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HERMIA, Daughter to Egeus, in love with
HELENA, in love with Demetrius.
PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus. OBERON, King of the Fairies.
TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies.
PUCK, or Robin Goodfellow.
HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed Other Fairies attending their King and Queen. to Theseus. Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
SCENE. Athens, and a Wood near it.
SCENE I.-Athens. The Palace of THESEUS. Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendants.
Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander: and, my gracious duke,
This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child:
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rimes,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child; 29
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace: four happy days bring in
Another moon; but O! methinks how slow
This old moon wanes; she lingers my desires, 4 With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager
Long withering out a young man's revenue.
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves
Four nights will quickly dream away the time; 8
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.
And stol'n the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth;
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness. And, my gracious duke
Be it so she will not here before your Grace
12 Consent to marry with Demetrius,
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals;
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
And won thy love doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.
Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke! The. Thanks, good Egeus: what's the nows with thee?
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
As she is mine, I may dispose of her;
Which shall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death, according to our law
Immediately provided in that case.
The. What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, fai
To you, your father should be as a god;
One that compos'd your beauties, yea, and on
To whom you are but as a form in wax
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
Her. So is Lysander.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whe'r, if you yield not to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun,
For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,
To live a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
The. Take time to pause; and, by the next
Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia; and, Lysander, yield
Thy crazed title to my certain right.
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.
Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love,
And what is mine my love shall render him; 96
And she is mine, and all my right of her
I do estate unto Demetrius.
Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,
As well possess'd; my love is more than his; 100
My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd
If not with vantage, as Demetrius';
And, which is more than all these boasts can be, I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia.
Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes. Lys. Ay me! for aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth; But, either it was different in blood,—
Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low.
Lys. Or else misgraffed in respect of years,Her. O spite! too old to be engag'd to young. Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,
Her. O hell! to choose love by another's
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, Making it momentany as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, Brief as the lightning in the collied night, That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, And ere a man hath power to say, 'Behold!' The jaws of darkness do devour it up: So quick bright things come to confusion. Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd, It stands as an edict in destiny:
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. If thou lov'st me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night,
And in the wood, a league without the town, 165
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
To do observance to a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.
My good Lysander!
I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage
Her. Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
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.
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold 209
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
168 Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet, 216
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;
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.
When the false Troyan under sail was seen,
By all the vows that ever men have broke,-
In number more than ever women spoke, 176
In that same place thou hast appointed ae,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Lys. Keep promise, love.
Her. God speed fair Helena! Whither away?
Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unsay.
Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
Your eyes are lode-stars! and your tongue's
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, 184
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching: O! were favour so,
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
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you! [Exit
Hel. 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; 22
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity, 23:
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.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear
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 fel
So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did mel
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,
197 To have his sight thither and back again. [Ex
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
O! teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart. 193
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
SCENE II.-The Same. A Room in QUINCE'S
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
Enter QUINCE, SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, dear; thy Thisby dear, and lady dear!'
Quin. Is all our company here?
Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.
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. 17 Quin. Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom, the weaver.
Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed.
21 Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.
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.
Bot. Let me play the lion too. I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me; I will roar, that I will make the duke say, 'Let him roar again, let him roar again.' 76
Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you would fright the duchess and the ladies, that they would shriek; and that were enough to hang us all.
All. That would hang us, every mother's son. Bot. What is Pyramus? a lover, or a tyrant? Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gal- fright the ladies out of their wits, they would lantly for love. 26 have no more discretion but to hang us; but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you as 'twere any nightingale.
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. Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced. But masters, here are your parts; and I am to entreat you, request you, and desire you, to con them by to-morrow night, and meet me in the palace wood, a mile without the town, by moonlight: there will we rehearse; for if we meet in the city, we shall be dogged with company, and our devices known. In the meantime I will draw Quin. That's all one: you shall play it in a a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I mask, and you may speak as small as you will.pray you, fail me not.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you. Fla. 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. 51
Bot. We will meet; and there we may rehearse more obscenely and courageously. Take pains; be perfect; adieu.
Quin. At the duke's oak we meet.
Bot. Enough; hold, or cut bow-strings.
SCENE I.-A Wood near Athens.
Enter a Fairy on one side, and PUCK on the other.
Fairy, thou speak'st aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal :
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
And, when she drinks, against her lips I bob
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me; 52
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
4 And 'tailor' cries, and falls into a cough;
Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Fai. Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moone's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In their freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits: I'll be gone;
Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-
Fai. And here my mistress. Would that he
Enter OBERON from one side, with his Train;
and TITANIA from the other, with hers.
Obe. Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania. 60
Tita. What! jealous Oberon. Fairies, skip
I have forsworn his bed and company.
Obe. Tarry, rash wanton! am not I thy lord?
Tita. Then, I must be thy lady; but I know
When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land, 65
And in the shape of Corin sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the furthest steppe of India?
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love,
To Theseus must be wedded, and you come 72
To give their bed joy and prosperity.
Obe. How canst thou thus for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus?
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmer-
From Perigouna, whom he ravished?
And make him with fair Ægle break his faith,
With Ariadne, and Antiopa?