Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Miranda; or, the tempest
 Puck; or, a midsummer night's...
 Antonio, the merchant of Venic...
 Rosalind; or, as you like it
 Perdita; or, the winter's tale
 Madcap Harry; or, Henry IV
 Henry V
 Imogen; or, Cymbeline
 Macbeth; or, the three witches
 Hamlet, prince of Denmark
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Title: Stories from Shakspeare
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00088857/00001
 Material Information
Title: Stories from Shakspeare
Alternate Title: Stories from Shakespeare
Physical Description: 521, 7 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Townesend, M. S ( M. Surtees )
Townesend, M. S ( M. Surtees ) ( Illustrator )
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616
Frederick Warne and Co ( Publisher )
Morrison and Gibb ( Printer )
Publisher: Frederick Warne & Co.
Place of Publication: London ;
New York
Manufacturer: Morrison and Gibb
Publication Date: 1899
Subject: Love -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1899   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1899
Genre: Children's stories
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Statement of Responsibility: written and illustrated by M. Surtees Townesend.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors and title page printed in red and black.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00088857
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238661
notis - ALH9183
oclc - 265143046

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
    Half Title
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Title Page
        Page 4
    Table of Contents
        Page 5
        Page 6
    List of Illustrations
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Miranda; or, the tempest
        Page 11
        Page 12
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    Puck; or, a midsummer night's dream
        Page 67
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    Antonio, the merchant of Venice
        Page 119
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    Rosalind; or, as you like it
        Page 163
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    Perdita; or, the winter's tale
        Page 227
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    Madcap Harry; or, Henry IV
        Page 281
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    Henry V
        Page 339
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    Imogen; or, Cymbeline
        Page 379
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    Macbeth; or, the three witches
        Page 445
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    Hamlet, prince of Denmark
        Page 481
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    Back Matter
        Page 529
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


Stories from Shakspeare



r ii 3




18' 9.


















S 339'

. 379

S 445


List of Illustrations




8 List of Illustrations

MORE 296
FIRE 358

List of Coloured Plates










~T'he T7empest

T certainly is a terrible storm," said Miranda
to herself.
All night long the glare of the light-
i' ning and the boom of the thunder above
the roar of the wind and the waves had
kept her awake. She had trembled with fear as she
lay sleepless upon her little bed, lest there should be
any ships out in such a tempest.
At break .of day she rose, and, dressing in haste, ran
to the opening in the rock she called her window. She
gazed out at the angry dark sea breaking in huge waves
against the rock-bound shore of the island.
But what could that black thing be she saw far out in
the bay, half hidden by the whirling waters ? Could it
be-yes-it was a ship; and a sudden blaze of
lightning clearly showed a group of wretched men
clinging for dear life to its masts and bulwarks. Even
while she looked, she fancied she heard their cries and
saw some of them swept off the deck into the sea; and
then the ship gave a great lurch, heeled over, and was
lost to sight.
Shivering with fear and horror, Miranda turned from
the window and hurried away to find her father. If
anyone could save those poor lost sailors, it was he.
For, you must know, Prospero was a great sorcerer,

14 Stories-from Shakspeare

with power over the spirits of the earth, the sea, and the
air, and he had by his magic art many a time raised or
calmed a tempest at his will. Who could tell if he were
rlot even now using his strange power in raising this
storm for some purpose of his own ?
The thought lent .her wings. She flew down the
roughly cut. stone steps, and through the great cavern
where they lived,- never pausing till she came to
Prospero's cell, She found him standing calm and
stately in the midst of his books, with his long white
hair and beard streaming over his magic robes.
"Father !" she panted, dearest father, if by your art
you have put the wild waters in this. roar, I pray you
calm them again and save those poor souls on the sink-
ing ship. Oh, save them, father!"
"Hush, little daughter!" said Prospero soothingly.
' There's no harm done. They are all quite safe."
Are you sure, father?" pleaded Miranda. "Their
cries went to my very heart, Are you sure they are
"Quite sure," said Prospero with a smile, as he gently
stroked the pretty tear-stained face raised up to his so
earnestly. "Wipe your eyes and be comforted, dear
heart, for not a hair of tlieir heads shall perish."
At that Miranda took heart again, and smiled through
her tears like the sun through an April shower. For
twelve long years they had lived on the island all by
their two selves, for Caliban did not count for anything,
and in all that time her kind, brave father had never
deceived her. So when he told her he had something
to say to her, and bade her sit down beside him, she
nestled to his side with a sigh of content and felt almost
happy again.

lMiranda; or, The Temnpest 15

For some-time Prospero sat silent and thoughtful. It
was true that he .had sent his familiar spirit, Ariel, with
powers to raise this terrible tempest. It was true that
by his orders the brave vessel in the bay was wrecked.
And yet-it was for Miranda's sake he had done it, for
the beautiful little maiden who was the joy of his life.
Hfe would risk much to make her happy, .and if the
plan he had formed succeeded, she-should be happy
"Miranda," said he, breaking silence at last, "thou
wast but three years old. when we came to this island.
Canst thou remember a time before that?"
"Certainly I can," said Miranda. "It's far off and
like a dream, but had I not four or five women once
who took care of me ?"
"Yes, more than four or five. And dost thou re-
member how we came here, and when ?" questioned he
Miranda shook her head thoughtfully as she tried to
chase through her brain some dim memories of build-
ings, and ships, and people, but she could not tell if they
were real or if she had only dreamed them.
"Twelve years ago, Miranda, thy father was the Duke
of Milan, a great and powerful prince."
But, sir," cried Miranda, looking at him in surprise,
are you not my father ? "
I am the Duke of Milan, and thy father too. Sit
still, little one, and listen, and I will tell thee how it
came about that we are living here in exile."
She listened with wide open, astonished eyes as he
went on.
"I was the great Duke of Milan. I loved my books
and the study of the arts of magic more than my

Stories from Shakspeare

dukedom. My estates were large and troublesome, and
I gave them over to my brother, Antonio, to govern
them in charge for me. My trust in him was boundless.
I loved him, next to thee, better than all the world. But
he-he was false. He sold me to my enemy, Alonzo,
King of Naples, promising to pay him homage and a
tribute if he would make him Duke of Milan in my
place. Listen, Miranda. One cold black night did
Antonio open the gates of Milan to the king's army,
and, in the dead of darkness, the cruel soldiers hurried
me and thy crying self out of the town to the seashore,
and carried us on board a vessel waiting there. They
dared not kill us, for my people loved me, but they took
us out some leagues to sea, and then let down a rotten
carcass of a boat, without oars, or sail, or mast, and,
forcing us into it, left us to our fate."
"Alack for pity !" cried Miranda; "how could they
be so cruel !"
Hear a little further," said Prospero. "They left us
all alone on the ocean, they thought, to die. But I had
one friend on the ship, by name Gonzalo, and he had
secretly put food and water, clothes, and necessaries, on
board the boat, and even my books, knowing I loved
them above my dukedom."
How came we ashore? asked Miranda.
"By Providence divine we drifted to this island,
where we found no mortal soul save Caliban, our slave,
and here we have lived ever since. Thou hast grown
from childhood to womanhood, and I have taught thee
all that princesses know, and even more."
"Heaven thank you for 't, father!" cried Miranda.
She had listened with all her ears to his story, and
marvelled to find that her father was not only a

&firanda; or, The Tempest

sorcerer, but a prince, and that she herself was a real
But the wreck was still on her mind, though the
thunder had almost ceased and the sea was growing
calmer, and she prayed him to tell her his reason for
raising this sea storm. She felt sure it had something
to do with the story he had just told her.
Then Prospero told her that a most strange chance

.1 .


had brought his enemies, Antonio, and the King of
Naples and his son Ferdinand, to the shore of the
"It was their ship that you saw wrecked," said he,
"but they are safe, and all will yet be well."
But, father," said Miranda, will-?"
"No more questions now, my dear lady," broke in
her father. "Thou art sleepy; lie down here and rest."

Stories from Shakspeare

Truly she was very sleepy. During the last few
minutes she had been rubbing her eyes and trying hard
to keep awake, for she did not know that Prospero was
charming her to sleep by his magic art. Her head
nodded and fell, and she dropped asleep upon the
pillow he had placed for her.
Then Prospero rose up and cried aloud, Ariel, come!
I'm ready now. My Ariel, come!" And immediately
there stood before him the daintiest little fairy figure,
with shining silvery wings, and with a radiant light as
of hundreds of diamonds flashing from his forehead.
"All hail, great master! cried the lively little spirit.
"I come at thy bidding. What is thy pleasure? Be it
to fly, to swim, to dive into the fire, to ride on the curled
clouds, Ariel is ready."
"Hast thou, Ariel, raised the tempest just as I bade
Yes," said Ariel promptly. "The king's ship I well-
nigh wrecked. The, passengers, overcome with terror,
jumped into the sea and swam for land. Ferdinand, the
king's son, was the first man to leap, the others followed."
"But are they safe, Ariel?"
Not a hair of them perished, master, for they were
close to land. And, as thou badest me, I have landed
them at different places along the shore, the king's son
all by himself. The king's ship is safe in harbour, the
sailors I have laid with a charm to sleep, and the rest of
the king's fleet is now sadly bound for Naples with the
news that the king has perished."
"Well done said Prospero approvingly. "But,
good Ariel, there's still more work for thee to do."
"More work?" asked Ariel, looking as cross as such
a bright-faced little spirit could look.

MViiranda; or, The Tempnest

"How now! moody? what's the matter?" inquired
Prospero, eyeing him sternly.
"I want my liberty which you promised me," said
Ariel boldly. Remember, I have served you well,
without grudge or grumbling, told you no lies, .made no
mistakes, and you promised to bate a year off my

.. 4 Y


Then Prospero frowned a terrible frown, for he could
not bear his will to be crossed even by his favourite
Ariel. What business had this mite of a thing to bandy
words and bargain with the master who had saved him
years before from such an awful fate? Had Ariel
forgotten, he harshly asked him, the foul witch, Sycorax,

Stories from Shakspeare

who had grown into a hoop with age and envy, and
who had made Ariel her slave; and, because Ariel was
too delicate a spirit to obey her vile commands, had
fastened him into a cloven pine tree and kept him
prisoner there until she died.
"Is not this true?" said Prospero coldly.
Ay, sir," murmured Ariel.
"Thou knowest best what torment I did find thee in,
and how it was my magic art, when I arrived and heard
thy groans, that made the pine tree open and let thee
"I thank thee, master," said Ariel, quite subdued.
" I will obey thee, and will-do my spiriting gently."
"Do so," said Prospero, smiling once more upon him,
for he was really very fond of his little familiar spirit,
"do so, and I will set thee free after two days."
That's my good master," said Ariel, springing into
the air with delight, and ready to fly to the world's
end if desired. "But what shall I do now? Say
Prospero, whispering in his ear, bade him make
himself invisible to all eyes save his, and go and find
Prince Ferdinand, and by songs and music lure him to
the cave.
"My lord, it shall be done," said Ariel, and with a
flash of his pearly wings he flew on his errand.
Prospero turned into his cell, and, bending over his
little daughter's sleeping form, admired the sweep of the
long dark eyelashes over the flushed cheek, and the
sweet curve of the rosy lips. He touched her softly,
saying, "Awake, dear heart, awake !"
Miranda sat up and looked about her as if bewildered.
"Thou hast slept well, little one," said Prospero.

eIiranda; or, The Ytempest

I think your strange story made me sleepy, father,"
she answered, smiling.
"Well, shake it off now, and come with me and visit
Caliban," said he, holding out his hand to her. She
took it, and together they left the cell, and, going a
hundred yards or so farther on. stopped before some


roughly-hewn steps leading to a low, dark hole in the
rocky cliff.
I do not love to look upon Caliban, father," said she
in rather a quaky voice. For, you see, Caliban, the
witch's son, was not only very ugly, with a head like a
a dog, and a fish, and a wolf, all mixed together, but he

