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Full text of "Shakespeare's Midsummer night's dream : the second quarto, 1600 : a fac-simile in photo-lithography"

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/ f\ Brtrtcatefc, 

11 SO 


I HO*. 

[Shaksperf-Quarto Foe-similes, No. 4.] 





Fisher's text must have had 
genuine manuscript autho 

The formation of the Folio 

Some peculiarities of the 

Robert s's text not "corrected 

from Fisher's." 
10. Conclusion: the value of the 
Quarto editions. 



i. James Roberts 1 s Quarto un 

2. The two Quartos not simul 
taneous , or both independent. 

3. Four Statements ; to be sub 

4. The First Folio based on 
Robertas Quarto. 

5. Robertas text borrowed from 
Fisher's Quarto. 


|HE three most important versions of the Midsummer Nights 
Dream text are now placed within reach of the student of 
literature, by means of photo-lithography ; which gives, with 
absolute exactitude, a reproduction of every peculiarity in the typo 
graphy of the originals. It would not be too much to say that equal 
facilities for independent and combined examination of these mate 
rials were never hitherto attainable, at moderate cost, since the early 
part of the seventeenth century. Even in 1623, when for twenty 
shillings a purchaser could claim the newly-issued First Folio of 
"Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies: 
Published according to the True Original Copies : London : Printed by 
Isaac laggard and Ed. Blount," the sixpenny editions, each in Quarto, 
that had been circulated for nearly a quarter of a century, must have 


become scarce, and therefore more costly. All these originals had 
in our day ceased to be accessible, except in some few national or 
ducal libraries, and could not be bought without a ruinous expen 
diture of money, before Howard Staunton's excellent photo-lithograph 
appeared in 1866: more trustworthy, being scientifically reproduced, 
than the careful typographical reprint of the same First Folio, issued 
two years earlier, but reduced into a quarto size of page, by Lionel 
Booth, of 307, Regent Street, 1864. This had been printed by L. 
Strangeways and H. E. Walden, 28, Castle Street, Leicester Square. 1 
The original First Folio, in perfect condition, occasionally sells at 
between seven hundred and eight hundred guineas (the Baroness 
Burdett-Coutts paid such a sum for hers) ; and the Quartos are so 
rare that they virtually never come into the market at all. 

By the help of this present series of exact reproductions, students of 
moderate means, on both sides of the Atlantic, are once more enabled 
to search for themselves the true text, and to collate the chief autho 
rities, unmisled by the caprices of commentators, or by the deliberate 
falsifications introduced at various times. There are many persons 
now desirous of investigating the subject, and capable of valuing the 
uncorrupted language of the Poet. 

^ As we have done with Fisher's Quarto, so here with that of 
Roberts : For purposes of reference, it is sufficient that we number 
the lines of the Quarto, in fours, on the inside margin ; and also mark 
the division of Acts, which is given in the Folio but not in either 
Quarto. We add a list of characters, on a separate page, facing the 
title, for convenience and completeness ; but no list was given in any 
edition before Rowe's, in 1709.* 

1 Still later appeared a marvellously cheap reproduction by photo-lithography, 
reducing each large folio page into an 8vo., necessarily minute in character. It 
was published in 1876, by Messrs. Chatto and Windus, with an Introduction written 
by J. O. Halliwell Phillipps. There had been a serviceable imitation of the First 
Folio, issued of full size (known as " Upcott's Reprint "), about 1807. We need 
only mention the costly and rare Ashbee Fac-similes, which were lithographed from 
elaborate tracings. They were attainable by few ; at five guineas each, and only 
thirty copies issued. George Stevens had, however, in 1766 issued, in four octavo 
volumes, Twenty of the Plays of Shakespeare in Quarto. 

a It shows the need of such a reproduction as our own, when we find a scholar 
(one so generally accurate as the learned Daniel Wilson, Professor of History and 
English Literature at Toronto) mistakenly declare : " It is, perhaps, due to the 


In his Introduction prefixed to the photo-lithograph of Fisher's 
Quarto, the present writer has attempted to show the probable date 
of A Midsummer Night's Dream to have been not earlier than 1593, 
or later than 1596. It cannot possibly have been produced later 
than August, 1598 (judging from the mention of it by Meres); 
although the entry of Fisher's Quarto in the Registers is not until the 
8th of October, 1600. 

Of the Quarto now reproduced there is no entry whatever in the 
same Registers, to more precisely indicate the date than any mere 
statement of the year, 1600, on Roberts's title-page. We are left en 
tirely to our own resources in the endeavour to ascertain which of 
the two Quartos was the earlier issued. After careful examination, 
and judging by internal evidence in the absence of external proof, we 
venture to affirm our belief that Thomas Fisher's was the earlier 
produced. 1 

early place which * A Midsummer Nighfs Dream ' undoubtedly occupies among 
the dramatic works of Shakespeare, that in all the older texts it is divided into acts 
and not into scenes " (Caliban : A Critique on Shakespeare's Tempest and A Mid 
summer Nighfs Dream. 1873. P. 240.). This he writes after giving a special 
description of the two Quartos ; but the simple fact is, that neither of them shows 
any division whatever into acts or scenes. The Folio of 1623 first introduced the 
distinction of the acts in this play, but made no further division into scenes. After 
all, when we remember how little was done on the early Stage to change the back 
ground, except by affixing and removing an explanatory placard, we need not 
wonder at the deficiency of exact limits to scenes or acts. Like Robert Stephens's 
innovation of verse-division, in 1551, continued in our English Bibles, the system 
may be found convenient for easy reference ; but it is frequently destructive of some 
higher charm. It breaks the continuity of subject, and our attention is frittered 
away on fragmentary passages. A modern audience loses remembrance of the 
poetry and romance of the drama during each frivolous recurrence to gossip and 
flirtation, to fill the time between the acts. It would be well if the intervals 
were less obtrusively marked, both in acting and printing. Here, at least, in 
our Quartos, the divisions can be found when sought, but are not thrust forcibly on 

1 In this we avowedly run counter to the opinion expressed by so honoured an 
authority as J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, who writes as follows : " Perhaps Fisher's 
edition, which, on the whole, seems to be more correct than the other, was printed 
from a corrected copy of that published by Roberts. It has, indeed, been usually 
supposed that Fisher's edition was the earliest ; but no evidence has been adduced 
in support of this assertion, and the probabilities are against this view being the 
correct one. Fisher's edition could not have been published till nearly the end of 
the year, and, in the absence of direct information to the contrary, it may be sup 
posed that the one printed by Roberts is really the first edition." (Memoranda on 
The Midsummer Nighfs Dream, privately printed, 1879, p. 34: written 1855.) 
One ought to feel quietly confident of the strength of argument, and evidence, who 
holds and tries to establish any opinion adverse to that proclaimed by so experienced 




The two Quartos were certainly not issued simultaneously, although 
near to one another in date, both being of the same year, 1600. 
They were not both independent, in the sense of being wholly dis 
connected with each other : the later one being a direct or modified 
copy of its predecessor. An impression of the earlier Quarto lay 
before the compositor who set-up the second. Shakespeare himself 
makes one of his characters, Dogberry, admit that " When two men 
ride upon a horse, one must needs ride behind." Now it was most 
unlikely, d priori, that the open and unrebuked publisher of the 
Registered Quarto, Thomas Fisher, should have ridden behind the 
unlicensed, and probably piratical James Roberts. 1 Be it remem 
bered that after the 8th of October there still remained, according to 
the " old style " of computation, more than five months for Roberts to 
publish his book, and yet be entitled to date it as of the year 1600. 
So any conjectures, based on Fisher's Quarto being unpublished " till 
nearly the end of the year" affect not the question whether the two 
Quartos were issued simultaneously. If any person believes that they 

a guide. But we have formed our estimate deliberately, and are prepared to abide 
by the conclusions thus gained. We try to show that "the probabilities" are 
not against the theory of Fisher holding priority ; and also bring forward the 
evidence attainable " in support of this assertion." As a mere supposition, one is 
as likely as the other. It really becomes a question of evidence, to be gathered 
and interpreted from a collation of the Quartos themselves, and in connection with 
the First Folio edition of 1623. 

1 The name of James Roberts, as the printer, is on the title-page of other un 
registered Shakespeare-Quartos, viz., two editions of The Excellent History of 
the Merchant of Venice, with the extreme Cruelly of Shylocke the lew, etc., printed 
by J. Roberts, 1600 (L. Heyes, publisher) ; the earliest Quarto extant of Titus 
Andronicus (E. White, publisher), the same year, 1600 ; lastly, the second Quarto 
of Hamlet, 1604 (N. Ling, publisher), with another edition of the same in the fol 
lowing year, 1605. 

We add these few particulars concerning the printers, gathered from the Regis 
ters of the Company of Stationers : 

T[homas] Fisher. Date of Freedom, 3 June, 1600 (vol. ii. 725). Date of 
First Registered publication (the Quarto of Midsummer 
Night's Dream), 8 Oct. 1600 (in. 174). 

James Robertes (sic). Date of Freedom, 27 June, 1564 (i. 240). Date 
of First Registered publication (Christopher Payne's 
Cristenmas Carolles, and The Country Clown Doth 
much Desyre a gent to be), 15$$ (i. 402). 


were, he must remember that the burden of proof is left to him : for, to 
the best of our knowledge, there exists no evidence whatever in support 
of such a view. Still less (if less than none could be) is there any sup 
port given to an idea that both of the two Quartos may have been framed 
from separate manuscript originals. While the innumerable differences 
between them show that one Quarto is not a servile reproduction of 
the other, it is likewise true that the characteristics of both, showing 
a general and frequently also a specific similarity in printing, must 
shut out any supposition of the later copy having been wholly unin 
fluenced by its predecessor. Both Quartos are now before the reader 
for comparison. We need do little beyond indicate certain chains of 
evidence : to establish or refute certain theories in connection with 
the Folio text. 


We advance the following four statements, as representing indispu 
table facts, after a study of the two Quartos, side by side, and in 
connection with the other chief textual authority, the first Folio 
of 1623. 

i st. That despite a general resemblance between Fisher's and 
Roberts's editions in Quarto, 1600, there are dissimilarities dividing 
them, which prove with absolute certainty that the second-printed 
Quarto (by whomsoever issued) must have been set-up afresh. A 
typographical reprint of both would have shown this contrast less 
clearly than does the photo-lithographic couple of Quartos now 
offered for collation. Out of a multitude of examples, the different 
arrangement of the Italicized Stage-directions offers itself to view. 
In Fisher's, the business is given (as usual) in Italic type, with excep 
tion of the proper names of the characters; which are in Roman 
type. But in Roberts's, the whole line is in Italic type, names and 
all. The minute differences of spelling, some of them capricious and 
occasional, not constant, are innumerable and suggestive. 

2nd. That when "setting-up" the later Quarto, the printer has 
had the sheets of the earlier Quarto beside him : because the making- 
up of the two versions, page by page, is closer in resemblance than 


could have happened accidentally. In general, the pages of both 
editions begin with the same line. The exceptions are chiefly in the 
prose (or else in the pages following nearest to prose passages), and 
this difference was caused by Roberts's page being wider than Fisher's 
to the extent of about two letters' breadth. And it is remarkable 
that when this difference ensued, from the cause here shown, a 
recurrence has been speedily made to the former agreement; by leav 
ing a wider space at the earliest opportunity where stage-business was 
mentioned. Thus, after interruption, the restoration of similarity 
meets us, and the two versions begin their pages again with the same 
line. Evidently this was designedly, and not by chance. Let it not 
be thought that even in verse-printing identity of line-lengths was 
inevitable, for errors of arrangement in one Quarto are repeated in 
the other Quarto. For instance : observe the blunder of printing 
"Stand forth Demetrius" and "Stand forth Lysander? as stage- 
directions (in p. 3), while the construction of the verse proves clearly 
that each broken line is a part of the speech spoken by Egeus, and 
addressed respectively to the rival lovers. Yet both Quartos give the 
erroneous indication, as though we were to read it as "Business: 
here Demetrius is to stand forward," and the same of Lysander. 
The Folio copies the mistake without detection. Which brings us to 

3rd. That the First Folio edition, 1623, was demonstrably set 
up from Roberts's Quarto ; although that Quarto was an unauthorized, 
and presumably a spurious or pirated edition : recourse not being had 
to Fisher's superior Quarto of the same year (registered and more 
carefully punctuated, although less modernly spelt, and with fewer 
prompter's stage-directions). In confirmation of which statement we 

4th. That where there are differences between these Quartos, 
the First Folio closely follows that of Roberts's, and not Fisher's : 

a. In spelling, passim. 

(3. In punctuation, passim. 

y. In position, or in transposition, of words. 1 

1 Exem. gratia (p. 48-176), "Now I doe wish it, "of Fisher, reads: "Now do 
I wish it," in Roberts's ; and also in the First Folio. 


S. Italicized stage-directions (much more frequent in Roberts's than 
in Fisher's) are followed ', and enlarged, in the Folio? 
e. In plain and palpable emendations. 2 



Often, where the Folio corrects a phrase (that had been evidently 
wrongly given before, by Roberts), it had been wrongly given by 
Fisher also. Therefore, we see that the correction of Roberts's error 
was not borrowed from Fisher's copy. 

Examples: i. (P. 26.) Both Quartos blunder in giving the speech, 
on Bottom's exit, "A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here" to 
Quince. The improbability of his making such a comment is obvious. 
It came appropriately from the mocking voice of Puck : and accord 
ingly the First Folio prints it with " Puck " for the speaker. 

2. (P. 49.) Fisher and Roberts agree in misprinting, "But man is 
but patcht a foole ; " which in the Folio is rightly given, " But man 
is but a patcht fool," etc. 

3. (P. 50.) A far stronger case, where both Quartos read, "Enter 
Quince, Flute, Thisby, and the rabble" This is altered in the Folio 
into " Enter Quince, Flute, Thisbie, Snout, and Starueling ; " with a 
substitution of " Staru." for " Flute" as speaking second. Now this 
has evidently been guess-work, without authority of the Poet's manu 
script, and helps to perpetuate a " muddle." For the printers fail to 
remember that Flute is himself the representer of Thisbie. Perhaps 
the first error of the Quartos was the omission to mark (not " Thisbie" 
but) " ThisbiJs Mother " : a character that had been allotted to the 
timid Robin Starveling, although she does not speak when the inter 
lude is afterwards acted. Her part is dumb-show, and therefore 

1 Ex. grat. (p. 49, line 187). Where Fisher has a long single line, Roberts 
divides it properly, and reads, as a new line, "Come Hippolita" with "Exit" in- 

end the modern Scene I of Act iv.) is not in Fisher's. 

2 Ex. grat. (p. 49.) Fisher's has " if he goe about expound this dream." Roberts 
and First Folio have "if he go about to expound this dream." 


especially suited to the nervous tailor, who fears his own voice and 
shadow. It is Flute who habitually mistakes his words (witness his 
repetition of " Ninny's tomb," despite the correction earlier adminis 
tered to him by Quince). Therefore, we may be sure that the 
awkward misreading of " Paramour " for " Paragon," comes from 
Flute ; and not from the sensible manager, Peter Quince, to whom it 
is wrongly assigned. Can we restore the right name ? It may have 
been either Quince or Snout ; or even " Thisbie's Mother," otherwise 
Starveling. Certainly not "Thisby"= Flute. Yet the Folio accepts 
this false reading unhesitatingly, while making some other changes, one 
of which is merely a specification of business detail. In fine, the 
characters are so clearly marked elsewhere that the true reading 
must be something like this : 

Quince. Have you sent to Bottom^ house ? Is he come home yet ? 

Flute [as in Quartos]. He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is transported. 

Thisbie [V mothe-r=.Starveling\. If he come not, then the play is marr'd. It goes 
not forward, does it ? 

Quince. It is not possible : you have not a man in all Athens able to discharge 
Pyramus but he. 

Thisbie ['s mother=.Starveling\. No, he hath simply the best wit of any handy- 
craft man in Athens. 

Flute [not Quince, as wrongly marked in Quartos and Folio]. Yes, and the best 
person too, and he is a very Paramour, for a sweet voice. 

Quince [or else Thisbie's mother=Starveling, but certainly not Thisbie, as 
marked by all]. You must say, Paragon. A Paramour is (God bless us !) a thing 
of naught. 


Now as to the sequence of publication, we hold it to be in this 
chronological order : 

Earliest. Fisher's Quarto; 8th October, 1600. 

Next. Roberts's Quarto; after 8th October, 1600, and before 

March 25th, 1601. 

Last. The First Folio, 1623; copying Roberts's text, with con 
jectural alterations in the few places where differences occur. 
We hold it to be almost impossible certainly to us it appears in 
crediblethat any printer like Thomas Fisher (with Roberts's printed 
text before his eyes) could have deliberately changed the spelling, in 
multitudinous instances, back into a more cramped and lumbering 


archaic fashion. We give a brief sample of these differences in 
corresponding places; but they are innumerable throughout: 

fishers Quarto. 

tel Snugge els homeSpunnes per- 
happes hewe eeke lewe Snowte 
doe hogge Fynch Sparrowe 
answere ly hee, etc. (all taken 
within the compass of a few pages : 

Robert s's Quarto. 

tell Snug else home-Spuns per 
haps hue eke lew Snowt do 
hog Finch Sparrow answer 
lye he, etc. (all within pages 25 
28 : and in the prose). 

and in the prose). 

Also many contractions such as treble, for tremble; latern, for 
lantern ; chabre, for chamber ; vnderstad, for vnderstand ; traslated, 
for translated all made unnecessarily, because they are in the same 
prose portion of Fisher's Folio. 

On the other hand, it is by no means difficult to understand the 
improved clearness in typography of Roberts over that of Fisher (sup 
posing, as we do, that Roberts had Fisher's printed book before his 
eyes). For there was the additional space gained 

1. By the excision of redundant letters; 

2. By having a wider platform of type in his page ; 

3. By his gaining an occasional line in prose passages, and thus 
being able to afford extra leads at entrance of characters. 

Despite this improvement in typographical clearness, there is a 
marked deterioration in the minute divisions of the verse by punctua 
tion. Commas are less frequent, either from negligence or from 
systematic repugnance to the scholarly and grammatical breaking-up 
of sentences. Either supposition would account for the change. It 
cannot be that Fisher had intentionally improved upon Roberts in 
these minute subdivisions ; for, if so, he would never have blundered 
in more important details of punctuation, such as we see differently 
given in the two Quartos. Everything indicates the priority of 

The difference of date being at most only a few months, the 
frequent change of spelling made by Roberts from that employed by 
Fisher must have been attributable to personal taste a modernizing 
tendency of fashion, that inclined Roberts to simplify his spelling, 
and dispense with so many useless letters. He thus economizes his 
"lower case." 


