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A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 2 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream Act 3, Scene 2



Another part of the wood

Enter OBERON, King of Fairies, solus

Enter OBERON, King of Fairies, solus

OBERON

I wonder if Titania be awaked.

Then, what it was that next came in her eye,

Which she must dote on in extremity.

 

OBERON

I wonder if Titania be awaked.

Then, what it was that next came in her eye,

Which she must dote on in extremity.

 

Enter ROBIN

Enter ROBIN

Here comes my messenger.—How now, mad spirit?

What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

night-rule=night activity

 

Here comes my messenger.—How now, mad spirit?

What night-rule now about this haunted grove?

 

ROBIN

My mistress with a monster is in love.

Near to her close and consecrated bower,

While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,

A crew of patches, rude mechanicals

patches=clowns

mechanicals=workmen

That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,

Were met together to rehearse a play

Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.

The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,

Who Pyramus presented in their sport,

Forsook his scene and entered in a brake,

forsook=abandoned

When I did him at this advantage take,

An ass’s nole I fixèd on his head.

nole=noodle

Anon his Thisbe must be answerèd,

anon=soon

And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,

As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye

fowler=hunter of wild birds

Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,

choughs=jackdaws

Rising and cawing at the gun’s report,

Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky—

So at his sight away his fellows fly;

his sight=the sight of him

And, at a stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls.

stamp=stamping on the ground

He “Murder!” cries and help from Athens calls.

Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,

[They] Made senseless things begin to do them wrong,

For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch,

Some sleeves, some hats—from yielders all things catch.

I led them on in this distracted fear

And left sweet Pyramus translated there.

translated=transformed

When in that moment so it came to pass,

Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

 

ROBIN

My mistress with a monster is in love.

Near to her close and consecrated bower,

While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,

A crew of patches, rude mechanicals

That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,

Were met together to rehearse a play

Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.

The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,

Who Pyramus presented in their sport,

Forsook his scene and entered in a brake,

When I did him at this advantage take,

An ass’s nole I fixèd on his head.

Anon his Thisbe must be answerèd,

And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,

As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,

Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,

Rising and cawing at the gun’s report,

Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky—

So at his sight away his fellows fly;

And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls.

He “Murder!” cries and help from Athens calls.

Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears thus strong,

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong.

For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch,

Some sleeves, some hats—from yielders all things catch.

I led them on in this distracted fear

And left sweet Pyramus translated there.

When in that moment so it came to pass,

Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

 

OBERON

This falls out better than I could devise.

But hast thou yet latched the Athenian’s eyes

With the love juice, as I did bid thee do?

 

OBERON

This falls out better than I could devise.

But hast thou yet latched the Athenian’s eyes

With the love juice, as I did bid thee do?

 

ROBIN

I took him sleeping—that is finished, too—

And the Athenian woman by his side

That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.

 

ROBIN

I took him sleeping—that is finished too—

And the Athenian woman by his side,

That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.

 

Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA

Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA

OBERON

(aside to ROBIN) Stand close. This is the same Athenian.

 

OBERON

(aside to ROBIN) Stand close. This is the same Athenian.

 

ROBIN

(aside to OBERON) This is the woman, but not this the man.

 

ROBIN

(aside to OBERON) This is the woman, but not this the man.

 

DEMETRIUS

Oh, why rebuke you him that loves you so?

Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

(use your breath on your enemy, not on me)

 

DEMETRIUS

Oh, why rebuke you him that loves you so?

Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

 

HERMIA

Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse.

For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.

If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,

Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep

And kill me, too.

being o’er shoes in blood=being up to your ankles in blood

plunge in deep=dive into more blood

The sun was not so true unto the day

As he to me. Would he have stolen away

From sleeping Hermia? I’ll believe as soon

This whole Earth may be bored and that the moon

may be bored=have a hole bored through it

May through the center creep and so displease

through the center creep=pass through the hole

Her brother’s noontide with th' Antipodes.

her brother=the sun

noontide=daytime (opposite the night)

with th’ Antipodes=with the people on the opposite side of the globe

It cannot be but thou hast murdered him.

So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.

 

HERMIA

Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse.

For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.

If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,

Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,

And kill me too.

The sun was not so true unto the day

As he to me. Would he have stolen away

From sleeping Hermia? I’ll believe as soon

This whole Earth may be bored, and that the moon

May through the center creep and so displease

Her brother’s noontide with th' Antipodes.

It cannot be but thou hast murdered him.

So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.

 

DEMETRIUS

So should the murdered look, and so should I,

Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.

Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,

As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

 

DEMETRIUS

So should the murdered look, and so should I,

Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.

Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,

As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

 

HERMIA

What’s this to my Lysander? Where is he?

Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?

 

HERMIA

What’s this to my Lysander? Where is he?

Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?

 

DEMETRIUS

I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

 

DEMETRIUS

I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.

