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Midsummers' Night Dream



THESEUS	Duke of Athens.

EGEUS	father to Hermia.

	|  in love with Hermia.

PHILOSTRATE	master of the revels to Theseus.

QUINCE	a carpenter.

SNUG	a joiner.

BOTTOM	a weaver.

FLUTE	a bellows-mender.

SNOUT	a tinker.

STARVELING	a tailor.

HIPPOLYTA	queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus.

HERMIA	daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander.

HELENA	in love with Demetrius.

OBERON	king of the fairies.

TITANIA	queen of the fairies.

PUCK	or Robin Goodfellow.

	|  fairies.

	Other fairies attending their King and Queen.

	Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.

SCENE	Athens, and a wood near it.



SCENE I	Athens. The palace of THESEUS.


THESEUS	Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
	Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
	Another moon: but, O, methinks, how slow
	This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires,
	Like to a step-dame or a dowager
	Long withering out a young man revenue.

HIPPOLYTA	Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
	Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
	And then the moon, like to a silver bow
	New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
	Of our solemnities.

THESEUS	Go, Philostrate,
	Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
	Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
	Turn melancholy forth to funerals;
	The pale companion is not for our pomp.


	Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
	And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
	But I will wed thee in another key,
	With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.


EGEUS	Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!

THESEUS	Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee?

EGEUS	Full of vexation come I, with complaint
	Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
	Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
	This man hath my consent to marry her.
	Stand forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke,
	This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child;
	Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,
	And interchanged love-tokens with my child:
	Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
	With feigning voice verses of feigning love,
	And stolen the impression of her fantasy
	With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
	Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
	Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:
	With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
	Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
	To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke,
	Be it so she; will not here before your grace
	Consent to marry with Demetrius,
	I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
	As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
	Which shall be either to this gentleman
	Or to her death, according to our law
	Immediately provided in that case.

THESEUS	What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid:
	To you your father should be as a god;
	One that composed your beauties, yea, and one
	To whom you are but as a form in wax
	By him imprinted and within his power
	To leave the figure or disfigure it.
	Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

HERMIA	So is Lysander.

THESEUS	                  In himself he is;
	But in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
	The other must be held the worthier.

HERMIA	I would my father look'd but with my eyes.

THESEUS	Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.

HERMIA	I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
	I know not by what power I am made bold,
	Nor how it may concern my modesty,
	In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;
	But I beseech your grace that I may know
	The worst that may befall me in this case,
	If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

THESEUS	Either to die the death or to abjure
	For ever the society of men.
	Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
	Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
	Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
	You can endure the livery of a nun,
	For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,
	To live a barren sister all your life,
	Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
	Thrice-blessed they that master so their blood,
	To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
	But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
	Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
	Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.

HERMIA	So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
	Ere I will my virgin patent up
	Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
	My soul consents not to give sovereignty.

THESEUS	Take time to pause; and, by the nest new moon--
	The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
	For everlasting bond of fellowship--
	Upon that day either prepare to die
	For disobedience to your father's will,
	Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;
	Or on Diana's altar to protest
	For aye austerity and single life.

DEMETRIUS	Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield
	Thy crazed title to my certain right.

LYSANDER	You have her father's love, Demetrius;
	Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.

EGEUS	Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love,
	And what is mine my love shall render him.
	And she is mine, and all my right of her
	I do estate unto Demetrius.

LYSANDER	I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
	As well possess'd; my love is more than his;
	My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,
	If not with vantage, as Demetrius';
	And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
	I am beloved of beauteous Hermia:
	Why should not I then prosecute my right?
	Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
	Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
	And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
	Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
	Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

THESEUS	I must confess that I have heard so much,
	And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
	But, being over-full of self-affairs,
	My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
	And come, Egeus; you shall go with me,
	I have some private schooling for you both.
	For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
	To fit your fancies to your father's will;
	Or else the law of Athens yields you up--
	Which by no means we may extenuate--
	To death, or to a vow of single life.
	Come, my Hippolyta: what cheer, my love?
	Demetrius and Egeus, go along:
	I must employ you in some business
	Against our nuptial and confer with you
	Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.

EGEUS	With duty and desire we follow you.

	[Exeunt all but LYSANDER and HERMIA]

LYSANDER	How now, my love! why is your cheek so pale?
	How chance the roses there do fade so fast?

HERMIA	Belike for want of rain, which I could well
	Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.

LYSANDER	Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
	Could ever hear by tale or history,
	The course of true love never did run smooth;
	But, either it was different in blood,--

HERMIA	O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low.

LYSANDER	Or else misgraffed in respect of years,--

HERMIA	O spite! too old to be engaged to young.

LYSANDER	Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,--

HERMIA	O hell! to choose love by another's eyes.

LYSANDER	Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
	War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
	Making it momentany as a sound,
	Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
	Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
	That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
	And ere a man hath power to say 'Behold!'
	The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
	So quick bright things come to confusion.

HERMIA	If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
	It stands as an edict in destiny:
	Then let us teach our trial patience,
	Because it is a customary cross,
	As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
	Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers.

LYSANDER	A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia.
	I have a widow aunt, a dowager
	Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
	From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
	And she respects me as her only son.
	There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
	And to that place the sharp Athenian law
	Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me then,
	Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
	And in the wood, a league without the town,
	Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
	To do observance to a morn of May,
	There will I stay for thee.

HERMIA	My good Lysander!
	I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
	By his best arrow with the golden head,
	By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
	By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
	And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
	When the false Troyan under sail was seen,
	By all the vows that ever men have broke,
	In number more than ever women spoke,
	In that same place thou hast appointed me,
	To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.

LYSANDER	Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.

	[Enter HELENA]

HERMIA	God speed fair Helena! whither away?

HELENA	Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
	Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
	Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air
	More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
	When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
	Sickness is catching: O, were favour so,
	Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
	My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
	My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
	Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
	The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
	O, teach me how you look, and with what art
	You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.

HERMIA	I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.

HELENA	O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!

HERMIA	I give him curses, yet he gives me love.

HELENA	O that my prayers could such affection move!

HERMIA	The more I hate, the more he follows me.

HELENA	The more I love, the more he hateth me.

HERMIA	His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.

HELENA	None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!

HERMIA	Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
	Lysander and myself will fly this place.
	Before the time I did Lysander see,
	Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me:
	O, then, what graces in my love do dwell,
	That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell!

LYSANDER	Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
	To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
	Her silver visage in the watery glass,
	Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
	A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,
	Through Athens' gates have we devised to steal.

HERMIA	And in the wood, where often you and I
	Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
	Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
	There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
	And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
	To seek new friends and stranger companies.
	Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us;
	And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
	Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
	From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.

LYSANDER	I will, my Hermia.

	[Exit HERMIA]

	Helena, adieu:
	As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!


HELENA	How happy some o'er other some can be!
	Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
	But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
	He will not know what all but he do know:
	And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
	So I, admiring of his qualities:
	Things base and vile, folding no quantity,
	Love can transpose to form and dignity:
	Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
	And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:
	Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste;
	Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
	And therefore is Love said to be a child,
	Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
	As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
	So the boy Love is perjured every where:
	For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
	He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
	And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
	So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
	I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
	Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
	Pursue her; and for this intelligence
	If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
	But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
	To have his sight thither and back again.




SCENE II	Athens. QUINCE'S house.


QUINCE	Is all our company here?

BOTTOM	You were best to call them generally, man by man,
	according to the scrip.

QUINCE	Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is
	thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our
	interlude before the duke and the duchess, on his
	wedding-day at night.

BOTTOM	First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats
	on, then read the names of the actors, and so grow
	to a point.

QUINCE	Marry, our play is, The most lamentable comedy, and
	most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.

BOTTOM	A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a
	merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your
	actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.

