A Midsommer nights dreame.

As it hath beene sundry times pub­lickely acted, by the Right honoura­ble, the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants.

Written by William Shakespeare.

¶Imprinted at London, for Thomas Fisher, and are to be soulde at his shoppe, at the Signe of the White Hart, in Fleetestreete. 1600.

A MIDSOMMER NIGHTS DREAME.

Enter Theseus, Hippolita, with others.
Theseus.
NOw faire Hippolita, our nuptiall hower
Draws on apase: fower happy daies bring in
An other Moone: but oh, me thinks, how slow
This old Moone waues! She lingers my desires,
Like to a Stepdame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a yong mans reuenewe.
Hip.
Fower daies will quickly steepe themselues in night:
Fower nights will quickly dreame away the time:
And then the Moone, like to a siluer bowe,
Now bent in heauen, shall beholde the night
Of our solemnities.
The.
Goe Philostrate,
Stirre vp the Athenian youth to merriments,
Awake the peart and nimble spirit of mirth,
Turne melancholy foorth to funerals:
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
Hyppolita, 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 reueling.
Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, and Lysander and Helena, and Demetrius.
Ege.
Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke.
The.
Thankes good Egeus. Whats the newes with thee?
Ege.
Full of vexation, come I, with complaint
[Page]Against my childe, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth Demetrius.
My noble Lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth Lisander.
And my gratious Duke,
This man hath bewitcht 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 windowe sung,
With faining voice, verses of faining loue,
And stolne the impression of her phantasie:
With bracelets of thy haire, rings, gawdes, conceites,
Knackes, trifles, nosegaies, sweete meates (messengers
Of strong preuailement in vnhardened youth)
With cunning hast thou filcht my daughters heart,
Turnd her obedience (which is due to mee)
To stubborne harshnesse. And, my gratious Duke,
Be it so, she will not here, before your Grace,
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the auncient 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 lawe,
Immediatly prouided, in that case.
The,
What say you, Hermia? Be aduis'd, faire maid.
To you, your father should be as a God:
One that compos'd your beauties: yea and one,
To whome you are but as a forme in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power,
To leaue the figure, or disfigure it:
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
Her.
So is Lisander.
The▪
In himselfe he is:
But in this kinde, wanting your fathers voice,
The other must be held the worthier.
Her.
[Page]
I would my father lookt but with my eyes.
The.
Rather your eyes must, with his iudgement, looke,
Her.
I doe intreat your grace, to pardon mee.
I know not by what power, I am made bould;
Nor how it may concerne my modesty,
In such a presence, here to plead my thoughts:
But I beseech your Grace, that I may knowe
The worst that may befall mee in this case,
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
The.
Either to dy the death, or to abiure,
For euer, the society of men.
Therefore, faire Hermia, question your desires,
Knowe of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether (if you yeelde not to your fathers choyce)
You can endure the liuery of a Nunne,
For aye to be in shady cloyster, mew'd
To liue a barraine sister all your life,
Chaunting faint hymnes, to the colde fruitlesse Moone.
Thrise blessed they, that master so there bloode,
To vndergoe such maiden pilgrimage:
But earthlyer happy is the rose distild,
Then that, which, withering on the virgin thorne,
Growes, liues, and dies, in single blessednesse.
Her,
So will I growe, so liue, so die my Lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin Patent, vp
Vnto his Lordshippe, whose vnwished yoake
My soule consents not to giue souerainty.
The.
Take time to pawse, and by the next newe moone,
The sealing day, betwixt my loue and mee,
For euerlasting bond of fellowshippe,
Vpon that day either prepare to dye,
For disobedience to your fathers will,
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would,
Or on Dianaes altar to protest,
For aye, austeritie and single life.
Deme.
[Page]
Relent, sweete Hermia, and, Lysander, yeeld
Thy crazed title to my certaine right.
Lys.
You haue her fathers loue, Demetrius:
Let me haue Hermias: doe you marry him.
Egeus.
Scornefull 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 doe estate unto Demetrius.
Lysand.
I am my lord, as well deriu'd as hee,
As well possest: my loue is more than his:
My fortunes euery way as fairely rankt
(If not with vantage) as Demetrius:
And (which is more then all these boastes can be)
I am belou'd of beautious Hermia.
Why should not I then procecute my right?
Demetrius, Ile auouch it to his heade,
Made loue to Nedars daughter, Helena,
And won her soule: and she (sweete 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 overfull of selfe affaires,
My minde did loose it, But Demetrius come,
And come Egeus, you shall goe with mee:
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 vowe of single life.
Come my Hyppolita: what cheare my loue?
Demetrius and Egeus goe along:
I must employ you in some businesse,
Against our nuptiall, and conferre with you
[Page]Of some thing, nerely that concernes your selues.
Ege.
With duety desire, we follow you.
Exeunt.
Lysand.
How now my loue? Why is your cheeke so pale▪
How chance the roses there doe fade so fast?
Her.
Belike, for want of raine: which I could well
Beteeme them, from the tempest of my eyes.
Lis.
Eigh me: for aught that I could euer reade,
Could euer here by tale or history,
The course of true loue neuer did runne smoothe:
But either it was different in bloud;
Her.
O crosse! too high to be inthrald to loue.
Lis.
Or else misgraffed, in respect of yeares;
Her.
O spight! too olde to be ingag'd to young.
Lis.
Or else, it stoode vpon the choyce of friends;
Her.
O hell, to choose loue by anothers eyes!
Lys.
Or, if there were a sympathy in choyce,
Warre, death or sicknesse, did lay siege to it;
Making it momentany, as a sound;
Swift, as a shadowe; 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, beholde,
The iawes of darkenesse do deuoure it vp:
So quicke bright things come to confusion.
Her.
If then true louers haue bin euer crost.
It stands as an edict, in destiny:
Then let vs teach our triall patience:
Because it is a customary crosse,
As dewe to loue, as thoughts, and dreames, and sighes,
Wishes, and teares; poore Fancies followers.
Lys.
A good perswasion: therefore heare mee, Hermia:
I haue a widowe aunt, a dowager,
Of great reuenew, and she hath no childe▪
From Athens is her house remote, seauen leagues▪
And she respectes mee, as her only sonne:
[Page]There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee:
And to that place, the sharpe Athenian law
Can not pursue vs. If thou louest mee, then
Steale forth thy fathers house, tomorrow night:
And in the wood, a league without the towne
(Where I did meete thee once with Helena
To do obseruance to a morne of May)
There will I stay for thee.
Her.
My good Lysander,
I sweare to thee, by Cupids strongest bowe,
By his best arrowe, with the golden heade,
By the simplicitie of Venus doues,
By that which knitteth soules, and prospers loues,
And by that fire, which burnd the Carthage queene,
When the false Troian 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 mee,
To morrow truely will I meete with thee.
Lys.
Keepe promise loue: looke, here comes Helena.
Enter Helena.
Her.
God speede faire Helena: wither away?
Hel.
Call you mee faire? That faire againe vnsay.
Demetrius loues your faire: ô happy faire!
Your eyes are loadstarres, and your tongues sweete aire
More tunable then larke, to sheepeheards eare,
When wheat is greene, when hauthorne buddes appeare.
Sicknesse is catching: O, were fauour so,
Your words I catch, faire Hermia, ere I goe,
My eare should catch your voice, my eye, your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongues sweete melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest ile giue to be to you translated.
O, teach mee how you looke, and with what Art,
You sway the motion of Demetrius heart.
Her.
[Page]
I frowne vpon him; yet hee loues mee still.
Hel.
O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skil.
Her.
I giue him curses; yet he giues mee loue.
Hel.
O that my prayers could such affection mooue.
Her.
The more I hate, the more he followes mee.
Hel.
The more I loue, the more he hateth mee.
Her.
His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
Hel.
None but your beauty; would that fault were mine.
Her.
Take comfort; he no more shall see my face:
Lysander and my selfe will sly this place.
Before the time I did Lisander see,
Seem'd Athens as a Paradise to mee.
O then, what graces in my loue dooe dwell,
That hee hath turnd a heauen vnto a hell!
Lys.
Helen, to you our mindes wee will vnfould:
To morrow night, when Phoebe doth beholde
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 wee deuis'd to steale▪
Her.
And in the wood, where often you and I,
Vpon faint Primrose beddes, 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.
Farewell, sweete playfellow: pray thou for vs:
And good lucke graunt thee thy Demetrius.
Keepe word Lysander: we must starue our sight,
From louers foode, till morrow deepe midnight.
Exit Hermia.
Lys.
I will my Hermia. Helena adieu:
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you.
Exit Lysander.
Hele.
How happie some, ore othersome, can be!
Through Athens, I am thought as faire as shee.
[Page]But what of that? Demetrius thinkes not so:
He will not knowe, what all, but hee doe know.
And as hee erres, doting on Hermias eyes:
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantitie,
Loue can transpose to forme and dignitie.
Loue lookes not with the eyes, but with the minde:
And therefore is wingd Cupid painted blinde.
Nor hath loues minde of any iudgement taste:
Wings, and no eyes, figure, vnheedy haste.
And therefore is loue said to bee a childe:
Because, in choyce, he is so oft beguil'd.
As waggish boyes, in game, themselues forsweare:
So, the boy, Loue, is periur'd euery where.
For, ere Demetrius lookt on Hermias eyen,
Hee hayld downe othes, that he was onely mine.
And when this haile some heate, from Hermia, felt,
So he dissolued, and showrs of oathes did melt.
I will goe tell him of faire Hermias flight:
Then, to the wodde, will he, to morrow night,
Pursue her: and for this intelligence,
If I haue thankes, it is a deare expense:
But herein meane I to enrich my paine,
To haue his sight thither, and back againe.
Exit.
Enter Quince, the Carpenter; and Snugge, the Ioyner; and Bottom, the Weauer; and Flute, the Bellowes mender; & Snout, the Tinker; and Starueling the Tayler.
Quin.

Is all our company heere?

Bot.

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

Quin.

Here is the scrowle of euery mans name, which is thought fit, through al Athens, to play in our Enterlude, be­fore the Duke, & the Dutches, on his wedding day at night.

