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William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream



A c t u s  S e c u n d u s .


Heinrich Füssli: Puck, ca. 1790

Enter a Fairie at one dore, and Robin good-
fellow at another.

Rob. How now spirit, whether wander you?

Fai. Ouer hil, ouer dale, through bush, through briar,
Ouer parke, ouer pale, through flood, through fire,
I do wander euerie where, swifter then y Moons sphere;
And I serue the Fairy Queene, to dew her orbs vpon the green.
The Cowslips tall, her pensioners bee,
In their gold coats, spots you see,
Those be Rubies, Fairie fauors,
In those freckles, liue their sauors,
I must go seeke some dew drops heere,
And hang a pearle in euery cowslips eare.
Farewell thou Lob of spirits, Ile be gon,
Our Queene and all her Elues come heere anon.

Rob. The King doth keepe his Reuels here to night,
Take heed the Queene come not within his sight,
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her attendant, hath
A louely boy stolne from an Indian King,
She neuer had so sweet a changeling,
And iealous Oberon would haue the childe
Knight of his traine, to trace the Forrests wilde.
But she (perforce) with-holds the loued boy,
Crownes him with flowers, and makes him all her ioy.
And now they neuer meete in groue, or greene,
By fountaine cleere, or spangled star-light sheene,
But they do square, that all their Elues for feare
Creepe into Acorne cups and hide them there.

Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrew'd and knauish spirit
Cal'd Robin Good-fellow. Are you not hee,
That frights the maidens of the Villagree,
Skim milke, and sometimes labour in the querne,
And bootlesse make the breathlesse huswife cherne,
And sometime make the drinke to beare no barme,
Misleade night-wanderers, laughing at their harme,
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Pucke,
You do their worke, and they shall haue good lucke.
Are not you he?

Rob. Thou speak'st aright;
I am that merrie wanderer of the night:
I iest to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likenesse of a silly foale,
And sometime lurke I in a Gossips bole,
In very likenesse of a roasted crab:
And when she drinkes, against her lips I bob,
And on her withered dewlop poure the Ale.
The wisest Aunt telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stoole, mistaketh me,
Then slip I from her bum, downe topples she,
And tailour cries, and fals into a coffe.
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and sweare,
A merrier houre was neuer wasted there.
But roome Fairy, heere comes Oberon.

Fair. And heere my Mistris:
Would that he were gone.

Enter the King of Fairies at one doore with his traine,
and the Queene at another with hers

Ob. Ill met by Moone-light.
Proud Tytania.

Qu. What, iealous Oberon? Fairy skip hence.
I haue forsworne his bed and companie.

Ob. Tarrie rash Wanton; am not I thy Lord?

Qu. Then I must be thy Lady: but I know
When thou wast stolne away from Fairy Land,
And in the shape of Corin, sate all day,
Playing on pipes of Corne, and versing loue
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou heere
Come from the farthest steepe of India?
But that forsooth the bouncing Amazon
Your buskin'd Mistresse, and your Warrior loue,
To Theseus must be Wedded; and you come,
To giue their bed ioy and prosperitie.

Ob. How canst thou thus for shame Tytania.
Glance at my credite, with Hippolita?
Knowing I know thy loue to Theseus?
Didst thou not leade him through the glimmering night
From Peregenia, whom he rauished?
And make him with faire Eagles breake his faith
With Ariadne, and Antiopa?

Que. These are the forgeries of iealousie,
And neuer since the middle Summers spring
Met we on hil, in dale, forrest, or mead,
By paued fountaine, or by rushie brooke,
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling Winde,
But with thy braules thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the Windes, piping to vs in vaine,
As in reuenge, haue suck'd vp from the sea
Contagious fogges: Which falling in the Land,
Hath euerie petty Riuer made so proud,
That they haue ouer-borne their Continents.
The Oxe hath therefore stretch'd his yoake in vaine,
The Ploughman lost his sweat, and the greene Corne
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard:
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And Crowes are fatted with the murrion flocke,
The nine mens Morris is fild vp with mud,
And the queint Mazes in the wanton greene,
For lacke of tread are vndistinguishable.
The humane mortals want their winter heere,
No night is now with hymne or caroll blest;
Therefore the Moone (the gouernesse of floods)
Pale in her anger, washes all the aire;
That Rheumaticke diseases doe abound.
And through this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter; hoared headed Frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson Rose,
And on old Hyems chinne and Icie crowne,
An odorous Chaplet of sweet Sommer buds
Is as in mockry set. The Spring, the Sommer,
The childing Autumne, angry Winter change
Their wonted Liueries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knowes not which is which;
And this same progeny of euills,
Comes from our debate, from our dissention,
We are their parents and originall.

