Enter Theſeus, Hippolita, with others.
Ow 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.
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.
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,
Hippolita, 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,
, our renowned Duke.
:what's the news with thee?
Full of vexation, come I, with complaint
Againſt my childe, my daughter Hermia.
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 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,
And ſtolne the impreſſion of her fantaſie,
With bracelets of thy haire, rings,gawdes, conceits,
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
I beg the ancient priuiledge of Athens;
As 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.
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:
is a worthy Gentleman.
In himſelfe he is.
But in this kinde, wanting your fathers voyce,
The other muſt be held the worthier.
I would my father look'd but with my eyes.
Rather your eies muſt with his iudgment looke.
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
In 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
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,
For 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.
So will I grow, ſo liue,ſo die my Lord,
Ere I will yeeld my virgin Patent vp
Vnto his Lordſhip, whoſe vnwiſhed yoake,
My ſoule conſents not to giue ſoueraignty.
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
as hee would,
Altar to proteſt
For aie, auſterity, and ſingle life.
Thy crazed title to my certaine right.
You haue her fathers loue,
Let me haue
: do you marry him.
, 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
I am my Lord, as well deriu'd as he,
As well poſſeſt: my loue is more then his:
My fortunes euery way as fairely ranck'd
(If not with vantage) as
And (which is more then all theſe boaſts can be)
I am belou'd of beauteous
Why ſhould not I then proſecute my right?
, Ile auouch it to his head,
Made loue to
And won her ſoule: and ſhe (ſweet Ladie)dotes,
Deuoutly dotes, dotes in Idolatry,
Vpon this ſpotted and inconſtant man.
I muſt confeſſe, that I haue heard ſo much,
thought to haue ſpoke thereof:
But being ouer-full of ſelfe-aﬀaires,
My minde did loſe it. But
, you ſhall go with me,
I haue ſome priuate ſchooling for you both.
For you faire
, 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)
To death, or to a vow of ſingle life.
, what cheare my loue?
I muſt imploy you in ſome buſineſſe
Againſt our nuptiall, and conferre with you
Of ſomething, neerely that concernes your ſelues.
With dutie and deſire we follow you.
Manet Lyſander and Hermia.
How now my loue?Why is your cheek ſo pale?
How chance the Roſes there do fade ſo faſt?
Belike for want of raine, which I could well
Beteeme them, from the tempeſt of mine eyes.
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.
O croſſe! too high to be enthral'd to loue.
Or elſe miſgraﬀed, in reſpect of yeares.
O ſpight! too old to be ingag'd to yong.
Or elſe it ſtood vpon the choiſe of merit.
O hell ! to chooſe loue by anothers eie.
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.
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.
A good perſwaſion ; therefore heare me
I haue a Widdow Aunt, a dowager,
Of great reuennew, and ſhe hath no childe,
From Athens is her houſe remou'd ſeuen leagues,
And ſhe reſpects me, as her onely ſonne:
, 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
To do obſeruance for a morne of May)
There will I ſtay for thee.
I 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.
Keepe promiſe loue : looke here comes
God ſpeede faire
, whither away?
Cal you me faire? that faire againe vnſay,
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
ere I go,
My eare ſhould catch your voice, my eye,your eye,
My tongue ſhould catch your tongues ſweet melodie,
Were the world mine,
The reſt Ile giue to be to you tranſlated.
O teach me how you looke, and with what art
you ſway the motion of
I frowne vpon him, yet he loues me ſtill.
O that your frownes would teach my ſmiles
I giue him curſes, yet he giues me loue.
O that my prayers could ſuch aﬀection mooue.
The more I hate, the more he followes me.
The more I loue, the more he hateth me.
His folly Helena is none of mine.
None but your beauty, wold that fault wer mine
Take comfort: he no more ſhall ſee my face,
and my ſelfe will flie this place.
Before the time I did
Seem'd Athens like a Paradiſe to mee.
O then, what graces in my Loue do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heauen into hell.
,to you our mindes we will vnfold,
To morrow night,when
Her ſiluer viſage,in the watry glaſſe,
Decking with liquid pearle,the bladed graſſe
(A time that Louers flights doth ſtill conceale)
gates,haue we deuis'd to ſteale.
And in the wood,where often you and I,
Vpon faint Primroſe beds,were wont to lye,
Emptying our boſomes,of their counſell ſweld:
, and my ſelfe ſhall meete,
And thence from
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
we muſt ſtarue our ſight,
From louers foode, till morrow deepe midnight.
I will my
As you on him,
dotes on you.
How happy ſome,ore otherſome can be?
I am thought as faire as ſhe.
But what of that?
thinkes not ſo:
He will not know,what all,but he doth know,
And as hee erres,doting on
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
Nor 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.
He hail'd downe oathes that he was onely mine.
And when this Haile ſome heat from
So he diſſolu'd,and ſhowres of oathes did melt,
I will goe tell him of faire
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.
Enter Quince the Carpenter, Snug the Ioyner, Bottome the
Weauer,Flute the bellowes-mender,Snout the Tinker,and
Starueling the Taylor
Is all our company heere?
You were beſt to call them generally, man by
man,according to the ſcrip.
Here is the ſcrowle of euery mans name,which
is thought ﬁt through all
, to play in our Enter-
lude before the Duke and the Dutches, on his wedding
day at night.
,ſay what the play treats
on: then read the names of the Actors: and ſo grow on
to a point.
Marry our play is the moſt lamentable Come-
dy, and moſt cruell death of
A very good peece of worke I aſſure you, and a
merry. Now good
, call forth your Actors
by the ſcrowle. Maſters ſpread your ſelues.
Anſwere as I call you.
