A MIDSOMMER NIGHTS DREAME
Enter Theseus, Hippolita, with others.
Theseus. Now faire Hippolita, our nuptiall houre
Drawes on apace: foure happy daies bring in
Another Moon: but oh, me thinkes, how slow
This old Moon wanes; She lingers my desires
Like to a Step-dame, or a Dowager,
Long withering out a yong mans reuennew
Hip. Foure daies wil quickly steep the[m]selues in nights
Foure nights wil quickly dreame away the time:
And then the Moone, like to a siluer bow,
Now bent in heauen, shal behold the night
Of our solemnities
The. Go Philostrate,
Stirre vp the Athenian youth to merriments,
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth,
Turne melancholy forth to Funerals:
The pale companion is not for our pompe,
Hippolita, I woo'd thee with my sword,
And wonne thy loue, doing thee iniuries:
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pompe, with triumph, and with reuelling.
Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned Duke
The. Thanks good Egeus: what's the news with thee?
Ege. Full of vexation, come I, with complaint
Against my childe, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth Demetrius.
My Noble Lord,
This man hath my consent to marrie her.
Stand forth Lysander.
And my gracious Duke,
This man hath bewitch'd the bosome of my childe:
Thou, thou Lysander, thou hast giuen her rimes,
And interchang'd loue-tokens with my childe:
Thou hast by Moone-light at her window sung,
With faining voice, verses of faining loue,
And stolne the impression of her fantasie,
With bracelets of thy haire, rings, gawdes, conceits,
Knackes, trifles, Nose-gaies, sweet meats (messengers
Of strong preuailment in vnhardned youth)
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughters heart,
Turn'd her obedience (which is due to me)
To stubborne harshnesse. And my gracious Duke,
Be it so she will not heere before your Grace,
Consent to marrie with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient priuiledge 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 prouided in that case
The. What say you Hermia? be aduis'd faire Maide,
To you your Father should be as a God;
One that compos'd your beauties; yea and one
To whom you are but as a forme in waxe
By him imprinted: and within his power,
To leaue the figure, or disfigure it:
Demetrius is a worthy Gentleman
Her. So is Lysander
The. In himselfe he is.
But in this kinde, wanting your fathers voyce,
The other must be held the worthier
Her. I would my father look'd but with my eyes
The. Rather your eies must with his iudgment looke
Her. I do entreat your Grace to pardon me.
I know not by what power I am made bold,
Nor how it may concerne my modestie
In such a presence heere to pleade 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
The. Either to dye the death, or to abiure
For euer the society of men.
Therefore faire Hermia question your desires,
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether (if you yeeld not to your fathers choice)
You can endure the liuerie of a Nunne,
For aye to be in shady Cloister mew'd,
To liue a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymnes to the cold fruitlesse Moone,
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood,
To vndergo such maiden pilgrimage,
But earthlier happie is the Rose distil'd,
Then that which withering on the virgin thorne,
Growes, liues, and dies, in single blessednesse
Her. So will I grow, so liue, so die my Lord,
Ere I will yeeld my virgin Patent vp
Vnto his Lordship, whose vnwished yoake,
My soule consents not to giue soueraignty
The. Take time to pause, and by the next new Moon
The sealing day betwixt my loue and me,
For euerlasting bond of fellowship:
Vpon that day either prepare to dye,
For disobedience to your fathers will,
Or else to wed Demetrius as hee would,
Or on Dianaes Altar to protest
For aie, austerity, and single life
Dem. Relent sweet Hermia, and Lysander, yeelde
Thy crazed title to my certaine right
Lys. You haue her fathers loue, Demetrius:
Let me haue Hermiaes: do you marry him
Egeus. Scornfull Lysander, true, he hath my Loue;
And what is mine, my loue shall render him.
And she is mine, and all my right of her,
I do estate vnto Demetrius
Lys. I am my Lord, as well deriu'd as he,
As well possest: my loue is more then his:
My fortunes euery way as fairely ranck'd
(If not with vantage) as Demetrius:
And (which is more then all these boasts can be)
I am belou'd of beauteous Hermia.
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
Demetrius, Ile auouch it to his head,
Made loue to Nedars daughter, Helena,
And won her soule: and she (sweet Ladie) dotes,
Deuoutly dotes, dotes in Idolatry,
Vpon this spotted and inconstant man
The. I must confesse, that I haue heard so much,
And with Demetrius thought to haue spoke thereof:
But being ouer-full of selfe-affaires,
My minde did lose it. But Demetrius come,
And come Egeus, you shall go with me,
I haue some priuate schooling for you both.
For you faire Hermia, looke you arme your selfe,
To fit your fancies to your Fathers will;
Or else the Law of Athens yeelds you vp
(Which by no meanes we may extenuate)
To death, or to a vow of single life.
Come my Hippolita, what cheare my loue?
Demetrius and Egeus go along:
I must imploy you in some businesse
Against our nuptiall, and conferre with you
Of something, neerely that concernes your selues
Ege. With dutie and desire we follow you.
Manet Lysander and Hermia.
Lys. How now my loue? Why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the Roses there do fade so fast?
Her. Belike for want of raine, which I could well
Beteeme them, from the tempest of mine eyes
Lys. For ought that euer I could reade,
Could euer heare by tale or historie,
The course of true loue neuer did run smooth,
But either it was different in blood
Her. O crosse! too high to be enthral'd to loue
Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of yeares
Her. O spight! too old to be ingag'd to yong
Lys. Or else it stood vpon the choise of merit
Her. O hell! to choose loue by anothers eie
Lys. Or if there were a simpathie in choise,
Warre, death, or sicknesse, did lay siege to it;
Making it momentarie, as a sound:
Swift as a shadow, short as any dreame,
Briefe as the lightning in the collied night,
That (in a spleene) vnfolds both heauen and earth;
And ere a man hath power to say, behold,
The iawes of darkness do deuoure it vp:
So quicke bright things come to confusion
Her. If then true Louers haue beene euer crost,
It stands as an edict in destinie:
Then let vs teach our triall patience,
Because it is a customarie crosse,
As due to loue, as thoughts, and dreames, and sighes,
Wishes and teares; poore Fancies followers
Lys. A good perswasion; therefore heare me Hermia,
I haue a Widdow Aunt, a dowager,
Of great reuennew, and she hath no childe,
From Athens is her house remou'd seuen leagues,
And she respects me, as her onely sonne:
There gentle Hermia, may I marrie thee,
And to that place, the sharpe Athenian Law
Cannot pursue vs. If thou lou'st me, then
Steale forth thy Fathers house to morrow night:
And in the wood, a league without the towne,
(Where I did meete thee once with Helena.
To do obseruance for a morne of May)
There will I stay for thee
Her. My good Lysander,
I sweare to thee, by Cupids strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicitie of Venus Doues,
By that which knitteth soules, and prospers loue,
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage Queene,
When the false Troyan vnder saile was seene,
By all the vowes that euer men haue broke,
(In number more then euer women spoke)
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To morrow truly will I meete with thee
Lys. Keepe promise loue: looke here comes Helena.
Her. God speede faire Helena, whither away?
Hel. Cal you me faire? that faire againe vnsay,
Demetrius loues you faire: O happie faire!
Your eyes are loadstarres, and your tongues sweete ayre
More tuneable then Larke to shepheards eare,
When wheate is greene, when hauthorne buds appeare,
Sicknesse is catching: O were fauor so,
Your words I catch, faire Hermia ere I go,
My eare should catch your voice, my eye, your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongues sweete melodie,
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest Ile giue to be to you translated.
O teach me how you looke, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius hart
Her. I frowne vpon him, yet he loues me still
Hel. O that your frownes would teach my smiles
Her. I giue him curses, yet he giues me loue
Hel. O that my prayers could such affection mooue
Her. The more I hate, the more he followes me
Hel. The more I loue, the more he hateth me
Her. His folly Helena is none of mine
Hel. None but your beauty, wold that fault wer mine
Her. Take comfort: he no more shall see my face,
Lysander and my selfe will flie this place.
Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens like a Paradise to mee.
O then, what graces in my Loue do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heauen into hell
Lys. Helen, to you our mindes we will vnfold,
To morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
Her siluer visage, in the watry glasse,
Decking with liquid pearle, the bladed grasse
(A time that Louers flights doth still conceale)
Through Athens gates, haue we deuis'd to steale
Her. And in the wood, where often you and I,
Vpon faint Primrose beds, were wont to lye,
Emptying our bosomes, of their counsell sweld:
There my Lysander, and my selfe shall meete,
And thence from Athens turne away our eyes
To seeke new friends and strange companions,
Farwell sweet play-fellow, pray thou for vs,
And good lucke grant thee thy Demetrius.
Keepe word Lysander we must starue our sight,
From louers foode, till morrow deepe midnight.
Lys. I will my Hermia. Helena adieu,
As you on him, Demetrius dotes on you.
Hele. How happy some, ore othersome can be?
Through Athens I am thought as faire as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinkes not so:
He will not know, what all, but he doth know,
And as hee erres, doting on Hermias eyes;
So I, admiring of his qualities:
Things base and vilde, holding no quantity,
Loue can transpose to forme and dignity,
Loue lookes not with the eyes, but with the minde,
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blinde.
Nor hath loues minde of any iudgement taste:
Wings and no eyes, figure, vnheedy haste.
And therefore is Loue said to be a childe,
Because in choise he is often beguil'd,
As waggish boyes in game themselues forsweare;
So the boy Loue is periur'd euery where.
For ere Demetrius lookt on Hermias eyne,
He hail'd downe oathes that he was onely mine.
And when this Haile some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolu'd, and showres of oathes did melt,
I will goe tell him of faire Hermias flight:
Then to the wood will he, to morrow night
Pursue her; and for his intelligence,
If I haue thankes, it is a deere expence:
But heerein meane I to enrich my paine,
To haue his sight thither, and backe againe.
Enter Quince the Carpenter, Snug the Ioyner, Bottome the Weauer,
the bellowes-mender, Snout the Tinker, and Starueling the Taylor.
Quin. Is all our company heere?
Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by
man according to the scrip
Qui. Here is the scrowle of euery mans name, which
is thought fit through all Athens, to play in our Enterlude
before the Duke and the Dutches, on his wedding
day at night
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats
on: then read the names of the Actors: and so grow on
to a point
Quin. Marry our play is the most lamentable comedy,
and most cruell death of Pyramus and Thisbie
Bot. A very good peece of worke I assure you, and a
merry. Now good Peter Quince, call forth your Actors
by the scrowle. Masters spread your selues
Quince. Answere as I call you. Nick Bottome the
Bottome. Ready; name what part I am for, and
Quince. You Nicke Bottome are set downe for Pyramus
Bot. What is Pyramus, a louer, or a tyrant?
Quin. A Louer that kills himselfe most gallantly for
Bot. That will aske some teares in the true performing
of it: if I do it, let the audience looke to their eies:
I will mooue stormes; I will condole in some measure.
To the rest yet, my chiefe humour is for a tyrant. I could
play Ercles rarely, or a part to teare a Cat in, to make all
split the raging Rocks; and shiuering shocks shall break
the locks of prison gates, and Phibbus carre shall shine
from farre, and make and marre the foolish Fates. This
was lofty. Now name the rest of the Players. This
is Ercles vaine, a tyrants vaine: a louer is more condoling
Quin. Francis Flute the Bellowes-mender
Flu. Heere Peter Quince
Quin. You must take Thisbie on you
Flut. What is Thisbie, a wandring Knight?
Quin. It is the Lady that Pyramus must loue
Flut. Nay faith, let not mee play a woman, I haue a
Qui. That's all one, you shall play it in a Maske, and
you may speake as small as you will
Bot. And I may hide my face, let me play Thisbie too:
Ile speake in a monstrous little voyce; Thisne, Thisne, ah
Pyramus my louer deare, thy Thisbie deare, and Lady
Quin. No no, you must play Pyramus, and Flute, you
Bot. Well, proceed
Qu. Robin Starueling the Taylor
Star. Heere Peter Quince
Quince. Robin Starueling, you must play Thisbies
Tom Snowt, the Tinker
Snowt. Heere Peter Quince
Quin. you, Pyramus father; my self, Thisbies father;
Snugge the Ioyner, you the Lyons part: and I hope there
is a play fitted
Snug. Haue you the Lions part written? pray you if
be, giue it me, for I am slow of studie
Quin. You may doe it extemporie, for it is nothing
Bot. Let mee play the Lyon too, I will roare that I
will doe any mans heart good to heare me. I will roare,
that I will make the Duke say, Let him roare againe, let
him roare againe
Quin. If you should do it too terribly, you would
fright the Dutchesse and the Ladies, that they would
shrike, and that were enough to hang us all
All. That would hang vs euery mothers sonne
Bottome. I graunt you friends, if that you should
fright the Ladies out of their Wittes, they would
haue no more discretion but to hang vs: but I will aggrauate
my voyce so, that I will roare you as gently as
any sucking Doue; I will roare and 'twere any Nightingale
Quin. You can play no part but Piramus, for Piramus
is a sweet-fac'd man, a proper man as one shall see in
a summers day; a most louely Gentleman-like man, therfore
you must needs play Piramus
Bot. Well, I will vndertake it. What beard were I
best to play it in?
Quin. Why, what you will
Bot. I will discharge it, in either your straw-colour
beard, your orange tawnie beard, your purple in graine
beard, or your French-crowne colour'd beard, your perfect
Quin. Some of your French Crownes haue no haire
at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd. But masters here
are your parts, and I am to intreat you, request you, and
desire you, to con them by too morrow night: and meet
me in the palace wood, a mile without the Towne, by
Moone-light, there we will rehearse: for if we meete in
the Citie, we shalbe dog'd with company, and our deuises
knowne. In the meane time, I wil draw a bil of properties,
such as our play wants. I pray you faile me not
Bottom. We will meete, and there we may rehearse
more obscenely and couragiously. Take paines, be perfect,
Quin. At the Dukes oake we meete
Bot. Enough, hold or cut bow-strings.
Enter a Fairie at one dore, and Robin goodfellow at another.
Rob. How now spirit, whether wander you?
Fai. Ouer hil, ouer dale, through bush, through briar,
Ouer parke, ouer pale, through flood, through fire,
I do wander euerie where, swifter then y Moons sphere;
And I serue the Fairy Queene, to dew her orbs vpon the green.
The Cowslips tall, her pensioners bee,
In their gold coats, spots you see,
Those be Rubies, Fairie fauors,
In those freckles, liue their sauors,
I must go seeke some dew drops heere,
And hang a pearle in euery cowslips eare.
Farewell thou Lob of spirits, Ile be gon,
Our Queene and all her Elues come heere anon
Rob. The King doth keepe his Reuels here to night,
Take heed the Queene come not within his sight,
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her attendant, hath
A louely boy stolne from an Indian King,
She neuer had so sweet a changeling,
And iealous Oberon would haue the childe
Knight of his traine, to trace the Forrests wilde.
But she (perforce) with-holds the loued boy,
Crownes him with flowers, and makes him all her ioy.
And now they neuer meete in groue, or greene,
By fountaine cleere, or spangled star-light sheene,
But they do square, that all their Elues for feare
Creepe into Acorne cups and hide them there
Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrew'd and knauish spirit
Cal'd Robin Good-fellow. Are you not hee,
That frights the maidens of the Villagree,
Skim milke, and sometimes labour in the querne,
And bootlesse make the breathlesse huswife cherne,
And sometime make the drinke to beare no barme,
Misleade night-wanderers, laughing at their harme,
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Pucke,
You do their worke, and they shall haue good lucke.
Are not you he?
Rob. Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merrie wanderer of the night:
I iest to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likenesse of a silly foale,
And sometime lurke I in a Gossips bole,
In very likenesse of a roasted crab:
And when she drinkes, against her lips I bob,
And on her withered dewlop poure the Ale.
The wisest Aunt telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stoole, mistaketh me,
Then slip I from her bum, downe topples she,
And tailour cries, and fals into a coffe.
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and sweare,
A merrier houre was neuer wasted there.
But roome Fairy, heere comes Oberon
Fair. And heere my Mistris:
Would that he were gone.
Enter the King of Fairies at one doore with his traine, and the
another with hers.
Ob. Ill met by Moone-light.
Qu. What, iealous Oberon? Fairy skip hence.
I haue forsworne his bed and companie
Ob. Tarrie rash Wanton; am not I thy Lord?
Qu. Then I must be thy Lady: but I know
When thou wast stolne away from Fairy Land,
And in the shape of Corin, sate all day,
Playing on pipes of Corne, and versing loue
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou heere
Come from the farthest steepe of India?
But that forsooth the bouncing Amazon
Your buskin'd Mistresse, and your Warrior loue,
To Theseus must be Wedded; and you come,
To giue their bed ioy and prosperitie
Ob. How canst thou thus for shame Tytania.
Glance at my credite, with Hippolita?
Knowing I know thy loue to Theseus?
Didst thou not leade him through the glimmering night
From Peregenia, whom he rauished?
And make him with faire Eagles breake his faith
With Ariadne, and Antiopa?
Que. These are the forgeries of iealousie,
And neuer since the middle Summers spring
Met we on hil, in dale, forrest, or mead,
By paued fountaine, or by rushie brooke,
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling Winde,
But with thy braules thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the Windes, piping to vs in vaine,
As in reuenge, haue suck'd vp from the sea
Contagious fogges: Which falling in the Land,
Hath euerie petty Riuer made so proud,
That they haue ouer-borne their Continents.
The Oxe hath therefore stretch'd his yoake in vaine,
The Ploughman lost his sweat, and the greene Corne
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard:
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And Crowes are fatted with the murrion flocke,
The nine mens Morris is fild vp with mud,
And the queint Mazes in the wanton greene,
For lacke of tread are vndistinguishable.
The humane mortals want their winter heere,
No night is now with hymne or caroll blest;
Therefore the Moone (the gouernesse of floods)
Pale in her anger, washes all the aire;
That Rheumaticke diseases doe abound.
And through this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter; hoared headed Frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson Rose,
And on old Hyems chinne and Icie crowne,
An odorous Chaplet of sweet Sommer buds
Is as in mockry set. The Spring, the Sommer,
The childing Autumne, angry Winter change
Their wonted Liueries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knowes not which is which;
And this same progeny of euills,
Comes from our debate, from our dissention,
We are their parents and originall
Ober. Do you amend it then, it lies in you,
Why should Titania crosse her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my Henchman
Qu. Set your heart at rest,
The Fairy land buyes not the childe of me,
His mother was a Votresse of my Order,
And in the spiced Indian aire, by night
Full often hath she gossipt by my side,
And sat with me on Neptunes yellow sands,
Marking th' embarked traders on the flood,
When we haue laught to see the sailes conceiue,
And grow big bellied with the wanton winde:
Which she with pretty and with swimming gate,
Following (her wombe then rich with my yong squire)
Would imitate, and saile vpon the Land,
To fetch me trifles, and returne againe,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But she being mortall, of that boy did die,
And for her sake I doe reare vp her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him
Ob. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Qu. Perchance till after Theseus wedding day.
If you will patiently dance in our Round,
And see our Moone-light reuels, goe with vs;
If not, shun me and I will spare your haunts
Ob. Giue me that boy, and I will goe with thee
Qu. Not for thy Fairy Kingdome. Fairies away:
We shall chide downe right, if I longer stay.
Ob. Wel, go thy way: thou shalt not from this groue,
Till I torment thee for this iniury.
My gentle Pucke come hither; thou remembrest
Since once I sat vpon a promontory,
And heard a Meare-maide on a Dolphins backe,
Vttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew ciuill at her song,
And certaine starres shot madly from their Spheares,
To heare the Sea-maids musicke
Puc. I remember
Ob. That very time I say (but thou couldst not)
Flying betweene the cold Moone and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd; a certaine aime he tooke
At a faire Vestall, throned by the West,
And loos'd his loue-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts,
But I might see young Cupids fiery shaft
Quencht in the chaste beames of the watry Moone;
And the imperiall Votresse passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy free.
Yet markt I where the bolt of Cupid fell.
It fell vpon a little westerne flower;
Before, milke-white: now purple with loues wound,
And maidens call it, Loue in idlenesse.
