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William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream



A c t u s  T e r t i u s .


Enter the Clownes.

Bot.Are we all met?

Quin.Pat, pat, and here's a maruailous conuenient
place for our rehearsall. This greene plot shall be our
stage, this hauthorne brake our tyring house, and we will
do it in action, as we will do it before the Duke.

Bot.Peter Quince?

Peter.What saist thou, bully Bottome?

Bot.There are things in this Comedy of Piramus and
Thisby, that will neuer please. First, Piramus must draw a
sword to kill himselfe; which the Ladies cannot abide.
How answere you that?

Snout.Berlaken, a parlous feare.

Star.I beleeue we must leaue the killing out, when
all is done.

Bot.Not a whit, I haue a deuice to make all well.
Write me a Prologue, and let the Prologue seeme to say,
we will do no harme with our swords, and that Pyramus
is not kill'd indeede: and for the more better assurance,
tell them, that I Piramus am not Piramus, but Bottome the
Weauer; this will put them out of feare.

Quin.Well, we will haue such a Prologue, and it shall
be written in eight and sixe.

Bot.No, make it two more, let it be written in eight
and eight.

Snout.Will not the Ladies be afear'd of the Lyon?

Star.I feare it, I promise you.

Bot.Masters, you ought to consider with your selues, to
bring in (God shield vs) a Lyon among Ladies, is a most
dreadfull thing. For there is not a more fearefull wilde
foule then your Lyon liuing: and wee ought to looke
to it.

Snout.Therefore another Prologue must tell he is not
a Lyon.

Bot.Nay, you must name his name, and halfe his face
must be seene through the Lyons necke, and he himselfe
must speake through, saying thus, or to the same defect;
Ladies, or faire Ladies, I would wish you, or I would
request you, or I would entreat you, not to feare, not to
tremble: my life for yours. If you thinke I come hither
as a Lyon, it were pitty of my life. No, I am no such
thing, I am a man as other men are; and there indeed let
him name his name, and tell him plainly hee is Snug the

Quin.Well, it shall be so; but there is two hard
things, that is, to bring the Moone-light into a cham-
ber: for you know Piramus and Thisby meete by Moone-

Sn.Doth the Moone shine that night wee play our

Bot.A Calender, a Calender, looke in the Almanack,
finde out Moone-shine, finde out Moone-shine.

Enter Pucke.

Quin.Yes, it doth shine that night.

Bot.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.

Quin.I, or else one must come in with a bush of thorns
and a lanthorne, and say he comes to disfigure, or to pre-
sent the person of Moone-shine. Then there is another
thing, we must haue a wall in the great Chamber; for Pi-
ramus and Thisby (saies the story) did talke through the
chinke of a wall.

Sn.You can neuer bring in a wall. What say you

Bot.Some man or other must present wall, and let
him haue some Plaster, or some Lome, or some rough
cast about him, to signifie wall; or let him hold his fin-
gers thus; and through that cranny shall Piramus and
Thisby whisper.

Quin.If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit
downe euery mothers sonne, and rehearse your parts.
Piramus, you begin; when you haue spoken your speech,
enter into that Brake, and so euery one according to his

Enter Robin.

Rob.What hempen home-spuns haue we swagge-
ring here,
So neere the Cradle of the Faierie Queene?
What, a Play toward? Ile be an auditor,
An Actor too perhaps, if I see cause.

Quin.Speake Piramus: Thisby stand forth.

Pir.Thisby, the flowers of odious sauors sweete.

Quin.Odours, odours.

Pir.Odours sauors sweete,
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisby deare.
But harke, a voyce: stay thou but here a while,
And by and by I will to thee appeare. Exit. Pir.

Puck.A stranger Piramus, then ere plaid here.

This.Must I speake now?

Pet.I marry must you. For you must vnderstand he
goes but to see a noyse that he heard, and is to come a-

Thys.Most radiant Piramus, most Lilly white of hue,
Of colour like the red rose on triumphant bryer,
Most brisky Iuuenall, and eke most louely Iew,
As true as truest horse, that yet would neuer tyre,
Ile meete thee Piramus, at Ninnies toombe.

Pet.Ninus toombe man: why, you must not speake
that yet; that you answere to Piramus: you speake all
your part at once, cues and all. Piramus enter, your cue is
past; it is neuer tyre.

Thys.O, as true as truest horse, that yet would neuer

Pir.If I were faire, Thisby I were onely thine.

Pet.O monstrous. O strange. We are hanted; pray
masters, flye masters, helpe.
The Clownes all Exit.

