A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Entire Play
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Navigate this workA Midsummer Night’s Dream - Entire Play
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, residents of Athens mix with fairies from a local forest, with comic results. In the city, Theseus, Duke of Athens, is to marry Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Bottom the weaver and his friends rehearse in the woods a play they hope to stage for the wedding celebrations.
Four young Athenians are in a romantic tangle. Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia; she loves Lysander and her friend Helena loves Demetrius. Hermia’s father, Egeus, commands Hermia to marry Demetrius, and Theseus supports the father’s right. All four young Athenians end up in the woods, where Robin Goodfellow, who serves the fairy king Oberon, puts flower juice on the eyes of Lysander, and then Demetrius, unintentionally causing both to love Helena. Oberon, who is quarreling with his wife, Titania, uses the flower juice on her eyes. She falls in love with Bottom, who now, thanks to Robin Goodfellow, wears an ass’s head.
As the lovers sleep, Robin Goodfellow restores Lysander’s love for Hermia, so that now each young woman is matched with the man she loves. Oberon disenchants Titania and removes Bottom’s ass’s head. The two young couples join the royal couple in getting married, and Bottom rejoins his friends to perform the play.
0001 Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
0002 Draws on apace. Four happy days bring in
0003 Another moon. But, O, methinks how slow
0004 This old moon ⌜wanes!⌝ She lingers my desires
0005 5 Like to a stepdame or a dowager
0006 Long withering out a young man’s revenue.
0007 Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
0008 Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
0009 And then the moon, like to a silver bow
0010 10 ⌜New⌝-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
0011 Of our solemnities.
THESEUS 0012 Go, Philostrate,
0013 Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments.
0014 Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth.
0015 15 Turn melancholy forth to funerals;
0016 The pale companion is not for our pomp.
0017 Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword
0018 And won thy love doing thee injuries,
0019 But I will wed thee in another key,
0020 20 With pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.
0021 Happy be Theseus, our renownèd duke!
0022 Thanks, good Egeus. What’s the news with thee?
0023 Full of vexation come I, with complaint
0024 Against my child, my daughter Hermia.—
0025 25 Stand forth, Demetrius.—My noble lord,
0026 This man hath my consent to marry her.—
0027 Stand forth, Lysander.—And, my gracious duke,
0028 This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child.—
0029 Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes
0030 30 And interchanged love tokens with my child.
0031 Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung
0032 With feigning voice verses of feigning love
0033 And stol’n the impression of her fantasy
0034 With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gauds, conceits,
0035 35 Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats—messengers
0036 Of strong prevailment in unhardened youth.
0037 With cunning hast thou filched my daughter’s heart,
0038 Turned her obedience (which is due to me)
0039 To stubborn harshness.—And, my gracious duke,
0040 40 Be it so she will not here before your Grace
0041 Consent to marry with Demetrius,
0042 I beg the ancient privilege of Athens:
0043 As she is mine, I may dispose of her,
0044 Which shall be either to this gentleman
0045 45 Or to her death, according to our law
0046 Immediately provided in that case.
0047 What say you, Hermia? Be advised, fair maid.
0048 To you, your father should be as a god,
0049 One that composed your beauties, yea, and one
0051 By him imprinted, and within his power
0052 To leave the figure or disfigure it.
0053 Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
0054 So is Lysander.
THESEUS 0055 55 In himself he is,
0056 But in this kind, wanting your father’s voice,
0057 The other must be held the worthier.
0058 I would my father looked but with my eyes.
0059 Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.
0060 60 I do entreat your Grace to pardon me.
0061 I know not by what power I am made bold,
0062 Nor how it may concern my modesty
0063 In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;
0064 But I beseech your Grace that I may know
0065 65 The worst that may befall me in this case
0066 If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
0067 Either to die the death or to abjure
0068 Forever the society of men.
0069 Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,
0070 70 Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
0071 Whether (if you yield not to your father’s choice)
0072 You can endure the livery of a nun,
0073 For aye to be in shady cloister mewed,
0074 To live a barren sister all your life,
0075 75 Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
0076 Thrice-blessèd they that master so their blood
0077 To undergo such maiden pilgrimage,
0078 But earthlier happy is the rose distilled
0079 Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn,
0080 80 Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.
0081 So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
0082 Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
0083 Unto his Lordship whose unwishèd yoke
0084 My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
0085 85 Take time to pause, and by the next new moon
0086 (The sealing day betwixt my love and me
0087 For everlasting bond of fellowship),
0088 Upon that day either prepare to die
0089 For disobedience to your father’s will,
0090 90 Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would,
0091 Or on Diana’s altar to protest
0092 For aye austerity and single life.
0093 Relent, sweet Hermia, and, Lysander, yield
0094 Thy crazèd title to my certain right.
0095 95 You have her father’s love, Demetrius.
0096 Let me have Hermia’s. Do you marry him.
0097 Scornful Lysander, true, he hath my love;
0098 And what is mine my love shall render him.
0099 And she is mine, and all my right of her
0100 100 I do estate unto Demetrius.
LYSANDER, ⌜to Theseus⌝
0101 I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
0102 As well possessed. My love is more than his;
0103 My fortunes every way as fairly ranked
0104 (If not with vantage) as Demetrius’;
0105 105 And (which is more than all these boasts can be)
0106 I am beloved of beauteous Hermia.
0107 Why should not I then prosecute my right?
0108 Demetrius, I’ll avouch it to his head,
0109 Made love to Nedar’s daughter, Helena,
0110 110 And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
0112 Upon this spotted and inconstant man.
0113 I must confess that I have heard so much,
0114 And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
0115 115 But, being overfull of self-affairs,
0116 My mind did lose it.—But, Demetrius, come,
0117 And come, Egeus; you shall go with me.
0118 I have some private schooling for you both.—
0119 For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
0120 120 To fit your fancies to your father’s will,
0121 Or else the law of Athens yields you up
0122 (Which by no means we may extenuate)
0123 To death or to a vow of single life.—
0124 Come, my Hippolyta. What cheer, my love?—
0125 125 Demetrius and Egeus, go along.
0126 I must employ you in some business
0127 Against our nuptial and confer with you
0128 Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
0129 With duty and desire we follow you.
⌜All but Hermia and Lysander⌝ exit.
0130 130 How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale?
0131 How chance the roses there do fade so fast?
0132 Belike for want of rain, which I could well
0133 Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.
0134 Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,
0135 135 Could ever hear by tale or history,
0136 The course of true love never did run smooth.
0137 But either it was different in blood—
0138 O cross! Too high to be enthralled to ⌜low.⌝
0139 Or else misgraffèd in respect of years—
0140 140 O spite! Too old to be engaged to young.
0141 Or else it stood upon the choice of friends—
0142 O hell, to choose love by another’s eyes!
0143 Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
0144 War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
0145 145 Making it momentany as a sound,
0146 Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
0147 Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
0148 That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and Earth,
0149 And, ere a man hath power to say “Behold!”
0150 150 The jaws of darkness do devour it up.
0151 So quick bright things come to confusion.
0152 If then true lovers have been ever crossed,
0153 It stands as an edict in destiny.
0154 Then let us teach our trial patience
0155 155 Because it is a customary cross,
0156 As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
0157 Wishes and tears, poor fancy’s followers.
0158 A good persuasion. Therefore, hear me, Hermia:
0159 I have a widow aunt, a dowager
0160 160 Of great revenue, and she hath no child.
0161 From Athens is her house remote seven leagues,
0162 And she respects me as her only son.
0163 There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
0164 And to that place the sharp Athenian law
0165 165 Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me, then
0166 Steal forth thy father’s house tomorrow night,
0167 And in the wood a league without the town
0168 (Where I did meet thee once with Helena
0169 To do observance to a morn of May),
0170 170 There will I stay for thee.
0172 I swear to thee by Cupid’s strongest bow,
0173 By his best arrow with the golden head,
0174 By the simplicity of Venus’ doves,
0175 175 By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
0176 And by that fire which burned the Carthage queen
0177 When the false Trojan under sail was seen,
0178 By all the vows that ever men have broke
0179 (In number more than ever women spoke),
0180 180 In that same place thou hast appointed me,
0181 Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee.
0182 Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.
0183 Godspeed, fair Helena. Whither away?
0184 Call you me “fair”? That “fair” again unsay.
0185 185 Demetrius loves your fair. O happy fair!
0186 Your eyes are lodestars and your tongue’s sweet air
0187 More tunable than lark to shepherd’s ear
0188 When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
0189 Sickness is catching. O, were favor so!
0190 190 ⌜Yours would⌝ I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go.
0191 My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye;
0192 My tongue should catch your tongue’s sweet
0194 Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
0195 195 The rest ⌜I’d⌝ give to be to you translated.
0196 O, teach me how you look and with what art
0197 You sway the motion of Demetrius’ heart!
0198 I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
0199 O, that your frowns would teach my smiles such
0200 200 skill!
0201 I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
0202 O, that my prayers could such affection move!
0203 The more I hate, the more he follows me.
0204 The more I love, the more he hateth me.
0205 205 His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
0206 None but your beauty. Would that fault were mine!
0207 Take comfort: he no more shall see my face.
0208 Lysander and myself will fly this place.
0209 Before the time I did Lysander see
0210 210 Seemed Athens as a paradise to me.
0211 O, then, what graces in my love do dwell
0212 That he hath turned a heaven unto a hell!
0213 Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
0214 Tomorrow night when Phoebe doth behold
0215 215 Her silver visage in the wat’ry glass,
0216 Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass
0217 (A time that lovers’ flights doth still conceal),
0218 Through Athens’ gates have we devised to steal.
0219 And in the wood where often you and I
0220 220 Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie,
0221 Emptying our bosoms of their counsel ⌜sweet,⌝
0222 There my Lysander and myself shall meet
0223 And thence from Athens turn away our eyes
0224 To seek new friends and ⌜stranger companies.⌝
0225 225 Farewell, sweet playfellow. Pray thou for us,
0226 And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius.—
0228 From lovers’ food till morrow deep midnight.
0229 I will, my Hermia.Hermia exits.
0230 230 Helena, adieu.
0231 As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!
0232 How happy some o’er other some can be!
0233 Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
0234 But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so.
0235 235 He will not know what all but he do know.
0236 And, as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes,
0237 So I, admiring of his qualities.
0238 Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
0239 Love can transpose to form and dignity.
0240 240 Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind;
0241 And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
0242 Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgment taste.
0243 Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste.
0244 And therefore is Love said to be a child
0245 245 Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
0246 As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
0247 So the boy Love is perjured everywhere.
0248 For, ere Demetrius looked on Hermia’s eyne,
0249 He hailed down oaths that he was only mine;
0250 250 And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
0251 So he dissolved, and show’rs of oaths did melt.
0252 I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight.
0253 Then to the wood will he tomorrow night
0254 Pursue her. And, for this intelligence
0255 255 If I have thanks, it is a dear expense.
0256 But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
0257 To have his sight thither and back again.
Bottom the weaver, and Flute the bellows-mender, and
Snout the tinker, and Starveling the tailor.
QUINCE 0258 Is all our company here?
BOTTOM 0259 You were best to call them generally, man by
0260 man, according to the scrip.
QUINCE 0261 Here is the scroll of every man’s name which
0262 5 is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our
0263 interlude before the Duke and the Duchess on his
0264 wedding day at night.
