William Shakespeare

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Nights Dreame.

Actus primus.

Enter Theſeus, Hippolita, with others.


NOw faire Hippolita, our nuptiall houre

Drawes on apace: foure happy daies bring in

Another Moon:but oh,me thinkes,how ſlow

This old Moon wanes;She lingers my deſires

Like to a Step-dame,or a Dowager,

Long withering out a yong mans reuennew.

10 Hip. Foure daies wil quickly ſteep thẽſelues in nights

Foure nights wil quickly dreame away the time:

And then the Moone, like to a ſiluer bow,

Now bent in heauen, ſhal behold the night

Of our ſolemnities.

The. Go Philoſtrate,

Stirre vp the Athenian youth to merriments,

Awake the pert and nimble ſpirit of mirth,

Turne melancholy forth to Funerals:

The pale companion is not for our pompe,

20Hippolita, I woo'd thee with my ſword,

And wonne thy loue, doing thee iniuries:

But I will wed thee in another key,

With pompe, with triumph, and with reuelling.

Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, Lyſander,

and Demetrius
Ege. Happy be Theſeus, our renowned Duke.

The. Thanks good Egeus:what's the news with thee?

Ege. Full of vexation, come I, with complaint

Againſt my childe, my daughter Hermia.

30 Stand forth Demetrius. My Noble Lord,

This man hath my conſent to marrie her.

Stand forth Lyſander. And my gracious Duke,

This man hath bewitch'd the boſome of my childe:

Thou, thou Lyſander, thou haſt giuen her rimes,

And interchang'd loue-tokens with my childe:

Thou haſt by Moone-light at her window ſung,

With faining voice, verſes of faining loue,

40And ſtolne the impreſſion of her fantaſie,

With bracelets of thy haire, rings,gawdes, conceits,

Knackes,trifles,Noſe-gaies,ſweet meats(meſſengers

Of ſtrong preuailment in vnhardned youth)


With cunning haſt thou filch'd my daughters heart,

Turn'd her obedience (which is due to me)

To ſtubborne harſhneſſe. And my gracious Duke,

Be it ſo ſhe will not heere before your Grace,

Conſent to marrie with Demetrius,

I beg the ancient priuiledge of Athens;

50As ſhe is mine, I may diſpoſe of her;

Which ſhall be either to this Gentleman,

Or to her death, according to our Law,

Immediately prouided in that caſe.

The. What ſay you Hermia? be aduis'd faire Maide,

To you your Father ſhould be as a God;

One that compos'd your beauties; yea and one

To whom you are but as a forme in waxe

By him imprinted: and within his power,

To leaue the figure, or disfigure it:

60 Demetrius is a worthy Gentleman.

Her. So is Lyſander.

The. In himſelfe he is.

But in this kinde, wanting your fathers voyce,

The other muſt be held the worthier.

Her. I would my father look'd but with my eyes.

The. Rather your eies muſt with his iudgment looke.

Her. I do entreat your Grace to pardon me.

I know not by what power I am made bold,

Nor how it may concerne my modeſtie

70In ſuch a preſence heere to pleade my thoughts:

But I beſeech your Grace, that I may know

The worſt that may befall me in this caſe,

If I refuſe to wed Demetrius.

The. Either to dye the death, or to abiure

For euer the ſociety of men.

Therefore faire Hermia queſtion your deſires,

Know of your youth, examine well your blood,

Whether (if you yeeld not to your fathers choice)

You can endure the liuerie of a Nunne,

80For aye to be in ſhady Cloiſter mew'd,

To liue a barren ſiſter all your life,

Chanting faint hymnes to the cold fruitleſſe Moone,

Thrice bleſſed they that maſter ſo their blood,

To vndergo ſuch maiden pilgrimage,

But earthlier happie is the Roſe diſtil'd,

Then that which withering on the virgin thorne,

Growes,liues,and dies, in ſingle bleſſedneſſe.

N H er.

146 A Midſommer nights Dreame.

Her. So will I grow, ſo liue,ſo die my Lord,

Ere I will yeeld my virgin Patent vp

90Vnto his Lordſhip, whoſe vnwiſhed yoake,

My ſoule conſents not to giue ſoueraignty.

The. Take time to pauſe, and by the next new Moon

The ſealing day betwixt my loue and me,

For euerlaſting bond of fellowſhip:

Vpon that day either prepare to dye,

For diſobedience to your fathers will,

Or elſe to wed Demetrius as hee would,

Or on Dianaes Altar to proteſt

For aie, auſterity, and ſingle life.

100 Dem. Relent ſweet Hermia, and Lyſander, yeelde

Thy crazed title to my certaine right.

Lyſ. You haue her fathers loue, Demetrius:

Let me haue Hermiaes: do you marry him.

Egeus. Scornfull Lyſander, true, he hath my Loue;

And what is mine, my loue ſhall render him.

And ſhe is mine, and all my right of her,

I do eſtate vnto Demetrius.

Lyſ. I am my Lord, as well deriu'd as he,

As well poſſeſt: my loue is more then his:

110My fortunes euery way as fairely ranck'd

(If not with vantage) as Demetrius:

And (which is more then all theſe boaſts can be)

I am belou'd of beauteous Hermia.

Why ſhould not I then proſecute my right?

Demetrius, Ile auouch it to his head,

Made loue to Nedars daughter, Helena,

And won her ſoule: and ſhe (ſweet Ladie)dotes,

Deuoutly dotes, dotes in Idolatry,

Vpon this ſpotted and inconſtant man.

120 The. I muſt confeſſe, that I haue heard ſo much,

And with Demetrius thought to haue ſpoke thereof:

But being ouer-full of ſelfe-affaires,

My minde did loſe it. But Demetrius come,

And come Egeus, you ſhall go with me,

I haue ſome priuate ſchooling for you both.

For you faire Hermia, looke you arme your ſelfe,

To fit your fancies to your Fathers will;

Or elſe the Law of Athens yeelds you vp

(Which by no meanes we may extenuate)

130To death, or to a vow of ſingle life.

Come my Hippolita, what cheare my loue?

Demetrius and Egeus go along:

I muſt imploy you in ſome buſineſſe

Againſt our nuptiall, and conferre with you

Of ſomething, neerely that concernes your ſelues.

Ege. With dutie and deſire we follow you. Exeunt

Manet Lyſander and Hermia. Lyſ. How now my loue?Why is your cheek ſo pale?

How chance the Roſes there do fade ſo faſt?

140 Her. Belike for want of raine, which I could well

Beteeme them, from the tempeſt of mine eyes.

Lyſ. For ought that euer I could reade,

Could euer heare by tale or hiſtorie,

The courſe of true loue neuer did run ſmooth,

But either it was different in blood.

Her. O croſſe! too high to be enthral'd to loue.

Lyſ. Or elſe miſgraffed, in reſpect of yeares.

Her. O ſpight! too old to be ingag'd to yong.

Lyſ. Or elſe it ſtood vpon the choiſe of merit.

150 Her. O hell ! to chooſe loue by anothers eie.

Lyſ. Or if there were a ſimpathie in choiſe,

Warre, death,or ſickneſſe, did lay ſiege to it;

Making it momentarie, as a ſound:


Swift as a ſhadow, ſhort as any dreame,

Briefe as the lightning in the collied night,

That (in a ſpleene) vnfolds both heauen and earth;

And ere a man hath power to ſay, behold,

The iawes of darkneſſe do deuoure it vp:

So quicke bright things come to confuſion.

160 Her. If then true Louers haue beene euer croſt,

It ſtands as an edict in deſtinie:

Then let vs teach our triall patience,

Becauſe it is a cuſtomarie croſſe,

As due to loue, as thoughts, and dreames,and ſighes,

Wiſhes and teares ; poore Fancies followers.

Lyſ. A good perſwaſion ; therefore heare me Hermia,

I haue a Widdow Aunt, a dowager,

Of great reuennew, and ſhe hath no childe,

From Athens is her houſe remou'd ſeuen leagues,

170And ſhe reſpects me, as her onely ſonne:

There gentle Hermia, may I marrie thee,

And to that place, the ſharpe Athenian Law

Cannot purſue vs. If thou lou'ſt me, then

Steale forth thy fathers houſe to morrow night:

And in the wood, a league without the towne,

(Where I did meete thee once with Helena,

To do obſeruance for a morne of May)

There will I ſtay for thee.

Her. My good Lyſander,

180I ſweare to thee, by Cupids ſtrongeſt bow,

By his beſt arrow with the golden head,

By the ſimplicitie of Venus Doues,

By that which knitteth ſoules, and proſpers loue,

And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage Queene,

When the falſe Troyan vnder ſaile was ſeene,

By all the vowes that euer men haue broke,

(In number more then euer women ſpoke)

In that ſame place thou haſt appointed me,

To morrow truly will I meete with thee.

190 Lyſ. Keepe promiſe loue : looke here comes Helena.

Enter Helena. Her. God ſpeede faire Helena, whither away?

Hel. Cal you me faire? that faire againe vnſay,

Demetrius loues you faire : O happie faire!

Your eyes are loadſtarres, and your tongues ſweete ayre

More tuneable then Larke to ſhepheards eare,

When wheate is greene, when hauthorne buds appeare,

Sickneſſe is catching : O were fauor ſo,

Your words I catch, faire Hermia ere I go,

200My eare ſhould catch your voice, my eye,your eye,

My tongue ſhould catch your tongues ſweet melodie,

Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,

The reſt Ile giue to be to you tranſlated.

O teach me how you looke, and with what art

you ſway the motion of Demetrius hart.

Her. I frowne vpon him, yet he loues me ſtill.

Hel. O that your frownes would teach my ſmiles

ſuch skil.

Her. I giue him curſes, yet he giues me loue.

210 Hel. O that my prayers could ſuch affection mooue.

Her. The more I hate, the more he followes me.

Hel. The more I loue, the more he hateth me.

Her. His folly Helena is none of mine.

Hel. None but your beauty, wold that fault wer mine

Her. Take comfort: he no more ſhall ſee my face,

Lyſander and my ſelfe will flie this place.

Before the time I did Lyſander ſee,

Seem'd Athens like a Paradiſe to mee.


A Midſommer nights Dreame. 147

O then, what graces in my Loue do dwell,

220That he hath turn'd a heauen into hell.

Lyſ. Helen,to you our mindes we will vnfold,

To morrow night,when Phœbe doth behold

Her ſiluer viſage,in the watry glaſſe,

Decking with liquid pearle,the bladed graſſe

(A time that Louers flights doth ſtill conceale)

Through Athens gates,haue we deuis'd to ſteale.

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

Vpon faint Primroſe beds,were wont to lye,

Emptying our boſomes,of their counſell ſweld:

230There my Lyſander, and my ſelfe ſhall meete,

And thence from Athens turne away our eyes

To ſeeke new friends and ſtrange companions,

Farwell ſweet play-fellow, pray thou for vs,

And good lucke grant thee thy Demetrius.

Keepe word Lyſander we muſt ſtarue our ſight,

From louers foode, till morrow deepe midnight.

Exit Hermia. Lyſ. I will my Hermia. Helena adieu,

As you on him, Demetrius dotes on you. Exit Lyſander.

240 Hele. How happy ſome,ore otherſome can be?

Through Athens I am thought as faire as ſhe.

But what of that? Demetrius thinkes not ſo:

He will not know,what all,but he doth know,

And as hee erres,doting on Hermias eyes;

So I,admiring of his qualities:

Things baſe and vilde, holding no quantity,

Loue can tranſpoſe to forme and dignity,

Loue lookes not with the eyes,but with the minde,

And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blinde.

250Nor hath loues minde of any iudgement taſte:

Wings and no eyes, figure, vnheedy haſte.

And therefore is Loue ſaid to be a childe,

Becauſe in choiſe he is often beguil'd,

As waggiſh boyes in game themſelues forſweare;

So the boy Loue is periur'd euery where.

For ere Demetrius lookt on Hermias eyne,

He hail'd downe oathes that he was onely mine.

And when this Haile ſome heat from Hermia felt,

So he diſſolu'd,and ſhowres of oathes did melt,

260I will goe tell him of faire Hermias flight:

Then to the wood will he,to morrow night

Purſue her; and for his intelligence,

If I haue thankes, it is a deere expence:

But heerein meane I to enrich my paine,

To haue his ſight thither, and backe againe. Exit.

Enter Quince the Carpenter, Snug the Ioyner, Bottome the

Weauer,Flute the bellowes-mender,Snout the Tinker,and

Starueling the Taylor

Quin. Is all our company heere?

270 Bot. You were beſt to call them generally, man by

man,according to the ſcrip.

Quin. Here is the ſcrowle of euery mans name,which

is thought fit through all Athens, to play in our Enter-

lude before the Duke and the Dutches, on his wedding

day at night.

Bot. Firſt,good Peter Quince,ſay what the play treats

on: then read the names of the Actors: and ſo grow on

to a point.

