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Midsummer Night's Dream :: Scenes :: Midsummer Night's Dream: Act IV, Scene 1

Scene 1

Another part of the woods.

(Titania; Bottom; Peaseblossom; Cobweb; Moth; Mustardseed; Oberon; Puck; Theseus; Hippolyta; Egeus; Attendants)

Titania continues to make Bottom as comfortable as she can, having food brought to him and any sort of music he cares for. They lie down and sleep, and Puck and Oberon approach. Oberon reveals that he easily gained custody of the changeling from the distracted Titania, and is now ready to remove the enchantment from her, which he does. The couple are reconciled, and plan to bless Theseus’s house after his wedding, while Puck removes the ass-head from Bottom. The fairies leave, and the lovers are discovered sleeping on the ground by Theseus and his court, who are out hunting. Waking the four with hunting horns, Theseus mocks them before asking how it is that they are now all in amity. The four cannot explain, feeling that everything that has passed was simply a dream, but Demetrius insists he is now in love with Helena, and Theseus rejects Egeus’s call for punishment on Lysander. The four reassure each other that they are awake now and follow the court. Bottom wakes, and considers the dream which he thinks he has had, which he realizes cannot be explained in words, but makes plans to have Quince make a ballad out of it all the same. ( line)

Enter Queen of Fairies Titania and Clown Bottom, and Fairies Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed, and others, attending, and the King Oberon behind them unseen.

TITA.

Come sit thee down upon this flow’ry bed,

While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,

And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,

And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.

BOT.

Where’s Peaseblossom?

PEAS.

Ready.

BOT.

Scratch my head, Peaseblossom. Where’s mounsieur Cobweb?

COB.

Ready.

BOT.

Mounsieur Cobweb, good mounsieur, get you your weapons in your hand, and kill me a red-hipp’d humble-bee on the top of a thistle; and, good mounsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much in the action, mounsieur; and, good mounsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not, I would be loath to have you overflowen with a honey-bag, signior. Where’s mounsieur Mustardseed?

MUS.

Ready.

BOT.

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

MUS.

What’s your will?

BOT.

Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber’s, mounsieur; for methinks I am marvail’s hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.

TITA.

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

BOT.

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

Music. Tongs. Rural music.

TITA.

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

BOT.

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.

TITA.

I have a venturous fairy that shall seek

The squirrel’s hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

BOT.

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.

TITA.

Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.

Fairies, be gone, and be all ways away.

Exeunt Fairies.

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle

Gently entwist; the female ivy so

Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.

O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!

They sleep.

Enter Puck.

OBE.

Advancing.

Welcome, good Robin. Seest thou this sweet sight?

Her dotage now I do begin to pity.

For meeting her of late behind the wood,

Seeking sweet favors for this hateful fool,

I did upbraid her, and fall out with her.

For she his hairy temples then had rounded

With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;

And that same dew which sometime on the buds

Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,

Stood now within the pretty flouriets’ eyes,

Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.

When I had at my pleasure taunted her,

And she in mild terms begg’d my patience,

I then did ask of her her changeling child;

Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent

To bear him to my bower in fairy land.

And now I have the boy, I will undo

This hateful imperfection of her eyes.

And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp

From off the head of this Athenian swain,

That he, awaking when the other do,

May all to Athens back again repair,

And think no more of this night’s accidents

But as the fierce vexation of a dream.

But first I will release the Fairy Queen.

Touching her eyes.

Be as thou wast wont to be;

See as thou wast 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.

TITA.

My Oberon, what visions have I seen!

Methought I was enamor’d of an ass.

OBE.

There lies your love.

TITA.

How came these things to pass?

O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

OBE.

Silence a while. Robin, take off this head.

Titania, music call, and strike more dead

Than common sleep of all these five the sense.

TITA.

Music, ho, music, such as charmeth sleep!

Music, still.

PUCK.

Now, when thou wak’st, with thine own fool’s eyes peep.

OBE.

Sound, music!

Louder music.

Come, my queen, take hands with me,

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.

There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be

Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

PUCK.

Fairy King, attend and mark;

I do hear the morning lark.

OBE.

Then, my queen, in silence sad,

Trip we after night’s shade.

We the globe can compass soon,

Swifter than the wand’ring moon.

TITA.

Come, my lord, and in our flight,

Tell me how it came this night

That I sleeping here was found,

With these mortals on the ground.