22 Stories from Shakspeare

was also very savage, rude, and dangerous. But
Prospero held her hand tightly in his, and told her not
to fear.
"Caliban," he called in a loud, harsh voice. There
was no answer but a sort 'of deep growl. He called
again. "Caliban! What ho, Caliban! Come forth,
you slave !"
A hairy, claw-like hand appeared at the hole, followed
by a hideous head on round slouched shoulders, and
Caliban glared down upon them savagely.
"May all the charms of Sycorax, toads, beetles, and
bats, fall upon you both," growled he. "May a south-
west wind blow on ye and blister ye all over !" After
which amiable remark he would have, turned into his
den again, if Prospero had not called him back, telling
him he should be beaten that night for all his rudeness.
At that Caliban flew into a fury.
"This island is mine," he screamed, "mine! I am
king here by right. It was left me by my mother,.
Sycorax, and you have robbed me of it. You sty me
in this hard rock and keep the rest of the island from
me. You are cruel to me." And. he ground his teeth
at them with rage.
Thou lying slave !" said Prospero, eyeing him calmly.
"Thou knowest when I first came to this island I found
thee half starved, wretched, and ignorant. I clothed
and fed and taught thee, and lodged thee in my own
cell, till, by thy wicked deeds, I was forced to confine
thee a prisoner,to this rock."
Yah! snorted Caliban. "Yah! the island belongs
to me."
"Hold thy peace," said Prospero sternly. "Fetch in
the wood for the fire, and be quick about it. Obey me

Jliranda; or, the ITempest

or I will rack thy bones with cramps and make thee groan
with pain. Be quick!" And Prospero raised his wand
as if to strike. Caliban shrank away in terror and
crawled off to fetch the wood, muttering to himself as
he went, I must obey, his art is of such power. But I
will have my island back some day, if I kill him to
get it."
Miranda breathed a sigh of relief when Caliban was
out of sight. She let go of her father's hand, and, sitting
down under a tall fir tree, began to build a little house
of the great fir cones that lay all about on the ground.
So intent was she on her play that she never saw-how
Prospero started as a soft strain of music floated on the
air, nor how eagerly he gazed at a figure that was
coming towards them out of the grove of pine trees on
the other side of the little bay.
It was a tall and graceful youth, richly dressed, with
soft wavy hair falling round his dark oval face. He
stared about him up and down, seeking in vain to find
out where the sweet music came from with which Ariel
had enticed him to this spot.
Prospero knew it must be Prince Ferdinand, and he
gently touched Miranda to draw her attention. Signing
to her to be silent, he pointed to the prince.
"Miranda, tell me what thou see'st yonder? said he.
Now Miranda had never seen anyone since she came to
the island but her old and wrinkled father and the
monster, Caliban, and she thought all men must be
just 'like one or the other of them. So when she
saw the handsome young prince drawing near, she
fancied it must be a spirit such as her father had
power to raise, for surely no mere man could be so

Stories from Shakspeare

Is it a spirit, father?" she whispered, clinging to his
No, wench," laughed Prospero. "It eats and sleeps,
and has the same senses that we have. He is one of
those who were in the wreck. He has lost his com-
panions and strays about to find them. He really is
not an ill-looking fellow," added he, as Ferdinand drew
I call him divine," said Miranda softly. "I never
saw anyone so noble.' Prospero chuckled to himself,
for all was going as he wished.
Prince Ferdinand had thought himself cast on an
uninhabited island to dieall alone, but when he suddenly
came face to face with a stately old man and the
most beautiful maiden he had ever seen in his life, his
despair gave way to hope. He sprang towards them,
and, bowing low, begged to know if they lived upon the
island, and if they could give shelter to a shipwrecked
Miranda answered him kindly, and he started at hear-
ing his own native tongue spoken so prettily.
"Heavens!" he cried, "you speak my language!
Would I were back in Naples to hear my native tongue
You come from Naples, sir.?" asked Prospero.
"I fear I am the King of Naples," said he sadly, the
tears standing in his eyes; "for I saw the king, my
father, wrecked with my own eyes, and he and all with
him drowned."
"Alack, for mercy !" cried Miranda, and she looked
with such tender, sorrowful eyes into his that all at once
he knew he loved, her with his whole heart. And
she -well, she loved him too, for how could she

Miranda; or, 'he YTempest

help it, when he was so handsome and brave and
But Prospero saw how things were going, and thought
the prince should not win so great a prize as Miranda's
love too easily. He meant that he should -first prove
himself worthy of her, by bearing something for her
sake. So he thrust himself between them and declared
he did not believe a word of the prince's tale, that he
was no king, but a spy, who had come to the island
seeking to win it from its rightful owner, himself.
"No, as I am a man!" cried Ferdinand hotly.
"Father, how can you doubt him?" said Miranda.
"No ill could dwell in so fair a face."
Speak not for him," thundered Prospero.' "He's a
traitor. Prison chains will soon prove whether he is
a king or no. Follow me," said he to the prince.
"Not I," said Ferdinand, and he drew his sword
. ready to fight. But Prospero held up his magic wand,
and the sword- dropped from the prince's powerless
hand to the ground. Against magic all weapons are
"I will follow you,' said Ferdinand sadly, for he
saw this was no ordinary man, but a great magician.
And he said to himself, "I can bear anything-my
father's loss, this man's cruelty, everything-if I .may
but see this maiden once a day from my prison."
Be comforted," whispered Miranda in his ear, "be
comforted. My father is not so cruel as he seems."
Then Prospero led the prince through the fir wood
till they came to a clearing where many trees had
been felled and cut into thousands of logs, which lay
in confusion all around. He turned, and pointing-to
the logs, bade the prince carry.them one by one to

Stories from Shakspeare

the door of his cell, to which a well-worn path led
through an opening in the wood. "And," said he, with
a scowl at the prince, "if the last log is not stacked
before the sun sets, I'll manacle thy neck and feet
together, and keep thee prisoner, and feed thee upon
sea water and withered roots and herbs." And then he
turned and left him there.
The prince stared after him, and round upon the
logs, and then raised his eyes to the sky. Why, it
must be past midday already; for a bright ray of light,
bursting through the wind-torn clouds, told him the
sun was high in the heavens. To carry all those logs
would take him days, not hours only. It was an im-
possible task.
. In despair he flung himself down on the moss-
covered ground and buried his face in his arms. How
long he sat there, lost in miserable, hopeless thoughts,
he never knew. A voice roused him, a voice as fresh R
and sweet as a song-bird's. He raised his head and
listened intently. He knew it was Miranda. Perhaps
the song was meant as a message to cheer him. When
at last it died away in the distance, he sprang to his
feet. What a fool he had been to waste all that
precious time. He would work for Miranda's sake,
and not to serve her crabbed old father. If he could
but win her love he cared not what became of him.
Shouldering a. great log, he bent his back to the
burden, and bore it, panting, along the narrow path to the
door of the cell. Another, and another. The drops
poured from his brow, for his life as a prince had been
an easy one, and he was not used to labour. His
muscles soon began to ache and tremble with the
unwonted strain, but he tried to forget that, and to

Miranda; or, T'he Tempest 27

think only of Miranda. For the twentieth time he
grasped a log and turned, with plodding steps, into
the little path. There, in the middle of it, stood
Miranda, with outstretched hands and with tears in
her sweet eyes.
Alas she cried. "Now pray you, work not so hard,"
for she saw how breathless and weary he was with his
"Oh, most dear mistress," said Ferdinand, "I must
work on, or else the sun will. set before my task is
"I wish the lightning had burned up all those horrid
logs," quoth she. Pray, set it down, and rest you just
for a little while."
"I must not," said the prince, trying to seem firmer
than he felt.
My father is hard at study, and safe out of the way
for these three hours," said Miranda, tempting him.
For she little guessed Prospero was even now hidden
from sight behind the thick branches of the grey old
fir tree close by.
The prince shook his head for all reply, and settled
his log more securely on his shoulder. A cloud passed .
over Miranda's face, but it at once melted away as a
brilliant idea came to her.
"Listen," she said eagerly. ".If you'll sit down I'll
carry your logs for you. Pray, give me that, and I'll
bear it to the pile." And she tried to snatch the log
from him.
No," cried the prince.. I'd rather break my back in
two, than sit lazy 'by and let you work for me."
"I Should do it with much more ease than you," said
Miranda, for my good will is to it, and yours is not.

Stories from Shakspeare

You do look tired," added she wistfully,. for she
longed to help him.
"No, noble mistress," said the prince softly; "'tis
fresh morning with me when you are by." And then
he remembered he did not know her name.
"Tell me," said he, what is your name, chiefly that
I may set it in my prayers ? "


"Miranda," said she, and then she blushed and laid
her hand upon her mouth, for had not Prospero told
her not to tell her name to the prince?
"Dear Miranda!" murmured the prince. "Dearest
in the world !" And somehow they found themselves
seated on a fallen tree trunk, side by side, and the log
dropped from his shoulder to the ground with a heavy
thud which he never even heard. And the prince

lviranda; or, The Tempest

found himself saying he had met full many a lady, but
never any who could be compared to one so perfect and
so peerless as Miranda.
"I do not know one of my sex,'? said Miranda, and
can remember no woman's face-except my own from my
glass," she added, with a laugh. "Nor have I seen more
that I may call men than you, my friend, and my dear
father," and she looked shyly at the dark face bent
down to hers. "I would not wish for any companion
in the world but you, nor for a face better than yours.
But my father would tell me I talk too wildly," said she,
correcting herself.
"Miranda !" cried the prince, eagerly gazing into the
eyes that met his so' confidingly, "Miranda, hear my
soul speak. The very instant that I saw you, my heart
flew to your service, and it is for your sake, although
I am a prince, and perhaps a king, I am this patient
"Do you love me.?" said Miranda softly, as if in a
"I love you more than all the world," sighed the
After that Miranda discovered that she was crying,
and that Prince Ferdinand was trying to'dry her tears
with' the sleeve of his doublet.
I am a fool to weep at what I am so glad of," said
Miranda, seeing his face all misty through her tears.
" I am your wife if you would marry me."
-" And I your husband;" said Ferdinand, "and here's
my hand on it."
"And mine, with my heart in it," said Miranda.
"Miranda, Miranda!" called Prospero's voice, some
distance away. She started up. They had, forgotten

30 Stories from Shakspeare

time and everything in the world except each other.
With a hasty farewell, she was gone. Ferdinand turned
again to his task, his heart full of wonder over the
events of this strange day that had given him Miranda,
and lost him his father.

UT Prince Ferdinand wa- a wrong in
supp.'sing hi- father \\wa drowned. He
had been washed off the deck of the
ship by a great wave into the sea with
some others, and, after many struggles
and much battling with the waves, they had reached
the shore unhurt; for Ariel was watching over them
to keep them safe. With the king were Sebastian, his
brother, and Antonio, that cruel brother of Prospero's
who had seized his dukedom and possessions; and
Gonzalo too, that very Gonzalo who long ago had saved
Prospero and Miranda from a cruel death, by stocking
their boat with food and necessaries. Two lords in
waiting also got safe to land.
King Alonzo cast himself down on the sandy beach
and groaned in despair, for he thought his noble ship
was lost, and that the prince, his son, was drowned. In
vain good old Gonzalo tried to cheer him, bidding him
mark how much greater was the marvel of their escape
than their loss. In vain he pointed out the charms and
advantages of the island on which they were cast. The
king refused to be comforted, and roughly bade him
hold his peace,
Antonio and Sebastian grinned at this rebuff, for
they hated Gonzalo.

