Study Guide

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night's Dream eText - Act III

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Act III

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[The wood]

Enter the clowns, [Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and Starveling]

BOTTOM:
Are we all met?
BOTTOM:
Are we all here?
QUINCE:
Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place
for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this
hawthorn-brake our tiring-house; and we will do it in
action, as we will do it before the Duke.(5)
QUINCE:
Ready, ready; and here's a marvelously convenient place for our
rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn
bush our dressing room, and we will do it just as we will
do it before the duke.
BOTTOM:
Peter Quince,—
BOTTOM:
Peter Quince—
QUINCE:
What sayest thou, bully Bottom?
QUINCE:
What do you say, bully Bottom?
BOTTOM:
There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and
Thisbe that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a
sword to kill himself; which the ladies cannot abide. How(10)
answer you that?
BOTTOM:
There are things in this comedy of “Pyramus and Thisbe” that
will never please an audience. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill
himself, which the ladies cannot stand. What do you think about that?
SNOUT:
By'r lakin, a parlous fear.
SNOUT:
Damn, a risky business.
STARVELING:
I believe we must leave the killing out, when all
is done.
STARVELING:
I believe we must leave the killing out, when all is said and done.
BOTTOM:
Not a whit; I have a device to make all well. Write(15)
me a prologue; and let the prologue seem to say we will
do no harm with our swords, and that Pyramus is not
kill'd indeed; and for the more better assurance, tell them
that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver.
This will put them out of fear.(20)
BOTTOM:
Not at all. I have an idea to make it all OK. Write a
prologue for me, and let the prologue seem to say we will do no harm
with our swords, and that Pyramus is not really killed, and, to reassure them even more, tell them that I am not really Pyramus but Bottom the weaver. This will keep them from being frightened.
QUINCE:
Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be
written in eight and six.
QUINCE:
Well, we will have such a prologue, and it shall
be written in eight lines and six lines.
BOTTOM:
No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and
eight.
BOTTOM:
No, make it two lines more. Let it be written in eight lines and eight lines.
SNOUT:
Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion?(25)
SNOUT:
Won’t the ladies be afraid of the lion?
STARVELING:
I fear it, I promise you.
STARVELING:
I’m afraid so, I promise you.
BOTTOM:
Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves to
bring in—God shield us!—a lion among ladies is a most
dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl
than your lion living; and we ought to look to't.(30)
BOTTOM:
Sirs, you ought to think about this yourselves. To bring in —
God shield us! — a lion among ladies is a most dreadful thing.
There is not a more fearful wild bird than your living lion,
and we ought to look to it.
SNOUT:
Therefore another prologue must tell he is not a
lion.
SNOUT:
Well then, another prologue must say that he is not really a lion.
BOTTOM:
Nay, you must name his name, and half his face
must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself
must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect:(35)
—‘Ladies,’ —or ‘Fair ladies,—I would wish you’—or ‘I
would request you’ —or ‘I would entreat you,—not to
fear, not to tremble. My life for yours! If you think I
come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life. No, I am
no such thing; I am a man as other men are.’ And there,(40)
indeed, let him name his name, and tell them plainly he
is Snug the joiner.
BOTTOM:
More than that. You must tell his name and half his face must be seen
through the lion's neck, and he himself must speak through the mask
saying this, or something to the same defect,—"Ladies," or "Fair ladies, I
would wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would entreat you,
not to be afraid, not to tremble. my life for yours. If you think I
come here as a lion, shame on me. No, I am no such
thing as a lion. I am a man as other men are." —and there, indeed, let him
say his name, and tell them plainly he is Snug the joiner.
QUINCE:
Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard things;
that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for, you
know, Pyramus and Thisbe meet by moonlight.(45)
QUINCE:
Well, OK. But there are two more hard things, that
is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber, because, as you know,
Pyramus and Thisbe meet by moonlight.
SNOUT:
Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?
SNOUT:
Does the moon shine that night we play our play?
BOTTOM:
A calendar, a calendar! Look in the almanack;
find out moonshine, find out moonshine.
BOTTOM:
A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanac. Find out if
there’s moonshine, find moonshine.
QUINCE:
Yes, it doth shine that night.
QUINCE:
Yes, it does shine that night.
BOTTOM:
Why, then may you leave a casement of the(50)
great chamber window, where we play, open; and the
moon may shine in at the casement.
BOTTOM:
Why, then may you leave a panel of the great chamber-window,
where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at that panel.
QUINCE:
Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of
thorns and a lantern, and say he comes to disfigure,
or to present, the person of moonshine. Then, there is(55)
another thing: we must have a wall in the great chamber;
for Pyramus and Thisbe, says the story, did talk
through the chink of a wall.
QUINCE:
Ay, or else someone must come in with a bush of thorns and a
lantern, and say he comes to imitate or to present the person
of moonshine. Then there is another thing. We must have a
wall in the great chamber, because Pyramus and Thisbe, says the
story, talked through a chink in a wall.
SNOUT:
You can never bring in a wall. What say you,
Bottom?(60)
SNOUT:
You can never bring in a wall.—What say you, Bottom?
BOTTOM:
Some man or other must present Wall; and let
him have some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast
about him, to signify wall; and let him hold his fingers
thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and
Thisbe whisper.(65)
BOTTOM:
Some man or other must look like a wall, and let him have
some plaster, or some loam, or some rough-cast cement around him to
signify the wall, and let him hold his fingers open like this, and through that
cranny, Pyramus and Thisbe will whisper.
QUINCE:
If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down,
every mother's son, and rehearse your parts.
Pyramus, you begin; when you have spoken your speech, enter into that
brake; and so every one according to his cue.
QUINCE:
If that can be done, then I think we’ve covered everything.
Come, sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your parts.
Pyramus, you begin.
When you have finished your speech, enter into that pack of bushes,
and so every one follow, according to his cue.