 

HERMIA

Out, dog! Out, cur! Thou drivest me past the bounds

Of maiden’s patience. Hast thou slain him then?

Henceforth be never numbered among men!

Oh, once tell true, tell true even for my sake—

once=once and for all

Durst thou have looked upon him being awake,

(did you dare look at him when he was awake)

And hast thou killed him sleeping? O brave touch!

O brave touch - sarcastic

Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?

An adder did it, for with doubler tongue

Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

(no adder ever stung with a more forked, lying tongue than you have)

HERMIA

Out, dog! Out, cur! Thou drivest me past the bounds

Of maiden’s patience. Hast thou slain him then?

Henceforth be never numbered among men!

Oh, once tell true, tell true even for my sake—

Durst thou have looked upon him being awake,

And hast thou killed him sleeping? O brave touch!

Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?

An adder did it, for with doubler tongue

Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

 

DEMETRIUS

You spend your passion on a misprised mood.

misprised mood=mistaken anger

I am not guilty of Lysander’s blood.

Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

 

DEMETRIUS

You spend your passion on a misprised mood.

I am not guilty of Lysander’s blood.

Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

 

HERMIA

I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.

 

HERMIA

I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.

 

DEMETRIUS

An if I could, what should I get therefore [in return]?

 

DEMETRIUS

An if I could, what should I get therefore?

 

HERMIA

A privilege never to see me more.

And from thy hated presence part I so.

See me no more, whether he be dead or no.

 

HERMIA

A privilege never to see me more.

And from thy hated presence part I so.

See me no more, whether he be dead or no.

 

Exit HERMIA

Exit HERMIA

DEMETRIUS

There is no following her in this fierce vein.

Here, therefore, for a while I will remain.

So sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow

For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe,

(sorrow gets worse when sleep owes a debt to sorrow (sorrow wants to deprive you of sleep))

Which now in some slight measure it will pay,

it will pay=sleep will reduce the debt

If for his tender here I make some stay.

his tender=sleep’s offer

(lies down and sleeps)

 

DEMETRIUS

There is no following her in this fierce vein.

Here therefore for a while I will remain.

So sorrow’s heaviness doth heavier grow

For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe,

Which now in some slight measure it will pay,

If for his tender here I make some stay.

(lies down and sleeps)

 

OBERON

(to ROBIN) What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite

And laid the love juice on some true love’s sight.

Of thy misprision must perforce ensue

Some true love turned and not a false turned true.

ROBIN

Then fate o'errules that, one man holding troth,

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

(one faithful man causing a million attachments to fail)

 

OBERON

(to ROBIN) What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite,

And laid the love juice on some true love’s sight.

Of thy misprision must perforce ensue

Some true love turned, and not a false turned true.

ROBIN

Then fate o'errules that, one man holding troth,

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

 

OBERON

About the wood go swifter than the wind,

And Helena of Athens look thou find—

All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,

pale of cheer=pale from lack of cheer

With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear.

(each sigh was thought to draw a drop of blood from the heart)

By some illusion see thou bring her here.

I’ll charm his eyes against she do appear.

against she do appear=in preparation for her coming

 

OBERON

About the wood go swifter than the wind,

And Helena of Athens look thou find—

All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,

With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear.

By some illusion see thou bring her here.

I’ll charm his eyes against she do appear.

 

ROBIN

I go, I go. Look how I go,

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar’s bow.

from the Tartar’s bow – Tartars were famous for archery

 

ROBIN

I go, I go. Look how I go,

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar’s bow.

 

Exit ROBIN

Exit ROBIN

OBERON

(squeezing flower juice into DEMETRIUS ’s eyes)

Flower of this purple dye,

Hit with Cupid’s archery,

Sink in apple of his eye.

apple=pupil

When his love he doth espy,

Let her shine as gloriously

As the Venus of the sky.

When thou wakest, if she be by,

Beg of her for remedy.

for remedy=to be forgiven

 

OBERON

(squeezing flower juice into DEMETRIUS ’s eyes)

Flower of this purple dye,

Hit with Cupid’s archery,

Sink in apple of his eye.

When his love he doth espy,

Let her shine as gloriously

As the Venus of the sky.

When thou wakest, if she be by,

Beg of her for remedy.

 

Enter ROBIN

Enter ROBIN

ROBIN

Captain of our fairy band,

Helena is here at hand,

And the youth, mistook by me,

Pleading for a lover’s fee.

fee=privilege

Shall we their fond pageant see?

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

 

ROBIN

Captain of our fairy band,

Helena is here at hand,

And the youth, mistook by me,

Pleading for a lover’s fee.

Shall we their fond pageant see?

Lord, what fools these mortals be!

 

OBERON

Stand aside. The noise they make

Will cause Demetrius to awake.

 

OBERON

Stand aside. The noise they make

Will cause Demetrius to awake.

