Scene I Edit

Englisc Shakespeare
Sceaw I: Seo wudu. Neorð liþ slæpende. Scene I: The wood. Titania lying asleep.
Cumaþ in Codæppel, Snug, Botm, Hwistla, Wrot, and Steorfling Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and Starveling
Botm Bottom

Are we all met?

Codæppel Quince

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.

Botm Bottom

Peter Quince, -

Codæppel Quince

What sayest thou, bully Bottom?

Botm Bottom

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?

Wrot Snout

By'r lakin, a parlous fear.

Steorfling Starveling

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

Botm Bottom

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.

Codæppel Quince

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

Botm Bottom

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

Wrot Snout

Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?

Steorfling Starveling

I fear it, I promise you.

Botm Bottom

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 't.

Wrot Snout

Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a lion.

Botm Bottom

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.

Codæppel Quince

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.

Wrot Snout

Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?

Botm Bottom

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

Codæppel Quince

Yes, it doth shine that night.

Botm Bottom

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

Codæppel Quince

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.

Wrot Snout

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

Botm Bottom

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.

Codæppel Quince

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.

Cymþ in Puca behindan Enter Puck behind
Puca 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.

Codæppel Quince

Speak, Pyramus. Thisby, stand forth.

Botm Bottom

Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet, -

Codæppel Quince

Odours, odours.

Botm Bottom

- 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.

Gæþ ut Exit



A stranger Pyramus than e'er played here.

Gæþ ut Exit
Hwistla Flute

Must I speak now?

Codæppel Quince

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

Hwistla 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.

Codæppel Quince

'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.'

Hwistla Flute

O, - As true as truest horse, that yet would

never tire.

Cumaþ eft Puca, and Botm mid esoles heafde Re-enter Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head
Botm Bottom

If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine.

Codæppel Quince

O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters! fly, masters! Help!

Gaþ ut Codæppel, Snug, Hwistla, Wrot, and Steorfling Exeunt Quince, Snug, Flute, Snout, and Starveling
Puca 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,

A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;

And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,

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

Gæþ ut Exit
Botm Bottom

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

Cymþ eft Wrot Re-enter Snout
Wrot Snout

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

Botm Bottom

What do you see? you see an asshead of your own, do you?

Gæþ ut Wrot Exit Snout
Cymþ eft Codæppel Re-enter Quince
Codæppel Quince

Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated.

Gæþ ut Exit
Botm Bottom

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.

Singeð Sings

The ousel cock so black of hue,

With orange-tawny bill,

The throstle with his note so true,

The wren with little quill, -

Neorð Titania

[Awaking] What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?

Botm Bottom


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?

Neorð Titania

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.

Botm Bottom

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.

Neorð Titania

Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

Botm Bottom

Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.

Neorð Titania

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.

Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

Cumaþ in Piseblostma, Atorcoppeswebb, Moððe, and Senepessæd Enter Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed
Piseblostma Peaseblossom


Atorcoppeswebb Cobweb

And I.

Moððe Moth

And I.

Senepessæd Mustardseed

And I.

Eall All

Where shall we go?

Neorð Titania

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,

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.

Piseblostma Peaseblossom

Hail, mortal!

Atorcoppeswebb Cobweb


Moððe Moth


Senepessæd Mustardseed


Botm Bottom

I cry your worship's mercy, heartily: I beseech your worship's name.

Atorcoppeswebb Cobweb


Botm Bottom

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?

Piseblostma Peaseblossom


Botm Bottom

I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good Master Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?

Senepessæd Mustardseed


Botm Bottom

Good Master Mustardseed, I know your patience well: that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise you your kindred had made my eyes water ere now. I desire your more acquaintance, good Master Mustardseed.

Neorð Titania

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.

Gaþ ut Exeunt

Scene II Edit

Englisc Shakespeare
Sceaw II: Sum oþer dæl þære wude Scene II: Another part of the wood.
Cymþ in Ylfaric Enter Oberon
Ylfaric Oberon

I wonder if Titania be awaked;

Then, what it was that next came in her eye,

Which she must dote on in extremity.

Cymþ in Puca Enter Puck

Here comes my messenger.

How now, mad spirit!

What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

Puca 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 nole 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 catch.

I led them on in this distracted fear,

And left sweet Pyramus translated there:

When in that moment, so it came to pass,

Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

Ylfaric Oberon

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?

Puca Puck

I took him sleeping, - that is finish'd too, -

And the Athenian woman by his side:

That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.