Quin. Marry our play is the moſt lamentable Come-

280dy, and moſt cruell death of Pyramus and Thiſbie.

Bot. A very good peece of worke I aſſure you, and a


merry. Now good Peter Quince, call forth your Actors

by the ſcrowle. Maſters ſpread your ſelues.

Quince. Anſwere as I call you. Nick Bottome the


Bottome. Ready ; name what part I am for, and


Quince. You Nicke Bottome are ſet downe for Py-


290 Bot. What is Pyramus,a louer,or a tyrant?

Quin. A Louer that kills himſelfe moſt gallantly for


Bot. That will aske ſome teares in the true perfor-

ming of it: if I do it, let the audience looke to their eies:

I will mooue ſtormes ; I will condole in ſome meaſure.

To the reſt yet,my chiefe humour is for a tyrant. I could

play Ercles rarely, or a part to teare a Cat in, to make all

ſplit the raging Rocks; and ſhiuering ſhocks ſhall break

the locks of priſon gates, and Phibbus carre ſhall ſhine

300from farre, and make and marre the fooliſh Fates. This

was lofty. Now name the reſt of the Players. This

is Ercles vaine, a tyrants vaine : a louer is more condo-


Quin. Francis Flute the Bellowes-mender.

Flu. Heere Peter Quince.

Quin. You muſt take Thiſbie on you.

Flut. What is Thiſbie,a wandring Knight?

Quin. It is the Lady that Pyramus muſt loue.

Flut. Nay faith, let not mee play a woman, I haue a

310beard comming.

Qui. That's all one, you ſhall play it in a Maſke, and

you may ſpeake as ſmall as you will.

Bot. And I may hide my face,let me play Thiſbie too :

Ile ſpeake in a monſtrous little voyce ; Thiſne, Thiſne, ah

Pyramus my louer deare, thy Thiſbie deare, and Lady


Quin. No no,you muſt play Pyramus, and Flute, you


Bot. Well, proceed.

320 Qu. Robin Starueling the Taylor.

Star. Heere Peter Quince.

Quince. Robin Starueling , you muſt play Thiſbies


Tom Snowt,the Tinker.

Snowt. Heere Peter Quince.

Quin. You, Pyramus father; my ſelf, Thiſbies father;

Snugge the Ioyner,you the Lyons part : and I hope there

is a play fitted.

Snug. Haue you the Lions part written? pray you if

330be,giue it me,for I am ſlow of ſtudie.

Quin. You may doe it extemporie, for it is nothing

but roaring.

Bot. Let mee play the Lyon too, I will roare that I

will doe any mans heart good to heare me. I will roare,

that I will make the Duke ſay, Let him roare againe,let

him roare againe.

Quin. If you ſhould doe it too terribly, you would

fright the Dutcheſſe and the Ladies, that they would

ſhrike, and that were enough to hang vs all.

340 All. That would hang vs euery mothers ſonne.

Bottome. I graunt you friends, if that you ſhould

fright the Ladies out of their Wittes, they would

haue no more diſcretion but to hang vs : but I will ag-

grauate my voyce ſo, that I will roare you as gently as

any ſucking Doue; I will roare and 'twere any Nightin-


Quin. You can play no part but Piramus, for Pira-

N 2 mus

148 A Midſommer nights Dreame.

mus is a ſweet-fac'd man, a proper man as one ſhall ſee in

a ſummers day; a moſt louely Gentleman-like man, ther-

350fore you muſt needs play Piramus.

Bot. Well, I will vndertake it. What beard were I

beſt to play it in?

Quin. Why, what you will.

Bot. I will diſcharge it, in either your ſtraw-colour

beard,your orange tawnie beard, your purple in graine

beard, or your French-crowne colour'd beard,your per-

fect yellow.

Quin. Some of your French Crownes haue no haire

at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd.But maſters here

360are your parts, and I am to intreat you, requeſt you, and

deſire you, to con them by too morrow night: and meet

me in the palace wood, a mile without the Towne, by

Moone-light, there we will rehearſe: for if we meete in

the Citie, we ſhalbe dog'd with company,and our deui-

ſes knowne. In the meane time, I wil draw a bil of pro-

perties, ſuch as our play wants. I pray you faile me not.

Bottom. We will meete, and there we may rehearſe

more obſcenely and couragiouſly. Take paines,be per-

fect, adieu.

370 Quin. At the Dukes oake we meete.

Bot. Enough, hold or cut bow-ſtrings. Exeunt

Actus Secundus.

Enter a Fairie at one dore, and Robin good-

fellow at another
Rob. How now ſpirit,whether wander you ?

Fai. Ouer hil,ouer dale,through buſh, through briar,

Ouer parke,ouer pale,through flood, through fire,

I do wander euerie where, ſwifter then y e Moons ſphere;

And I ſerue the Fairy Queene,to dew her orbs vpon the

380The Cowſlips tall, her penſioners bee, (green.

In their gold coats, ſpots you ſee,

Thoſe be Rubies, Fairie fauors,

In thoſe freckles, liue their ſauors,

I muſt go ſeeke ſome dew drops heere,

And hang a pearle in euery cowſlips eare.

Farewell thou Lob of ſpirits,Ile be gon,

Our Queene and all her Elues come heere anon.

Rob. The King doth keepe his Reuels here to night,

Take heed the Queene come not within his ſight,

390For Oberon is paſsing fell and wrath,

Becauſe that ſhe, as her attendant, hath

A louely boy ſtolne from an Indian King,

She neuer had ſo ſweet a changeling,

And iealous Oberon would haue the childe

Knight of his traine, to trace the Forreſts wilde.

But ſhe (perforce) with-holds the loued boy,

Crownes him with flowers, and makes him all her ioy.

And now they neuer meete in groue, or greene,

By fountaine cleere, or ſpangled ſtar-light ſheene,

400But they do ſquare, that all their Elues for feare

Creepe into Acorne cups and hide them there.

Fai. Either I miſtake your ſhape and making quite,

Or elſe you are that ſhrew'd and knauiſh ſpirit

Cal'd Robin Good-fellow. Are you not hee,

That frights the maidens of the Villagree,

Skim milke,and ſometimes labour in the querne,

And bootleſſe make the breathleſſe huſwife cherne,

And ſometime make the drinke to beare no barme,


Miſleade night-wanderers, laughing at their harme,

410Thoſe that Hobgoblin call you,and ſweet Pucke,

You do their worke, and they ſhall haue good lucke.

Are not you he?

Rob. Thou ſpeak'ſt aright;

I am that merrie wanderer of the night :

I ieſt to Oberon, and make him ſmile,

When I a fat and bean-fed horſe beguile,

Neighing in likeneſſe of a ſilly foale,

And ſometime lurke I in a Goſſips bole,

In very likeneſſe of a roaſted crab:

420And when ſhe drinkes, againſt her lips I bob,

And on her withered dewlop poure the Ale.

The wiſeſt Aunt telling the ſaddeſt tale,

Sometime for three-foot ſtoole, miſtaketh me,

Then ſlip I from her bum, downe topples ſhe,

And tailour cries, and fals into a coffe.

And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe,

And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and ſweare,

A merrier houre vvas neuer waſted there.

But roome Fairy, heere comes Oberon.

430 Fair. And heere my Miſtris:

Would that he vvere gone.

Enter the King of Fairies at one doore with his traine,

and the Queene at another with hers

Ob. Ill met by Moone-light.

Proud Tytania.

Qu. What, iealous Oberon? Fairy skip hence.

I haue forſworne his bed and companie.

Ob. Tarrie raſh Wanton; am not I thy Lord?

Qu. Then I muſt be thy Lady : but I know

440When thou vvaſt ſtolne away from Fairy Land,

And in the ſhape of Corin,ſate all day,

Playing on pipes of Corne, and verſing loue

To amorous Phillida. Why art thou heere

Come from the fartheſt ſteepe of India?

But that forſooth the bouncing Amazon

Your buſkin'd Miſtreſſe, and your Warrior loue,

To Theſeus muſt be Wedded; and you come,

To giue their bed ioy and proſperitie.

Ob. How canſt thou thus for ſhame Tytania,

450Glance at my credite, vvith Hippolita?

Knowing I knovv thy loue to Theſeus?

Didſt thou not leade him through the glimmering night

From Peregenia, whom he rauiſhed?

And make him vvith faire Eagles breake his faith

With Ariadne, and Atiopa?

Que. Theſe are the forgeries of iealouſie,

And neuer ſince the middle Summers ſpring

Met vve on hil, in dale, forreſt, or mead,

By paued fountaine, or by ruſhie brooke,

460Or in the beached margent of the ſea,

To dance our ringlets to the whiſtling Winde,

But vvith thy braules thou haſt diſturb'd our ſport.

Therefore the Windes, piping to vs in vaine,

As in reuenge, haue ſuck'd vp from the ſea

Contagious fogges : Which falling in the Land,

Hath euerie petty Riuer made ſo proud,

That they haue ouer-borne their Continents.

The Oxe hath therefore ſtretch'd his yoake in vaine,

The Ploughman loſt his ſweat,and the greene Corne

470Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard:

The fold ſtands empty in the drowned field,

And Crowes are fatted vvith the murrion flocke,


A Midſommer nights Dreame. 149

The nine mens Morris is fild vp with mud,

And the queint Mazes in the wanton greene,

For lacke of tread are vndiſtinguiſhable.

The humane mortals want their winter heere,

No night is now with hymne or caroll bleſt;

Therefore the Moone (the gouerneſſe of floods)

Pale in her anger,waſhes all the aire;

480That Rheumaticke diſeaſes doe abound.

And through this diſtemperature, we ſee

The ſeaſons alter; hoared headed froſts

Fall in the freſh lap of the crimſon Roſe,

And on old Hyems chinne and Icie crowne,

An odorous Chaplet of ſweet Sommer buds

Is as in mockry ſet. The Spring,the Sommer,

The childing Autumne,angry Winter change

Their wonted Liueries,and the mazed world,

By their increaſe, now knowes not which is which;

490And this ſame progeny of euills,

Comes from our debate, from our diſſention,

We are their parents and originall.

Ober. Do you amend it then,it lies in you,

Why ſhould Titania croſſe her Oberon?

I do but beg a little changeling boy,

To be my Henchman.

Qu. Set your heart at reſt,

The Fairy land buyes not the childe of me,

His mother was a Votreſſe of my Order,

500And in the ſpiced Indian aire, by night

Full often hath ſhe goſſipt by my ſide,

And ſat with me on Neptunes yellow ſands,

Marking th'embarked traders on the flood,

When we haue laught to ſee the ſailes conceiue,

And grow big bellied with the wanton winde :

Which ſhe with pretty and with ſwimming gate,

Following (her wombe then rich with my yong ſquire)

Would imitate, and ſaile vpon the Land,

To fetch me trifles, and returne againe,

510As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.

But ſhe being mortall, of that boy did die,

And for her ſake I doe reare vp her boy,

And for her ſake I will not part with him.

Ob. How long within this wood intend you ſtay?

Qu. Perchance till after Theſeus wedding day.

If you will patiently dance in our Round,

And ſee our Moone-light reuels, goe with vs;

If not,ſhun me and I will ſpare your haunts.

Ob. Giue me that boy,and I will goe with thee.

520 Qu. Not for thy Fairy Kingdome.Fairies away:

We ſhall chide downe right,if I longer ſtay. Exeunt.

Ob. Wel,go thy way:thou ſhalt not from this groue,

Till I torment thee for this iniury.

My gentle Pucke come hither ; thou remembreſt

Since once I ſat vpon a promontory,

And heard a Meare-maide on a Dolphins backe,

Vttering ſuch dulcet and harmonious breath,

That the rude ſea grew ciuill at her ſong,

And certaine ſtarres ſhot madly from their Spheares,

530To heare the Sea-maids muſicke.

Puc. I remember.

Ob. That very time I ſay (but thou couldſt not)

Flying betweene the cold Moone and the earth,

Cupid all arm'd ; a certaine aime he tooke

At a faire Veſtall, throned by the Weſt,

And looſ'd his loue-ſhaft ſmartly from his bow,

As it ſhould pierce a hundred thouſand hearts,

But I might ſee young Cupids fiery ſhaft


Quencht in the chaſte beames of the watry Moone ;

540And the imperiall Votreſſe paſſed on,

In maiden meditation, fancy free.

Yet markt I where the bolt of Cupid fell.

It fell vpon a little weſterne flower ;

Before,milke-white ; now purple with loues wound,

And maidens call it, Loue in idleneſſe.

Fetch me that flower; the hearb I ſhew'd thee once,

The iuyce of it, on ſleeping eye-lids laid,

Will make or man or woman madly dote

Vpon the next liue creature that it ſees.

550Fetch me this hearbe,and be thou heere againe,

Ere the Leuiathan can ſwim a league.