BOTTOM 0265 First, good Peter Quince, say what the play
0266 treats on, then read the names of the actors, and so
0267 10 grow to a point.
QUINCE 0268 Marry, our play is “The most lamentable
0269 comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and
BOTTOM 0271 A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a
0272 15 merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your
0273 actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.
QUINCE 0274 Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.
BOTTOM 0275 Ready. Name what part I am for, and
QUINCE 0277 20You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
BOTTOM 0278 What is Pyramus—a lover or a tyrant?
QUINCE 0279 A lover that kills himself most gallant for love.
BOTTOM 0280 That will ask some tears in the true performing
0281 of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their
0282 25 eyes. I will move storms; I will condole in some
0283 measure. To the rest.—Yet my chief humor is for a
0284 tyrant. I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a
0285 cat in, to make all split:
0286 The raging rocks
0287 30 And shivering shocks
0288 Shall break the locks
0290 And Phibbus’ car
0291 Shall shine from far
0292 35 And make and mar
0293 The foolish Fates.
0294 This was lofty. Now name the rest of the players.
0295 This is Ercles’ vein, a tyrant’s vein. A lover is more
QUINCE 0297 40Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
FLUTE 0298 Here, Peter Quince.
QUINCE 0299 Flute, you must take Thisbe on you.
FLUTE 0300 What is Thisbe—a wand’ring knight?
QUINCE 0301 It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
FLUTE 0302 45Nay, faith, let not me play a woman. I have a
0303 beard coming.
QUINCE 0304 That’s all one. You shall play it in a mask, and
0305 you may speak as small as you will.
BOTTOM 0306 An I may hide my face, let me play Thisbe too.
0307 50 I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice: “Thisne,
0308 Thisne!”—“Ah Pyramus, my lover dear! Thy Thisbe
0309 dear and lady dear!”
QUINCE 0310 No, no, you must play Pyramus—and, Flute,
0311 you Thisbe.
BOTTOM 0312 55Well, proceed.
QUINCE 0313 Robin Starveling, the tailor.
STARVELING 0314 Here, Peter Quince.
QUINCE 0315 Robin Starveling, you must play Thisbe’s
0316 mother.—Tom Snout, the tinker.
SNOUT 0317 60Here, Peter Quince.
QUINCE 0318 You, Pyramus’ father.—Myself, Thisbe’s
0319 father.—Snug the joiner, you the lion’s part.—
0320 And I hope here is a play fitted.
SNUG 0321 Have you the lion’s part written? Pray you, if it
0322 65 be, give it me, for I am slow of study.
QUINCE 0323 You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but
0326 do any man’s heart good to hear me. I will roar that
0327 70 I will make the Duke say “Let him roar again. Let
0328 him roar again!”
QUINCE 0329 An you should do it too terribly, you would
0330 fright the Duchess and the ladies that they would
0331 shriek, and that were enough to hang us all.
ALL 0332 75That would hang us, every mother’s son.
BOTTOM 0333 I grant you, friends, if you should fright the
0334 ladies out of their wits, they would have no more
0335 discretion but to hang us. But I will aggravate my
0336 voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking
0337 80 dove. I will roar you an ’twere any nightingale.
QUINCE 0338 You can play no part but Pyramus, for Pyramus
0339 is a sweet-faced man, a proper man as one
0340 shall see in a summer’s day, a most lovely gentlemanlike
0341 man. Therefore you must needs play
0342 85 Pyramus.
BOTTOM 0343 Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I
0344 best to play it in?
QUINCE 0345 Why, what you will.
BOTTOM 0346 I will discharge it in either your straw-color
0347 90 beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain
0348 beard, or your French-crown-color beard,
0349 your perfit yellow.
QUINCE 0350 Some of your French crowns have no hair at
0351 all, and then you will play barefaced. But, masters,
0352 95 here are your parts, ⌜giving out the parts,⌝ and I am
0353 to entreat you, request you, and desire you to con
0354 them by tomorrow night and meet me in the palace
0355 wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight. There
0356 will we rehearse, for if we meet in the city, we shall
0357 100 be dogged with company and our devices known. In
0358 the meantime I will draw a bill of properties such as
0359 our play wants. I pray you fail me not.
BOTTOM 0360 We will meet, and there we may rehearse
0362 105 perfit. Adieu.
QUINCE 0363 At the Duke’s Oak we meet.
BOTTOM 0364 Enough. Hold or cut bowstrings.
0365 How now, spirit? Whither wander you?
0366 Over hill, over dale,
0367 Thorough bush, thorough brier,
0368 Over park, over pale,
0369 5 Thorough flood, thorough fire;
0370 I do wander everywhere,
0371 Swifter than the moon’s sphere.
0372 And I serve the Fairy Queen,
0373 To dew her orbs upon the green.
0374 10 The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
0375 In their gold coats spots you see;
0376 Those be rubies, fairy favors;
0377 In those freckles live their savors.
0378 I must go seek some dewdrops here
0379 15 And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
0380 Farewell, thou lob of spirits. I’ll be gone.
0381 Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
0382 The King doth keep his revels here tonight.
0383 Take heed the Queen come not within his sight,
0385 Because that she, as her attendant, hath
0386 A lovely boy stolen from an Indian king;
0387 She never had so sweet a changeling.
0388 And jealous Oberon would have the child
0389 25 Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild.
0390 But she perforce withholds the lovèd boy,
0391 Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her
0393 And now they never meet in grove or green,
0394 30 By fountain clear or spangled starlight sheen,
0395 But they do square, that all their elves for fear
0396 Creep into acorn cups and hide them there.
0397 Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
0398 Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
0399 35 Called Robin Goodfellow. Are not you he
0400 That frights the maidens of the villagery,
0401 Skim milk, and sometimes labor in the quern
0402 And bootless make the breathless huswife churn,
0403 And sometime make the drink to bear no barm,
0404 40 Mislead night wanderers, laughing at their harm?
0405 Those that “Hobgoblin” call you and “sweet Puck,”
0406 You do their work, and they shall have good luck.
0407 Are not you he?
ROBIN 0408 Thou speakest aright.
0409 45 I am that merry wanderer of the night.
0410 I jest to Oberon and make him smile
0411 When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
0412 Neighing in likeness of a filly foal.
0413 And sometime lurk I in a gossip’s bowl
0414 50 In very likeness of a roasted crab,
0415 And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob
0416 And on her withered dewlap pour the ale.
0417 The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
0418 Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
0420 And “Tailor!” cries and falls into a cough,
0421 And then the whole choir hold their hips and loffe
0422 And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
0423 A merrier hour was never wasted there.
0424 60 But room, fairy. Here comes Oberon.
0425 And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!
Enter ⌜Oberon⌝ the King of Fairies at one door, with his
train, and ⌜Titania⌝ the Queen at another, with hers.
0426 Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
0427 What, jealous Oberon? ⌜Fairies,⌝ skip hence.
0428 I have forsworn his bed and company.
0429 65 Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy lord?
0430 Then I must be thy lady. But I know
0431 When thou hast stolen away from Fairyland
0432 And in the shape of Corin sat all day
0433 Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
0434 70 To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
0435 Come from the farthest steep of India,
0436 But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
0437 Your buskined mistress and your warrior love,
0438 To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
0439 75 To give their bed joy and prosperity?
0440 How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
0441 Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
0442 Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
0443 Didst not thou lead him through the glimmering
0444 80 night
0445 From ⌜Perigouna,⌝ whom he ravishèd,
0447 With Ariadne and Antiopa?
0448 These are the forgeries of jealousy;
0449 85 And never, since the middle summer’s spring,
0450 Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
0451 By pavèd fountain or by rushy brook,
0452 Or in the beachèd margent of the sea,
0453 To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
0454 90 But with thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport.
0455 Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
0456 As in revenge have sucked up from the sea
0457 Contagious fogs, which, falling in the land,
0458 Hath every pelting river made so proud
0459 95 That they have overborne their continents.
0460 The ox hath therefore stretched his yoke in vain,
0461 The plowman lost his sweat, and the green corn
0462 Hath rotted ere his youth attained a beard.
0463 The fold stands empty in the drownèd field,
0464 100 And crows are fatted with the murrain flock.
0465 The nine-men’s-morris is filled up with mud,
0466 And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
0467 For lack of tread, are undistinguishable.
0468 The human mortals want their winter here.
0469 105 No night is now with hymn or carol blessed.
0470 Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
0471 Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
0472 That rheumatic diseases do abound.
0473 And thorough this distemperature we see
0474 110 The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
0475 Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
0476 And on old Hiems’ ⌜thin⌝ and icy crown
0477 An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
0478 Is, as in mockery, set. The spring, the summer,
0479 115 The childing autumn, angry winter, change
0480 Their wonted liveries, and the mazèd world
0482 And this same progeny of evils comes
0483 From our debate, from our dissension;
0484 120 We are their parents and original.
0485 Do you amend it, then. It lies in you.
0486 Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
0487 I do but beg a little changeling boy
0488 To be my henchman.
TITANIA 0489 125 Set your heart at rest:
0490 The Fairyland buys not the child of me.
0491 His mother was a vot’ress of my order,
0492 And in the spicèd Indian air by night
0493 Full often hath she gossiped by my side
0494 130 And sat with me on Neptune’s yellow sands,
0495 Marking th’ embarkèd traders on the flood,
0496 When we have laughed to see the sails conceive
0497 And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
0498 Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait,
0499 135 Following (her womb then rich with my young
0501 Would imitate and sail upon the land
0502 To fetch me trifles and return again,
0503 As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
0504 140 But she, being mortal, of that boy did die,
0505 And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
0506 And for her sake I will not part with him.
0507 How long within this wood intend you stay?
0508 Perchance till after Theseus’ wedding day.
0509 145 If you will patiently dance in our round
0510 And see our moonlight revels, go with us.
0511 If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
0512 Give me that boy and I will go with thee.
0513 Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away.
0514 150 We shall chide downright if I longer stay.
⌜Titania and her fairies⌝ exit.
0515 Well, go thy way. Thou shalt not from this grove
0516 Till I torment thee for this injury.—
0517 My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememb’rest
0518 Since once I sat upon a promontory
0519 155 And heard a mermaid on a dolphin’s back
0520 Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
0521 That the rude sea grew civil at her song
0522 And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
0523 To hear the sea-maid’s music.
ROBIN 0524 160 I remember.
0525 That very time I saw (but thou couldst not),
0526 Flying between the cold moon and the Earth,
0527 Cupid all armed. A certain aim he took
0528 At a fair vestal thronèd by ⌜the⌝ west,
0529 165 And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow
0530 As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts.
0531 But I might see young Cupid’s fiery shaft
0532 Quenched in the chaste beams of the wat’ry moon,
0533 And the imperial vot’ress passèd on
0534 170 In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
0535 Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell.
0536 It fell upon a little western flower,
0537 Before, milk-white, now purple with love’s wound,
0538 And maidens call it “love-in-idleness.”
0539 175 Fetch me that flower; the herb I showed thee once.
