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none, but a dish-clout of Jaquenetta's, and that a' As bombast, and as lining to the time. wears next his heart for a favour.

But more devout than this, in our respects Enter Monsieur Mercade, a Messenger. Have we not been; and therefore met your loves Mer. God save you, madam.

In their own fashion, like a merriment. Prin. Welcome, Mercade,

Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much more than But that thou interrupt’st our merriment.

jest. Mer. I am sorry, madam, for the news I bring Long. So did our looks. Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father- Ros.

We did not quote them so. Prin. Dead, for


King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
Mer. Even so: my tale is told.

Grant us your loves. Biron. Worthies, away! The scene begins to cloud. Prin.

A time, methinks, too short Arm. For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I To make a world-without-end bargain in. have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of No, no, my lord, your grace is perjur'd much, discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier. Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this.

[Exeunt Worthies. If for my love (as there is no such cause) King. How fares your majesty ?

You will do aught, this shall you do for me: Prin. Boyet, prepare : I will away to-night. Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed King. Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay. To some forlorn and naked hermitage,

Prin. Prepare, I say.- I thank you, gracious lords, Remote from all the pleasures of the world; For all your fair endeavours; and entreat,

There stay, until the twelve celestial signs Out of a new-sad soul, that vouchsafe

Have brought about their annual reckoning. In your rich wisdom to excuse, or hide,

If this austere insociable life The liberal opposition of our spirits :

Change not your offer made in heat of blood; If over-boldly we have borne ourselves

If frosts, and fasts, hard lodging, and thin weeds, In the converse of breath, your gentleness

Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love, Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord !

But that it bear this trial, and last love; A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue.

Then, at the expiration of the year, Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks

Come challenge me, challenge by these deserts, For my great suit so easily obtain’d.

And by this virgin palm, now kissing thine, King. The extreme parting time expressly forms I will be thine ; and, till that instant, shut All causes to the purpose of his speed;

My woful self up in a mourning house, And often, at his very loose, decides

Raining the tears of lamentation, That which long process could not arbitrate :

For the remembrance of my father's death. And though the mourning brow of progeny

If this thou do deny, let our hands part, Forbid the smiling courtesy of love

Neither intitled in the other's heart. The holy suit which fain it would convince;

King. If this, or more than this, I would deny, Yet, since love's argument was first on foot,

To flatter up these powers of mine with rest, Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it

The sudden hand of death close up mine eye. From what it purpos'd; since, to wail friends lost Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast. Is not by much so wholesome, profitable,

Biron. And what to me, my love ? and what to me? As to rejoice at friends but newly found.

Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are rank: Prin. I understand you not: my griefs are dull. You are attaint with faults and perjury;

Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief; Therefore, if you my favour mean to get, And by these badges understand the king.

A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest, fair sakes have we neglected time,

But seek the weary beds of people sick. Play'd foul play with our oaths: your beauty, ladies, Dum. But what to me, my love ? but what to me? Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours Kath. A wife !—A beard, fair health, and honesty; Even to the opposed end of our intents ;

With three-fold love I wish you all these three. And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous,

Dum. O! shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife? As love is full of unbefitting strangeness ;

Kath. Not so, my lord. A twelvemonth and a day All wanton as a child, skipping, and vain ;

I'll mark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers say: Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye, Come when the king doth to my lady come, Full of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms, Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some. Varying in subjects, as the eye doth roll

Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then. To every varied object in his glance:

Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again. Which party-coated presence of loose love

Long. What says

Maria? Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,


At the twelvemonth's end, Have misbecome our oaths and gravities,

I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend. Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults, Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time is long. Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,

Mar. The liker you: few taller are so young. Our love being yours, the error that love makes Biron. Studies my lady? mistress look on me : Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false, Behold the window of my heart, mine eye, By being once false for ever to be true

What humble suit attends thy answer there; To those that make us both,fair ladies, you : Impose some service on me for thy love. And even that falsehood, in itself so base,

Ros. Oft had I heard of you, my lord Biron, Thus purifies itself, and turns to grace.

Before I saw you, and the world's large tongue Prin. We have receiv'd your letters full of love ; Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks; Your favours, the ambassadors of love;

Full of comparisons and wounding flouts, And, in our maiden council, rated them

Which you on all estates will exercise, At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,

That lie within the mercy of your wit :

For your


others. This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring ; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.


Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,

Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he ;

Cuckoo, cuckoo,-0 word of fear !
Unpleasing to a married ear.


To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
And, therewithal, to win me, if you please,
Without the which I am not to be won,
You shall this twelvemonth term, from day to day,
Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit,
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit, Whose influence is begot of that loose grace, Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools. A jest's prosperity lies in the ear Of him that hears it, never in the tongue Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears, Deafd with the clamours of their own dire groans, Will hear your idle scorns, continue them, And I will have you, and that fault withal ; But, if they will not, throw away that spirit, And I shall find you empty of that fault, Right joyful of your reformation.

Biror. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal, I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital. Prin. Ay, sweet, my lord; and so I take my leave.