Fetch me that flower; the hearb I shew'd thee once,
The iuyce of it, on sleeping eye-lids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Vpon the next liue creature that it sees.
Fetch me this hearbe, and be thou heere againe,
Ere the Leuiathan can swim a league
Pucke. Ile put a girdle about the earth, in forty minutes
Ober. Hauing once this iuyce,
Ile watch Titania, when she is asleepe,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes:
The next thing when she waking lookes vpon,
(Be it on Lyon, Beare, or Wolfe, or Bull,
On medling Monkey, or on busie Ape)
Shee shall pursue it, with the soule of loue.
And ere I take this charme off from her sight,
(As I can take it with another hearbe)
Ile make her render vp her Page to me.
But who comes heere? I am inuisible,
And I will ouer-heare their conference.
Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.
Deme. I loue thee not, therefore pursue me not,
Where is Lysander, and faire Hermia?
The one Ile stay, the other stayeth me.
Thou toldst me they were stolne into this wood;
And heere am I, and wood within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more
Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted Adamant,
But yet you draw not Iron, for my heart
Is true as steele. Leaue you your power to draw,
And I shall haue no power to follow you
Deme. Do I entice you? do I speake you faire?
Or rather doe I not in plainest truth,
Tell you I doe not, nor I cannot loue you?
Hel. And euen for that doe I loue thee the more;
I am your spaniell, and Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawne on you.
Vse me but as your spaniell; spurne me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; onely giue me leaue
(Vnworthy as I am) to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your loue,
(And yet a place of high respect with me)
Then to be vsed as you doe your dogge
Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit,
For I am sicke when I do looke on thee
Hel. And I am sicke when I looke not on you
Dem. You doe impeach your modesty too much,
To leaue the Citty, and commit your selfe
Into the hands of one that loues you not,
To trust the opportunity of night.
And the ill counsell of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity
Hel. Your vertue is my priuiledge: for that
It is not night when I doe see your face.
Therefore I thinke I am not in the night,
Nor doth this wood lacke 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 heere to looke on me?
Dem. Ile run from thee, and hide me in the brakes,
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beasts
Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you;
Runne when you will, the story shall be chang'd:
Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase;
The Doue pursues the Griffin, the milde Hinde
Makes speed to catch the Tyger. Bootlesse speede,
When cowardise pursues, and valour flies
Demet. I will not stay thy questions, let me go;
Or if thou follow me, doe not beleeue,
But I shall doe thee mischiefe in the wood
Hel. I, in the Temple, in the Towne, and Field
You doe me mischiefe. Fye Demetrius,
Your wrongs doe set a scandall on my sexe:
We cannot fight for loue, as men may doe;
We should be woo'd, and were not made to wooe.
I follow thee, and make a heauen of hell,
To die vpon the hand I loue so well.
Ob. Fare thee well Nymph, ere he do leaue this groue,
Thou shalt flie him, and he shall seeke thy loue.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome wanderer.
Puck. I there it is
Ob. I pray thee giue it me.
I know a banke where the wilde time blowes,
Where Oxslips and the nodding Violet growes,
Quite ouer-cannoped with luscious woodbine,
With sweet muske roses, and with Eglantine;
There sleepes Tytania, sometime of the night,
Lul'd in these flowers, with dances and delight:
And there the snake throwes her enammel'd skinne,
Weed wide enough to rap a Fairy in.
And with the iuyce of this Ile streake her eyes,
And make her full of hatefull fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this groue;
A sweet Athenian Lady is in loue
With a disdainefull youth: annoint his eyes,
But doe 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 proue
More fond on her, then she vpon her loue;
And looke thou meet me ere the first Cocke crow
Pu. Feare not my Lord, your seruant shall do so.
Enter Queene of Fairies, with her traine.
Queen. Come, now a Roundell, and a Fairy song;
Then for the third part of a minute hence,
Some to kill Cankers in the muske rose buds,
Some warre with Reremise, for their leathern wings.
To make my small Elues coates, and some keepe backe
The clamorous Owle that nightly hoots and wonders
At our queint spirits: Sing me now asleepe,
Then to your offices, and let me rest
Fairies Sing. You spotted Snakes with double tongue,
Thorny Hedgehogges be not seene,
Newts and blinde wormes do no wrong,
Come not neere our Fairy Queene.
Philomele with melodie,
Sing in your sweet Lullaby.
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby,
Neuer harme, nor spell, nor charme,
Come our louely Lady nye,
So good night with Lullaby
2.Fairy. Weauing Spiders come not heere,
Hence you long leg'd Spinners, hence:
Beetles blacke approach not neere;
Worme nor Snayle doe no offence.
Philomele with melody, &c
1.Fairy. Hence away, now all is well;
One aloofe, stand Centinell.
Ober. What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Do it for thy true Loue take:
Loue and languish for his sake.
Be it Ounce, or Catte, or Beare,
Pard, or Boare with bristled haire,
In thy eye that shall appeare,
When thou wak'st, it is thy deare,
Wake when some vile thing is neere.
Enter Lisander and Hermia.
Lis. Faire loue, you faint with wandring in y woods,
And to speake troth I haue forgot our way:
Wee'll rest vs Hermia, If you thinke it good,
And tarry for the comfort of the day
Her. Be it so Lysander; finde you out a bed,
For I vpon this banke will rest my head
Lys. One turfe shall serue as pillow for vs both,
One heart, one bed, two bosomes, and one troth
Her. Nay good Lysander, for my sake my deere
Lie further off yet, doe not lie so neere
Lys. O take the sence sweet, of my innocence,
Loue takes the meaning, in loues conference,
I meane that my heart vnto yours is knit,
So that but one heart can you make of it.
Two bosomes interchanged with an oath,
So then two bosomes, and a single troth.
Then by your side, no bed-roome me deny,
For lying so, Hermia, I doe not lye
Her. Lysander riddles very prettily;
Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied.
But gentle friend, for loue and courtesie
Lie further off, in humane modesty,
Such separation, as may well be said,
Becomes a vertuous batchelour, and a maide,
So farre be distant, and good night sweet friend;
Thy loue nere alter, till thy sweet life end
Lys. Amen, amen, to that faire prayer, say I,
And then end life, when I end loyalty:
Heere is my bed, sleepe giue thee all his rest
Her. With halfe that wish, the wishers eyes be prest.
Enter Pucke. They sleepe.
Puck. Through the Forest haue I gone,
But Athenian finde I none,
One whose eyes I might approue
This flowers force in stirring loue.
Nigh and silence: who is heere?
Weedes of Athens he doth weare:
This is he (my master said)
Despised the Athenian maide:
And heere the maiden sleeping sound,
On the danke and durty ground.
Pretty soule, she durst not lye
Neere this lacke-loue, this kill-curtesie.
Churle, vpon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charme doth owe:
When thou wak'st, let loue forbid
Sleepe his seate on thy eye-lid.
So awake when I am gone:
For I must now to Oberon.
Enter Demetrius and Helena running.
Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweete Demetrius
De. I charge thee hence, and do not haunt me thus
Hel. O wilt thou darkling leaue me? do not so
De. Stay on thy perill, I alone will goe.
Hel. O I am out of breath, in this fond chace,
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace,
Happy is Hermia, wheresoere she lies;
For she hath blessed and attractiue eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt teares.
If so, my eyes are oftner washt then hers.
No, no, I am as vgly as a Beare;
For beasts that meete me, runne away for feare,
Therefore no maruaile, though Demetrius
Doe as a monster, flie my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glasse of mine,
Made me compare with Hermias sphery eyne?
But who is here? Lysander on the ground;
Deade or asleepe? I see no bloud, no wound,
Lysander, if you liue, good sir awake
Lys. And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
Transparent Helena, nature her shewes art,
That through thy bosome makes me see thy heart.
Where is Demetrius? oh how fit a word
Is that vile name, to perish on my sword!
Hel. Do not say so Lysander, say not so:
What though he loue your Hermia? Lord, what though?
Yet Hermia still loues you; then be content
Lys. Content with Hermia? no, I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her haue spent.
Not Hermia, but Helena now I loue;
Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue?
The will of man is by his reason sway'd:
And reason saies you are the worthier Maide.
Things growing are not ripe vntill their season;
So I being yong, till now ripe not to reason,
And touching now the point of humane skill,
Reason becomes the Marshall to my will.
And leades me to your eyes, where I orelooke
Loues stories, written in Loues richest booke
Hel. Wherefore was I to this keene mockery borne?
When at your hands did I deserue this scorne?
Ist not enough, ist not enough, yong man,
That I did neuer, no nor neuer can,
Deserue a sweete looke from Demetrius eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth you do me wrong (good-sooth you do)
In such disdainfull manner, me to wooe.
But fare you well; perforce I must confesse,
I thought you Lord of more true gentlenesse.
Oh, that a Lady of one man refus'd,
Should of another therefore be abus'd.
Lys. She sees not Hermia: Hermia sleepe thou there,
And neuer maist thou come Lysander neere;
For as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomacke brings:
Or as the heresies that men do leaue,
Are hated most of those that did deceiue:
So thou, my surfeit, and my heresie,
Of all be hated; but the most of me;
And all my powers addresse your loue and might,
To honour Helen, and to be her Knight.
Her. Helpe me Lysander, helpe me; do thy best
To plucke this crawling serpent from my brest.
Aye me, for pitty; what a dreame was here?
Lysander looke, how I do quake with feare:
Me-thought a serpent eate my heart away,
And yet sat smiling at his cruell prey.
Lysander, What remoou'd? Lysander, Lord,
What, out of hearing, gone? No sound, no word?
Alacke where are you? speake and if you heare:
Speake of all loues; I sound almost with feare.
No, then I well perceiue you are not nye,
Either death or you Ile finde immediately.
Enter the Clownes.
Bot. Are we all met?
Quin. Pat, pat, and here's a maruailous conuenient
place for our rehearsall. This greene plot shall be our
stage, this hauthorne brake our tyring house, and we will
do it in action, as we will do it before the Duke
Bot. Peter Quince?
Peter. What saist thou, bully Bottome?
Bot. There are things in this Comedy of Piramus and
Thisby, that will neuer please. First, Piramus must draw a
sword to kill himselfe; which the Ladies cannot abide.
How answere you that?
