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Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Enter Lys ANDER.
Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius P 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. [Evit Lys. as following the voice.
Dem. Lysander speak again. Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled P Speak. In some bush Where dost thou hide thy head P 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 defiled, That draws a sword on thee.
Dem. Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here. [Eveunt.
1. Oberon here boasts that he was not compelled, like meaner spirits, to
vanish at the first dawn. o
Re-enter LY SANDER.
Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on ; When I come where he calls, then he is gone. The villain is much lighter heeled than I. I followed fast, but faster he did fly; That fallen am I in dark, uneven way, And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day ! [Lies down. For if but once thou show me thy gray light, l’ll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUs.
Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho!' Coward, why com'st thou not? Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot, Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place; And dar’st not stand, nor look me in the face. Where art thou ? Puck. Come hither; I am here. Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear, If ever I thy face by day-light 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. [Lies down and sleeps.
Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hours. Shine, comforts, from the east; That I may back to Athens by day-light,
From these that my poor company detest.—
1 This exclamation would have been uttered with more propriety by Puck, if he were not now playing an assumed character, which he seems to forget. In the old song printed by Percy, in which all his gambols are related, he concludes every stanza with ho! ho! ho! It was also the established dramatic exclamation given to the devil whenever he appeared on the stage, and attributed to him whenever he appeared in reality.
WOL. II. 7
And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow’s eye,
Her. Never so weary, never so in woe, Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers, I can no farther crawl, no farther go; My legs can keep no pace with my desires. Here will I rest me, till the break of day. Heaven shield Lysander if they mean a fray! [Lies down. Puck. On the ground Sleep sound. I’ll apply To your eye, Gentle lover, remedy. [Squeezing the juice on Lys ANDER’s eye. When thou wak'st, Thou tak’st True delight In the sight Of thy former lady's eye; And the country proverb known, That every man should take his own, In your waking shall be shown. Jack shall have Jill; Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well." [Exit PUCK.—DEM., HEL., &c. sleep.
1 These three last lines are to be found in Heywood's Epigrams, or Three Hundred Proverbs.
Enter TITANIA and Bottom, Fairies attending; OBERON behind, unseen.
Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed, While I thy amiable cheeks do coy," And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy. Bot. Where’s Peas-blossom P Peas. Ready. Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.—Where's monsieur Cobweb P Cob. Ready. Bot. 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 loath to have you overflown with the honey-bag, seignior. 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 P 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?
1 To coy is to stroke or soothe with the hand. * i. e. fist; an old Scotch word.
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 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. O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!
- [They sleep.
OBERON advances. Enter PUCK.
Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
* The old, rough, rustic music of the tongs. The folio has this stage direction: “Musicke Tongs, Rurall Music.”