Ready ; name what part I am for, and
are ſet downe for
,a louer,or a tyrant?
A Louer that kills himſelfe moſt gallantly for
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
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
carre ſhall ſhine
from farre, and make and marre the fooliſh Fates. This
was lofty. Now name the reſt of the Players. This
vaine, a tyrants vaine : a louer is more condo-
You muſt take
,a wandring Knight?
It is the Lady that
Nay faith, let not mee play a woman, I haue a
That's all one, you ſhall play it in a Maſke, and
you may ſpeake as ſmall as you will.
And I may hide my face,let me play
Ile ſpeake in a monſtrous little voyce ;
my louer deare, thy
deare, and Lady
No no,you muſt play
, you muſt play
Tom Snowt,the Tinker.
father; my ſelf,
the Ioyner,you the Lyons part : and I hope there
is a play ﬁtted.
Haue you the Lions part written? pray you if
be,giue it me,for I am ſlow of ſtudie.
You may doe it
, for it is nothing
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.
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.
That would hang vs euery mothers ſonne.
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-
You can play no part but
is a ſweet-fac'd man, a proper man as one ſhall ſee in
a ſummers day; a moſt louely Gentleman-like man, ther-
fore you muſt needs play
Well, I will vndertake it. What beard were I
beſt to play it in?
Why, what you will.
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-
Some of your French Crownes haue no haire
at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd.But maſters here
are 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.
We will meete, and there we may rehearſe
more obſcenely and couragiouſly. Take paines,be per-
At the Dukes oake we meete.
Enough, hold or cut bow-ſtrings.
Enter a Fairie at one dore, and Robin good-
fellow at another
How now ſpirit,whether wander you ?
Ouer hil,ouer dale,through buſh, through briar,
Ouer parke,ouer pale,through flood, through ﬁre,
I do wander euerie where, ſwifter then y
And I ſerue the Fairy Queene,to dew her orbs vpon the
The Cowſlips tall, her penſioners bee,
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.
The King doth keepe his Reuels here to night,
Take heed the Queene come not within his ſight,
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,
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,
But they do ſquare, that all their Elues for feare
Creepe into Acorne cups and hide them there.
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,
Thoſe that Hobgoblin call you,and ſweet Pucke,
You do their worke, and they ſhall haue good lucke.
Are not you he?
Thou ſpeak'ſt aright;
I am that merrie wanderer of the night :
I ieſt to
, 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:
And 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
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
Ill met by Moone-light.
? Fairy skip hence.
I haue forſworne his bed and companie.
Tarrie raſh Wanton; am not I thy Lord?
Then I muſt be thy Lady : but I know
When thou vvaſt ſtolne away from Fairy Land,
And in the ſhape of
,ſate all day,
Playing on pipes of Corne, and verſing loue
. Why art thou heere
Come from the fartheſt ſteepe of
But that forſooth the bouncing
Your buſkin'd Miſtreſſe, and your Warrior loue,
muſt be Wedded; and you come,
To giue their bed ioy and proſperitie.
How canſt thou thus for ſhame
Glance at my credite, vvith
Knowing I knovv thy loue to
Didſt thou not leade him through the glimmering night
, whom he rauiſhed?
And make him vvith faire Eagles breake his faith
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,
Or 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
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard:
The fold ſtands empty in the drowned ﬁeld,
And Crowes are fatted vvith the murrion flocke,
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;
That 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
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;
And this ſame progeny of euills,
Comes from our debate, from our diſſention,
We are their parents and originall.
Do you amend it then,it lies in you,
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my Henchman.
Set your heart at reſt,
The Fairy land buyes not the childe of me,
His mother was a Votreſſe of my Order,
And in the ſpiced
aire, by night
Full often hath ſhe goſſipt by my ſide,
And ſat with me on
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,
As 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.
How long within this wood intend you ſtay?
Perchance till after
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.
Giue me that boy,and I will goe with thee.
Not for thy Fairy Kingdome.Fairies away:
We ſhall chide downe right,if I longer ſtay.
Wel,go thy way:thou ſhalt not from this groue,
Till I torment thee for this iniury.
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,
To heare the Sea-maids muſicke.
That very time I ſay (but thou couldſt not)
Flying betweene the cold Moone and the earth,
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
Quencht in the chaſte beames of the watry Moone ;
And the imperiall Votreſſe paſſed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy free.
Yet markt I where the bolt of
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.
Fetch me this hearbe,and be thou heere againe,
can ſwim a league.
Ile put a girdle about the earth, in forty mi-
Hauing once this iuyce,
, 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)
Shee 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.
I loue thee not,therefore purſue me not,
, and faire
The one Ile ſtay, the other ſtayeth me.
Thou toldſt me they were ſtolne into this wood;
And heere am I, and wood within this wood,
Becauſe I cannot meet my
Hence,get thee gone,and follow me no more.
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.
Do I entice you? do I ſpeake you faire?
Or rather doe I not in plaineſt truth,
Tell you I doe not,nor I cannot loue you?
And euen for that doe I loue thee the more;
I am your ſpaniell,and
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.
Tempt not too much the hatred of my ſpirit,
For I am ſicke when I do looke on thee.
And I am ſicke when I looke not on you.
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.
Your vertue is my priuiledge : for that
It 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,
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?
Ile run from thee,and hide me in the brakes,
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beaſts.
The wildeſt hath not ſuch a heart as you;
Runne when you will,the ſtory ſhall be chang'd:
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.
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.
I,in the Temple, in the Towne,and Field
You doe me miſchiefe. Fye
Your wrongs doe ſet a ſcandall on my ſexe:
We 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.
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.
I, there it is.
I pray thee giue it me.
I 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;
,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.