Ober. Do you amend it then, it lies in you,
Why should Titania crosse her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my Henchman.

Qu. Set your heart at rest,
The Fairy land buyes not the childe of me,
His mother was a Votresse of my Order,
And in the spiced Indian aire, by night
Full often hath she gossipt by my side,
And sat with me on Neptunes yellow sands,
Marking th' embarked traders on the flood,
When we haue laught to see the sailes conceiue,
And grow big bellied with the wanton winde:
Which she with pretty and with swimming gate,
Following (her wombe then rich with my yong squire)
Would imitate, and saile vpon the Land,
To fetch me trifles, and returne againe,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But she being mortall, of that boy did die,
And for her sake I doe reare vp her boy,
And for her sake I will not part with him.

Ob. How long within this wood intend you stay?

Qu. Perchance till after Theseus wedding day.
If you will patiently dance in our Round,
And see our Moone-light reuels, goe with vs;
If not, shun me and I will spare your haunts.

Ob. Giue me that boy, and I will goe with thee.

Qu. Not for thy Fairy Kingdome. Fairies away:
We shall chide downe right, if I longer stay. Exeunt.

Ob. Wel, go thy way: thou shalt not from this groue,
Till I torment thee for this iniury.
My gentle Pucke come hither; thou remembrest
Since once I sat vpon a promontory,
And heard a Meare-maide on a Dolphins backe,
Vttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew ciuill at her song,
And certaine starres shot madly from their Spheares,
To heare the Sea-maids musicke.

Puc. I remember.

Ob. That very time I say (but thou couldst not)
Flying betweene the cold Moone and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd; a certaine aime he tooke
At a faire Vestall, throned by the West,
And loos'd his loue-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts,
But I might see young Cupids fiery shaft
Quencht in the chaste beames of the watry Moone;
And the imperiall Votresse passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy free.
Yet markt I where the bolt of Cupid fell.
It fell vpon a little westerne flower;
Before, milke-white: now purple with loues wound,
And maidens call it, Loue in idlenesse.
Fetch me that flower; the hearb I shew'd thee once,
The iuyce of it, on sleeping eye-lids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Vpon the next liue creature that it sees.
Fetch me this hearbe, and be thou heere againe,
Ere the Leuiathan can swim a league.

Pucke. Ile put a girdle about the earth, in forty mi-

Ober. Hauing once this iuyce,
Ile watch Titania, when she is asleepe,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes:
The next thing when she waking lookes vpon,
(Be it on Lyon, Beare, or Wolfe, or Bull,
On medling Monkey, or on busie Ape)
Shee shall pursue it, with the soule of loue.
And ere I take this charme off from her sight,
(As I can take it with another hearbe)
Ile make her render vp her Page to me.
But who comes heere? I am inuisible,
And I will ouer-heare their conference.

Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.

Deme. I loue thee not, therefore pursue me not,
Where is Lysander, and faire Hermia?
The one Ile stay, the other stayeth me.
Thou toldst me they were stolne into this wood;
And heere am I, and wood within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.

Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted Adamant,
But yet you draw not Iron, for my heart
Is true as steele. Leaue you your power to draw,
And I shall haue no power to follow you.

Deme. Do I entice you? do I speake you faire?
Or rather doe I not in plainest truth,
Tell you I doe not, nor I cannot loue you?

Hel. And euen for that doe I loue thee the more;
I am your spaniell, and Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawne on you.
Vse me but as your spaniell; spurne me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; onely giue me leaue
(Vnworthy as I am) to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your loue,
(And yet a place of high respect with me)
Then to be vsed as you doe your dogge.

Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit,
For I am sicke when I do looke on thee.

Hel. And I am sicke when I looke not on you.

Dem. You doe impeach your modesty too much,
To leaue the Citty, and commit your selfe
Into the hands of one that loues you not,
To trust the opportunity of night.
And the ill counsell of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.

