A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Act 4, scene 1
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Navigate this workA Midsummer Night’s Dream - Act 4, scene 1
Act 4, scene 1
Titania and her attendants pamper Bottom, who falls asleep with her. Oberon, watching them, tells Robin that Titania has given him the Indian boy and thus they can now remove the spells from Titania and Bottom. Reunited, Titania and Oberon use music to charm Bottom and the four lovers into a deep sleep, and then exit.
Theseus and Hippolyta, accompanied by Egeus and others, have come to the woods to celebrate May Day. They discover the four lovers asleep and wake them. Lysander now loves Hermia again, and Demetrius loves Helena. When Lysander reveals how he and Hermia fled Athens, Egeus begs Theseus to punish him. But when Demetrius announces that he now loves Helena, Theseus overrides Egeus and decrees that Lysander will marry Hermia and Demetrius Helena when Theseus himself weds Hippolyta. As the lovers depart for Athens, Bottom awakes and attempts to recall his night’s experience, which seems to him now a dream.⌜With the four lovers still asleep onstage,⌝ enter
⌜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