Take thou ſome of it, and ſeek through this groue ;
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,
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.
Feare not my Lord,your ſeruant ſhall do ſo.
Enter Queene of Fairies, with her traine.
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.
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.
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.
Hence away, now all is well;
One aloofe, ſtand Centinell.
What thou ſeeſt when thou doſt wake,
Doe it for thy true Loue take :
Loue 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.
Faire loue,you faint with wandring in y
And to ſpeake troth I haue forgot our way :
Wee'll reſt vs
, If you thinke it good ,
And tarry for the comfort of the day.
Be it ſo
; ﬁnde you out a bed,
For I vpon this banke will reſt my head.
One turfe ſhall ſerue as pillow for vs both,
One heart,one bed, two boſomes,and one troth.
, for my ſake my deere
Lie further oﬀ yet, doe not lie ſo neere.
O take the ſence ſweet,of my innocence,
Loue takes the meaning, in loues conference,
I meane that my heart vnto yours is knit,
So 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,
, I doe not lye.
riddles very prettily;
Now much beſhrew my manners and my pride,
meant to ſay,
But gentle friend, for loue and courteſie
Lie further oﬀ, in humane modeſty,
Such 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.
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.
With halfe that wiſh,the wiſhers eyes be preſt.
Through the Foreſt haue I gone,
ﬁnde I none,
One whoſe eyes I might approue
This flowers force in ſtirring loue.
Night and ſilence : who is heere ?
he doth weare :
This is he (my maſter ſaid)
And heere the maiden ſleeping ſound,
On the danke and durty ground.
Pretty ſoule,ſhe durſt not lye
Neere 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
Enter Demetrius and Helena running.
Stay, though thou kill me,ſweete
I charge thee hence,and do not haunt me thus.
O wilt thou darkling leaue me? do not ſo.
Stay on thy perill,I alone will goe.
O I am out of breath,in this fond chace,
The more my prayer,the leſſer is my grace,
, 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 ;
For beaſts that meete me,runne away for feare,
Therefore no maruaile,though
Doe as a monſter,flie my preſence thus.
What wicked and diſſembling glaſſe of mine,
Made me compare with
ſphery eyne ?
But who is here ?
on the ground ;
Deade or aſleepe ? I ſee no bloud,no wound,
, if you liue,good ſir awake.
And run through ﬁre I will for thy ſweet ſake.
,nature her ſhewes art,
That through thy boſome makes me ſee thy heart.
? oh how ﬁt a word
Is that vile name, to periſh on my ſword !
Do not ſay ſo
,ſay not ſo :
What though he loue your
ſtill loues you; then be content.
? No,I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her haue ſpent.
now I loue ;
Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue?
The 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.
Wherefore was I to this keene mockery borne?
When at your hands did I deſerue this ſcorne?
Iſt not enough,iſt not enough,yong man,
That I did neuer,no nor neuer can,
Deſerue a ſweete looke from
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.
She ſees not
ſleepe thou there,
And neuer maiſt thou come
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,
,and to be her Knight.
,helpe me ; do thy beſt
To plucke this crawling ſerpent from my breſt.
Aye me,for pitty;what a dreame was here ?
looke,how I do quake with feare :
Me-thought a ſerpent eate my heart away,
And yet ſat ſmiling at his cruell prey.
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.
No, then I well perceiue you are not nye,
Either death or you Ile ﬁnde immediately.
Enter the Clownes.
Are we all met ?
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.
What ſaiſt thou, bully
There are things in this Comedy of
,that will neuer pleaſe. Firſt,
muſt draw a
ſword to kill himſelfe ; which the Ladies cannot abide.
How anſwere you that ?
Berlaken,a parlous feare.
I beleeue we muſt leaue the killing out, when
all is done.
Not a whit, I haue a deuice to make all well.
Write me a Prologue,and let the Prologue ſeeme to ſay,
we will do no harme with our ſwords, and that
is not kill'd indeede : and for the more better aſſurance,
tell them,that I
Weauer; this will put them out of feare.
Well,we will haue ſuch a Prologue,and it ſhall
be written in eight and ſixe.
No,make it two more,let it be written in eight
Will not the Ladies be afear'd of the Lyon?
I feare it, I promiſe you.
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
Therefore another Prologue muſt tell he is not
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;
Ladies, or faire Ladies, I would wiſh you, or I would
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
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,
meete by Moone-
Doth the Moone ſhine that night wee play our
A Calender,a Calender,looke in the Almanack,
ﬁnde out Moone-ſhine,ﬁnde out Moone-ſhine.
Yes, it doth ſhine that night.
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.
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
(ſaies the ſtory) did talke through the
chinke of a wall.
You can neuer bring in a wall. What ſay you
Some man or other muſt preſent wall, and let
him haue ſome Plaſter, or ſome Lome, or ſome rough
caſt about him,to ſigniﬁe wall ; or let him hold his ﬁn-
gers thus ; and through that cranny, ſhall
If that may be, then all is well. Come, ſit
downe euery mothers ſonne, and rehearſe your parts.
,you begin;when you haue ſpoken your ſpeech,
enter into that Brake, and ſo euery one according to his
What hempen home-ſpuns haue we ſwagge-
So neere the Cradle of the Faierie Queene?
What,a Play toward? Ile be an auditor,
An Actor too perhaps,if I ſee cauſe.
,the flowers of odious ſauors ſweete.
Odours ſauors ſweete,
So hath thy breath, my deareſt
But harke,a voyce : ſtay thou but here a while,
And by and by I will to thee appeare.
,then ere plaid here.
Muſt I ſpeake now ?
