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Lys. O take the sense, sweet, of my innocence, Love takes the meaning in love's conference. I mean that my heart unto yours is knit, So that but one heart we can make of it; Two bosoms interchained with an oath; So then two bosoms and a single troth. Then by your side no bed-room me deny, For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.

Her. Lysander riddles very prettily: Now much beshrew my manners and my pride, If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied. But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy Lie further off; in human modesty, Such separation as may well be said Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,


So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend. Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end!

Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer say I ; And then end life when I end loyalty! Here is my bed: sleep give thee all his rest! 70 Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd! They sleep.

Enter PUCK.

Puck. Through the forest have I gone,
But Athenian found I none,
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower's force in stirring love.
Night and silence! Who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he, my master said,
Despised the Athenian maid;
And here the maiden, sleeping sound, 80
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, this kill-courtesy.
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe.
When thou wak'st, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid :
So awake when I am gone;
For I must now to Oberon.


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Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.

Hel. O! wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.
Dem. Stay, on thy peril: I alone will go. Exit.
Hel. O! I am out of breath in this fond chase.
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Happy is Hermia, wheresoe'er she lies;
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt

If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;


For beasts that meet me run away for fear;
Therefore no marvel though Demetrius
Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Hermai's sphery eyne?
But who is here? Lysander! on the ground!
Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound.

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Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.
Lys. Content with Hermia! No: I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Not Hermia, but Helena I love :
Who will not change a raven for a dove?
The will of man is by his reason sway'd,
And reason says you are the worthier maid.
Things growing are not ripe until their season;
So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason;
And touching now the point of human skill,
Reason becomes the marshal to my will,
And leads me to your eyes; where I o'erlook
Love's stories written in love's richest book.

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?
When at your hands did I deserve this scorn? 130
Is 't not enough, is 't not enough, young man,
That I did never, no, nor never can,
Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
In such disdainful manner me to woo.
But fare you well: perforce I must confess

I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
O that a lady of one man refus'd,
Should of another therefore be abus'd. Exit. 140
Lys. She sees not Hermia. Hermia, sleep

thou there;

And never may'st thou come Lysander near.
For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings;
Or as the heresies that men do leave
Are hated most of those they did deceive :
So thou, my surfeit and my heresy,

Of all be hated, but the most of me!
And, all my powers, address your love and might
To honour Helen, and to be her knight. Exit. 150
Iler. Awaking. Help me, Lysander, help me!
do thy best

To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.
Ay me, for pity! what a dream was here!
Lysander, look how I do quake with fear:
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel prey.
Lysander! what! remov'd? Lysander! lord!
What! out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
Alack where are you? speak, an if you hear :
Speak, of all loves! I swoon almost with fear. 160
No! then I well perceive you are not nigh:
Either death or you I'll find immediately.




Bot. Are we all met?

Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot


shall be our stage, this hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and we will do it in action as we will do it before the duke.

Bot. Peter Quince,

Quin. What sayest thou, bully Bottom?

Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself, which the ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?

Snout. By 'r lakin, a parlous fear.


Star. I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is done.

Bot. Not a whit: I have a device to make all well. Write me a prologue; and let the prologue seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords, and that Pyramus is not killed indeed; and, for the more better assurance, tell them, that I, Pyramus, am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: this will put them out of fear.

Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue, and it shall be written in eight and six.

Bot. No, make it two more: let it be written in eight and eight.

Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion? Star. I fear it, I promise you. 29 Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves to bring in, God shield us! a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living, and we ought to look to it.

Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell

he is not a lion.

Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect: Ladies,' or 'Fair ladies, I would wish you,' or, 'I would request you,' or, 'I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble: my life for yours. If you think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life: no, I am no such thing: I am a man as other men are'; and there indeed let him name his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.

Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard things: that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight.


Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?

Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac; find out moonshine, find out moonshine.

Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.

Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of the great chamber-window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the casement.

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Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lanthorn, and say he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of Moonshine. Then, there is another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby, says the story, did talk through the chink of a wall.

Snug. You can never bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom?


Bot. Some man or other must present Wall; and let him have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; and let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.

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Quin. Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth. Bot. Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet,— Quin. Odours, odours.

Bot. -odours savours sweet :

So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear. But hark, a voice! stay thou but here awhile, And by and by I will to thee appear. Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here! Exit. 9

Flute. Must I speak now?


Quin. Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.

Flute. Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier,
Most brisky juvenal, and eke most lovely Jew,
As true as truest horse that yet would never tire,
I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.

Quin. 'Ninus' tomb,' man. Why, you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus. You speak all your part at once, cues and all. Pyramus, enter: your cue is past; it is 'never tire.' Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass's head. Flute. O-As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.

Bot. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine. Quin. O monstrous! O strange we are haunted.

Pray, masters! fly, masters! help!

Exeunt Clowns. Puck. I ll follow you, I'll lead you about a round, Through bog, through bush, through brake,

through brier :

Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound, 110
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and


Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.