Another indication of the order of succession, now formulated. Let 
us take the noble passage, wherein Theseus discourses of Imagination 
(Quartos, p. 51). It is surely difficult, if not impossible, to believe 
that any printer or tolerably instructed " reader of the press "i could 
have had Roberts's text lying before him, and yet made such hurtful 
misarrangement of the verse as we now find in line 6 of Fisher's? text, 
bringing injuriously into the same line "The Lunatick." VBoth 
editions, here as elsewhere, spoil the rhythm of the poetry by wlrong 
division of lines. But, in almost every case, the differences between 
the Quartos mark an alteration having been made from Fisher 1 s\into 
Roberts's, never from Roberts's into Fisher 's. 

(P. 25.) Fisher has: "We ought to looke toote." Roberts gi'ves 
this clearly : "We ought to looke to it." If Roberts had come first, 
and been copied by Fisher, such a change as "toote" would not hj.ave 
been seen. V 

What is shown above, by the injury to rhythm, is elsewhere shewn 
by the redundancy of capitals (as in line 88 of p. 27, Fisher's Quarto, 
which coidd not have been set wrongly from the correct arrangement 
in Roberts's). We fear these examples may appear to be tediou'sly 
insisted on ; but if they prove our statement that Fisher preceded 
Roberts an important step is gained in understanding the formation 
of the Folio's text, which assuredly was built on that of Roberts's. 


The only text of the three that can be shown to have been forme d 
on genuine manuscript authority is that which we possess in the fac 
simile of Fisher's Quarto. There is absolutely no proof whatever in . 
favour of an independent origin for the Folio text, Heminge and I 
Condell having availed themselves of the printed sheets issued by ' 
Roberts ; and these sheets were taken almost without further cor 
rection when re-set, "at the charges of W. Jaggard, Ed. Blount, 
I. Smithweeke, and W. Aspley, 1623." There is, moreover, no proof 
whatever (but presumptive evidence to the contrary) that any inde- 

, _ UL 



pendent manuscript authority had been previously employed by James 

Those persons who have carefully studied the pirated and corrupt 
versions of some other Shakespearian plays can scarcely fail to notice 
the difference when they come to examine Fisher's Quarto. It is, 
comparatively speaking, correctly printed. Whether the " copy " or 
the compositor were answerable for the spelling, we know not ; but 
as printers have always been strictly conservative in such debatable 
matters (resisting changes advocated by individuals or inconstant 
fashion), 1 we are inclined to lay the blame chiefly on Fisher. Cer 
tainly, he was less skilled and less given to innovation than Roberts, 
who used his earlier sheets. Fisher is somewhat heedless in regard 
to exits and entrances (Roberts adding several such announcements, 
where they were self-evidently necessary). But, on the whole, the 
text is given with so close an approximation to correctness, that the 
reader awakens to a regretful remembrance of the vast inferiority in 
the earliest printed texts of other Shakespearian dramas. 

In short, there is a reasonable ground for supposing that Fisher's 
Quarto may have been an accredited publication, favoured by Shake 
speare, although not corrected for the press by himself. 


We know not what reason guided Heminge and Condell to employ 
Roberts's text for the First Folio, instead of Fisher's. But we are not 
likely to err in supposing the choice to have been dictated by two out 
of three circumstances. 

i st. They did not possess an independent holograph manuscript from 
Shakespeare's hand of A Midsummer Nights Dream. Therefore they 
availed themselves of a printed version (either marked as " prompt- 

1 We are all of us under obligation to intelligent compositors and press-readers, 
for their steady conservatism and shrewd sense, as well as for other bounties. 
Long may they continue to preserve their neighbours' land-marks ! They are 
needed now, more than ever, to guard our English literature from being desecrated 
by the vagaries of self-styled philologists ; who would speedily bring us to a chaotic 
wilderness of barbarism, through some ' ' spelling-reform. " We must resist these 
revolutionists, who threaten us that lists are to be published of proscribed forms of 
spelling, like the Hue-and-Cry photographic records of escaped criminals. 


book," for representation, or, more probably, an ordinary purchased 

2nd. They preferred Roberts's Quarto, because it was the better 
printed of the two Quartos, and more suited for their reproduction. Or 

3rd. Because Fisher's Quarto (although registered) was by this time 
out of their reach, and, perhaps, virtually forgotten. But Roberts's, 
we know, was at their hand, and was found serviceable. 

All of us owe so large a debt of gratitude to these two actors, 
" John Hemmings and Henry Condell " (as their names are given in 
the list of "The Principall Actors in all these playes " of Shakespeare, 
at beginning of the First Folio), that we will not be ungracious 
enough to swell the chorus of abuse raised by ignorance and ingrati 
tude, because they did not take additional pains to secure us an 
accurate impression of the ipsissima verba of that greatest poet, whom 
they loved and honoured. In their dedication of the plays to the 
Earl of Pembroke, they claim only to have " collected them." To the 
public, " the great variety of readers," they judiciously offer their 
advice, " to buy it first/' and then " to read, and censure," if men 
will, according to privilege of purchasers. They express regret that 
the author himself had not " liu'd to haue set forth and ouerseen his 
owne writings." They glance at the " diuerse stolne, and surreptitious 
copies, maim'd and deform'd by the frauds and steal thes of injurious 
impostors, that expos'd them;" and they claim, somewhat beyond the 
actual warrant of truth, to now offer them to view " cur'd and perfect 
of their limbes: and all these rest" [tdest, these never hitherto printed 
in any edition], " absolute in their numbers, as he conceiu'd the." 
We must not press too hardly against these worthy actors, who thus 
assumed the editorial cares of authorship, for which they had not 
been trained by previous practice. What they urged may have been in 
great part true, although not true of all, or nearly all, the plays. 
Probably of " The Tempest," with which delightedly they open their 
treasure-trove, the statement is substantially correct ; and they tried 
to give the never-printed masterpiece as " we haue scarse receiued 
from him a blot in his papers." 


Of sixteen plays we see the earliest known transcript in the Folio 
of 1623. Where it is faulty, therefore, we are often left helplessly 
perplexed. But, in many other cases, we find valuable help afforded 
by the earlier-printed Quartos ; to some of which the Folio was in 
debted for its text, and notably so in the case of that loveliest work 
of youthful fancy, A Midsummer Nighfs Dream. 


Having already given (in the Introduction to Fisher's Quarto, 
p. iii.) the entry belonging to it from the Registers of the Stationers' 
Company, C. fol. 65 verso, we now add the important entry concern 
ing the First Folio. It is of date, possibly, before the volume was 
fully completed (the book requires, from its bulk, to be a long time in 
progress), and although the list appears to have been carefully tran 
scribed, and in correct order, only those plays are mentioned of which 
no Quarto editions are extant : " soe many of the said Copies as are 
not formerly entred to other men." It thus becomes a valuable 
record of the admission made at the time, that there were sundry 
other plays floating about more or less authorized, and as legalized 
property among which would be reckoned A Midsummer Nighfs 

8 Nouembris 1623. 

Master Blounte Entred for their Copies vnder the hands of Master 
Isaak Jaggard. Doctor WORRALL and Master Cole Warden Master 
WILLIAM SHAKSPEERS Comedyes, Histories, and Tra- 
gedyes, soe manie of the said Copies as are not for 
merly entred to other men. . . . viz? vijs 

COMEDYES. The Tempest 

The two gentlemen of Verona 

Measure for Measure 

The Comedy of Errors 

As you like it 

AWs well that ends well 

Twelfe night 

The winters tale 


HISTORIES. The thirde parte of HENR Y ye SIXT 

TIMON of Athens 


It will be found useful to have this list here for future reference, as 
well as for present service. We have some important deductions to 
draw from it hereafter, and on a future occasion, when we have free 
scope, we may bring fresh evidence to establish our conclusions, 
regarding the materials employed in the First Folio. It is unneces 
sary to detail the few changes successively made in the Second, 
Third, and Fourth Folios, of 1632, 1664 (valuable only for its rarity, 
most copies of this edition having perished in the Great Fire of 
1666), and 1684. Corruptions of the text continually increased, 
there being no resumed attention paid to early Quartos. 

It has been weakly taken for granted that the Folio rectifies the 
errors of the Quartos. Examination proves the falsity of this sup 
position. It will be convenient to give our proofs in a foot-note. 1 

1 The Folio spoils Lysander's speech (p. 6, line 133), mutilating the verse by 
omitting " Eigh me !" the full line being, " Eigh me ! for aught that I could ever 
read," &c. 

Both Quartos had rightly printed an old-fashioned word (in p. 6, line 144), in 
"Making it Momentany as a sound." The Folio, showing ignorance of the 
phraseology, has conjecturally changed this into " Momenta-He .^ 

Almost the only innovation of the Folio possessing any value is in Act iii. sc. 2, 
where the metre is restored by making Hermia say, "I am amazed at your/aj- 
sionate words." But even here, where this probable conjecture is employed, we 
might rest content with the Quarto's " I am amazed at your words " (unless we 
accept "passionate" as = pash'nate, dissyllabic), in a choice of imperfections. 
Shakespeare often left an incomplete verse. 

One might hail as an approach towards correction the Folio's reading, " Now is 
the niorall downe betweene the two Neighbors " (which is itself a mistake for 
mural: if we are to accept the adjective, instead of the substantive, to make 
sense); instead of the puzzling, "Now is the Moon Vsed betweene the two 
neighbors' 1 (p. 57, line 204). 

lint the Folio leaves uncorrected the palpable blunder, "wondrous strange 
snow" (p. 53, line 57), which probably ought to be "wondrous seething" or 
" scaldinge snow," or some other contrasting word, as in the case of "hot ice." 

Let a fresh plea be here advanced for the admission of this conjectural " seeth- 


After such a list as we have given, which might have been swelled 
if necessary, it is idle to talk of the Folio editors having access to any 
manuscript authority for A Midsummer Nighfs Dream. We hold it 
indisputable that they used Robertas printed Quarto, sometimes in 
creasing the defects, sometimes guessing commonplace variations; 
but they give absolutely nothing of such improvements as would have 
been gained from a genuine manuscript, or even from a certified 
" revised and corrected " prompt-book. 

ing" in place of the absurd misprint "strange," or the advocated "swarthy," which 
is inadmissible. "Seething" is in the doubtful Perkins' Folio of 1632; but 
as a guess it is not disqualified. We note that in Thomas Bastard's Chre staler os : 
Seuen bookes of Epigrames written by T. B., 1598 (the very year of the latest pos 
sible date of A Midsummer Nighfs Dream], on p. 139, we meet a confirmation 
of seething being used as synonymous with baking: 


' ' There is no fish in brookes little or great, 

And why ? for all is fish that comes to nett. 

The small eate sweete, the great more daintely. 

The great will seeth or bake, the small will frye." etc. 

(British Museum, Case 39, a. 3, second art.) 

Also, the Folio continues the erroneous "she meanes," which is a misprint for 
"she moans," in mockery of Thisbie (p. 60, line 300). Also, the Folio accepts 
and retains the misprint (p. 61, line 338) of "And the Wolfe beholds the Moone ;" 
instead of the indisputable " beholds the Moone." 

Again, in Oberon's disenchantment spell (p. 45, line 70), the metre is spoilt by 
the Folio interpolating a word, "Be thou as thou art wont to be." And, in 
Oberon's last speech, or song (p. 62, lines 384, 385), both Quartos having made the 
blunder of a misplaced line, the Folio blindly follows the example, perplexing later 
commentators, and tempting them to conjectural emendation. But the error was 
simply one that Roberts had already fallen into (on p. 28, with lines 125 and 127), 
viz., the transposition of two lines. We must read : 

"And the owner of it blest 
Ever shall in safety rest." 

Not, as the Quartos and Folio wrongly give it : 

" Ever shall in safety rest, 
And the owner of it blest." 

Tire Folio errs in omitting Oberon's name, attached to this song in the Quartos. It 
gives the song in Italics, not recognizing Oberon as leading the fairies, which he 
expressly declares : 

"And this Ditty after me, Sing and dance it trippingly." 

We have no call to believe, with Dr. Samuel Johnson (who, at the time, knew 
nothing of Fisher's Quarto), that the song mentioned by Titania is lost. 

As to the transposed line in Titania's address to Bottom, we shall see (on next 
page) that the Folio endorses Roberts's corruption of the Fisher text. 


No one hereafter need feel any timidity in speaking of the Fisher 
Quarto as " the First Quarto/' and of Roberts's Quarto as " the 
Second Quarto," if our demonstration be held complete. 

In Titania's first address to Bottom a palpable error occurs in 
Roberts's Quarto ; the final line having, wrongly, become the second 
by a printer's error : that is, the line had been dropt while the type 
was being set : it was noticed, and then inserted, but at a wrong 
place, the blunder remaining undetected, although the comma re 
maining at the end of the line " doth moue me," shows plainly the 
nature of the accident. 1 Now this glaring typographical error is 
positively copied into the Folio, although it spoils the verses ! The 
compositor had sufficient wit, and no more, to alter the final comma 
of Roberts's into a full stop. Surely nothing could better prove (ist) 
the absence of authoritative correction in the Folio, and (2nd) the 
priority of Fisher's to Roberts's corrupted text. 

Far from Roberts's being, as it is loosely declared, " corrected from 
Fisher's," the verse is often marred by Roberts departing from Fisher's 
reading. Here are instances of such damage, and all of them are en 
dorsed by the Folio in repetition : 


P. 7, line 174. prospers loues. [Rhyming with "doues"] 

changed into ..... loue. 
,,15 ,, 1 02. And thorough this distemperature, 

changed into ..... through this 

,, 103. hoary headed frosts, changed into . . hoared headed frosts 
,,17 !73- round about the earth, changed into . roiind the earth. 
35 j> I 73- Helen, it is not so, changed into . . It is not so. 


1 This piece of evidence is so important, and has been hitherto so overlooked, 
at it will be better to give the passage in full : 


Titania.I pray thee, gentle mortall, 

sing againe 
Myne eare is much enamoured of thy 

note : 

So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape, 
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) 

doth mooue mee, 
On the first viewe to say, to sweare, I 

loue thee. 


Tytania. I pray thee gentle mortall, 

sing againe, 
Mine eare is much enamored of thy 

note ; 
On the first view to say, to sweare I 

love thee. 

So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape, 
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) 

doth moue me, 

The Folio repeats Roberts's text, verbatim, et literatim, et punctuatim, except at 
the end, which has a period, " doth moue me."" 


Or weakening the sense, even when not marring the verse, as in 

P. 8, line 202. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine, 

changed into . . '-.. none of mine. 
,, 16 ,, 153. That very time I saw [evidently correct] 

changed into . . . . .1 say [Quite wrong]. 
17 !77- The next thing //^w she waking, changed 

into ....... when she waking 

?> j} 190. And ivodde [i. <?. mad], within this wood, 

changed into ..... wood within this wood 
,,19 ,, 255. Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in, 

changed into ..... rap a fairy in [! !] 
,,47 ,, 131. their being here together, changed into . this being 
,,48 164. in fancy following me, changed into . followed me. 
j> 63 ,, 390. these visions, changed into . . . this visions. 

Sometimes the change is unimportant, either reading suiting well 
enough, as in (p. 37, line 268) Fisher's Quarto: "O hated potion" 
altered into, " O hated poison ". 

One more specimen of the mere guess-work of both Roberts's changes and the 
revisers of text in the Folio. In Act iii. sc. I (D 4 = p. 30, line 19 of both Quartos), 
where Puck is delightedly recounting the discomfiture of the Clowns, on the 
appearance of Bottom wearing the Ass's head, Puck uses this expression, in 
Fisher's Quarto : "And forth my Minnick comes." This is altered in Roberts's 
Quarto, into " And forth my Minnock comes." The change is only a blunder, or 
from some fancy of rectifying the spelling : a frequent occasion of error with 
Roberts. But when the Folio text is being formed from Roberts's, twenty-three 
years later, there is a total ignorance in the printing-office as to the meaning of the 
word, and it is therefore transformed, plausibly, into Mimic "And forth my 
Mimmick comes," as though it were spoken in reference to Bottom being one of the 
actors. But this is absolutely a blunder. Puck never ceases to heap ridicule on 
Bottom, as "the shallowest thickskin of that barren sort;" ironically mocking 
him as "sweet Pyramus," "a stranger Pyrannis than e'er play'd here," and, 
" When thou wak'st with thine owne foole's eyes peepe." Puck is far too choice 
and culled of phrase to lavish so dainty an epithet on the weaver Bottom as 
"Mimic." The word he uses, we may be sure, is a word of insult. Later Folios 
further corrupt it into '' Mammock. " But Fisher gave us the true Shakespearian 
word, which was correctly " Minnick. " (We have a similar one in "Mannikin," 
but Minicken, or sometimes Minikin = small, neat, finical ; or, in an opprobrious 
sense, paltry and effeminately unmanly. ) We have the same word elsewhere in 
Shakespeare : it is in Edgar's scrap of song, as Mad Tom (King Lear, Act iii.), in 
the Folio : 

" Sleep'st or wakest thou, jolly Shepheard, 
Thy sheepe bee in the corne ; 

And for one blast of thy minikin mouth, 
Thy sheepe shall take no harme." 


We have necessarily left important matters untouched, that may be 
hereafter discussed in our forthcoming edition, long promised to the 
New Shakspere Society ', under the presidentship of Robert Browning. 


Pressure of other promised work caused delay. Our special business 
in this Quarto has been to indicate, to the best of our ability, its true 
place and value in relation to Fisher's Quarto of the same year, 1600, 
and to the earliest Folio, 1623. So, in our Introduction to Fisher's 
Quarto, we limited ourselves to considering the evidence in adjust 
ment of the date as a composition, and only briefly touched on what 
may well be called the higher criticism. 1 

To another opportunity, perhaps to a more skilful hand, is left the 
unwinding of many a clue. The intricacies of the fairy mythology 
might well demand attention and most profound scholarship. Hitherto 
little has been done, beyond the gathering of materials, to form a 
judgment. Painters, like our early teacher, David Scott, and our still 
living friend, revered and loved, Sir Noel Paton, have delighted to 
embody on their canvas the airy gambols of " the Puck," the graceful 
dignity of Oberon, the loveliness of Titania, the quaint variety of 
blended whimsicality and bewitching beauty among the elves and 
sylphs that held their revels in the haunted woodland. Poets and 
musicians have not lingered far behind : they strove, like Mendelssohn, 
to make melody reveal the mysteries that underlie the twilight 
gloaming the messages that are heard or seen by those alone whose 
faculties are spiritualized and quickened, after having breathed 
diviner air. From sculpture and from architecture have been bor- 

1 After all, it is not the individual opinion of any Editor, but the exact reproduc 
tion of the text itself, in photo-lithographic fac-simile, that must indisputably form 
the chief value of this projected series of Quartos. If their text be presented trust- 
worthily, they will be prized and circulated. (For any delay of issue, hitherto, 
neither the publisher nor the present writer is in any degree responsible. Both 
are blameless. Our two Quartos of A Midsummer Night's Dream a labour of 
love, not a hireling task are advanced before their announced position, owing to 
the three other plays which should have preceded them being still behind time. 
They were from different hands.) We have not deemed it necessary to give a 
longer or more exhaustive Introduction to each of our own two Quartos. Together 
they form a total of only thirty-seven pages. 