QUINCE	Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.

BOTTOM	Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.

QUINCE	You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.

BOTTOM	What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?

QUINCE	A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.

BOTTOM	That will ask some tears in the true performing of
	it: if I do it, let the audience look to their
	eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some
	measure. To the rest: yet my chief humour is for a
	tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to
	tear a cat in, to make all split.
	The raging rocks
	And shivering shocks
	Shall break the locks
	Of prison gates;
	And Phibbus' car
	Shall shine from far
	And make and mar
	The foolish Fates.
	This was lofty! Now name the rest of the players.
	This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is
	more condoling.

QUINCE	Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.

FLUTE	Here, Peter Quince.

QUINCE	Flute, you must take Thisby on you.

FLUTE	What is Thisby? a wandering knight?

QUINCE	It is the lady that Pyramus must love.

FLUTE	Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming.

QUINCE	That's all one: you shall play it in a mask, and
	you may speak as small as you will.

BOTTOM	An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too, I'll
	speak in a monstrous little voice. 'Thisne,
	Thisne;' 'Ah, Pyramus, lover dear! thy Thisby dear,
	and lady dear!'

QUINCE	No, no; you must play Pyramus: and, Flute, you Thisby.

BOTTOM	Well, proceed.

QUINCE	Robin Starveling, the tailor.

STARVELING	Here, Peter Quince.

QUINCE	Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.
	Tom Snout, the tinker.

SNOUT	Here, Peter Quince.

QUINCE	You, Pyramus' father: myself, Thisby's father:
	Snug, the joiner; you, the lion's part: and, I
	hope, here is a play fitted.

SNUG	Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it
	be, give it me, for I am slow of study.

QUINCE	You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.

BOTTOM	Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will
	do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar,
	that I will make the duke say 'Let him roar again,
	let him roar again.'

QUINCE	An you should do it too terribly, you would fright
	the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek;
	and that were enough to hang us all.

ALL	That would hang us, every mother's son.

BOTTOM	I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the
	ladies out of their wits, they would have no more
	discretion but to hang us: but I will aggravate my
	voice so that I will roar you as gently as any
	sucking dove; I will roar you an 'twere any

QUINCE	You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
	sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall see in a
	summer's day; a most lovely gentleman-like man:
	therefore you must needs play Pyramus.

BOTTOM	Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best
	to play it in?

QUINCE	Why, what you will.

BOTTOM	I will discharge it in either your straw-colour
	beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain
	beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your
	perfect yellow.

QUINCE	Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and
	then you will play bare-faced. But, masters, here
	are your parts: and I am to entreat you, request
	you and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night;
	and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the
	town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse, for if
	we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with
	company, and our devices known. In the meantime I
	will draw a bill of properties, such as our play
	wants. I pray you, fail me not.

BOTTOM	We will meet; and there we may rehearse most
	obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfect: adieu.

QUINCE	At the duke's oak we meet.

BOTTOM	Enough; hold or cut bow-strings.




SCENE I	A wood near Athens.

	[Enter, from opposite sides, a Fairy, and PUCK]

PUCK	How now, spirit! whither wander you?

Fairy	     Over hill, over dale,
	Thorough bush, thorough brier,
	Over park, over pale,
	Thorough flood, thorough fire,
	I do wander everywhere,
	Swifter than the moon's sphere;
	And I serve the fairy queen,
	To dew her orbs upon the green.
	The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
	In their gold coats spots you see;
	Those be rubies, fairy favours,
	In those freckles live their savours:
	I must go seek some dewdrops here
	And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
	Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
	Our queen and all our elves come here anon.

PUCK	The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
	Take heed the queen come not within his sight;
	For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
	Because that she as her attendant hath
	A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
	She never had so sweet a changeling;
	And jealous Oberon would have the child
	Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
	But she perforce withholds the loved boy,
	Crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy:
	And now they never meet in grove or green,
	By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
	But, they do square, that all their elves for fear
	Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there.

Fairy	Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
	Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
	Call'd Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
	That frights the maidens of the villagery;
	Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
	And bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
	And sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
	Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
	Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
	You do their work, and they shall have good luck:
	Are not you he?

PUCK	                  Thou speak'st aright;
	I am that merry wanderer of the night.
	I jest to Oberon and make him smile
	When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
	Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
	And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
	In very likeness of a roasted crab,
	And when she drinks, against her lips I bob
	And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
	The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
	Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
	Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
	And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
	And then the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
	And waxen in their mirth and neeze and swear
	A merrier hour was never wasted there.
	But, room, fairy! here comes Oberon.

Fairy	And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!

	[Enter, from one side, OBERON, with his train;
	from the other, TITANIA, with hers]

OBERON	Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

TITANIA	What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
	I have forsworn his bed and company.

OBERON	Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?

TITANIA	Then I must be thy lady: but I know
	When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
	And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
	Playing on pipes of corn and versing love
	To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
	Come from the farthest Steppe of India?
	But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
	Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
	To Theseus must be wedded, and you come
	To give their bed joy and prosperity.

OBERON	How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
	Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
	Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
	Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
	From Perigenia, whom he ravished?
	And make him with fair AEgle break his faith,
	With Ariadne and Antiopa?

TITANIA	These are the forgeries of jealousy:
	And never, since the middle summer's spring,
	Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
	By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
	Or in the beached margent of the sea,
	To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
	But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
	Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
	As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
	Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
	Have every pelting river made so proud
	That they have overborne their continents:
	The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
	The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
	Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
	The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
	And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
	The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
	And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
	For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
	The human mortals want their winter here;
	No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
	Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
	Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
	That rheumatic diseases do abound:
	And thorough this distemperature we see
	The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
	Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
	And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
	An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
	Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
	The childing autumn, angry winter, change
	Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
	By their increase, now knows not which is which:
	And this same progeny of evils comes
	From our debate, from our dissension;
	We are their parents and original.

OBERON	Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
	Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
	I do but beg a little changeling boy,
	To be my henchman.

TITANIA	                  Set your heart at rest:
	The fairy land buys not the child of me.
	His mother was a votaress of my order:
	And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
	Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,
	And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
	Marking the embarked traders on the flood,
	When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive
	And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
	Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
	Following,--her womb then rich with my young squire,--
	Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
	To fetch me trifles, and return again,
	As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
	But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
	And for her sake do I rear up her boy,
	And for her sake I will not part with him.

OBERON	How long within this wood intend you stay?

TITANIA	Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
	If you will patiently dance in our round
	And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
	If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.

OBERON	Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.

TITANIA	Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
	We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.

	[Exit TITANIA with her train]

OBERON	Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
	Till I torment thee for this injury.
	My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest
	Since once I sat upon a promontory,
	And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
	Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
	That the rude sea grew civil at her song
	And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
	To hear the sea-maid's music.

PUCK	I remember.

OBERON	That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,
	Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
	Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
	At a fair vestal throned by the west,
	And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
	As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
	But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
	Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
	And the imperial votaress passed on,
	In maiden meditation, fancy-free.
	Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
	It fell upon a little western flower,
	Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
	And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
	Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once:
	The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
	Will make or man or woman madly dote
	Upon the next live creature that it sees.
	Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again
	Ere the leviathan can swim a league.

PUCK	I'll put a girdle round about the earth
	In forty minutes.


OBERON	                  Having once this juice,
	I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
	And drop the liquor of it in her eyes.
	The next thing then she waking looks upon,
	Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
	On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
	She shall pursue it with the soul of love:
	And ere I take this charm from off her sight,
	As I can take it with another herb,
	I'll make her render up her page to me.
	But who comes here? I am invisible;
	And I will overhear their conference.

