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Let her not strike me: You, perhaps, may think, Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue, Because she's something lower than myself, Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong; That I can match her.
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius; Her.
Lower! hark, again. And from each other look thou lead them thus, Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep I evermore did love you, Hermia,
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep : Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you ; Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye; Save, that, in love unto Demetrius,
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property, told him of your stealth unto this wood :
To take from thence all error, with his might, He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd him : And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight. But he hath chid me hence; and threaten'd me When they next wake, all this derision To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too ; Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision ; And now, so you will let me quiet go,
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend, To Athens will I bear my folly back,
With league, whose date till death shall never end. And follow you no further : Let me go :
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ, You see how simple and how fond 3 I am.
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy; Her. Why, get you gone : Who is't that hinders And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace. Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind. Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste; Her. What, with Lysander ?
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast, Hel.
With Demetrius. And yonder shines Aurora's barbinger; Lys. Be not afraid : she shall not harm thee, At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there, Helena.
Troop home to church-yards : and the spirits all, Dem. No, sir; she shall not, though you take That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone ;
Her. Little again ? nothing but low and little ? — Obe. But we are spirits of another sort :
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Get you gone, you dwarf; Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red, You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass 4 made ; Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams, You bead, you acorn.
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams. Dem.
You are too officious, But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay : In her behalf that scorns your services.
We may effect this business yet ere day. [Erit OB. Let her alone ; speak not of Helena ;
Puck. Up and down, up and down ; Take not her part: for if thou dost intend 5
I will lead them up and down : Never so little show of love to her,
I am fear'd in field and town;
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.
Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius ? speak
thou now. jole.
(Ereunt Lys. and Dem. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you :
Puck. Here, villain ; drawn and ready. Where
art thou ?
Lys. I will be with thee straight.
Follow me then
To plainer ground.
[Exit LYSANDER as follouing the voice. My legs are longer though, to run away. (Erit. Her. I am amaz’d, and know not what to say.
Enter DEMETRIUS. [Erit, pursuing HELENA.
Lysander ! speak again. Obe. This is thy negligence : still thou mistak’st, Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
head? Did not you tell me, I should know the man
Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars, By the Athenian garments he had on?
Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars, And so far blameless proves my enterprize,
And wilt not come ? Come, recreant; come, thou That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes :
child; And so far am I glad it so did sort,
I'll whip thee with a rod: He is defild, As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
That draws a sword on thee. Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight:
Yea; art thou there? Hie, therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood The starry welkin cover thou anon
[Ereunt. With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on; 3 Foolish.
When I come where he calls, then he is gone. * Anciently knot-grass was believed to prevent the growth of children
7 Cephalus, the paramour of Aurora.
The villain is much lighter heel'd than I :
Here she comes, curst and sad : I follow'd fast, but faster he did Ay;
Cupid is a knavish lad, That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
Thus to make poor females mad. And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!
I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot, Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
(Lies doron. And dar’st not stand, nor look me in the face.
Puck. On the ground
Sleep sound :
To your eye, buy this dear,
Gentle lover, remedy. If ever I thy face by daylight see :
(Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eye. Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
When thou wak'st, To measure out my length on this cold bed.
Thou tak'st By day's approach look to be visited.
In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye :
And the country proverb known, Abate thy hours: shine, comforts, from the east;
That every man should take his own, That I may back to Athens, by day light,
In your waking shall be shown : From these that my poor company detest : –
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill ;
well. Two of both kinds makes up four.
(Erit Puck. — Deu. HEL. fc. sleep.
Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in musick :
let us have the tongs and the bones. Enter Titania and Bottom, Fairies attending ;
Tita. Or, say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to cat.
Bot. Truly, a peck of provender ; I could munch
to a bottle of hay; good hay, sweet hay, hath no And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head, fellow.
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy. Tita. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek Bot. Where's Peas-blossom ?
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts. Peas. Ready.
Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of dried Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.
But, I pray you, let none of your people stir monsieur Cobweb?
me: I have an exposition of sleep come upon me. Cob. Ready.
Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms. Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get your Fairies, begone, and be all ways away. weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped
(Ereunt Fairies. humble-bce on the top of a thistle ; and, good mon- So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle, sieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret your- Gently entwist, — the female ivy so self too much in the action, monsieur; and, good Enrings the barky fingers of the elm. monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not: 1 o, how I love thee ! how I dote on thee! would be loath to have you overflown with a honey
[They sleep. bag, signior. — Where's monsieur Mustard-seed ?
