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A Midsommer Nights Dreame

Actus primus.

Enter TheseusHippolitawith others.

Theseus. Now faire Hippolitaour nuptiall houre
Drawes on apace: foure happy daies bring in
Another Moon: but ohme thinkeshow slow
This old Moon wanes; She lingers my desires
Like to a Step-dameor a Dowager
Long withering out a yong mans reuennew

Hip. Foure daies wil quickly steep the[m]selues in nights
Foure nights wil quickly dreame away the time:
And then the Moonelike to a siluer bow
Now bent in heauenshal behold the night
Of our solemnities

The. Go Philostrate
Stirre vp the Athenian youth to merriments
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth
Turne melancholy forth to Funerals:
The pale companion is not for our pompe
HippolitaI woo'd thee with my sword
And wonne thy louedoing thee iniuries:
But I will wed thee in another key
With pompewith triumphand with reuelling.
Enter Egeus and his daughter HermiaLysanderand Demetrius.

Ege. Happy be Theseusour renowned Duke

The. Thanks good Egeus: what's the news with thee?
Ege. Full of vexationcome Iwith complaint
Against my childemy 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:
Thouthou Lysanderthou hast giuen her rimes
And interchang'd loue-tokens with my childe:
Thou hast by Moone-light at her window sung
With faining voiceverses of faining loue
And stolne the impression of her fantasie
With bracelets of thy haireringsgawdesconceits
KnackestriflesNose-gaiessweet meats (messengers
Of strong preuailment in vnhardned youth)
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughters heart
Turn'd her obedience (which is due to me)
To stubborne harshnesse. And my gracious Duke
Be it so she will not heere before your Grace
Consent to marrie with Demetrius
I beg the ancient priuiledge of Athens;
As she is mineI may dispose of her;
Which shall be either to this Gentleman
Or to her deathaccording to our Law
Immediately prouided in that case

The. What say you Hermia? be aduis'd faire Maide
To you your Father should be as a God;
One that compos'd your beauties; yea and one
To whom you are but as a forme in waxe
By him imprinted: and within his power
To leaue the figureor disfigure it:
Demetrius is a worthy Gentleman

Her. So is Lysander

The. In himselfe he is.
But in this kindewanting your fathers voyce
The other must be held the worthier

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

The. Rather your eies must with his iudgment looke

Her. I do entreat your Grace to pardon me.
I know not by what power I am made bold
Nor how it may concerne my modestie
In such a presence heere to pleade my thoughts:
But I beseech your Gracethat I may know
The worst that may befall me in this case
If I refuse to wed Demetrius

The. Either to dye the deathor to abiure
For euer the society of men.
Therefore faire Hermia question your desires
Know of your youthexamine 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
Growesliuesand diesin single blessednesse

Her. So will I growso liueso die my Lord
Ere I will yeeld my virgin Patent vp
Vnto his Lordshipwhose vnwished yoake
My soule consents not to giue soueraignty

The. Take time to pauseand by the next new Moon
The sealing day betwixt my loue and me
For euerlasting bond of fellowship:
Vpon that day either prepare to dye
For disobedience to your fathers will
Or else to wed Demetrius as hee would
Or on Dianaes Altar to protest
For aieausterityand single life

Dem. Relent sweet Hermiaand Lysanderyeelde
Thy crazed title to my certaine right

Lys. You haue her fathers loueDemetrius:
Let me haue Hermiaes: do you marry him

Egeus. Scornfull Lysandertruehe hath my Loue;
And what is minemy loue shall render him.

And she is mineand all my right of her
I do estate vnto Demetrius

Lys. I am my Lordas 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 Demetrius:
And (which is more then all these boasts can be)
I am belou'd of beauteous Hermia.
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
DemetriusIle auouch it to his head
Made loue to Nedars daughterHelena
And won her soule: and she (sweet Ladie) dotes
Deuoutly dotesdotes in Idolatry
Vpon this spotted and inconstant man

The. I must confessethat I haue heard so much
And with Demetrius thought to haue spoke thereof:
But being ouer-full of selfe-affaires
My minde did lose it. But Demetrius come
And come Egeusyou shall go with me
I haue some priuate schooling for you both.
For you faire Hermialooke 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 deathor to a vow of single life.
Come my Hippolitawhat cheare my loue?
Demetrius and Egeus go along:
I must imploy you in some businesse
Against our nuptialland conferre with you
Of somethingneerely that concernes your selues

Ege. With dutie and desire we follow you.


Manet Lysander and Hermia.

Lys. How now my loue? Why is your cheek so pale?
How chance the Roses there do fade so fast?
Her. Belike for want of rainewhich I could well
Beteeme themfrom the tempest of mine eyes

Lys. For ought that euer I could reade
Could euer heare by tale or historie
The course of true loue neuer did run smooth
But either it was different in blood

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

Lys. Or else misgraffedin respect of yeares

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

Lys. Or else it stood vpon the choise of merit

Her. O hell! to choose loue by anothers eie

Lys. Or if there were a simpathie in choise
Warredeathor sicknessedid lay siege to it;
Making it momentarieas a sound:
Swift as a shadowshort 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 saybehold
The iawes of darkness do deuoure it vp:
So quicke bright things come to confusion

Her. If then true Louers haue beene euer crost
It stands as an edict in destinie:
Then let vs teach our triall patience
Because it is a customarie crosse
As due to loueas thoughtsand dreamesand sighes
Wishes and teares; poore Fancies followers

Lys. A good perswasion; therefore heare me Hermia
I haue a Widdow Aunta dowager
Of great reuennewand she hath no childe
From Athens is her house remou'd seuen leagues
And she respects meas her onely sonne:
There gentle Hermiamay I marrie thee
And to that placethe sharpe Athenian Law
Cannot pursue vs. If thou lou'st methen
Steale forth thy Fathers house to morrow night:
And in the wooda league without the towne
(Where I did meete thee once with Helena.
To do obseruance for a morne of May)
There will I stay for thee

Her. My good Lysander
I sweare to theeby Cupids strongest bow
By his best arrow with the golden head
By the simplicitie of Venus Doues
By that which knitteth soulesand 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

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

Her. God speede faire Helenawhither away?

Hel. Cal you me faire? that faire againe vnsay
Demetrius loues you faire: O happie faire!
Your eyes are loadstarresand your tongues sweete ayre
More tuneable then Larke to shepheards eare
When wheate is greenewhen hauthorne buds appeare
Sicknesse is catching: O were fauor so
Your words I catchfaire Hermia ere I go
My eare should catch your voicemy eyeyour eye
My tongue should catch your tongues sweete melodie
Were the world mineDemetrius being bated
The rest Ile giue to be to you translated.
O teach me how you lookeand with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius hart

Her. I frowne vpon himyet he loues me still

Hel. O that your frownes would teach my smiles
such skil

Her. I giue him cursesyet he giues me loue

Hel. O that my prayers could such affection mooue

Her. The more I hatethe more he followes me

Hel. The more I louethe more he hateth me

Her. His folly Helena is none of mine

Hel. None but your beautywold that fault wer mine

Her. Take comfort: he no more shall see my face
Lysander and my selfe will flie this place.
Before the time I did Lysander see
Seem'd Athens like a Paradise to mee.
O thenwhat graces in my Loue do dwell
That he hath turn'd a heauen into hell

Lys. Helento you our mindes we will vnfold
To morrow nightwhen Phoebe doth behold
Her siluer visagein the watry glasse
Decking with liquid pearlethe bladed grasse
(A time that Louers flights doth still conceale)
Through Athens gateshaue we deuis'd to steale

Her. And in the woodwhere often you and I
Vpon faint Primrose bedswere wont to lye
Emptying our bosomesof their counsell sweld:
There my Lysanderand my selfe shall meete
And thence from Athens turne away our eyes
To seeke new friends and strange companions
Farwell sweet play-fellowpray thou for vs
And good lucke grant thee thy Demetrius.
Keepe word Lysander we must starue our sight
From louers foodetill morrow deepe midnight.

Exit Hermia.

Lys. I will my Hermia. Helena adieu
As you on himDemetrius dotes on you.

Exit Lysander.

Hele. How happy someore othersome can be?
Through Athens I am thought as faire as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinkes not so:
He will not knowwhat allbut he doth know
And as hee erresdoting on Hermias eyes;
So Iadmiring of his qualities:
Things base and vildeholding no quantity
Loue can transpose to forme and dignity
Loue lookes not with the eyesbut with the minde
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blinde.
Nor hath loues minde of any iudgement taste:
Wings and no eyesfigurevnheedy haste.
And therefore is Loue said to be a childe
Because in choise he is often beguil'd
As waggish boyes in game themselues forsweare;
So the boy Loue is periur'd euery where.
For ere Demetrius lookt on Hermias eyne
He hail'd downe oathes that he was onely mine.
And when this Haile some heat from Hermia felt
So he dissolu'dand showres of oathes did melt
I will goe tell him of faire Hermias flight:
Then to the wood will heto morrow night
Pursue her; and for his intelligence
If I haue thankesit is a deere expence:

But heerein meane I to enrich my paine
To haue his sight thitherand backe againe.

Enter Quince the CarpenterSnug the IoynerBottome the Weauer
the bellowes-menderSnout the Tinkerand Starueling the Taylor.