I marry muſt you. For you muſt vnderſtand he
goes but to ſee a noyſe that he heard, and is to come a-
,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,
Ile meete thee
toombe man: why, you muſt not ſpeake
that yet ; that you anſwere to
: you ſpeake all
your part at once,cues and all.
enter,your cue is
paſt ; it is neuer tyre.
O,as true as trueſt horſe,that yet would neuer
If I were faire,
I were onely thine.
O monſtrous. O ſtrange. We are hanted; pray
maſters, flye maſters, helpe.
The Clownes all Exit.
Ile follow you,Ile leade you about a Round,
Through bogge,through buſh,through brake,through
Sometime a horſe Ile be,ſometime a hound:
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.
Enter Piramus with the Aſſe head.
Why do they run away ? This is a knauery of
them to make me afeard.
, thou art chang'd ; What doe I ſee on
What do you ſee? You ſee an Aſſe-head of your
owne, do you?
Enter Peter Quince.
,bleſſe thee; thou art tranſla-
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
here, 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.
What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?
The Finch, the Sparrow,and the Larke,
The plainſong Cuckow gray;
Whoſe note full many a man doth marke,
And 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 ?
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.
Me-thinkes miſtreſſe , you ſhould haue little
reaſon 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-
Thou art as wiſe,as thou art beautifull.
Not ſo neither: but if I had wit enough to get
out of this wood, I haue enough to ſerue mine owne
Out of this wood,do not deſire to goe,
Thou 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.
980ſeede,and foure Fairies.
Ready; and I,and I,and I, Where ſhall we go?
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 :
And plucke the wings from painted Butterflies,
To fan the Moone-beames from his ſleeping eies.
Nod to him Elues, and doe him curteſies.
I cry your worſhips mercy hartily ; I beſeech
your worſhips name.
I ſhall deſire you of more acquaintance, good
: if I cut my ﬁnger, I ſhall make bold
Your name honeſt Gentleman ?
I pray you commend mee to miſtreſſe
your mother, and to maſter
your father. Good
, I ſhal deſire of you more acquain-
tance to. Your name I beſeech you ſir ?
, 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
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.
Tye vp my louers tongue,bring him ſilently.
Enter King of Pharies, ſolus.
I wonder if
be awak't ;
Then what it was that next came in her eye,
Which ſhe muſt dote on, in extremitie.
Here comes my meſſenger : how now mad ſpirit,
What night-rule now about this gaunted groue?
My Miſtris with a monſter is in loue,
Neere to her cloſe and conſecrated bower,
While ſhe was in her dull and ſleeping hower,
A crew of patches, rude Mcehanicals,
That worke for bread vpon
Were met together to rehearſe a Play,
Intended for great
nuptiall day :
The ſhalloweſt thick-skin of that barren ſort,
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.
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
Their ſenſe thus weake,loſt with their fears thus ſtrong,
Made 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
tranſlated there :
When in that moment(ſo it came to paſſe)
waked,and ſtraightway lou'd an Aſſe.
This fals out better then I could deuiſe :
But haſt thou yet lacht the
With the loue iuyce,as I did bid thee doe ?
I tooke him ſleeping (that is ﬁniſht to)
woman by his ſide,
That when he wak't,of force ſhe muſt be eyde.
Enter Demetrius and Hermia.
Stand cloſe,this is the ſame
This is the woman,but not this the man.
O why rebuke you him that loues you ſo ?
Lay breath ſo bitter on your bitter foe.
Now I but chide,but I ſhould vſe thee worſe.
For thou (I feare) haſt giuen me cauſe to curſe,
If thou haſt ſlaine
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,
? 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'
It cannot be but thou haſt murdred him,
So ſhould a mutrherer looke,ſo dead,ſo grim.
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,
in her glimmering ſpheare.
What's this to my
? where is he ?
,wilt thou giue him me?
I'de rather giue his carkaſſe to my hounds.
Out dog,out cur,thou driu'ſt me paſt the bounds
Of maidens patience. Haſt thou ſlaine him then?
Henceforth 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.
You ſpend your paſſion on a miſpri'ſd mood,
I am not guiltie of
Nor is he dead for ought that I can tell.
I pray thee tell me then that he is well.
And if I could,what ſhould I get therefore ?
A priuiledge,neuer to ſee me more ;
And from thy hated preſence part I:ſee me no more
Whether he be dead or no.
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,
If for his tender here I make ſome ſtay.
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.
Then fate ore-rules,that one man holding troth,
A million faile, confounding oath on oath.
About the wood,goe ſwifter then the winde,
looke thou ﬁnde.
All fancy ſicke ſhe is, and pale of cheere ,
With 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.
I go,I go, looke how I goe,
Swifter then arrow from the
Flower of this purple die,
Sinke in apple of his eye,
When his loue he doth eſpie,
Let her ſhine as gloriouſly
of the sky.
When thou wak'ſt if ſhe be by,
Beg of her for remedy.
Captaine of our Fairy band,
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 !
Stand aſide: the noyſe they make,
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.
Why ſhould you think y
I ſhould wooe in ſcorn ?
Scorne and deriſion neuer comes in teares :
Looke when I vow I weepe ; and vowes ſo borne,
In their natiuity all truth appeares.
How can theſe things in me,ſeeme ſcorne to you ?
Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true.
You doe aduance your cunning more & more,
When truth kils truth, O diueliſh holy fray !
Theſe vowes are
. 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.
I had no iudgement, when to her I ſwore.
Nor none in my minde,now you giue her ore.
loues her,and he loues not you.
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
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.
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.
You both are Riuals,and loue
And now both Riuals to mocke
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.
You are vnkind
;be not ſo,
For you loue
; this you know I know ;
And here with all good will,with all my heart,
loue I yeeld you vp my part;
And yours of
, to me bequeath,
Whom I do loue,and will do to my death.
