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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, Half 'sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear, I cannot truly say how I came here: 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 follow'd them; Fair Helena in fancy following me. But, my good lord, I 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 : 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 loath 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.

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[Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and train. Dem. These things seem small and undistinguishable,

Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

Her. Methinks, I see these things with parted eye, When every thing seems double.

Hel.
So, methinks:
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.

Her. Yea; and my father. Hel.

Dem. It seems to me, That yet we sleep, we dream. - Do not you think, The duke was here, and bid us follow him?

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.

[Exeunt.

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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 Bottem'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 death. [Erit.

SCENE IL.-Athens. A Room in Quince's House. Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING.

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, "It he.

Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handycraft man in Athens.

Quin. Yea, and the best person too: and he is a very paramour, for a sweet voice.

Flu. You must say, paragon: a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of nought.

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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 I do not doubt, but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words; away; go, away.

[Exeunt.

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These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatick, the lover and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
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 heaven,

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.

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Philost.

Here, mighty Theseus. The. Say, what abridgment have you for this evening?

What mask, what musick? How shall we beguile The lazy time, if not with some delight?

Philost. There is a brief, how many sports are ripe; Make choice of which your highness will see first. [Giving a paper. The. [reads.] The battle with the Centaurs, to be

sung,

By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.
We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
In glory of my kinsman Hercules.

ragedy

The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals, Tearing the Thracian singer in their That is an old device, and it was play'd When I from Thebes came last a conqueror. The thrice three Muses mourning for the death Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary. That is some satire, Keen, and critical, Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus, And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth. Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief? That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow. How shall we find the concord of this discord? Philost. A play there is my lord, some ten words

long;

Which is as brief as I have known a play;
But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
Which makes it tedious: for in all the play
There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
For Pyramus therein doth kill himself.
Which when I saw rehears'd, I must confess,
Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
The passion of loud laughter never shed.

The. What are they that do play it?

Philost. Hard-handed men, that work in Athens

here,

Which never labour'd in their minds till now;
And now have toil'd their unbreath'd memories
With this same play, against your nuptial.

The. And we will hear it.
Philost.
No, my noble lord,
It is not for you: I have heard it over,
And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
Unless you can find sport in their intents,
Extremely stretch'd and conn'd with cruel pain,
To do you service.

The.
I will hear that play;
For never any thing can be amiss,
When simpleness and duty tender it.

Go, bring them in: and take your places, ladies.
[Exeunt PHILOSTRATE.
Hip. I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharged,
And duty in his service perishing.

The. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.

Hip. He says, they can do nothing in this kind. The. The kinder we, to give them thanks for

nothing.

Our sport shall be, to take what they mistake:
And what poor duty cannot do,
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practis'd accent in their fears,
| And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome: Trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence, yet, I pick'd a welcome;
And in the modesty of fearful duty

I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
Of sawcy, and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity,
In least, speak most, to my capacity.

Enter PHILOSTRATE.

Philost. So please your grace, the prologue is

addrest.

The. Let him approach.

[Flourish of trumpets.

Enter Prologue.

Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will. That you should think, we come not to offend, But with good will. To show our simple skill, That is the true beginning of our end. Consider then, we come but in despite.

We do not come as minding to content you, Our true intent is. All for your delight, We are not here. That you should here repent you, The actors are at hand; and, by their show, You shall know all, that you are like to know.

The. This fellow doth not stand upon points. Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt; he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord: It is not enough to speak, but to speak true.

Hip. Indeed he hath played on this prologue, like a child on a recorder; a sound, but not in government.

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next? Enter PYRAMUS and THISBE, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion, as in dumb show.

Prol. "Gentles perchance, you wonder at this show;

"But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. "This man is Pyramus, if you would know; "This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. "This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present "Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers sunder:

"And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are

content

"To whisper, at the which let no man wonder. "This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn, "Presenteth moon-shine: for, if you will know, "By moon-shine did these lovers think no scorn "To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo. "This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, "The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, "Did scare away, or rather did affright: 'And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall;

"Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain: "Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall,

"And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle slain : "Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade, "He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast; "And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade,

"His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, Let lion, moon-shine, wall, and lovers twain, 'At large discourse, while here they do remain." [Exeunt Prol. THISBE, Lion, and Moonshine. The. I wonder, if the lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord: one lion may, when many asses do.

Wall." In this same interlude, it doth befall, That I, one Snout by name, present a wall: "And such a wall as I would have you think, "That had in it a cranny'd hole, or chink, "Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, "Did whisper often very secretly. "This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone, doth

show

That I am that same wall; the truth is so :

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Enter PYRAMUS.