Moreover, circumstances have shown to us the expediency of retaining, for the 
present, within our own possession, certain valuable materials, literary and pictorial, 
gathered for the illustration of the Fairy Mythology of Shakespeare and his Con 
temporaries. They are kept back until such time as they can be published free from 
any injurious control. We write for those who possess sympathy with something 
beyond the dry bones of etymological and linguistic study of him who was "the 
world's Shakespeare." Readers will meet us again in this haunted wood of Oberon 
and Titania. Let us hope that it may not be without mutual pleasure or mutual 
profit. Vale. 


rowed the severe and stately calm that meets us in such noble figures 
as Duke Theseus with his Amazonian bride ; the slumbering lovers, 
couched apart, half-hid in shadow, half-glorified by the moon's 
beams ; and even the procession of the wedding-guests, coming at 
the close like a happy inspiration a dreamland fancy, caught up in 
memory from some description of the Panathenaic frieze, as told by 
travellers who had roved through Greece, and found true pleasure in 
conversing with our Stratford Poet, whose listening ear was ready to 
accept the tale. Elsewhere we see him in his superhuman wisdom, 
his wide- embracing knowledge of all varieties of men, his warmth of 
heart, his scorn of cunning, cruelty, and selfishness ; his mastery over 
every passion, his insight into every hope or fear. But here we find 
him keeping an open court ; not too lofty for our homage, but, like his 
own Theseus, cheerfully accepting our poor attempts to do him 
service, and warm ourselves at life's true Midsummer in his smile. 

We hold within our grasp the very pages, printed without much 
typographical skill, that in those early days gave to so many a heart 
the first rapturous enjoyment of fairyland. It is our own fault if to us 
they bring less of pleasure. Well said the earliest editors of Shake 
speare : 

" Reade him, therefore, and againe, and againe : And if then you doe not like 
him, surely you are in some manifest danger, not to understand him." 





[The two Quarto editions and the four Folio editions have no list of characters. 
Rowe first added one, in 1709.] 

THESEUS, Duke of Athens. 

EGEUS, an Athenian Lord, Father of Hermia. 

PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Rei<els to Theseus. 
QUINCE, a Carpenter ; 
SNUG, a Joiner ; 

BOTTOM, a Weaver; \AriuansafHh**. 

FLUTE, a Bellows-mender ; ' 

SNOUT, a Tinker ; 

STARVELING, a Tailor ; 

HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus. 

HERMIA, daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander. 

HELENA, in love with Demetrius. 

OBERON, King of the Fairies. 

TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies. 

PUCK, or RoBiN-GooDFELLOW, a Fairy. 


COBWEB, ,-,... 

MOTH, \ Fatnes - 





Characters in the Interlude, performed by the Clowns. 


Other Fairies attendant on Oberon and Titania. 
* Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. 

SCENE varies, from the Palace of Theseus at Athens, and Quince's 
house, to a Wood in the neighbourhood. 

Midfommer nights 

As it bath beene fundry times pub~ 

tifyfy afledy by the Ttjght Honours 

ble, the Lord Chamberlaine his 


Written ty VVflim Sb 

Printed h lames Tokens, 1600. 




Enter Thefttu,Hippolita, with others* 


f w faire Hippo foa&m nuptiall hoy re 
rawes on apace : foure happy daics bring in 
! Another Moone : buc oh^me-thinks how flow 
g^v.^jThis old Moone wanes/ She lingers my defires 
-ike to a Step-dam,or a Dowager, 
Long withering out a young mans reuenew* 
///jp.Foure daies will quickly fteepe themfelues in nights 
Foure daies will quickly dreame away the time ; 
And then the Moone,like to a filuer bow, 
Now bent in heauen,fhall behold the night 


Scirre vp the Athenian youth to merriments, 
Awake the peart and nimble fpirit of mirth! 
Turne melancholy foorth to Funerals : 
The pale companion is not for our pomp v*-, 
HtypolitAil woo'd thee with my fword, 
And wonne thy loue,doing thee iniuries : 
But I will wed thee in another key, 
With pompe.with triumph,and with reuelling, 

Enter Sgettsandhis daughter Hermit jtndLyfwdtr) 

Helena jind Demetrius* 
^.Happybe The[iuf>our renowned Duke* 
The. Thanks good Bgeus. What's thenewes with thee? 
JEg; .Full of vexation,comc I, with complaint 

A 2 A* 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Againft my childe,my daughter Hermia. 

Standfoortk Demetrius. 
My noble Lord. 
This man hath my confcnt to marry her 

Stand foorth Lj fonder. 
And my gracious Duke, 

This man hath bewitcht the bofomc of my childc : 
Thou.thou Ljfander t \hou haft giuen her rimes. 
And interchang'd loue tokens with my childe : 
Thou haft by moone-light at her window fung, 
With faining voice,verfes of faining loue, 
And ftolne the impreflion of her fantafie, 
With bracelets of thy haire, rings,gawdes, conceits, 
Knacks, trifles.nofegaies, fweet meates (meflengers 
Of ftrong preuailement in vnhardened youth) 
With cunning haft thou filcht my daughters heart, 
Turnd her obedience (which is due to me) 
Toftubborne hardineffe.And my gracious Duke, 
Be it fo (he will not here before your Grace, 
Confent to marry with Demetrius, 
Ibeg the ancient priuiledge of Athens ; 

As flie is mine,! may difpofe of her ; 
Which fiiall be either to this gentleman, 
Or to her death, according to our law, 

Immediatly prouided in that cafe. 

Tin?. What fay you Herntta ? be aduis'd,faire maid, 

To you your father ftioud be as a God : 

One that compos'd your beauties ; yea and one, 

To whom you are but as a forme in wax 

By him imprint ed^and within his power, 

To leaue the figure.or disfigure it : 

Demttriw i$ a worthy gentleman. 

Her. So is Lrfamkr. ThtJn himfelfe he is. 

But in this kinde,wanting your fathers voycc. 

The other muft be held the worthier. 


A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

Her. I would my father lookt but with ray eyes. 

7&f .Rather your eyes muft with his iudgement looke. 

Her. I do intreate your Grace to pardon me. 
I know not by what power I am made bold, 
Nor how it may concerne my modefty, 
In fuch a prefencc.hcrc to plead my thoughts ; 
But I befcech your I may know 
The word that may befall me in this cafe, 
If I refufe to wed T)emetritts* 

Tlfo. Either to die the death,or to abiure 
For euer the fociety of men* 
Therefore faire fm0M,queftion your defires, 
Know of your y outh.cxamine well your blood, 
Whether (ifyouyeeld not to your fathers choycc) 
You can endure the liuery of a Nunne, 
For aye to be in fhady Cloifter me w'd 
To liue a barren lifter all your life. 
Chanting faint hymnesto the colde fruitlefle Moone. 
Thrice blefled they that matter fo their blood, 
To vndergo fuch maiden pilgrimage, 
But earthlier happy is the Rofe diftild, 
Then that which withering on the virgin thorne, 
Growe$jliues,and diesin fmgle bleflednefle. 

Her. So will Igrow/o liuc,fo dye my Lord, 
Ere I will yeeld my virgin Patent vp 
Vnto his Lordfliip, whofe vnwiftied yoake 
My foule confents not to giue fouerairuy. 

Ttv.Take time to pau^and by the next new Moone, 
The fealing day betwixt my ioue and me, 
For euerlafting bond of fdlowfhip : 
Vpon that day either prepare to dye, 
For difobediencc to your fathers will, 
Or elfe to wed Da0ifr/Mf,asbe wold, 
Or on Ditwaes Altar to proteft, 
For aye,aufterity,and (ingle life. 

A 3 Dem. 


A Midfommer nights Drcame. 

'Dem .Relent fweete ff<rmia,*nd Lyptndir, yeeld g2 

Thy crazed title to my certaine right. 

Lyf. You haue her Fathers lou^Demetriw : 
Let me haue Hermits : do you marry him. 

Egetu. Scornful! Z^/id*r,true,he hath my Loue 5 & 

And what is mme,my loue (hall render him. 
Arid (he is mine,and all my right of her 
I do eftate vnto Demetrius. 

L]f**.\ am my Lord,as well deriu'd as hce, 
As well pofleft : my loue is more then his : 
My fortunes euery way as fairely ranckt 
(If not with vantage) as Demetrius : 
And (which is more then all thcfe boafts can be) 104 

I am belou'd of beautious Hermta. 
Why (hould not I then profecute my right ? 
Demetrius, lit auouch it to his head, 

Made loue to Ned*rs daughter,//*/***, ws 

And won her foule : and (he ffwecie Lady) dotes, 
Deuoutly dotes, dotes in Idolatry, 
Vpon this fpottcd and inconftant man. 

Tke.I muft confe(Te,that I haue heard fo much, 1,2 

And with Z)*;*fr/i//,thou!ght to haue fpoke thereof; 
But being ouer full of felfc-affaircs, * 
My minde did lofe it.But Demetrius come, 
And come ^**/,you (hall go with me, 116 

I haue fome priuate fchooling for you both. 
For you faire Ffermia y looke you arme your felfc, 
To nt your fancies to your fathers will ; 
Or clfe the Law of Athens yeelds you vp 120 

(Which by no meanes we may extenuate) 
To death ;0r to a vow of (ingle life. 
Come my HiflolitA ; what chearc my loue? 

Demetriw and Egetu goe along : 124 


I muft imploy you in tome bui 

Againft our nup tiall ,and confer re with you 


A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

Of fomething,neerely that concerncs y our felues. 
^.With ducy and defire,wc follow you. Exeunt. 

Z/7/IHow now my louc ? Why is your cheeke fo pale ? 
How chance the roles there do fade fo faft ? 

/fcr.Belike for want of raine ; which I could well 
Beteeme them,from the tempeft of my eyes. 

j/IEigh me ; for ought that I could cuer rcade, 
Could eucr hearc by talc or hiftory* 
The courfc of true louc neucr did runnc fmoothe, 
But either it was different in bloud ; 

Hrr.O crofle ! too high to be inthrald to louc. 

Lyf.Or clfe mifgraffed,m refpc& of ycarcs ; 

Her.O fpight J too oldc to be ingag'd to yong. 

Lyf.Or elie it flood vpon the chohe of friends; 

Ber.O heiJ,to choofe loue by anothers eyes. 

Ljf.Orjf there were a (impathy in choife, 
Warre,death,or fickne(Tc,did lay Hedge to it ; 
Making it moment any,as a found ; 
Swift as a fhadow ; fhort as any dreame ; 
Briefe as the lightening in the collied night, 
That (in a fplecne) vnfolds both heauen and earth 5 
And ere a man hath power to fay,bchold, 
The iawes of darkneflfe do deuoure it vp : 
So qutcke bright things come to confufion, 

/Ar. If then true Louers haue bin euer croft, 
It Rands as an edi& in deftiny : 
T hen let vs teach our triall patience, 
Becaufe it is a cuftomary croffc, 
As due to louc,as thoughts > and dreames,and fighes, 
Wifties and teares ; poore Fancies followers. 

Lyf*k good perfwafion : therefore heare me 9 Hermta: 
I haue a widow Ant, a dowagerjf 
Of great reuenew,and fhe hath no childe, 
From Athens is her houfe remote feucn leagues, 
And (he refpects rne,as her oncly fonne : 



A Midfbmmer nights Dreame. 

There gentle frn/*,may I marry thee, 
And to that place,the lharpe Athenian law 
Cannot purfue vs.If thou loucft me,then 
Steale forth thy fathers morrow night .- 
And in the wood, a league without the to wne 
(Where I did meetc thee once with Helen*, 
To do obferuance to a morne of MayJ 
There will I flay for thee. 

Her My gooALjfauier, 
I fweare co thee,by Cupids ftrongeft bow, 
By his beft arrow, with the golden head, 
By the Simplicity of Venus Doues. 
By that which knitteth foules, and profpers loue, 
And by that fire which burnd the Carthage Qgeene, 
When the falfc Troyan vudcr fayle was feene, 
By all the vowes that euer men haue broke, 
( [n number more then euer women (poke) 
In that fame place thou hair appointed me, 
To morrow trucly will I rneete with thee. 

/^Keepepromife loue,looke here comes Helen*. 
Bitter Helena. 

Jf-for.God fpeede faire Helena,* hither away ? 

He/.Call you me faire ? that faire againe vnfay, 
Demetrius loues your faire : O happy faire ! 
Your eyes are loadftar$,and your tongues fweet ayre 
More tuneable then Larketo Shepheards care, 
When wheate is greene,whcn hauthorne buds appeare, 
S icknefle is catching : O were fauour fo, 
Your words I catch,faire Hernia ere I goe, 
My care (hould catch your voice,ray cye,your eye, 
My tongue {hould catch your tongues fweet melody, 
Were the world m\nt t Demetrigt being bated, 
The reft lie giue to be to you tranflated. 
O teach me how you looke,and with what art, 
You fway the motion of Demetrius hearr. 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

flVr.Ifi:owncvponhim,yct he loues me (till, 

ffel.O that your frowns wold teach my fmiles fuch skii 

Her. I giue him curfcs.yet he giues me loue. 

Hel.O that my prayers could fuch affc&ion mooue. 

jHb-.The more I hatc,the more he folio wes me. 

/fe/.Thc more I louc s thc more he hatcth me. 

ffer.His folly ^Helena is none of mine. 

fe/.None but your beauty, wold that fault were mine. 

ffcr.Takc comfort : he no more (hall fee my face, 
ty fader and my felfe will fly this place. 
Before the time I did Ljfltnfar fee, 
Seem'd Athens like a Paradice to me. 
O then,what graces in my Louc do dwell, 
That he hath turn'd a heauen into hell. 

Ljf.Hclcnjio you our mindes we will vnfoldj 
To morrow night, when Pkabe doth behold 
Her filuer vifage,in the watry glafTe, 
Decking with liquid pearle,thc bladcd graffe 
(A timc,that louers flights dothflill conceale) 
Through Athens gatcs,haue we deuifed to fteale. 

Her. And in the wood,where often you and 1 9 
Vpon faint Pimrofc beds,were wont to lye, 
Emptying our bofomcs,of their counfcli fweld, 
There my Ljfaftder^nd my felfe fhail mcetc, 
And thence from Athens turuc away our eyes 
To feeke new friends and ftrange companions. 
Farwcll fwcete play-fellow, pray thou for vs, 
And good lucke grant thee thy Demetrius. 
Keepe word Lyfander we muft ftarue our fight, 
Fromlouers foode,till morrow deepe midnight. 

Exit Htrmia* 

y Iwill my HermtaJIcletui adieu, 
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you. Exit Ljf. 

/fe/.How happy fomCjore othcrfome can be } 
Through Athens I am thought as faire as he. 

B But 


A Midfommernightesdreame, 

But what of that?D<?#?*/r//#thinkes notfb; 

He will notknowe,what alljbut hee doe know, 

And as hee erresj doting on Hermits eyes.- 

Soljadmiring of his qualities. 

Things bafe and vile, holding no quantitiej 

Louc can tranfpofe to forme and dignicie. 

JLoue lookes not with the eye$,but with the minde,* 

And therefore iswingd Cupid painted blinde 

Nor hath louesminde of any iudgementtaftc: 


And therefore is loue faid to bee a childe? 

Becaufe,inchoyce,he is fooft beguil'd. 

As waggifh boycsjin game, thcmfeluesfotfweare: 242 

Soothe boy,Loue ,is periur'd euery where. 

For ere Demetrius lookt on Hermias eyen 3 

Hee hay Id downe othes^that he was onely 

And when this haile fome heate/rom fftrtvftijelt) 246 

So hedi(ToIuedjand(howrsofoathes didmelc, 

I will goe tell him of faire Hermiu flight: 

Thcn,tothe wodde, will he ,to morrow night, 

Purfucher : and for thisintelligcnce^ 2 *>o 

If Ihaue thankes,it isadeare expcnfe: 

But herein meane 1 co enrich my paine^ 

To haue his fight thithcr^and back againe. Exit. 

Enter Quince the C4rpenfer,4ndSnu%gcjbe loyne^tind 
Bottom^r he Weauer\ and Flute^ the Bellowes menAtr^ 
Snout,* 6* Tinker \ And StarueL'ng the Tyler \ 
Qvin. Is all our com pany hcere/ 
*pt. You wcrebcft to call them generally, man by 

man^according to the fcrippe. 
Qttia.Hetc is the fcrowle ofcuery mansnamCj which is 

thought fit,through al/#/fo*/jtopiay in ourEnterlude^be- 

fore the.Ouke : & the DutcheSjOn hiswcddingday at night. 

BottJFitR good Wee tcr Quince fay what the Play treason; 

thca read the names of the Adtors.-&fo grow to a point* 

AMidfommernightcs drcame. 

S#f.Mary,our Play isthc moft lamentable comedy* 
and moft crucll death cfiTyramw and Tkifby* 

*Bot. A very good peccc of worke,! aflure you, & a mer 
ry .Now good < PteterQxince,<:i\\ forth your A&ors,by the 
Quin. Anfwerc,as I call you. NtckBottonu, the Weauer? 
*Boit. Readie * Name what pate I am fbr^ and proceeds. 

What is Pyramtu? A louer j or a tyrant? 

Qttin. A louer that kils himfelfe,moft gallanr^for loue. 

Bott. That will aflke fome teares in the true performing 
of it, Jf I doe itjlet the Audience looke to their eyes: I wil 
mooue Hormes : I will condole,in forne meafurc. To the 
reft ye^mychiefe humour is for a ty rant* 1 could play?-- 
des rarely, or a part to teare a Cat in , to make all fplit the 
raging rocks : and fhiuering (hocksyihallbreakc the locks 
ofprifongates^andP^/^/^carre (hallfhine from farre, 
and make & marre the foolifh FatesThis was ioftie.Now, 
name the reft of the Players. This is Er/e/vame,a tyrants 
vaine : A louer is more condoling* 

Quin. r<wcisI?lutejkK, Bello wes menderf 
F/tt. Here teeter Quince. 
Quin.FlutejjWL muft take *fhififr on you. 