Neuer did mockers waſt more idle breth.
, keep thy
,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
it is home return'd,
There to remaine.
It is not ſo.
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.
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,
Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to that ſound.
But why vnkindly didſt thou leaue me ſo?
Why ſhould hee ſtay whom Loue doth preſſe
What loue could preſſe
from my ſide?
loue (that would not let him bide)
; 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 ?
You ſpeake not as you thinke ; it cannot be.
Loe, ſhe is one of this confederacy ,
Now 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 ?
We 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,
Two louely berries molded on one ſtem,
So with two ſeeming bodies, but one heart,
Two 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.
I am amazed at your paſſionate words,
I ſcorne you not ; It ſeemes that you ſcorne me.
Haue you not ſet
,as in ſcorne
To follow me,and praiſe my eies and face ?
And made your other loue,
(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
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,
So hung vpon with loue,ſo fortunate ?
(But miſerable moſt,to loue vnlou'd)
This you ſhould pittie,rather then deſpiſe.
I vnderſtand not what you meane by this.
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 :
But fare ye well,'tis partly mine owne fault,
Which death or abſence ſoone ſhall remedie.
,heare my excuſe,
My loue,my life,my ſoule,faire
O excellent !
Sweete,do not ſcorne her ſo.
If ſhe cannot entreate,I can compell.
Thou canſt compell,no more then ſhe entreate.
Thy threats haue no more ſtrength then her weak praiſe.
,I loue thee,by my life I doe ;
I ſweare by that which I will loſe for thee,
To proue him falſe,that ſaies I loue thee not.
I ſay,I loue thee more then he can do.
If thou ſay ſo,with-draw and proue it too.
,whereto tends all this ?
No,no,Sir,ſeeme to breake looſe ;
Take on as you would follow,
But yet come not: you are a tame man,go.
Hang oﬀ thou cat,thou bur;vile thing let looſe,
Or I will ſhake thee from me like a ſerpent.
Why are you growne ſo rude ?
What change is this ſweete Loue ?
Thy loue? out tawny
Out loathed medicine ; O hated poiſon hence.
Do you not ieſt ?
Yes ſooth, and ſo do you.
:I will keepe my word with thee.
I would I had your bond : for I perceiue
A weake bond holds you ; Ile not truſt your word.
What,ſhould I hurt her,ſtrike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, Ile not harme her ſo.
What,can you do me greater harme then hate?
Hate me,wherefore? O me,what newes my Loue ?
Am not I
? Are not you
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 ?
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
O me,you iugler,you canker bloſſome,
You theefe of loue ; What,haue you come by night,
And ſtolne my loues heart from him ?
Fine yfaith :
Haue you no modeſty,no maiden ſhame,
No touch of baſhfulneſſe ? What,will you teare
Impatient anſwers from my gentle tongue ?
Fie,ﬁe,you counterfeit,you puppet, you.
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 ?
How 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.
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.
Lower ? harke againe.
,do not be ſo bitter with me,
I euermore did loue you
Did euer keepe your counſels,neuer wronged you,
Saue that in loue vnto
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,
will I beare my folly backe,
And follow you no further. Let me go.
You ſee how ſimple,and how fond I am.
Why get you gone : who iſt that hinders you ?
A fooliſh heart that I leaue here behinde.
Be not afraid,ſhe ſhall not harme thee
No ſir,ſhe ſhall not, though you take her part.
O when ſhe's angry,ſhe is keene and ſhrewd,
She was a vixen when ſhe went to ſchoole,
And though ſhe be but little,ſhe is ﬁerce.
Little againe ? Nothing but low and little ?
Why will you ſuﬀer her to flout me thus ?
Let me come to her.
Get you gone you dwarfe,
, of hindring knot-graſſe made,
You bead,you acorne.
You are too oﬀicious,
In her behalfe that ſcornes your ſeruices.
Let her alone,ſpeake not of
Take not her part. For if thou doſt intend
Neuer ſo little ſhew of loue to her,
Thou ſhalt abide it.
Now ſhe holds me not,
Now follow if thou dar'ſt,to try whoſe right,
Of thine or mine is moſt in
Follow? Nay, Ile goe with thee cheeke by
Exit Lyſander and Demetrius.
You Miſtris,all this coyle is long of you.
Nay,goe not backe.
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.
This is thy negligence,ſtill thou miſtak'ſt,
Or elſe committ'ſt thy knaueries willingly.
Beleeue me,King of ſhadowes,I miſtooke,
Did not you tell me,I ſhould know the man,
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.
Thou ſeeſt theſe Louers ſeeke a place to ﬁght,
,ouercaſt the night,
The ſtarrie Welkin couer thou anon,
With drooping fogge as blacke as
And lead theſe teſtie Riuals ſo aſtray,
As one come not within anothers way.
, ſometime frame thy tongue,
vp with bitter wrong;
And ſometime raile thou like
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
Whoſe liquor hath this vertuous propertie,
To take from thence all error,with his might,
And 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
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
And then I will her charmed eie releaſe
From monſters view,and all things ſhall be peace.
My Fairie Lord, this muſt be done with haſte,
For night-ſwift Dragons cut the Clouds full faſt,
And yonder ſhines
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.
But we are ſpirits of another ſort :
I, with the mornings loue haue oft made ſport,
And like a Forreſter,the groues may tread,
Euen till the Eaſterne gate all ﬁerie red,
,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.
Vp and downe, vp and downe, I will leade
them vp and downe : I am fear'd in ﬁeld and towne.
, lead them vp and downe : here comes one.
Where art thou,proud
Speake thou now.