Puk.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 headlesse beare, sometime a fire,
And neigh, and barke, and grunt, and rore, and burne,
Like horse, hound, hog, beare, fire, at euery turne. Exit.

Enter Piramus with the Asse head.

Bot.Why do they run away? This is a knauery of
them to make me afeard. Enter Snowt.

Sn.O Bottom, thou art chang'd; What doe I see on

Bot.What do you see? You see an Asse-head of your
owne, do you?

Enter Peter Quince.

Pet.Blesse thee Bottome, blesse thee; thou art transla-
ted. Exit.

Bot.I see their knauery; this is to make an asse of me,
to fright me if they could; but I will not stirre from
this place, do what they can. I will walke vp and downe
here, and I will sing that they shall heare I am not a-

The Woosell cocke, so blacke of hew,
With Orenge-tawny bill.
The Throstle, with his note so true,
The Wren and little quill.

Tyta.What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed?

Bot.The Finch, the Sparrow, and the Larke,
The plainsong Cuckow gray;
Whose note full many a man doth marke,
And dares not answere, nay.
For indeede, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird?
Who would giue a bird the lye, though he cry Cuckow,
neuer so?

Tyta.I pray thee gentle mortall, sing againe,
Mine eare is much enamored of thy note;
On the first view to say, to sweare I loue thee.
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape.
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth moue me.

Bot.Me-thinkes mistresse, you should haue little
reason for that: and yet to say the truth, reason and
loue keepe little company together, now-adayes.
The more the pittie, that some honest neighbours will
not make them friends. Nay, I can gleeke vpon occa-

Tyta.Thou art as wise, as thou art beautifull.

Bot.Not so neither: but if I had wit enough to get
out of this wood, I haue enough to serue mine owne

Tyta.Out of this wood, do not desire to goe,
Thou shalt remaine here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate:
The Summer still doth tend vpon my state,
And I doe loue thee; therefore goe with me,
Ile giue thee Fairies to attend on thee;
And 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 airie spirit go.

Enter Pease-blossome, Cobweb, Moth, Mustard-
seede, and foure Fairies.

Fai.Ready; and I, and I, and I, Where shall we go?

Tita.Be kinde and curteous to this Gentleman,
Hop in his walkes, and gambole in his eies,
Feede him with Apricocks, and Dewberries,
With 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:
And 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.

3. Fai.Haile.

Bot.I cry your worships mercy hartily; I beseech
your worships name.


Bot.I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good
Master Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold
with you.
Your name honest Gentleman?

Peas.Pease Blossome.

Bot.I pray you commend me to mistresse Squash,
your 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?



Bot.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.
Tye 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.
Enter Pucke.
Here comes my messenger: how now mad spirit,
What night-rule now about this haunted groue?

Puck.My Mistris with a monster is in loue,
Neere to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hower,
A crew of patches, rude Mechanicals,
That worke for bread vpon Athenian stals,
Were met together to rehearse a Play,
Intended for great Theseus nuptiall day:
The 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.
Anon 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)
Seuer 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,
Made senslesse 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:
When 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?
Rob.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.

Rob.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,
If 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,
From 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,
So should a murtherer 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 lookes as bright as cleare,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering spheare.

Her.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?
Henceforth 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?
An 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.

Her.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.

Dem.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,
If for his tender here I make some stay. Lie downe.

Ob.What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite
And laid the loue iuyce on some true loues sight:
Of thy misprision, must perforce ensue
Some true loue turn'd, and not a false turn'd true.

Rob.Then fate ore-rules, that one man holding troth,
A million faile, confounding oath on oath.

Ob.About the wood, goe swifter then the winde,
And Helena of Athens looke thou finde.
All fancy sicke she is, and pale of cheere,
With sighes of loue, that costs the fresh bloud deare.
By some illusion see thou bring her heere,
Ile charme his eyes against she doth appeare.

Robin.I go, I go, looke how I goe,
Swifter then arrow from the Tartars bowe. Exit.

Ob.Flower of this purple die,
Hit with Cupids archery,
Sinke in apple of his eye,
When his loue he doth espie,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wak'st if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.

Enter Pucke.

Puck.Captaine of our Fairy band,
Helena is heere at hand,
And the youth, mistooke by me,
Pleading for a Louers fee.
Shall we their fond Pageant see?
Lord, what fooles these mortals be!

Ob.Stand aside: the noyse they make,
Will cause Demetrius to awake.

Puck.Then will two at once wooe one,
That must needs be sport alone:
And those things doe best please me,
That befall preposterously.

Enter Lysander and Helena.