Snout. Berlaken, a parlous feare
Star. I beleeue we must leaue the killing out, when
all is done
Bot. Not a whit, I haue a deuice to make all well.
Write me a Prologue, and let the Prologue seeme to say,
we will do no harme with our swords, and that Pyramus
is not kill'd indeede: and for the more better assurance,
tell them, that I Piramus am not Piramus, but Bottome the
Weauer; this will put them out of feare
Quin. Well, we will haue such a Prologue, and it shall
be written in eight and sixe
Bot. No, make it two more, let it be written in eight
Snout. Will not the Ladies be afear'd of the Lyon?
Star. I feare it, I promise you
Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your selues, to
bring in (God shield vs) a Lyon among Ladies, is a most
dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull wilde
foule then your Lyon liuing: and wee ought to looke
Snout. Therefore another Prologue must tell he is not
Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and halfe his face
must be seene through the Lyons necke, and he himselfe
must speake through, saying thus, or to the same defect;
Ladies, or faire Ladies, I would wish you, or I would
request you, or I would entreat you, not to feare, not to
tremble: my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither
as a Lyon, it were pitty 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 him plainly hee is Snug the
Quin. Well, it shall be so; but there is two hard
things, that is, to bring the Moone-light into a chamber:
for you know Piramus and Thisby meete by Moonelight
Sn. Doth the Moone shine that night wee play our
Bot. A Calender, a Calender, looke in the Almanack,
finde out Moone-shine, finde out Moone-shine.
Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night
Bot. Why then may you leaue a casement of the great
chamber window (where we play) open, and the Moone
may shine in at the casement
Quin. I, or else one must come in with a bush of thorns
and a lanthorne, and say he comes to disfigure, or to present
the person of Moone-shine. Then there is another
thing, we must haue a wall in the great Chamber; for Piramus
and Thisby (saies the story) did talke through the
chinke of a wall
Sn. You can neuer bring in a wall. What say you
Bot. Some man or other must present wall, and let
him haue some Plaster, or some Lome, or some rough
cast about him, to signifie wall; or let him hold his fingers
thus; and through that cranny shall Piramus and
Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit
downe euery mothers sonne, and rehearse your parts.
Piramus, you begin; when you haue spoken your speech,
enter into that Brake, and so euery one according to his
Rob. What hempen home-spuns haue we swaggering
So neere the Cradle of the Faierie Queene?
What, a Play toward? Ile be an auditor,
An Actor too perhaps, if I see cause
Quin. Speake Piramus: Thisby stand forth
Pir. Thisby, the flowers of odious sauors sweete
Quin. Odours, odours
Pir. Odours sauors sweete,
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby deare.
But harke, a voyce: stay thou but here a while,
And by and by I will to thee appeare.
Puck. A stranger Piramus, then ere plaid here
This. Must I speake now?
Pet. I marry must you. For you must vnderstand he
goes but to see a noyse that he heard, and is to come againe
Thys. Most radiant Piramus, most Lilly white of hue,
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant bryer,
Most brisky Iuuenall, and eke most louely Iew,
As true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre,
Ile meete thee Piramus, at Ninnies toombe
Pet. Ninus toombe man: why, you must not speake
that yet; that you answere to Piramus: you speake all
your part at once, cues and all. Piramus enter, your cue is
past; it is neuer tyre
Thys. O, as true as truest horse, that yet would neuer
Pir. If I were faire, Thisby I were onely thine
Pet. O monstrous. O strange. We are hanted; pray
masters, flye masters, helpe.
The Clownes all Exit.
Puk. Ile follow you, Ile leade you about a Round,
Through bogge, through bush, through brake, through bryer,
Sometime a horse Ile be, sometime a hound:
A hogge, a headlesse beare, sometime a fire,
And neigh, and barke, and grunt, and rore, and burne,
Like horse, hound, hog, beare, fire, at euery turne.
Enter Piramus with the Asse head.
Bot. Why do they run away? This is a knauery of
them to make me afeard.
Sn. O Bottom, thou art chang'd; What doe I see on
Bot. What do you see? You see an Asse-head of your
owne, do you?
Enter Peter Quince.
Pet. Blesse thee Bottome, blesse thee; thou art translated.
Bot. I see their knauery; this is to make an asse of me,
to fright me if they could; but I will not stirre from
this place, do what they can. I will walke vp and downe
here, and I will sing that they shall heare I am not afraid.
The Woosell cocke, so blacke of hew,
With Orenge-tawny bill.
The Throstle, with his note so true,
The Wren and little quill
Tyta. What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?
Bot. The Finch, the Sparrow, and the Larke,
The plainsong Cuckow gray;
Whose note full many a man doth marke,
And dares not answere, nay.
For indeede, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird?
Who would giue a bird the lye, though he cry Cuckow,
Tyta. I pray thee gentle mortall, sing againe,
Mine eare is much enamored of thy note;
On the first view to say, to sweare I loue thee.
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape.
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth moue me
Bot. Me-thinkes mistresse, you should haue little
reason for that: and yet to say the truth, reason and
loue keepe little company together, nowadayes.
The more the pittie, that some honest neighbours will
not make them friends. Nay, I can gleeke vpon occasion
Tyta. Thou art as wise, as thou art beautifull
Bot. Not so neither: but if I had wit enough to get
out of this wood, I haue enough to serue mine owne
Tyta. Out of this wood, do not desire to goe,
Thou shalt remaine here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate:
The Summer still doth tend vpon my state,
And I doe loue thee; therefore goe with me,
Ile giue thee Fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee Iewels from the deepe,
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleepe:
And I will purge thy mortall grossenesse so,
That thou shalt like an airie spirit go.
Enter Pease-blossome, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseede, and foure
Fai. Ready; and I, and I, and I, Where shall we go?
Tita. Be kinde and curteous to this Gentleman,
Hop in his walkes, and gambole in his eies,
Feede him with Apricocks, and Dewberries,
With purple Grapes, greene Figs, and Mulberries,
The honie-bags steale from the humble Bees,
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighes,
And light them at the fierie-Glow-wormes eyes,
To haue my loue to bed, and to arise:
And plucke the wings from painted Butterflies,
To fan the Moone-beames from his sleeping eies.
Nod to him Elues, and doe him curtesies
1.Fai. Haile mortall, haile
Bot. I cry your worships mercy hartily; I beseech
your worships name
Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good
Master Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold
Your name honest Gentleman?
Pease. Pease Blossome
Bot. I pray you commend me to mistresse Squash,
your mother, and to master Peascod your father. Good
master Pease-blossome, I shal desire of you more acquaintance
to. Your name I beseech you sir?
Bot. Good master Mustard seede, I know your patience
well: that same cowardly gyant-like Oxe beefe
hath deuoured many a gentleman of your house. I promise
you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere
now. I desire you more acquaintance, good Master
Tita. Come waite vpon him, lead him to my bower.
The Moone me-thinks, lookes with a watrie eie,
And when she weepes, weepe euerie little flower,
Lamenting some enforced chastitie.
Tye vp my louers tongue, bring him silently.
Enter King of Pharies, solus.
Ob. I wonder if Titania be awak't;
Then what it was that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on, in extremitie.
Here comes my messenger: how now mad spirit,
What night-rule now about this haunted groue?
Puck. My Mistris with a monster is in loue,
Neere to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hower,
A crew of patches, rude Mechanicals,
That worke for bread vpon Athenian stals,
Were met together to rehearse a Play,
Intended for great Theseus nuptiall day:
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Piramus presented, in their sport,
Forsooke his Scene, and entred in a brake,
When I did him at this aduantage take,
An Asses nole I fixed on his head.
Anon his Thisbie must be answered,
And forth my Mimmick comes: when they him spie,
As Wilde-geese, that the creeping Fowler eye,
Or russed-pated choughes, many in sort
(Rising and cawing at the guns report)
Seuer themselues, and madly sweepe the skye:
So at his sight, away his fellowes flye,
And at our stampe, here ore and ore one fals;
He murther cries, and helpe from Athens cals.
Their sense thus weake, lost with their feares thus strong,
Made senslesse things begin to do them wrong.
For briars and thornes at their apparell snatch,
Some sleeues, some hats, from yeelders all things catch,
I led them on in this distracted feare,
And left sweete Piramus translated there:
When in that moment (so it came to passe)
Tytania waked, and straightway lou'd an Asse
Ob. This fals out better then I could deuise:
But hast thou yet lacht the Athenians eyes,
With the loue iuyce, as I bid thee doe?
Rob. I tooke him sleeping (that is finisht to)
And the Athenian woman by his side,
That when he wak't, of force she must be eyde.
Enter Demetrius and Hermia.
Ob. Stand close, this is the same Athenian
Rob. This is the woman, but not this the man
Dem. O why rebuke you him that loues you so?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe
Her. Now I but chide, but I should vse thee worse.
For thou (I feare) hast giuen me cause to curse,
If thou hast slaine Lysander in his sleepe,
Being oreshooes in bloud, plunge in the deepe, and kill
The Sunne was not so true vnto the day,
As he to me. Would he haue stollen away,
From sleeping Hermia? Ile beleeue as soone
This whole earth may be bord, and that the Moone
May through the Center creepe, and so displease
Her brothers noonetide, with th'Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murdred him,
So should a murtherer looke, so dead, so grim
Dem. So should the murderer looke, and so should I,
Pierst through the heart with your stearne cruelty:
Yet you the murderer lookes as bright as cleare,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering spheare
Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
Ah good Demetrius, wilt thou giue him me?
Dem. I'de rather giue his carkasse to my hounds
Her. Out dog, out cur, thou driu'st me past the bounds
Of maidens patience. Hast thou slaine him then?
Henceforth be neuer numbred among men.
Oh, once tell true, euen for my sake,
Durst thou a lookt vpon him, being awake?
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O braue tutch:
Could not a worme, an Adder do so much?
An Adder did it: for with doubler tongue
Then thine (thou serpent) neuer Adder stung
Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd mood,
I am not guiltie of Lysanders blood:
Nor is he dead for ought that I can tell
Her. I pray thee tell me then that he is well
Dem. And if I could, what should I get therefore?
Her. A priuiledge, neuer to see me more;
And from thy hated presence part I: see me no more
Whether he be dead or no.
Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vaine,
Here therefore for a while I will remaine.
