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thorns and a lanthorn, and fay, he comes to disfigure, or to prefent, the Perfon of moon-fhine. Then there is another thing; we must have a wall in the great chamber, for Pyramus and Thisby (says the story) did talk thro' the chink of a wall,
Snug. You never can bring in a wall. What fay you, Bottom?
Bot. Some man or other muft prefent Wall; and let him have fome plaifter, or fome lome, or fome rough-caft about him, to fignify wall: Or let him hold his fingers thus; and through the cranny fhall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.
Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, fit down every mother's fon, and rehearfe you parts. Pyramus, you begin; when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake; and fo every one according to his cue.
Enter Puck behind.
Puck. What hempen home-fpuns have we fwaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy Queen?
Pyr. Odours, favours sweet.
So doth thy breath, my dearest Thisby, dear; But hark, a voice! ftay thou but here a whit; 2 And, by and by, I will to thee appear.
fay thou but here a whit;
i. e. a little while for fo it fignifies, as alfo any thing of no Price, or Confideration; a trifle: in which Senfe it is very frequent with our Author.
Puck. A ftranger Pyramus than e'er plaid here! [Afide. Thif. Must I speak now?
Quin. Ay, marry, muft you; for you must underftand, he goes but to fee a noife that he heard, and is to come again.
Thif. Moft radiant Pyramus, moft lilly-white of hue, Of colour like the red rofe on triumphant brier, Moft brifkly Juvenile, and eke moft lovely Jew,
As true as trueft horfe, that yet would never tire, I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.
Quin. Ninus' tomb, man; why you must not fpeak that yet: that you answer to Pyramus; you speak all your part at once, cues and all. Pyramus, enter; your cue is past; it is, never tire.
Re-enter Bottom, with an Afs head.
Thif. O,As true as trueft horse, that yet would never tire.
Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
Quin. O monstrous! O ftrange! we are haunted; pray, masters; fly, mafters; help! The Clowns exeunt. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round. Through bog, through bufh, through brake, through bryer; 3
Sometimes a horfe I'll be, fometimes a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, fometimes a fire,
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar and burn, Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn. [Exit. Bot. Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them to make me afeard.
Snout. O Bottom, thou art chang'd; what do I fee on thee? I
Bot. What do you fee? you fee an afs-head of your own, do you? Enter
3 Here are two fyllables wanting. Perhaps it was written, through bog, through mire. VOL. I.
1 It is plain by Bottom's answer that Sneut mentioned an As's Head. Therefore we fhould read, Snout.
Quin. Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee; thou art translated.
Bot. I fee their knavery, this is to make an afs of me, to fright me if they can; but I will not ftir from this place, do what they can; I will walk up and down here, and I will fing, that they fhall hear I am not afraid. [Sings.
The Oufel cock, fo black of hue,
The throftle with his note fo true,
Queen. What angel wakes me from my flow'ry bed?
[Waking. Bot. The finch, the fparrow, and the lark, [Sings. The plain-fong cuckow gray,
Whofe note full many a man doth mark,
And dares not anfwer, nay.
For, indeed, who would fet his wit to fo foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lye, tho' he cry cuckow
Queen. I pray thee, gentle mortal, fing again; 4 Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note,
So is mine eye enthralled to thy fhape;
Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed, what do I fee on thee? An Afs's Head?
4 Thefe lines are in one quarto of 1600, the firft folio of 1623, the fecond of 1632, and the third of 1664, &c. ranged in the following order:
Mine ear is much enamour'd of
thy note, On the first view to fay, to fear, I love thee;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy
And thy fair virtue's force (per
force) doth move me. This reading I have inferted not that it can fuggeft any thing better than the order to which the lines have been reftored by Mr. Theobald from another 4to, but to fhew that fome liberty of conjecture must be allowed in the revifal of works fo inaccurately printed and fo long neglected."
And thy fair virtue's force (perforce) doth move me, On the first view to fay, to fwear, I love thee.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reafon for that and yet, to lay the truth, reafon and love keep little company together now-a-days. The more the pity, that fome honeft neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can 5 gleek upon occafion.
Queen. Thou art as wife, as thou art beautiful.
Bot. Not fo neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to ferve mine own
Queen. Out of this wood do not defire to go,
Thou shalt remain here, whither thou wilt or no.
The fummer ftill doth tend upon my state,
And they fhall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
1 Fair. Ready.
2 Fair. And I.
3. Fair. And I.
Enter Four Fairies.
4 Fair. And I: where fhall we go?
Queen. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
The honey-bags fteal from the humble bees,
5gleck.] Joke or fcoff. POPE.
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs,
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
1 Fair. Hail, mortal, hail!
2 Fair. Hail!
3 Fair. Hail!.
Bot. I cry your worship's mercy heartily; I befeech, your worship's name.
Bot. I fhall defire of you more acquaintance, good master Cobweb; if I cut my finger, I fhall make bold with you. Your name, honeft gentleman. Peafe. Peafebloom.
Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash your mother, and to master Peafcod your father. Good mafter Peafebloom, I fhall defire of you more acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, Sir. Muf. Mustardfeed.
Bot. Good mafter Mustardjeed, I know your 7 patience well: that fame cowardly giant-like Ox-beef hath devour'd many a gentleman of your house. I promife you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I defire more of your acquaintance, good mafter Mustardfeed.
Queen. Come, wait upon him, lead him to my bower. The moon, methinks, looks with a watry eye; And when the weeps, weep ev'ry little flower, Lamenting fome enforced chastity!
Tie up my love's tongue, bring him filently. [Exeunt.
6 the fiery glow-worm's eyes.] I know not how Shakepeare, who commonly derived his knowledge of nature from his own obfervation, happened to place the glow-worm's light
in his eyes, which is only in his tail.
7 patience.] The Oxford Edition reads, I know your parentage well. I believe the correction is right.