Imatges de pÓgina

OBERON advances. Enter PUCK.

OBE. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.

For meeting her of late, behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her and fall out with her:
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 flow'rets' 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.

Be thou, 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 head.—

Titania, music call; and strike more dead

Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.

TITA. Music, ho! music; such as charmeth sleep.

PUCK. When thou wak'st, with thine own fool's eyes peepb.

So the folio. The quartos

"Be, as thou wast wont to be."

* So the original copies. The modern editors have inserted now at the beginning of the line.

OBE. Sound, music. [Still music.] Come, my queen, take hands with me,

And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.

Now thou and I are new in amity;

And will, to-morrow midnight, solemnly,

Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair posteritya:

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.


THE. Go one of you, find out the forester 30;

For now our observation is perform'd ;
And since we have the vaward of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
Uncouple in the western valley; let them 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.

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 groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard
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-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable

In Fisher's quarto, prosperity.

Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:

Judge, when you hear.-But, soft; what nymphs are these?
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 huntsmen wake them with their horns.

Horns, and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER, HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up.

THE. Good morrow, friends.

Saint Valentine is past;

[He and the rest kneel to THESEus.

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

Lys. Pardon, my lord.



pray you all, stand up. I know, you two are rival enemies;

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 lawa.

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;

They intended to leave Athens for some place where they might be beyond (without) the perils of the Athenian law. Fisher's quarto, which Mr. Collier follows, omits be, and leaves the sense incomplete.

And I in fury hither follow'd them;

Fair Helena in fancy following a me.

But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,
(But, by some power it is,) my love to Hermia,
Melted as the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gaud,
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 will hear more 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.

[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 everything seems double.

So, methinks:
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel",

Mine own, and not mine own.

[blocks in formation]

That we are awake?] It seems to me,

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

HER. Yea, and my father.


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.


Following, in Fisher's quarto. The other copies, followed. She has found Demetrius, as a person picks up a jewel-for the moment it is his own, but its value may cause it to be reclaimed. She feels insecure in the possession of her treasure. The words in brackets are omitted in the folio. They are scarcely wanted.

As they go out, BOTTOм awakes.

Bor. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer:-my next is, "Most fair Pyramus."-Hey, ho!-Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God 's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare 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 foola 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 Bottom'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".


SCENE II.-Athens. A Room in Quince's House.


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, but he.

FLU. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft man in Athens.

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


FLU. You must say, paragon: a paramour is, God bless us, a thing of naught.

Enter SNUG.

SNUG. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married: if our sport had gone forward we had all been made men.

FLU. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a-day during his life; he could not have 'scaped sixpence a-day: an the duke had not given him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged; he would have deserved it sixpence a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing.

Patched fool-a fool in a particoloured coat.

b Probably, at the death of Thisbe. Theobald would read "after death,”—that is, after Bottom had been killed in the part of Pyramus.

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