Hel. Your vertue is my priuiledge: for that
It is not night when I doe see your face.
Therefore I thinke I am not in the night,
Nor doth this wood lacke worlds of company,
For you in my respect are all the world.
Then how can it be said I am alone,
When all the world is heere to looke on me?

Dem. Ile run from thee, and hide me in the brakes,
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde beasts.

Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you;
Runne when you will, the story shall be chang'd:
Apollo flies and Daphne holds the chase;
The Doue pursues the Griffin, the milde Hinde
Makes speed to catch the Tyger. Bootlesse speede,
When cowardise pursues, and valour flies.

Demet. I will not stay thy questions, let me go;
Or if thou follow me, doe not beleeue,
But I shall doe thee mischiefe in the wood.

Hel. I, in the Temple, in the Towne, and Field
You doe me mischiefe. Fye Demetrius,
Your wrongs doe set a scandall on my sexe:
We cannot fight for loue, as men may doe;
We should be woo'd, and were not made to wooe.
I follow thee, and make a heauen of hell,
To die vpon the hand I loue so well. Exit.

Ob. Fare thee well Nymph, ere he do leaue this groue,
Thou shalt flie him, and he shall seeke thy loue.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome wanderer.

Enter Pucke.

Puck. I there it is.

Ob. I pray thee giue it me.
I know a banke where the wilde time blowes,
Where Oxslips and the nodding Violet growes,
Quite ouer-cannoped with luscious woodbine,
With sweet muske roses, and with Eglantine;
There sleepes Tytania, sometime of the night,
Lul'd in these flowers, with dances and delight:
And there the snake throwes her enammel'd skinne,
Weed wide enough to rap a Fairy in.
And with the iuyce of this Ile streake her eyes,
And make her full of hatefull fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this groue;
A sweet Athenian Lady is in loue
With a disdainefull youth: annoint his eyes,
But doe it when the next thing he espies,
May be the Lady. Thou shalt know the man,
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care, that he may proue
More fond on her, then she vpon her loue;
And looke thou meet me ere the first Cocke crow.

Pu. Feare not my Lord, your seruant shall do so. Exit.

Enter Queene of Fairies, with her traine.

Queen. Come, now a Roundell, and a Fairy song;
Then for the third part of a minute hence,
Some to kill Cankers in the muske rose buds,
Some warre with Reremise, for their leathern wings.
To make my small Elues coates, and some keepe backe
The clamorous Owle that nightly hoots and wonders
At our queint spirits: Sing me now asleepe,
Then to your offices, and let me rest.

Fairies Sing.
     You spotted Snakes with double tongue,
     Thorny Hedgehogges be not seene,
     Newts and blinde wormes do no wrong,
     Come not neere our Fairy Queene.
     Philomele with melodie,

     Sing in your sweet Lullaby.
     Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby,
     Neuer harme, nor spell, nor charme,
     Come our louely Lady nye,
     So good night with Lullaby.

2.Fairy. Weauing Spiders come not heere,
     Hence you long leg'd Spinners, hence:
     Beetles blacke approach not neere;
     Worme nor Snayle doe no offence.
     Philomele with melody, &c.

1.Fairy. Hence away, now all is well;
     One aloofe, stand Centinell.
Shee sleepes.

Enter Oberon.

Ober. What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Do it for thy true Loue take:
Loue and languish for his sake.
Be it Ounce, or Catte, or Beare,
Pard, or Boare with bristled haire,
In thy eye that shall appeare,
When thou wak'st, it is thy deare,
Wake when some vile thing is neere.

Enter Lisander and Hermia.

Lis. Faire loue, you faint with wandring in y woods,
And to speake troth I haue forgot our way:
Wee'll rest vs Hermia, If you thinke it good,
And tarry for the comfort of the day.

Her. Be it so Lysander; finde you out a bed,
For I vpon this banke will rest my head.

Lys. One turfe shall serue as pillow for vs both,
One heart, one bed, two bosomes, and one troth.

Her. Nay good Lysander, for my sake my deere
Lie further off yet, doe not lie so neere.

Lys. O take the sence sweet, of my innocence,
Loue takes the meaning, in loues conference,
I meane that my heart vnto yours is knit,
So that but one heart can you make of it.
Two bosomes interchanged with an oath,
So then two bosomes, and a single troth.
Then by your side, no bed-roome me deny,
For lying so, Hermia, I doe not lye.

