Page images

Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both; | One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth. Her. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear,

Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.
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
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 thon wak'st, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eyelid:
So awake when I am gone;
For I must now to Oberon.
Enter DEMETRIUS and HELENA, running.
Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Deme-



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


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

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.

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin: when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake; and so every one according to his cue.

Enter PUCK behind.


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.

Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we
swaggering here,

So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
What a play toward; I'll be an auditor;
An actor too perhaps, if I see cause.

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: If you think I come my life for yours. 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. But there is two Quin. Well, it shall be so. 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.

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

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
Exit. 99


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.



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.

[ocr errors]

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.'


Pray, masters! fly, masters! help!

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 '



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.

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

[blocks in formation]

The ousel-cock, so black of hue,

With orange-tawny bill,
The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill.


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.


Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. Bot. Not so, neither; but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.

Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go: Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no. I am a spirit of no common rate;


The summer still doth tend upon my state;
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep:
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Pease-blossom! Cobweb! Moth and Mustard-
Enter Four Fairies.

Peas. Ready.



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


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!

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,

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch:
Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things

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.

Moth. Hail:

Obe. This falls out better than I could devise. But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes

Mus. Hail!


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.

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

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 gentleman?

Peas. Pease-blossom.



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? Obe. Flower of this purple dye, Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

Hit with Cupid's archery, Her. Now I but chide ; but I should use thee

Sink in apple of his eye.

When his love he doth espy, worse, For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.

Let her shine as gloriously If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,

As the Venus of the sky. Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,

When thou wak'st, if she be by, And kill me too.

Beg of her for remedy.
The sun was not so true unto the day

Re-enter PUCK.
As he to me. Would he have stol'n away
From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon Puck. Captain of our fairy band,
This whole earth may be bor'd, and that the moon

Helena is here at hand,
May through the centre creep, and so displease

And the youth, mistook by me, Her brother's noontide with the Antipodes.

Pleading for a lover's fee. It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him ;

Shall we their ford pageant see? So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.

Lord, what fools these mortals be ! Dem. So should the murder'd look, and so Obe. Stand aside: the noise they make should I,

Will cause Demetrius to awake. Pierc'd through the heart with yourstern cruelty; Puck. Then will two at once woo one; Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,

That must needs be sport alone; As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

And those things do best please më 120 Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is he?

That befall preposterously. Ah! good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me ?

Enter LYSANDER and HELENA, Dem. I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

Lys. Why should you think that I should woo Her. Out, dog ! out, cur! thou driv'st me past in scorn? the bounds

Scorn and derision never come in tears : Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then? Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born, Henceforth be never number'd among men ! In their nativity all truth appears. 0! once tell true, tell true, e'en for my sake ; How can these things in me seem scorn to you, Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake, Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true And hast thou kill'd him sleeping ? O brave Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more. touch!

When truth kills truth, O devilish-l:oly fray! Could not a worm, an adder, do so much? These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er? An adder did it; for with doubler tongue

Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung. weigh: Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris's Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales, mood :

Will even weigh, and both as light as tales. I am not guilty of Lysander's blood,

Lys. I had no judgment when to her I swore. Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

IId. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well. o'er. Dem. An if I could, what should I get therefore? Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you. Her. A privilege never to see me more.

Dem. Araking. 0 Helen! goddess, nympli, And from thy hated presence part I so ;

perfect, divine ! See me no more, whether he be dead or no. To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne ?

Exit. Crystal is muddy. 0! how ripe in show Dem. There is no following her in this fierce Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow; vein :

at pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow, Here therefore for a while I will remain.

Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow When thou hold'st up thy hand. O! let me kiss For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe; | This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss. Which now in some slight measure it will pay, Hd. O spite ! 0 hell! I see you all are bent If for his tender here I make some stay.

