Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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

Enter Queene of Faieries, and Clowne, and Faieries: and
1510the king behinde them.
Tita. Come sit thee downe vpon this flowry bed,
While I thy amiable cheekes doe coy,
And stick musk roses in thy sleeke smooth head,
And kisse thy faire large eares, my gentle ioy.
1515Clown. Where's Pease-blossome?
Pea. Ready.
Clow. Scratch my heade, Pease-blossome. Wher's Moun-
sieur Cobweb? Cob. Ready.
A Midsommer nightes dreame.
1520Clo. Mounsieur Cobweb, good Mounsieur, get you your
weapons in your hand, and kill me a red hipt Humble Bee,
on the toppe of a thistle: and good Mounsieur, bring mee
the hony bagge. Doe not fret your selfe too much, in the
action, Mounsieur: and good Mounsieur haue a care, the
1525honybagge breake not, I wold be loath to haue you ouer-
flowen with a honibag signior. Where's Mounsieur Must-
Must. Readie.
Clo. Giue me your neafe, Mounsieur Mustardseede. Pray
1530you, leaue your curtsie, good Mounsieur.
Must. What's your will?
Clo. Nothing good Mounsieur, but to helpe Caualery
Cobwebbe, to scratch. I must to the Barbers, Mounsieur.
For me thinkes I am maruailes hairy about the face. And I
1535am such a tender Asse, if my haire doe but tickle mee, I
must scratch.
Tita. What, wilt thou heare some musique, my sweete
Clo. I haue a reasonable good eare in musique. Lets
1540haue the tongs, and the bones.
Tyta. Or, say sweete loue, what thou desirest to eate.
Clo. Truely a pecke of prouander. I could mounch your
good dry Oates. Me thinkes, I haue a great desire to a bot-
1545tle of hay. Good hay, sweete hay hath no fellow.
Ty. I haue a venturous Fairy, that shall seeke the Squirils(hoord,
And fetch thee newe nuts.
1550Clo. I had rather haue a handfull, or two of dryed pease.
But, I pray you, let none of your people stirre me: I haue an
exposition of sleepe come vpon mee.
Tyta. Sleepe thou, and I will winde thee in my armes.
Faieries be gon, and be alwaies away.
1555So doth the woodbine, the sweete Honisuckle,
Gently entwist: the female Iuy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the Elme.
A Midsommer nightes dreame.
O how I loue thee! how I dote on thee!
Enter Robin goodfellow.
1560Ob. Welcome good Robin. Seest thou this sweete sight?
Her dotage now I doe beginne to pittie.
For meeting her of late, behinde the wood,
Seeking sweete fauours for this hatefull foole,
1565I did vpbraid her, and fall out with her.
For she his hairy temples then had rounded,
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers.
And that same deawe which sometime on the buddes,
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearles;
1570Stood now within the pretty flouriets eyes,
Like teares, that did their owne disgrace bewaile.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in milde tearmes, begd my patience,
I then did aske of her, her changeling childe:
1575Which straight she gaue mee, and her Fairy sent
To beare him, to my bower, in Fairie land.
And now I haue the boy, I will vndoe
This hatefull imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalpe,
1580From of the heade of this Athenian swaine;
That hee, awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens backe againe repaire,
And thinke no more of this nights accidents,
But as the fearce vexation of a dreame.
1585But first I will release the Fairy Queene.
Be, as thou wast wont to bee:
See, as thou wast wont to see.
Dians budde, or Cupids flower,
Hath such force, and blessed power.
1590Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweete Queene.
Tita. My Oberon, what visions haue I seene!
Me thought I was enamourd of an Asse.
Ob. There lyes your loue.
A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Tita. How came these things to passe?
1595O, how mine eyes doe loath his visage now!
Ob. Silence a while. Robin, take off this head:
Titania, musicke call, and strike more dead
Then common sleepe: of all these, fine the sense.
Ti. Musick, howe musick: such as charmeth sleepe.
Rob. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own fools eyes (peepe.
Ob. Sound Musick: come, my queen, take hands with me,
And rocke the ground whereon these sleepers be.
1605Now, thou and I are new in amitie,
And will to morrow midnight, solemnely
Daunce, in Duke Theseus house triumphantly,
And blesse it to all faire prosperitie.