	[Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA, following him]

DEMETRIUS	I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
	Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
	The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
	Thou told'st me they were stolen unto this wood;
	And here am I, and wode within this wood,
	Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
	Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

HELENA	You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
	But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
	Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw,
	And I shall have no power to follow you.

DEMETRIUS	Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
	Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
	Tell you, I do not, nor I cannot love you?

HELENA	And even for that do I love you the more.
	I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
	The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
	Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
	Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
	Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
	What worser place can I beg in your love,--
	And yet a place of high respect with me,--
	Than to be used as you use your dog?

DEMETRIUS	Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
	For I am sick when I do look on thee.

HELENA	And I am sick when I look not on you.

DEMETRIUS	You do impeach your modesty too much,
	To leave the city and commit yourself
	Into the hands of one that loves you not;
	To trust the opportunity of night
	And the ill counsel of a desert place
	With the rich worth of your virginity.

HELENA	Your virtue is my privilege: for that
	It is not night when I do see your face,
	Therefore I think I am not in the night;
	Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company,
	For you in my respect are all the world:
	Then how can it be said I am alone,
	When all the world is here to look on me?

DEMETRIUS	I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
	And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

HELENA	The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
	Run when you will, the story shall be changed:
	Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
	The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
	Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
	When cowardice pursues and valour flies.

DEMETRIUS	I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
	Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
	But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.

HELENA	Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
	You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
	Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
	We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
	We should be wood and were not made to woo.


	I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
	To die upon the hand I love so well.


OBERON	Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
	Thou shalt fly him and he shall seek thy love.

	[Re-enter PUCK]

	Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.

PUCK	Ay, there it is.

OBERON	I pray thee, give it me.
	I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
	Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
	Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
	With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
	There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
	Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
	And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
	Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
	And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
	And make her full of hateful fantasies.
	Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
	A sweet Athenian lady is in love
	With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
	But do it when the next thing he espies
	May be the lady: thou shalt know the man
	By the Athenian garments he hath on.
	Effect it with some care, that he may prove
	More fond on her than she upon her love:
	And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.

PUCK	Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.




SCENE II	Another part of the wood.

	[Enter TITANIA, with her train]

TITANIA	Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
	Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
	Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,
	Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings,
	To make my small elves coats, and some keep back
	The clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
	At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
	Then to your offices and let me rest.

	[The Fairies sing]

	You spotted snakes with double tongue,
	Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
	Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
	Come not near our fairy queen.
	Philomel, with melody
	Sing in our sweet lullaby;
	Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
	Never harm,
	Nor spell nor charm,
	Come our lovely lady nigh;
	So, good night, with lullaby.
	Weaving spiders, come not here;
	Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence!
	Beetles black, approach not near;
	Worm nor snail, do no offence.
	Philomel, with melody, &c.

Fairy	Hence, away! now all is well:
	One aloof stand sentinel.

	[Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps]

	[Enter OBERON and squeezes the flower on TITANIA's eyelids]

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



LYSANDER	Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;
	And to speak troth, I have forgot our way:
	We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
	And tarry for the comfort of the day.

HERMIA	Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed;
	For I upon this bank will rest my head.

LYSANDER	One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
	One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.

HERMIA	Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
	Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.

LYSANDER	O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
	Love takes the meaning in love's conference.
	I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
	So that but one heart we can make of it;
	Two bosoms interchained with an oath;
	So then two bosoms and a single troth.
	Then by your side no bed-room me deny;
	For lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

HERMIA	Lysander riddles very prettily:
	Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
	If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied.
	But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
	Lie further off; in human modesty,
	Such separation as may well be said
	Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
	So far be distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
	Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!

LYSANDER	Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
	And then end life when I end loyalty!
	Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest!

HERMIA	With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!

	[They sleep]

	[Enter PUCK]

PUCK	Through the forest have I gone.
	But Athenian found I none,
	On whose eyes I might approve
	This flower's force in stirring love.
	Night and silence.--Who is here?
	Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
	This is he, my master said,
	Despised the Athenian maid;
	And here the maiden, sleeping sound,
	On the dank and dirty ground.
	Pretty soul! she durst not lie
	Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.
	Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
	All the power this charm doth owe.
	When thou wakest, let love forbid
	Sleep his seat on thy eyelid:
	So awake when I am gone;
	For I must now to Oberon.


	[Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running]

HELENA	Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.

DEMETRIUS	I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.

HELENA	O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.

DEMETRIUS	Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go.


HELENA	O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
	The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
	Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;
	For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
	How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
	If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
	No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;
	For beasts that meet me run away for fear:
	Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
	Do, as a monster fly my presence thus.
	What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
	Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne?
	But who is here? Lysander! on the ground!
	Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
	Lysander if you live, good sir, awake.

LYSANDER	[Awaking]  And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
	Transparent Helena! Nature shows art,
	That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
	Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word
	Is that vile name to perish on my sword!

HELENA	Do not say so, Lysander; say not so
	What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?
	Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.

LYSANDER	Content with Hermia! No; I do repent
	The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
	Not Hermia but Helena I love:
	Who will not change a raven for a dove?
	The will of man is by his reason sway'd;
	And reason says you are the worthier maid.
	Things growing are not ripe until their season
	So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
	And touching now the point of human skill,
	Reason becomes the marshal to my will
	And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook
	Love's stories written in love's richest book.

HELENA	Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
	When at your hands did I deserve this scorn?
	Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man,
	That I did never, no, nor never can,
	Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
	But you must flout my insufficiency?
	Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
	In such disdainful manner me to woo.
	But fare you well: perforce I must confess
	I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
	O, that a lady, of one man refused.
	Should of another therefore be abused!


LYSANDER	She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep thou there:
	And never mayst thou come Lysander near!
	For as a surfeit of the sweetest things
	The deepest loathing to the stomach brings,
	Or as tie heresies that men do leave
	Are hated most of those they did deceive,
	So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,
	Of all be hated, but the most of me!
	And, all my powers, address your love and might
	To honour Helen and to be her knight!


HERMIA	[Awaking]  Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best
	To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!
	Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here!
	Lysander, look how I do quake with fear:
	Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
	And you sat smiling at his cruel pray.
	Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord!
	What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
	Alack, where are you speak, an if you hear;
	Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear.
	No? then I well perceive you all not nigh
	Either death or you I'll find immediately.




SCENE I	The wood. TITANIA lying asleep.


BOTTOM	Are we all met?

QUINCE	Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place
	for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our
	stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and we
	will do it in action as we will do it before the duke.

BOTTOM	Peter Quince,--

QUINCE	What sayest thou, bully Bottom?

BOTTOM	There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and
	Thisby that will never please. First, Pyramus must
	draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies
	cannot abide. How answer you that?

SNOUT	By'r lakin, a parlous fear.

STARVELING	I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.

BOTTOM	Not a whit: I have a device to make all well.
	Write me a prologue; and let the prologue seem to
	say, we will do no harm with our swords, and that
	Pyramus is not killed indeed; and, for the more
	better assurance, tell them that I, Pyramus, am not
	Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: this will put them
	out of fear.

QUINCE	Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be
	written in eight and six.

BOTTOM	No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.

SNOUT	Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?

STARVELING	I fear it, I promise you.

BOTTOM	Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to
	bring in--God shield us!--a lion among ladies, is a
	most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful
	wild-fowl than your lion living; and we ought to
	look to 't.

SNOUT	Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion.

BOTTOM	Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must
	be seen through the lion's neck: and he himself
	must speak through, saying thus, or to the same
	defect,--'Ladies,'--or 'Fair-ladies--I would wish
	You,'--or 'I would request you,'--or 'I would
	entreat you,--not to fear, not to tremble: my life
	for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it
	were pity of my life: no I am no such thing; I am a
	man as other men are;' and there indeed let him name
	his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.