Exeunt. Wind horn within.

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and all his Train.

THE.

Go, one of you, find out the forester,

For now our observation is perform’d,

And since we have the vaward of the day,

My love shall hear the music of my hounds.

Uncouple in the western valley, let them go.

Dispatch, I say, and find the forester.

Exit an Attendant.

We will, fair queen, up to the mountain’s top,

And mark the musical confusion

Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

HIP.

I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,

When in a wood of Crete they bay’d the bear

With hounds of Sparta. Never did I hear

Such gallant chiding; for besides the groves,

The skies, the fountains, every region near

Seem all one mutual cry. I never heard

So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

THE.

My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind;

So flew’d, so sanded; and their heads are hung

With ears that sweep away the morning dew;

Crook-knee’d, and dewlapp’d like Thessalian bulls;

Slow in pursuit; but match’d in mouth like bells,

Each under each. A cry more tuneable

Was never hollow’d to, nor cheer’d with horn,

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.

Judge when you hear. But soft! What nymphs are these?

EGE.

My lord, this’ my daughter here asleep,

And this Lysander, this Demetrius is,

This Helena, old Nedar’s Helena.

I wonder of their being here together.

THE.

No doubt they rose up early to observe

The rite of May; and hearing our intent,

Came here in grace of our solemnity.

But speak, Egeus, is not this the day

That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

EGE.

It is, my lord.

THE.

Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.

Exit an Attendant. Shout within. Wind horns. They all start up.

Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past;

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

LYS.

Pardon, my lord.

They kneel.

THE.

I pray you all, stand up.

I know you two are rival enemies.

How comes this gentle concord in the world,

That hatred is so far from jealousy

To sleep by hate and fear no enmity?

LYS.

My lord, I shall reply amazedly,

Half sleep, half waking; but, as yet, I swear,

I cannot truly say how I came here.

But, as I think—for truly would I speak,

And now I do bethink me, so it is—

I came with Hermia hither. Our intent

Was to be gone from Athens, where we might,

Without the peril of the Athenian law—

EGE.

Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough.

I beg the law, the law, upon his head.

They would have stol’n away, they would, Demetrius,

Thereby to have defeated you and me:

You of your wife, and me of my consent,

Of my consent that she should be your wife.

DEM.

My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,

Of this their purpose hither to this wood,

And I in fury hither followed them,

Fair Helena in fancy following me.

But, my good lord, I wot not by what power

(But by some power it is), my love to Hermia

(Melted as the snow) seems to me now

As the remembrance of an idle gaud,

Which in my childhood I did dote upon;

And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,

The object and the pleasure of mine eye,

Is only Helena. To her, my lord,

Was I betrothed ere I saw Hermia;

But like a sickness did I loathe this food;

But, as in health, come to my natural taste,

Now I do wish it, love it, long for it,

And will forevermore be true to it.

THE.

Fair lovers, you are fortunately met;

Of this discourse we more will hear anon.

Egeus, I will overbear your will;

For in the temple, by and by, with us

These couples shall eternally be knit.

And, for the morning now is something worn,

Our purpos’d hunting shall be set aside.

Away with us to Athens. Three and three,

We’ll hold a feast in great solemnity.

Come, Hippolyta.

Exeunt Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus, and Train.

DEM.

These things seem small and undistinguishable,

Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

HER.

Methinks I see these things with parted eye,

When every thing seems double.

HEL.

So methinks;

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,

Mine own, and not mine own.

DEM.

Are you sure

That we are awake? It seems to me

That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think

The Duke was here, and bid us follow him?

HER.

Yea, and my father.

HEL.

And Hippolyta.

LYS.

And he did bid us follow to the temple.

DEM.

Why then, we are awake. Let’s follow him,

And by the way let’s recount our dreams.

Exeunt Lovers.

BOT.

Awaking.

When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer. My next is, “Most fair Pyramus.” Heigh-ho! Peter Quince! Flute the bellows-mender! Snout the tinker! Starveling! God’s my life, stol’n hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was. Man is but an ass, if he go about t’ expound this dream. Methought I was—there is no man can tell what. Methought I was, and methought I had—but man is but a patch’d fool, if he will offer to say what methought I had. The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a ballet of this dream. It shall be call’d “Bottom’s Dream,” because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end of a play, before the Duke. Peradventure, to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her death.

Exit.

 
 
 
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