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You would not use a gentle lady so; To yow, and swear, and superpraise my parts, When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts. You both are rivals, and love Hermia; And now both rivals to mock Helena: A trim exploit, a manly enterprise, To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes, With your derision! none of noble sorti Would so offend a virgin; and extort A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport. Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so; For you love Hermia: this, you know, I know: And here, with all good will, with all my heart, In Hermia's love I yield you up my part; And yours of Helena to me bequeath, Whom I do love, and will do to my death.

Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath. Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none: If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone. My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd; And now to Helen is it home return'd, There to remain.


Helen, it is not so.

Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know, Lest, to thy peril, thou abide it dear.2Look where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear. Enter HERMIA.

Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,

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The ear more quick of apprehension makes
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense:-
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Mine ear I thank it, brought me to thy sound.
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?


Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth to go? Her. What love could press Lysander from my


Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him bide. Fair Helena, who more engilds the night Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light. Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,

The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so.

Her. You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
Hel. Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three,
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd
To bate me with this foul derision?

Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd,+
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us,-O, and is all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial' gods,

Have with our neelds created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Lake to a double cherry, seeming parted;
But yet a union in partition,

Two lovely berries moulded on one stem:
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;

1 Degree, or quality.

Two of the first," like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
Our sex, as well as I may chide you for it;
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Her. I am amazed at your passionate words:
I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.
Hel. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me, and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius,
(Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,)
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
And tender me, forsooth, affection;
But by your setting on, by your consent?
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, so fortunate;
But miserable most, to love unlov'd?"
This you should pity, rather than despise.

Her. I understand not what you mean by this. Hel. Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks, Make mows upon me when I turn my back ; Wink at each other; hold the sweet jest up: This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled. If you have any pity, grace, or manners, You would not make me such an argument." But, fare ye well: 'tis partly mine own fault; Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy. Lys. Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse; My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena! Hel O excellent!


Sweet, do not scorn her so. Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel. Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat; Thy threats have no more strength, than her weak


Helen I love thee; by my life I do :

I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
To prove him false, that says I love thee not.
Dem. I say I love thee more than he can do.
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too.
Dem. Quick, come,-



Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!
No, no, he'll-Sir,"
Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow;
But yet come not: You are a tame man, go!
Lys. Hang off, thou cat, thou burr: vile thing,
let loose;

Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.
Her. Why are you grown so rude? what change
is this,
Sweet love?

Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!
Her. Do you not jest?

Yes, 'sooth: and so do you.
Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
Dem. I would, I had your bond; for, I perceive,
A weak bond holds you; I'll not trust your word.
Lys. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her


Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.

7 Mr. Douce thus explains this passage: Helen says, 'we had two seeming bodies, but only one heart.' She then exemplifies the position by a simile-we had two of the first, i. e. bodies, like the double coats in heraldry 4 'Is all the counsel that we two have shared,' &c. that belong to man and wife as one person, but which like our single heart, have but one crest. Malone exGregory of Nazianzen's poem on his own life con-plains the heraldric allusion differently, but not so clearly

2 Pay dearly for it, rue it.

3 i. e. circles.

tains some beautiful lines (resembling these) which burst from the heart and speak the pangs of injured and lost friendship. Shakspeare had never read the poems of Gregory; he was ignorant of the Greek language; but his mother tongue, the language of nature, is the same in Cappadocia as in Britain. Gibbon's Hist. vol. v. p. 17, 8vo. ed.

5 i. e. ingenious, artful. Artificiose, Lat. 6 i. e. needles

or satisfactorily.

8 Make mouths.

9 i. e. such a subject of light merriment.

explains it. The words he'll are not in the folio, and 10 This arrangement of the text is Malone's, who thus sir is not in the quarto. Demetrius I suppose would say, no, no, he'll not have the resolution to disengage himself from Hermia. But turning to Lysander, he addresses him ironically: Sir, seem to break loose; &c.

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Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love?
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as fair now as I was erewhile.

Since night you lov'd me; yet since night you left


Why, then you left me,-0, the gods forbid!-
In earnest shall I say?

Ay, by my life;
And never did desire to see thee more.
Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt,
Be certain nothing truer 'tis no jest,
That I do hate thee, and love Helena.

Her. O me, you juggler! you canker-blossom!
You thief of love! what, have you come by night,
And stol'n my love's heart from him?

Fine, i'faith!
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet you!

Dem. You are too officious,

In her behalf that scorns your services:
Let her alone; speak not of Helena;
Take not her part: for if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.

Now she holds me not;
Now follow if thou dar'st, to try whose right,
Or thine, or mine, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow? nay, I'll go with thee cheek by
[Exeunt Lys. and DEM.
Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
Nay, go not back.
I will not trust you, I;

Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away. [Ent.
Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.
[Exit, pursuing HELENA.
Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,
Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.

