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Obe. Silence, a while.—Robin, take off this head.Titania, music call; and strike more dead Than common sleep of all these five the sense.

Tita. Music, ho! music! such as charmeth sleep". Puck. Now, when thou wak’st”, with thine own fool's

eyes peep. Obe. Sound, music! Come, my queen, take hands

with me,

And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity,
And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair prosperity 6.
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark:
I do hear the morning lark.

Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night's shade?;
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.

Tita. Come, my lord ; and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night,
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground'. [Ereunt.

[Horns sound within. Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train. The. Go, one of you, find out the forester;

music ! such as charmeth sleep.] After these words in the folio, 1623, we have the stage-direction “Music still ;" which means, probably, that the music was to cease before Puck spoke, as Oberon afterwards exclaims,“ Sound, music !" when it was to be renewed.

5 Now, when thou wak’st,] The folio, following the 4to. by Roberts, omits Nou, necessary to the line.

6 And bless it to all fair PROSPERITY.] This line is as it stands in Fisher's edition ; but Roberts’s and the folio have posterity. It might admit of dispute which is the better reading, if in a former scene "prosperity " had not been employed in exactly the same way—“ to give their bed joy and prosperity.”

7 Trip we after the night's shade ;] “ The” is omitted by Fisher.

8 With these mortals on the ground.] Here the folio has the stage-direction “ Sleepers lie still ;” meaning that they were not to be disturbed by the horns.

For now our observation is perform’d':
And since we have the vaward of the day'',
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.-
Uncouple in the western valley : let them go"!!

Despatch, I say, and find the forester.-
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once,
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
With hounds of Sparta : never did I hear
Such gallant chiding; for, besides the groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem'd all one mutual cry 2. I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew'd, so sanded'; and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-kneed, and dew-lap'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never halloo'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly :
Judge, when you hear.-But, soft! what nymphsare these?

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is ;
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena :
I wonder of their being here together?.


9 For now our OBSERVATION is performed :) i. e. Of the honours due to May.

the vAward of the day ;] i, e. The early part of the day—the van-ward. 11 Uncouple in the western valley : LET THEM go :) So all the old authorities ; and although to omit “ let them ” might reduce the line to ten syllables, we are not authorized on that account to leave out words which probably came from Shakespeare's pen. Malone and other modern editors have thought otherwise. 12 Seem'd all one mutual cry.) So the second folio, rightly.

So flew'd, so sanded ;] The flews are the large chaps of a hound : “ 90 sanded” may refer to the sandy marks on the dogs, or possibly it is a misprint for sounded, in allusion to their mouths.

? I wonder of their being here together.] So Fisher's edition. That of Roberts, and the folio, read this.

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe
The rite of May; and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.-
But speak, Egeus; is not this the day
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

Ege. It is, my lord.
The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their

[Horns, and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER,

HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up. The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is

past; Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

Lys. Pardon, my lord. [He and the rest kneel. The.


pray you all, stand up.
I know, you two are rival enemies :
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity ?

Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Half sleep, half waking : but as yet, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came here;
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,-
And now I do bethink me, so it is)
I came with Hermia hither : our intent
Was to be gone from Athens, where we might
Without the peril of the Athenian laws

Ege. Enough, enough! my lord, you have enough.
I beg the law, the law, upon his head.
They would have stoln away; they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to have defeated you and me;

3 Without the peril of the Athenian law-] This is the reading of Fisher's 4to, and beyond dispute the correct reading, Lysander being interrupted by the impatience of Egeus, with “ Enough, enough !” The printer of Roberts's 4to. (which the folio followed) added be after “ might” in the preceding line, in order to complete the sense at “ Athenian law," but to the destruction of the metre, and in opposition to the clear meaning of the poet. All the moderni editors have adopted the mistake without reference to Fisher's 4to.

your wife.

You, of your wife, and me, of my consent,
Of my consent that she should be

Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood;
And I in fury hither follow'd them,
Fair Helena in fancy following met.
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,
(But by some power it is,) my love to Hermia,
Melted as the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gawd,
Which in my childhood I did dote upon;
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia":
But, like in sickness, did I loath this food;
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met.
Of this discourse we more will hear anon —
Egeus, I will overbear your will,
For in the temple, by and by with us,
These couples shall eternally be knit.
And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purpos’d hunting shall be set aside.
Away, with us, to Athens: three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.---
Come, Hippolyta.

[Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train. Dem. These things seem small, and undistinguishable, Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.


• Fair Helena in FANCY following me.] In this instance, as in many others in Shakespeare, “fancy” means affection, or lore. Fisher's 4to. has “following :" Roberts's and the folio followed.

ere I saw Hermia :) The reading of all the old copies is, “ere I see Hermia;” and in the next line they have “like a sickness,” for “like in sickness."

6 — we more will hear anon.) So Fisher's 4to. Roberts's has “ we will hear more anon," and the folio “ we shall hear more anon.”


G 8

Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye, When every thing seems double. Hel.

So methinks :
And I have found Demetrius, like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.

Are you sure
That we are awake?? It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream.—Do not you think
The duke was here, and bid us follow him?

Her. Yea; and my father.

And Hippolyta.
Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple'.

Dem. Why then, we are awake. Let's follow him; And by the way let us recount our dreams. [Ereunt.

Bot. [waking.] When my cue comes, call me, , and I will answer :—my next is, “ Most fair Pyramus."

Hey, ho!— Peter Quince! Flute, the bellowsmender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep. I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream,—past the wit of man to say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he

go about to expound this dream. Methought I was —there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and niethought I had,—but man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream : it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom, and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the

I will get


Are you sure That we are awake ?] These words are recovered from the two 4to, edi. tions : they are omitted in the folio, 1623. Steevens thought fit to leave them out; an unpardonable liberty, considering how they are authorized, but other modern editors have imitated his example.

8 And he did bid us follow to the temple.] The word “ did," which is required by the metre, is found in Fisher's 4to, but not in that of Roberts, nor in the folio.

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