« ZurückWeiter »
What should it be that he respects in her
Jul. She thanks you.
her. Poor gentlewoman! my master wrongs her
much. Sil. Dost thou know her?
Jul. Almost as well as I do know myself. To think upon her woes I do protest That I have wept a hundred several times. Sil. Belike she thinks that Proteus hath for
sook her? Jul. I think she doth ; and that's her cause
of sorrow. Sil. Is she not passing fair? Jul. She hath been fairer, madam, than she
is. When she did think my master lov'd her
Si. How tall was she?
ments, As if the garment had been made for me ; Therefore I know she is about my height. And at that time I made her weep agood, For I did play a lamentable part. Madam, 't was Ariadne passioning. For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight; Which I so lively acted with my tears That my poor mistress, moved therewithal, 175 Wept bitterly; and would I might be dead If I in thought felt not her very sorrow!
Sil. She is beholding to thee, gentle youth. Alas, poor lady, desolate and left! I weep myself to think upon thy words. Here, youth, there is my purse ; 1 give thee this For thy sweet mistress' sake, because thou
lov'st her. Farewell. (Exit Silvia, with attendants.] Jul. And she shall thank you for 't, if e'er
you know her. A virtuous gentlewoman, mild and beauti
ful! I hope my master's suit will be but cold, Since she respects my mistress' love so much. Alas, how love can trifle with itself ! Here is her picture ; let me see. I think, If I had such a tire, this face of mine Were full as lovely as is this of hers; And yet the painter flatter'd her a little, Unless I fatter with myself too much. Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow : If that be all the difference in his love, I'll get me such a colour'd periwig. Her eyes are grey as glass, and so are mine. Ay, but her forehead's low, and mine 's as
70 Egl. Fear not; the
forest is not three leagues
SCENE I. (Milan. An abbey.]
Enter EGLAMOUR. Egl. The sun begins to gild the western sky, And now it is about the very hour That Silvia, at Friar Patrick's cell, should meet She will not fail, for lovers break not hours, Unless it be to come before their time; So much they spur their expedition. See where she comes.
Lady, a happy evening ! Sil. Amen, amen! Go on, good kglamour, Out at the postern by the abbey-wall. I I
off. If we recover that, we are sure enough. (Exeunt. SCENE II. [The same. The Duke's palace.]
Enter THURIO, PROTEUS, and JULIA.
suit? Pro. O, sir, I find her milder than she was ; And yet she takes exceptions at your person.
Thů. What, that my leg is too long?
what it loathes.
is, Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes. (Jul. Aside.)" 'Tis true; such pearls as put
out ladies' eyes;
Thu. How likes she my discourse ?
hold your peace.
3. Out. Being nimble-footed, he hath oatrun
us, But Moyses and Valerius follow him. Go thou with her to the west end of the wood There is our captain. We'll follow him that
fled. The thicket is beset; he cannot 'scape. 1. Out. Come, I must bring you to our cap
Thu. What says she to my valour?
fool. Thu. Considers she my possessions ? Pro. O, ay; and pities them. Thu. Wherefore ? Jul. (Aside.] That such an ass should owe
them, Pro. That they are out by lease. Jul. Here comes the Duke.
(Enter DUKE.] Duke. How now, Sir Proteus! How now,
Thu. Not I.
she, But, being mask'd, he was not sure of it. Besides, she did intend confession At Patrick's cell this even ; and there she was
not. These likelihoods confirm her flight from hence. Therefore, I pray you, stand not to discourse, But mount you presently and meet with me Upon the rising of the mountain-foot That leads toward Mantua, whither they are
fled. Dispatch, sweet gentlemen, and follow me.
(Exit.] Thu. Why, this it is to be a peevish girl, That flies her fortune when it follows her. I'll after, more to be reveng'd on Eglamour Than for the love of reckless Silvia. (Erit.]
Pro. And I will follow, more for Silvia's love Than hate of Eglamour that goes with her.
[Exit.) Jul. And I will follow, more to cross that
love Than hate for Silvia that is gone for love.
SCENE IV. (Another part of the forest.]
