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Theseus, Duke of Athens.

Helena, in love with Demetriuș,
Egevs, Father to Hermia.
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia,

DEMETRIUS, in love with Mermia.
PHILOSTRATE, Master of the sports to Theseus. OBERON, King of the Fairies.
QUINCE, the Carpenter.

TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies.
Snug, the Joiner.

Puck, or Robin-GOODFELLOW, a Fuiry.
Bottom, the Weaver.

FLUTE, the Bellows-mender.


SNOUT, the Tinker.

Мотн, ,
STARVELING, the Taylor,


HIPPOLITA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed

Thisbe, Characters in the Interlude, perto Theseus.

HERMIA, Daughter of Egeus, in love with Ly Moonshine,

formed by the Clor: ns.

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen: Attendunts on Theseus and Hippolitit.

SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not fur from it.

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Hippolita, I woo'd thee with my sword,
The Palace of Theseus, in Athens.

And won thy love, doing thee injuries;

But I will wed thee in another key,
Enter Theseus, Hippolita, Philostrale, will Attendants, With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.
The. Now, fair Hippolita, our nuptial hour 5 Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, und Demetrius.

Draws on apace; four happy days Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
bring in

The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news
Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how slow

With thee?
This old moon wanes! she singers my desires, Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaiut
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,

10 Against my child, my daughter Hermia.--
Long withering out a young man's revenue. Stand forth, Demetrius;--My noble lord,
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves This man hath my consent to marry her:
in nights;

Stand forth, Lysander;-and, my gracious duke,
Four nights will quickly dream away the time; This man hath witch'd the bosom of my child:
And then the moon, like to a silver bow 15 Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhimes,
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night And interchang'd love-tokens with my child:
Of our solemnities.

Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung,
The. Go, Philostrate,

With feigning voice, verses of feigning love:
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments; And stoľ' the impression of her fantasy
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;

20 With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds', conceits, Turn melancholy forth to funerals,

Knacks, trilles, nosegays, sweet-meats, messengers The pale compauion is not for our pomp:

Of strong prevailinent in unlardon'd youth: (Exit Phi. With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart; : i. e, baubles, togs.


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with me,

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,

Ege. Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love; To stubborn harshness: And, my gracious dike, And what is mine, ing love shall render him: Be it so she will not here before your grace And she is mine; and all my right of her Consent to marry with Demetrius,

I do estate unto Demetrius. I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;

5 Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he, As she is mine, I inay dispose of her:

As well possess'd; my love is more than his; Which shall be either to this gentleman,

My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd, Or to her death; according to our law,

It not with vantage, as Demetrius'; Immediately provided in that case, [unaid: And, which is more than all these boasts can be,

The. What say you, Hermia? be advised, iair 10 I am belov'd of beauteolis Hermia:
To you your father should be as a god;

Why should not I then prosecute my right?
One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
To whom you are but as a forin in wax,

Made love to Nedar's daughter, llelena,
By him imprinted, and within his power

And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, To leave the figure, or distigure it.

15 Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolaty, Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

Upon th s spotted and inconstant man. Her. So is Lysandir.

The. I must contess, that I have heard so much, The. In himself he is:

And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice, But, being over-full of self-allairs, The other must be held the worthier.

20 My mind did lose it.-But, Demetrius, come; Hır. I would my father look'd but with my eyes.

And come, Egeus; you shall

The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment I have some private schooling for you both.

For you, fair liermia, look you arm yourself
Her. I do intreat your grace to parilon me. To fit your fancies to your father's will;
I know not by what power I am made bold;

125 Or else the law of Athens yields you up Nor how it may concern iny modesty,

Which by no means we may extenuate)
In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts: To death, or to a vow of single lile.-
But I beseech your grace, that I may know Come, my Ilippolita; What cheer, my love?
The worst that may befal me in this case,

Demetrius, and Egeus, go along:
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.

301 must employ you in some business The. Either to die the death, or to abjure Against our nuptial; and confer with you For ever the society of men.