Her. Lysander riddles very prettily;
Now much beshrew my manners and my pride,
If Hermia meant to say, Lysander lied.
But gentle friend, for loue and courtesie
Lie further off, in humane modesty,
Such separation, as may well be said,
Becomes a vertuous batchelour, and a maide,
So farre be distant, and good night sweet friend;
Thy loue nere alter, till thy sweet life end.

Lys. Amen, amen, to that faire prayer, say I,
And then end life, when I end loyalty:
Heere is my bed, sleepe giue thee all his rest.

Her. With halfe that wish, the wishers eyes be prest.
Enter Pucke. They sleepe.

Puck. Through the Forest haue I gone,
But Athenian finde I none,
One whose eyes I might approue
This flowers force in stirring loue.
Nigh and silence: who is heere?
Weedes of Athens he doth weare:
This is he (my master said)
Despised the Athenian maide:
And heere the maiden sleeping sound,
On the danke and durty ground.
Pretty soule, she durst not lye
Neere this lacke-loue, this kill-curtesie.
Churle, vpon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charme doth owe:
When thou wak'st, let loue forbid
Sleepe his seate on thy eye-lid.
So awake when I am gone:
For I must now to Oberon. Exit.

Enter Demetrius and Helena running.

Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweete Demetrius.

De. I charge thee hence, and do not haunt me thus.

Hel. O wilt thou darkling leaue me? do not so.

De. Stay on thy perill, I alone will goe.
Exit Demetrius.

Hel. O I am out of breath, in this fond chace,
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace,
Happy is Hermia, wheresoere she lies;
For she hath blessed and attractiue eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt teares.
If so, my eyes are oftner washt then hers.
No, no, I am as vgly as a Beare;
For beasts that meete me, runne away for feare,
Therefore no maruaile, though Demetrius
Doe as a monster, flie my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glasse of mine,
Made me compare with Hermias sphery eyne?
But who is here? Lysander on the ground;
Deade or asleepe? I see no bloud, no wound,
Lysander, if you liue, good sir awake.

Lys. And run through fire I will for thy sweet sake.
Transparent Helena, nature her shewes art,
That through thy bosome makes me see thy heart.
Where is Demetrius? oh how fit a word
Is that vile name, to perish on my sword!

Hel. Do not say so Lysander, say not so:
What though he loue your Hermia? Lord, what though?
Yet Hermia still loues you; then be content.

Lys. Content with Hermia? no, I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her haue spent.
Not Hermia, but Helena now I loue;
Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue?
The will of man is by his reason sway'd:
And reason saies you are the worthier Maide.
Things growing are not ripe vntill their season;
So I being yong, till now ripe not to reason,
And touching now the point of humane skill,
Reason becomes the Marshall to my will.
And leades me to your eyes, where I orelooke
Loues stories, written in Loues richest booke.

Hel. Wherefore was I to this keene mockery borne?
When at your hands did I deserue this scorne?
Ist not enough, ist not enough, yong man,
That I did neuer, no nor neuer can,
Deserue a sweete looke from Demetrius eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth you do me wrong (good-sooth you do)
In such disdainfull manner, me to wooe.
But fare you well; perforce I must confesse,
I thought you Lord of more true gentlenesse.
Oh, that a Lady of one man refus'd,
Should of another therefore be abus'd. Exit.

Lys. She sees not Hermia: Hermia sleepe thou there,
And neuer maist thou come Lysander neere;
For as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomacke brings:
Or as the heresies that men do leaue,
Are hated most of those that did deceiue:
So thou, my surfeit, and my heresie,
Of all be hated; but the most of me;
And all my powers addresse your loue and might,
To honour Helen, and to be her Knight. Exit.

Her. Helpe me Lysander, helpe me; do thy best
To plucke this crawling serpent from my brest.
Aye me, for pitty; what a dreame was here?
Lysander looke, how I do quake with feare:
Me-thought a serpent eate my heart away,
And yet sat smiling at his cruell prey.
Lysander, What remoou'd? Lysander, Lord,
What, out of hearing, gone? No sound, no word?
Alacke where are you? speake and if you heare:
Speake of all loues; I sound almost with feare.
No, then I well perceiue you are not nye,
Either death or you Ile finde immediately. Exit.
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