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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 With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
Puck. I took him sleeping,- that is finish'd too,And the Athenian woman by his side; That when he wak'd, of force she must be ey'd.
Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA.
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 love 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 center creep, and so displease
Her brother's noon-tide with the Antipodes.
It cannot be, but thou hast murder'd him;
So should a murderer look; so dead, 30 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,
yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
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,
go; look, how I go;
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
Obe. Flower of this purple die,
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.
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 fond 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 me,
That befal preposterously.
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.
Lys. Why should you think, that I should woo
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
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
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 o'er.
Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
Dem. [awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, per-
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?
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 enterprize,
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 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 aby it dear. Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear. Enter HERMIA.
Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The car 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 press to go?
Her. What love could press Lysander from my side?
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 bait me with this foul derision?
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.
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,
Like 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;
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,
Her. I understand not what you mean by this. Hel. Ay, do, perséver, 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 en-
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!
Dem. No, no, sir: - he will Seem to break loose; take on, as you would 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
སཾ ༠ ཨཝཾ,༢༡ལ ༢༨, ༢༡༠༠༨
Lys. Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out! Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence! Her. Do you not jest?
Hel. 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.
Her. What, can you do me greater harm, than hate?
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 erewlile.
Since night, you lov'd me; yet, since night you left | Never so little show of love to her,
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, 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?
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!
Her. Puppet! why so? Ay, that way goes the
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? speak;
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;
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,
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.
Her. Little again? nothing but low and little?-
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.
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
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 fond I am.
Her. Why, get you gone: Who is't that hinders From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with
Thou shalt aby it. on
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. [Exu.
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 commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me, I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprize,
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
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-balls 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 eye release
Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom. Where's monsieur Cobweb?
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 a while 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.
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 monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you overflown with a honeybag, 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, Bot. Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get monsieur for, methinks, I am marvellous hairy
about the face: and I am such a tender ass, if hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.
Tita. What wilt thou hear some musick, my sweet love?
Obe. Sound, musick. [Still musick.] Come, my
queen, take hands with me,
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity;
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
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!
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,
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. [Exeunt.
[Horns sound within.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train.
The. Go, one of you, find out the forester;
For now our observation is perform'd;
And since we have the vaward of the day,
See'st thou this My love shall hear the musick of my hounds.
Uncouple in the western valley; go:
Despatch, I say, and find the forester.
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
Obe. Welcome, good Robin.
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late, behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
her, and fall out with
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 other 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.
Bot. I have a reasonable good ear in musick: 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.
Be, as thou wast wont to be;
[Touching her eyes with an herb.
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 loath his visage now!
Obe. Silence, a while. Robin, take off this
Titania, musick call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.
Tita. Musick, ho! musick; such as charmeth
Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own
fool's eyes peep.
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 grovės,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
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-lap'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells, W
Each under each. A cry more tuncable
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly :
Judge, when you hear.
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
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
Ege. It is, my lord.
The. Go, bid the huntsme wake them with their
I know, you are two rival enemies
Horns, and shout within.
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.