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The worst that may befall me in this case, Lys. How now, my love! Why is your cheek If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

so pale ? The. Either to die the death, or to abjure How chance the roses there do fade so fast? For ever the society of men.

Her. Belike for want of rain, which I could well Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires ; Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes. 131 Know of your youth, examine well your blood, Lys. Ay mel for aught that ever I could read, Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, Could ever hear by tale or history, You can endure the livery of a nun,

70 The course of true love never did run smooth; For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,

But, either it was different in blood, To live a barren sister all your life,

Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall’d to low. Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Lys. Or else misgraffed in respect of years, – Thrice blessed they that master so their blood, Her. Ospite! too old to be engag'd to young: To undergo such maiden pilgrimage ;

Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of But earthlier happy is the rose distill’d,

friends,-Than that which withering on the virgin thorn Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eyes. Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness. Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,

Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up 80 Making it momentany as a sound, Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, My soul consents not to give sovereignty. Brief as the lightning in the collied night, The. Take time to pause; and by the next That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, new moon,

And ere a man hath power to say · Behold!' The sealing-day betwixt my love and me The jaws of darkness do devour it up: For everlasting bond of fellowship,

So quick bright things come to confusion. Upon that day either prepare to die

Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd, For disobedience to your father's will,

It stands as an edict in destiny : Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would ;

Then let us teach our trial patience, Or on Diana's altar to protest

Because it is a customary cross, For aye austerity and single life.

As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs, Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia ; and, Lysander, Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers. yield

Lys. A good persuasion : therefore, hear me, Thy crazed title to my certain right.

Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him. Of great revenue, and she hath no child :

Ege. Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love, From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ;
And what is mine my love shall render him. And she respects me as her only son.
And she is mine, and all my right of her There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
I do estate unto Demetrius.

And to that place the sharp Athenian law Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, Cannot pursue us.

If thou lov'st me then, As well possess d ; my love is more than his ; 100 Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night, My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,

And in the wood, a league without the town, If not with vantage, as Demetrius';

Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
And, which is more than all these boasts can be, To do observance to a morn of May,
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia.

There will I stay for thee.
Why should not I then prosecute my right? Her.

My good Lysander ! Demetrius, I 'll avouch it to his head,

I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow, Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,

By his best arrow with the golden head, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, By the simplicity of Venus' doves, Devoutly dotes. dotes in idolatry,

By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves, Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage The. I must confess that I have heard so much, queen, And with Demetrius thought to have spoke When the false Troyan under sail was seen, thereof;

By all the vows that ever men have broke, But, being over-full of self-affairs,

In number more than ever women spoke, My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come ; In that same place thou hast appointed me, And come, Egeus ; you shall go with me, To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. I have some private schooling for you both. Lys. Keep promise, love. Look, here comes For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself

To fit your fancies to your father's will,

Or else the law of Athens yields you up,
Which no means we may extenuate,

Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away! To death, or to a vow of single life.

Hel. Call you me fair ? that fair again unsay. Come, my Hippolyta : what cheer, my love? Demetrius loves your fair : 0 happy fair ! Demetrius and Egeus, go along :

Your eyes are lode-stars, and your tongue's I must employ you in some business

sweet air
Against our nuptial, and confer with you More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds
Ege. With duty and desire we follow you.

Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, Sickness is catching : 0) ! were favour so,

DEMETRIUS, and Train. Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;






My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet

Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated, 190
The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
0! teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
Hel. O that your frowns would teach my
smiles such skill.

Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
Hel. O that my prayers could such affection


Her. The more I hate, the more he follows me.
Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me.
Her. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine. 200
Hel. None, but your beauty: would that fault
were mine!

Her. Take comfort: he no more shall see my

Lysander and myself will fly this place.
Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me:
O! then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell.



As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, 240
So the boy Love is perjur'd every where ;
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.

SCENE II.-The Same.


Exit. \

A Room in QUINCE'S


Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold
Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,
A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,
Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal.

Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,
There my Lysander and myself shall meet ;
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us; 22)
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius!
Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.
Lys. I will, my Hermia. Exit HERMIA.
Helena, adieu :
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you! Exit.
Hd. How happy some o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she;
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
He will not know what all but he do know;
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.


This was lofty! Now name the rest of the players. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is more condoling.


Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste:
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd.

Quin. Is all our company here?

Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.

Quin. Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and duchess on his wedding-day at night.

Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors, and so grow to a point.


Quin. Marry, our play is, The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.

Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.

Quin. Answer as I call you. the weaver.

Nick Bottom,

Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.


Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for

Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant?
Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly

for love.

Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it if I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. To the rest: yet my chief humour is for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.


The raging rocks
And shivering shocks
Shall break the locks

Of prison gates:
And Phibbus' car
Shall shine from far
And make and mar
The foolish Fates.

Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Flu. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. You must take Thisby on you.