So sorrowes heauinesse doth heauier grow:
For debt that bankrout slip doth sorrow owe,
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.
Ob. What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite
And laid the loue iuyce on some true loues sight:
Of thy misprision, must perforce ensue
Some true loue turn'd, and not a false turn'd true
Rob. Then fate ore-rules, that one man holding troth,
A million faile, confounding oath on oath
Ob. About the wood, goe swifter then the winde,
And Helena of Athens looke thou finde.
All fancy sicke she is, and pale of cheere,
With sighes of loue, that costs the fresh bloud deare.
By some illusion see thou bring her heere,
Ile charme his eyes against she doth appeare
Robin. I go, I go, looke how I goe,
Swifter then arrow from the Tartars bowe.
Ob. Flower of this purple die,
Hit with Cupids archery,
Sinke in apple of his eye,
When his loue he doth espie,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wak'st if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.
Puck. Captaine of our Fairy band,
Helena is heere at hand,
And the youth, mistooke by me,
Pleading for a Louers fee.
Shall we their fond Pageant see?
Lord, what fooles these mortals be!
Ob. Stand aside: the noyse they make,
Will cause Demetrius to awake
Puck. Then will two at once wooe one,
That must needs be sport alone:
And those things doe best please me,
That befall preposterously.
Enter Lysander and Helena.
Lys. Why should you think y I should wooe in scorn?
Scorne and derision neuer comes in teares:
Looke when I vow I weepe; and vowes so borne,
In their natiuity all truth appeares.
How can these things in me, seeme scorne to you?
Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true
Hel. You doe aduance your cunning more & more,
When truth kils truth, O diuelish holy fray!
These vowes are Hermias. Will you giue her ore?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.
Your vowes to her, and me, (put in two scales)
Will euen weigh, and both as light as tales
Lys. I had no iudgement, when to her I swore
Hel. Nor none in my minde, now you giue her ore
Lys. Demetrius loues her, and he loues not you.
Dem. O Helen, goddesse, nimph, perfect, diuine,
To what, my loue, shall I compare thine eyne!
Christall is muddy, O how ripe in show,
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
Fan'd with the Easterne winde, turnes to a crow,
When thou holdst vp thy hand. O let me kisse
This Princesse of pure white, this seale of blisse
Hell. O spight! O hell! I see you are all bent
To set against me, for your merriment:
If you were ciuill, and knew curtesie,
You would not doe me thus much iniury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you doe,
But you must ioyne in soules to mocke me to?
If you are men, as men you are in show,
You would not vse a gentle Lady so;
To vow, and sweare, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are Riuals, and loue Hermia;
And now both Riuals to mocke Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprize,
To coniure teares vp in a poore maids eyes,
With your derision; none of noble sort,
Would so offend a Virgin, and extort
A poore soules patience, all to make you sport,
Lysa. You are vnkind Demetrius; be not so,
For you loue Hermia; this you know I know;
And here with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermias loue I yeeld you vp my part;
And yours of Helena, To me bequeath,
Whom I do loue, and will do to my death
Hel. Neuer did mockers wast more idle breth
Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia, I will none:
If ere I lou'd her, all that loue is gone.
My heart to her, but as guest-wise soiourn'd,
And now to Helen it is home return'd,
There to remaine
Lys. It is not so
De. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest to thy perill thou abide it deare.
Looke where thy Loue comes, yonder is thy deare.
Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The eare more quicke of apprehension makes,
Wherein it doth impaire the seeing sense,
It paies the hearing double recompence.
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander found,
Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to that sound.
But why vnkindly didst thou leaue me so?
Lysan. Why should hee stay whom Loue doth presse to go?
Her. What loue could presse Lysander from my side?
Lys. Lysanders loue (that would not let him bide)
Faire Helena; who more engilds the night,
Then all yon fierie oes, and eies of light.
Why seek'st thou me? Could not this make thee know,
The hate I bare thee, made me leaue thee so?
Her. You speake not as you thinke; it cannot be
Hel. Loe, she is one of this confederacy,
Now I perceiue they haue conioyn'd all three,
To fashion this false sport in spight of me.
Iniurous Hermia, most vngratefull maid,
Haue you conspir'd, haue you with these contriu'd
To baite me, with this foule derision?
Is all the counsell that we two haue shar'd,
The sisters vowes, the houres that we haue spent,
When wee haue chid the hasty footed time,
For parting vs; O, is all forgot?
All schooledaies friendship, child-hood innocence?
We Hermia, like two Artificiall gods,
Haue 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 mindes
Had beene incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet a vnion in partition,
Two louely berries molded on one stem,
So with two seeming bodies, but one heart,
Two of the first life coats in Heraldry,
Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient loue asunder,
To ioyne with men in scorning your poore friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly.
Our sexe as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone doe feele the iniurie
Her. I am amazed at your passionate words,
I scorne you not; It seemes that you scorne me
Hel. Haue you not set Lysander, as in scorne
To follow me, and praise my eies and face?
And made your other loue, Demetrius
(Who euen but now did spurne me with his foote)
To call me goddesse, nimph, diuine, and rare,
Precious, celestiall? Wherefore speakes he this
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
Denie your loue (so rich within his soule)
And tender me (forsooth) affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent?
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung vpon with loue, so fortunate?
(But miserable most, to loue vnlou'd)
This you should pittie, rather then despise
Her. I vnderstand not what you meane by this
Hel. I, doe, perseuer, counterfeit sad lookes,
Make mouthes vpon me when I turne my backe,
Winke each at other, hold the sweete iest vp:
This sport well carried, shall be chronicled.
If you haue any pittie, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument:
But fare ye well, 'tis partly mine owne fault,
Which death or absence soone shall remedie
Lys. Stay gentle Helena, heare my excuse,
My loue, my life, my soule, faire Helena
Hel. O excellent!
Her. Sweete, do not scorne her so
Dem. If she cannot entreate, I can compell
Lys. Thou canst compell, no more then she entreate.
Thy threats haue no more strength then her weak praise.
Helen, I loue thee, by my life I doe;
I sweare by that which I will lose for thee,
To proue him false, that saies I loue thee not
Dem. I say, I loue thee more then he can do
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw and proue it too
Dem. Quick, come
Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiope
Dem. No, no, Sir, seeme to breake loose;
Take on as you would follow,
But yet come not: you are a tame man, go
Lys. Hang off thou cat, thou bur; vile thing let loose,
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent
Her. Why are you growne so rude?
What change is this sweete Loue?
Lys. Thy loue? out tawny Tartar, out;
Out loathed medicine; O hated poison hence
Her. Do you not iest?
Hel. Yes sooth, and so do you
Lys. Demetrius: I will keepe my word with thee
Dem. I would I had your bond: for I perceiue
A weake bond holds you; Ile not trust your word
Lys. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, Ile not harme her so
Her. What, can you do me greater harme then hate?
Hate me, wherefore? O me, what newes my Loue?
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as faire now, as I was ere while.
Since night you lou'd me: yet since night you left me.
Why then you left me (O the gods forbid)
In earnest, shall I say?
Lys. I, by my life;
And neuer did desire to see thee more.
Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
Be certaine, nothing truer: 'tis no iest,
That I do hate thee, and loue Helena
Her. O me, you iugler, you canker blossome,
You theefe of loue; What, haue you come by night,
And stolne my loues heart from him?
Hel. Fine yfaith:
Haue you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulnesse? What, will you teare
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie, you counterfeit, you puppet, you
Her. Puppet? why so? I, that way goes the game.
Now I perceiue that she hath made compare
Betweene our statures, she hath vrg'd her height,
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height (forsooth) she hath preuail'd with him.
And are you growne so high in his esteeme,
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low?
How low am I, thou painted May-pole? Speake,
How low am I? I am not yet so low,
But that my nailes can reach vnto thine eyes
Hel. I pray you though you mocke me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me; I was neuer curst:
I haue no gift at all in shrewishnesse;
I am a right maide for my cowardize;
Let her not strike me: you perhaps may thinke,
Because she is something lower then my selfe,
That I can match her
Her. Lower? harke againe
Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me,
I euermore did loue you Hermia,
Did euer keepe your counsels, neuer wronged you,
Saue that in loue vnto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth vnto this wood.
He followed you, for loue I followed him,
But he hath chid me hence, and threatned me
To strike me, spurne me, nay to kill me too;
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I beare my folly backe,
And follow you no further. Let me go.
You see how simple, and how fond I am
Her. Why get you gone: who ist that hinders you?
Hel. A foolish heart, that I leaue here behinde
Her. What, with Lysander?
Her. With Demetrius
Lys. Be not afraid, she shall not harme thee Helena
Dem. No sir, she shall not, though you take her part
Hel. O when she's angry, she is keene and shrewd,
She was a vixen when she went to schoole,
And though she be but little, she is fierce
Her. Little againe? Nothing but low and little?
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her
Lys. Get you gone you dwarfe,
You minimus, of hindring knot-grasse made,
You bead, you acorne
Dem. You are too officious,
In her behalfe that scornes your seruices.
Let her alone, speake not of Helena,
Take not her part. For if thou dost intend
Neuer so little shew of loue to her,
Thou shalt abide it
Lys. Now she holds me not,
Now follow if thou dar'st, to try whose right,
Of thine or mine is most in Helena
Dem. Follow? Nay, Ile goe with thee cheeke by
Exit Lysander and Demetrius.
Her. You Mistris, all this coyle is long of you.
Nay, goe not backe
Hel. I will not trust you I,
Nor longer stay in your curst companie.
Your hands then mine, are quicker for a fray,
My legs are longer though to runne away.
Enter Oberon and Pucke.
Ob. This is thy negligence, still thou mistak'st,
Or else committ'st thy knaueries willingly
Puck. Beleeue me, King of shadowes, I mistooke,
Did not you tell me, I should know the man,
By the Athenian garments he hath on?
And so farre blamelesse proues my enterprize,
That I haue nointed an Athenians eies,
And so farre am I glad, it so did sort,
As this their iangling I esteeme a sport
Ob. Thou seest these Louers seeke a place to fight,
Hie therefore Robin, ouercast the night,
The starrie Welkin couer thou anon,
With drooping fogge as blacke as Acheron,
And lead these testie Riuals so astray,
As one come not within anothers way.
