A MIDSUMMER-NIGHT’S DREAM
Duke of Athens.
father to Hermia.
DEMETRIUS } in love with Hermia.
master of the revels to Theseus.
queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus.
daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander.
love with Demetrius.
king of the fairies.
queen of the fairies.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED } fairies.
fairies attending their King and Queen.
on Theseus and Hippolyta.
[Scene: Athens, and a wood near it.]
The palace of THESEUS.]
THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendants]
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
apace; four happy days bring in
moon: but, O, methinks, how slow
moon wanes! she lingers my desires,
Like to a
step-dame or a dowager
withering out a young man revenue.
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
nights will quickly dream away the time;
the moon, like to a silver bow
in heaven, shall behold the night
the Athenian youth to merriments;
pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
melancholy forth to funerals;
companion is not for our pomp.
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will
wed thee in another key,
with triumph and with revelling.
[Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS]
Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee?
Full of vexation come I, with complaint
child, my daughter Hermia.
forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
hath my consent to marry her.
forth, Lysander: and my gracious duke,
hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child;
thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,
interchanged love-tokens with my child:
by moonlight at her window sung,
feigning voice verses of feigning love,
the impression of her fantasy
bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
prevailment in unharden'd youth:
cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
obedience, which is due to me,
stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke,
Be it so
she; will not here before your grace
marry with Demetrius,
I beg the
ancient privilege of Athens,
As she is
mine, I may dispose of her:
shall be either to this gentleman
Or to her
death, according to our law
provided in that case.
What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid:
your father should be as a god;
composed your beauties, yea, and one
you are but as a form in wax
imprinted and within his power
the figure or disfigure it.
is a worthy gentleman.
So is Lysander.
In himself he is;
this kind, wanting your father's voice,
must be held the worthier.
I would my father look'd but with my eyes.
Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.
I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
I know not
by what power I am made bold,
Nor how it
may concern my modesty,
In such a
presence here to plead my thoughts;
beseech your grace that I may know
that may befall me in this case,
refuse to wed Demetrius.
Either to die the death or to abjure
the society of men.
fair Hermia, question your desires;
your youth, examine well your blood,
if you yield not to your father's choice,
endure the livery of a nun,
For aye to
be in shady cloister mew'd,
To live a
barren sister all your life,
faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
they that master so their blood,
such maiden pilgrimage;
earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
which withering on the virgin thorn
lives and dies in single blessedness.
So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will
my virgin patent up
lordship, whose unwished yoke
consents not to give sovereignty.
Take time to pause; and, by the nest new moon --
sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
everlasting bond of fellowship --
day either prepare to die
disobedience to your father's will,
Or else to
wed Demetrius, as he would;
Diana's altar to protest
austerity and single life.
Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield
title to my certain right.
You have her father's love, Demetrius;
have Hermia's: do you marry him.
Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love,
is mine my love shall render him.
And she is
mine, and all my right of her
estate unto Demetrius.
I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
possess'd; my love is more than his;
fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,
with vantage, as Demetrius';
is more than all these boasts can be,
beloved of beauteous Hermia:
not I then prosecute my right?
I'll avouch it to his head,
to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
dotes, dotes in idolatry,
spotted and inconstant man.
I must confess that I have heard so much,
Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
over-full of self-affairs,
did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
Egeus; you shall go with me,
some private schooling for you both.
fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
your fancies to your father's will;
the law of Athens yields you up --
no means we may extenuate --
or to a vow of single life.
Hippolyta: what cheer, my love?
and Egeus, go along:
employ you in some business
our nuptial and confer with you
something nearly that concerns yourselves.
With duty and desire we follow you.
[Exeunt all but LYSANDER and HERMIA]
How now, my love! why is your cheek so pale?
the roses there do fade so fast?
Belike for want of rain, which I could well
them from the tempest of my eyes.
Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
hear by tale or history,
of true love never did run smooth;
either it was different in blood, --
O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low.
Or else misgraffed in respect of years, --
O spite! too old to be engaged to young.
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends, --
O hell! to choose love by another's eyes.
Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
momentany as a sound,
Swift as a
shadow, short as any dream;
the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a
spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a
man hath power to say 'Behold!'
of darkness do devour it up:
bright things come to confusion.
then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
as an edict in destiny:
us teach our trial patience,
is a customary cross,
As due to
love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
tears, poor fancy's followers.
A good persuasion: therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a
widow aunt, a dowager
revenue, and she hath no child:
Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
respects me as her only son.
gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
that place the sharp Athenian law
pursue us. If thou lovest me then,
forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And in the
wood, a league without the town,
did meet thee once with Helena,
observance to a morn of May,
I stay for thee.
My good Lysander!
I swear to
thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
best arrow with the golden head,
simplicity of Venus' doves,
which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
false Troyan under sail was seen,
By all the
vows that ever men have broke,
more than ever women spoke,
same place thou hast appointed me,
truly will I meet with thee.
Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.
God speed fair Helena! whither away?
Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
loves your fair: O happy fair!
are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air
tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
is catching: O, were favour so,
would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;
should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
world mine, Demetrius being bated,
I'd give to be to you translated.
me how you look, and with what art
the motion of Demetrius' heart.
I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!
I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
O that my prayers could such affection move!
The more I hate, the more he follows me.
The more I love, the more he hateth me.
His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
None, but your beauty: would that fault were mine!
Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
and myself will fly this place.
time I did Lysander see,
Athens as a paradise to me:
what graces in my love do dwell,
hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell!
Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
night, when Phoebe doth behold
visage in the watery glass,
with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
that lovers' flights doth still conceal,
Athens' gates have we devised to steal.
And in the wood, where often you and I
primrose-beds were wont to lie,
our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
Lysander and myself shall meet;
from Athens turn away our eyes,
new friends and stranger companies.
sweet playfellow: pray thou for us;
luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
Lysander: we must starve our sight
lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.
I will, my Hermia.
As you on
him, Demetrius dote on you!
How happy some o'er other some can be!
Athens I am thought as fair as she.
of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
not know what all but he do know:
And as he
errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
admiring of his qualities:
base and vile, folding no quantity,
transpose to form and dignity:
not with the eyes, but with the mind;
therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind:
Love's mind of any judgement taste;
no eyes figure unheedy haste:
therefore is Love said to be a child,
choice he is so oft beguiled.
boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy
Love is perjured every where:
Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
down oaths that he was only mine;
this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go
tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
the wood will he to-morrow night
her; and for this intelligence
If I have
thanks, it is a dear expense:
mean I to enrich my pain,
his sight thither and back again.
QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING]
Is all our company here?
You were best to call them generally, man by man,
to the scrip.
Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is
fit, through all Athens, to play in our
before the duke and the duchess, on his
First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats
read the names of the actors, and so grow
Marry, our play is, The most lamentable comedy, and
death of Pyramus and Thisby.
A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a
Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your
the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.
Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.
Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.
You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?
A lover, that kills himself most gallant for love.
That will ask some tears in the true performing of
it: if I
do it, let the audience look to their
will move storms, I will condole in some
To the rest: yet my chief humour is for a
could play Ercles rarely, or a part to
tear a cat
in, to make all split.
break the locks
shine from far
lofty! Now name the rest of the players.
Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is
Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Here, Peter Quince.
Flute, you must take Thisby on you.
What is Thisby? a wandering knight?
It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; I have a beard coming.
That's all one: you shall play it in a mask, and
speak as small as you will.
An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too, I'll
speak in a
monstrous little voice. 'Thisne,
'Ah, Pyramus, lover dear! thy Thisby dear,
No, no; you must play Pyramus: and, Flute, you Thisby.
Robin Starveling, the tailor.
Here, Peter Quince.
Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother.
Here, Peter Quince.
You, Pyramus' father: myself, Thisby's father:
joiner; you, the lion's part: and, I
is a play fitted.
Have you the lion's part written? pray you, if it
it me, for I am slow of study.
You may do it extempore, for it is nothing but roaring.
Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that I will
man's heart good to hear me; I will roar,
will make the duke say 'Let him roar again,
An you should do it too terribly, you would fright
duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek;
were enough to hang us all.
That would hang us, every mother's son.
I grant you, friends, if that you should fright the
of their wits, they would have no more
but to hang us: but I will aggravate my
that I will roar you as gently as any
dove; I will roar you an 'twere any
You can play no part but Pyramus; for Pyramus is a
man; a proper man, as one shall see in a
day; a most lovely gentleman-like man:
you must needs play Pyramus.
Well, I will undertake it. What beard were I best
to play it
Why, what you will.
I will discharge it in either your straw-colour
your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain
your French-crown-colour beard, your
Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and
will play bare-faced. But, masters, here
parts: and I am to entreat you, request
desire you, to con them by to-morrow night;
me in the palace wood, a mile without the
moonlight; there will we rehearse, for if
we meet in
the city, we shall be dogged with
and our devices known. In the meantime I
a bill of properties, such as our play
pray you, fail me not.
We will meet; and there we may rehearse most
and courageously. Take pains; be perfect: adieu.
At the duke's oak we meet.
Enough; hold or cut bow-strings.
from opposite sides, a Fairy, and PUCK]
How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Over hill, over dale,
bush, thorough brier,
flood, thorough fire,
than the moon's sphere;
serve the fairy queen,
To dew her
orbs upon the green.
cowslips tall her pensioners be:
gold coats spots you see;
rubies, fairy favours,
freckles live their savours:
I must go
seek some dewdrops here
And hang a
pearl in every cowslip's ear.
thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
and all our elves come here anon.
The king doth keep his revels here to-night:
the queen come not within his sight;
is passing fell and wrath,
that she as her attendant hath
boy, stolen from an Indian king;
had so sweet a changeling;
jealous Oberon would have the child
his train, to trace the forests wild;
perforce withholds the loved boy,
with flowers and makes him all her joy:
they never meet in grove or green,
fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
do square, that all their elves for fear
acorn-cups and hide them there.
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
frights the maidens of the villagery;
and sometimes labour in the quern
bootless make the breathless housewife churn;
sometime make the drink to bear no barm;
night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?
Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck,
their work, and they shall have good luck:
Thou speak'st aright;
I am that
merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to
Oberon and make him smile
When I a
fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
in likeness of a filly foal:
sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
likeness of a roasted crab,
she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her
wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
aunt, telling the saddest tale,
for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
I from her bum, down topples she,
'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
the whole quire hold their hips and laugh,
in their mirth and neeze and swear
hour was never wasted there.
fairy! here comes Oberon.
And here my mistress. Would that he were gone!
[Enter, from one side, OBERON, with his train; from the other,
TITANIA, with hers]
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.
What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip hence:
forsworn his bed and company.
Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord?
Then I must be thy lady: but I know
hast stolen away from fairy land,
And in the
shape of Corin sat all day,
pipes of corn and versing love
Phillida. Why art thou here,
the farthest Steppe of India?
forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
must be wedded, and you come
their bed joy and prosperity.
How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
my credit with Hippolyta,
know thy love to Theseus?
not lead him through the glimmering night
Perigenia, whom he ravished?
him with fair AEgle break his faith,
Ariadne and Antiopa?
These are the forgeries of jealousy:
since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on
hill, in dale, forest or mead,
fountain or by rushy brook,
Or in the
beached margent of the sea,
our ringlets to the whistling wind,
thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
the winds, piping to us in vain,
revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
fogs; which falling in the land
pelting river made so proud
have overborne their continents:
hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
stands empty in the drowned field,
are fatted with the murrion flock;
men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
quaint mazes in the wanton green
of tread are undistinguishable:
mortals want their winter here;
is now with hymn or carol blest:
the moon, the governess of floods,
her anger, washes all the air,
rheumatic diseases do abound:
thorough this distemperature we see
seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Far in the
fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old
Hiems' thin and icy crown
chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in
mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
childing autumn, angry winter, change
wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
increase, now knows not which is which:
same progeny of evils comes
debate, from our dissension;
their parents and original.
Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
Titania cross her Oberon?
I do but
beg a little changeling boy,
To be my
Set your heart at rest:
land buys not the child of me.
was a votaress of my order:
the spiced Indian air, by night,
hath she gossip'd by my side,
with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
the embarked traders on the flood,
have laugh'd to see the sails conceive
big-bellied with the wanton wind;
with pretty and with swimming gait
-- her womb then rich with my young squire, --
imitate, and sail upon the land,
me trifles, and return again,
As from a
voyage, rich with merchandise.
being mortal, of that boy did die;
her sake do I rear up her boy,
her sake I will not part with him.
How long within this wood intend you stay?
Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
will patiently dance in our round
our moonlight revels, go with us;
shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away!
chide downright, if I longer stay.
[Exit TITANIA with her train]
Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove
torment thee for this injury.
Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest
I sat upon a promontory,
a mermaid on a dolphin's back
such dulcet and harmonious breath
rude sea grew civil at her song
certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
the sea-maid's music.
