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Midsummer Night’s Dream: Act 5, Scene 1

Midsummer Night’s Dream
Act 5, Scene 1

Scene 1

Athens. A room in the palace of Theseus.

  1. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, and Philostrate, Lords, and
  2. Attendants.

Hippolyta

3
  1. ’Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.

Theseus

4 - 24
  1. More strange than true. I never may believe
  2. These antic fables, nor these fairy toys.
  3. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
  4. Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
  5. More than cool reason ever comprehends.
  6. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
  7. Are of imagination all compact.
  8. One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
  9. That is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
  10. Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt.
  11. The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
  12. Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
  13. And as imagination bodies forth
  14. The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
  15. Turns them to shapes, and gives to aery nothing
  16. A local habitation and a name.
  17. Such tricks hath strong imagination,
  18. That if it would but apprehend some joy,
  19. It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
  20. Or in the night, imagining some fear,
  21. How easy is a bush suppos’d a bear!

Hippolyta

25 - 29
  1. But all the story of the night told over,
  2. And all their minds transfigur’d so together,
  3. More witnesseth than fancy’s images,
  4. And grows to something of great constancy;
  5. But howsoever, strange and admirable.
  1. Enter lovers, Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena.

Theseus

31 - 33
  1. Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
  2. Joy, gentle friends, joy and fresh days of love
  3. Accompany your hearts!

Lysander

34 - 35
  1.                        More than to us
  2. Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!

Theseus

36 - 42
  1. Come now; what masques, what dances shall we have,
  2. To wear away this long age of three hours
  3. Between our after-supper and bed-time?
  4. Where is our usual manager of mirth?
  5. What revels are in hand? Is there no play
  6. To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
  7. Call Philostrate.

Philostrate

43
  1.                   Here, mighty Theseus.

Theseus

44 - 46
  1. Say, what abridgment have you for this evening?
  2. What masque? What music? How shall we beguile
  3. The lazy time, if not with some delight?

Philostrate

47 - 48
  1. There is a brief how many sports are ripe.
  2. Make choice of which your Highness will see first.
  1. Giving a paper.

Theseus

50 - 67
  1. Reads.
  2. The battle with the Centaurs, to be sung
  3. By an Athenian eunuch to the harp.”
  4. We’ll none of that: that have I told my love,
  5. In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
  6. The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals,
  7. Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.”
  8. That is an old device; and it was play’d
  9. When I from Thebes came last a conqueror.
  10. The thrice three Muses mourning for the death
  11. Of Learning, late deceas’d in beggary.”
  12. That is some satire, keen and critical,
  13. Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
  14. A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus
  15. And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.”
  16. Merry and tragical? Tedious and brief?
  17. That is hot ice and wondrous strange snow.
  18. How shall we find the concord of this discord?

Philostrate

68 - 77
  1. A play there is, my lord, some ten words long,
  2. Which is as brief as I have known a play;
  3. But by ten words, my lord, it is too long,
  4. Which makes it tedious; for in all the play
  5. There is not one word apt, one player fitted.
  6. And tragical, my noble lord, it is;
  7. For Pyramus therein doth kill himself;
  8. Which when I saw rehears’d, I must confess,
  9. Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears
  10. The passion of loud laughter never shed.

Theseus

78
  1. What are they that do play it?

Philostrate

79 - 82
  1. Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
  2. Which never labor’d in their minds till now;
  3. And now have toiled their unbreathed memories
  4. With this same play, against your nuptial.

Theseus

83
  1. And we will hear it.

Philostrate

84 - 89
  1.                      No, my noble lord,
  2. It is not for you. I have heard it over,
  3. And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
  4. Unless you can find sport in their intents,
  5. Extremely stretch’d, and conn’d with cruel pain,
  6. To do you service.

Theseus

90 - 93
  1.                    I will hear that play;
  2. For never any thing can be amiss,
  3. When simpleness and duty tender it.
  4. Go bring them in; and take your places, ladies.
  1. Exit Philostrate.