Bott.

First good Peeter Quince, say what the Play treats on: then read the names of the Actors: & so grow to a point.

Quin.
[Page]

Mary, our Play is the most lamentable comedy, and most cruell death of Pyramus and Thisby.

Bot.

A very good peece of worke, I assure you, & a mer­ry. Now good Peeter Quince, call forth your Actors, by the scrowle. Masters, spreade your selues.

Quin.

Answere, as I call you. Nick Bottom, the Weauer?

Bott.

Readie: Name what part I am for, and proceede.

Quin.

You, Nick Bottom are set downe for Pyramus.

Bott.

What is Pyramus? A louer, or a tyrant?

Quin.

A louer that kils himselfe, most gallant, for loue.

Bott.

That will aske some teares in the true performing of it. If I doe it, let the Audience looke to their eyes: I wil 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 Catin, to make all split the raging rocks: and shiuering shocks, shall breake the locks of prison gates, and Phibbus carre shall shine from farre, and make & marre the foolish Fates. This was loftie. 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.

Here Peeter Quince.

Quin.

Flute, you must take Thisby, on you.

Fla.

What is Thisby? A wandring knight?

Quin.

It is the Lady, that Pyramus must loue.

Fl.

Nay faith: let not me play a womā: I haue a beard cō ­ming.

Quin.

Thats all one: you shall play it in a Maske: and you may speake as small as you will.

Bott.

And I may hide my face, let me play Thisby to: Ile speake in a monstrous little voice; Thisne, Thisne, ah Py­ramus, my louer deare, thy Thysby deare, & Lady deare.

Qu.

No, no▪ you must play Pyramus: & Flute, you Thysby.

Bot.

Well, proceede.

Qui.

Robin Starueling, the Tailer?

Star.

Here Peeter Quince.

Quin.

Robin Starueling, you must play Thysbyes mother▪ [Page] Tom Snowte, the Tinker?

Snowt.

Here Peter Quince.

Quin.

You, Pyramus father; my selfe, Thisbies father; Snugge, the Ioyner, you the Lyons part: And I hope here is a Play fitted.

Snug.

Haue you the Lyons part written? Pray you, if it bee, giue it mee▪ for I am slowe of studie.

Quin.

You may doe it, extempore: for it is nothing but roaring.

Bott.

Let mee play the Lyon to. I will roare, that I will doe any mans heart good to heate mee. I will roare, that I will make the Duke say; Let him roare againe: let him roare againe.

Quin.

And you should do it too terribly, you would fright the Dutchesse, and the Ladies, that they would shrike: and that were inough to hang vs all.

All.

That would hang vs, euery mothers sonne.

Bot.

I grant you, friends, if you should fright the Ladies out of their wits, they would haue no more discretion, but to hang vs: but I will aggrauate my voice so, that I wil roare you as gently, as any sucking doue: I will roare you, and 'twere any Nightingale.

Quin.

You can play no part but Piramus: for Piramus is a sweete fac't man; a proper man as one shall see in a som­mers day; a most louely gentlemanlike man: therefore you must needes play Piramus.

Bot.

Well: I will vndertake it. What beard were I best to play it in?

Quin.

Why? what you will.

Bot.

I wil discharge it, in either your straw colour beard, your Orange tawnie bearde, your purple in graine beard, or your french crowne colour beard, your perfit yellow.

Quin.

Some of your french crownes haue no haire at all; and then you will play bare fac't. But maisters here are your parts, and I am to intreat you, request you, and desire [Page] you, to con them by to morrow night: and meete mee in the palace wood, a mile without the towne, by Moone­light; there will wee rehearse: for if wee meete in the city, wee shal be dogd with company, and our deuises known. In the meane time, I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I pray you faile me not.

Bot

Wee will meete, & there we may rehearse most ob­scenely, and coragiously. Take paines, bee perfit: adieu.

Quin.

At the Dukes oke wee meete.

Bot.

Enough: holde, or cut bowstrings.