QUINCE	Well it shall be so. But there is two hard things;
	that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for,
	you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.

SNOUT	Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?

BOTTOM	A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac; find
	out moonshine, find out moonshine.

QUINCE	Yes, it doth shine that night.

BOTTOM	Why, then may you leave a casement of the great
	chamber window, where we play, open, and the moon
	may shine in at the casement.

QUINCE	Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns
	and a lanthorn, and say he comes to disfigure, or to
	present, the person of Moonshine. Then, there is
	another thing: we must have a wall in the great
	chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby says the story, did
	talk through the chink of a wall.

SNOUT	You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?

BOTTOM	Some man or other must present Wall: and let him
	have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast
	about him, to signify wall; and let him hold his
	fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus
	and Thisby whisper.

QUINCE	If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down,
	every mother's son, and rehearse your parts.
	Pyramus, you begin: when you have spoken your
	speech, enter into that brake: and so every one
	according to his cue.

	[Enter PUCK behind]

PUCK	What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
	So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
	What, a play toward! I'll be an auditor;
	An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.

QUINCE	Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.

BOTTOM	Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet,--

QUINCE	Odours, odours.

BOTTOM	--odours savours sweet:
	So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.
	But hark, a voice! stay thou but here awhile,
	And by and by I will to thee appear.


PUCK	A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.


FLUTE	Must I speak now?

QUINCE	Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand he goes
	but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.

FLUTE	Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
	Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier,
	Most brisky juvenal and eke most lovely Jew,
	As true as truest horse that yet would never tire,
	I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.

QUINCE	'Ninus' tomb,' man: why, you must not speak that
	yet; that you answer to Pyramus: you speak all your
	part at once, cues and all Pyramus enter: your cue
	is past; it is, 'never tire.'

FLUTE	O,--As true as truest horse, that yet would
	never tire.

	[Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass's head]

BOTTOM	If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.

QUINCE	O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray,
	masters! fly, masters! Help!


PUCK	I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round,
	Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier:
	Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound,
	A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;
	And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,
	Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.


BOTTOM	Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them to
	make me afeard.

	[Re-enter SNOUT]

SNOUT	O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?

BOTTOM	What do you see? you see an asshead of your own, do

	[Exit SNOUT]

	[Re-enter QUINCE]

QUINCE	Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art


BOTTOM	I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me;
	to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir
	from this place, do what they can: I will walk up
	and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear
	I am not afraid.


	The ousel cock so black of hue,
	With orange-tawny bill,
	The throstle with his note so true,
	The wren with little quill,--

TITANIA	[Awaking]  What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?

BOTTOM	[Sings]

	The finch, the sparrow and the lark,
	The plain-song cuckoo gray,
	Whose note full many a man doth mark,
	And dares not answer nay;--
	for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish
	a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry
	'cuckoo' never so?

TITANIA	I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
	Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
	So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
	And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
	On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.

BOTTOM	Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason
	for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and
	love keep little company together now-a-days; the
	more the pity that some honest neighbours will not
	make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.

TITANIA	Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

BOTTOM	Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out
	of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.

TITANIA	Out of this wood do not desire to go:
	Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
	I am a spirit of no common rate;
	The summer still doth tend upon my state;
	And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
	I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
	And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
	And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
	And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
	That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
	Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!



COBWEB	     And I.

MOTH	          And I.

MUSTARDSEED	                  And I.

ALL	Where shall we go?

TITANIA	Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
	Hop in his walks and gambol in his eyes;
	Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
	With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
	The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
	And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs
	And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
	To have my love to bed and to arise;
	And pluck the wings from Painted butterflies
	To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
	Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

PEASEBLOSSOM	Hail, mortal!


MOTH	Hail!


BOTTOM	I cry your worship's mercy, heartily: I beseech your
	worship's name.

COBWEB	Cobweb.

BOTTOM	I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master
	Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold with
	you. Your name, honest gentleman?

PEASEBLOSSOM	Peaseblossom.

BOTTOM	I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your
	mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good
	Master Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of more
	acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?

MUSTARDSEED	Mustardseed.

BOTTOM	Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well:
	that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath
	devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise
	you your kindred had made my eyes water ere now. I
	desire your more acquaintance, good Master

TITANIA	Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
	The moon methinks looks with a watery eye;
	And when she weeps, weeps every little flower,
	Lamenting some enforced chastity.
	Tie up my love's tongue bring him silently.




SCENE II	Another part of the wood.

	[Enter OBERON]

OBERON	I wonder if Titania be awaked;
	Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
	Which she must dote on in extremity.

	[Enter PUCK]

	Here comes my messenger.
		   How now, mad spirit!
	What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

PUCK	My mistress with a monster is in love.
	Near to her close and consecrated bower,
	While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
	A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
	That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
	Were met together to rehearse a play
	Intended for great Theseus' nuptial-day.
	The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
	Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
	Forsook his scene and enter'd in a brake
	When I did him at this advantage take,
	An ass's nole I fixed on his head:
	Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
	And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
	As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
	Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
	Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
	Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
	So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;
	And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
	He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
	Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears
	thus strong,
	Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
	For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
	Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all
	things catch.
	I led them on in this distracted fear,
	And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
	When in that moment, so it came to pass,
	Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

OBERON	This falls out better than I could devise.
	But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
	With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?

PUCK	I took him sleeping,--that is finish'd too,--
	And the Athenian woman by his side:
	That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.


OBERON	Stand close: this is the same Athenian.

PUCK	This is the woman, but not this the man.

DEMETRIUS	O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
	Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

HERMIA	Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
	For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
	If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
	Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
	And kill me too.
	The sun was not so true unto the day
	As he to me: would he have stolen away
	From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
	This whole earth may be bored and that the moon
	May through the centre creep and so displease
	Her brother's noontide with Antipodes.
	It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;
	So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.

DEMETRIUS	So should the murder'd look, and so should I,
	Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty:
	Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
	As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

HERMIA	What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
	Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?

DEMETRIUS	I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

HERMIA	Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
	Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
	Henceforth be never number'd among men!
	O, once tell true, tell true, even for my sake!
	Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,
	And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
	Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
	An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
	Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

DEMETRIUS	You spend your passion on a misprised mood:
	I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
	Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

HERMIA	I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.

DEMETRIUS	An if I could, what should I get therefore?

HERMIA	A privilege never to see me more.
	And from thy hated presence part I so:
	See me no more, whether he be dead or no.


DEMETRIUS	There is no following her in this fierce vein:
	Here therefore for a while I will remain.
	So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
	For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe:
	Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
	If for his tender here I make some stay.

	[Lies down and sleeps]

OBERON	What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
	And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
	Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
	Some true love turn'd and not a false turn'd true.

PUCK	Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
	A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

OBERON	About the wood go swifter than the wind,
	And Helena of Athens look thou find:
	All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
	With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear:
	By some illusion see thou bring her here:
	I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.

PUCK	I go, I go; look how I go,
	Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.


OBERON	   Flower of this purple dye,
	Hit with Cupid's archery,
	Sink in apple of his eye.
	When his love he doth espy,
	Let her shine as gloriously
	As the Venus of the sky.
	When thou wakest, if she be by,
	Beg of her for remedy.

	[Re-enter PUCK]

PUCK	   Captain of our fairy band,
	Helena is here at hand;
	And the youth, mistook by me,
	Pleading for a lover's fee.
	Shall we their fond pageant see?
	Lord, what fools these mortals be!

OBERON	Stand aside: the noise they make
	Will cause Demetrius to awake.

PUCK	Then will two at once woo one;
	That must needs be sport alone;
	And those things do best please me
	That befal preposterously.