Hippolyta

95 - 96
  1. I love not to see wretchedness o’ercharged,
  2. And duty in his service perishing.

Theseus

97
  1. Why, gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.

Hippolyta

98
  1. He says they can do nothing in this kind.

Theseus

99 - 115
  1. The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
  2. Our sport shall be to take what they mistake;
  3. And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
  4. Takes it in might, not merit.
  5. Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
  6. To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
  7. Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
  8. Make periods in the midst of sentences,
  9. Throttle their practic’d accent in their fears,
  10. And in conclusion dumbly have broke off,
  11. Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
  12. Out of this silence yet I pick’d a welcome;
  13. And in the modesty of fearful duty
  14. I read as much as from the rattling tongue
  15. Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
  16. Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
  17. In least speak most, to my capacity.
  1. Enter Philostrate.

Philostrate

117
  1. So please your Grace, the Prologue is address’d.

Theseus

118
  1. Let him approach.
  1. Flourish trumpet.
  1. Enter Quince for the Prologue.

Prologue

121 - 130
  1. If we offend, it is with our good will.
  2. That you should think, we come not to offend,
  3. But with good will. To show our simple skill,
  4. That is the true beginning of our end.
  5. Consider then, we come but in despite.
  6. We do not come, as minding to content you,
  7. Our true intent is. All for your delight
  8. We are not here. That you should here repent you,
  9. The actors are at hand; and, by their show,
  10. You shall know all, that you are like to know.

Theseus

131
  1. This fellow doth not stand upon points.

Lysander

132 - 134
  1. He hath rid his prologue like a rough colt; he knows not the
  2. stop. A good moral, my lord: it is not enough to speak, but
  3. to speak true.

Hippolyta

135 - 136
  1. Indeed he hath play’d on this prologue like a child on a
  2. recordera sound, but not in government.

Theseus

137 - 138
  1. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impair’d, but
  2. all disorder’d. Who is next?
  1. Enter with a Trumpet before them Pyramus and Thisbe and Wall
  2. and Moonshine and Lion.

Prologue

141 - 165
  1. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
  2. But wonder on till truth make all things plain.
  3. This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
  4. This beauteous lady Thisbe is certain.
  5. This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
  6. Wall, that vile Wall, which did these lovers sunder;
  7. And through Wall’s chink, poor souls, they are content
  8. To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
  9. This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,
  10. Presenteth Moonshine; for if you will know,
  11. By moonshine did these lovers think no scorn
  12. To meet at Ninus’ tomb, there, there to woo.
  13. This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
  14. The trusty Thisbe, coming first by night,
  15. Did scare away, or rather did affright;
  16. And as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
  17. Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
  18. Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
  19. And finds his trusty Thisbe’s mantle slain;
  20. Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
  21. He bravely broach’d his boiling bloody breast;
  22. And Thisbe, tarrying in mulberry shade,
  23. His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
  24. Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
  25. At large discourse, while here they do remain.
  1. Exit with Pyramus, Thisbe, Lion, and Moonshine.

Theseus

167
  1. I wonder if the lion be to speak.

Demetrius

168
  1. No wonder, my lord; one lion may, when many asses do.

Wall

169 - 178
  1. In this same enterlude it doth befall
  2. That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
  3. And such a wall, as I would have you think,
  4. That had in it a crannied hole or chink,
  5. Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe,
  6. Did whisper often, very secretly.
  7. This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone doth show
  8. That I am that same wall; the truth is so;
  9. And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
  10. Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper.

Theseus

179
  1. Would you desire lime and hair to speak better?

Demetrius

180 - 181
  1. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my
  2. lord.
  1. Enter Pyramus.

Theseus

183
  1. Pyramus draws near the wall. Silence!