Exeunt.
Enter a Fairie at one doore, and Robin goodfellow at another.
Robin.
How now spirit, whither wander you?
Fa.
Ouer hill, ouer dale, thorough bush, thorough brier,
Ouer parke, ouer pale, thorough flood, thorough fire:
I do wander euery where; swifter than the Moons sphere:
And I serue the Fairy Queene, to dew her orbs vpon the greene.
The cowslippes tall her Pensioners bee,
In their gold coats, spottes you see:
Those be Rubies, Fairie fauours:
In those freckles, liue their sauours.
I must goe seeke some dew droppes here,
And hang a pearle in euery couslippes eare.
Farewell thou Lobbe of spirits: Ile be gon.
Our Queene, and all her Elues come here anon.
Rob.
The king doth keepe his Reuels here to night.
Take heede the Queene come not within his sight.
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath:
Because that she, as her attendant, hath
A louely boy stollen, from an Indian king:
She neuer had so sweete a changeling.
And iealous Oberon would haue the childe,
Knight of his traine, to trace the forrests wilde.
But shee, perforce, withhoulds the loued boy,
Crownes him with flowers, and makes him all her ioy.
[Page]And now, they neuer meete in groue, or greene,
By fountaine cleare, or spangled starlight sheene,
But they doe square, that all their Elues, for feare,
Creepe into a corne cups, and hide them there.
Fa.
Either I mistake your shape, and making, quite,
Or els you are that shrewde and knauish sprite,
Called Robin goodfellow. Are not you hee,
That frights the maidens of the Villageree,
Skim milke, and sometimes labour in the querne,
And bootlesse make the breathlesse huswife cherne,
And sometime make the drinke to beare no barme,
Misselead nightwanderers, laughing at their harme?
Those, that Hobgoblin call you, and sweete Puck,
You doe their worke, and they shall haue good luck.
Are not you hee?
Rob.
Thou speakest aright; I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I ieast to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and beane-fed horse beguile;
Neyghing, in likenesse of a filly fole,
And sometime lurke Im a gossippes bole,
In very likenesse of a rosted crabbe,
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 foote stoole, mistaketh mee:
Then slippe I from her bumme, downe topples she,
And tailour cryes, and falles into a coffe;
And then the whole Quire hould their hippes, and loffe,
And waxen in their myrth, and neeze, and sweare
A merrier hower was neuer wasted there.
But roome Faery: here comes Oberon.
Fa.
And here, my mistresse. Would that he were gon.
Enter the King of Fairies, at one doore, with his traine: and the Queene, at another, with hers.
Ob.
Ill met by moonelight, proud Tytania.
Qu.
[Page]
What, Iealous Oberon? Fairy skippe hence.
I haue forsworne his bedde, and company.
Ob.
Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy Lord?
Qu.
Then I must be thy Lady: but I know
When thou hast stollen away from Fairy land,
And in the shape of Corin, sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corne, and versing loue,
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here
Come from the farthest steppe of India?
But that, forsooth, the bounsing Amason,
Your buskind mistresse, and your warriour loue,
To Theseus must be wedded; and you come,
To giue their bedde, ioy and prosperitie.
Ob.
How canst thou thus, for shame, Tytania,
Glaunce at my credit, with Hippolita?
Knowing, I know thy loue to Theseus.
Didst not thou lead him through the glimmering night.
From Perigenia, whom he rauished?
And make him, with faire Eagles, breake his faith
With Ariadne, and Antiopa?
Quee.
These are the forgeries of iealousie:
And neuer, since the middle Sommers spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forrest, or meade,
By paued fountaine, or by rushie brooke,
Or in the beached margent of the Sea,
To daunce our ringlets to the whistling winde,
But with thy brawles thou hast disturbd our sport.
Therefore the windes, pyping to vs in vaine,
As in reuenge, haue suckt vp, from the Sea,
Contagious fogges: which, falling in the land,
Hath euery pel [...]ing riuer made so proude,
That they haue ouerborne their Continents.
The Oxe hath therefore stretcht his yoake in vaine,
The Ploughman lost his sweat, and the greene corne
Hath rotted, ere his youth attainde a bearde:
[Page]The fold stands empty, in the drowned field,
And crowes are fatted with the murrion flocke.
The nine mens Morris is fild vp with mudde:
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 carroll blest.
Therefore the Moone (the gouernesse of floods)
Pale in her anger, washes all the aire;
That Rheumaticke diseases doe abound.
And, thorough this distemperature, wee see
The seasons alter: hoary headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lappe of the Crymson rose,
And on old Hyems chinne and Icy crowne,
An odorous Chaplet of sweete Sommer buddes
Is, as in mockery, set. The Spring, the Sommer,
The childing Autumne, angry Winter change
Their wonted Liueries: and the mazed worlde,
By their increase, now knowes not which is which:
And this same progeny of euils,
Comes from our debate, from our dissention:
We are their Parents and originall.
Oberon.
Doe you amend it then: it lyes in you.
Why should Titania crosse her Oberon?
I doe but begge a little Changeling boy,
To be my Henchman.
Queene.
Set your heart at rest.
The Faiery Land buies not the childe of mee▪
His mother was a Votresse of my order:
And in the spiced Indian ayer, 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 conceaue,
And grow bigge bellied, with the wanton winde:
[Page]Which she, with prettie, and with swimming gate,
Following (her wombe then rich with my young squire)
Would imitate, and saile vpon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and returne againe,
As from a voyage, rich with marchandise.
But she, being mortall, of that boy did dye,
And, for her sake, doe I reare vp her boy:
And, for her sake, I will not part with him.
Ob.
How long, within this wood, entend you stay?
Quee.
Perchaunce, till after Theseus wedding day.
If you will patiently daunce in our Round,
And see our Moonelight Reuelles, goe with vs:
If not, shunne me, and I will spare your haunts.
Ob.
Giue mee that boy, and I will goe with thee.
Quee.
Not for thy Fairy kingdome. Fairies away.
We shall chide downeright, if I longer stay.
Exeunt.
Ob.
Well: goe 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 hermonious breath,
That the rude sea grewe ciuill at her song,
And cettaine starres shot madly from their Spheares,
To heare the Sea-maids musicke.
Puck.
I remember.
Ob.
That very time, I saw (but thou could'st not)
Flying betweene the colde Moone and the earth,
Cupid, all arm'd: a certaine aime he tooke
At a faire Vestall, throned by west,
And loos'd his loue-shaft smartly, from his bowe,
As it should pearce a hundred thousand hearts:
But, I might see young Cupids fiery shaft
Quencht in the chast beames of the watry Moone:
And the imperiall Votresse passed on,
[Page]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 mee that flowre: the herbe I shewed thee once.
The iewce of it, on sleeping eyeliddes laide,
Will make or man or woman madly dote,
Vpon the next liue creature that it sees.
Fetch mee this herbe, and be thou here againe
Ere the Leuiathan can swimme a league.
Pu.
Ile put a girdle, roūd about the earth, in forty minutes.
Oberon.
Hauing once this iuice,
Il watch Titania, when she is a sleepe,
And droppe the liquor of it, in her eyes:
The next thing then she, waking, lookes vpon
(Be it on Lyon, Beare, or Wolfe, or Bull,
On medling Monky, or on busie Ape)
She shall pursue it, with the soule of Loue.
And ere I take this charme, from of her sight
(As I can take it with another herbe)
Ile make her render vp her Page, to mee.
But, who comes here? I am inuisible,
And I will ouerheare 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 vnto this wood:
And here am I, and wodde, within this wood:
Because I cannot meete my Hermia.
Hence, get the gone, and follow mee no more.
Hel.
You draw mee, you hard hearted Adamant:
But yet you draw not Iron. For my heart
Is true as steele. Leaue you your power to draw,
[Page]And I shall haue no power to follow you.
Deme.
Doe I entise you? Doe I speake you faire?
Or rather doe I not in plainest truthe,
Tell you I doe not, not I cannot loue you?
Hele.
And euen, for that, do I loue you, the more:
I am your Spaniell: and, Demetrius,
The more you beat mee, I will fawne on you.
Vse me but as your Spaniell: spurne me, strike mee,
Neglect mee, loose me: onely giue me leaue
(Vnworthie as I am) to follow you.
What worser place can I begge, in your loue
(And yet, a place of high respect with mee)
Then to be vsed as you vse your dogge.
Deme.
Tempt not, too much, the hatred of my spirit.
For I am sick, when I do looke on thee.
Hele.
And I am sick, when I looke not on you.
Deme.
You doe impeach your modestie too much,
To leaue the citie, and commit your selfe,
Into the hands of one that loues you not,
To trust the opportunitie of night,
And the ill counsell of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginitie.
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 saide, I am alone,
When all the world is here, to looke on mee?
Dems.
Ile runne from thee, and hide me in the brakes,
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beastes.
Hel.
The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Runne when you will: The story shall be chaung'd:
Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase:
The Doue pursues the Griffon: the milde Hinde
[Page]Makes speede to catch the Tigre. Bootelesse speede,
When cowardise pursues, and valour flies.
Demet.
I will not stay thy questions. Let me goe:
Or if thou followe mee, do not beleeue,
But I shall doe thee mischiefe, in the wood.
Hel.
I, in the Temple, in the towne, the fielde,
You doe me mischiefe. Fy Demetrius.
Your wrongs doe set a scandall on my sex:
We cannot fight for loue, as men may doe:
We should be woo'd, and were not made to wooe.
Ile follow thee and make a heauen of hell,
To dy vpon the hand I loue so well.
Ob.
Fare thee well Nymph. Ere he do leaue this groue,
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seeke thy loue.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome wanderer.
Enter Pucke.
Puck.
I, there it is.
Ob.
I pray thee giue it mee.
I know a banke where the wilde time blowes,
Where Oxlips, and the nodding Violet growes,
Quite ouercanopi'd with lushious woodbine,
With sweete muske roses, and with Eglantine:
There sleepes Tytania, sometime of the night,
Luld in these flowers, with daunces and delight:
And there the snake throwes her enammeld skinne,
Weed wide enough to wrappe a Fairy in.
And, with the iuyce of this, Ile streake her eyes,
And make her full of hatefull phantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seeke through this groue:
A sweete Athenian Lady is in loue,
With a disdainefull youth: annoint his eyes.
But doe it, when the next thing he espies,
May be the Ladie. Thou shalt know the man,
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care; that he may prooue
[Page]More fond on her, then she vpon her loue:
And looke thou meete me ere the first Cocke crowe.
Pu.
Feare not my Lord: your seruant shall do so.
Exeunt.
Enter Tytania Queene of Fairies, with her traine.
Quee.
Come, now a Roundell, and a Fairy song:
Then, for the third part of a minute hence,
Some to kill cankers in the musk rose buds,
Some warre with Reremise, for their lethren wings,
To make my small Elues coates, and some keepe backe
The clamorous Owle, that nightly hootes and wonders
At our queint spirits: Sing me now a sleepe:
Then to your offices, and let mee rest.
Fairies sing.
You spotted Snakes, with double tongue,
Thorny Hedge hogges be not seene,
Newts and blinde wormes do no wrong,
Come not neere our Fairy Queene.
Philomele, with melody,
Sing in our sweete Lullaby,
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby,
Neuer harme, nor spell, nor charme,
Come our louely lady nigh.
So good night, with lullaby.
1. Fai.
Weauing Spiders come not heere▪
Hence you long legd Spinners, hence:
Beetles blacke approach not neere:
Worme nor snaile doe no offence.
Philomele with melody, &c.
2. Fai.
Hence away: now all is well:
One aloofe, stand Centinell.
Enter Oberon.
Ob.
What thou seest, when thou doest wake,
Doe it for thy true loue take:
Loue and languish for his sake.
Be it Ounce, or Catte, or Beare,
[Page]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 Lysander: and Hermia.
Lys.
Faire loue, you fainte, with wandring in the wood:
And to speake troth I haue forgot our way.
Weele rest vs Hermia, if you thinke it good,
And tatty for the comfor of the day.
Her.
Bet it so Lysander: finde you out a bedde:
For I, vpon this banke, will rest my head.
Lys.
One turfe shall serue, as pillow, for vs both,
One heart, one bedde, two bosomes, and one troth.
Her.
Nay god Lysander: for my sake, my deere
Ly further off, yet; doe not lye so neere.
Lys.
O take the sense, sweete, of my innocence.
Loue takes the meaning, in loues conference▪
I mean that my heart vnto yours it knit;
So that but one heart wee can make of it:
Two bosomes interchained 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 be shrewe my manners, and my pride,
If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lyed.
But gentle friend, for loue and curtesie,
Ly further off, in humane modesty:
Such separation, as may well be said
Becomes a vertuous batcheler, and a maide,
So farre be distant, and good night sweete friend:
Thy loue nere alter till thy sweete 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.
[Page]
With halfe that wish, the wishers eyes be prest.
Enter Pucke.
Puck.
Through the forrest haue I gone:
But Athenian found I none,
On whose eyes I might approue
This flowers force in stirring loue.
Night and silence. Who is heere?
Weedes of Athens he doth weare:
This is hee (my master saide)
Despised the Athenian maide:
And here the maiden, sleeping sound,
On the danke and dirty ground.
Pretty sowle, she durst not lye,
Neere this lack-loue, this kil-curtesie.
Churle, vpon thy eyes I throwe
All the power this charme doth owe:
When thou wak'st, let loue forbidde
Sleepe, his seat, on thy eye lidde.
So awake, when I am gon:
For I must now to Oberon.
Exit.
Enter Demetrius and Helena running.
Hel.
Stay; though thou kill mee, sweete Demetrius.
De.
I charge thee hence, and doe not haunt mee thus
Hele.
O, wilt thou darkling leaue me? doe not so.
De.
Stay, on thy perill: I alone will goe.
Hel.
O, I am out of breath, in this fond chase,
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Happie 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 beastes that meete mee, runne away, for feare.
Therefore, no maruaile, though Demetrius
Doe, as a monster, fly my presence, thus.
[Page]What wicked and dissembling glasse, of mine,
Made me compare with Hermias sphery eyen!
But, who is here? Lysander, on the ground?
Dead, or a sleepe? I see no blood, no wound,
Lysander, if you liue, good sir awake.
Lys.
And runne through fire, I will for thy sweete sake.
Transparent Helena, nature shewes arte,
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 sworde!
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 doe repent
The tedious minutes, I with her haue spent.
Not Hermia, but Helena I loue.
VVho will not change a Rauen for a doue?
The will of man is by his reason swai'd:
And reason saies you are the worthier maide.
Things growing are not ripe, vntill their season:
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason.
And touching now, the point of humane skill,
Reason becomes the Marshall to my will,
And leads mee 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, young 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 doe mee wrong (good sooth you doe)
In such disdainfull manner, mee to wooe.
But, fare you well: perforce, I must confesse,
I thought you Lord of more true gentlenesse.
[Page]O, that a Ladie, of one man refus'd,
Should, of another, therefore be abus'd!
Exit.
Lys.
She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleepe thou there,
And neuer maist thou come Lysander neere.
For, as a surfet of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing, to the stomacke bringes:
Or, as the heresies, that men doe leaue,
Are hated most of those they did deceiue:
So thou, my surfet, and my heresie,
Of all bee hated; but the most, of mee:
And all my powers addresse your loue and might,
To honour Helen, and to be her knight.
Exit.
Her.
Helpe mee Lysander, helpe mee: do thy best
To pluck this crawling serpent, from my brest,
Ay mee, for pittie. What a dreame was here?
Lysander looke, how I doe quake with feare.
Me thought, a serpent eate my heart away,
And you sate smiling at his cruell pray.
Lysander what, remou'd? Lysander, Lord,
What, out of hearing, gon? No sound, no word?
Alacke where are you? Speake, and if you heare:
Speake, of all loues. I swoune almost with feare.
No, then I well perceiue, you are not ny:
Either death, or you, Ile finde immediately.
Exit.
Enter the Clownes.
Bott.

Are wee all met?

Quin.