 

ROBIN

Then will two at once woo one.

That must needs be sport alone.

And those things do best please me

That befall preposterously.

 

ROBIN

Then will two at once woo one.

That must needs be sport alone.

And those things do best please me

That befall preposterously.

 

Enter LYSANDER and HELENA

Enter LYSANDER and HELENA

LYSANDER

Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?

Scorn and derision never come in tears.

(Lysander continues to pursue Helena, who thinks that he is not sincere)

Look, when I vow, I weep. And vows so born,

In their nativity all truth appears.

in  their nativity=at their birth

How can these things in me seem scorn to you,

Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true?

badge of faith=Lysander’s tears

 

LYSANDER

Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?

Scorn and derision never come in tears.

Look, when I vow, I weep. And vows so born,

In their nativity all truth appears.

How can these things in me seem scorn to you,

Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true?

 

HELENA

You do advance your cunning more and more.

When truth kills truth, O devilish holy fray!

fray=fight

These vows are Hermia’s. Will you give her o'er?

Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.

Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,

Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.

 

HELENA

You do advance your cunning more and more.

When truth kills truth, O devilish holy fray!

These vows are Hermia’s. Will you give her o'er?

Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.

Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,

Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.

 

LYSANDER

I had no judgment when to her I swore.

 

LYSANDER

I had no judgment when to her I swore.

 

HELENA

Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.

 

HELENA

Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.

 

LYSANDER

Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

 

LYSANDER

Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.

 

DEMETRIUS

(waking) O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?

eyne=eyes

Crystal [by comparison] is muddy. Oh, how ripe in show

Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!

That pure congealèd white, high Taurus' snow,

Taurus=mountain in Turkey

Fanned with the eastern wind, turns to a crow

(Taurus’ snow is like a crow compared to Helena’s hand)

When thou hold’st up thy hand. Oh, let me kiss

This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!

 

DEMETRIUS

(waking) O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?

Crystal is muddy. Oh, how ripe in show

Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!

That pure congealèd white, high Taurus' snow,

Fanned with the eastern wind, turns to a crow

When thou hold’st up thy hand. Oh, let me kiss

This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!

 

HELENA

O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent

To set against me for your merriment.

If you were civil and knew courtesy,

You would not do me thus much injury.

Can you not hate me, as I know you do,

But you must join in souls to mock me, too?

join in souls=become one force

If you were men, as men you are in show,

You would not use a gentle lady so

To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,

(too much praise seems insincere)

When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.

You both are rivals and love Hermia,

And now both rivals to mock Helena—

A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,

To conjure tears up in a poor maid’s eyes

With your derision! None of noble sort

Would so offend a virgin and extort

A poor soul’s patience, all to make you sport.

make you sport=entertain yourselves

 

HELENA

O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent

To set against me for your merriment.

If you were civil and knew courtesy,

You would not do me thus much injury.

Can you not hate me, as I know you do,

But you must join in souls to mock me too?

If you were men, as men you are in show,

You would not use a gentle lady so

To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,

When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.

You both are rivals, and love Hermia,

And now both rivals to mock Helena—

A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,

To conjure tears up in a poor maid’s eyes

With your derision! None of noble sort

Would so offend a virgin, and extort

A poor soul’s patience, all to make you sport.

 

LYSANDER

You are unkind, Demetrius. Be not so.

For you love Hermia. This you know I know,

And here, with all good will, with all my heart,

In Hermia’s love I yield you up my part.

And yours of Helena to me bequeath,

Whom I do love and will do till my death.

 

LYSANDER

You are unkind, Demetrius. Be not so.

For you love Hermia. This you know I know.

And here, with all good will, with all my heart,

In Hermia’s love I yield you up my part.

And yours of Helena to me bequeath,

Whom I do love and will do till my death.

 

HELENA

Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

 

HELENA

Never did mockers waste more idle breath.

 

DEMETRIUS

Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.

If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.

My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourned,

guest-wise sojourned=a temporary, visiting guest

And now to Helen is it home returned,

There to remain.

 

DEMETRIUS

Lysander, keep thy Hermia. I will none.

If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.

My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourned,

And now to Helen is it home returned,

There to remain.

 

LYSANDER

Helen, it is not so.

 

LYSANDER

Helen, it is not so.

 

DEMETRIUS

Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,

Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear.

aby=pay for

dear=at great expense

Look, where thy love comes. Yonder is thy dear.

 

DEMETRIUS

Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,

Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear.

Look, where thy love comes. Yonder is thy dear.

 

Enter HERMIA

Enter HERMIA

HERMIA

Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,

(the eye can’t see anything in the dark)

The ear more quick of apprehension makes.

Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense

it=dark night

It pays the hearing double recompense.

Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found.

Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound

But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?

 

HERMIA

Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,

The ear more quick of apprehension makes.

Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,

It pays the hearing double recompense.

Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found.

Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound

But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?

 

LYSANDER

Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?

love=love of Helena

HERMIA

What love could press Lysander from my side?

 

LYSANDER

Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?

 

HERMIA

What love could press Lysander from my side?

 

LYSANDER

Lysander’s love, that would not let him bide,

Fair Helena, who more engilds the night

Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.

oes=stars (“o”s)

Why seek’st thou me? Could not this make thee know

The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?

 

LYSANDER

Lysander’s love, that would not let him bide,

Fair Helena, who more engilds the night

Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.

Why seek’st thou me? Could not this make thee know

The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?

 

HERMIA

You speak not as you think. It cannot be.

 

HERMIA

You speak not as you think. It cannot be.

 

HELENA

Lo, she is one of this confederacy!

Now I perceive they have conjoined all three

To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.—

Injurious Hermia! Most ungrateful maid!

Have you conspired, have you with these contrived

To bait me with this foul derision?

Is all the counsel that we two have shared,

The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent

When we have chid the hasty-footed time

chid=chided

For parting us—oh, is it all forgot?

All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?

We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,

Have with our needles created both one flower,

Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,

Both warbling of one song, both in one key,

As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds

Had been incorporate. So we grew together,

incorporate=joined in one body

Like to a double cherry—seeming parted

But yet an union in partition—

Two lovely berries molded on one stem;

So, with two seeming bodies but one heart,

Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,

Due but to one and crownèd with one crest.

And will you rent our ancient love asunder

rent=shred

To join with men in scorning your poor friend?

It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.

Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,

Though I alone do feel the injury.

 

HELENA

Lo, she is one of this confederacy!

Now I perceive they have conjoined all three

To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.—

Injurious Hermia! Most ungrateful maid!

Have you conspired, have you with these contrived

To bait me with this foul derision?

Is all the counsel that we two have shared,

The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent

When we have chid the hasty-footed time

For parting us—oh, is it all forgot?

All schooldays' friendship, childhood innocence?

We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,

Have with our needles created both one flower,

Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,

Both warbling of one song, both in one key,

As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,

Had been incorporate. So we grew together,

Like to a double cherry—seeming parted

But yet an union in partition—

Two lovely berries molded on one stem;

So, with two seeming bodies but one heart,

Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,

Due but to one and crownèd with one crest.

And will you rent our ancient love asunder

To join with men in scorning your poor friend?

It is not friendly, ’tis not maidenly.

Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,

Though I alone do feel the injury.

 

HERMIA

I am amazèd at your passionate words.

I scorn you not. It seems that you scorn me.

 

HERMIA

I am amazèd at your passionate words.

I scorn you not. It seems that you scorn me.

 

HELENA

Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,

To follow me and praise my eyes and face?

And made your other love, Demetrius—

Who even but now did spurn me with his foot—

To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,

Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this

wherefore=why

To her he hates? And wherefore doth Lysander

Deny your love, so rich within his soul,

your love=his love for you

And tender me, forsooth, affection,

But by your setting on, by your consent?

What though I be not so in grace as you—

So hung upon with love, so fortunate—

But miserable most, to love unloved?

This you should pity rather than despise.

 

HELENA

Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,

To follow me and praise my eyes and face?

And made your other love, Demetrius—

Who even but now did spurn me with his foot—

To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,

Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this

To her he hates? And wherefore doth Lysander

Deny your love, so rich within his soul,

And tender me, forsooth, affection,

But by your setting on, by your consent?

What though I be not so in grace as you—

So hung upon with love, so fortunate—

But miserable most, to love unloved?

This you should pity rather than despise.

 

HERMIA

I understand not what you mean by this.

 

HERMIA

I understand not what you mean by this.

 

HELENA

Ay, do. Persever, counterfeit sad looks,

persever=persevere (per-SEV-er)

Make mouths upon me when I turn my back,

Wink each at other, hold the sweet jest up—

This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.

shall be chronicled=should be written about

If you have any pity, grace, or manners,

You would not make me such an argument.

But fare ye well. 'Tis partly my own fault,

Which death or absence soon shall remedy.

 

 

HELENA

Ay, do. Persever, counterfeit sad looks,

Make mouths upon me when I turn my back,

Wink each at other, hold the sweet jest up—

This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.

If you have any pity, grace, or manners,

You would not make me such an argument.

But fare ye well. 'Tis partly my own fault,

Which death or absence soon shall remedy.

 

 

LYSANDER

Stay, gentle Helena. Hear my excuse.

My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!

 

LYSANDER

Stay, gentle Helena. Hear my excuse.

My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!

 

HELENA

Oh, excellent!

 

HELENA

Oh, excellent!

 

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER)

  Sweet, do not scorn her so.

 

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER)

  Sweet, do not scorn her so.

 

DEMETRIUS

If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

(if Hermia cannot win by entreating, I can use force)

 

DEMETRIUS

If she cannot entreat, I can compel.