Pyramus

184 - 196
  1. O grim-look’d night! O night with hue so black!
  2. O night, which ever art when day is not!
  3. O night, O night! Alack, alack, alack,
  4. I fear my Thisbe’s promise is forgot!
  5. And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
  6. That stand’st between her father’s ground and mine!
  7. Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
  8. Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
  9. Wall holds up his fingers.
  10. Thanks, courteous wall; Jove shield thee well for this!
  11. But what see I? No Thisbe do I see.
  12. O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!
  13. Curs’d be thy stones for thus deceiving me!

Theseus

197
  1. The wall methinks, being sensible, should curse again.

Pyramus

198 - 201
  1. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me is Thisbe’s
  2. cue. She is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the
  3. wall. You shall see it will fall pat as I told you. Yonder
  4. she comes.
  1. Enter Thisbe.

Thisbe

203 - 206
  1. O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
  2. For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
  3. My cherry lips have often kiss’d thy stones,
  4. Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.

Pyramus

207 - 209
  1. I see a voice! Now will I to the chink,
  2. To spy and I can hear my Thisbe’s face.
  3. Thisbe!

Thisbe

210
  1. My love thou art, my love I think.

Pyramus

211 - 212
  1. Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover’s grace;
  2. And, like Limander, am I trusty still.

Thisbe

213
  1. And I, like Helen, till the Fates me kill.

Pyramus

214
  1. Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.

Thisbe

215
  1. As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.

Pyramus

216
  1. O, kiss me through the hole of this vild wall!

Thisbe

217
  1. I kiss the wall’s hole, not your lips at all.

Pyramus

218
  1. Wilt thou at Ninny’s tomb meet me straightway?

Thisbe

219
  1. ’Tide life, ’tide death, I come without delay.
  1. Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe.

Wall

221 - 222
  1. Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
  2. And being done, thus Wall away doth go.
  1. Exit.

Theseus

224
  1. Now is the moon used between the two neighbors.

Demetrius

225 - 226
  1. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so willful to hear
  2. without warning.

Hippolyta

227
  1. This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.

Theseus

228 - 229
  1. The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no
  2. worse, if imagination amend them.

Hippolyta

230
  1. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.

Theseus

231 - 233
  1. If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they
  2. may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a
  3. man and a lion.
  1. Enter Lion and Moonshine.

Lion

235 - 242
  1. You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
  2. The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
  3. May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,
  4. When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
  5. Then know that I as Snug the joiner am
  6. A lion fell, nor else no lion’s dam,
  7. For, if I should, as lion, come in strife
  8. Into this place, ’twere pity on my life.

Theseus

243
  1. A very gentle beast, and of a good conscience.

Demetrius

244
  1. The very best at a beast, my lord, that e’er I saw.

Lysander

245
  1. This lion is a very fox for his valor.

Theseus

246
  1. True; and a goose for his discretion.

Demetrius

247 - 248
  1. Not so, my lord; for his valor cannot carry his discretion,
  2. and the fox carries the goose.

Theseus

249 - 251
  1. His discretion, I am sure, cannot carry his valor; for the
  2. goose carries not the fox. It is well; leave it to his
  3. discretion, and let us listen to the Moon.

Moonshine

252
  1. This lantern doth the horned moon present

Demetrius

253
  1. He should have worn the horns on his head.

Theseus

254 - 255
  1. He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible within the
  2. circumference.

Moonshine

256 - 257
  1. This lantern doth the horned moon present;
  2. Myself the man i’ th’ moon do seem to be.

Theseus

258 - 259
  1. This is the greatest error of all the rest. The man should
  2. be put into the lantern. How is it else the man i’ th’ moon?

Demetrius

260 - 261
  1. He dares not come there for the candle; for, you see, it is
  2. already in snuff.

Hippolyta

262
  1. I am a-weary of this moon. Would he would change!

Theseus

263 - 265
  1. It appears, by his small light of discretion, that he is in
  2. the wane; but yet in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay
  3. the time.

Lysander

266
  1. Proceed, Moon.

Moonshine

267 - 269
  1. All that I have to say is to tell you that the lantern is
  2. the moon, I the man i’ th’ moon, this thorn-bush my
  3. thorn-bush, and this dog my dog.