[To the King. King. No, madam; we will bring you on your

Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play ; Jack hath not Jill : these ladies' courtesy Might well have made our sport a comedy.

King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day, And then 'twill end. Biron.

That's too long for a play.

Enter ARMADO. Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me.Prin. Was not that Hector ? Dum. The worthy knight of Troy. Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am a votary : I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have conipiled in praise of the owl and the cuckoo ? it should have followed in the end of our show.

King. Call them forth quickly; we will do so.
Arm. Holla! approach,

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,

And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,

And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he ;

Cuckoo, cuckoo,word of fear!
Unpleasing to a married ear.



Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nippid, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

T'u-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw ;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,

Joan doth keel the pot. Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way: we, this way. [Exeunt.



DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. Theseus, Duke of Athens.

OBERON, King of the Fairies. Egeus, Father to Hermia.

Titania, Queen of the Fairies. LYSANDER, ) in love with Hermia.

Puck, or Robin-Goodfellow, DEMETRIUS,

Peas-Blossom, PhilostraTE, Master of the Revels to Theseus. COBWEB,

Fairies. Quince, a Carpenter.

Мотн, , SNUG, a Joiner.

MUSTARD-SEED, Bottom, a Weaver.

PYRAMUS, Flute, a Bellows-mender.

Thisbe, Snout, a Tinker.

Characters in the Interlude. STARVELING, a Tailor.

HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons.

Hermia, in love with Lysander.
HELENA, in love with Demetrius.

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
SCENE: Athens, and a Wood not far from it.


SCENE I.-Athens. A Room in the Palace of

This man hath my consent to marry her. -

Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious duke, Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Philostrate, and Attend Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,

This hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child : ants.

And interchang'd love-tokens with my child: The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung, Draws on apace: four happy days bring in

With feigning voice, verses of feigning love; Another moon; but, oh, methinks, how slow And stoln the impression of her fantasy This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires, With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits, Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,

Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats (messengers Long withering out a young man's revenue.

Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth,) Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart; nights;

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
Four nights will quickly dream away the time; To stubborn hardness.-And, my gracious duke,
And then the moon, like to a silver bow

Be it so, she will not here, before your grace,
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night

Consent to marry with Demetrius,
Of our solemnities.

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
Go, Philostrate,

As she is mine, I may dispose of her,
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;

Which shall be either to this gentleman, Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth :

Or to her death, according to our law Turn melancholy forth to funerals,

Immediately provided in that case. The pale companion is not for our pomp:

The. What say you, Hermia ? be advis’d, fair maid.

[Exit Philostrate. To you your father should be as a god; Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,

One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one And won thy love doing thee injuries;

To whom you are but as a form in wax, But I will wed thee in another key,

By him imprinted, and within his power With pomp, with triumph, and with revelry.

To leave the figure, or disfigure it. Enter Egeus, with his daughter Hermia, LYSANDER, Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. and DEMETRIUS.

Her. So is Lysander. Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke !


In himself he is ; The. Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee? But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice,

Ege. Full of vexation come I; with complaint The other must be held the worthier. Against my child, my daughter Hermia.

Her. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes ! Stand forth, Demetrius.—My noble lord,

The. Rather, your eyes must with his judgment look. Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me.

Ege. With duty, and desire, we follow you. I know not by what power I am made bold,

[Exeunt Thes. Hip. Ege. Dem. and train. Nor how it may concern my inodesty,

Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale? In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts ; How chance the roses there do fade so fast? But I beseech your grace, that I may know

Her. Belike, for want of rain, which I could well The worst that may befal me in this case,

Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes. If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

Lys. Ah me! for aught that I could ever read, The. Either to die the death, or to abjure

Could ever hear by tale or history,
For ever the society of men.

The course of true love never did run smooth;
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires ; But, either it was different in blood, -
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,

Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall’d to low! Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ;You can endure the livery of a nun,

Her. O spite! too old to be engag'd to young! For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,

Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of men :To live a barren sister all your life,

Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eyes! Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;

Making it momentany as a sound, But earthly happier is the rose distillid,

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream ; Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, Brief as the lightning in the collied night, Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.

That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, And ere a man hath power to say,-behold ! Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

The jaws of darkness do devour it up: Unto his lordship, to whose unwish'd yoke

So quick bright things come to confusion. My soul consents not to give sovereignty:

Her. If, then, true lovers have been ever cross'd, The. Take time to pause: and by the next new It stands as an edict in destiny: moon,

Then, let us teach our trial patience, The sealing-day betwixt my love and me

Because it is a customary cross, For everlasting bond of fellowship,

As due to love as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, Upon that day either prepare to die

Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers. For disobedience to your father's will,

Lys. A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia. Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would ;

I have a widow aunt, a dowager Or on Diana's altar to protest,

Of great revenue, and she hath no child : For aye, austerity and single life.

From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ; Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia ;-and, Lysander, yield And she respects me as her only son. Thy crazed title to my certain right.

There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius ; And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him.

pursue us.

If thou lov'st me, then,
Ege. Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love, Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night,
And what is mine my love shall render him;

And in the wood, a league without the town, And she is mine, and all my right of her

(Where I did meet thee once with Helena, I do estate unto Demetrius.