0540 The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid
0541 Will make or man or woman madly dote
0542 Upon the next live creature that it sees.
0543 Fetch me this herb, and be thou here again
0544 180 Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
0545 I’ll put a girdle round about the Earth
0546 In forty minutes.⌜He exits.⌝
OBERON 0547 Having once this juice,
0548 I’ll watch Titania when she is asleep
0549 185 And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
0550 The next thing then she, waking, looks upon
0551 (Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
0552 On meddling monkey, or on busy ape)
0553 She shall pursue it with the soul of love.
0554 190 And ere I take this charm from off her sight
0555 (As I can take it with another herb),
0556 I’ll make her render up her page to me.
0557 But who comes here? I am invisible,
0558 And I will overhear their conference.
Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.
0559 195 I love thee not; therefore pursue me not.
0560 Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
0561 The one I’ll stay; the other stayeth me.
0562 Thou told’st me they were stol’n unto this wood,
0563 And here am I, and wood within this wood
0564 200 Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
0565 Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
0566 You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant!
0567 But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
0568 Is true as steel. Leave you your power to draw,
0569 205 And I shall have no power to follow you.
0570 Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
0571 Or rather do I not in plainest truth
0572 Tell you I do not, ⌜nor⌝ I cannot love you?
0573 And even for that do I love you the more.
0575 The more you beat me I will fawn on you.
0576 Use me but as your spaniel: spurn me, strike me,
0577 Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave
0578 (Unworthy as I am) to follow you.
0579 215 What worser place can I beg in your love
0580 (And yet a place of high respect with me)
0581 Than to be usèd as you use your dog?
0582 Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit,
0583 For I am sick when I do look on thee.
0584 220 And I am sick when I look not on you.
0585 You do impeach your modesty too much
0586 To leave the city and commit yourself
0587 Into the hands of one that loves you not,
0588 To trust the opportunity of night
0589 225 And the ill counsel of a desert place
0590 With the rich worth of your virginity.
0591 Your virtue is my privilege. For that
0592 It is not night when I do see your face,
0593 Therefore I think I am not in the night.
0594 230 Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company,
0595 For you, in my respect, are all the world.
0596 Then, how can it be said I am alone
0597 When all the world is here to look on me?
0598 I’ll run from thee and hide me in the brakes
0599 235 And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
0600 The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
0601 Run when you will. The story shall be changed:
0602 Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase;
0603 The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
0605 When cowardice pursues and valor flies!
0606 I will not stay thy questions. Let me go,
0607 Or if thou follow me, do not believe
0608 But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
0609 245 Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
0610 You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
0611 Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex.
0612 We cannot fight for love as men may do.
0613 We should be wooed and were not made to woo.
0614 250 I’ll follow thee and make a heaven of hell
0615 To die upon the hand I love so well.⌜Helena exits.⌝
0616 Fare thee well, nymph. Ere he do leave this grove,
0617 Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.
0618 Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
0619 255 Ay, there it is.
OBERON 0620 I pray thee give it me.
⌜Robin gives him the flower.⌝
0621 I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
0622 Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
0623 Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
0624 260 With sweet muskroses, and with eglantine.
0625 There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
0626 Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight.
0627 And there the snake throws her enameled skin,
0628 Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.
0629 265 And with the juice of this I’ll streak her eyes
0630 And make her full of hateful fantasies.
0631 Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove.
0632 A sweet Athenian lady is in love
0633 With a disdainful youth. Anoint his eyes,
0634 270 But do it when the next thing he espies
0635 May be the lady. Thou shalt know the man
0636 By the Athenian garments he hath on.
0637 Effect it with some care, that he may prove
0638 More fond on her than she upon her love.
0639 275 And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
0640 Fear not, my lord. Your servant shall do so.
0641 Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
0642 Then, for the third part of a minute, hence—
0643 Some to kill cankers in the muskrose buds,
0644 Some war with reremice for their leathern wings
0645 5 To make my small elves coats, and some keep back
0646 The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
0647 At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep.
0648 Then to your offices and let me rest.⌜She lies down.⌝
0649 You spotted snakes with double tongue,
0650 10 Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen.
0651 Newts and blindworms, do no wrong,
0652 Come not near our Fairy Queen.
0653 Philomel, with melody
0654 Sing in our sweet lullaby.
0656 Never harm
0657 Nor spell nor charm
0658 Come our lovely lady nigh.
0659 So good night, with lullaby.
0660 20 Weaving spiders, come not here.
0661 Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence.
0662 Beetles black, approach not near.
0663 Worm nor snail, do no offence.
0664 Philomel, with melody
0665 25 Sing in our sweet lullaby.
0666 Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby.
0667 Never harm
0668 Nor spell nor charm
0669 Come our lovely lady nigh.
0670 30 So good night, with lullaby.
0671 Hence, away! Now all is well.
0672 One aloof stand sentinel. ⌜Fairies exit.⌝
Enter Oberon, ⌜who anoints Titania’s eyelids with the
0673 What thou seest when thou dost wake
0674 Do it for thy true love take.
0675 35 Love and languish for his sake.
0676 Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
0677 Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
0678 In thy eye that shall appear
0679 When thou wak’st, it is thy dear.
0680 40 Wake when some vile thing is near.⌜He exits.⌝
Enter Lysander and Hermia.
0681 Fair love, you faint with wand’ring in the wood.
0682 And, to speak troth, I have forgot our way.
0683 We’ll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
0684 And tarry for the comfort of the day.
0685 45 ⌜Be⌝ it so, Lysander. Find you out a bed,
0686 For I upon this bank will rest my head.
0687 One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
0688 One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.
0689 Nay, good Lysander. For my sake, my dear,
0690 50 Lie further off yet. Do not lie so near.
0691 O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
0692 Love takes the meaning in love’s conference.
0693 I mean that my heart unto yours ⌜is⌝ knit,
0694 So that but one heart we can make of it;
0695 55 Two bosoms interchainèd with an oath—
0696 So then two bosoms and a single troth.
0697 Then by your side no bed-room me deny,
0698 For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
0699 Lysander riddles very prettily.
0700 60 Now much beshrew my manners and my pride
0701 If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.
0702 But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy,
0703 Lie further off in human modesty.
0704 Such separation, as may well be said,
0705 65 Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid.
0706 So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend.
0707 Thy love ne’er alter till thy sweet life end!
0708 “Amen, amen” to that fair prayer, say I,
0709 And then end life when I end loyalty!
0710 70 Here is my bed. Sleep give thee all his rest!
0711 With half that wish the wisher’s eyes be pressed!
0712 Through the forest have I gone,
0713 But Athenian found I none
0714 On whose eyes I might approve
0715 75 This flower’s force in stirring love.
⌜He sees Lysander.⌝
0716 Night and silence! Who is here?
0717 Weeds of Athens he doth wear.
0718 This is he my master said
0719 Despisèd the Athenian maid.
0720 80 And here the maiden, sleeping sound
0721 On the dank and dirty ground.
0722 Pretty soul, she durst not lie
0723 Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.—
0724 Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
0725 85 All the power this charm doth owe.
⌜He anoints Lysander’s eyelids
with the nectar.⌝
0726 When thou wak’st, let love forbid
0727 Sleep his seat on thy eyelid.
0728 So, awake when I am gone,
0729 For I must now to Oberon.He exits.
Enter Demetrius and Helena, running.
0730 90 Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
0731 I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
0732 O, wilt thou darkling leave me? Do not so.
0733 Stay, on thy peril. I alone will go.⌜Demetrius exits.⌝
0734 O, I am out of breath in this fond chase.
0735 95 The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
0736 Happy is Hermia, wheresoe’er she lies,
0737 For she hath blessèd and attractive eyes.
0738 How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears.
0739 If so, my eyes are oftener washed than hers.
0740 100 No, no, I am as ugly as a bear,
0741 For beasts that meet me run away for fear.
0742 Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
0743 Do as a monster fly my presence thus.
0744 What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
0745 105 Made me compare with Hermia’s sphery eyne?
0746 But who is here? Lysander, on the ground!
0747 Dead or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.—
0748 Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.
LYSANDER, ⌜waking up⌝
0749 And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
0750 110 Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,
0751 That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
0752 Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word
0753 Is that vile name to perish on my sword!
0754 Do not say so. Lysander, say not so.
0755 115 What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what
0757 Yet Hermia still loves you. Then be content.
0758 Content with Hermia? No, I do repent
0759 The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
0760 120 Not Hermia, but Helena I love.
0761 Who will not change a raven for a dove?
0762 The will of man is by his reason swayed,
0763 And reason says you are the worthier maid.
0765 125 So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason.
0766 And touching now the point of human skill,
0767 Reason becomes the marshal to my will
0768 And leads me to your eyes, where I o’erlook
0769 Love’s stories written in love’s richest book.
0770 130 Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
0771 When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
0772 Is ’t not enough, is ’t not enough, young man,
0773 That I did never, no, nor never can
0774 Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius’ eye,
0775 135 But you must flout my insufficiency?
0776 Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
0777 In such disdainful manner me to woo.
0778 But fare you well. Perforce I must confess
0779 I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
0780 140 O, that a lady of one man refused
0781 Should of another therefore be abused!She exits.
0782 She sees not Hermia.—Hermia, sleep thou there,
0783 And never mayst thou come Lysander near.
0784 For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
0785 145 The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,
0786 Or as the heresies that men do leave
0787 Are hated most of those they did deceive,
0788 So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,
0789 Of all be hated, but the most of me!
0790 150 And, all my powers, address your love and might
0791 To honor Helen and to be her knight.He exits.
HERMIA, ⌜waking up⌝
0792 Help me, Lysander, help me! Do thy best
0793 To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.
0794 Ay me, for pity! What a dream was here!
0795 155 Lysander, look how I do quake with fear.
0796 Methought a serpent ate my heart away,
0798 Lysander! What, removed? Lysander, lord!
0799 What, out of hearing? Gone? No sound, no word?
0800 160 Alack, where are you? Speak, an if you hear.
0801 Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.—
0802 No? Then I well perceive you are not nigh.
0803 Either death or you I’ll find immediately.
⌜Bottom, Quince, Snout, Starveling, Snug, and Flute.⌝
BOTTOM 0804 Are we all met?
QUINCE 0805 Pat, pat. And here’s a marvels convenient
0806 place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be
0807 our stage, this hawthorn brake our tiring-house,
0808 5 and we will do it in action as we will do it before
0809 the Duke.
BOTTOM 0810 Peter Quince?
QUINCE 0811 What sayest thou, bully Bottom?
BOTTOM 0812 There are things in this comedy of Pyramus
0813 10 and Thisbe that will never please. First, Pyramus
0814 must draw a sword to kill himself, which the ladies
0815 cannot abide. How answer you that?
SNOUT 0816 By ’r lakin, a parlous fear.
STARVELING 0817 I believe we must leave the killing out,
0818 15 when all is done.
BOTTOM 0819 Not a whit! I have a device to make all well.
0820 Write me a prologue, and let the prologue seem to
0821 say we will do no harm with our swords and that
0822 Pyramus is not killed indeed. And, for the more
0823 20 better assurance, tell them that I, Pyramus, am not
0824 Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver. This will put them
0825 out of fear.
0827 be written in eight and six.
BOTTOM 0828 25No, make it two more. Let it be written in
0829 eight and eight.
SNOUT 0830 Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
STARVELING 0831 I fear it, I promise you.
BOTTOM 0832 Masters, you ought to consider with yourself,
0833 30 to bring in (God shield us!) a lion among ladies is a
0834 most dreadful thing. For there is not a more fearful
0835 wildfowl than your lion living, and we ought to look
0836 to ’t.
SNOUT 0837 Therefore another prologue must tell he is not
0838 35 a lion.