 

LYSANDER

Thou canst compel no more than she entreat.

Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.—

Helen, I love thee. By my life, I do.

I swear by that which I will lose for thee

(my life)

To prove him false that says I love thee not.

 

LYSANDER

Thou canst compel no more than she entreat.

Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.—

Helen, I love thee. By my life, I do.

I swear by that which I will lose for thee

To prove him false that says I love thee not.

 

DEMETRIUS

I say I love thee more than he can do.

 

DEMETRIUS

I say I love thee more than he can do.

 

LYSANDER

If thou say so, withdraw and prove it, too.

withdraw – to a duel

 

LYSANDER

If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too.

 

DEMETRIUS

Quick, come.

 

DEMETRIUS

Quick, come.

 

HERMIA

  Lysander, whereto tends all this?

 

HERMIA

  Lysander, whereto tends all this?

 

(holds LYSANDER back)

(holds LYSANDER back)

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Away, you Ethiope!

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Away, you Ethiope!

 

DEMETRIUS

(to HERMIA)

No, no. He’ll

Seem to break loose.

(to LYSANDER)

Take on as you would follow,

take on as=make a fuss as if

But yet come not. You are a tame man, go!

 

DEMETRIUS

(to HERMIA)

    No, no. He’ll

Seem to break loose.

(to LYSANDER)

  Take on as you would follow,

But yet come not. You are a tame man, go!

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing, let loose

Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing, let loose

Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.

 

HERMIA

Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,

Sweet love?

 

HERMIA

Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,

Sweet love?

 

LYSANDER

Thy love? Out, tawny Tartar, out!

tawny=dark complected

Out, loathèd medicine! O hated potion, hence!

 

LYSANDER

  Thy love? Out, tawny Tartar, out!

Out, loathèd medicine! O hated potion, hence!

 

HERMIA

Do you not jest?

 

HERMIA

Do you not jest?

 

HELENA

  Yes, sooth, and so do you.

 

HELENA

  Yes, sooth, and so do you.

 

LYSANDER

Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

 

LYSANDER

Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

 

DEMETRIUS

I would I had your bond, for I perceive

A weak bond holds you. I’ll not trust your word.

 

DEMETRIUS

I would I had your bond, for I perceive

A weak bond holds you. I’ll not trust your word.

 

LYSANDER

What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?

Although I hate her, I’ll not harm her so.

 

LYSANDER

What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?

Although I hate her, I’ll not harm her so.

 

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER)

What, can you do me greater harm than hate?

Hate me? Wherefore? O me! What news, my love?

wherefore=why

what news=what is the matter

Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?

I am as fair now as I was erewhile.

erewhile=a little while ago

Since night you loved me. Yet since night you left me.

since night=last night

Why then, you left me—Oh, the gods forbid!—

In earnest, shall I say?

 

HERMIA

(to LYSANDER)

What, can you do me greater harm than hate?

Hate me? Wherefore? O me! What news, my love?

Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?

I am as fair now as I was erewhile.

Since night you loved me. Yet since night you left me.

Why then, you left me—Oh, the gods forbid!—

In earnest, shall I say?

 

LYSANDER

Ay, by my life,

And never did desire to see thee more.

Therefore, be out of hope, of question, of doubt.

Be certain, nothing truer. 'Tis no jest

That I do hate thee and love Helena.

 

LYSANDER

    Ay, by my life,

And never did desire to see thee more.

Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt.

Be certain, nothing truer. 'Tis no jest

That I do hate thee and love Helena.

 

HERMIA

O me!

(to HELENA) You juggler! You canker-blossom!

You thief of love! What, have you come by night

And stol'n my love’s heart from him?

 

HERMIA

O me!

(to HELENA) You juggler! You canker-blossom!

You thief of love! What, have you come by night

And stol'n my love’s heart from him?

 

HELENA

Fine, i' faith!

Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,

No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear

Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?

Fie, fie! You counterfeit, you puppet, you!

 

HELENA

      Fine, i' faith!

Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,

No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear

Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?

Fie, fie! You counterfeit, you puppet, you!

 

HERMIA

“Puppet”? Why so?—Ay, that way goes the game.

Now I perceive that she hath made compare

Between our statures. She hath urged her height,

And with her personage, her tall personage,

Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.—

And are you grown so high in his esteem

Because I am so dwarfish and so low?

How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak.

How low am I? I am not yet so low

But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

 

HERMIA

“Puppet”? Why so?—Ay, that way goes the game.

Now I perceive that she hath made compare

Between our statures. She hath urged her height,

And with her personage, her tall personage,

Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.—

And are you grown so high in his esteem

Because I am so dwarfish and so low?

How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak.

How low am I? I am not yet so low

But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

 

HELENA

(to LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS)

I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,

Let her not hurt me. I was never cursed.

cursed=sharp-tongued

I have no gift at all in shrewishness.