To set against me for your merriment:

Lirs down and sleeps. If you were civil and knew courtesy, Obe. What hast thou done? thou hast mis. You would not do me thus much injury. taken quite

Can you not hate me, as I know you do, And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight: But you must join in souls to mock me too ? 150 Of thy misprision must perforce ensue 90 If you were men, as men you are in show, Some true love turn’d, and not a false turn'd true. You would not use a gentle lady so; Puck. Then fate o’er-rules, that, one man To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts, holding troth,

When I am sure you hate me with your hearts. A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

You both are rivals, and love Hermia, Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind, And now both rivals, to mock Helena. And Helena of Athens look thou find :

A trim exploit, a manly enterprise, All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer

To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear. With your derision! none of noble sort By some illusion see thou bring her here: Would so offend a virgin, and extort I'll charm his eyes against she do appear. A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport. Puck. I go, I go ; look how I go ;

Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so ; Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. Exit. For you love Hermia ; this you know I know:






my side ?


And here, with all good will, with all my heart, Who even but now did spurn me with his foot, In Hermia's love I yield you up my part; To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare, And yours of Helena to me bequeath,

Precious, celestial ? Wherefore speaks he this Whom I do love, and will do till my death. To her he hates ? and wherefore doth Lysander

Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath. Deny your love, so rich within his soul,

Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none: And tender me, forsooth, affection, If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone.

But by your setting on, by your consent ? My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn’d, What though I be not so in grace as you, And now to Helen is it home return'd,

So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
There to remain.

But miserable most to love unlov’d,
Helen, it is not so.

This you should pity rather than despise. Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not Her. I understand not what you mean by this. know,

Hel. Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks, Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear.

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:

This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled. 240 Re-enter HERMIA.

If you have any pity, grace, or manners, Her. Dark night, that from the eye his func- | You would not make me such an argument. tion takes,

But, fare ye well : ’tis partly my own fault, The ear more quick of apprehension makes ; Which death or absence soon shall remedy. Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,

Lys. Stay, gentle Helena ! hear my excuse : It pays the hearing double recompense. 180 | My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena! Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found; Rel. O excellent ! Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound. Her.

Sweet, do not scorn her so. But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?

Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel. Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she press to go?

entreat: Her. What love could press Lysander from Thy threats have no more strength than her

weak prayers. Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him Helen, I love thee ; by my life, I do: bide,

I swear by that which I will lose for thee, Fair Helena, who more engilds the night To


him false that says I love thee not. Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.

Dem. I say I love thee more than he can do. Why seek'st thou me could not this make thee Lys. If thon say so, withdraw, and prove it too. know,

Dem. Quick, come!
The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so ? 190 Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this?

Her. You speak not as you think: it cannot be. Lys. Away, you Ethiop!
Hel. Lo! she is one of this confederacy.


No, no, he 'll ... Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow, To fashion this false sport in spite of me. But yet come not : you are a tame man, go ! Injurious Hermia ! most ungrateful maid ! Lys. Hang off, thou cat, thou burr ! vile thing, Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd let loose, To bait me with this foul derision?

Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent. Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd,

Her. Why are you grown so rude? what The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent, change is this When we have chid the hasty-footed time 200 | Sweet love, For parting us, O! is it all forgot?

Lys. Thy love ! out, tawny Tartar, out! All school-days'friendship, childhood innocence? Out, loathed medicine ! hated potion, hence ! We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,

Iler. Do you not jest ? Have with our needles created both one flower,


Yes, sooth; and so do you. Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion, Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee. Both warbling of one song, both in one ker, Dem. I would I had your bond, for I perceive As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds. A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word. Had been incorporate. So we grew together, Lys. What! should I hurt her, strike her, kill Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,

her dead? But yet an union in partition ;

210 Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so. Two lovely berries moulded on one stem ;

ller. What! can you do me greater harm than So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;

hate? Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,

Hate me! wherefore? Ome! what news, my love? Dne but to one, and crowned with one crest. Am not I Hermia ? Are not you Lysander ? And will you rend our ancient love asunder, I am as fair now as I was erewhile. To join with men in scorning your poor friend? Since night you lov'd me; yet since night you It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly :

left me : Oor sex, as well as I, may chide you for it, Why, then you left me--0), the gods forbid !-Though I alone do feel the injury.

In earnest, shall I say? Fler. I am amazed at your passionate words. Lys.

Ay, by my life; I scom you not: it seems that you scorn me. 221 And never did desire to see thee more,

Hd. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn, Therefore, be out of hope, of question, of doubt; To follow me and praise my eyes and face, Be certain, nothing truer: 'tis no jest, And made your other love, Demetrius,

That I do hate thee and love Helena.



« PreviousContinue »