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gentleman-like man; therefore you must needs them by to-morrow night, and meet me in the play Pyramus.

palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonBot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard light; there will we* rehearse: for if we meet in were I best to play it in ?

the city we shall be dogg’d with company, and our Quin. Why, what you will.

devices known. In the mean time I will draw a Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw- bill of properties such as our play wants. I pray colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your you, fail me not. purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown- Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse colour* beard, your perfect yellow.

most + obscenely and courageously. Take pains ; Quin. Some of your French crowns have no be perfect; adieu. hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced.- Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. But, masters, here are your parts : and I am to Bot. Enough. Hold, or cut bow-strings.(7) intreat you, request you, and desire you, to con


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(*) First folio, through. a Enter, &c.] The original stage direction is "Enter a Fairy at one doore, and Robin Good-fellow at another ;” and in the prefixes to his speeches, until the entrance of Oberon and Titania, Puck is thus designated.

b To dew her orbs- ] The orbs are those circles in fields known as fairy rings, and popularly supposed to be produced by these “demi-puppets" in their moonlight revelry :

“ And in their courses make that round,

In meadows and in marshes found,
Of them so called the fairy fround."

Drayton's Nymphidia. There is a peculiar propriety in the office assigned to the fairy of refreshing these ringlets, since we learn from Olaus Magnus, that the night-tripping spirits always parched up the grass on which they danced.



I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou loba of spirits, I'll be gone;
Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-

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,
Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her

joy: And now they never meet in grove, or green, By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, But they do square ;' that all their elves, for fear, Creep into acorn-cups, and hide them there.

Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making

Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite,
Calld Robin Goodfellow ;(1) are not you* he,
That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Skim milk; and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm ;
Mislead night wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
Are not you he?

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 fillyt foal:
And sometime lurk 1 in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab ; a
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob,

a Thou lob of spirits,-) Lob here, I believe, is no more than another name for clown, or fool; and does not necessarily denote inactivity either of mind or body.

b But they do square;) To square in this place means to quarrel, and was commonly used in that sense by the old writers. Some have thought it derived from the French quarter, which Cotgrave interprets, " To strut, or square it, looke big out," &c.

(*) First folio, you not. (t) First folio, silly. . The quern,-) The handmill. d A roasted crab:] That is, the crab, or wild apple:

“ Yet we will have in store a crab in the fire,

With Nut-browne ale."
Anonymous play, called The Famous Victories of Henry V.

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a And tailor cries,- ) " The custom of crying tailor, at a sudden fall backwards, I think I remember to have observed. He that slips beside his chair falls as a tailor squats upon his


b And waxen-) Waxen, as Farmer surmised, is most probably a corruption of the old Saxon word yexen, to hiccup.



moon, the

Enter OBERON, on one side, with his Train, and The nine men's morris is filled up with mud ; (4) TITANIA, on the other, with hers.“

And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,

For lack of tread, are undistinguishable;
OBE. Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.(2) The human mortals want their winter here,
Tita. What, jealous Oberon ? Fairies,* skip No night is now with hymn or carol bless'd :-
hence ;



of foods, I have forsworn his bed and company.

Pale in her anger, washes all the air, OBE. Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy lord ? That rheumatic diseases do abound:

Tita. Then I must be thy lady. · But I know And thorough this distemperature, we see When thou hast + stolen away from fairy land, The seasons alter : hoary-headed † frosts And in the shape of Corin sat all day,

Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose ; Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love And on old Hyems' thin' and icy crown, To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here, An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds Come from the farthest steep of India ?

Is, as in mockery, set. The spring, the summer, But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,

The childingo autumn, angry winter, change Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love, Their wonted liveries ; and the mazed world, To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come By their increase, now knows not which is which ; To give their bed joy and prosperity.

And this same progeny of evils comes OBE. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania, From our debate, from our dissension ; Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,

We are their parents and original. Knowing I know thy love to Theseus ?

Obe. Do you amend it then; it lies in you: Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering Why should Titania cross her Oberon? night

I do but beg a little changeling boy, From Perigenia, whom he ravished ?

To be


henchman.' And make him with fair Æglét break his faith, TITA. .


heart at rest, With Ariadne, and Antiopa ? (3)

The fairy land buys not the child of me. Tita. These are the forgeries of jealousy: His mother was a votaress of my order : And never, since the middle summer's spring, And, in the spiced Indian air, by night, Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,

Full often hath she gossip'd by my side, By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,

And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, Or in the beached margent of the sea,

Marking the embarked traders on the flood; To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, When we have laugh’d to see the sails conceive, But with thy brawls thou hast disturbid our sport. And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind : Therefore, the winds, piping to us in vain, Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait, As in revenge, have suck’d up from the sea Following, (her womb then rich with my young Contagious fogs; which, falling in the land,

squire,) Have every pelting b river made so proud,

Would imitate; and sail upon the land,
That they have overborne their continents :

To fetch me trifles, and return again,
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green But she, being mortal, of that boy did die ;

And, for her sake, do I rear up her boy:
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard : And, for her sake, I will not part with him.
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,

OBE. How long within this wood intend you And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;



(*) Old copiez, Fairy.

(+) First folio, wast. (1) old copies, Eagles.

(*) First folio, through. (t) First folio, hoared-headed.

(1) First folio, I do. Britaine," p. 42:-"In like sort they want venomous beasts, chiefelie such as doo delight in hotter soile.” It occurs, with the same meaning, in a well-known passage of “ Macbeth," Act III. Sc. 6:

a Enter, &c.] According to the old stage direction, “Enter the King of Fairies at one doore with his traine, and the Queene at another with hers." All the modern editors, except Mr. Collier, mark this entrance as a new scene; upon what principle it is not easy to divine.

b Have erery pelting river-] The folio reads petty. Pelling is paltry, peddling, despicable:

Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer," &c.

Measure for Measure, Act II. Sc. 2. c The human mortals want their winter here,-) Want, in this passage, does not appear to mean need, lack, wish for, &c., but to be used in the sense of be without. The human mortals are without their winter here. Thus, in Harrison's " Description of

Men must not walk too late
Who cannot want the thought, how monstrous

It was,” &c.;
and is repeatedly found in the old writers with this signification.

d And on.old Hyems' thin and icy crown,- ] The ancient copies concur in reading, “Hyems chin and icy crown." The change was proposed Tyrwhitt.

e The childing autumn,-) That is, the Iceming autumn, frugiser autumnus. f Henchman.) Page. The derivation is uncertain.

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