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Liter ARY AND histo

Tilf, title of this play was probably suggested (like reels.

which it was first performed ; viz. at Midsummer ---th Entertainment of a Midsummer Night.” No other groun 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 rend Johnson) that there is no analogy or resemblance betw other. The saue critics are also at issue upon the ge clares that “all the parts, in their various modes, are v 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 reputatiow “he goes out a Maying ; meets

promote their happiness; but when supernatural event and concludes the entertainment by uttering some miser: 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 up

Bottom was perhaps the leading tragedian of some rival ass's head.

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[Brit Philostrate.

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y love, doing thee injuries;

But I will wed thee in another key,

With * with triumph, - and with revelIng.

Enter E

osus, Her Mia, Lysandes, and DeMETRius.

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e, Full ust my Stand forth,

This man bath sland forth, duk

of vexation come I, with complaint child, my daughter Hermia.Demetrius 5-My noble lord, iny consent to marry her:— Lysander 5-and, my gracious

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thou hast given her mes,

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he impression of her fantasy

bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, con

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e arshness:—And, my gracious

will not here before your grace

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60%, But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd, Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessed. ness. Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, muy

lord, Ere I will yield my Virgin patent up Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke My soul consents not to give sovereignty. • Take time to pause: and by the next new moon, (The sealing-day betwixt my love and me, For everlasting bond of fellowship,) Upon that day either prepare to die, For disobedience to your father's will ; Or else, to wed Demetrius, as he would : Or on Diana’s altar to protest, For aye, austerity and single life. Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia ;-And, Lysander, yield Thy crazed title to my certain right. Lys. . have her father’s love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him. Ege. ol Lysanders true, he hath iny ove; And what is mine my love shall render him ; And she is mine; and all my right of her I do estate unto Demetrius. Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, As well possess'd; my love is more than his ; My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd, If not with vantage, as demetrino ; And, which is more than all these boasts can be

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Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy its choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it; Making it inomentary as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream : Brief as the lightning in the collied " night, That in a spleen, unfolds both heaveti and earth, And ere a iiian hath power to say,+Behold I The jaws of darkness do devour it up : So luick bright things come to coni usion. Aler, if then true lowers have been ever cross'd, it stands as an edict in destiny :

Then let us teach our trial patience, | Because it is a customary cross ; l As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and

sighs, I

Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's 4 followers.
Lys. A good persuasiou : therefore, hear me,
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
of great revenue, and she hath no child :'
From Athens is her house retnote seven
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Heruria, inay I marry thee ;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us: If thou lov'st me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night; Fr.
Aud in the wood, a league without the town,

Where I did meet thee once with flesena, d To do observance to a morn of May, As There will I stay for thee. Iser. My good Lysander ' J I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow; By his best arrow with the golden head ; th: By the simplicity of Venus' doves; but By that which knitteth souls, and prospers | He loves; And And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage | So I queen, This When the false Trojan under sail was seen; Lov By all the vows that ever men have broke, Lov in number more than ever woman spoke ;In that same place thou hast appointed me, And To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. Nor Lys, Keep promise, love : Look, here comes | Win Helena. Atid - foec. Enter HELEN A. As Her. God speed fair Helena Whither away ? So t Het. Can you me fair that fair again un-lo", say. He Demetrius loves your fair : O happy fair And Your eyes are lode-stars ; ; and your tougue’s sweet air so I More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, 1 wi when wheat is green, when hawthorn buds | The appear. Puri Sickness is catching ; Oh were favour; so if i

Your's would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go ; / But
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your | To
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I’ll give to be to you translated.
O teach me how you look ; and with what art Ent
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me

still. } Hel. Oh that your frowns would teach my o smiles such skill inan Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me Q.

love. whic Hel, oh! that my prayers could such affection in " move on h Her. The more I hate, the more he follows' .4 rane. | play Het. The more I love, the inore he hateth me. ". | * • Black. * Lowes. 4 Pole stars. # Counteuance. |

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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 strawcoloured beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-iu-grain beard, or your Freuchcrown'colour beard, your per sect yellow. Qutin. Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced. —But, masters, here are your parts : and I ani to entreat you, request you, and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night ; and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the town, by |nolio there will we rehearse : for if we meet in the city, we shall be dog'd with com! pany, and our devices known. In the mean tione I will draw a bill of properties, * such as our play wants. I pray you, tail ine not. Bot. We will meet ; and there we may rehearse more obscenely, and courageously. Take pains ; be perfect ; adieu. Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. Bot. Enough , Hold, 9. cut bow-strings. * I to runt.