Enter Robin [Goodfellow (Puck)]

PUCK:
What hempen home-spuns have we swagg'ring here,(70)
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
What, a play toward! I'll be an auditor;
An actor too perhaps, if I see cause.
PUCK:
What woven country-folk do we have swaggering here,
So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
What, a play! I'll listen, be
An actor too perhaps, if I see a place to jump in.
QUINCE:
Speak, Pyramus. Thisbe, stand forth.
QUINCE:
Speak, Pyramus.—Thisbe, stand forward.
BOTTOM:
Thisbe, the flowers of odious savors sweet—(75)
BOTTOM:
“Thisbe, the flowers of offensive savors sweet,”
QUINCE:
‘Odours,’ odours!
QUINCE:
Odors, odors.
BOTTOM:
—odours savors sweet;
So hath thy breath, my dearest Thisbe dear.
But hark, a voice! Stay thou but here awhile,
And by and by I will to thee appear.(80)
BOTTOM:
“—odors savors sweet.
So you have your breath, my dearest Thisbe dear.—
But wait, a voice! Wait here just a little while,
And by and by I will appear to you.”

Exit Pyramus [Bottom]

PUCK:
A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here!
PUCK:
A stranger Pyramus never played here!

[Exit]

FLUTE:
Must I speak now?
FLUTE:
Must I speak now?
QUINCE:
Ay, marry, must you; for you must understand he
goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come
again.(85)
QUINCE:
Ay, darn it, you must because you must understand he only
Goes to see a noise that he heard, and will come again.
FLUTE:
Most radiant Pyramus, most lily-white of hue,
Of color like the red rose on triumphant brier,
Most brisky juvenal, and eke most lovely Jew,
As true as truest horse, that would never tire,
I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.(90)
FLUTE:
“Most radiant Pyramus, most lily white of hue,
Of color like the red rose on triumphant stem,
Most rushing youth, and most lovely Jew,
As true as truest horse that would never tire,
I'll meet you, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.”
QUINCE:
‘Ninus’ tomb,' man! Why, you must not speak that
yet; that you answer to Pyramus. You speak all your part
at once, cues, and all. Pyramus enter: your cue is past; it is
‘never tire.’
QUINCE:
Ninus' tomb, man. Why, you must not speak that line yet.
That’s your answer to Pyramus. You speak your whole part all at once,
cues, and all.—Pyramus enter. Your cue is past. It is “never
tire.”
FLUTE:
O—As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.(95)
FLUTE:
Oh,”—As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.”

[Re-enter Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head]

BOTTOM:
If I were fair, Thisbe, I were only thine.
BOTTOM:
“If I were fair, Thisbe, I would only be yours.”
QUINCE:
O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted. Pray,
masters! fly, masters! Help!
QUINCE:
Oh monstrous! Oh strange! We are attacked by ghosts. Let’s go, guys!
Let’s get out of here! Help!

The clowns all exit. {Puck remains.]

PUCK:
I'll follow you; I'll lead you about a round,
Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier;(100)
Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,
Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
PUCK:
I'll follow you; I'll lead you in a circle,
Through bog, through bush, through more bushes, through brier;
Sometimes I’ll be a horse, sometimes a hound dog,
A hog, a headless bear, sometimes a fire;
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and burn,
Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.

Exit

Enter [Bottom] with the Asshead

BOTTOM:
Why do they run away? This is a knavery of them(105)
to make me afeard.
BOTTOM:
Why do they run away? This is a bad joke of theirs to frighten me.

[Re-]enter Snout

SNOUT:
O Bottom, thou art changed! What do I see on
thee?
SNOUT:
Oh Bottom, you are changed! What do I see on you?
BOTTOM:
What do you see? You see an ass-head of your
own, do you?(110)
BOTTOM:
What do you see? You see an donkey-head of your own, do you?

[Exit Snout]

[Re-]enter Peter Quince

QUINCE:
Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee! Thou art translated.
QUINCE:
Bless you, Bottom! Bless you! You have been translated into something else!

[Exit]

BOTTOM:
I see their knavery: this is to make an ass of me;
to fright me, if they could. But I will not stir from this
place, do what they can; I will walk up and down here,
and will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.(115)

[Sings]

The ousel cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill.
BOTTOM:
I see what they’re up to. This is to make a donkey of me, to
frighten me, if they can. But I will not move from this
place, no matter what they do. I will walk up and down here,
and I will sing, so that they’ll hear I am not afraid. The black rooster, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The thrush with his note so true,
The wren with little quill.
TITANIA:
[Awakening] What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?(120)
TITANIA:
[Waking.]
What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
BOTTOM:
[Sings]
The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
The plain-song cuckoo gray,
Whose note full many a man doth mark,
And dares not answer nay;—(125)
BOTTOM:
for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a bird?
Who would give a bird the lie, though he cry ‘cuckoo’
never so?
[Sings.]
The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
The plain-song cuckoo gray,
Whose full note many a man comments on,
And dares not answer no—
because, indeed, who would think about so foolish a bird?
Who would give a bird a thought, even if he always cries “cuckoo?”
TITANIA:
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again.
Mine ear is much enamored of thy note;(130)
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me,
On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
TITANIA:
I beg you, gentle mortal, sing again;
My ear is very much in love with your song.
So my eye is very attracted to your shape;
And your fair virtue's force violently moves me,
On the first look of you, to say, to swear, I love you.
BOTTOM:
Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason
for that. And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep(135)
little company together now-a-days. The more the pity
that some honest neighbors will not make them friends.
Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
BOTTOM:
I think, mistress, you should have little reason for
that, and yet, to tell the truth, reason and love keep little
company together now-a-days. The more’s the pity that some honest
neighbors will not make them friends. No, I can only
make a joke for a specific occasion.
TITANIA:
Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
TITANIA:
You are as wise as you are beautiful.
BOTTOM:
Not so, neither; but if I had wit enough to get out(140)
of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
BOTTOM:
Not so, neither. but if I had enough wit to get out of
this forest, then I have enough to serve me well.
TITANIA:
Out of this wood do not desire to go;
Thou shalt remain here whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state;(145)
And I do love thee; therefore, go with me.
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so(150)
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!
TITANIA:
Don’t desire to go out of this forest.
You shall remain here whether you want to or not.
I am a spirit of no simple power—
The summer still waits for me
And I love you. Therefore, go with me,
I'll give you fairies who will wait on you;
And they shall get you jewels from the deep,
And sing, while you sleep on pressed flowers.
And I will change your mortal ugly so
That you shall fly like an airy spirit.—
Peasblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

