A Midsummer Night's Dream Text and Translation - Act IV

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Act IV

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[The wood. Lysander, Demetrius, Helena, and Hermia, lying asleep]

Enter [Titania and Bottom; Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and] Fairies [Oberon] behind them, [unseen]

TITANIA:
Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
TITANIA:
Come, sit down on this flowery bed,
While I play with your amiable cheeks,
And stick musk-roses in your sleek smooth head,
And kiss your fair large ears, my gentle joy.
BOTTOM:
Where's Peaseblossom?(5)
BOTTOM:
Where's Peasblossom?
PEASEBLOSSOM:
Ready.
PEASEBLOSSOM:
Ready.
BOTTOM:
Scratch my head, Peaseblossom. Where's Monsieur
Cobweb?
BOTTOM:
Scratch my head, Peasblossom.—
Where's Monsieur Cobweb?
COBWEB:
Ready.
COBWEB:
Ready.
BOTTOM:
Monsieur Cobweb; good monsieur, get you your(10)
weapons in your hand and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee
on the top of a thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me
the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the
action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the
honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you over-flown(15)
with a honey-bag, signior. Where's Monsieur
Mustardseed?
BOTTOM:
Mr. Cobweb; good monsieur, get all your weapons in
your hand and kill me a red-hipped humble-bee on the top of a
thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me his honey-bag. Don’t
go crazy doing this, monsieur; and, good monsieur,
be careful not to break the honey-bag; I wouldn’t want you to covered with
with honey, sir.— Where's Mr. Mustardseed?
MUSTARDSEED:
Ready.
MUSTARDSEED:
Ready.
BOTTOM:
Give me your neaf, Monsieur Mustardseed.
Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.(20)
BOTTOM:
Give me your hand, Mr. Mustardseed.
I beg you, stop making curtsies, good sir.
MUSTARDSEED:
What's your will?
MUSTARDSEED:
What can I do for you?
BOTTOM:
Nothing, good monsieur, but to help Cavalery
Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for
methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am
such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me I must(25)
scratch.
BOTTOM:
Nothing, good sir, but for you to help Mr. Cobweb scratch my head.
I have to get to the barber's, sir, because I think I have
an awful lot of hair on my face, and I am such a sensitive donkey,
that I must scratch even if my hair only tickles me a little.
TITANIA:
What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?
TITANIA:
Will you hear some music, my sweet love?
BOTTOM:
I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have
the tongs and the bones.
BOTTOM:
I have a reasonable good musical ear; let’s sing and dance.

Rural music

TITANIA:
Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.(30)
TITANIA:
Or say, sweet love, what you desire to eat.
BOTTOM:
Truly, a peck of provender; I could munch your
good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle
of hay. Good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.
BOTTOM:
Truly, a peck of dry food; I could munch your good dry
oats. I think I have a great desire to a bottle of hay. Good
hay, sweet hay, has no equal.
TITANIA:
I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
The squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.(35)
TITANIA:
I have an adventurous fairy that shall seek What the squirrel has been hoarding, and get you new nuts.
BOTTOM:
I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas.
But, I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have
an exposition of sleep come upon me.
BOTTOM:
I’d rather have a handful or two of dried peas. But,
I beg you, don’t let any of your people wake me up;
I feel a deep sleep coming.
TITANIA:
Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away.(40)

[Exeunt Fairies]

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist; the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! how I dote on thee!
TITANIA:
You sleep, and I will hold you in my arms.
Fairies, be gone, and stay away.
I will put my arms around you just as the woodbine twists around
the sweet honeysuckle,— like the female ivy
Winds around the branches of the elm.
Oh, how I love you! how I adore on you!

[They sleep]

Enter [Puck]

OBERON:
Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this sweet sight?(45)
Her dotage now I do begin to pity;
For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet favors for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her and fall out with her.
For she his hairy temples then had rounded(50)
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew which sometime on the buds
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls
Stood now within the pretty flowerets' eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.(55)
When I had at my pleasure taunted her,
And she in mild terms begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her her changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.(60)
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain,
That he awaking when the other do(65)
May all to Athens back again repair,
And think no more of this night's accidents
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
But first I will release the fairy queen.