Pat, pat: and heres a maruailes conuenient place, for our rehearsall. This greene plot shall be our stage, this hauthorne brake our tyring house, and wee will doe it in action, as wee will doe it before the Duke.

Bott.

Peeter Quince?

Quin.

What saiest thou, bully, Bottom?

Bot.

There are things in this Comedy, of Pyramus and Thisby, that will neuer please. First, Pyramus must draw a sworde, to kill himselfe; which the Ladies cannot abide. [Page] How answere you that?

Snout.

Berlakin, a parlous feare.

Star.

I beleeue, we must leaue the killing, out, when all is done.

Bott.

Not a whit: I haue a deuise to make all well. Write me a Prologue, and let the Prologue seeme to say; we wil do no harme, with our swords, and that Pyramus is not kild indeede: and for the more better assurance, tel them, that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weauer: this will put them out of feare.

Quin.

Well: wee will haue such a Prologue, and it shall be written in eight and six.

Bot.

No: make it two more: let it be written in eight & eight.

Snout.

Will not the ladies be afeard of the Lyon?

Star.

I feare it, I promise you.

Bot.

Masters, you ought to consider with your selfe, to bring in (God shielde vs) a Lyon among Ladies, is a most dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull wilde foule then your Lyon liuing: & we ought to looke toote.

Sno.

Therfore, another Prologue must tel, he is not a Lion.

Bot.

Nay: you must name his name, and halfe his face must be seene through the Lions 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 wold intreat you, not to feare, not to trēble: my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither as a Lyon, it were pittie of my life. No: I am no such thing: I am a man as other men are: & there indeed, let him name his name, and tell them plainely he is Snugge, the Ioyner.

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, Pyramus and Thisby meete by Moone-light.

Sn.

Doth the Moone shine, that night, we play our Play?

Bo.
[Page]

A Calender, a Calender: looke in the Almanack: finde out Moone-shine, finde out Moone-shine.

Quin.

Yes: it doth shine that night.

Cet.

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 els, one must come in, with a bush of thorns, & a lātern, and say he comes to disfigure, or to present the person of Moone-shine. Then, there is another thing; we must haue a wal in the great chāber: for Pyramus & This­by (saies the story) did talke through the chinke of a wall.

Sno.

You can neuer bring in a wal. What say you Bottom?

Bot.

Some man or other must present wall: and let him haue some plaster, or som lome, or some rough cast, about him, to signifie wall; or let him holde his fingers thus: and through that crany, shall Pyramus and Thisby whis­per.

Quin.

If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit downe e­uery mothers sonne, and reherse your parts. Pyramus, you beginne: when you haue spoken your speech, enter into that Brake, and so euery one according to his cue.

Enter Robin.
Ro.
What hempen homespunnes haue we swagging here,
So neere the Cradle of the Fairy Queene?
What, a play toward? Ile be an Auditor,
An Actor to perhappes, If I see cause.
Quin.
Speake Pyramus: Thysby stand forth.
Pyra.
Thisby the flowers of odious sauours sweete.
Quin.
Odours, odorous.
Py.
Odours sauours sweete.
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby deare.
But harke, a voice: stay thou but heere a while,
And by and by I will to thee appeare.
Exit.
Quin.
A stranger Pyramus, then ere played heere.
Thys.
Must I speake now?
Quin.
[Page]
I marry must you. For you must vnderstād, he goes but to see a noyse, that he heard, and is to come againe.
Thys.
Most radiant Pyramus, most lillie white of hewe,
Of colour like the redrose, on triumphant bryer,
Most brisky Iuuenall, and eeke most louely Iewe,
As true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre,
Ile meete thee Pyramus, at Ninnies toumbe.
Quin.
Ninus toumbe, man. Why? you must not speake
That yet. That you answere to Pyramus. You speake
Al your part at once, cues, and, all. Pyramus, enter: your cue is past: It is; neuer tire.
Thys.
O, as true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre.
Py.
If I were faire, Thysby, I were onely thine.
Quin.
O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray ma­sters: fly masters: helpe.
Rob.
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 headelesse Beare, sometime a fier,
And neigh, and barke, and grunt, and rore, and burne,
Like horse, hound, hogge, beare, fire, at euery turne.
Exit.
Bott.
Why doe they runne away? This is a knauery of them to make mee afeard.
Enter Snowte.
Sn.
O Bottom, thou art chaung'd. What do I see on thee?
Bot.
What doe you see? You see an Asse head of your owne. Do you?
Enter Quince.
Quin.
Blesse thee Bottom, blesse thee. Thou art trāslated.
Exit.
Bot.
I see their knauery. This is to make an asse of mee, to fright me, if they could: but I wil not stirre from this place, do what they can. I will walke vp and downe heere, and I will sing, that they shall heare I am not afraide.
The Woosell cock, so blacke of hewe,
With Orange tawny bill,
[Page]The Throstle, with his note so true,
The Wren, with little quill.
Tytania.
What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?
Bot.
The Fynch, the Sparrowe, 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 birde?
Who would giue a bird the ly, though hee cry Cuckow, neuer so?
Tita.
I pray thee, gentle mortall, sing againe.
Myne eare is much enamoured of thy note:
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape,
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth mooue mee,
On the first viewe to say, to sweare, I loue thee.
Bott.

Mee thinks mistresse, you should haue little reason for that. And yet, to say the truth, reason and loue keepe little company together, now a daies. The more the pitty, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay I can gleeke, vpon occasion.

Tyta.

Thou art as wise, as thou art beautifull.

Bott.

Not so neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I haue enough to serue mine owe turne.

Tyta.
Out of this wood, doe not desire to goe:
Thou shalt remaine here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit, of no common rate:
The Sommer, still, doth tend vpon my state,
And I doe loue thee: therefore goe with mee.
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 ayery spirit, goe.
Pease-blossome, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustard-seede?
Enter foure Fairyes.
Fairies.
[Page]
Readie: and I, and I, and I. Where shall we goe?
Tita.
Be kinde and curteous to this gentleman,
Hop in his walkes, and gambole in his eyes,
Feede him with Apricocks, and Dewberries,
With purple Grapes, greene figges, and Mulberries,
The hony bagges steale from the humble Bees,
And for night tapers, croppe their waxen thighes,
And light them at the fiery Glowe-wormes eyes,
To haue my loue to bedde, and to arise,
And pluck the wings, from painted Butterflies,
To fanne the Moone-beames from his sleeping eyes,
Nod to him Elues, and doe him curtesies.
1. Fai.
Haile mortall, haile.
2. Fai.
Haile.
3. Fai.
Haile.
Bot.

I cry your worships mercy, hartily: I beseech your worshippes name.

Cob.

Cobwebbe.

Bot.

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

Pea.

Pease-blossome.

Bot.

I pray you commend mee to mistresse Squash, your mother, and to master Peascod, your father. Good master Pease-blossome, I shall desire you of more acquaintance, to. Your name I beseech you sir?

Must.

Mustardseede.

Bot.

Good master Mustardseede, I know your patience woll. That same cowardly, gyantlike, Ox-beefe hath de­uourd 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 Mustardseede.