01 something, nearly that concerns yourselves. Therciore, fair Ilernia, question your desires, Ege. With duty, and desire, we follow you. Know of your youth', examine well your blood [Exeunt Thes. Hip. Egcus, Dem. and train. Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, 35 Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek You can endure the livery of a nun;

so pale? For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,

How chance the roses there do fade so fast? (well To live a barren sister all your lite,

Her. Belike, fur want of rain; which I could Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Beteem' them from the tempest of mine eyes. Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood, 401. Lys. Ah me! for aught that I could ever read, To undergo such maiden pilgrimage:

Could ever hear by tale or bistory, But earthlier happy is the rose distilld,

The course of true love never did run smooth. Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, But, either it was different in blood ;Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness. Hler. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to los!

ller. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, 45 Lys. Or else misgratied, in respect of years ;Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

1}er. O spight! too old to be engag'd to young! Uuto his lordship, to wlose unwishid yoke

Lys.Orelseit stood upon the choice of friends :My soul consents not to give sovereignty.

Her. O hell! to chuse love by another's eye! The. 'Take time to pause; and by the next new Lys. Or if there were a sympathy in choice, noon,

50 War, death, or sickness, did lay siege to it; (The scaling-day betwixi my love and me, .laking it momentary as a sound, For everlasing bond of fellowship)

swift as a shallow, short as any dream; Upon that day either prepare to die,

Brief as the lightning in the colly'd' night For disobedience to your father's will;

That, in a spleen', untolds both heaven and earth, Or eise to wed Demetrius, as he would; 15.3 Ind ere a men hath power to say,- Behold! (): on Diana's altar to protest,

The jaws of darkness do devour it up: For aye, austerity and single life. [yield so quick bright things come to confusion.

Der. Relent, sweet llermia ;-And, Lysander, ller. If then true lovers have been ever crossa,
Thy crazed title to my curtain right.

It stands as an edict in destiny:
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; 160 Then let us teach our tryal patience,
Let me bave Hermia's: do you marry him. Because it is a customary cross;
'i, e. consider your youth. ?i. e. give them. i. e. black,

* Meaning, in a sudden hasty ft.


As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers. Tomorrow night, when Phæbe doti benold
Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me, Her silver visage in the watry glass,

Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass, I have a widow aunt, a dowager

5 (A time that lover's Hights doth still conceal) Of great revenue, and she hath no child : Through Athens' gates have we devis’d to steal.' From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ; Her. And in the wood, where often you and I And she respects me as her only son.

Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lye, There, gentle Hermia, inay I marry thee; Emptying our bosoms of their counsels swellid; And to that place the sharp Athenian law 10 There my Lysander and myself shall meet: Cannot pursue us: if thou lov'st me then, And thence, from Athens, turn away our eyes, Steal forth thy father's house tomorrow night; To seek new friends and strange companions. And, in the wood, a league without the town, Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us, Where I did meet thee once with Helena, And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !To do observance to a morn of May,

15 Keep word, Lysander : we must starve our sight There will stay for thee.

From loverso tood,'till morrow deep midnight. Her. My guod Lysender!

[Exit Herm. I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow; Lys. I will, my Hermia.—Helena, auieu : By his best arrow with the golden head;


you on him, Demetrius doat on you! By the simplicity of Venus' doves;


Erit Lys. By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves ; Hel. How happy some,o'er other some, can be! And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,

Through Athens I am thought as tair as she. When the false Trojan under sail was seen;

But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so ; By all the vows that ever men have broke,

He will not know what all but he do know.
In number more than ever women spoke ; 25 And as he errs, doating on Herinia's eyes,
In that same place thou hast appointed me,

So I, adıniring of his qualities.
Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee. [Helena. Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Enter Helena.

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
Her. God speed, fair Helena! Whither away : 30 And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind :
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.

Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste; Denietrius loves your fair' : 0 happy fair! sair Wings, and no eyes, figure unbeedly haste: Your eyes are lode-stars'; and your tongue's sweet

And therefore is Love said to be a child, More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, (pear.

Because in choice he is so oft beguild. When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds ap- 35 As waggish boys themselves in game 'forswear, Sickness is catching: (), 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 ear should catch your voice, my eye youreye,

He hail'd down oaths, that he was only mune; Mytongueshouldcatch yourtongue's sweet inelody And when this hail some heat from iiermia telt, Were the World mine, Demetrius being bated, 140 50 he dissolv'd, and showers of oatiis did melt. The rest I'll give to be to you translated *. I will go tell him of fair Hernia's flight; O, teach me how you look: and with what art Then to the wood will he to-morrow night, You sway the inotion of Dernetrius' heart. Pursue her; and for this intelligence Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.

If I have thanks, it is a dear expence; Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach my 45 But herein mean I to enrich my pain, smiles such skill!