Fla. What is Thi/ty A wandring knight? 

Quit. It is the Lady,that Pyramtu muft loue. (ming. 

F/.Nay faith.-let not me play a woma:I haue a beard co- 

Qum* Thats all one^ou (hall play it in a Mafkcjandy ou 
may fpeake as fmall as you will. 

2?rff .And I may hide my face, let me play Tkifby to : lie 
fpeake in a monftrous little voice; Tbife y T'hifne^ ah ?/* 
ramtu^my louer deare,thy Tfyjby deare,& Lady dcare. 

jg^.No,no:you muft play PyrantHs:& Flute, you Tfy/fy. 

Boi. Wcll,proccede 4 QH%. Tt$bm Startieltng^ Taller.' 

Star. Here Peeter Quince* 

,yQum\i& play Tfyfye$ mothers 
Bx To* 


AMidfommer nights Dreanie. 

thc Tinker. 
.Hete Peter Qntncc, 
Q*in m You,Pyr<*#;tfj father ; my fclfe,Tfc/j/>/ father ; 
Snuggc the Ioyncr,you the Lyons part : and I hope here is 
a play fitted. 

.w*r.Haiie you the Lyons part written ? pray you if it 
be,giue it me,for I am flowc of ftudy. 

Qufn. You may doit extempore, for it is nothing but 

Bet. Let me play the Lyon too, I will roare,thac I will 
do any mans heart good tohcarcmc.I will roare, that I 
will make the Duke fay,Let him roare again, let him roarc 

Qttin.]f you fhould do it too terribly,you would fright 
the Dutchcflc and the Ladies,that they would flirikc, and 
that were enough to hang vs all. 

>4//.That would hang vs euery mothers forme. 
Bot.l grant you friends, ifyou fhould fright the Ladies 
out of their wits, they would hauc no more difcrction but 
to hang vs : but I will aggravate my voyce fo, that I will 
roarc you as gently as any fucking Doue ; I will roare you 
and t'werc any Nightingale. 

Quin.You can play no part but Pirarntu, for Pirajntu is 
a fweet fac't man,a proper man as one fhal fee in a fomrners 
day ; a moft louely gentlemanlike man,thercforc you mufl 
needs play Piramvu. 

/tot.Wcll,! will vndertake it. What beard were 1 bcft ro 
play it in ? 

^^Jwiw. Why, what you will. 

Bot.l will difchargc it,in cyther your ftraw-colour beard, 
your orange tawny beard,your purple in graine beard, or 
your french crowne colour bcard,your pcrfit yellow* 
Qu/x.Somt of your french crownes hauc no haire at all ; 
and then you will play bare fac't. But matters hcerc arc 
your parts, and I am to entreat you,requcft you,and dcfire 



A Midfornmer nights Dreame, 

you,to con them by too morrow night: andmeeteme in 
the palace wood, a mile without the townc, byMoone- 
light,there we will rehearfc : for if we mectein the Citty, 
we fhall be dogd with company.and our dcuifes knownc. 
In the meane timc,I will draw a bill of properties, fuch as 
our play wants. I pray you failc me not, 

Bor. We will meete, and there we may rehearfc more 
obfcenely and couragioufly. Take paincs,beperflt, adieu. 
<#/, At the Dukes oke we meete. 

/tor .Enough,hold or cut bow-firings. Exeunt. 

Enter afaiy at one doore y and Robin good-felloe 
of another. 

^o^/w.How now fpirit,whcther wander you ? 

/^/.OuerhilKoucrdale^hroughbufhjthrough brier, 
Oucr parke,ouer pale^hrough flood } through fire, 
I do wander euery where, fwifter then the Moons fphcrc j 
And I feruc the Fairy Queenc, to dew her orbcs vpon the 
The cowilips tall.hcr penfioncrs be, (grcene. 

In their gold coats/pots you fee, 
Thofe be Rubies .Fairy fauours. 
In thofc frecklcs,liue their fauors, 
I murt goe feckc fame dew drops here, 
And hang a pearle in cucry cowflips care. 
Farwcll thou Lob of fpirits.llcbegonc, 
Our Queenc and all her Elucs come here anon. 

fo.The King doth keepe his Rcuels hccre to night, 
Take heed the Queene come not within his fight, 
For Qbcron is parting fell and wrath, 
Bccaufc that fhc,as her attendant,hath 
A louely boy ftollen from an Indian king, 
She neucr had fo fweete a changeling, 
And icalous Obtron would haue the chHde, 
Knight of his traine,to trace the Forrcfts wildc. 
But (he,perforce with-holds the loued boy, 
Ctowncs him with flowcrs,and makes him all her ioy. 

B 3 And 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

A nd now they ncucr mccte in groue,or grccne, 
By fountainc clccre,or fpangled ftarlight fheene, 
But they do fquarc,that all their Elues for fearc 
Crccpe into acornc cups, and hide them there. 

F^i.Either I miftake your fhape and making quite, 
Or elfe you arc that (hrevvd and knauifh fpirit, 
Call'd Robin good-ff How .Are you noc hee, 
That frights the maidens of the Villagree, 
Skim milke,and fometiroes labour in the querne, 
And bootlefle make the breathleffe hufwifc chernc, 
And fometime make the drinke to beare no barme, 
Mif-leade nightxwandercrs,laughing at their harmc, 
Thofe that hobgoblin call you,and Iwecte Puck, 
You do their worke,and they (hall haue good lucke, 
Are not you he t (the night, 

&?.Thou fpeak'ft aright ; I am that merry wanderer of 
I ieaft to O&ro,and make him fmile, 
When I a fat and bcane-fed horfe beguile ; 
Neighing in likencflc of a (illy foale, 
And fometime lurke I in a go (lips bole, 
In very likenefTe of a rofted crab, 
And when (he drinkes,againft her lips I bob, 
And on her withered dewlop poure the ale. 
The wifeft Aunt telling the (added tale, 
Sometime for three foote ftoolc,miftaketh me^ 
Then flip I from herbumjdowne topples (hc 5 
And tailour cryes,and fal$ into a coffe, 
And then the whole Quire hold their hips.and loffe, 
And waxen in their mirth,and necze,and fwcarc, 52 

A merrier houre was neuer wafted there. 
But roomeFairy,here comes O heron, 

FM. And here my miftreffc : would that he were gone, 

ntcr the King ofFatriet of one doore with his trtune t 

and the Qucene at another with hers. 

0.1U met by raoone-light,proud Tytanf*. 



A Midfommernights Dreame. 

gueene. What,iealous Qberon ? Fairy skip hence, 
Ihaue forfwornehis bed and company. 

Ob. Tarry rafh wanton ; am not I thy Lord ? 

jg^/Thenlmuftbetby Lady : but I know 
When thou haft ftollen away from Fairy Land, 
And in the fliapc of C<?r/,fat all day, 
Playing on pipes of corne,and verfing loue, 
To amorous Phillida.Why art thou here 
Come from the far theft freepe of India ? 
But that forfooth the bouncing AmA*,on y 
Your buskind miftrefle,and your warrior loue, 
To Tbefcus muft be wedded ; and you come, 
To giue their bed ioy and profperity. 

O.How canft thou thus for fhame,7)Mvr4, 
Glance at my credite^with Hippo/tta ? 
Knowing I know thy loue to Thefetu. 
Didft not thou leadehim through the glimmering night a 
From Pmjrw/'djWhom he rauifhed ^ 
And make him with faire Eagles breake his faith 
With >4r*ufer,and 4ntiofa ? 

jQ^.Thefc are the forgeries of iealoufie, 
And ncuer fincc the middle Sommers fpring, 
Met we on hill,in dale,forreft or mead, 
By paued fountaine^or by rufiiy brooke, 
Or in the beached margent of the fea, 
To dance our ringlets to the whittling winde, 
But with thy bra wles thou haft difturbd our fport. 
Therefore the windes 3 pyping to vs in vaine, 
As in reuenge,haue fuckt vp from the fea, 
Contagious fogs ; which falling in the Land, 
Hath eucry pelting riuer made fo proud, 
That they haue ouer-bornc their Continents. 
The Oxe hath therefore ftrctcht his yoke in vaine, 
The ploughman loft his fweat,and the greene Cornc 
Hath rotted,erc his youth attaind a beard : 

,B 4 The 

A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

The fold Rands empty ,in the drowned field, 
And Crowes arc fatted with the murrion flocke, 
The nine rnens Morris is fild vp with mud, 
And the qucint Mazes in the wanton grcene > 
For lackc of tread,are vndiftinguifhable. 
The humane mortals want their winter hecre, 
No night is now with hymmc or carroll bleft ; 
Therefore the Moonc (the goucrnefle of floods) 
Pale in her anger,wafhcs all the aire ; 
ThatRheumaticke difeafes do abound. 
And through this diftcmperaturc,we fee 
The feafonsalter;hoarcd headed frofts 
Fall in the frcfh lap of the crirufon Rofe, 
And on old Hyemschinnc and Iciecrowne, 
An odorous Chaplet of fwccte Sommcr buds 
Is as in mockery fet.Thc Spring, the Sommer, 
The childing Auturane.angry Winter change 
Their wonted Liucries, and the mazed world, 
By their increafe^ow knowesnot which is which; 
And this fame progeny of euils, 
Comes from our debate,from ourdifTemion, 
We ^re their parents and originall. 

Oteron.Do you amend it then, it Jycs in you. 
Why ftiould Titanttcroftc her Obtron ? 
I do but beg a little changeling boy, 
To be my Henchman. 

^Mffne.Sct your heart at reft, 
The Fairy land buics not the childe of me, 
His mother was a Votreflc of my order, 
And in the fpiccd /w&itf aire,by night 
Full often hath flic goffipt by my fide, 
And fat with me on Neptttnes yellow fands, 
Marking th'embarked traders on the flood, 
When we haue laught to fee the failcs concciue, 
And grow big bellied with the wanton windc. 


JIL rr 

A Midfomtner nights Drearne. 

727 Which fhe with pretty and with fwimming gate, 

Following (her vvombe then rich with my young fquire) 
Would imitatCjand faile vpon the Land, 
To fetch me trifles,and returne againe, 
737 As from a voyage^ich with merchandize. 

But fhe being mortall,of that boy did dye, 
And for her fake do I rcare vp her boy, 
And for her fake I will not part with him. 
735 ob. How long within this wood intend you ftay? 

jg**.Perchance till after Thefcw wedding day, 
Ifyou will patiently dance in our Round, 
And fee our Moone- light rcuels^o with vs ; 
If not,fhun me and I will fpare your haunts. 
0,Giue me that boy.and I will go with thee. 
Qu.Not for thy Fairie Kingdome.Fairies away : 
We fhall chide downe right,if I longer (lay. Exeunt 

943 0.Well,go thy way : thou fhalt not from this groue. 

Till I torment thee for this iniury. 
My gentle Pucke come hither; thou rerncmbreft 
Since once I fat vpon a promontory, 
/ 47 And heard a Meare-maide on a Dolphins backe, 

Vttering fuch dulcet and harmonious breath, 
That the rude fea grew ciuill at herfong, 
And ccrtaine ftarrcs fhot madly from their Sphearw, 
To hcare the Sea-maids muficke, 
?uc.\ remember. 

O^.That very time Ifay (but thou couldft not) 
Flying betweenc the colde Moone and the earth, 
'55 Cupid all arm'd ; a ccrtaine aime he tooke 

Atafairc Vefral!,throned by Weft, 
And loos'd his loue-fhaft fmartly from his bow* 
As it fhould pierce a hundred thoufand hearts, 
But I mi ght fee young Cupids fiery fliaft 
Quencht in the chafte beamcs of the watry Moonc^ 
And the imperiall Votrcfle pafled on 3 

C In 


1 1.1. 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

In maiden meditation, fancy free* 162 

Yetmarkt I where the bolt o 

It fell vpon a little wefterne flower ; 

Before,milke- white ; now purple with loues wound, 

And maidens call ic.Loue in idlcnefle. 

Fetch me that flower ; the hearb I fhew'd thce once, 

The iuyce of it,on flceping eye-lids hide, 

Will make or man or woman madly dote 

Vpon the next Hue creature that it fees. 

Fetch me this hearbe,and be thou here againe, 

Ere the Leuuttkan can fwirn a league* put a girdle about the earth,in forty minutes* 
Oforw.Hauing once this iuycc, 
He watch Titania, whence flbe is afleepe, 
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes .* 
The next thing when (he waking lookes vpon, 
(Be it on Lyon,Beare,or Wolfe, or Bull, 
On medling Monkey , or on bufie ApcJ 
She fh all purfue it, with the foule of louc. 
And ere I take this charme off from her fight, 
(As I can take it with another hcarbe) 
lie make her render vp her Page to me. 
But who comes heere ? I am inuiftble, 
And I will ouer-heare their conference. 

Enter DeTnetrius, Helena follow ing him. 
Dftftf .1 loue thee not, therefore purfue me not, 
Where is Lyfander and faire Hernia ? 
The one lie ftay,the other ftayeth me. 
Thou toldft me they were ftolne vnto this wood ; 
And here am I and wood within this wood ^ 
Becaufe I cannot mcete my Hermia. 
Hence,get thcc gone,and follow me no more* 

Hel. You draw me,you hard-hearted Adamant, 
But yet you draw not Iron/or my heart 
Is true as ftecle . Leaue you your power to draw, 



A Midfonmmer nights Dreame. 

196 And 1 (hall hauc no power to follow you. 

De/ffe.'Do I cnti cc you ? do I fpeakc you fairc j 
Or rather do I not in plained truth, 
Tell you I do not,not I cannot loue you ? 

Jfr/. And euen for that do I loue thec thcmorc ; 
I am your fpaniell, and Demetrius, 
The more you bcatc me,I v/ill fawne on you. 
Vfe me but as your fpanicll ; fpurne mc,ftrikc me, 
204 Negle&me,lofe me ; onely giuc me Icauc 

(Vnworthy as I am) to follow you. 
What worfcr place can 1 beg in your Ioue f 
( And yet a place of high re(pe6r with me) 
208 Then to be vfcd as you vfcyour dog. 

2>.Tempt not too much the hatred of my (pirn. 
For I am ficke when I do looke on thee. 

Het. And I am ficke when I looke not on you. 
2/2 Df /w.You do impeach your modefty coo much, 

To leauethe Citty,and commit your fclfc 
Into the hands of one that loues you not, 
To truft the opportunity of night, 
And the ill counfell of a defert place, 
With the rich worth of your virginity. 

Hcl, Your vertue is my prsuiledge : for that 
It is not night when I do fee your face* 
220 Therefore I thinke I am not in the night, 

Nor doth this wood lacke worlds of company, 
For you in my rcfoect are all the world. 
Then how can it be faid I am alone, 
224 When all the world is here to looke on me f 

jDemMc run from thcc.and hide me in the brakes, 
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde Beafts. 

//r /.The wildeft hath not fuch a heart as you ; 
228 Runne when you will , the ftory (hall be chaung'd : 

Apollo flyes^nd Dtphna holds the chafe ; 
The Doue purfues the G riffcn, the milde Hinde 

C i Makes 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Makes fpeed to catch the Tygre.Boodefle fpeede, 
When cowardife purfues,and valor flyes. 

Demet.\ will not ftay thy qucftions,Iet me go ; 
Or if thou follow me,do not bclecue, 
But I {hall do thee mifchiefe in the wood. 335 

HeL I,in the Temple,in the To wne,and Field 
You do me mifchicfe.Fye Demetrius, 
Your wrongs do fet a fcandall on my fex : 
We cannot fight for loue,as men may do ; 239 

We (hould be woo'd,and were not made to wooe. 
He follow thee and make a heauen of hell, ^ 

To dye vpon the hand 1 loue fo well. Exit. 

O^.Fare thee well Nymph,ere he do leaue this groticT" 243 

Thou (halt flye him,and he (hall fceke thy loue. 
Haft thou the flower there ? Welcome wanderer* 

Off. I pray thee glue it me. ^7 

I know a banke where the wilde time blowes, 
Where Oxflips and the nodding Violet growes, 
Quite ouercanoped with lufhious woodbine, 
With fweetc muske rofcs,and with Eglantine; 
There flcepes 7)f4w/<*,fometime of the night, 
Luld in thefe flowers,with dances and delight: 
And there the fnakcthrowes her enammeld skinne, 
Weed wide enough to rap a Fairy in. 255 

And with the iuyce of thisjle ftreake her eyes, 
And make her full of hatefull fantafies. 
Take thou fome of it,and fceke through this grouc; 

A fweete Athenian Lady is in loue 259 

With a difdainefull youth : annoint his eyes, 

But do it when the next thinghe cfpies, 

May be the Lady .Thou fhalt know the man, 

By the Athenian garments he hath on* 263 

Effe& it with fomc carc,that he may prooue 



A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

More fond on hcr,then fh c vpon her loue ; 
And looke ihou mcete me ere the firft Cockc crow. 
/>#.Feare not my I.ord,your feruant {hail do (b xennt. 

Enter Queene of fairies ,with her traine. 
Queen. Come,now a Roundcli,and a Fairy fong 5 
Jhen for the third part of a minute hence, 
Some to kill cankers in the muske rofe buds, 
Some warre with Reremife,for their leathern wings, 
To make my fmall Elucs coate$ > and fome kcepe backe 
The clamorous O wle,that nightly hootcs and wonders 
At our queint fpirits : Sing me now afleepe, 
Then to your offices,and let me reft. 

Fairies fng. 

Tou Dotted fnakes with double tongue, 
Thorny Hedvebogges be notfeene, 
Newts andvlindewormcs do no wrong 
Come not neere our Fairy quecne, 
Philomels with melody, 
Sing in ourfwcett Lullafy, 
Lulia Julia JullabyJulUikttlaJundy, 
Neuer harmejtorfpelljior charme, 
fome our louely Lady nye* 
So goodnight with Lullaby. 

x .Fairy. Wearing Spiders come not heere, 
20 Henceyou long legdSfinders^ence : 

beetles black? approch not neere ; 
War me nor Snayle do no offence. 
Philomele with melody ^c. 
24 2 .Fat. Hence away ,now all is well ; 

One aloofe,ftand Centinell* 

Snter Oberon. 

O^What thou feeft when thou doft wake t 
Do it for thy thy true louc take : 
28 Loue and languifh for his fake. 

Be it Ounce, or Catte,or Bcare, 

C Pard. 


A Midfommer nights Drea me. 