Lys.Why should you think y I should wooe in scorn?
Scorne and derision neuer comes in teares:
Looke when I vow I weepe; and vowes so borne,
In their natiuity all truth appeares.
How can these things in me, seeme scorne to you?
Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true.

Hel.You doe aduance your cunning more & more,
When truth kils truth, O diuelish holy fray!
These vowes are Hermias. Will you giue her ore?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.
Your vowes to her, and me, (put in two scales)
Will euen weigh, and both as light as tales.

Lys.I had no iudgement, when to her I swore.

Hel.Nor none in my minde, now you giue her ore.

Lys.Demetrius loues her, and he loues not you. Awa.

Dem.O Helen, goddesse, nimph, perfect, diuine,
To what, my loue, shall I compare thine eyne!
Christall is muddy, O how ripe in show,
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
Fan'd with the Easterne winde, turnes to a crow,
When thou holdst vp thy hand. O let me kisse
This Princesse of pure white, this seale of blisse.

Hell.O spight! O hell! I see you are all bent
To set against me, for your merriment:
If you were ciuill, and knew curtesie,
You would not doe me thus much iniury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you doe,
But you must ioyne in soules to mocke me to?
If you are men, as men you are in show,
You would not vse a gentle Lady so;
To vow, and sweare, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are Riuals, and loue Hermia;
And now both Riuals to mocke Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprize,
To coniure teares vp in a poore maids eyes,
With your derision; none of noble sort,
Would so offend a Virgin, and extort
A poore soules patience, all to make you sport,

Lysa.You are vnkind Demetrius; be not so,
For you loue Hermia; this you know I know;
And here with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermias loue I yeeld you vp my part;
And yours of Helena, To me bequeath,
Whom I do loue, and will do to my death.

Hel.Neuer did mockers wast more idle breth.

Dem.Lysander, keep thy Hermia, I will none:
If ere I lou'd her, all that loue is gone.
My heart to her, but as guest-wise soiourn'd,
And now to Helen it is home return'd,
There to remaine.

Lys.It is not so.

De.Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest to thy perill thou abide it deare.
Looke where thy Loue comes, yonder is thy deare.

Enter Hermia.

Her.Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The eare more quicke of apprehension makes,
Wherein it doth impaire the seeing sense,
It paies the hearing double recompence.
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander found,
Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to that sound.
But why vnkindly didst thou leaue me so?

Lysan.Why should hee stay whom Loue doth presse to go?

Her.What loue could presse Lysander from my side?

Lys.Lysanders loue (that would not let him bide)
Faire Helena; who more engilds the night,
Then all yon fierie oes, and eies of light.
Why seek'st thou me? Could not this make thee know,
The hate I bare thee, made me leaue thee so?

Her.You speake not as you thinke; it cannot be.

Hel.Loe, she is one of this confederacy,
Now I perceiue they haue conioyn'd all three,
To fashion this false sport in spight of me.
Iniurous Hermia, most vngratefull maid,
Haue you conspir'd, haue you with these contriu'd
To baite me, with this foule derision?
Is all the counsell that we two haue shar'd,
The sisters vowes, the houres that we haue spent,
When wee haue chid the hasty footed time,
For parting vs; O, is all forgot?
All schooledaies friendship, child-hood innocence?
We Hermia, like two Artificiall gods,
Haue with our needles, created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key:
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and mindes
Had beene incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet a vnion in partition,
Two louely berries molded on one stem,
So with two seeming bodies, but one heart,
Two of the first life coats in Heraldry,
Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient loue asunder,
To ioyne with men in scorning your poore friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly.
Our sexe as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone doe feele the iniurie.

Her.I am amazed at your passionate words,
I scorne you not; It seemes that you scorne me.

Hel.Haue you not set Lysander, as in scorne
To follow me, and praise my eies and face?
And made your other loue, Demetrius
(Who euen but now did spurne me with his foote)
To call me goddesse, nimph, diuine, and rare,
Precious, celestiall? Wherefore speakes he this
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
Denie your loue (so rich within his soule)
And tender me (forsooth) affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent?
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung vpon with loue, so fortunate?
(But miserable most, to loue vnlou'd)
This you should pittie, rather then despise.

Her.I vnderstand not what you meane by this.

Hel.I, doe, perseuer, counterfeit sad lookes,
Make mouthes vpon me when I turne my backe,
Winke each at other, hold the sweete iest vp:
This sport well carried, shall be chronicled.
If you haue any pittie, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument:
But fare ye well, 'tis partly mine owne fault,
Which death or absence soone shall remedie.

