Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Hip. I was with Hercules and Cadmus, once,
When in a wood of Creete they bayed the Beare,
1635With hounds of Sparta: neuer did I heare
Such gallant chiding. For besides the groues,
The skyes, the fountaines, euery region neare
Seeme all one mutuall cry. I neuer heard
So musicall a discord, such sweete thunder.
1640Thes. My hounds are bred out of the Spartane kinde:
So flew'd, so sanded: and their heads are hung
VVith eares, that sweepe away the morning deawe,
Crooke kneed, and deawlapt, like Thessalian Buls:
Slowe in pursuit; but matcht in mouth like bels,
1645Each vnder each. A cry more tunable
Was neuer hollowd to, nor cheerd with horne,
In Creete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.
Iudge when you heare. But soft. What nymphes are these?
Egeus. My Lord, this is my daughter heere a sleepe,
1650And this Lysander, this Demetrius is,
This Helena, old Nedars Helena.
I wonder of their being here together.
The. No doubt, they rose vp earely, to obserue
The right of May: and hearing our intent,
1655Came heere, in grace of our solemnitie.
But speake, Egeus, is not this the day,
That Hermia should giue answer of her choyce?
Egeus. It is, my Lord.
These. Goe, bid the huntsmen wake them with their
Shoute within: they all start up. Winde hornes.
The. Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past.
Begin these wood birds but to couple, now?
1665Lys. Pardon, my Lord.
The. I pray you all, stand vp.
I know, you two are Riuall enemies.
How comes this gentle concord in the worlde,
That hatred is so farre from iealousie,
To