« PreviousContinue »
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. Theseus, Duke of Athens.
Oberon, King of the Fairies. Egeus, Father to Hermia.
Titania, Queen of the Fairies. Lysander, in love with Hermia.
Puck, or Robin-Goodfellow. Demetrius, }
Peas-Blossom, Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus. Cobweb,
Fairies. Quince, a Carpenter.
Moth, Snug, a Joiner.
Mustard-seed, Bottom, a Weaver.
Pyramus, Flute, a Bellows-mender.
Wall, Snout, a Tinker.
Characters in the Interlude Starveling, a Tailor.
performed by the clowns. Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed Lion,
to Theseus. Hermia, in love with Lysander.
Other Fairies attending their King and Queen. Helena, in love with Demetrius.
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. SCENE, -Athens; and a Wood not far from it.
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious SCENE I.-Athens. A Room in the Palace of
This man hath 'witch'd the bosom of my Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, and Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her Attendants.
rhymes, The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour And interchang'd love-tokens with my child : Draws on apace; four happy days bring in Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung. Another moon : but, oh, methinks how slow With feigning voice, verses of seigning love ; This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires And stol'n th' impression of her fantasy Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conLong withering out a young man's revenue. ceits,
(sengers Hip. Four days will quickly steep them- Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats ; messelves in nights ;
Or strong prevailment in unharden'd youth : Four nights will quickly dream away the time; With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's And then the moon, like to a silver bow
heart; New bent in heaven, shall behold the night Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me, Of our solemnities.
To stubborn harshness :-and, my gracious The. Go, Philostrate,
duke, Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Be it so she will not here before your grace
[Exit Philostrate. Which shall be either to this gentleman,
The. What say you, Hermia ? be advis'd.
One that compos'd your beauties ; yea, and Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned To whom you are but as a form in wax, (one duke !
(with thee? By him imprinted, and within his power The. Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news To leave the figure, or disfigure it. Ege. Full of vexation come I, with com- Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. plaint
Her, So is Lysander. Against my child, my daughter Hermia.- The
In himself he is ; Stand forth, Demetrius.-My noble lord, But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice, The other must be held the worthier.
The. I must confess that I have heard so Her. I would my father look'd but with my much,
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke The. Rather, your eyes must with his judg-But, being over-full of self-affairs, ment look.
My mind did lose it.-But, Demetrius, come ; Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me. And come, Egeus : you shall go with me, I know not by what power I am made bold, I have some private schooling for you both.Nor how it may concern my modesty, For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself In such a presence here to plead my thoughts ; To fit your fancies to your father's will ; But I beseech your grace, that I may know
Or else the law of Athens yields you up The worst that may befall me in this case, (Which by no means we may extenuate) li I refuse to wed Demetrius.
To death, or to a vow of single life. The. Either to die the death, or to abjure Come, my Hippolyta : what cheer, my love ?For ever the society of men.
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along : Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires : I must employ you in some business Know of your youth, examine well your blood, Against our nuptial; and confer with you Whether, if you yield not to your father's Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. choice,
Ege. With duty and desire we follow you. You can endure the livery of a nun; (Exeunt Thes., Hip., Ege., Dem., and train. For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd, Lys. How now, my love! Why is your To live a barren sister all your life, (moon. cheek so pale? Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless How chance the roses there to fade so fast ? Thrice blessed they, that master so their Her. Belike, for want of rain, which I could blood,
well To undergo such maiden pilgrimage :
Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes. But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could Than that which, withering on the virgin Could ever hear by tale or history, (read, thorn,
The course of true love never did run smooth; Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness. But, either it was different in blood,
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
low ! Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke Lys. Or else misgraffèd in respect of years, — My soul consents not to give sovereignty. Her. Ospite! too old to be engag‘d to The. Take time to pause; and, by the
[friends, next new moon,
Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of (The sealing-day betwixt my love and me Her. O hell! to choose love by another's For everlasting bond of fellowship:) Upon that day either prepare to die
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, For disobedience to your father's will. War, death, or sickness, did lay siege to it, Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would ; Making it momentary as a sound, Or on Diana's altar to protest,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream ; For aye, austerity and single life.
Brief as the lightning in the collied night, Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia :-and, Ly- That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and sander, yield
earth, Thy crazed title to my certain right. And ere a man hath power to say, -Behold!
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius ; The jaws of darkness do devour it up :
It stands as an edict in destiny : [cross'd,
Because it is a customary cross, [sighs, I do estate unto Demetrius.
As due to love as thoughts, and dreams, and Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers. As well possess'd ; my love is more than his ; Lys. A good persuasion : therefore, hear My fortunes every way as fairly rank d,
me, Hermia. If not with vantage, as Demetrius' ;
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
From Athens is her house remote
Cannot pursue us.
