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THESEUS, Duke of Athens.

HELENA, in love with Demetrius.
EGEUS, Father to Hermia.
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia.

DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia.
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 Fairy. Bottom, the Weaver.

PEASEBLOSSOM, FLUTE, the Bellows-mender.


Fairies. SNOUT, the Tinker.

Мотн, , STARVELING, the Taylor.


Pyrumus, HIPPOLITA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed Thisbe,

Characters in the Interlude, petto Theseus.

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

formed by the Clozuns. sander.

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen: Attendants on Theseus und Hippolita.

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

A C T I.


Ilippolita, I woo'd thee with my sword,
The Palace of Theseus, in At ns.

And won thy love, doing thee injuries;

But I will wed thee in another key, Enter Theseus, Hippolila, Philostrate, with Attendants.

With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling. The. NOW, fair Hippolita, our muptial hour 5 Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and 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 lingers my desires, Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint Like to a step-danie, 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 stol’n the impression of her fantasy Awake the pert and nimble «pirit of mirth; |20 With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds", conceits, Turn melancholy forth to funerals,

Knacks, tritles, nosegays, sweet-meats, messengers The pale companion is not for our pomp. Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth:

[Exit Phill With cunning hast thou tilch'd my daughter's heart; ! i.e. baubles, toys,


Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me, Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love;
To stubborn harshness: And, my gracious duke, And what is mive, my 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,

[ 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 may dispose of her:

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

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

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

The. What say you, Hermia? be advised, fair 10 I am belov’d of beauteous 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 form in wax,

Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
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 this spotted and inconstant man. Her. So is Lysander.

The. I must confess, 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-affairs, The other must be held the wortbier.

20 My mind did lose it.—But, Demetrius, come; fier. I would my father look'd but with my eyes. And come, Egeus; you shall go with nie, The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment I have some private schooling for you both.look.

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

25 Or else the law of Athens yields you up Nor how it may concern my 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 life. But I beseech your grace, that I may know Come, my Hippolita; 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 enploy 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.

Of something, nearly that concerns yourselves. Therefore, tair Hermia, question your desires, Ege. With duty, and desire, we follow you. Know of your youth', examine well your blood [Exeunt Thes. Hip. Egeus, 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 life,

Her. Belike, for 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, 40| Lys. Ah me! for aught that I could ever read, To undergo such n.aiden pilgrimage:

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

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

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

Her. O spight! too old to be engag'd to young! Unto his lordship, to wlose unwish'd yoke

Lys.Orelse it 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 Lijs. Or if there were a sympathy in choice, inoon,

50 War, death, or sickness, did lay siege, to it; (The sealing-day betwixt my love and me, Mahing it momentary as a sound, For everlasting bond ut fellowship)

Swift as a shadow, 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', unfolds both heaven and earth, Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;

55 And ere a man hath


to say,- Behold! Or on Diana's altar to protest,

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

Dem. Relent, swee Hermia;-And, Lysander, ller. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd, Thy crazed title to my ctrtain right.

It stands as an edict in destiny: Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; 60 Then let us teach our tryal patience, Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him. Because it is a customary cross; 'i. e. consider your youth. 21. e. give them. i. e. black. Meaning, in a sudden hasty fit.


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. To-morrow night, when Phæbe doth behold
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 flights 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, may I marry thee; Emptying our bosoms of their counsels swell’d; 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 to-morrow night; To seek new friends and strange companiors. 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 siarve our sight There will ( stay for thee.

From lovers’ tood,'till morrow deep inidnight. Her. My guod Lysander!

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

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


[Exit 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 far 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 krow.
In number more than ever women spoke ;-- 25 And as he errs, doating on Hermia's eyes,
In that same place thou hast appointed me, So I, admiring of his qualities.
To-morrow 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 forin and dignity:
Enter Helena.

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

Nor hath Love's mind of any judgmen' tate; Demetrius loves your fair': O happy fair ! [air Wings, and no eyes, tigure unheerly baste: Your eyes are lode-stars?; and your tongue's sweet

And therefore is Love said to be a child, More túneable 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: 0, were favour : so! So the boy Love is perjur' every where : Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go;

For ere Demetrius luck'i on Herma's cyne, My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,

He hail'd down oaths, wat lie was only mine; Mytongue should catch yourtongue'ssweet melody And when this huil some heat roin liermia ielt, Were the World mine, Demetrius being bated, 40 50 he dissolv’d, and shower- of Oct's did melt. The rest I'll give to be to you translated *. I will go tell bim of lair llerina's isight; O, teach me how you looki and with what art Then to the wood will be io-morrow night, You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart. Pursue her; and for this intelligence Her. I frown upon him, yet he love, me still.

