Abbildungen der Seite

Bot. Where's Peas-blossom?
Pea. Ready.

Now thou and I are new in amity;
And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly,

Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.-Where's Dance in duke Theseus' house triumphantly, monsieur Cobweb?

[blocks in formation]

Must. What's your will?

Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help cavalero Cobweb 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.

Tita. Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat. Bot. Truly, a peek 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 fel


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 dotir the wood bine, the sweet honeysuckle,
Gently entwist,-the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

And bless it to all fair posterity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

Puck. Fairy king, attend and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.

Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night's shade:
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wand'ring moon.
Tita. Come, my lord and in our flight,
Tell us how it came this night,
That I sleeping here was found,
With these mortals, on the ground.


[Horns sound within.

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and Train.
The. Go, one of you, find out the forester;-
For now our observation is perform'd:
And since we have the vaward of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.-
Uncouple in the western valley; go:
Despatch, I say, and find the forester.
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once,
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear
Such gallant chiding for, besides the groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-knee'd, and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tunable
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
[They sleep. In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:

Oberon advances. Enter Puck.

Obe. Welcome, good Robin. Seest thou this sweet

Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late, behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her:
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flowrets' eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in mild terms, begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That he, awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair;
And think no more of this night's accidents,

But as the fierce vexation of a dream.

But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be, as thou wast wont to be;

Judge, when you hear.- But, soft; what nymphs are

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep:
And this Lysander: this Demetrius is;
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena:

I wonder of their being here together.

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe
The rite of May; and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.-
But, speak, Egeus; is not this the day
That Hermia should give answer of her choice!
Ege. It is, my lord.

The. Go, bid the huntsman wake them with their

Horns, and Shout within. Demetrius, Lysander,
Hermia, and Helena, wake and start up.
The. Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
Lys. Pardon, my lord.


He and the rest kneel to Theseus.
I pray you all, stand up.
I know, you are two rival enemies:
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,

To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?

Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,

Half 'sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear,

[Touching her Eyes with an Herb. I cannot truly say how I came here:

See, as thou wast wont to see:
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath such force and blessed power.

Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
Tita. My Oberon! What visions have I seen!
Methought, I was enamour'd of an ass.
Obe. There lies your love.
How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
Obe. Silence, awhile.-Robin, take off this head.
Titania, music call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.
Tita. Music, bo! music; such as charmeth sleep.
Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own
fool's eyes peep.

Obe. Sound, music. [Still Music.] Come, my
queen, take hands with me,
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.

But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,-
And now I do bethink me, so it is :)

I came with Hermia hither; our intent
Was, to be gone from Athens, where we might be
Without the peril of the Athenian law.

Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough;
I beg the law, the law, upon his head.-
They would have stol'n away, they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to have defeated you and me:
You, of your wife; and me, of my consent;
Of my consent that she should be your wife.
Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood;
And I in fury hither follow'd them;
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,
(But by some power it is,) my love to Hermia,
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now

As the remembrance of an idle gawd,
Which in my childhood I did dote upon:
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:

But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food:
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.-
Egeus, I will overbear your will;

For in the temple, by and by with us,
These couples shall eternally be knit.

And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.-
Away, with us, to Athens; Three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.---

Come, Hippolyta.
[Exeunt The. Hip. Ege. and Train.
Dem. These things seem small, and undistinguish-


Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye, When every thing seems double.


So methinks:

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel, Mine own, and not mine own.


It seems to me That yet we sleep, we dream.-Do not you think, The duke was here, and hid us follow him? Her. Yea; and my father. Hel.

And Hippolyta.

Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple. Dem. Why then, we are awoke: let's follow him; And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.


As they go out, Bottom awakes. Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer:-my next is, Most fair Pyramus.-Hey, ho! -Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender; Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream,-past the wit of man to say what dream it was: Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had, But man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen; man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this it hath no bottom: and I will sing it in the latter dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because end of a play, before the duke: Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death. [Exit.

SCENE II. Athens. A Room in Quince's House.

Enter Quince, Flute, Snout, and Starveling. Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house is he come home yet?

Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt, he is transported.

Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred; It goes not forward, doth it?

Quin. It is not possible: you have not a man in all Athens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he. Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft man in Athens.

Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and he is a very paramour for a sweet voice.

Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of nought.

Enter Snug.

Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made men.

Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a-day during his life; he could not have 'scaped sixpence a-day: an the duke had not given him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged; he would have deserved it: sixpence a-day, in Pyramas, or nothing.

Enter Bottom."

Bot. Where are these lads? where are these hearts? Quin. Bottom!-O most courageous day! O most happy hour!

Bot. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not what: for, if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right as it fell


Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, is, that the duke hath dined: Get your apparel together; good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look o'er his part, for, the short and the long is, our play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the lion, pare his nails, for they shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do

not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words; away; go, away.



