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    A Midsummer Nights Dream

    by William Shakespeare
    MFFE script v5.22 CloudReader v1.05
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  • Act Five Scene One

    A4S2>>> Away! Go, away.
    Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Egeus and his Lords.
    A4S2--- Away! Go, away.
    Hippolyta.
    'Tis strange my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.
    --- lovers speak of.
    Theseus.
    More strange than true. I never may believe
    These antic fables, nor these Fairy toys.
    Lovers and mad men have such seething brains,
    Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
    More than cool reason ever comprehends.
    The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet,
    Are of imagination all compact.
    One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
    That is the mad man. The Lover, all as frantic,
    Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt.
    The Poet's eye in a fine frenzy rolling,
    Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.
    And as imagination bodies forth
    The forms of things Unknown, the Poet's pen
    Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
    A local habitation and a name.
    Such tricks hath strong imagination,
    That if it would but apprehend some joy,
    It comprehends some bringer of that joy:
    Or, in the night, imagining some fear,
    How easy is a bush supposed a Bear!
    --- supposed a Bear!
    Hippolyta.
    But all the story of the night told over,
    And all their minds transfigured so together,
    More witnesseth than fancy's images,
    And grows to something of great constancy;
    But howsoever, strange, and admirable.
    >>> strange, and admirable.
    Enter lovers, Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia, and Helena.
    --- strange, and admirable.
    Theseus.
    Here come the lovers, full of joy and mirth.
    Joy, gentle friends, joy and fresh days of love
    Accompany your hearts.
    --- Accompany your hearts.
    Lysander.
    More than to us,
    Wait in your royal walks, your board, your bed!
    --- board, your bed!
    Theseus.
    Come now; what masks, what dances shall we have,
    To wear away this long age of three hours
    Between our after-supper, and bed-time?
    Where is our usual manager of mirth?
    What Revels are in hand? Is there no play,
    To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?
    Call Egeus.
    --- hour? Call Egeus.
    Egeus.
    Here mighty Theseus.
    --- Here mighty Theseus.
    Theseus.
    Say, what abridgement have you for this evening?
    What mask? What music? How shall we beguile
    The lazy time, if not with some delight?
    --- with some delight?
    Egeus.
    There is a brief how many sports are rife:
    Make choice of which your Highness will see first.
    Gives Theseus a paper.
    --- will see first.
    Theseus.
    'The battle with the Centaurs to be sung
    By an Athenian Eunuch, to the Harp.'
    We'll none of that. That have I told my Love
    In glory of my kinsman Hercules.
    'The riot of the tipsy Bachanals,
    Tearing the Thracian singer, in their rage.'
    That is an old device, and it was played
    When I from Thebes came last a Conqueror. 'The thrice three Muses, mourning for the death
    Of learning, late deceased in beggary'.
    That is some Satire keen and critical,
    Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.
    'A tedious brief Scene of young Pyramus,
    And his love Thisbe; very tragical mirth.'
    Merry and tragical? Tedious, and brief?
    That is, hot ice, and wondrous strange snow.
    How shall we find the concord of this discord?
    --- of this discord?
    Egeus.
    A play there is, my Lord, some ten words long,
    Which is as brief as I have known a play;
    But by ten words, my Lord, it is too long,
    Which makes it tedious; for in all the play,
    There is not one word apt, one Player fitted.
    And tragical, my noble Lord, it is,
    For Pyramus therein doth kill himself;
    Which when I saw rehearsed, I must confess,
    Made mine eyes water; but more merry tears,
    The passion of loud laughter never shed.
    --- laughter Never shed.
    Theseus.
    What are they that do play it?
    --- do play it?
    Egeus.
    Hard-handed men that work in Athens here,
    Which never laboured in their minds till now;
    And now have toiled their unbreathed memories
    With this same play, against your nuptial.
    --- against your nuptial.
    Theseus.
    And we will hear it.
    --- will hear it.
    Egeus.
    No, my noble Lord,
    It is not for you: I have heard It over,
    And it is nothing, nothing in the world;
    Unless you can find sport in their intents,
    Extremely stretched, and conned with cruel pain,
    To do you service.
    --- do you service.
    Theseus.
    I will hear that play.
    For never anything can be amiss
    When simpleness and duty tender it.
    Go bring them in, and take your places, Ladies.
    >>> your places, Ladies.
    Exit Egeus.
    --- your places, Ladies.
    Hippolyta.
    I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharged,
    And duty in his service perishing.
    --- his service perishing.
    Theseus.
    Why gentle sweet, you shall see no such thing.
    --- no such thing.
    Hippolyta.
    He says they can do nothing in this kind.
    --- in this kind.
    Theseus.
    The kinder we, to give them thanks for nothing.
    Our sport shall be to take what they mistake:
    And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
    Takes it in might, not merit.
    Where I have come, great Clerks have purposed
    To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
    Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
    Make periods in the midst of sentences,
    Throttle their practised accent in their fears,
    And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
    Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
    Out of this silence yet I picked a welcome,
    And in the modesty of fearful duty,
    I read as much as from the rattling tongue
    Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
    Love, therefore, and tongue-tide simplicity
    In least speak most, to my capacity.
    >>> to my capacity.
    Enter Egeus.
    --- to my capacity.
    Egeus.
    So please your Grace, the Prologue is addressed.
