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Obe. Then, my queen, in silence sad,1
Trip we after the night's shade.

We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.

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. [Horns sound within


The. Go, one of you, find out the forester ;-
For now our observation is performed,2

And since we have the vaward of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.-
Uncouple in the western valley; go:
Despatch, I say, and find the forester.-
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion

Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once,
When in a wood of Crete they bayed the bear
With hounds of Sparta. Never did I hear
Such gallant chiding; 3 for, besides the groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seemed all one mutual cry. I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flewed, so sanded; 5 and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-kneed, and dew-lapped like Thessalian bulls ;
Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tunable

1 Sad here signifies only grave, serious.

2 i. e. the honors due to the morning of May.

3 Chiding means here the cry of hounds. To chide is used sometimes

for to sound, or make a noise, without any reference to scolding.

4 The flews are the large chaps of a deep-mouthed hound.

5 Sanded means of a sandy color, which is one of the true denotements of a blood-hound.

Was never hollaed to, nor cheered with horn,
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.

Judge, when you hear.-But soft; what nymphs are these?

Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is;
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena.

I wonder of their being here together.

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe
The rite of May; and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.-
But speak, Egeus; is not this the day

That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
Ege. It is, my lord.

The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.

Horns and shout within.


HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up.

The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is


Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

Lys. Pardon, my lord.


[He and the rest kneel to THESEUS.

I pray you all stand up.

I know you are two rival enemies;

How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,

To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?
Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,

Half 'sleep, half waking. But as yet, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came here;
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,-

And now I do bethink me, so it is,)

I came with Hermia hither. Our intent

Was to be gone from Athens, where we might be
Without the peril of the Athenian law.

Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough

I beg the law, the law, upon his head.

They would have stolen away, they would, Demetrius, Thereby to have defeated you and me;

You, of your wife; and me, of my consent;

Of my consent that she should be your wife.

Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood;
And I in fury hither followed them;
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power
(But by some power it is) my love to Hermia,
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gawd,
Which in my childhood I did dote upon;
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betrothed ere I saw Hermia;
But, like in sickness, did I loath this food;
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.

The. Fair lovers, you are fortunately met.
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.-
Egeus, I will overbear your will;
For in the temple, by and by with us,
These couples shall eternally be knit.

And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.-
Away, with us, to Athens. Three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.

Come, Hippolyta. [Exeunt THE., HIP., EGE. and Train.
Dem. These things seem small and undistinguishable,
Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

Her. Methinks I see these things with parted eye, When every thing seems double.


So methinks;

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.

Fancy is here love or affection, and is opposed to fury.


It seems to me,

That yet we sleep, we dream.-Do not you think,
The duke was here, and bid us follow him?

Her. Yea, and my father.

And Hippolyta.
Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.

Dem. Why, then we are awake. Let's follow him; And, by the way, let us recount our dreams. [Exeunt.

As they go out, BOTTOм awakes.

Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer. My next is, Most fair Pyramus.—Hey, ho!— Peter Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God's my life! stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream,—past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought I was-there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had,— but man is but a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream; it shall be called Bottom's Dream, because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the duke. Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death.1 [Exit.

SCENE II. Athens. A Room in Quince's House.

Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING. Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? Is he come home yet?

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Star. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt, he is transported.

Flu. If he come not, then the play is marred. It goes not forward, doth it?

Quin. It is not possible. You have not a man in all Athens able to discharge Pyramus but he.

Flu. No; he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft man in Athens.

Quin. Yea, and the best person too; and he is a very paramour for a sweet voice.

Flu. You must say, paragon. A paramour is, God bless us, a thing of nought.

Enter SNUG.

Snug. Masters, the duke is coming from the temple, and there is two or three lords and ladies more married. If our sport had gone forward, we had all been made


Flu. O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a-day during his life. He could not have 'scaped sixpence a-day; an the duke had not given him sixpence a-day for playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged; he would have deserved it. Sixpence a-day, in Pyramus, or nothing.


Bot. Where are these lads? Where are these hearts? Quin. Bottom!-O most courageous day! O most happy hour!

Bot. Masters, I am to discourse wonders; but ask me not what; for, if I tell you, I am no true Athenian. I will tell you every thing, right as it fell out.

Quin. Let us hear, sweet Bottom.

Bot. Not a word of me. All that I will tell you, is, that the duke hath dined. Get your apparel together; good strings to your beards, new ribands to your pumps; meet presently at the palace; every man look o'er his part; for the short and the long is, our play is preferred. In any case, let Thisby have clean linen; and let not him, that plays the lion, pare his nails, for they

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