LYSANDER	Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
	Scorn and derision never come in tears:
	Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
	In their nativity all truth appears.
	How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
	Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?

HELENA	You do advance your cunning more and more.
	When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
	These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
	Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
	Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
	Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.

LYSANDER	I had no judgment when to her I swore.

HELENA	Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.

LYSANDER	Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

DEMETRIUS	[Awaking]  O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
	To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
	Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
	Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
	That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
	Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
	When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
	This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!

HELENA	O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
	To set against me for your merriment:
	If you we re civil and knew courtesy,
	You would not do me thus much injury.
	Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
	But you must join in souls to mock me too?
	If you were men, as men you are in show,
	You would not use a gentle lady so;
	To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
	When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
	You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
	And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
	A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
	To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
	With your derision! none of noble sort
	Would so offend a virgin, and extort
	A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.

LYSANDER	You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
	For you love Hermia; this you know I know:
	And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
	In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
	And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
	Whom I do love and will do till my death.

HELENA	Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

DEMETRIUS	Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
	If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
	My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
	And now to Helen is it home return'd,
	There to remain.

LYSANDER	                  Helen, it is not so.

DEMETRIUS	Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
	Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.
	Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.

	[Re-enter HERMIA]

HERMIA	Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
	The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
	Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
	It pays the hearing double recompense.
	Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
	Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound
	But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?

LYSANDER	Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?

HERMIA	What love could press Lysander from my side?

LYSANDER	Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
	Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
	Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.
	Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
	The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?

HERMIA	You speak not as you think: it cannot be.

HELENA	Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
	Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
	To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
	Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
	Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
	To bait me with this foul derision?
	Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
	The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
	When we have chid the hasty-footed time
	For parting us,--O, is it all forgot?
	All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
	We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
	Have with our needles created both one flower,
	Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
	Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
	As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds,
	Had been incorporate. So we grow together,
	Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
	But yet an union in partition;
	Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
	So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
	Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
	Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
	And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
	To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
	It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
	Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
	Though I alone do feel the injury.

HERMIA	I am amazed at your passionate words.
	I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.

HELENA	Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
	To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
	And made your other love, Demetrius,
	Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,
	To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
	Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
	To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
	Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
	And tender me, forsooth, affection,
	But by your setting on, by your consent?
	What thought I be not so in grace as you,
	So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
	But miserable most, to love unloved?
	This you should pity rather than despise.

HERNIA	I understand not what you mean by this.

HELENA	Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
	Make mouths upon me when I turn my back;
	Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up:
	This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
	If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
	You would not make me such an argument.
	But fare ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
	Which death or absence soon shall remedy.

LYSANDER	Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse:
	My love, my life my soul, fair Helena!

HELENA	O excellent!

HERMIA	                  Sweet, do not scorn her so.

DEMETRIUS	If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

LYSANDER	Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
	Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.
	Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do:
	I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
	To prove him false that says I love thee not.

DEMETRIUS	I say I love thee more than he can do.

LYSANDER	If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.

DEMETRIUS	Quick, come!

HERMIA	Lysander, whereto tends all this?

LYSANDER	Away, you Ethiope!

DEMETRIUS	                  No, no; he'll [        ]
	Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow,
	But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!

LYSANDER	Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
	Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!

HERMIA	Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
	Sweet love,--

LYSANDER	Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
	Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!

HERMIA	Do you not jest?

HELENA	Yes, sooth; and so do you.

LYSANDER	Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

DEMETRIUS	I would I had your bond, for I perceive
	A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.

LYSANDER	What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
	Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.

HERMIA	What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
	Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
	Am not I Hermia? are not you Lysander?
	I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
	Since night you loved me; yet since night you left
	Why, then you left me--O, the gods forbid!--
	In earnest, shall I say?

LYSANDER	Ay, by my life;
	And never did desire to see thee more.
	Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
	Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
	That I do hate thee and love Helena.

HERMIA	O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
	You thief of love! what, have you come by night
	And stolen my love's heart from him?

HELENA	Fine, i'faith!
	Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
	No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
	Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
	Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!

HERMIA	Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
	Now I perceive that she hath made compare
	Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
	And with her personage, her tall personage,
	Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
	And are you grown so high in his esteem;
	Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
	How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
	How low am I? I am not yet so low
	But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

HELENA	I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
	Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;
	I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
	I am a right maid for my cowardice:
	Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
	Because she is something lower than myself,
	That I can match her.

HERMIA	Lower! hark, again.

HELENA	Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
	I evermore did love you, Hermia,
	Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
	Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
	I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
	He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him;
	But he hath chid me hence and threaten'd me
	To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
	And now, so you will let me quiet go,
	To Athens will I bear my folly back
	And follow you no further: let me go:
	You see how simple and how fond I am.

HERMIA	Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?

HELENA	A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.

HERMIA	What, with Lysander?

HELENA	With Demetrius.

LYSANDER	Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.

DEMETRIUS	No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.

HELENA	O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!
	She was a vixen when she went to school;
	And though she be but little, she is fierce.

HERMIA	'Little' again! nothing but 'low' and 'little'!
	Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
	Let me come to her.

LYSANDER	Get you gone, you dwarf;
	You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
	You bead, you acorn.

DEMETRIUS	You are too officious
	In her behalf that scorns your services.
	Let her alone: speak not of Helena;
	Take not her part; for, if thou dost intend
	Never so little show of love to her,
	Thou shalt aby it.

LYSANDER	                  Now she holds me not;
	Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
	Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.

DEMETRIUS	Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.


HERMIA	You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
	Nay, go not back.

HELENA	                  I will not trust you, I,
	Nor longer stay in your curst company.
	Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
	My legs are longer though, to run away.


HERMIA	I am amazed, and know not what to say.


OBERON	This is thy negligence: still thou mistakest,
	Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.

PUCK	Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
	Did not you tell me I should know the man
	By the Athenian garment be had on?
	And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
	That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
	And so far am I glad it so did sort
	As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

OBERON	Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:
	Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
	The starry welkin cover thou anon
	With drooping fog as black as Acheron,
	And lead these testy rivals so astray
	As one come not within another's way.
	Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
	Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
	And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
	And from each other look thou lead them thus,
	Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
	With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
	Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
	Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
	To take from thence all error with his might,
	And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
	When they next wake, all this derision
	Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision,
	And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
	With league whose date till death shall never end.
	Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
	I'll to my queen and beg her Indian boy;
	And then I will her charmed eye release
	From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

PUCK	My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
	For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
	And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
	At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
	Troop home to churchyards: damned spirits all,
	That in crossways and floods have burial,
	Already to their wormy beds are gone;
	For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
	They willfully themselves exile from light
	And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.

OBERON	But we are spirits of another sort:
	I with the morning's love have oft made sport,
	And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
	Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
	Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
	Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.
	But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
	We may effect this business yet ere day.


PUCK	   Up and down, up and down,
	I will lead them up and down:
	I am fear'd in field and town:
	Goblin, lead them up and down.
	Here comes one.

	[Re-enter LYSANDER]

LYSANDER	Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.

PUCK	Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art thou?

LYSANDER	I will be with thee straight.

PUCK	Follow me, then,
	To plainer ground.

	[Exit LYSANDER, as following the voice]

	[Re-enter DEMETRIUS]

DEMETRIUS	                  Lysander! speak again:
	Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
	Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?

PUCK	Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
	Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
	And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
	I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled
	That draws a sword on thee.

DEMETRIUS	Yea, art thou there?

PUCK	Follow my voice: we'll try no manhood here.


	[Re-enter LYSANDER]

LYSANDER	He goes before me and still dares me on:
	When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
	The villain is much lighter-heel'd than I:
	I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
	That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
	And here will rest me.

	[Lies down]

	Come, thou gentle day!
	For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
	I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.


	[Re-enter PUCK and DEMETRIUS]

PUCK	Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

DEMETRIUS	Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot
	Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place,
	And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.
	Where art thou now?