Tita.
Come waite vpon him: leade him to my bower.
The Moone, me thinkes, lookes with a watry eye:
And when shee weepes, weepes euery little flower,
[Page]Lamenting some enforced chastitie.
Ty vp my louers tongue, bring him silently.
Exit.
Enter King of Fairies, and Robin goodfellow.
Ob.
I wonder if Titania be awak't;
Then what it was, that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on, in extreamitie.
Here comes my messenger. How now, mad spirit?
What night rule now about this haunted groue?
Puck.
My mistresse 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 stalles,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus nuptiall day:
The shallowest thickskinne, of that barraine sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport,
Forsooke his Scene, and entred in a brake,
VVhen I did him at this aduantage take:
An Asses nole I fixed on his head.
Anon his Thisbie must be answered,
And forth my Minnick comes. When they him spy;
As wilde geese, that the creeping Fouler eye,
Or russet pated choughes, many in sort
(Rysing, and cawing, at the gunnes report)
Seuer themselues, and madly sweepe the sky:
So, at his sight, away his fellowes fly,
And at our stampe, here ore and ore, one falles:
He murther cryes, and helpe from Athens cals.
Their sense, thus weake, lost with their feares, thus strong,
Made senselesse things begin to doe them wrong.
For, briers 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 Pyramus translated there:
[Page]When in that moment (so it came to passe)
Tytania wak't, and straight way lou'd an Asse.
Ob.
This falles out better, then I could deuise.
But hast thou yet latcht the Athenians eyes,
With the loue iuice, as I did 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 ey'd.
Enter Demetrius and Hermia.
Ob.
Stand close: this is the same Athenian.
Rob.
This is the woman: but not this the man.
Demet.
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 staine Lysander, in his sleepe;
Being ore shooes in blood, plunge in the deepe, & kill mee to.
The Sunne was not so true vnto the day,
As hee to mee. Would hee haue stollen away,
Frow sleeping Hermia? Ile beleeue, as soone,
This whole earth may be bor'd, 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 grimme.
Dem.
So should the murthered looke, and so should I,
Pearst through the heart, with your sterne cruelty.
Yet you, the murtherer, looke as bright, as cleere,
As yonder Venus, in her glimmering spheare.
Her.
Whats this to my Lysander? Where is hee?
Ah good Demetrius, wilt thou giue him mee?
Deme.
I had rather giue his carcasse to my hounds.
Her.
Out dog, out curre: thou driu'st me past the bounds
Of maidens patience. Hast thou slaine him then?
Henceforth be neuer numbred among men.
[Page]O, once tell true: tell true, euen for my sake:
Durst thou haue lookt vpon him, being awake?
And hast thou kild him, sleeping? O braue tutch!
Could not a worme, an Adder do so much?
An Adder did it: For with doubler tongue
Then thyne (thou serpent) neuer Adder stung.
Deme.
You spende your passion, on a mispris'd mood:
I am not guilty of Lysanders bloode:
Nor is he deade, for ought that I can tell.
Her.
I pray thee, tell mee then, that he is well.
De.
And if I could, what should I get therefore?
Her.
A priuiledge, neuer to see mee more:
And from thy hated presence part I: see me no more;
Whether he be dead or no.
Exit.
Deme.
There is no following her in this fierce vaine.
Heere therefore, for a while, I will remaine.
So sorrowes heauinesse doth heauier growe.
For debt that bankrout flippe doth sorrow owe:
Which now in some slight measure it will pay;
If for his tender here I make some stay.
Ly doune.
Ob.
What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the loue iuice on some true loues sight.
Of thy misprision, must perforce ensue
Some true loue turnd, and not a false turnd true.
Robi.
Then fate orerules, 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 blood deare.
By some illusion see thou bring her here:
Ile charme his eyes, against she doe appeare.
Robin.
I goe, I goe, looke how I goe.
Swifter then arrow, from the Tartars bowe.
Ob.
Flower of this purple dy,
[Page]Hit with Cupids archery,
Sinke in apple of his eye,
When his loue he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wak'st, if she be by,
Begge of her, for remedy.
Enter Puck.
Puck.
Captaine of our Fairy band,
Helena is heere at hande,
And the youth, mistooke by mee,
Pleading for a louers fee.
Shall wee their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fooles these mortals bee!
Ob.
Stand aside. The noyse, they make,
Will cause Demetrius to awake▪
Pu.
Then will two, at once, wooe one:
That must needes be sport alone.
And those things do best please mee,
That befall prepost'rously.
Enter Lysander, and Helena.
Lys.
Why should you think, that I should wooe in scorne?
Scorne, and derision, neuer come in teares.
Looke when I vow, I weepe: and vowes so borne,
In their natiuitie all truth appeares▪
How can these things, in mee, seeme scorne to you?
Bearing the badge of faith to prooue them true▪
Hel.
You doe aduance your cunning, more, and more,
When trueth killes truth, ô diuelish holy fray!
These vowes are Hermias. Will you giue her ore?
Weigh oath, with oath, and you will nothing waigh.
Your vowes to her, and mee (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.
[Page]
Demetrius loues her: and he loues not you.
Deme.
O Helen, goddesse, nymph, perfect diuine,
To what, my loue, shall I compare thine eyne!
Christall is muddy. O, how ripe, in showe,
Thy lippes, those kissing cherries, tempting growe!
That pure coniealed white, high Taurus snow,
Fand with the Easterne winde, turnes to a crowe,
When thou holdst vp thy hand. O, let me kisse
This Princesse of pure white, this seale of blisse▪
Hel.
O spight! O hell! I see, you all are bent
To set against mee, for your merriment▪
If you were ciuill, and knew curtesie,
You would not doe mee thus much iniury.
Can you not hate mee, as I know you doe,
But you must ioyne, in soules, to mocke mee to?
If you were men, as men you are in showe,
You would not vse a gentle Lady so;
To vowe, and sweare, and super praise my parts,
When I am sure, you hate mee with your hearts.
You both are Riuals, and loue Hermia:
And now both Riualles, to mock Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To coniure teares vp, in a poore maides eyes,
With your derision None, of noble sort,
Would so offend a virgine, and extort
A poore soules patience, all to make you sport.
Lysand,
You are vnkinde, Demetrius:: be not so.
For you loue Hermia: this you know I know.
And heare, with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermias loue I yeelde you vp my part:
And yours of Helena, to mee bequeath:
Whom I doe loue, and will do till my death.
Hel.
Neuer did mockers waste more idle breath.
Deme.
Lysander, keepe thy Hermia: I will none.
If ere I lou'd her, all that loue is gone.
[Page]My heart to her, but as guestwise, soiournd:
And now to Helen, is it home returnd,
There to remaine.
Lys.
Helen, it is not so.
Deme.
Disparage not the faith, thou dost not know;
Least to thy perill, thou aby it deare.
Looke where thy loue comes: yonder is thy deare.
Enter Hermia.
Her.
Darke night, that from the eye, his function takes,
The eare more quicke of apprehension makes.
Wherein it doth impaire the seeing sense,
It payes the hearing double recompence.
Thou art not, by myne eye, Lysander, found:
Mine eare, I thanke it, brought me to thy sound.
But why, vnkindly, didst thou leaue mee so?
Lys.
Why should he 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 fiery oes, and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? Could not this make thee know,
The hate I bare thee, made mee leaue thee so?
Her.
You speake not as you thinke: It cannot bee.
Hel.
Lo: she is one of this confederacy.
Now I perceiue, they haue conioynd all three,
To fashion this false sport, in spight of mee.
Iniurious Hermia, most vngratefull maide,
Haue you conspir'd, haue you with these contriu'd
To baite mee, with this foule derision?
Is all the counsell that we two haue shar'd,
The sisters vowes, the howers that we haue spent,
When we haue chid the hastie footed time,
For parting vs; O, is all forgot?
All schooldaies friendshippe, childhood innocence?
VVee, Hermia, like two artificiall gods,
[Page]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, voyces, and mindes
Had bin incorporate. So wee grewe together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted;
But yet an vnion in partition,
Two louely berries moulded on one stemme:
So with two seeming bodies, but one heart,
Two of the first life coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one creast.
And will you rent our auncient loue asunder,
To ioyne with men, in scorning your poore friend?
It is not friendly, tis not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it;
Though I alone doe fele the iniury.
Her.
I am amazed at your words:
I scorne you not. It seemes that you scorne mee,
Hel.
Haue you not set Lysander, as in scorne,
To follow mee, and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other loue, Demetrius
(Who euen but now did spurne mee with his foote)
To call mee goddesse, nymph, diuine, and rare,
Pretious celestiall? VVherefore speakes he this,
To her he hates? And wherfore doth Lysander
Deny your loue (so rich within his soule)
And tender mee (forsooth) affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent?
VVhat, 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, counterfait sad lookes:
Make mouthes vpon mee, when I turne my back:
[Page]Winke each at other, holde the sweeete ieast vp▪
This sport well carried, shall bee chronicled.
If you haue any pitty, grace, or manners,
You would not make mee such an argument.
But fare ye well: tis partly my owne fault:
Which death, or absence soone shall remedy.
Lys.
Stay, gentle Helena: heare my excuse,
My loue, my life, my soule, faire Helena.
Hel.
O excellent!
Herm.
Sweete, doe not scorne her so.
Dem.
If she cannot entreat, I can compell.
Lys.
Thou canst compell no more, then she intreat.
Thy threats haue no more strength then her weake praise.
Helen, I loue thee, by my life I doe:
I sweare by that which I will loose for thee;
To prooue him false, that saies I loue thee not.
Dem.
I say, I loue thee more then he can do.
Lys.
If thou say so, withdrawe, and prooue it to.
Dem.
Quick come.
Her.
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys.
Away, you Ethiop.
Dem.
No, no: heele
Seeme to breake loose: take on as you would follow;
But yet come not. You are a tame man, go.
Lys.
Hang of thou cat, thou bur: vile thing let loose;
Or I will shake thee from mee, 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 medcine: ô hated potion hence.
Her.
Doe you not ieast?
Hel.
Yes sooth: and so doe 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.
[Page]
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 mee, 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 mee; yet since night, you left mee,
Why then, you left mee (ô the gods forbid)
In earnest, shall I say?
Lys.
I, by my life:
And neuer did desire to see thee more.
Thefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt:
Be certaine: nothing truer: tis no ieast,
That I doe hate thee, and loue Helena.
Her.
O mee, you iuggler, you canker blossome,
You theefe of loue: what, haue you come by night,
And stolne my loues heart, from him?
Hel.
Fine, I faith.
Haue you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulnesse? What, will you teare
Impatient answeres, from my gentle tongue?
Fy, fy, you counterfait, 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 preuaild with him.
And are you growne so high in his esteeme,
Because I am so dwarfish and so lowe?
How lowe am I, thou painted May-pole? Speake:
How lowe am I? I am not yet so lowe,
But that my nailes can reach vnto thine eyes.
Hel.
I pray you, though you mocke me, gentleman,
Let her not hurt me, I was neuer curst:
I haue no gift at all in shrewishnesse:
[Page]I am a right maid, for my cowardize:
Let her not strike mee. 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 mee,
I euermore did loue you Hermia,
Did euer keepe your counsels, neuer wrongd you▪
Saue that in loue, vnto Demetrius,
I tould him of your stealth vnto this wood.
He followed you: for loue, I followed him.
But he hath chid me hence, and threatned mee
To strike mee, spurne mee; nay to kill mee to.
And now, so you will let me quiet goe,
To Athens will I beare my folly backe,
And follow you no further. Let me goe.
You see how simple, and how fond I am.
Herm.
Why? get you gon. Who ist that hinders you?
Hel.
A foolish heart, that I leaue here behind.
Her.
What, with Lysander?
Hel.
With Demetrius.
Lys.
Be not afraid: she shall not harme thee Helena
Deme.
No sir: she shall not, though you take her part.
Hel.
O, when she is 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 hut low and little?
Why will you suffer her to floute me thus?
Let me come to her.
Lys.
Get you gon, you dwarfe;
You minimus, of hindring knot grasse, made;
You bead, you acorne.
Deme▪
You are too officious,
In her behalfe, that scornes your seruices.
Let her alone: speake not of Helena,
[Page]Take not her part. For if thou dost intend
Neuer so little shewe of loue to her,
Thou shalt aby it.
Lys.
Now she holdes me not:
Now follow, if thou dat'st, to try whose right,
Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Deme.
Follow? Nay: Ile go with thee, cheeke by iowle,
Her.
You, mistresse, all this coyle is long of you.
Nay: goe not backe.
Hel.
I will not trust you, I,
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray:
My legges are longer though, to runne away.
Her.
I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.
Exeunt.
Ob.
This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,
Or else commitst thy knaueries wilfully.
Puck.
Beleeue mee, king of shadowes, I mistooke.
Did not you tell mee, I should know the man,
By the Athenian garments, he had on?
And, so farr eblamelesse prooues my enterprise,
That I haue nointed an Athenians eyes:
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:
Hy therefore Robin, ouercast the night,
The starry welkin couer thou anon,
With drooping fogge as blacke as Acheron,
And lead these teasty 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 lead them thus;
Till ore their browes, death-counterfaiting, sleepe,
With leaden legs, and Batty wings doth creepe▪
[Page]Then crush this hearbe into Lysanders eye;
Whose liquor hath this vertuous property,
To take from thence all errour, with his might,
And make his eyebals roule with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seeme a dreame, and fruitelesse vision.
And backe to Athens shall the louers wend,
With league, whose date, till death shall neuer end.
Whiles I, in this affaire, doe thee imploy,
Ile to my Queene and beg her Indian boy:
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monsters viewe, and all things shall be peace.
Puck.
My Faiery Lord, this must be done with haste.
For nights swift Dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Auroras harbinger:
At whose approach, Ghosts, wandring here and there,
Troope home to Churchyards: damned spirits all,
That in crosse waies and floods haue buriall,
Already to their wormy beds are gone:
For feare least day should looke their shames vpon,
They wilfully themselues exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black browed night.
Ober.
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 fiery red,
Opening on Neptune, with faire blessed beames,
Turnes, into yellow golde, his salt greene streames.
But notwithstanding, haste, make no delay:
We may effect this businesse, yet ere day.
Pu.
Vp & down, vp & down, I will lead them vp & down:
I am feard in field & town. Goblin, lead them vp & downe.
Here comes one.
Enter Lysander.
Lys.
Where art thou, proud Demetrius? Speak thou now.
Rob.
Here villaine, drawne & ready. Where art thou?
Lys.
[Page]
I will be with thee straight.
Rob.
Follow me then to plainer ground.
Enter Demetrius.
Deme.
Lysander, speake againe.
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
Speake in some bush. Where doest thou hide thy head?
Rob.
Thou coward art thou bragging, to the starres,
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for warres,
And wilt not come? Come recreant, come thou childe,
Ile whippe thee with a rodde. He is defil'd,
That drawes a sword on thee.
De.
Yea, art thou there?
Ro.
Follow my voice: weele try no manhood here.
Exeūt.
Lys.
He goes before me, and still dares me on:
When I come where he calles, then he is gon.
The villaine is much lighter heel'd then I;
I followed fast: but faster he did fly;
That fallen am I in darke vneauen way,
And here will rest me. Come thou gentle day.
For if but once, thou shewe me thy gray light,
Ile finde Demetrius, and reuenge this spight.
Robin, and Demetrius.
Robi.
Ho, ho, ho: Coward, why comst thou not▪
Deme.
Abide me, if thou dar'st. For well I wot,
Thou runst before mee, shifting euery place,
And dar'st not stand, nor looke me in the face.
Where art thou now?
Rob.
Come hither: I am here.
De.
Nay then thou mockst me. Thou shat buy this dear,
If euer I thy face by day light see.
Now, goe thy way. Faintnesse constraineth mee,
To measure, out my length, on this cold bed:
By daies approach looke to be visited.
Enter Helena.
Hele.
O weary night, O long and tedious night,
[Page]Abate thy houres, shine comforts, from the east;
That I may backe to Athens, by day light,
From these that my poore company detest:
And sleepe, that sometimes shuts vp sorrowes eye,
Steale mee a while from mine owne companie.
Sleepe.
Rob
Yet but three? Come one more.
Two of both kindes makes vp fower.
Heare shee comes, curst and ladde.
Cupid is a knauish ladde,
Thus to make poore females madde.
Her.
Neuer so weary, neuer so in woe,
Be dabbled with the deaw, and torne with briers:
I can no further crawle, no further goe:
My legges can keepe no pase with my desires.
Here will I rest mee, till the breake of day:
Heauens shielde Lysander, if they meane a fray.
Rob.
On the ground, sleepe sound:
Ile apply your eye, gentle louer, remedy.
When thou wak'st, thou tak'st
True delight, in the sight, of thy former ladies eye:
And the country pouerbe knowne,
That euery man should take his owne,
In your waking shall be showen.
Iacke shall haue Iill: nought shall goe ill:
The man shall haue his mare again, & all shall be well.
Enter Queene of Faieries, and Clowne, and Faieries. and the king behinde them.
Tita.
Come sit thee downe vpon this flowry bed,
While I thy amiable cheekes doe coy,
And stick musk roses in thy sleeke smooth head,
And kisse thy faire large eares, my gentle ioy.
Clown.
Where's Pease-blossome?
Pea.
Ready.
Clow.
Scratch my heade, Pease-blossome. Wher's Moun­sieur Cobweb?
Cob.
Ready.
Clo.
[Page]