Her. Puppet! why so? Ay, that way goes the Did not you tell me, I should know the man



Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures, she hath urg'd her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem,
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole?
How low am I? I am not yet so low,
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;2
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice ;
Let her not strike me: You, perhaps, may think,
Because she's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.


Lower! hark, again.

Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I evermore did love you, Hermia,

Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,

I told him of your stealth unto this wood:
He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd him.
But he hath chid me hence: and threaten'd me
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no further: Let me go:
You see how simple and how fond3 I am.

Her. Why, get you gone: Who is't that hinders

Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.
Her. What! with Lysander?

With Demetrius. Lys. Be not afraid she shall not harm thee, Helena.

Dem. No, sir; she shall not, though you take her

Hel. O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd:
She was a vixen, when she went to school;
And, though she be but little, she is fierce."

By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes:
And so far am I glad it so did sort,"
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to fight:
Hie, therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius :
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye:
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with his might,
And make his eye-bails roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend
With league whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eve release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

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Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste;
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and
Troop home to church-yards: damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
Obe. But we are spirits of another sort:
I with the Morning's love12 have oft made sport:

Her. Little again? nothing but low and little ?- And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her.

Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus of hind'ring knot-grass made;
You bead, you acorn.

1 A worm that preys on the leaves or buds of flowers, always beginning in the middle.

2 i e. froward, cross, ill-conditioned, or ill-spoken. 3 Foolish.

4 Anciently knot-grass was believed to prevent the growth of children.

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Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams."
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
may effect this business yet ere day.


10 The ghosts of self-murderers, who are buried in cross-roads; and of those who being drowned were condemned (according to the opinion of the ancients) to wander for a hundred years, as the rites of sepulchre had never been regularly bestowed on their bodies.

11 Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed."--Millos Ode on the Death of a fair Infant.

12 Cephalus, the mighty hunter, and paramour of A§rora, was here probably meant.

13 Oberon here boasts that he was not compelled, like meaner spirits, to vanish at the first dawn.

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Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on;
When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
The villain is much lighter heel'd than I:
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;

That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!
[Lies down.
For if but once thou show me thy gray light,
I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.
Re-enter PUCK and DEMETRIUS.

Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho!! Coward, why com'st

thou not?

Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot,
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;
And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou?


Come hither; I am here. Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me.

buy this dear.2

Thou shalt

If ever I thy face by day-light see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.-
By day's approach look to be visited.

[Lies down and sleeps.


Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hours: shine, comforts from the east;
That I may back to Athens by day-light,

From these that my poor company detest:-
And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
Steal me awhile from mine own company. [Sleeps.
Puck. Yet but three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds makes up four.
Here she comes, curst and sad:-
Cupid is a knavish lad,

Thus to make poor females mad.


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Her. Never so weary, never so in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briars;


On the ground

Sleep sound:
I'll apply

To your eye,

Gentle lover, remedy.

[Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eye
When thou wak'st,
Thou tak'st
True delight

In the sight

Of thy former lady's eye

And the country proverb known,

That every man should take his own,
In your waking shall be shown:
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall

go ill;

The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.3

[Exit PUCK.-DEM. HEL. &c. sleep.

SCENE I. The same. Enter TITANIA and BOT-
TOM, Fairies attending; OBERON behind unseen.
Tita. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,

And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Bot. Where's Peas-blossom?

Peas. Ready.

Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom.-Where's monsieur Cobweb?

Cob. Ready.

Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, monsieur; and, good monbe loath to have you overflown with the honey-bag, sieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would signior. Where's monsieur Mustard-seed? Must. Ready.

Bot. Give me your neif, monsieur Mustard-seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur. Must. What's your will?

Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help cavalero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy about the face and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.

Tita. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?

Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in music: let us have the tongs and the bones.

Tita. Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat. Bot. Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks, I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

Tita. I have a venturous fairy that shall seek The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

Bot. I had rather have a handful, or two, of dried
peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir
me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.
Tita. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away.
So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,
Gently entwist,-the female ivy so

wood's Epigrams, or Three Hundred Proverbs.
vens thinks we should read still instead of well, for the
sake of the rhyme.

behaviour of Titania on this occasion seems copied from
4 To coy, is to stroke or soothe with the hand. The
that of the lady in Apuleius, lib. viii.

1 This exclamation would have been uttered with more propriety by Puck, if he were not now playing an assumed character, which he seems to forget. In the old song printed by Percy, in which all his gambols are related, he concludes every stanza with ho! ho! ho! It was also the established dramatic exclamation given to the devil whenever he appeared on the stage, and attributed to him whenever he appeared in reality. 2 Johnson says, the poet perhaps wrote, thou shalt by this dear; as in another place, thou shalt aby it.' 3 These three last lines are to be found in Hay-has this stage direction: Musicke Tongs, Rurall Music.'

says: Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif.
5 That is fist. So in K. Henry IV. Part II. Pistol

6 The old rough rustic music of the tongs. The folio

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.'
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

And since we have the vaward of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.-
[They sleep. Uncouple in the western valley; go:
Despatch, I say, and find the forester.-
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,

OBERON advances. Enter PUCK.