Demetrius

270 - 271
  1. Why, all these should be in the lantern; for all these are
  2. in the moon. But silence! Here comes Thisbe.
  1. Enter Thisbe.

Thisbe

273
  1. This is old Ninny’s tomb. Where is my love?

Lion

274
  1. O!
  1. The Lion roars. Thisbe runs off.

Demetrius

276
  1. Well roar’d, Lion.

Theseus

277
  1. Well run, Thisbe.

Hippolyta

278
  1. Well shone, Moon. Truly, the moon shines with a good grace.
  1. The Lion shakes Thisbe’s mantle.

Theseus

280
  1. Well mous’d, Lion.
  1. Enter Pyramus.

Demetrius

282
  1. And then came Pyramus.
  1. Exit Lion.

Lysander

284
  1. And so the lion vanish’d.

Pyramus

285 - 300
  1. Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
  2. I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;
  3. For by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
  4. I trust to take of truest Thisbe sight.
  5. But stay! O spite!
  6. But mark, poor knight,
  7. What dreadful dole is here!
  8. Eyes, do you see?
  9. How can it be?
  10. O dainty duck! O dear!
  11. Thy mantle good,
  12. What, stain’d with blood?
  13. Approach, ye Furies fell!
  14. O Fates, come, come,
  15. Cut thread and thrum,
  16. Quail, crush, conclude, and quell!

Theseus

301 - 302
  1. This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near
  2. to make a man look sad.

Hippolyta

303
  1. Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.

Pyramus

304 - 321
  1. O, wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?
  2. Since lion vild hath here deflow’r’d my dear;
  3. Which isno, nowhich was the fairest dame
  4. That liv’d, that lov’d, that lik’d, that look’d with cheer.
  5. Come, tears, confound,
  6. Out, sword, and wound
  7. The pap of Pyramus;
  8. Ay, that left pap,
  9. Where heart doth hop.
  10. Stabs himself.
  11. Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
  12. Now am I dead,
  13. Now am I fled;
  14. My soul is in the sky.
  15. Tongue, lose thy light,
  16. Moon, take thy flight,
  17. Exit Moonshine.
  18. Now die, die, die, die, die.
  1. Dies.

Demetrius

323
  1. No die, but an ace, for him; for he is but one.

Lysander

324
  1. Less than an ace, man; for he is dead, he is nothing.

Theseus

325 - 326
  1. With the help of a surgeon he might yet recover, and yet
  2. prove an ass.

Hippolyta

327 - 328
  1. How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes back and
  2. finds her lover?
  1. Enter Thisbe.

Theseus

330 - 331
  1. She will find him by starlight. Here she comes, and her
  2. passion ends the play.

Hippolyta

332 - 333
  1. Methinks she should not use a long one for such a Pyramus. I
  2. hope she will be brief.

Demetrius

334 - 336
  1. A mote will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe,
  2. is the better: he for a man. God warr’nt us; she for a
  3. woman. God bless us.

Lysander

337
  1. She hath spied him already with those sweet eyes.

Demetrius

338
  1. And thus she means, videlicet

Thisbe

339 - 363
  1. Asleep, my love?
  2. What, dead, my dove?
  3. O Pyramus, arise!
  4. Speak, speak! Quite dumb?
  5. Dead, dead? A tomb
  6. Must cover thy sweet eyes.
  7. These lily lips,
  8. This cherry nose,
  9. These yellow cowslip cheeks,
  10. Are gone, are gone!
  11. Lovers, make moan;
  12. His eyes were green as leeks.
  13. O Sisters Three,
  14. Come, come to me,
  15. With hands as pale as milk;
  16. Lay them in gore,
  17. Since you have shore
  18. With shears his thread of silk.
  19. Tongue, not a word!
  20. Come, trusty sword,
  21. Come, blade, my breast imbrue!
  22. Stabs herself.
  23. And farewell, friends;
  24. Thus Thisbe ends;
  25. Adieu, adieu, adieu.
  1. Dies.