Quin. Is all our company heere?
Bot. You were best to call them generallyman by
man according to the scrip

Qui. Here is the scrowle of euery mans namewhich
is thought fit through all Athensto play in our Enterlude
before the Duke and the Dutcheson his wedding
day at night

Bot. Firstgood Peter Quincesay what the play treats
on: then read the names of the Actors: and so grow on
to a point

Quin. Marry our play is the most lamentable comedy
and most cruell death of Pyramus and Thisbie

Bot. A very good peece of worke I assure youand a
merry. Now good Peter Quincecall forth your Actors
by the scrowle. Masters spread your selues

Quince. Answere as I call you. Nick Bottome the

Bottome. Ready; name what part I am forand

Quince. You Nicke Bottome are set downe for Pyramus

Bot. What is Pyramusa loueror a tyrant?
Quin. A Louer that kills himselfe most gallantly for

Bot. That will aske some teares in the true performing
of it: if I do itlet the audience looke to their eies:
I will mooue stormes; I will condole in some measure.
To the rest yetmy chiefe humour is for a tyrant. I could
play Ercles rarelyor a part to teare a Cat into make all
split the raging Rocks; and shiuering shocks shall break
the locks of prison gatesand Phibbus carre shall shine
from farreand make and marre the foolish Fates. This
was lofty. Now name the rest of the Players. This
is Ercles vainea tyrants vaine: a louer is more condoling

Quin. Francis Flute the Bellowes-mender

Flu. Heere Peter Quince

Quin. You must take Thisbie on you

Flut. What is Thisbiea wandring Knight?
Quin. It is the Lady that Pyramus must loue

Flut. Nay faithlet not mee play a womanI haue a
beard comming

Qui. That's all oneyou shall play it in a Maskeand

you may speake as small as you will

Bot. And I may hide my facelet me play Thisbie too:
Ile speake in a monstrous little voyce; ThisneThisneah
Pyramus my louer dearethy Thisbie deareand Lady

Quin. No noyou must play Pyramusand Fluteyou

Bot. Wellproceed

Qu. Robin Starueling the Taylor

Star. Heere Peter Quince

Quince. Robin Staruelingyou must play Thisbies
Tom Snowtthe Tinker

Snowt. Heere Peter Quince

Quin. youPyramus father; my selfThisbies father;
Snugge the Ioyneryou the Lyons part: and I hope there
is a play fitted

Snug. Haue you the Lions part written? pray you if
begiue it mefor I am slow of studie

Quin. You may doe it extemporiefor it is nothing
but roaring

Bot. Let mee play the Lyon tooI will roare that I
will doe any mans heart good to heare me. I will roare
that I will make the Duke sayLet him roare againelet
him roare againe

Quin. If you should do it too terriblyyou would
fright the Dutchesse and the Ladiesthat they would
shrikeand that were enough to hang us all

All. That would hang vs euery mothers sonne

Bottome. I graunt you friendsif that you should
fright the Ladies out of their Wittesthey would
haue no more discretion but to hang vs: but I will aggrauate
my voyce sothat I will roare you as gently as
any sucking Doue; I will roare and 'twere any Nightingale

Quin. You can play no part but Piramusfor Piramus
is a sweet-fac'd mana proper man as one shall see in
a summers day; a most louely Gentleman-like mantherfore
you must needs play Piramus

Bot. WellI will vndertake it. What beard were I
best to play it in?
Quin. Whywhat you will

Bot. I will discharge itin either your straw-colour
beardyour orange tawnie beardyour purple in graine
beardor your French-crowne colour'd beardyour perfect

Quin. Some of your French Crownes haue no haire

at alland then you will play bare-fac'd. But masters here
are your partsand I am to intreat yourequest youand
desire youto con them by too morrow night: and meet
me in the palace wooda mile without the Towneby
Moone-lightthere we will rehearse: for if we meete in
the Citiewe shalbe dog'd with companyand our deuises
knowne. In the meane timeI wil draw a bil of properties
such as our play wants. I pray you faile me not

Bottom. We will meeteand there we may rehearse
more obscenely and couragiously. Take painesbe perfect

Quin. At the Dukes oake we meete

Bot. Enoughhold or cut bow-strings.


Actus Secundus.

Enter a Fairie at one doreand Robin goodfellow at another.

Rob. How now spiritwhether wander you?

Fai. Ouer hilouer dalethrough bushthrough briar
Ouer parkeouer palethrough floodthrough fire
I do wander euerie whereswifter then y Moons sphere;
And I serue the Fairy Queeneto dew her orbs vpon the green.
The Cowslips tallher pensioners bee
In their gold coatsspots you see
Those be RubiesFairie fauors
In those frecklesliue their sauors
I must go seeke some dew drops heere
And hang a pearle in euery cowslips eare.
Farewell thou Lob of spiritsIle be gon
Our Queene and all her Elues come heere anon

Rob. The King doth keepe his Reuels here to night
Take heed the Queene come not within his sight
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath
Because that sheas her attendanthath
A louely boy stolne from an Indian King
She neuer had so sweet a changeling
And iealous Oberon would haue the childe
Knight of his traineto trace the Forrests wilde.
But she (perforce) with-holds the loued boy
Crownes him with flowersand makes him all her ioy.
And now they neuer meete in groueor greene
By fountaine cleereor spangled star-light sheene
But they do squarethat all their Elues for feare
Creepe into Acorne cups and hide them there

Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making quite
Or else you are that shrew'd and knauish spirit
Cal'd Robin Good-fellow. Are you not hee
That frights the maidens of the Villagree
Skim milkeand sometimes labour in the querne
And bootlesse make the breathlesse huswife cherne
And sometime make the drinke to beare no barme
Misleade night-wandererslaughing at their harme
Those that Hobgoblin call youand sweet Pucke
You do their workeand they shall haue good lucke.
Are not you he?

Rob. Thou speak'st aright;

I am that merrie wanderer of the night:
I iest to Oberonand 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 drinkesagainst her lips I bob
And on her withered dewlop poure the Ale.
The wisest Aunt telling the saddest tale
Sometime for three-foot stoolemistaketh me
Then slip I from her bumdowne topples she
And tailour criesand fals into a coffe.
And then the whole quire hold their hipsand loffe
And waxen in their mirthand neezeand sweare
A merrier houre was neuer wasted there.
But roome Fairyheere comes Oberon

Fair. And heere my Mistris:
Would that he were gone.
Enter the King of Fairies at one doore with his traineand the
Queene at
another with hers.

Ob. Ill met by Moone-light.
Proud Tytania

Qu. Whatiealous Oberon? Fairy skip hence.
I haue forsworne his bed and companie

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

Qu. Then I must be thy Lady: but I know
When thou wast stolne away from Fairy Land
And in the shape of Corinsate all day
Playing on pipes of Corneand versing loue
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou heere
Come from the farthest steepe of India?
But that forsooth the bouncing Amazon
Your buskin'd Mistresseand your Warrior loue
To Theseus must be Wedded; and you come
To giue their bed ioy and prosperitie

Ob. How canst thou thus for shame Tytania.
Glance at my creditewith Hippolita?
Knowing I know thy loue to Theseus?
Didst thou not leade him through the glimmering night
From Peregeniawhom he rauished?
And make him with faire Eagles breake his faith
With Ariadneand Antiopa?

Que. These are the forgeries of iealousie
And neuer since the middle Summers spring
Met we on hilin daleforrestor mead
By paued fountaineor by rushie brooke
Or in the beached margent of the sea
To dance our ringlets to the whistling Winde
But with thy braules thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the Windespiping to vs in vaine
As in reuengehaue 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 sweatand the greene Corne
Hath rottedere his youth attain'd a beard:
The fold stands empty in the drowned field

And Crowes are fatted with 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 angerwashes all the aire;
That Rheumaticke diseases doe abound.
And through this distemperaturewe see
The seasons alter; hoared headed Frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson Rose
And on old Hyems chinne and Icie crowne
An odorous Chaplet of sweet Sommer buds
Is as in mockry set. The Springthe Sommer
The childing Autumneangry Winter change
Their wonted Liueriesand the mazed world
By their increasenow knowes not which is which;
And this same progeny of euills
Comes from our debatefrom our dissention
We are their parents and originall

Ober. Do you amend it thenit lies in you

Why should Titania crosse her Oberon?

I do but beg a little changeling boy

To be my Henchman

Qu. Set your heart at rest

The Fairy land buyes not the childe of me

His mother was a Votresse of my Order

And in the spiced Indian aireby night

Full often hath she gossipt by my side

And sat with me on Neptunes yellow sands

Marking th' embarked traders on the flood

When we haue laught to see the sailes conceiue

And grow big bellied with the wanton winde:

Which she with pretty and with swimming gate

Following (her wombe then rich with my yong squire)

Would imitateand saile vpon the Land

To fetch me triflesand returne againe

As from a voyagerich with merchandize.

But she being mortallof that boy did die

And for her sake I doe reare vp her boy

And for her sake I will not part with him

Ob. How long within this wood intend you stay?

Qu. Perchance till after Theseus wedding day.

If you will patiently dance in our Round

And see our Moone-light reuelsgoe with vs;

If notshun me and I will spare your haunts

Ob. Giue me that boyand I will goe with thee

Qu. Not for thy Fairy Kingdome. Fairies away:
We shall chide downe rightif I longer stay.


Ob. Welgo thy way: thou shalt not from this groue

Till I torment thee for this iniury.

My gentle Pucke come hither; thou remembrest

Since once I sat vpon a promontory

And heard a Meare-maide on a Dolphins backe

Vttering such dulcet and harmonious breath

That the rude sea grew ciuill at her song
And certaine starres shot madly from their Spheares
To heare the Sea-maids musicke

Puc. I remember

Ob. That very time I say (but thou couldst not)
Flying betweene the cold Moone and the earth
Cupid all arm'd; a certaine aime he tooke
At a faire Vestallthroned by the West
And loos'd his loue-shaft smartly from his bow
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts
But I might see young Cupids fiery shaft
Quencht in the chaste beames of the watry Moone;
And the imperiall Votresse passed on
In maiden meditationfancy free.
Yet markt I where the bolt of Cupid fell.
It fell vpon a little westerne flower;
Beforemilke-white: now purple with loues wound
And maidens call itLoue in idlenesse.
Fetch me that flower; the hearb I shew'd thee once
The iuyce of iton sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Vpon the next liue creature that it sees.
Fetch me this hearbeand be thou heere againe
Ere the Leuiathan can swim a league

Pucke. Ile put a girdle about the earthin forty minutes

Ober. Hauing once this iuyce
Ile watch Titaniawhen she is asleepe
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes:
The next thing when she waking lookes vpon
(Be it on LyonBeareor Wolfeor Bull
On medling Monkeyor on busie Ape)
Shee shall pursue itwith 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 DemetriusHelena following him.

