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About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    A Midsommer nights Dreame. 151
    Tita. Be kinde and curteous to this Gentleman,
    Hop in his walkes, and gambole in his eies,
    Feede him with Apricocks, and Dewberries,
    985With purple Grapes, greene Figs, and Mulberries,
    The honie-bags steale from the humble Bees,
    And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighes,
    And light them at the fierie-Glow-wormes eyes,
    To haue my loue to bed, and to arise:
    990And plucke the wings from painted Butterflies,
    To fan the Moone-beames from his sleeping eies.
    Nod to him Elues, and doe him curtesies.
    1. Fai. Haile mortall, haile.
    2. Fai. Haile.
    9953. Fai. Haile.
    Bot. I cry your worships mercy hartily; I beseech
    your worships name.
    Cob. Cobweb.
    Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good
    1000Master Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold
    with you.
    Your name honest Gentleman?
    Pease. Pease blossome.
    Bot. I pray you commend mee to mistresse Squash,
    1005your mother, and to master Peascod your father. Good
    master Pease-blossome, I shal desire of you more acquain-
    tance to. Your name I beseech you sir?
    Mus. Mustard-seede.
    Peas. Pease-blossome.
    1010Bot. Good master Mustard seede, I know your pati-
    ence well: that same cowardly gyant-like Oxe beefe
    hath deuoured many a gentleman of your house. I pro-
    mise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere
    now. I desire you more acquaintance, good Master
    Tita. Come waite vpon him, lead him to my bower.
    The Moone me-thinks, lookes with a watrie eie,
    And when she weepes, weepe euerie little flower,
    Lamenting some enforced chastitie.
    1020Tye vp my louers tongue, bring him silently. Exit.

    Enter King of Pharies, solus.

    Ob. I wonder if Titania be awak't;
    Then what it was that next came in her eye,
    Which she must dote on, in extremitie.
    1025Enter Pucke.
    Here comes my messenger: how now mad spirit,
    What night-rule now about this gaunted groue?
    Puck. My Mistris with a monster is in loue,
    Neere to her close and consecrated bower,
    1030While she was in her dull and sleeping hower,
    A crew of patches, rude Mcehanicals,
    That worke for bread vpon Athenian stals,
    Were met together to rehearse a Play,
    Intended for great Theseus nuptiall day:
    1035The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
    Who Piramus presented, in their sport,
    Forsooke his Scene, and entred in a brake,
    When I did him at this aduantage take,
    An Asses nole I fixed on his head.
    1040Anon his Thisbie must be answered,
    And forth my Mimmick comes: when they him spie,
    As Wilde-geese, that the creeping Fowler eye,
    Or russed-pated choughes, many in sort
    (Rising and cawing at the guns report)
    1045Seuer themselues, and madly sweepe the skye:
    So at his sight, away his fellowes flye,
    And at our stampe, here ore and ore one fals;
    He murther cries, and helpe from Athens cals.
    Their sense thus weake, lost with their feares thus strong,
    1050Made senselesse things begin to do them wrong.
    For briars and thornes at their apparell snatch,
    Some sleeues, some hats, from yeelders all things catch,
    I led them on in this distracted feare,
    And left sweete Piramus translated there:
    1055When in that moment (so it came to passe)
    Tytania waked, and straightway lou'd an Asse.
    Ob. This fals out better then I could deuise:
    But hast thou yet lacht the Athenians eyes,
    With the loue iuyce, as I bid thee doe?
    1060Rob. I tooke him sleeping (that is finisht to)
    And the Athenian woman by his side,
    That when he wak't, of force she must be eyde.

    Enter Demetrius and Hermia.

    Ob. Stand close, this is the same Athenian.
    1065Rob. This is the woman, but not this the man.
    Dem. O why rebuke you him that loues you so?
    Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
    Her. Now I but chide, but I should vse thee worse.
    For thou (I feare) hast giuen me cause to curse,
    1070If thou hast slaine Lysander in his sleepe,
    Being oreshooes in bloud, plunge in the deepe, and kill
    me too:
    The Sunne was not so true vnto the day,
    As he to me. Would he haue stollen away,
    1075From sleeping Hermia? Ile beleeue as soone
    This whole earth may be bord, and that the Moone
    May through the Center creepe, and so displease
    Her brothers noonetide, with th' Antipodes.
    It cannot be but thou hast murdred him,
    1080So should a mutrherer looke, so dead, so grim.
    Dem. So should the murderer looke, and so should I,
    Pierst through the heart with your stearne cruelty:
    Yet you the murderer looks as bright as cleare,
    As yonder Venus in her glimmering spheare.
    1085Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
    Ah good Demetrius, wilt thou giue him me?
    Dem. I'de rather giue his carkasse to my hounds.
    Her. Out dog, out cur, thou driu'st me past the bounds
    Of maidens patience. Hast thou slaine him then?
    1090Henceforth be neuer numbred among men.
    Oh, once tell true, euen for my sake,
    Durst thou a lookt vpon him, being awake?
    And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O braue tutch:
    Could not a worme, an Adder do so much?
    1095An Adder did it: for with doubler tongue
    Then thine (thou serpent) neuer Adder stung.
    Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd mood,
    I am not guiltie of Lysanders blood:
    Nor is he dead for ought that I can tell.
    1100Her. I pray thee tell me then that he is well.
    Dem. And if I could, what should I get therefore?
    Her. A priuiledge, neuer to see me more;
    And from thy hated presence part I: see me no more
    Whether he be dead or no. Exit.
    1105Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vaine,
    Here therefore for a while I will remaine.
    So sorrowes heauinesse doth heauier grow:
    For debt that bankrout slip doth sorrow owe,
    Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
    N5 If