Like to Lysander, sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stirre Demetrius vp with bitter wrong;
And sometime raile thou like Demetrius;
And from each other looke thou leade them thus,
Till ore their browes, death-counterfeiting, sleepe
With leaden legs, and Battie-wings doth creepe:
Then crush this hearbe into Lysanders eie,
Whose liquor hath this vertuous propertie,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
and make his eie-bals role with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seeme a dreame, and fruitless vision,
And backe to Athens shall the Louers wend
With league, whose date till death shall neuer end.
Whiles I in this affaire do thee imploy,
Ile to my Queene, and beg her Indian Boy;
And then I will her charmed eie release
From monsters view, and all things shall be peace
Puck. My Fairie Lord, this must be done with haste,
For night-swift Dragons cut the Clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Auroras harbinger;
At whose approach Ghosts wandring here and there,
Troope home to Church-yards; damned spirits all,
That in crosse-waies and flouds haue buriall,
Alreadie to their wormie beds are gone;
For feare least day should looke their shames vpon,
They wilfully themselues exile from light,
And must for aye consort with blacke browd night
Ob. But we are spirits of another sort:
I, with the mornings loue haue oft made sport,
And like a Forrester, the groues may tread,
Euen till the Easterne gate all fierie red,
Opening on Neptune, With faire blessed beames,
Turnes into yellow gold, his salt greene streames.
But not withstanding haste, make no delay:
We may effect this businesse, yet ere day
Puck. Vp and downe, vp and downe, I will leade
them vp and downe: I am fear'd in field and towne.
Goblin, lead them vp and downe: here comes one.
Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius?
Speake thou now
Rob. Here villaine, drawne & readie. Where art thou?
Lys. I will be with thee straight
Rob. Follow me then to plainer ground.
Dem. Lysander, speake againe;
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
Speake in some bush: Where dost thou hide thy head?
Rob. 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 childe,
Ile whip thee with a rod. He is defil'd
That drawes a sword on thee
Dem. Yea, art thou there?
Ro. Follow my voice, we'l try no manhood here.
Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on,
When I come where he cals, then he's gone.
The Villaine is much lighter heel'd then I:
I followed fast, but faster he did flye;
That fallen am I in darke vneuen way,
And here wil rest me. Come thou gentle day:
For if but once thou shew me thy gray light,
Ile finde Demetrius, and reuenge this spight.
Enter Robin and Demetrius.
Rob. Ho, ho, ho; coward, why com'st thou not?
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st. For well I wot,
Thou runst before me, shifting euery place,
And dar'st not stand, nor looke me in the face.
Where art thou?
Rob. Come hither, I am here
Dem. Nay then thou mock'st me; thou shalt buy this
If euer I thy face by day-light see.
Now goe thy way: faintnesse constraineth me,
To measure out my length on this cold bed,
By daies approach looke to be visited.
Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy houres, shine comforts from the East,
That I may backe to Athens by day-light,
From these that my poore companie detest;
And sleepe that sometime shuts vp sorrowes eie,
Steale me a while from mine owne companie.
Rob. Yet but three? Come one more,
Two of both kindes makes vp foure.
Here she comes, curst and sad,
Cupid is a knauish lad,
Thus to make poore females mad
Her. Neuer so wearie, neuer so in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torne with briars,
I can no further crawle, no further goe;
My legs can keepe no pace with my desires.
Here will I rest me till the breake of day,
Heauens shield Lysander, if they meane a fray
Rob. On the ground sleepe sound,
Ile apply your eie gentle louer, remedy.
When thou wak'st, thou tak'st
True delight in the sight of thy former Ladies eye,
And the Country Prouerb knowne,
That euery man should take his owne,
In your waking shall be showne.
Iacke shall haue Iill, nought shall goe ill.
The man shall haue his Mare againe, and all shall bee
They sleepe all the Act.
Enter Queene of Fairies, and Clowne, and Fairies, and the King
Tita. Come, sit thee downe vpon this flowry bed,
While I thy amiable cheekes doe coy,
And sticke muske roses in thy sleeke smoothe head,
And kisse thy faire large eares, my gentle ioy
Clow. Where's Peaseblossome?
Clow. Scratch my head, Pease-blossome. Wher's Mounsieuer
Clowne. Mounsieur Cobweb, good Mounsier get your
weapons in your hand, & kill me a red hipt humble-Bee,
on the top of a thistle; and good Mounsieur bring mee
the hony bag. Doe not fret your selfe too much in the
action, Mounsieur; and good mounsieur haue a care the
hony bag breake not, I would be loth to haue you ouerflowne
with a hony-bag signiour. Where's Mounsieur
Clo. Giue me your neafe, Mounsieur Mustardseed.
Pray you leaue your courtesie good Mounsieur
Mus. What's your will?
Clo. Nothing good Mounsieur, but to help Caualery
Cobweb to scratch. I must to the Barbers Mounsieur, for
me-thinkes I am maruellous hairy about the face. And I
am such a tender asse, if my haire do but tickle me, I must
Tita. What, wilt thou heare some musicke, my sweet
Clow. I haue a reasonable good eare in musicke. Let
vs haue the tongs and the bones.
Musicke Tongs, Rurall Musicke.
Tita. Or say sweete Loue, what thou desirest to eat
Clowne. Truly a pecke of Prouender; I could munch
your good dry Oates. Me-thinkes I haue a great desire
to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweete hay hath no fellow
Tita. I haue a venturous Fairy,
That shall seeke the Squirrels hoard,
And fetch thee new Nuts
Clown. I had rather haue a handfull or two of dried
pease. But I pray you let none of your people stirre me, I
haue an exposition of sleepe come vpon me
Tyta. Sleepe thou, and I will winde thee in my arms,
Fairies be gone, and be alwaies away.
So doth the woodbine, the sweet Honisuckle,
Gently entwist; the female Iuy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the Elme.
O how I loue thee! how I dote on thee!
Enter Robin goodfellow and Oberon.
Ob. Welcome good Robin:
Seest thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I doe begin to pitty.
For meeting her of late behinde the wood,
Seeking sweet sauours for this hatefull foole,
I did vpbraid her, and fall out with her.
For she his hairy temples then had rounded,
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers.
And that same dew which somtime on the buds,
Was wont to swell like round and orient pearles;
Stood now within the pretty flouriets eyes,
Like teares that did their owne disgrace bewaile.
When I had at my pleasure taunted her,
And she in milde termes beg'd my patience,
I then did aske of her, her changeling childe,
Which straight she gaue me, and her fairy sent
To beare him to my Bower in Fairy Land.
And now I haue the Boy, I will vndoe
This hatefull imperfection of her eyes.
And gentle Pucke, take this transformed scalpe,
From off the head of this Athenian swaine;
That he awaking when the other doe,
May all to Athens backe againe repaire,
And thinke no more of this nights accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of dreame.
But first I will release the Fairy Queene.
Be thou as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see.
Dians bud, or Cupids flower,
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now my Titania wake you my sweet Queene
Tita. My Oberon, what visions haue I seene!
Me-thought I was enamoured of an asse
Ob. There lies your loue
Tita. How came these things to passe?
Oh, how mine eyes doth loath this visage now!
Ob. Silence a while. Robin take off his head:
Titania, musick call, and strike more dead
Then common sleepe; of all these, fine the sense
Tita. Musicke, ho musicke, such as charmeth sleepe.
Rob. When thou wak'st, with thine owne fooles eies
Ob. Sound musick; come my Queen, take hands with me
And rocke the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I new in amity,
And will to morrow midnight, solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus house triumphantly,
And blesse it to all faire posterity.
There shall the paires of faithfull Louers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in iollity
Rob. Faire King attend, and marke,
I doe heare the morning Larke,
Ob. Then my Queene in silence sad,
Trip we after the nights shade;
We the Globe can compasse soone,
Swifter then the wandering Moone
Tita. Come my Lord, and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night,
That I sleeping heere was found,
Sleepers Lye still.
With these mortals on the ground.
Enter Theseus, Egeus, Hippolita and all his traine.
Thes. Goe one of you, finde out the Forrester,
For now our obseruation is perform'd;
And since we haue the vaward of the day,
My Loue shall heare the musicke of my hounds.
Vncouple in the Westerne valley, let them goe;
Dispatch I say, and finde the Forrester.
We will faire Queene, vp to the Mountains top,
And marke the musicall confusion
Of hounds and eccho in coniunction
Hip. I was with Hercules and Cadmus once.
When in a wood of Creete they bayed the Beare
With hounds of Sparta; neuer did I heare
Such gallant chiding. For besides the groues,
The skies, the fountaines, euery region neere,
Seeme all one mutuall cry. I neuer heard
So musicall a discord, such sweet thunder
Thes. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kinde,
So flew'd, so sanded, and their heads are hung
With eares that sweepe away the morning dew,
Crooke kneed, and dew-lapt, like Thessalian Buls,
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bels,
Each vnder each. A cry more tuneable
Was neuer hallowed to, nor cheer'd with horne,
In Creete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly;
Iudge when you heare. But soft, what nimphs are these?
Egeus. My Lord, this is my daughter heere asleepe,
And this Lysander, this Demetrius is,
This Helena, olde Nedars Helena,
I wonder of this being heere together
The. No doubt they rose vp early, to obserue
The right of May; and hearing our intent,
Came heere in grace of our solemnity.
But speake Egeus, is not this the day
That Hermia should giue answer of her choice?
Egeus. It is, my Lord
Thes. Goe bid the hunts-men wake them with their
Hornes and they wake.
Shout within, they all start vp.
Thes. Good morrow friends: Saint Valentine is past,
Begin these wood birds but to couple now?
Lys. Pardon my Lord
Thes. I pray you all stand vp.
I know you two are Riuall enemies.
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so farre from iealousie,
To sleepe by hate, and feare no enmity
Lys. My Lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Halfe sleepe, halfe waking. but as yet, I sweare,
I cannot truly say how I came heere.
But as I thinke (for truly would I speake)
And now I doe bethinke me, so it is;
I came with Hermia hither. Our intent
Was to be gone from Athens, where we might be
Without the perill of the Athenian Law
Ege. Enough, enough, my Lord: you haue enough;
I beg the Law, the Law, vpon his head:
They would have stolne away, they would Demetrius,
Thereby to haue defeated you and me:
You of your wife, and me of my consent;
Of my consent, that she should be your wife
Dem. My Lord, faire Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood,
And I in furie hither followed them;
Faire Helena, in fancy followed me.