Cumaþ in Erme and Demetrius Enter Hermia and Demetrius
Ylfaric Oberon

Stand close: this is the same Athenian.

Puca Puck

This is the woman, but not this the man.

Demetrius Demetrius

O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?

Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

Erme Hermia

Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,

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 stolen away

From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon

This whole earth may be bored and that the moon

May through the centre creep and so displease

Her brother's noontide with Antipodes.

It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;

So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.

Demetrius Demetrius

So should the murder'd look, and so should I,

Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty:

Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,

As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

Erme Hermia

What's this to my Lysander? where is he?

Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?

Demetrius Demetrius

I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

Erme Hermia

Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest 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, even for my sake!

Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,

And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!

Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?

An adder did it; for with doubler tongue

Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

Demetrius Demetrius

You spend your passion on a misprised mood:

I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;

Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Erme Hermia

I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.

Demetrius Demetrius

An if I could, what should I get therefore?

Erme Hermia

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.

Gæþ ut Exit
Demetrius Demetrius

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.

Aliþ and slæpeð Lies down and sleeps
Ylfaric Oberon

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.

Puca Puck

Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

Ylfaric Oberon

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 costs the fresh blood dear:

By some illusion see thou bring her here:

I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.

Puca Puck

I go, I go; look how I go,

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.

Gæþ ut Exit
Ylfaric Oberon

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 wakest, if she be by,

Beg of her for remedy.

Cymþ eft Puca Re-enter Puck
Puca 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!

Ylfaric Oberon

Stand aside: the noise they make

Will cause Demetrius to awake.

Puca Puck

Then will two at once woo one;

That must needs be sport alone;

And those things do best please me

That befal preposterously.

Cumaþ in Lysander and Elene Enter Lysander and Helena
Lysander Lysander

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?

Elene Helena

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.

Lysander Lysander

I had no judgment when to her I swore.

Elene Helena

Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.

Lysander Lysander

Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

Demetrius Demetrius

[Awaking] O Helena, 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!

Elene Helena

O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent

To set against me for your merriment:

If you we re 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 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.

Lysander Lysander

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.

Elene Helena

Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

Demetrius Demetrius

Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:

If e'er I loved 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.

Lysander Lysander

Helen, it is not so.

Demetrius Demetrius

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.

Cymþ eft Erme Re-enter Hermia
Erme Hermia

Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,

The ear 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?

Lysander Lysander

Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?

Erme Hermia

What love could press Lysander from my side?

Lysander Lysander

Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,

Fair Helena, who more engilds the night

Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.

Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,

The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?

Erme Hermia

You speak not as you think: it cannot be.

Elene Helena

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 conspired, have you with these contrived

To bait me with this foul derision?

Is all the counsel that we two have shared,

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 grow 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 rent 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.

Erme Hermia

I am amazed at your passionate words.

I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.

Elene Helena

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 thought I be not so in grace as you,

So hung upon with love, so fortunate,

But miserable most, to love unloved?

This you should pity rather than despise.

Erme Hernia

I understand not what you mean by this.

Elene Helena

Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,

Make mouths upon me when I turn my back;

Wink each at 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 my own fault;

Which death or absence soon shall remedy.

Lysander Lysander

Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse:

My love, my life my soul, fair Helena!

Elene Helena

O excellent!

Erme Hermia

Sweet, do not scorn her so.

Demetrius Demetrius

If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

Lysander Lysander

Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:

Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.

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.

Demetrius Demetrius

I say I love thee more than he can do.

Lysander Lysander

If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.

Demetrius Demetrius

Quick, come!

Erme Hermia

Lysander, whereto tends all this?

Lysander Lysander

Away, you Ethiope!

Demetrius Demetrius

No, no, sir:

Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow,

But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!

Lysander Lysander

Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,

Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!

Erme Hermia

Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?

Sweet love, -

Lysander Lysander

Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!

Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!

Erme Hermia

Do you not jest?

Elene Helena

Yes, sooth; and so do you.

Lysander Lysander

Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

Demetrius Demetrius

I would I had your bond, for I perceive

A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.

Lysander Lysander

What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?

Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.

Erme Hermia

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 erewhile.

Since night you loved me; yet since night you left me:

Why, then you left me - O, the gods forbid! -

In earnest, shall I say?

Lysander Lysander

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.

Erme Hermia

O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!

You thief of love! what, have you come by night

And stolen my love's heart from him?

Elene Helena

Fine, i'faith!

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!

Erme Hermia

Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.

Now I perceive that she hath made compare

Between our statures; she hath urged 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.

Elene Helena

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 is something lower than myself,

That I can match her.

Erme Hermia

Lower! hark, again.