That very time I saw, but thou couldst not,
between the cold moon and the earth,
arm'd: a certain aim he took
At a fair
vestal throned by the west,
his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
imperial votaress passed on,
I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
upon a little western flower,
milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
maidens call it love-in-idleness.
that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once:
of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
or man or woman madly dote
next live creature that it sees.
this herb; and be thou here again
leviathan can swim a league.
I'll put a girdle round about the earth
Having once this juice,
Titania when she is asleep,
the liquor of it in her eyes.
thing then she waking looks upon,
Be it on
lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
meddling monkey, or on busy ape,
pursue it with the soul of love:
And ere I
take this charm from off her sight,
As I can
take it with another herb,
her render up her page to me.
comes here? I am invisible;
And I will
overhear their conference.
[Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA, following him]
I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Lysander and fair Hermia?
I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
told'st me they were stolen unto this wood;
am I, and wode within this wood,
cannot meet my Hermia.
thee gone, and follow me no more.
You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as
steel: leave you your power to draw,
shall have no power to follow you.
Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
rather, do I not in plainest truth
I do not, nor I cannot love you?
And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your
spaniel; and, Demetrius,
you beat me, I will fawn on you:
Use me but
as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
me, lose me; only give me leave,
as I am, to follow you.
worser place can I beg in your love, --
And yet a
place of high respect with me, --
Than to be
used as you use your dog?
Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
For I am
sick when I do look on thee.
And I am sick when I look not on you.
You do impeach your modesty too much,
the city and commit yourself
hands of one that loves you not;
the opportunity of night
ill counsel of a desert place
rich worth of your virginity.
Your virtue is my privilege: for that
It is not
night when I do see your face,
I think I am not in the night;
this wood lack worlds of company,
For you in
my respect are all the world:
can it be said I am alone,
the world is here to look on me?
I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
you will, the story shall be changed:
flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
pursues the griffin; the mild hind
speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
cowardice pursues and valour flies.
I will not stay thy questions; let me go:
thou follow me, do not believe
shall do thee mischief in the wood.
Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me
mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
fight for love, as men may do;
be wood and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
upon the hand I love so well.
Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,
fly him and he shall seek thy love.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
Ay, there it is.
I pray thee, give it me.
I know a
bank where the wild thyme blows,
oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
musk-roses and with eglantine:
sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
these flowers with dances and delight;
the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
enough to wrap a fairy in:
the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
her full of hateful fantasies.
some of it, and seek through this grove:
Athenian lady is in love
disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
But do it
when the next thing he espies
May be the
lady: thou shalt know the man
Athenian garments he hath on.
with some care, that he may prove
on her than she upon her love:
thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.
part of the wood.]
TITANIA, with her train]
Come, now a roundel and a fairy song;
the third part of a minute, hence;
kill cankers in the musk-rose buds,
with rere-mice for their leathern wings,
To make my
small elves coats, and some keep back
clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wonders
quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
your offices and let me rest.
[The Fairies sing]
You spotted snakes with double tongue,
hedgehogs, be not seen;
blind-worms, do no wrong,
near our fairy queen.
our sweet lullaby;
lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
lovely lady nigh;
night, with lullaby.
spiders, come not here;
long-legg'd spinners, hence!
black, approach not near;
snail, do no offence.
with melody, &c.
Hence, away! now all is well:
[Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps]
[Enter OBERON and squeezes the flower on TITANIA's eyelids]
What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Do it for
thy true-love take,
languish for his sake:
ounce, or cat, or bear,
boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye
that shall appear
wakest, it is thy dear:
some vile thing is near.
[Enter LYSANDER and HERMIA]
Fair love, you faint with wandering in the wood;
speak troth, I have forgot our way:
us, Hermia, if you think it good,
for the comfort of the day.
Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed;
For I upon
this bank will rest my head.
One turf shall serve as pillow for us both;
one bed, two bosoms and one troth.
Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,
further off yet, do not lie so near.
O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
the meaning in love's conference.
that my heart unto yours is knit
but one heart we can make of it;
interchained with an oath;
two bosoms and a single troth.
your side no bed-room me deny;
so, Hermia, I do not lie.
Lysander riddles very prettily:
beshrew my manners and my pride,
meant to say Lysander lied.
gentle friend, for love and courtesy
further off; in human modesty,
separation as may well be said
virtuous bachelor and a maid,
So far be
distant; and, good night, sweet friend:
ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!
Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I;
end life when I end loyalty!
Here is my
bed: sleep give thee all his rest!
With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!
Through the forest have I gone.
Athenian found I none,
eyes I might approve
flower's force in stirring love.
silence. -- Who is here?
Athens he doth wear:
he, my master said,
the Athenian maid;
the maiden, sleeping sound,
dank and dirty ground.
soul! she durst not lie
lack-love, this kill-courtesy.
upon thy eyes I throw
power this charm doth owe.
wakest, let love forbid
seat on thy eyelid:
when I am gone;
For I must
now to Oberon.
[Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running]
Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.
I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.
O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.
Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go.
O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;
hath blessed and attractive eyes.
her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
If so, my
eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
No, no, I
am as ugly as a bear;
that meet me run away for fear:
no marvel though Demetrius
Do, as a
monster fly my presence thus.
wicked and dissembling glass of mine
compare with Hermia's sphery eyne?
But who is
here? Lysander! on the ground!
asleep? I see no blood, no wound.
if you live, good sir, awake.
And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
Helena! Nature shows art,
through thy bosom makes me see thy heart.
Demetrius? O, how fit a word
vile name to perish on my sword!
Do not say so, Lysander; say not so
though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?
still loves you: then be content.
Content with Hermia! No; I do repent
tedious minutes I with her have spent.
but Helena I love:
not change a raven for a dove?
of man is by his reason sway'd;
says you are the worthier maid.
growing are not ripe until their season
being young, till now ripe not to reason;
touching now the point of human skill,
becomes the marshal to my will
me to your eyes, where I o'erlook
stories written in love's richest book.
Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
your hands did I deserve this scorn?
enough, is't not enough, young man,
That I did
never, no, nor never can,
sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
must flout my insufficiency?
troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
disdainful manner me to woo.
you well: perforce I must confess
you lord of more true gentleness.
O, that a
lady, of one man refused.
another therefore be abused!
She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep thou there:
mayst thou come Lysander near!
For as a
surfeit of the sweetest things
deepest loathing to the stomach brings,
Or as tie
heresies that men do leave
most of those they did deceive,
my surfeit and my heresy,
Of all be
hated, but the most of me!
my powers, address your love and might
Helen and to be her knight!
Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best
this crawling serpent from my breast!
Ay me, for
pity! what a dream was here!
look how I do quake with fear:
a serpent eat my heart away,
sat smiling at his cruel pray.
what, removed? Lysander! lord!
of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
where are you speak, an if you hear;
all loves! I swoon almost with fear.
No? then I
well perceive you all not nigh
death or you I'll find immediately.
wood. TITANIA lying asleep.]
QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING]
Are we all met?
Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place
rehearsal. This green plot shall be our
this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and we
will do it
in action as we will do it before the duke.
Peter Quince, --
What sayest thou, bully Bottom?
There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and
that will never please. First, Pyramus must
sword to kill himself; which the ladies
abide. How answer you that?
By'r lakin, a parlous fear.
I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.
Not a whit: I have a device to make all well.
Write me a
prologue; and let the prologue seem to
will do no harm with our swords, and that
not killed indeed; and, for the more
assurance, tell them that I, Pyramus, am not
but Bottom the weaver: this will put them
Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be
eight and six.
No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?
I fear it, I promise you.
Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to
-- God shield us! -- a lion among ladies, is a
dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful
than your lion living; and we ought to
Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion.
Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must
through the lion's neck: and he himself
through, saying thus, or to the same
'Ladies,' -- or 'Fair-ladies -- I would wish
or 'I would request you,' -- or 'I would
you, -- not to fear, not to tremble: my life
If you think I come hither as a lion, it
of my life: no I am no such thing; I am a
other men are;' and there indeed let him name
and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.
Well it shall be so. But there is two hard things;
to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for,
Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.
Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac; find
moonshine, find out moonshine.
Yes, it doth shine that night.
Why, then may you leave a casement of the great
window, where we play, open, and the moon
in at the casement.
Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns
lanthorn, and say he comes to disfigure, or to
the person of Moonshine. Then, there is
thing: we must have a wall in the great
for Pyramus and Thisby says the story, did
through the chink of a wall.
You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?
Some man or other must present Wall: and let him
plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast
to signify wall; and let him hold his
thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus
If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down,
mother's son, and rehearse your parts.
you begin: when you have spoken your
enter into that brake: and so every one
to his cue.
[Enter PUCK behind]
What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here,
the cradle of the fairy queen?
play toward! I'll be an auditor;
too, perhaps, if I see cause.
Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.
Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet, --
-- odours savours sweet:
thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.
a voice! stay thou but here awhile,
And by and
by I will to thee appear.
A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.
Must I speak now?
Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand he goes
but to see
a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
like the red rose on triumphant brier,
brisky juvenal and eke most lovely Jew,
As true as
truest horse that yet would never tire,
thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.
'Ninus' tomb,' man: why, you must not speak that
you answer to Pyramus: you speak all your
once, cues and all Pyramus enter: your cue
it is, 'never tire.'
O, -- As true as truest horse, that yet would
[Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass's head]
If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.
O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray,
fly, masters! Help!
[Exeunt QUINCE, SNUG, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING]
I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round,
bog, through bush, through brake, through brier:
horse I'll be, sometime a hound,
A hog, a
headless bear, sometime a fire;
and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,
horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them to
O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?
What do you see? you see an asshead of your own, do
Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art
I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me;
me, if they could. But I will not stir
place, do what they can: I will walk up
here, and I will sing, that they shall hear
I am not
The ousel cock so black of hue,
throstle with his note so true,
with little quill, --
What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
The finch, the sparrow and the lark,
plain-song cuckoo gray,
full many a man doth mark,
not answer nay; --
indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish
who would give a bird the lie, though he cry
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
is much enamour'd of thy note;
So is mine
eye enthralled to thy shape;
fair virtue's force perforce doth move me
first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason
and yet, to say the truth, reason and
little company together now-a-days; the
pity that some honest neighbours will not
friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out
wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Out of this wood do not desire to go:
remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a
spirit of no common rate;
still doth tend upon my state;
And I do
love thee: therefore, go with me;
thee fairies to attend on thee,
shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will
purge thy mortal grossness so
shalt like an airy spirit go.
Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!
[Enter PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, and MUSTARDSEED]
Where shall we go?
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his
walks and gambol in his eyes;
with apricocks and dewberries,
purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
night-tapers crop their waxen thighs
them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my
love to bed and to arise;
the wings from Painted butterflies
To fan the
moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
him, elves, and do him courtesies.
I cry your worship's mercy, heartily: I beseech your
I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master
I cut my finger, I shall make bold with
name, honest gentleman?
I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your
and to Master Peascod, your father. Good
Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of more
too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?
Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well:
cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath
many a gentleman of your house: I promise
kindred had made my eyes water ere now. I
your more acquaintance, good Master
Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
methinks looks with a watery eye;
she weeps, weeps every little flower,
some enforced chastity.
Tie up my
love's tongue bring him silently.
part of the wood.]
I wonder if Titania be awaked;
it was that next came in her eye,
must dote on in extremity.
Here comes my messenger.
night-rule now about this haunted grove?
My mistress with a monster is in love.
her close and consecrated bower,
was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of
patches, rude mechanicals,
for bread upon Athenian stalls,
together to rehearse a play
for great Theseus' nuptial-day.
shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Pyramus presented, in their sport
his scene and enter'd in a brake
When I did
him at this advantage take,
nole I fixed on his head:
Thisbe must be answered,
my mimic comes. When they him spy,
geese that the creeping fowler eye,
russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
cawing at the gun's report,
themselves and madly sweep the sky,
So, at his
sight, away his fellows fly;
our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
cries and help from Athens calls.
sense thus weak, lost with their fears
senseless things begin to do them wrong;
and thorns at their apparel snatch;
sleeves, some hats, from yielders all
I led them
on in this distracted fear,
sweet Pyramus translated there:
that moment, so it came to pass,
waked and straightway loved an ass.
This falls out better than I could devise.
thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
I took him sleeping, -- that is finish'd too, --
Athenian woman by his side:
he waked, of force she must be eyed.
[Enter HERMIA and DEMETRIUS]
Stand close: this is the same Athenian.
This is the woman, but not this the man.
O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
so bitter on your bitter foe.
Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
was not so true unto the day
As he to
me: would he have stolen away
sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
earth may be bored and that the moon
through the centre creep and so displease
brother's noontide with Antipodes.
be but thou hast murder'd him;
a murderer look, so dead, so grim.