PUCK	Come hither: I am here.

DEMETRIUS	Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,
	If ever I thy face by daylight see:
	Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
	To measure out my length on this cold bed.
	By day's approach look to be visited.

	[Lies down and sleeps]

	[Re-enter HELENA]

HELENA	O weary night, O long and tedious night,
	Abate thy hour! Shine comforts from the east,
	That I may back to Athens by daylight,
	From these that my poor company detest:
	And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
	Steal me awhile from mine own company.

	[Lies down and sleeps]

PUCK	Yet but three? Come one more;
	Two of both kinds make up four.
	Here she comes, curst and sad:
	Cupid is a knavish lad,
	Thus to make poor females mad.

	[Re-enter HERMIA]

HERMIA	Never so weary, never so in woe,
	Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,
	I can no further crawl, no further go;
	My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
	Here will I rest me till the break of day.
	Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!

	[Lies down and sleeps]

PUCK	                  On the ground
	Sleep sound:
	I'll apply
	To your eye,
	Gentle lover, remedy.

	[Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eyes]

	When thou wakest,
	Thou takest
	True delight
	In the sight
	Of thy former lady's eye:
	And the country proverb known,
	That every man should take his own,
	In your waking shall be shown:
	Jack shall have Jill;
	Nought shall go ill;
	The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.




	lying asleep.

	MUSTARDSEED, and other Fairies attending; OBERON
	behind unseen]

TITANIA	Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
	While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
	And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
	And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.

BOTTOM	Where's Peaseblossom?


BOTTOM	Scratch my head Peaseblossom. Where's Mounsieur Cobweb?


BOTTOM	Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get you your
	weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped
	humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good
	mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
	yourself too much in the action, mounsieur; and,
	good mounsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not;
	I would be loath to have you overflown with a
	honey-bag, signior. Where's Mounsieur Mustardseed?


BOTTOM	Give me your neaf, Mounsieur Mustardseed. Pray you,
	leave your courtesy, good mounsieur.

MUSTARDSEED	What's your Will?

BOTTOM	Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb
	to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for
	methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I
	am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me,
	I must scratch.

TITANIA	What, wilt thou hear some music,
	my sweet love?

BOTTOM	I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have
	the tongs and the bones.

TITANIA	Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.

BOTTOM	Truly, a peck of provender: I could munch your good
	dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle
	of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

TITANIA	I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
	The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

BOTTOM	I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas.
	But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me: I
	have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

TITANIA	Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
	Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.

	[Exeunt fairies]

	So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
	Gently entwist; the female ivy so
	Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
	O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

	[They sleep]

	[Enter PUCK]

OBERON	[Advancing]  Welcome, good Robin.
	See'st thou this sweet sight?
	Her dotage now I do begin to pity:
	For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
	Seeking sweet favours from this hateful fool,
	I did upbraid her and fall out with her;
	For she his hairy temples then had rounded
	With a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
	And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
	Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,
	Stood now within the pretty flowerets' eyes
	Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
	When I had at my pleasure taunted her
	And she in mild terms begg'd my patience,
	I then did ask of her her changeling child;
	Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
	To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
	And now I have the boy, I will undo
	This hateful imperfection of her eyes:
	And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
	From off the head of this Athenian swain;
	That, he awaking when the other do,
	May all to Athens back again repair
	And think no more of this night's accidents
	But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
	But first I will release the fairy queen.
	Be as thou wast wont to be;
	See as thou wast wont to see:
	Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
	Hath such force and blessed power.
	Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.

TITANIA	My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
	Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.

OBERON	There lies your love.

TITANIA	How came these things to pass?
	O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

OBERON	Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.
	Titania, music call; and strike more dead
	Than common sleep of all these five the sense.

TITANIA	Music, ho! music, such as charmeth sleep!

	[Music, still]

PUCK	Now, when thou wakest, with thine
	own fool's eyes peep.

OBERON	Sound, music! Come, my queen, take hands with me,
	And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
	Now thou and I are new in amity,
	And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
	Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
	And bless it to all fair prosperity:
	There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
	Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

PUCK	Fairy king, attend, and mark:
	I do hear the morning lark.

OBERON	Then, my queen, in silence sad,
	Trip we after the night's shade:
	We the globe can compass soon,
	Swifter than the wandering moon.

TITANIA	Come, my lord, and in our flight
	Tell me how it came this night
	That I sleeping here was found
	With these mortals on the ground.


	[Horns winded within]

	[Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train]

THESEUS	Go, one of you, find out the forester;
	For now our observation is perform'd;
	And since we have the vaward of the day,
	My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
	Uncouple in the western valley; let them go:
	Dispatch, I say, and find the forester.

	[Exit an Attendant]

	We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
	And mark the musical confusion
	Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

HIPPOLYTA	I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
	When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
	With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear
	Such gallant chiding: for, besides the groves,
	The skies, the fountains, every region near
	Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard
	So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

THESEUS	My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
	So flew'd, so sanded, and their heads are hung
	With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
	Crook-knee'd, and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
	Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
	Each under each. A cry more tuneable
	Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
	In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:
	Judge when you hear. But, soft! what nymphs are these?

EGEUS	My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
	And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is;
	This Helena, old Nedar's Helena:
	I wonder of their being here together.

THESEUS	No doubt they rose up early to observe
	The rite of May, and hearing our intent,
	Came here in grace our solemnity.
	But speak, Egeus; is not this the day
	That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

EGEUS	It is, my lord.

THESEUS	Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.

	[Horns and shout within. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS,
	HELENA, and HERMIA wake and start up]

	Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past:
	Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

LYSANDER	Pardon, my lord.

THESEUS	                  I pray you all, stand up.
	I know you two are rival enemies:
	How comes this gentle concord in the world,
	That hatred is so far from jealousy,
	To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?

LYSANDER	My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
	Half sleep, half waking: but as yet, I swear,
	I cannot truly say how I came here;
	But, as I think,--for truly would I speak,
	And now do I bethink me, so it is,--
	I came with Hermia hither: our intent
	Was to be gone from Athens, where we might,
	Without the peril of the Athenian law.

EGEUS	Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough:
	I beg the law, the law, upon his head.
	They would have stolen away; they would, Demetrius,
	Thereby to have defeated you and me,
	You of your wife and me of my consent,
	Of my consent that she should be your wife.

DEMETRIUS	My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
	Of this their purpose hither to this wood;
	And I in fury hither follow'd them,
	Fair Helena in fancy following me.
	But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,--
	But by some power it is,--my love to Hermia,
	Melted as the snow, seems to me now
	As the remembrance of an idle gaud
	Which in my childhood I did dote upon;
	And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
	The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
	Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
	Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:
	But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food;
	But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
	Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
	And will for evermore be true to it.

THESEUS	Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
	Of this discourse we more will hear anon.
	Egeus, I will overbear your will;
	For in the temple by and by with us
	These couples shall eternally be knit:
	And, for the morning now is something worn,
	Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.
	Away with us to Athens; three and three,
	We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.
	Come, Hippolyta.

	[Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train]

DEMETRIUS	These things seem small and undistinguishable,
HERMIA	Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
	When every thing seems double.

HELENA	So methinks:
	And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
	Mine own, and not mine own.

DEMETRIUS	Are you sure
	That we are awake? It seems to me
	That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
	The duke was here, and bid us follow him?

HERMIA	Yea; and my father.

HELENA	And Hippolyta.

LYSANDER	And he did bid us follow to the temple.

DEMETRIUS	Why, then, we are awake: let's follow him
	And by the way let us recount our dreams.