[Touching her eyes]

Be as thou wast wont to be;(70)
See as thou was wont to see.
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
OBERON:
Welcome, good Robin. Do you see this sweet sight?
Now I begin to pity her doting on him.
Because, when I met her awhile ago behind the forest,
Looking for sweet presents for this hateful fool,
I scolded her and had another fight with her.
She had put a coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers
All around his hairy face,
And that same dew, which sometimes was accustomed
To swell like round and orient pearls on the buds,
Was now within the pretty flowers' eyes,
Like tears that were crying about their own sins.
When, at my pleasure, I had teased her,
And she, calmly, begged my patience,
I asked her for the Indian child,
Which she gave me Right away, and sent her fairy
To carry him to my private place in fairy-land.
And now that I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful spell that I have put on her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this donkey head
Off the head of this Athenian lover,
That when he wakes when the others do,
All of them may go back to Athens,
Thinking no more about tonight’s events than
That they were parts of a dream.
But first, I will release the fairy queen.
Be as you are accustomed to being;

See as you are accustomed to seeing.
The bud from the Moon-goddess’ plant
Has such force and blessed power over Cupid's flower.
Now, my Titania, wake up, my sweet queen.

TITANIA:
My Oberon! What visions have I seen!(75)
Methought I was enamour'd of an ass.
TITANIA:
My Oberon! What visions have I seen!
I thought I was in love with a donkey.
OBERON:
There lies your love.
OBERON:
Your “love” is lying there.
TITANIA:
How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!
TITANIA:
How did all this happen?
Oh, now that I see him, it’s making me sick!
OBERON:
Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.(80)
Titania, music call; and strike more dead
Than common sleep of all these five the sense.
OBERON:
Quiet for awhile.—Robin, take off this head.
Titania, call for music, and strike the senses of all these five
so that they seem more dead than sleeping.
TITANIA:
Music, ho, music, such as charmeth sleep!
TITANIA:
Music, ho! Music, such as charms sleep.

[Music]

PUCK:
Now when thou wakest with thine own fool's eyes peep.
PUCK:
Now when you awake, see with yours own fool's eyes.
OBERON:
Sound, music. Come, my Queen, take hands with me,(85)
And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Now thou and I are new in amity,
And will tomorrow midnight solemnly
Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
And bless it to all fair prosperity.(90)
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
OBERON:
Sound, music.

Come, my queen, hold hands with me,
And rock the ground where these sleepers are.
Now you and I have a new friendship,
And will solemnly dance
In Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,
Tomorrow at midnight
And bless it for all fair prosperity.
There the pairs of faithful lovers shall be
Married, with Theseus, all in jollity.

PUCK:
Fairy king, attend and mark;
I do hear the morning lark.
PUCK:
Fairy king, see and listen;
I do hear the morning lark.
OBERON:
Then, my Queen, in silence sad,(95)
Trip we after night's shade.
We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.
OBERON:
Then, my queen, in sad silence,
We dance after night's darkness.
We go around the globe,
Swifter than the wandering moon.
TITANIA:
Come, my lord; and in our flight,
Tell me how it came this night(100)
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground.
TITANIA:
Come, my lord; and, as we fly,
Tell me how it happened this night
That I was found here sleeping
On the ground with these mortals.

Exeunt

Wind horns. Enter Theseus, Egeus, Hippolyta, and all his train

THESEUS:
Go, one of you, find out the forester;
For now our observation is perform'd,
And since we have the vaward of the day,(105)
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
Uncouple in the western valley; let them go.
Dispatch, I say, and find the forester.