Flu. What is Thisby a wandering knight? Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. Flu. Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; I have a beard coming.


Quin. That's all one you shall play it in a mask, and you may speak as small as you will.

Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play Thisby too. I'll speak in a monstrous little voice, Thisne, Thisne.' 'Ah! Pyramus, my lover dear; thy Thisby dear, and lady dear!'

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

Bot. Well, proceed.

Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor.

Star. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother. Tom Snout, the tinker.

Snout. Here, Peter Quince.


Quin. You, Pyramus' father; myself, Thisby's | I must go seek some dew-drops here, father. Snug, the joiner, you, the lion's part ; And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. and, I hope, here is a play fitted.

Farewell, thou lob of spirits : I'll be gone ; Snus. Have you the lion's part written ? pray Our queen and all her elves come here anon. you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study. Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to.

Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is night. nothing but roaring.

71 Take heed the queen come not within his sight; Bot. Let me play the lion too. I will roar, that For Oberon is passing fell and wrath, I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I Because that she as her attendant hath will roar, that I will make the duke say, 'Let A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king; him roar again, let him roar again.'

She never had so sweet a changeling ; Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you And jealous Oberon would have the child would fright the duchess and the ladies, that Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild ; they would shriek; and that were enough to But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy, hang us all.

Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all All. That would hang us, every mother's son. 80

her joy. Bot. I grant you friends, if that you should And now they never meet in grove, or green, fright the ladies out of their wits, they would By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen, have no more discretion but to hang us; but F But they do square; that all their elves, for fear, 30 will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you Creep into acorn-cups and hide them there. as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you Pai. Either I mistake your shape and making an 'twere any nightingale.

quite, Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus; for Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite Pyramus is a sweet-faced man ; a proper man, Call’d Robin Goodfellow : are not you he as one shall see in a summer's day; a most That fright the maidens of the villagery; lovely, gentlemanlike man; therefore you must Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern, needs play Pyramus.

91 And bootless make the breathless housewife Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard churn; were I best to play it in ?

And sometime make the drink to bear no barm ; Quin. Why, what you will.

Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw- Those that Hobgoblin call you and sweet Puck, 40 colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your You do their work, and they shall have good purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown

luck: colour beard, your perfect yellow.

Are not you he? Quin. Some of your French crowns have no Puck.

Thou speak'st aright; hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced. I am that merry wanderer of the night. But, masters, here are your parts; and I am to en. I jest to Oberon, and make him smile treat you, request you, and desire you, to con them When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, by to-morrow night, and meet me in the palace Neighing in likeness of a filly foal : wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight : And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl, there will we rehearse : for if we meet in the In very likeness of a roasted crab; city, we shall be dogged with company, and our And when she drinks, against her lips I bob devices known. In the meantime I will draw And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale. a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale, pray you, fail me not.

109 Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, most obscenely and courageously. Take pains; And tailor' cries, and falls into a cough; be perfect ; adien.

And then the whole quire hold their hips and Quin. At the duke's oak we meet.

laugh, Bot. Enough; hold, or cut bow.strings. And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear

Exeunt. A merrier hour was never wasted there.

But room, fairy ! here comes Oberon.

Pai. And here my mistress. Would that he

were gone! SCENE I. - A Wood near Athens.

Enter OBERON from one side, with his Train, and Enter a Fairy and Puck from opposite sides.

TITANIA from the other, with hers. Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you? Obe. Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania. Fai, Over hill, over dale,

Tita. What! jealous Oberon. Fairies, skip Thorough bush, thorough brier,

Over park, over pale,

I have forsworn his bed and company.
Thorough flood, thorough fire,

Obe. Tarry, rash wanton ! am not I thy lord ?
I do wander every where,

Tita. Then I must be thy lady; but I know
Swifter than the moone's sphere ; When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land,
And I serve the fairy queen,

And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
To dew her orbs upon the green : Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love
The cowslips tall her pensioners be ; 10 To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
In their gold coats spots you see ;

Come from the furthest steppe of India !
Those be rubies, fairy favours,

But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
In those freckles live their savours : Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,

70 140


this grove




To Theseus must be wedded, and you come Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' weddingTo give their bed joy and prosperity.

day. Obe. How canst thou thus for shame, Titania, If you will patiently dance in our round, Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,

And see our moonlight revels, go with us ; Knowing I know thy love to Theseus ?

If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts. Didst thou not lead him through the glimmer- Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee. ing night

Tita. Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, From Perigenia, whom he ravished !

away ! And make him with fair Ægle break his faith, We shall chide downright, if I longer stay. With Ariadne, and Antiopa?