Mounsieur Cobweb, good Mounsieur, get you your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red hipt Humble Bee, on the toppe of a thistle: and good Mounsieur, bring mee the hony bagge. Doe not fret your selfe too much, in the action, Mounsieur: and good Mounsieur haue a care, the honybagge breake not, I wold be loath to haue you ouer­flowen with a hombag signior. Where's Mounsieur Mus­tardseede?

Must.

Readie.

Clo.

Giue me your neafe, Mounsieur Mustardseede ▪ Pray you, leaue your curtsie, good Mounsieur.

Must.

what's your will?

Clo.

Nothing good Mounsieur, but to helpe Caualery Cobwebbe, to scratch▪ I must to the Barbers, Mounsieur. For me thinkes I am maruailes hairy about the face. And I am such a tender Asse, if my haire doe but tickle mee, I must scratch.

Tita.

What, wilt thou heare some musique, my sweete loue?

Clo.

I haue a reasonable good eare in musique. Lets haue the tongs, and the bones.

Tyta.

Or, say sweete loue, what thou desirest to eate.

Clo.

Truely a pecke of prouander. I could mounch your good dry Oates. Me thinkes, I haue a great desire to a bot­tle of hay. Good hay, sweete hay hath no fellow.

Ty.

I haue a venturous Fairy, that shall seeke the Squirils hoord, And fetch thee newe nuts.

Clo.

I had rather haue a handfull, or two of dryed pease▪ But, I pray you▪ let none of your people stirre me: I haue an exposition of sleepe come vpon mee.

Tyta.
Sleepe thou, and I will winde thee in my armes.
Faieries be gon, and be alwaies away.
So doth the woodbine, the sweete Honisuckle,
Gently entwist: the female luy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the Elme.
[Page]O how I loue thee! how I dote on thee!
Enter Robin goodfellow.
Ob.
Welcome good Robin. Seest thou this sweete sight?
Her dotage now I doe beginne to pittie.
For meeting her of late, behinde the wood,
Seeking sweete fauours for this hatefull foole,
I did vpbraid her, and fall out with her.
For she his hairy temples then had rounded,
With coronet offresh and fragrant flowers.
And that same deawe which sometime on the buddes,
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearles;
Stood now within the pretty flouriets eyes,
Like teares, that did their owne disgrace be waile.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in milde tearmes, begd my patience,
I then did aske of her, her changeling childe:
Which straight she gaue mee, and her Fairy sent
To beare him, to my bower, in Fairie land.
And now I haue the boy, I will vndoe
This hatefull imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalpe,
From of the heade of this Athenian swaine;
That hee, awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens backe againe repaire,
And thinke no more of this nights accidents,
But as the fearce vexation of a dreame.
But first I will release the Fairy Queene.
Be, as thou wast wont to bee:
See, as thou wast wont to see.
Dians budde, or Cupids flower,
Hath such force, and blessed power.
Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweete Queene.
Tita.
My Oberon, what visions haue I seene!
Me thought I was enamourd of an Asse.
Ob.
There lyes your loue.
Tita.
[Page]
How came these things to passe?
O, how mine eyes doe loath his visage now!
Ob.
Silence a while. Robin, take off this head:
Titania, musicke call, and strike more dead
Then common sleepe: of all these, fine the sense.
Ti.
Musick, howe musick: such as charmeth sleepe.
Rob.
Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own fools eyes peepe.
Ob.
Sound Musick: come, my queen, take hands with me,
And rocke the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now, thou and I are new in amitie,
And will to morrow midnight, solemnely
Daunce, in Duke Theseus house triumphantly,
And blesse it to all faire prosperitie.
There shall the paires of faithfull louers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in iollitie.
Rob.
Fairy King, attend, and marke:
I do heare the morning Larke.
Ob.
Then my Queene, in silence sad,
Trippe we after nights shade:
We, the Globe, can compasse soone,
Swifter then the wandring Moone.
Tita.
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.
Exeunt.
Enter Theseus and all his traine.
VVinde horne.
The.
Goe one of you, finde out the forrester:
For now our obseruation is performde.
And since we haue the vaward of the day,
My loue shall heare the musicke of my hounds.
Vncouple, in the westerne vallie, let them goe:
Dispatch I say, and finde the forrester.
Wee will, faire Queene, vp to the mountainestoppe,
And marke the musicall confusion
Of hounds and Echo in coniunction.
Hip.
[Page]
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 skyes, the fountaines, euery region neare
Seeme all one mutuall cry. I neuer heard
So musicall a discord, such sweete thunder.
Thes.
My hounds are bred out of the Spartane kinde:
So flew'd, so sanded: and their heads are hung
VVith eares, that sweepe away the morning deawe,
Crooke kneed, and deawlapt, like Thessalian Buls:
Slowe in pursuit; but matcht in mouth like bels,
Each vnder each. A cry more tunable
Was neuer hollowd to, nor cheerd with horne,
In Creete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.
Iudge when you heare. But soft. What nymphes are these?
Egeus.
My Lord, this my daughter heere a sleepe,
And this Lysander, this Demetrius is,
This Helena, old Nedars Helena.
I wonder of their being here together.
The.
No doubt, they rose vp earely, to obserue
The right of May: and hearing our intent,
Came heere, in grace of our solemnitie.
But speake, Egeus, is not this the day,
That Hermia should giue answer of her choyce?
Egeus.
It is, my Lord.
These.
Goe, bid the huntsinen wake them with their hornes.
Shoute within: they all start vp. Winde hornes.
The.
Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past.
Begin these wood birds but to couple, now?
Lys.
Pardon, my Lord.
The.
I pray you all, stand vp.
I know, you two are Riuall enemies.
How comes this gentle concord in the worlde,
That hatred is so farre from iealousie,
[Page]To sleepe by hate, and feare no enmitie,
Lys.
My Lord, I shal reply amazedly,
Halfe sleepe, halfe waking, But, as yet, I sweare,
I cannot truely say how I came here.
But as I thinke (for truely would I speake)
And now I doe bethinke mee, so it is;
I came with Hermia, hither. Our intent
Was to be gon from Athens: where we might
Without the perill of the Athenian lawe,
Ege.
Enough, enough my Lord: you haue enough.
I begge the law, the law, vpon his head:
They would haue stolne away, they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to haue defeated you and me:
You of your wife, and mee, of my consent:
Of my consent, that she should be your wife.
Deme.
My Lord, faire Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood,
And I in fury hither followed them;
Faire Helena, in fancy following mee.
But my good Lord, I wote not by what power
(But by some power it is) my loue,
To Hermia (melted as the snowe)
Seemes to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaude,
Which in my childehoode I did dote 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 betrothed, ere I see Hermia:
But, like a sicknesse, did I loath this foode.
But, as in health, come to my naturall taste,
Now I doe wish it, loue it, long for it,
And will for euermore be true to it.
The.
Faire louers, you are fortunately met,
Of this discourse, we more will here anon▪
Egeus,
[Page]
I will ouerbeare your will:
For in the Temple, by and by, with vs,
These couples shall eternally be knit.
And, for the morning now is somthing worne,
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.
Away, with vs, to Athens. Three and three,
Weele holde a feast, in great solemnitie. Come Hyppolita.
Deme▪
These things seeme small and 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 mee thinkes:
And I haue fonnd Demetrius, like a iewell,
Mine owne, and not mine owne.
Dem.
Are you sure
That we are awake? It seemes to me,
That yet we sleepe, we dreame. Do not you thinke,
The Duke was here, and bid vs follow him?
Her.
Yea, and my father.
Hel.
And Hyppolita.
Lys.
And he did bid vs follow to the Temple.
Dem.

