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―odors savors sweet:

So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.But, hark, a voice! Stay thou but here awhile, And by and by I will to thee appear.


Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here!


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This. Must I speak now?

Quin. Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.

This. Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue, Of color like the red rose on triumphant brier, Most brisky juvenal, and eke most lovely Jew,

As true as truest 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 speak all your part at once, cues and all.-Pyramus, enter; your cue is past; it is, never tire.


Re-enter PUCK, and Воттом with an ass's head.

This. O—As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.

Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.— Quin. O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters! fly, masters! help! [Exeunt Clowns. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through


Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound,

A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire; And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn, Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.


Bot. Why do they run away? This is a knavery of them, to make me afeard.

1 Young man.

2 The cues were the last words of the preceding speech, which serve as a hint to him who was to speak next.

Re-enter SNOUT.

Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed! What do 1 see on thee?

Bot. What do you see? You see an ass's head of your own; do you?

Re-enter QUINCE.

Quin. Bless thee, Bottom! Bless thee! Thou art translated. [Exit. Bot. I see their knavery! This is to make an ass of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir from this place, do what they can. I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.


The ousel-cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,

The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill.

Tita. What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?


Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
The plain-song cuckoo' gray,

Whose note full many a man doth mark,
And dares not answer, nay;

for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird? Who would give a bird the lie, though he cry cuckoo, never so?

Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again.
Mine ear is much enamored of thy note;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me,
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.

Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little rea

1 The cuckoo, having no variety of note, sings in plain song (plano cantu), by which expression the uniform modulation or simplicity of the chant was anciently distinguished in opposition to prick-song, or variated music sung by note.



son for that; and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays. The more the pity, that some honest neighbors will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.

Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

Bot. Not so, neither; but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own


Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go;
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;

The summer still doth tend upon my state,
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep;
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep.
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.—
Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed!

Enter four Fairies.

And I.

1 Fai. Ready.

2 Fai.

3 Fai.

4 Fai.

And I.

And I.

All. Where shall we go?

Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,2
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
And, for night tapers, crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise;
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

1 i. e. jest or scoff.

2 The fruit of a bramble called rubus cæsius; sometimes called also the blue-berry.

1 Fai. Hail, mortal!

2 Fai.


3 Fai. Hail!

4 Eai. Hail!

Bot. I cry your worship's mercy, heartily.-I beseech your worship's name?

Cob. Cobweb.

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance,' good master Cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you. Your name, honest gentleman?

Peas. Peas-blossom.

Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash,2 your mother, and to master Peascod, your father. Good master Peas-blossom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance too.-Your name, I beseech you, sir?

Mus. Mustard-seed.

Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well. That same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house. I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I desire you more acquaintance, good master Mustard-seed.

Tita. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower. The moon methinks looks with a watery eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity.

Tie up my lover's tongue; bring him silently.


SCENE II. Another Part of the Wood.


Obe. I wonder if Titania be awaked;

Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on in extremity.

1 "I shall desire you of more acquaintance." This kind of phraseology

was not uncommon.

2 A squash is an immature peascod.

3 The words are spoken ironically, as it was the prevailing opinion in Shakspeare's time, that mustard excited choler.

Enter PUCK.

Here comes my messenger.-How now, mad spirit!
What night-rule1 now about this haunted grove?

Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,3
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene, and entered in a brake;
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's now14 I fixed on his head;
Anon, his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes.
When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky,
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly:
And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.

Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus


Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some, sleeves; some, hats; from yielders all things


I led them on in this distracted fear,

And left sweet Pyramus translated there;
When, in that moment, (so it came to pass,)
Titania waked, and straightway loved an ass.

1 Revelry.

2 A patch was a common contemptuous term. 3 Barren is dull, unpregnant. Sort is company. 4 A head. 5 The chough is a bird of the daw kind.

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