Pard,or Boare with bridled haire, 30 

In thy eye that (hail appeare, 
When thou wak'ft, it is thy deare, 
Wake when fome vile thing is ncere. 
Enter Ly finder And Hcrmia* 

Z^Faire Iouc,you faint with wandring in the woods, 34 

And to fpeakc troth I haue forgot our way : 
Wce'l reft vs HermuijS you thinke it good, 
And tarry for the comfort of the day. 

Her. Be it fo Lyftnder ; finde you out a bed, 
For I vpon this banke will reft my head. 

Z,j/lOne turffe (hall ferae as pillow for vs both, 
One heart,one bed,two bofomes,and one troth. 

/frr.Nay good Ljftndcr for my fake my dearc 42 

De further off yet,do not lie fo neere. 

Ljf.O take the fence fweete,of my innocence, 
Loue takes the meaning,inloucs conference, 
I meanc that my heart vnto yours is knit, 
So that but one heart we can make of it. 
Two bofomes interchained with an oath, 
So then two bofomes , and a tingle troth. 

Then by your fide,no bed-roome me deny, 50 

For lying fo, HermiaJ do not lye. 

Her.Lyptwkr riddles very prettily ; 
Now much befhrew my manners and my pride, 
If Hermit meant to fay ,Ly fader lied. 54 

But gentle friend,for loue and cottrtciie 
Lie further off,in humane modefty, 
Such feparatton,as may well be faid, 
Becomes a vertuous batcbellor,and aroaide, 
So farre be diftan t,and good night fweet friend , 
Thy loue nere alter till thy fweete life endc. 

Ljf.hmen amen,to that faire praier, fay I, 

And then end life, when I end loialty : 62 

Heere is my bed,fleepe giue thec all his reft. 


A Midfommers nights Dreame, 

6 4 /fcr.Whh halfc thai wifli the wifhers eyes be preft, 

Enter Pucke* 

Pfld^Through theForrcfthaue I gone, 
But Athenian finde I none, 
On whofe eies I might approue 
6s This flowers force in ftirring loue. 

Night and (ilencc: who is heere ? 
VVecdes of Athens he doth wcare : 
This is he (my matter faid) 
72 Dcfpifcd the Athenian maidc : 

And hcerc the maiden flceping found, 
On the danke and dirty ground. 
Pretty foule,(he durft not lye 
7 6 Nccre this lack louc,this kill-curtcfie. 

Churlc,vpon thy eyes I throw 
All the power this charme doth owe : 
When thou wak'ft,let loue forbid 
Sleepe his fcate,on thy eye-lid. 
So awake when I am cone . 
For I muft now to Obcron. Exit. 

Snter Demetrius and Helena running. 
JH^/.Stay,though thou kill mejfweete 3)emetriM. 
De.l charge thec hcnce,and do not haunt me thus. 
JFfc/.O wilt thou darkling leauc me ? donot ib, 
2V.Stay on thy perill,! alone will goe. 
Hel.Ol am out of breath,in this fond chafe, 
The more my praier,the lefler is my grace. 
Happy is Hrriw*,wherefoere (lie lies ; 
For flic hath bleflfed and attra^liue eyes. 
How came her eyes fo bright ? Not with fait tcares, 
92 If fo,my eies are oftner wafht then hers. 

No,no, I am as vgly as a Bearc 5 
For beafts that mcetc me,runne away for fcare, 
Therefore no maruaile,though 'Detnetritu 
96 Do as a monfter, flic rny prefencc thus. 


, JliL 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

What wicked and dhTembling giaiTe of mine, 97 

Made me compare with Hermits fphery cyne ? 
But who is here, L) fader on the grouud ? 
Dead or afleepe ? I fee no blood,no wound, 
Ljfandtr,\fyou liue^good fir awake. 

ty/And run through fire 1 will for thy fweet fake. 
Tranfparant H?/<?<*,nature fhewes arte, 
That through thy bofome makes me fee thy heart. 
Where is Demetriw ? oh how fit a word w . 

Is that vile name,to pcrifti on my fword ! 
/ft/. Do not fay fo Lj gander ',fay not fo : 
What though he loue your Hermit* Lord, what though ? 
Yet Hermit ftill loucs you ; then be content, T09 

/^Content with Hermit ? No,I do repent 
The tedious minutes I with her haue fpent. 
Not Hermit,but Helent now I louc 5 

Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue # y/J 

The will of man is by his reafon fwai'd : 
And reafon faics you are the worthier maid. 
Things growing are not ripe vntill their feafon ; 
So I being young, till now ripe not to reafon, 7 / 7 

And touching now the point of humane skill, 
Reafon becomes the Marfhall to my will, 
And leads me to your eyes, where I orelooke 
Loues ftorics,written in Loues richeft booke. 

Hel. Wherefore was I to thi s kcene mock cry borne ? 
When at your hands did I deferue this fcorne ? 
Ift not enough,ift not enough,young man, 

That I did neuer,no nor neuer can, 125 

Deferue a fwcete looke from Demetriw eye, 
But you muft flout my infufficen cy ? 
Good troth you do me wrong (good-footh you do) 
In fuch difdainfull manner,me to wooe. 
But fare you well ; perforce I muft confefle, 
I thought you Lord of more true gcntlcneflc. 



A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Oh.rhat a Lady of one man refvs'd, 

Should of another therefore be abus'd. Exit* 

Lyf.She fees not Hermia : Hermiaflecpe thou there, 
And neuer maift thou come Lyfander neere ; 
For as a furfet of the fwceteft things 
The dcepeft loathing to the ftomacke brings ; 
Or as the herefies that men do leaue, 
Are hated moft of thofe they did deceiue : 
So thou,my furfet, and my hcrefie, 
Of ail be hated ; but the moft of me ; 
And all my powers addre(fe your loue and might, 
To honour ffc/^and to be her Knight. Gxto* 

/frr.Helpe me Ly fonder ,helpe me; do thy beft 
To plucke this crawling ferpent from my breft. 
Aye mc,for pitty ; what a dreamc was here ? 
Ly fader iooke,how I do quake with feare s 
Me- thought a ferpent eate my heart away, 
And you fat fmiling at his cruell prey. 
Ly fonder iwfat remoou'd ? LyfanderJLGt^ 
What,out of hearing,gone ? No found,no word ? 
Alacke where are you ? fpcake and if you heare ; 
Speake of all ioues ; I fwound almoft with feare, 
No.chen I well pcrceiue you are not nye, 
Eyther death or you ile finde immediately. <**> 

Enter theflownet. 

Bat, Are we all met ? 

< ^i.Pat > pat 1 and heres a maruailous conuenient place 
for our rehearfall.This greene plot fhall be our ftage, this 
hauthorne brake our tyring houfe,and we will doe it in ac 
tion,as we will do it before the Duke, 

Bot.tpeter quince* 

Prfw.What faift thou,bully Ttottem* ? 

*Bot. There are things in this Comedy ofPiraMwmd 
7%*rp,that will neuer plcafe. Firft^P/r^ww rnuft draw a 
fword to kill himfclfe ; which the Ladyes cannot abide. 

D How 


A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

How anfwcr you that ? 

Snout .Bcrlakcn,a parlous feare. 
Star.l bclecue we muft leaue the killing out, when all is 

/for .Not a whit, I haue a dcuice to make all well. Write 
me a Prologue,and let the Prologue feeme to fay, wee will 
do no harmc with our fwords, and that Pjrantnt is not kild 
indeed : and for the more better affurance, tell them that I 
pirantM am not PirtntHtjbut Bottom* the Weauer ; this will 
putihemoutof feare. 

<2tfp.Well,we will hauc fuch a Prologue,and it fnall be 
written in eight and fixe. 

'Sot. No,make it two more, let it be written in eight fie 

Snout.W\\\ not the Ladies be afeard of the Lyon ? 
Star. I feare it, I promife you, 

Hot. Mafters,you ought to confider with your felfe, to 
bring in (God fhield vs) a Lyon among Ladies, is a mod 
dreadfull thing . For there is not a more fearefull vvilde 
fowlc then your Lyon liuing: and we ought to looke to it. Therefore another Prologue muft tell he is not a 

Rot. Nay, you muft name his name, and halfe his face 
muft be feene through the Lyons necke, and hee himfelfe 
muft fpcake through, faying thus, or to the fame deffeft ; 
Ladics,or faire Ladies, I would wifh you, or I would re~ 
queft you,or I would entreat you ,noi to feare,not to trem 
ble : my life for yours. If you ihinke I come herher as a Ly- 
on,it were pitty of my life. No,/ am no fuch thing,/ am a 
man as other men are j and there indeed let him name his 
namc,and tell them plainly he is Snug the ioyner, 

Q*in. Well, it (hall be fo ; but there is two hard things, 
that is, to bring the Moone-light into a chamber : for you 
know,?*>*/w and Tbub) mecte by Moone-light* 

$V.Doth the Moonc (hinc that night we pl?y our play ? 



A Midfommerni^tsDrearne. 

46 "Bottom^ Calender ,a Calender,looke in the Almanack, 

findeoutMoone-fhinejfinde out Moonefhinc. 
j#*w.Yes,it doth fhine that night, 
Bot t Why then may you Icaueacafemencofthegreai 
5 o chamber window (whereweplay) open, and the Moonc 

may fhine in at the cafement. 

Own. I,or elfe one muft come in with a bu(h of thorns,& 
a lanthorne, and fay he comes to disfigure,or to prcfcnt the 
54 pcrfon of Moonc-fhine. Then there is another thing, we 

muft hauea wall in the great Chamber; for P tram tu and 
Tbisty (faies the ftory ) did talke through the chinke of a 

Jtf.You canneuer bring in a wall. What fay you Bottomet 
"Sot. Some man or other muft prefent wall.and let him 
hauc fome plafter, or fome lomc, or fome rough caft about 
him,tofignifie wall; or let him hold his fingers thus; and 
6 2 through that cranny, fh all Piramtu and *Thisby whifper. 

QjHtn.lf that may be,then all is well. Comc,fu downe e- 
uery mothers fonne,and rehearfe your parts. piratnus t you 
begin ; when you haue fpoken your fpcech, enter into that 
66 Brake,and fo cuery one according to his cue. 

Enter Robin. 

&?.What hempen home-fpuns hauc wefwaggring herc^ 
So neere the Cradle of the Fairy Queene ? 
Whata play toward i lie be an auditor, 
An a&or too perhaps > if 1 fee caufc. 

j2/w.Speakc Piramus* Tkisty ft and forth. 
Pir,Tbtsfy)i\\e flowers of odious fauors fwecte. 
P/r.Odours fauors fwectc, 
So hath thy breatr^my deareft Tktsby dcare. 
But harkc, a voycc ; ftay thou but hecre a while, 
And by and by I will to thce appcarc. xit t 

-7* J&in.h ftranger Piramns then ere plaid here, 

Thif, Muft I ipcakc now ? 

D 2 I 

A Midfommer nights Dreame* 

Ptt. I marry muft you. For you muft vnderftand he goes 
but to fee a noyfe that he heard,and is to come againe. 

7'^Moft radiant Wr^wy,tnoft Lilly white of hue, 
Of colour like the red cofe on triumphant brycr, 
Moft brisky Iuuenall,and eke moft lonely lew, 
As true as tmeft horfe } that yet would neucr tyre. 
He meete thee Tiramtu^ Ninnies toombe. 

Pet.Ninus toombe man: why you muft not fpcake that 
yet ; that you anfwer to Piramus : you fpeakc all your part 
at once,cues and al.P*ftM0& enter,your cue is part ; it is lie- 
uer tyre, 

J&7/.O,as true as trueft horfe,that yet would neuer tyre. 
Pir .If I were faire,T/w^x I were onely thine. 92 

Pet.O monftrous,O ftrange. We arc haunted j pray ma- 
fters fiyemafters,hclpe. 

Rob. lie follow you,Ile leadcyou about a Round, 
Through bogge, through budi, through brake, through 
Sometime a horfe lie be,fometime a hound, (br ycr 

A hogge,a headlefie beare,fometimea fire, 
And neigh,and barke,and grunt } and rcre,afid burne p 
Like horfejhound^hogjbearCjfircjat euery turne. Exit* 
^f.Why do they run away ? This is a knauery of them 
to make me afeard. Enter Snow. 

Sft.O jBottoM t tho\.i art chang*d >, what do I fee on thce ? 
7$ot. What do you fee ? you fee an aife head of your own. 
Do you? 

Enter Peter quince* 

/Vf.Blefle chec 70/;0ft*,blefle thec ; thou art tranflatcd, 


*Bot.l fee their knauery ; this is to make an afle of me, to 
flight me if they could ; but I will not ftir from this place, 
do what they can.l will walke vp and downe hecre, and I 
will fing that they (hall heare I am not afraid. 
The Woofeil cocke/o blackc of hew, 
With Orange tawny bill, 



A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

The Throftle,with his note fo true, 
The Wren with little quill. 

Tyt ania. What Angell wakes me from my flowry bed f 

&tf.The Finch,the Sparrow,and the Larke, 
The plainfong Cuckow gray 
Whofe note full many a man doth marke, 
And dares not anfwer,nay 

For indeed,who would fet his wit to fo foolifli a bird ? 
Who would giue a bird thelye,though he cry Cuckow,ne- 
uer fo ? 

Tjta.I pray thee gentle mortall^ng againe, 
Mine eare is much enamored of thy note ; 
On the firft view to fay, to fweare 1 loue thee. 
So is mine eye enthralled to thy fhape, 
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) doth moue me, 

Bot. Me-thinks miftrefie, you fhould haue little reafon 
for that : and yet to fay the truth,reafon and loue keepe lit. 
tie company together,now adayes.7he more the prtty,that 
fome honert neighbours will not make them friends. Nay 
I can gleeke vpon occafion. 
'33 75*4.7 hou art as wife, as thou art beautiful], 

Bot .Not fo neither : but if I had wit enough to get out k 
of this wood,I haue enough to ferue mine owne turne. 

T)*4.Out of this woodjdo not defire to goc, 
Thou {halt remaine here, whether thou wilt or no. 
I am a fpirit of no common rate : 
The Sommer ftill doth tend vpon my ftate, 
And I do loue thee ; therefore go with me, 
141 He giue thee Fairies to attend on thee 5 

And they (hall fetch thee lewels from the deepe, 
And fing, while thou on preiTed flowers doft fleepe . 
And I will purge thy mortall groiTeneiTc fo, 
That thou fhalt like an ayry fpirit eo. 

Enter foure fairies. 
D 3 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

jFW.Rcady $ and /, and /, and /.Where fhall we go ? 146 

T/te.Be kindeand cutteous to rhis Gentleman, 
Hop in his walkes,and gambole in his eies, 
Feedc him with Apricocks,and Dewberries, 
With purple Grapes.greene Figs,and Mulberries, J50 

The hony bags fteale from the humble Bees, 
And for night tapers,crop cheir waxen thighes, 
And light them at the fiery Glo w-wormes eies, 
To haue my loue to bed,and to arifc 154 

And plucke the wings from painted Butterflies, 
Tofannc the Moone-beames from his deeping eyes, 
Nod to him Elues,and do him curtefies. 


Bot. I cry your worships mercy hartily ; I befeech your 
wor(htpsname. 162 

Cob. Cobweb. 

Bot. I (hall defire you of more acquaintance, good Ma- 
fter Cobweb : if/ cut my finger, / (hall make bold with you, 
Your name honeft gentleman? ,66 

Peaf. Pftfe-bloflomc. 

Bot. I pray you commend me to miftrefie 5^^, your 
Mother ,and to maftcr Peafcodyout Father, Good rnaftcr 
Pe<tfe-bloffomt, /(hall defire you of more acquaintance to. 
Your name I befeech you fir ? 
Mtif.Mttftard feeds. 

Bot .Good m&far (-Mustard fitd, I know your patience 
well : that fame cowardly gyant-like Oxe-oeefe hath de- 174 

uoured many a gentleman of your houfe. I promife you, 
your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. 1 defire 
you more acquatntance,good Matter Muflardfeed. 

7/>4.Come waite vpon him^eade him to my bower* 
The Moone me-thinks^ookes with a watry cie, 
And when (he weepes,wcepe eucry little flower, 



A Midfommer nights Drea me, 

Lamenting fomc enforced chaftiiy. 

Tye vp my loucrs tongue,bring him filently. Exit. 

PnterKing of Fairies, <md Robin good-ffttwr. 
Ob.l wonder if Titttri* be awak't ; 
Then what it was that next came in her eye, 
Which (hemuft dote on,in extremity. 
Here comes my meffenger .- how now mad fpirit, 
What night-rule now about this haunted groue ? 

PttckMy miftrelfc with a monfter is in loue, 
Neere to her clofe and confecrated bower, 
While (he was in her dull and fleepinghowcr, 
A crew ofpatches^rude Mechanicals, 
That workeforbread,vpon Athenian ftalles 
Were met together to rehearfe a play, 
Intended for great Thefcus nuptiall day : 
The (halloweft thick-skin of that barren (brt, 
Who Piramw their fporc, 
Forfooke his Scene,and entred in a brake. 
When I did him at this aduantage take, 
An Affes noie I fixed on his head. 
Anon his Thisbie muft be aufwcred, 
And forth my Mtnnock comes : when they him fpy , 
As wilde geefe,that the creeping Fowler eye, 
Or ruffed pated choughes,many in fort 
(Rifing and cawing at the guns report) 
Seuer themfclues.and madly fweepe the sky : 

24 So at his fight,a way his fellowes flye, 

And at our ftampe,here ore and ore one falles $ 
He murther cryes,and helpefrom Athens cals. 
Their fenfc thus weake,loft with their feares thus ftrong, 

28 Made fenfelefle things begin to do them wrong. 

For briars and thornes at their apparell fnatch, 
Some (leeues,fome ha ts, from yeeiders all things catch, 
I led them on in this diftra&ed feare, 
And left fweeteP^^^tranHated there : 



A Midfommer nights Dreame 

When in that moment (fo it came to paife) 
TytAni* waked,and ftraightway lou d an a(fe. 

O.This falles out better then I could deuife : 
But haft thou yet lacht the sfthenuins eyes, 
With the loue iuycc,as I did bid chee do ? 37 

Rob. I tooke him deeping (that is finiflu to) 
And the Athenian woman by his fide, 
That when he wak't,of force (he muft be eyde. 
Enter Demetriut and Hermit. 

O.Stand clofe, this is the fame tslthcnian. 

o.This is the woman/but not this the man. 

Deme.O why rebuke you him that loues you fo ? 
Lay breath fo bitter on your bitter foe. 

