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Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And, now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes ;
From off the head of this Athenian swain,
That, he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair,
And think no more of this night's accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.

(Touching her eyes.)
Be as thou wast wont to be ;
See as thou wast wont to see :
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower

Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania ; wake you, my sweet queen.

Tita. My Oberon ! what visions have I seen! Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.

Obe. There lies your love.

Tita. How came these things to pass ? O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now! Obe. Silence awhile. Robin, take off this

head. Titania, music call; and strike more dead Than common sleep of all these five the sense. Tita. Music, hol music, such as charmeth sleep!

(Music, still. Robin. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine

own fool's eyes peep. Obe. Sound, music! Come, my queen, take

hands with me,
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity
And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly
And bless it to all fair prosperity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
Robin. Fairy king, attend, and mark ;

I do hear the morning lark.
Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad

Trip we after the night's shade.
We the globe can compass soon,

Swifter than the wandering moon.
Tita. Come, my lord, and in our flight

Tell me how it came this night
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground.

(Exeunt. Horns winded (within). Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and all

his train. The. Go, one of you, find out the forester, For now our observation is perform'd, And since we have the vaward of the day, My love shall hear the music of my hounds. 110 Uncouple in the western valley, let them go. Despatch, I say, and find the forester.

[Exit an attendant.] We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top And mark the musical confusion Of hounds and echo in conjunction. Hip. I was with Hercules and Cadmus once, When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear With hounds of Sparta. Never did I hear Such gallant chiding; for, besides the groves,

The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem'd all one mutual cry. I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan So flew'd, so sanded, and their heads are hung With ears that sweep away the morning dew; Crook-knee'd, and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian

bulls; Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells, Each under each. A cry more tuneable Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn, In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly. Judge when you hear. But, soft! what nymphs

are these? Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here

And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is ;
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena.
I wonder of their being here together.

The. No doubt they rose up early to observe
The rite of May, and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.
But speak, Egeus ; is not this the day
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

Ege. It is, my lord. The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns. (Horns and shout within. Lys., Dem.,

Hel., and Her. wake and start up. Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past; Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

Lys. Pardon, my lord.

I pray you all, stand up.
I know you two are rival enemies ;
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity ?

Lys. My lord, 'I shall reply amazedly, Half sleep, half waking; but as yet, I swear, I cannot truly say how I came here. But, as I think, -for truly would I speak, And now I do bethink me, so it is, – I came with Hermia hither. Our intent Was to be gone from Athens, where we might, Without the peril of the Athenian law Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have

enongh. I beg the law, the law, upon his head. They would have stolen away; they would,

Demetrius, Thereby to have defeated you and me, Yon of your wife, and me of my consent, Of my consent that she should be your wife. Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their

stealth, Of this their purpose hither to this wood; And I in fury hither followed them, Fair Helena in fancy following me, But, my good lord, I wot not by what power, But by some power it is, - my love to Hermia, Melted as [is] the snow, seems to me now As the remembrance of an idle gaud Which in my childhood I did dote upon ; And all the faith, tho virtue of my heart, The object and the pleasure of mine eye, Is only Helena. To her, my lord,











178 180




Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia;
But like a sickness did I loathe this food;
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met;
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.
Egeus, I will overbear your will;
For in the temple, by and by, with us
These couples shall eternally be knit.
And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.
Away with us to Athens; three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.
Come, Hippolyta.

(Exeunt The., Hip., Ege., and train. Dem. These things seem small and undistin

guishable, Like far-off mountains turned into clouds. Her. Methinks I see these things with parted

eye, When every thing seems double. Hel.

So methinks ; And I have found Demetrius like a jewel, Mine own, and not mine own. Dem. Are you sure that we're awake ? It

seems to me That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think The Duke was here, and bid us follow him ? Her. Yea ; and my father. Hel.

And Hippolyta. 200 Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.

Dem. Why, then, we are awake. Let's follow And by the way let us recount our dreams.

(Exeunt lovers. Bot. (Awaking.) When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer. My next is, Most fair Pyramus." Heigh-ho! Peter Quince ! [205 Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God's my life, stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he [210 go about to expound this dream. Methought I was - there is no man can tell what. Methought

and methought I had, - but man is but a patch'd fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not (215 heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream. It shall be called Bottom's (220 Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the Duke; peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death. (Exit.

(SCENE II. Athens. Quince's house.) Enter Quince, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVE

LING. Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? Is he come home yet?

Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is transported.

Flu. If he come not, then the play is marrd. It goes not forward, doth it?

Quin. It is not possible. You have not a man in all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.

Flu. No, he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft man in Athens.

Snout. Yea, and the best person too ; and he is a very paramour for a sweet voice.

Flu. You must say “paragon ; a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of naught.

Enter SNUG. Snug. Masters, the Duke is coming from 15 the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married. If our sport had gone for ward, we had all been made men.

Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a day during his life ; be could not have 'scaped sixpence a day. An the [=* Duke had not given him sixpence a day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hang'd. He would have deserved it. Sixpence a day in Pyramus, or nothing.

Enter BOTTOM. Bot. Where are these lads? Where are these hearts?

Quin. Bottom! O most courageous day! 0 most happy hour!

Bot. Masters, I am to discourse wonders, but ask me not what; for if I tell you, I am no (sa true Athenian. I'will tell you everything, right as it fell out.

Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that the Duke hath dined. Get your {s: apparel together, good strings to your beards, new ribbons to your pumps; meet presently at the palace ; every man look o'er his part; for the short and the

long is, our play is preferr'd. In any case, let Thisby have clean linen; and let not him that plays the lion pare his nails, (41 for they shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath ; and I do not doubt but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words; away! go, away! (45


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ACT V [SCENE I. Athens. The palace of Theseus.) Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE,

Lords (and Attendants). Hip. 'T is strange, my Theseus, that these

lovers speak of. The. More strange than true ; I never may

believe These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet Are of imagination all compact. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;

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That is, the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt.
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth

to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 18
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy no-

A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear!

Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
And grows to something of great constancy ;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

and HELENA, The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and

mirth. Joy, gentle friends! joy and fresh days of love Accompany your hearts ! Lys.

More than to us Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed! The. Come now; what masques, what dances

shall we have,
To wear away this long age of three hours
Between our after-supper and bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?
What revels are in hand ? Is there no play
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Call Philostrate.

Here, mighty Theseus.
The. Say, what abridgement have you for

this evening? What masque? what music? How shall we be

guile The lazy time, if not with some delight ? Phil. There is a brief how many sports are

гіре. Make choice of which your Highness will see first.

(Giving a paper.] The. (Reads.] “The battle with the Centaurs,

to be sung By an Athenian eunuch to the harp." We 'll none of that: that have I told my love, In glory of my kinsman Hercules "The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals, Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage." That is an old device ; and it was play'd When I from Thebes came last a conqueror. "The thrice three Muses mourning for the

death Of Learning, late deceas'd in beggary." That is some satire, keen and critical, Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony. "A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus And his love Thisbe ; very tragical mirth." Merry and tragical ! Tedious and brief ! That is, hot ice and wondrous strange snow. How shall we find the concord of this dis

cord ?

Phil. A play there is, my lord, some ten

words long,
Which is as brief as I have known a play ;
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
Which makes it tedious; for in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted. 66
And tragical, my noble lord, it is ;
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which, when I saw rehears'd, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water ; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

The. What are they that do play it?
Phil. Hard-handed men that work in Athens

Which never labour'd in their minds till now,
And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.

The. And we will hear it.

No, my noble lord ;
It is not for you. I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extremely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,
To do you service.

I will hear that play ; For never anything can be amiss, When simpleness and duty tender it. Go, bring them in ; and take your places, ladies.

(Exit Philostrate.) Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'er

charged, And duty in his service perishing. The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no

such thing. Hip. He says they can do nothing in this

kind. The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for

nothing: Our sport shall be to take what they mistake ; 80 And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect Takes it in might, not merit. Where I have come, great clerks have purposed To greet me with premeditated welcomes ; Where I have seen them shiver and look pale, Make periods in the midst of sentences, Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears, And in conclusion dumbly have broke off, Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet, Out of this silence yet I pick'd a welcome; And in the modesty of fearful duty I read as much as from the rattling tongue Of saucy and audacious eloquence. Love, therefore, and tongue-tid simplicity In least speak most, to my capacity.

Phil. So please your Grace, the Prologue is

The. Let him approach,

(Flourish of trumpets.
Enter (QUINCE for) the Prologue.
Pro. If we offend, it is with our good will.
That you should think, we come not to

offend, But with good will. To show onr simple skill,

That is the true beginning of our end.













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Consider then we come but in despite.

We do not come as minding to content you, Our true intent is. All for your delight We are not here. That you should here re

pent you, The actors are at hand, and by their show You shall know all that you are like to know.

The. This fellow doth not stand upon points. Lys. He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord: it is not enough to speak, but to speak true.

Hip. Indeed he hath play'd on this prologue like a child on a recorder; a sound, but not in government.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain ; [125 nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next? Enter with a trumpet before them, PYRAMUS and

THISBE, WALL, MOONSHINE, and Lion. Pro. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this

show; But wonder on, till truth make all things

This man is Pyramus, if you would know;

This beauteous lady Thisby is certain.
This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth pre-

sent Wall, that vile Wall which did these lovers

sunder; And through Wall's chink, poor souls, they are

content To whisper. At the which let no man won

der. This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,

Presenteth Moonshine ; for, if you will know, By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn

To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo. This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name, The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, Did scare away, or rather did affright; And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,

Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain. Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall, 145

And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain; Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful

blade, He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast; And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,

His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain At large discourse, while here they do remain,

(Exeunt Prologue, Thisbe, Lion, and

Moonshine. The. I wonder if the lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord ; one lion may, when many asses do.