BOTTOM 0839 Nay, you must name his name, and half his
0840 face must be seen through the lion’s neck, and he
0841 himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the
0842 same defect: “Ladies,” or “Fair ladies, I would
0843 40 wish you,” or “I would request you,” or “I would
0844 entreat you not to fear, not to tremble! My life for
0845 yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were
0846 pity of my life. No, I am no such thing. I am a man as
0847 other men are.” And there indeed let him name his
0848 45 name and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.
QUINCE 0849 Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard
0850 things: that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber,
0851 for you know Pyramus and Thisbe meet by
SNOUT 0853 50Doth the moon shine that night we play our
BOTTOM 0855 A calendar, a calendar! Look in the almanac.
0856 Find out moonshine, find out moonshine.
⌜Quince takes out a book.⌝
QUINCE 0857 Yes, it doth shine that night.
⌜BOTTOM⌝ 0858 55Why, then, may you leave a casement of the
0859 great chamber window, where we play, open, and
0860 the moon may shine in at the casement.
0862 thorns and a lantern and say he comes to disfigure
0863 60 or to present the person of Moonshine. Then there
0864 is another thing: we must have a wall in the great
0865 chamber, for Pyramus and Thisbe, says the story,
0866 did talk through the chink of a wall.
SNOUT 0867 You can never bring in a wall. What say you,
0868 65 Bottom?
BOTTOM 0869 Some man or other must present Wall. And
0870 let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some
0871 roughcast about him to signify wall, or let him
0872 hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall
0873 70 Pyramus and Thisbe whisper.
QUINCE 0874 If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down,
0875 every mother’s son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus,
0876 you begin. When you have spoken your
0877 speech, enter into that brake, and so everyone
0878 75 according to his cue.
Enter Robin ⌜invisible to those onstage.⌝
0879 What hempen homespuns have we swagg’ring here
0880 So near the cradle of the Fairy Queen?
0881 What, a play toward? I’ll be an auditor—
0882 An actor too perhaps, if I see cause.
QUINCE 0883 80Speak, Pyramus.—Thisbe, stand forth.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
0884 Thisbe, the flowers of odious savors sweet—
QUINCE 0885 Odors, ⌜odors!⌝
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
0886 …odors savors sweet.
0887 So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisbe dear.—
0888 85 But hark, a voice! Stay thou but here awhile,
0889 And by and by I will to thee appear.He exits.
0890 A stranger Pyramus than e’er played here.⌜He exits.⌝
QUINCE 0892 Ay, marry, must you, for you must understand
0893 90 he goes but to see a noise that he heard and is to
0894 come again.
FLUTE, as Thisbe
0895 Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
0896 Of color like the red rose on triumphant brier,
0897 Most brisky juvenal and eke most lovely Jew,
0898 95 As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.
0899 I’ll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny’s tomb.
QUINCE 0900 “Ninus’ tomb,” man! Why, you must not
0901 speak that yet. That you answer to Pyramus. You
0902 speak all your part at once, cues and all.—Pyramus,
0903 100 enter. Your cue is past. It is “never tire.”
FLUTE 0904 O!
0905 ⌜As Thisbe.⌝ As true as truest horse, that yet would never
⌜Enter Robin, and Bottom as Pyramus with the
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
0907 If I were fair, ⌜fair⌝ Thisbe, I were only thine.
QUINCE 0908 105O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray,
0909 masters, fly, masters! Help!
⌜Quince, Flute, Snout, Snug, and Starveling exit.⌝
0910 I’ll follow you. I’ll lead you about a round,
0911 Through bog, through bush, through brake,
0912 through brier.
0913 110 Sometime a horse I’ll be, sometime a hound,
0914 A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire,
0915 And neigh and bark and grunt and roar and burn,
0916 Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
BOTTOM 0917 Why do they run away? This is a knavery of
0918 115 them to make me afeard.
SNOUT 0919 O Bottom, thou art changed! What do I see on
BOTTOM 0921 What do you see? You see an ass-head of your
0922 own, do you?⌜Snout exits.⌝
QUINCE 0923 120Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee! Thou art
0924 translated!He exits.
BOTTOM 0925 I see their knavery. This is to make an ass of
0926 me, to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir
0927 from this place, do what they can. I will walk up
0928 125 and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear
0929 I am not afraid.
⌜He sings.⌝ 0930 The ouzel cock, so black of hue,
0931 With orange-tawny bill,
0932 The throstle with his note so true,
0933 130 The wren with little quill—
TITANIA, ⌜waking up⌝
0934 What angel wakes me from my flow’ry bed?
0935 The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
0936 The plainsong cuckoo gray,
0937 Whose note full many a man doth mark
0938 135 And dares not answer “nay”—
0939 for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a
0940 bird? Who would give a bird the lie though he cry
0941 “cuckoo” never so?
0942 I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again.
0943 140 Mine ear is much enamored of thy note,
0944 So is mine eye enthrallèd to thy shape,
0945 And thy fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me
0946 On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
BOTTOM 0947 Methinks, mistress, you should have little
0949 and love keep little company together nowadays.
0950 The more the pity that some honest neighbors will
0951 not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon
0953 150 Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
BOTTOM 0954 Not so neither; but if I had wit enough to get
0955 out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own
0957 Out of this wood do not desire to go.
0958 155 Thou shalt remain here whether thou wilt or no.
0959 I am a spirit of no common rate.
0960 The summer still doth tend upon my state,
0961 And I do love thee. Therefore go with me.
0962 I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
0963 160 And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep
0964 And sing while thou on pressèd flowers dost sleep.
0965 And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
0966 That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.—
0967 Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mote, and Mustardseed!
Enter four Fairies: ⌜Peaseblossom, Cobweb,
Mote, and Mustardseed.⌝
⌜PEASEBLOSSOM⌝ 0968 165Ready.
⌜COBWEB⌝ 0969 And I.
⌜MOTE⌝ 0970 And I.
⌜MUSTARDSEED⌝ 0971 And I.
⌜ALL⌝ 0972 Where shall we go?
0973 170 Be kind and courteous to this gentleman.
0974 Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;
0975 Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
0976 With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
0977 The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
0979 And light them at the fiery glowworms’ eyes
0980 To have my love to bed and to arise;
0981 And pluck the wings from painted butterflies
0982 To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.
0983 180 Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
⌜PEASEBLOSSOM⌝ 0984 Hail, mortal!
⌜COBWEB⌝ 0985 Hail!
⌜MOTE⌝ 0986 Hail!
⌜MUSTARDSEED⌝ 0987 Hail!
BOTTOM 0988 185I cry your Worships mercy, heartily.—I beseech
0989 your Worship’s name.
COBWEB 0990 Cobweb.
BOTTOM 0991 I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good
0992 Master Cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make
0993 190 bold with you.—Your name, honest gentleman?
PEASEBLOSSOM 0994 Peaseblossom.
BOTTOM 0995 I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash,
0996 your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father.
0997 Good Master Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of
0998 195 more acquaintance too.—Your name, I beseech
0999 you, sir?
MUSTARDSEED 1000 Mustardseed.
BOTTOM 1001 Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience
1002 well. That same cowardly, giantlike ox-beef
1003 200 hath devoured many a gentleman of your house. I
1004 promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes
1005 water ere now. I desire you ⌜of⌝ more acquaintance,
1006 good Master Mustardseed.
1007 Come, wait upon him. Lead him to my bower.
1008 205 The moon, methinks, looks with a wat’ry eye,
1009 And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
1010 Lamenting some enforcèd chastity.
1011 Tie up my lover’s tongue. Bring him silently.
1012 I wonder if Titania be awaked;
1013 Then what it was that next came in her eye,
1014 Which she must dote on in extremity.
⌜Enter Robin Goodfellow.⌝
1015 Here comes my messenger. How now, mad spirit?
1016 5 What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
1017 My mistress with a monster is in love.
1018 Near to her close and consecrated bower,
1019 While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
1020 A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
1021 10 That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
1022 Were met together to rehearse a play
1023 Intended for great Theseus’ nuptial day.
1024 The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
1025 Who Pyramus presented in their sport,
1026 15 Forsook his scene and entered in a brake.
1027 When I did him at this advantage take,
1028 An ass’s noll I fixèd on his head.
1029 Anon his Thisbe must be answerèd,
1030 And forth my ⌜mimic⌝ comes. When they him spy,
1031 20 As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
1032 Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
1033 Rising and cawing at the gun’s report,
1034 Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
1035 So at his sight away his fellows fly,
1036 25 And, at our stamp, here o’er and o’er one falls.
1037 He “Murder” cries and help from Athens calls.
1038 Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus
1040 Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
1042 Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things
1044 I led them on in this distracted fear
1045 And left sweet Pyramus translated there.
1046 35 When in that moment, so it came to pass,
1047 Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.
1048 This falls out better than I could devise.
1049 But hast thou yet latched the Athenian’s eyes
1050 With the love juice, as I did bid thee do?
1051 40 I took him sleeping—that is finished, too—
1052 And the Athenian woman by his side,
1053 That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.
Enter Demetrius and Hermia.
1054 Stand close. This is the same Athenian.
1055 This is the woman, but not this the man.
⌜They step aside.⌝
1056 45 O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
1057 Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe!
1058 Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse,
1059 For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.
1060 If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
1061 50 Being o’er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep
1062 And kill me too.
1063 The sun was not so true unto the day
1064 As he to me. Would he have stolen away
1065 From sleeping Hermia? I’ll believe as soon
1066 55 This whole Earth may be bored, and that the moon
1067 May through the center creep and so displease
1069 It cannot be but thou hast murdered him.
1070 So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.
1071 60 So should the murdered look, and so should I,
1072 Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.
1073 Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
1074 As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
1075 What’s this to my Lysander? Where is he?
1076 65 Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?
1077 I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.
1078 Out, dog! Out, cur! Thou driv’st me past the bounds
1079 Of maiden’s patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
1080 Henceforth be never numbered among men.
1081 70 O, once tell true! Tell true, even for my sake!
1082 Durst thou have looked upon him, being awake?
1083 And hast thou killed him sleeping? O brave touch!
1084 Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
1085 An adder did it, for with doubler tongue
1086 75 Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
1087 You spend your passion on a misprised mood.
1088 I am not guilty of Lysander’s blood,
1089 Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
1090 I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
1091 80 An if I could, what should I get therefor?
1092 A privilege never to see me more.
1093 And from thy hated presence part I ⌜so.⌝
1094 See me no more, whether he be dead or no.
1095 There is no following her in this fierce vein.
1096 85 Here, therefore, for a while I will remain.
1097 So sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow
1098 For debt that bankrout ⌜sleep⌝ doth sorrow owe,
1099 Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
1100 If for his tender here I make some stay.
⌜He⌝ lies down ⌜and falls asleep.⌝
OBERON, ⌜to Robin⌝
1101 90 What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite
1102 And laid the love juice on some true-love’s sight.
1103 Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
1104 Some true-love turned, and not a false turned true.
1105 Then fate o’errules, that, one man holding troth,
1106 95 A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
1107 About the wood go swifter than the wind,
1108 And Helena of Athens look thou find.
1109 All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer
1110 With sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear.
1111 100 By some illusion see thou bring her here.