Deme. I loue thee nottherefore pursue me not
Where is Lysanderand faire Hermia?
The one Ile staythe other stayeth me.
Thou toldst me they were stolne into this wood;
And heere am Iand wood within this wood
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Henceget thee goneand follow me no more

Hel. You draw meyou hard-hearted Adamant
But yet you draw not Ironfor my heart
Is true as steele. Leaue you your power to draw
And I shall haue no power to follow you

Deme. Do I entice you? do I speake you faire?
Or rather doe I not in plainest truth
Tell you I doe notnor I cannot loue you?

Hel. And euen for that doe I loue thee the more;
I am your spanielland Demetrius
The more you beat meI will fawne on you.
Vse me but as your spaniell; spurne mestrike me
Neglect melose 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

Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit
For I am sicke when I do looke on thee

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

Dem. You doe impeach your modesty too much
To leaue the Cittyand commit your selfe
Into the hands of one that loues you not
To trust the opportunity of night.
And the ill counsell of a desert place
With the rich worth of your virginity

Hel. Your vertue is my priuiledge: for that
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 all the world.
Then how can it be said I am alone
When all the world is heere to looke on me?

Dem. Ile run from theeand hide me in the brakes
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beasts

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you;
Runne when you willthe story shall be chang'd:
Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase;
The Doue pursues the Griffinthe milde Hinde
Makes speed to catch the Tyger. Bootlesse speede
When cowardise pursuesand valour flies

Demet. I will not stay thy questionslet me go;
Or if thou follow medoe not beleeue
But I shall doe thee mischiefe in the wood

Hel. Iin the Templein the Towneand Field
You doe me mischiefe. Fye Demetrius
Your wrongs doe set a scandall on my sexe:
We cannot fight for loueas men may doe;
We should be woo'dand were not made to wooe.
I follow theeand make a heauen of hell
To die vpon the hand I loue so well.

Ob. Fare thee well Nymphere he do leaue this groue
Thou shalt flie himand he shall seeke thy loue.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome wanderer.
Enter Pucke.

Puck. I there it is

Ob. I pray thee giue it me.
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 rosesand with Eglantine;
There sleepes Tytaniasometime of the night
Lul'd in these flowerswith 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 itand seek through this groue;
A sweet Athenian Lady is in loue
With a disdainefull youth: annoint his eyes
But doe it when the next thing he espies
May be the Lady. Thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some carethat he may proue
More fond on herthen she vpon her loue;
And looke thou meet me ere the first Cocke crow

Pu. Feare not my Lordyour seruant shall do so.

Enter Queene of Fairieswith her traine.

Queen. Comenow a Roundelland a Fairy song;
Then for the third part of a minute hence
Some to kill Cankers in the muske rose buds
Some warre with Reremisefor their leathern wings.
To make my small Elues coatesand some keepe backe
The clamorous Owle that nightly hoots and wonders
At our queint spirits: Sing me now asleepe
Then to your officesand let me rest

Fairies Sing. 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 harmenor spellnor charme
Come our louely Lady nye
So good night with Lullaby

2.Fairy. Weauing Spiders come not heere
Hence you long leg'd Spinnershence:
Beetles blacke approach not neere;
Worme nor Snayle doe no offence.
Philomele with melody&c

1.Fairy. Hence awaynow all is well;
One aloofestand Centinell.

Shee sleepes.

Enter Oberon.

Ober. What thou seest when thou dost wake
Do it for thy true Loue take:
Loue and languish for his sake.
Be it Ounceor Catteor Beare
Pardor Boare with bristled haire
In thy eye that shall appeare
When thou wak'stit is thy deare
Wake when some vile thing is neere.
Enter Lisander and Hermia.

Lis. Faire loueyou faint with wandring in y woods
And to speake troth I haue forgot our way:
Wee'll rest vs HermiaIf you thinke it good
And tarry for the comfort of the day

Her. Be it so Lysander; finde you out a bed
For I vpon this banke will rest my head

Lys. One turfe shall serue as pillow for vs both
One heartone bedtwo bosomesand one troth

Her. Nay good Lysanderfor my sake my deere
Lie further off yetdoe not lie so neere

Lys. O take the sence sweetof my innocence

Loue takes the meaningin 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 bosomesand a single troth.

Then by your sideno bed-roome me deny

For lying soHermiaI doe not lye

Her. Lysander riddles very prettily;

Now much beshrew my manners and my pride

If Hermia meant to sayLysander lied.

But gentle friendfor loue and courtesie

Lie further offin humane modesty

Such separationas may well be said

Becomes a vertuous batchelourand a maide

So farre be distantand good night sweet friend;

Thy loue nere altertill thy sweet life end

Lys. Amenamento that faire prayersay I

And then end lifewhen I end loyalty:

Heere is my bedsleepe giue thee all his rest

Her. With halfe that wishthe wishers eyes be prest.
Enter Pucke. They sleepe.

Puck. Through the Forest haue I gone

But Athenian finde I none

One whose eyes I might approue

This flowers force in stirring loue.

Nigh and silence: who is heere?

Weedes of Athens he doth weare:

This is he (my master said)

Despised the Athenian maide:

And heere the maiden sleeping sound

On the danke and durty ground.

Pretty souleshe durst not lye

Neere this lacke-louethis kill-curtesie.

Churlevpon thy eyes I throw

All the power this charme doth owe:

When thou wak'stlet loue forbid

Sleepe his seate on thy eye-lid.

So awake when I am gone:

For I must now to Oberon.


Enter Demetrius and Helena running.

Hel. Staythough thou kill mesweete Demetrius

De. I charge thee henceand do not haunt me thus

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

De. Stay on thy perillI alone will goe.

Exit Demetrius.

Hel. O I am out of breathin this fond chace
The more my prayerthe lesser is my grace
Happy is Hermiawheresoere she lies;
For she hath blessed and attractiue eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt teares.
If somy eyes are oftner washt then hers.
NonoI am as vgly as a Beare;
For beasts that meete merunne away for feare
Therefore no maruailethough Demetrius
Doe as a monsterflie my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glasse of mine
Made me compare with Hermias sphery eyne?
But who is here? Lysander on the ground;
Deade or asleepe? I see no bloudno wound
Lysanderif you liuegood sir awake

Lys. And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
Transparent Helenanature her shewes art
That through thy bosome makes me see thy heart.
Where is Demetrius? oh how fit a word
Is that vile nameto perish on my sword!

Hel. Do not say so Lysandersay not so:
What though he loue your Hermia? Lordwhat though?
Yet Hermia still loues you; then be content

Lys. Content with Hermia? noI do repent
The tedious minutes I with her haue spent.
Not Hermiabut Helena 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 yongtill 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 eyeswhere I orelooke
Loues storieswritten in Loues richest booke

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keene mockery borne?
When at your hands did I deserue this scorne?
Ist not enoughist not enoughyong man
That I did neuerno nor neuer can
Deserue a sweete looke from Demetrius eye
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth you do me wrong (good-sooth you do)
In such disdainfull mannerme to wooe.
But fare you well; perforce I must confesse
I thought you Lord of more true gentlenesse.
Ohthat a Lady of one man refus'd
Should of another therefore be abus'd.

Lys. She sees not Hermia: Hermia sleepe thou there
And neuer maist thou come Lysander neere;
For as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomacke brings:
Or as the heresies that men do leaue
Are hated most of those that did deceiue:
So thoumy surfeitand my heresie
Of all be hated; but the most of me;
And all my powers addresse your loue and might

To honour Helenand to be her Knight.

Her. Helpe me Lysanderhelpe me; do thy best
To plucke this crawling serpent from my brest.
Aye mefor pitty; what a dreame was here?
Lysander lookehow I do quake with feare:
Me-thought a serpent eate my heart away
And yet sat smiling at his cruell prey.
LysanderWhat remoou'd? LysanderLord
Whatout of hearinggone? No soundno word?
Alacke where are you? speake and if you heare:
Speake of all loues; I sound almost with feare.
Nothen I well perceiue you are not nye
Either death or you Ile finde immediately.

Actus Tertius.

Enter the Clownes.

Bot. Are we all met?

Quin. Patpatand here's a maruailous conuenient
place for our rehearsall. This greene plot shall be our
stagethis hauthorne brake our tyring houseand we will
do it in actionas we will do it before the Duke

Bot. Peter Quince?

Peter. What saist thoubully Bottome?

Bot. There are things in this Comedy of Piramus and
Thisbythat will neuer please. FirstPiramus must draw a
sword to kill himselfe; which the Ladies cannot abide.
How answere you that?