What beard

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In those freckles live their savours: I must go seek some dew-drops here, And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. Farewell, thou lob ş of spirits, I'll be gone : Our queen and all our elves conne here anon. Puck. I he king doth keep his revels liere to-night ; Take heed, the queen come not within his sight, For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Because that she, as her attendant, hath A lovely boy, stol’n from an Indian king ; She never had so sweet a changeling : And jealous Oberon would have the child Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild : But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy, Crow us him with flowers, and makes hion all her joy ; And now they never meet in grove, or green, By sountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, [. But they do square ; " that all their elves, ior fear, Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there. Fei. Either I mistake your shape and making quite, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite, Call'd Robin Good-fellow ; are you not he, That fright the unaidens of the villagery ; Skin milk; and sometiines labour in the quern, ""

And bootless inake the breathless housewife churi, ;

And sometime make the drink to bear no bar in ; ++ [ha, to

Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their

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Puck. Thou speak'st aright ; |
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal :
Aud sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
in very likeness of a roasted crab ; *
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me ;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,

And tailor cries, and falls into a cough :
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and

Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer,
The childing * autumn, angry winter change
Their wonted liveries; and the ‘Inazed world.
By their increase, t now knows not which is
which :
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissention;
We are their parents and original.
Obe. Do you amend it then ; it iies in you :
Why should Titania cross her Oberon r
I do but beg a little changeliug boy,
To be iny henchman. :
Tita. Set your heart at rest,
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a vot’ress of Iny order:

And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,

A merrier hour was never wasted there.—
But room, Fairy here coines Oberon,
Fai. And here my mistress :—"Would that
he were goue ! |

scene II.

Enter O BERoN, at one door, with his train, and TATAN1A, at another, with her’s.

Obe. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania.
Tita. What, jealous Oberou? 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 coru, and versing love
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India 7
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, Tita-
Glance at my credit with Hyppolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus:
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmer-
ing night
From Perigenia, whom he ravish'd f
And make him with fair AEglé break his faith,
With Ariadne, and Antiopa
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 our
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 :
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;
The nine men's morris ; is fill’d up with mud;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest : —
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter : hoary headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the critnson rose;
Aud on old Hyems’ chin, and icy crown,
An oderous chaplet of sweet summer buds

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Full often hath she gossip'd by my sile :
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
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
(Following her womb, then rich with my young
would imitate; and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy :
And for her sake, I will not part with him.
Obe. How long within this wood intend you
stav f
Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding.
If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moon-light revels, go with as:
If not shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with
Tita. Not for thy kingdom.—Fairies, away :
We shall chide down-right, if I louser stay.
[Ere unt Titaxi A, and her train.
Obe. Well, go thy way: thou shait not from
this grove,
Till I torment thee for this injury.—
My gentle Puck, come hither: Thou remember's
Since once 1 sat upon a promontory.
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song ;
And certain stars shot madly from their spberes,
To hear the sea-maid's music.
Puck. I remember.
Obe. *** time I saw, (but thou could'-t
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd : a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal, throned by the west :
And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his too.
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts:
But I might see young Cupid’s fiery shaft
Queuch'd in the chaste brains of the writory
moon ;
And the imperial vot’ress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free. 5
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fen :
It sell upon a little western flower.—
Before, milk-white; now purple with leve’s
And maidens call it, love-in-idleness.
Fetch Ine that flower; the herb I show'd thee
once :
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids Haid,
Will uake or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb : and be thou here again,
Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth
in forty minutes. orir Pick-
Obe. Having once this juice,

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