Enter four Fairies: Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustardseed

PEASEBLOSSOM:
Ready.
PEASEBLOSSOM:
Ready.
COBWEB:
And I.
COBWEB:
And I.
MOTH:
And I.(155)
MOTH:
And I.
MUSTARDSEED:
And I.
MUSTARDSEED:
And I.
ALL:
Where shall we go?
ALL:
Where shall we go?
TITANIA:
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,(160)
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
And for night-tapers crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed and to arise;(165)
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
TITANIA:
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Jump into his steps as he walks and dance in his eyes;
Feed him apricots and dewberries,
Purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
Steal the honey bags from the bumblebees,
And, for night lights, cut their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
In order to have my love go to sleep and wake up,
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moonbeams out of sleeping eyes.
Greet him, elves, and do him courtesies.
PEASEBLOSSOM:
Hail, mortal!
PEASEBLOSSOM:
Hail, mortal!
COBWEB:
Hail!(170)
COBWEB:
Hail!
MOTH:
Hail!
MOTH:
Hail!
MUSTARDSEED:
Hail!
MUSTARDSEED:
Hail!
BOTTOM:
I cry your worships mercy, heartily; I beseech
your worship's name.
BOTTOM:
I beg your honors’ mercy, heartily.—What is your name?
COBWEB:
Cobweb.(175)
COBWEB:
Cobweb.
BOTTOM:
I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good
Master Cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make bold
with you. Your name, honest gentleman?
BOTTOM:
I would like to get to know you better, good Master Cobweb. If I
cut my finger, I’ll ask for your help.—Your name, honest
gentleman?
PEASEBLOSSOM:
Peaseblossom.
PEASEBLOSSOM:
Peasblossom.
BOTTOM:
I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your(180)
mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good
Master Peaseblossom, I shall desire you of more
acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?
BOTTOM:
I ask you, commend me to Mrs. Squash, your mother, and
to Mr. Peapod, your father. Good Master Peasblossom, I
want to get to know you better, too.—Your name, I ask
you, sir?
MUSTARDSEED:
Mustardseed.
MUSTARDSEED:
Mustardseed.
BOTTOM:
Good Master Mustardseed, I know your(185)
patience well. That same cowardly giant-like ox-beef
hath devoured many a gentleman of your house. I promise
you your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now.
I desire your more acquaintance, good Master
Mustardseed.(190)
BOTTOM:
Good Master Mustardseed, I know you well.
That same cowardly giant-like roast beef has devoured
many people from your family. I promise you your relatives have made my
eyes water before now. I want to get to know you as well, good
Master Mustardseed.
TITANIA:
Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.
The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye;
And when she weeps, weeps every little flower;
Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently.(195)
TITANIA:
Come on, wait on him; lead him to my private apartment.
The moon, I think, looks as if she has watery eyes,
And when she weeps, every little flower weeps,
Lamenting some enforced chastity.
Cover his mouth, bring him silently.

[Exeunt]

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[Another part of the wood]

Enter The King of Fairies [Oberon]

OBERON:
I wonder if Titania be awaked;
Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
Which she must dote on in extremity.

Enter Puck

Here comes my messenger.
How now, mad spirit!(5)
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
OBERON:
I wonder if Titania is up yet,
And what it was that next came into her sight,
Which she must love in the extreme.
Here comes my messenger.—What’s up, mad spirit?
What’s going on now about this haunted grove?
PUCK:
My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,(10)
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial-day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport(15)
Forsook his scene and ent'red in a brake;
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's nole I fixed on his head.
Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,(20)
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;(25)
And at our stamp here, o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong,
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;(30)
Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things catch.
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Pyramus translated there;
When in that moment, so it came to pass,
Titania waked, and straightway loved an ass.(35)
PUCK:
My mistress is in love with a monster.
Near to her close and consecrated private place,
While she was sleeping,
A crew of actors, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread near Athenian shops,
Were met together to rehearse a play
Intended for great Theseus' wedding day.
The stupidest man of these dim country-folk
Who acted Pyramus in their rehearsal,
Exited from his scene and entered in a bunch of bushes,
When I took advantage of him
And I fixed donkey's head on his head.
Then, his Thisbe must be answered,
And my creation comes back to the rehearsal.
As wild geese that the see a creeping hunter,
Or red-headed clowns, in many varieties,
Rising and cawing at the gunshots,
Separate themselves and madly sweep the sky,
So his fellows fly away at the sight of him.
And at our music here, one falls over and over;
He cries, “Murder,” and calls for help from Athens.
Their senses thus weakened, lost within their strong fears,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong,
Because briers and thorns catch their clothes,
Some sleeves, some hats. All things catch on the bushes.
I led them on in this troubled fear,
And left sweet Pyramus totally changed there.
When at that moment,—so it came to pass,—
Titania woke up, and straightway loved a donkey.
OBERON:
This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
OBERON:
This works out better than I could have planned.
But have you touched the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice yet, as I told you to?
PUCK:
I took him sleeping,—that is finish'd too,—
And the Athenian woman by his side;(40)
That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.