1112 I’ll charm his eyes against she do appear.
ROBIN 1113 I go, I go, look how I go,
1114 Swifter than arrow from the Tartar’s bow.⌜He exits.⌝
OBERON, ⌜applying the nectar to Demetrius’ eyes⌝
1115 Flower of this purple dye,
1116 105 Hit with Cupid’s archery,
1117 Sink in apple of his eye.
1118 When his love he doth espy,
1119 Let her shine as gloriously
1120 As the Venus of the sky.—
1121 110 When thou wak’st, if she be by,
1122 Beg of her for remedy.
1123 Captain of our fairy band,
1124 Helena is here at hand,
1125 And the youth, mistook by me,
1126 115 Pleading for a lover’s fee.
1127 Shall we their fond pageant see?
1128 Lord, what fools these mortals be!
1129 Stand aside. The noise they make
1130 Will cause Demetrius to awake.
1131 120 Then will two at once woo one.
1132 That must needs be sport alone.
1133 And those things do best please me
1134 That befall prepost’rously.
⌜They step aside.⌝
Enter Lysander and Helena.
1135 Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
1136 125 Scorn and derision never come in tears.
1137 Look when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
1138 In their nativity all truth appears.
1139 How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
1140 Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true?
1141 130 You do advance your cunning more and more.
1142 When truth kills truth, O devilish holy fray!
1143 These vows are Hermia’s. Will you give her o’er?
1144 Weigh oath with oath and you will nothing
1146 135 Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
1147 Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.
1148 I had no judgment when to her I swore.
1149 Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o’er.
1150 Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜waking up⌝
1151 140 O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
1152 To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
1153 Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
1154 Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
1155 That pure congealèd white, high Taurus’ snow,
1156 145 Fanned with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
1157 When thou hold’st up thy hand. O, let me kiss
1158 This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
1159 O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
1160 To set against me for your merriment.
1161 150 If you were civil and knew courtesy,
1162 You would not do me thus much injury.
1163 Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
1164 But you must join in souls to mock me too?
1165 If you were men, as men you are in show,
1166 155 You would not use a gentle lady so,
1167 To vow and swear and superpraise my parts,
1168 When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts.
1169 You both are rivals and love Hermia,
1170 And now both rivals to mock Helena.
1171 160 A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
1172 To conjure tears up in a poor maid’s eyes
1173 With your derision! None of noble sort
1174 Would so offend a virgin and extort
1175 A poor soul’s patience, all to make you sport.
1176 165 You are unkind, Demetrius. Be not so,
1177 For you love Hermia; this you know I know.
1178 And here with all goodwill, with all my heart,
1179 In Hermia’s love I yield you up my part.
1180 And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
1181 170 Whom I do love and will do till my death.
1182 Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
1183 Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.
1184 If e’er I loved her, all that love is gone.
1185 My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourned,
1186 175 And now to Helen is it home returned,
1187 There to remain.
LYSANDER 1188 Helen, it is not so.
1189 Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
1190 Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear.
1191 180 Look where thy love comes. Yonder is thy dear.
HERMIA, ⌜to Lysander⌝
1192 Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
1193 The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
1194 Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
1195 It pays the hearing double recompense.
1196 185 Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
1197 Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound.
1198 But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
1199 Why should he stay whom love doth press to go?
1200 What love could press Lysander from my side?
1201 190 Lysander’s love, that would not let him bide,
1202 Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
1203 Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.
1204 Why seek’st thou me? Could not this make thee
1206 195 The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?
1207 You speak not as you think. It cannot be.
1208 Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
1209 Now I perceive they have conjoined all three
1210 To fashion this false sport in spite of me.—
1211 200 Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,
1212 Have you conspired, have you with these contrived,
1213 To bait me with this foul derision?
1214 Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
1215 The sisters’ vows, the hours that we have spent
1216 205 When we have chid the hasty-footed time
1217 For parting us—O, is all forgot?
1218 All schooldays’ friendship, childhood innocence?
1219 We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
1220 Have with our needles created both one flower,
1221 210 Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
1222 Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
1223 As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds
1224 Had been incorporate. So we grew together
1225 Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
1226 215 But yet an union in partition,
1227 Two lovely berries molded on one stem;
1228 So with two seeming bodies but one heart,
1229 Two of the first, ⌜like⌝ coats in heraldry,
1230 Due but to one, and crownèd with one crest.
1231 220 And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
1232 To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
1233 It is not friendly; ’tis not maidenly.
1234 Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
1235 Though I alone do feel the injury.
1236 225 I am amazèd at your words.
1237 I scorn you not. It seems that you scorn me.
1238 Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
1239 To follow me and praise my eyes and face,
1240 And made your other love, Demetrius,
1242 To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
1243 Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
1244 To her he hates? And wherefore doth Lysander
1245 Deny your love (so rich within his soul)
1246 235 And tender me, forsooth, affection,
1247 But by your setting on, by your consent?
1248 What though I be not so in grace as you,
1249 So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
1250 But miserable most, to love unloved?
1251 240 This you should pity rather than despise.
1252 I understand not what you mean by this.
1253 Ay, do. Persever, counterfeit sad looks,
1254 Make mouths upon me when I turn my back,
1255 Wink each at other, hold the sweet jest up.
1256 245 This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
1257 If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
1258 You would not make me such an argument.
1259 But fare you well. ’Tis partly my own fault,
1260 Which death or absence soon shall remedy.
1261 250 Stay, gentle Helena. Hear my excuse,
1262 My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena.
1263 O excellent!
HERMIA, ⌜to Lysander⌝
1264 Sweet, do not scorn her so.
DEMETRIUS, ⌜to Lysander⌝
1265 If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
1266 255 Thou canst compel no more than she entreat.
1267 Thy threats have no more strength than her weak
1269 Helen, I love thee. By my life, I do.
1271 260 To prove him false that says I love thee not.
1272 I say I love thee more than he can do.
1273 If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too.
1274 Quick, come.
HERMIA 1275 Lysander, whereto tends all this?
⌜She takes hold of Lysander.⌝
1276 265 Away, you Ethiop!
DEMETRIUS, ⌜to Hermia⌝
1277 No, no. He’ll
1278 Seem to break loose. ⌜To Lysander.⌝ Take on as you
1279 would follow,
1280 But yet come not. You are a tame man, go!
LYSANDER, ⌜to Hermia⌝
1281 270 Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing, let loose,
1282 Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.
1283 Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,
1284 Sweet love?
LYSANDER 1285 Thy love? Out, tawny Tartar, out!
1286 275 Out, loathèd med’cine! O, hated potion, hence!
1287 Do you not jest?
HELENA 1288 Yes, sooth, and so do you.
1289 Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
1290 I would I had your bond. For I perceive
1291 280 A weak bond holds you. I’ll not trust your word.
1292 What? Should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
1293 Although I hate her, I’ll not harm her so.
1294 What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
1295 Hate me? Wherefore? O me, what news, my love?
1296 285 Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
1297 I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
1298 Since night you loved me; yet since night you left
1300 Why, then, you left me—O, the gods forbid!—
1301 290 In earnest, shall I say?
LYSANDER 1302 Ay, by my life,
1303 And never did desire to see thee more.
1304 Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt.
1305 Be certain, nothing truer, ’tis no jest
1306 295 That I do hate thee and love Helena.
⌜Hermia turns him loose.⌝
1307 O me! ⌜To Helena.⌝ You juggler, you cankerblossom,
1308 You thief of love! What, have you come by night
1309 And stol’n my love’s heart from him?
HELENA 1310 Fine, i’ faith.
1311 300 Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
1312 No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
1313 Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
1314 Fie, fie, you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
1315 “Puppet”? Why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
1316 305 Now I perceive that she hath made compare
1317 Between our statures; she hath urged her height,
1318 And with her personage, her tall personage,
1319 Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.
1320 And are you grown so high in his esteem
1321 310 Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
1322 How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak!
1323 How low am I? I am not yet so low
1324 But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
1325 I pray you, though you mock me, ⌜gentlemen,⌝
1326 315 Let her not hurt me. I was never curst;
1327 I have no gift at all in shrewishness.
1328 I am a right maid for my cowardice.
1329 Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
1330 Because she is something lower than myself,
1331 320 That I can match her.
HERMIA 1332 “Lower”? Hark, again!
1333 Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
1334 I evermore did love you, Hermia,
1335 Did ever keep your counsels, never wronged you—
1336 325 Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
1337 I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
1338 He followed you; for love, I followed him.
1339 But he hath chid me hence and threatened me
1340 To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too.
1341 330 And now, so you will let me quiet go,
1342 To Athens will I bear my folly back
1343 And follow you no further. Let me go.
1344 You see how simple and how fond I am.
1345 Why, get you gone. Who is ’t that hinders you?
1346 335 A foolish heart that I leave here behind.
1347 What, with Lysander?
HELENA 1348 With Demetrius.
1349 Be not afraid. She shall not harm thee, Helena.
1350 No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.
1351 340 O, when she is angry, she is keen and shrewd.
1352 She was a vixen when she went to school,
1353 And though she be but little, she is fierce.
1354 “Little” again? Nothing ⌜but⌝ “low” and “little”?
1355 Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
1356 345 Let me come to her.
LYSANDER 1357 Get you gone, you dwarf,
1358 You minimus of hind’ring knotgrass made,
1359 You bead, you acorn—
DEMETRIUS 1360 You are too officious
1361 350 In her behalf that scorns your services.
1362 Let her alone. Speak not of Helena.
1363 Take not her part. For if thou dost intend
1364 Never so little show of love to her,
1365 Thou shalt aby it.
LYSANDER 1366 355 Now she holds me not.
1367 Now follow, if thou dar’st, to try whose right,
1368 Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
1369 “Follow”? Nay, I’ll go with thee, cheek by jowl.
⌜Demetrius and Lysander exit.⌝
1370 You, mistress, all this coil is long of you.
1371 360 Nay, go not back.
HELENA 1372 I will not trust you, I,
1373 Nor longer stay in your curst company.
1374 Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray.
1375 My legs are longer though, to run away.⌜She exits.⌝
1376 365 I am amazed and know not what to say.⌜She exits.⌝
OBERON, ⌜to Robin⌝
1377 This is thy negligence. Still thou mistak’st,
1378 Or else committ’st thy knaveries willfully.
1379 Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
1380 Did not you tell me I should know the man
1381 370 By the Athenian garments he had on?
1383 That I have ’nointed an Athenian’s eyes;
1384 And so far am I glad it so did sort,
1385 As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
1386 375 Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight.
1387 Hie, therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
1388 The starry welkin cover thou anon
1389 With drooping fog as black as Acheron,
1390 And lead these testy rivals so astray
1391 380 As one come not within another’s way.
1392 Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue;
1393 Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong.
1394 And sometime rail thou like Demetrius.
1395 And from each other look thou lead them thus,
1396 385 Till o’er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
1397 With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep.
1398 Then crush this herb into Lysander’s eye,
⌜He gives a flower to Robin.⌝
1399 Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
1400 To take from thence all error with his might
1401 390 And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
1402 When they next wake, all this derision
1403 Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision.
1404 And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
1405 With league whose date till death shall never end.
1406 395 Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
1407 I’ll to my queen and beg her Indian boy;
1408 And then I will her charmèd eye release
1409 From monster’s view, and all things shall be peace.
1410 My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
1411 400 For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
1412 And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger,
1413 At whose approach, ghosts wand’ring here and
1416 405 That in crossways and floods have burial,
1417 Already to their wormy beds are gone.
1418 For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
1419 They willfully themselves exile from light
1420 And must for aye consort with black-browed night.
1421 410 But we are spirits of another sort.