If I have tha. ks, it is a deir expence; Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach my 45 But herein mean I to enricu 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 more I hate, the more he follows me. 50
Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me.

Enter Quince the carpenter, Snug the joiner, BotHer. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine,

tom the tu urer, Flute the bellores-mender, Snout Hel. None but your beauty; would that fault

the tiner, and Sturveling the taylor. were mine!

(tace: Quin. Is all our company here? Her. Take comfort ; he no more shall see my 55 Bot. You were best to call them generally, man Lysander and myself will fly this place.

by man, according to the scrip'. Before the time I did Lysander see,

in. Here is the scrowl of every man's name, Seein'd Athens as a paradise to me:

lwnich is thought tit, 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 hath turn’d a heaven unto a hell! 16olnis wedding day at night.

That is, your beauty, or your complerion. · The lode-star is the leading or guiding-star, that is, the pole-star. Favour, here means feature, countenance. * To translate, here implies to change, to transform. : i; e. in sport, in jest. i.e. the writing, or paper,




Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the Star. Here, Peter Quince. play treats on; then read the names 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 inost 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 scrowi: 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 no Quin. Answer, as I call you. -- 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 roar Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for 15 «guin, let him rour 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 sriek; 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 " And Phibbus' car

30 play Pyramus.

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard “ Shall shine from far, And make and inar

were I best to play it in?

Quin. Why, what you “ The foolish fates."

Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-coThis 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 Thishy on you. 40 But, masters, liere 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; 1 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 ;- il 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 lady dear!"

50 more obscenely, and courageously. Take pains; Quin, No, no, you must play Pyramus, and be perfect; adieu. Flute, vou 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 bo-strings were broke, i. e. their arms unserviceable. Hence when one would give another absolute assurance of meeting him, he would say proverbially-Hold or cut box-strings-i. e. whether the bow-string held or broke."


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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-föllow) 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 hill, over dale,

Sometime tor three-foot stool mistaketh me; Thorough bush, thorough briar,

Then slip 1 from her bum, down topplis she, Over park, over pale,

And taylor y cries, and falls into a cough: Thorough flood, thorough fire, 16 And then the whole quire 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;

Fui. And here iny mistress:-

--'Would that he The cowslips tall her pensioners be;


were gone! In their gold coats spots you see;

Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:

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

and the

queen . at angtber, witb ber'. And hang a pearl in ev'ry cowslip's ear. 201 Ob. Ill met by moon-light, p oud Titania. Fareweil, thou lob- of spirits, I'll be gone;

Queen. What,jealousOberon? tary, ship hence; Our queen and all our elves come here anon.

I have forsworn his bed and company. Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to night; Ob. Tarry, rasha wanton ; Am not I thy lord? Take heed, the queen come not within his sight. Queen. Then I must be thy lady: Bui I know For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,

25 When thou hast stolen auay from talry 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 vers.ng love She never had so sweet a changeling:

Toamorous 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, for-ooth, 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 ali he: 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', ub. How can'st thou thus, for sháine, 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. [uuite, Knowing I know thy love to Theseus; [uight 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 Perigune, whom he ravish’d? Callid Robin Good-fellow: are you not he, And make him with fair Ægle break his faith, That frights the maidens of the villag'ry; 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 hiH, 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 dotheir work, and they shall have good luck: To dance our ringleis to the whistling wird, 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 him sinile,

50 ontagious iogs; which talling in the landi, When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, Jhiave every pelting - river made so proud,

* This alludes to the circles supposed to be made by the fairies on the ground, whose verdure proceeds from the fairy's care to water them. ? Lob, lubber, boob, lobcock, all imply both indolence of body and dulness of mind. ’i, e. shining. *To squar- here signnes, lo quirrel. A quern is a handmill. 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 d ril. : In Statfordshire the epithet of a'int is till applied indis. criminately to old moment, and is there pronounced naunt. This may perhaps allude to a custom of crying tavlor at a sudden tall backwards, as a person v bo slips beside his chair falls as a taylor squats epon his board. ”i.e. encrease. u By the middle summi's spring, our author seems to mean the beginning of middle or mid suminer. 12 i. e. despicable, mtun. N 2


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