Page images

Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth In forty minutes.

[Exit Puck, L. 3. E. Obe,

Having once this juice, I'll watch Titari', when she is asleep, And drop the liquor of it in her eyes : The next thing then she waking looks upon, (Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull, On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,) She shall pursue it with the soul of love. And ere I take this charm off from her sight, (As I can take it, with another herb,) I'll make her render up her page to me. But who comes here? I am invisible ; And I will overhear their conference. [Retires up L.

Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, L. Dem. (c.) I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. Where is Lysander and fair Hermia ? The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me. Thou told'st me they were stol'n into this wood, And here am I, and wood within this wood, Because I cannot meet with Hermia. Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

Hel. (L. c.) You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant; But yet you draw not iron, for my beart Is true as steel : leave you your power to draw, And I shall have no power to follow you.

Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth

I do not, nor I cannot, love you?
Hel. And e'en for that do I love you the more.
I am your spaniel ; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you :
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love,
(And yet a place of high respect with me,)
Than to be used as you use your dog ?

Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit; For I am sick when I do look on thee.

Hel. Aud I am sick, when I look not on you.

Dem. You do impeach your modesty too much,
To leave the city, and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;

Tell you,

To trust the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.

Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that.
It is not night when I do see your face,
Therefore I think I am not in the night:
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;
For you, in my respect, are all the world :
Then how can it be said I am alone,
When all the world is here to look on me?

Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes, And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd ;
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tiger,--bootless speed !
When cowardice pursues, and valour flies.

Dem. I will not stay thy questions : let me go :
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.

Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
We should be woo’d, and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.

[Exeunt Demetrius and Helena, R. Obe. (Advances to c.) Fare thee well, nymph: ere he

do leave this grove,
Thou shalt iy him, and he shall seek thy love.

Re-enter Puck, L. s. e.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

Puck. Ay, there it is.

I pray thee give it me.
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine :
There sleeps Titania, some time of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight.
And there the snake throws her enameli'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap'a fairy in :

And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes ;
But do it, when the next thing he espies
May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
By The Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care; that be may prove
More fond on her, than she upon her love:
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Puck. Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.

[Exeunt, R.

SCENE III. - Another Part of the Wood.-Titania's Bower, L., decorated with Flowers--the Duke's Oak. c.

TITANIA and her Train discovered. Tit. (c.) Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song; Then, for the third part of a minute, hence; Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds; Some, war with rear-mice for their leathern wings, To make my small elves coats; and some, keep back The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders At our quaint spirits : sing me now. asleep; Then to your offices, and let me rest.

[Goes to bower and lies down, R. J. E. First Fai. You spotted snakes, with double tongue,

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen ;
Newts, and blind worms, do no wrong ;

Come not near our fairy queen:

Philomel, with melody,

Sing in our sweet lullaby ;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lalla, lullaby:

Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh :

So, good night, with lullaby.
Second F. Weaving spiders, come not here;

Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence: Beetles black, approach not near;

Worm, nor snail, do no offence. Cho. Philomel, with melody, &c.

First F. Hence, away; now all is well :

One, aloof, stand sentinel.

[Exeunt Fairies, R. and L. U. E.-- ---Titania sleeps. Enter OBERON, L, s. E., and crosses to Titania who sleeps

on the Bank, R. U. E.
Obe. What thou seest when thou dost wake,

[Squeezes the flower on Titania's eyelids.
Do it for thy true love take;
Love, and languish for his sake:
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear;

Wake, when some vile thing is near. (Exit, R.U. E. Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA, R.-Stage partly dark. Lys. Fair love, you faint with wand'ring in the wood;

And, to speak troth, I have forgot our way;
We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good.

And tarry for the comfort of the day.
Her. Be it so, Lysander; find you out a bed,
For I upon this bank will rest my head.

[Reclines on bank, L. U. E. Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both; One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.

Her. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
Lie further off yet; do not lie so near.

Lys. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
Love takes the meaning, in love's conference.
I mean, that my heart unto your's is knit,
So that but one heart we can make of it:
Two bosoms interchained with an oath;
So then, two bosoms and a single troth.
Then by your side no bed-room me deny;
For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

Her. Lysander riddles very prettily:
Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied.
But gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Lie further off; in human modesty,
Such separation as may well be said
Becomes a virtuous bachelor, and a maid;
So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend :
Thy love ne'er alter, till thy sweet life end !

Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I; And then end life, when I end loyalty ! Here is my bed ; [Reclines on bank, R. 8. E.] sleep give

thee all his rest! Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!

[They sleep. Enter Puck, L. Puck. Through the forest have I gone,

But Athenian found I none,
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower's force in stirring love.
Night and silence! who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he, my master said,
Despised the Athenian maid;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, kill courtesy.
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe:

[Dropping the juice in Lysander's eye.
When thou wak'st, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid.
So awake, when I am gone ;
For I must now to Oberon.

Enter Demetrius and Helena, running R.
Hel. Siay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
Hel. 0, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so,
Dem. Stay, on thy peril; I alone will go.

(Exit Demetrius, L. Hel. 0, I am out of breath in this fond chase ! The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace. Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'r she lies; For she hath blessed and attractive eyes. How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears; If so, my eyes are oftener wasb'd than hers, No, no, I am as ugly as a bear; For beasts that meet me run away for fear: Therefore, no inarvel, though Demetrius Do, as a monster fly my presence thus.

« PreviousContinue »