To do observance to a morn of May) Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,

There will I stay for thee. As well possess'd ; my love is more than his;


My good Lysander! My fortunes every way as fairly rank’d,

I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow, (If not with vantage,) as Demetrius';

By his best arrow with the golden head,
And, which is more than all these boasts can be, By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
I am belor'd of beauteous Hermia.

By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves, Why should not I then prosecute my right?

And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen, Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,

When the false Trojan under sail was seen; Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,

By all the vows that ever men have broke, | And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, In number more than ever women spoke; 1 Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,

In that same place thou hast appointed me, Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. The. I must confess, that I have heard so much, Lys. Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena. And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;

Enter HELENA. But, being over-full of self-affairs,

Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away? My mind did lose it.—But, Demetrius, come;

Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay. And come, Egeus : you shall go with me,

Demetrius loves your fair : O happy fair! I have some private schooling

for you both.- Your eyes are lode-stars, and your tongue's sweet air For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself

More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, To fit your fancies to your father's will


When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear. Or else the law of Athens yields you up

Sickness is catching; 0, were favour so ! (Which by no means we may extenuate)

Your words I'd catch, fair Hermia ; ere


go, To death, or to a vow of single life.

My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye, Come, my Hippolyta : what cheer, my love ?- My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody. Demetrius, and Egeus, go along:

Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, I must employ you in some business

The rest I'll give to be to you translated. Against our nuptial, and confer with you

0! teach me how you look, and with what art Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. You

sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.


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Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still. lude before the duke and duchess on his wedding-day Hel. O, that your frowns would teach my smiles at night. such skill!

Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. treats on; then read the names of the actors, and so Hel. 0, that my prayers could such affection move! go on to appoint. Her. The more I hate, the more he follows me. Quin. Marry, our play is—The most lamentable Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me. comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby. Her. His fault, fair Helena, is none of mine. Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and Hel. None, but your beauty : would that fault were a merry.–Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your mine!

actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves. Her. Take comfort: he no more shall see my face; Quin. Answer, as I call you.—Nick Bottom, the Lysander and myself will fly this place.Before the time I did Lysander see,

Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed. Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me :

Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus. O then, what graces in my love must dwell,

Bot. What is Pyramus ? a lover, or a tyrant? That he hath turn'd a heaven into hell !

Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love. Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold. Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing To-morrow night when Phæbe doth behold

of it: if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I Her silver visage in the wat ry glass,

will move stones; I will condole in some measure. To Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,

the rest :-yet my chief humour is for a tyrant: I could (A time that lovers' fights doth still conceal,) play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal.

all split. Her. And in the wood, where often you and I

“The raging rocks, Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,

“ And shivering shocks, Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,

“ Shall break the locks There my Lysander and myself shall meet;

“ Of prison-gates: And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes,

“ And Phibbus' car To seek new friends and stranger companies.

“ Shall shine from far, Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us,

“ And make and mar And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !

“ The foolish fates." Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight This was lofty !--Now name the rest of the players.From lovers' food, till morrow deep midnight. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is more

[Exit Herm. condoling. Lys. I will, my Hermia.—Helena, adieu :

Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you! [Exit Lys. Flu. Here, Peter Quince.
Hel. How happy some, o'er other some can be !

Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she;

Flu. What is Thisby? a wandering knight? But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;

Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. He will not know what all but he do know;

Flu. Nay, faith, let me not play a woman : I have And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,

a beard coming. So I, admiring of his qualities.

Quin. That's all one. You shall play it in a mask, Things base and vile, holding no quantity,

and you may speak as small as you will. Love can transpose to form and dignity.

Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, too. I'll speak in a monstrous little voice :-" Thisby, And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind : Thisby-Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear! thy Thisby Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste ; dear, and lady dear!” Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste :

Quin. No, no; you must play Pyramus, and, Flute, And therefore is love said to be a child,

you Thisby. Because in choice he is so oft beguil’d.

Bot. Well, proceed. As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,

Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor. So the boy love is perjur'd every where;

Star. Here, Peter Quince. For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,

Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;

mother.—Tom Snout, the tinker. And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt, Snout. Here, Peter Quince. So he dissolv’d, and showers of oaths did melt.

Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight;

father.-Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's part;-and, I Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night,

hope, here is a play fitted. Pursue her; and for this intelligence

Snug. Have you the lion's part written ? pray you, If I have thanks, it is dear recompence :

if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study, But herein mean I to enrich my pain,

Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is nothing To have his sight thither, and back again. [Exit. but roaring. SCENE II.—The Same. A Room in a Cottage.

Bot. Let me play the lion too. I will roar, that I

will do any man's heart good to hear me: I will roar, Enter QUINCE, Snug, Bottom, FLUTE, Snout, and that I will make the duke say, “Let bim roar again : STARVELING.

let him roar again.” Quin. Is all our company here?

Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would man, according to the scrip.

shriek; and that were enough to hang us all. Quin. Here is the scroll of every man's name, which Au. That would hang us, every mother's son. is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our inter- Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should fright

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