Hr.Now I but chtde,but I fhould vfe thee worfe. 45 

For thou (I feare) haft giuen me caufe to curfe. 
If thou haft flaine Ly fader in his fleepe, (to, 

Being ore fhooes in bloud,plunge in the deepe,and kill me 
The Sunne was not fo true vnto the day, 
As he to me. Would he haue ftollen away, 
From deeping Hermit i He beleeue as foone 
This whole earth may be bor'd,and that the Moone 
May through the Center creepe,and fo difpleafe 53 

Her brothers noonctide,with th 1 'Antif odes. 
It cannot be but thou haft murdred him, 
So fhould a murderer looke,fo dead, To grim* 

Dem.So fhould the murdered looke,8c fo fhould I, 57 

Picrft through the heart with your ftearne cruelty : 
Yet you the murderer looke as bri ght,as cleare, 
As yonder Ventu in her glimmering fpheare. 

Her. What's this to my Ljfvtderl where is he ? 
Ah good Demetrius t vi\\t thou giue him me ? 

Dem.ldc rather giue his carkaffe to my hounds. 
Her. Out dog, out curre,thou driu'ftmepaft the bonds 
Of maidens paticnce.Haft thou flaine him then? 6 5 

Henceforth be neuer numbred among men. 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

6 7 Oh,once tell true, euen for my lake, 

Durft thou haue lookc vpon him,being awake ? 
And haft thou kild him fleeping ? O braue tucch : 
Could not a worme,an Adder do fo much ? 
An Adder did it.For with doubler tongue 
Then thine (thou ferpent) neuer Adder ftung. 

Dww.You fpend your pafllon on a milpriz'd mood, 
I am not guilty of Lyfanders bloud : 
75 Nor is he dead, for ought that I can tell, 

JJcrJ pray thee tell me then,that he is well. 
Dem.hnd if I could, what (hould I get therefore ? 
Her. A priuiledge,neuer to fee me more, 
79 And from thy hated prefence part I/ee me no more, 

Whether he be dead or no* Exit 

jD*0;.There is no following her in this fierce vaine, 
Hecre therefore for a while I will remaine. 
s 3 So forrowes heauine(Te doth heauier grow* 

For debt that bankrout flip doth forrow owe, 
Which now in fome flight meafure it will pay, 
If for his tender heere 1 make fome ftay. Lie d&vne. 
0.What haft thou done ? Thou haft miftaken quite, 
And laide the loue iuyce on fome true loues fight : 
Of thy mifprifion,muft perforce enfue 
Some true loue turn'd.and not afalfe turnd true. 

Rob.Then fate ore-rules,that one man holding troth, 
A million faile,confounding oath on oath. 

Ob. About the wood,goe fwifter then the winde, 
And Helena, ofidthens looke thou finde, 
95 All fancy ficke (he is, and pale of cheere, 

With fighes of Ioue,that cofts the frefh bloud deare. 
By fome illufion fee thou bring her heere, 
He charme his eies,againft jfhe do appeare. 

Robin. I go,I go^looke how I goe, 
Swifter then arrow from the Tartars bowe. 

i. Flower of this purple die, 

E Hit 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Hit with fop**?* archery, 
Sinkc in apple of his eye, 
When his loue he doth efpy, 
Let her (hine as glorioufly 
As thc^CTW of the sky. 
When thou wak'ft,if me be by, 
Beg of her for remedy. 


P<%,Captainc of our Fairy band, 
Helena is heere at hand, 
And the youth,miftookc by me, 
Pleading for a Louers fee. 
Shall we their fond Pageant fee f 
Lord,what fooles thefe mortals be ! "> 

O^.Stand afidc : the noyfe they make, 
Will caufe Demetrius to awake. 

Pw.Thcn will two at once wooe one, 
That mud needs be (port alone : 
And thofc things do bcft pleafe me, 
That befall prepoftcroufly. 

nter Lj fonder and Helen** 

Z/r/lWhy fnould you think that I fliould wooe in fcorn? 
Scorne and derifion neuer come in teares : 
Looke when I vow I wcepc ; and vowes fo borne, 
In their natiuity all truth appeares. 
How can thefe things in me,fceme fcorne to you ? 
Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true. 

Htl. You do aduance your cunning more and more, 
When truth kils truth, O diuelifh holy fray \ 
Thefe vowcs are HerntiasWill you giue her ore ? 
Weigh oath with oath,and you will nothing weigh* 
Your vowes to her,and me (put in two fcales) 
Will cucn wcigh,and both as light as talcs. 
Lyf.l had no Judgement, when to her 1 (wore* 
Hfc/.Nor none in my rninde,now you giuc her ore. 






A Midfommer nights Dream e. 

135 LyffDemetrius loues her, and he loucs not you. 


To what, my loue,mall I compare thine cine \ 

Chriftall is muddy ,O how ripe in fhowe, 
, 39 Thy lip$,thofe kiflfing cherries, tempting grow ! 

That pure congealed white; high Taurus fnow, 

Fan'd with the Eafterne winde,turnes to a crow> 

When thou holdft vp thy hand.O let me kiife 

This Princefle of pure white, this feale of bliflc, 
Hell. O fpight 1 6 hell ! I fee you all are bent 

To fet againft me, for your merriment. 

If you were ciuill,and knew curtefie, 

You would not do me thus much iniury. 

Can you not hate me,as I know you do, 

But you muft ioyne in foules to moctce me too ? 

If you were men,as men you are in (bow, 

You would not vfe a gentle Lady fo 5 

To vow,and fweare,and fuperpraife my parts, 

When I am fure you hate me with your hearts. 

You both are Riuals,and loue Hermia 

And now bothRiuals,to mocke Helena. 

A trim exploit,a manly enterprise, 

To coniure teares vp in a poore maides eyes, 

With your derifion,none of noble fort, 
159 Would fo offend a virgir>e,and extort 

A poore foules patience, all to make you (port. 
Z,;/t*.You are vnkinde DentetriHS', be not fo. 

For you loue Hermit ; this you know I know ; 
, 6j And heere with all good will,with all my heart, 

In Hermiat loue I yeeld you vp my part ; 

And yours of Helena, to me bequeath, 

Whom I do lotte,and will do to my death. 
167 Hr/,Neuer did mockers waftc more idle breath. 

?>e me. lyfattder,kecpe thy HermiA,\ will none : 

If ere I lou'd her,all that loue is gone. 

B ^ My 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

My heart to her,but as gueft-wife foiournd, 
And now to Helen \t\s home return'd, 
There to remaine. is not Co. 

Zfcw.Difparage not the faith thou doft not know, 
Lead to thy perill thou abide it deare. 
Looke where thy Loue comes,yonder is thy deare. 

Enter Hermit. 

ffcr.Darke night^that from the eye his function takes, 
The care more quicke of apprehenfion makes, 
Wherein it doth impaire the feeing fenfe> 
It paies the hearing double rccompcnce. 
Thou art not by mine eie, Lyfandcr found, 
Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to thy found. 
But why vnkindly didft thou leaue me fo ? 

Zrj/.Why fhould he ftay,whom loue doth prefle to go? 
ffcr.What loue could preffe Lyftnder from my fide ? 
Lyf. Ljf anders loue (that would not let him bide) 
Faire Helena \ who more engilds the night, 
Then all yon fiery oes,and eics of light. 
Why feek'ft thou me s? Could not this make thee know* 
The hate I bare thee, made me leaue thee fo . ? 
H^.You (peake not as you thinke ; it cannot be. 
/fr/.Loe,{ne is one of this confederacy, 
Now I perceiue,they haue conioynd all three, 
To faftiion this falfe fport,in fpight of me. 
Insurious //I?rw/<*,moft vngrateruil maidc, 
Haue you confpir'd,haue you with thefe contriuM 
To baitc mc,with this foule derifion ? 
Is all the counfell that we two haue (har'd, 
The (iftcrs vowes,the houres that we haue fpent, 
When we haue chid the hafty footed time, 
For parting vs ; O, is all forgot > 
All fchoole-daies friend ftiip,child -hood innocence ? 
We Hermia>likc two artificiall gods, 





A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

204 Haue with our needles,created both one flower, 
Both on one fampler,fitting on one cuftiion, 
Both warbling of one fong,both in one key ; 
As if our hands,our fidesjvoicesjand mindes 

20$ Had bin incorporate.So we grew together, 
Like to a double cherry, feeming parted, 
But yet an vnion in partition, 
Two louely berries moulded on one ftemrne, 
So with two feeming bodies, but one heart, 
Two of the fir ft life coats in Heraldry, 
Due but to one,and crowned with one creft. 
And will you rent our ancient loue afunder, 
To ioyne with men in fcorning your poore friend ? 
It is not friendly,tis not maidenly. 
Our fexe as well as Ijmay chide you for it, 
Though I alone do feele the iniury, 
20 Her A am amazed at your words, 

I fcorne you not ; It feemes that you fcorne me. 
Hel. Haue you not fct Ly fanfares in fcotne 
To follow riband praife my eies and face ? 

224 And made your other Loue>Dfmetriuf 

(Who euen but now did fpurne me with his foote) 
To call me goddefle^imphjdiuine^and rare, 
Precious, celeftiall ? Wherefore fpeakes he this 

225 To her he hates ? And wherefore doth L) fader 
Deny your loue (fo rich within his foule) 
And tender me (forfooth) affection, 

But by your fetting on,by your confent? 
232 What though I be not fo in grace as you, 
So hung vpon with loue, fo fortunate ? 
(But miferable moft,to loue vnlou*d) 
This you fhould piety ,rather then defpife* 
36 Her.l vnderftand not what you meane by this. 

Hd.l 9 dOjperfeuerjCounterfeit fad lookes, 
Make mouthes vpon me when I turne my backe, 

E 3 Winke 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Winkc each at other,hold the fwcete ieaft vp ; 239 

This fport well carricdjfhall be chronicled. 

If you haue any piety, gracc,or manners, 

You would not make mefuch an argument. 

But faryewelljtis partly mine owne fault, 242 

Which death or abfence foonc (hall remedy. 

Z/7/Stay gentle Helena frcm my excufe, 
My loue,my life, my foule/aire Helena. 

ffel.O excellent I 247 

JHer.S wcete,do not fcorne her fo. (he cannot entrcatc,! can compell. 

/-j/TThou canft compell, no more then (he entreate. 
Thy threats haue no more ftrength then her weake ptaife. 25 , 

Helen>l loue thee,by my life I doe ; 
I fweare by that which I will lofe for thee, 
To proue him falfe,that faies I loue thee not. 

Dem. I fay, I loue thee more then he can do. 255 

ItjfVi thou fay fo,with.draw and proue it to. 

Dem. QuickjCome. 

Her. Lyf*ndtr y whereto tends all this ? 

lyf. A way,you Ethiope. 259 

Dem. No,no,hee'l feeme to breake loofc ; 
Take on as you would follow, 
But yet come not : you are a tame man,go. 

Zp/IHangoffthou cat,thou bur; vile thing let loofe, 2f > 3 

Or I will (hake thcc from me like a ferpent. 

Her, Why are you growne fo rude ? 
VVhat change is this,(weete Loue j 

Lj/.Tby loue ? out tawny Tartar ^out ; 2 6 7 

Out loathed medicine ; 6 hated poifon hence. 

/ffr.Do you not ieaft ? 

Hel. Yes footh,and fo do you, 

Ljf,Demefrittf 9 i will kcepc my word with thee. 271 

*Dem.\ would I had your bond . for I perceiue, 
A weake bond holds you 5 lie not tru A your word. 



A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

fyf- Whatjfhould I hurt hcr,ftrike her^ktll her dead ? 

Although I hate her lie not harme her fo. 
Her. V V hat ? can you do me greater harme then hate ? 

Hate me, wherefore ?O me, what newes my Loue t 

Amnotl//*r4f Are not you /^/W^r ? 

I am as faire no w,as I was ere while. 

Since night you lou'd me 5 yet fince night you left me. 

Why then you left me (6 the gods forbid J 
282 In earneft,fhall I fay ? 


And ncucr did dcfire co fee thee more. 

Therefore be out of hope,of queftion,of doubt ; 
286 Be certainc ; nothing truer ; tis no ieaft, 

That I do hate thee,and loue Helena. 

Her.O iuggler,you canker bio(Tome, 

You theefc of loue ; whac,haue you come by night, 
290 And ftolne my loues heart from him? 


Haue you no modefty,no maiden fliame, 

No touch of baihfulncfle ^ What,wili you tcarc 
294 Impatient anfwers from my gentle congue ? 

Fie,fie,you counterfet,you puppet,you. 

//^.Puppet ? why fo ? I,that way goes the game* 

Now Iperceiue that (he hath made compare 
29* Betweene our ftatures,fhe hath vrg'd her height, 

And with her perfonage,her tall parfonage. 

Her height (forfooth ) fhe hath preuaild with him. 

And arc you growne fo high in his efleeme, 
302 Becaufe I am fo d warfifh and fo low ? 

How low am I, thou painted May-pole / Speake, 

How low am I > I am not yet fo low, 

But that my nailes can reach vnio thine eyes. 
306 /&/.! pray you though you mocke me, gentlemen, 

Let her not hurt me 5 1 wasneucr curft : 

I haue no gift at all in fhrewifhnefle: 



A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

I am aright maid for my cowarctae 5 
Let her not ftrike me : you perhaps may thinke, 
Becaufe (he is fomething lower then my felfe, 
That I can match her* 

Her* Lower? harkeagaine. 

Hel.Good Hermia^o not be fo bitter with me, 
I euermore did loue you Hermia, 
Did euer keepe your counfels,neuer wronged you, 
Saue that in loue vnto 'Demetrius, 
I told him of your ftealth vnto this wood. 
He followed you,for loue I followed him, 
But he hath chid me hence,and threatned me 
To ftrike me.fpurne me,nay to kill me to; 
And now,fo you will let me quiet goe, 
To Athens will I beare my folly backc, 
And follow you no further, Let me go. 
You fee how n*mple,and how fond I am. 

Jfcr.Why get you gone .- who ift that hinders you ? 

Hel.h foolifti heart,that I leaue heere bchinde. 

Her. What,with Lyptndert 

Hel.VVith Dentetriw. 

Lyf&s not afraid,(he fhall not harme thee Helena. 

DemNo (ir^flie fhali not,though you take her part. 

Hel.O when (hee's angry ,(he iskeene and fhrewd, 
She was a vtxen when (lie went to fchoole, 
And though (he be but littie,fhe is fierce. 

/f^r. Little againe i Nothing but low and little ? 
Why will you fuffer her to flout me thus ? 
Let me come to her. 

7/Get you gone you dwarfe, 
You im>ff>0Mr,of hindring knot grafle made, 
You bead,you acorne. 

D^w.You are too officious, 
In her behalfe that fcornes your feruices. 
Let her alone/peake not of Helena* 


A Midfommer nights Dreamc 

Take not her part.For if thou doft intend 
Neuer To little (hew of loue to her, 
Thou (halt able it. 

Zy/Now flhe holds me not, 
Now follow if thou dar'fl^to try whofc right, 
Of thine or mine,is moft in Helena. 

DcmSollow ? Nay,Ile go with thee cheeke by iow 
Her. You{Te,aH this coyle is long of you* 
352 Nay,goe not backe. 

HeLl will not truft you I, 
Not longer (lay in your curft company. 
Your hands than mine,are quicker for a fray, 
356 My legs are longer though to runne away. 

ffer.l am amaz'd,and know not what to fay, Exeunt, 

O.This is thy negligence,(till thou mittak'ft, 
Or elfe coramit'ft thy knaueries wilfully. 
3 6o /V^Beleeue me,King of fliaddowesj miftooke, 

Did not you tell me, I fhould know the man, 
By the Athenian garments he hath on ? 
And fo farre blamelefTe proues my enterprize, 
364 That I haue nointed an Athenians eyes, 

And fo farre am I glad, it fo did fort, 
As this their iangling I efteeme a fport. 

O^.Thou feeft thefe Louers feeke a place to fight, 
368 Hie therefore /fo/'w,ouercaft the night^ 

The ftarry Welkin couer thou anon > 
With drooping fogge as blacke as Acheron, 
And leade thefe tefty Riuals fo aftray, 
372 As one come not within anothers way. 

Like to Z^/iw^r/ometime frame thy tongue, 
Then (litre Demetrius vp with bitter wrong ; 
And fometime raile thou like Demetrius ; 
J76 And from each other looke thou leade them thus, 

Till ore their browes,death-counterfeiting, fleepe 
With leaden ledgs,and Batty wings doth creepe j 

F Then 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Then cruib this hearbc into Ly finders cie, 
Whofc liquor hath this vertuous property, 
To take from thence all error,with his might, 
And make his eie-bals rolle with wonted fight. 
When they next wake, all this derifion 
Shall feeme a dreame,and fruitleflc vifion, 
And backcto Athens (hall the Loucrs wend 
With league,whofe date till death (hall neuer end . 
Whiles 1 in this affaire do thee apply, 
lie to my Queene,and beg her Indian boy ; 
And then I will her charmed eie releafe 
From monfters view,and all things (hall be peace. 

PuckMy Fairie Lord,this muft be done with hafte, 
For night fwifc Dragons cut the Clouds full faft, 
And yonder dimes Auroras harbinger; 
At whofe approch,Ghofts wandring heere and there, 
Troope home to Church-yards ; damned fpirits all, 
That in crofle waies and flouds haue buriall. 
Already to their wormy beds are gone ; 
For fearc leaft day flrould looke their fliames vpon, 
They wilfully themfelues exile from light, 
And muft for aie confort with blacke browd night. 

0.But we are fpirits of another fort ; 
I,with the mornings loue haue oft made fport, 
And like a Forreftcr,the groues may tread, 
Euen till theEaftcrne gate all fiery red, 
Opening on Neptf**e,vtit\i faire bleflfed beames, 
Turnes into yellow gold,his fait greene ftreames. 
But notwithftanding hafte,make no delay, 
We may effect this bufine(Te,yet ere day. 

PvckjVp and downe,vp and downe, I will leadc them vp 
& downe . I am feard in held and towne. Goblin, lead them 
vp and downe : here comes one. Enter Lyfznder. 

Lyf. Where art cho^proud 'Detnetritu ? Speak thou now. 
.Herc villaine,drawnc and ready.Whcre art thou ? 




A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Lyf.l will be with thcc ftraight. 
&,Follow me then to plainer ground. 

Enter Demetrius. 
Deme. Lyfonderfpevke again e ; 
Thou runaway ,thou coward,art thoii fled ? 
4 ,s Speake in fome bufh.Where daft thou hide thy head ? 

