Mounsieur Cobweb; good mounsieur, get you your weapons in
your hand and kill me a red-hipp'd humble-bee on the top of a
thistle; and, good mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
yourself too much in the action, mounsieur; and, good mounsieur,
have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loath to have you
overflown with a honey-bag, signior. Where's Mounsieur
Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb to
scratch. I must to the barber's, mounsieur; for methinks I am
marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if
my hair do but tickle me I must scratch.
What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?
I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs
and the bones.
Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.
Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your good dry
oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay. Good
hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.
I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.
I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas. But, I
pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition
of sleep come upon me.
Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away.
OBERON [Advancing] Welcome, good Robin. Seest thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity;
For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet favours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her and fall out with her.
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls
Stood now within the pretty flowerets' eyes,
Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had at my pleasure taunted her,
And she in mild terms begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain,
That he awaking when the other do
May all to Athens back again repair,
And think no more of this night's accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the Fairy Queen.
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity,
And will to-morrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair prosperity.
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, an in jollity.
Fairy King, attend and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.
Then, my Queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after night's shade.
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wand'ring moon.
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.
To the winding of horns, enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA,
EGEUS, and train
Go, one of you, find out the forester;
For now our observation is perform'd,
And since we have the vaward of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
Uncouple in the western valley; let them go.
Dispatch, 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.
I was with Hercules and Cadmus once
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
With hounds of Sparta; never did I hear
Such gallant chiding, for, besides the groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem'd all one mutual cry. I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.
My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-knee'd and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.
Judge when you hear. But, soft, what nymphs are these?
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.
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?
I pray you all, stand up.
I know you two are 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?
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,
Without the peril of the Athenian law-
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.
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 the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gaud
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 betroth'd ere I saw Hermia.
But, like a sickness, did I loathe this food;
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.
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.
[Awaking] When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer. My
next is 'Most fair Pyramus.' Heigh-ho! Peter Quince! Flute, the
bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! God's my life,
stol'n 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 patch'd 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 call'd '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