Snout. Berlakena parlous feare

Star. I beleeue we must leaue the killing outwhen
all is done

Bot. Not a whitI haue a deuice to make all well.
Write me a Prologueand let the Prologue seeme to say
we will do no harme with our swordsand that Pyramus
is not kill'd indeede: and for the more better assurance
tell themthat I Piramus am not Piramusbut Bottome the
Weauer; this will put them out of feare

Quin. Wellwe will haue such a Prologueand it shall
be written in eight and sixe

Bot. Nomake it two morelet it be written in eight
and eight

Snout. Will not the Ladies be afear'd of the Lyon?
Star. I feare itI promise you

Bot. Mastersyou ought to consider with your seluesto
bring in (God shield vs) a Lyon among Ladiesis a most
dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull wilde
foule then your Lyon liuing: and wee ought to looke
to it

Snout. Therefore another Prologue must tell he is not
a Lyon

Bot. Nayyou must name his nameand halfe his face
must be seene through the Lyons neckeand he himselfe
must speake throughsaying thusor to the same defect;
Ladiesor faire LadiesI would wish youor I would
request youor I would entreat younot to fearenot to
tremble: my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither
as a Lyonit were pitty of my life. NoI am no such
thingI am a man as other men are; and there indeed let
him name his nameand tell him plainly hee is Snug the

Quin. Wellit shall be so; but there is two hard
thingsthat isto bring the Moone-light into a chamber:
for you know Piramus and Thisby meete by Moonelight

Sn. Doth the Moone shine that night wee play our

Bot. A Calendera Calenderlooke in the Almanack
finde out Moone-shinefinde out Moone-shine.
Enter Pucke.

Quin. Yesit doth shine that night

Bot. Why then may you leaue a casement of the great
chamber window (where we play) openand the Moone
may shine in at the casement

Quin. Ior else one must come in with a bush of thorns
and a lanthorneand say he comes to disfigureor to present
the person of Moone-shine. Then there is another
thingwe must haue a wall in the great Chamber; for Piramus
and Thisby (saies the story) did talke through the
chinke of a wall

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

Bot. Some man or other must present walland let
him haue some Plasteror some Lomeor some rough
cast about himto signifie wall; or let him hold his fingers
thus; and through that cranny shall Piramus and
Thisby whisper

Quin. If that may bethen all is well. Comesit
downe euery mothers sonneand rehearse your parts.
Piramusyou begin; when you haue spoken your speech
enter into that Brakeand so euery one according to his
Enter Robin.

Rob. What hempen home-spuns haue we swaggering
So neere the Cradle of the Faierie Queene?
Whata Play toward? Ile be an auditor
An Actor too perhapsif I see cause

Quin. Speake Piramus: Thisby stand forth

Pir. Thisbythe flowers of odious sauors sweete

Quin. Odoursodours

Pir. Odours sauors sweete
So hath thy breathmy dearest Thisby deare.
But harkea voyce: stay thou but here a while

And by and by I will to thee appeare.

Exit. Pir.

Puck. A stranger Piramusthen ere plaid here

This. Must I speake now?
Pet. I marry must you. For you must vnderstand he
goes but to see a noyse that he heardand is to come againe

Thys. Most radiant Piramusmost Lilly white of hue
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant bryer
Most brisky Iuuenalland eke most louely Iew
As true as truest horsethat yet would neuer tyre
Ile meete thee Piramusat Ninnies toombe

Pet. Ninus toombe man: whyyou must not speake
that yet; that you answere to Piramus: you speake all
your part at oncecues and all. Piramus enteryour cue is
past; it is neuer tyre

Thys. Oas true as truest horsethat yet would neuer
Pir. If I were faireThisby I were onely thine

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

The Clownes all Exit.

Puk. Ile follow youIle leade you about a Round
Through boggethrough bushthrough brakethrough bryer
Sometime a horse Ile besometime a hound:
A hoggea headlesse bearesometime a fire
And neighand barkeand gruntand roreand burne
Like horsehoundhogbearefireat euery turne.

Enter Piramus with the Asse head.

Bot. Why do they run away? This is a knauery of
them to make me afeard.
Enter Snowt

Sn. O Bottomthou art chang'd; What doe I see on

Bot. What do you see? You see an Asse-head of your
ownedo you?
Enter Peter Quince.

Pet. Blesse thee Bottomeblesse thee; thou art translated.

Bot. I see their knauery; this is to make an asse of me
to fright me if they could; but I will not stirre from
this placedo what they can. I will walke vp and downe
hereand I will sing that they shall heare I am not afraid.
The Woosell cockeso blacke of hew
With Orenge-tawny bill.
The Throstlewith his note so true
The Wren and little quill

Tyta. What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?
Bot. The Finchthe Sparrowand the Larke

The plainsong Cuckow gray;
Whose note full many a man doth marke
And dares not answerenay.
For indeedewho would set his wit to so foolish a bird?
Who would giue a bird the lyethough he cry Cuckow
neuer so?

Tyta. I pray thee gentle mortallsing againe
Mine eare is much enamored of thy note;
On the first view to sayto sweare I loue thee.
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape.
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth moue me

Bot. Me-thinkes mistresseyou should haue little
reason for that: and yet to say the truthreason and
loue keepe little company togethernowadayes.
The more the pittiethat some honest neighbours will
not make them friends. NayI can gleeke vpon occasion

Tyta. Thou art as wiseas thou art beautifull

Bot. Not so neither: but if I had wit enough to get
out of this woodI haue enough to serue mine owne

Tyta. Out of this wooddo not desire to goe
Thou shalt remaine herewhether 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 singwhile thou on pressed flowers dost sleepe:
And I will purge thy mortall grossenesse so
That thou shalt like an airie spirit go.
Enter Pease-blossomeCobwebMothMustardseedeand foure

Fai. Ready; and Iand Iand IWhere shall we go?

Tita. Be kinde and curteous to this Gentleman
Hop in his walkesand gambole in his eies
Feede him with Apricocksand Dewberries
With purple Grapesgreene Figsand 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 bedand to arise:
And plucke the wings from painted Butterflies
To fan the Moone-beames from his sleeping eies.
Nod to him Eluesand doe him curtesies

1.Fai. Haile mortallhaile

2.Fai. Haile

3.Fai. Haile

Bot. I cry your worships mercy hartily; I beseech
your worships name

Cob. Cobweb

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintancegood
Master Cobweb: if I cut my fingerI shall make bold
with you.

Your name honest Gentleman?
Pease. Pease Blossome

Bot. I pray you commend me to mistresse Squash

your motherand to master Peascod your father. Good

master Pease-blossomeI shal desire of you more acquaintance

to. Your name I beseech you sir?
Mus. Mustard-seede

Peas. Pease-blossome

Bot. Good master Mustard seedeI know your patience

well: that same cowardly gyant-like Oxe beefe

hath deuoured many a gentleman of your house. I promise

youyour kindred hath made my eyes water ere

now. I desire you more acquaintancegood Master


Tita. Come waite vpon himlead him to my bower.

The Moone me-thinkslookes with a watrie eie

And when she weepesweepe euerie little flower

Lamenting some enforced chastitie.

Tye vp my louers tonguebring him silently.


Enter King of Phariessolus.

Ob. I wonder if Titania be awak't;

Then what it was that next came in her eye

Which she must dote onin extremitie.

Enter Pucke.

Here comes my messenger: how now mad spirit

What night-rule now about this haunted groue?
Puck. 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 patchesrude Mechanicals

That worke for bread vpon Athenian stals

Were met together to rehearse a Play

Intended for great Theseus nuptiall day:

The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort

Who Piramus presentedin their sport

Forsooke his Sceneand entred in a brake

When I did him at this aduantage take

An Asses nole I fixed on his head.

Anon his Thisbie must be answered

And forth my Mimmick comes: when they him spie

As Wilde-geesethat the creeping Fowler eye

Or russed-pated choughesmany in sort

(Rising and cawing at the guns report)

Seuer themseluesand madly sweepe the skye:

So at his sightaway his fellowes flye

And at our stampehere ore and ore one fals;

He murther criesand helpe from Athens cals.

Their sense thus weakelost with their feares thus strong

Made senslesse things begin to do them wrong.

For briars and thornes at their apparell snatch

Some sleeuessome hatsfrom yeelders all things catch

I led them on in this distracted feare

And left sweete Piramus translated there:

When in that moment (so it came to passe)

Tytania wakedand straightway lou'd an Asse

Ob. This fals out better then I could deuise:
But hast thou yet lacht the Athenians eyes
With the loue iuyceas I bid thee doe?

Rob. I tooke him sleeping (that is finisht to)
And the Athenian woman by his side
That when he wak'tof force she must be eyde.
Enter Demetrius and Hermia.

Ob. Stand closethis is the same Athenian

Rob. This is the womanbut not this the man

Dem. O why rebuke you him that loues you so?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe

Her. Now I but chidebut I should vse thee worse.
For thou (I feare) hast giuen me cause to curse
If thou hast slaine Lysander in his sleepe
Being oreshooes in bloudplunge in the deepeand kill
me too:
The Sunne was not so true vnto the day
As he to me. Would he haue stollen away
From sleeping Hermia? Ile beleeue as soone
This whole earth may be bordand that the Moone
May through the Center creepeand so displease
Her brothers noonetidewith th'Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murdred him
So should a murtherer lookeso deadso grim

Dem. So should the murderer lookeand so should I
Pierst through the heart with your stearne cruelty:
Yet you the murderer lookes as bright as cleare
As yonder Venus in her glimmering spheare

Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
Ah good Demetriuswilt thou giue him me?
Dem. I'de rather giue his carkasse to my hounds

Her. Out dogout curthou driu'st me past the bounds
Of maidens patience. Hast thou slaine him then?
Henceforth be neuer numbred among men.
Ohonce tell trueeuen for my sake
Durst thou a lookt vpon himbeing awake?
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O braue tutch:
Could not a wormean Adder do so much?
An Adder did it: for with doubler tongue
Then thine (thou serpent) neuer Adder stung

Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd mood
I am not guiltie of Lysanders blood:
Nor is he dead for ought that I can tell

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

Dem. And if I couldwhat should I get therefore?

Her. A priuiledgeneuer to see me more;
And from thy hated presence part I: see me no more
Whether he be dead or no.

Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vaine
Here therefore for a while I will remaine.
So sorrowes heauinesse doth heauier grow:
For debt that bankrout slip doth sorrow owe

Which now in some slight measure it will pay
If for his tender here I make some stay.