SCENE I. The same. An Apartment in the
Palace of Theseus.

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, Lords, and

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers. speak of.

The. More strange than true. I never may believe

These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers, and madmen, have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is, the madman: the lover all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to

And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation, and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination;
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear!
Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange, and admirable.

Enter Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and


The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.-
Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love,
Accompany your hearts!
More than to us
Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed.
The. Come now; what masks, what dances shall
we have,

To wear away this long age of three hours,
Between our after supper, and bed time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Call Philostrate.

Here, mighty Theseus.
The. Say, what abridgment have you for this
What mask? what music? How shall we beguile
The lazy time, if not with some delight?

ripe ;

Philost. There is a brief, how many sports are Make choice of which your highness will see first. [Giving a Paper.

The. [Reads] The battle with the Centaurs, to

[blocks in formation]

The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.
That is an old device; and it was play'd
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.

The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
That is some satire, keen, and critical,
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe: very tragical mirth.
Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
That is, hot ice, and wondrous strange snow.

How shall we find the concord of this discord ? Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten words long;

Which is as brief as I have known a play:
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long;
Which makes it tedious: for in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
And tragical, my noble lord, it is;

For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rebears'd, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

The. What are they, that do play it?

Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens here,

Which never labour'd in their minds till now;
And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.
The. And we will hear it.

No, my noble lord,
It is not for you: I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain
To do you service.
I will hear that play;
For never any thing can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Go, bring them in ;-and take your places, ladies.
[Exit Philostrate.
Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd,
And duty in his service perishing.
The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such

Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind. The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for


Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake:
And what poor duty cannot do,

Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purpos'd
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practis'd accents in their fears,
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome: Trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome;
And in the modesty of fearful duty

I read as much, as from the rattling tongue

Of saucy and audacious eloquence.

Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,

In least, speak most, to my capacity.

[blocks in formation]

Enter Prologue.
Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will.
That you should think, we come not to offend,
But with good will. To show our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider then, we come but in despite.

We do not come as minding to content you,
Our true intent is. All for your delight,

We are not here. That you should here repent you, The actors are at hand; and, by their show, You shall know all, that you are like to know.

The. This fellow doth not stand upon points. Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt, he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord: It is not enough to speak, but to speak true.

Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue, like a child on a recorder; a sound, but not in government.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?

Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion, as in dumb Show.


Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this show; But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. This man is Pyramus, if you would know; This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present ⚫ Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers sunder: [content

And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are To whisper; at the which let no man wonder. This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn, Presenteth moonshine: for, if you will know, By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn

To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo. This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, Did scare away, or rather did affright: And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall; Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain: Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall, And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain: Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast; And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade,

His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, Let lion, moonshine, wall, and lovers twain, At large discourse, while here they do remain.' [Exeunt Prol. Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine. The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when

many asses do.

Wall. In this same interlude, it doth befall,
That I, one Snout by name, present a wall:
And such a wal, as I would have you think,
That had in it a cranny'd hole, or chink,
Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,
Did whisper often very secretly.

This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth show

That I am that same wall; the truth is so: And this the cranny is, right and sinister, Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.' The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord.

The. Pyramus draws near the wall; silence!

Enter Pyramus.

Pyr. O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!

O night, which ever art, when day is not! O night, O night, alack, alack, alack,

I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!And thou, O wall, O'sweet, O lovely wall, That stand'st between her father's ground and mine;

Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne. [Wall holds up his Fingers. Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!

But what see I No Thisby do I see. O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss Curst be thy stones for thus deceiving me! The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.

Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me, is Thisby's cue she is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will fall pat as I told you :-Yonder she comes.

Enter Thisbe.

This. O wall, full often hast thou heard my


For parting my fair Pyramus and me;
My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones;

Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee."
Pyr. I see a voice; now will I to the chink,
To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face.
Thisby !'

This. My love! thou art my love, I think," Pyr. Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;

And like Limander am I trusty still.'

This. And I like Helen, till the fates me kill.' Pyr. Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.' This. As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.'


O, kiss me through the hole of this vile. wall

This. I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.' Pyr. Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?'

This. Tide life, tide death, 1 come without delay.' Wall. Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so; And, being done, thus wall away doth go."

[Exeunt Wall, Pyramus, and Thisbe. The. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.


Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. The. The best in this kind are but shadows the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them. Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.

Enter Lion and Moonshine.

Lion. You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,
When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am
A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam:

For if I should as lion come in strife
Into this place, 'twere pity on my life.'

The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience. Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour. The. True and a goose for his discretion. Dem. Not so, my lord: for his valour cannot carry his discretion: and the fox carries the goose.

The. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well: leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to

the moon.

Moon. This lantern doth the horned moon present:"

Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head. The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible

within the circumference.

Moon. This lantern doth the horned moon pre


Myself the man i'th' moon do seem to be.' The. This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man should be put into the lantern: How is it else the man i'the moon?