32 Stories from Shakspeare

But Gonzalo was not goingg to be snubbed into
silence, for he longed to comfort the king. He noticed
that all their clothes, which but a few minutes before
had been drenched with sea water, were suddenly as dry
and fresh as when they first put them on for the wedding
of the Princess Claribel in Africa, from which they had
just come. He pointed out this astonishing fact to the
.king, but Alonzo did not seem to hear. "My daughter
is as good as lost to me," he moaned; "and I shall
never see my son again."
"Sir, he may live," said Francisco, one of the lords in
waiting. "I saw him breast the surges and make to-
wards shore. Without doubt he came alive to land
like us."
"No, no," groaned Alonzo, "he's gone."
Now Sebastian had no great love for his nephew
Ferdinand. If it were not for him, he himself would be
heir to the kingdom of Naples. Indeed, in his heart of
hearts he wished Alonzo had been. drowned as well as
his son, then he would be king in his place.
"Sir," said he coldly, "you-may thank yourself for
this loss. You insisted upon marrying your daughter
to this African king, in spite of all our prayers and her
beseechings. On the journey home we lose your son.
The fault's your own.",
"So is the dearest of the loss," said the king, raising,
his head proudly at this blunt speech.
My Lord Sebastian," entreated Gonzalo, "you rub
the sore when you should bring the plaster." And,
hoping to change his master's sad thoughts, he began
to talk lightly of what he would do if he were king df
this strange island. Letters should not be known,-
neither riches nor poverty, nor service, nor occupation;

Mviranda; 'or, !'he 7'empest

the men should be idle, and the women too, but pure
and innocent; -there should be no treason (and here he
looked at Sebastian and-Antonio), no sword, or gun, or
engine. Nature should do all the work, and bring forth
-everything in abundance to feed the people. "'I would
with such perfection govern, sir, to excel the Golden
Age," said he.
"Save His Majesty!" sneered Sebastian.
"Long live Gonzalo!" scoffed Antonio.
But the king was feeling strangely drowsy, and bade
Gonzalo talk no more. They did not know that
Prospero had sent Ariel to hover over them and lull
them to sleep with solemn fairy music, but one after the
other they dropped asleep, with the exception of
Sebastian and Antonio, who had told the king they
would watch over him and guard him while he slept.
As soon as the king was fast asleep, Ariel flew back
to his master.
Antonio and Sebastian sat for some time in silence.
Black thoughts were in Antonio's brain. He glanced
at Sebastian's face to try and read there whether behind
it lay a like mind to his own. At last he broke silence.
"What a strange drowsiness possesses them!" he
said. It must be the climate."
"But I myself am not disposed to sleep," said Sebastian..
"Nor I," said Antonio; "my spirits are nimble."
And then he paused and looked earnestly at Sebastian.
Should he venture to speak out his thoughts? "Worthy
Sebastian," said he, gathering up his courage. I see
in thy face what thou shouldst be. My strong imagina-
tion sees a crown upon thy head."
"Are you dreaming?" said Sebastian, but somehow
he seemed to like the dream.

Stories from Shakspeare

"Noble Sebastian," Antonio went on, "thy fortune is-
to-day in thine own hand."
"Now thou dost snore!" laughed Sebastian, "but
there's meaning in thy snores. Pr'ythee, say on."
"Will you grant that Ferdinand, the king's son, is
drowned?" asked Antonio.
"Looks like it," said Sebastian.
"And Claribel, the next heir to Naples, is Queen of
Tunis. Tunis is a long way from Naples," suggested
"What do you mean?" cried Sebastian.
Then Antonio came close to him and whispered
strange things in his ear. What if this were death in-
stead of sleep? Could no one but Alonzo rule Naples?
Was there no lord to prate counsel so well as this
Gonzalo? Why, he, Antonio, could do better! "0,"
he whispered hoarsely, "0, that you were of my mind !
What a step were this for your advancement! Do you
understand me?"
"Methinks I do," trembled Sebastian, for he remem-
bered how Antonio long ago had got rid of Prospero
and seized his dukedom, and now he wanted him to
kill his brother.
In low hurried tones Antonio urged his wicked
scheme, till at last Sebastian consented to de-
spatch Gonzalo as he slept, while Antonio slew the
But King Alonzo was not to die so soon, for Prospero
by his magic art had foreseen his danger and had sent
Ariel to his rescue. The little sprite reached the spot
in time to overhear the plot being hatched.. He stole
gently to Gonzalo's side and softly sang in his ear this
little song-

MIiranda; or, The Tempest 35

While you here do snoring lie,
Open-ey'd conspiracy
His time doth take:
If of life you keep a care,
Shake off slumber and beware:
Awake! Awake!"
Gonzalo started up to see Antonio and Sebastian
with drawn swords, as if in the act of striking, standing
over him and the king. The king awoke at his loud
cry, and hastily asked the meaning of their bare weapons
and ghastly faces. -
Sebastian gasped out a hastily invented tale of some
frightful bellowing they had heard, as of a bull-or
rather, a lion.
"Sure it was the roar of a whole herd of lions,"
protested Antonio.
"Did you hear anything, Gonzalo ?" asked the king.
"I heard a humming which awoke me, and I saw them
with their weapons drawn," said Gonzalo, who did not
like the look of things at all. "'Tis best we stand upon
our guard," added he, drawing his own sword. And all
day long, as they went up and down the island seeking
for any trace of Prince Ferdinand, Gonzalo kept his eye
on those two men, ever watchful for the safety of his king.
After some hours' search poor old Gonzalo declared
his bones ached so he could go no farther. The king
bade him rest awhile, and seated himself near him, in
silence mourning for his son; for he had lost all hope of
ever seeing him again. He was bitterly sad at heart.
Throughout the day the idea had haunted him that
this loss had come upon him in punishment for the
wrong he had done Prospero so long ago, and he had
dwelt upon the thought till at last the very winds and
waves seemed to speak and tell him of it, and the very

S36 Stories from Shakspeare

thunder pronounced the name of Prospero in its deep
and dreadful tones.
Sebastian sat apart by himself, till Antonio joined
him, and in low tones urged him not to forego his pur-
pose, but that very night to kill the king and old
Gonzalo (who, it was plain, suspected them) when they
were asleep, worn out with sorrow and fatigue.
"To-night," said Sebastian, and signed to him to say
no more.
They were all cold and weary. And now was the
time Prospero chose for his revenge. While they sat
there listless and tired, by his magic art he caused a
vision to appear to them. A strain of soft music
sounded, and a number of strange beings appeared
carrying a table, and on it were meat and fruit, cakes
and wine, and everything good to eat. The goblins
set the table down on a green plot of grass and danced
about it, beckoning to the king and his friends to draw
near and eat. And then they vanished, leaving the
tempting meal behind them.
The king and his companions were amazed at this
weird sight. Who were these odd creatures? And
should they venture to eat the food so marvellously
placed before them ? Hunger settled that question, for
they were almost starving. They rushed forward, and
were about to taste the food, when a vivid flash of
lightning half blinded them, and a terrible voice sounded.
Blinking their eyes, they saw hovering above the table
an awful form, with the wings and claws of a bird, and
a sad, pale, human face. It was Ariel in the shape
of a harpy.
He clapped his wings three times, upon which allthe
good things on the table disappeared.

Miranda-; or, The tempest 37

Then Ariel cried in a loud voice the words which
Prospero, his master, had sent him to say.
"You are three men of sin," cried he, pointing to
where the king and Sebastian and Antonio stood to-
gether. "The sea has cast you on this desert island
because you amongst men are most unfit to live. You
fools mocked he, as they all three drew their swords,
"you cannot hurt me or my fellows, try as you will.
We are ministers of fate. Remember that you three
did expose Prospero and his innocent child to the sea,
for which foul deed the seas and shores, yea, and all
creatures, join now to punish you. Perdition shall step
by step attend your ways, from which nothing can save
you but heart's sorrow, and a changed life." Then there
came another blinding flash, and in the roar of thunder
and wind that followed, Ariel, the goblins, and the table
melted into air, leaving the king and his friends mad
with terror and dismay at what they had heard and seen.
Crying aloud that he would join his son in the deep
sea, the king turned and fled. Gonzalo, fearing that he
would really drown himself, calling to the rest to follow,
rushed after him, to try and save him from such a fate.


1' T N the meantime, Caliban \ias hard at
'i24 \\ork in another part of the island, tying
up sticks into bundles for firewood. It
was his daily task, and to-day, as he worked, he
growled and grumbled in bitter rage, and cursed
Prospero and the crew of spirits that served him.
Some day, if only a chance came to him, he would have
his revenge for all the torments laid on him, and he
would get back the island which had been his mother's,
and which now rightly belonged to him. He muttered
low to himself, for he dared not speak out loud, in case
those tormenting spirits might hear him, for were they
not set upon him for every trifle, to pinch and bite and
tease him? Were not the very hedgehogs and the
adders that lay in his path, and the monkeys that chat-
tered and mowed and bit at him from the trees, merely
spirits sent by Prospero to vex him ? There was a sound
in the wood close by, and, looking up, he saw a figure
unlike anything he had ever seen before drawing near.
Lo now,-lo Here comes a spirit of his to torment
me for bringing wood in slowly," gasped Caliban,
for a man was as strange a sight to him as to
Miranda. I'll fall flat," said 'he, "perchance he will
not see me." And down he flopped, and spread out his
cloak to cover him from sight.

7viranda; or, the Tempest 39

The creature came near and sat down on a rock
close to where Caliban was lying. He shivered as a
few large drops of 'rain began to fall and a cold blast of
wind swept by.
If it should thunder as it did before," said he, I
know not where to hide my head. That huge black
cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls." And he began
to look right and left for a shelter. All at once he spied
out Caliban trying to hide himself under his cloak, and
went up to him-and poked him.
"What have we here ?" cried he, a man or a fish?
He smells like a fish, but he is legged like a man, and
has fins like arms! Truly a strange fish!" And he
came a little nearer, and gingerly touched Caliban's
claw-like hand.
"Warm, o' my troth said he. This is no fish, but
an islander that has just been killed by a thunderbolt."
As he spoke, there glared a vivid flash of lightning,
followed by a crash of thunder that seemed to shake the
ground. Now Trinculo (fog this supposed spirit was
none other than Ti-inculo, the king's fool) was terribly
afraid of a thunderstorm, and as there was no shelter
anywhere near, he made no more ado, but lifted up the
cloak and huddled up under it close to Caliban.
" Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows,"
muttered he.
For some time the storm raged. over them, the rain
came down in torrents, and the thunder pealed.
Trinculo shook with fright, especially when he heard
through the storm the most unearthly yells and groans
and grunts. Surely the island he had been cast upon
must be bewitched, and this one of the devils that'
haunted it, and he gave Caliban a great pinch from

40 Stories from Shakspeare

sheer terror. Caliban cried out with fear at the pinch,
but he yelled still louder when he looked up from under
the cloak to find a round, red, ugly face bending over
him. He, for his part, thought that both these strange
beings were spirits sent to punish him.
"Do not torment me, pr'ythee,". cried he; I'll bring
my wood home faster."
"Who have we here ? said a tipsy voice, a monster
with four legs? He shakes as if he hath ague. He
shall have a taste of my bottle." And herewith a bottle
was forced into Caliban's mouth, and a fiery liquid
poured down his throat. Then it was hastily pulled
away from him, for Stephano was terribly afraid lest
the four-legged monster should not leave any wine
for him, though truly he had drunk far too much
already. He sat down on the rock and began to
sing lustily, with a pull at the bottle at every pause
for breath-
I shall no more to sea, to sea,
Here shall I die ashore:-
The master, the swabber, the boatswain, and I,
The gunner, and his mate,,
Lov'd Moll, Meg, and Marian, and Margery,
But none of us cared for Kate,
For she had a tongue with a tang,
Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang."

"'I should know that voice," cried Trinculo, starting
up. Was not that the song that Stephano, the butler of
the King of Naples, was always singing ? and that surely
was his voice.
Four legs and two voices A most strange monster,"
grunted the man with the bottle, peering at the cloak that
covered Caliban and Trinculo.
"Stephano," cried Trinculo, with a shaky voice, "if

5/Iiranda; or, the tempest

thou be'st Stephano, touch me and speak to me, for I
am thy good friend Trinculo." And he ventured to
crawl out from under the cloak.
Stephano staggered to meet him, and joyfully shook
him by the hand and clapped him on the back till the
breath was nearly knocked out of him.


How didst thou escape ? How cam'st thou hither ?"
cried he. Swear by this bottle how thou cam'st hither "
I swam ashore, man, like a duck," said Trinculo,
eyeing the bottle longingly.
"Thou art made more like a goose than a duck," said
Stephano good-naturedly, handing him the precious
Oh, Stephano hast thou any more of this ? gasped
Trinculo, smacking his lips.
The whole butt, man," said Stephano, with a chuckle.