Theseus

365
  1. Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.

Demetrius

366
  1. Ay, and Wall too.

Bottom

367 - 370
  1. Starting up.
  2. No, I assure you, the wall is down that parted their
  3. fathers. Will it please you to see the epilogue, or to hear
  4. a Bergomask dance between two of our company?

Theseus

371 - 386
  1. No epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse.
  2. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need
  3. none to be blam’d. Marry, if he that writ it had play’d
  4. Pyramus, and hang’d himself in Thisbe’s garter, it would
  5. have been a fine tragedy; and so it is, truly, and very
  6. notably discharg’d. But come, your Bergomask; let your
  7. epilogue alone.
  8. A dance.
  9. The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
  10. Lovers, to bed, ’tis almost fairy time.
  11. I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn
  12. As much as we this night have overwatch’d.
  13. This palpable-gross play hath well beguil’d
  14. The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
  15. A fortnight hold we this solemnity,
  16. In nightly revels and new jollity.
  1. Exeunt.
  1. Enter Puck.

Robin

389 - 408
  1. Now the hungry lion roars,
  2. And the wolf behowls the moon;
  3. Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
  4. All with weary task foredone.
  5. Now the wasted brands do glow,
  6. Whilst the screech owl, screeching loud,
  7. Puts the wretch that lies in woe
  8. In remembrance of a shroud.
  9. Now it is the time of night
  10. That the graves, all gaping wide,
  11. Every one lets forth his sprite,
  12. In the church-way paths to glide.
  13. And we fairies, that do run
  14. By the triple Hecat’s team
  15. From the presence of the sun,
  16. Following darkness like a dream,
  17. Now are frolic. Not a mouse
  18. Shall disturb this hallowed house.
  19. I am sent with broom before,
  20. To sweep the dust behind the door.
  1. Enter King and Queen of Fairies, Oberon and Titania, with
  2. all their Train.

Oberon

411 - 416
  1. Through the house give glimmering light
  2. By the dead and drowsy fire,
  3. Every elf and fairy sprite
  4. Hop as light as bird from brier,
  5. And this ditty, after me,
  6. Sing, and dance it trippingly.

Titania

417 - 420
  1. First, rehearse your song by rote,
  2. To each word a warbling note.
  3. Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
  4. Will we sing, and bless this place.
  1. Song and dance.

Oberon

422 - 443
  1. Now, until the break of day,
  2. Through this house each fairy stray.
  3. To the best bride-bed will we,
  4. Which by us shall blessed be;
  5. And the issue, there create,
  6. Ever shall be fortunate.
  7. So shall all the couples three
  8. Ever true in loving be;
  9. And the blots of Nature’s hand
  10. Shall not in their issue stand;
  11. Never mole, hare-lip, nor scar,
  12. Nor mark prodigious, such as are
  13. Despised in nativity,
  14. Shall upon their children be.
  15. With this field-dew consecrate,
  16. Every fairy take his gait,
  17. And each several chamber bless,
  18. Through this palace, with sweet peace,
  19. And the owner of it blest
  20. Ever shall in safety rest.
  21. Trip away; make no stay;
  22. Meet me all by break of day.
  1. Exeunt Oberon, Titania, and Train.

Robin

445 - 460
  1. If we shadows have offended,
  2. Think but this, and all is mended,
  3. That you have but slumb’red here
  4. While these visions did appear.
  5. And this weak and idle theme,
  6. No more yielding but a dream,
  7. Gentles, do not reprehend.
  8. If you pardon, we will mend.
  9. And, as I am an honest Puck,
  10. If we have unearned luck
  11. Now to scape the serpent’s tongue,
  12. We will make amends ere long;
  13. Else the Puck a liar call.
  14. So, good night unto you all.
  15. Give me your hands, if we be friends,
  16. And Robin shall restore amends.
  1. Exit.
finis
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