[Exit an Attendant]

We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion(110)
Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
THESEUS:
Go, one of you, find out who’s in charge of this forest;—
Because we have done all the things we had to do;
And since we have the early part of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds,—
Let them loose in the western valley; go.—
Get going, I say, and find out who’s in charge of this forest.—

Go, one of you, find out who’s in charge of this forest;—
Because we have done all the things we had to do;
And since we have the early part of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds,—
Let them loose in the western valley; go.—
Get going, I say, and find out who’s in charge of this forest.—

HIPPOLYTA:
I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
With hounds of Sparta; never did I hear
Such gallant chiding, for, besides the groves,(115)
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem'd all one mutual cry. I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.
HIPPOLYTA:
I was with Hercules and Cadmus once in a
Forest of Crete when they cornered a bear
With hounds of Sparta. I never heard
Such gallant scolding; because, besides the groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seemed to have one mutual cry. I never heard
So musical a noise, such sweet thunder.
THESEUS:
My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung(120)
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-knee'd and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tuneable
Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,(125)
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.
Judge when you hear. But, soft, what nymphs are these?
THESEUS:
My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So jawed, so sandy-colored, and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep along the ground;
Crook-kneed and dew-covered like Thessaly bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but matched in their barks like bells,
Each one under the other. A cry more tuneable
Was never called to, or cheered with a horn,
In Crete, in Sparta, or in Thessaly.
Judge it when you hear them.—But, wait, what youngsters are these?
EGEUS:
My lord, this is my daughter here asleep,
And this Lysander, this Demetrius is,
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena.(130)
I wonder of their being here together.
EGEUS:
My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
And this Lysander; this Demetrius is;
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena.
I wonder why they are here together.
THESEUS:
No doubt they rose up early to observe
The rite of May; and, hearing our intent,
Came here in grace of our solemnity.
But speak, Egeus; is not this the day(135)
That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
THESEUS:
No doubt they got up early to observe
The rites of May, and, hearing that we were too,
Came here out of respect for our solemnity.—
But speak, Egeus; isn’t this the day
That Hermia should tell us her choice is?
EGEUS:
It is, my lord.
EGEUS:
It is, my lord.
THESEUS:
Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.

Horns and they wake. Shouting within, the [lovers] all start up.

Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past;
Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?(140)
THESEUS:
Go, bid the huntsmen wake them up by blowing the horns.

Good morning, friends. Saint Valentine’s Day is past;
Do these forest-birds begin only now to make a couple?

LYSANDER:
Pardon, my lord.
LYSANDER:
Pardon, my lord.
THESEUS:
I pray you all, stand up.
I know you two are rival enemies;
How comes this gentle concord in the world
That hatred is so far from jealousy(145)
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?
THESEUS:
I beg you all, stand up.
I know you two are rival enemies;
How does this gentle concord in the world come about,
That hatred is so far from jealousy
That you can sleep without fear?
LYSANDER:
My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Half sleep, half waking; but as yet, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came here,
But, as I think,—for truly would I speak,(150)
And now I do bethink me, so it is,—
I came with Hermia hither. Our intent
Was to be gone from Athens, where we might,
Without the peril of the Athenian law.
LYSANDER:
My lord, I’ll answer you amazedly,
Half asleep, half awake, but, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came to be here.
But, I think,—because I want to tell you the truth—
And now I that I think about it, I remember,—
I came here with Hermia. Our intention
Was to be gone from Athens, and to get to a place
Where we might be together without the
Punishment of the Athenian law.
EGEUS:
Enough, enough, my Lord; you have enough;(155)
I beg the law, the law upon his head.
They would have stolen away, they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to have defeated you and me:
You of your wife, and me of my consent,
Of my consent that she should be your wife.(160)
EGEUS:
Enough, enough, my lord; you have heard enough;
I beg the law, the law upon his head.—
They would have stolen away, they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to have taken everything away from you and me.
You, your wife, and me, my consent,—
Of my consent that she should be your wife.
DEMETRIUS:
My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither to this wood;
And I in fury hither followed them,
Fair Helena in fancy following me.
But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,—(165)
But by some power it is,—my love to Hermia,
Melted as the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gaud
Which in my childhood I did dote upon;
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,(170)
The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia.
But, like a sickness, did I loathe this food;
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,(175)
Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.
DEMETRIUS:
My lord, fair Helena told me of their running away,
And why they ran here to this forest;
And in fury, I followed them here,
Fair Helena, in love, following me.
But, my good lord, I don’t know by what power,—
But by some power it is,—my love to Hermia
Melted as the snow, and now it seems to me
As the memory of a worthless gem
Which I loved when I was a child.
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object and the pleasure of my eye,
Is only Helena. I was engaged to her, my lord,
Before I saw Hermia.
But, like a sickness, I hated the taste this food;
But, now healthy, my natural tastes restored,
Now I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.
THESEUS:
Fair lovers, you are fortunately met;
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.
Egeus, I will overbear your will;(180)
For in the temple, by and by, with us
These couples shall eternally be knit.
And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.
Away with us to Athens, three and three;(185)
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.
Come, Hippolyta.
THESEUS:
Fair lovers, it’s good that we found you here.
We will hear more of this story later.—
Egeus, I will override your demands;
These couples shall eternally be knit
By and by with us in the temple.
And, for the morning now is almost over,
Our proposed hunting trip shall be cancelled.—
Go away with us to Athens, three by three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.—
Come, Hippolyta.

