Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
But what of that? Demetrius thinkes not so:
He will not knowe, what all, but hee doe know.
And as hee erres, doting on Hermias eyes:
245So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantitie,
Loue can transpose to forme and dignitie.
Loue lookes not with the eyes, but with the minde:
And therefore is wingd Cupid painted blinde.
250Nor hath loues minde of any iudgement taste:
Wings, and no eyes, figure, vnheedy haste.
And therefore is loue said to bee a childe:
Because, in choyce, he is so oft beguil'd.
As waggish boyes, in game, themselues forsweare:
255So, the boy, Loue, is periur'd euery where.
For, ere Demetrius lookt on Hermias eyen,
Hee hayld downe othes, that he was onely mine.
And when this haile some heate, from Hermia, felt,
So he dissolued, and showrs of oathes did melt.
260I will goe tell him of faire Hermias flight:
Then, to the wodde, will he, to morrow night,
Pursue her: and for this intelligence,
If I haue thankes, it is a deare expense:
But herein meane I to enrich my paine,
265To haue his sight thither, and back againe.
Exit.
Enter Quince, the Carpenter; and Snugge, the Ioyner; and
Bottom, the Weauer; and Flute, the Bellowes mender; &
Snout, the Tinker; and Starueling the Tayler.
Quin. Is all our company heere?
270Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by
man, according to the scrippe.
Quin. Here is the scrowle of euery mans name, which is
thought fit, through al Athens, to play in our Enterlude, be-
fore the Duke, & the Dutches, on his wedding day at night.
Bott. First good Peeter Quince, say what the Play treats on:
then read the names of the Actors: & so grow to a point.
Quin.