Pucke. Ile put a girdle about the earth, in forty mi-


Ober. Hauing once this iuyce,

Ile watch Titania, when ſhe is aſleepe,

And drop the liquor of it in her eyes:

The next thing when ſhe waking lookes vpon,

(Be it on Lyon,Beare,or Wolfe, or Bull,

On medling Monkey,or on buſie Ape)

560Shee ſhall purſue it,with the ſoule of loue.

And ere I take this charme off from her ſight,

(As I can take it with another hearbe)

Ile make her render vp her Page to me.

But who comes heere? I am inuiſible,

And I will ouer-heare their conference.

Enter Demetrius,Helena following him.

Deme. I loue thee not,therefore purſue me not,

Where is Lyſander, and faire Hermia?

The one Ile ſtay, the other ſtayeth me.

570Thou toldſt me they were ſtolne into this wood;

And heere am I, and wood within this wood,

Becauſe I cannot meet my Hermia.

Hence,get thee gone,and follow me no more.

Hel. You draw me,you hard-hearted Adamant,

But yet you draw not Iron, for my heart

Is true as ſteele. Leaue you your power to draw,

And I ſhall haue no power to follow you.

Deme. Do I entice you? do I ſpeake you faire?

Or rather doe I not in plaineſt truth,

580Tell you I doe not,nor I cannot loue you?

Hel. And euen for that doe I loue thee the more;

I am your ſpaniell,and Demetrius,

The more you beat me, I will fawne on you.

Vſe me but as your ſpaniell; ſpurne me, ſtrike me,

Neglect me,loſe me; onely giue me leaue

(Vnworthy as I am)to follow you.

What worſer place can I beg in your loue,

(And yet a place of high reſpect with me)

Then to be vſed as you doe your dogge.

590 Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my ſpirit,

For I am ſicke when I do looke on thee.

Hel. And I am ſicke when I looke not on you.

Dem. You doe impeach your modeſty too much,

To leaue the Citty,and commit your ſelfe

Into the hands of one that loues you not,

To truſt the opportunity of night.

And the ill counſell of a deſert place,

With the rich worth of your virginity.

Hel. Your vertue is my priuiledge : for that

600It is not night when I doe ſee your face.

Therefore I thinke I am not in the night,

Nor doth this wood lacke worlds of company,

N 3 For

150 A Midſommer nights Dreame.

For you in my reſpect are nll the world.

Then how can it be ſaid I am alone,

When all the world is heere to looke on me?

Dem. Ile run from thee,and hide me in the brakes,

And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beaſts.

Hel. The wildeſt hath not ſuch a heart as you;

Runne when you will,the ſtory ſhall be chang'd:

610 Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chaſe;

The Doue purſues the Griffin, the milde Hinde

Makes ſpeed to catch the Tyger. Bootleſſe ſpeede,

When cowardiſe purſues,and valour flies.

Demet. I will not ſtay thy queſtions, let me go;

Or if thou follow me,doe not beleeue,

But I ſhall doe thee miſchiefe in the wood.

Hel. I,in the Temple, in the Towne,and Field

You doe me miſchiefe. Fye Demetrius,

Your wrongs doe ſet a ſcandall on my ſexe:

620We cannot fight for loue, as men may doe;

We ſhould be woo'd, and were not made to wooe.

I follow thee, and make a heauen of hell ,

To die vpon the hand I loue ſo well. Exit.

Ob. Fare thee well Nymph,ere he do leaue this groue,

Thou ſhalt flie him, and he ſhall ſeeke thy loue.

Haſt thou the flower there? Welcome wanderer.

Enter Pucke. Puck. I, there it is.

Ob. I pray thee giue it me.

630I know a banke where the wilde time blowes,

Where Oxſlips and the nodding Violet growes,

Quite ouer-cannoped with luſcious woodbine,

With ſweet muſke roſes, and with Eglantine;

There ſleepes Tytania,ſometime of the night,

Lul'd in theſe flowers, with dances and delight:

And there the ſnake throwes her enammel'd skinne,

Weed wide enough to rap a Fairy in.

And with the iuyce of this Ile ſtreake her eyes,

And make her full of hatefull fantaſies.

640Take thou ſome of it, and ſeek through this groue ;

A ſweet Athenian Lady is in loue

With a diſdainefull youth : annoint his eyes,

But doe it when the next thing he eſpies,

May be the Lady. Thou ſhalt know the man,

By the Athenian garments he hath on.

Effect it with ſome care,that he may proue

More fond on her,then ſhe vpon her loue;

And looke thou meet me ere the firſt Cocke crow.

Pu. Feare not my Lord,your ſeruant ſhall do ſo. Exit.

650 Enter Queene of Fairies, with her traine. Queen. Come, now a Roundell,and a Fairy ſong ;

Then for the third part of a minute hence ,

Some to kill Cankers in the muſke roſe buds,

Some warre with Reremiſe, for their leathern wings.

To make my ſmall Elues coates,and ſome keepe backe

The clamorous Owle that nightly hoots and wonders

At our queint ſpirits : Sing me now aſleepe,

Then to your offices, and let me reſt.

Fairies Sing.

660 You ſpotted Snakes with double tongue,

Thorny Hedgehogges be not ſeene,

Newts and blinde wormes do no wrong,

Come not neere our Fairy Queene.

Philomele with melodie,


Sing in your ſweet Lullaby.


Neuer harme,nor ſpell,nor charme,

Come our louely Lady nye,

So good night with Lullaby.

670 2. Fairy. Weauing Spiders come not heere,

Hence you long leg'd Spinners,hence:

Beetles blacke approach not neere ;

Worme nor Snayle doe no offence.

Philomele with melody, &c.

1. Fairy. Hence away, now all is well;

One aloofe, ſtand Centinell. Shee ſleepes.

Enter Oberon. Ober. What thou ſeeſt when thou doſt wake,

Doe it for thy true Loue take :

680Loue and languiſh for his ſake.

Be it Ounce, or Catte, or Beare,

Pard, or Boare with briſtled haire,

In thy eye that ſhall appeare,

When thou wak'ſt, it is thy deare,

Wake when ſome vile thing is neere.

Enter Liſander and Hermia.

Lis. Faire loue,you faint with wandring in y e woods,

And to ſpeake troth I haue forgot our way :

Wee'll reſt vs Hermia, If you thinke it good ,

690And tarry for the comfort of the day.

Her. Be it ſo Lyſander; finde you out a bed,

For I vpon this banke will reſt my head.

Lyſ. One turfe ſhall ſerue as pillow for vs both,

One heart,one bed, two boſomes,and one troth.

Her. Nay good Lyſander, for my ſake my deere

Lie further off yet, doe not lie ſo neere.

Lyſ. O take the ſence ſweet,of my innocence,

Loue takes the meaning, in loues conference,

I meane that my heart vnto yours is knit,

700So that but one heart can you make of it.

Two boſomes interchanged with an oath,

So then two boſomes, and a ſingle troth.

Then by your ſide, no bed-roome me deny,

For lying ſo, Hermia, I doe not lye.

Her. Lyſander riddles very prettily;

Now much beſhrew my manners and my pride,

If Hermia meant to ſay, Lyſander lied.

But gentle friend, for loue and courteſie

Lie further off, in humane modeſty,

710Such ſeparation, as may well be ſaid ,

Becomes a vertuous batchelour, and a maide,

So farre be diſtant,and good night ſweet friend ;

Thy loue nere alter, till thy ſweet life end.

Lyſ. Amen,amen,to that faire prayer, ſay I,

And then end life, when I end loyalty :

Heere is my bed,ſleepe giue thee all his reſt.

Her. With halfe that wiſh,the wiſhers eyes be preſt.

Enter Pucke. They ſleepe. Puck. Through the Foreſt haue I gone,

720But Athenian finde I none,

One whoſe eyes I might approue

This flowers force in ſtirring loue.

Night and ſilence : who is heere ?

Weedes of Athens he doth weare :

This is he (my maſter ſaid)

Deſpiſed the Athenian maide :

And heere the maiden ſleeping ſound,


A Midſomer nights Dreame. 151

On the danke and durty ground.

Pretty ſoule,ſhe durſt not lye

730Neere this lacke-loue,this kill-curteſie.

Churle,vpon thy eyes I throw

All the power this charme doth owe:

When thou wak'ſt,let loue forbid

Sleepe his ſeate on thy eye-lid.

So awake when I am gone :

For I muſt now to Oberon. Exit.

Enter Demetrius and Helena running.

Hel. Stay, though thou kill me,ſweete Demetrius.

De. I charge thee hence,and do not haunt me thus.

740 Hel. O wilt thou darkling leaue me? do not ſo.

De. Stay on thy perill,I alone will goe.

Exit Demetrius.
Hel. O I am out of breath,in this fond chace,

The more my prayer,the leſſer is my grace,

Happy is Hermia, whereſoere ſhe lies ;

For ſhe hath bleſſed and attractiue eyes.

How came her eyes ſo bright? Not with ſalt teares.

If ſo, my eyes are oftner waſht then hers.

No,no,I am as vgly as a Beare ;

750For beaſts that meete me,runne away for feare,

Therefore no maruaile,though Demetrius

Doe as a monſter,flie my preſence thus.

What wicked and diſſembling glaſſe of mine,

Made me compare with Hermias ſphery eyne ?

But who is here ? Lyſander on the ground ;

Deade or aſleepe ? I ſee no bloud,no wound,

Lyſander, if you liue,good ſir awake.

Lyſ. And run through fire I will for thy ſweet ſake.

Tranſparent Helena,nature her ſhewes art,

760That through thy boſome makes me ſee thy heart.

Where is Demetrius? oh how fit a word

Is that vile name, to periſh on my ſword !

Hel. Do not ſay ſo Lyſander,ſay not ſo :

What though he loue your Hermia?Lord,what though?

Yet Hermia ſtill loues you; then be content.

Lyſ. Content with Hermia ? No,I do repent

The tedious minutes I with her haue ſpent.

Not Hermia,but Helena now I loue ;

Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue?

770The will of man is by his reaſon ſway'd :

And reaſon ſaies you are the worthier Maide.

Things growing are not ripe vntill their ſeaſon;

So I being yong,till now ripe not to reaſon,

And touching now the point of humane skill,

Reaſon becomes the Marſhall to my will.

And leades me to your eyes, where I orelooke

Loues ſtories,written in Loues richeſt booke.

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keene mockery borne?

When at your hands did I deſerue this ſcorne?

780Iſt not enough,iſt not enough,yong man,

That I did neuer,no nor neuer can,

Deſerue a ſweete looke from Demetrius eye,

But you muſt flout my inſufficiency?

Good troth you do me wrong(good-ſooth you do)

In ſuch diſdainfull manner,me to wooe.

But fare you well ; perforce I muſt confeſſe,

I thought you Lord of more true gentleneſſe.

Oh,that a Lady of one man refus'd,

Should of another therefore be abus'd. Exit.

790 Lyſ. She ſees not Hermia : Hermia ſleepe thou there,

And neuer maiſt thou come Lyſander neere ;


For as a ſurfeit of the ſweeteſt things

The deepeſt loathing to the ſtomacke brings :

Or as the hereſies that men do leaue,

Are hated moſt of thoſe that did deceiue :

So thou,my ſurfeit,and my hereſie,

Of all be hated; but the moſt of me ;

And all my powers addreſſe your loue and might,

To honour Helen,and to be her Knight. Exit.

800 Her. Helpe me Lyſander,helpe me ; do thy beſt

To plucke this crawling ſerpent from my breſt.

Aye me,for pitty;what a dreame was here ?

Lyſander looke,how I do quake with feare :

Me-thought a ſerpent eate my heart away,

And yet ſat ſmiling at his cruell prey.

Lyſander,what remoou'd? Lyſander, Lord,

What,out of hearing,gone? No ſound,no word?

Alacke where are you?ſpeake and if you heare:

Speake of all loues ; I ſound almoſt with feare.

810No, then I well perceiue you are not nye,

Either death or you Ile finde immediately. Exit.

Actus Tertius.

Enter the Clownes.

Bot. Are we all met ?

Quin. Pat, pat, and here's a maruailous conuenient

place for our rehearſall. This greene plot ſhall be our

ſtage,this hauthorne brake our tyring houſe,and we will

do it in action,as we will do it before the Duke.

Bot. Peter quince ?

820 Peter. What ſaiſt thou, bully Bottome?

Bot. There are things in this Comedy of Piramus and

Thiſby,that will neuer pleaſe. Firſt, Piramus muſt draw a

ſword to kill himſelfe ; which the Ladies cannot abide.

How anſwere you that ?

Snout. Berlaken,a parlous feare.

Star. I beleeue we muſt leaue the killing out, when

all is done.

Bot. Not a whit, I haue a deuice to make all well.

Write me a Prologue,and let the Prologue ſeeme to ſay,

830we will do no harme with our ſwords, and that Pyramus

is not kill'd indeede : and for the more better aſſurance,

tell them,that I Piramus am not Piramus,but Bottome the

Weauer; this will put them out of feare.