Lie downe.

Ob. What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite
And laid the loue iuyce on some true loues sight:
Of thy misprisionmust perforce ensue
Some true loue turn'dand not a false turn'd true

Rob. Then fate ore-rulesthat one man holding troth
A million faileconfounding oath on oath

Ob. About the woodgoe swifter then the winde
And Helena of Athens looke thou finde.
All fancy sicke she isand pale of cheere
With sighes of louethat costs the fresh bloud deare.
By some illusion see thou bring her heere
Ile charme his eyes against she doth appeare

Robin. I goI golooke how I goe
Swifter then arrow from the Tartars bowe.

Ob. Flower of this purple die
Hit with Cupids archery
Sinke in apple of his eye
When his loue he doth espie
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wak'st if she be by
Beg of her for remedy.
Enter Pucke.

Puck. Captaine of our Fairy band
Helena is heere at hand
And the youthmistooke by me
Pleading for a Louers fee.
Shall we their fond Pageant see?
Lordwhat fooles these mortals be!

Ob. Stand aside: the noyse they make
Will cause Demetrius to awake

Puck. Then will two at once wooe one
That must needs be sport alone:
And those things doe best please me
That befall preposterously.
Enter Lysander and Helena.

Lys. Why should you think y 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 meseeme scorne to you?
Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true

Hel. You doe aduance your cunning more & more
When truth kils truthO diuelish holy fray!
These vowes are Hermias. Will you giue her ore?
Weigh oath with oathand you will nothing weigh.
Your vowes to herand me(put in two scales)
Will euen weighand both as light as tales

Lys. I had no iudgementwhen to her I swore

Hel. Nor none in my mindenow you giue her ore

Lys. Demetrius loues herand he loues not you.


Dem. O Helengoddessenimphperfectdiuine
To whatmy loueshall I compare thine eyne!
Christall is muddyO how ripe in show
Thy lipsthose kissing cherriestempting grow!
That pure congealed whitehigh Taurus snow
Fan'd with the Easterne windeturnes to a crow
When thou holdst vp thy hand. O let me kisse
This Princesse of pure whitethis seale of blisse

Hell. O spight! O hell! I see you are all bent
To set against mefor your merriment:
If you were ciuilland knew curtesie
You would not doe me thus much iniury.
Can you not hate meas I know you doe
But you must ioyne in soules to mocke me to?
If you are menas men you are in show
You would not vse a gentle Lady so;
To vowand sweareand superpraise my parts
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are Riualsand loue Hermia;
And now both Riuals to mocke Helena.
A trim exploita manly enterprize
To coniure teares vp in a poore maids eyes
With your derision; none of noble sort
Would so offend a Virginand extort
A poore soules patienceall to make you sport

Lysa. You are vnkind Demetrius; be not so
For you loue Hermia; this you know I know;
And here with all good willwith all my heart
In Hermias loue I yeeld you vp my part;
And yours of HelenaTo me bequeath
Whom I do loueand will do to my death

Hel. Neuer did mockers wast more idle breth

Dem. Lysanderkeep thy HermiaI will none:
If ere I lou'd herall that loue is gone.
My heart to herbut as guest-wise soiourn'd
And now to Helen it is home return'd
There to remaine

Lys. It is not so

De. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know
Lest to thy perill thou abide it deare.
Looke where thy Loue comesyonder is thy deare.
Enter Hermia.

Her. Dark nightthat 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 eyeLysander found
Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to that sound.
But why vnkindly didst thou leaue me so?

Lysan. Why should hee stay whom Loue doth presse to go?
Her. What loue could presse Lysander from my side?

Lys. Lysanders loue (that would not let him bide)
Faire Helena; who more engilds the night
Then all yon fierie oesand eies of light.
Why seek'st thou me? Could not this make thee know
The hate I bare theemade me leaue thee so?

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

Hel. Loeshe is one of this confederacy
Now I perceiue they haue conioyn'd all three
To fashion this false sport in spight of me.
Iniurous Hermiamost vngratefull maid
Haue you conspir'dhaue you with these contriu'd
To baite mewith this foule derision?
Is all the counsell that we two haue shar'd
The sisters vowesthe houres that we haue spent
When wee haue chid the hasty footed time
For parting vs; Ois all forgot?
All schooledaies friendshipchild-hood innocence?
We Hermialike two Artificiall gods
Haue with our needlescreated both one flower
Both on one samplersitting on one cushion
Both warbling of one songboth in one key:
As if our handsour sidesvoicesand mindes
Had beene incorporate. So we grew together
Like to a double cherryseeming parted
But yet a vnion in partition
Two louely berries molded on one stem
So with two seeming bodiesbut 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 Imay chide you for it
Though I alone doe feele the iniurie

Her. I am amazed at your passionate words
I scorne you not; It seemes that you scorne me

Hel. Haue you not set Lysanderas in scorne
To follow meand praise my eies and face?
And made your other loueDemetrius
(Who euen but now did spurne me with his foote)
To call me goddessenimphdiuineand rare
Preciouscelestiall? Wherefore speakes he this
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
Denie your loue (so rich within his soule)
And tender me (forsooth) affection
But by your setting onby your consent?
What though I be not so in grace as you
So hung vpon with loueso fortunate?
(But miserable mostto loue vnlou'd)
This you should pittierather then despise

Her. I vnderstand not what you meane by this

Hel. Idoeperseuercounterfeit sad lookes
Make mouthes vpon me when I turne my backe
Winke each at otherhold the sweete iest vp:
This sport well carriedshall be chronicled.
If you haue any pittiegraceor 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

Lys. Stay gentle Helenaheare my excuse
My louemy lifemy soulefaire Helena

Hel. O excellent!
Her. Sweetedo not scorne her so

Dem. If she cannot entreateI can compell

Lys. Thou canst compellno more then she entreate.
Thy threats haue no more strength then her weak praise.
HelenI loue theeby my life I doe;
I sweare by that which I will lose for thee
To proue him falsethat saies I loue thee not

Dem. I sayI loue thee more then he can do

Lys. If thou say sowithdraw and proue it too

Dem. Quickcome

Her. Lysanderwhereto tends all this?
Lys. Awayyou Ethiope

Dem. NonoSirseeme to breake loose;
Take on as you would follow
But yet come not: you are a tame mango

Lys. Hang off thou catthou bur; vile thing let loose
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent

Her. Why are you growne so rude?
What change is this sweete Loue?
Lys. Thy loue? out tawny Tartarout;
Out loathed medicine; O hated poison hence

Her. Do you not iest?
Hel. Yes soothand so do you

Lys. Demetrius: I will keepe my word with thee

Dem. I would I had your bond: for I perceiue
A weake bond holds you; Ile not trust your word

Lys. Whatshould I hurt herstrike herkill her dead?
Although I hate herIle not harme her so

Her. Whatcan you do me greater harme then hate?
Hate mewherefore? O mewhat newes my Loue?
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as faire nowas 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 earnestshall I say?

Lys. Iby my life;
And neuer did desire to see thee more.
Therefore be out of hopeof questionof doubt;
Be certainenothing truer: 'tis no iest
That I do hate theeand loue Helena

Her. O meyou iugleryou canker blossome
You theefe of loue; Whathaue you come by night
And stolne my loues heart from him?

Hel. Fine yfaith:

Haue you no modestyno maiden shame
No touch of bashfulnesse? Whatwill you teare
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fiefieyou counterfeityou puppetyou

Her. Puppet? why so? Ithat way goes the game.
Now I perceiue that she hath made compare
Betweene our staturesshe hath vrg'd her height
And with her personageher tall personage
Her height (forsooth) she hath preuail'd with him.
And are you growne so high in his esteeme
Because I am so dwarfishand so low?
How low am Ithou painted May-pole? Speake
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nailes can reach vnto thine eyes

Hel. I pray you though you mocke megentlemen
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

Her. Lower? harke againe

Hel. Good Hermiado not be so bitter with me
I euermore did loue you Hermia
Did euer keepe your counselsneuer wronged you
Saue that in loue vnto Demetrius
I told him of your stealth vnto this wood.
He followed youfor loue I followed him
But he hath chid me henceand threatned me
To strike mespurne menay to kill me too;
And nowso you will let me quiet go
To Athens will I beare my folly backe
And follow you no further. Let me go.
You see how simpleand how fond I am

Her. Why get you gone: who ist that hinders you?
Hel. A foolish heartthat I leaue here behinde

Her. Whatwith Lysander?
Her. With Demetrius

Lys. Be not afraidshe shall not harme thee Helena

Dem. No sirshe shall notthough you take her part

Hel. O when she's angryshe is keene and shrewd
She was a vixen when she went to schoole
And though she be but littleshe is fierce

Her. Little againe? Nothing but low and little?
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her

Lys. Get you gone you dwarfe
You minimusof hindring knot-grasse made
You beadyou acorne

Dem. You are too officious
In her behalfe that scornes your seruices.
Let her alonespeake not of Helena

Take not her part. For if thou dost intend
Neuer so little shew of loue to her
Thou shalt abide it

Lys. Now she holds me not
Now follow if thou dar'stto try whose right
Of thine or mine is most in Helena

Dem. Follow? NayIle goe with thee cheeke by

Exit Lysander and Demetrius.

Her. You Mistrisall this coyle is long of you.
Naygoe not backe

Hel. I will not trust you I
Nor longer stay in your curst companie.
Your hands then mineare quicker for a fray
My legs are longer though to runne away.
Enter Oberon and Pucke.