Here villaine,drawne & readie.Where art thou?
I will be with thee ſtraight.
Follow me then to plainer ground.
, ſpeake againe ;
Thou runaway,thou coward,art thou fled?
Speake in ſome buſh:Where doſt thou hide thy head?
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.
Yea,art thou there ?
Follow my voice,we'l try no manhood here.
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 :
I followed faſt , but faſter he did flye ;
That fallen am I in darke vneuen way,
And here wil reſt me.Come thou gentle day :
For if but once thou ſhew me thy gray light,
,and reuenge this ſpight.
Enter Robin and Demetrius.
Ho,ho,ho ; coward, why com'ſt thou not?
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.
Where art thou ?
Come hither,I am here.
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.
O weary night,O long and tedious night,
Abate thy houres,ſhine comforts from the Eaſt,
That I may backe to
From theſe that my poore companie deteſt ;
And ſleepe that ſometime ſhuts vp ſorrowes eie,
Steale me a while from mine owne companie.
Yet but three ? Come one more,
Two of both kindes makes vp foure.
Here ſhe comes,curſt and ſad,
is a knauiſh lad,
Thus to make poore females mad.
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,
, if they meane a fray.
On the ground ſleepe ſound,
Ile apply your eie gentle louer,remedy.
When thou wak'ſt,thou tak'ſt
True delight in the ſight of thy former Ladies eye,
And the Country Prouerb knowne,
That euery man ſhould take his owne,
In your waking ſhall be ſhowne.
, nought ſhall goe ill,
The man ſhall haue his Mare againe , and all ſhall bee
They ſleepe all the Act.
Enter Queene of Fairies,and Clowne, and Fairies, and the
1510King behinde them
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.
Scratch my head,
. Wher's Moun-
, 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
Giue me your neafe,Mounſieur
Pray you leaue your courteſie good Mounſieur.
What's your will?
Nothing good Mounſieur, but to help Caualery
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
What, wilt thou heare ſome muſicke,my ſweet
I haue a reaſonable good eare in muſicke. Let
vs haue the tongs and the bones.
Muſicke Tongs,Rurall Muſicke.
Or ſay ſweete Loue, what thou deſireſt to eat.
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-
I haue a venturous Fairy,
That ſhall ſeeke the Squirrels hoard ,
And fetch thee new Nuts.
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.
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.
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 ;
Stood 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.
,take this transformed ſcalpe,
From oﬀ the head of this
That he awaking when the other doe ,
May all to
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.
wake you my ſweet Queene.
, what viſions haue I ſeene !
Me-thought I was enamoured of an Aſſe.
There lies your loue.
How came theſe things to paſſe ?
Oh, how mine eyes doth loath this viſage now !
Silence a while.
take oﬀ his head :
,muſick call, and ſtrike more dead
Then common ſleepe ; of all theſe, ﬁne the ſenſe.
Muſicke,ho muſicke,ſuch as charmeth ſleepe.
When thou wak'ſt, with thine owne fooles eies
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
houſe triumphantly ,
And bleſſe it to all faire poſterity.
There ſhall the paires of faithfull Louers be
, all in iollity.
Faire King attend, and marke,
I doe heare the morning Larke,
Then my Queene in ſilence ſad,
Trip we after the nights ſhade ;
We the Globe can compaſſe ſoone,
Swifter then the wandering Moone.
Come my Lord, and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night ,
That I ſleeping heere was found,
Sleepers Lye ſtill.
With theſe mortals on the ground.
Enter Theſeus,Egeus,Hippolita and all his traine.
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.
We will faire Queene,vp to the Mountains top,
And marke the muſicall confuſion
Of hounds and eccho in coniunction.
I was with
When in a wood of
they bayed the Beare
With hounds of
; 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.
My hounds are bred out of the
So flew'd, ſo ſanded, and their heads are hung
With eares that ſweepe away the morning dew ,
Crooke kneed,and dew-lapt,like
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,
, nor in
Iudge when you heare. But ſoft,what nimphs are theſe?
My Lord,this is my daughter heere aſleepe,
I wonder of this being heere together.
No doubt they roſe vp early,to obſerue
The right of May ; and hearing our intent,
Came heere in grace of our ſolemnity.
, is not this the day
ſhould giue anſwer of her choice?
It is,my Lord.
Goe bid the huntſ-men wake them with their
Hornes and they wake.
Shout within,they all ſtart vp.
Good morrow friends : Saint
Begin theſe wood birds but to couple now ?
Pardon my Lord.
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 ,
To ſleepe by hate, and feare no enmity.
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
hither. Our intent
Was to be gone from
, where we might be
Without the perill of the
Enough, enough, my Lord : you haue enough ;
I beg the Law, the Law, vpon his head :
They would have ſtolne away, they would
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.
told me of their ſtealth,
Of this their purpoſe hither, to this wood,
And I in furie hither followed them;
, in fancy followed me.
But my good Lord, I wot not by what power,
(But by ſome power it is) my loue
(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,
. To her,my Lord,
Was I betroth'd, ere I ſee
But like a ſickeneſſe did I loath this food,
But as in health, come to my naturall taſte,
Now doe I wiſh it, loue it,long for it ,
And will for euermore be true to it.
Faire Louers,you are fortunately met ;
Of this diſcourſe we ſhall heare more anon.
, 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
; three and three,
Wee'll hold a feaſt in great ſolemnitie.
Exit Duke and Lords.
Theſe things ſeeme ſmall & vndiſtinguiſhable,
Like farre oﬀ mountaines turned into Clouds.
Me-thinks I ſee theſe things with parted eye,
When euery things ſeemes double.
So me-thinkes :
And I haue found
, like a iewell,
Mine owne, and not mine owne.
