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Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better. 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 2 “Dead, dead? A tomb “Must cover thy sweet eyes. “These lily lips, “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 Thisbe ends: “Adieu, adieu, adieu.” [Dies. 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;

* — a Burgomask dance,) A dance after the manner of the peasants of Bergomasco, a country in Italy, belonging to the Venetians.

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
This heavy gait of bed.—Sweet friends, to bed.—
A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
In nightly revels, and new jollity. [Ereunt.


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-owl, 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 frolick; 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 fire:

y heavy gait—] i. e. Slow progress. * I am sent, with broom, before, To sweep the dust behind the door.] Cleanliness is always necessary to invite the residence and the favour of the fairies.—Johnson.

fordone..] i. e. Overcome. * Now until, &c.—] This speech, which both the old quartos give to Oberon, is in the edition of 1623, and in all the following printed as the song. I have restored it to Oberon, as it "..." contains not the blessing which he intends to bestow on the bed, but his declaration that he will bless it, and his orders to the fairies how to perform the necessary rites. But where, then, is the song? I am afraid it is gone after many other things of greater value. The truth is, that two songs are lost. The series of the scene is this:—After the speech of Puck, Oberon enters, and calls his fairies to a song, which song is apparently wanting in all the copies. Next, Titania leads another song, which is indeed lost like the former, though the editors have endeavoured to find it. Then Oberon dismisses his fairies to the despatch of the ceremonies.

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 break 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 in nature’s hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare-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:

The songs, I suppose, were lost, because they were not inserted in the players' parts, from which the drama was printed.—Jon Nson.

° Nor mark prodigious, J Prodigious for portentous.

d take his gait;] i. e. Take his way.

Ever shall in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.
Trip away;
Make no stay ;
Meet me all by break of day.
[Ereunt OBERo N, Titan 1A, and train.
Puck. If we shadows 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’m 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. [Exit."

unearned luck—J i. e. If we have better fortune than we have deserved.—STEEvens. ! Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue, That is, if we be dismissed without hisses.—Johnson. * Give me your hands,) That is, clap your hands. Give us your applause.— Johnson. * Wild and fantastical as this play is, all the parts in their various modes are well written, and give the kind of pleasure which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion; common tradition had made them familiar, and Spenser's poem had made them great.—Johnson. Thésée et Hippolyte ne sont qu'un cadre magnifique pour le tableau.Schlege L.


Published in 1598. Mr. Malone supposes this play to have been written in 1594. The title page in the quarto states it to have been newly corrected and augmented by W. Shakspeare, and perhaps these corrections and augmentations constituted his only share of the production.

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