OBERON advances. Enter Pock. Must. Ready.
But. Give me your nief 9, monsieur Mustard-seed. Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.
sweet sight? Must. What's your will ?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity. Bol. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help cavalero For meeting her of late, behind the wood, Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, mon- Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool, sieur; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy about I did upbraid her, and fall out with her : the face : and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do For she his hairy temples then had rounded but tickle me, I must scratch.
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail. Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.
The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind, I then did ask of her her changeling child ; So few'd ?, so sanded; and their heads are hung Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent With ears that sweep away the morning dew; To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
Crook-knee'd, and dew-lap'd like Thessalian bulls; And now I have the boy, I will undo
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells, This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
Each under each. A cry more tuneable And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp Was never holla’d to, nor cheer'd with horn, From off the head of this Athenian swain ;
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly : That he awaking when the others do,
Judge, when you hear. — But, soft; what, nymphs May all to Athens back again repair ;
are these? And think no more of this night's accidents,
Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep : But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
And this, Lysander ; this Demetrius is; But first I will release the fairy queen.
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena : Be, as thou wast wont to be;
I wonder of their being here together. [Touching her eyes with an herb. The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe See, as thou wast wont to see :
The rite of May; and, hearing our intent, Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Came here in grace of our solemnity, Hath such force and blessed power.
But, speak, Egeus; is not this the day Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen. That Hermia should give answer of her choice ?
Tita. My Oberon ! what visions have I seen ! Ege. It is, my lord. Methought, I was enamour'd of an ass.
The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their Obe. There lies your love.
horns. Titi. How came these things to pass ?
Horns, and shouts within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER, O, how mine eyes do loath his visage now!
HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up. Obe. Silence, a while. — Robin, take off this head. Titania, musick call; and strike more dead
The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.
past; Tita. Musick, ho! musick, such as charmeth Begin these wood-birds but to couple now? sleep.
Lys. Pardon, my lord. Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own
[He and the rest kneel to THESEUS.
The. fool's eyes peep.
I pray you all, stand up. Obe. Sound, musick. [Still musick.] Come, my How comes this gentle concord in the world,
I know, you are two rival enemies; queen, take hands with me, And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
That hatred is so far from jealousy, Now thou and I are new in amity;
To sleep hy hate, and fear no enmity ? And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly,
Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly, Dance in duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
Half 'sleep, half waking : But as yet, I swear And bless it to all fair posterity :
I cannot truly say how I came here : There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak, Wedded, with Theseus, all in jolity.
And now I do bethink me, so it is ;)
I came with Hermia hither: our intent
Was, to be gone from Athens, where we might be
Without the peril of the Athenian law.
Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have We the globe can compass soon,
enough: Swifter than the wand'ring moon.
I beg the law, the law, upon his head.
They would have stol'n away, they would, Demetrius, Tell me how it came this night,
Thereby to have defeated you and me : That I sleeping here was found,
You, of your wife; and me, of my consent; With these mortals, on the ground. (Exeunt. Of my consent that she should be your wife. [Horns sound within.
Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither to this wood; Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Egeus, and train.
And I in fury hither follow'd them ; The. Go, one of you, find out the forrester; Fair Helena in fancy 3 following me. For now our observation is perform'd;
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power, And since we have the vaward' of the day, (But by some power it is,) my love to Hermia, My love shall hear the musick of my hounds. Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now Uncouple in the western valley; go :
As the remembrance of an idle gawd, Despatch, I say, and find the forester.
Which in my childhood I did dote upon : We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top, And all the faith, the virtue of my heart, And mark the musical confusion
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
And will for evermore be true to it.
2 The flews are the large chaps of a hound.
The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met : SCENE II.-Athens. A Room in Quince's House. Of this discourse we more will hear anon. Egeus, I will overbear your will;
Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, Sxout, and STARVELING. For in the temple, by and by with us,
Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he These couples shall eternally be knit.
come home yet?
Star. He cannot be heard of. And, for the morning now is something worn,
Out of doubt, he Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside. — is transported. Away, with us, to Athens : Three and three,
Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred; We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.
goes not forward, doth it? Come, Hippolyta.
Quin. It is not possible: you have not a man in (Ereunt The. Hır. Ege. and train. all Athens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he. Dem. These things seem small and undistin- Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any guishable,
handycraft man in Athens. Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.
Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and he is a Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted very paramour, for a sweet voice.
Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is a eye When every thing seems double.
thing of nought. Hel. So methinks :
Enter SNUG. And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the Mine own, and not mine own.
temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies Dem.