Why then, we are awake: lets follow him, and by the way lets recount our dreames.

Clo.

When my cue comes, call mee, and I will answere. My next is, most faire Pyramus. Hey ho. Peeter Quince? Flute, the bellowes mender? Snout the tinker? Starueling? Gods my life! Stolne hence, and left mee a sleepe? I haue had a most rare vision. I haue had a dreame, past the wit of man, to say; what dreame it was. Man is but an Asse, if hee goe about 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 patcht a foole, If hee will offer to say, what mee thought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the eare of man hath not seene, [...]ns [Page] hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceiue, nor his hearte to report, what my dreame was, I will get Pe­ter Quince to write a Ballet of this dreame: it shall be call'd Bottoms 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 gratious, I shall sing it at her death.

Enter Quince, Flute, Thisby and the rabble.
Quin.

Haue you sent to Bottoms house? Is he come home, yet?

Flut.

Hee cannot be heard of▪ Out of doubt he is trans­ported.

Thys.

If hee come not, then the Play is mard. It goes not forward. Doth it?

Quin.

It is not possible. You haue not a man, in all A­thens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he.

Thys.

No, hee hath simply the best wit of any handy­craft man in Athens.

Quin.

Yea, and the best person to, and hee is a very Paramour, for a sweete voice.

Thys.

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 and Ladies more married. If our sport had gon forward, wee had all beene made men.

Thys.

O sweete bully Bottome. Thus hath hee lost six pence a day, during his life: hee coulde not haue scaped sixe pence a day. And the Duke had not giuen him six pence a day, for playing Pyramus, Ile be hanged. He would haue deserued it. Six pence a day, in Pyramus, [Page] or nothing.

Enter Bottom.
Bot.

Where are these lads? Where are these harts?

Quin,

Bottom, ô most couragious day! O most happy houre!

Bott.

Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but aske me not what. For if I tell you, I am not true Athenian. I will tell you euery thing right as it fell out.

Quin.

Let vs heare, sweete Bottom.

Bot.

Not a word of mee. All that I will tell you, is, that the Duke hath dined. Get your apparrell together, good strings to your beardes, new ribands to your pumpes, meete presently at the palace, euery man looke ore his part. For, the short and the long is, our play is preferd. In any case let Thisby haue cleane linnen: and let not him, that plaies the Lyon, pare his nailes: for they shall hang out for the Lyons clawes. And most deare Actors, eate no O­nions, nor garlicke▪ for we are to vtter sweete breath: and I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweete Comedy. No more wordes▪ Away, go away.

Enter Theseus, Hyppolita, and Philostrate.
Hip.
Tis strange, my Theseus, that these louers speake of,
The.
More straunge then true. I neuer may beleeue
These antique 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 lunatick,
The louer, and the Poet are of imagination all compact.
One sees more diuels, then vast hell can holde:
That is the mad man. The louer, all as frantick,
Sees Helens beauty in a brow of Aegypt.
The Poets eye, in a fine frenzy, rolling, doth glance
From heauen to earth, from earth to heauen. And as
Imagination bodies forth the formes of things
[Page]Vnknowne: the Poets penne turnes them to shapes,
And giues to ayery nothing, a locall habitation,
And a name. Such trickes 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,
How easie is a bush suppos'd a Beare?
Hyp.
But, all the story of the night told ouer,
And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
More witnesseth than fancies images,
And growes to something of great constancy:
But howsouer, strange and admirable.
Enter Louers; Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and Helena.
The.
Here come the louers, full of ioy and mirth.
Ioy, gentle friends, ioy and fresh daies
Of loue accompany your hearts.
Lys.
More then to vs, waite in your royall walkes, your boorde, your bedde.
The.
Come now: what maskes, what daunces shall wee haue,
To weare away this long age of three hours, betweene
Or after supper, & 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 hower? Call Philostrate.
Philostrate.
Here mighty Theseus.
The.
Say, what abridgement haue you for this euening?
What maske, what musicke? How shall we be guile
The lazy tyme, if not with some delight?
Philost.
There is a briefe, how many sports are ripe.
Make choyce, of which your Highnesse will see first.
The.
The battell with the Centaures to be sung,
By an Athenian Eunuche, to the Harpe?
Weele none of that, That haue I tolde my loue,
in glory of my kinsman Hercules
The ryot of the tipsie Bachanals,
[Page]Tearing the Thracian singer, in their rage?
That is an olde deuise: and it was plaid,
When I from Thebes came last a conquerer.
The thrise three Muses, mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceast, in beggery?
That is some Satire keene and criticall,
Not sorting with a nuptiall ceremony.
A tedious briefe Scene of young Pyramus
And his loue Thisby; very tragicall mirth?
Merry, and tragicall? Tedious, and briefe? That is hot Ise,
And wōdrous strange snow. How shall we find the cōcord
Of this discord?
Philost.
A Play there is, my Lord, some ten words long;
Which is as briefe, 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 Pyramus,
Therein, doth kill himselfe. Which when I saw
Rehearst, I must confesse, made mine eyes water:
But more merry teares the passion of loud laughter
Neuer shed.
These.
What are they, that doe play it?
Phil.
Hard handed men, that worke in Athens here,
Which neuer labour'd in their minds till now:
And now haue toyled their vnbreathed memories,
With this same Play, against your nuptiall.
The.
And wee will heare it.
Phi.
No, my noble Lord, it is not for you. I haue heard
It ouer, and it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Vnlesse you can finde sport in their entents,
Extreamely stretcht, and cond with cruell paine,
To do you seruice.
The.
I will heare that play. For neuer any thing
Can be amisse, when simplenesse and duety tender it.
[Page]Goe bring them in, and take your places, Ladies.
Hip.
I loue not to see wretchednesse orecharged;
And duety, in his seruice, perishing.
The.
Why, gentle sweete, you shall see no such thing.
Hip.
He sayes, they can doe nothing in this kinde.
The.
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 Clerkes 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 mee 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 rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Loue, therefore, and tong-tide simplicity,
In least, speake most, to my capacity.
Philost.
So please your Grace, the Prologue is addrest.
Duk.
Let him approach.
Enter the Prologue.
Pro.
If wee 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 doe not come, as minding to content you,
Our true intent is. All for your delight,
Wee are not here. That you should here repent you,
The Actors are at hand: and, by their showe,
You shall know all, that you are like to knowe▪
The.
[Page]
This fellow doth not stand vpon points.
Lys.
He hath rid his Prologue, like a rough Colte: hee knowes not the stoppe. A good morall my Lord. It is not enough to speake; but to speake true.
Hyp.
Indeed he hath plaid on this Prologue, like a child on a Recorder, a sound; but not in gouernement.
The.
His speach was like a tangled Chaine; nothing im­paired, but all disordered. Who is next?
Enter Pyramus, and Thisby, and Wall, and Moone­shine, and Lyon.
Prologue.
Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show.
But, wonder on, till truthe make all things plaine.
This man is Pyramus, if you would knowe:
This beautious Lady Thsby is certaine.
This man, with lyme and roughcast, doth present
Wall, that vile wall, which did these louers sunder:
And through wals chinke, poore soules, they are content
To whisper. At the which, let no man wonder.
This man, with lanterne, dogge, and bush of thorne,
Presenteth moone-shine. For if you will know,
By moone-shine did these louers thinke no scorne
To meete at Ninus tombe, there, there to wooe▪
This grizly beast (which Lyon hight by name)
The trusty Thysby, 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 Pyramus, sweete youth, and tall,
And findes his trusty Thisbyes mantle slaine:
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blamefull blade,
He brauely broacht his boyling bloody breast.
And Thisby, tarying in Mulberry shade,
His dagger drewe, and dyed. For all the rest,
Let Lyon, Moone-shine, Wall, and louers twaine,
At large discourse, while here they doe remaine,
The.
[Page]
I wonder, if the Lyon be to speake.
Demet.
No wonder, my Lord. One Lyon may, when many Asses doe.
Exit Lyon, Thysby, and Mooneshine.
Wall.
In this same enterlude it doth befall,
That I, one Flute (by name) present a wall:
And such a wall, as I would haue you thinke
That had in it a cranied hole or chinke:
Through which the louers, Pyramus, and Thisby,
Did whisper often, very secretly.
This lome, this rough cast, and this stone doth showe,
That I am that same wall: the truth is so.
And this the cranie is, right and sinister,
Through which the fearefull louers are to whisper.
The.
Would you desire lime and haire to speake better?
Deme.
It is the wittiest partition, that euer I heard dis­course, my Lord.
The.
Pyramus drawes neare the wall: silence.
Py.
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 Thisbyes promise is forgot.
And thou ô wall, ô sweete, ô louely wall,
That standst betweene her fathers ground and mine,
Thou wall, ô wall, O sweete and louely wall,
Showe mee thy chinke, to blink through, with mine eyne▪
Thankes curteous wall. Ioue shield thee well, for this.
But what see I? No Thisby doe I see.
O wicked wall, through whome I see no blisse,
Curst be thy stones, for thus deceiuing mee▪
The.
The wall mee thinkes, being sensible, should curse againe.
Pyr.
No, in truth Sir, he should not. Deceiuing mee is
Thisbyes cue: she is to enter now, and I am to spy
Her through the wall. You shall see it will fall
[Page]Pat as I told you: yonder she comes.
Enter Thisby.
This.
O wall, full often hast thou heard my mones,
For parting my faire Pyramus, and mee.
My cherry lips haue often kist thy stones;
Thy stones, with lime and hayire knit now againe.
Pyra.
I see a voice: now will I to the chinke,
To spy and I can heare my Thisbyes face▪ Thysby?
This.
My loue thou art, my loue I thinke.
Py.
Thinke what thou wilt, I am thy louers Grace:
And, like Limander, am I trusty still.
This.
And I, like Helen, till the fates me kill.
Pyra.
Not Shaefalus, to Procrus, was so true.
This.
As Shafalus to Procius, I to you.
Pyr.
O kisse mee, through the hole of this vilde wall.
This.
I kisse the walles hole; not your lips at all.
Pyr.
Wilt thou, at Ninnies tombe, meete me straight way?
Thy.
Tide life, tyde death, I come without delay.
Wal.
Thus haue I, Wall, my part discharged so;
And, being done, thus wall away doth goe.
Duk.
Now is the Moon vsed between the two neighbors.
Deme.
No remedy, my Lord, when wals are so wilfull, to heare without warning.
Dutch.
This is the silliest stuffe, that euer I heard.
Duke.
The best, in this kinde, are but shadowes: and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.
Dutch.
It must be your imagination, then; & not theirs.
Duke.
If we imagine no worse of them, then they of thē ­selues, they may passe for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts, in a man and a Lyon.
Enter Lyon, and Moone-shine.
Lyon.
You Ladies, you (whose gentle hearts do feare
The smallest monstrous mouse, that creepes on floore)
May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,
When Lyon rough, in wildest rage, doth roare.
Then know that I, as Snug the Ioyner am
[Page]A Lyon fell, nor else no Lyons damme.
For, if I should, as Lyon, come in strife,
Into this place, 'twere pitty on my life.
Duk.
A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.
Deme.
The very best at a beast, my Lord, that ere I saw.
Lys.
This Lyon is a very fox, for his valour.
Duk.
True: and a goose for his discretion.
De.