Enter Demetrius and Hermia

PUCK:
I did it while he was sleeping,—that is finished too,—
And the Athenian woman by his side,
So that, when he woke up, she must, of course, be the first he saw.
OBERON:
Stand close; this is the same Athenian.
OBERON:
Stand close; this is the same Athenian.
PUCK:
This is the woman, but not this the man.
PUCK:
This is the woman, but not this the man.
DEMETRIUS:
O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.(45)
DEMETRIUS:
Oh, why do you reject him that loves you so?
Say these bitter things to your bitter foe.
HERMIA:
Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse,
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.(50)
The sun was not so true unto the day
As he to me. Would he have stolen away
From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
This whole earth may be bored, and that the moon
May through the centre creep and so displease(55)
Her brother's noontide with the Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;
So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.
HERMIA:
Now I only scold, but I should give you worse;
Because you, I fear, has given me cause to curse.
If you have slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being in blood over your shoes, plunge the knife
Deep into me and kill me too.
The sun was not as true to the daytime
As he was to me. Would he have stolen away
From sleeping Hermia? I'd believe as quickly that
This whole earth may be bored, and that the moon
May creep through the centre and so disrupt
Her brother's noontide with the other side of the world.
It can only mean that you have murdered him;
A murderer should look like you, so dead, so grim.
DEMETRIUS:
So should the murdered look; and so should I,
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty;(60)
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
DEMETRIUS:
The murdered should look that way, and so should I,
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering orbit.
HERMIA:
What's this to my Lysander? Where is he?
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?
HERMIA:
What's this got to do with my Lysander? Where is he?
Ah, good Demetrius, will you give him to me?
DEMETRIUS:
I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.(65)
DEMETRIUS:
I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.
HERMIA:
Out, dog! out, cur! Thou drivest me past the bounds
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
Henceforth be never number'd among men!
O, once tell true; tell true, even for my sake!
Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,(70)
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
HERMIA:
Get out, dog! Get out, low-life! You drive me past the bounds
Of a maiden's patience. Have you slain him, then?
From this time forward, you will never be counted as a man!
Oh! For once tell the truth; tell the truth, even for my sake.
Did you dare to look at him, being awake,
And have you killed him sleeping? Oh brave touch!
Couldn’t a worm, a poisonous snake, do as much?
If a poisonous snake did it, because a snake, you serpent,
Never had a tongue that could speak out of both sides of his mouth!
DEMETRIUS:
You spend your passion on a misprised mood:(75)
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
DEMETRIUS:
You are wasting your anger on a mistaken idea.
I am not guilty of killing Lysander;
And he isn’t dead, as far as I can tell.
HERMIA:
I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
HERMIA:
I beg you, tell me, then, that he is well.
DEMETRIUS:
An if I could, what should I get therefore?
DEMETRIUS:
And if I could, what should I get for saying so?
HERMIA:
A privilege, never to see me more.(80)
And from thy hated presence part I so;
See me no more, whether he be dead or no.
HERMIA:
The privilege of never seeing me again.—
And I will leave your hated presence so.
You will see me no more, whether he be dead or not.

Exit

DEMETRIUS:
There is no following her in this fierce vein;
Here, therefore, for a while I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow(85)
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe;
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.
DEMETRIUS:
There is no following her in this fierce fit of anger.
Therefore, I will stay here for a while.
So sorrow's heaviness does heavier grow
Because my sleep has been interrupted.
I’ll try to catch up on my sleep and deal with this later.

Lie[s] down [and sleeps]

OBERON:
What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight.(90)
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Some true love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true.
OBERON:
What have you done? You have made a major mistake,
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight.
Some true love turned false must follow because of your mistake,
And not a false love turned true.
PUCK:
Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
PUCK:
Then fate overrules me, that, as one man keeping his promise,
A million fail in keeping theirs, confusing oath on oath.
OBERON:
About the wood go swifter than the wind,(95)
And Helena of Athens look thou find;
All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
With sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear.
By some illusion see thou bring her here;
I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.(100)
OBERON:
Get going around the forest, swifter than the wind,
And find Helena of Athens.
She is totally lovesick, and very pale, because sighs of love
Are keeping fresh blood from her face.
See that you bring her here by some illusion.
I'll charm his eyes in hope she appears.
PUCK:
I go, I go; look how I go,
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
PUCK:
I go, I go; look how I go,—
Swifter than an arrow from the barbarian’s bow.

Exit

OBERON:
Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye.(105)
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wakest, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.(110)
OBERON:
Flower with this purple dye,
Hit by Cupid's arrow,
Sink into the apple of his eye!
When his love he sees,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.—
When you wake, if she is near,
Beg her for the remedy.

[Re-]enter Puck

PUCK:
Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me
Pleading for a lover's fee;
Shall we their fond pageant see?(115)
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
PUCK:
Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth mistaken by me
Pleading for her love;
Shall we watch what they’re doing?
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
OBERON:
Stand aside. The noise they make
Will cause Demetrius to awake.
OBERON:
Stand aside. The noise they make
Will cause Demetrius to awake.
PUCK:
Then will two at once woo one.
That must needs be sport alone;(120)
And those things do best please me
That befall preposterously.
PUCK:
Then two will court one at the same time —
Can’t let that happen – it should only be one;
And those things please me best
That happen ridiculously.