Pyr. "O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!

"O night, which ever art, when day is not! "O night, O night, alack, alack, alack,

"I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot! "And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall, "That stand'st between her father's ground and mine;

"Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
"Shew me thy chink, to blink through with mine
eyne.
[Wall holds up his fingers.
"Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well
for this!

"But what see I? No Thisby do I see.
"O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss ;
"Curst be thy stones for thus deceiving me!"

The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.

Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me, is Thisby's cue: she is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will fall pat as I told you : —

- Yonder she comes.

Enter THISBE.

This. "O wall, full often hast thou heard my

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moans,

"For parting my fair Pyramus and me:

My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones;

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Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.” Pyr. "I see a voice: now will I to the chink, "To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face. "Thisby !"

This. " My love! thou art my love, I think."
Pyr. "Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's

grace;
"And like Limander am I trusty still."

"3

This." And I like Helen, till the fates me kill."
Pyr. "Not Shafalus to Procrus, was so true.'
This. "As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you."
Pyr.

"O, kiss me through the hole of this vile wall." This. "I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all." Pyr. "Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?" This. "Tide life, tide death, I come without delay." Wall. Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so; "And, being done, thus wall away doth go.' [Exeunt Wall, PYRAMUS and THISBE. The. Now the mural down between the two neighbours.

33

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.

Hip. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard. The. The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them. Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, moon and a lion

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May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,

"When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. "Then know, that I, one Snug, the joiner, am "A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam: "For if I should as lion come in strife "Into this place, 'twere pity on my life."

The. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience. Dem. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e'er I saw.

Lys. This lion is a very fox for his valour. The. True; and a goose for his discretion. Dem. Not so, my lord; for his valour cannot carry his discretion; and the fox carries the goose.

The. His discretion, I am sure cannot carry his valour; for the goose carries not the fox. It is well: leave it to his discretion, and let us listen to the moon.

Moon. "This lantern doth the horned moon present:"

Dem. He should have worn the horns on his head. The. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the circumference.

Moon. "This lantern doth the horned moon present;

"Myself the man i'th'moon do seem to be."

The. This is the greatest error of all the rest : the man should be put into the lantern: How is it tise the man i'the moon.

Dem. He dares not come there for the candle : for, you see, it is already in snuff.

Hip. I am aweary of this moon: Would, he would change!

The. It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane: but yet, in courtesy, in, all reason, we must stay the time.

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O spite! "But mark ; — Poor knight,

"What dreadful dole is here? Eyes, do you see? "How can it be?

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"O dainty duck! O dear! "Thy mantle good,

"What, stain'd with blood? "Approach, ye furies fell! "O fates! come, come; "Cut thread and thrum;

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[Dies.

"Adieu, adieu, adieu." The. Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead.

Dem. Ay, and wall took.

Bot. No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance, between two of our company.

The. No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it, had play'd Pyramus, and hanged himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine tragedy: and so it is, truly; and very notably discharged. But come, your Bergomask : let your epilogue alone. [Here a dance of Clowns. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve: Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.

I fear we shall out-sleep the coming morn,
As much as we this night have overwatch'd.
This palpable-gross play hath well beguil'd
The heavy gait of night.. Sweet friends, to

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bed. A fortnight hold we this solemnity, In nightly revels, and new jollity.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Enter Puck.

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,

And the wolf behowls the moon. Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task fordone. Now the wasted brands do glow,

Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud, Puts the wretch, that lies in woe,

In remembrance of a shroud. Now it is the time of night,

That the graves, all gaping wide, Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the church-way paths to glide : And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecat's team, From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream, Now are frolick; not a mouse Shall disturb this hallow'd house: I am sent, with broom, before, To sweep the dust behind the door.

Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their train.
Obe. Through this house give glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsy fire:
Every elf, and fairy sprite,

Hop as light as bird from brier;
And this ditty, after me,
Sing, and dance it trippingly.
Tita. First, rehearse this song by rote:
To each word a warbling note,
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.

SONG, AND DANCE.

Obe. Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be
And the issue there create,
Ever shall be fortunate.

So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be;

And the blots of nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,

Shall their children be.
upon
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace with sweet peace
E'er shall it in safety rest,

And the owner of it blest.
Trip away;
Make no stay:

Meet me all by break of day.

[Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and train. Puck. If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, (and all is mended,)
That you have but slumber'd here,
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend;
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I'm an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends, ere long:
Else the Puck a liar call.

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