ACT IV
Scene 1
 

The wood. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HELENA, and HERMIA, lying asleep

Enter TITANIA and Bottom; PEASEBLOSSOM, COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARDSEED, and other FAIRIES attending; OBERON behind, unseen

TITANIA
Come, sit thee down upon this flow'ry bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.

BOTTOM
Where's Peaseblossom?

PEASEBLOSSOM
Ready.

BOTTOM
Scratch my head, Peaseblossom.
Where's Mounsieur Cobweb?

COBWEB
Ready.

BOTTOM
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
Mustardseed?

MUSTARDSEED
Ready.

BOTTOM
Give me your neaf, Mounsieur Mustardseed. Pray you, leave
your curtsy, good mounsieur.

MUSTARDSEED
What's your will?

BOTTOM
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.

TITANIA
What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?

BOTTOM
I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs
and the bones.

TITANIA
Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.

BOTTOM
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.

TITANIA
I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

BOTTOM
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.

TITANIA
Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away.

Exeunt FAIRIES

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!

[They sleep]

Enter PUCK

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.

[Touching her eyes]

Be as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou was wont to see.
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.

TITANIA
My Oberon! What visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.

OBERON
There lies your love.

TITANIA
How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

OBERON
Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.
Titania, music call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep of all these five the sense.

TITANIA
Music, ho, music, such as charmeth sleep!

PUCK
Now when thou wak'st with thine own fool's eyes peep.

OBERON
Sound, music. Come, my Queen, take hands with me,

[Music]

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.

PUCK
Fairy King, attend and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.

OBERON
Then, my Queen, in silence sad,
Trip we after night's shade.
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wand'ring moon.

TITANIA
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

To the winding of horns, enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA,
EGEUS, and train

THESEUS
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.

Exit an ATTENDANT

We will, fair Queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

HIPPOLYTA
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.

THESEUS
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?

EGEUS
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.

THESEUS
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?

EGEUS
It is, my lord.

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

[Horns and shout within. The sleepers awake and kneel to THESEUS]

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

LYSANDER
Pardon, my lord.

THESEUS
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?

LYSANDER
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-

EGEUS
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.

DEMETRIUS
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.

THESEUS
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

DEMETRIUS
These things seem small and undistinguishable,
Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

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

HELENA
So methinks;
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.

DEMETRIUS
Are you sure
That we are awake? It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
The Duke was here, and bid us follow him?

HERMIA
Yea, and my father.

HELENA
And Hippolyta.

LYSANDER
And he did bid us follow to the temple.

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

Exeunt

BOTTOM
[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
her death.

Exit