Quin. Well,we will haue ſuch a Prologue,and it ſhall

be written in eight and ſixe.

Bot. No,make it two more,let it be written in eight

and eight.

Snout. Will not the Ladies be afear'd of the Lyon?

Star. I feare it, I promiſe you.

840 Bot. Maſters,you ought to conſider with your ſelues,to

bring in(God ſhield vs)a Lyon among Ladies,is a moſt

dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull wilde

foule then your Lyon liuing : and wee ought to looke

to it.

Snout. Therefore another Prologue muſt tell he is not

a Lyon.

Bot. Nay,you muſt name his name,and halfe his face

muſt be ſeene through the Lyons necke,and he himſelfe

muſt ſpeake through,ſaying thus, or to the ſame defect;

850Ladies, or faire Ladies, I would wiſh you, or I would


152 A Midſomer nights Dreame.

requeſt you,or I would entreat you, not to feare, not to

tremble: my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither

as a Lyon, it were pitty 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 him plainly hee is Snug the


Quin. Well, it ſhall be ſo ; but there is two hard

things, that is, to bring the Moone-light into a cham-

ber:for you know, Piramus and Thiſby meete by Moone-


Sn. Doth the Moone ſhine that night wee play our

play ?

Bot. A Calender,a Calender,looke in the Almanack,

finde out Moone-ſhine,finde out Moone-ſhine.

Enter Pucke. Quin. Yes, it doth ſhine that night.

Bot. Why then may you leaue a caſement of the great

chamber window(where we play)open,and the Moone

may ſhine in at the caſement.

870 Quin. I,or elſe one muſt come in with a buſh of thorns

and a lanthorne,and ſay he comes to disfigure,or to pre-

ſent the perſon of Moone-ſhine. Then there is another

thing,we muſt haue a wall in the great Chamber;for Pi-

ramus and Thiſby (ſaies the ſtory) did talke through the

chinke of a wall.

Sn. You can neuer bring in a wall. What ſay you

Bottome ?

Bot. Some man or other muſt preſent wall, and let

him haue ſome Plaſter, or ſome Lome, or ſome rough

880caſt about him,to ſignifie wall ; or let him hold his fin-

gers thus ; and through that cranny, ſhall Piramus and

Thiſby whiſper.

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, ſit

downe euery mothers ſonne, and rehearſe your parts.

Piramus,you begin;when you haue ſpoken your ſpeech,

enter into that Brake, and ſo euery one according to his


Enter Robin. Rob. What hempen home-ſpuns haue we ſwagge-

890ring here,

So neere the Cradle of the Faierie Queene?

What,a Play toward? Ile be an auditor,

An Actor too perhaps,if I ſee cauſe.

Quin. Speake Piramus : Thisby ſtand forth.

Pir. Thisby,the flowers of odious ſauors ſweete.

Quin. Odours, odours.

Pir. Odours ſauors ſweete,

So hath thy breath, my deareſt Thisby deare.

But harke,a voyce : ſtay thou but here a while,

900And by and by I will to thee appeare. Exit. Pir.

Puck. A ſtranger Piramus,then ere plaid here.

This. Muſt I ſpeake now ?

Pet. I marry muſt you. For you muſt vnderſtand he

goes but to ſee a noyſe that he heard, and is to come a-


Thyſ. Moſt radiant Piramus,moſt Lilly white of hue,

Of colour like the red roſe on triumphant bryer,

Moſt brisky Iuuenall,and eke moſt louely Iew,

As true as trueſt horſe,that yet would neuer tyre,

910Ile meete thee Piramus,at Ninnies toombe.

Pet. Ninus toombe man: why, you muſt not ſpeake

that yet ; that you anſwere to Piramus : you ſpeake all

your part at once,cues and all. Piramus enter,your cue is

paſt ; it is neuer tyre.

Thyſ. O,as true as trueſt horſe,that yet would neuer



Pir. If I were faire, Thiſby I were onely thine.

Pet. O monſtrous. O ſtrange. We are hanted; pray

maſters, flye maſters, helpe.

920 The Clownes all Exit. Puk. Ile follow you,Ile leade you about a Round,

Through bogge,through buſh,through brake,through

Sometime a horſe Ile be,ſometime a hound: (bryer,

A hogge,a headleſſe beare,ſometime a fire,

And neigh,and barke,and grunt,and rore,and burne,

Like horſe,hound,hog,beare,fire,at euery turne. Exit.

Enter Piramus with the Aſſe head. Bot. Why do they run away ? This is a knauery of

them to make me afeard. Enter Snowt.

930 Sn. O Bottom, thou art chang'd ; What doe I ſee on


Bot. What do you ſee? You ſee an Aſſe-head of your

owne, do you?

Enter Peter Quince. Pet. Bleſſe thee Bottome,bleſſe thee; thou art tranſla-

ted. Exit.

Bot. I ſee their knauery;this is to make an aſſe of me,

to fright me if they could; but I will not ſtirre from

this place,do what they can. I will walke vp and downe

940here, and I will ſing that they ſhall heare I am not a-


The Wooſell cocke, ſo blacke of hew,

With Orenge-tawny bill.

The Throſtle,with his note ſo true,

The Wren and little quill.

Tyta. What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?

Bot. The Finch, the Sparrow,and the Larke,

The plainſong Cuckow gray;

Whoſe note full many a man doth marke,

950And dares not anſwere,nay.

For indeede,who would ſet his wit to ſo fooliſh a bird?

Who would giue a bird the lye,though he cry Cuckow,

neuer ſo ?

Tyta. I pray thee gentle mortall, ſing againe,

Mine eare is much enamored of thy note ;

On the firſt view to ſay, to ſweare I loue thee.

So is mine eye enthralled to thy ſhape.

And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth moue me.

Bot. Me-thinkes miſtreſſe , you ſhould haue little

960reaſon for that : and yet to ſay the truth, reaſon and

loue keepe little company together , now-adayes.

The more the pittie, that ſome honeſt neighbours will

not make them friends. Nay, I can gleeke vpon occa-


Tyta. Thou art as wiſe,as thou art beautifull.

Bot. Not ſo neither: but if I had wit enough to get

out of this wood, I haue enough to ſerue mine owne


Tyta. Out of this wood,do not deſire to goe,

970Thou ſhalt remaine here,whether thou wilt or no.

I am a ſpirit of no common rate :

The Summer ſtill doth tend vpon my ſtate,

And I doe loue thee ; therefore goe with me,

Ile giue thee Fairies to attend on thee;

And they ſhall fetch thee Iewels from the deepe,

And ſing,while thou on preſſed flowers doſt ſleepe :

And I will purge thy mortall groſſeneſſe ſo,

That thou ſhalt like an airie ſpirit go.

Enter Peaſe-bloſſome,Cobweb,Moth,Muſtard-

980ſeede,and foure Fairies.
Fai. Ready; and I,and I,and I, Where ſhall we go?

Tita. Be

A Midſommer nights Dreame. 151

Tita. Be kinde and curteous to this Gentleman,

Hop in his walkes,and gambole in his eies,

Feede him with Apricocks,and Dewberries,

With purple Grapes,greene Figs,and Mulberries,

The honie-bags ſteale from the humble Bees,

And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighes,

And light them at the fierie-Glow-wormes eyes,

To haue my loue to bed,and to ariſe :

990And plucke the wings from painted Butterflies,

To fan the Moone-beames from his ſleeping eies.

Nod to him Elues, and doe him curteſies.

1. Fai. Haile mortall,haile.

2. Fai. Haile.

3. Fai. Haile.

Bot. I cry your worſhips mercy hartily ; I beſeech

your worſhips name.

Cob. Cobweb.

Bot. I ſhall deſire you of more acquaintance, good

1000Maſter Cobweb : if I cut my finger, I ſhall make bold

with you.

Your name honeſt Gentleman ?

Peaſ. Peaſe Bloſſome.

Bot. I pray you commend mee to miſtreſſe Squaſh,

your mother, and to maſter Peaſcod your father. Good

maſter Peaſe-bloſſome, I ſhal deſire of you more acquain-

tance to. Your name I beſeech you ſir ?

Mus. Muſtard-ſeede.

Peas. Peaſe-bloſſome.

1010 Bot. Good maſter Muſtard ſeede, I know your pati-

ence well : that ſame cowardly gyant-like Oxe beefe

hath deuoured many a gentleman of your houſe. I pro-

miſe you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere

now. I deſire you more acquaintance, good Maſter


Tita. Come waite vpon him,lead him to my bower.

The Moone me-thinks,lookes with a watrie eie,

And when ſhe weepes,weepe euerie little flower,

Lamenting ſome enforced chaſtitie.

1020Tye vp my louers tongue,bring him ſilently. Exit.

Enter King of Pharies, ſolus.

Ob. I wonder if Titania be awak't ;

Then what it was that next came in her eye,

Which ſhe muſt dote on, in extremitie.

Enter Pucke. Here comes my meſſenger : how now mad ſpirit,

What night-rule now about this gaunted groue?

Puck. My Miſtris with a monſter is in loue,

Neere to her cloſe and conſecrated bower,

1030While ſhe was in her dull and ſleeping hower,

A crew of patches, rude Mcehanicals,

That worke for bread vpon Athenian ſtals,

Were met together to rehearſe a Play,

Intended for great Theſeus nuptiall day :

The ſhalloweſt thick-skin of that barren ſort,

Who Piramus preſented,in their ſport,

Forſooke his Scene, and entred in a brake,

When I did him at this aduantage take,

An Aſſes nole I fixed on his head.

1040Anon his Thiſbie muſt be anſwered,

And forth my Mimmick comes : when they him ſpie,

As Wilde-geeſe,that the creeping Fowler eye,

Or ruſſed-pated choughes,many in ſort

(Riſing and cawing at the guns report)

Seuer themſelues,and madly ſweepe the skye :


So at his ſight, away his fellowes flye,

And at our ſtampe,here ore and ore one fals;

He murther cries,and helpe from Athens cals.

Their ſenſe thus weake,loſt with their fears thus ſtrong,

1050Made ſenſeleſſe things begin to do them wrong.

For briars and thornes at their apparell ſnatch,

Some ſleeues,ſome hats,from yeelders all things catch,

I led them on in this diſtracted feare,

And left ſweete Piramus tranſlated there :

When in that moment(ſo it came to paſſe)

Tytania waked,and ſtraightway lou'd an Aſſe.

Ob. This fals out better then I could deuiſe :

But haſt thou yet lacht the Athenians eyes,

With the loue iuyce,as I did bid thee doe ?

1060 Rob. I tooke him ſleeping (that is finiſht to)

And the Athenian woman by his ſide,

That when he wak't,of force ſhe muſt be eyde.

Enter Demetrius and Hermia.

Ob. Stand cloſe,this is the ſame Athenian.

Rob. This is the woman,but not this the man.

Dem. O why rebuke you him that loues you ſo ?

Lay breath ſo bitter on your bitter foe.

Her. Now I but chide,but I ſhould vſe thee worſe.

For thou (I feare) haſt giuen me cauſe to curſe,

1070If thou haſt ſlaine Lyſander in his ſleepe,

Being ore ſhooes in bloud, plunge in the deepe, and kill

me too :

The Sunne was not ſo true vnto the day,

As he to me. Would he haue ſtollen away,

From ſleeping Hermia ? Ile beleeue as ſoone

This whole earth may be bord,and that the Moone

May through the Center creepe,and ſo diſpleaſe

Her brothers noonetide,with th' Antipodes.

It cannot be but thou haſt murdred him,

1080So ſhould a mutrherer looke,ſo dead,ſo grim.

Dem. So ſhould the murderer looke,and ſo ſhould I,

Pierſt through the heart with your ſtearne cruelty :

Yet you the murderer lookes as bright as cleare,

As yonder Venus in her glimmering ſpheare.

Her. What's this to my Lyſander ? where is he ?

Ah good Demetrius,wilt thou giue him me?

Dem. I'de rather giue his carkaſſe to my hounds.

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

Of maidens patience. Haſt thou ſlaine him then?

1090Henceforth be neuer numbred among men.

Oh, once tell true,euen for my ſake,

Durſt thou a lookt vpon him,being awake ?

And haſt thou kill'd him ſleeping ? O braue tutch :

Could not a worme,an Adder do ſo much ?

An Adder did it : for with doubler tongue

Then thine(thou ſerpent) neuer Adder ſtung.

Dem. You ſpend your paſſion on a miſpri'ſd mood,

I am not guiltie of Lyſanders blood :

Nor is he dead for ought that I can tell.

1100 Her. I pray thee tell me then that he is well.

Dem. And if I could,what ſhould I get therefore ?

Her. A priuiledge,neuer to ſee me more ;

And from thy hated preſence part I:ſee me no more

Whether he be dead or no. Exit.

Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vaine,

Here therefore for a while I will remaine.