It seems to me,
more married : if our sport had gone forward, we That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think, had all been made men. The duke was here, and bid us follow him ?
Flu. O sweet bully Buttom! Thus hath he lost Her. Yea; and
sixpence a day during his life; he could not have Hel.
'scaped sixpence a-day: an the duke had not given Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.
him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow hanged; he would have deserved it: sixpence
a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing. And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.
- O most courageous day! O
most happy hour! Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will Bot. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask
— my next is, Most fair Pyramus. — Hey, me not what; for, if I tell you, I am no true Atheho! - Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! nian. I will tell you every thing, right as it fell out. Snout, the tinker! Starveling! Odd's my life! Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom. stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, most rare vision. I have had a dream, - past the is, that the duke hath dined: Get your apparel towit of man to say what dream it was: Man is but gether; good strings to your beards, new ribbons an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. to your pumps; meet presently at the palace ; Methought I was — there is no man can tell what every man look o'er his part; for, the short and Methought I was, and methought I had, — But the long is, our play is preferred. In any case, let man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say Thisby have clean linen ; and let not him, that what methought I had. I will get Peter Quince plays the lion pare his nails, for they shall hang to write a ballad of this dream : it shall be called out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and eat no onions, nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet I will sing it in the latter end of the play, before breath; and I do not doubt, but to hear them say, the luke! Peradventure, to make it the more gra- it is a sweet comedy. No more words; away; go, cious, I shall sing it at her death. [Erit. I away.
SCENE I.-An Apartment in the palace of Theseus. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantick, Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, PhilosTRATE, Lords, Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt: and Attendants.
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to speak of.
heaven, The. More strange than true. I never may believe And, as imagination bodies forth These antique fables nor these fairy toys.
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Lovers, and madmen, have such seething brains,
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
A local habitation, and a name. More than cool reason ever comprehends.
Such tricks hath strong imagination; The lunatick, the lover, and the poet,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy, Are of imagination all compact * :
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or, in the night, imagining some fear, • Compacted, made.
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear?
Hip. But all the story of the night told over, Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain, And all their minds transfigur'd so together, To do you service. More witnesseth than fancy's images,
I will hear that play ;
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Go, bring them in ;- and take your places, ladies. Enter LYSandER, DEMETRIUS, Hermia, and
[Erit Philostrate. HELENA.
Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd, The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth, - And duty in his service perishing. Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love,
The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing. Accompany your hearts !
Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind.
The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing. Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed!
Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake: The. Come now; what masks, what dances shall And what poor duty can do, we have,
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit. To wear away this long age of three hours, Where I have come, great clerks have purposed Between our after-supper, and bed-time?
To greet me with premeditated welcomes ; Where is our usual manager of mirth ?
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale, What revels are in hand ? Is there no play, Make periods in the midst of sentences, To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears,
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome : Trust me, sweet, The. Say what abridgment 5 have you for this Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome ; evening ?
And in the modesty of fearful duty
Of sawcy and audacious eloquence.
(Giving a paper.
Enter PhilosTRATE. sung,
Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is By an Athenian songster to the harp,
addrest, 7 We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
The. Let him approach. [Flourish of Irumpels.
Prol. If we offenıl, it is with our good-will.
That you should think, we come not to offend,
But with good-will. To show our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider then, we come but in despite.
We do not come as minding to content you. Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
Our true intent is.
All for your delight,
We are not here. That you should here repent yolk.
The actors are at hand; and, by their show,
You shall know all, that you are like to know.
he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord : Which is as brief as I have known a play;
It is not enough to speak, but to speak true. But by ten words, my lord, it is too long;
Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue, Which makes it tedious: for in all the play like a child on a recorder 8; a sound, but not in There is not one word apt, one player fitted. And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
The. His speech was like a tangled chain ; noFor Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
thing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next? Which, when I saw rehears'd, I must confess, Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
Enter Pyramus and Tuisbe, Wall, Moonshine, The passion of loud laughter never shed.
and Lion, as in dumb show. The. What are they, that do play it?
Prol. “ Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this Philosi. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens here,
“ But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. Which never labour'd in their minds till now; “ This man is Pyramus, if you would know; And now have toild their unbreath'd memories “ This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. With this same play, against your nuptial.
“ This man, with line and rough-cast, doth present The. And we will hear it,
“ Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers Philost. No, my noble lord,
sunder: It is not for you: I have heard it over,
" And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
content L’nless you can find sport in their intents,
“ To whisper ; art the which let no man wonder. > Pastime. 6 Short account.
8 A musical instrument.