網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

SONG.

Wedding is great Juno's crown ;

O blessed bond of board and bed!
'Tis Hymen peoples every town ;

High wedlock then be honoured :
Honour, high honour and renown,
To Hymen, god of every town!

Duke S. O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me; Even daughter, welcome in no less degree.

Phe. I will not eat my word, now thou art mine; Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine. [To SIL.

Enter JAQUES DE Bois.
Jaq. de B. Let me have audience for a word, or two;
I am the second son of old sir Rowland,
That bring these tidings to this fair assembly :-
Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day
Men of great worth resorted to this forest,
Address'd a mighty power ; which were on foot,
In his own conduct, purposely to take
His brother here, and put him to the sword :
And to the skirts of this wild wood he came ;
Where, meeting with an old religious man, 9
After some question with him, was converted
Both from his enterprize, and from the world :
His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother,
And all their lands restor'd to them again
That were with him exil'd : This to be true,
I do engage my life.

Duke S. Welcome, young man ;
Thou offer’st fairly to thy brothers' wedding :
To one, his lands with-held ; and to the other,
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest, let us do those ends
That here were well begun, and well begot :
And after, every of this happy number,
That have endur'd shrewd days and nights with us,
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,

(9) In Lodge's novel the usurping Duke is not diverted from his purpose by the pious counsel of a hermit, but is subdued and kllled by the twelve peers of France, who were brought by the third brother of Rosader (the Orlando of this play) to assist him

in the recovery of his right, STEEVENS.

According to the measure of their states.
Meantime, forget this new-fall’n dignity,
And fall into our rustic revelry :-
Play, music ;-and you brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap'd in joy, to the measures fall.

Jaq. Sir, by your patience ; If I heard you rightly,
The duke hath put on a religious life,
And thrown into neglect the pompous court ?

Jaq. de B. He hath.

Jaq. To him will I : out of these convertites There is much matter to be heard and learn'da You to your former honour I bequeath : [To Duke S. Your patience, and your virtue, well deserves it :You to a love, that your true faith doth merit :

[TO ORLANDO. -You to your land, and love, and great allies : [T. Oll. - You to a long and well-deserved bed : [To Silv. And you to wrangling ; for thy loving voyage

[To Touch. Is but for two months victuall'd :-So to your pleasures ; I am for other than for dancing measures.

Duke S. Stay, Jaques, stay.

Jag. To see no pastime, I :- what you would have I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave.' [Exit.

Duke S. Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites, And we do trust they'll end, in true delights.

(A Dance.

[9] Amidst this general festivity, the reader may be sorry to take leave of Jaques, who appears to have no share in it, and remains behind unreconciled to society. He has, however, filled with a gloomy sensibility the space allotted to him in the play, and preserves that respect to the last, which is due to him as a consistent character, and an amiable though solitary moralist.

It may be observed, with scarce less concern, that Shakspeare has, on this occasion, forgot old Adam, the servant of Orlando, whose fidelity should have entitled him to notice at the end of the piece, as well as to that happi. ness which he would naturally have found, in the return of fortune to his master. STEEVENS.

It is the more remarkable, that old Adam is forgotten; since, at the end of the novel, Lodge makes him captaine of the king's guard. FARMER.

EPILOGUE. Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue : but it is no more unhandsome, than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs no bush, 1 'tis true, that a good play needs no epilogue : Yet to good wine they do use good bushes ; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play? I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me : my way is, to conjure you ; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please them : and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women, (as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hate them,) that between you and the women, the play may please. If I were a woman, 2 I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and and breaths that I defied not : and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell. [Exeunt.

[1] It appears formerly to have been the custom to hang a tuft of ivy at the door of a vintner. I suppose ivy was rather chosen than any other plant, as it has relation to Bacchus. STEEVENS.

The practice is still observed in Warwicksbire and the adjoining counties, at statute-hirings, wakes, &c. by people who sell ale at no other time. And hence, I suppose, the Bush tavern at Bristol, and other places. RITSON.

[2] Note, that in this author's time, the parts of women were always performed by men or boys. HANMER.

MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S

DREAM

1

« 上一頁繼續 »