1422 I with the Morning’s love have oft made sport
1423 And, like a forester, the groves may tread
1424 Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
1425 Opening on Neptune with fair blessèd beams,
1426 415 Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
1427 But notwithstanding, haste! Make no delay.
1428 We may effect this business yet ere day.⌜He exits.⌝
1429 Up and down, up and down,
1430 I will lead them up and down.
1431 420 I am feared in field and town.
1432 Goblin, lead them up and down.
1433 Here comes one.
1434 Where art thou, proud Demetrius? Speak thou now.
ROBIN, ⌜in Demetrius’ voice⌝
1435 Here, villain, drawn and ready. Where art thou?
LYSANDER 1436 425I will be with thee straight.
ROBIN, ⌜in Demetrius’ voice⌝ 1437 Follow me, then, to
1438 plainer ground.⌜Lysander exits.⌝
DEMETRIUS 1439 Lysander, speak again.
1440 Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
1441 430 Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy
1443 Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
1444 Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars,
1445 And wilt not come? Come, recreant! Come, thou
1446 435 child!
1447 I’ll whip thee with a rod. He is defiled
1448 That draws a sword on thee.
DEMETRIUS 1449 Yea, art thou there?
ROBIN, ⌜in Lysander’s voice⌝
1450 Follow my voice. We’ll try no manhood here.
1451 440 He goes before me and still dares me on.
1452 When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
1453 The villain is much lighter-heeled than I.
1454 I followed fast, but faster he did fly,
1455 That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
1456 445 And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day,
1457 For if but once thou show me thy gray light,
1458 I’ll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.
⌜He lies down and sleeps.⌝
⌜Enter⌝ Robin and Demetrius.
ROBIN, ⌜in Lysander’s voice⌝
1459 Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why com’st thou not?
1460 Abide me, if thou dar’st, for well I wot
1461 450 Thou runn’st before me, shifting every place,
1462 And dar’st not stand nor look me in the face.
1463 Where art thou now?
ROBIN, ⌜in Lysander’s voice⌝
1464 Come hither. I am here.
1465 Nay, then, thou mock’st me. Thou shalt buy this
1466 455 dear
1468 Now go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
1469 To measure out my length on this cold bed.
1470 By day’s approach look to be visited.
⌜He lies down and sleeps.⌝
1471 460 O weary night, O long and tedious night,
1472 Abate thy hours! Shine, comforts, from the east,
1473 That I may back to Athens by daylight
1474 From these that my poor company detest.
1475 And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow’s eye,
1476 465 Steal me awhile from mine own company.
⌜She lies down and⌝ sleeps.
1477 Yet but three? Come one more.
1478 Two of both kinds makes up four.
1479 Here she comes, curst and sad.
1480 Cupid is a knavish lad
1481 470 Thus to make poor females mad.
1482 Never so weary, never so in woe,
1483 Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,
1484 I can no further crawl, no further go.
1485 My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
1486 475 Here will I rest me till the break of day.
1487 Heavens shield Lysander if they mean a fray!
⌜She lies down and sleeps.⌝
1488 On the ground
1489 Sleep sound.
1490 I’ll apply
1491 480 ⌜To⌝ your eye,
1492 Gentle lover, remedy.
to Lysander’s eyes.⌝
1493 When thou wak’st,
1494 Thou tak’st
1495 True delight
1496 485 In the sight
1497 Of thy former lady’s eye.
1498 And the country proverb known,
1499 That every man should take his own,
1500 In your waking shall be shown.
1501 490 Jack shall have Jill;
1502 Naught shall go ill;
1503 The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be
⌜Titania,⌝ Queen of Fairies, and ⌜Bottom⌝ and Fairies,
and ⌜Oberon,⌝ the King, behind them ⌜unseen by those
1505 Come, sit thee down upon this flow’ry bed,
1506 While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
1507 And stick muskroses in thy sleek smooth head,
1508 And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
BOTTOM 1509 5Where’s Peaseblossom?
PEASEBLOSSOM 1510 Ready.
BOTTOM 1511 Scratch my head, Peaseblossom. Where’s
1512 Monsieur Cobweb?
COBWEB 1513 Ready.
BOTTOM 1514 10Monsieur Cobweb, good monsieur, get you
1515 your weapons in your hand and kill me a red-hipped
1516 humble-bee on the top of a thistle, and, good
1517 monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
1518 yourself too much in the action, monsieur, and,
1519 15 good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break
1520 not; I would be loath to have you overflown with a
1521 honey-bag, signior. ⌜Cobweb exits.⌝ Where’s Monsieur
MUSTARDSEED 1523 Ready.
1525 Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.
MUSTARDSEED 1526 What’s your will?
BOTTOM 1527 Nothing, good monsieur, but to help Cavalery
1528 Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber’s,
1529 25 monsieur, for methinks I am marvels hairy about
1530 the face. And I am such a tender ass, if my hair do
1531 but tickle me, I must scratch.
1532 What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?
BOTTOM 1533 I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let’s
1534 30 have the tongs and the bones.
1535 Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.
BOTTOM 1536 Truly, a peck of provender. I could munch
1537 your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire
1538 to a bottle of hay. Good hay, sweet hay, hath no
1539 35 fellow.
1540 I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
1541 The squirrel’s hoard and fetch thee new nuts.
BOTTOM 1542 I had rather have a handful or two of dried
1543 peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir
1544 40 me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.
1545 Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.—
1546 Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.
1547 So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
1548 Gently entwist; the female ivy so
1549 45 Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
1550 O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!
⌜Bottom and Titania sleep.⌝
Enter Robin Goodfellow.
1551 Welcome, good Robin. Seest thou this sweet sight?
1553 For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
1554 50 Seeking sweet favors for this hateful fool,
1555 I did upbraid her and fall out with her.
1556 For she his hairy temples then had rounded
1557 With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
1558 And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
1559 55 Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,
1560 Stood now within the pretty flouriets’ eyes,
1561 Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
1562 When I had at my pleasure taunted her,
1563 And she in mild terms begged my patience,
1564 60 I then did ask of her her changeling child,
1565 Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
1566 To bear him to my bower in Fairyland.
1567 And now I have the boy, I will undo
1568 This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
1569 65 And, gentle Puck, take this transformèd scalp
1570 From off the head of this Athenian swain,
1571 That he, awaking when the other do,
1572 May all to Athens back again repair
1573 And think no more of this night’s accidents
1574 70 But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
1575 But first I will release the Fairy Queen.
⌜He applies the nectar to her eyes.⌝
1576 Be as thou wast wont to be.
1577 See as thou wast wont to see.
1578 Dian’s bud o’er Cupid’s flower
1579 75 Hath such force and blessèd power.
1580 Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweet queen.
1581 My Oberon, what visions have I seen!
1582 Methought I was enamored of an ass.
1583 There lies your love.
TITANIA 1584 80 How came these things to pass?
1585 O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
1586 Silence awhile.—Robin, take off this head.—
1587 Titania, music call; and strike more dead
1588 Than common sleep of all these ⌜five⌝ the sense.
1589 85 Music, ho, music such as charmeth sleep!
ROBIN, ⌜removing the ass-head from Bottom⌝
1590 Now, when thou wak’st, with thine own fool’s eyes
1592 Sound music.⌜Music.⌝
1593 Come, my queen, take hands with me,
1594 90 And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
⌜Titania and Oberon dance.⌝
1595 Now thou and I are new in amity,
1596 And will tomorrow midnight solemnly
1597 Dance in Duke Theseus’ house triumphantly,
1598 And bless it to all fair prosperity.
1599 95 There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
1600 Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
1601 Fairy king, attend and mark.
1602 I do hear the morning lark.
1603 Then, my queen, in silence sad
1604 100 Trip we after night’s shade.
1605 We the globe can compass soon,
1606 Swifter than the wand’ring moon.
1607 Come, my lord, and in our flight
1608 Tell me how it came this night
1609 105 That I sleeping here was found
1610 With these mortals on the ground.
⌜Oberon, Robin, and Titania⌝ exit.
Wind horn. Enter Theseus and all his train,
1611 Go, one of you, find out the Forester.
1612 For now our observation is performed,
1613 And, since we have the vaward of the day,
1614 110 My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
1615 Uncouple in the western valley; let them go.
1616 Dispatch, I say, and find the Forester.
⌜A Servant exits.⌝
1617 We will, fair queen, up to the mountain’s top
1618 And mark the musical confusion
1619 115 Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
1620 I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
1621 When in a wood of Crete they bayed the bear
1622 With hounds of Sparta. Never did I hear
1623 Such gallant chiding, for, besides the groves,
1624 120 The skies, the fountains, every region near
1625 ⌜Seemed⌝ all one mutual cry. I never heard
1626 So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.
1627 My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
1628 So flewed, so sanded; and their heads are hung
1629 125 With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
1630 Crook-kneed, and dewlapped like Thessalian bulls;
1631 Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bells,
1632 Each under each. A cry more tunable
1633 Was never holloed to, nor cheered with horn,
1634 130 In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.
1635 Judge when you hear.—But soft! What nymphs are
1637 My lord, this ⌜is⌝ my daughter here asleep,
1638 And this Lysander; this Demetrius is,
1639 135 This Helena, old Nedar’s Helena.
1640 I wonder of their being here together.
1641 No doubt they rose up early to observe
1642 The rite of May, and hearing our intent,
1643 Came here in grace of our solemnity.
1644 140 But speak, Egeus. Is not this the day
1645 That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
EGEUS 1646 It is, my lord.
1647 Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.
⌜A Servant exits.⌝
Shout within. Wind horns. They all start up.
1648 Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past.
1649 145 Begin these woodbirds but to couple now?
⌜Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, and Lysander kneel.⌝
1650 Pardon, my lord.
THESEUS 1651 I pray you all, stand up.
1652 I know you two are rival enemies.
1653 How comes this gentle concord in the world,
1654 150 That hatred is so far from jealousy
1655 To sleep by hate and fear no enmity?
1656 My lord, I shall reply amazèdly,
1657 Half sleep, half waking. But as yet, I swear,
1658 I cannot truly say how I came here.
1659 155 But, as I think—for truly would I speak,
1660 And now I do bethink me, so it is:
1661 I came with Hermia hither. Our intent
1662 Was to be gone from Athens, where we might,
1663 Without the peril of the Athenian law—
1664 160 Enough, enough!—My lord, you have enough.
1665 I beg the law, the law upon his head.
1666 They would have stol’n away.—They would,
1669 165 You of your wife and me of my consent,
1670 Of my consent that she should be your wife.
1671 My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
1672 Of this their purpose hither to this wood,
1673 And I in fury hither followed them,
1674 170 Fair Helena in fancy following me.
1675 But, my good lord, I wot not by what power
1676 (But by some power it is) my love to Hermia,
1677 Melted as the snow, seems to me now
1678 As the remembrance of an idle gaud
1679 175 Which in my childhood I did dote upon,
1680 And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
1681 The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
1682 Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
1683 Was I betrothed ere I ⌜saw⌝ Hermia.
1684 180 But like a sickness did I loathe this food.
