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Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and,


Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place; And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face. Where art thou?

Puck. Come hither; I am here.

Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. shalt buy this dear,

good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loath to have you overflown with a honey-bag, signior.Thou Where's monsieur Mustard-seed? Must. Ready.

If ever I thy face by day-light see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.-
By day's approach look to be visited.
[ Lies down and sleeps.

Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night, [east; Abate thy hours: shine comforts, from the That I may back to Athens, by day-light, From these that my poor company detest:And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,

Steal me awhile from mine own company.


Puck. Yet but three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds makes up four.
Here she comes, curst and sad :-
Cupid is a knavish lad,

Thus to make poor females mad.

Her. Never so weary, never so in woe; Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers,

I can no further crawl, no further go;

My legs can keep no pace with my desires. Here will I rest me, till the break of day. Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray! [Lies down.

Puck. On the ground
Sleep sound:
I'll apply

To your eye,

Gentle lover remedy.

[Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eye. When thou wak'st,

Thou tak'st

True delight

In the sight

Of thy former lady's eye: And the country proverb known, That every man should take his own, In your waking shall be shown: Jack shall have Jill; Nought shall go ill; The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

[Exit PUCK.-DEM. HEL. &c. sleep.

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OBERON advances. Enter PUCK.
Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou
this sweet sight?

Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late, behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her:
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew, which sometime on the

Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,

Stood now within the pretty flourets' eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in mild terms, begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair;
And think no more of this night's accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.
Be, as thou wast wont to be;

[Touching her eyes with an herb
See, as thou wast wont to see:

Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
Tita. My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought, I was enamour'd of an ass.
Obe. There lies your love.

Tita. How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loath his visage now!
Obe. Silence, a while.-Robin, take off this

Titania, music call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.
Tita. Music, ho! music; such as charmeth

Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine
own fool's eyes peep.

Obe. Sound, music. [Still Music.] Come, my
queen, take hands with me, [be.
And rock the ground whereon those sleepers
Now thou and I are new in amity;
And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly,
Dance in duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair posterity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

Puck. Fairy king, attend, and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.

Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after the night's shade:
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wand'ring moon.
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.
[Horns sound within.

The. Go, one of you, find out the forester;-
For now our observation is perform'd :
And since we have the vaward* of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
Uncouple in the western valley; go:
Despatch, I say, and find the forester.-
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus,


When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear
Such gallant chiding;t for, besides the groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
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
So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-knee'd, and dew-lap'd like Thessalian
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like
Each under each. A cry more tunable
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:


Judge, when you hear.-But, soft; what
nymphs are these?

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here
And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is; [asleep:
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena :
I wonder of their being here together.
The. No doubt, they rose up early to observe
The rite of May; and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.-

+ Sound.
The flews are the large chaps of a hound.

But, speak, Egeus; is not this the day
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
Ege. It is, my lord.

The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with
their horns.

Horns, and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER, HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up.

The. Good-morrow friends. Saint Valentine
is past;

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
Lys. Pardon, my lord.

[He and the rest kneel to THEseus.
The. I pray you all, stand up.
I know, you are two rival enemies;
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?

Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Half sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came here:
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,-
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
Without the peril of the Athenian law.
Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have


I beg the law, the law upon his head.-
They would have stol'n away, they would,

Thereby to have defeated you and me:
You, of your wife; and me, of my consent;
Of my consent that she should be your wife.
Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their

Of this their purpose hither to this wood;
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
And I in fury hither follow'd them;
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,
But by some power it is,) my love to Hermia
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gawd,t
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
Which in my childhood I did dote upon:
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
But, like in sickness, did I loath this food:
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
And will for evermore be true to it.
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.-
For in the temple, by and by with us,
Egeus, I will overbear your will;
And, for the morning now is something worn,
These couples shall eternally be knit.
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.
Away, with us, to Athens: Three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.—
Come, Hippolyta.

[Exeunt THE. HIP. EGE. and train.
Dem. These things seem small, and undis-
Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.
Her. Methinks, I see these things with part
ed eye,

When every thing seems double.

Hel. So methinks:

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,

Mine own,

and not mine own. Dem. It seems to me,


That yet we sleep, we dream.-Do not you

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The duke was here, and bid us follow him?
Her. Yea; and my father.
Hel. And Hippolyta.

Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.
Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow

And, by the way, let us recount our dreams. [Exeunt.

apparel together; good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look o'er his part; for, the short and the long is, our play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the lion, pare his nails, for they shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath; Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I and I do not doubt, but to hear them will answer: my text is, Most fair Pyrumus. say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words: Hey, ho!-Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-away; go, away. [Exeunt. mender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep! I

As they go out, BOTTOM awakes.



Palace of THESEUS.

Lords, and Attendants.

Hip. "Tis strange, my Theseus, that these
lovers speak of.

The. More strange than true. I never may believe

have had a most rare vision. I have had a SCENE I.-The sume.-An Apartment in the dream,-past the wit of man to say what dream it was: Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was-there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had,-But man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen; man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. 1 will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the duke: Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death. [Exit. SCENE II.-Athens.-A Room in QUINCE'S House.



Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?

Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt, he is transported.

Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred; It goes not forward, doth it?

Quin. It is not possible: you have not a man in all Athens, able to discharge Pyramus, but he.

Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handycraft man in Athens.

Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and he is a very paramour, for a sweet voice. Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of nought.

Enter SNUG.

Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married: if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made men.

Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a-day during his life; he could not have 'scaped sixpence a-day: an the duke had not given him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged; he would have deserved it: sixpence a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing.


Bot. Where are these lads? where are these hearts?

Quin. Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!

Bot. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not what; for, if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.

Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, is, that the duke hath dined: Get your

These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers, and madmen, have such seething
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact:*
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
to heaven;

And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy no-
A local habitation, and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination;
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear?

Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
And grows to something of great constancy ;t
But, howsoever, strange, and admirable.

The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and

shall we have,


Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love,
Accompany your hearts!
Lys. More than to us
Wait on your royal walks, your board, your
The. Come now; what masks, what dances
To wear away this long age of three hours,
Between our after-supper, and bed time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
What revels are in hand? Is there no play,
Call Philostrate.

Philost. Here, mighty Theseus.

The. Say, what abridgment; have you for
this evening?
The lazy time, if not with some delight?
What mask? what music? How shall we be-
Philost. There is a brief, how many sports
are ripe;

Are made of mere imagination.

+ Stability.

Short accoun

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The. Let him approach.

Make choice of which your highness will see
Giving a paper.

The. [Reads.] The battle with the Centaurs, to
be sung,

By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.

We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.

The riot of the tipsy Bucchanals,

Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.
That is an old device; and it was play'd
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.

The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary.
That is some satire, keen, and critical,
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.
Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord?
Philost. A play there is, my lord, some ten

words long;

Which is as brief as I have known 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 tragical, my noble lord, it is;
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rehears'd, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.
The. What are they, that do play it?

Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in
Athens here,

Which never laboured in their minds till now;
And now have toil'd their unbreath'd* memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.
The. And we will hear it.

Philost. No, my noble lord,

It is not for you: I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel
To do you service.


[Flourish of trumpets.

Enter PROLOgue.

Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will,
That you should think, we come not to ofend,
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,
Our true intent is. All for your delight, [you,
The actors are at hand; and, by their show,
We are not here. That you should here repent

You shall know all, that you are like to know.

The. This fellow doth not stand upon points Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt, he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord: It is not enough to speak, but to speak


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"By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn "To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to


The. I will hear that play;
For never any thing can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.
Go, bring them in; and take your places, "This grisly beast, which by name lion hight,t
[Exit PHILOSTRATE. "The trusty Thisby, coming first by night,
Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'er-"Did scare away, or rather did affright:
And duty in his service perishing. [charg'd," And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall;
The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no "Which lion vile with bloody mouth did

such thing.

Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this"


The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for

Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake:
And what poor duty cannot do,


Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall,

"And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain: "Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful [breast;


"He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody "And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade, "His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, Let lion, moonshine, wall, and lovers twain, "At large discourse, while here they do remain."

Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed"
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears,
conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome: Trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome;
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,
In least, speak most, to my capacity.

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The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.

Wall. "In this same interlude, it doth befall, "That I, one Snout by name, present a wall: "And such a wall, as I would have you think, "That had in it a cranny'd hole, or chink, "Through which the lovers, Pyramus and "Did whisper often very secretly. [Thisby, "This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone

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Pyr. "O grim-look'd night! O night with" hue so black!

"O night, which ever art, when day is not! "O night, O night, alack, alack, alack,

"I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!"And thou, O wall, O'sweet, O lovely wall, "That stand'st between her father's ground and mine;

"Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, "Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne. [WALL holds up his fingers. "Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee

well for this!

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"For parting my fair Pyramus and me: My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones; "Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee."

Pyr. "I see a voice: now will I to the chink, "To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby!

This. My love! thou art my love, I think." Pyr. "Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;

"And like Limander am I trusty still." This. "And I like Helen, till the fates me


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Pyr. "Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true," This. "As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.' O, kiss me through the hole of this Pyr. vile wall." This. "I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all."

Pyr. "Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me


This. "Tide life, tide death, I come without


Wall." Thus have I, wall, my part discharg

ed so;

"And, being done, thus wall away doth go." [Exeunt WALL, PYRAMUS, and THISBE. The. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.

Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. The. The best in this kind are but shadows: and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.

Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent

Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am "When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. "A lion felt, nor else no lion's dam: "For if I should as lion come in strife "Into this place, 'twere pity on my life." The. A very gentle beast and of a good con


Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour. The. True; and a goose for his discretion. carry his discretion; and the fox carries the Dem. Not so, my lord: for his valour cannot


his valour; for the goose carries not the fox. The. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry listen to the moon. It is well leave it to his discretion, and let us

Moon. This lantern doth the horned moon


Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head.

The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference.

Moon. "This lantern doth the horned moon present;

« Myself the man i'the moon do seem to be." The. This is the greatest error of all the rest: is it else the man i'the moon? the man should be put into the lantern: How

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle: for, you see, it is already in snuff.*

Hip. I am weary of this moon: Would, he would change!

tion, that he is in the wane: but yet, in courThe. It appears, by his small light of discretesy, in all reason, we must stay the time. Lys. Proceed, moon.

that the lantern is the moon; I, the man in the Moon. All that I have to say, is, to tell you, this dog, my dog. moon; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush; and

Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for they are in the moon. But, silence: here comes Thisbe.

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