Lys.Stay gentle Helena, heare my excuse,
My loue, my life, my soule, faire Helena.

Hel.O excellent!

Her.Sweete, do not scorne her so.

Dem.If she cannot entreate, I can compell.

Lys.Thou canst compell, no more then she entreate.
Thy threats haue no more strength then her weak praise.
Helen, I loue thee, by my life I doe;
I sweare by that which I will lose for thee,
To proue him false, that saies I loue thee not.

Dem.I say, I loue thee more then he can do.

Lys.If thou say so, with-draw and proue it too.

Dem.Quick, come.

Her.Lysander, whereto tends all this?

Lys.Away, you Ethiope.

Dem.No, no, Sir, seeme to breake loose;
Take on as you would follow,
But yet come not: you are a tame man, go.

Lys.Hang off thou cat, thou bur; vile thing let loose,
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.

Her.Why are you growne so rude?
What change is this sweete Loue?

Lys.Thy loue? out tawny Tartar, out;
Out loathed medicine; O hated poison hence.

Her.Do you not iest?

Hel.Yes sooth, and so do you.

Lys.Demetrius: I will keepe my word with thee.

Dem.I would I had your bond: for I perceiue
A weake bond holds you; Ile not trust your word.

Lys.What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, Ile not harme her so.

Her.What, can you do me greater harme then hate?
Hate me, wherefore? O me, what newes my Loue?
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as faire now, as I was ere while.
Since night you lou'd me: yet since night you left me.
Why then you left me (O the gods forbid)
In earnest, shall I say?

Lys.I, by my life;
And neuer did desire to see thee more.
Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
Be certaine, nothing truer: 'tis no iest,
That I do hate thee, and loue Helena.

Her.O me, you iugler, you canker blossome,
You theefe of loue; What, haue you come by night,
And stolne my loues heart from him?

Hel.Fine yfaith:
Haue you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulnesse? What, will you teare
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie, you counterfeit, you puppet, you.

Her.Puppet? why so? I, that way goes the game.
Now I perceiue that she hath made compare
Betweene our statures, she hath vrg'd her height,
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height (forsooth) she hath preuail'd with him.
And are you growne so high in his esteeme,
Because I am so dwarfish, and so low?
How low am I, thou painted May-pole? Speake,
How low am I? I am not yet so low,
But that my nailes can reach vnto thine eyes.

Hel.I pray you though you mocke me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me; I was neuer curst:
I haue no gift at all in shrewishnesse;
I am a right maide for my cowardize;
Let her not strike me: you perhaps may thinke,
Because she is something lower then my selfe,
That I can match her.

Her.Lower? harke againe.

Hel.Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me,
I euermore did loue you Hermia,
Did euer keepe your counsels, neuer wronged you,
Saue that in loue vnto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth vnto this wood.
He followed you, for loue I followed him,
But he hath chid me hence, and threatned me
To strike me, spurne me, nay to kill me too;
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I beare my folly backe,
And follow you no further. Let me go.
You see how simple, and how fond I am.

Her.Why get you gone: who ist that hinders you?

Hel.A foolish heart, that I leaue here behinde.

Her.What, with Lysander?

Her.With Demetrius.

Lys.Be not afraid, she shall not harme thee Helena.

Dem.No sir, she shall not, though you take her part.

Hel.O when she's angry, she is keene and shrewd,
She was a vixen when she went to schoole,
And though she be but little, she is fierce.

Her.Little againe? Nothing but low and little?
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her.

Lys.Get you gone you dwarfe,
You minimus, of hindring knot-grasse made,
You bead, you acorne.

Dem.You are too officious,
In her behalfe that scornes your seruices.
Let her alone, speake not of Helena,
Take not her part. For if thou dost intend
Neuer so little shew of loue to her,
Thou shalt abide it.

Lys.Now she holds me not,
Now follow if thou dar'st, to try whose right,
Of thine or mine is most in Helena.

Dem.Follow? Nay, Ile goe with thee cheeke by
iowle. Exit Lysander and Demetrius.

Her.You Mistris, all this coyle is long of you.
Nay, goe not backe.

Hel.I will not trust you I,
Nor longer stay in your curst companie.
Your hands then mine, are quicker for a fray,
My legs are longer though to runne away.

Enter Oberon and Pucke.

Ob.This is thy negligence, still thou mistak'st,
Or else committ'st thy knaueries willingly.

Puck.Beleeue me, King of shadowes, I mistooke,
Did not you tell me, I should know the man,
By the Athenian garments he hath on?
And so farre blamelesse proues my enterprize,
That I haue nointed an Athenians eies,
And so farre am I glad, it so did sort,
As this their iangling I esteeme a sport.