1685 But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
1686 Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
1687 And will forevermore be true to it.
1688 Fair lovers, you are fortunately met.
1689 185 Of this discourse we more will hear anon.—
1690 Egeus, I will overbear your will,
1691 For in the temple by and by, with us,
1692 These couples shall eternally be knit.—
1693 And, for the morning now is something worn,
1694 190 Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.
1695 Away with us to Athens. Three and three,
1696 We’ll hold a feast in great solemnity.
1697 Come, Hippolyta.
⌜Theseus and his train,
including Hippolyta and Egeus, exit.⌝
1698 These things seem small and undistinguishable,
1699 195 Like far-off mountains turnèd into clouds.
1700 Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
1701 When everything seems double.
HELENA 1702 So methinks.
1703 And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
1704 200 Mine own and not mine own.
DEMETRIUS 1705 Are you sure
1706 That we are awake? It seems to me
1707 That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
1708 The Duke was here and bid us follow him?
1709 205 Yea, and my father.
HELENA 1710 And Hippolyta.
1711 And he did bid us follow to the temple.
1712 Why, then, we are awake. Let’s follow him,
1713 And by the way let ⌜us⌝ recount our dreams.
BOTTOM, ⌜waking up⌝ 1714 210 When my cue comes, call me,
1715 and I will answer. My next is “Most fair Pyramus.”
1716 Hey-ho! Peter Quince! Flute the bellows-mender!
1717 Snout the tinker! Starveling! God’s my life! Stolen
1718 hence and left me asleep! I have had a most rare
1719 215 vision. I have had a dream past the wit of man to say
1720 what dream it was. Man is but an ass if he go about
1721 ⌜to⌝ expound this dream. Methought I was—there
1722 is no man can tell what. Methought I was and
1723 methought I had—but man is but ⌜a patched⌝ fool if
1724 220 he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of
1725 man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen,
1726 man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to
1727 conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream
1728 was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this
1729 225 dream. It shall be called “Bottom’s Dream” because
1730 it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
1732 to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her
QUINCE 1734 Have you sent to Bottom’s house? Is he come
1735 home yet?
⌜STARVELING⌝ 1736 He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he
1737 is transported.
FLUTE 1738 5If he come not, then the play is marred. It goes
1739 not forward, doth it?
QUINCE 1740 It is not possible. You have not a man in all
1741 Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.
FLUTE 1742 No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraftman
1743 10 in Athens.
QUINCE 1744 Yea, and the best person too, and he is a very
1745 paramour for a sweet voice.
FLUTE 1746 You must say “paragon.” A “paramour” is (God
1747 bless us) a thing of naught.
Enter Snug the joiner.
SNUG 1748 15Masters, the Duke is coming from the temple,
1749 and there is two or three lords and ladies more
1750 married. If our sport had gone forward, we had all
1751 been made men.
FLUTE 1752 O, sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence
1753 20 a day during his life. He could not have
1754 ’scaped sixpence a day. An the Duke had not given
1755 him sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I’ll be
1756 hanged. He would have deserved it. Sixpence a day
1757 in Pyramus, or nothing!
QUINCE 1760 Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy
BOTTOM 1762 Masters, I am to discourse wonders. But ask
1763 30 me not what; for, if I tell you, I am not true
1764 Athenian. I will tell you everything right as it fell
QUINCE 1766 Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
BOTTOM 1767 Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is that
1768 35 the Duke hath dined. Get your apparel together,
1769 good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your
1770 pumps. Meet presently at the palace. Every man
1771 look o’er his part. For the short and the long is, our
1772 play is preferred. In any case, let Thisbe have clean
1773 40 linen, and let not him that plays the lion pare his
1774 nails, for they shall hang out for the lion’s claws.
1775 And, most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for
1776 we are to utter sweet breath, and I do not doubt but
1777 to hear them say it is a sweet comedy. No more
1778 45 words. Away! Go, away!
1779 ’Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.
1780 More strange than true. I never may believe
1781 These antique fables nor these fairy toys.
1782 Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
1783 5 Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
1784 More than cool reason ever comprehends.
1785 The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
1786 Are of imagination all compact.
1787 One sees more devils than vast hell can hold:
1788 10 That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
1789 Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt.
1790 The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
1791 Doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to
1793 15 And as imagination bodies forth
1794 The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
1795 Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
1796 A local habitation and a name.
1797 Such tricks hath strong imagination
1798 20 That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
1800 Or in the night, imagining some fear,
1801 How easy is a bush supposed a bear!
1802 But all the story of the night told over,
1803 25 And all their minds transfigured so together,
1804 More witnesseth than fancy’s images
1805 And grows to something of great constancy,
1806 But, howsoever, strange and admirable.
Enter Lovers: Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena.
1807 Here come the lovers full of joy and mirth.—
1808 30 Joy, gentle friends! Joy and fresh days of love
1809 Accompany your hearts!
LYSANDER 1810 More than to us
1811 Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!
1812 Come now, what masques, what dances shall we
1813 35 have
1814 To wear away this long age of three hours
1815 Between ⌜our⌝ after-supper and bedtime?
1816 Where is our usual manager of mirth?
1817 What revels are in hand? Is there no play
1818 40 To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
1819 Call Philostrate.
PHILOSTRATE, ⌜coming forward⌝ 1820 Here, mighty Theseus.
1821 Say what abridgment have you for this evening,
1822 What masque, what music? How shall we beguile
1823 45 The lazy time if not with some delight?
PHILOSTRATE, ⌜giving Theseus a paper⌝
1824 There is a brief how many sports are ripe.
1825 Make choice of which your Highness will see first.
1826 “The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung
1827 By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.”
1828 50 We’ll none of that. That have I told my love
1829 In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
1830 “The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
1831 Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.”
1832 That is an old device, and it was played
1833 55 When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
1834 “The thrice-three Muses mourning for the death
1835 Of learning, late deceased in beggary.”
1836 That is some satire, keen and critical,
1837 Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
1838 60 “A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
1839 And his love Thisbe, very tragical mirth.”
1840 “Merry” and “tragical”? “Tedious” and “brief”?
1841 That is hot ice and wondrous strange snow!
1842 How shall we find the concord of this discord?
1843 65 A play there is, my lord, some ten words long
1844 (Which is as brief as I have known a play),
1845 But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
1846 Which makes it tedious; for in all the play,
1847 There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
1848 70 And tragical, my noble lord, it is.
1849 For Pyramus therein doth kill himself,
1850 Which, when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
1851 Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
1852 The passion of loud laughter never shed.
1853 75 What are they that do play it?
1854 Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
1855 Which never labored in their minds till now,
1856 And now have toiled their unbreathed memories
1857 With this same play, against your nuptial.
1858 80 And we will hear it.
PHILOSTRATE 1859 No, my noble lord,
1860 It is not for you. I have heard it over,
1861 And it is nothing, nothing in the world,
1862 Unless you can find sport in their intents,
1863 85 Extremely stretched and conned with cruel pain
1864 To do you service.
THESEUS 1865 I will hear that play,
1866 For never anything can be amiss
1867 When simpleness and duty tender it.
1868 90 Go, bring them in—and take your places, ladies.
1869 I love not to see wretchedness o’ercharged,
1870 And duty in his service perishing.
1871 Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.
1872 He says they can do nothing in this kind.
1873 95 The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
1874 Our sport shall be to take what they mistake;
1875 And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
1876 Takes it in might, not merit.
1877 Where I have come, great clerks have purposèd
1878 100 To greet me with premeditated welcomes,
1879 Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
1880 Make periods in the midst of sentences,
1881 Throttle their practiced accent in their fears,
1882 And in conclusion dumbly have broke off,
1883 105 Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
1884 Out of this silence yet I picked a welcome,
1885 And in the modesty of fearful duty,
1886 I read as much as from the rattling tongue
1887 Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
1889 In least speak most, to my capacity.
1890 So please your Grace, the Prologue is addressed.
THESEUS 1891 Let him approach.
Enter the Prologue.
1892 If we offend, it is with our goodwill.
1893 115 That you should think we come not to offend,
1894 But with goodwill. To show our simple skill,
1895 That is the true beginning of our end.
1896 Consider, then, we come but in despite.
1897 We do not come, as minding to content you,
1898 120 Our true intent is. All for your delight
1899 We are not here. That you should here repent
1901 The actors are at hand, and, by their show,
1902 You shall know all that you are like to know.
THESEUS 1903 125This fellow doth not stand upon points.
LYSANDER 1904 He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt;
1905 he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord: it is
1906 not enough to speak, but to speak true.
HIPPOLYTA 1907 Indeed he hath played on this prologue like
1908 130 a child on a recorder—a sound, but not in
THESEUS 1910 His speech was like a tangled chain—nothing
1911 impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?
Enter Pyramus ⌜(Bottom),⌝ and Thisbe ⌜(Flute),⌝ and
Wall ⌜(Snout),⌝ and Moonshine ⌜(Starveling),⌝ and Lion
⌜(Snug),⌝ ⌜and Prologue (Quince).⌝
QUINCE, as Prologue
1912 Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show.
1914 This man is Pyramus, if you would know.
1915 This beauteous lady Thisbe is certain.
1916 This man with lime and roughcast doth present
1917 “Wall,” that vile wall which did these lovers
1918 140 sunder;
1919 And through Wall’s chink, poor souls, they are
1921 To whisper, at the which let no man wonder.
1922 This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,
1923 145 Presenteth “Moonshine,” for, if you will know,
1924 By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
1925 To meet at Ninus’ tomb, there, there to woo.
1926 This grisly beast (which “Lion” hight by name)
1927 The trusty Thisbe coming first by night
1928 150 Did ⌜scare⌝ away or rather did affright;
1929 And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
1930 Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
1931 Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
1932 And finds his trusty Thisbe’s mantle slain.
1933 155 Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
1934 He bravely broached his boiling bloody breast.
1935 And Thisbe, tarrying in mulberry shade,
1936 His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
1937 Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
1938 160 At large discourse, while here they do remain.
THESEUS 1939 I wonder if the lion be to speak.
DEMETRIUS 1940 No wonder, my lord. One lion may when
1941 many asses do.
Lion, Thisbe, Moonshine, ⌜and Prologue⌝ exit.
SNOUT, as Wall
1942 In this same interlude it doth befall
1943 165 That I, one ⌜Snout⌝ by name, present a wall;
1944 And such a wall as I would have you think
1945 That had in it a crannied hole or chink,
1946 Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe,
1948 170 This loam, this roughcast, and this stone doth show
1949 That I am that same wall. The truth is so.
1950 And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
1951 Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.
THESEUS 1952 Would you desire lime and hair to speak
1953 175 better?
DEMETRIUS 1954 It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard
1955 discourse, my lord.
THESEUS 1956 Pyramus draws near the wall. Silence.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
1957 O grim-looked night! O night with hue so black!
1958 180 O night, which ever art when day is not!
1959 O night! O night! Alack, alack, alack!
1960 I fear my Thisbe’s promise is forgot.
1961 And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
1962 That stand’st between her father’s ground and
1963 185 mine,
1964 Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
1965 Show me thy chink to blink through with mine
1967 Thanks, courteous wall. Jove shield thee well for
1968 190 this.
1969 But what see I? No Thisbe do I see.
1970 O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss,
1971 Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!
THESEUS 1972 The wall, methinks, being sensible, should
1973 195 curse again.