42 Stories from Shakspeare

And then he told him how he had escaped from the
wreck upon a butt of sack which the sailors had heaved
overboard, and which had floated to the island. He
had made a cellar for his wine in a rock by the sea,
where they would go soon and get some more.
Ever since Caliban had drunk the wine, he had lain
like one entranced. He had never felt anything like
the new odd sensation that made his brain whirl and a
glow spread through all his frame. Surely this was
neither a man nor a spirit, but a braie god bearing
celestial liquor. He crept along the ground to
Stephano's feet, and knelt beside him gazing up into
his face as the butler told the story of his escape.
Hast thou not dropped from heaven?" asked he at
the end.
Out of the moon, I do assure thee," said Stephano.
in mock solemnity. "I was the man in the moon when
time was."
"I have, seen thee in her, and do adore thee," said
poor simple Caliban. For in the old days Miranda had
often told him of the man in the moon with his dog
and bush, and of course he believed her.
A great idea had come to Caliban. This wonderful
being, who had come from the moon, should help him
to kill Prospero and regain the island.
I'll show thee every fertile inch of the island, I'll
kiss thy foot, I'll swear myself thy subject," went on
Caliban, with a sort of rapturous' adoration on his
ugly face. Trinculo burst into roars of laughter, but
Stephano tried to keep up his dignity and solemnly
held out his toe to be kissed, thereby nearly toppling
over, at which Trinculo laughed the more..
But Caliban was terribly in earnest. I'll show thee

I'iranda; or, ihe Tempest

the best springs!" he cried. "I'll pluck berries and
filberts for thee, and fish for thee, and get thee wood
enough. As for the tyrant that I serve, I'll carry
no more sticks for him, but follow only thee, thou
wondrous man."
"What tyrant?" asked Stephano.
And then Caliban poured out the story of his wrongs;
how the island had always belonged to him and his
mother till Prospero came, and by his. cunning sorcery
cheated him out of the land and made him his slave,
and how he longed for revenge. "If thou wilt help
me," said he, "thou shalt be lord of the island, and I'll
serve thee."
It would be so easy to kill the sorcerer, he explained,
for it was his custom to sleep every afternoon. "I
will bring thee where thou may'st knock a nail into his
Thou liest; thou canst not," said a voice close by.
It was really Ariel that spoke, for he was hovering
near, listening to all that Caliban was saying; but
Caliban and Stephano thought it was Trinculo who
spoke. Caliban turned upon him with a savage growl,
and Stephano bade him not interrupt -the monster on
pain of his displeasure.
"Why, what did I do?" asked Trinculo. "I did
Didst thou not say the monster lied ?"
"Thou liest! Ariel sang out once more.
"Do I so? Then take that," cried Stephano in a
rage, and he set to and gave Trinculo a sound drub-
bing, though the poor jester protested he had said
nothing at all.
Ha, ha, ha laughed Caliban, for he liked to see

Stories from Shakspeare

the great being he had chosen for his king beat the
other little man. At length Stephano, weary with his
exertions, let Trinculo go, but still kept a threatening
eye upon him as he seated himself and bade Caliban
go on with his tale.
Why, as I told thee," said Caliban, Piospero sleeps
in an afternoon in his cell. There thou may'st brain
him, only remember first to steal his magic books, for
without them he's but a sot, even as I am, and his
spirits would not obey him. When he is dead, thou
shalt reign in this island, and marry his daughter, who
is the most beautiful of women."
'This will I tell my master," murmured Ariel softly,
Stephano clapped his hands on his thighs and
nodded his head in tipsy wisdom. Monster, I will
kill this man," said he, "his daughter and I will be
king and queen (save our graces!), and Trinculo and
thyself shall be viceroys. Dost thou like the plot,
Trinculo ?" he went on.
Trinculo forgot his flogging in the excitement of the
moment, and rushed out of the corner where he had
been sulking to shake hands with Stephano on the
plot. As for Caliban, he danced round and round,
singing at the top of his voice-

No more dams I'll make for fish;
Nor fetch in firing
At requiring,
Nor scrape trencher, nor wash dish;
'Ban, 'Ban, Ca-Caliban,
Has a new master-get a new man.

Freedom! hey-day! Freedom freedom !" shouted

lIiranda ; or, The Tempest

Stephano and Trinculo then began to chime in with
a song of their own, something about
Flout 'em, and skout 'em, and skout 'em, and flout 'em;
Thought is free."
And a fine noise they made, till suddenly they all three
stopped short in a fright at hearing the tune repeated
in the air over their heads by an invisible piper. It
was Ariel.
Mercy upon us!" cried Stephano.
"Oh, forgive me my sins !" gasped Trinculo.
"Art thou afeard ? asked Caliban.
"No, monster, not I," quaked Stephano.
Be not afraid," said Caliban calmly. "This isle is
full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight
and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand instruments will
hum about my ears, and sometimes voices, which make
me sleep and dream such dreams that when I wake I
cry to dream again."
This will prove a brave kingdom to me," chuckled
Stephano tipsily, "for I shall get my music for
"Prospero must be killed first," growled Caliban.
" Come with me, I will lead you to him."
"We will follow the music," said Stephano, as he
and Trinculo set off arm in arm, staggering and rolling;
with now and then a pull at the bottle, Caliban going
on in front, singing-
'Ban, 'Ban, Ca--Caliban,
Has a new master-get a new man."
Ariel flew on before them leading the way towards
Prospero's cell, playing soft melodies. They all three
of them had drunk too much wine, and hardly knew

46 Stories from Shlakspeare

where they were going, but blindly followed the music.
The tricksy spirit led them by a rough road through
briars and prickly furzes, which tore their clothes and
scratched their shins, till they came to what looked like
a patch of soft bright green sward. Ariel blew louder
and louder on his pipes, and singing and shouting they
followed lim, till suddenly they found themselves
plunging and floundering up to their necks in a foul
black bog, which had been concealed by the treacher-
ous green moss.
Then Ariel clapped his shining wings and flew off to
tell his master all that he had heard, and all that he
had done.

iII-IHE wind had fallen, and a calm had
lI follo,'.ed the gre-at storm. Ferdinand
'was giving all his strength to his ta:<.
lMiranda had put new life into him
by her words. of love. Labour was a
| pleasure to him now for her dear sake,
and every log he added to his stack
seemed to bring him nearer to his next meeting with
her. But would he get his allotted task ended before
sunset? He worked furiously. So intent was he on
his labour that he did not for some time see Prospero
watching his exertions with an approving smile. At
last, as he raised his head to .fling back the hair from
his flushed brow, his eyes met the eyes of Prospero.
The sorcerer beckoned to the prince to follow him, and
turned into the wood.
Hastily glancing round at his yet unfinished task
the prince strode after him, wondering what Miranda's
father had in store for him now. Surely the old man
looked kindly upon him. Surely he had no cause to
fear the threatened manacles. But he could endure
even manacles for Miranda's sake, said a brave voice in
his heart.
Prospero led the way through the wood- till he came
to a rocky cliff facing the sea, which was honey-
combed with caves. He passed under an archway,
and Ferdinand followed him into a lofty cave, in the

Stories from Shakspeare

centre of which was a roughly-carved table of rock,
spread for a tempting meal. Signing to the prince to
be seated, Prospero laid before him, not the promised
sea water and withered roots, but meat and cakes, and
a flask of fair sparkling water. The prince ate and was
refreshed. Never before had food tasted so delicious,
for never before had the prince worked so hard for
it; besides that, he had been fasting since the early
morning. Seeing a deep pool of running water in one
corner of the cave, the prince stooped and bathed his
face and washed the stains from his sore hands. Then
he turned to Prospero and quietly waited for him to
Now Prospero was quite sorry to think he had put the
brave and handsome prince to so much pain, and in a
few words he told him that it was to prove him worthy
that he had laid so hard a task upon him, and that all
these vexations were but trials of his love for Miranda.
Seeing that he had stood the test so well, there was now
a rich gift waiting for him in amends for all his pains.
He pointed to the entrance of the cave. Ferdinand
turned and saw Miranda standing there outlined against
the bright sky, the rays of the sun turning the soft
straying locks of her hair into a golden ring round her
shaded face.
Ferdinand sprang to her side, and half-boldly, half-
fearfully, taking her hand in his, led her to her father
and claimed her for his bride.
"Yes," said Prospero smiling upon them both, "she
is thine own,-worthily striven for. She is my treasure.
You must not smile," added, he, "if I boast her off, for
you will find she will outstrip all praise and make it
halt behind her."

AMiranda; or, The Tempest 49

"I do believe it against an oracle," said Ferdinand
warmly, for he thought there was no one in the world to
be compared with Miranda.
Look thou be true," said Prospero. Sit down
here and talk with her," he added, for he heard Ariel's
song outside, and wished to speak with him alone.
Who so happy then as Ferdinand and Miranda?
They held each other's hands, and gazed into each
other's eyes, and felt all sorts of strange, beautiful things
they had never felt before. Then there was so much to
tell each other, for they had both lived a lifetime in
those few hours since first they met, and they must
needs tell each other all their hopes and fears, and how
they loved each other, over and over again.
Soon, Prospero, having arranged matters with. Ariel
outside, returned to the cave, and told Ferdinand if it
would please him he would show him a little of his
magic art, and call up some visions before him.
Ferdinand was delighted with the idea, and he and
Miranda seated themselves near the wall of the cave
and watched with startled eyes, while Prospero, having
put on his magic robes and drawn a circle around him,
waved his magic wand over his head, muttering at the
same time a charm.
All at once the opposite side of the cave seemed to
melt away into a -soft grey haze. Then the haze was
spanned by a shining rainbow, and they saw a dim
shape flitting swiftly to and fro. The rainbow glowed
brighter, and they saw that the dim shape was a lovely
maiaen with saffron-coloured wings and flowing robes.
of many colours. As she flew hither and thither she
sang in a sweet, low voice, that she was Iris, the
messenger sent by the Queen of the Air to bid Ceres,

Stories from' Shakspeare

appear and meet her there. Suddenly there was with
her another shape, a tall and stately woman bearing
in her arms corn and fruit. In a rich, full voice she
bade Iris tell her why her queen had called her
A contract of true love to celebrate," answered Iris,
"and to bestow a blessing on these lovers here."
Ferdinand and Miranda exchanged glances. Could
it be these wonderful beings spoke of them. But they
were again all eyes and ears when another and still
more glorious figure appeared, who was greeted by the
others as "great Juno," and who joined with Ceres in
singing a beautiful song-

Honour, riches, marriage-blessing,
Long continuance, and increasing,
Hourly joys be still upon you !
Juno sings her blessings on you.
Earth's increase, foison plenty,.
Barns and garners never empty;
Vines, with clustering bunches growing
Plants, with goodly burden bowing;
Spring come to you, at the farthest,
In the very end of harvest I
Scarcity and want shall shun you;
Ceres' blessing too is on you."

Ferdinand could no longer contain his delight.
"This is a most majestic vision;" cried he. "So
wonderful a father, and so rare a wife, makes this place
Paradise. I should like to live here for ever !" His
old home at Naples was quite forgotten amongst all
these wonders.
But Prospero prayed for silence. Hush!" said he,
Sbe mute, or else the spell is broken." And truly the
vision had begun to fade, but cleared again as Prospero

VIiranda: or, 'the Tempest

raised his wand. Then Iris, at the command of Juno,
sang another song-

You nymphs, called Naiads, of the winding brooks,
.With your sedged crowns, and ever-harmless looks,
Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land
Answer your summons: Juno does command."

Hardly had she ended when there appeared a throng
of graceful figures, lightly and airily whirling in and out
in a strange, wild dance. Faster and faster they flew
till Ferdinand grew giddy with watching them, when
suddenly Prospero gave a violent start and dropped
his wand. There was a strange, hollow, confused sound,
and in an instant the bright vision faded away 'and left
only the grey, dim haze, which quickly dissolved, and
the dark, bare wall of the cave was there once more.
No wonder Prospero had started. He had just
remembered what Ariel had told him about the plot
against his life formed by Caliban and his new-found
friends, and that the moment had well-nigh come. He
dashed off his magic robe, and paced up and down the
cave, deep in thought.
Ferdinand's face had become pale, but he held
Miranda's hand with a firm clasp as she clung to him
for protection, for they were both startled by the change
in the old wizard, and by the sudden vanishing of the
phantom vision.
Seeing their alarmed faces, Prospero calmed himself.
"Be cheerful, sir," said he, "do not be dismayed.
Our revels are now- ended. Our actors, as I foretold
you, were all spirits, and are melted into thin air, even
as the great globe itself shall one day dissolve, and like
this vision fade and leave not a rack behind.