Exeunt [Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and train]

DEMETRIUS:
These things seem small and undistinguishable,
Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.
DEMETRIUS:
These things seem small and murky, Like far-off mountain tops turned into clouds.
HERMIA:
Methinks I see these things with parted eye,(190)
When every thing seems double.
HERMIA:
I think I see these things with unfocused eyes,
As when every thing seems double.
HELENA:
So methinks;
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.
HELENA:
I think so, too.
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel.
My own, and not my own.
DEMETRIUS:
Are you sure(195)
That we are awake? It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
The Duke was here, and bid us follow him?
DEMETRIUS:
It seems to me
That we are still asleep; we dream.— You think
The duke was here, and bid us follow him, don’t you?
HERMIA:
Yea, and my father.
HERMIA:
Yes, and my father.
HELENA:
And Hippolyta.(200)
HELENA:
And Hippolyta.
LYSANDER:
And he did bid us follow to the temple.
LYSANDER:
And he did bid us to follow him to the temple, didn’t he?
DEMETRIUS:
Why, then, we are awake; let's follow him;
And by the way let us recount our dreams.
DEMETRIUS:
Why, then, we are awake. Let's follow him;
And let’s tell about our dreams as we go.

Exeunt

BOTTOM:
(Wakes) When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer.
My next is ‘Most fair Pyramus.’ Heigh-ho! Peter(205)
Quince! Flute, the bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker!
Starveling! God's my life, stolen hence, and left me
asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a
dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.
Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this(210)
Methought I was—there is no man can tell what dream.
Methought I was, and methought I had, but man is but
a patched fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had.
The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath
not seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue to(215)
conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I
will get Peter Quince to write a ballad of this dream. It
shall be call'd ‘Bottom's Dream,’ because it hath no bottom;
and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the Duke.
Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I(220)
shall sing it at her death.
BOTTOM:
When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer. My next is 'Most
fair Pyramus.'—Heigh-ho!—Peter Quince! Flute, the
bellows-mender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! Oh my God,
they have run away and left me asleep! I have had a most rare
vision. I have had a dream— it’s beyond the smartest man to say
what kind of dream it was.—Man is only a donkey if he goes about
to telling this dream. I thought I was—there is no man can tell
what. I thought I was, and I thought I had,—but a man is only a
mended fool, if he will offer to say what I thought I had. The
eye of man has not heard, the ear of man has not seen; man's
hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, or his heart
to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a
ballad of this dream. It shall be called Bottom's Dream, because
it has no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a
play, before the duke. Perhaps, to make it the more
gracious, I shall sing it at her death.

Exit

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[Athens.]

