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A MIII)SUMMER, NI
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.
y love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With * with triumph, - and with revelIng.
osus, Her Mia, Lysandes, and DeMETRius.
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
thou hast given her mes,
he impression of her fantasy
bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, con
e arshness:—And, my gracious
will not here before your grace
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT's DREAM.
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
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
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's 4 followers.
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
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. |
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.
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
Puck. Thou speak'st aright ; |
And tailor cries, and falls into a cough :
Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
A merrier hour was never wasted there.—
Enter O BERoN, at one door, with his train, and TATAN1A, at another, with her’s.
Obe. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania.
Full often hath she gossip'd by my sile :