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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 buntsmen wake them with their horns.

[Horns, and Shout within.—Demetrius, Lysander, Hermia, and Helena wake and start up.

The. Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past, Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

Lys. Pardon, my lord.

[He and the rest kneel to Theseus. Lys. 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?

The. 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 stol'n 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 follow'd 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 purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.-
Away, with us, to Athens; three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.-
Come, Hippolyta.

[Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and Train, L. 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.

Hel. So methinks:

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,

Mine own, and not mine own.

Dem. 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.

Hel. 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, L.-As they go out, Bottom awakes. Bot. When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer : -my next is, "most fair Pyramus."-[Rises and advances.] Hey ho!-Peter Quince! Flute, the bellowsmender; 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. [Exit, R.

SCENE II.-Athens.-A Room in Quince's House. Enter QUINCE, FLUTE, SNOUT, and STARVELING, L. Qui. (c.) Have you sent to Bottom's house? Is he come home yet?

Sta. (L. c.) He cannot be heard of Out of doubt, he s transported.

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

Qui. 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.

Qui. 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 naught.

Enter SNUG, L.

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 men.

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.

Enter BOTTOM, R.

Bot. Where are these lads? Where are these hearts ? Qui. 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.

Qui. 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 ribbons 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 shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions, nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not doubt, but to hear them say, it is a sweet comedy. No more words; away; go, away. [Exeunt, L.


- ACT V.

SCENE I.-Athens.—An Apartment in the Palace of


Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords and Attendants, L.

Hip. (c.) 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.

The. (L. C.) More strange than true. I never may believe

These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,

Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend

More than cool reason ever comprehends.

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,

Are of imagination all compact:

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;

That is, the madman; the lover, all as frantic,

Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And, as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation, and a name.

Such tricks hath strong imagination :
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a bear?

Hip. But all the story of the night told over
And all their minds transfigur'd so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,

And grows to something of great constancy;
But, howsoever, strange and admirable.


The. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth. Joy, gentle friends! joy, and fresh days of love, Accompany your hearts!

Lys. More than to us

Wait on your royal walks, your board, your bed.
The. Come, now; what masks, what dances shall we


To wear away this long age of three hours,
Between our after supper and bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth?

What revels are in hand? Is there no play,

To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?

Call Philostrate.

Phi. Here, mighty Theseus.

The. Say, what abridgment have you for this evening?

What mask? what music?

How shall we beguile

The lazy time, if not with some delight?

Phi. There is a brief, how many sports are ripe ; Make choice of which your highness will see first. The. [Reads.] "The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung

By an Athenian eunuch, to the harp."

We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
In glory of my kinsman, Hercules.

"The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,

Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage."

That is an old device; and it was play'd
When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
"The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
Of learning, late deceas'd in beggary."

That is some satire, keen and critical,
Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
"A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe very tragical mirth.
Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
That is, hot ice, and wonderous strange snow.
How shall we find the concord of this discord?

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