&>.Thou coward,art thou bragging to thcftars, 
Telling the bufhes that thou lookYt for warres, 
And wilt not come ? Come recreant,come thou childe, 
He whip thee with a rod.He is defil'd 
That drawes a fword on thee. 
Dente. Yea,art thou there i 
Jfo.Follow my voice,wee'l try no manhood here. Exeunt. 

LjfRt goes before me,and dill dares me on, 
When I come where he calles,then hee's gone. 
The villaine is much lighter heel'd then I ; 
I followed faft,but faftcr he did flic ; 
That fallen am I in darkc vneuen way, 
And here will reft me.Come thou gentle day : 
For if but once thou (hew me thy gray light, 
He finde Demetrita,and reuenge this fpight. 

3^f bin and Demetrius. 

lfa.Ho, ho,ho ; coward, why com'ft thou not f 
J>^w^Abide me,if thou dar'ft.For well I wot, 
Thou runft before me,fhifting euery place. 
And dar*ft not ftand,noi looke rac in the face. 
Where art thou? 

J20,Come hither,! am here. 

De.Nay then thou mockft me ; thou (halt buy this deare, 
If euer I thy face by day-light fee. 
Now goe thy way : faintneffe conftraineth me, 
To meafure out my length on this cold bed, 
By daies approch lookc to be vifited, 

Enter Helena. 
Hcl.Q weary night, 6 long andtedioumi^it, 

F 2 Abate 

i\ iVAiuiommer nignts Ureame. 

Abate thy houres,(hine comforts from the eaft, 446 

That I may backe to Athens by day-light, 

From thefe that my poore company deceft ; 

And fleepe that fometimes {huts vp forrowes cie, 

Steale me a while from mine owne company* Sleefc. 450 

Rob.Ytt but three Come one more, 
Two of both kindes makes vp foure. 
Here fhe comes,cur ft and fad, 
fkpid is a knauifh lad, Enter Hermia.) 454 

Thus to make poore females mad. 
/frr.Neuer fo weary, neuer fo in woe, 

Bedabbled with the dew,and tome with briars, 

I can no further crawle,no further goe ; 45* 

My legs can keepe no pace with my defires. 

Here will 1 reft me till the breake of day, 

Heauens fhield Ly fonder tf they meane a fray. 
Ro&.On the ground fleepe lound, 

He apply your eye gentle louer,remedy. 

When thou wak'tt,thou tak'ft 

True delight in the (ight of thy former Ladies eie, 

And the Country Prouerbe knowne, 

That euery man (hould take his owne, 

In your waking (hall be fhowne. 

/<flr^{hall haue ////,noughc (hall go ill, 

The man fliall hauc his Mare againe,and all ftiall be well* 470 

Enter Qtteene of Fairies y and Clowne^nd Fairies , <wd the - 
Kin bekinde them. 

.Come (it thee downe vpon this fiowry bed, 
While I thy amiable cheekes do coy, 
And ftickemuske rofes in thy fleeke fmoothe head, 
And kiffe thy faire large eares, my gentle ioy. 
7(0w^.Wherc's Peafe-bloffome ? 
Peaf. Ready. 

C/^w^.Scratchmy bmAfitfiMoffbme. Wher's Moun- 
fieur Co fact ? C^.Ready, 


IV. i 

AMidfommers nights Dreame. 

C/0Mounfieur Cobweb, gooa Mounfieur get your wea 
pons in your hand, and kill me a red hipt humble-bee, on 
the top of a thiftle 5 and good Mounficur bring me the ho- 
nybag* Doe not fret your felfe too much in the action, 
73 Mounfieur ; and good Mounfieur haue a care the hony bag 
breake not, I would be loth to haue you ouerflowne with a 
hony-bag figniour. Where's Mounfieur Lftfyftardfitd'? 


77 Cfo.Giue me your neafe,Mounfieur Mvftardfeed. 

Pray you leaue your courte(ie,good Mounfieur. 
Muft. What's your wil ? 

flo. Nothing good Mounfieur, but to helpe Caualery 
Cobweb to fcratch* I muft to the Barbers Mounfieur, for 
me-thinkes I am maruailous hairy about the face. And I 
am fuch a tender afle, if my haire do but tickle me, I muft 

25 7iM.What,wilt thou heare fome fome mufick, my fweet 


Clowve.l haue a reafonable good eare in muficke. Let vs 
haue the tongs and the bones* 
29 Tita.Or fay fweete Loue,what thou defireft to eate. 

C7<w.Truely a pecke of prouender; I could mounch your 
good dry Oates. Me-thinkes I haue a great defire to a bot 
tle of hay : good hay, fweete hay hath no fellow. 
33 Tita. I haue a venturous Fairy, 

That (hall feeke the fquirrels hoard. 
And fetch thee new Nuts. 

lo.l had rather haue a handfull or two of dried peafc. 
37 But I pray you let none of your people ftir me,I haue an ex- 

pofition or flcepe come vpon me. 

7)ta.Sleepe thou,and I will winde thee in my armes, 
Fairies be gone,and be alwaies away, 
So doth the woodbine,the fweete Honifuckle, 
Gently entwift ; the female Tuy fo 
Enrings the barky fingers of the Elme. 

I V.i 

A MicUommer nights Dreame. 

how I louc thee ! how I dote on thcc ! 

Snter Robin goodfellow. 

O. Welcome good Robin : feeft thou this fwcet fight 
Her dotage now 1 do begin to pitty. 
For meeting her of late behinde the wood, 
Seeking fweete fauors for this hateful! foole, 

1 did vpbraid her, and fall out with her. 
For (he his hairy temples then had rounded, 
With coronet of frcfh and fragrant flowers. 
And that fame dewtohich fomtimeon the buds, 
VVas wont to fwell like round & orient pearles ; 
Stood now within the pretty flour iets eies, 
Liketeares that did their owne difgrace bewaile. 
When I had at my pleafure taunted her, 

And (he in milde tearmes bcgd my patience, 
I then did aske of her, her changeling childe, 
Which ftraight (he gaue me,and her Fairy fent 
To beare him to my Bower in Fairy Land. 
And now I haue the boy,I will vndoe 
This hatefull imperfe&ion of her eies. 
And gentle Puc^e, take this transformed fcalpe, 
From off the head of this tsftbenian fwaine; 
That he awaking when the other do, 
May all to <sftbens backe againe rcpaire, 
And thinke no more of this nights accidents, 
But as the fierce vexation of a dreame, 
But firft I will releafe the Fairy Q^ieene. 

See a* thou w*ft wont to fee. 
*DUns M y or (ftpids flower, 
Hath focb force and bleffedpovtr. 
Now my Titauia wake y ou,my fweete Queene. 

TitaMy O*r0,what vifions haue I feene ! 
Mc-thought I was enamored of an A(fc, 
0, There lies your loue. 



AMidfommers nights Dreame. 

7 s Tit A, How came thefe things to palfe ? 

Oh,how mine eies doth loathe this vifagc now ! 

O^.Silence a while. Robin take of this head ; 
TVtawXmuficke call,and ftrike more dead 
82 Then common fleepe; of all thefe, fine the fenfe. 

7/>4.Muficke,ho muficke/uch as charmcth fleepe. 
jfy>.When thou wak'ft,with thine owne fooles eies peep. 
O^.Soundmufick; come my Q^jeen, take hands with me 
And rocke the ground whereon thefe fieepers be. 
Now thou and I are new in amity, 
And will to morrow midnight,(olemnly 
Dance in D uke Thefitts houfe triumphantly, 
And blefle it to all faire pofterity. 
Jhere (hall the paires of faithful! Louers be 
V VeddedjWith Thefew,i\\ in iollity* 

&>&. Fairy King,auend and marke, 
I do heare the morning Larke. 

O^.Then my Qucene in filence fad, 
Trip we after the nights (hade ; 
V Ve the Globe can compaiTe foone, 
98 Swifter then the wandring Moone. 

Tfof.Come my Lord,and in our flight. 
Tell me how it came this night, 
That I fleeping heere was found, 

With thefe mortals on the ground. Exeunt. 

Enter Thefeus and aft bis traine* Winde homes, 

Tkef. Goe one ofyou,finde out the Forrefter, 
For now our obferuation is perform'd ; 
And fince we haue the vaward of the day, 
My Loue (hall heare the muticke of my hounds. 
Vncouple in the Wefterne valley^let them go ; 
Difpatch I fay,and finde the Forreftcr. 
We will faire Quecne,vp to the Mountaines top, 
And marke the muficall confufion 
Of hounds and eccho in coniimftion. 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

p. I was with Hercules and Cadmus once, 7V1 

When in a wood of fireete they bayed the Beare 

With hounds of Spar fa ; neuer did I heare 

Such gallant chiding.For befides the groues, 

The skies,the fountaines,euery region neere, n6 

Seeme all one mutuall cryJ neuer heard 

So muficall a difcord,fuch fweete thunder. 

ThefMy hounds are bred out of the Spartan kinde, 
So flew'd,fo fanded.and their heads are hung J2 o 

With cares that fweepe away the morning dew, 
Crooke kneed,and dew-lap ttlikeTkeJfaltan Buls, 
Slow inpurfuite.but matcht in mouth like bels, 
Each vnder each.A cry more tuneable 124 

Was neuer hollowd to,nor cheer'd with home, 
In Creete,m Sparta t nor in Thfjfafy ; 
Judge when you heare.But foft,what nimphs are thefe ? 

EgetuMy Lord,this is my daughter hcere a(leepe > 128 

And this Ly fancier y t\\\s ^emetritis is, 
This ffe/ena,olde Nedars Helena, 
I wonder of this being heerc together* 

Tfo.No doubt they rofe vp early ,to obferue 732 

The right of May ; and hearing our intent, 
Came heere in grace of our folemnity. 
But fpeake E**,IS not this the day 
That ffermia fhould giue anfwer of her choyfe f , 3 <t is, my Lord. 

Tb.Go bid the huntfmen wake them with their homes* 
Shout withinjhey allftart vp.Winde homes. 

Thef.Good morrow friends : Saint Valentine is paft, 
Begin thefe wood birds b ut to couple now ? , 40 

I^r.Pardon,my Lord. 

Thef. I pray you all ftand vp. 
I know you two are Riuall enemies. 
How comes this gentle concord in the world, 
That hatred is fo far re from ieaioufie, 


A Midfommer nights Dream e. 

To fleepe by hate,and feare no enmity. 
Lyf.My Lord,I (hail reply amazedly, 

Halfe fleepe,halfe waking.But as yet, I fweare, 

I cannot truely fay how I came here. 

But as I thinke (for truely would I fpeake) 

And now I do bethinke me, To it is ; 

1 came with Hermia hither. Our intent 

Was to be gone from Athens, where we might be 
154 Without the perill of the Athenian Law. 

Eg*.Enough,enough my Lord : you haue enough ; 

I beg the Law,the Law,vponhis head r 

They would haue ftolneawayjthey would, DiiKrtriw, 
153 Thereby to haue defeated you and me : 

You of your wife s and me of my confent ; 

Of my confent,that (he (hould be your wife. 

Dtm.Uy Lord,faire Helen told me of their ftealth, 

Of this their purpofe hhhcr,to this wood, 

And I in fury hither followed them ; 

Faire Helena^ fancy followed me. 

But my good Lord,I wot not by what power 
166 (But by fome power it is) my loue 

To Hermia (melted as the fnow) 

Seemes to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaude, 

Which in my childehood I did dote vpon : 

And all the faith,the vertue of my heart, 

The obie and the pleafure of mine eic, 

Is onely Hetena.To her, my Lord, 

Was I bethroth'djere I fee Hermi^ 
1H But like a fickne(fe,did I loathe this food, 

Butasin heahh,corae to my naturall tafte, 

Now do I wi(h it,loue it,long for it, 

And will for euermorebe true to it* 
? 7 8 Tfcr/Iaire Louers,you arc fortunately met 5 

Of this difcourfe,we will heare more anon* 
t y I will oucrbeare your will ; 


A Midfomtner nights Dreame. 

For in the Temple, by and by with vs, 
Thefe couples fhall eternally be knit. 
And for the morning now is fomething worne. 
Our purposM hunting (hall be fet afide. 
Away, wUh vs to Athens; three and three, 
Wee 1 hold a feaft in great folemni ty. ^-'^^ 
Come H/ppolitA. ( xit 

Deme. Thefe things feeme fmall and vtfdftfinguifliable, 
Like farre offmountaines turned into Clouds. 

/y*r,Me-thinks I fee thefe things with parted eie, 
When euery thing feemes double. 

//*/.So me-thinkes : 

And I haue found T)cnMtritu t like aie well, 
Mine owne,and not mine owne 

'Dem. Are you fure 

That we are awake ?It feemes to me, 
That yet we (leepe,we dreame.Do not you thinke, 
The Duke was heere,and bid vs follow him f 
//%Yea, and my Father. 
Bel. And Hippolita. 

Ztf/TAnd he bid vs follow to theTemple. 
Dent. Why then we are awake ; let's follow hirn,and by 
the way let vs recount our dreames. Exit* 

Clo. When my cue comes,call me,and I will anfwer. My 
next is,moft faire PtoAmHsR cy ho. Peter Quince ? Flute the 
bello wes-mender ? Snout the tinker ? Stantcling f Gods my 
life ! Stolne hence, and left me afleepe . I haue had a moft 
rare vifion.I haue had a dreame,paft the wit of man, to fay, 
what dreame it was. Man is but an A(fe,if he go about to 
expound this dreame. Me-thought 1 was, there is no man 
can tell what. Me-tho ught I was, and me- thought I had. 
But man is but patent a toole,if he will offer to lay, what 
me-thought I had. The eie of man hath not heard,the eare 213 
of man hath not feene, mans hand is not able to tafte, his 
tongue to conceiue,nor his heart to report,what my dream 



A Midfommer nights Drearne. 

2 ,6 was. I will get Peter Quince to write a Ballet of this dream, 

it (hallbeczftd'Bottomes Dream?, becaufeithath nobot* 
tomes and I will (Ing it in the latter end ofa play, before 
the Duke. Peraduentwre,to make it the more 

220 (hall fiag it at her death, 


' "' Enter Quince^ Flttt^Thisbu!, and the rMle. 

fc.Haue you fent to Bottoms houfe ? Is he come home 

F//#*.He cannot be heard of, Out of doubt hee is tranf- 

Tbif.lf he come not, then the play is mard. It goes not 
for ward, doth it I 

Quin* It is not poffibie : you haue not a man in ail tx-/- 
*&;/*;, able to difcharge Piratnus but he. 

Thif. Nojhehath fimply the beft wit of any handy-craft 
man in Athens. 

uin. Yea, and the beftperfontoo^nd he is a verypara- 
mour,for a fweete voyce, 

Thif. You muft fay,Paragon. A Paramour is (God bleffe 
vs) a thing of nought. 

Snter Snug the I<yver* 

Snug. Mafters,the Duke is comming from the Temple, 
and there is two or three Lords and Ladies more married* 
If our fport had gone for ward,we had ail beene made men. 

7%if.O fweete bully 'Bottome : thus hath he loft fixpence 
a day, during his life; he could not haue fcaped fixpence a 
day. And the Duke had noteiuen him fixpence a day for 
playing ?*raw,Ile be hang'd. He would haue dcferued 
it.Sixpence a day in Pirantw^ot nothing. 

Enter 'Bottome, 

Sot. Where are thefe Lads * Where are thefe hearts * 
Quin. Bottome, 6 moft couragious day 1 O moft happy 
houre ! 

G ^ Bot. 

IV. ii. 

A Midfommer nights Dreame, 

Bot. Matters, I am to difcourfe wonders ; but aske mce 
not what .For if I cell you, I am not true AthcnfatJ. will tel 
you euery thing right as it fell out* 

Qtgn.'Ltt vs heare,fweete Bottome. 

Bot. Not a word of me : all that I will tell you,is, that 
the Duke hath dined. Get your appareil together, good 
ftrings to your beards,new ribbands to your pumps,meete 
prefently at the Palace, euerie man looke ore his part : for 
the fhort and the long is,our play is preferd. In any cafe let 
Tkifby haue cleane linnen : and let not him that piaies the 
Lion,paire his nailes, for they (hall hang out for the Lions 
clawes. And moft dearc Actors, eate no Onions, nor Gar- 
lickc ; for we are to vtter fweete breath,and I do not doubt 
but to heare them fay, it is a fweete Comedy. No more 
words : away, go away. 

Enter Thefeus, Hipfolita, and Pkiloftrate. 

Hip. Tis ftrange my Tbefeusjhzt thefe louers fpeake of. 

The. More ftrange then true.I neuer may beleeue 
Thefe anticke fables,nor thefe Fairy toies, 
Louers and mad men haue fuch feething braines, 
Such fhapingphantafiesjthat apprehend more 
Then coolereafon euer comprehends. 
The Lunaticke,the Louer,and the Poet, 
Are of imagination all compact. 
One fees more diuels then vafte hell can hold ; 
That is themadman.The Louer,all as franticke, 
Sees Helens beauty in a brow of gipt. 
The Poets eie in a fine frenzy rolling,doth glance 
Fromheauen to carth,from earth to heaucn. 
And as imagination bodies forth the formes of things 
Vnknowne ; the Poets pen turnes them to (hapes, 
And giues to airy nothing,a locall habitation, 
And a name. Such trickes hathftrong imagination^ 



A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

That if it would but apprehend fome ioy, 
It comprehends fome bringer of that ioy. 
Or in the night,imagining fome feare, 
How eafie is abufli fuppos'd a Beare? 

/ty.But all the ftory of the night told ouet, 
And all their mindes transfigur'dfo together, 
More witnefleth than fancies images, 
And growes to fomething of great conftancy ; 
26 But howfoeuer,ftrange and admirable. 

Sntcr totters : Lyfaxder, Demctriw, Hermia,and Helena, 

Thef. Here come the louers,full of ioy and mirth : 
loy, gentle friends, ioy and frefh daies 
Of loue accompany your hearts. 
30 Ljf. More then to vsjvvaite in your roiall walkes, your 


Thef. Come now, what maskes, what dances (hall wee 


34 To weare away this long age of three houres, 
Betweenc or after fuppcr, and bed-time ? 
Where is our vfuall manager of mirth ? 
What Reuels are in hand > Is there no play, 
3 g To cafe the anguifli of a torturing hourc ? 
Call Pbiloftrttte. 

Philo, Hecre mighty Thefetts, 

TifofSay,what abridgment haue you for this cucning ? 
What maske,what muficke ? how (hall we beguile 
The laxie time,if not with fome delight ? 