So ſorrowes heauineſſe doth heauier grow:

For debt that bankrout ſlip doth ſorrow owe,

Which now in ſome ſlight meaſure it will pay,


154 A Midſommer nights Dreame.

1110If for his tender here I make ſome ſtay. Lie downe.

Ob. What haſt thou done?Thou haſt miſtaken quite

And laid the loue iuyce on ſome true loues ſight :

Of thy miſpriſion,muſt perforce enſue

Some true loue turn'd,and not a falſe turn'd true.

Rob. Then fate ore-rules,that one man holding troth,

A million faile, confounding oath on oath.

Ob. About the wood,goe ſwifter then the winde,

And Helena of Athens looke thou finde.

All fancy ſicke ſhe is, and pale of cheere ,

1120With ſighes of loue,that coſts the freſh bloud deare.

By ſome illuſion ſee thou bring her heere ,

Ile charme his eyes againſt ſhe doth appeare.

Robin. I go,I go, looke how I goe,

Swifter then arrow from the Tartars bowe. Exit.

Ob. Flower of this purple die,

Hit with Cupids archery,

Sinke in apple of his eye,

When his loue he doth eſpie,

Let her ſhine as gloriouſly

1130As the Venus of the sky.

When thou wak'ſt if ſhe be by,

Beg of her for remedy.

Enter Pucke. Puck. Captaine of our Fairy band,

Helena is heere at hand,

And the youth,miſtooke by me,

Pleading for a Louers fee.

Shall we their fond Pageant ſee ?

Lord, what fooles theſe mortals be !

1140 Ob. Stand aſide: the noyſe they make,

Will cauſe Demetrius to awake.

Puck. Then will two at once wooe one,

That muſt needs be ſport alone :

And thoſe things doe beſt pleaſe me,

That befall prepoſterouſly.

Enter Lyſander and Helena. Lyſ. Why ſhould you think y t I ſhould wooe in ſcorn ?

Scorne and deriſion neuer comes in teares :

Looke when I vow I weepe ; and vowes ſo borne,

1150In their natiuity all truth appeares.

How can theſe things in me,ſeeme ſcorne to you ?

Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true.

Hel. You doe aduance your cunning more & more,

When truth kils truth, O diueliſh holy fray !

Theſe vowes are Hermias. Will you giue her ore ?

Weigh oath with oath,and you will nothing weigh.

Your vowes to her, and me,(put in two ſcales)

Will euen weigh,and both as light as tales.

Lyſ. I had no iudgement, when to her I ſwore.

1160 Hel. Nor none in my minde,now you giue her ore.

Lyſ. Demetrius loues her,and he loues not you. Awa.

Dem. O Helen,goddeſſe,nimph,perfect, diuine,

To what my, loue,ſhall I compare thine eyne!

Chriſtall is muddy, O how ripe in ſhow,

Thy lips,thoſe kiſſing cherries, tempting grow !

That pure congealed white,high Taurus ſnow,

Fan'd with the Eaſterne winde, turnes to a crow,

When thou holdſt vp thy hand. O let me kiſſe

This Princeſſe of pure white,this ſeale of bliſſe.

1170 Hell. O ſpight ! O hell ! I ſee you are all bent

To ſet againſt me, for your merriment :

If you were ciuill, and knew curteſie,

You would not doe me thus much iniury.


Can you not hate me, as I know you doe,

But you muſt ioyne in ſoules to mocke me to?

If you are men, as men you are in ſhow,

You would not vſe a gentle Lady ſo ;

To vow, and ſweare, and ſuperpraiſe my parts,

When I am ſure you hate me with your hearts.

1180You both are Riuals,and loue Hermia ;

And now both Riuals to mocke Helena.

A trim exploit,a manly enterprize,

To coniure teares vp in a poore maids eyes,

With your deriſion ; none of noble ſort,

Would ſo offend a Virgin, and extort

A poore ſoules patience, all to make you ſport.

Lyſa. You are vnkind Demetrius;be not ſo,

For you loue Hermia ; this you know I know ;

And here with all good will,with all my heart,

1190In Hermias loue I yeeld you vp my part;

And yours of Helena, to me bequeath,

Whom I do loue,and will do to my death.

Hel. Neuer did mockers waſt more idle breth.

Dem. Lyſander, keep thy Hermia,I will none:

If ere I lou'd her,all that loue is gone.

My heart to her, but as gueſt-wiſe ſoiourn'd,

And now to Helen it is home return'd,

There to remaine.

Lyſ. It is not ſo.

1200 De. Diſparage not the faith thou doſt not know,

Leſt to thy perill thou abide it deare.

Looke where thy Loue comes,yonder is thy deare.

Enter Hermia.

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

The eare more quicke of apprehenſion makes ,

Wherein it doth impaire the ſeeing ſenſe ,

It paies the hearing double recompence.

Thou art not by mine eye, Lyſander found ,

Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to that ſound.

1210But why vnkindly didſt thou leaue me ſo? (to go?

Lyſan. Why ſhould hee ſtay whom Loue doth preſſe

Her. What loue could preſſe Lyſander from my ſide?

Lyſ. Lyſanders loue (that would not let him bide)

Faire Helena ; who more engilds the night,

Then all yon fierie oes, and eies of light.

Why ſeek'ſt thou me? Could not this make thee know,

The hate I bare thee,made me leaue thee ſo ?

Her. You ſpeake not as you thinke ; it cannot be.

Hel. Loe, ſhe is one of this confederacy ,

1220Now I perceiue they haue conioyn'd all three,

To faſhion this falſe ſport in ſpight of me.

Iniurous Hermia, moſt vngratefull maid ,

Haue you conſpir'd, haue you with theſe contriu'd

To baite me, with this foule deriſion ?

Is all the counſell that we two haue ſhar'd,

The ſiſters vowes,the houres that we haue ſpent,

When wee haue chid the haſty footed time ,

For parting vs ; O, is all forgot ?

All ſchooledaies friendſhip,child-hood innocence ?

1230We Hermia, like two Artificiall gods,

Haue with our needles,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 mindes

Had beene incorporate. So we grew together,

Like to a double cherry, ſeeming parted,

But yet a vnion in partition,


A Midſommer nights Dreame. 155

Two louely berries molded on one ſtem,

So with two ſeeming bodies, but one heart,

1240Two of the firſt life coats in Heraldry,

Due but to one and crowned with one creſt.

And will you rent our ancient loue aſunder,

To ioyne with men in ſcorning your poore friend ?

It is not friendly,'tis not maidenly.

Our ſexe as well as I,may chide you for it,

Though I alone doe feele the iniurie.

Her. I am amazed at your paſſionate words,

I ſcorne you not ; It ſeemes that you ſcorne me.

Hel. Haue you not ſet Lyſander,as in ſcorne

1250To follow me,and praiſe my eies and face ?

And made your other loue, Demetrius

(Who euen but now did ſpurne me with his foote)

To call me goddeſſe,nimph,diuine,and rare,

Precious,celeſtiall ? Wherefore ſpeakes he this

To her he hates ? And wherefore doth Lyſander

Denie your loue(ſo rich within his ſoule)

And tender me (forſooth) affection,

But by your ſetting on,by your conſent ?

What though I be not ſo in grace as you,

1260So hung vpon with loue,ſo fortunate ?

(But miſerable moſt,to loue vnlou'd)

This you ſhould pittie,rather then deſpiſe.

Her. I vnderſtand not what you meane by this.

Hel. I,doe,perſeuer,counterfeit ſad lookes,

Make mouthes vpon me when I turne my backe,

Winke each at other,hold the ſweete ieſt vp :

This ſport well carried,ſhall be chronicled.

If you haue any pittie,grace,or manners,

You would not make me ſuch an argument :

1270But fare ye well,'tis partly mine owne fault,

Which death or abſence ſoone ſhall remedie.

Lyſ. Stay gentle Helena,heare my excuſe,

My loue,my life,my ſoule,faire Helena.

Hel. O excellent !

Her. Sweete,do not ſcorne her ſo.

Dem. If ſhe cannot entreate,I can compell.

Lyſ. Thou canſt compell,no more then ſhe entreate.

Thy threats haue no more ſtrength then her weak praiſe.

Helen,I loue thee,by my life I doe ;

1280I ſweare by that which I will loſe for thee,

To proue him falſe,that ſaies I loue thee not.

Dem. I ſay,I loue thee more then he can do.

Lyſ. If thou ſay ſo,with-draw and proue it too.

Dem. Quick,come.

Her. Lyſander,whereto tends all this ?

Lyſ. Away,you Ethiope.

Dem. No,no,Sir,ſeeme to breake looſe ;

Take on as you would follow,

But yet come not: you are a tame man,go.

1290 Lyſ. Hang off thou cat,thou bur;vile thing let looſe,

Or I will ſhake thee from me like a ſerpent.

Her. Why are you growne ſo rude ?

What change is this ſweete Loue ?

Lyſ. Thy loue? out tawny Tartar,out ;

Out loathed medicine ; O hated poiſon hence.

Her. Do you not ieſt ?

Hel. Yes ſooth, and ſo do you.

Lyſ. Demetrius:I will keepe my word with thee.

Dem. I would I had your bond : for I perceiue

1300A weake bond holds you ; Ile not truſt your word.

Lyſ. What,ſhould I hurt her,ſtrike her, kill her dead?

Although I hate her, Ile not harme her ſo.

Her. What,can you do me greater harme then hate?


Hate me,wherefore? O me,what newes my Loue ?

Am not I Hermia ? Are not you Lyſander?

I am as faire now,as I was ere while.

Since night you lou'd me;yet ſince night you left me.

Why then you left me (O the gods forbid

In earneſt, ſhall I ſay ?

1310 Lyſ. I,by my life ;

And neuer did deſire to ſee thee more.

Therefore be out of hope,of queſtion,of doubt ;

Be certaine,nothing truer : 'tis no ieſt,

That I doe hate thee,and loue Helena.

Her. O me,you iugler,you canker bloſſome,

You theefe of loue ; What,haue you come by night,

And ſtolne my loues heart from him ?

Hel. Fine yfaith :

Haue you no modeſty,no maiden ſhame,

1320No touch of baſhfulneſſe ? What,will you teare

Impatient anſwers from my gentle tongue ?

Fie,fie,you counterfeit,you puppet, you.

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

Now I perceiue that ſhe hath made compare

Betweene our ſtatures,ſhe hath vrg'd her height,

And with her perſonage,her tall perſonage,

Her height (forſooth) ſhe hath preuail'd with him.

And are you growne ſo high in his eſteeme,

Becauſe I am ſo dwarfiſh, and ſo low ?

1330How low am I, thou painted May-pole ? Speake,

How low am I ? I am not yet ſo low,

But that my nailes can reach vnto thine eyes.

Hel. I pray you though you mocke me,gentlemen,

Let her not hurt me ; I was neuer curſt :

I haue no gift at all in ſhrewiſhneſſe ;

I am a right maide for my cowardize ;

Let her not ſtrike me : you perhaps may thinke,

Becauſe ſhe is ſomething lower then my ſelfe,

That I can match her.

1340 Her. Lower ? harke againe.

Hel. Good Hermia,do not be ſo bitter with me,

I euermore did loue you Hermia,

Did euer keepe your counſels,neuer wronged you,

Saue that in loue vnto Demetrius,

I told him of your ſtealth vnto this wood.

He followed you,for loue I followed him,

But he hath chid me hence,and threatned me

To ſtrike me,ſpurne me,nay to kill me too;

And now,ſo you will let me quiet go,

1350To Athens will I beare my folly backe,

And follow you no further. Let me go.

You ſee how ſimple,and how fond I am.

Her. Why get you gone : who iſt that hinders you ?

Hel. A fooliſh heart that I leaue here behinde.

Her. What,with Lyſander ?

Her. With Demetrius.

Lyſ. Be not afraid,ſhe ſhall not harme thee Helena.

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

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

1360She was a vixen when ſhe went to ſchoole,

And though ſhe be but little,ſhe is fierce.

Her. Little againe ? Nothing but low and little ?

Why will you ſuffer her to flout me thus ?

Let me come to her.

Lyſ. Get you gone you dwarfe,

You minimus, of hindring knot-graſſe made,

You bead,you acorne.

Dem. You are too officious,

In her behalfe that ſcornes your ſeruices.


156 A Midſommer nights Dreame.

1370Let her alone,ſpeake not of Helena,

Take not her part. For if thou doſt intend

Neuer ſo little ſhew of loue to her,

Thou ſhalt abide it.

Lyſ. Now ſhe holds me not,

Now follow if thou dar'ſt,to try whoſe right,

Of thine or mine is moſt in Helena.

Dem. Follow? Nay, Ile goe with thee cheeke by

iowle. Exit Lyſander and Demetrius.

Her. You Miſtris,all this coyle is long of you.

1380Nay,goe not backe.

Hel. I will not truſt you I,

Nor longer ſtay in your curſt companie.

Your hands then mine,are quicker for a fray,

My legs are longer though to runne away.

