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Lys. Amen, Amen, to that fair prayer say I; And then end life, when I end loyalty!
Here is my bed: Sleep give thee all his rest!
Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd! [They sleep.
Puck. Through the forest have I gone,
On whose eyes I might approve
All the power this charm doth owe :
Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running.
Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius. Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus. Hel. O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so. Dem. Stay, on thy peril; I alone will go. [Ex. Dem. Hel. O, I am out of breath in this fond chase! The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace. Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies; For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
For beasts that meet me run away for fear:
Lys. And run through fire I will, for thy sweet sake. [Waking.
Transparent Helena! Nature shows her art,
That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?
Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.
Not Hermia, but Helena now I love:
Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
But fare you well: perforce I must confess,
I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
Should of another therefore be abus'd!
Lys. She sees not Hermia :-Hermia, sleep thou there;
And never mayst thou come Lysander near!
For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings;
And all my powers address your love and might
[Exit. Her. [starting.] Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!
SCENE I.-The Wood.
The Queen of Fairies
Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING.
Bot. Are we all met?
Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal: This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyring-house; and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the duke. Bot. Peter Quince,
Quin. What say'st thou, Bully Bottom?
Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby' that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?
Snout. By'rlakin, a parlousb fear.
Star. I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.
Bot. Not a whit; I have a device to make all well. Write me a prologue: and let the prologue seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords; and that Pyramus is not killed indeed: and, for the more better assurance, tell them, that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: This will put them out of fear.
Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be written in eight and six.c
Bot. No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
By'rlakin-by our ladykin, our little lady.
Eight and six-alternate verses of eight and six syllables.
Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to bring in, God shield us! a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing: for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion, living; and we ought to look to it.
Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell he is not a lion.
Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect,-Ladies, or fair ladies, I would wish you, or I would request you, or I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble: my life for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life: No, I am no such thing; I am a man as other men are: and there, indeed, let him name his name; and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.
Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard things; that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber: for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.
Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac ; find out moonshine, find out moonshine.
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. Why, then may you leave a casement of the great chamber-window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the casement.
Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lantern, and say, he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moonshine. Then there is another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby, says the story, did talk through the chink of a wall.