Enter Lysander and Helena

LYSANDER:
Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
Scorn and derision never come in tears.
Look when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,(125)
In their nativity all truth appears.
How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?
LYSANDER:
Why should you think that I should not court you seriously?
You cannot find scorn and derision in tears of love.
Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows that are born in tears
Show the whole truth at that moment.
How can these things in me seem like ridicule to you,
When my tears prove them to be true?
HELENA:
You do advance your cunning more and more.
When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!(130)
These vows are Hermia's. Will you give her o'er?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
Will even weigh; and both as light as tales.
HELENA:
You move your cunning ahead more and more.
When truth kills truth, oh devilish-holy fight!
These vows are Hermia's. Will you give her up?
Weigh your oaths with oaths, and you will nothing weigh.
Your vows to her and me, put on two scales,
Will weigh the same, and both are as light as fairy tales.
LYSANDER:
I had no judgment when to her I swore.(135)
LYSANDER:
I had no sense of judgment when I swore love to her.
HELENA:
Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
HELENA:
Nor none, in my mind, now you give her up.
LYSANDER:
Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
LYSANDER:
Demetrius loves her, and he doesn’t love you.
DEMETRIUS:
(Awaking) O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect,
divine!
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?(140)
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
When thou hold'st up thy hand. O, let me kiss(145)
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
DEMETRIUS:
[Awaking.]
Oh Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
What, my love, shall I compare your eyes to?
Crystal is muddy. Oh, how ripe your lips are,
Those kissing cherries grow tempting!
When you hold up your hand that pure congealed white top,
High Taurus' snow, fanned with the eastern wind,
Turns to a crow. Oh, let me kiss
This princess hand of pure white, this seal of bliss!
HELENA:
O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment.
If you were civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.(150)
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so:
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,(155)
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
And now both rivals, to mock Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes(160)
With your derision! None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
HELENA:
Oh spite! Oh hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your entertainment.
If you were civil and had any manners,
You wouldn’t insult me so much like this.
Can’t you just hate me, as I know you do,
Instead of joining together to mock me too?
If you were men, as you are men on the outside,
You wouldn’t use a gentle lady like this:
To vow, and swear, and super-praise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals and love Hermia;
And now both rivals to mock Helena.
A really good exploit, a manly enterprise,
To bring up tears in a poor maid's eyes
With your insults! None of the noble sort
Would so offend a virgin and try
A poor soul's patience, all to make you laugh.
LYSANDER:
You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
For you love Hermia. This you know I know;(165)
And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Whom I do love and will do till my death.
LYSANDER:
You are unkind, Demetrius; don’t be like that,
Because you love Hermia. You know I know this.
And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
I yield up to you my part in Hermia's love;
And give your love of Helena to me,
Whom I love and will love till my death.
HELENA:
Never did mockers waste more idle breath.(170)
HELENA:
Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
DEMETRIUS:
Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none.
If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise so journ'd,
And now to Helen is it home return'd,
There to remain.(175)
DEMETRIUS:
Lysander, keep your Hermia; I will have none of her.
If I ever loved her, all that love is gone.
My heart journeyed to her only like a guest,
And now has returned home to Helena,
There to remain.
LYSANDER:
Helen, it is not so.
LYSANDER:
Helena, it’s not true.
DEMETRIUS:
Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.
Look where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
DEMETRIUS:
Don’t degrade the faith you don’t know,
Unless, to your peril, you dearly pay for it .—
Look, here comes your love; your dear is over there.