Obe. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this And mark the musical confusion

sweet sight?

Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her:
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flourets' eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in mild terms, begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
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.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That he awaking when the other2 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.
Be, as thou wast wont to be.

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 kind,
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 asleep:
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

[Touching her eyes with an herb. That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

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.

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, ho! music; such as charmeth

Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own
fool's eyes peep.

Obe. Sound, music. [Still 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 posterity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

Puck. Fairy king, attend and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.

Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,4
Trip we after the night's shade:
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wand'ring 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. [Excunt.
[Horns sound within.
The. Go, one of you, find out the forester ;-
For now our observation is perform'd :

1 Steevens says, what Shakspeare seems to mean is this-So the woodbine, i. e. the sweet honeysuckle doth gently entwist the barky fingers of the elm, and so doth the female ivy enring the same fingers.

2 This was the phraseology of the time. So in K. Henry IV. Part I. and unbound the rest, and then came in the other.

3 Dian's bud is the bud of the Agnus Castus, or Chaste Tree. The vertue of this hearbe is, that he will kepe man and woman chaste.' 4 Sad here signiües only grave, serious.

Ege. It is, my lord.

The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their


Horns, and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER,
HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up.
The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
Lys. Pardon, my lord.


[He and the rest kneel to THESEUS.
I pray you all, stand up.
I know you are two 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,
I cannot truly say how I came here:
Half 'sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear,

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 be
Without the peril of the Athenian law.

Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough:
I beg the law, the law, upon his head.-
They would have stol'n away, they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to have defeated you and me:
You, 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, wot not by what power
(But by some power it is), my love to Hermia,
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gawd,'
Which in my childhood I did dote upon :


5 i. e. the honours due to the morning of May. So in a former scene-to do observance to a morn of May.' 6 Forepart.

7 Chiding means here the cry of hounds. To chide is used sometimes for to sound, or make a noise, without any reference to scolding.

The flews are the large chaps of a deep-mouthed hound.

9 Sanded means of a sandy colour, which is one of the true denotements of a blood-hound."

10 Fancy is here love or affection, and is opposed to fury. 11 Toy.

And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia:
But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food:
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now do I 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.

a paramour is,

Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and he is a
very paramour, for a sweet voice.
Flu. You must say, paragon:
God bless us, a thing of nought.
Enter SNUG.

Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married: if our sport had gone forward, we had all been made men.

Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost Sixpence a-day during his life; he 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."


Bot. Where are these lads? where are these hearts?
Quin. Bottom!-O most courageous day! O most

[Exeunt THE. HIP. EGE. and Train. Dem. These things seem small and undistinguish-happy hour!


Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

Bot. Masters, I am to discourse wonders: but Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye, Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right as it ask me not what; for, if I tell you, I am no true When every thing seems double. fell out.


So methinks:

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.1


Are you sure
That we are 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.

And Hippolyta.
Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.
Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow him;
And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.


As they go out, BOTTOM awakes. Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer:-my next is, Most fair Pyramus.-Hey, ho!-Peter Quince! 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 go about to expound this dream. Methought I was there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had,-But man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not 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 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 [Exit. SCENE II. Athens. A Room in Quince's House. Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVE



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 marred; 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. F. No; he hath simply the best wit of any

handicraft man in Athens.

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 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 preferred. In any case, let Thisby have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the lion, pare his nails, for they shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, nor garlick, for we are to utter sweet breath; and ĺ do not doubt, but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words; away; go, away. [Exeunt.


SCENE I. The same. An Apartment in the Palace of Theseus. Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords, and Attendants.

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers
speak of.

These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
The. More strange than true. I never may believe
Lovers, and madmen, have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
The lunatick, the lover, and the poet,
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
Are of imagination all compact:5
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantick,*
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

And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
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,
And grows to something of great constancy;
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.

1 Helena, perhaps, means to say, that having found Demetrius unexpectedly, she considered her property 3 Steevens says that Preston, the actor and author of in him as insecure as that which a person has in a jewel Cambyses, was meant to be ridiculed here. The queen that he has found by accident, which he knows not having bestowed a pension on him of twenty pounds a whether he shall retain, and which therefore may pro-year for the pleasure she received from his acting in the perly enough be called his own and not his own. War-play of Dido, at Cambridge, in 1564. burton proposed to read gemell, i. e. double; and it has 4 So in the Tempest: also been proposed to read gimmal, which signifies a pouble ring.

2 Theobald conjectured, happily enough, that we should read after death.'

thy brains,

Now useless, boid within thy skull.'

5 i. e. are made of mere imagination.
6 i. e. consistency, stability, certainty.

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