I am a right maid for my cowardice.

(true maid with respect to my cowardice)

Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,

Because she is something lower than myself,

That I can match her.

 

HELENA

(to LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS)

I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,

Let her not hurt me. I was never cursed.

I have no gift at all in shrewishness.

I am a right maid for my cowardice.

Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,

Because she is something lower than myself,

That I can match her.

 

HERMIA

    “Lower”? Hark, again!

 

HERMIA

    “Lower”? Hark, again!

 

HELENA

Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.

I evermore did love you, Hermia,

Did ever keep your counsels, never wronged you—

Save that, in love unto Demetrius,

I told him of your stealth unto this wood.

He followed you. For love I followed him.

But he hath chid me hence and threatened me

To strike me, spurn me—nay, to kill me, too.

And now, so you will let me quiet go,

To Athens will I bear my folly back

And follow you no further. Let me go.

You see how simple and how fond I am.

 

HELENA

Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.

I evermore did love you, Hermia,

Did ever keep your counsels, never wronged you—

Save that, in love unto Demetrius,

I told him of your stealth unto this wood.

He followed you. For love I followed him.

But he hath chid me hence and threatened me

To strike me, spurn me—nay, to kill me too.

And now, so you will let me quiet go,

To Athens will I bear my folly back

And follow you no further. Let me go.

You see how simple and how fond I am.

 

HERMIA

Why, get you gone! Who is ’t that hinders you?

 

HERMIA

Why, get you gone! Who is ’t that hinders you?

 

HELENA

A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.

 

HELENA

A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.

 

HERMIA

What, with Lysander?

 

HERMIA

What, with Lysander?

 

HELENA

    With Demetrius.

 

HELENA

    With Demetrius.

 

LYSANDER

Be not afraid. She shall not harm thee, Helena.

 

LYSANDER

Be not afraid. She shall not harm thee, Helena.

 

DEMETRIUS

(to LYSANDER)

No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.

(Hermia shall  not, though you take Helena’s part)

 

DEMETRIUS

(to LYSANDER)

No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.

 

HELENA

Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd!

She was a vixen when she went to school.

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

 

HELENA

Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd!

She was a vixen when she went to school.

And though she be but little, she is fierce.

 

HERMIA

“Little” again? Nothing but “low” and “little”!—

Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?

suffer=allow

Let me come to her.

 

HERMIA

“Little” again? Nothing but “low” and “little”!—

Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?

Let me come to her.

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Get you gone, you dwarf,

You minimus of hindering knotgrass made,

knotgrass=a weed that was thought to stunt one’s growth

You bead, you acorn!

 

LYSANDER

(to HERMIA) Get you gone, you dwarf,

You minimus of hindering knotgrass made,

You bead, you acorn!

 

DEMETRIUS

    You are too officious

In her behalf that scorns your services.

Let her alone. Speak not of Helena.

Take not her part. For if thou dost intend

Never so little show of love to her,

Thou shalt aby it.

aby=pay for

 

DEMETRIUS

    You are too officious

In her behalf that scorns your services.

Let her alone. Speak not of Helena.

Take not her part. For if thou dost intend

Never so little show of love to her,

Thou shalt aby it.

 

LYSANDER

  Now she holds me not.

Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,

Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.

 

LYSANDER

  Now she holds me not.

Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,

Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.

 

Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS

Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS

HERMIA

You, mistress, all this coil is long of you.

coil=uproar

long of you=your fault

Nay, go not back.

go not back=do not retreat

 

HERMIA

You, mistress, all this coil is long of you.

Nay, go not back.

 

HELENA

  I will not trust you, I,

Nor longer stay in your curst company.

curst=bad tempered

Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray.

My legs are longer, though, to run away.

 

HELENA

  I will not trust you, I,

Nor longer stay in your curst company.

Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray.

My legs are longer though, to run away.

 

Exit HELENA

Exit HELENA

HERMIA

I am amazed and know not what to say.

 

HERMIA

I am amazed and know not what to say.

 

Exit HERMIA

Exit HERMIA

OBERON

(to ROBIN) This is thy negligence. Still thou mistakest

Or else committ’st thy knaveries willfully.

 

OBERON

(to ROBIN) This is thy negligence. Still thou mistakest,

Or else committ’st thy knaveries willfully.

 

ROBIN

Believe me, King of Shadows, I mistook.

King of Shadows=king of spirits of the night

Did not you tell me I should know the man

By the Athenian garment he had on?

And so far blameless proves my enterprise

That I have 'nointed an Athenian’s eyes,

nointed=anointed (rubbed ointment on)

And so far am I glad it so did sort,

As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

 

ROBIN

Believe me, King of Shadows, I mistook.

Did not you tell me I should know the man

By the Athenian garment he had on?

And so far blameless proves my enterprise,

That I have 'nointed an Athenian’s eyes.