BOTTOM	[Awaking]  When my cue comes, call me, and I will
	answer: my next is, 'Most fair Pyramus.' Heigh-ho!
	Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout,
	the tinker! Starveling! God's my life, stolen
	hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare
	vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to
	say what dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go
	about to expound this dream. Methought I was--there
	is no man can tell what. Methought I was,--and
	methought I had,--but man is but a patched fool, if
	he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye
	of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not
	seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue
	to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream
	was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of
	this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream,
	because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
	latter end of a play, before the duke:
	peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall
	sing it at her death.




SCENE II	Athens. QUINCE'S house.


QUINCE	Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?

STARVELING	He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is

FLUTE	If he come not, then the play is marred: it goes
	not forward, doth it?

QUINCE	It is not possible: you have not a man in all
	Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.

FLUTE	No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft
	man in Athens.

QUINCE	Yea and the best person too; and he is a very
	paramour for a sweet voice.

FLUTE	You must say 'paragon:' a paramour is, God bless us,
	a thing of naught.

	[Enter SNUG]

SNUG	Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and
	there is two or three lords and ladies more married:
	if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made

FLUTE	O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a
	day during his life; he could not have 'scaped
	sixpence a day: an the duke had not given him
	sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged;
	he would have deserved it: sixpence a day in
	Pyramus, or nothing.

	[Enter BOTTOM]

BOTTOM	Where are these lads? where are these hearts?

QUINCE	Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!

BOTTOM	Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not
	what; for if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I
	will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.

QUINCE	Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

BOTTOM	Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that
	the duke hath dined. Get your apparel together,
	good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your
	pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look
	o'er his part; for the short and the long is, our
	play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby have
	clean linen; and let not him that plays the lion
	pair his nails, for they shall hang out for the
	lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions
	nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I
	do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet
	comedy. No more words: away! go, away!




SCENE I	Athens. The palace of THESEUS.


HIPPOLYTA	'Tis strange my Theseus, that these
	lovers speak of.

THESEUS	More strange than true: I never may believe
	These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
	Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
	Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
	More than cool reason ever comprehends.
	The lunatic, the lover and the poet
	Are of imagination all compact:
	One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
	That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
	Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
	The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
	Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
	And as imagination bodies forth
	The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
	Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
	A local habitation and a name.
	Such tricks hath strong imagination,
	That if it would but apprehend some joy,
	It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
	Or in the night, imagining some fear,
	How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

HIPPOLYTA	But all the story of the night told over,
	And all their minds transfigured so together,
	More witnesseth than fancy's images
	And grows to something of great constancy;
	But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

THESEUS	Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.


	Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love
	Accompany your hearts!

LYSANDER	More than to us
	Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!

THESEUS	Come now; what masques, what dances shall we have,
	To wear away this long age of three hours
	Between our after-supper and bed-time?
	Where is our usual manager of mirth?
	What revels are in hand? Is there no play,
	To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
	Call Philostrate.

PHILOSTRATE	                  Here, mighty Theseus.

THESEUS	Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?
	What masque? what music? How shall we beguile
	The lazy time, if not with some delight?

PHILOSTRATE	There is a brief how many sports are ripe:
	Make choice of which your highness will see first.

	[Giving a paper]

THESEUS	[Reads]  'The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung
	By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.'
	We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
	In glory of my kinsman Hercules.


	'The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
	Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.'
	That is an old device; and it was play'd
	When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.


	'The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
	Of Learning, late deceased in beggary.'
	That is some satire, keen and critical,
	Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.


	'A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
	And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.'
	Merry and tragical! tedious and brief!
	That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
	How shall we find the concord of this discord?

PHILOSTRATE	A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
	Which is as brief as I have known a play;
	But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
	Which makes it tedious; for in all the play
	There is not one word apt, one player fitted:
	And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
	For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
	Which, when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
	Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
	The passion of loud laughter never shed.

THESEUS	What are they that do play it?

PHILOSTRATE	Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
	Which never labour'd in their minds till now,
	And now have toil'd their unbreathed memories
	With this same play, against your nuptial.

THESEUS	And we will hear it.

PHILOSTRATE	No, my noble lord;
	It is not for you: I have heard it over,
	And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
	Unless you can find sport in their intents,
	Extremely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,
	To do you service.

THESEUS	                  I will hear that play;
	For never anything can be amiss,
	When simpleness and duty tender it.
	Go, bring them in: and take your places, ladies.


HIPPOLYTA	I love not to see wretchedness o'er charged
	And duty in his service perishing.

THESEUS	Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.

HIPPOLYTA	He says they can do nothing in this kind.

THESEUS	The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
	Our sport shall be to take what they mistake:
	And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
	Takes it in might, not merit.
	Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
	To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
	Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
	Make periods in the midst of sentences,
	Throttle their practised accent in their fears
	And in conclusion dumbly have broke off,
	Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
	Out of this silence yet I pick'd a welcome;
	And in the modesty of fearful duty
	I read as much as from the rattling tongue
	Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
	Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
	In least speak most, to my capacity.


PHILOSTRATE	So please your grace, the Prologue is address'd.

THESEUS	Let him approach.

	[Flourish of trumpets]

	[Enter QUINCE for the Prologue]

Prologue	If we offend, it is with our good will.
	That you should think, we come not to offend,
	But with good will. To show our simple skill,
	That is the true beginning of our end.
	Consider then we come but in despite.
	We do not come as minding to contest you,
	Our true intent is. All for your delight
	We are not here. That you should here repent you,
	The actors are at hand and by their show
	You shall know all that you are like to know.

THESEUS	This fellow doth not stand upon points.

LYSANDER	He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; he knows
	not the stop. A good moral, my lord: it is not
	enough to speak, but to speak true.

HIPPOLYTA	Indeed he hath played on his prologue like a child
	on a recorder; a sound, but not in government.

THESEUS	His speech, was like a tangled chain; nothing
	impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?

	[Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion]

Prologue	Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
	But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
	This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
	This beauteous lady Thisby is certain.
	This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
	Wall, that vile Wall which did these lovers sunder;
	And through Wall's chink, poor souls, they are content
	To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
	This man, with lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn,
	Presenteth Moonshine; for, if you will know,
	By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
	To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
	This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
	The trusty Thisby, coming first by night,
	Did scare away, or rather did affright;
	And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
	Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
	Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
	And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain:
	Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
	He bravely broach'd is boiling bloody breast;
	And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,
	His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
	Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
	At large discourse, while here they do remain.

	[Exeunt Prologue, Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine]

THESEUS	I wonder if the lion be to speak.

DEMETRIUS	No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.

Wall	In this same interlude it doth befall
	That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
	And such a wall, as I would have you think,
	That had in it a crannied hole or chink,
	Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,
	Did whisper often very secretly.
	This loam, this rough-cast and this stone doth show
	That I am that same wall; the truth is so:
	And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
	Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.

THESEUS	Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

DEMETRIUS	It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard
	discourse, my lord.

	[Enter Pyramus]

THESEUS	Pyramus draws near the wall: silence!

Pyramus	O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!
	O night, which ever art when day is not!
	O night, O night! alack, alack, alack,
	I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!
	And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
	That stand'st between her father's ground and mine!
	Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
	Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!

	[Wall holds up his fingers]

	Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!
	But what see I? No Thisby do I see.
	O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!
	Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!

THESEUS	The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.

Pyramus	No, in truth, sir, he should not. 'Deceiving me'
	is Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am to
	spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will
	fall pat as I told you. Yonder she comes.

	[Enter Thisbe]

Thisbe	O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
	For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
	My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones,
	Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.

Pyramus	I see a voice: now will I to the chink,
	To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby!

Thisbe	My love thou art, my love I think.

