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the ladies out of their wits, they would have no more Quin. Some of your French crowns have no hair at discretion but to hang us, but I will aggravate my voice all, and then you will play bare-faced.—But masters, so, that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove: here are your parts; and I am to entreat you, request I will roar you an 'twere any nightingale.
you, and desire you. to con them by to-morrow night, Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus ; for Pyra- and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the mus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man, as one shall town, by moon-light: there will we rehearse ; for if see in a summer's day, a most lovely, gentlemanlike we meet in the city, we shall be dog'd with company, man; therefore, you must needs play Pyramus. and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw
Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard were a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I best to play it in?
you, fail me not. Quin. Why, what you will.
Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-colour more obscenely, and courageously. beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain Quin. Take pains; be perfect; adieu. At the duke's beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect oak we meet. yellow.
Bot. Enough, hold, or cut bow-strings. [Exeunt.
And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob,
The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And “ tailor" cries, and falls into a cough ;
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and laugh, Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear And I serve the fairy queen,
A merrier hour was never wasted there. To dew her orbs upon the green :
But room, Fairy: here comes Oberon. The cowslips all her pensioners be ;
Fai. And here my mistress.-Would that he were In their gold cups spots you see.
gone! Those be rubies, fairy favours,
Enter Oberon, from one side, with his train, and In those freckles live their savours :
Titania, from the other, with hers. I must go seek some dew-drops here,
Obe. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania. And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Tita. What, jealous Oberon ! Fairies, skip hence : Farewell, thou lob of spirits : I'll be gone.
I have forsworn his bed and company. Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
Obe. Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy lord ? Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-night. Tita. Then, I must be thy lady; but I know Take heed, the queen come not within his sight; When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land, For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
And in the shape of Corin sat all day, Because that she, as her attendant, hath
Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king :
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here, She never had so sweet a changeling ;
Come from the farthest steep of India, And jealous Oberon would have the child
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild;
Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
To Theseus must be wedded ? and you come
Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making quite, From Perigenia, whom he ravished ? Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite, And make him with fair Æglé break his faith, Callid Robin Good-fellow. Are you not he,
With Ariadne, and Antiopa ? That frights the maidens of the villagery;
Tita. These are the forgeries of jealousy: Stims milk, and sometimes labours in the quern, And never, since the middle summer's spring, And bootless makes the breathless housewife churn; Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, And sometimes makes the drink to bear no barm; By paved fountain, or by rushy brook, Misleads night-wanderers, laughing at their harm? Or on the beached margin of the sea, Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, You do their work, and they shall have good luck. But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. Are not you he?
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, Fairy, thou speak'st aright; As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea I am that merry wanderer of the night.
Contagious fogs ; which falling in the land, Ti jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
Have every pelting river made so proud, When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
That they have overborne their continents : Neighing in likeness of a filly foal :
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat: and the green corn But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon, The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And the imperial votaress passed on, And crows are fatted with the murrain flock :
In maiden meditation, fancy-free. The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud;
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell : And the quaint mazes on the wanton green,
It fell upon a little western flower, For lack of tread are undistinguishable.
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, The human mortals want their winter here :
And maidens call it love-in-idleness. No night is now with hymn or carol blest ;
Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee once: Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid, Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
Will make or man or woman madly dote That rheumatic diseases do abound :
Upon the next live creature that is seen. And thorough this distemperature, we see
Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again, The seasons alter : hoary-headed frosts
Ere the leviathan can swim a league. Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose ;
Puck. I'd put a girdle round about the earth And on old Hyem's chin, and icy crown,
In forty minutes.
[Exit Puck. An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Having once this juice,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes :
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape,)
She shall pursue it with the soul of love ; We are their parents and original.
And ere I take this charm off from her sight, Obe. Do you amend it then; it lies in you.
(As I can take it with another herb) Why should Titania cross her Oberon ?
I'll make her render up her page to me. I do but beg a little changeling boy,
But who comes here? I am invisible, To be my henchman.
And I will over-hear their conference. [Retiring. Tita.
Enter DEMETRIUS, Helena following him. Thy fairy land buys not the child of me.
Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. His mother was a votaress of my order :
Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia ? And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me. Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,
Thou told'st me they were stol'n into this wood, And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
And here am and wood within this wood, Marking th' embarked traders on the flood;
Because I cannot meet my Hermia. When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive, Hence! get thee gone, and follow me no more. And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind;
Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant; Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait But yet you draw not iron, for my heart Following, (her womb, then ripe with my young squire) | Is true as steel : leave you your power to draw, Would imitate, and sail upon the land,
And I shall have no power to follow you. To fetch me trifles, and return again,
Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair? As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
you I do not, nor I cannot love you? And for her sake I do rear up her boy,
Hel. And even for that do I love
the more. And for her sake I will not part with him.