Stories from Shakspeare

We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

And Prospero sighed, and again the heavy cloud came
over his face, and once more he began to stride up and
down the cave.
"Sir, I am vexed," said he, stopping again before
Ferdinand. "Bear with my weakness; my old brain is
troubled." And, smiling kindly on Ferdinand and
Miranda, he said that he must take a turn or two
outside, "to still his beating mind."
"We wish you peace," said Ferdinand and Miranda
gently, as they parted from him, Ferdinand passing
into Prospero's cell, and Miranda going back to her
own room to rest in the heat of the day, and to ponder
over this wonderful and never-to-be-forgotten vision.
Then Prospero left the cavern and called Ariel to him.
In a trice, bright little Ariel stood before him, trembling
with excitement, his eyes shining like stars.
"What's thy pleasure ? cried he.
"Spirit," said Prospero, "we must prepare to meet
Caliban. Say again, where didst thou leave the
varlets ? "
"Prancing up to their chins in the filthy pool beyond
your cell," chuckled Ariel.
"That was well done, my bird," said Prospero,
smiling grimly. "But now, be-quick; fetch all the fine
clothes and trumpery you can find in the cave, and let
us set a trap to catch these thieves."
No sooner said than done. Ariel was back in a trice,
laden with all sorts of shining, glistering garments,
which he and Prospero then spread about wherever
they best caught the eye.

,5Viranda; or, 'the I'empest

"Haste, master, haste!" whispered Ariel, for his
quick ear heard footsteps drawing near, and he and
Prospero had only just time to hide themselves behind
a big rock, when Caliban and his friends came in sight.
They were soaking wet and covered from head to foot
with black mud, but even his ducking had not sobered
Stephano. In vain Caliban entreated him to tread softly
and make no noise; he insisted upon lamenting aloud
his precious bottle, which he had lost in the pool. It
was not until Caliban led them on tiptoe to the very
entrance of the cave that he all at once became silent.
"This is the mouth of the cave," whispered Caliban
hoarsely, laying his great paw heavily on Stephano's
shoulder. "Pray you, tread softly, that the blind mole
may not hear a footfall. No noise Enter, and do that
mischief which shall make thee king of this island,
and I, thy Caliban, for ever thy foot-licker."
Stephano seized Caliban's hairy hand and shook it
solemnly, and tried to look very fierce. I do begin to
have bloody thoughts," said he, feeling for his dagger
and glaring ferociously into the dark mouth of the cave.
But his murderous designs were all scattered the
next moment by Trinculo, whose quick eyes and
nimble fingers had already discovered and seized upon
the bait prepared for them. He dangled before
Stephano's dazzled eyes one of the shining robes
spread about by Prospero. Stephano tried to snatch
it from him, and a tussle began in which the garment
would most certainly have been rent in two if Stephano
had not suddenly perceived there were some more
treasures of the same kind lying around. He and
Trinculo began to rush from spot to spot, loading them-
selves with the spoil, regardless of Caliban, who stormed

Stories from Shakspeare

and raved at them in a hoarse whisper, imploring them
to do the murder first, and then to steal the trash. "For,"
groaned he, if Prospero wake up, we shall all be turned
into barnacles, or apes with villainous low foreheads."
"Go to, carry this," was all the answer he got from
"Ay, and this," from Trinculo, as they nearly buried
him under a load of stolen goods and then began to
seek for more.
At that moment Prospero raised his magic wand and
let loose upon them a band of goblin spirits in the shape
of dogs that at his command flew upon them, barking,
snarling, and biting, and chased them, as, dropping their
ill-gotten gains, they fled helter-skelter over rock and
fen, howling with terror and pain.
"Hark! how they roar!" laughed Ariel gaily as he
followed up the chase, for he still had work to do for
Prospero before he earned his freedom.
"At this time," murmured Prospero to himself, "all
my enemies lie at my mercy." And as he turned into
the cave and lay down to rest he seemed to hear a
voice like an echo sigh in his ear-



EARLY three hours passed, and
the waning daylight found Ariel
at the entrance of the cave, wait-
Sing for hi n master to come forth.
Pl He had done all that Prospero
had bidden him. Caliban and his drunken companions
were laid under a spell, and left in the charge of
goblins, who pinched and thumped them till they were
black and blue all over. The king and his followers
were prisoners in the lime grove not far from Prospero's
cell, with a charm upon them that they could not
escape till Prospero set them free.- What more work
was there yet for him to do ere he should have
earned the freedom for which he longed? Had not
Prospero promised to-day he should be free? as free
as the bright spirits of the air to whom he was akin.
For in one thing sunny little Ariel and savage Caliban
were alike. They both longed for freedom with all
their hearts. But while Ariel strove to earn it by a
willing glad service of the master he loved, Caliban
thought to seize it by killing and robbing the man who
had taught and fed and clothed him. Besides, Caliban
was lazy and hated work. He wanted to be free to lie
all day in the sunshine, doing nothing but kick up his
As the rays of the setting sun faded from the mouth

58 Stories from Shakspeare

of the cave, Prospero stepped out, clad in his robes of
magic. He greeted Ariel and asked the time of day.
"Nearly six o'clock," quoth Ariel promptly.
"Say, my spirit, how fares the king and his fol-
lowers ?" asked Prospero.
"Sir," said Ariel sorrowfully, "the king is raving
mad with grief, ahd his brother, and yours too, are quite
distracted; and indeed all of them are brimful of sorrow
and dismay, but chiefly him that you termed 'the good
old lord Gonzalo.' His tears make me pity him, and I
am sure if you could only see them your heart would
become tender."
"Dost thou think so, spirit ?"
"Mine would, sir, were I human," said Ariel sweetly.
And Prospero thought of the voice that had cried in
his ear last night for "mercy." Should he, a man, show
himself less kind of heart, and with less feeling for the
woes of his fellow-men, than Ariel, a spirit of the air?
True, they had wronged him, but they had been punished
and had repented. "The rarer action is in virtue, than
in vengeance," murmured he.
"I'll break the charm that binds them and restore
their senses," said he aloud. "Go, release them, Ariel !"
Ariel needed no second bidding, but darted away on
his errand of mercy.
A sudden terror had fallen on Prospero, a feeling of
horror of that very magic which he had up to now so
successfully used. Suppose for a moment the powers
of the storm that he had raised had got beyond his
own control, and that hundreds of human lives had
been lost, nay, perhaps, his own and his loved darling's
too, for the sake of satisfying his longing for revenge
and serving his own pride and vainglory. Supposing

MViranda; or, The tempest

even now he should not be able to restore the king and
his friends to their senses again, nor to undo all the
mischief he had wrought. But surely his spirits would
not fail him now! Had he not by their aid dimmed
the noontide sun, raised the winds, and made the green
sea roar, shaken the land with thunder, and plucked up
the pine trees by their roots? Let them serve him but
this one time more, and he would abjure the magic
art, break his wand in two and bury it deep in the
earth, and drown the book of charms and spells. in the
sea, deeper than did ever plummet sound.
Thinking thus, he took up his wand and drew a great
wide circle before the mouth of the cave. A strain of
music sounded coming nearer and nearer. It was Ariel,
and, after him rushed the King of Naples and Antonio
and Sebastian, all raving mad, with wild staring eyes
and frantic gestures. Gonzalo and the others followed
them in haste with frightened faces.
The moment they passed into the charmed circle they
stopped short, unable to move another step, and in an
instant their senses returned to them. It seemed to
them, one and all, as if they had been dreaming and
were but now awakened. They gazed about them with
eyes of wonder. They saw a large cave before them,
the entrance rudely carved, and before the cave a tall,
stately old man with a long white beard, dressed in a
strangely coloured fantastic robe, and with a wand in
'his hand. They wondered still more when they heard
themselves each one spoken to by name.
0 good Gonzalo," said Prospero, and the tears stood
in his eyes, for he was strongly moved at seeing again
the faces he had known in the old times. "Good
Gonzalo, my true preserver, and most loyal friend to the

Stories from Shakspeare

king, I will reward thee both in word and deed.
Alonzo, most cruelly didst thou use me and my
daughter, and Sebastian did join with thee in the act.
Antonio, you brother mine, who, with Sebastian, would
here have killed your king, I do forgive thee."
But even now they did not know'him. They could
not recall in that old, wrinkled, white-haired man any
likeness to the Prospero they had so cruelly betrayed
nearly thirteen years ago.
Seeing that they did not know him, Prospero called
little Ariel to him, and bade him fetch the clothes, the
hat, and rapier hanging in his cell.
"Quickly, spirit," he said, "for thou shalt ere long be
Away flew Ariel, and back he came again in half a
minute, and as he hovered round Prospero, helping him
to don the clothes, he sang this pretty song, for he was
so happy with the thought of his freedom, he could
hardly contain himself-
Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back do Ifly
After summer, merrily.
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough."
Why, that's my dainty Ariel!" said Prospero. "I
shall miss thee, but yet thou shalt have thy freedom."
And then he whispered softly in his ear some further
"I drink the air before me," cried Ariel, as he took
flight once more.
Then *Prospero, clothed again as in days of yore,
turned to the magic circle, and the little group within

MIiranda; or, Ihe Tempest

it saw with surprise the Prospero they had known as
Duke of Milan, only older, whiter, sterner.
"Some heavenly power guide us out of this fearful
country !" groaned Gonzalo, who thought this was only
one illusion more, and would surely vanish as the other
visions had done.
But Prospero spoke in a loud clear voice. "Behold,
sir king," said he, "behold Prospero, the wronged
Duke of Milan." And he stepped into the magic circle,
and, holding out a hand to each, bade the king and
Gonzalo heartily welcome to the island. At the same
moment the king and his friends became aware that the
charm was broken, and that they were free to move as
they pleased.
King Alonzo was lost in amazement. How could
Prospero be living here when all the world knew he
and his child had been drowned many years ago?
"Whether thou be'st he, or no," stammered the king
at last, "or some enchanted being to delude me, I do
not know. You seem to be flesh and blood," he went
on, growing braver, "and if you are indeed Prospero,
the Duke of Milan, thy dukedom I resign, and do
entreat pardon for the wrongs done thee."
"Whether this be, or be not, I'll not swear," said old
Gonzalo cautiously. -He was not going to commit
himself after all the wonders he had seen.
As for you, my brace 6f lords," said Prospero, turning
to Sebastian and Antonio, "were I .so minded, I could
prove you traitors to your king, but at this time I will
tell no tales." Sebastian turned away to hide his guilty
face, and Antonio looked, conscience-stricken, at the
brother he had wronged. "For you, most wicked sir,"
said Prospero, "'whom to call brother would infect my

Stories frcm Shakspeare

mouth, I forgive your faults, all of them, but you must
restore my dukedom to me."'
But here the king broke: in and eagerly inquired, if
this were indeed Prospero, how he had been saved from
the fate prepared for him, and how he came to be on
this island? Prospero told him all about it, and in
his turn asked questions.
The king told how he had beer wrecked and cast
ashore on the island, but that, alas, his only son,
Ferdinand,. had been drowned.
"Alas !" said Piospero, with a deep groan, 1 have
but just now had the like-loss."
"You the like loss?" cried, the king.- "Has your
son too been drowned ?"
"I have lost my daughter," sighed Prospero, shaking
his head dolefully and pretending to squeeze out a tear.
"A daughter? 0 heavens!" cried Alonzo, "'would
they were both living, in Naples, and king and queen.
there. I would gladly be where my son lies to save
them both. When -did you lose your daughter ?"
asked he.
"In this last tempest," answered Prospero, with
The king wept and wrung his hands.
Then Prospero took pity on his grief, and, taking
him by the hand, led him to the mouth of the cave.
"You have given me my dukedom again, so I will
requite you with as good a thing. Pray you, look in,"
said the sorcerer.
The king looked. At the end of the cave, where the
light streamed in from a cleft inrthe rbck, sat beautiful
maiden'playing a game of chess with-with Ferdinand
himself. Was this a vision .too? Would it fade arid

'Viranda ;* or, The Tempest 63

pass away as the harpy had done ? Ah no! Ferdinand
turned his face and ,saw his father standing there, and,
with a cry of joy, started up and ran anid knelt before
him... His father fell upon his neck with.-tears of
Miranda rose and looked upon the strangers with
open-eyed wonder. What goodly creatures they seemed
to her, and how beautiful! Surely the world must-be
a brave fine world that had such people in it, thought she.
Then Ferdinand came, and, taking her hand in his,
led her to the king. Father," said he, "she is mine.
Prospero, Duke of Milan, has given his daughter to me."
And the -king- looked into her eyes, and kissed her on
the forehead, and gave them both his blessing. Old
Gonzalo too must needs step forth and greet the prince,
and kiss Miranda's hand, and wish them joy.
Then they all went outside and 'sat down on the
rocks near the cave's mouth, and began to tell each
other all their adventures. As they sat talking together,
they saw two men. running, towards them from the
other side of the bay. It was the master of the ship
and the boatswain, who rushed up to the king and the
prince, delighted to find they were safe and sound.
Breathless with excitement, they told him how the ship
that they had thought split up was- now lying in the
bay, all tight and trim, and bravely rigged, as when
they first put out to sea. .
"That's my tricksy spirit!" murmured Prospero, for
he knew it was Ariel who had done all this.
At that moment there came the sound of frightful
yells and groans and cries, and from round the other
side of the -cave appeared Caliban and his two tipsy
companions, wearing their stolen goods upon their backs.

