Page images
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

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,

Lys. My lord, I shall reply
1 cannot truly say how I came here ;
i 'sleep, half waking-But as yet, I swear,

would I speak,
And now I do bethink me, so it is.)
I came with Hermia hither: our intent

be gone from Athens, where we might be
Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough :
I beg the law, the his head.
They would have stolen away; they would, Demetrius,
You, of your wife ; and me, of my consent;-
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 Herma,
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now
As the rem
which in my childhood I did awd,

remembrance of an idle

And all the faith and virtue of my heart,

dote upon :
The object, and the of mine eye,


I betroth'd ere I saw Hermin;
But, like in sickness, did I loath this food:


it, love it, long for it,
And will forevermore be true to
or this
Egeus, I will overbear your will,

we will hear more anon.-
For in the temple, by and by with us,
And couples shall eternally be knit:

the morning now is something worn,
Our purposed

hunting shall be set aside.-
We'll hold a feast of great solemnity-
Away, with us, to Athens : Three and three,
Come, Hippolyta.

[Rxeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and traina

[ocr errors]

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.

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. (Breunl.

As they go out, BOTTOM 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 hare 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,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]



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


Quin. Have you sent to Bottom's house? Is he come
home yet?
Star. He cannot be heard of.

Out of doubt, he is transported.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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 handycraft 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 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.

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. 1

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 heards, new

ribbons to your pumps meet presently at the palace ; ferred. In any case, let Thisby part ; for, the short and the every man look o'er his

is, our play is pre

have clean linen ; and shall hang out for the lion's claws.

lion, pare his nails, for they

And, most dear actors, eat no onions, nor garlick, 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: 89



[ocr errors]




SCENE I.-The same.

An Apartment in the Palace of Theseus.


Lords, and Attendants.

Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers

speak of.
The. 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 thai 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 nanie.
Such tricks hath strong imagination ;
That, if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy i
Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!

Hip. But all the story of the night told over,
And all their minds transfigured so together,
More witnesseth than fancy's images,
And grows to something of great constancy ;
But, howsoever, strange, and admirable.

REAM. dr.

in the Paige


there keren

may believe


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

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, [have,
Between our after-supper and bed-time?
Where is our usual manager of mirth ?
What revels are in hand P Is there no play,
To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
Call Philostrate.

Here, mighty Theseus.
The. Say, what abridgment have you for this

What mask? what music? How shall we beguile
The lazy tine, if not with some delight?

Philost. There is a brief, how many sports are ripe ;
Make choice of which your highness will see first.

(Giving a paper.) The. (Reads.) The battle with the Centaurs, to be

By an Athenian eunuch, to the harp.
We'll none of that: that have I told my love,
In glory of my kineman Hercules.

The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,

T'earing ihe 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 deceased in beggary. That is some satire, keen and critical, Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

4 tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,

And his love Thisbe : nery 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 ?


to beared;

a hing

« PreviousContinue »