I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding-day. Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me, If you will patiently dance in our round,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee. (And yet a place of high respect with me,)
Than to be used as you use your dog?
Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, [Exit Titania, with her train. For I am sick when I do look on thee. Obe. Well, gothy way: thou shalt not from this grove, Hel. And I am sick when I look not on you. Till I torment thee for this injury.
Dem. You do impeach your modesty too much, My gentle Puck, come hither : thou remember'st To leave the city, and commit yourself Since once I sat upon a promontory,
Into the hands of one that loves you not; And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
To trust the opportunity of night, Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.
It is not night, when I do see your face,
Therefore I think I am not in the night;
my respect, are all the world. Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
Then how can it be said, I am alone, At a fair vestal throned by the west,
When all the world is here to look on me? And loos’d his love-shaft smartly from his bow, Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes, As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts : And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence : The dove pursues the griffin ; the mild hind
Beetles black, approach not near ; Makes speed to catch the tiger. Bootless speed !
Worm, nor snail, do no offence. When cowardice pursues, and valour flies.
Dem. I will not stay thy questions : let me go; Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
Philomel, with melody, &c. But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
2 Fai. Hence, away! now all is well. Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
One, aloof, stand sentinel. You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
[Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps. Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
Enter OBERON. We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
Obe. What thou seest, when thou dost wake, We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo.
[Anointing TITANIA's eye-lids. I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
Do it for thy true love take; To die upon the hand I love so well.
Love, and languish for his sake:
[Exeunt Dem. and Hel. Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear.
[Exit. Puck. Ay, there it is.
Enter Lysander and HERMIA. Obe.
I pray thee, give it me. Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood; I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
And, to speak troth, I have forgot our way: Where ox-lips, and the nodding violet grows; We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good, Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine,
And tarry for the comfort of the day. With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine :
Her. Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed, There sleeps Titania, some time of the night, For I upon this bank will rest my head. Lull'd in these bowers with dances and delight; Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both : And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin, One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
Her. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear, And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
Lie further off' yet: do not lie so near. And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Lys. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence; Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove : Love takes the meaning in love's confidence. A sweet Athenian lady is in love
my heart unto yours is knit, With a disdainful youth : anoint his eyes;
So that but one heart we can make of it: But do it, when the next thing he espies
Two bosoms interchained with an oath ; May be the lady. Thou shalt know the man
So then, two bosoms, and a single troth. Br the Athenian garments he hath on.
Then, by your side no bed-room me deny, Effect it with some care, that he may prove
For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
Her. Lysander riddles very prettily.
[Exeunt. But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Lie further off; in human modesty
Such separation as may well be said
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend.
Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end ! Then, for the third part of a minute, hence :
Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I; Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds;
And then end life, when I end loyalty! Some war with rear-mice for their leathern wings,
Here is my bed : sleep give thee all his rest! To make my small elves coats ; and some keep back
Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders
[They sleep. At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
Puck. Through the forest have I gone,
But Athenian found I none,
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower's force in stirring love.
Night and silence! who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he, my master said,
Despised the Athenian maid;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul ! she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy.
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe.
[Anointing his eyes. When thou wak'st, let love forbid
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
And touching now the point of human skill,
Reason becomes the marshal to my will,
[Exit. And leads me to your eyes; where I o'erlook
That I did never, no, nor never can,
[Exit Demetrius. Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye, Hel. O! I am out of breath in this fond chase, But you must flout my insufficiency? The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Good troth, you do me wrong; good sooth, you do, Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies,
In such disdainful manner me to woo. For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
But fare you well: perforce I must confess, How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears : I thought you lord of more true gentleness. If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than her's.
O, that a lady, of one man refus'd, No, no, I am as ugly as a bear,
Should, of another, therefore, be abus'd ! [Exit. For beasts that meet me, run away for fear;
Lys. She sees not Hermia.-Hermia, sleep thou there; Therefore, no marvel, though Demetrius
And never may'st thou come Lysander near; Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.
For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings;
Of all be hated, but the most of me;
[Waking. To honour Helen, and to be her knight. Exit. Transparent Helena! Nature here shows art,
Her. Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best, That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
[Waking. Where is Demetrius ? O, how fit a word
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast. Is that vile name to perish on my sword !
for pity !-what a dream was here !
Lys. Content with Hermia ? No: I do repent Lysander! what, remov'd? Lysander ! lord !
What, out of hearing? gone? 'no sound, no word?
Alack! where are you? speak, an if you hear; Who will not change a raven for a dove?
Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear. The will of man is by his reason sway'd,
No?-then I well perceive you are not nigh: And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Either death, or you, I'll find immediately. [Erit. Things growing are not ripe until their season;
SCENE I.—The Same. Titania lying asleep.
better assurance, tell them, that I, Pyramus, am not
Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver. This will put them Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and
out of fear. STARVELING.
Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue, and it Bot. Are we all met?
shall be written in eight and six. Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient Bot. No, make it two more: let it be written in place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our eight and eight. stage, this hawthorn brake our 'tiring-house; and Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion ? we will do it in action, as we will do it before the Star. I fear it, I promise you. duke.
Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with yourBot. Peter Quince,
selves: to bring in, God shield us! a lion among Quin. What say'st thou, bully Bottom ?
ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a Bot. There are things in this comedy of “ Pyramus more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living, and we and Thisby,” that will never please. First, Pyramus ought to look to it. must draw a sword to kill himself, which the ladies Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell he is cannot abide. How answer you that?
not a lion. Snout. By’rlakin, a parlous fear.
Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half his Star. I believe, we must leave the killing out, when face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he all is done.
himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the Bot. Not a whit: I have a device to make all well. same defect:-“ Ladies, or fair ladies, I would wish Write me a prologue; and let the prologue seem to you, or, I would request you, or, I would entreat you, say, we will do no harm with our swords, and that not to fear, not to tremble: my life for yours. If you Pyramus is not killed indeed: and, for the more think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my
no, I am no such thing: I am a man as other men Through bog, through bush, through brake, through are ;' and there, indeed, let him name his name, and brier: tell them plainly he is Snug, the joiner.
Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire; things: that is, to bring the moonlight into a cham- And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn, ber; for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn. [Exit. moonlight.
Bot. Why do they run away? this is a knavery of Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our them, to make me afeard. play?
Re-enter Snout. Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanack; Snout. O Bottom ! thou art changed : what do I see find out moonshine, find out moonshine.
[Exit, frightened. Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.
Bot. What do you see? you see an ass's bead of Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of the your own, do you? great chamber window, where we play, open ; and the
Re-enter Quince. moon may shine in at the casement.
Quin. Bless thee, Bottom ! bless thee! thou art Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of translated.
(Exit, frightened. I thorns and a lanthorn, and say, he comes to disfigure, Bot. I see their knavery. This is to make an ass or to present, the person of moonshine. Then, there of me, to fright me, if they could; but I will not stir is another thing: we must have a wall in the great from this place, do what they can. I will walk up and chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby (says the story,) down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am did talk through the chink of a wall.
[Sings. Snug. You can never bring in a wall.- What say
The oosel-cock, so black of hue, you, Bottom ?
With orange-tawney bill, Bot. Some man or other must present wall; and let
The throstle with his note so true, him have some plaster, or some lime, or some rough
The wren with little quill. cast about him, to signify wall: and let him hold his Tita. What angel wakes me from my flowery bed? fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus
[Waking. and Thisby whisper.
Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark, Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit
The plain-song cuckoo gray, down, every mother's son, and rehearse your parts.
Whose note full many a man doth mark, Pyramus, you begin. When you have spoken your
And dares not answer, nay ; speech, enter into that brake; and so every one accord-for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird ? ing to his cue.
who would give a bird the lie, though he cry "cuckoo" Enter Puck behind.
never so ? Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swagger- Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again : ing here,
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note, So near the cradle of the fairy queen ?
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape; What, a play toward ? I'll be an auditor;
And thy fair virtue's force, perforce, doth move me, An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee. Quin. Speak, Pyramus.—Thisby, stand forth. Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little Pyr. “ Thisby, the flowers have odious savours reason for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and sweet,"
love keep little company together now-a-days. The Quin. Odours, odours.
more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not Pyr. “ odours savours sweet:
make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion. So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby, dear.- Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. But, hark, a voice! stay thou but here a while,
Bot. Not so, neither ; but if I had wit enough to And by and by I will to thee appear.” [Exit. get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here.
[Exit. Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go : This. Must I speak now?
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. Quin. Ay, marry, must you; for you must under- am a spirit of no common rate; stand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is The summer still doth tend upon my state, to come again.
And I do love thee : therefore, go with me; This. “Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue, I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go. Quin. Ninus' tomb, man. Why you must not speak Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed ! that yet; that you answer to Pyramus. You speak all
Enter four Fairies. your part at once, cues and all.–Pyramus, enter: your 1 Fai. Ready. eae is past; it is, never tire."
And I. Re-enter Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head on. 3 Fai.
And I. This. 0!—"As true as truest horse, that yet would 4 Fai.
Where shall we never tire."
Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman: Pyr. “If I were, fair Thisby, I were only thine."- Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes ;
Quin. O monstrous ! O strange! we are haunted. Feed him with apricocks, and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries. [Exeunt Clowns, in confusion. Their honey bags steal from the humble-bees, Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, And for night tapers crop their waxen thighs,