It ſeemes to mee,
That yet we ſleepe,we dreame. Do not you thinke,
The Duke was heere,and bid vs follow him ?
Yea,and my Father.
And he bid vs follow to the Temple.
Why then we are awake ; lets follow him, and
by the way let vs recount our dreames.
When my cue comes,call me, and I will anſwer.
My next is, moſt faire
. Hey ho.
the bellowes-mender ?
the tinker ?
?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
heart to report, what my dreame was. I will get
to write a ballet of this dreame, it ſhall be called
,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.
Enter Quince,Flute,Thiſbie,Snout,and Starueling.
Haue you ſent to
houſe ? Is he come
home yet ?
He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt hee is
If he come not, then the play is mar'd. It goes
not forward,doth it ?
It is not poſſible : you haue not a man in all
,able to diſcharge
No, hee hath ſimply the beſt wit of any handy-
craft man in
Yea,and the beſt perſon too, and hee is a very
Paramour, for a ſweet voyce.
You muſt ſay, Paragon. A Paramour is (God
bleſſe vs) a thing of nought.
Enter Snug the Ioyner.
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
O ſweet bully
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
,Ile be hang'd. He would haue
deſerued it. Sixpence a day in
Where are theſe Lads
Where are theſe hearts ?
,ô moſt couragious day ! O moſt hap-
pie houre !
Maſters,I am to diſcourſe wonders ; but ask me
not what. For if I tell you, I am no true
will tell you euery thing as it fell out.
Let vs heare,ſweet
Not a word of me:all that I will tell you,is,that
the 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
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.
Enter Theſeus, Hippolita, Egeus and his Lords.
’Tis ſtrange my
theſe louers ſpeake of.
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,
Are of imagination all compact.
One ſees more diuels then vaſte hell can hold ;
That is the mad man. The Louer,all as franticke,
beauty in a brow of
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,
That 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 ?
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.
Heere come the louers,full of ioy and mirth :
Ioy, gentle friends, ioy and freſh dayes
Of loue accompany your hearts.
More then to vs, waite in your royall walkes,
your boord, your bed.
Come now, what maskes, what dances ſhall
To weare away this long age of three houres,
Between our after ſupper, and bed-time ?
Where is our vſuall manager of mirth ?
What Reuels are in hand ? Is there no play,
To eaſe the anguiſh of a torturing houre ?
Say, what abridgement haue you for this eue-
What maske? What muſicke ? How ſhall we beguile
The lazie time, if not with ſome delight ?
There is a breefe how many ſports are rife:
Make choiſe of which your Highneſſe will ſee ﬁrſt.
The battell with the Centaurs to be ſung
By an Athenian Eunuch, to the Harpe.
Wee’l none of that. That haue I told my Loue
In glory of my kinſman Hercules.
The riot of the tipſie Bachanals,
Tearing the Thracian ſinger,in their rage
That is an old deuice, and it was plaid
When I from
came laſt a Conqueror.
The thrice three Muſes,mourning for the death
of learning, late deceaſt in beggerie.
That is ſome Satire keene and criticall,
Not ſorting with a nuptiall ceremonie.
A tedious breefe Scene of yong
And his loue
; very tragicall mirth.
Merry and tragicall ? Tedious,and briefe? That
is,hot ice, and wondrous ſtrange ſnow. How ſhall wee
ﬁnde the concord of this diſcord ?
A play there is, my Lord, ſome ten words long,
Which is as breefe, as I haue knowne a play ;
But by ten words, my Lord, it is too long ;
Which makes it tedious. For in all the play,
There is not one word apt, one Player ﬁtted.
And tragicall my noble Lord it is : for
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
What are they that do play it ?
Hard handed men, that worke in Athens heere,
Which neuer labour'd in their mindes till now ;
And now haue toyled their vnbreathed memories
With this ſame play, againſt your nuptiall.
And we will heare it.
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.
I will heare that play. For neuer any thing
Can be amiſſe, when ſimpleneſſe and duty tender it.
Goe bring them in,and take your places, Ladies.
I loue not to ſee wretchedneſſe orecharged ;
And duty in his ſeruice periſhing.
Why gentle ſweet,you ſhall ſee no ſuch thing.
He ſaies,they can doe nothing in this kinde.
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.
Where 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
Of ſaucy and audacious eloquence.
Loue therefore, and tongue-tide ſimplicity,
In leaſt,ſpeake moſt, to my capacity.
So pleaſe your Grace,the Prologue is addreſt.
Let him approach.
Enter the Prologue.
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.
Conſider 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.
This fellow doth not ſtand vpon points.
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.
Indeed hee hath plaid on his Prologue , like a
childe on a Recorder,a ſound,but not in gouernment.
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.
Gentles,perchance you wonder at this ſhow,
But wonder on,till truth make all things plaine.
This man is
, if you would know ;
This beauteous Lady,
This 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
toombe,there, there to wooe :
This grizly beaſt (which Lyon hight by name)
, comming ﬁrſt by night,
Did ſcarre away, or rather did aﬀright :
And as ſhe fled, her mantle ſhe did fall ;
Which Lyon vile with bloody mouth did ſtaine.
, ſweet youth and tall,
And ﬁndes his
Mantle ſlaine ;
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blamefull blade,
He brauely broacht his boiling bloudy breaſt ,
, tarrying in Mulberry ſhade ,
His dagger drew,and died. For all the reſt,
,and Louers twaine,
At large diſcourſe,while here they doe remaine.
Exit all but Wall.
I wonder if the Lion be to ſpeake.
No wonder, my Lord : one Lion may, when
many Aſſes doe.
