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A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Act 3, scene 1
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Navigate this workA Midsummer Night’s Dream - Act 3, scene 1
Act 3, scene 1
The tradesmen meet in the woods to rehearse. Robin Goodfellow happens upon them and transforms Bottom’s head into that of an ass. Abandoned by his terrified friends, Bottom sings. His singing awakens Titania, who, under the influence of the flower’s magic, falls in love with him. She takes him away to sleep in her bower.⌜With Titania still asleep onstage,⌝ enter the Clowns,
⌜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.
p. 71QUINCE 0826 Well, we will have such a prologue, and it shall
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.
p. 73QUINCE 0861 Ay, or else one must come in with a bush of
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.⌝
p. 75FLUTE 0891 Must I speak now?
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.
p. 77Enter Snout.
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
p. 790948 145 reason for that. And yet, to say the truth, reason
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,
p. 810978 175 And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs
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.