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  • Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Suzanne Westfall
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-465-3

    Copyright Suzanne Westfall. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Suzanne Westfall
    Not Peer Reviewed

    A Midsummer Night's Dream (Folio 1, 1623)

    158A Midsommernights Dreame.
    With these mortals on the ground. Exeunt.
    Winde Hornes.
    Enter Theseus, Egeus, Hippolita and all his traine.
    Thes. Goe one of you, finde out the Forrester,
    1625For now our obseruation is perform'd;
    And since we haue the vaward of the day,
    My Loue shall heare the musicke of my hounds.
    Vncouple in the Westerne valley, let them goe;
    Dispatch I say, and finde the Forrester.
    1630We will faire Queene, vp to the Mountaines top,
    And marke the musicall confusion
    Of hounds and eccho in coniunction.
    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 skies, the fountaines, euery region neere,
    Seeme all one mutuall cry. I neuer heard
    So musicall a discord, such sweet thunder.
    1640Thes. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kinde,
    So flew'd, so sanded, and their heads are hung
    With eares that sweepe away the morning dew,
    Crooke kneed, and dew-lapt, like Thessalian Buls,
    Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bels,
    1645Each vnder each. A cry more tuneable
    Was neuer hallowed to, nor cheer'd with horne,
    In Creete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly;
    Iudge when you heare. But soft, what nimphs are these?
    Egeus. My Lord, this is my daughter heere asleepe,
    1650And this Lysander, this Demetrius is,
    This Helena, olde Nedars Helena,
    I wonder of this being heere together.
    The. No doubt they rose vp early, to obserue
    The right of May; and hearing our intent,
    1655Came heere in grace of our solemnity.
    But speake Egeus, is not this the day
    That Hermia should giue answer of her choice?
    Egeus. It is, my Lord.
    Thes. Goe bid the hunts-men wake them with their
    Hornes and they wake.
    Shout within, they all start vp.
    Thes. Good morrow friends: Saint Valentine is past,
    Begin these wood birds but to couple now?
    1665Lys. Pardon my Lord.
    Thes. I pray you all stand vp.
    I know you two are Riuall enemies.
    How comes this gentle concord in the world,
    That hatred is is so farre from iealousie,
    1670To sleepe by hate, and feare no enmity.
    Lys. My Lord, I shall reply amazedly,
    Halfe sleepe, halfe waking. But as yet, I sweare,
    I cannot truly say how I came heere.
    But as I thinke (for truly would I speake)
    1675And now I doe bethinke me, so it is;
    I came with Hermia hither. Our intent
    Was to be gone from Athens, where we might be
    Without the perill of the Athenian Law.
    Ege. Enough, enough, my Lord: you haue enough;
    1680I beg the Law, the Law, vpon his head:
    They would have stolne away, they would Demetrius,
    Thereby to haue defeated you and me:
    You of your wife, and me of my consent;
    Of my consent, that she should be your wife.
    1685Dem. My Lord, faire Helen told me of their stealth,
    Of this their purpose hither, to this wood,
    And I in furie hither followed them;
    Faire Helena, in fancy followed me.
    But my good Lord, I wot not by what power,
    1690(But by some power it is) my loue
    To Hermia (melted as the snow)
    Seems to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaude,
    Which in my childehood I did doat vpon:
    And all the faith, the vertue of my heart,
    1695The obiect and the pleasure of mine eye,
    Is onely Helena. To her, my Lord,
    Was I betroth'd, ere I see Hermia,
    But like a sickenesse did I loath this food,
    But as in health, come to my naturall taste,
    1700Now doe I wish it, loue it, long for it,
    And will for euermore be true to it.
    Thes. Faire Louers, you are fortunately met;
    Of this discourse we shall heare more anon.
    Egeus, I will ouer-beare your will;
    1705For in the Temple, by and by with vs,
    These couples shall eternally be knit.
    And for the morning now is something worne,
    Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.
    Away, with vs to Athens; three and three,
    1710Wee'll hold a feast in great solemnitie.
    Come Hippolita. Exit Duke and Lords.
    Dem. These things seeme small & vndistinguishable,
    Like farre off mountaines turned into Clouds.
    Her. Me-thinks I see these things with parted eye,
    1715When euery things seemes double.
    Hel. So me-thinkes:
    And I haue found Demetrius, like a iewell,
    Mine owne, and not mine owne.
    Dem. It seemes to mee,
    1720That yet we sleepe, we dreame. Do not you thinke,
    The Duke was heere, and bid vs follow him?
    Her. Yea, and my Father.
    Hel. And Hippolita.
    Lys. And he bid vs follow to the Temple.
    1725Dem. Why then we are awake; lets follow him, and
    by the way let vs recount our dreames.
    Bottome wakes. Exit Louers.
    Clo. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer.
    My next is, most faire Piramus. Hey ho. Peter Quince?
    1730Flute the bellowes-mender? Snout the tinker? Starue-
    ling? Gods my life! Stolne hence, and left me asleepe: I
    haue had a most rare vision. I had a dreame, past the wit
    of man, to say, what dreame it was. Man is but an Asse,
    if he goe about to expound this dreame. Me-thought I
    1735was, there is no man can tell what. Me-thought I was,
    and me-thought I had. But man is but a patch'd foole,
    if he will offer to say, what me-thought I had. The eye of
    man hath not heard, the eare of man hath not seen, mans
    hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceiue, nor his
    1740heart to report, what my dreame was. I will get Peter
    Quince to write a ballet of this dreame, it shall be called
    Bottomes Dreame, because it hath no bottome; and I will
    sing it in the latter end of a play, before the Duke. Per-
    aduenture, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it
    1745at her death. Exit.

    Enter Quince, Flute, Thisbie, Snout, and Starueling.

    Quin. Haue you sent to Bottomes house? Is he come
    home yet?
    Staru. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt hee is
    This. If