A Midsummer Night's Dream By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 1

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.'

[Re-enter PUCK, and BOTTOM with an ass's head.]

THISBE
O,' — As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.'

PYRAMUS
'If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine: — '

QUINCE
O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters!
fly, masters! Help!

[Exeunt Clowns.]

PUCK
I'll follow you; I'll lead you about a round,
Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier;
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.

[Exit.]

BOTTOM
Why do they run away? This is a knavery of them to make
me afeard.

[Re-enter SNOUT.]

SNOUT
O Bottom, thou art changed! What do I see on thee?

BOTTOM
What do you see? you see an ass-head of your own, do you?

[Re-enter QUINCE.]

QUINCE
Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art translated.

[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 I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.

[Sings.]

The ousel cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill.

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; —
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?

TITANIA
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again;
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note.
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.

BOTTOM
Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for
that: and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little
company together now-a-days: the more the pity that some honest
neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon
occasion.

TITANIA
Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

BOTTOM
Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of
this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.

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;
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
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go. —
Peasblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

[Enter Four Fairies.]

FIRST FAIRY
Ready.

SECOND FAIRY
And I.

THIRD FAIRY
And I.

FOURTH FAIRY
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,
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;
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes:
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.

FIRST FAIRY
Hail, mortal!

SECOND FAIRY
Hail!

THIRD FAIRY
Hail!

FOURTH FAIRY
Hail!

BOTTOM
I cry your worships mercy, heartily. — I beseech your
worship's name.

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?

PEASBLOSSOM
Peasblossom.

BOTTOM
I pray you, commend me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and
to Master Peascod, your father. Good Master Peasblossom, I
shall desire you of more acquaintance too. — Your name, I beseech
you, sir?

MUSTARDSEED
Mustardseed.

BOTTOM
Good Master Mustardseed, I know your 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 you of more acquaintance, 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 enforcèd chastity.
Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently.

[Exeunt.]

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