Not so my Lord. For his valour cannot carry his dis­cretion: and the fox carries the goose.

Duk.

His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour. For the goose carries not the fox. It is well: leaue it to his discretion, and let vs listen to the Moone.

Moone.

This lanthorne doth the horned moone present.

Deme.

He should haue worne the hornes, on his head.

Duk.

He is no crescent, and his hornes are inuisible, with­in the circumference.

Moone.
This lanthorne doth the horned moone present,
My selfe, the manith Moone, doe seeme to be.
Duke.

This is the greatest errour of all the rest; the man should be put into the lanthorne▪ How is it else the manith Moone?

Deme.

He dares not come there, for the candle. For, you see, it is already in snuffe.

Dutch.

I am a weary of this Moone. Would hee woulde change.

Duke.

It appeares, by his small light of discretion, that hee is in the wane: but yet in curtesie, in all reason, wee must stay the time.

Lysan.

Proceede, Moone.

Moon.

All that I haue to say, is to tell you, that the lan­thorne is the Moone, I the manith Moone, this thorne bush my thorne bush, and this dogge my dogge.

Deme.

Why? All these should be in the lanthorne: for all these are in the Moone. But silence: here comes Thisby.

Enter Thisby.
Th.

This is ould Ninies tumbe. Where is my loue? Lyon, Oh.

Dem.
[Page]

Well roard, Lyon.

Duke.

Well runne, Thisby.

Dutchesse.

Well shone Moone. Truly, the Moone shines, with a good grace.

Duk.

Well mouz'd, Lyon.

Dem.

And then came Pyramus.

Lys.

And so the Lyon vanisht.

Enter Pyramus.
Pyr.
Sweete Moone, I thanke thee, for thy sunny beams.
I thanke thee, Moone, for shining now so bright.
For by thy gratious, golden, glittering beames,
I trust to take of truest Thisby sight.
But stay: ó spight! but marke, poore knight,
What dreadfull dole is here?
Eyes do you see! How can it bee!
O dainty duck, o deare!
Thy mantle good, what, staind with blood?
Approach ye Furies fell,
O fates come, come, cut thread and thrumme,
Quaile, crush, conclude, and quell.
Duke.
This passion, & the death of a deare friend would goe neere to make a man looke sad.
Dutch.
Beshrewe my heart, but I pitty the man.
Pyr.
O, wherefore, Nature, didst thou Lyons frame?
Since Lyon vilde hath here deflour'd my deare.
Which is, no, no: which was the fairest dame
That liu'd, that lou'd, that lik't, that look't with cheere.
Come teares, confound, out sword, and wound
The pappe of Pyramus:
I, that left pappe, where heart doth hoppe.
Thus dy I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I dead, now am I fled, my soule is in the sky.
Tongue loose thy light, Moone take thy flight,
Now dy, dy, dy, dy, dy.
Dem.
No Die, but an ace for him. For he is but one.
Lys.
[Page]

Lesse then an ace, man. For he is dead, he is nothing.

Duke.

With the helpe of a Surgeon, he might yet reco­uer, and yet prooue an Asse.

Dut.

How chance Moone-shine is gone before? Thisby comes backe, and findes her louer▪

Duk.

Shee will finde him, by starre-light. Here shee comes, and her passion ends the Play.

Dut.

Me thinkes, she should not vse a long one, for such a Pyramus: I hope, she will be briefe.

Demet.

A moth will turne the ballance; which Pyramus, which Thisby is the better: he for a man; God warnd vs▪ she, for a woman; God blesse vs.

Lys.

She hath spied him already, with those sweete eyes.

Deme.

And thus she meanes, videlicet;

This.
A sleepe my loue? What, dead my doue?
O Pyramus, arise,
Speake, speake. Quite dumbe? Dead, dead? A tumbe
Must couer thy sweete eyes.
These lilly lippes, this cherry nose,
These yellow cowslippe cheekes
Are gon, are gon: 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 threede of silke.
Tongue, not a word: come trusty sword,
Come blade, my breast imbrew:
And farewell friends: thus Thysby ends:
Adieu, adieu, adieu.
Duke.

Moone-shine and Lyon are left to bury the dead.

Deme.

I, and Wall to.

Lyon.

No, I assure you, the wall is downe, that parted their fathers. Will it please you, to see the Epilogue, or to heare a Bergomaske daunce, between two of our cōpany?

Duke.
[Page]

No Epilogue, I pray you. For your Play needs no excuse. Neuer excuse: For when the Players are all deade, there neede none to be blamed. Mary, if hee that writ it, had played Pyramus, and hangd 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 tolde twelue.
Louers to bed, tis almost Fairy time.
I feare we shall outsleepe the comming morne,
As much as wee this night haue ouerwatcht.
This palpable grosse Play hath well beguil'd
The heauie gate of night. Sweete friends, to bed.
A fortnight holde we this solemnitie,
In nightly Reuels, and new iollity.
Exeunt.
Enter Pucke.
Puck.
Now the hungry Lyons roares.
And the wolfe beholds the Moone;
Whilst the heauie ploughman snores,
All with weary taske foredoone.
Now the wasted brands doe glowe,
Whilst the scriech-owle, scrieching lowd,
Puts the wretch, that lyes in woe,
In remembrance of a shrowde.
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 wee Fairies, that doe runne,
By the triple Hecates teame,
From the presence of the Sunne,
Following darkenesse like a dreame,
Now are frollick: not a mouse
Shall disturbe this hallowed house.
I am sent, with broome, before,
[Page]To sweepe the dust, behinde the dore.
Enter King and Queene of Fairies, with all their traine.
Ob.
Through the house giue glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsie fier,
Euery Elfe and Fairy spright,
Hop as light as birde from brier,
And this dittie after mee, Sing, and daunce it trippingly.
Tita.
First rehearse your song by rote,
To each word a warbling note.
Hand in hand, with Fairy grace,
Will we sing and blesse this place.
Ob.
Now, vntill the breake of day,
Through this house, each Fairy stray.
To the best bride bed will wee:
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, hare-lippe, nor scarre,
Nor marke prodigious, such as are
Despised in natiuitie,
Shall vpon their children be.
With this field deaw consecrate,
Euery Fairy take his gate,
And each seuerall chamber blesse,
Through this palace, with sweete peace,
Euer shall in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.
Trippe away: make no stay:
Meete me all, by breake of day.
Exeunt.
Robin.
If we shadowes haue offended,
Thinke but this (and all is mended)
[Page]That you haue but slumbred here,
While these visions did appeare.
And this weake and idle theame,
No more yielding but a dreame,
Gentles, doe not reprehend.
If you pardon, wee will mend,
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we haue vnearned luck,
Now to scape the Serpents tongue,
We will make amends, ere long:
Else, the Puck a lyer call.
So, good night vnto you all.
Giue me your hands, if we be friends:
And Robin shall restore amends.
FINIS.

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