BOTTOM 1974 No, in truth, sir, he should not. “Deceiving
1975 me” is Thisbe’s cue. She is to enter now, and I am
1976 to spy her through the wall. You shall see it will fall
1977 pat as I told you. Yonder she comes.
Enter Thisbe ⌜(Flute).⌝
FLUTE, as Thisbe
1978 200 O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans
1980 My cherry lips have often kissed thy stones,
1981 Thy stones with lime and hair knit ⌜up in thee.⌝
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
1982 I see a voice! Now will I to the chink
1983 205 To spy an I can hear my Thisbe’s face.
FLUTE, as Thisbe
1985 My love! Thou art my love, I think.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
1986 Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover’s grace,
1987 And, like Limander, am I trusty still.
FLUTE, as Thisbe
1988 210 And I like Helen, till the Fates me kill.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
1989 Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.
FLUTE, as Thisbe
1990 As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
1991 O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall.
FLUTE, as Thisbe
1992 I kiss the wall’s hole, not your lips at all.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
1993 215 Wilt thou at Ninny’s tomb meet me straightway?
FLUTE, as Thisbe
1994 ’Tide life, ’tide death, I come without delay.
⌜Bottom and Flute exit.⌝
SNOUT, as Wall
1995 Thus have I, Wall, my part dischargèd so,
1996 And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.⌜He exits.⌝
THESEUS 1997 Now is the ⌜wall down⌝ between the two
1998 220 neighbors.
DEMETRIUS 1999 No remedy, my lord, when walls are so
2000 willful to hear without warning.
HIPPOLYTA 2001 This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
THESEUS 2002 The best in this kind are but shadows, and
HIPPOLYTA 2005 It must be your imagination, then, and not
THESEUS 2007 If we imagine no worse of them than they of
2008 230 themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here
2009 come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.
Enter Lion ⌜(Snug)⌝ and Moonshine ⌜(Starveling).⌝
SNUG, as Lion
2010 You ladies, you whose gentle hearts do fear
2011 The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on
2013 235 May now perchance both quake and tremble here,
2014 When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
2015 Then know that I, as Snug the joiner, am
2016 A lion fell, nor else no lion’s dam;
2017 For if I should as lion come in strife
2018 240 Into this place, ’twere pity on my life.
THESEUS 2019 A very gentle beast, and of a good
DEMETRIUS 2021 The very best at a beast, my lord, that e’er I
LYSANDER 2023 245This lion is a very fox for his valor.
THESEUS 2024 True, and a goose for his discretion.
DEMETRIUS 2025 Not so, my lord, for his valor cannot carry
2026 his discretion, and the fox carries the goose.
THESEUS 2027 His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his
2028 250 valor, for the goose carries not the fox. It is well.
2029 Leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the
STARVELING, as Moonshine
2031 This lanthorn doth the hornèd moon present.
DEMETRIUS 2032 He should have worn the horns on his
2033 255 head.
THESEUS 2034 He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible
2035 within the circumference.
2036 This lanthorn doth the hornèd moon present.
2037 Myself the man i’ th’ moon do seem to be.
THESEUS 2038 260This is the greatest error of all the rest; the
2039 man should be put into the lanthorn. How is it else
2040 “the man i’ th’ moon”?
DEMETRIUS 2041 He dares not come there for the candle,
2042 for you see, it is already in snuff.
HIPPOLYTA 2043 265I am aweary of this moon. Would he would
THESEUS 2045 It appears by his small light of discretion that
2046 he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all reason,
2047 we must stay the time.
LYSANDER 2048 270Proceed, Moon.
STARVELING, as Moonshine 2049 All that I have to say is to tell
2050 you that the lanthorn is the moon, I the man i’ th’
2051 moon, this thornbush my thornbush, and this dog
2052 my dog.
DEMETRIUS 2053 275Why, all these should be in the lanthorn,
2054 for all these are in the moon. But silence. Here
2055 comes Thisbe.
Enter Thisbe ⌜(Flute).⌝
FLUTE, as Thisbe
2056 This is old Ninny’s tomb. Where is my love?
SNUG, as Lion 2057 O!
⌜The Lion roars. Thisbe runs off,
dropping her mantle.⌝
DEMETRIUS 2058 280Well roared, Lion.
THESEUS 2059 Well run, Thisbe.
HIPPOLYTA 2060 Well shone, Moon. Truly, the Moon shines
2061 with a good grace.
⌜Lion worries the mantle.⌝
THESEUS 2062 Well moused, Lion.
Enter Pyramus ⌜(Bottom).⌝
LYSANDER 2064 And so the lion vanished.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
2065 Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams.
2066 I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright,
2067 For by thy gracious, golden, glittering ⌜gleams,⌝
2068 290 I trust to take of truest Thisbe sight.—
2069 But stay! O spite!
2070 But mark, poor knight,
2071 What dreadful dole is here!
2072 Eyes, do you see!
2073 295 How can it be!
2074 O dainty duck! O dear!
2075 Thy mantle good—
2076 What, stained with blood?
2077 Approach, ye Furies fell!
2078 300 O Fates, come, come,
2079 Cut thread and thrum,
2080 Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!
THESEUS 2081 This passion, and the death of a dear friend,
2082 would go near to make a man look sad.
HIPPOLYTA 2083 305Beshrew my heart but I pity the man.
BOTTOM, as Pyramus
2084 O, wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame,
2085 Since lion vile hath here deflowered my dear,
2086 Which is—no, no—which was the fairest dame
2087 That lived, that loved, that liked, that looked with
2088 310 cheer?
2089 Come, tears, confound!
2090 Out, sword, and wound
2091 The pap of Pyramus;
2092 Ay, that left pap,
2093 315 Where heart doth hop.⌜Pyramus stabs himself.⌝
2094 Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
2095 Now am I dead;
2097 My soul is in the sky.
2098 320 Tongue, lose thy light!
2099 Moon, take thy flight!⌜Moonshine exits.⌝
2100 Now die, die, die, die, die.⌜Pyramus falls.⌝
DEMETRIUS 2101 No die, but an ace for him, for he is but
LYSANDER 2103 325Less than an ace, man, for he is dead, he is
THESEUS 2105 With the help of a surgeon he might yet
2106 recover and yet prove an ass.
HIPPOLYTA 2107 How chance Moonshine is gone before
2108 330 Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?
THESEUS 2109 She will find him by starlight.
⌜Enter Thisbe (Flute).⌝
2110 Here she comes, and her passion ends the play.
HIPPOLYTA 2111 Methinks she should not use a long one for
2112 such a Pyramus. I hope she will be brief.
DEMETRIUS 2113 335A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus,
2114 which Thisbe, is the better: he for a man, God
2115 warrant us; she for a woman, God bless us.
LYSANDER 2116 She hath spied him already with those
2117 sweet eyes.
DEMETRIUS 2118 340And thus she means, videlicet—
FLUTE, as Thisbe
2119 Asleep, my love?
2120 What, dead, my dove?
2121 O Pyramus, arise!
2122 Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
2123 345 Dead? Dead? A tomb
2124 Must cover thy sweet eyes.
2125 These lily lips,
2126 This cherry nose,
2127 These yellow cowslip cheeks
2128 350 Are gone, are gone!
2130 His eyes were green as leeks.
2131 O Sisters Three,
2132 Come, come to me
2133 355 With hands as pale as milk.
2134 Lay them in gore,
2135 Since you have shore
2136 With shears his thread of silk.
2137 Tongue, not a word!
2138 360 Come, trusty sword,
2139 Come, blade, my breast imbrue!
⌜Thisbe stabs herself.⌝
2140 And farewell, friends.
2141 Thus Thisbe ends.
2142 Adieu, adieu, adieu.⌜Thisbe falls.⌝
THESEUS 2143 365Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the
DEMETRIUS 2145 Ay, and Wall too.
⌜Bottom and Flute arise.⌝
⌜BOTTOM⌝ 2146 No, I assure you, the wall is down that
2147 parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the
2148 370 Epilogue or to hear a Bergomask dance between
2149 two of our company?
THESEUS 2150 No epilogue, I pray you. For your play needs
2151 no excuse. Never excuse. For when the players are
2152 all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if
2153 375 he that writ it had played Pyramus and hanged
2154 himself in Thisbe’s garter, it would have been a fine
2155 tragedy; and so it is, truly, and very notably discharged.
2156 But, come, your Bergomask. Let your
2157 epilogue alone.
⌜Dance, and the players exit.⌝
2158 380 The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
2159 Lovers, to bed! ’Tis almost fairy time.
2160 I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn
2161 As much as we this night have overwatched.
2163 385 The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
2164 A fortnight hold we this solemnity
2165 In nightly revels and new jollity.They exit.
Enter ⌜Robin Goodfellow.⌝
2166 Now the hungry ⌜lion⌝ roars,
2167 And the wolf ⌜behowls⌝ the moon,
2168 390 Whilst the heavy plowman snores,
2169 All with weary task fordone.
2170 Now the wasted brands do glow,
2171 Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
2172 Puts the wretch that lies in woe
2173 395 In remembrance of a shroud.
2174 Now it is the time of night
2175 That the graves, all gaping wide,
2176 Every one lets forth his sprite
2177 In the church-way paths to glide.
2178 400 And we fairies, that do run
2179 By the triple Hecate’s team
2180 From the presence of the sun,
2181 Following darkness like a dream,
2182 Now are frolic. Not a mouse
2183 405 Shall disturb this hallowed house.
2184 I am sent with broom before,
2185 To sweep the dust behind the door.
Enter ⌜Oberon and Titania,⌝ King and Queen of Fairies,
with all their train.
2186 Through the house give glimmering light,
2187 By the dead and drowsy fire.
2188 410 Every elf and fairy sprite,
2189 Hop as light as bird from brier,
2190 And this ditty after me,
2191 Sing and dance it trippingly.
2192 First rehearse your song by rote,
2193 415 To each word a warbling note.
2194 Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
2195 Will we sing and bless this place.
⌜Oberon leads the Fairies in song and dance.⌝
2196 Now, until the break of day,
2197 Through this house each fairy stray.
2198 420 To the best bride-bed will we,
2199 Which by us shall blessèd be,
2200 And the issue there create
2201 Ever shall be fortunate.
2202 So shall all the couples three
2203 425 Ever true in loving be,
2204 And the blots of Nature’s hand
2205 Shall not in their issue stand.
2206 Never mole, harelip, nor scar,
2207 Nor mark prodigious, such as are
2208 430 Despisèd in nativity,
2209 Shall upon their children be.
2210 With this field-dew consecrate
2211 Every fairy take his gait,
2212 And each several chamber bless,
2213 435 Through this palace, with sweet peace.
2214 And the owner of it blest,
2215 Ever shall in safety rest.
2216 Trip away. Make no stay.
2217 Meet me all by break of day.
⌜All but Robin⌝ exit.
2218 440 If we shadows have offended,
2219 Think but this and all is mended:
2220 That you have but slumbered here
2221 While these visions did appear.
2222 And this weak and idle theme,
2224 Gentles, do not reprehend.
2225 If you pardon, we will mend.
2226 And, as I am an honest Puck,
2227 If we have unearnèd luck
2228 450 Now to ’scape the serpent’s tongue,
2229 We will make amends ere long.
2230 Else the Puck a liar call.
2231 So good night unto you all.
2232 Give me your hands, if we be friends,
2233 455 And Robin shall restore amends.