If thou lov'st me, then, C'pon this spotted and inconstant man. Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And in the wood, a league without the town, And thence from Athens turn away our eyes, Where I did meet thee once with Helena, To seek new friends and stranger companies. To do observance to a morn of May, Farewell, sweet playfellow : pray thou for us ; There will I stay for thee.
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius ! Her.
My good Lysander! Keep word, Lysander : we must starve our I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow ;
sight By his best arrow with the golden head ; From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight. By the simplicity of Venus' doves ;
Lys. I will, my Hermia.-(Exit Herm.] By that which knitteth souls and prospers
Helena, adieu : loves,
[queen, As you on him, Demetrius dote on you ! And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage
[Exit. When the false Trojan under sail was seen ; Hel. How happy some, o'er other some By all the vows that ever men have broke,
can be ! In number more than ever women spoke :- Through Athens I am thought as fair as she. In that same place thou hast appointed me, But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so ; To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. He will not know, what all but he do know. Lys. Keep promise, love. Look, here And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes, comes Helena.
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity, Her. God speed fair Helena ! Whither Love can transpose to form and dignity :
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
mind; Demetrius loves your fair : 0 happy fair ! And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind : Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste : sweet air
Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste : More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, And therefore is Love said to be a child, When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds Because in choice he is so oft beguild. appear.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, Sickness is catching : 0, were favour so, So the boy Love is perjur'd every where : Yours would I catch, fair Hermia ! ere I go; For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne, My car should catch your voice, my eye your He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine : eye,
(melody ; And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt, My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt. Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight: The rest I'll give to be to you translated. Then to the wood will be, to-morrow night, O, teach me how you look'; and with what art Pursue her; and for this intelligence You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart ! If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
Her. Í frown upon him, yet he loves me still. But herein mean I to enrich my pain, Hel. O that your frowns would teach my To have his sight thither and back again. smiles such skill !
[Exit. Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. Scene II.-Athens. A Room in a Cottage. Hel. O that my prayers could such affection move !
[me. Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, Her. The more I hate, the more he follows
and Starveling. Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me. Quin. Is all our company here? Her. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. Bot. You were best to call them generally,
Hel. None, but your beauty: would that man by man, according to the scrip. fault were mine!
[my face ; Quin. Here is the scroll of every man's Her. Take comfort : he no more shall see name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, Lysander and myself will fly this place. to play in our interlude before the duke and Before the time I did Lysander see,
the duchess on his wedding-day at night. Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me :
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the O, then, what graces in my love do dwell, play treats on; then read the names of the That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell! actors; and so grow to a point.
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfoid: Quin. Marry, our play is—The most laTo-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold mentable comedy, and most cruel death of Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass,
Pyramus and Thisby. Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass, Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure (A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,) you, and a merry.--Now, good Peter Quince, Through Athens' gates have we devis d to steal. call forth your actors by the scroll : Masters, Her. And in the wood where often you and I spread yourselves.
[the weaver. Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie, Quin. Answer, as I call you.-Nick Bottom, Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet, Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and There my Lysander and myself shall meet ; proceed.
Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for have no more discretion but to hang us; but Pyramus.
I will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant? you as gently as any sucking cove; I will roar
Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gal- you an 'twere any nightingale. lantly for love.
Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus ; Bot. That will ask some tears in the true for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper performing of it: if I do it, let the audience man, as one shall see in a summer's day; a look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will most lovely, gentleman-like man: therefore, condole in some measure. To the rest :-yet you must needs play Pyramus. my chief humour is for a tyrant: I could play Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to were I best to play it in ? make all split.
Quin. Why, what you will. 'The raging rocks
Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw
colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your And shivering shocks Shall break the locks
purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown Of prison-gates;
colour beard, your perfect yellow. And Phibbus' car
Quin. Some of your French crowns have no Shall shine from far,
hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced. And make and mar
-But, masters, here are your parts : and I am The foolish fates.'
to entreat you, request you, and desire you,
to con them by to-morrow night ; and meet This was lofty !-Now name the rest of the me in the palace wood, a mile without the players.
[more condoling town, by moonlight; there will we rehearse : This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ;-a lover is for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogged
Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender. with company, and our devices known. In Fiu. Here, Peter Quince.
the mean time, I will draw a bill of properties Quin. You must take Thisby on you. such as cur play wants. . I pray you, fail me Fla. What is Thisby? a wandering knight? not. Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. Bot. We will meet ; and there we may reFlu. Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; hearse more obscenely, and courageously. I have a beard coming.