Enter Hermia

HERMIA:
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,(180)
The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense.
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound.(185)
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
HERMIA:
Dark night, that makes it hard to see,
Makes the ear more sensitive to sound;
Where it impairs seeing,
It makes hearing doubly sharp.—
You are not found by my eyes, Lysander;
My ear, I thank it, brought me to your sound.
But why did you leave me so unkindly?
LYSANDER:
Why should he stay whom love doth press to go?
LYSANDER:
Why should he stay whom love presses to go?
HERMIA:
What love could press Lysander from my side?
HERMIA:
What love could press Lysander from my side?
LYSANDER:
Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night(190)
Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? Could not this make thee know,
The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so?
LYSANDER:
Lysander's love, that would not let him wait,—
Fair Helena,—who makes the night more golden
Than all the fiery rays and eyes of light.
Why are you looking for me? Couldn’t this make you know
That the hate I have for you made me leave you like that?
HERMIA:
You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
HERMIA:
You don’t speak as you think; it cannot be.
HELENA:
Lo, she is one of this confederacy!(195)
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived,
To bait me with this foul derision?(200)
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us,—O, is all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?(205)
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our needles created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,(210)
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;(215)
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly;(220)
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.
HELENA:
Wow, she is one of this conspiracy!
Now I see that all three have gotten together
To design this false joke in spite of me.
Insulting Hermia! Most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspired, have you contrived with these men
To bait me with this disgusting insult?
Is all the conversation that we two have shared,
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have scolded the clock
For parting us,—Oh, is it all forgotten?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have created both one flower with our needles,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,
Had been incorporated into one. So we grew together,
Almost like a double cherry, seeming to be parted,
But yet joined in that separation,
Two lovely berries molded on one stem.
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
That can only be used by one family, and crowned with one crest.
And will you tear our ancient love apart
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It’s not friendly, it’s not maidenly.
Our sex, as well as I, may scold you for it,
Although I’m the only one to feel the injury.
HERMIA:
I am amazed at your passionate words;
I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.
HERMIA:
I am amazed at your angry words.
I don’t scorn you; it seems that you scorn me.
HELENA:
Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,(225)
To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius,
Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this(230)
To her he hates? And wherefore doth Lysander
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
And tender me, forsooth, affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent?
What though I be not so in grace as you,(235)
So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
But miserable most, to love unloved?
This you should pity rather than despise.
HELENA:
Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me, and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius,—
Who even just a minute ago spurned me with his foot,—
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial? Why does he speak this
To me whom he hates? and why does Lysander
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
And give me, indeed, affection,
Except by your putting them up to it, by your consent?
Although I may not be as graceful as you,
So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
But most miserable most, to love and still be unloved?
You should pity rather than despise this situation.
HERMIA:
I understand not what you mean by this.
HERMIA:
I don’t understand what you mean by this.
HELENA:
Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,(240)
Make mouths upon me when I turn my back,
Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up;
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument.(245)
But fare ye well; 'tis partly my own fault,
Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy.
HELENA:
OK, keep it up, counterfeit sad looks,
Make funny faces at me when I turn my back;
Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up.
This joke, well done, shall be in all the papers.
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument.
But goodbye. It’s partly my own fault,
Which death, or absence, will quickly fix.
LYSANDER:
Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!
LYSANDER:
Stay, gentle Helena; hear my reason;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!
HELENA:
O excellent!(250)
HELENA:
Oh excellent!
HERMIA:
Sweet, do not scorn her so.
HERMIA:
Sweet, don’t scorn her like that.
DEMETRIUS:
If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
DEMETRIUS:
If she cannot beg, I can order.
LYSANDER:
Thou canst compel no more than she entreat;
Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers
Helen, I love thee, by my life, I do;(255)
I swear by that which I will lose for thee
To prove him false that says I love thee not.
LYSANDER:
You can order no more than she can beg;
Your threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.—
Helena, I love you; by my life I do;
I swear, by that which I will lose for you,
To prove him a liar that says I don’t love you.
DEMETRIUS:
I say I love thee more than he can do.
DEMETRIUS:
I say I love you more than he does.
LYSANDER:
If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
LYSANDER:
If you say so, go away, and prove it too.
DEMETRIUS:
Quick, come.(260)
DEMETRIUS:
Quick, come,—
HERMIA:
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
HERMIA:
Lysander, where is all this going?
LYSANDER:
Away, you Ethiope!
LYSANDER:
Away, you black giant!
DEMETRIUS:
No, no, he will
Seem to break loose—take on as you would follow,
But yet come not. You are a tame man; go!(265)
DEMETRIUS:
No, no, sir.—he will
Seem to break loose; begin this as you would follow.
But don’t come yet. You are a tame man; go!
LYSANDER:
Hang off, thou cat, thou burr; vile thing, let loose,
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.
LYSANDER:
Hang off, you cat, you burr. Vile thing, let loose,
Or I will shake you from me like a serpent.
HERMIA:
Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,
Sweet love?
HERMIA:
Why have you become so rude? What change is this,
Sweet love?
LYSANDER:
Thy love! Out, tawny Tartar, out!(270)
Out, loathed medicine! O hated potion, hence!
LYSANDER:
Your love! Get out, tawny barbarian, out!
Out, loathed medicine! Hated potion, get away!
HERMIA:
Do you not jest?
HERMIA:
You aren’t joking?
HELENA:
Yes, sooth; and so do you.
HELENA:
Yes, truly, and so do you.
LYSANDER:
Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
LYSANDER:
Demetrius, I will keep my word with you.
DEMETRIUS:
I would I had your bond; for I perceive(275)
A weak bond holds you; I'll not trust your word.
DEMETRIUS:
I wish I had your guarantee, because I see that
A weak bond holds you; I'll not trust your word.
LYSANDER:
What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.
LYSANDER:
What! should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her like that.
HERMIA:
What! Can you do me greater harm than hate?
Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love?(280)
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
Since night you loved me; yet since night you left me.
Why then, you left me,—O, the gods forbid!—
In earnest, shall I say?(285)
HERMIA:
What! can you do me greater harm than hate?
Hate me! why? Oh me! what news, my love?
Aren’t I Hermia? Aren’t you Lysander?
I am as fair now as I was awhile ago,
Since this night you loved me, but since this night you left me.
Why then, you left me,—Oh, the gods forbid!—
Seriously, shall I say?
LYSANDER:
Ay, by my life!
And never did desire to see thee more.
Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
That I do hate thee and love Helena.(290)
LYSANDER:
Yes, by my life;
And I never desired to see you again.
Therefore be out of hope, of question, doubt,
Be certain, nothing truer; it’s no joke
That I do hate you and love Helena.
HERMIA:
O me! you juggler! you cankerb lossom!
You thief of love! What! Have you come by night,
And stolen my love's heart from him?
HERMIA:
Oh me! You juggler! you rotten scoundrel!
You thief of love! What! have you come by night,
And stolen my love's heart from him?
HELENA:
Fine, i' faith!
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,(295)
No touch of bashfulness? What! Will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet you!
HELENA:
Fine, OK!
Don’t you have any modesty, any maiden shame,
Any touch of bashfulness? What! will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
shame on you!, shame on you!!
You counterfeit, you puppet, you!
HERMIA:
‘Puppet!’ why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare(300)
Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown so high in his esteem
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?(305)
How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak.
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
HERMIA:
Puppet! why puppet? OK, so that’s the way the game goes.
Now I see that she has made comparison
Between our statures; she has used her height,
And with her personality, her tall personality,
Her height, indeed, she has won him over.—
And have you grown so high in his esteem
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, you painted maypole? Speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
That my nails can’t reach yours eyes.
HELENA:
I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me. I was never curst;(310)
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice;
Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
Because she is something lower than myself,
That I can match her.(315)
HELENA:
I beg you, although you mock me, gentlemen,
Don’t let her hurt me. I was never cursed;
I have no gift at all in being a fighter;
I am a right maid for my cowardice;
Don’t let her strike me. You may think, perhaps,
Because she is something lower than myself,
That I can match her movements.
HERMIA:
‘Lower’ hark, again.
HERMIA:
Lower! Listen, again.
HELENA:
Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I evermore did love you, Hermia,
Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,(320)
I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
He followed you; for love I followed him;
But he hath chid me hence, and threatened me
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too;
And now, so you will let me quiet go,(325)
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no further. Let me go.
You see how simple and how fond I am.
HELENA:
Good Hermia, don’t be so angry with me.
I always loved you, Hermia;
Always kept your counsels; never wronged you;
Except that, because of my love for Demetrius,
I told him of your running away into this forest.
He followed you; for love I followed him;
But he has scolded me to go away, and threatened me
To strike me, spurn me, yes, to kill me too.
And now, so you will let me go quietly,
I will take my mistake back to Athens,
And follow you no farther. Let me go.
You see how simple and how in love I am.
HERMIA:
Why, get you gone! Who is't that hinders you?
HERMIA:
Why, get going. Who’s stopping you?
HELENA:
A foolish heart that I leave here behind.(330)
HELENA:
A foolish heart that I’m leaving behind here.
HERMIA:
What! with Lysander?
HERMIA:
What! with Lysander?
HELENA:
With Demetrius.
HELENA:
With Demetrius.
LYSANDER:
Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.
LYSANDER:
Don’t be afraid; she shall not harm you, Helena.
DEMETRIUS:
No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.
DEMETRIUS:
No, sir, she shall not, although you take her side.
HELENA:
O, when she is angry, she is keen and shrewd;(335)
She was a vixen when she went to school;
And, though she be but little, she is fierce.
HELENA:
Oh, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd.
She was a vixen when she went to school;
And, although she’s little, she is fierce.
HERMIA:
‘Little’ again! Nothing but ‘low’ and ‘little’!
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
Let me come to her.(340)
HERMIA:
Little again! nothing but low and little!—
Why will you put up with her insulting me like this?
Let me get her.
LYSANDER:
Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made;
You bead, you acorn.
LYSANDER:
Get going, you dwarf;
You zero, made of scraps of grass;
You bead, you acorn.
DEMETRIUS:
You are too officious
In her behalf that scorns your services.(345)
Let her alone; speak not of Helena;
Take not her part; for if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.
DEMETRIUS:
You are too over-zealous
On her behalf that rejects your services.
Let her alone. Don’t speak of Helena;
Don’t take her side, because if you intend
To show little of love to her,
You shall suffer for it.
LYSANDER:
Now she holds me not.
Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
LYSANDER:
Now she doesn’t hold me;
Now follow, if you dare, to try whose has the most right,
Me or you, to Helena.
DEMETRIUS:
Follow! Nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jowl.
DEMETRIUS:
Follow! No, I'll go with you, cheek by jowl.

