for


Pyramus and Thilby (says the story) did talk through the chink of a wall.

Snug. You can never bring in a wall. What fay you, Bottem?

Bot. Some man or other must present Wall, and let him have fome plafter, or some lome, or fome roughcaft about him, to fignify wall: Or let him hold his fingers thus; and through the cranny shall Pyramus and Thify whifper.

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, fit down every mother's fon, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin; when you have spoken your fpeech, enter into that brake, and fo every one according to his cue.

SCENE II. Enter Puck

Puck. What hempen home-fpuns have we fwaggering here, So near the cradle of the fairy Queen?

What, a play tow'rd? I'll be an auditor;

An actor too perhaps, if I fee caufe.

[ocr errors]

Quin. Speak, Pyramus; Thifty, ftand forth.

Pyr. Thisby, the flower of odious favours sweet,
Quin. Odours, odours.

Pyr. Odours favours sweet,

So doth thy breath, my deareft Thisby dear: But hark, a voice! ftay thou but here a whit, And by and by I will to thee appear.

[Exit Pyr. Puck. A ftranger Pyramus than e'er plaid here! [Afide, Thif. Muft I fpeak now?

Quin. Ay marry muft you; for you must understand he goes but to fee a noife that he heard, and is to come again. Thif. Moft radiant Pyramus, moft lilly-white of hue, Of colour like the red rofe on triumphant bryer, Maft brifkly Juvenile, and eke most lovely Jew, As true as trueft horse, that yet would never tire, I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.

Quin. Ninus' tomb, man? why, you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus; you fpeak all your part at once, cues and all. Pyramus, enter, your cue is paft; it is never tire.

Tbif. O, as true as trueft horse, that yet would never


I 2


Re-enter Bottom with an Afs's head.

Pyr. If I were fair, Thifty, I were only thine. Quin. O monstrous! Oftrange! we are haunted; pray, mafters, fly, mafters, help. [The Clowns exeunt.

Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round,

Through bog, through bush, through brake, throughbryer;

Sometimes a horfe I'll be, fometimes a hound,

A hog, a headless bear, fometime a fire,


And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn, Like horfe, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn. [Exit. Bot. Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them to make me afeard.

Enter Snowt.

Snowt. O Bottom, thou art chang'd; what do I fee on


[ocr errors]

Bot. What do you fee? you fee an afs-head of your own, do you? i Enter Quince.

Quin. Blefs thee, Bottom, blefs thee, thou art tranflated.


Bot. I fee their knavery, this is to make an afs of me, to fright me if they could; but I will not ftir from this place, do what they can; I will walk up and down here, and I will fing, that they fhall hear I am not afraid. [Sings. The Oufel cock, fo black of hue,

With orange-tawny bill,

The throftle with his note fo true,
The wren with little quill.

Queen. What angel wakes me from my flow'ry bed?

Bot. The finch, the fparrow, and the lark,

The plain-fong cuckow gray,

Whofe note full many a man doth mark,

And dares not anfwer nay.



For indeed, who would fet his wit to fo foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lie, tho' he cry cuckow never fo? Queen. I pray thee, gentle mortal, fing again,

Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note,

So is mine eye enthralled to thy fhape,

[ocr errors]


« ZurückWeiter »