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Enter LYSANDER. Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak
thou now. Puck. Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where
art thou? Lys. I will be with thee straight. Puck.
Follow me then To plainer ground. [Exit Lys. as following the voice.
Enter DEMETRIUS. Dem.
Lysander! speak again. Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy
Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.
and still dares me on; When I come where he calls, then he is gone. The villain is much lighter heeld than I: I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly; That fallen am in dark uneven way, And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!
[Lies down. For if but once thou show me thy gray light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS. Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho 39! Coward, why com’st
thou not? Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot, Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place; And dar’st not stand, nor look me in the face. Where art thou? Puck.
Come hither; I am here.
buy this dear 40.
[Lies down and sleeps.
Enter HELENA. Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hours: shine, comforts from the east; That I may back to Athens by day-light,
From these that my poor company detest:And, sleep, that sometimes shuts
up sorrow's eye, Steal me awhile from mine own company. [Sleeps.
Puck. Yet but three? Come one more;
four. Here she comes, curst and sad :Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad. 39 This exclamation would have been uttered with more propriety by Puck, if he were not now playing an assumed character, which he seems to forget. In the old song printed by Percy, in which all his gambols are related, he concludes every stanza with ho! ho! ho! It was also the established dramatic exclamation given to the devil whenever he appeared on the stage, and attributed to him whenever he appeared in reality.
40 Johnson says, the poet perhaps wrote, “thou shalt by this dear;' as in another place, thou shalt aby it.'
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers; I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my desires. . Here will I rest me, till the break of day, Heaven shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
[Lies down. Puck. On the ground
When thou wak'st,
In the sight
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well 41.
[Exit Puck.—Dem. Hel. &c. sleep. 41 These three last lines are to be found in Heywood's Epigrams, or Three Hundred Proverbs. Steevens thinks we should read still instead of well, for the sake of the rhyme.
SCENE I. The same.
OBERON behind unseen.
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy',
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.Where's monsieur Cobweb?
Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get your weapons in your
hand, and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loath to have you overflown with a honey-bag, signior.-- Where's monsieur Mustard-seed ? Must. Ready.
Bot. Give me your neif?, monsieur Mustard-seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur. Must. What's
will ? Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help cavalero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy
1 To coy, is to stroke or sooth with the hand. The behaviour of Titania on this occasion seems copied from that of the lady in Apuleius, lib. viii.
2 That is fist. So in K. Henry IV. Part 11. Pistol says: 'Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif.'
about the face: and I am such a tender
my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch. Tita. What, wilt thou hear some musick, my
sweet love? Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in musick: let us have the tongs and the bones 3.
Tita. Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat.
Bot. Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.
T'ita. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of dried peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.
Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms. Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away. So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle, Gently entwist,—the female ivy so Enrings the barky fingers of the elmo. 0, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!
[They sleep. OBERON advances. Enter Puck. Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this
sweet sight? 3 The old rough rustic music of the tongs. The folio has this stage direction : ‘Musicke Tongs, Rurall Music.'
4 Steevens says, what Shakspeare seems to mean is this So the woodbine, i. e. the sweet honeysuckle doth gently entwist the barky fingers of the elm, and so doth the female ivy enring the same fingers. Mr. Gifford observes that these lines may be illustrated by a passage in Ben Jonson's Vision of Delight:
With honeysuckle !! * The woodbine of Shakspeare (he remarks) is the blue bind-weed of Jonson. In many of our counties the woodbine is still the name of the great convolvulus.'