Pyramus	Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;
	And, like Limander, am I trusty still.

Thisbe	And I like Helen, till the Fates me kill.

Pyramus	Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.

Thisbe	As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.

Pyramus	O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall!

Thisbe	I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.

Pyramus	Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?

Thisbe	'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.

	[Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe]

Wall	Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
	And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.


THESEUS	Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.

DEMETRIUS	No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear
	without warning.

HIPPOLYTA	This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.

THESEUS	The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst
	are no worse, if imagination amend them.

HIPPOLYTA	It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

THESEUS	If we imagine no worse of them than they of
	themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here
	come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.

	[Enter Lion and Moonshine]

Lion	You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
	The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
	May now perchance both quake and tremble here,
	When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
	Then know that I, one Snug the joiner, am
	A lion-fell, nor else no lion's dam;
	For, if I should as lion come in strife
	Into this place, 'twere pity on my life.

THESEUS	A very gentle beast, of a good conscience.

DEMETRIUS	The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

LYSANDER	This lion is a very fox for his valour.

THESEUS	True; and a goose for his discretion.

DEMETRIUS	Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his
	discretion; and the fox carries the goose.

THESEUS	His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour;
	for the goose carries not the fox. It is well:
	leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.

Moonshine	This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;--

DEMETRIUS	He should have worn the horns on his head.

THESEUS	He is no crescent, and his horns are
	invisible within the circumference.

Moonshine	This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;
	Myself the man i' the moon do seem to be.

THESEUS	This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man
	should be put into the lanthorn. How is it else the
	man i' the moon?

DEMETRIUS	He dares not come there for the candle; for, you
	see, it is already in snuff.

HIPPOLYTA	I am aweary of this moon: would he would change!

THESEUS	It appears, by his small light of discretion, that
	he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all
	reason, we must stay the time.

LYSANDER	Proceed, Moon.

Moonshine	All that I have to say, is, to tell you that the
	lanthorn is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this
	thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.

DEMETRIUS	Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for all
	these are in the moon. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.

	[Enter Thisbe]

Thisbe	This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?

Lion	[Roaring]  Oh--

	[Thisbe runs off]

DEMETRIUS	Well roared, Lion.

THESEUS	Well run, Thisbe.

HIPPOLYTA	Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a
	good grace.

	[The Lion shakes Thisbe's mantle, and exit]

THESEUS	Well moused, Lion.

LYSANDER	And so the lion vanished.

DEMETRIUS	And then came Pyramus.

	[Enter Pyramus]

Pyramus	Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
	I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;
	For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
	I trust to take of truest Thisby sight.
	But stay, O spite!
	But mark, poor knight,
	What dreadful dole is here!
	Eyes, do you see?
	How can it be?
	O dainty duck! O dear!
	Thy mantle good,
	What, stain'd with blood!
	Approach, ye Furies fell!
	O Fates, come, come,
	Cut thread and thrum;
	Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!

THESEUS	This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would
	go near to make a man look sad.

HIPPOLYTA	Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.

Pyramus	O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?
	Since lion vile hath here deflower'd my dear:
	Which is--no, no--which was the fairest dame
	That lived, that loved, that liked, that look'd
	with cheer.
	Come, tears, confound;
	Out, sword, and wound
	The pap of Pyramus;
	Ay, that left pap,
	Where heart doth hop:

	[Stabs himself]

	Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
	Now am I dead,
	Now am I fled;
	My soul is in the sky:
	Tongue, lose thy light;
	Moon take thy flight:

	[Exit Moonshine]

	Now die, die, die, die, die.


DEMETRIUS	No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.

LYSANDER	Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.

THESEUS	With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and
	prove an ass.

HIPPOLYTA	How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes
	back and finds her lover?

THESEUS	She will find him by starlight. Here she comes; and
	her passion ends the play.

	[Re-enter Thisbe]

HIPPOLYTA	Methinks she should not use a long one for such a
	Pyramus: I hope she will be brief.

DEMETRIUS	A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which
	Thisbe, is the better; he for a man, God warrant us;
	she for a woman, God bless us.

LYSANDER	She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.

DEMETRIUS	And thus she means, videlicet:--

Thisbe	          Asleep, my love?
	What, dead, my dove?
	O Pyramus, arise!
	Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
	Dead, dead? A tomb
	Must cover thy sweet eyes.
	These My lips,
	This cherry nose,
	These yellow cowslip cheeks,
	Are gone, are gone:
	Lovers, make moan:
	His eyes were green as leeks.
	O Sisters Three,
	Come, come to me,
	With hands as pale as milk;
	Lay them in gore,
	Since you have shore
	With shears his thread of silk.
	Tongue, not a word:
	Come, trusty sword;
	Come, blade, my breast imbrue:

	[Stabs herself]

	And, farewell, friends;
	Thus Thisby ends:
	Adieu, adieu, adieu.


THESEUS	Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.

DEMETRIUS	Ay, and Wall too.

BOTTOM	[Starting up]  No assure you; the wall is down that
	parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the
	epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance between two
	of our company?

THESEUS	No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no
	excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all
	dead, there needs none to be blamed. Marry, if he
	that writ it had played Pyramus and hanged himself
	in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine
	tragedy: and so it is, truly; and very notably
	discharged. But come, your Bergomask: let your
	epilogue alone.

	[A dance]

	The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:
	Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
	I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn
	As much as we this night have overwatch'd.
	This palpable-gross play hath well beguiled
	The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
	A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
	In nightly revels and new jollity.


	[Enter PUCK]

PUCK	     Now the hungry lion roars,
	And the wolf behowls the moon;
	Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
	All with weary task fordone.
	Now the wasted brands do glow,
	Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
	Puts the wretch that lies in woe
	In remembrance of a shroud.
	Now it is the time of night
	That the graves all gaping wide,
	Every one lets forth his sprite,
	In the church-way paths to glide:
	And we fairies, that do run
	By the triple Hecate's team,
	From the presence of the sun,
	Following darkness like a dream,
	Now are frolic: not a mouse
	Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
	I am sent with broom before,
	To sweep the dust behind the door.

	[Enter OBERON and TITANIA with their train]

OBERON	     Through the house give gathering light,
	By the dead and drowsy fire:
	Every elf and fairy sprite
	Hop as light as bird from brier;
	And this ditty, after me,
	Sing, and dance it trippingly.

TITANIA	First, rehearse your song by rote
	To each word a warbling note:
	Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
	Will we sing, and bless this place.

	[Song and dance]

OBERON	Now, until the break of day,
	Through this house each fairy stray.
	To the best bride-bed will we,
	Which by us shall blessed be;
	And the issue there create
	Ever shall be fortunate.
	So shall all the couples three
	Ever true in loving be;
	And the blots of Nature's hand
	Shall not in their issue stand;
	Never mole, hare lip, nor scar,
	Nor mark prodigious, such as are
	Despised in nativity,
	Shall upon their children be.
	With this field-dew consecrate,
	Every fairy take his gait;
	And each several chamber bless,
	Through this palace, with sweet peace;
	And the owner of it blest
	Ever shall in safety rest.
	Trip away; make no stay;
	Meet me all by break of day.

	[Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and train]

PUCK	If we shadows have offended,
	Think but this, and all is mended,
	That you have but slumber'd here
	While these visions did appear.
	And this weak and idle theme,
	No more yielding but a dream,
	Gentles, do not reprehend:
	if you pardon, we will mend:
	And, as I am an honest Puck,
	If we have unearned luck
	Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
	We will make amends ere long;
	Else the Puck a liar call;
	So, good night unto you all.
	Give me your hands, if we be friends,
	And Robin shall restore amends.

Next: Merchant of Venice