Ob. This is thy negligencestill thou mistak'st
Or else committ'st thy knaueries willingly

Puck. Beleeue meKing of shadowesI mistooke
Did not you tell meI should know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on?
And so farre blamelesse proues my enterprize
That I haue nointed an Athenians eies
And so farre am I gladit so did sort
As this their iangling I esteeme a sport

Ob. Thou seest these Louers seeke a place to fight
Hie therefore Robinouercast the night
The starrie Welkin couer thou anon
With drooping fogge as blacke as Acheron
And lead these testie Riuals so astray
As one come not within anothers way.
Like to Lysandersometime frame thy tongue
Then stirre Demetrius vp with bitter wrong;
And sometime raile thou like Demetrius;
And from each other looke thou leade them thus
Till ore their browesdeath-counterfeitingsleepe
With leaden legsand Battie-wings doth creepe:
Then crush this hearbe into Lysanders eie
Whose liquor hath this vertuous propertie
To take from thence all errorwith his might
and make his eie-bals role with wonted sight.
When they next wakeall this derision
Shall seeme a dreameand fruitless vision
And backe to Athens shall the Louers wend
With leaguewhose date till death shall neuer end.
Whiles I in this affaire do thee imploy
Ile to my Queeneand beg her Indian Boy;
And then I will her charmed eie release
From monsters viewand all things shall be peace

Puck. My Fairie Lordthis must be done with haste
For night-swift Dragons cut the Clouds full fast
And yonder shines Auroras harbinger;
At whose approach Ghosts wandring here and there
Troope home to Church-yards; damned spirits all
That in crosse-waies and flouds haue buriall

Alreadie to their wormie beds are gone;
For feare least day should looke their shames vpon
They wilfully themselues exile from light
And must for aye consort with blacke browd night

Ob. But we are spirits of another sort:
Iwith the mornings loue haue oft made sport
And like a Forresterthe groues may tread
Euen till the Easterne gate all fierie red
Opening on NeptuneWith faire blessed beames
Turnes into yellow goldhis salt greene streames.
But not withstanding hastemake no delay:
We may effect this businesseyet ere day

Puck. Vp and downevp and downeI will leade
them vp and downe: I am fear'd in field and towne.
Goblinlead them vp and downe: here comes one.
Enter Lysander.

Lys. Where art thouproud Demetrius?
Speake thou now

Rob. Here villainedrawne & readie. Where art thou?
Lys. I will be with thee straight

Rob. Follow me then to plainer ground.
Enter Demetrius.

Dem. Lysanderspeake againe;
Thou runawaythou cowardart thou fled?
Speake in some bush: Where dost thou hide thy head?

Rob. Thou cowardart thou bragging to the stars
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars
And wilt not come? Come recreantcome thou childe
Ile whip thee with a rod. He is defil'd
That drawes a sword on thee

Dem. Yeaart thou there?
Ro. Follow my voicewe'l try no manhood here.

Lys. He goes before meand still dares me on
When I come where he calsthen he's gone.
The Villaine is much lighter heel'd then I:
I followed fastbut faster he did flye;

shifting places.

That fallen am I in darke vneuen way
And here wil rest me. Come thou gentle day:

lye down.

For if but once thou shew me thy gray light
Ile finde Demetriusand reuenge this spight.
Enter Robin and Demetrius.

Rob. Hohoho; cowardwhy com'st thou not?

Dem. Abide meif thou dar'st. For well I wot
Thou runst before meshifting euery place
And dar'st not standnor looke me in the face.
Where art thou?

Rob. Come hitherI am here

Dem. Nay then thou mock'st me; thou shalt buy this
If euer I thy face by day-light see.
Now goe thy way: faintnesse constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed
By daies approach looke to be visited.
Enter Helena.

Hel. O weary nightO long and tedious night
Abate thy houresshine comforts from the East
That I may backe to Athens by day-light
From these that my poore companie detest;
And sleepe that sometime shuts vp sorrowes eie
Steale me a while from mine owne companie.


Rob. Yet but three? Come one more
Two of both kindes makes vp foure.
Here she comescurst and sad
Cupid is a knauish lad
Enter Hermia.

Thus to make poore females mad

Her. Neuer so wearieneuer so in woe
Bedabbled with the dewand torne with briars
I can no further crawleno further goe;
My legs can keepe no pace with my desires.
Here will I rest me till the breake of day
Heauens shield Lysanderif they meane a fray

Rob. On the ground sleepe sound
Ile apply your eie gentle louerremedy.
When thou wak'stthou 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.
Iacke shall haue Iillnought shall goe ill.
The man shall haue his Mare againeand all shall bee

They sleepe all the Act.

Actus Quartus.

Enter Queene of Fairiesand Clowneand Fairiesand the King

Tita. Comesit 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 earesmy gentle ioy

Clow. Where's Peaseblossome?
Peas. Ready

Clow. Scratch my headPease-blossome. Wher's Mounsieuer

Cob. Ready

Clowne. Mounsieur Cobwebgood 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
actionMounsieur; and good mounsieur haue a care the
hony bag breake notI would be loth to haue you ouerflowne
with a hony-bag signiour. Where's Mounsieur

Mus. Ready

Clo. Giue me your neafeMounsieur Mustardseed.
Pray you leaue your courtesie good Mounsieur

Mus. What's your will?

Clo. Nothing good Mounsieurbut to help Caualery
Cobweb to scratch. I must to the Barbers Mounsieurfor
me-thinkes I am maruellous hairy about the face. And I
am such a tender asseif my haire do but tickle meI must

Tita. Whatwilt thou heare some musickemy sweet

Clow. I haue a reasonable good eare in musicke. Let
vs haue the tongs and the bones.

Musicke TongsRurall Musicke.

Tita. Or say sweete Louewhat thou desirest to eat

Clowne. Truly a pecke of Prouender; I could munch
your good dry Oates. Me-thinkes I haue a great desire
to a bottle of hay: good haysweete hay hath no fellow

Tita. I haue a venturous Fairy
That shall seeke the Squirrels hoard
And fetch thee new Nuts

Clown. I had rather haue a handfull or two of dried
pease. But I pray you let none of your people stirre meI
haue an exposition of sleepe come vpon me

Tyta. Sleepe thouand I will winde thee in my arms
Fairies be goneand be alwaies away.
So doth the woodbinethe 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.

Ob. Welcome good Robin:
Seest thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I doe begin to pitty.
For meeting her of late behinde the wood
Seeking sweet sauours for this hatefull foole
I did vpbraid herand 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 herher changeling childe
Which straight she gaue meand her fairy sent
To beare him to my Bower in Fairy Land.
And now I haue the BoyI will vndoe
This hatefull imperfection of her eyes.
And gentle Pucketake this transformed scalpe
From off the head of this Athenian swaine;
That he awaking when the other doe
May all to Athens backe againe repaire
And thinke no more of this nights accidents
But as the fierce vexation of 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 budor Cupids flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now my Titania wake you my sweet Queene

Tita. My Oberonwhat visions haue I seene!
Me-thought I was enamoured of an asse

Ob. There lies your loue

Tita. How came these things to passe?
Ohhow mine eyes doth loath this visage now!

Ob. Silence a while. Robin take off his head:
Titaniamusick calland strike more dead
Then common sleepe; of all thesefine the sense

Tita. Musickeho musickesuch as charmeth sleepe.

Musick still.

Rob. When thou wak'stwith thine owne fooles eies

Ob. Sound musick; come my Queentake hands with me
And rocke the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I new in amity
And will to morrow midnightsolemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus house triumphantly
And blesse it to all faire posterity.
There shall the paires of faithfull Louers be
Weddedwith Theseusall in iollity

Rob. Faire King attendand marke
I doe heare the morning Larke

Ob. Then my Queene in silence sad
Trip we after the nights shade;
We the Globe can compasse soone
Swifter then the wandering Moone

Tita. Come my Lordand 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.


Winde Hornes.

Enter TheseusEgeusHippolita and all his traine.

Thes. Goe one of youfinde 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 valleylet them goe;
Dispatch I sayand finde the Forrester.
We will faire Queenevp to the Mountains top
And marke the musicall confusion
Of hounds and eccho in coniunction

Hip. I was with Hercules and Cadmus once.
When in a wood of Creete they bayed the Beare
With hounds of Sparta; neuer did I heare
Such gallant chiding. For besides the groues
The skiesthe fountaineseuery region neere
Seeme all one mutuall cry. I neuer heard
So musicall a discordsuch sweet thunder

Thes. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kinde
So flew'dso sandedand their heads are hung
With eares that sweepe away the morning dew
Crooke kneedand dew-laptlike Thessalian Buls
Slow in pursuitbut match'd in mouth like bels
Each vnder each. A cry more tuneable
Was neuer hallowed tonor cheer'd with horne
In Creetein Spartanor in Thessaly;
Iudge when you heare. But softwhat nimphs are these?

Egeus. My Lordthis is my daughter heere asleepe
And this Lysanderthis Demetrius is
This Helenaolde Nedars Helena
I wonder of this being heere together

The. No doubt they rose vp earlyto obserue
The right of May; and hearing our intent
Came heere in grace of our solemnity.
But speake Egeusis not this the day
That Hermia should giue answer of her choice?

Egeus. It ismy Lord

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

Hornes and they wake.

Shout withinthey all start vp.