Enter Oberon and Pucke. Ob. This is thy negligence,ſtill thou miſtak'ſt,

Or elſe committ'ſt thy knaueries willingly.

Puck. Beleeue me,King of ſhadowes,I miſtooke,

Did not you tell me,I ſhould know the man,

1390By the Athenian garments he hath on ?

And ſo farre blameleſſe proues my enterprize,

That I haue nointed an Athenians eies,

And ſo farre am I glad,it ſo did ſort,

As this their iangling I eſteeme a ſport.

Ob. Thou ſeeſt theſe Louers ſeeke a place to fight,

Hie therefore Robin,ouercaſt the night,

The ſtarrie Welkin couer thou anon,

With drooping fogge as blacke as Acheron,

And lead theſe teſtie Riuals ſo aſtray,

1400As one come not within anothers way.

Like to Lyſander, ſometime frame thy tongue,

Then ſtirre Demetrius vp with bitter wrong;

And ſometime raile thou like Demetrius ;

And from each other looke thou leade them thus,

Till ore their browes,death-counterfeiting,ſleepe

With leaden legs,and Battie-wings doth creepe ;

Then cruſh this hearbe into Lyſanders eie,

Whoſe liquor hath this vertuous propertie,

To take from thence all error,with his might,

1410And make his eie-bals role with wonted ſight.

When they next wake,all this deriſion

Shall ſeeme a dreame,and fruitleſſe viſion,

And backe to Athens ſhall the Louers wend

With league,whoſe date till death ſhall neuer end.

Whiles I in this affaire do thee imply,

Ile to my Queene,and beg her Indian Boy ;

And then I will her charmed eie releaſe

From monſters view,and all things ſhall be peace.

Puck. My Fairie Lord, this muſt be done with haſte,

1420For night-ſwift Dragons cut the Clouds full faſt,

And yonder ſhines Auroras harbinger ;

At whoſe approach Ghoſts wandring here and there,

Troope home to Church-yards; damned ſpirits all,

That in croſſe-waies and flouds haue buriall,

Alreadie to their wormie beds are gone ;

For feare leaſt day ſhould looke their ſhames vpon,

They wilfully themſelues dxile from light,

And muſt for aye conſort with blacke browd night.

Ob. But we are ſpirits of another ſort :

1430I, with the mornings loue haue oft made ſport,

And like a Forreſter,the groues may tread,

Euen till the Eaſterne gate all fierie red,

Opening on Neptune,with faire bleſſed beames,

Turnes into yellow gold,his ſalt greene ſtreames.


But not withſtanding haſte,make no delay :

We may effect this buſineſſe,yet ere day.

Puck. Vp and downe, vp and downe, I will leade

them vp and downe : I am fear'd in field and towne.

Goblin, lead them vp and downe : here comes one.

1440 Enter Lyſander. Lyſ. Where art thou,proud Demetrius ?

Speake thou now.

Rob. Here villaine,drawne & readie.Where art thou?

Lyſ. I will be with thee ſtraight.

Rob. Follow me then to plainer ground.

Enter Demetrius. Dem. Lyſander, ſpeake againe ;

Thou runaway,thou coward,art thou fled?

Speake in ſome buſh:Where doſt thou hide thy head?

1450 Rob. Thou coward,art thou bragging to the ſtars,

Telling the buſhes that thou look'ſt for wars,

And wilt not come ? Come recreant,come thou childe,

Ile whip thee with a rod. He is defil'd

That drawes a ſword on thee.

Dem. Yea,art thou there ?

Ro. Follow my voice,we'l try no manhood here. Exit.

Lyſ. He goes before me,and ſtill dares me on,

When I come where he cals,then he's gone.

The villaine is much lighter heel'd then I :

1460I followed faſt , but faſter he did flye ; ſhifting places.

That fallen am I in darke vneuen way,

And here wil reſt me.Come thou gentle day : lye down.

For if but once thou ſhew me thy gray light,

Ile finde Demetrius,and reuenge this ſpight.

Enter Robin and Demetrius. Rob. Ho,ho,ho ; coward, why com'ſt thou not?

Dem. Abide me,if thou dar'ſt. For well I wot,

Thou runſt before me,ſhifting euery place,

And dar'ſt not ſtand,nor looke me in the face.

1470Where art thou ?

Rob. Come hither,I am here.

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


If euer I thy face by day-light ſee.

Now goe thy way : faintneſſe conſtraineth me,

To meaſure out my length on this cold bed,

By daies approach looke to be viſited.

Enter Helena. Hel. O weary night,O long and tedious night,

1480Abate thy houres,ſhine comforts from the Eaſt,

That I may backe to Athens by day-light,

From theſe that my poore companie deteſt ;

And ſleepe that ſometime ſhuts vp ſorrowes eie,

Steale me a while from mine owne companie. Sleepe.

Rob. Yet but three ? Come one more,

Two of both kindes makes vp foure.

Here ſhe comes,curſt and ſad,

Cupid is a knauiſh lad,

Enter Hermia. 1490Thus to make poore females mad.

Her. Neuer ſo wearie,neuer ſo in woe,

Bedabbled with the dew,and torne with briars,

I can no further crawle,no further goe ;

My legs can keepe no pace with my deſires.

Here will I reſt me till the breake of day,

Heauens ſhield Lyſander, if they meane a fray.

Rob. On the ground ſleepe ſound,

Ile apply your eie gentle louer,remedy.

When thou wak'ſt,thou tak'ſt

1500True delight in the ſight of thy former Ladies eye,


A Midſommer nights Dreame. 157

And the Country Prouerb knowne,

That euery man ſhould take his owne,

In your waking ſhall be ſhowne.

Iacke ſhall haue Iill, nought ſhall goe ill,

The man ſhall haue his Mare againe , and all ſhall bee


They ſleepe all the Act.

Actus Quartus.

Enter Queene of Fairies,and Clowne, and Fairies, and the

1510King behinde them

Tita. Come, ſit thee downe vpon this flowry bed,

While I thy amiable cheekes doe coy,

And ſticke muske roſes in thy ſleeke ſmoothe head,

And kiſſe thy faire large eares, my gentle ioy.

Clow. Where's Peaſebloſſome?

Peaſ. Ready.

Clow. Scratch my head, Peaſe-bloſſome. Wher's Moun-

ſieuer Cobweb.

Cob. Ready.

1520 Clowne. Mounſieur Cobweb, good Mounſier get your

weapons in your hand, & kill me a red hipt humble-Bee,

on the top of a thiſtle ; and good Mounſieur bring mee

the hony bag. Doe not fret your ſelfe too much in the

action, Mounſieur; and good Mounſieur haue a care the

hony bag breake not,I would be loth to haue you ouer-

flowne with a hony-bag ſigniour. Where's Mounſieur

Muſtardſeed ?

Muſ. Ready.

Clo. Giue me your neafe,Mounſieur Muſtardſeed.

1530Pray you leaue your courteſie good Mounſieur.

Muſ. What's your will?

Clo. Nothing good Mounſieur, but to help Caualery

Cobweb to ſcratch. I muſt to the Barbers Mounſieur, for

me-thinkes I am maruellous hairy about the face. And I

am ſuch a tender aſſe,if my haire do but tickle me,I muſt


Tita. What, wilt thou heare ſome muſicke,my ſweet


Clow. I haue a reaſonable good eare in muſicke. Let

1540vs haue the tongs and the bones.

Muſicke Tongs,Rurall Muſicke. Tita. Or ſay ſweete Loue, what thou deſireſt to eat.

Clowne. Truly a pecke of Prouender ; I could munch

your good dry Oates. Me-thinkes I haue a great deſire

to a bottle of hay : good hay , ſweete hay hath no fel-


Tita. I haue a venturous Fairy,

That ſhall ſeeke the Squirrels hoard ,

And fetch thee new Nuts.

1550 Clown. I had rather haue a handfull or two of dried

peaſe. But I pray you let none of your people ſtirre me,I

haue an expoſition of ſleepe come vpon me.

Tyta. Sleepe thou,and I will winde thee in my arms,

Fairies be gone, and be alwaies away.

So doth the woodbine, the ſweet Honiſuckle,

Gently entwiſt ; the female Iuy ſo

Enrings the barky fingers of the Elme.


O how I loue thee ! how I dote on thee !

Enter Robin goodfellow and Oberon. 1560 Ob. Welcome good Robin :

Seeſt thou this ſweet ſight ?

Her dotage now I doe begin to pitty.

For meeting her of late behinde the wood,

Seeking ſweet ſauours for this hatefull foole,

I did vpbraid 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 ſomtime on the buds,

Was wont to ſwell like round and orient pearles ;

1570Stood now within the pretty flouriets eyes,

Like teares that did their owne diſgrace bewaile.

When I had at my pleaſure taunted her,

And ſhe in milde termes beg'd my patience,

I then did aske of her, her changeling childe,

Which ſtraight ſhe gaue me,and her Fairy ſent

To beare him to my Bower in Fairy Land.

And now I haue the Boy, I will vndoe

This hatefull imperfection of her eyes.

And gentle Pucke,take this transformed ſcalpe,

1580From off the head of this Athenian ſwaine ;

That he awaking when the other doe ,

May all to Athens backe againe repaire,

And thinke no more of this nights accidents,

But as the fierce vexation of a dreame.

But firſt I will releaſe the Fairy Queene.

Be thou as thou waſt wont to be ;

See as thou waſt wont to ſee.

Dians bud, or Cupids flower,

Hath ſuch force and bleſſed power.

1590Now my Titania wake you my ſweet Queene.

Tita. My Oberon, what viſions haue I ſeene !

Me-thought I was enamoured of an Aſſe.

Ob. There lies your loue.

Tita. How came theſe things to paſſe ?

Oh, how mine eyes doth loath this viſage now !

Ob. Silence a while. Robin take off his head :

Titania,muſick call, and ſtrike more dead

Then common ſleepe ; of all theſe, fine the ſenſe.

Tita. Muſicke,ho muſicke,ſuch as charmeth ſleepe.

1600 Muſick ſtill. Rob. When thou wak'ſt, with thine owne fooles eies

peepe. (me

Ob. Sound muſick; come my Queen,take hands with

And rocke the ground whereon theſe ſleepers be.

Now thou and I are new in amity ,

And will to morrow midnight, ſolemnly

Dance in Duke Theſeus houſe triumphantly ,

And bleſſe it to all faire poſterity.

There ſhall the paires of faithfull Louers be

1610Wedded, with Theſeus, all in iollity.

Rob. Faire King attend, and marke,

I doe heare the morning Larke,

Ob. Then my Queene in ſilence ſad,

Trip we after the nights ſhade ;

We the Globe can compaſſe ſoone,

Swifter then the wandering Moone.

Tita. Come my Lord, and in our flight,

Tell me how it came this night ,

That I ſleeping heere was found,

1620 Sleepers Lye ſtill. O With

158 A Midſommernights Dreame.

With theſe mortals on the ground. Exeunt.

Winde Hornes. Enter Theſeus,Egeus,Hippolita and all his traine. Theſ. Goe one of you,finde out the Forreſter ,

For now our obſeruation is perform'd ;

And ſince we haue the vaward of the day,

My Loue ſhall heare the muſicke of my hounds.

Vncouple in the Weſterne valley,let them goe ;

Diſpatch I ſay, and finde the Forreſter.

1630We will faire Queene,vp to the Mountains top,

And marke the muſicall confuſion

Of hounds and eccho in coniunction.

Hip. I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,

When in a wood of Creete they bayed the Beare

With hounds of Sparta ; neuer did I heare

Such gallant chiding. For beſides the groues,

The skies,the fountaines,euery region neere,

Seeme all one mutuall cry. I neuer heard

So muſicall a diſcord, ſuch ſweet thunder.

1640 Theſ. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kinde,

So flew'd, ſo ſanded, and their heads are hung

With eares that ſweepe away the morning dew ,

Crooke kneed,and dew-lapt,like Theſſalian Buls,

Slow in purſuit,but match'd in mouth like bels,

Each vnder each. A cry more tuneable

Was neuer hallowed to,nor cheer'd with horne,

In Creete, in Sparta, nor in Theſſaly ;

Iudge when you heare. But ſoft,what nimphs are theſe?

Egeus. My Lord,this is my daughter heere aſleepe,

1650And this Lyſander, this Demetrius is,

This Helena, olde Nedars Helena,

I wonder of this being heere together.

The. No doubt they roſe vp early,to obſerue

The right of May ; and hearing our intent,

Came heere in grace of our ſolemnity.

But ſpeake Egeus, is not this the day

That Hermia ſhould giue anſwer of her choice?

Egeus. It is,my Lord.

Theſ. Goe bid the huntſ-men wake them with their


Hornes and they wake. Shout within,they all ſtart vp. Theſ. Good morrow friends : Saint Valentine is paſt,

Begin theſe wood birds but to couple now ?

Lyſ. Pardon my Lord.

Theſ. I pray you all ſtand vp.