So should the murder'd look, and so should I,
through the heart with your stern cruelty:
the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
Venus in her glimmering sphere.
What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?
I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.
Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
be never number'd among men!
tell true, tell true, even for my sake!
have look'd upon him being awake,
thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
a worm, an adder, do so much?
did it; for with doubler tongue
thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
You spend your passion on a misprised mood:
I am not
guilty of Lysander's blood;
Nor is he
dead, for aught that I can tell.
I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
An if I could, what should I get therefore?
A privilege never to see me more.
thy hated presence part I so:
See me no
more, whether he be dead or no.
There is no following her in this fierce vein:
therefore for a while I will remain.
sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe:
in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his
tender here I make some stay.
[Lies down and sleeps]
What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
misprision must perforce ensue
love turn'd and not a false turn'd true.
Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
fail, confounding oath on oath.
About the wood go swifter than the wind,
of Athens look thou find:
fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
of love, that costs the fresh blood dear:
illusion see thou bring her here:
his eyes against she do appear.
I go, I go; look how I go,
than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
Flower of this purple dye,
apple of his eye.
love he doth espy,
shine as gloriously
Venus of the sky.
wakest, if she be by,
Beg of her
Captain of our fairy band,
here at hand;
youth, mistook by me,
for a lover's fee.
their fond pageant see?
fools these mortals be!
Stand aside: the noise they make
Demetrius to awake.
Then will two at once woo one;
needs be sport alone;
things do best please me
[Enter LYSANDER and HELENA]
Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
derision never come in tears:
I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
nativity all truth appears.
these things in me seem scorn to you,
the badge of faith, to prove them true?
You do advance your cunning more and more.
kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
to her and me, put in two scales,
weigh, and both as light as tales.
I had no judgment when to her I swore.
Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
muddy. O, how ripe in show
those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
congealed white, high Taurus snow,
with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
against me for your merriment:
If you we
re civil and knew courtesy,
not do me thus much injury.
not hate me, as I know you do,
must join in souls to mock me too?
were men, as men you are in show,
not use a gentle lady so;
and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When I am
sure you hate me with your hearts.
are rivals, and love Hermia;
both rivals, to mock Helena:
exploit, a manly enterprise,
tears up in a poor maid's eyes
derision! none of noble sort
offend a virgin, and extort
soul's patience, all to make you sport.
You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
love Hermia; this you know I know:
with all good will, with all my heart,
Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
of Helena to me bequeath,
Whom I do
love and will do till my death.
Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
If e'er I
loved her, all that love is gone.
to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
And now to
Helen is it home return'd,
Helen, it is not so.
Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
thy peril, thou aby it dear.
where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
more quick of apprehension makes;
doth impair the seeing sense,
the hearing double recompense.
not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
I thank it, brought me to thy sound
unkindly didst thou leave me so?
Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?
What love could press Lysander from my side?
Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
Helena, who more engilds the night
you fiery oes and eyes of light.
seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
The hate I
bear thee made me leave thee so?
You speak not as you think: it cannot be.
Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
perceive they have conjoin'd all three
this false sport, in spite of me.
Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
conspired, have you with these contrived
To bait me
with this foul derision?
Is all the
counsel that we two have shared,
sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
have chid the hasty-footed time
parting us, -- O, is it all forgot?
school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
Hermia, like two artificial gods,
our needles created both one flower,
one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
warbling of one song, both in one key,
As if our
hands, our sides, voices and minds,
incorporate. So we grow together,
Like to a
double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an
union in partition;
berries moulded on one stem;
two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Two of the
first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to
one and crowned with one crest.
you rent our ancient love asunder,
with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not
friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
as well as I, may chide you for it,
alone do feel the injury.
I am amazed at your passionate words.
you not: it seems that you scorn me.
Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
me and praise my eyes and face?
your other love, Demetrius,
but now did spurn me with his foot,
To call me
goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he
hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
love, so rich within his soul,
me, forsooth, affection,
your setting on, by your consent?
thought I be not so in grace as you,
upon with love, so fortunate,
miserable most, to love unloved?
should pity rather than despise.
I understand not what you mean by this.
Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
mouths upon me when I turn my back;
at other; hold the sweet jest up:
sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
have any pity, grace, or manners,
not make me such an argument.
ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
death or absence soon shall remedy.
Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse:
my life my soul, fair Helena!
Sweet, do not scorn her so.
If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.
love thee; by my life, I do:
I swear by
that which I will lose for thee,
him false that says I love thee not.
I say I love thee more than he can do.
If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Away, you Ethiope!
No, no; he'll . . .
break loose; take on as you would follow,
come not: you are a tame man, go!
Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
Or I will
shake thee from me like a serpent!
Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!
Do you not jest?
Yes, sooth; and so do you.
Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
I would I had your bond, for I perceive
bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.
What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
hate her, I'll not harm her so.
What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
Am not I
Hermia? are not you Lysander?
I am as
fair now as I was erewhile.
night you loved me; yet since night you left
you left me -- O, the gods forbid! --
earnest, shall I say?
Ay, by my life;
did desire to see thee more.
be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
That I do
hate thee and love Helena.
O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
of love! what, have you come by night
my love's heart from him?
no modesty, no maiden shame,
of bashfulness? What, will you tear
answers from my gentle tongue?
you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
perceive that she hath made compare
our statures; she hath urged her height;
her personage, her tall personage,
height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
you grown so high in his esteem;
am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am
I, thou painted maypole? speak;
How low am
I? I am not yet so low
my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
not hurt me: I was never curst;
I have no
gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a
right maid for my cowardice:
not strike me. You perhaps may think,
she is something lower than myself,
That I can
Lower! hark, again.
Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
did love you, Hermia,
keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
in love unto Demetrius,
I told him
of your stealth unto this wood.
follow'd you; for love I follow'd him;
hath chid me hence and threaten'd me
me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
so you will let me quiet go,
will I bear my folly back
you no further: let me go:
how simple and how fond I am.
Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?
A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
What, with Lysander?
Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.
No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.
O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!
She was a
vixen when she went to school;
she be but little, she is fierce.
'Little' again! nothing but 'low' and 'little'!
you suffer her to flout me thus?
come to her.
Get you gone, you dwarf;
minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
You are too officious
behalf that scorns your services.
alone: speak not of Helena;
her part; for, if thou dost intend
little show of love to her,
Now she holds me not;
follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
or mine, is most in Helena.
Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.
[Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS]
You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
I will not trust you, I,
stay in your curst company.
than mine are quicker for a fray,
are longer though, to run away.
I am amazed, and know not what to say.