And so far am I glad it so did sort,

As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

 

OBERON

Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight.

Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night.

The starry welkin cover thou anon

With drooping fog as black as Acheron,

Acheron=a river in Hades

And lead these testy rivals so astray

As one come not within another’s way.

as=that

Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,

(imitate Lysander’s voice)

Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong,

bitter wrong=insults

And sometime rail thou like Demetrius.

(imitate Demetrius’ voice)

And from each other look thou lead them thus,

Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep

With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep.

(gives ROBIN another flower)

Then crush this herb into Lysander’s eye,

Whose liquor hath this virtuous property

whose liquor=herb’s liquor

virtuous=powerful

To take from thence all error with his might

And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.

wonted=normal

When they next wake, all this derision

Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision.

And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,

With league whose date till death shall never end.

league=agreement

date=term of the league

Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,

I’ll to my queen and beg her [for her] Indian boy.

And then I will her charmèd eye release

From monster’s view, and all things shall be peace.

monster’s view=view of Bottom

 

OBERON

Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight.

Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night.

The starry welkin cover thou anon

With drooping fog as black as Acheron,

And lead these testy rivals so astray

As one come not within another’s way.

Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,

Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong.

And sometime rail thou like Demetrius.

And from each other look thou lead them thus,

Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep

With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep.

(gives ROBIN another flower)

Then crush this herb into Lysander’s eye,

Whose liquor hath this virtuous property

To take from thence all error with his might

And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.

When they next wake, all this derision

Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision.

And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,

With league whose date till death shall never end.

Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,

I’ll to my queen and beg her Indian boy.

And then I will her charmèd eye release

From monster’s view, and all things shall be peace.

 

ROBIN

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,

For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

(dragons pull the chariot of the goddess of the night)

And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger,

Aurora’s harbinger=the morning star, which heralds the dawn

At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,

Troop home to churchyards. Damnèd spirits all,

damned spirits=dead souls wandering the night because they lacked a proper burial in consecrated land

That in crossways and floods have burial,

Already to their wormy beds are gone.

For fear lest day should look their shames upon,

They willfully themselves exile from light

(the spirit world must avoid contact with daylight)

And must for aye consort with black-browed night.

for aye=forever

 

ROBIN

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste.

For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger,

At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,

Troop home to churchyards. Damnèd spirits all,

That in crossways and floods have burial,

Already to their wormy beds are gone.

For fear lest day should look their shames upon,

They willfully themselves exile from light

And must for aye consort with black-browed night.

 

OBERON

But we are spirits of another sort.

I with the morning’s love have oft made sport,

And like a forester the groves may tread

Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,

Opening on Neptune with fair blessèd beams,

Neptune=god of the sea

beams=sunbeams

Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.

But, notwithstanding, haste. Make no delay.

We may effect this business yet ere day.

ere day=before day

 

OBERON

But we are spirits of another sort.

I with the morning’s love have oft made sport,

And like a forester the groves may tread

Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,

Opening on Neptune with fair blessèd beams,

Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.

But notwithstanding, haste. Make no delay.

We may effect this business yet ere day.

 

Exit OBERON

Exit OBERON

ROBIN

 Up and down, up and down,

 I will lead them up and down.

 I am feared in field and town.

 Goblin, lead them up and down.

(goblin – Robin is addressing himself)

Here comes one.

 

ROBIN

 Up and down, up and down,

 I will lead them up and down.

 I am feared in field and town.

 Goblin, lead them up and down.

Here comes one.

 

Enter LYSANDER

Enter LYSANDER

LYSANDER

Where art thou, proud Demetrius? Speak thou now.

 

LYSANDER

Where art thou, proud Demetrius? Speak thou now.

 

ROBIN

(as DEMETRIUS)

Here, villain. Drawn and ready. Where art thou?

 

ROBIN

(as DEMETRIUS)

Here, villain. Drawn and ready. Where art thou?

 

ROBIN

(as DEMETRIUS)

Here, villain. Drawn and ready. Where art thou?

drawn=with sword in hand

 

 

LYSANDER

I will be with thee straight.

straight=straightaway

 

LYSANDER

I will be with thee straight.

 

ROBIN

(as DEMETRIUS) Follow me then

To plainer ground.

 

ROBIN

(as DEMETRIUS) Follow me then

To plainer ground.

 

Exit LYSANDER

Exit LYSANDER

Enter DEMETRIUS

Enter DEMETRIUS

DEMETRIUS

Lysander, speak again!

Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?

Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?

 

DEMETRIUS

  Lysander, speak again!

Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?

Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?

 

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER) Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,

Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars,

And wilt not come? Come, recreant. Come, thou child!

I’ll whip thee with a rod. He is defiled

defiled=polluted

That draws a sword on thee.

 

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER) Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,

Telling the bushes that thou look’st for wars,

And wilt not come? Come, recreant. Come, thou child!