Take pains ; be perfect ; adieu. Quin. That's all one : you shall play it in a Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. mask, and you may speak as small as you will. Bot. Enough ; hold, or cut bow-strings. Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play
[Excunt. Thisby too : I'll speak in a monstrous little Foice ; – Thisne, Thisne' '-'Ah, Pyramus,
ACT II. my lover dear, thy Thisby dear, and Lady dear l'
SCENE I.-A Wood near Athens. Quir. No, no; you must play Pyramus : Enter a Fairy on one side, and Puck on the and, Flute, you Thisby.
other. Bot. Well, proceed. Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor.
Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander Star. Here, Peter Quince.
Fai. Over hill, over dale,
[you? Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thorough bush, thorough brier, Thisby's mother.—Tom Snout, the tinker.
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
Snug. Have you the lion's part written ? 'To dew her orbs upon the green : pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of The cowslips tall her pensioners be ; study.
[nothing but roaring. In their gold coats spots you see ; Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is Those be rubies, fairy favours, Bet. Let me play the lion too : I will roar, In those freckles live their savours : that I will do any man's heart good to hear I must go seek some dew-drops here, Ine; I will roar, that I will make the duke And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. say.. Let him roar again, let him roar again.' Farewell, thou lob of spirits ; I'll be gone :
Oxir. An' you should do it too terribly, Our queen and all her elves come here anon. you would fright the duchess and the ladies, Puck. The king doth keep his revels here that they would shriek ; and that were enough to-night : to hang us all.
(son. Take heed the queen come not within his sight; All. That would hang us, every mother's For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should Because that she, as her attendant, hath fright the ladies out of their wits, they would | A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a changeling :
Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, And jealous Oberon would have the child Glance at my credit with Hippolyta, [Titania, Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild; Knowing I know thy love to Theseus? But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy, Didst thou not lead him through the glimmerCrowns him with flowers, and makes hini all ing night her joy :
From Perigenia, whom he ravished ? And now they never meet in grove or green, And make him with fair Æglé break his faith, By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, With Ariadne, and Antiopa? But they do square; that all their elves, for fear, Tita. These are the forgeries of jealousy : Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there. And never, since the middle summer's spring, Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, quite,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook, Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite, Or on the beached margent of the sea, Calld Robin Good-fellow : are you not he To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, That frights the maidens of the villagery; But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our Skims milk, and sometimes labours in the sport. quern,
(churn; Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, And bootless makes the breathless housewife As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea And sometime makes the drink to bear no barm; Contagious fogs; which, falling in the land, Misleads night-wanderers, laughing at their Have every pelting river made so proud, harm?
That they have overborne their continents : Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, You do their work, and they shall have good The ploughman lost his sweat; and the green Are not you he?
Thou speak'st aright; Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard : I am that merry wanderer of the night. The fold stands empty in the drownėd field, I jest to Oberon, and make him smile, And crows are fatted with the murrain filock; When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, The nine-men's morris is fill'd up with mud; Neighing in likeness of a filly foal :
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green, And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl, For lack of tread are undistinguishable : In very likeness of a roasted crab;
The human mortals want their winter here ; And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob, No night is now with hymn or carol blest :And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale. Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale, Pale in her anger, washes all the air, Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; That rheumatic diseases do abound : Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, And thorough this distemperature we see And tailor' cries, and falls into a cough; The seasons alter : hoary-headed frosts And then the whole quire hold their hips, and Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose ; loffe ;
And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown, And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds A merrier hour was never wasted there, Is, as in mockery, set : the spring, the summer, But, room, Fairy! here comes Oberon. The childing autumn, angry winter, change Fai. And here my mistress :-Would that | Their wonted liveries : and the 'mazed world, he were gone !
By their increase, now knows not which is
which : SCENE II.-The Same.
And this same progeny of evils comes Enter Oberon on one side, with his train ; We are their parents and original.
From our debate, from our dissension ; and Titania on the other, with hers.
Obe. Do you amend it, then ; it lies in you: Obe. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania. Why should Titania cross her Oberon? Tita. What, jealous Oberon! Fairy, skip I do but beg a little changeling boy, hence :
To be my henchman. I have forsworn his bed and company.
Set your heart at rest : Obe. Tarry, rash wanton: am not I thy lord? The fairy land buys not the child of me.
Tita. Then, I must be thy lady: but I know His mother was a votaress of my order : When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land, And, in the spiced Indian air, by night, And in the shape of Corin sat all day, Full often haih she gossip'd by my side ; Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands, To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here, Marking the embarked traders on the flood ; Come from the farthest steep of India ? When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive, But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind; Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love, Which she, with pretty and with swimming To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come gait
squire) To give their bed joy and prosperity.
Following, (her womb then rich with my young