Ob.Thou seest these Louers seeke a place to fight,
Hie therefore Robin, ouercast the night,
The starrie Welkin couer thou anon,
With drooping fogge as blacke as Acheron,
And lead these testie Riuals so astray,
As one come not within anothers way.
Like to Lysander, sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stirre Demetrius vp with bitter wrong;
And sometime raile thou like Demetrius;
And from each other looke thou leade them thus,
Till ore their browes, death-counterfeiting, sleepe
With leaden legs, and Battie-wings doth creepe:
Then crush this hearbe into Lysanders eie,
Whose liquor hath this vertuous propertie,
To take from thence all error, with his might,
and make his eie-bals role with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seeme a dreame, and fruitless vision,
And backe to Athens shall the Louers wend
With league, whose date till death shall neuer end.
Whiles I in this affaire do thee imploy,
Ile to my Queene, and beg her Indian Boy;
And then I will her charmed eie release
From monsters view, and all things shall be peace.

Puck.My Fairie Lord, this must be done with haste,
For night-swift Dragons cut the Clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Auroras harbinger;
At whose approach Ghosts wandring here and there,
Troope home to Church-yards; damned spirits all,
That in crosse-waies and flouds haue buriall,
Alreadie to their wormie beds are gone;
For feare least day should looke their shames vpon,
They wilfully themselues exile from light,
And must for aye consort with blacke browd night.

Ob.But we are spirits of another sort:
I, with the mornings loue haue oft made sport,
And like a Forrester, the groues may tread,
Euen till the Easterne gate all fierie red,
Opening on Neptune, With faire blessed beames,
Turnes into yellow gold, his salt greene streames.
But not withstanding haste, make no delay:
We may effect this businesse, yet ere day.

Puck.Vp and downe, vp and downe, I will leade
them vp and downe: I am fear'd in field and towne.
Goblin, lead them vp and downe: here comes one.

Enter Lysander.

Lys.Where art thou, proud Demetrius?
Speake thou now.

Rob.Here villaine, drawne & readie. Where art thou?

Lys.I will be with thee straight.

Rob.Follow me then to plainer ground.

Enter Demetrius.

Dem.Lysander, speake againe;
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
Speake in some bush: Where dost thou hide thy head?

Rob.Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
And wilt not come? Come recreant, come thou childe,
Ile whip thee with a rod. He is defil'd
That drawes a sword on thee.

Dem.Yea, art thou there?

Ro.Follow my voice, we'l try no manhood here. Exit.

Lys.He goes before me, and still dares me on,
When I come where he cals, then he's gone.
The Villaine is much lighter heel'd then I:
I followed fast, but faster he did flye; shifting places.

That fallen am I in darke vneuen way,
And here wil rest me. Come thou gentle day: lye down.

For if but once thou shew me thy gray light,
Ile finde Demetrius, and reuenge this spight.

Enter Robin and Demetrius.

Rob.Ho, ho, ho; coward, why com'st thou not?

Dem.Abide me, if thou dar'st. For well I wot,
Thou runst before me, shifting euery place,
And dar'st not stand, nor looke me in the face.
Where art thou?

Rob.Come hither, I am here.

Dem.Nay then thou mock'st me; thou shalt buy this
If euer I thy face by day-light see.
Now goe thy way: faintnesse constraineth me,
To measure out my length on this cold bed,
By daies approach looke to be visited.

Enter Helena.

Hel.O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy houres, shine comforts from the East,
That I may backe to Athens by day-light,
From these that my poore companie detest;
And sleepe that sometime shuts vp sorrowes eie,
Steale me a while from mine owne companie. Sleepe.

Rob.Yet but three? Come one more,
Two of both kindes makes vp foure.
Here she comes, curst and sad,
Cupid is a knauish lad,
Enter Hermia.
Thus to make poore females mad.

Her.Neuer so wearie, neuer so in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torne with briars,
I can no further crawle, no further goe;
My legs can keepe no pace with my desires.
Here will I rest me till the breake of day,
Heauens shield Lysander, if they meane a fray.

Rob.On the ground sleepe sound,
Ile apply your eie gentle louer, remedy.
When thou wak'st, thou tak'st
True delight in the sight of thy former Ladies eye,
And the Country Prouerb knowne,
That euery man should take his owne,
In your waking shall be showne.
Iacke shall haue Iill, nought shall goe ill.
The man shall haue his Mare againe, and all shall bee
They sleepe all the Act.
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