Stories from Shakspeare

They were in a sad plight. The mud from the bog had
dried on them, they were stiff and cramped with their
bondage and black and blue from the pinches of the
goblins. Stephano had managed to find his mislaid
bottle, and he and Trinculo had finished its contents,
and between them they had hardly a leg to stand on.
As for Caliban-poor Caliban was sober enough. To
his dull, groping mind a light had come, and he told
himself what a thrice-double ass he had been to have
taken this drunkard and this dull fool for gods. Ah,
how grand and great that master of his seemed beside
the drunken wretch he had chosen for his king! And
when he saw him standing among a group of noble
strangers whom he took to be spirits, he trembled in
every limb, and crawled to Prospero's feet, grovelling
like a beaten cur.
"Surely that is Stephano, my drunken butler?" said
the king, "but who is this ? "
"This thing of darkness is Caliban, my slave," said
Prospero, "and he, has joined with Stephano and
Trinculo in robbing me, and had plotted with them to
take my life."
"Oh, I shall be pinched to death !" groaned Caliban,
cowering to the ground.
But Prospero had done with revenge. He had not
forgotten the lesson kind little Ariel had taught him.
He sternly bade Caliban stand up and go to his cell
and make it ready for the use of his guests. "And see
you do it handsomely, as you look to have my pardon,"
said he.
"Ay, that I will!" said Caliban humbly. "And I'll
be wise hereafter, and seek for grace," he muttered, as
he hobbled away to do his master's bidding.


Miranda; or, the Yempest

As the ship was now all ready for sailing, the king
made as though he would depart at once. But Prospero
begged him to stay one night upon the island for rest
and refreshment, and Ferdinand and Miranda, you may
be sure, joined in the request, for they were very loath
to leave the little spot of land where they had found
such happiness in finding each other.
They wandered about most of that evening, hand in
hand, visiting every well-remembered spot, and telling
each other over and over again that tale of love, which
is so old, and yet is always new.
And Prospero, too, was sorry to say good-bye to the
island where he had lived so long, but above all to
part with his little pet, Ariel, who had served him so
well. He called the little sprite to him, and bade him,
as the last service he could do him, raise a favourable
breeze -to waft the ship safely and quickly to Naples.
"After which," said he, thou shalt be free as mountain
Ariel bade him farewell, then joyfully spread his
wings for a flight.
"My Ariel- chick -farewell," cried Prospero, as
the bright little creature vanished from his sight,
and he sighed as he turned sadly into his cell once
When evening was come, they all gathered round
the blazing fire in the big cavern and listened while
Prospero told them the story of his life, and all that
had happened to him and Miranda since they first came
to the island.
All the world knows how next day they set sail for
Naples, and what a welcome they had there from the
people who had mourned them for dead, and how, soon
5 *

Stories from Shakspeare

after, Prince Ferdinand and Miranda were married in
great pomp in the cathedral at Milan.
Prospero, no longer buried in his books, lived for the
good of his people, and ruled them wisely and well,
earning the love of those who were formerly his enemies
by the forgiveness and kindness he showed them.
Some years later Ferdinand and Miranda became
King and Queen of Naples, and were very rich, and
lived in great splendour in a golden palace; but in
spite of that, they never for one moment forgot that
lonely sea-girt little island, and the happiness that was
brought to them by that terrible tempest.



A Midsummer Night's Dream

NCE upon a time there was
a handsome young prince
whose name was Theseus.
People called him the Duke
/ vof Athens, and a \er\y great
duke he was to be sure, lor
i he had fought and conquered
in many battles in defence of
his country, and had even taken prisoner Hippolyta,
Queen of the Amazons, and brought her back in
triumph to Athens.
Hippolyta was as beautiful as she was brave, and
the end of it was that Theseus fell deeply in love with
her, and wooed and won her for his bride.
They were to be married in the great temple on
Midsummer's Day, and the duke had.bidden his master.
of the revels hasten and prepare a grand feast and all
kinds of sports and merrymakings, not forgetting
a play, to be acted before him and his bride on the
evening of the wedding day.
Already Nick Bottom the weaver, Tom Snout the
tinker, Peter Quince the carpenter, and other good
people of Athens, were busy learning their parts, and
had arranged to hold their next rehearsal on Mid-
summer's Eve, by moonlight, in the Palace Wood, a

Stories from Shakspeare

mile beyond the city. They were all to meet beneath
the old hollow tree called the Duke's Oak, there to go
through their parts in secret. They were quite sure no
human being would be in the forest in the middle of
the night, so far away from home, to overhear them;
but they never once thought of Puck and the fairies, who
lived in it.
While the duke was giving orders to his master of
the revels in the great hall of his palace, there hobbled
in a little bent old man with a very red face,clutching
by the arm a beautiful dark-eyed maiden, whose
pale cheeks were wet with tears. Behind them walked
two young men, scowling savagely at each other.
What is thy news, good Egeus ? said the duke to
the little old man.
The little old man grew redder and redder as he
stammered angrily, "I am come, mry noble lord, full of
vexation, to complain against my daughter Hermia.
I wish her to marry this gentleman, Demetrius; but she
refuses to obey me, and has'allowed this man here,
Lysander, to steal from her her foolish heart by
cunning wiles of verses sung by moonlight at her
window, and by love tokens and gifts of bracelets, rings,
nosegays, and sweetmeats. I come to you, my gracious
duke, to beg you to compel her to obey me, by consent-
ing here to marry Demetrius; or if she will not, I pray
she may forfeit her life, as the ancient law of Athens
Now the duke was very sorry when he heard all that
the little old man had to say. He thought it a sad
pity so beautiful a maiden should have to choose
between death and life with a man she did not love, so,
turning to her, he said gently, What say you, Hermia ?

Tuck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 71

Will you not obey your father and marry Demetrius ?
He is a worthy gentleman."
Then poor little Hermia, seeing the great duke looked
kindly upon her, made bold to speak to him. Falling
upon her knees she implored him to tell her what was
the worst that could befall her if she refused to wed
Demetrius, for marry him she could not and she would not.
"Take time for thought," said the duke gravely, "for
by the next new moon you must either marry Demetrius,
or, as the law.of Athens demands, forfeit your liberty, or
even your life, for disobedience to your father's will."
Crushed by these cruel words, little Hermia buried
her face in her hands and wept, for all hope seemed
gone. Then Demetrius sprang forward and besought
her once more to marry him, and, turning angrily upon
Lysander, he bade him give up his crazy claim to
Hermia's hand. But Lysander appealed to the duke.
"My lord," cried he, I am as well born as Demetrius,
my fortune is as large as his, and my love for Hermia is
more than his, for it is well known that he has made
love to Nedar's daughter, Helena, and won her heart.
And what is more than all, Hermia loves me. Why, then,
should I not seek to marry her?" He would have said
much more, but the duke cut him short. Telling
Hermia to think it well over, and calling upon Egeus
and Demetrius and all his court to attend him, he went
out of the hall, leaving Hermia and Lysander together.
As soon as they were alone, Lysander sprang eagerly
to Hermia's side, and, kissing away her tears, he tried to
comfort her with tender, loving words. He told her how
"the course of true love never did run smooth"; and
how from of old true lovers were ever crossed in love
and their bright love-dreams brought to confusion.

Stories from Shakspeare

If that is so," sighed Hermia, then we must needs
learn patience."
"Patience yes. Bfit there is something better for us
than patience," cried Lysander. And then he bade her
listen while he hurriedly unfolded a plan of escape.
He told her he had an old .aunt, a rich widow with no
children, living seven leagues from Athens, and how
she loved him as if he were her own son. If Hermia
could steal out of her father's house to-morrow night,
he said, and meet him in the wood a league outside the
town, they would find their way to his aunt's house, and
there be married, where the sharp Athenian law had no
power to follow them, and they would live happily
together ever after.
As he spoke, Hermia's sad face slowly brightened and
glowed, till at last it broke into a radiant smile. Clapping
her hands with joy and delight, she gaily vowed "by
Cupid's strongest bow and best arrow with the golden
head," by all the vows that ever men have broken," to
meet him truly, the next evening, at the place he should
While they were still plotting together, who should
come into. the hall but Hermia's friend, that very
Helena who so loved Demetrius? Helena was tall
and slender, and had beautiful fair hair and eyes. They were now swollen with weeping, for she
was very unhappy because Demetrius no longer loved
her, and wanted to marry Hermia instead. Hermia
greeted her kindly, but Helena turned away, mourning
her hard fate, and upbraided her for stealing Demetrius
from her, by her arts and her beauty. Hermia answered
her gently,- and to comfort her told her their' secret.
She said Helena need be jealous of her no more,


a-: '-w

s;i*~at -


MFV.- "'


Tuck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 75

because she and Lysander were to meet at the primrose
bank in the forest the next night, and were going away
together to seek a new home and new friends.
Now when Helena heard that, she said to herself, I
will go and find Demetrius and tell him all about it.
He will be so grateful to me for the news that he will
perhaps love me again. And if not that, at least I
shall have the happiness of seeing him." So off
she went to find
Demetrius; and little
Hermia said good-
bye to Lysander,
and trotted home,
thinking all the way .
of how she and her
true love would j .
wander the next night
through the forest all
alone by their two.
selves, for she too
never once thought of CLIMBING UP THE COBWEBS.
Puck and the fairies.
You see, Hermia did not know anything about the
fairies. She had never been in the forest except by day-
light, and then the fairies are resting in their little swing-
beds under the cool green shade of the leaves. But at
night they all wake up, and then the wood is alive with
them,-fairies dancing in rings in the moonlight, playing
hide-and-seek among the flowers, climbing up the
cobwebs to catch the long-legged spiders, blowing
the honeysuckle trumpets, ringing the bluebells-fairies
here, there, and everywhere.
Would you like to hear more about the fairies ? First

Stories from Shakspeare

of all there was Oberon, the fairy king. PHe was head
and shoulders taller than all his little people. He had
beautiful pearly wings, and dreamy dark eyes, and wore
a golden crown over his dusky brown hair.
Titania, the fairy queen, was fair as a lily and not
very much taller. She had blue eyes that shone like
stars, and long fair hair. She too had a golden crown,
and her wings were of opal-tinted gossamer, and she
wore a new flower dress
every day.
SThe queen had a great
many fairies and elves in
K' her train. There were
Mustard- seed, Cobweb,
Moth, Peas-blossom, and
S a host of others.
S' The elves are very tiny
S/ fairies, so small that they
/ can creep into acorn-cups
and hide in the foxglove
A FAIRY. The fairy king had a
great many fairies to wait
upon him too, but there was one among them all who
was his especial favourite. This one had many names.
Some people called him Robin Goodfellow, and some,
Hob-goblin, and some "Sweet Puck."
Puck was just a love of a fairy, the merriest, naughtiest,
brightest little fellow you ever saw. He was an ugly
little sprite, with long pointed ears and a big mouth, but
he was very clever, and his jests often made King
Oberon laugh till his sides ached. He was fond of
teasing people and playing practical jokes. He had