Wall. In this same interlude it doth befall That I, one Snout by name, present a wall; And such a wall, as I would have you think, That had in it a crannied hole or chink, Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, Did whisper often very secretly. This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone doth

show That I am that same wall; the truth is so ;

And this the cranny is, right and sinister, Through which the fearful lovers are to whis-.

per. The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord.

Enter PYRAMUS. The. Pyramus draws near the wall. Silence! Pyr. O grim-look'd night! 0 night with hue

so black ! O night, which ever art when day is not ! O night, 0 night! alack, alack, alack,

I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot! And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall, That stand'st between her father's ground

and mine! Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!

(Wall holds up his fingers.) Thanks, courteous wall; Jove shield thee well

for this! But what see I? No Thisby do I see. O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss !

Curs'd be thy stones for thus deceiving me!

The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.

Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. (185

Deceiving me" is Thisby's cue. She is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see it will fall pat as I told you. Yonder she comes.

Enter THISBE. This. O wall, full often hast thou heard my

moans, For parting my fair Pyramus and me! My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones,

Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee. Pyr. I see a voice! Now will I to the chink, To

spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. Thisby!

This. My love thou art, my love I think. Pyr. Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's

grace; And, like Limander, am I trusty still. This. And I like Helen, till the Fates me

kill. Pyr. Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true. This. As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you. Pyr. O, kiss me through the hole of this vile

wali ! This. I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at

all. Pyr. Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me

straightway? This. 'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without

delay. [Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe. Wall. Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged

80; And, being done, thus Wall away doth go. (Erit.

The. Now is the moon used between the two neighbours.

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.











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Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. the. The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them,

Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

The. If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a man and a lion.

Enter Lion and MOONSHINE. Lion. You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do

fear The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on

floor, May now perchance both quake and tremble here,

When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. "hen know that I, one Snug the joiner, am A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam; For, if I should as lion come in strife Into this place, 't were pity on my life.

The. A very gentle beast, and of a good (230 conscience.

Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour.
The. True; and a goose for his discretion. (286

Dem. Not so, my lord ; for his valour cannot carry his discretion, and the fox carries the goose.

The. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valour; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well; leave it to his discretion, and let us (240 hearken to the moon. Moon. This lantern doth the horned inoon

present; Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head.

The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference. Moon. This lantern doth the horned moon

present ; Myself the man i' the moon do seem to be.

The. This is the greatest error of all the rest. The man should be put into the lantern. (251 How is it else the man i' the moon ?

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle; for, you see, it is already in snuff.

Hip. I'am aweary of this moon. Would he would change!

The. It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane; but yet, in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay the time.

Lys. Proceed, Moon.

Moon. All that I have to say, is, to tell you that the lantern is the moon; I, the man i? the moon ; this thorn-bush, my thorn-bush ; and this dog, my dog.

Dem. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for all these are in the moon. But, [265 silence! here comes Thisbe.

This. This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is

my love?

Lion. (Roaring.) Oh- (Thisbe runs off.
Dem. Well roard, Lion.
The. Well run, Thisbe.

Hip. Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a good grace.

(The Lion shakes Thisbe's mantle,

and erit.]
The. Well mous'd, Lion.
Dem. And then came Pyramus.
Lys. And so the lion vanish'd.

Pyr. Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny

I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;
For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
I trust to take of truest Thisby sight.

But stay, O spite !
But mark, poor knight,
What dreadful dole is here!
Eyes, do you see?

How can it be?
O dainty duck! O dear!

Thy mantle good,

What, staind with blood !
Approach, ye Furies fell !

O Fates, come, come,

Cut thread and thrum ; Quail, crush, conclude, and quell! The. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look

sad. Hip. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man. Pyr. 0 wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions

Since lion vile hath here deflower'd my dear;
Which is – no, no — which was the fairest dame
That liv'd, that lov'd, that lik’d, that look'd

with cheer.
Come, tears, confound ;
Out, sword, and wound
The pap of Pyramus ;

Ay, that left pap,

Where heart doth hop. [Stabs himself.] Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.

Now am I dead,

Now am I fled;
My soul is in the sky.

Tongue, lose thy light;
Moon, take thy fight.' (Exit Moonshine.]
Now die, die, die, die, die. [Dies.)
Dem. No die, but an ace, for him ; for he is
but one.

Lys. Less than an ace, man, for he is dead; he is nothing.

The. With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and yet prove an ass.

Hip. How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes back and finds her lover?

Re-enter THISBE. The. She will find him by starlight. Here (320 she comes; and her passion ends the play.

Hip. Methinks she should not use a long one for such a Pyramus. I hope she will be brief.

Dem. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, whick Thisbe, is the better; he for a









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