תמונות בעמוד

For lack of tread, are undistinguishable:
The human mortals' want their winter here ;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:-
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatick diseases do abound?:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown,
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer,
The childing autumn', angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the 'mazed world,
By their increase ', now knows not which is which :
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.

Obe. Do you amend it then: it lies in you:
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchmano.

a sport still followed by boys: i. e. what is now called running the figure of eight. STEEVENS.

| The human mortals - ] Shakspeare might have employed this epithet, which, at first sight, appears redundant, to mark the difference between men and fairies. Fairies were not human, but they were vet subject to mortality.

That rheumatick diseases do abound :] Rheumatick diseases signified in Shakspeare's time, not what we now call rheumatism, but distillations from the head, catarrhs, &c.

3 — this distemperature - ] Is either this perturbation of the elements, or the perturbed state in which the king and queen had lived for some time past.

The childing autumn, ] Is the pregnant autumn, which unseasonably produces flowers on those of summer.

5 By their increase,] That is, by their produce.

6 henchman.] Page of honour. This office was abolished at court by Queen Elizabeth, but probably remained in the city.


Set your heart at rest,
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a vot’ress of my order:
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side ;
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laughed to see the sails conceive,
And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind :
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait,
Following, (her womb, then rich with my young squire,)
Would imitate ; and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die ;
And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy ;
And, for her sake, I will not part with him.

Obe. How long within this wood intend you stay?

Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding-day.
If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.

Tita. Not for thy kingdom +.-Fairies, away:
We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay.

[Exeunt TITANIA, and her train. Obe. Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this

Till I torment thee for this injury. -
My gentle Puck, come hither: Thou remember’st
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,

Henchmen were a certain number of youths, the sons of gentlemen, who stood or walked near the person of the monarch on all public occasions.

+ “Not for thy fairy kingdom." Malone.

Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's musick.

I remember.
Obe. That very time I saw, (but thou could'st not,)
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm’d: a certain ain he took
At a fair vestal, throned by the west?;
And loos’d his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts :
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the wat’ry moon;
And the imperial vot’ress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-free 8 :
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,-
Before, milk-white; now purple with love's wound, -
And maidens call it, love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee once;
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb: and be thou here again,
Ere the leviathan can swim a league.

Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth In forty minutes.

[Exit Puck. Obe.

Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes;
The next thing then she waking looks upon,
(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,)
She shall pursue it with the soul of love.

7 At a fair vestal, throned by the west;] A compliment to Queen Elizabeth.

8 - fancy-free:] i. e. exempt from the power of love.

And ere I take this charm off from her sight,
(As I can take it, with another herb,)
I'll make her render up her page to me.
But who comes here? I am invisible;
And I will over-hear their conference.

Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him.
Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not
Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia ?
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Thou told’st me, they were stol'n into this wood,
And here am I, and wood within this wood',
Because I cannot meet with Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant ;
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as steel: Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.

Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair ?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you—I do not, nor I cannot love you ?

Hel. And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your spaniel ; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love,
(And yet a place of high respect with me,)
Than to be used as you use + your dog ?

Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit; For I am sick, when I do look on thee.

Hel. And I am sick, when I look not on you. Dem. You do impeach your modesty' too much, 9 — and wood within this wood,] Wood, or mad, wild. † “ do use "-Malone. I impeach your modesty -] i. e. bringing it into question.

To leave the city, and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not ;
To trust the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.

Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that ?.
It is not night, when I do see your face,
Therefore I think I am not in the night:
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;
For you, in my respect, are all the world :
Then how can it be said, I am alone,
When all the world is here to look on me?

Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes, And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story shall be chang’d;
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chace;
The dove pursues the griffin ; the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tiger: Bootless speed !
When cowardice pursues, and valour flies.

Dem. I will not stay thy questions ; let me go:
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.

Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field t,
You do me mischief. Fye, Demetrius !
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
We cannot fight for love, as men may do ;
We should be woo’d, and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.

[Exeunt DEM. and Hel. Obe. Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this

grove, Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.

? for that.] i. e. for leaving the city, &c. TYRWHITT. + “and field,”—Malone.

3 To die upon the hand, &c.] To die upon, &c. in our author's language, perhaps means—" to die by the hand."

« הקודםהמשך »