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; go: —
Despatch, 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.
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'd all one mutual cry: I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.
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 dew-lap'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,
In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.
Judge when you hear. — But, soft, what nymphs are these?
My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;
And this Lysander; this Demetrius is;
This Helena, old Nedar's Helena:
I wonder of their being here together.
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?
It is, my lord.
Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.
[Horns, and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER,HERMIA, and HELENA
awake and start up.]
Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past;
Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?
Pardon, my lord.
[He and the rest kneel to 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
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?
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 be,
Without the peril of the Athenian law.
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.
My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither to this wood;
And I in fury hither follow'd 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 gawd
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 betroth'd 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 for evermore be true to it.
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. —
[Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and Train.]
These things seem small and undistinguishable,
Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.
Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
When every thing seems double.
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel.
Mine own, and not mine own.
It seems to me
That yet we sleep, we dream. — Do not you think
The duke was here, and bid us follow him?
Yea, and my father.
And he did bid us follow to the temple.
Why, then, we are awake: let's follow him;
And by the way let us recount our dreams.
[As they go out, BOTTOM awakes.]
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
to 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
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 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 called 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.