There shall the paires of faithfull louers be
1610Wedded, with Theseus, all in iollitie.
Rob. Fairy King, attend, and marke:
I do heare the morning Larke.
Ob. Then my Queene, in silence sad,
Trippe we after nights shade:
1615We, the Globe, can compasse soone,
Swifter then the wandring Moone.
Tita. Come my Lord, and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night,
That I sleeping here was found,
With these mortals on the ground. Exeunt. VVinde horne.
Enter Theseus and all his traine.
The. Goe one of you, finde out the forrester:
1625For now our obseruation is performde.
And since we haue the vaward of the day,
My loue shall heare the musicke of my hounds.
Vncouple, in the westerne vallie, let them goe:
Dispatch I say, and finde the forrester.
1630Wee will, faire Queene, vp to the mountaines toppe,
And marke the musicall confusion
Of hounds and Echo in coniunction.
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 hornes.
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,
A Midsommer nightes dreame.
1670To sleepe by hate, and feare no enmitie,
Lys. My Lord, I shal reply amazedly,
Halfe sleepe, halfe waking. But, as yet, I sweare,
I cannot truely say how I came here.
But as I thinke (for truely would I speake)
1675And now I doe bethinke mee, so it is;
I came with Hermia, hither. Our intent
Was to be gon from Athens: where we might
Without the perill of the Athenian lawe,
Ege. Enough, enough my Lord: you haue enough.
1680I begge the law, the law, vpon his head:
They would haue stolne away, they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to haue defeated you and me:
You of your wife, and mee, of my consent:
Of my consent, that she should be your wife.
1685Deme. My Lord, faire Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood,
And I in fury hither followed them;
Faire Helena, in fancy following mee.
But my good Lord, I wote not by what power
1690(But by some power it is) my loue,
To Hermia (melted as the snowe)
Seemes to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaude,
Which in my childehoode I did dote 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 betrothed, ere I see Hermia:
But, like a sicknesse, did I loath this foode.
But, as in health, come to my naturall taste,
1700Now I doe wish it, loue it, long for it,
And will for euermore be true to it.
The. Faire louers, you are fortunately met.
Of this discourse, we more will here anon.
A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Egeus, I will ouerbeare your will:
1705For in the Temple, by and by, with vs,
These couples shall eternally be knit.
And, for the morning now is somthing worne,
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.
Away, with vs, to Athens. Three and three,
1710Weele holde a feast, in great solemnitie. Come Hyppolita.
Deme. These things seeme small and vndistinguishable,
Like farre off mountaines turned into clouds.
Her. Me thinks I see these things, with parted eye,
1715When euery thing seemes double.
Hel. So mee thinkes:
And I haue found Demetrius, like a iewell,
Mine owne, and not mine owne.
Dem. Are you sure
That we are awake? It seemes to me,
1720That yet we sleepe, we dreame. Do not you thinke,
The Duke was here, and bid vs follow him?
Her. Yea, and my father.
Hel. And Hyppolita.
Lys. And he did bid vs follow to the Temple.
1725Dem. Why then, we are awake: lets follow him, and by
the way lets recount our dreames.
Clo. When my cue comes, call mee, and I will answere.
My next is, most faire Pyramus. Hey ho. Peeter Quince?
1730Flute, the bellowes mender? Snout the tinker? Starueling?
Gods my life! Stolne hence, and left mee a sleepe? I haue
had a most rare vision. I haue had a dreame, past the wit
of man, to say; what dreame it was. Man is but an Asse, if
hee goe about expound this dreame. Me thought I was,
1735there is no man can tell what. Me thought I was, and me
thought I had. But man is but patcht a foole, If hee will
offer to say, what mee thought I had. The eye of man
hath not heard, the eare of man hath not seene, mans
A Midsommer nightes dreame.
hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceiue, nor his
1740hearte to report, what my dreame was. I will get Pet-
ter Quince to write a Ballet of this dreame: it shall be
call'd Bottoms Dreame; because it hath no bottome: and
I will sing it in the latter end of a Play, before the Duke.
Peraduenture, to make it the more gratious, I shall sing
1745it at her death.