Enter VALENTINE. Val. How use doth breed a habit in a man ! This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, I better brook than flourishing peopled towns. Here can I sit alone, unseen of any, And to the nightingale's complaining notes Tune my distresses and record my woes. O thou that dost inhabit in my breast, Leave not the mansion so long tenantless, Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall And leave no memory of what it was! Repair me with thy presence, Silvia ! Thou gentle nymph, cherish thy forlorn swain ! What halloing and what stir is this to-day ? These are my mates, that make their wills their Have some unhappy passenger in chase. They love me well; yet I have much to do. To keep them from uncivil outrages. Withdraw thee, Valentine: who's this comes here?
(Steps aside.] [Enter PROTEUS, Silvia, and JULIA.] Pro. Madam, this service I have done for
you, Though you respect not aught your servant
doth, To hazard life and rescue you from him That would have forc'd your honour and your
love. Vouchsafe me, for my meed, but one fair look ; A smaller boon than this I cannot beg And less than this, I am sure, you cannot give. » Val. (Aside.) How like a dream is this! I
see and hear. Love, lend me patience to forbear awhile.
Sil. O miserable, unhappy that I am !
Pro. Unhappy were you, madam, ere I came ; But by my coming I have made you happy. 80 Sil. By thy approach thou mak'st me most
unhappy. Jul. (Aside.) And me, when be approacheth
to your presence.
Pro. What dangerous action, stood it next to
death, Would I not undergo for one calm look! 0, 't is the curse in love, and still approv'd, When women cannot love where they 're be
lov'd! Sil. When Proteus cannot love where he's
belov'd. Read over Julia's heart, thy first, best love, For whose dear sake thou didst then rend 'thy
faith Into a thousand oaths; and all those oaths Descended into perjury, to love me. Thou bast no faith left now, unless thou 'dst
two, And that's far worse than none. Better have Than plural faith, which is too much by one. Thou counterfeit to thy true friend! Pro.
In love Who respects friend ? Sil.
All men but Proteus. Pro. Nay, if the gentle spirit of moving
words Can no way change you to a milder form, I'll woo you like a soldier, at arms' end, And love you 'gainst the nature of love, — force
ye. Sil. O heaven! Pro. I'll force thee yield to my desire.
Val. Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch, co
faith or love, For such is a friend now! Treacherous man, Thou hast beguil'd my hopes ! Nought but mine
eye Could have persuaded me. Now I dare not say I have one friend alive; thou wouldst disprove Who should be trusted (now), when one's right
hand Is perjured to the bosom? Proteus, I am sorry I must never trust thee more, But count the world a stranger for thy sake. 70 The private wound is deepest. O time most
acourst, Mongst all foes that a friend should be the
Then I am paid ;
pleas'd. By penitence the Eternal's wrath 's appeas'd ; And, that my love may appear plain and free, All that was mine in Silvia I give thee. Jul. O me unhappy!
(Swoons.] Pro. Look to the boy. Val. Why, boy! why, wag! how now! what's the matter? Look uy; speak.
Jul. O good sir, my master charg'd me to deliver a ring to Madam Silvia, which, out of my neglect, was never done. Pro. 'Where is that ring, boy? Ju.
Here 't is ; this is it. Pro. How? let me see ! Why, this is the ring I gave to Julia.
Jul. O, cry you mercy, sir, I have mistook ; This is the ring you sent to Silvia. Pro. But how cam'st thou by this ring? At
my depart I gave this unto Julia.
Jul. And Julia herself did give me; And Julia herself hath brought it hither. Pro. How! Julia ! Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy
oaths, And entertain'd 'em deeply in her heart. How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root! O Proteus let this habit make thee blush! Be thou asham'd that I have took upon me Such an immodest raiment, if shame live In a disguise of love. It is the lesser blot, modesty finds, Women to change their shapes than men their
minds. Pro. Than men their minds! 't is true. O
heaven! were man But constant, he were perfect. That one error Fills him with faults; makes him run through
all the sins.
