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"His eyes were green as leeks.
"Come, come, to me,
"Adieu, adieu, adieu."
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.
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.
Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,
All with weary task foredone.1
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
In remembrance of a shroud.
That the graves all gaping wide,
In the church-way paths to glide;
By the triple Hecat's team,
Following darkness like a dream,
Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their Train.
Obe. Through this house give glimmering light,
Hop as light as bird from brier;
And this ditty after me,
Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote.
To each word a warbling note,
2 Cleanliness is always necessary to invite the residence or favor of the Fairies.
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
SONG AND DANCE.
Obe. Now, until the break of day,
And the blots of nature's hand
And the owner of it blest.
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,)
1 This ceremony, was in old times used at all marriages.
3 Way, course.
And, as I'm an honest Puck,
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands,3 if we be friends,
1 i. e. if we have better fortune than we have deserved. 2 i. e. hisses.
3 Clap your hands; give us your applause.
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'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.