P&/7.There is a briefe,how many fports are rife. 
Make choife of which your Highnefle will fee firft. 
Thef. The battell with the Centattrs to be fung 
By an Athenian Eunuch,to the Harpe. 
Wee'l none of that.That haue I tolde my Loue, 
In glory of my kiniman Hercules. 
50 The riot of the tipiie Bachanalf, 

G 3 Tea- 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Tearing the Thracuut finger,in their rage ? 
That is an oldc deuice ; and it was plaid, 
When I from Tktbcs came laft a Conqueror. 
The thrice three Mufes,mourning for the death 
Of 1 earn ing jl ate d eccaft in be ggery. 55 

That is fome Sttrrc kecnc and criticall, 
Not forcing with a nuptiall ceremony. 
A tedious briefe Scene of young Piramui y 
And his Loue Tkisfy ; very tragicall mirth ? so 

Merry and tragicall ? Tedious and briefe ? That is hotlce f 
And wondrous ftrange Snow. How fhall we ftnde the con 
cord of this difcord i 

Pbtio.Pi. play there ifjiny Lord, fome ten words long, 
Which is as briefe, as I hauc knowne a play; 
But by ten words,my Lord>it is too long ; 
Which makes it tedious.For in all the play, 
There is not one word apt,one plaicr fitted. 6 ? 

And tragical!,my noble Lord,it is : for Pi 
Therein doth kill himfelfe. 

Which when I faw 

Reheard,! muft.confcfle, made mine eies water ; 
But more merry teares thcpaifion of loud laughter 
Neuet Oied. 

Tbff. What are they that do play it ? 

P/u/p.Hard handed jnen^that worke in ^r/;^/hcre, 
Which neuer laboured in their mindcs till now ; 
And now hauetoyled their vnbreathed memories, 
With this fame play, a gainft your nuptiali. 

Tbsf. And we will heare it. 

T'fo.Nojfny noble Lord,it is not for fou.I hauc heard 
It oue r.and u is noching,nothing in the world ; 
Vnlcffe you c,an findc fport in their intents, 
Extremely ftretcht,and cond with cnicll paint, 

Tktf.l will hcare that play .For neuer any thing 
Can be amiflcjwhen flmplcneiTe and duty tender it. 



A Midfommer nights Dr eame* 

86 Ooe bring them in,and take your placcs,Ladies 

Hip.l louenot to fee wretchedneflc recharged; 
And duety in his feruice perifhing. 
Thcf. Why gentle fweete,you (hall fee no {uch thing. 

90 Hip. He faies, they can do nothing in this kindc. 

T^.The kinder wc,to giue them thanks for nothing. 
Our fport (hall be,to take what they miftake : 
And what poore duty cannot do,noble refpeft 
Takes it in might,not merir. 
Where 1 haue come,great Clearkes haue purpofed 
To grcetc me with premeditated welcomes ; 
Where I haue feene them fhiuer and looke pale, 

98 Make periods in the midft of fcntences, 

Throttle their pra&iz'd accent in their fearcs, 
And in conciufion,dumbly haue broke off, 
Not paying me a welcomc.Truft me fwectc, 
Out of this fiience yet,I pickt a welcome : 
And in the modefty of fearcfull duty, 
I read as much,as from the ratling tongue 
Of faucy and audacious eloquence. 

106 Loue thercfbre,and tongue-tide fimplicity, 

In leaft,fpeake moft,to my capacity. 

Philo.So plcafc your Grace,the Prologue is addreft. 
D^.Let him approach. 

Enter the Prologue. 

Pro, If we offend, it is with our good will. 
That you fliould thinkc,wc come not to offend, 
But with good will. To (hew our (imple skill, 
That is the true beginning of our end. 
Confider then, we come but in defpight. 
We do not come,as minding to content you, 
Our true intent is. All for your delight, 
V Ve are not hcere.That you (hould here repent you, 

us The A&ors are at hand ; and by thetr (how, 

You (hall know all,that you are like to know. 


A Midfommer nights Dreame* 

is fellow doth not ftand vpon points. uo 

Ljf. He hath rid his Prologue, like a rough Cole : hec 

knowes not the ft op, A good moral! my Lord. It is not e- 

nough to fpeake,but to fpeake true. 
Htp. Indeed he hath plaid on this Prologue, like a childe 

on a Recorder,a found,but not in gouernment* 

Thtf.His fpeech was like a tangled chaine ; nothing im- 

pairedjbut all disordered. Who is next ? 


Enter Tyramtu and Thufy,W*ll, Moone-jhme y an^Lyon. 

'Prologue. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this (how, 128 
But wonder on,till truth make all things plaine, 
This man is Ptramwjtyou would know ; 
This beautious Lady,27?^^ is certaine. 
This man with lyme and roughcaft, doth prefent 132 

Wall.that vile wall, which did thefe louers funder : 
And through wals chinke(poore foules) they are content 
To whifper. At the which, let no man wonder. 
This man>with Lanthorne,dog>and bufti of thorne, 
Prefenteth moone-(hine.For if you will know, 
Bymoone-fliine did thefe Louers thinkeno fcorne 
To meece at Ninas toombe,there,there to wooe : 
This grixly beaft (which Lyon hight by name) 140 

The trufty Thirty, comming firft by night, 
Did fcarre away,or rather did affright : 
And as (he fled.her mantle (lie did fall ; 
Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did Maine. 744 

Anon comes PiVviww^fweete youth and tall, 
And findes his trufty T^Ubtes Mantle (laine ; 
Whereat/with blade,with bloody blamefull blade, 
He brauely broacht his boiling bloody breaft, 
And 7fcfy,tarrying in Mulberry {hade, 
His dagger drew,and died.For all the reft, 
Let Lyan, LM<*one-jhme t fVall,znd Louers twaine, 
At large difcourfe, while here they do remaine. 752 



A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

Thtf. I wonder if the Lyon be to fpeake. 
Deme.No wonder,my Lord: one Lion may when many 

Exit Lyon, Tbifby, and Meont-fline . 
Wall, In this fame Interlude it doth befall, 
757 That I,one flute (by name) prefent a wall : 

And fuch a wallas I would haue you thinke, 
That had in it a crannied hole or chinke : 
Through which the Louets,Piramw and Tkisfy, 
761 Did whifper ofte^very fecretly. 

This lome,this roughcaft, and this ftone doth (how. 
That I am that fame wall ; the truth is fo. 
And this the cranny is,rignt and (inifter. 
Through which the fearefull Louers are to whifper, 
Thef. Would you defire lime and haire to (peak better .* 
Demt. It is the wittieft partition, chat euer Ihearddif- 
courfe,my Lord. 

Thef. Viramw drawes neere the wall,(ilence. 
F/rO grim lookt night, 6 night with hue fo black e, 
O night, which euer art,when day is not : 

night, 6 nighc,alacke,alackc,a!acke, 

1 feare my Tbisbies promife is forgot. 
And thou 6 wall, 6 fweete,6 louely wall, 

That (lands betweene her Fathers ground and mine, 
Thou wall, 6 wall,6 fweete and louely wall, 
, 77 Shew me thy chinke,to blink through with mine eine. 

Thanks courteous wall, loue fhield thee well for this. 
But what fee I ? No Thisfydol fee. 
O wicked walkthrough whom I fee no blifle, 
Curft be thy ftones,for thus deceiuing me. 

Tbef. The wall me-thinks being fenfiblejfliould curfe a- 

Ptr.No in truth fir,he fhould not. Deceiving me 9 
is 5 Is Thirties cue ; (he is to enter now,and I am to ipy 

Her through the wall. You (hall fee it will fall 

H Pat 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Pat as I told you ; yonder flic comes. Enter Wish. 

Thif, O wall, full often haft thou heard my moncs, 
For parting my fairc /Vn0*tf,and me. 
My cherry lips haue often kift thy ftones ; 
Thy ftones with lime and haire knit now againe, , g , 

Pyra. I fee a voice ; now will I to the chinke, 
To fpy and I can heare my Thirties face. 7*/ 
'Tbtf.My Loue thou an, my Loue I thinke. 
Pir.Thinke what thou wilt,I am thy Louers grac^ 195 

And \\VcLimander &m I trufty ft ill* 

Thtf. And I like Helen .till the fates me kill, 

PJr.NotSbafalw to /V0rrw,was fo true. 

7&/y*As Shafaltts to Prarw, I to you. igg 

T/r.OkiiTe me through the hole of this vile wall. 

Tkif.1 kiffe the wals hole,not your lips at all. 

Pir. Wilt thou at Ninnies toomb mectc me ftraightway ? 

TforyiTide life,t idc death,! come without delay, 70 j 

ffaff.Thus haue I fPfcftmy part difchargcd fo; 

And being done, thus Wdl a way doth goc. 

P#Now is the Moon vfcd bctwecne the two neighbors. 

Deme.No remcdy,my Lord, when wals are fo wilfull, to 

hcare without warning. 

Z>f<r&.This is the fillieft ftuffe that ere I heard. 
D/%.The beft in this kinde arc but (badowcs, and the 
\vorft are no worfc,if imagination amend them. muft be your imagination then,and not theirs. 
D^tf.Ifwee imagine no worfe of them then they of them- 
felucs,they may pafle for excellent men. Heerc come two 
noble bcafts, in a man and a Lyon. 2( s 

Enter Lyon And <JMoone-fhine, 
Zjjwj.You Ladies, you (whofe gentle hearts do fcarc 
The fmalleft monftrous mouCe that creepes on floorc) 
May now pcrchance,both quake and tremble hcere, 
When Lyon rough,in wildcft rage doth roarc. 2 '9 

Then know that Ij&Snug theioyner am 


A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

221 A Lyon fel^nor clfe no Lyons damme, 

For if I ftiould^s Lyon come in ftrife, 
Into this place,t\vere pitty on my life, 

Duk$.h very gentle bcaft.and of a good confciencc. 
225 D*/ftf .The very bcft at a beaft,my Lord,that ere I faw* 

Lj/VThis Lyon is a very Fox for his valour. 
2)#*.True,and aGoofeforhis difcretion. 
De .Not fo my Lord.For his valour cannot carry his dif- 
229 crction ; and the Fox carries the goofc. 

Duke. His difcretion I am fure cannot carry his valour. 
For the Goofe carries not the Fox. It is well ; Icaue it to his 
difcretion,and let vs hearken to the Moone* 
233 7H00.This lanthornc doth the horned Moonc prefcne. 

Dtmejic (hould haue worne the homes on his head. 
D^.He is no crcfcent,and his homes are inuifible, v/i th 
in the circumference. 
2 37 Mion*. This lanthorne doth the horned Moone prcfent, 

My fclfc,thc man ith'Moonc do feeme to be. 

Dftfy. This is the grcateft error of all the reft ; the man 
fhould be put into die Lanthorne. How is it elfe the man 
241 i'th Moone ? 

Dov.He dares not come there for the candle. 
For you fee,it is already in fnuffe. (change. 

Dutch .1 am weary of this Moone ; would he would 
245 appeares oy his fmall light of difcretion, that hee 

is in the wane : but yet in curtefic,in all rcafon,wc mud ftay 
the time* 

Lyfand. Proceed Moone. 
249 Mooae.Ml that I haue to fay,is to tell you,that the Lan 

thorne is the Moone ; I,the man in the Moone , this thornc 
bu(h,my thornebu(h,and thisdog,my dog. 

Demc. Why all thefe fhould bee in the Lanthorne: for 
253 they are in the Moonc. But (ilencc,hcerc comes Tbisfy. 

fitter Tkisfy. 

T'kThis is old Ninies toomb : wher's my loue ? fyffn.Oh 

H ^ Dent* 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

*. Well roard Lyon. 9 

Dutch. Well fh/* jne J/wf . Truely the Moone flbines 
With a good grace. 

7>*\*. Well mouz'd Lyon. 
Dem . An d t hen ca m e Pirawtu. 
Z/y/iAnd fo the Lyon vanifht. 

%S weete Moone, I thank thee for thy funny beames, 
I thanke thee Moone/or iliining now fo bright, 263 

For by thy gracious,golden, glittering beames, 
I truft to take of trucft Tbisfa fight. 
But flay . 6 fpight ! but marke 3 poore knight, 
What drcadtull dole is here ? 
Eyes do you fee | how can it be ! 
O dainty ducke, 6 deare ! 
Thy mantle good, what ftaind with blood ? 

Approach ye Furies fell, , 7/ 

O fates come,come,cut thred and thrum, 
Quaile,cru(h, conclude,and quell. 

2>%This pafTion,and the death of a deare friend would 
goeneeretomakeamanlookefad. 273 

Dutch. Befhrew my heart,but I pitty the man. 

Pir.O wherefore Nature,didft thou Lyons frame ? 
Since Lyon vilde hath heere deflour'd my deare ; 
Which is,no,no, which was thefaireft dame 279 

That liu'd,that lou'd,that lik't,that look't with checre. 
Corneteares confound,out fword and wound 
The pap of Pyramw: 
I,that left pap,where heart doth hop ; 
Thus die I^hus^hus^thus. 

Now am 1 dead,now am I flcd,my foule, is in the sky, 
Tongue lofe thy light,Moone take thy flight, 
Now dye^ye.dyCjdyCjdye* 287 

*,No Die,but an ace for him ; for he is but one. 

A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

;/.Lc{Te then an aceman.For he is dead,he is nothing* 
Duke. Wich the helpe of a Surgeon>hc might yet reco- 
uer and proue an afle. 

2)tf/r.How chance Moone-fhine is gone before? 
293 Tht'sfy comes backe,and findes her Louer* 

Dttl<e.S\\c will finde him by ftar-light. Here flic comes, 
and her paffion ends the play. 

2)#f .Me-thinkes fhe Ihould not vfe a long one for fuch 
a Tirawus : I hope Hie will be briefc. 

Dem* A Moth will turne the ballance, which PfntmM, 
which Tkisbie is the better .- hee for a man, God warnd vs ; 
(he for a woman,God blefle vs. 
301 Ljf. She hath fpied him already , with thofe fwcete eies. 

Dem.And thus (lie rocanes,v/^/*>. 
Thtf. Afleepe my Louc . ? What,dead my Doue ? 
O Piramtts arife, 

Speakc,fpeake.Quite dumbc ? Dead,dcad ? A toombe 
Muft couer thy fweete eies. 
Thefe lilly lips,ihis cherry nofe, 
Thefe yellow cowflip cheekes 
A re gone,are gone ; Louers make mone : 
His eyes weregreene as Leekes. ^ 
O fitters thrce,comc,come to me, 
With hands as pale as milke, 
Lay them in gore,finceyou haue (hore 
With fheeres^is thredof (ilke. 
Tongue not a word^ome trufty fword, 
Comebladc,my breaft imbrcw : 
j/7 And farwell friends,thus This fa end s ; 
Adieu, adieu, adieu* 

ZM^.Moone-fhincand Lyon are left to bury the dead. 
l Z)emc.],*nd Wall too 
321 Lyon. No, I affure you the wall is downe, that parted 

their Fathers, "Will it pleafe you to fee the Epilogue, or to 
heare a Bcrgomask dance,bctweene two of our company ? 

H 3 Dkf* 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

. No Epilogue, I pray you ; for your play needs no 324 

excufe. Neuer cxcufc ; for when the players arc all dead, 
there need none to be blamed. Marry,if he that writ it,had 
plaid Pirtmus, and hang'd himfelfe mTltisfaet garter, h 
would hauc becnc a fine Tragedy : and fo it is truely , and 328 

very notably difcharg'd* But come,your Burgomaske ; let 
your Epilogue alone. 

The iron tongue of midnight hath toidc twelue. 
Loucrs to bed,tis almoft Fairy time. 332 

I fcare we (hall ouc-fleepe the comming mornc, 
As much as we this night haue ouer-watcht. 
This palpable groffc play hath well beguil'd 
The hcauy gate of night,Sweet friends co bed. 336 

A fortnight hold we this folemnity, 
In nightly Reuels,and new iollity. Exeunt. 

Enter *Pucke. 

fuck Now the hungry Lyons rores, 
And the Wolfe beholds the Moonc ; 340 

Whilft the hcauy ploughman fnorcs, 
All with weary taske fore-done. 
Now the wafted brands do glow, 
Wh'ilft the fcritch-owlc/critching loud, J44 

Puts the wretch that lies in woe, 
In remembrance of a fhrowd* 
Now it is the time of night, 
That the graues,all gaping wide, 
Euery one lets forth his fp right, 
In the Churchway paths to glide. 
And we Fairics,that do runnne, 
By the triple HccAtes tea me, 352 

From the prefence of the Sunne, 
Following darknefle like a dreame, 
Now are frollicke ; not a Moufe 
Shall difturbc this hallowed houfe. 356 

I am fent with broome before, 



AMidfommers nights Dreame. 

J5 s To fweepc the duft behinde the doorc. 

Enter King andQufene of Fairies jrith their ininc. 
Ob. Through the houfe giue glimmering light, 

By the dead and drowficficr, 

Euery Elfe and Fairy fpright, 
362 Hop as light as bird from brier, 

And this Ditty after me,Sing and dance it trippingly. 
7/M.Firft rehcarfe this fong by roate, 

To each word a warbling note. 
3 66 Hand in hand,with Fairy grace; 

Will we (ing and blefle this place. 
O.Now vntill thcbrcake of day, 

Through this houfe,each Fairy ftray. 
270 Tothebeftbridc-bcdwillwe, 

Which by vs (hall blcfled be : 

And the ifluc there create, 

Eucr fhall be fortunate: 

So fliall all the couples three, 

Euer true in louing be : 

And the blots of Natures hand, 

Shall not in their iflue (land* 
31 s Neuer molc,harc4ip,nor fcarre, 

Nor marke prodigious, fuch as arc 

Dcfpifcd in natiuity, 

Shall vpon their children be. 

With this field dew confecrate, 

Eucry Fairy take his gate, 

And each feuerali chamber blefTe, 

Through this Palace,whh fwcete pcacc> 

Euer (hall in fafety reft, 

And the owner of it blcft. 

Trip away,make no flay ; 

Meeteme all s by breake of day. Exeunt. 

390 Robin. If we flhadowcs haue offended, 

Thinkc but this (and all is mended) 



A Midfommer nights Dream 

That you haue but flumbred heere, 
While this vifions did appeare. 
And this weake and idle thearne, 
No more ycelding but a dreame. 
Gentles, do not reprehend. 
If you pardon,\ve will mend. 
And as I am an honeft Pucke^ 
If we haue vnearned lucke, 
Now to fcapethe Serpents tongue, 
We will make amends ere long ; 
Elfe the Vucke a lyar call. 
So good night vnto you all. 
Giue me your hands,ifwe be friends, 
And 'Robin (hall reft ore amends. 





Shakespeare, William 

Midsummer night ' s dream