I know you two are Riuall enemies.

How comes this gentle concord in the world ,

That hatred is is ſo farre from iealouſie ,

1670To ſleepe by hate, and feare no enmity.

Lyſ. My Lord,I ſhall reply amazedly,

Halfe ſleepe,halfe waking. But as yet, I ſweare,

I cannot truly ſay how I came heere.

But as I thinke (for truly would I ſpeake)

And now I doe bethinke me, ſo it is ;

I came with Hermia hither. Our intent

Was to be gone from Athens, where we might be

Without the perill of the Athenian Law.

Ege. Enough, enough, my Lord : you haue enough ;

1680I beg the Law, the Law, vpon his head :

They would have ſtolne away, they would Demetrius,

Thereby to haue 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,faire Helen told me of their ſtealth,

Of this their purpoſe hither, to this wood,


And I in furie hither followed them;

Faire Helena, in fancy followed me.

But my good Lord, I wot not by what power,

1690(But by ſome power it is) my loue

To Hermia (melted as the ſnow)

Seems to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaude,

Which in my childehood I did doat vpon :

And all the faith, the vertue of my heart,

The obiect and the pleaſure of mine eye,

Is onely Helena. To her,my Lord,

Was I betroth'd, ere I ſee Hermia,

But like a ſickeneſſe did I loath this food,

But as in health, come to my naturall taſte,

1700Now doe I wiſh it, loue it,long for it ,

And will for euermore be true to it.

Theſ. Faire Louers,you are fortunately met ;

Of this diſcourſe we ſhall heare more anon.

Egeus, I will ouer-beare your will ;

For in the Temple, by and by with vs,

Theſe couples ſhall eternally be knit.

And for the morning now is ſomething worne,

Our purpoſ'd hunting ſhall be ſet aſide.

Away, with vs to Athens ; three and three,

1710Wee'll hold a feaſt in great ſolemnitie.

Come Hippolitæ. Exit Duke and Lords.

Dem. Theſe things ſeeme ſmall & vndiſtinguiſhable,

Like farre off mountaines turned into Clouds.

Her. Me-thinks I ſee theſe things with parted eye,

When euery things ſeemes double.

Hel. So me-thinkes :

And I haue found Demetrius, like a iewell,

Mine owne, and not mine owne.

Dem. It ſeemes to mee,

1720That yet we ſleepe,we dreame. Do not you thinke,

The Duke was heere,and bid vs follow him ?

Her. Yea,and my Father.

Hel. And Hippolitæ.

Lyſ. And he bid vs follow to the Temple.

Dem. Why then we are awake ; lets follow him, and

by the way let vs recount our dreames.

Bottome wakes Exit Louers. Clo. When my cue comes,call me, and I will anſwer.

My next is, moſt faire Piramus. Hey ho. Peter Quince ?

1730 Flute the bellowes-mender ? Snout the tinker ? Starue-

ling?Gods my life ! Stolne hence,and left me aſleepe : I

haue had a moſt rare viſion. I had a dreame,paſt the wit

of man, to ſay, what dreame it was. Man is but an Aſſe,

if he goe about to expound this dreame. Me-thought I

was, there is no man can tell what. Me-thought I was,

and me-thought I had. But man is but a patch'd foole,

if he will offer to ſay,what me-thought I had.The eye of

man hath not heard,the eare of man hath not ſeen, mans

hand is not able to taſte, his tongue to conceiue, nor his

1740heart to report, what my dreame was. I will get Peter

Quince to write a ballet of this dreame, it ſhall be called

Bottomes Dreame,becauſe it hath no bottome; and I will

ſing it in the latter end of a play, before the Duke. Per-

aduenture,to make it the more gracious , I ſhall ſing it

at her death. Exit.

Enter Quince,Flute,Thiſbie,Snout,and Starueling.

Quin. Haue you ſent to Bottomes houſe ? Is he come

home yet ?

Staru. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt hee is


Thiſ. If

A Midſommer nights Dreame. 159

Thiſ. If he come not, then the play is mar'd. It goes

not forward,doth it ?

Quin. It is not poſſible : you haue not a man in all

Athens,able to diſcharge Piramus but he.

Thiſ. No, hee hath ſimply the beſt wit of any handy-

craft man in Athens.

Quin. Yea,and the beſt perſon too, and hee is a very

Paramour, for a ſweet voyce.

Thiſ. You muſt ſay, Paragon. A Paramour is (God

1760bleſſe vs) a thing of nought.

Enter Snug the Ioyner. Snug. Maſters,the Duke is comming from the Tem-

ple,and there is two or three Lords & Ladies more mar-

ried. If our ſport had gone forward,we had all bin made


This. O ſweet bully Bottome : thus hath he loſt ſixe-

pence a day,during his life;he could not haue ſcaped ſix-

pence a day. And the Duke had not giuen him ſixpence

a day for playing Piramus,Ile be hang'd. He would haue

1770deſerued it. Sixpence a day in Piramus,or nothing.

Enter Bottome. Bot. Where are theſe Lads ? Where are theſe hearts ?

Quin. Bottome,ô moſt couragious day ! O moſt hap-

pie houre !

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 euery thing as it fell out.

Qu. Let vs heare,ſweet Bottome.

Bot. Not a word of me:all that I will tell you,is,that

1780the Duke hath dined. Get your apparell together,good

ſtrings to your beards, new ribbands to your pumps,

meete preſently at the Palace , euery man looke ore his

part : for the ſhort and the long is,our play is preferred :

In any caſe let Thisby haue cleane linnen:and let not him

that playes the Lion, paire his nailes, for they ſhall hang

out for the Lions clawes. And moſt deare Actors, eate

no Onions, nor Garlicke ; for wee are to vtter ſweete

breath,and I doe not doubt but to heare them ſay, it is a

ſweet Comedy. No more words : away, go away.


Actus Quintus.

Enter Theſeus, Hippolita, Egeus and his Lords.

Hip. ’Tis ſtrange my Theſeus, y t theſe louers ſpeake of.

The. More ſtrange then true. I neuer may beleeue

Theſe anticke fables, nor theſe Fairy toyes,

Louers and mad men haue ſuch ſeething braines,

Such ſhaping phantaſies, that apprehend more

Then coole reaſon euer comprehends.

The Lunaticke, the Louer,and the Poet,

1800Are of imagination all compact.

One ſees more diuels then vaſte hell can hold ;

That is the mad man. The Louer,all as franticke,

Sees Helens beauty in a brow of Egipt.

The Poets eye in a fine frenzy rolling,doth glance

From heauen to earth, from earth to heauen.

And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things

Vnknowne ; the Poets pen turnes them to ſhapes,

And giues to aire nothing, a locall habitation,

And a name. Such tricks hath ſtrong imagination,


1810That if it would but apprehend ſome ioy,

It comprehends ſome bringer of that ioy.

Or in the night, imagining ſome feare,

Howe eaſie is a buſh ſuppos'd a Beare ?

Hip. But all the ſtorie of the night told ouer,

And all their minds transfigur'd ſo together,

More witneſſeth than fancies images,

And growes to ſomething of great conſtancie;

But howſoeuer, ſtrange,and admirable.

Enter louers,Lyſander,Demetrius,Hermia,

1820and Helena.

The. Heere come the louers,full of ioy and mirth :

Ioy, gentle friends, ioy and freſh dayes

Of loue accompany your hearts.

Lyſ. More then to vs, waite in your royall walkes,

your boord, your bed.

The. Come now, what maskes, what dances ſhall

we haue,

To weare away this long age of three houres,

Between our after ſupper, and bed-time ?

1830Where is our vſuall manager of mirth ?

What Reuels are in hand ? Is there no play,

To eaſe the anguiſh of a torturing houre ?

Call Egeus.

Ege. Heere mighty Theſeus.

The. Say, what abridgement haue you for this eue-


What maske? What muſicke ? How ſhall we beguile

The lazie time, if not with ſome delight ?

Ege. There is a breefe how many ſports are rife:

1840Make choiſe of which your Highneſſe will ſee firſt.

Liſ. The battell with the Centaurs to be ſung

By an Athenian Eunuch, to the Harpe.

The. Wee’l none of that. That haue I told my Loue

In glory of my kinſman Hercules.

Liſ. The riot of the tipſie Bachanals,

Tearing the Thracian ſinger,in their rage ?

The. That is an old deuice, and it was plaid

When I from Thebes came laſt a Conqueror.

Liſ. The thrice three Muſes,mourning for the death

1850of learning, late deceaſt in beggerie.

The. That is ſome Satire keene and criticall,

Not ſorting with a nuptiall ceremonie.

Liſ. A tedious breefe Scene of yong Piramus,

And his loue Thisby ; very tragicall mirth.

The. Merry and tragicall ? Tedious,and briefe? That

is,hot ice, and wondrous ſtrange ſnow. How ſhall wee

finde the concord of this diſcord ?

Ege. A play there is, my Lord, ſome ten words long,

Which is as breefe, as I haue knowne a play ;

1860But 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 tragicall my noble Lord it is : for Piramus

Therein doth kill himſelfe. Which when I ſaw

Rehearſt, I muſt confeſſe, made mine eyes water :

But more merrie teares, the paſſion of loud laughter

Neuer ſhed.

Theſ. What are they that do play it ?

Ege. Hard handed men, that worke in Athens heere,

1870Which neuer labour'd in their mindes till now ;

And now haue toyled their vnbreathed memories

With this ſame play, againſt your nuptiall.

The. And we will heare it.

O 2 Phil.

160 A Midſommer nights Dreame.

Phi. No,my noble Lord,it is not for you. I haue heard

It ouer,and it is nothing, nothing in the world ;

Vnleſſe you can finde ſport in their intents,

Extreamely ſtretcht,and cond with cruell paine,

To doe you ſeruice.

Theſ. I will heare that play. For neuer any thing

1880Can be amiſſe, when ſimpleneſſe and duty tender it.

Goe bring them in,and take your places, Ladies.

Hip. I loue not to ſee wretchedneſſe orecharged ;

And duty in his ſeruice periſhing.

Theſ. Why gentle ſweet,you ſhall ſee no ſuch thing.

Hip. He ſaies,they can doe nothing in this kinde.

Theſ. The kinder we,to giue them thanks for nothing

Our ſport ſhall be,to take what they miſtake ;

And what poore duty cannot doe, noble reſpect

Takes it in might, not merit.

1890Where I haue come,great Clearkes haue purpoſed

To greete me with premeditated welcomes ;

Where I haue ſeene them ſhiuer and looke pale ,

Make periods in the midſt of ſentences,

Throttle their practiz’d accent in their feares,

And in concluſion,dumbly haue broke off,

Not paying me a welcome. Truſt me ſweete,

Out of this ſilence yet, I pickt a welcome :

And in the modeſty of fearefull duty ,

I read as much,as from the ratling tongue

1900Of ſaucy and audacious eloquence.

Loue therefore, and tongue-tide ſimplicity,

In leaſt,ſpeake moſt, to my capacity.

Egeus. So pleaſe your Grace,the Prologue is addreſt.

Duke. Let him approach. Flor. Trum.

Enter the Prologue. Quince. Pro. If we offend,it is with our good will.

That you ſhould thinke, we come not to offend,

But with good will. To ſhew our ſimple skill ,

That is the true beginning of our end.

1910Conſider then, we come but in deſpight.

We do not come, as minding to content you,

Our true intent is. All for your delight,

We are not heere. That you ſhould here repent you,

The Actors are at hand ; and by their ſhow ,

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

Theſ. This fellow doth not ſtand vpon points.

Lyſ. He hath rid his Prologue, like a rough Colt : he

knowes not the ſtop. A good morall my lord. It is not

enough to ſpeake, but to ſpeake true.

1920 Hip. Indeed hee hath plaid on his Prologue , like a

childe on a Recorder,a ſound,but not in gouernment.

Theſ. His ſpeech was like a tangled chaine: nothing

impaired,but all diſordered. Who is next ?

Tawyer with a Trumpet before them.

Enter Pyramus and Thisby, Wall,Moone-ſhine,and Lyon. Prol. Gentles,perchance you wonder at this ſhow,

But wonder on,till truth make all things plaine.

This man is Piramus, if you would know ;

This beauteous Lady, Thisby is certaine.

1930This man, with lyme and rough-caſt,doth preſent

Wall, that vile wall, which did theſe louers ſunder :

And through walls chink(poor ſoules) they are content

To whiſper. At the which, let no man wonder.

This man, with Lanthorne,dog,and buſh of thorne,

Preſenteth moone-ſhine. For if you will know,

By moone-ſhine did theſe Louers thinke no ſcorne

To meet at Ninus toombe,there, there to wooe :


This grizly beaſt (which Lyon hight by name)

The truſty Thisby, comming firſt by night,

1940Did ſcarre away, or rather did affright :

And as ſhe fled, her mantle ſhe did fall ;

Which Lyon vile with bloody mouth did ſtaine.