Elene Helena

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,

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.

Erme Hermia

Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?

Elene Helena

A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.

Erme Hermia

What, with Lysander?

Elene Helena

With Demetrius.

Lysander Lysander

Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.

Demetrius Demetrius

No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.

Elene Helena

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.

Erme Hermia

'Little' again! nothing but 'low' and 'little'!

Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?

Let me come to her.

Lysander Lysander

Get you gone, you dwarf;

You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;

You bead, you acorn.

Demetrius Demetrius

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

Never so little show of love to her,

Thou shalt aby it.

Lysander Lysander

Now she holds me not;

Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,

Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.

Demetrius Demetrius

Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.

Gaþ ut Lysander and Demetrius Exeunt Lysander and Demetrius
Erme Hermia

You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:

Nay, go not back.

Elene Helena

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.

Gæþ ut Exit
Erme Hermia

I am amazed, and know not what to say.

Gæþ ut Exit
Ylfaric Oberon

This is thy negligence: still thou mistakest,

Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.

Puca Puck

Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.

Did not you tell me I should know the man

By the Athenian garment be had on?

And so far blameless proves my enterprise,

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.

Ylfaric Oberon

Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:

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 eyeballs 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

From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

Puca Puck

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;

At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,

Troop home to churchyards: damned spirits all,

That in crossways and floods have burial,

Already to their wormy beds are gone;

For fear lest day should look their shames upon,

They willfully themselves exile from light

And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.

Ylfaric Oberon

But we are spirits of another sort:

I with the morning's love have oft made sport,

And, like a forester, the groves may tread,

Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,

Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,

Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.

But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:

We may effect this business yet ere day.

Gæþ ut Exit
Puca Puck

Up and down, up and down,

I will lead them up and down:

I am fear'd in field and town:

Goblin, lead them up and down.

Here comes one.

Cymþ eft Lysander Re-enter Lysander
Lysander Lysander

Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.

Puca Puck

Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art thou?

Lysander Lysander

I will be with thee straight.

Puca Puck

Follow me, then,

To plainer ground.

Gæþ ut Lysander, swa swa he folgaþ þæt hleoðor Exit Lysander, as following the voice
Cymþ eft Demetrius Re-enter Demetrius
Demetrius Demetrius

Lysander! speak again:

Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?

Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?

Puca Puck

Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,

Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,

And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;

I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled

That draws a sword on thee.

Demetrius Demetrius

Yea, art thou there?

Puca Puck

Follow my voice: we'll try no manhood here.

Gaþ ut Exeunt
Cymþ eft Lysander Re-enter Lysander
Lysander Lysander

He goes before me and still dares me on:

When I come where he calls, then he is gone.

The villain is much lighter-heel'd than I:

I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;

That fallen am I in dark uneven way,

And here will rest me.

Aliþ Lies down

Come, thou gentle day!

For if but once thou show me thy grey light,

I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.

Slæpeð Sleeps
Cumaþ eft Puca and Demetrius Re-enter Puck and Demetrius
Puca Puck

Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

Demetrius Demetrius

Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot

Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place,

And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.

Where art thou now?

Puca Puck

Come hither: I am here.

Demetrius Demetrius

Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,

If ever I thy face by daylight see:

Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me

To measure out my length on this cold bed.

By day's approach look to be visited.

Alið and slæpeð Lies down and sleeps
Cymþ eft Elene Re-enter Helena
Elene Helena

O weary night, O long and tedious night,

Abate thy hour! Shine comforts from the east,

That I may back to Athens by daylight,

From these that my poor company detest:

And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,

Steal me awhile from mine own company.

Aliþ and slæpeð Lies down and sleeps
Puca Puck

Yet but three? Come one more;

Two of both kinds make up four.

Here she comes, curst and sad:

Cupid is a knavish lad,

Thus to make poor females mad.

Cymþ eft Erme Re-enter Hermia
Erme Hermia

Never so weary, never so in woe,

Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,

I can no further crawl, no further go;

My legs can keep no pace with my desires.

Here will I rest me till the break of day.

Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!

Aliþs and slepeð Lies down and sleeps
Puca Puck

On the ground

Sleep sound:

I'll apply

To your eye,

Gentle lover, remedy.

He awringþ þone sogeðan on Lysanderes Eagan Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eyes

When thou wakest,

Thou takest

True delight

In the sight

Of thy former lady's eye:

And the country proverb known,

That every man should take his own,

In your waking shall be shown:

Jack shall have Jill;

Nought shall go ill;

The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

Gæþ ut Exit

to Act IV

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