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"His eyes were green as leeks.
"O sisters three,

66

"Come, come, to me,
"With hands as pale as milk;
Lay them in gore,
"Since you have shore
"With shears his thread of silk.
"Tongue, not a word.—
"Come, trusty sword;
"Come, blade, my breast imbrue,
“And farewell, friends;—
"Thus Thisby ends.

"Adieu, adieu, adieu."

[Dies.

The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead. Dem. Ay, and wall too.

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance,' between two of our company?

The. No epilogue, I pray you for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it, had played Pyramus, and hanged himself with Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tragedy; and so it is, truly, and very notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask. Let your epilogue alone. [Here a dance of Clowns. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time. I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn, As much as we this night have overwatched. This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled The heavy gait of night.-Sweet friends, to bed. A fortnight hold we this solemnity

In nightly revels, and new jollity.

[Exeunt.

1 A rustic dance framed in imitation of the people of Bergamasco (a province in the state of Venice), who are ridiculed as being more clownish in their manners and dialect than any other people of Italy. The lingua rustica of the buffoons, in the old Italian comedies, is an imitation of their jargon.

SCENE II.

Enter PUCK.

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task foredone.1
Now the wasted brands do glow,

Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe,

In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night,

That the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the church-way paths to glide;
And we fairies, that do run,

By the triple Hecat's team,
From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic. Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallowed house;
I am sent, with broom, before,
Το sweep the dust behind the door."

Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their Train.

Obe. Through this house give glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsy fire.
Every elf and fairy sprite,

Hop as light as bird from brier;

And this ditty after me,
Sing and dance it trippingly.

Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote.

To each word a warbling note,

1 Overcome.

2 Cleanliness is always necessary to invite the residence or favor of the Fairies.

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

SONG AND DANCE.

1

Obe. Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue, there create,
Ever shall be fortunate.
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be.

And the blots of nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
Shall upon their children be.-
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gate; 3
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace with sweet peace.
E'er shall it in safety rest,

And the owner of it blest.

Trip away;
Make no stay;

Meet me all by break of day.

[Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and Train. Puck. If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, (and all is mended,)
That you have but slumbered here,
While these visions did appear,
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream.
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.

1 This ceremony, was in old times used at all marriages.
2 Portentous.

3 Way, course.

And, as I'm an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck,1
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends, ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call.

So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands,3 if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

1 i. e. if we have better fortune than we have deserved. 2 i. e. hisses.

3 Clap your hands; give us your applause.

VOL. II.

10

[Exit.

WILD and fantastical as this play is, all the parts, in their various modes, are well written, and give the kind of pleasure which the author designed. Fairies in his time were much in fashion; common tradition had made them familiar, and Spenser's poem had made them great.

JOHNSON.

JOHNSON'S concluding observations on this play are not conceived with his usual judgment. There is no analogy or resemblance between the fairies of Spenser and those of Shakspeare. The fairies of Spenser, as appears from his description of them in the second book of the Faerie Queene, canto x., were a race of mortals created by Prometheus, of the human size, shape, and affections, and subject to death. But those of Shakspeare, and of common tradition, as Johnson calls them, were a diminutive race of sportful beings, endowed with immortality and supernatural powers, totally different from those of Spenser.

M. MASON.

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