Thes. Good morrow friends: Saint Valentine is past
Begin these wood birds but to couple now?
Lys. Pardon my Lord

Thes. I pray you all stand vp.
I know you two are Riuall enemies.
How comes this gentle concord in the world
That hatred is so farre from iealousie
To sleepe by hateand feare no enmity

Lys. My LordI shall reply amazedly
Halfe sleepehalfe waking. but as yetI sweare
I cannot truly say how I came heere.
But as I thinke (for truly would I speake)
And now I doe bethinke meso it is;

I came with Hermia hither. Our intent
Was to be gone from Athenswhere we might be
Without the perill of the Athenian Law

Ege. Enoughenoughmy Lord: you haue enough;
I beg the Lawthe Lawvpon his head:
They would have stolne awaythey would Demetrius
Thereby to haue defeated you and me:
You of your wifeand me of my consent;
Of my consentthat she should be your wife

Dem. My Lordfaire Helen told me of their stealth
Of this their purpose hitherto this wood
And I in furie hither followed them;
Faire Helenain fancy followed me.
But my good LordI wot not by what not by what power
(But by some power it is) my loue
To Hermia (melted as the snow)
Seems to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaude
Which in my childehood I did doat vpon:
And all the faiththe vertue of my heart
The obiect and the pleasure of mine eye
Is onely Helena. To hermy Lord
Was I betroth'dere I see Hermia
But like a sickenesse did I loath this food
But as in healthcome to my naturall taste
Now doe I wish itloue itlong for it
And will for euermore be true to it

Thes. Faire Louersyou are fortunately met;
Of this discourse we shall heare more anon.
EgeusI will ouer-beare your will;
For in the Templeby 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.
Awaywith vs to Athens; three and three
Wee'll hold a feast in great solemnitie.
Come Hippolita.

Exit Duke and Lords.

Dem. These things seeme small & vndistinguishable
Like farre off mountaines turned into Clouds

Her. Me-thinks I see these things with parted eye
When euery thing seemes double

Hel. So me-thinkes:
And I haue found Demetriuslike a iewell
Mine owneand not mine owne

Dem. It seemes to mee
That yet we sleepewe dreame. Do not you thinke
The Duke was heereand bid vs follow him?

Her. Yeaand my Father

Hel. And Hippolita

Lys. And he bid vs follow to the Temple

Dem. Why then we are awake; lets follow himand
by the way let vs recount our dreames.

Bottome wakes.

Exit Louers.

Clo. When my cue comescall meand I will answer.
My next ismost faire Piramus. Hey ho. Peter Quince?
Flute the bellowes-mender? Snout the tinker? Starueling?
Gods my life! Stolne henceand left me asleepe: I
haue had a most rare vision. I had a dreamepast the wit
of manto saywhat dreame it was. Man is but an Asse
if he goe about to expound this dreame. Me-thought I
wasthere 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 saywhat me-thought I had. The eye of
man hath not heardthe eare of man hath not seenmans
hand is not able to tastehis tongue to conceiuenor his
heart to reportwhat my dreame was. I will get Peter
Quince to write a ballet of this dreameit shall be called
Bottomes Dreamebecause it hath no bottome; and I will
sing it in the latter end of a playbefore the Duke. Peraduenture
to make it the more graciousI shall sing it
at her death.

Enter QuinceFluteThisbieSnoutand Starueling.

Quin. Haue you sent to Bottomes house? Is he come
home yet?
Staru. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt hee is

This. If he come notthen the play is mar'd. It goes
not forwarddoth it?
Quin. It is not possible: you haue not a man in all
Athensable to discharge Piramus but he

This. Nohee hath simply the best wit of any handycraft
man in Athens

Quin. Yeaand the best person tooand hee is a very
Paramourfor a sweet voyce

This. You must sayParagon. A Paramour is (God
blesse vs) a thing of nought.
Enter Snug the Ioyner.

Snug. Mastersthe Duke is comming from the Temple
and there is two or three Lords & Ladies more married.
If our sport had gone forwardwe had all bin made

This. O sweet bully Bottome: thus hath he lost sixepence
a dayduring his life; he could not haue scaped sixpence
a day. And the Duke had not giuen him sixpence
a day for playing PiramusIle be hang'd. He would haue
deserued it. Sixpence a day in Piramusor nothing.
Enter Bottome.

Bot. Where are these Lads? Where are these hearts?
Quin. Bottomeo most couragious day! O most happie

Bot. MastersI am to discourse wonders; but ask me
not what. For if I tell youI am no true Athenian. I
will tell you euery thing as it fell out

Qu. Let vs hearesweet Bottome

Bot. Not a word of me: all that I will tell youisthat
the Duke hath dined. Get your apparell togethergood
strings to your beardsnew ribbands to your pumps
meete presently at the Palaceeuery man looke ore his
part: for the short and the long isour play is preferred:
In any case let Thisby haue cleane linnen: and let not him
that playes the Lionpaire his nailesfor they shall hang
out for the Lions clawes. And most deare Actorseate
no Onionsnor Garlicke; for wee are to vtter sweete
breathand I doe not doubt but to heare them sayit is a
sweet Comedy. No more words: awaygo away.


Actus Quintus.

Enter TheseusHippolitaEgeus and his Lords.

Hip. 'Tis strange my Theseusy these louers speake of

The. More strange then true. I neuer may beleeue
These anticke fablesnor these Fairy toyes
Louers and mad men haue such seething braines
Such shaping phantasiesthat apprehend more
Then coole reason euer comprehends.
The Lunatickethe Louerand the Poet
Are of imagination all compact.
One sees more diuels then vaste hell can hold;
That is the mad man. The Louerall as franticke
Sees Helens beauty in a brow of Egipt.
The Poets eye in a fine frenzy rollingdoth glance
From heauen to earthfrom earth to heauen.
And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things
Vnknowne; the Poets pen turnes them to shapes
And giues to aire nothinga 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 nightimagining some feare
Howe easie is a bush suppos'd a Beare?

Hip. But all the storie of the night told ouer
And all their minds transfigur'd so together
More witnesseth than fancies images
And growes to something of great constancie;
But howsoeuerstrangeand admirable.
Enter louersLysanderDemetriusHermiaand Helena.

The. Heere come the louersfull of ioy and mirth:
Ioygentle friendsioy and fresh dayes
Of loue accompany your hearts

Lys. More then to vswaite in your royall walkes
your boordyour bed

The. Come nowwhat maskeswhat dances shall
we haue
To weare away this long age of three houres
Between our after supperand 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?
Call Egeus

Ege. Heere mighty Theseus

The. Saywhat abridgement haue you for this euening?
What maske? What musicke? How shall we beguile
The lazie timeif not with some delight?

Ege. There is a breefe how many sports are rife:
Make choise of which your Highnesse will see first

Lis. The battell with the Centaurs to be sung
By an Athenian Eunuchto the Harpe

The. Wee'l none of that. That haue I told my Loue
In glory of my kinsman Hercules

Lis. The riot of the tipsie Bachanals
Tearing the Thracian singerin their rage?
The. That is an old deuiceand it was plaid
When I from Thebes came last a Conqueror

Lis. The thrice three Musesmourning for the death
of learninglate deceast in beggerie

The. That is some Satire keene and criticall
Not sorting with a nuptiall ceremonie

Lis. A tedious breefe Scene of yong Piramus
And his loue Thisby; very tragicall mirth

The. Merry and tragicall? Tediousand briefe? That
ishot iceand wondrous strange snow. How shall wee
finde the concord of this discord?

Ege. A play there ismy Lordsome ten words long
Which is as breefeas I haue knowne a play;
But by ten wordsmy Lordit is too long;
Which makes it tedious. For in all the play
There is not one word aptone Player fitted.
And tragicall my noble Lord it is: for Piramus
Therein doth kill himselfe. Which when I saw
RehearstI must confessemade mine eyes water:
But more merrie tearesthe passion of loud laughter
Neuer shed

Thes. What are they that do play it?

Ege. Hard handed menthat worke in Athens heere
Which neuer labour'd in their mindes till now;
And now haue toyled their vnbreathed memories
With this same playagainst your nuptiall

The. And we will heare it

Hip. No my noble Lordit is not for you. I haue heard
It ouerand it is nothingnothing in the world;
Vnless you can finde sport in their intents
Extreamely stretchedand cond with cruell paine
To doe you seruice

Thes. I will heare that play. For neuer any thing
Can be amissewhen simplenesse and duty tender it.
Goe bring them inand take your placesLadies

Hip. I loue not to see wretchednesse orecharged;

And duty in his seruice perishing

Thes. Why gentle sweetyou shall see no such thing

Hip. He saiesthey can doe nothing in this kinde

Thes. The kinder weto giue them thanks for nothing
Our sport shall beto take what they mistake;
And what poore duty cannot doenoble respect
Takes it in mightnot merit.
Where I haue comegreat 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 conclusiondumbly haue broke off
Not paying me a welcome. Trust me sweete
Out of this silence yetI pickt a welcome:
And in the modesty of fearefull duty
I read as muchas from the ratling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Loue thereforeand tongue-tide simplicity
In leastspeake mostto my capacity

Egeus. So please your Gracethe Prologue is addrest

Duke. Let him approach.

Flor. Trum.

Enter the Prologue. Quince.

Pro. If we offendit is with our good will.
That you should thinkewe come not to offend
But with good will. To shew our simple skill
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider thenwe come but in despight.
We do not comeas 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 allthat you are like to know

Thes. This fellow doth not stand vpon points

Lys. He hath rid his Prologuelike a rough Colt: he
knowes not the stop. A good morall my lord. it is not
enough to speakebut to speake true

Hip. Indeed hee hath plaid on his Prologuelike a
childe on a Recordera soundbut not in gouernment

Thes. His speech was like a tangled chaine: nothing
impairedbut all disordered. Who is next?

Tawyer with a Trumpet before them.

Enter Pyramus and ThisbyWallMoone-shineand Lyon.