To have his sight thither, and back again. [Exit. Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love. Hel. Oh, that my prayers could such affection


A Cottage.
Her. The niore I hate, the more he follows me.50
Hil. The more I love, the more he hateth me.

Enter Quince the carpenter, Snug the joiner, BotHer. Ilis folly, llelena, is no fault of mine.'

tom the weaver, Flute the b. llous-mender, Snout Hl. None but your beauty; would that fault

the tinker, and Starveling the tavlor. were mine!

[face; Quin. Is all our company here?, Hir. Take comfort; he no more shall see my 5. Bot. You were best to call them generally, man Lysander and myself will fly this place.- by man, according to the scrips. Before the time I did Lysander see,

Quin. Here is the scrowl or every man's name, Seend Athens as a paradise to me:

(which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play O then, what graces in my love do dwell,

in our interlude before the duke and dutchess, on That he bath turn'd a heaven unto a hell! 601:s wedding day at night.

"That is, your beauty, or your complerion. 2 The lode-star is the leading or guiding-star, that is, the pole-star. Furor, here means jeature, countenance. *To translute, here implies to change, w transform. : i; e. in sport, in jest. i. e, the writing, or paper,



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Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the Star. Here, Peter Quince. play treats on; then read the nanies of the actors; Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's and so grow to a point.

mother.-Tom Snout, the tinker. Quin. Marry our play is the most lamentable Snout. Here, Peter Quince. comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and 5 Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, Thisby's Thisby.

father;-Snug the joiner, you, the lion's part: Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and, I hope, there is a play fitted. and a merry.-Now, good Peter Quince, call Snug: Have you the lion's part written? Pray forth your actors by the scrowl: Masters, spread you, it it be, give it me, for I am slow of study. yourselves.

10 Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is noQuin. Answer, as I call youi.—Nick Bottom the thing but roaring:

Bot. Let me play the lion too: I will roar, that Bot. Ready: Name what part I am for, and I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will proceed.

roar, that I will make the duke say, Let him Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for 15 again, kthim roar again. Pyramus.

Quin. An you

should do it too terribly,youwould Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover or a tyrant ? fright the dutchess and the ladies, that they would

Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly shriek; and that were enough to hang us all. for love,

All. That would hang us every mother's son. Bot. That will ask some tears in the true per-20 Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should forming of it: if I do it, let the audience look to fright the ladies out of their wits, they would their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in have no more discretion but to hang us: but I some measure. To the rest:-Yet my chief hu will aggravate my voice so, that I will roar you as mour is for a tyrant: I could play Ercles rarely, gently as any sucking-dove; I will roar you an or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split. 25'twere any nightingale.

Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus: for “The raging rocks,

Pyramus is a sweet-fac'd man; a proper man, as And shivering shocks,

one shall see in a summer's day; a most lovely, “ Shall break the locks « Of prison-gates :

gentleman-like man; therefore you must needs

130 play Pyramus.
“ And Phibbus' car
“ Shall shine from far,

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard “ And make and mar

were I best to play it in?

Quin. Why, what “ The foolish fates."

Bot. I will discharge it in either your This was lofty!—now name the rest of the play-|35|loured beard, your orange tawney beard, your ers. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein ; a lover purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crownis more condoling:

colour beard?, your perfect yellow. Quin. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender. Quin. Some of your French-crowns ' have no Flu. Here, Peter Quince.

hair at all, and then you will play bare-fac'd. Quin. You must take Thisby on you. 40 But, inasters, here are your parts: and I am to Flu. What is Thisby? a wandering knight? entreat you, request you, and desire you, to con Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love. them by to-morrow night: and meet me in the

Flu. Nay, faith, let me not play a woman; palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonhave a beard coming.

light; there will we rehearse ; for if we meet in Quin. That's all one; you shall play it in a mask, 45 the city, we shall be dog’d with company, and and you may speak as small as you will.

our devices known. In the mean time, I will Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play This draw a bill of properties“, such as our play wants. by too: I'll speak in a monstrous little voice ; I pray you, fail me not. “ Thisne, Thisne,—Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear; Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse “ Thy Thisby dear! and sady dear!"

50 more obscenely, and courageously. Take pains; Quin. No, no, you must play Pyramus, and be perfect; adieu. Flute, you Thisby.

Quin. At the duke's oak we meet. Bot. Well, proceed.