But my good Lord, I wot not by what not by what power,
(But by some power it is) my loue
To Hermia (melted as the snow)
Seems to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaude,
Which in my childehood I did doat vpon:
And all the faith, the vertue of my heart,
The obiect and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is onely Helena. To her, my Lord,
Was I betroth'd, ere I see Hermia,
But like a sickenesse did I loath this food,
But as in health, come to my naturall taste,
Now doe I wish it, loue it, long for it,
And will for euermore be true to it
Thes. Faire Louers, you are fortunately met;
Of this discourse we shall heare more anon.
Egeus, I will ouer-beare your will;
For in the Temple, by and by with vs,
These couples shall eternally be knit.
And for the morning now is something worne,
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.
Away, with vs to Athens; three and three,
Wee'll hold a feast in great solemnitie.
Exit Duke and Lords.
Dem. These things seeme small & vndistinguishable,
Like farre off mountaines turned into Clouds
Her. Me-thinks I see these things with parted eye,
When euery thing seemes double
Hel. So me-thinkes:
And I haue found Demetrius, like a iewell,
Mine owne, and not mine owne
Dem. It seemes to mee,
That yet we sleepe, we dreame. Do not you thinke,
The Duke was heere, and bid vs follow him?
Her. Yea, and my Father
Hel. And Hippolita
Lys. And he bid vs follow to the Temple
Dem. Why then we are awake; lets follow him, and
by the way let vs recount our dreames.
Clo. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer.
My next is, most faire Piramus. Hey ho. Peter Quince?
Flute the bellowes-mender? Snout the tinker? Starueling?
Gods my life! Stolne hence, and left me asleepe: I
haue had a most rare vision. I had a dreame, past the wit
of man, to say, what dreame it was. Man is but an Asse,
if he goe about to expound this dreame. Me-thought I
was, there is no man can tell what. Me-thought I was,
and me-thought I had. But man is but a patch'd foole,
if he will offer to say, what me-thought I had. The eye of
man hath not heard, the eare of man hath not seen, mans
hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceiue, nor his
heart to report, what my dreame was. I will get Peter
Quince to write a ballet of this dreame, it shall be called
Bottomes Dreame, because it hath no bottome; and I will
sing it in the latter end of a play, before the Duke. Peraduenture,
to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it
at her death.
Enter Quince, Flute, Thisbie, Snout, and Starueling.
Quin. Haue you sent to Bottomes house? Is he come
Staru. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt hee is
This. If he come not, then the play is mar'd. It goes
not forward, doth it?
Quin. It is not possible: you haue not a man in all
Athens, able to discharge Piramus but he
This. No, hee hath simply the best wit of any handycraft
man in Athens
Quin. Yea, and the best person too, and hee is a very
Paramour, for a sweet voyce
This. You must say, Paragon. A Paramour is (God
blesse vs) a thing of nought.
Enter Snug the Ioyner.
Snug. Masters, the Duke is comming from the Temple,
and there is two or three Lords & Ladies more married.
If our sport had gone forward, we had all bin made
This. O sweet bully Bottome: thus hath he lost sixepence
a day, during his life; he could not haue scaped sixpence
a day. And the Duke had not giuen him sixpence
a day for playing Piramus, Ile be hang'd. He would haue
deserued it. Sixpence a day in Piramus, or nothing.
Bot. Where are these Lads? Where are these hearts?
Quin. Bottome, o most couragious day! O most happie
Bot. 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 euery thing as it fell out
Qu. Let vs heare, sweet Bottome
Bot. Not a word of me: all that I will tell you, is, that
the Duke hath dined. Get your apparell together, good
strings to your beards, new ribbands to your pumps,
meete presently at the Palace, euery man looke ore his
part: for the short and the long is, our play is preferred:
In any case let Thisby haue cleane linnen: and let not him
that playes the Lion, paire his nailes, for they shall hang
out for the Lions clawes. And most deare Actors, eate
no Onions, nor Garlicke; for wee are to vtter sweete
breath, and I doe not doubt but to heare them say, it is a
sweet Comedy. No more words: away, go away.
Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Egeus and his Lords.
Hip. 'Tis strange my Theseus, y these louers speake of
The. More strange then true. I neuer may beleeue
These anticke fables, nor these Fairy toyes,
Louers and mad men haue such seething braines,
Such shaping phantasies, that apprehend more
Then coole reason euer comprehends.
The Lunaticke, the Louer, and the Poet,
Are of imagination all compact.
One sees more diuels then vaste hell can hold;
That is the mad man. The Louer, all as franticke,
Sees Helens beauty in a brow of Egipt.
The Poets eye in a fine frenzy rolling, doth glance
From heauen to earth, from earth to heauen.
And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things
Vnknowne; the Poets pen turnes them to shapes,
And giues to aire nothing, a locall habitation,
And a name. Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some ioy,
It comprehends some bringer of that ioy.
Or in the night, imagining some feare,
Howe easie is a bush suppos'd a Beare?
Hip. But all the storie of the night told ouer,
And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
More witnesseth than fancies images,
And growes to something of great constancie;
But howsoeuer, strange, and admirable.
Enter louers, Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena.
The. Heere come the louers, full of ioy and mirth:
Ioy, gentle friends, ioy and fresh dayes
Of loue accompany your hearts
Lys. More then to vs, waite in your royall walkes,
your boord, your bed
The. Come now, what maskes, what dances shall
To weare away this long age of three houres,
Between our after supper, and bed-time?
Where is our vsuall manager of mirth?
What Reuels are in hand? Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing houre?
Ege. Heere mighty Theseus
The. Say, what abridgement haue you for this euening?
What maske? What musicke? How shall we beguile
The lazie time, if not with some delight?
Ege. There is a breefe how many sports are rife:
Make choise of which your Highnesse will see first
Lis. The battell with the Centaurs to be sung
By an Athenian Eunuch, to the Harpe
The. Wee'l none of that. That haue I told my Loue
In glory of my kinsman Hercules
Lis. The riot of the tipsie Bachanals,
Tearing the Thracian singer, in their rage?
The. That is an old deuice, and it was plaid
When I from Thebes came last a Conqueror
Lis. The thrice three Muses, mourning for the death
of learning, late deceast in beggerie
The. That is some Satire keene and criticall,
Not sorting with a nuptiall ceremonie
Lis. A tedious breefe Scene of yong Piramus,
And his loue Thisby; very tragicall mirth
The. Merry and tragicall? Tedious, and briefe? That
is, hot ice, and wondrous strange snow. How shall wee
finde the concord of this discord?
Ege. A play there is, my Lord, some ten words long,
Which is as breefe, as I haue knowne 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 tragicall my noble Lord it is: for Piramus
Therein doth kill himselfe. Which when I saw
Rehearst, I must confesse, made mine eyes water:
But more merrie teares, the passion of loud laughter
Thes. What are they that do play it?
Ege. Hard handed men, that worke in Athens heere,
Which neuer labour'd in their mindes till now;
And now haue toyled their vnbreathed memories
With this same play, against your nuptiall
The. And we will heare it
Hip. No my noble Lord, it is not for you. I haue heard
It ouer, and it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Vnless you can finde sport in their intents,
Extreamely stretched, and cond with cruell paine,
To doe you seruice
Thes. I will heare that play. For neuer any thing
Can be amisse, when simplenesse and duty tender it.
Goe bring them in, and take your places, Ladies
Hip. I loue not to see wretchednesse orecharged;
And duty in his seruice perishing
Thes. Why gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing
Hip. He saies, they can doe nothing in this kinde
Thes. The kinder we, to giue them thanks for nothing
Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake;
And what poore duty cannot doe, noble respect
Takes it in might, not merit.
Where I haue come, great Clearkes haue purposed
To greete me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I haue seene them shiuer and looke pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practiz'd accent in their feares,
And in conclusion, dumbly haue broke off,
Not paying me a welcome. Trust me sweete,
Out of this silence yet, I pickt a welcome:
And in the modesty of fearefull duty,
I read as much, as from the ratling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Loue therefore, and tongue-tide simplicity,
In least, speake most, to my capacity
Egeus. So please your Grace, the Prologue is addrest
Duke. Let him approach.
Enter the Prologue. Quince.
Pro. If we offend, it is with our good will.
That you should thinke, we come not to offend,
But with good will. To shew our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider then, we come but in despight.
We do not come, as minding to content you,
Our true intent is. All for your delight,
We are not heere. 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
Thes. This fellow doth not stand vpon points
Lys. He hath rid his Prologue, like a rough Colt: he
knowes not the stop. A good morall my lord. it is not
enough to speake, but to speake true
Hip. Indeed hee hath plaid on his Prologue, like a
childe on a Recorder, a sound, but not in gouernment
Thes. His speech was like a tangled chaine: nothing
impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?
Tawyer with a Trumpet before them.
Enter Pyramus and Thisby, Wall, Moone-shine, and Lyon.
Prol. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show,
But wonder on, till truth make all things plaine.
This man is Piramus, if you would know;
This beauteous Lady, Thisby is certaine.
This man, with lyme and rough-cast, doth present
Wall, that vile wall, which did these louers sunder:
And through walls chink (poor soules) they are content
To whisper. At the which, let no man wonder.
This man, with Lanthorne, dog, and bush of thorne,
Presenteth moone-shine. For if you will know,
By moone-shine did these Louers thinke no scorne
To meet at Ninus toombe, there, there to wooe:
This grizly beast (which Lyon hight by name)
The trusty Thisby, comming first by night,
Did scarre away, or rather did affright:
And as she fled, her mantle she did fall;
Which Lyon vile with bloody mouth did staine.
Anon comes Piramus, sweet youth and tall,
And findes his Thisbies Mantle slaine;
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blamefull blade,
He brauely broacht his boiling bloudy breast,
And Thisby, tarrying in Mulberry shade,
His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
Let Lyon, Moone-shine, Wall, and Louers twaine,
At large discourse, while here they doe remaine.
Exit all but Wall.