This is thy negligence: still thou mistakest,
committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
you tell me I should know the man
Athenian garment be had on?
And so far
blameless proves my enterprise,
have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
And so far
am I glad it so did sort
their jangling I esteem a sport.
Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:
therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
welkin cover thou anon
drooping fog as black as Acheron,
these testy rivals so astray
come not within another's way.
Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
each other look thou lead them thus,
their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
this herb into Lysander's eye;
liquor hath this virtuous property,
from thence all error with his might,
his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
next wake, all this derision
a dream and fruitless vision,
to Athens shall the lovers wend,
league whose date till death shall never end.
in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my
queen and beg her Indian boy;
And then I
will her charmed eye release
monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
shines Aurora's harbinger;
approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
to churchyards: damned spirits all,
crossways and floods have burial,
their wormy beds are gone;
lest day should look their shames upon,
willfully themselves exile from light
for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
But we are spirits of another sort:
I with the
morning's love have oft made sport,
a forester, the groves may tread,
the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Neptune with fair blessed beams,
yellow gold his salt green streams.
notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
effect this business yet ere day.
Up and down, up and down,
lead them up and down:
fear'd in field and town:
lead them up and down.
Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.
Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art thou?
I will be with thee straight.
Follow me, then,
[Exit LYSANDER, as following the voice]
Lysander! speak again:
runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?
Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
thee with a rod: he is defiled
a sword on thee.
Yea, art thou there?
Follow my voice: we'll try no manhood here.
He goes before me and still dares me on:
come where he calls, then he is gone.
villain is much lighter-heel'd than I:
fast, but faster he did fly;
fallen am I in dark uneven way,
will rest me.
Come, thou gentle day!
For if but
once thou show me thy grey light,
Demetrius and revenge this spite.
[Re-enter PUCK and DEMETRIUS]
Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?
Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot
runn'st before me, shifting every place,
not stand, nor look me in the face.
Come hither: I am here.
Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,
If ever I
thy face by daylight see:
thy way. Faintness constraineth me
out my length on this cold bed.
approach look to be visited.
[Lies down and sleeps]
O weary night, O long and tedious night,
hour! Shine comforts from the east,
That I may
back to Athens by daylight,
that my poor company detest:
that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
awhile from mine own company.
[Lies down and sleeps]
Yet but three? Come one more;
both kinds make up four.
comes, curst and sad:
Cupid is a
make poor females mad.
Never so weary, never so in woe,
with the dew and torn with briers,
I can no
further crawl, no further go;
can keep no pace with my desires.
I rest me till the break of day.
shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
[Lies down and sleeps]
On the ground
[Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eyes]
When thou wakest,
former lady's eye:
country proverb known,
man should take his own,
waking shall be shown:
shall go ill;
shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
same. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA lying asleep.]
TITANIA and BOTTOM; PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED, and
other Fairies attending; OBERON behind unseen]
Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
thy amiable cheeks do coy,
musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Scratch my head Peaseblossom. Where's Mounsieur Cobweb?
Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get you your
your hand, and kill me a red-hipped
on the top of a thistle; and, good
bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
too much in the action, mounsieur; and,
mounsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not;
I would be
loath to have you overflown with a
signior. Where's Mounsieur Mustardseed?
Give me your neaf, Mounsieur Mustardseed. Pray you,
courtesy, good mounsieur.
What's your Will?
Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb
scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for
am marvellous hairy about the face; and I
am such a
tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me,
What, wilt thou hear some music,
I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have
and the bones.
Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.
Truly, a peck of provender: I could munch your good
Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle
good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.
I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas.
pray you, let none of your people stir me: I
exposition of sleep come upon me.
Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
begone, and be all ways away.
So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
entwist; the female ivy so
the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I
love thee! how I dote on thee!
Welcome, good Robin.
thou this sweet sight?
now I do begin to pity:
meeting her of late behind the wood,
sweet favours from this hateful fool,
upbraid her and fall out with her;
his hairy temples then had rounded
coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
same dew, which sometime on the buds
to swell like round and orient pearls,
within the pretty flowerets' eyes
that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had
at my pleasure taunted her
And she in
mild terms begg'd my patience,
I then did
ask of her her changeling child;
straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I
have the boy, I will undo
hateful imperfection of her eyes:
gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
the head of this Athenian swain;
awaking when the other do,
May all to
Athens back again repair
no more of this night's accidents
But as the
fierce vexation of a dream.
I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou
wast wont to be;
thou wast wont to see:
o'er Cupid's flower
force and blessed power.
Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
I was enamour'd of an ass.
There lies your love.
How came these things to pass?
mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.
music call; and strike more dead
common sleep of all these five the sense.
Music, ho! music, such as charmeth sleep!
Now, when thou wakest, with thine
Sound, music! Come, my queen, take hands with me,
the ground whereon these sleepers be.
and I are new in amity,
to-morrow midnight solemnly
Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
it to all fair prosperity:
shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
with Theseus, all in jollity.
Fairy king, attend, and mark:
I do hear
the morning lark.
Then, my queen, in silence sad,
after the night's shade:
globe can compass soon,
than the wandering moon.
Come, my lord, and in our flight
how it came this night
sleeping here was found
mortals on the ground.
[Horns winded within]
[Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train]
Go, one of you, find out the forester;
our observation is perform'd;
we have the vaward of the day,
shall hear the music of my hounds.
in the western valley; let them go:
I say, and find the forester.
[Exit an Attendant]
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
the musical confusion
and echo in conjunction.
I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
When in a
wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
hounds of Sparta: never did I hear
gallant chiding: for, besides the groves,
the fountains, every region near
one mutual cry: I never heard
a discord, such sweet thunder.
My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
so sanded, and their heads are hung
that sweep away the morning dew;
and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
each. A cry more tuneable
holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:
you hear. But, soft! what nymphs are these?
My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
Lysander; this Demetrius is;
Helena, old Nedar's Helena:
of their being here together.
No doubt they rose up early to observe
of May, and hearing our intent,
in grace our solemnity.
Egeus; is not this the day
Hermia should give answer of her choice?
It is, my lord.
Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.
[Horns and shout within. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA
wake and start up]
Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past:
these wood-birds but to couple now?
Pardon, my lord.
I pray you all, stand up.
I know you
two are rival enemies:
this gentle concord in the world,
hatred is so far from jealousy,
by hate, and fear no enmity?
My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
sleep, half waking: but as yet, I swear,
truly say how I came here;
But, as I
think, -- for truly would I speak,
And now do
I bethink me, so it is, --
with Hermia hither: our intent
Was to be
gone from Athens, where we might,
the peril of the Athenian law.
Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough:
I beg the
law, the law, upon his head.
have stolen away; they would, Demetrius,
have defeated you and me,
your wife and me of my consent,
consent that she should be your wife.
My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
their purpose hither to this wood;
And I in
fury hither follow'd them,
Helena in fancy following me.
good lord, I wot not by what power, --
some power it is, -- my love to Hermia,
the snow, seems to me now
remembrance of an idle gaud
my childhood I did dote upon;
the faith, the virtue of my heart,
and the pleasure of mine eye,
Helena. To her, my lord,
betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:
in sickness, did I loathe this food;
But, as in
health, come to my natural taste,
Now I do
wish it, love it, long for it,
for evermore be true to it.
Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
discourse we more will hear anon.
will overbear your will;
For in the
temple by and by with us
couples shall eternally be knit:
the morning now is something worn,
purposed hunting shall be set aside.
us to Athens; three and three,
a feast in great solemnity.
[Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train]
These things seem small and undistinguishable,
Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
thing seems double.
And I have
found Demetrius like a jewel,
and not mine own.
Are you sure
are awake? It seems to me
we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
was here, and bid us follow him?
Yea; and my father.
And he did bid us follow to the temple.
Why, then, we are awake: let's follow him
And by the
way let us recount our dreams.
When my cue comes, call me, and I will
next is, 'Most fair Pyramus.' Heigh-ho!
Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout,
tinker! Starveling! God's my life, stolen
left me asleep! I have had a most rare
have had a dream, past the wit of man to
dream it was: man is but an ass, if he go
expound this dream. Methought I was -- there
is no man
can tell what. Methought I was, -- and
I had, -- but man is but a patched fool, if
offer to say what methought I had. The eye
hath not heard, the ear of man hath not
man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue
conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream
will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of
dream: it shall be called Bottom's Dream,
hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the
of a play, before the duke:
to make it the more gracious, I shall
sing it at
QUINCE, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING]
Have you sent to Bottom's house? is he come home yet?
He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is
If he come not, then the play is marred: it goes
forward, doth it?
It is not possible: you have not a man in all
able to discharge Pyramus but he.
No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft
Yea and the best person too; and he is a very
for a sweet voice.
You must say 'paragon:' a paramour is, God bless us,
a thing of
Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and
two or three lords and ladies more married:
sport had gone forward, we had all been made
O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a
his life; he could not have 'scaped
day: an the duke had not given him
day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged;
have deserved it: sixpence a day in
Where are these lads? where are these hearts?
Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!
Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but ask me not
if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I
you every thing, right as it fell out.
Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that
hath dined. Get your apparel together,
strings to your beards, new ribbons to your
meet presently at the palace; every man look
part; for the short and the long is, our
preferred. In any case, let Thisby have
linen; and let not him that plays the lion
nails, for they shall hang out for the
claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions
garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I
doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet
more words: away! go, away!
The palace of THESEUS.]
THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords and Attendants]
'Tis strange my Theseus, that these
More strange than true: I never may believe
antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
madmen have such seething brains,
shaping fantasies, that apprehend
cool reason ever comprehends.
lunatic, the lover and the poet
imagination all compact:
more devils than vast hell can hold,
the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:
eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
imagination bodies forth
of things unknown, the poet's pen
to shapes and gives to airy nothing
habitation and a name.
tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it
would but apprehend some joy,
comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the
night, imagining some fear,
is a bush supposed a bear!
But all the story of the night told over,
their minds transfigured so together,
witnesseth than fancy's images
to something of great constancy;
howsoever, strange and admirable.
Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
[Enter LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and HELENA]
Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love
More than to us
your royal walks, your board, your bed!
Come now; what masques, what dances shall we have,
away this long age of three hours
our after-supper and bed-time?
our usual manager of mirth?
revels are in hand? Is there no play,
the anguish of a torturing hour?
Here, mighty Theseus.
Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?
masque? what music? How shall we beguile
time, if not with some delight?
There is a brief how many sports are ripe:
choice of which your highness will see first.
[Giving a paper]
'The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung
Athenian eunuch to the harp.'
of that: that have I told my love,
of my kinsman Hercules.
'The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
the Thracian singer in their rage.'
That is an
old device; and it was play'd
from Thebes came last a conqueror.
'The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Learning, late deceased in beggary.'
some satire, keen and critical,
sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
'A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.'
tragical! tedious and brief!
hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
we find the concord of this discord?
A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
as brief as I have known a play;
But by ten
words, my lord, it is too long,
makes it tedious; for in all the play
not one word apt, one player fitted:
tragical, my noble lord, it is;
Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
eyes water; but more merry tears
passion of loud laughter never shed.
What are they that do play it?
Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
never labour'd in their minds till now,
have toil'd their unbreathed memories
same play, against your nuptial.
And we will hear it.
No, my noble lord;
It is not
for you: I have heard it over,
And it is
nothing, nothing in the world;
can find sport in their intents,
stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,
To do you
I will hear that play;
anything can be amiss,
simpleness and duty tender it.
them in: and take your places, ladies.
I love not to see wretchedness o'er charged
in his service perishing.
Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.
He says they can do nothing in this kind.
The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
shall be to take what they mistake:
poor duty cannot do, noble respect
in might, not merit.
have come, great clerks have purposed
me with premeditated welcomes;
have seen them shiver and look pale,
periods in the midst of sentences,
their practised accent in their fears
conclusion dumbly have broke off,
me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
this silence yet I pick'd a welcome;
And in the
modesty of fearful duty
I read as
much as from the rattling tongue
and audacious eloquence.
therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
speak most, to my capacity.
So please your grace, the Prologue is address'd.
Let him approach.
[Flourish of trumpets]
[Enter QUINCE for the Prologue]
If we offend, it is with our good will.
should think, we come not to offend,
good will. To show our simple skill,
the true beginning of our end.
then we come but in despite.
We do not
come as minding to contest you,
intent is. All for your delight
We are not
here. That you should here repent you,
are at hand and by their show
know all that you are like to know.
This fellow doth not stand upon points.
He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; he knows
stop. A good moral, my lord: it is not
speak, but to speak true.
Indeed he hath played on his prologue like a child
recorder; a sound, but not in government.
His speech, was like a tangled chain; nothing
but all disordered. Who is next?
[Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion]
Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
on, till truth make all things plain.
is Pyramus, if you would know;
beauteous lady Thisby is certain.
with lime and rough-cast, doth present
vile Wall which did these lovers sunder;
through Wall's chink, poor souls, they are content
whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
with lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn,
Moonshine; for, if you will know,
moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
To meet at
Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
Thisby, coming first by night,
away, or rather did affright;
she fled, her mantle she did fall,
vile with bloody mouth did stain.
Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
his trusty Thisby's mantle slain:
with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
broach'd is boiling bloody breast;
Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,
drew, and died. For all the rest,
Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
discourse, while here they do remain.
[Exeunt Prologue, Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine]
I wonder if the lion be to speak.
No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.
In this same interlude it doth befall
one Snout by name, present a wall;
And such a
wall, as I would have you think,
in it a crannied hole or chink,
which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,
whisper often very secretly.
this rough-cast and this stone doth show
That I am
that same wall; the truth is so:
the cranny is, right and sinister,
which the fearful lovers are to whisper.
Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?
It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard
Pyramus draws near the wall: silence!
O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!
which ever art when day is not!
O night, O
night! alack, alack, alack,
I fear my
Thisby's promise is forgot!
O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
stand'st between her father's ground and mine!
O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
[Wall holds up his fingers]
Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!
see I? No Thisby do I see.
wall, through whom I see no bliss!
thy stones for thus deceiving me!
The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.
No, in truth, sir, he should not. 'Deceiving me'
Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am to
through the wall. You shall see, it will
as I told you. Yonder she comes.
O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
parting my fair Pyramus and me!
lips have often kiss'd thy stones,
with lime and hair knit up in thee.
I see a voice: now will I to the chink,
To spy an
I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby!
My love thou art, my love I think.
Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;
Limander, am I trusty still.
And I like Helen, till the Fates me kill.
Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.
As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.
O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall!
I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.
Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?
'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.
[Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe]
Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
done, thus Wall away doth go.
Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.
No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst
worse, if imagination amend them.
It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.
If we imagine no worse of them than they of
they may pass for excellent men. Here
noble beasts in, a man and a lion.
[Enter Lion and Moonshine]
You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
perchance both quake and tremble here,
rough in wildest rage doth roar.
that I, one Snug the joiner, am
lion-fell, nor else no lion's dam;
For, if I
should as lion come in strife
place, 'twere pity on my life.
A very gentle beast, of a good conscience.
The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.
This lion is a very fox for his valour.
True; and a goose for his discretion.
Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his
and the fox carries the goose.
His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour;
goose carries not the fox. It is well:
to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.
This lanthorn doth the horned moon present; --
He should have worn the horns on his head.
He is no crescent, and his horns are
within the circumference.
This lanthorn doth the horned moon present;
man i' the moon do seem to be.
This is the greatest error of all the rest: the man
put into the lanthorn. How is it else the
man i' the
He dares not come there for the candle; for, you
see, it is
already in snuff.
I am aweary of this moon: would he would change!
It appears, by his small light of discretion, that
he is in
the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all
must stay the time.
All that I have to say, is, to tell you that the
is the moon; I, the man in the moon; this
my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.
Why, all these should be in the lanthorn; for all
in the moon. But, silence! here comes Thisbe.
This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?
[Thisbe runs off]
Well roared, Lion.
Well run, Thisbe.
Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a
[The Lion shakes Thisbe's mantle, and exit]
Well moused, Lion.
And so the lion vanished.
And then came Pyramus.
Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;
thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
I trust to
take of truest Thisby sight.
dreadful dole is here!
How can it
duck! O dear!
stain'd with blood!
ye Furies fell!
crush, conclude, and quell!
This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would
go near to
make a man look sad.
Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?
vile hath here deflower'd my dear:
-- no, no -- which was the fairest dame
lived, that loved, that liked, that look'd
sword, and wound
The pap of
heart doth hop:
Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I
Now am I
My soul is
in the sky:
lose thy light;
Now die, die, die, die, die.
No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.
Less than an ace, man; for he is dead; he is nothing.
With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and
How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes
finds her lover?
She will find him by starlight. Here she comes; and
passion ends the play.
Methinks she should not use a long one for such a
hope she will be brief.
A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which
the better; he for a man, God warrant us;
she for a
woman, God bless us.
She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.
And thus she means, videlicet: --
Asleep, my love?
dead, my dove?
speak. Quite dumb?
dead? A tomb
thy sweet eyes.
yellow cowslip cheeks,
were green as leeks.
as pale as milk;
shears his thread of silk.
not a word:
blade, my breast imbrue:
And, farewell, friends;
Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.
Ay, and Wall too.
No assure you; the wall is down that
their fathers. Will it please you to see the
or to hear a Bergomask dance between two
No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no
Never excuse; for when the players are all
there needs none to be blamed. Marry, if he
it had played Pyramus and hanged himself
Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine
and so it is, truly; and very notably
But come, your Bergomask: let your
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve:
bed; 'tis almost fairy time.
I fear we
shall out-sleep the coming morn
As much as
we this night have overwatch'd.
palpable-gross play hath well beguiled
gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
fortnight hold we this solemnity,
revels and new jollity.
Now the hungry lion roars,
wolf behowls the moon;
heavy ploughman snores,
weary task fordone.
wasted brands do glow,
screech-owl, screeching loud,
wretch that lies in woe
remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is
the time of night
graves all gaping wide,
lets forth his sprite,
church-way paths to glide:
fairies, that do run
triple Hecate's team,
presence of the sun,
darkness like a dream,
frolic: not a mouse
disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent
with broom before,
the dust behind the door.
[Enter OBERON and TITANIA with their train]
Through the house give gathering light,
dead and drowsy fire:
and fairy sprite
light as bird from brier;
ditty, after me,
dance it trippingly.
First, rehearse your song by rote
word a warbling note:
hand, with fairy grace,
sing, and bless this place.
[Song and dance]
Now, until the break of day,
this house each fairy stray.
best bride-bed will we,
us shall blessed be;
issue there create
all the couples three
in loving be;
blots of Nature's hand
in their issue stand;
mole, hare lip, nor scar,
prodigious, such as are
their children be.
fairy take his gait;
several chamber bless,
this palace, with sweet peace;
owner of it blest
in safety rest.
make no stay;
all by break of day.
[Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and train]
If we shadows have offended,
this, and all is mended,
have but slumber'd here
these visions did appear.
weak and idle theme,
yielding but a dream,
do not reprehend:
pardon, we will mend:
And, as I
am an honest Puck,
If we have
'scape the serpent's tongue,
make amends ere long;
Puck a liar call;
night unto you all.
your hands, if we be friends,
shall restore amends.