Tuck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 77

the power of changing himself into any shape he
pleased. He sometimes turned himself into a will o'
the wisp and led benighted travellers out of their way,
to leave them floundering in the middle of a bog. Some-
times he would skim all the milk at the farmhouses
and run off with the cream. He was pretty nearly
always in mischief, but, in spite of all his pranks, he had
a kind heart, and often took a great deal of trouble to
undo any harm he had done to anybody.
Puck was the fairy king's page and servant and
special messenger. He could fly faster than any bird,
and could go all round fairyland and back before you
would have time to wink.
Love and peace had made the fairies' home in the
forest a happy place. But quite lately there had come
a change, and all because the king and queeh had
quarrelled like two naughty children.
Queen Titania had adopted a little changeling boy.
King Oberon wished her to give the boy to him to be
his page, but she had scornfully refused, and they had
parted with bitter, angry words; and the king's fairies
and the queen's fairies were now hardly on speaking
At last, on this very Midsummer's Eve that we were
talking about, the fairy king and queen met by chance
in the forest with all their fairies round them. They
had another violent quarrel about the changeling boy.
The king said he must and would have him. The
queen said she had loved the boy's mother, and for her
sake she would not part with the boy for all the gold in
"Give me the boy," roared the king in a fury.
Not for thy fairy kingdom," quoth the. queen, and,

Stories from Shakspeare

turning her back upon him, she called her fairies to
follow her to the moonlight dance and revel.
"Well, go thy way, proud Titania," said Oberon
gloomily, "but I will punish thee for this."
He stood moodily watching the queen's fairies as they
danced and flew after her until they were all gone.
Then, raising his fairy wand, he cried, "Come hither,
gentle Puck."
"Here I am," said a cheery voice, and Puck stood
before him.
"Dost thou remember the little purple flower I
showed thee once that maidens call the love-in-
"I remember," said Puck.
"Fetch me this herb, Puck," said the king, and come
back here again in a trice."
I'll put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes,"
said Puck, and with one bound and a whir-r-r-r of his
tiny wings he was out of sight.
'" When I get this juice," murmured the fairy king to
himself, I'll watch Titania, and when she is asleep I'll
drop this juice upon her eyelids, and the next live thing
she sees on waking, be it lion, bear, or monkey, she will
fall madly in love with it. I will not remove the charm
from off her sight until she gives the little page up to
me." He paused, for there were sounds of footsteps
and voices in the wood. "Soft! who comes here?"
questioned he. "They are mortals. I will make myself
invisible, and overhear their talk."
The voices and footsteps drew nearer, and who should
come along the forest path but Demetrius and Helena.
You will remember this was the night on which
Lysander and Hermia were to run away together, and

Puck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 79

Demetrius, having been told of their plan by Helena, had
come to look for them ini the forest, and Helena had
followed him all the way. They both were tired and
cross, and flung themselves down to rest on a moss-
grown rock. King Oberon perched himself beside them
on the branch of an alder tree. They sulked for some
minutes without a word, till at last Demetrius broke
the silence.
"You have deceived me. You told me they had stolen
away into the forest. A pretty dance you've led me!"
grumbled he.
Helena sighed wearily.
"If I find Lysander, I will kill him."
Another sigh from Helena.
"Why do you follow me ? Did I entice you to come
with me?" he -went on, turning fiercely upon her.
" Have I not told you plainly, I do not and I cannot
love you ? Get you gone, follow me no more."
Then Helena cried, and wrung her hands, and pro-
tested she only loved him all the more for his cruel
words. "Treat me like your dog," said she, "if I may
but follow you faithful as a dog." Alas! foolish Helena!
Demetrius sprang to his feet in a passion of rage and
ran from her into the depths of the forest, crying to her
not to follow him. But Helena heeded him not, and
flew after him, calling in a wailing voice, Demetrius,
Demetrius !"
Now King Oberon was a very good-hearted fairy, and
always took a very kindly interest in poor helpless
mortals, so he jumped lightly from his perch on the
alder bough, determined to help the pretty maiden who
was breaking her heart for this rude, cruel man.
"If only Puck would be quick back with that flower

Stories from Shakspeare

I sent him for," thought he. As the thought went
through his mind, behold! there stood little Puck,
bowing before him till his nose almost touched the
ground, his hands held behind him.
"Welcome, wanderer!" said Oberon. "Hast thou
the flower ?"
"Ay, there it is," said Puck, bringing the flowers
forward with a jerk.
"Give it me," said the king, and listen while I tell
thee what I will do with it." Glancing cautiously round
to see that no one was listening, he whispered into Puck's
ear, "I know a bank where wild thyme and oxlips
and violets grow, and above it spreads a canopy of
woodbine, eglantine, and roses ; and there Queen Titania
sleeps to-night." Lowering his voice to a still smaller
whisper, the king went on. "I shall creep up to her
when she is fast asleep, and squeeze the juice of this
flower on her eyelids, and she will wake with a hateful
fancy for some wild thing."
Puck clapped his hands and wriggled with delight,
but his joy knew no bounds when Oberon checked him,
saying, "Stay, sweet Puck, there is something for thee
to do. Go and find a mortal youth wandering over
there in the wood with a lady who loves him, but whom
he disdains. Anoint his eyes with this same juice, but
be sure and do it when the first thing he looks upon
must be that very lady. Thou shalt know the man by
the Athenian garments he wears. Be careful, make no
mistake, and, before the day breaks, the youth shall be
more fond of the pretty lady than she is now of him."
Giving Puck one of the flowers and bidding him meet
him in the same place before the cock crew, King
Oberon set out to find Titania, leaving Puck wildly

Puck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 81

dancing a fairy reel on the top of the mossy rock where
Demetrius and Helena had so lately sat.
Oberon flew lightly along a narrow winding path till
he reached an open glade where a pool gleamed white
in the moonlight. Skirting the pool, he went on till he
came to the entrance of a little valley. Now he began
to walk more slowly, and, climbing up the right bank, he
soon came to a dark old oak tree. Entering into the
hollow trunk, he clambered up to an opening in it.
Perched there, he could see into the valley and down
to the opposite bank, where Titania was standing with
all her fairies round her.
The dance was over, and the fairies were about to begin
their nightly tasks ; for even in Fairyland it is not all play.
He heard Titania telling her fairies what each should
do for a task. Some she sent to kill the canker-worms
in the rosebuds, some to war with the bats to get their
leather wings to make her small elves coats for the
winter weather, and some were to keep off the owls that
nightly waked her with hooting. Others were to drive
away from her snakes, newts, spiders, snails, beetles,
hedgehogs, and suchlike uncomfortable creatures.
Then she called for a song, and all the fairies sang
a lullaby. This was it:
You spotted snakes, with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blindworms, do no wrong;
Come not near our fairy queen.
Philomel, with melody,
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby lulla, lhdla, lullaby;
Never harm,
Nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good-night, with lullaby."

Stories from Shakspeare

Before they got to the end of their ditty, Titania lay
fast asleep on the bank of wild thyme; and they stole
softly away one by one, leaving only one fairy boy on
guard, who, when they were all well out of sight began
to nod, and nod, and was soon as soundly asleep as his
Now was the time for King Oberon. He slid quietly
down from his peep-hole in the tree-trunk, and, gliding
to Titania's side, dropped the juice of the flower on her
closed eyelids, saying at the same time, this charm-

What thou see'st when thou dost wake,
Do it for thy true love take;
Love, and languish for his sake:
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear.
Wake when some vile thing is near."

Titania stirred in her sleep, and Oberon swiftly hid
himself among the woodbine and roses till all was safe,
and then flew off to the place where Puck was to meet

E left Puck dancing a reel on the
mossy rock. After turning head
over heels a dozen times out of
pure joy he thought it time to
carry out his master's commands, so he set out to find
the scornful Athenian youth and the love-sick maiden.
It so chanced that he soon came across a youth lying
asleep upon the ground, and a few yards away from
him lay a sleeping maiden. "Ho! ho !" said Puck to
himself, this must be the very man, for he has clothes
of the latest Athenian fashion; and he, no doubt, has
been so unkind to the poor girl that she, pretty soul,
dare not lie down to rest near such a lack-love."
But for once that clever little imp Puck had made
a mistake. The sleepers were not Demetrius and
Helena as he supposed, but Lysander and Hermia, who
had met at the primrose bank, and had been so happy
talking and laughing together, that they had not given
a thought to their road, and had lost their way in the
forest. They had wandered about till they were weary,
and, after a tender good-night to each other, had lain

Stories from Shakspeare

down to rest and wait for daylight, and were now both
fast asleep.
"The maiden must be the first person he sees on
waking," murmured Puck, "for there is no one else
likely to be in the forest at such an hour." And he bent
over the sleeping youth and gently squeezed the juice
of the flower on his eyelids, saying-
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe.
When thou wak'st, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid;
So awake, when I am gone,
For I must now to Oberon."

Then away he flew to tell the king his orders were
Puck was in high spirits at having got his errand
done so soon. He felt just in the mood for some mad
prank. As he had plenty of time to spare before he
must meet the king, he thought he would have a look
into the queen's bower, and see if there was any fun to
be got out of the queen's fairies. He flew along till he
reached the same old oak tree in which King Oberon
had hidden a short time before. Peering cautiously
into the glen, he saw Queen Titania still lying asleep
on her bed of wild thyme, and the fairy sentinel
nodding over his spike of sword-grass.
"I'll run off with that sword," laughed Puck, and
was just going to slide down the bank into the glen
when, he heard some strange sounds behind him.
Quick as thought he darted into the old tree-trunk.
Keeping his eye at a chink, he saw'six great big mortals
stumping heavily along to the Duke's Oak. "This is
the place," growled one of them, and then they all sat

Puck; or, A/ Midsummer Night's Dream 85

down flop on the grass round the root of the tree, little
thinking who was close by listening to them; or that
the queen of the fairies herself was asleep only a stone's
throw away.
These six heavy mortals were Nick Bottom the
weaver, Peter Quince the carpenter, Francis Flute
the bellows-mender, Robin Starveling the tailor, Tom
Snout the tinker, and Snug the joiner, who, you will
remember, were all to meet at the Duke's Oak to
rehearse the play they were going to act before the
duke on his wedding day.
"Are we all met?" grunted Nick Bottom after a few
minutes' solemn silence. For they were somehow
feeling a little awesome at the ghostly stillness of the
forest, and at the weird shadows, of the trees cast by
the moon.
"Pat, pat !" quoth Peter Quince, with an attempt at
cheerfulness; "and a marvellous convenient place this
is for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage,
and this hawthorn brake our dressing-room, and we
will act it as we mean to do it before the duke." Then
they all began to discuss the play, Puck listening with
all his ears. He heard Bottom declare there were
things in this play of Pyramus and Thisby that would
never please, for Pyramus must draw a sword and kill
himself, "which," quoth he, "the ladies cannot abide."
"By'rlakin!" said Starveling, "we must leave the
killing out."
But Bottom had a better device. "Write me a
prologue," 'said he, "and let the prologue say we will
do no harm with our swords; and that Pyramus is not
really killed, for that I, Pyramus, am not Pyramus, but
plain Bottom the weaver."