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle for, you see, it is already in snuff.

Hip I am aweary of this moon: Would, he would change!

The. It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane: but yet, in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay the time.

Lys. Proceed, moon,

Moon. All that I have to say, is, to tell you, that the lantern is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.

Dem, Why, all these should be in the lantern; for they are in the moon. But, silence, here comes Thisbe.

[blocks in formation]

'What dreadful dole is here?

Eyes, do you see?
'How can it be?
O dainty duck! O dear!
Thy mantle good,

What, stain'd with blood?

Approach, ye furies fell!

O fates! come, come;

Cut thread and thrum;

Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!'

The. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad.

Hip. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man. Pyr. O wherefore, nature, didst thou lions frame? Since lion vile hath here deflour'd my dear: 'Which is no, no-which was the fairest dame, That liv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd with cheer.

Come, tears, confound;
Out, sword, and wound
The pap of Pyramus:
Av, that left pap,
Where heart doth hop:
Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I dead,
Now am I fled;
My soul is in the sky:

Tongue, lose thy light!
Moon, take thy flight!
Now, die, die, die, die, die.'

[Dies. Exit Moonshine. Dem. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but


Lys. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.

The. With the help of a surgeon, he might yet recover, and prove an ass.

Hip. How chance moonshine is gone, before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?

The. She will find him by starlight.-Here she comes; and her passion ends the play.

Enter Thisbe.

Hip. Methinks, she should not use a long one, for such a Pyramus: I hope, she will be brief. mus, which Thisbe, is the better. Dem. A mole will turn the balance, which Pyra

Lys. She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.

Dem. And thus she moans, videlicet.
This.. Asleep, my love?

What, dead, my dove?

O Pyramus, arise,

Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
Dead, dead? A tomb
Must cover thy sweet eyes.
These lily brows,

This cherry nose,
These yellow cowslip cheeks,
Are gone, are gone:
'Lovers, make moan!
His eyes were green as leeks.
O sisters three,
Come, come to me,
With hands as pale as milk;

Lay them in gore,
Since you have shore
With shears his thread of silk.
Tongue, not a word :-
Come, trusty sword;

Come, blade, my breast imbrue;

And farewell, friends;

Thus, Thisby ends:

Adieu, adieu, adieu.'


The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead. Dem. Ay, and wall too.

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance, between two of our company?

The. No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it had play'd Pyramus, and hanged himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tragedy: and so it is truly; and very notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask: let your epilogue alone. Here a Dance of Clowns. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve: Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.

I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn,

As much as we this night have overwatch'd.
This palpable gross play hath well beguil'd
The heavy gait of night.-Sweet friends, to bed.-
A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
In nightly revels, and new jollity.


Enter Puck.

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,


Whilst the scritch-ow!, scritching loud,
Puts the wretch, that lies in woe,
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night,

That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the church way paths to glide :
And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecat's team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent, with broom before,

To sweep the dust behind the door.

Enter Oberon and Titania, with their Train.

Obe. Through this house give glimmering light, By the dead and drowsy tire:

Every elf, and fairy sprite,

Hop as light as bird from brier; And this ditty, after me,

Sing and dance it trippingly.

Tita. First rehearse this song by rote;
To each word a warbling note,
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.


Obe. Now, until the beak of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue, there create,
Ever shall be fortunate.
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be:

And the blots of nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, bare lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,

Shall upon their children be.—
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;

And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace, with sweet peace:
E'er shall it in safety rest,

And the owner of it blest.
Trip away;

Make no stay;

Meet me all by break of day.

[Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and Train. Puck. If we shallows have offended,

Think but this, (and all is mended,)
That you have but slumber'd here,
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck

Now to scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends, ere long:
Else the Puck a liar call.

So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.


[blocks in formation]


SCENE I. Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in it.
Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, and Dumain.
LET fame, thatall hunt after in their lives,
Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring time,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour, which shall bate his scythe's keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.
Therefore, brave conquerors!-for so you are,
That war against your own affections,
And the huge army of the world's desires,-
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me,
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes,
That are recorded in this schedule here.
Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names:
That his own hand may strike his honour down,

That violates the smallest branch herein:
Subscribe to your deep oath, and keep it too.
If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,'

Long. I am resolv'd: 'tis but a three years' fast;
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Fat paunches have lean pates; and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite the wits.
Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified;
The grosser manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;
With all these living in philosophy.

Biron. I can but say their protestation over,
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, To live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances:
As, not to see a woman in that term;
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there:
And, one day in a week to touch no food;
And but one meal on every day beside;
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there:
And then, to sleep but three hours in the night,
And not be seen to wink of all the day;
(When I was wont to think no harm all night,
And make a dark night too of half the day ;)

« ZurückWeiter »