Exeunt Lysander and Demetrius

HERMIA:
You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you.
Nay, go not back.(355)
HERMIA:
You, mistress, all this trouble is because of you.
No, don’t go back.
HELENA:
I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away.
HELENA:
I will not trust you, I won’t;
And I’ll stay in your cursed company no longer.
Your hands are quicker than mine for a fight;
My legs are longer, though, to run away.

[Exit]

HERMIA:
I am amazed, and know not what to say.(360)
HERMIA:
I am amazed, and don’t know what to say.

Exit

OBERON:
This is thy negligence. Still thou mistakest,
Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.
OBERON:
This is your negligence. Either you are really mistaken,
Or you commit these errors willfully.
PUCK:
Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?(365)
And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
And so far am I glad it so did sort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
PUCK:
Believe me, king of shadows, I was really mistaken.
Didn’t you tell me I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And my work is error-free because
I did anoint an Athenian's eyes.
And so far I am glad it worked out this way,
Because I am really enjoying the show.
OBERON:
Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight.(370)
Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog as black as Acheron,
And lead these testy rivals so astray
As one come not within another's way.(375)
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep(380)
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep.
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with his might
And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.(385)
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,(390)
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
OBERON:
Do you see that these lovers are looking for a place to fight?
Get going, then, Robin, make the night darker;
Cover the stars in the sky
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron,
And lead these testy rivals so astray
That they will not come within another's way.
Sometimes, imitate Lysander’s voice,
To stir up Demetrius’ anger;
And sometimes, sound like Demetrius;
And that way you can lead them from each other,
Until sleep imitating death creeps over their eyebrows
With leaden legs and batty wings.
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Its juice has the virtuous property
Of removing all error from his eyes
And will make his eyeballs roll with correct sight.
When they next wake up, all this conflict
Shall seem to be a dream and a worthless vision;
And back to Athens the lovers shall go
With happiness and agreement that will never end.
While I use you to solve this affair,
I'll go to my queen, and beg the Indian boy from her;
And then I will release her charmed eye
So that she will see the monster, and all things shall be at peace.
PUCK:
My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast;(395)
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger,
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards. Damned spirits all
That in crossways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone,(400)
For fear lest day should look their shames upon;
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
PUCK:
My fairy lord, this must be done very quickly,
Because night is quickly coming to an end;
And over there is the first hint of morning sunlight,
Which, when it is seen by ghosts wandering here and there,
They all troop home to the graveyards. Damned spirits all,
That are buried in cross-ways and floods,
Have already gone to their wormy beds.
Because they fear that the daylight will expose their sins,
They willfully exile themselves from light,
And must hide in black-browed night.
OBERON:
But we are spirits of another sort:
I with the morning's love have oft made sport;(405)
And, like a forester, the groves may tread
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste, make no delay;(410)
We may effect this business yet ere day.
OBERON:
But we are spirits of another sort.
I have often frolicked with the morning's love,
And, like a native of the forest, the groves may walk
All the way to the eastern horizon, all fiery-red,
Sending fair blessed beams across the oceans,
Turning their salt-green streams into yellow gold.
But, never mind, go quickly; make no delay.
We may still get this business done before daybreak.