Bot. Why do they run away? this is a knavery of them to make me afeard.

Re-enter SNOUT.

Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?

Bot. What do you see? you see an ass-head Exit SNOUT. of your own, do you?

Re-enter QUINCE.

Quin. Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated. Exit. 121

Bot. I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir from this place, do what they can: I will walk up and down here, and I will sing. that they shall hear I am not afraid.

The ousel-cock, so black of hue,

With orange-tawny bill,

The throstle with his note so true,

The wren with little quill.


Bot. I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good Master Pease-blossom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance too. Your

Tita. Awaking. What angel wakes me from name, I beseech you, sir? my flowery bed?

Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,

The plain-song cuckoo gray.

Whose note full many a man doth mark,

And dares not answer, nay;

for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry cuckoo' never so?


Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again :
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force,perforce,doth move me,
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.

But. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.


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Enter Four Fairies.

And I.

And I.
And I.

Where shall we go?
Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries.
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees, 170
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise;
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
Peas. Hail, mortal!

Cob. Hail!

Moth. Hail:

Mus. Hail!


Mus. Mustard-seed.


Bot. Good Master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well: that same cowardly, giant-like oxbeef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house. I promise you your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I desire your more acquaintance, good Master Mustard-seed. Tita. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower: The moon methinks looks with a watery eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity.


Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently.

SCENE II.-Another Part of the Wood.


Obe. I wonder if Titania be awak'd;
Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on in extremity.

Enter PUCK.


Here comes my messenger. How now, mad spirit!
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented in their sport,
Forsook his scene, and enter'd in a brake,
When I did him at this advantage take;
An ass's now I fixed on his head:
Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky;
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly,
And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls ;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears

thus strong,


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I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there;
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania wak'd and straightway lov'd an ass.
Obe. This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes

Bot. I cry your worships mercy, heartily: I With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do? beseech your worship's name.

Cob. Cobweb.

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you. Your name, honest


Peas. Pease-blossom.

Puck. I took him sleeping, that is finish'd too,
And the Athenian woman by his side;
That, when he wak'd, of force he must be eyed. 40

Obe. Stand close: this is the same Athenian.
Puck. This is the woman; but not this the man.

Dem. O! why rebuke you him that loves you so? Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

Her. Now I but chide; but I should use thee


For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.

The sun was not so true unto the day

As he to me.


Would he have stol'n away From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon This whole earth may be bor'd, and that the moon May through the centre creep, and so displease Her brother's noontide with the Antipodes. It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him; So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim. Dem. So should the murder'd look, and so should I,

Pierc'd through the heart with your stern cruelty; Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear, As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.


Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is he? Ah! good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me? Dem. I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

Her. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past the bounds

Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then?
Henceforth be never number'd among men !
O! once tell true, tell true, e'en for my sake;
Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave


Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd

I am not guilty of Lysander's blood,
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
Dem. An if I could, what should I get therefore?
Her. A privilege never to see me more.
And from thy hated presence part I so;
See me no more, whether he be dead or no.


Exit. Dem. There is no following her in this fierce

vein :

Here therefore for a while I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe;
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.

Lies down and sleeps. Obe. What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite.


And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Some true love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true.
Puck. Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man
holding troth,

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou find :
All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear.
By some illusion see thou bring her here:
I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.
Puck. I go, I go; look how I go;
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.



Obe. Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye.
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wak'st, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.

Re-enter PUCK.

Puck. Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover's fee.


Shall we their ford pageant see? Lord, what fools these mortals be! Obe. Stand aside: the noise they make Will cause Demetrius to awake. Puck. Then will two at once woo one; That must needs be sport alone; And those things do best please më 120 That befall preposterously.


Lys. Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?

Scorn and derision never come in tears: Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born, In their nativity all truth appears. How can these things in me seem scorn to you, Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true! Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more. When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray! These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er? Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:


Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales, Will even weigh, and both as light as tales. Lys. I had no judgment when to her I swore. Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her


Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you. Dem. Araking. O Helen! goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!


To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne ?
Crystal is muddy. O! how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow;
That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
When thou hold'st up thy hand. O! let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss.

Hel. O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment:
If you were civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too? 150
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
To vow, 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 sort
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 till 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 to 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 aby it dear.


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 mouths upon me when I turn my back;

Look! where thy love comes: yonder is thy dear. Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up:

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The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so? 190
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 bait 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! is it all forgot?


All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,


Have with our needles 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,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition;
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rend 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. 221
Hel. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me and praise my eyes and face,
And made your other love, Demetrius,

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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 dead?

Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so. 270
ller. What can you do me greater harm than

Hate me! wherefore? Ome! 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 me:

Why, then you left me-O, 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, of doubt;
Be certain, nothing truer: 'tis no jest,
That I do hate thee and love Helena.


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