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your lion, living; and we ought to look to it. | Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell, he is not a lion.

As true as truest horse, that yet would never I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb. [tire, Quin. Ninus' tomb, man: Why you must not Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus: half his face must be seen through the lion's you speak all your part at once, cues and neck; and he himself must speak through, say-all.-Pyramus enter; your cue is past; it is, ing thus, or to the same defect,-Ladies, or never tire. fair ladies, I would wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble: my life for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life: No, I am no such thing; I am a man as other men are:-and there, indeed, let him name his name; and tell them plainly, he is Snug the joiner.

Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two bard things; that is, to bring the moon-light into a chamber: for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moon-light.

Snug. Doth the moon shine, that night we play our play?

Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanack; find out moon-shine, find out moonshine.

Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.

Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of the great chamber window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the case


Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and say, he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-shine. Then, there is another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby, says the story, did talk through the chinks of a wall.

Snug. You never can bring in a wall.-What say you, Bottom?

Bot. Some man or other must present wall: and let him have some plaster, or some lome, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; or let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper. Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin: when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake* and so every one according to his cue.

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Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass' head. This. O,-As true as truest horse, that get would never tire.

This. Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,

Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, Most brisky jurenal,† and eke most lovely Jew,

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Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine:-Quin. O monstrous! O strange! we are Pray, masters! fly, masters! help! [haunted. [Exeunt Clowns.


Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a [through briar; Through bog, through bush, through brake, Sometime a horse I'll be, sometimes a hound, A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire; And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,

Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every
Bot. Why do they run away? this is a knavery
of them, to make me afeard.t

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Tita. What angel wakes me from my flowery [Waking.


Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
The plain-song cuckoo‡ gray,
Whose note full many a man doth mark,
And dares not answer, nay ;—

for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish
a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though
he cry, cuckoo, never so?

Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape; [me,
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note,
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.

little reason for that: And yet, to say the truth,
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have
reason and love keep little company together
now-a-days: The more the pity, that some
honest neighbours will not make them friends.
Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.

Tita. Thou are as wise as thou art beautiful. Bot. Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve

mine own turn.

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Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or | Near to her close and consecrated bower,..
I am a spirit, of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state,
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep:
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost

And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.-
Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-

Enter four FAIRIES.

1 Fai. Ready.

2 Fui. And I.

3 Fai. And I.

4 Fai. Where shall we go?

While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches* rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene, and enter'd in a brake:
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass' nowit I fixed on his head;
Anon, his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimicks comes: When they him



As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky;

Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentle-So, at his sight, away his fellows fly:


Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,*
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
The honey bags steal from the humble-bees,
And, for night tapers, crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise;
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moon-beams from his sleeping eyes:
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
1 Fai. Hail, mortal!

2 Fui. Hail!

3 Fai. Hail!

4 Fui. Hail!

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Mus. Mustard-seed.

Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured 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 Mustard-seed. Tita. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower. [eye; The moon, methinks, looks with a watery And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity. Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently. [Exeunt. SCENE II.-Another part of the Wood. Enter OBERON.

Obe. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd; Then, what it was that next came in her eye, Which she must dote on in extremity.

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And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.
Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears,
thus strong,

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong:
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some, sleeves; some, hats: from yielders ali
things catch.

I led them on in this distracted fear,
When in that moment (so it came to pass,)
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass.

Obe. This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?

Puck. I took him sleeping,-that is finish'd

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For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.

The sun was not so true unto the day,
As he to me: Would he have stol'n away
From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon,
This whole earth may be bor'd; and that the


May through the center creep, and so displease
Her brother's noon-tide with the Antipodes.
It cannot be, but thou hast murder'd him;
So should a murderer look; so dead, so grim.
Dem. So should the murder'd look; and so..
should I,
Pierc'd through the heart with your stern
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is

Ah, good Demetrius, will thou give him me?
Dem. I had rather give his carcass to my

Her. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past the bounds

Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him [then? Henceforth be never number'd among men!

Simple fellows, +Stupid company. + Head



O! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake;
Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake,
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave

Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'dt
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood; [inood:
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well. Dem. And if I could, what should I get therefore?

Her. A privilege, never to see me more.-And from thy hated presence part I so: See me no more, whether he be dead or no. [Erit. Dem. There is no following her in this fierce


Here, therefore, for a while I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe;
Which now, in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.
[Lies down.
Obe. What hast thou done? thou hast mis-
taken quite,
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's
Of thy misprison must perforce ensue [true.
Some true-love turn'd, and not a false turn'd
Puck. Then fate o'er-rules; that, one man
holding troth,

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
Obe. About the wood go swifter than the
And Helena of Athens look thou find: [wind,
All fancy-sick; she is, and pale of cheers
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood

By some illusion see thou bring her here;
I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear.
Puck. I go, I go; look, how I go;
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.

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Hel. You do advance your cunning more and


When truth kills truth, O devilish holy fray! These vows are Hermia's; Will you give her [weigh:


Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales, Will even weigh; and both as light as tales.

Lys. I had no judgement, when to her I swore. Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.

Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

Dem. [Awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine Helen

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow,
When thou hold'st up thy hand: O let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
Hel. O spite! Ò hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me, for your merriment.
If you were civil, and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls, to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes,
With your derision! none, of noble sort,t
Would so offend a virgin; and extort

A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.

Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so; For you love Hermia; this, you know, I know: And here, with all good will, with all my heart, In Hermia's love I yield you up my part; And yours of Helena to me bequeath, Whom I do love, and will do to my death. Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone. [none: My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd;

And now to Helen is it home return'd,
There to remain.

Lys. Helen, it is not so.

Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.t- [know, Look where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.


·Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,

The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense:-
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound.
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?

Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?

Her. What love could press Lysander from my side?

Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him bide, Fair Helena; who more engilds the night

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Than all you fiery oes* and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make

thee know,

The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so?

Her. You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
Hel. Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd, all three,
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspir'd, have you with these con-
To bait me with this foul derison? [triv'd
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd,
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us,-O, and is all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood inno-
We, Hermia, like two artificialt gods, [cence?
Have with our neelds; created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet a union in partition;

Two lovely berries moulded on one stem:
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it;
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Her. I am amazed at your passionate words: I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me. Hel. Have you not set Lysander as in scorn, To follow me, and praise my eyes and face? And made your other love, Demetrius, (Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,}

To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
And tender me, forsooth, affection;
But by your setting on, by your consent?
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, so fortunate;
But miserable most, to love unlov'd?
This you should pity, rather than despise.
Her. I understand not what you mean by

Hel. Ay, do, persévere, counterfeit sad looks,
Make mows upon me when I turn my back;
Wink at each other; hold the sweet jest up:
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument.
But, fare ye well: 'tis partly mine own fault;
Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy.
Lys. Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena !
Hel. O excellent!

Her. Sweet, do not scorn her so.

Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel. Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat;

Thy threats have no more strength, than her

weak prayers.Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do ; I swear by that which I will lose for thee, To prove him false, that says I love thee not. Dem. I say, I love thee more than he can do. Lys. If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it


Dem. Quick, come,

• Circles. + Ingenious. Needles. Wry faces.

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Sweet love?

Lys. Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out! Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence! Her. Do you not jest?

Hel. Yes, 'sooth; and so do you. Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

Dem. I would, I had your bond; for, I perceive, [word. A weak bond holds you; I'll not trust your Lys. What should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?

Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so. Her. What, can you do me greater harm

than hate? [love? Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander? I am as fair now, as I was erewhile. Since night, you lov'd me; yet, since night you left me:

Why, then you left me,-O, the gods forbid!In carnest shall I say?

Lys. Ay, by my life;

And never did desire to see thee more.
Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt,
Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest,
That I do hate thee, and love Helena.

Her. O me! you juggler! you canker-blos


[night You thief of love! what, have you come by And stol'n my love's heart from him?

Hel. Fine, i'faith!

Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie you counterfeit, you puppet you!

Her. Puppet! why so? Ay, that way goes the game.

Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures, she hath urg'd her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height forsooth, she hath prevail'd with

And are you grown so high in his esteem,
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak ;'
How low am I? I am not yet so low,
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gen.

Let her not hurt me: I was never curst ;t
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice; [think,
Let her not strike me: You, perhaps, may
Because she's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.

Her. Lower! hark, again.



Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with I evermore did love you, Hermia, Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd Save, that, in love unto Demetrius, I told him of your stealth unto this wood: He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him. But he hath chid me hence; and threaten'd me To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too: A worm that preys on buds of flowers. + Shrewish or mischevious.

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And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no further: Let me go:
You see how simple and how fond* I am.
Her. Why, get you gone: Who is't that
hinders you?

Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind?
Her. What, with Lysander?
Hel. With Demetrius.

Lys. Be not afraid : she shall not harm thee,

Dem. No, Sir; she shall not, though you take
her part.

Hel. O, when she's angry, she is keen and
shrewd :

She was a vixen, when she went to school;
And, though she be but little, she is fierce.
Her. Little again? nothing but low and

Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her.

Lys. Get you gone, you dwarf;

With league, whose date till death shall never

Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be

Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with


For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here
and there,
Troop home to church-yards: damned spirits
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd

Obe. But we are spirits of another sort:
I with the Morning's Love* have oft made sport;

You minimus, of hind'ring knot grasst made; And, like a forester, the groves may tread,

You bead, you acorn.

Dem. You are too officious,

In her behalf that scorns your services.

Let her alone; speak not of Helena;

Take not her part: for if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.

Lys. Now she holds me not;

Now follow, if thou dar'st, to try whose right,
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow? nay, I'll go with thee, cheek
by jole. [Exeunt LYS. and DEM.
Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of
Nay, go not back.


Hel. I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away. [Exit.
Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to
[Exit, pursuing HELENA.
Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mis-



Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mis-

Did not you tell me, I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes:

And so far am I glad it so did sort,§

As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay :
We may effect this business yet ere day.

Puck. Up and down, up and down;
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town;
Goblin, lead them up and down.

Here comes one.

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Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars;

Telling the bushes that thou looks for wars, And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;

Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to I'll whip thee with a rod: He is defil'd,


Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;

The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,||
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,¶
* Foolish.
Anciently knot-grass was believed to
prevent the growth of children. + Pretend. Happen.
Medicinal efficacy.

That draws a sword on thee.
Dem. Yea; art thou there?

Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood

Re-enter LYSANDER.

Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me

on; When I come where he calls, then he is gone. The villain is much lighter heel'd than I: That fallen am I in dark uneven way, I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly; And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day! [Lies down. For if but once thou show me thy gray light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.

Re-enter PUCK and DEMETRIUS. Puck. Ho, ho ho, ho! Coward, why com'st thon not?

* Cephalus, the paramour of Aurora.

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