Exit Lyon,Thiſbie,and Mooneſhine.
In this ſame Interlude, it doth befall,
(by name) preſent a wall :
And ſuch a wall,as I vvould haue you thinke,
That had in it a crannied hole or chinke :
Through which the Louers,
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.
Would you deſire Lime and Haire to ſpeake
It is the vvittieſt partition, that euer I heard
diſcourſe, my Lord.
drawes neere the Wall,ſilence.
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
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.
Thankes courteous vvall.
ſhield thee vvell for this.
But vvhat ſee I?No
doe I ſee.
O vvicked vvall, through vvhom I ſee no bliſſe ,
Curſt be thy ſtones for thus deceiuing mee.
The vvall me-thinkes being ſenſible, ſhould
No in truth ſir,he ſhould not.
cue ; ſhe is to enter, and I am to ſpy
Her through the vvall. You ſhall ſee it vvill fall.
Pat as I told you ; yonder ſhe comes.
O vvall,full often haſt thou heard my mones,
For parting my faire
, and me.
My cherry lips haue often kiſt thy ſtones;
Thy ſtones vvith Lime and Haire knit vp in thee.
I ſee a voyce ; now vvill I to the chinke ,
To ſpy and I can heare my
My Loue thou art,my Loue I thinke.
Thinke vvhat thou vvilt, I am thy Louers grace,
am I truſty ſtill.
till the Fates me kill.
,was ſo true.
,I to you.
O kiſſe me through the hole of this vile wall.
I kiſſe the wals hole,not your lips at all.
Wilt thou at
tombe meete me ſtraight
Tide life, tide death,I come without delay.
Thus haue I
, my part diſcharged ſo;
And being done, thus
away doth go.
Now is the morall downe between the two
No remedie my Lord, when Wals are ſo wil-
full, to heare without vvarning.
This is the ſillieſt ſtuﬀe that ere I heard.
The beſt in this kind are but ſhadowes, and the
worſt are no worſe, if imagination amend them.
It muſt be your imagination then,& not theirs.
If wee imagine no worſe of them then they of
themſelues, they may paſſe for excellent men.Here com
two noble beaſts,in a man and a Lion.
Enter Lyon and Moone-ſhine.
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
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.
A verie gentle beaſt, and of good conſcience.
The verie beſt at a beaſt, my Lord, y
ere I ſaw.
This Lion is a verie Fox for his valor.
True,and a Gooſe for his diſcretion.
Not ſo my Lord : for his valor cannot carrie
his diſcretion, and the Fox carries the Gooſe.
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.
This Lanthorne doth the horned Moone pre-
He ſhould haue worne the hornes on his head.
Hee is no creſcent, and his hornes are inuiſible,
within the circumference.
This lanthorne doth the horned Moone pre-
ſent : My ſelfe, the man i’th Moone doth ſeeme to be.
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 ?
He dares not come there for the candle.
For you ſee, it is already in ſnuﬀe.
I am vvearie of this Moone ; vvould he would
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.
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.
Why all theſe ſhould be in the Lanthorne:for
they are in the Moone.But ſilence, heere comes
This is old
tombe : where is my loue ?
The Lion roares, Thisby runs oﬀ.
Well roar’d Lion.
Well ſhone Moone.
Truly the Moone ſhines with a good grace.
Wel mouz'd Lion.
And then came
And ſo the Lion vaniſht.
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
But ſtay : O ſpight ! but marke,poore Knight,
What dreadful dole is heere ?
Eyes do you ſee ! How can it be !
O dainty Ducke : O Deere !
Thy mantle good ; what ſtaind with blood !
Approch you Furies fell :
come, come : Cut thred and thrum,
Quaile, cruſh, conclude, and quell.
This paſſion,and the death of a deare friend,
Would go neere to make a man looke ſad.
Beſhrew my heart,but I pittie the man.
O wherefore Nature, did'ſt thou Lions frame ?
Since 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
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,
No Die, but an ace for him ; for he is but one.
Leſſe then an ace man. For he is dead, he is no-
With the helpe of a Surgeon,he might yet reco-
uer, and proue an Aſſe.
How chance Moone-ſhine is gone before?
comes backe, and ﬁndes her Louer.
She wil ﬁnde him by ſtarre-light.
Heere ſhe comes, and her paſſion ends the play.
Me thinkes ſhee ſhould not vſe a long one for
: I hope ſhe will be breefe.
A Moth wil turne the ballance, which
is the better.
She hath ſpyed him already, with thoſe ſweete
And thus ſhe meanes,
Aſleepe my Loue ? What,dead my Doue ?
Speake,Speake. Quite dumbe? Dead,dead? A tombe
Muſt couer thy ſweet eyes.
Theſe 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 :
A Midſommernights Dreame.
And farwell friends,thus
Adieu, adieu, adieu.
Moone-ſhine & Lion are left to burie the dead.
I, and Wall too.
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-
No Epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs
no excuſe. Neuer excuſe ; for when the plaiers are all
dead,there need none to be blamed. Marry, if hee that
writ it had plaid
,and hung himſelfe in
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
The heauy gate of night. Sweet friends to bed.
A fortnight hold we this ſolemnity.
In nightly Reuels; and new iollitie.
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,
Puts 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
From the preſence of the Sunne,
Following darkeneſſe like a dreame,
Now 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.
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.
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.
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,
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 ,
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.
If we ſhadowes haue oﬀended,
Thinke but this (and all is mended)
That you haue but ſlumbred heere,
While 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
If we haue vnearned lucke,
Now to ſcape the Serpents tongue,
We will make amends ere long :
a lyar call.
So good night vnto you all.
Giue me your hands, if we be friends,
ſhall reſtore amends.