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  • Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1600)

    Enter the Clownes.
    Bott. Are wee all met?
    815Quin. Pat, pat: and heres a maruailes conuenient place,
    for our rehearsall. This greene plot shall be our stage, this
    hauthorne brake our tyring house, and wee will doe it in
    action, as wee will doe it before the Duke.
    Bott. Peeter Quince?
    820Quin. What saiest thou, bully, Bottom?
    Bot. There are things in this Comedy, of Pyramus and
    Thisby, that will neuer please. First, Pyramus must draw
    a sworde, to kill himselfe; which the Ladies cannot abide.
    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    How answere you that?
    825Snout. Berlakin, a parlous feare.
    Star. I beleeue, we must leaue the killing, out, when all
    is done.
    Bott. Not a whit: I haue a deuise to make all well. Write
    me a Prologue, and let the Prologue seeme to say; we wil
    830do no harme, with our swords, and that Pyramus is not
    kild indeede: and for the more better assurance, tel them,
    that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weauer:
    this will put them out of feare.
    Quin. Well: wee will haue such a Prologue, and it shall be
    835written in eight and six.
    Bot. No: make it two more: let it be written in eight &
    Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the Lyon?
    Star. I feare it, I promise you.
    840Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with your selfe, to
    bring in (God shielde vs) a Lyon among Ladies, is
    a most dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull
    wilde foule then your Lyon liuing: & we ought to looke
    845Sno. Therfore, another Prologue must tel, he is not a Lion.
    Bot. Nay: you must name his name, and halfe his face
    must be seene through the Lions necke, and he himselfe
    must speake through, saying thus, or to the same defect;
    850Ladies, or faire Ladies, I would wish you, or I would re-
    quest you, or I wold intreat you, not to feare, not to trēble:
    my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither as a Lyon, it
    were pittie of my life. No: I am no such thing: I am a man
    as other men are: & there indeed, let him name his name,
    855and tell them plainely he is Snugge, the Ioyner.
    Quin. Well: it shall be so: but there is two hard things;
    that is, to bring the Moone-light into a chamber: for you
    know, Pyramus and Thisby meete by Moone-light.
    Sn. Doth the Moone shine, that night, we play our Play?
    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    Bo. A Calender, a Calender: looke in the Almanack: finde
    out Moone-shine, finde out Moone-shine.
    Quin. Yes: it doth shine that night.
    Cet. Why then, may you leaue a casement of the great
    chamber window (where we play) open; and the Moone
    may shine in at the casement.
    870Quin. I: or els, one must come in, with a bush of thorns,
    & a lātern, and say he comes to disfigure, or to present the
    person of Moone-shine. Then, there is another thing; we
    must haue a wal in the great chāber: for Pyramus & This-
    by (saies the story) did talke through the chinke of a wall.
    Sno. You can neuer bring in a wal. What say you Bottom?
    Bot. Some man or other must present wall: and let him
    haue some plaster, or som lome, or some rough cast, about
    880him, to signifie wall; or let him holde his fingers thus: and
    through that crany, shall Pyramus and Thisby whis-
    Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit downe e-
    uery mothers sonne, and reherse your parts. Pyramus, you
    885beginne: when you haue spoken your speech, enter into
    that Brake, and so euery one according to his cue.
    Enter Robin.
    Ro. What hempen homespunnes haue we swaggring here,
    So neere the Cradle of the Fairy Queene?
    What, a play toward? Ile be an Auditor,
    An Actor to perhappes, If I see cause.
    Quin. Speake Pyramus: Thysby stand forth.
    895Pyra. Thisby the flowers of odious sauours sweete.
    Quin. Odours, odorous.
    Py. Odours sauours sweete.
    So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby deare.
    But harke, a voice: stay thou but heere a while,
    900And by and by I will to thee appeare. Exit.
    Quin. A stranger Pyramus, then ere played heere.
    Thys. Must I speake now?
    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    Quin. I marry must you. For you must vnderstand, he goes
    but to see a noyse, that he heard, and is to come againe.
    Thys. Most radiant Pyramus, most lillie white of hewe,
    Of colour like the red rose, on triumphant bryer,
    Most brisky Iuuenall, and eeke most louely Iewe,
    As true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre,
    910Ile meete thee Pyramus, at Ninnies toumbe.
    Quin. Ninus toumbe, man. Why? you mu} not speake
    That yet. That you answere to Pyramus. You speake
    Al your part at once, cues, and, all. Pyramus, enter: your cue
    is past: It is; neuer tire.