I’ll whip thee with a rod. He is defiled

That draws a sword on thee.

 

DEMETRIUS

    Yea, art thou there?

 

DEMETRIUS

    Yea, art thou there?

 

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER)

Follow my voice. We’ll try no manhood here.

 

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER)

Follow my voice. We’ll try no manhood here.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

Enter LYSANDER

Enter LYSANDER

LYSANDER

He goes before me and still dares me on.

When I come where he calls, then he is gone.

The villain is much lighter-heeled than I.

I followed fast, but faster he did fly,

That fallen am I in dark uneven way,

that fallen am I=so that I am fallen

And here will rest me.

(lies down)

    Come, thou gentle day!

For if but once thou show me thy grey light,

I’ll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.

(sleeps)

 

 

LYSANDER

He goes before me and still dares me on.

When I come where he calls, then he is gone.

The villain is much lighter-heeled than I.

I followed fast, but faster he did fly,

That fallen am I in dark uneven way,

And here will rest me.

(lies down)

    Come, thou gentle day!

For if but once thou show me thy grey light,

I’ll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.

(sleeps)

 

Enter ROBIN and DEMETRIUS

Enter ROBIN and DEMETRIUS

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER to DEMETRIUS)

Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

 

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER to DEMETRIUS)

Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?

 

DEMETRIUS

Abide me, if thou darest! For well I wot

abide me=wait for me

wot=know

Thou runn’st before me, shifting every place,

And darest not stand nor look me in the face.

Where art thou now?

 

DEMETRIUS

Abide me, if thou darest! For well I wot

Thou runn’st before me, shifting every place,

And darest not stand nor look me in the face.

Where art thou now?

 

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER) Come hither. I am here.

 

ROBIN

(as LYSANDER) Come hither. I am here.

 

DEMETRIUS

Nay, then, thou mock’st me. Thou shalt buy this dear

dear=at great expense

If ever I thy face by daylight see.

Now go thy way. Faintness constraineth me

To measure out my length on this cold bed.

By day’s approach, look to be visited.

(lies down and sleeps)

 

DEMETRIUS

Nay, then, thou mock’st me. Thou shalt buy this dear

If ever I thy face by daylight see.

Now go thy way. Faintness constraineth me

To measure out my length on this cold bed.

By day’s approach look to be visited.

(lies down and sleeps)

 

Enter HELENA

Enter HELENA

HELENA

O weary night, O long and tedious night,

Abate thy hours. Shine comforts from the east,

abate=shorten

east=rising of the sun

That I may back to Athens by daylight

From these that my poor company detest,

And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow’s eye,

Steal me awhile from mine own company.

(lies down and sleeps)

 

HELENA

O weary night, O long and tedious night,

Abate thy hours. Shine comforts from the east,

That I may back to Athens by daylight

From these that my poor company detest.

And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow’s eye,

Steal me awhile from mine own company.

(lies down and sleeps)

 

ROBIN

 Yet but three? Come one more.

 Two of both kinds make up four.

 Here she comes, cursed and sad.

 Cupid is a knavish lad

 Thus to make poor females mad.

 

ROBIN

 Yet but three? Come one more.

 Two of both kinds make up four.

 Here she comes, cursed and sad.

 Cupid is a knavish lad

 Thus to make poor females mad.

 

Enter HERMIA

Enter HERMIA

HERMIA

Never so weary, never so in woe,

Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,

I can no further crawl, no further go.

My legs can keep no pace with my desires.

Here will I rest me till the break of day.

Heavens shield Lysander if they mean a fray!

they=Lysander and Demetrius

(lies down and sleeps)

 

HERMIA

Never so weary, never so in woe,

Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,

I can no further crawl, no further go.

My legs can keep no pace with my desires.

Here will I rest me till the break of day.

Heavens shield Lysander if they mean a fray!

(lies down and sleeps)

 

ROBIN

 On the ground

 Sleep sound.

 I’ll apply

 To your eye,

 Gentle lover, remedy.

(squeezes flower juice into LYSANDER’s eyes)

 When thou wakest,

 Thou takest

 True delight

 In the sight

 Of thy former lady’s eye.

 And the country proverb known—

 That every man should take his own—

 In your waking shall be shown.

 Jack shall have Jill.

Nought shall go ill.

The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

mare=woman

 

ROBIN

 On the ground

 Sleep sound.

 I’ll apply

 To your eye.

 Gentle lover, remedy.

(squeezes flower juice into LYSANDER ’s eyes)

 When thou wakest,

 Thou takest

 True delight

 In the sight

 Of thy former lady’s eye.

 And the country proverb known—

 That every man should take his own—

 In your waking shall be shown.

 Jack shall have Jill.

Nought shall go ill.

The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

 

Exit ROBIN

Exit ROBIN

 

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