Val. Come, come, a hand from either. Let me be blest to make this happy close ; "T were pity two such friends should be long
foes. Pro. Bear witness, Heaven, I have my wish
for ever. Jul. And I mine. [Enter OUTLAWS, with DUKE and THURIO.] Outlaws. A prize, a prize, a prize! Val. Forbear, forbear, I say! It is my lord
Sir Valentine !
death; Come not within the measure of my wrath. Do not name Silvia thine ; if once again, Verona shall not hold thee. Here she stands : Take but possession of her with a touch, I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I. I hold him but a fool that will endanger His body for a girl that loves him not. I claim her not, and therefore she is thine. Duke. The inore degenerate and base art
thou, To make such means for her as thou hast done And leave her on such slight conditions, Now, by the honour of my ancestry, I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress' love.
her. Val. I thank your Grace; the gift hath made
me happy. I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake, To grant one boon that I shall ask of you. Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it
be. Val. These banish'd men that I have kept
withal Are men endu'd with worthy qualities. Forgive them what they have committed here And let them be recall'd from their exile. They are reformed, civil, full of good, And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
Duke. Thou hast prevail'd; I pardon them
and thee; Dispose of them as thou know'st their deserts. Come, let us go; we will include all jars With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity:
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold With our discourse to make your Grace to smile. What think you of this page, my lord ? Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he
blushes. Val. I warrant you, my lord, more grace
than boy. Duke. What mean you by that saying? Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass
along That you will wonder what hath fortuned. Come, Proteus ; 't is your penance but to hear The story of your loves discovered ; That done, our day of marriage shall be yours; One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.
A MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM
In 1600 two quarto editions of A Midsummer-Night's Dream appeared. The earlier, printed for Thomas Fisher, seems to have been taken from an authentic manuscript, and on it the present text is based. The later, printed by James Roberts, follows the earlier with few changes beyond the addition of some stage directions. The text of the play in the First Folio appears to have been printed from a prompter's copy of Roberts's Quarto. The chief differences are in the division into acts, not hitherto marked, and in the presence of yet more detailed stage directions.
The only piece of external evidence of the existence of the play before 1600 is the mention of it by Meres in 1598. Attempts to date it more exactly are based chiefly on very slight probabilities. The supposed borrowing of 11. i. 2, 3 from the sixth book of The Faerie Queene, and the possible allusion in v. i. 52 to Spenser's Teares of the Muses are of no real assistance. Slightly more plausible is the theory that Titania's description of the inverted seasons in II. i. 88–114 derived point from the violent storms which afflicted England in 1594, and was perhaps suggested by them. It is hard to believe that the fear of the clowns lest the lion should frighten the ladies needed the hint of an actual incident occurring at a spectacle at the Scottish court in 1594, when a Moor was substituted for a lion lest the spectators should be disturbed. So far as these very slight indications go, they point to 1594-95. The impression one receives of the stage of maturity implied in the style, characterization, and construction of the play, and the evidence from the meter fit this date; and most modern scholars incline to accept it.
Certain marked peculiarities of A Midsummer-Night's Dream indicate that it was not written primarily for the public stage. The prominence of the marriage of Theseus in the setting, the general masque-like character of the whole, with its abundance of lyric, dance, and spectacle, and the virtual epithalamium with which it closes, all suggest that it was originally devised for some nobleman's wedding. The open flattery of Elizabeth in 11. i. 157–164, and the praise of chastity in 1. i. 74, 75, point further to the actual presence of the Queen. The most suitable occasion so far suggested is the marriage of the Earl of Derby to Elizabeth Vere, which took place at the Court at Greenwich in 1594.
No original for the main plot has been found. The most obvious sources whence Shakespeare may have derived information about Theseus are Chaucer's Knight's Tale and North’s translation of Plutarch's Life of Theseus. From the former he might have got the idea of the marriage festivities of Theseus, the May-Day observances, the hunting scene, the name of Philostrate, and some minor details. From the latter he might have taken a few proper names, and allusions to the previous adventures of Theseus in love and war.
The story of Pyramus and Thisbe was accessible to him in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in Golding's translation of the same, in Chaucer's Legend of Good Women, and in various later forms. A lovepotion with an effect somewhat similar to, but by no means identical with, that of the love-juice of Oberon plays a part in the Diana of Montemayor, from which the dramatist had taken part of the plot of The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
The fairy-lore is based mainly on popular tradition. Titania is one of Ovid's names for Diana. Oberon had appeared in medieval romances such as Huon of Bordeaux, in Greene's James IV, in The Faerie Queene, and elsewhere. Robin Goodfellow was a familiar figure in folk-lore, and had already made his way into books. But Shakespeare worked on these figures, and on the fairyworld in general, a transformation into something all his own; and in so doing permanently modified this whole field of popular fancy. There is perhaps no one achievement of his genius which has had so pervasive an effect as his treatment of fairies in the present play and in Mercatio's speech on Queen Mab, in Romeo and Juliet.