Prol. Gentlesperchance you wonder at this show
But wonder ontill truth make all things plaine.
This man is Piramusif you would know;
This beauteous LadyThisby is certaine.
This manwith lyme and rough-castdoth present

Wallthat vile wallwhich did these louers sunder:
And through walls chink (poor soules) they are content
To whisper. At the whichlet no man wonder.
This manwith Lanthornedogand bush of thorne
Presenteth moone-shine. For if you will know
By moone-shine did these Louers thinke no scorne
To meet at Ninus toombetherethere to wooe:
This grizly beast (which Lyon hight by name)
The trusty Thisbycomming first by night
Did scarre awayor rather did affright:
And as she fledher mantle she did fall;
Which Lyon vile with bloody mouth did staine.
Anon comes Piramussweet youth and tall
And findes his Thisbies Mantle slaine;
Whereatwith bladewith bloody blamefull blade
He brauely broacht his boiling bloudy breast
And Thisbytarrying in Mulberry shade
His dagger drewand died. For all the rest
Let LyonMoone-shineWalland Louers twaine
At large discoursewhile here they doe remaine.

Exit all but Wall.

Thes. I wonder if the Lion be to speake

Deme. No wondermy Lord: one Lion maywhen
many Asses doe.

Exit LyonThisbieand Mooneshine.

Wall. In this same Interludeit doth befall
That Ione Snowt (by name) present a wall:
And such a wallas I would haue you thinke
That had in it a crannied hole or chinke:
Through which the LouersPiramus and Thisbie
Did whisper oftenvery secretly.
This loamethis rough-castand this stone doth shew
That I am that same Wall; the truth is so.
And this the cranny isright and sinister
Through which the fearfull Louers are to whisper

Thes. Would you desire Lime and Haire to speake
Deme. It is the wittiest partitionthat euer I heard
discoursemy Lord

Thes. Pyramus drawes neere the Wallsilence.
Enter Pyramus.

Pir. O grim lookt nighto night with hue so blacke
O nightwhich euer artwhen day is not:
O nighto nightalackealackealacke
I feare my Thisbies promise is forgot.
And thou o wallthou sweet and louely wall
That stands between her fathers ground and mine
Thou wallo Wallo sweet and louely wall
Shew me thy chinketo blinke through with mine eine.
Thankes courteous wall. Ioue shield thee well for this.
But what see I? No Thisbie doe I see.
O wicked wallthrough whom I see no blisse
Curst be thy stones for thus deceiuing mee

Thes. The wall me-thinkes being sensibleshould
curse againe

Pir. No in truth sirhe should not. Deceiuing me
Is Thisbies cue; she is to enterand I am to spy
Her through the wall. You shall see it will fall.
Enter Thisbie.

Pat as I told you; yonder she comes

This. O wallfull often hast thou heard my mones
For parting my faire Piramusand me
My cherry lips haue often kist thy stones;
Thy stones with Lime and Haire knit vp in thee

Pyra. I see a voyce; now will I to the chinke
To spy and I can heare my Thisbies face. Thisbie?
This. My Loue thou artmy Loue I thinke

Pir. Thinke what thou wiltI am thy Louers grace
And like Limander am I trusty still

This. And like Helen till the Fates me kill

Pir. Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true

This. As Shafalus to ProcrusI to you

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

This. I kisse the wals holenot your lips at all

Pir. Wilt thou at Ninnies tombe meete me straight
This. Tide lifetide deathI come without delay

Wall. Thus haue I Wallmy part discharged so;
And being donethus Wall away doth go.

Exit Clow.

Du. Now is the morall downe between the two

Dem. No remedie my Lordwhen Wals are so wilfull
to heare without warning

Dut. This is the silliest stuffe that ere I heard

Du. The best in this kind are but shadowesand the
worst are no worseif imagination amend them

Dut. It must be your imagination then& not theirs

Duk. If wee imagine no worse of them then they of
themseluesthey may passe for excellent men. Here com
two noble beastsin a man and a Lion.
Enter Lyon and Moone-shine

Lyon. You Ladiesyou (whose gentle harts do feare
The smallest monstrous mouse that creepes on floore)
May now perchanceboth quake and tremble heere
When Lion rough in wildest rage doth roare.
Then know that Ione Snug the Ioyner am
A Lion fellnor else no Lions dam:
For if I should as Lion come in strife

Into this place'twere pittie of my life

Du. A verie gentle beastand of good conscience

Dem. The verie best at a beastmy Lordy ere I saw

Lis. This Lion is a verie Fox for his valor

Du. Trueand a Goose for his discretion

Dem. Not so my Lord: for his valor cannot carrie
his discretionand the fox carries the Goose

Du. His discretion I am sure cannot carrie his valor:
for the Goose carries not the Fox. It is well; leaue it to
his discretionand let vs hearken to the Moone

Moone. This Lanthorne doth the horned Moone present

De. He should haue worne the hornes on his head

Du. Hee is no crescentand his hornes are inuisible
within the circumference

Moon. This lanthorne doth the horned Moone present:
My selfethe man i'th Moone doth seeme to be

Du. This is the greatest error of all the rest; the man
Should be put into the Lanthorne. How is it els the man
i'th Moone?

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle.
For you seeit is already in snuffe

Dut. I am wearie of this Moone; would he would

Du. It appeares by his smal light of discretionthat
he is in the wane: but yet in courtesiein all reasonwe
must stay the time

Lys. Proceed Moone

Moon. All that I haue to sayis to tell youthat the
Lanthorne is the Moone; Ithe man in the Moone; this
thorne bush; my thorne bush; and this dogmy dog

Dem. Why all these should be in the Lanthorne: for
they are in the Moone. But silenceheere comes Thisby.
Enter Thisby.

This. This is old Ninnies tombe: where is my loue?
Lyon. Oh.

The Lion roaresThisby runs off.

Dem. Well roar'd Lion

Du. Well run Thisby

Dut. Well shone Moone.
Truly the Moone shines with a good grace

Du. Wel mouz'd Lion

Dem. And then came Piramus

Lys. And so the Lion vanisht.
Enter Piramus.

Pyr. Sweet MooneI thank thee for thy sunny beames
I thanke thee Moonefor shining now so bright:
For by thy graciousgoldenglittering beames
I trust to taste of truest Thisbies sight.
But stay: O spight! but markepoore 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:
O Fates! comecome: Cut thred and thrum
Quailecrushconcludeand quell

Du. This passionand the death of a deare friend
Would go neere to make a man looke sad

Dut. Beshrew my heartbut I pittie the man

Pir. O wherefore Naturedid'st thou Lions frame?
Since lion vilde hath heere deflour'd my deere:
Which is: nonowhich was the fairest Dame
That liu'dthat lou'dthat like'dthat look'd with cheere.
Come tearesconfound: Out swordand wound
The pap of Piramus:
Ithat left papwhere heart doth hop;
Thus dye Ithusthusthus.
Now am I deadnow am I fledmy soule is in the sky
Tongue lose thy lightMoone take thy flight
Now dyedyedyedyedye

Dem. No Diebut an ace for him; for he is but one

Lis. Lesse then an ace man. For he is deadhe is nothing

Du. With the helpe of a Surgeonhe might yet recouer
and proue an Asse

Dut. How chance Moone-shine is gone before?
Thisby comes backeand findes her Louer.
Enter Thisby.

Duke. She wil finde him by starre-light.
Heere she comesand her passion ends the play

Dut. Me thinkes shee should not vse a long one for
such a Piramus: I hope she will be breefe

Dem. A Moth wil turne the ballancewhich Piramus
which Thisby is the better

Lys. She hath spyed him alreadywith those sweete eyes

Dem. And thus she meanesvidelicit

This. Asleepe my Loue? Whatdead my Doue?
O Piramus arise:
Speakespeake. Quite dumbe? Deaddead? A tombe
Must couer thy sweet eyes.
These Lilly Lipsthis cherry nose

These yellow Cowslip cheekes
Are goneare gone: Louers make mone:
His eyes were greene as Leekes.
O Sisters threecomecome to mee
With hands as pale as Milke
Lay them in goresince you haue shore
with sheereshis thred of silke.
Tongue not a word: Come trusty sword:
Come blademy brest imbrue:
And farwell friendsthus Thisbie ends;

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

Deme. Iand Wall too

Bot. NoI assure youthe wall is downethat parted
their Fathers. Will it please you to see the Epilogueor
to heare a Bergomask dancebetweene two of our company?

Duk. No EpilogueI pray you; for your play needs
no excuse. Neuer excuse; for when the plaiers are all
deadthere need none to be blamed. Marryif hee that
writ it had plaid Piramusand hung himselfe in Thisbies
garterit would haue beene a fine Tragedy: and so it is
truelyand very notably discharg'd. but comeyour
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.


Enter Pucke.

Puck. Now the hungry Lyons rores
And the Wolfe beholds the Moone:
Whilest the heauy ploughman snores
All with weary taske fore-done.
Now the wasted brands doe glow
Whil'st the scritch-owlescritching loud
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shrowd.
Now it is the time of night
That the grauesall gaping wide
Euery one lets forth his spright
In the Church-way paths to glide
And we Fairiesthat do runne
By the triple Hecates teame
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 Fairieswith their traine.

Ob. Through the house giue glimmering light
By the dead and drowsie fier
Euerie Elfe and Fairie spright

Hop as light as bird from brier
And this Ditty after mesing and dance it trippinglie

Tita. First rehearse this song by roate
To each word a warbling note.
Hand in handwith Fairie grace
Will we sing and blesse this place.

The Song.

Now vntill the breake of day
Through this house each Fairy stray.
To the best Bride-bed will we
Which by vs shall blessed be:
And the issue there create
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 moleharelipnor scarre
nor mark prodigioussuch 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 awaymake no stay;
Meet me all by breake of day

Robin. If we shadowes haue offended
Thinke but this (and all is mended)
That you haue but slumbred heere
While these Visions did appeare.
And this weake and idle theame
No more yeelding but a dreame
Gentlesdoe not reprehend.
If you pardonwe will mend.
And as I am an honest Pucke
If we haue vnearned lucke
Now to scape the Serpents tongue
We will make amends ere long:
Else the Pucke a lyar call.
So good night vnto you all.
Giue me your handsif we be friends
And Robin shall restore amends.