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Pyr. -odors savors sweet :
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.But, hark, a voice! Stay thou but here awhile, And by and by I will to thee appear,
[Exit. Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here!
[ Aside.-Exit. This. Must I speak now?
Quin. Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
This. Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
Of color like the red rose on triumphant brier, Most brisky juvenal, and eke most lovely Jew,
As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.
Quin. Ninus' tomb, man. Why, you must not speak 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 Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head. This. 0—As true as truest horse, that yet would
never tire. Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
Quin. O monstrous ! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters ! fly, masters! help! [Exeunt Clowns.
Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake, through
brier: Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, sometime 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.
1 Young man.
2 The cues were the last words of the preceding speech, which serve as a hint to him who was to speak next.
Re-enter SNOUT. Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed! What do I see on thee?
Bot. What do you see? You see an ass's head of your own;
Re-enter QUINCE. Quin. Bless thee, Bottom! Bless thee! Thou art translated.
[Exit. Bot. I see their knavery! This is to make an ass of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir from this place, do what they can. I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
[Sings. The ousel-cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The wren with little quill.
[Waking. Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark, The plain-song cuckoo'
And dares not answer, nay; for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird ? Who would give a bird the lie, though he cry cuckoo, never so?
Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little rea
1 The cuckoo, having no variety of note, sings in plain song (plano cantu), by which expression the uniform modulation or simplicity of the chant was anciently distinguished in opposition to prick-song, or variated music sung by note. VOL. II.
son for that; and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays. The more the pity, that some honest neighbors will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Bot. Not so, neither; but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go; Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. I am a spirit of no common rate; The summer still doth tend upon my state, And I do love thee: therefore, go with me; I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee; And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep; And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep. And I will purge thy mortal grossness so, That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed!
Enter four Fairies. 1 Fai. Ready. 2 Fai.
And I. 3 Fai.
And I. 4 Fai.
Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
1 i. e. jest or scoff.
2 The fruit of a bramble called rubus cæsius ; sometimes called also the blue-berry.
1 Fai. Hail, mortal!
Bot. I cry your worship’s mercy, heartily.—1 beseech your worship's name?
Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good master Cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you.—Your name, honest gentleman ?
Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash,? your mother, and to master Peascod, your father. Good master Peas-blossom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance too.—Your name, I beseech you, sir ?
Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your patience 3 well. That same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house. I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water
I desire you more acquaintance, good master Mustard-seed.
Tita. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
The moon methinks looks with a watery eye;
Lamenting some enforced chastity.
SCENE II. Another Part of the Wood.
1 «I shall desire you of more acquaintance.” This kind of phraseology was not uncommon.
2 A squash is an immature peascod. 3 The words are spoken ironically, as it was the prevailing opinion in Shakspeare's time, that mustard excited choler.
Here comes my messenger.—How now, mad spirit!
Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love.
When they him spy,
2 A patch was a common contemptuous term. 3 Barren is dull, unpregnant. Sort is company.
4 A head. 5 The chough is a bird of the daw kind.