    915Thys. O, as true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre.
    Py. If I were faire, Thysby, I were onely thine.
    Quin. O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray ma-
    sters: fly masters: helpe.
    Rob. Ile follow you: Ile leade you about a Round,
    Through bogge, through bush, through brake, through (bryer:
    Sometime a horse Ile be, sometime a hound,
    A hogge, a headelesse Beare, sometime a fier,
    925And neigh, and barke, and grunt, and rore, and burne,
    Like horse, hound, hogge, beare, fire, at euery turne. Exit.
    Bott. Why doe they runne away? This is a knauery of
    them to make mee afeard. Enter Snowte.
    930Sn. O Bottom, thou art chaung'd. What do I see on thee?
    Bot. What Doe you see? You see an Asse head of your
    owne. do you?
    Enter Quince.
    935Quin. Blesse thee Bottom, blesse thee. Thou art trāslated. ( Exit.
    Bot. I see their knauery. This is to make an asse of mee, to
    fright me, if they could: but I wil not stirre from this place,
    do what they can. I will walke vp and downe heere, and I
    940will sing, that they shall heare I am not afraide.
    The Woosell cock, so blacke of hewe,
    With Orange tawny bill,
    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    The Throstle, with his note so true,
    945The Wren, with little quill.
    Tytania. What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?
    Bot. The Fynch, the Sparrowe, and the Larke,
    The plainsong Cuckow gray:
    Whose note, full many a man doth marke,
    950And dares not answere, nay.
    For indeede, who would set his wit to so foolish a birde?
    Who would giue a bird the ly, though hee cry Cuckow,
    neuer so?
    Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortall, sing againe.
    955Myne eare is much enamoured of thy note:
    So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape,
    And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth mooue mee,
    On the first viewe to say, to sweare, I loue thee.
    Bott. Mee thinks mistresse, you should haue little reason
    960for that. And yet, to say the truth, reason and loue keepe
    little company together, now a daies. The more the pitty,
    that some honest neighbours will not make them friends.
    Nay I can gleeke, vpon occasion.
    965Tyta. Thou art as wise, as thou art beautifull.
    Bott. Not so neither: but if I had wit enough to get out
    of this wood, I haue enough to serue mine owe turne.
    Tyta. Out of this wood, doe not desire to goe:
    970Thou shalt remaine here, whether thou wilt or no.
    I am a spirit, of no common rate:
    The Sommer, still, doth tend vpon my state,
    And I doe loue thee: therefore goe with mee.
    Ile giue thee Fairies to attend on thee:
    975And they shall fetch thee Iewels, from the deepe,
    And sing, while thou, on pressed flowers, dost sleepe:
    And I will purge thy mortall grossenesse so,
    That thou shalt, like an ayery spirit, goe.
    Pease- blossome, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustard- seede?
    980Enter foure Fairyes.
    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    Fairies. Readie: and I, and I, and I. Where shall we goe?
    Tita. Be kinde and curteous to this gentleman,
    Hop in his walkes, and gambole in his eyes,
    Feede him with Apricocks, and Dewberries,
    985With purple Grapes, greene figges, and Mulberries,
    The hony bagges steale from the humble Bees,
    And for night tapers, croppe their waxen thighes,
    And light them at the fiery Glowe-wormes eyes,
    To haue my loue to bedde, and to arise,
    990And pluck the wings, from painted Butterflies,
    To fanne the Moone-beames from his sleeping eyes,
    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
    worshippes name.
    Cob. Cobwebbe.
    Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good ma-
    1000ster Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bolde with
    you. Your name honest gentleman?
    Pea. Pease-blossome.
    Bot. I pray you commend mee to mistresse Squash, your
    1005mother, and to master Peascod, your father. Good master
    Pease-blossome, I shall desire you of more acquaintance,
    to. Your name I beseech you sir?
    Must. Mustardseede.
    1010Bot. Good master Mustardseede, I know your patience
    woll. That same cowardly, gyantlike, Ox-beefe hath de-
    uourd many a gentleman of your house. I promise you,
    your kindred hath made my eyes water, ere now. I desire
    you more acquaintance, good master Mustardseede.
    Tita. Come waite vpon him: leade him to my bower.
    The Moone, me thinkes, lookes with a watry eye:
    And when shee weepes, weepes euery little flower,
    A Midsommer nightes dreame.
    Lamenting some enforced chastitie.
    1020Ty vp my louers tongue, bring him silently. Exit.