Enter Quince, [Flute], Snout, and Starveling

QUINCE:
Have you sent to Bottom's house? Is he come home
yet?
QUINCE:
Have you sent someone to Bottom's house? Has he come home yet?
STARVELING:
He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is
transported.
STARVELING:
No one has heard anything about him. No doubt, he’s kidnapped.
FLUTE:
If he come not, then the play is marred; it goes not(5)
forward, doth it?
FLUTE:
If he doesn’t come, then the play is incomplete;
it doesn’t go on, does it?
QUINCE:
It is not possible. You have not a man in all Athens
able to discharge Pyramus but he.
QUINCE:
It’s not possible. There’s not a man in all Athens
able to play Pyramus but he.
FLUTE:
No; he hath simply the best wit of any handicraft
man in Athens.(10)
FLUTE:
No, he has simply the best wit of any working man in
Athens.
QUINCE:
Yea, and the best person too; and he is a very paramour
for a sweet voice.
QUINCE:
Yes, and the best person too. And he is a very paramour (lover)
for a sweet voice.
FLUTE:
You must say ‘paragon.’ A paramour is—God bless
us!—A thing of naught.
FLUTE:
You must say “paragon.” A “paramour” is, God bless us, a thing of
nothing.

Enter Snug the Joiner

SNUG:
Masters, the Duke is coming from the temple; and(15)
there is two or three lords and ladies more married. If our
sport had gone forward, we had all been made men.
SNUG:
Sirs, the duke is coming from the temple; and there are
two or three lords and ladies more married. If our play had gone
forward, we would’ve all been made men.
FLUTE:
O sweet bully Bottom! Thus hath he lost sixpence a
day during his life; he could not have scaped sixpence a day.
An the Duke had not given him sixpence a day for(20)
playing Pyramus, I'll be hanged. He would have
deserved it: sixpence a day in Pyramus, or nothing.
FLUTE:
Oh sweet bully Bottom! Like this, he has he lost six cents a day
during his life; he could not have escaped six cents a day; if
the duke had not given him six cents a-day for playing Pyramus,
I'll be hanged; he would have deserved it. Six cents a-day in
Pyramus, or nothing.

Enter Bottom

BOTTOM:
Where are these lads? Where are these hearts?
BOTTOM:
Where are these lads? Where are these hearts?
QUINCE:
Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy
hour!(25)
QUINCE:
Bottom!—Oh most courageous day! Oh most happy hour!
BOTTOM:
Masters, I am to discourse wonders; but ask me
not what; for if I tell you, I am not true Athenian. I will
tell you everything, right as it fell out.
BOTTOM:
Sirs, I’ll tell you of wonders. but don’t ask me what;
for if I tell you, I’m not a true Athenian. I will tell you
everything, just as it happened.
QUINCE:
Let us hear, sweet Bottom.
QUINCE:
Let’s hear it, sweet Bottom.
BOTTOM:
Not a word of me. All that I will tell you is, that(30)
the Duke hath dined. Get your apparel together; good
strings to your beards, new ribbons to your pumps;
meet presently at the palace; every man look o'er his
part; for the short and the long is, our play is preferred.
In any case, let Thisbe have clean linen; and let not him(35)
that plays the lion pare his nails, for they shall hang out
for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors, eat no onions
nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath; and I do not
doubt but to hear them say it is a sweet comedy. No
more words. Away, go, away!(40)
BOTTOM:
Not a word from me. All that I will tell you is, that the
duke has dined. Get your costumes together; good strings to
your beards, new ribbons to your shoes; meet presently at the
palace; every man look over his part; for the short and the long of it
is, they want to see our play. In any case, let Thisbe have clean
linen; and don’t let him that plays the lion cut his nails, because
they shall hang out for the lion's claws. And, most dear actors,
don’t eat any onions nor garlic, because we are to utter our lines with sweet breath;
And I don’t doubt that we will hear them say it is a sweet comedy. No more
words. away! go; away!

Exeunt