Exit TITANIA, with her Train. l'ita. These are the forgeries of jealousy: Obe. Well, go thy way : thou shalt not from And never, since the middle summer's spring, Met we on bill, in dale, forest, or mead, Till I torment thee for this injury. Bę paved fountain, or by rushy brook,

My gentle Puck, come hither: thou remember'st Or in the beached margent of the sea,

Since once I sat upon a promontory, To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath, Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, That the rude sea grew civil at her song, As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea And certain stars shot madly from their spheres, Contagious fogs; which falling in the land To hear the sea-maid's music. Hare every pelting river made so proud,


I remember. That they have overborne their continents : Obe. That very time I saw, but thou could'st not, The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain, Flying between the cold moon and the earth, The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn Cupid all arm'd : a certain aim he took Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard : At a fair vestal throned by the west, The fold stands empty in the drowned field, And loos’d his love-shaft smartly from his bow, And crows are fatted with the murrain flock, As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts ; The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud, But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft And the quaint mazes in the wanton green Quench'd in the chaste beams of the wat'ry moon, For lack of tread are undistinguishable : 100 And the imperial votaress passed on, The human mortals want their winter here : In maiden meditation, fancy-free. No night is now with hymn or carol blest : Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell: Therefore the moon, the governess of floods, It fell upon a little western flower, Pale in her anger, washes all the air,

Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, That rheumatic diseases do abound:

And maidens call it Love-in-idleness. And thorough this distemperature we see Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee The seasons alter : hoary-headed frosts Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose, The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown

Will make or man or woman madly dote An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds 110 Upon the next live creature that it sees. Is, as in mockery, set. The spring, the summer, Fetch me this herb; and be thou here again The childing autumn, angry winter, change Ere the leviathan can swim a league. Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world, Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth By their increase, now knows not which is which. In forty minutes.

Exit. And this same progeny of evils comes


Having once this juice From our debate, from our dissension :

I'll watch Titania when she is asleep, We are their parents and original.

And drop the liquor of it in her eyes :
Obe. Do you amend it then; it lies in you. The next thing then she waking looks upon,
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?

Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
I do but beg a little changeling boy, 120 On medidling monkey, or on busy ape,
To be my henchman.

She shall pursue it with the soul of love :

Set your heart at rest; And ere I take this charm off from her sight, The fairy land buys not the child of me.

As I can take it with another herb,
His mother was a votaress of my order. I'll make her render up her page to me.
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,

But who comes here? I am invisible,
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side,

And I will overhear their conference.
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood;

Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him. When we have laugh’d to see the sails conceive Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. and grow big-bellied with the wanton wind; Where is Lysander and fair Hermia ? Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me. Following,-her womb then rich with my young Thon told'st me they were stol’n unto this wood; squire,

131 And here am I, and wood within this wood, Would imitate, and sail upon the land,

Because I cannot meet my Hermia. To fetch me trifles, and return again,

Hence! get thee gone, and follow me no more. As from a voyage, rich with merchandise.

Hd. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant: But she, being mortal, of that boy did die; But yet you draw not iron, for my heart And for her sake do I rear up her boy,

Is true as steel : leave you your power to draw, and for her sake I will not part with him. And I shall have no power to follow you.

Obe. How long within this wood intend you stay? Dem. Do I entice you? do I speak you fair ?

once :




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And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you. Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd; Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase; The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind Makes speed to catch the tiger: bootless speed, When cowardice pursues and valour flies!

Dem. I will not stay thy questions: let me go; Or, if thou follow me, do not believe But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.


Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field, You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius ! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex. We cannot fight for love, as men may do; We should be woo'd and were not made to woo. Exit DEMETRIUS. I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell, To die upon the hand I love so well.


Obe. Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave this grove,

Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.


Re-enter PUCK. Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer. Puck. Ay, there it is. Obe. I pray thee, give it me. I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine, With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine : There sleeps Titania some time of the night, Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight; And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin, Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes, And make her full of hateful fantasies. Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove: A sweet Athenian lady is in love With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes; But do it when the next thing he espies



SCENE II.-Another Part of the Wood.

Enter TITANIA, with her Train.

Tita. Come, now a roundel and a fairy song; Then, for the third part of a minute, hence; Some to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds, Some war with rere-mice for their leathern wings, Tomake my small elves coats, and some keep back The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and wonders

At our quaint spirits. Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.

The Fairies sing.


You spotted snakes with double tongue, Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen; Newts, and blind-worms, do no wrong; Come not near our fairy queen.


Philomel, with melody

Sing in our sweet lullaby;

Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby: Never harm,

Nor spell nor charm,

Come our lovely lady nigh;

So, good night, with lullaby.


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What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Do it for thy true-love take;
Love and languish for his sake:
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear.
Wake when some vile thing is near.



Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the


And to speak troth, I have forgot our way: We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good, And tarry for the comfort of the day.

Her. Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed, For I upon this bank will rest my head.

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