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A MIDSUMMER NI
LITERARY AND HISTO
THE title of this play was probably suggested (like Twelft which it was first performed; viz. at Midsummer th Entertainment of a Midsummer Night." No other grou has given to it; since the action is distinctly pointed o The piece was written in 1592; and, according to Steve Tale in Chancer, or, as Capell supposes, Shakspeare m ton's fantastical poem, called Nymphidia, or, The Court made use of the materials which Shakspeare had rendJohnson) that there is no analogy or resemblance betw other. The same critics are also at issue upon the ge clares that" all the parts, in their various modes, are w ages are insignificant--the fable meagre and uninteresti from any other female; and the solicitudes of Hermia childish and frivolous. Theseus, the companion of Herc rank and reputation: "he goes out a Maying; meets promote their happiness; but when supernatural eventand concludes the entertainment by uttering some misera These faults are, however, almost wholly redeemed, which Shakspeare has displayed in the poetry; by the of grossness) which enlivens the blunt-witted devices o admirable satire which he has passed on those self-conceit would monopolize the favours of the public, trample upBottom was perhaps the leading tragedian of some rival ass's head.
To you your father should be as a god;
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
Her. So is Lysander.
The. In himself he is :
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
For everlasting bond of fellowship,)
Dem. Releut, sweet Hermia ;-And, Lysan-
Lys. You have her father's love, Deme-
The. What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair
Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.
And what is mine my love shall render him;
Lys. 1 am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,
And, which is more than all these boasts can
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
The. I must confess, that I have heard so
and But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it.-But, Demetrius, come;
[Exeunt THES. HIP. EGE. DEM. and
But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
Her. I would, my father look'd but with my
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia:
The. Rather your eyes must with his judg.
Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
The. Either to die the death, or to abjure
You can endure the livery of a nun;
that master 80 their
thought to bave spoke
Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the roses there do fade so fast?
Her. Belike for want of rain; which I could
Beteem them + from the tempest of mine eyes.
The course of true love never did run smooth:
Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to
Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years
Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of
f Give, bestow.
Demetrius loves your fair : O happy fair!
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
Sickness is catching; Oh! were favour § so!
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
Hel. Oh! that your frowns would teach my
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me
Hel. Oh! that my prayers could such affection
Her. The more I hate, the more he follows
Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me.
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage
When the false Trojan under sail was seen;
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes Win
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
Scene III. able comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry.-Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll: Masters, spread yourselves.
Quin. Answer as I call you,-Nick Bottom, the weaver.
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. were I best to play it in?
Quin. Why, what you will.
Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-
Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and
Quin. You, Nick Bottom are set down for
Quin. Some of your French crowns have no
some tears in the true Bot. That will ask performing of it: If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes: I will move storms, I will To the rest :-Yet condole in some measure. my chief humour is for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?
Bot. Enough; Hold, or cut bow-strings. +
"The raging rocks,
"Of prison-gates :
This was lofty !-Now, name the rest of the
Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Quin. That's all one; you shall play it in
Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play
Bot. Well, proceed.
Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor.
Quin. You, Pyramus' father; myself, Thisby's father;-Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's part :-and, I hope, here is a play fitted.
Snug. Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
SCENE 1.-A Wood near Athens.
Enter a FAIRY at one door, and Pvc at
Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
Bot. Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him roar again, Let him roar again.
Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek: and that were enough to bang us all.
Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moones sphere;
must go seek some dew-drops here, And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. Farewell, thou lobý of spirits, I'll be gone : Our queen and all our elves come here anon. Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-night;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
In those freckles live their savours:
Take heed, the queen come not within his sight,
And now they never meet in grove, or green,
Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there.
All. That would hang us every mother's son.
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite,
Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus :
• As if.
• Articles required in performing a play.
Puck. Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear
Enter OBERON, at one door, with his train, and TITANIA, at another, with her's. Obe. Il met by moon-light, proud Titania. Tita. What, jealous Oberon? Fairy, skip hence;
I have forsworn his bed and company.
Obe. Tarry, rash wanton: Am not I thy lord? Tita. Then I must be thy lady: But I know When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land, And in the shape of Corin sat all day, Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here, Come from the farthest steep of India? But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love, To Theseus must be wedded and you come To give their bed joy and prosperity.
Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hyppolyta,
The fairy land buys not the child of me. His mother was a vot'ress of my order: And, in the spiced Indian air, by night, Full often hath she gossip'd by my side; And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, that Marking the embarked traders on the flood; When we have laugh'u to see the sails conceive, And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind: Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait, (Following her womb, then rich with my young 'squire,)
Would imitate; and sail upon the land,
Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding-
If you will patiently dance in our round,
From Perigenia, whom he ravish'd ?
Tita. These are the forgeries of jealousy: And never, since the middle summer's spring, Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, By paved fountain or by rushy brook, Or on the beached margent of the sea, To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd sport. Therefore the winds piping to us in vain, As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea Contagious fogs; which falling in the land, Have every pelting + river made so proud, That they have overborne their continents: t The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard:
Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer,
And this same progeny of evils comes
Obe. Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
Tita. Set your heart at rest,
Tita. Not for thy kingdom.-Fairies, away: We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay. [Exeunt TITANIA, and her train. Obe. Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove, Till I torment thee for this injury.
My gentle Puck, come hither: Thou remember'st
Puck. I remember.
Obe. That very time I saw, (but thou couldst not,)
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
And the imperial vot'ress passed on,
And maidens call it, love-in-idleness.
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid,
uck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth In forty minutes. [Erit PLOK
Obe. Having once this juice,
Autumn producing flowers unseasonably. t Produce. I Page. Exempt from love.