[Exit Oberon]

PUCK:
Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down.
I am fear'd in field and town.
Goblin, lead them up and down.(415)
Here comes one.
PUCK:
Up and down, up and down;
I will lead them up and down.
The field and town are afraid of me.
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.

Enter Lysander [Lysander and Demetrius wander on stage as if in the dark.]

LYSANDER:
Where art thou, proud Demetrius? Speak thou now.
LYSANDER:
Where are you, proud Demetrius? Speak now.
PUCK:
Here, villain, drawn and ready. Where art thou?
PUCK:
Here, villain, drawn and ready. Where are you?
LYSANDER:
I will be with thee straight.
LYSANDER:
I’ll be right with you.
PUCK:
Follow me, then,(420)
To plainer ground.
PUCK:
Follow me, then,
To a clear place.

Enter Demetrius

DEMETRIUS:
Lysander, speak again.
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?
DEMETRIUS:
Lysander! Speak again.
You runaway, you coward, have you run away?
Speak. Are you hiding in some bush? Where are you?
PUCK:
Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,(425)
And wilt not come? Come, recreant, come, thou child;
I'll whip thee with a rod. He is defiled
That draws a sword on thee.
PUCK:
You coward, are you bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that you look for wars,
But will not fight one? Come on, lazy loafer; come on, you child;
I'll whip you with a rod. If someone else kills you,
He will be cursed.
DEMETRIUS:
Yea, art thou there?
DEMETRIUS:
Hey, are you there?
PUCK:
Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.(430)
PUCK:
Follow my voice; we won’t test your manhood here.

[Exeunt]

[Re-enter Lysander]

LYSANDER:
He goes before me, and still dares me on;
When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
The villain is much lighter-heel'd than I.
I followed fast, but faster he did fly,

Shifting places

That fallen am I in dark uneven way,(435)
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day.

Lie[s] down

For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite.
LYSANDER:
He went before me, and still dares me to fight;
When I get to where he’s calling from, he’s gone.
The villain runs faster than I do.
I followed fast, but he ran away so much faster.
Now I’m lost in the dark,
And will rest here. Welcome, gentle day!

Because, even if you only shine your grey light one time,
I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite.

[Sleeps]

[Re]-enter [Puck] and Demetrius

PUCK:
Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why com'st thou not?
PUCK:
Ho, ho, ho, ho! Coward, why don’t you come?
DEMETRIUS:
Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot(440)
Thou runnest before me, shifting every place,
And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou now?
DEMETRIUS:
Wait for me, if you dare; Because I know well
That you are running before me, moving from place to place,
Not daring to stand still or look me in the face.
Where are you?
PUCK:
Come hither; I am here.
PUCK:
Come over here; I am here.
DEMETRIUS:
Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this(445)
dear,
If ever I thy face by daylight see;
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on this cold bed.
By day's approach look to be visited.(450)
DEMETRIUS:
No, then, you are making fun of me.
This is really going to cost you,
If I ever see your face by daylight.
Now, go on your way. I am going faint right
Into this cold bed.—
I’ll pay you a visit in the morning.

[Lies down and sleeps]

Enter Helena

HELENA:
O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hours! Shine comforts from the east,
That I may back to Athens by daylight,
From these that my poor company detest.
And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,(455)
Steal me awhile from mine own company.
HELENA:
Oh weary night, Oh long and tedious night,
Cut your hours short! Let the sun shine comfort from the east,
That I may back to Athens by daylight,
Away from these men that detest my poor company.—
And sleep that sometimes makes sorrow go away,
Take me awhile from my own company.

[Lies down and] sleep[s]

PUCK:
Yet but three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds makes up four.
Here she comes, curst and sad.
Cupid is a knavish lad,(460)
Thus to make poor females mad.
PUCK:
Only three? Come on, one more;
Two boys and two girls makes up four.
Here she comes, cursed and sad.—
Cupid is a rotten guy,
To make poor females crazy like this.

Enter Hermia

HERMIA:
Never so weary, never so in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with briers,
I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my desires.(465)
Here will I rest me till the break of day.
Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
HERMIA:
I have never been so weary, never so sad,
Wet from the dew, and torn with briers;
I can’t crawl any further. I can’t go any further;
I want to walk, but legs can’t keep up with what I want.
Here I’ll rest until daybreak.
Heavens shield Lysander, if they really mean to fight!

[Lies down and sleeps]

PUCK:
On the ground
Sleep sound;
I'll apply(470)
To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.

[Squeezing the juice on Lysander's eyes]

When thou wakest,
Thou takest
True delight(475)
In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye;
And the country proverb known,
That every man should take his own,
In your waking shall be shown:(480)
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill;
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.
PUCK:
On the ground
Sleep sound.
I'll apply
To your eye,
Gentle lover, the antidote.

When you wake,
You take
True delight
In the sight
Of your former lady's eye.
And the country proverb is well known,
That every man should take his own,
As will be shown when you wake up.
Jack shall have Jill;
Nothing shall go wrong;
The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

[Exit]