Bot. Enough; Hold, or cut bow-strings'. Quin. Robin Starveling the taylor.

[Ereunt. * To study a part, in the language of the theatre, is to get it by rote. This alludes to the custom of wearing coloured beards. See note ?, p. 77. * See note ', p. 68. 'Dr. Warburton says, this proverbial phrase came originally from the camp. When a rendezvous was appointed, the militia foldiers would frequently make excuse for not keeping word, that their bowstrings were broke, i. e. their arins unserviceable. Hence when one would give another absolute assurance of meeting him, he would may proverbially-Hold ør çut bow-strings—i. e, whether the bow-string held or broke."

you will,

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Neighing in likeness of a silly foal :
A Wood.

And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl,

In very likeness of a roasted crab; Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck (or Robin

And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob, Good-fellow) at another.

5 And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale., Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you? The wisest aunt', telling the saddest tale, Fai. Over ,

Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; Thorough bush, thorough briar, Then slip I from her bum, down topples she, Over park, over pale,

And taylor' cries, and falls into a cough: Thorough flood, thorough fire, 16 And then the wholequire hold their hips and loffe, I do wander every where,

And waxen "in their mirth, and neeze and swear Swifter than the moones sphere;

A merrier hour was never wasted there.And I serve the fairy queen,

But room, Faery, here comes Oberon. To dew her orbs upon the green;

Fai. And here my mistress :—'Would that he The cowslips tall her pensioners be;


were gone! In their gold coats spots you see; Those be rubies, fairy favours,

SCENE II. In those freckles live their savours:

Enter Oberon, king of Fairies, at one door with bis train, I must go seek some dew-drops here,

and the queen at another, witb ber's. And hang a pearl in ev'ry cowslip's ear. 120 Ob. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania. Farewell, thou lob of spirits, I'll be gone;

Queen. What, jealous Oberon? fairy, skip hence; Our queen and all our elves come here anon. I have forsworn his bed and company. Puck. T'heking doth keep his revels here to-night; Ob. Tarry, rash wanton ; Am not I thy lord? Take heed, the queen come not within his sight.” Queen. Then I must be thy lady: But I know For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,

25 When thou hast stolen away from fairy land, Because that she, as her attendant, hath

And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king; Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love
She never had so sweet a changeling:

To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
And jealous Oberon would have the child

Come from the farthest steep of India? Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild: 30 But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, But she, per-force, withholds the loved boy, [joy: Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love, Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her To Theseus must be wedded ; and you come And now they never meet in grove or green, To give their bed joy and prosperity. By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen', 06. How can'st thou thus, for shame, Titania, But they do square *; that all their elves for fear, 35 Glance at my credit with Hippolita, Creepinto acorn cups,and hide them there..[quite, Knowing I know thy love to Theseus; (night

Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite, From Perigupe, whom he ravish'd? Callid Robin Good-fellow: are you not he, And make bin with fair Ægle break his faith, That frights the maidens of the villagʻry; 40 With Ariadne and Antiopa? Skim milk; and sometimes labourin the quern', Queen. These are the forgeries of jealousy: And bootless make the breathless huswife churn; And never since the middle summer's spring", And sometime make the drink to bear no barmo; Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm? By paved fountain, or by rushy brook, Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck”, 45 Or on the beached margent of the sea, You do their work, and they shall have good luck: To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, Are not you he?

But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport. Puck. Thou speak’st aright;

Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
I am that merry wanderer of the night.

As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
I jest to Oberon, and make bim sinile, 50 Contagious togs; which falling in the land,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Have every pelting " river made so proud,

* This allodes to the circles supposed to be made by the fairies on the ground, whose verdure pro-
ceeds from the fairy's care to water them. » Lob, lubber, looby, lobcock, all imply both indolence of
body and dulness of mind. 'i. e. shining. * To square here signifies, to quarrel." "A quern is a hand-
mill. • Barm is a name for yeast, still used in our midland counties. Puck is said to bave been an
old Gothick word, signifying fiend or devil. * In Staffordshire the epithet of aunt is still applied indis-
criminately to old women, and is there pronounced naunt. This may perhaps allude to a custom of
crying taylor at a sudden fall backwards, as a person who slips beside his chair falls as a taylor squats
upon his board. ' i. e. encrease. " By the middle summer's spring, our author seems to mean the
beginning of middle of mid summer. 1 i. e. despicable, mean.
Ñ 2


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