Anon comes Piramus, ſweet youth and tall,

And findes his Thisbies Mantle ſlaine ;

Whereat, with blade, with bloody blamefull blade,

He brauely broacht his boiling bloudy breaſt ,

And Thisby, tarrying in Mulberry ſhade ,

His dagger drew,and died. For all the reſt,

Let Lyon, Moone-ſhine, Wall,and Louers twaine,

1950At large diſcourſe,while here they doe remaine.

Exit all but Wall. Theſ. I wonder if the Lion be to ſpeake.

Deme. No wonder, my Lord : one Lion may, when

many Aſſes doe.

Exit Lyon,Thiſbie,and Mooneſhine. Wall. In this ſame Interlude, it doth befall,

That I,one Snowt (by name) preſent a wall :

And ſuch a wall,as I vvould haue you thinke,

That had in it a crannied hole or chinke :

1960Through which the Louers, Piramus and Thisbie

Did whiſper often, very ſecretly.

This loame,this rough-caſt,and this ſtone doth ſhew,

That I am that ſame Wall ; the truth is ſo.

And this the cranny is,right and ſiniſter,

Through which the fearefull Louers are to whiſper.

Theſ. Would you deſire Lime and Haire to ſpeake

better ?

Deme. It is the vvittieſt partition, that euer I heard

diſcourſe, my Lord.

1970 Theſ. Pyramus drawes neere the Wall,ſilence.

Enter Pyramus. Pir. O grim lookt night,ô night with hue ſo blacke,

O night,which euer art, when day is not :

O night, ô night, alacke, alacke, alacke,

I feare my Thisbies promiſe is forgot.

And thou ô vvall, thou ſweet and louely vvall,

That ſtands between her fathers ground and mine ,

Thou vvall, ô vvall, ô ſweet and louely vvall,

Shew me thy chinke, to blinke through vvith mine eine.

1980Thankes courteous vvall. Ioue ſhield thee vvell for this.

But vvhat ſee I?No Thisbie doe I ſee.

O vvicked vvall, through vvhom I ſee no bliſſe ,

Curſt be thy ſtones for thus deceiuing mee.

Theſ. The vvall me-thinkes being ſenſible, ſhould

curſe againe.

Pir. No in truth ſir,he ſhould not. Deceiuing me,

Is Thisbies cue ; ſhe is to enter, and I am to ſpy

Her through the vvall. You ſhall ſee it vvill fall.

Enter Thisbie. 1990Pat as I told you ; yonder ſhe comes.

Thiſ. O vvall,full often haſt thou heard my mones,

For parting my faire Piramus, and me.

My cherry lips haue often kiſt thy ſtones;

Thy ſtones vvith Lime and Haire knit vp in thee.

Pyra. I ſee a voyce ; now vvill I to the chinke ,

To ſpy and I can heare my Thisbies face. Thisbie ?

Thiſ. My Loue thou art,my Loue I thinke.

Pir. Thinke vvhat thou vvilt, I am thy Louers grace,

And like Limander am I truſty ſtill.

2000 Thiſ. And like Helen till the Fates me kill.

Pir. Not Shafalus to Procrus,was ſo true.

Thiſ. As Shafalus to Procrus,I to you.

Pir. O

A Midſommer nights Dreame. 163

Pir. O kiſſe me through the hole of this vile wall.

Thiſ. I kiſſe the wals hole,not your lips at all.

Pir. Wilt thou at Ninnies tombe meete me ſtraight


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

Wall. Thus haue I Wall, my part diſcharged ſo;

And being done, thus Wall away doth go. Exit Clow.

2010 Du. Now is the morall downe between the two


Dem. No remedie my Lord, when Wals are ſo wil-

full, to heare without vvarning.

Dut. This is the ſillieſt ſtuffe that ere I heard.

Du. The beſt in this kind are but ſhadowes, and the

worſt are no worſe, if imagination amend them.

Dut. It muſt be your imagination then,& not theirs.

Duk. If wee imagine no worſe of them then they of

themſelues, they may paſſe for excellent men.Here com

2020two noble beaſts,in a man and a Lion.

Enter Lyon and Moone-ſhine. Lyon. You Ladies, you (whoſe gentle harts do feare

The ſmalleſt monſtrous mouſe that creepes on floore)

May now perchance, both quake and tremble heere,

When Lion rough in wildeſt rage doth roare.

Then know that I, one Snug the Ioyner am

A Lion fell, nor elſe no Lions dam :

For if I ſhould as Lion come in ſtrife

Into this place, ’twere pittie of my life.

2030 Du. A verie gentle beaſt, and of good conſcience.

Dem. The verie beſt at a beaſt, my Lord, y t ere I ſaw.

Liſ. This Lion is a verie Fox for his valor.

Du. True,and a Gooſe for his diſcretion.

Dem. Not ſo my Lord : for his valor cannot carrie

his diſcretion, and the Fox carries the Gooſe.

Du. His diſcretion I am ſure cannot carrie his valor :

for the Gooſe carries not the Fox. It is well ; leaue it to

his diſcretion,and let vs hearken to the Moone.

Moon. This Lanthorne doth the horned Moone pre-


De. He ſhould haue worne the hornes on his head.

Du. Hee is no creſcent, and his hornes are inuiſible,

within the circumference.

Moon. This lanthorne doth the horned Moone pre-

ſent : My ſelfe, the man i’th Moone doth ſeeme to be.

Du. This is the greateſt error of all the reſt; the man

ſhould be put into the Lanthorne.How is it els the man

i’th Moone ?

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle.

2050For you ſee, it is already in ſnuffe.

Dut. I am vvearie of this Moone ; vvould he would


Du. It appeares by his ſmal light of diſcretion, that

he is in the wane : but yet in courteſie, in all reaſon, vve

muſt ſtay the time.

Lyſ. Proceed Moone.

Moon. All that I haue to ſay, is to tell you, that the

Lanthorne is the Moone; I, the man in the Moone ; this

thorne buſh,my thorne buſh; and this dog,my dog.

2060 Dem. Why all theſe ſhould be in the Lanthorne:for

they are in the Moone.But ſilence, heere comes Thisby.

Enter Thisby. Thiſ. This is old Ninnies tombe : where is my loue ?

Lyon. Oh.

The Lion roares, Thisby runs off.
Dem. Well roar’d Lion.


Du. Well run Thisby.

Dut. Well ſhone Moone.

Truly the Moone ſhines with a good grace.

2070 Du. Wel mouz'd Lion.

Dem. And then came Piramus.

Lyſ. And ſo the Lion vaniſht.

Enter Piramus. Pyr. Sweet Moone,I thank thee for thy ſunny beames,

I thanke thee Moone, for ſhining now ſo bright:

For by thy gracious,golden, glittering beames,

I truſt to taſte of trueſt Thisbies ſight.

But ſtay : O ſpight ! but marke,poore Knight,

What dreadful dole is heere ?

2080Eyes do you ſee ! How can it be !

O dainty Ducke : O Deere !

Thy mantle good ; what ſtaind with blood !

Approch you Furies fell :

O Fates ! come, come : Cut thred and thrum,

Quaile, cruſh, conclude, and quell.

Du. This paſſion,and the death of a deare friend,

Would go neere to make a man looke ſad.

Dut. Beſhrew my heart,but I pittie the man.

Pir. O wherefore Nature, did'ſt thou Lions frame ?

2090Since Lion vilde hath heere deflour'd my deere :

Which is : no, no, which was the faireſt Dame

That liu'd, that lou'd, that like'd,that look'd with cheere.

Come teares , confound : Out ſword,and wound

The pap of Piramus :

I , that left pap, where heart doth hop ;

Thus dye I, thus, thus,thus.

Now am I dead, now am I fled, my ſoule is in the sky,

Tongue loſe thy light, Moone take thy flight,

Now dye,dye,dye,dye,dye.

2100 Dem. No Die, but an ace for him ; for he is but one.

Liſ. Leſſe then an ace man. For he is dead, he is no-


Du. With the helpe of a Surgeon,he might yet reco-

uer, and proue an Aſſe.

Dut. How chance Moone-ſhine is gone before?

Thisby comes backe, and findes her Louer.

Enter Thisby.

Duke. She wil finde him by ſtarre-light.

Heere ſhe comes, and her paſſion ends the play.

2110 Dut. Me thinkes ſhee ſhould not vſe a long one for

ſuch a Piramus : I hope ſhe will be breefe.

Dem. A Moth wil turne the ballance, which Piramus

which Thisby is the better. (eyes.

Lyſ. She hath ſpyed him already, with thoſe ſweete

Dem. And thus ſhe meanes, videlicit.

This. Aſleepe my Loue ? What,dead my Doue ?

O Piramus ariſe :

Speake,Speake. Quite dumbe? Dead,dead? A tombe

Muſt couer thy ſweet eyes.

2120Theſe Lilly Lips, this cherry noſe,

Theſe yellow Cowſlip cheekes

Are gone, are gone : Louers make mone :

His eyes were greene as Leekes.

O ſiſters three, come, come to mee,

With hands as pale as Milke,

Lay them in gore, ſince you haue ſhore

with ſheeres, his thred of ſilke.

Tongue not a word : Come truſty ſword :

Come blade, my breſt imbrue :

O 3 And

162 A Midſommernights Dreame.

2130And farwell friends,thus Thisbie ends ;

Adieu, adieu, adieu.

Duk. Moone-ſhine & Lion are left to burie the dead.

Deme. I, and Wall too.

Bot. No, I aſſure you, the wall is downe, that parted

their Fathers. Will it pleaſe you to ſee the Epilogue, or

to heare a Bergomask dance,betweene two of our com-

pany ?

Duk. No Epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs

no excuſe. Neuer excuſe ; for when the plaiers are all

2140dead,there need none to be blamed. Marry, if hee that

writ it had plaid Piramus,and hung himſelfe in Thisbies

garter,it would haue beene a fine Tragedy: and ſo it is

truely, and very notably diſcharg’d. but come, your

Burgomaske; let your Epilogue alone.

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelue.

Louers to bed, ’tis almoſt Fairy time.

I feare we ſhall out-ſleepe the comming morne,

As much as we this night haue ouer-watcht.

This palpable groſſe play hath well beguil’d

2150The heauy gate of night. Sweet friends to bed.

A fortnight hold we this ſolemnity.

In nightly Reuels; and new iollitie. Exeunt.

Enter Pucke. Puck. Now the hungry Lyons rores,

And the Wolfe beholds the Moone :

Whileſt the heauy ploughman ſnores,

All with weary taske fore-done.

Now the waſted brands doe glow,

Whil’ſt the ſcritch-owle,ſcritching loud,

2160Puts the wretch that lies in woe,

In remembrance of a ſhrowd.

Now it is the time of night,

That the graues, all gaping wide,

Euery one lets forth his ſpright,

In the Church-way paths to glide,

And we Fairies,that do runne,

By the triple Hecates teame ,

From the preſence of the Sunne,

Following darkeneſſe like a dreame,

2170Now are frollicke ; not a Mouſe

Shall diſturbe this hallowed houſe.

I am ſent with broome before ,

To ſweep the duſt behinde the doore.

Enter King and Queene of Fairies,with their traine. Ob. Through the houſe giue glimmering light ,


By the dead and drowſie fier ,

Euerie Elfe and Fairie ſpright,

Hop as light as bird from brier,

And this Ditty after me, ſing and dance it trippinglie.

2180 Tita. Firſt rehearſe this ſong by roate,

To each word a warbling note.

Hand in hand, with Fairie grace,

Will we ſing and bleſſe this place.

The Song. Now vntill the breake of day ,

Through this houſe each Fairy ſtray.

To the beſt Bride-bed will we,

Which by vs ſhall bleſſed be :

And the iſſue there create,

2190 Euer ſhall be fortunate :

So ſhall all the couples three,

Euer true in louing be :

And the blots of Natures hand,

Shall not in their iſſue ſtand.

Neuer mole,harelip,nor ſcarre,

Nor mark prodigious,ſuch as are

Deſpiſed in Natiuitie,

Shall vpon their children be.

With this field dew conſecrate ,

2200 Euery Fairy take his gate ,

And each ſeuerall chamber bleſſe ,

Through this Pallace with ſweet peace,

Euer ſhall in ſafety reſt,

And the owner of it bleſt.

Trip away, make no ſtay ;

Meet me all by breake of day.

Robin. If we ſhadowes haue offended,

Thinke but this (and all is mended)

That you haue but ſlumbred heere,

2210While theſe viſions did appeare.

And this weake and idle theame,

No more yeelding but a dreame,

Gentles, doe not reprehend.

If you pardon, we will mend.

And as I am an honeſt Pucke ,

If we haue vnearned lucke,

Now to ſcape the Serpents tongue,

We will make amends ere long :

Elſe the Pucke a lyar call.

2220So good night vnto you all.

Giue me your hands, if we be friends,

And Robin ſhall reſtore amends.


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