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ther; Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's part: I hope, there is a play fitted.

Snug. Have you the lion's part written? pray yon, if it be, give it me, for I am flow of ftudy.

Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.

Bot. Let me play the lion too; I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me. I will roar, that I will make the Duke fay, "let him roar again,

let him roar again."

Quin. If you thould do it too terribly, you would fright the Dutchefs and the ladies, that they would shriek, and that were enough to hang us all.

All. That would hang us every mother's fon.

Bot. I grant you, friends, if you should fright the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more difcretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice fo, that I will roar you as gently as any fucking dove I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale.

Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus, for Pyramus is a fweet-fac'd man; a proper man, as one fhall fee in a fummer's-day; a moft lovely gentlemanlike man therefore you must needs play Pyramus.

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?

Quin. Why, what you will.

Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-colour'd beard, your orange-tawny beard, your 9 purple-ingrain beard, or your French crown-colour'd beard; your perfect yellow.

Quin. Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd, But, mafters, here are your parts; and I am to intreat you,

9 Here Bottom again difcovers a true genius for the Stage by his folicitude for propriety of dress, and his deliberation which

heard to chufe among many
beards, all unnatural.

1 That is, a head from which
the hair has fallen in the lues



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request you, and defire you, to con them by-to-morrow night; and meet me in the palace-wood, a mile without the town, by moon light, there we will rehearfe; for if we meet in the city, we fhall be dog'd with company, and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw a bill of properties, fuch as our play wants. I pray you, fail me not.


Bot. We will meet, and there we may rehearse more obfcenely and courageously. Take pains, be perfect, adieu.

Quin. At the Duke's oak we meet.

Bot. Enough; hold, or cut bow-ftings. 2-[Exeunt,.




Enter a Fairy at one Door, and Puck (or Robingood-fellow) at another.



OW now, fpirit, whither wander you?
Fai. Over hill, over dale, 3
Through bufh, through briar,

2 At the Duke's Qak ave meet hold, or cut bowftrings.] This proverbial phrafe came originally from the Camp. When a Rendezvous was appointed, the militia Soldiers would frequently make excufe for not keeping word that their boyftrings were broke, i. e. their arms unferviceable. Hence when one would give another abfolute affurance of meeting him, he would fay proverbially-bold

or cut bow-firings-i. e. whether the bow-ftring held or broke, For cut is used as a neuter, like the verb frets. As when we fay, the string frets-the filk frets, for the paffive, it is cut or fretted. WARBURTON.

3 So Drayton in his court of
Thorough brake, thorough brier,
Thorough muck, thorough mire,
Thorough water, thorough fire.

Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moon's fphere;
And I ferve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs 4 upon the green;
The cowflips tall her penfioners be, 5
In their gold coats fpots you fee,
Those be rubies, Fairy favours :
In those freckles live their favours:
I must go feek fome dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowflip's ear.
Farewel, thou lob of fpirits, I'll be gone,
Our Queen and all her elves come here anon.

Puck. The King doth keep his revels here to night,
Take heed, the Queen come not within his fight.
For Oberon is paffing fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her attendant, hath
A lovely boy, ftoll'n from an Indian King:
She never had fo fweet a changeling; 7
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forefts wild;
But the per-force with-holds the loved boy,
Crowns him with flow'rs, and makes him all her joy.

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And now they never meet in grove, or green,
By fountain clear, or fpangled ftar-light heen, s
But they do fquare, that all their elves for fear 91
Creep into acron cups, and hide them there.

Fai.*Or I mistake your fhape and making quite,
Or else you are that fhrewd, and knavish fprite,
Call'd Robin-goodfellow.. Are you not he,
That fright the maidens of the villagerce,
Skim milk, and fometimes labour in the quern,
And bootlefs make the breathlefs hufwife chern:
And fometime make the drink to bear no barm,
Mif-lead night-wand'rers, laughing at their harm?
Thofe that Hobgoblin call you, and fweet Puck, z
You do their work, and they fhall have good luck.


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Are not you he?

Puck. I am-thou fpeak'ft aright; 3 I am that merry wand'rer of the night: I jeft to Oberon and make him fmile, When I a fat and bean fed horfe beguile, Neighing in likeness of a filly foal; And fometimes lurk I in a goffip's bowl, In very likeness of a roafted crab, And when she drinks, against her lips I bob, And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale. The wifeft aunt, telling the faddeft tale, Sometime for three-foot stool miftaketh me, Then flip I from her bum, down topples fhe, And tailor cries, and falls into a cough: 4 And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe, And

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Sull walking like a ragged colt,
And oft out of a bush doth bolt,

Of purpefe to deceive us ;
And leading us makes us to stray,
Long winter's nights out of the way,
And when we flick in mire and
He doth with laughter leave us.
It will be apparent to him that
all compare Drayton's Poem
with this play, that either one of
the poets copied the other, or,
as I rather believe, that there
was then fome fyftem of the
fairy empire generally received
which they both reprefented as

accurately as they could. Whether Drayton or Shakespear wrote first, I cannot difcover.

3 Puck. Thoufpeak'st aright.] I have filled up the verfe which I fuppofe the author left complete.

It seems that in the Fairy mythology Puck, or Hobgoblin, was the trufty fervant of Oberan, and always employed to watch or de tect the Intrigues of Queen Mab, called by Shakespear Titania. For in Drayton's Nymphidia the fame fairies are engaged in the fame bufinefs. Mab has an amour with Pigwiggen, Oberon being jealous fends Hobgoblin to catch them, and one of Mab's Nymphs oppofes him by a fpell.

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4 And tailor cries.] The cuftom of crying tailor at a fudden fall backwards, I think I remember to have obferved. He that flips beside his chair falls "as a`taylor fquats upon his board. The Oxford Editor and Dr. War


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