86 Stories from Shakspeare

"But," suggested' Snout, "will not the ladies be
afeard of the lion ?" '
"Nay," answered Bottom, who saw a way out of
every difficulty, "the prologue must say he is not a
lion, but Snug the joiner, and he himself must show
half his face through the lion's mane, and make a speech
to the ladies, saying thus, "Ladies-or, fair ladies-I
would request you,-or, I would entreat you-not to
fear-not to tremble-I am -no such thifig as a lion; I
am a man as other men are."
"Well, it shall be so," said Peter Quince, breaking
rudely into the lion's polite speech. "But' there are
two- hard things the moonlight. (for, you know,
Pyramus and Thisby met by moonlight) and the
"A calendar, a calendar!" cried Nick Bottom
excitedly, "look in the almanack. Doth the moon
shine that night we play our play?"
Peter Quince produced a greasy-looking roll of
parchment from under his cloak and solemnly consulted
it. "Yes," said he; "the moon doth shine that night"
"Why, then," said Bottom delighted, "all is easy.
We must leave the great chamber window open where
we play that the moon may shine in."
"Ay," said Peter, "or, if not, some :one must come in
with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and say he comes
to disfigure, or to present, .the person of moonshine."
For Peter Quince had his ideas too, and did not intend
Bottom to have it all his own way. Then there is the
wall," he went on, "we must have a wall in the great
chamber, for Pyramus and- Thisby, says the story, did
talk through the chink of.a wall."
They all shook their heads except Bottom who was

Puck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 87

deep in thought. The wall seemed an obstacle not to
be surmounted.
"You can never bring in a wall," said Snug feebly.
"What say you, Bottom ? "
But Bottom was not going to be beaten. "Some
man or other must present wall," said he, clearing his
throat, "and he must have some plaster or some loam
about him to show he is a wall, and he must hold his
fingers thus,"-and here he held up his hand with all
the fingers spread out and peeped through them,-'" and
that shall be the cranny through which Pyramus and
Thisby shall whisper," he ended in triumph. They
shouted with delight at this idea, and all began chatter-
ing at the same time, till Peter Quince, as stage
manager, called them to order, and bade "every
mother's son" of them begin the rehearsal and waste
no more time.
Puck, seizing his opportunity, crept out of the old oak
tree and glided into the hawthorn brake close by, the
better to see the fun. For," thought he, "if there is
a play to be acted by these hempen homespuns, I
will, be audience, and perhaps actor too, if -I see
The play began. Puck waited quietly among the
ferns and hawthorn till Bottom the weaver, having
finished his speech, came and sat down close to him,
waiting for his next cue.
"Now for some sport!" said Puck to himself, and,
stepping lightly behind the weaver, he waved his hands
over Bottom's head and muttered a fairy charm.
When, lo and behold! a change came over poor Nick
Bottom. His ears grew long and hairy, his eyes large,
soft, and brown, his face, asinine, and in a few moments

Stories from Shakspeare

his own round bullet head was changed into the head
of an ass!
He, poor fellow, in happy ignorance of any change
in his appearance, when his cue came to speak, stepped
forward bravely into the full moonlight of the open


space, saying the words of his part, "If I were fair,
Thisby, I were only thine-" He stopped short,
amazed at the cries of horror and fright with which
his companions greeted him. But when Puck, to
terrify them still more, began to bark, and neigh, and

Puck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 89

grunt, and roar, like a whole menagerie let loose, which-
ever way they turned, they one and all took to their
heels and fled, crying, Help Fly, masters, fly! We
are haunted. Help!"
Away flew Puck after them, shouting, I'll follow you,
I'll lead you a round." And a fine chase he gave them,
through bog, and bush, and brier, now seeming to them
to be a horse, and then a dog, and then again a bear,
till at last he left them, breathless, torn to tatters, and
weary, to creep home to Athens, while.he sped off to
see how Bottom had fared, and then to meet King
Oberon and tell him all that had happened.
Meanwhile Bottom stood scratching his head, sorely
puzzled to know what was the matter with them all.
"I see their knavery," said he ; "this is to make an
ass of me, to frighten me if they could. But I will not
stir from this place, do what they can. I will walk up
and down here and sing, so that they shall hear that
I am not afraid;" and he began to sing in a deep,
braying voice-
The ousel-cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill:-"

Titania was roused by Bottom's song from the deep
sleep in which she had.lain ever since Oberon had
placed the charm upon her senses. "What angel wakes
me from my flowery bed ?" she murmured dreamily.
She listened entranced while Bottom went on to
bellow out-
SThe finch, the sparrow, and the Fark,
The plain-song cuckoo grey,
Whose note full many a man doth mark,
And dares not answer, nay."

Stories from Shakspeare

The hoarse notes seemed to her the most beautiful
music. Raising herself on her elbow, she gazed around
in search of the being who so captivated her, and when
she saw Bottom, the charm worked, and she loved him
with all her heart.
So it came about that while Bottom sat grumbling
to himself and abusing his runaway companions, he
suddenly found a lovely little lady at his side, with
long fair hair, and a tiny golden crown on her head,
and he half fancied he saw the shine as of glittering
wings behind her. He was startled for a moment;
but she looked so small and gentle, there did not seem
much to be afraid of.
"I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again," said the
little lady sweetly. "Thy note is music to my ear,
thy shape and virtue entrance me, and on the first view
of thee, I swear I love thee."
Finding that the wonderful little lady was so very
complimentary, Bottom plucked up courage and put
on his best manners to answer her.
"Methinks, mistress," said he, "you have little reason
to love me. And yet, to say truth, reason and love keep
little company together nowadays-the more the pity
that some honest neighbours will not make them friends."
Then, thinking he had said something really clever, he
added bashfully, Nay, I can joke upon occasion."
Upon which the little lady gazed admiringly up into
his hairy face and said lovingly, "Thou art as wise as
thou art beautiful."
"Not so neither," answered Bottom modestly, for so
many compliments made him feel quite shy. "But,"
said he, "if I had enough wit to get out of this-wood,
I have enough to serve me."


Puck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 93

"Ah no!" cried the little lady, "do not desire to
leave me. Thou shalt remain in the wood whether
thou wilt or no. I am the Fairy Queen, and I do love
thee, and will make thee happy. I'll give thee fairies
to attend on thee. They shall fetch thee. jewels from
the deep, and sing to thee, and thou shalt sleep on
pressed flowers. And I will take from thee thy
mortal grossness, and make thee an airy spirit like
And then she clapped her hands and called aloud,
"Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! Mustard-seed!"
There was a rush of many feet, and the beat of
countless tiny wings, and behold the queen's favourite
fairies appeared and bowed before her, and a crowd of
little fairies tumbled in from every side, crying, "Where
shall we go ? What shall we do?"
"Listen-!" said she. "You see this gentleman. I
bid you be kind and courteous to him. Amuse him.,
Hop and gambol before him in his walks. Feed him
with apricocks and dewberries, purple grapes, green
figs, and mulberries. Steal honey for him from the
humble-bees. Light him to bed with fiery glow-worm
lamps, and fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.
Nod and curtsey to him, elves."
Then the elves and fairies cried, Hail, mortal,
hail!" and bent the knee to poor Bottom, who began
to think he must indeed be bewitched. But, having
a very fair opinion of himself, and being fond of the
sound of his own voice, he plucked up heart of grace,
and, bowing low to a little fairy daintily dressed in silver
grey with wings of rainbow gauze, said, "I cry your
worship's mercy, heartily,-I beseech your worship's

94 Stories .from Shakspeare

"Cobweb," answered the little fellow in- a high,
squeaky voice.
"I shall desire to know you better, good Master
Cobweb," said Bottom politely. And then he went on
to ask them each one in turn their name, and made so
many speeches, and cracked so many bad jokes, that
at last Queen Titania sharply bade the fairies tie up
her love's tongue and lead him to her bower. She went
with him, followed by her fairy train, and soon the glen
was deserted by all but the long shadows cast by the
moon on its grassy banks.

, 1. -

,. K HEN King Oberon left Titania
7'. asleep under the charm, he flew
i... Uoff, as w\e know', to the spot \here
he and Puck were to meet. On
arriving there, he chose out a
cosy corner and sat down to rest until Puck should
come. He thought of Titania, how beautiful she
had looked as she lay asleep in the moonlight, and
wondered what or who she would see on first opening
her eyes, and if she were yet awake. What could Puck
be at to be so long in coming?-Suddenly, whir-r-r,
whoop! and Puck was panting beside him, bursting
with the tale he had to tell.
"How now, mad spirit!" said Oberon, "what-"
but he had not time to finish his sentence, for Puck
broke in, and in one breath poured out the whole story
of all that had happened since he parted with Oberon,
up to the moment when Titania awoke and fell in love
with the ass-headed monster.
"This falls out better than I could have planned,"
cried the king. But tell me, Puck, hast thou anointed
the eyes of the Athenian, as I did bid thee do ?"

Stories from Shakspeare

"Ay!" said Puck. "I found him sleeping, and the
Athenian woman by his side, so she must needs be 'the
first sight of his eyes on waking." As he was speaking,
there came in sight, among the trees close by, a man
and a woman who seemed to be quarrelling.
"Stand close," said Oberon. "This is the same
It is the woman," whispered Puck, "but it is not the
It was indeed pretty Hermia, but with her was
Demetrius, not Lysander. And if we want to know
how these two came to be together, and so angry with
each other, we must turn back and see what happened
to the lovers after Puck had charmed the eyes of
Lysander and left him and Hermia asleep.
They slept on peacefully till Helena came by
searching for Demetrius. She stumbled as she ran, for
her eyes were blinded by tears, and the wood was very
dark, a cloud having just then hidden the moon. The
forest gloom was thick around her, so thick that she
never saw Lysander lying on the ground, until she
almost fell over him. "Ah! who is here?" cried she.
"Why, 'tis Lysander!" She shuddered with a sudden
fear. Could he be dead? No. There was no blood,
no wound to be seen. He must be asleep. She shook
him by the arm to rouse him, crying, Lysander, if you
live, good sir, wake up."
He opened his eyes and saw Helena's fair face
bending over him. The charm worked, and he forgot
his love for dark-eyed Hermia, and all else but his
new-born love for' Helena. Springing to his feet, in
passionate words he declared his love for her, and
his wonder that he ever could have preferred Hermia,

Puck; or, A Midsummer Night's Dream 97

who, compared to Helena, was as a raven to a
Helena was startled by this sudden change. She
thought that Lysander wished to have a joke at her
expense, and she turned from him indignantly, exclaim-
ing, "When have I deserved that you should scorn me
so, as to make mock love to me ? In good sooth, you
do me wrong to woo me in so disdainful a manner. So
fare-you-well." And she turned upon her heel and
walked away from him, passing Hermia without
seeing her.
Hermia moaned in her sleep, and Lysander paused
beside her for a moment and then hastily strode after
Hermia had had a bad dream. Awaking with a
start, she gazed wildly around. Where was she ? How
came she alone in a wood at night? Ah! now she
remembered. She and Lysander had run away to-
gether to be married, and he-but where was he?
"Lysander !" she called,-" Lysander !" But there was
no answer, and, trembling with fear, she crept to where
he had lain when she went to sleep. There was no one
there. "What!" she cried. "Out of hearing? Gone ?
Alack! where are you? Speak, love, if you hear me.
Lysander! come to me." She called in vain. She was
alone in the dark forest-quite alone.
She did not know her way-she was lost. She cast
timid glances behind her at the strange, uncertain
shadows thrown by the moon. The dark depths of
the forest in front seemed black and dense. Well! it
was no use standing there bewailing. She must and
would find Lysander. Surely he must be near at hand.
She followed a path for some distance, calling Lysander's

Stories from Shakspeare

name as she went. At last she saw a man's figure
coming towards her. Nothing doubting but that it was
Lysander, she ran joyfully to meet him. But when
they met face to face to her dismay it was not
Lysander, but Demetrius, the very man from whom
she had fled.
She shrank away from him in terror, for a sudden
sickening fear came upon her that Demetrius had come
and slain Lysander in his sleep, and carried away his
body. "Where is Lysander? What have you done
with him?" she cried. "Oh, hast thou slain him,
Demetrius ?"
"I am not guilty of Lysander's blood," answered
Demetrius coldly, nor is he dead for aught that I can
tell. If he left you, it was of his own free will."
It was now that Oberon and Puck became aware of
the presence of the youth and the maiden. They heard
Hermia declare in passionate accents that the sun was
not more true to the day than Lysander was to her,
and that he would never have stolen away and left her
willingly. Thou hast murdered him," she cried.
"I am the murdered one," said Demetrius lightly.
I am pierced through the heart by your stern cruelty.
Why are you so bitter to him who loves you so ?"
Hermia took no notice of his words. "Where is
Lysander? Oh, good Demetrius, give him to me," she
But when Demetrius saw that Hermia thought only
of Lysander, and that he was as nothing to her, he fell
into a rage, and answered roughly, I'd rather give his
carcase to my hounds."
Then Hermia turned upon him fiercely, calling him
" coward and "dog." Saying she could not endure his

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