Thes. I wonder if the Lion be to speake
Deme. No wonder, my Lord: one Lion may, when
many Asses doe.
Exit Lyon, Thisbie, and Mooneshine.
Wall. In this same Interlude, it doth befall,
That I, one Snowt (by name) present a wall:
And such a wall, as I would haue you thinke,
That had in it a crannied hole or chinke:
Through which the Louers, Piramus and Thisbie
Did whisper often, very secretly.
This loame, this rough-cast, and this stone doth shew,
That I am that same Wall; the truth is so.
And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
Through which the fearfull Louers are to whisper
Thes. Would you desire Lime and Haire to speake
Deme. It is the wittiest partition, that euer I heard
discourse, my Lord
Thes. Pyramus drawes neere the Wall, silence.
Pir. O grim lookt night, o night with hue so blacke,
O night, which euer art, when day is not:
O night, o night, alacke, alacke, alacke,
I feare my Thisbies promise is forgot.
And thou o wall, thou sweet and louely wall,
That stands between her fathers ground and mine,
Thou wall, o Wall, o sweet and louely wall,
Shew me thy chinke, to blinke through with mine eine.
Thankes courteous wall. Ioue shield thee well for this.
But what see I? No Thisbie doe I see.
O wicked wall, through whom I see no blisse,
Curst be thy stones for thus deceiuing mee
Thes. The wall me-thinkes being sensible, should
Pir. No in truth sir, he should not. Deceiuing me,
Is Thisbies cue; she is to enter, and I am to spy
Her through the wall. You shall see it will fall.
Pat as I told you; yonder she comes
This. O wall, full often hast thou heard my mones,
For parting my faire Piramus, and me
My cherry lips haue often kist thy stones;
Thy stones with Lime and Haire knit vp in thee
Pyra. I see a voyce; now will I to the chinke,
To spy and I can heare my Thisbies face. Thisbie?
This. My Loue thou art, my Loue I thinke
Pir. Thinke what thou wilt, I am thy Louers grace,
And like Limander am I trusty still
This. And like Helen till the Fates me kill
Pir. Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true
This. As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you
Pir. O kisse me through the hole of this vile wall
This. I kisse the wals hole, not your lips at all
Pir. Wilt thou at Ninnies tombe meete me straight
This. Tide life, tide death, I come without delay
Wall. Thus haue I Wall, my part discharged so;
And being done, thus Wall away doth go.
Du. Now is the morall downe between the two
Dem. No remedie my Lord, when Wals are so wilfull,
to heare without warning
Dut. This is the silliest stuffe that ere I heard
Du. The best in this kind are but shadowes, and the
worst are no worse, if imagination amend them
Dut. It must be your imagination then, & not theirs
Duk. If wee imagine no worse of them then they of
themselues, they may passe for excellent men. Here com
two noble beasts, in a man and a Lion.
Enter Lyon and Moone-shine
Lyon. You Ladies, you (whose gentle harts do feare
The smallest monstrous mouse that creepes on floore)
May now perchance, both quake and tremble heere,
When Lion rough in wildest rage doth roare.
Then know that I, one Snug the Ioyner am
A Lion fell, nor else no Lions dam:
For if I should as Lion come in strife
Into this place, 'twere pittie of my life
Du. A verie gentle beast, and of good conscience
Dem. The verie best at a beast, my Lord, y ere I saw
Lis. This Lion is a verie Fox for his valor
Du. True, and a Goose for his discretion
Dem. Not so my Lord: for his valor cannot carrie
his discretion, and the fox carries the Goose
Du. His discretion I am sure cannot carrie his valor:
for the Goose carries not the Fox. It is well; leaue it to
his discretion, and let vs hearken to the Moone
Moone. This Lanthorne doth the horned Moone present
De. He should haue worne the hornes on his head
Du. Hee is no crescent, and his hornes are inuisible,
within the circumference
Moon. This lanthorne doth the horned Moone present:
My selfe, the man i'th Moone doth seeme to be
Du. This is the greatest error of all the rest; the man
Should be put into the Lanthorne. How is it els the man
Dem. He dares not come there for the candle.
For you see, it is already in snuffe
Dut. I am wearie of this Moone; would he would
Du. It appeares by his smal light of discretion, that
he is in the wane: but yet in courtesie, in all reason, we
must stay the time
Lys. Proceed Moone
Moon. All that I haue to say, is to tell you, that the
Lanthorne is the Moone; I, the man in the Moone; this
thorne bush; my thorne bush; and this dog, my dog
Dem. Why all these should be in the Lanthorne: for
they are in the Moone. But silence, heere comes Thisby.
This. This is old Ninnies tombe: where is my loue?
The Lion roares, Thisby runs off.
Dem. Well roar'd Lion
Du. Well run Thisby
Dut. Well shone Moone.
Truly the Moone shines with a good grace
Du. Wel mouz'd Lion
Dem. And then came Piramus
Lys. And so the Lion vanisht.
Pyr. Sweet Moone, I thank thee for thy sunny beames,
I thanke thee Moone, for shining now so bright:
For by thy gracious, golden, glittering beames,
I trust to taste of truest Thisbies sight.
But stay: O spight! but marke, poore Knight,
What dreadful dole is heere?
Eyes do you see! How can it be!
O dainty Ducke: O Deere!
Thy mantle good; what staind with blood!
Approch you furies fell:
O Fates! come, come: Cut thred and thrum,
Quaile, crush, conclude, and quell
Du. This passion, and the death of a deare friend,
Would go neere to make a man looke sad
Dut. Beshrew my heart, but I pittie the man
Pir. O wherefore Nature, did'st thou Lions frame?
Since lion vilde hath heere deflour'd my deere:
Which is: no, no, which was the fairest Dame
That liu'd, that lou'd, that like'd, that look'd with cheere.
Come teares, confound: Out sword, and wound
The pap of Piramus:
I, that left pap, where heart doth hop;
Thus dye I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I dead, now am I fled, my soule is in the sky,
Tongue lose thy light, Moone take thy flight,
Now dye, dye, dye, dye, dye
Dem. No Die, but an ace for him; for he is but one
Lis. Lesse then an ace man. For he is dead, he is nothing
Du. With the helpe of a Surgeon, he might yet recouer,
and proue an Asse
Dut. How chance Moone-shine is gone before?
Thisby comes backe, and findes her Louer.
Duke. She wil finde him by starre-light.
Heere she comes, and her passion ends the play
Dut. Me thinkes shee should not vse a long one for
such a Piramus: I hope she will be breefe
Dem. A Moth wil turne the ballance, which Piramus
which Thisby is the better
Lys. She hath spyed him already, with those sweete eyes
Dem. And thus she meanes, videlicit
This. Asleepe my Loue? What, dead my Doue?
O Piramus arise:
Speake, speake. Quite dumbe? Dead, dead? A tombe
Must couer thy sweet eyes.
These Lilly Lips, this cherry nose,
These yellow Cowslip cheekes
Are gone, are gone: Louers make mone:
His eyes were greene as Leekes.
O Sisters three, come, come to mee,
With hands as pale as Milke,
Lay them in gore, since you haue shore
with sheeres, his thred of silke.
Tongue not a word: Come trusty sword:
Come blade, my brest imbrue:
And farwell friends, thus Thisbie ends;
Adieu, adieu, adieu
Duk. Moone-shine & Lion are left to burie the dead
Deme. I, and Wall too
Bot. No, I assure you, the wall is downe, that parted
their Fathers. Will it please you to see the Epilogue, or
to heare a Bergomask dance, betweene two of our company?
Duk. No Epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs
no excuse. Neuer excuse; for when the plaiers are all
dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if hee that
writ it had plaid Piramus, and hung himselfe in Thisbies
garter, it would haue beene a fine Tragedy: and so it is
truely, and very notably discharg'd. but come, your
Burgomaske; let your Epilogue alone.
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelue.
Louers to bed, 'tis almost Fairy time.
I feare we shall out-sleepe the comming morne,
As much as we this night haue ouer-watcht.
This palpable grosse play hath well beguil'd
The heauy gate of night. Sweet friends to bed.
A fortnight hold we this solemnity.
In nightly Reuels; and new iollitie.
Puck. Now the hungry Lyons rores,
And the Wolfe beholds the Moone:
Whilest the heauy ploughman snores,
All with weary taske fore-done.
Now the wasted brands doe glow,
Whil'st the scritch-owle, scritching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe,
In remembrance of a shrowd.
Now it is the time of night,
That the graues, all gaping wide,
Euery one lets forth his spright,
In the Church-way paths to glide,
And we Fairies, that do runne,
By the triple Hecates teame,
From the presence of the Sunne,
Following darkenesse like a dreame,
Now are frollicke; not a Mouse
Shall disturbe this hallowed house.
I am sent with broome before,
To sweep the dust behinde the doore.
Enter King and Queene of Fairies, with their traine.
Ob. Through the house giue glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsie fier,
Euerie Elfe and Fairie spright,
Hop as light as bird from brier,
And this Ditty after me, sing and dance it trippinglie,
Tita. First rehearse this song by roate,
To each word a warbling note.
Hand in hand, with Fairie grace,
Will we sing and blesse this place.
Now vntill the breake of day,
Through this house each Fairy stray.
To the best Bride-bed will we,
Which by vs shall blessed be:
And the issue there create,
Euer shall be fortunate:
So shall all the couples three,
Euer true in louing be:
And the blots of Natures hand,
Shall not in their issue stand.
Neuer mole, harelip, nor scarre,
nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in Natiuitie,
Shall vpon their children be.
With this field dew consecrate,
Euery Fairy take his gate,
And each seuerall chamber blesse,
Through this Pallace with sweet peace,
Euer shall in safety rest.
And the owner of it blest.
Trip away, make no stay;
Meet me all by breake of day
Robin. If we shadowes haue offended,
Thinke but this (and all is mended)
That you haue but slumbred heere,
While these Visions did appeare.
And this weake and idle theame,
No more yeelding but a dreame,
Gentles, doe not reprehend.
If you pardon, we will mend.
And as I am an honest Pucke,
If we haue vnearned lucke,
Now to scape the Serpents tongue,
We will make amends ere long:
Else the Pucke a lyar call.
So good night vnto you all.
Giue me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
FINIS. A MIDSOMMER Nights Dreame.
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