    --- Prologue is addressed.
    Theseus.
    Let him approach.
    >>> Let him approach.
    Flourish of Trumpets.
    Enter the Prologue. Quince.
    --- Five Scene One.
    Prologue.
    If we offend, it is with our good will.
    That you should think, we come not to offend,
    But with good will. To show our simple skill,
    That is the true beginning of our end.
    Consider then, we come but in despite.
    We do not come, as minding to content you,
    Our true intent is. All for your delight,
    We are not here. That you should here repent you,
    The Actors are at hand; and by their show,
    You shall know all, that you are like to know.
    --- like to know.
    Theseus.
    This fellow doth not stand upon points.
    --- stand upon points.
    Lysander.
    He hath rid his Prologue, like a rough Colt; he knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord. It is not enough to speak, but to speak true.
    --- to speak true.
    Hippolyta.
    Indeed he hath played on his Prologue like a child on a Recorder; a sound, but not in government.
    --- not in government.
    Theseus.
    His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impaired, but all disordered. Who is next?
    >>> Who is next?
    Enter with a Trumpet before them:
    Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion.
    --- Who is next?
    Prologue.
    Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
    But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
    This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
    This beauteous Lady Thisbe is certain.
    This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
    Wall, that vile wall, which did these lovers sunder;
    And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are content
    To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
    This man, with Lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,
    Presenteth moonshine; for, if you will know,
    By moonshine did these Lovers think no scorn
    To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo.
    This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
    The trusty Thisbe, coming first by night,
    Did scare away, or rather did affright;
    And as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
    Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
    Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
    And finds his Thisbe's Mantle slain;
    Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
    He bravely broached his boiling bloody breast;
    And Thisbe, tarrying in Mulberry shade,
    His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
    Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and Lovers twain,
    At large discourse, while here they do remain.
    >>> they do remain.
    Exeunt all but Wall.
    --- they do remain.
    Theseus.
    I wonder if the Lion be to speak?
    --- be to speak.
    Demetrius.
    No wonder, my Lord; one Lion may, when many Asses do.
    --- many Asses do.
    Wall.
    In this same Interlude, it doth befall,
    That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
    And such a wall as I would have you think
    That had in it a crannied hole, or chink,
    Through which the Lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe,
    Did whisper often, very secretly.
    This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone doth show
    That I am that same Wall; the truth is so.
    And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
    Through which the fearful Lovers are to whisper.
    --- are to whisper.
    Theseus.
    Would you desire Lime and Hair to speak better?
    --- to speak better?
    Demetrius.
    It is the wittiest partition, that ever I heard discourse, my Lord.
    --- discourse, my Lord.
    Theseus.
    Pyramus draws near the Wall, silence.
    >>> the Wall, silence.
    Enter Pyramus.
    --- the Wall, silence.
    Pyramus.
    O grim looked night! O night with hue so black!
    O night, which ever art, when day is not!
    O night, O night, alack, alack, alack,
    I fear my Thisbe's promise is forgot!
    And thou, O wall, thou sweet and lovely wall,
    That stands between her father's ground and mine;
    Thou wall, O Wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
    Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne.
    Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!
    But what see I? No Thisbe do I see.
    O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss,
    Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!
    --- thus deceiving me.
    Theseus.
    The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.
    --- should curse again.
    Pyramus.
    No, in truth sir, he should not. 'Deceiving me', is Thisbe's cue: she is to enter, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see it will fall.
    >>> it will fall.
    Enter Thisbe.
    Pat as I told you; yonder she comes.
    --- yonder she comes.
    Thisbe.
    O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
    For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
    My cherry lips have often kissed thy stones,
    Thy stones with Lime and Hair knit up in thee.
    --- up in thee.
    Pyramus.
    I see a voice; now will I to the chink,
    To spy and I can hear my Thisbe's face.
    Thisbe?
    --- Thisbe's face. Thisbe?
    Thisbe.
    My Love thou art, my Love I think.
    --- Love I think.
    Pyramus.
    Think what thou wilt, I am thy Lover's grace;
    And like Limander am I trusty still.
    --- I trusty still.
    Thisbe.
    And I like Helen, till the Fates me kill.
    --- Fates me kill.
    Pyramus.
    Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true.
    --- was so true.
    Thisbe.
    As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you.
    --- I to you.
    Pyramus.
    O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall.
    --- this vile wall.
    Thisbe.
    I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.
    --- lips at all.
    Pyramus.
    Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straight way?
    --- me straight way?
    Thisbe.
    Tide life, tide death, I come without delay.
    >>> come without delay.
    Exeunt Pyramus and Thisbe severally.
    --- come without delay.
    Wall.
    Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
    And being done, thus Wall away doth go.
    >>> away doth go.
    Exit.
    --- away doth go.
    Theseus.
    Now is the mural down between the two Neighbours.
    --- the two Neighbours.
    Demetrius.
    No remedy my Lord, when Walls are so wilful to hear without warning.
    --- hear without warning.
    Hippolyta.
    This is the silliest stuff that e'er I heard.
    --- e'er I heard.
    Theseus.
    The best in this kind are but shadows; and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.
    --- imagination amend them.
    Hippolyta.
    It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.
    --- and not theirs.
    Theseus.
    If we imagine no worse of them than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a man and a Lion.
    >>> and a Lion.
    Enter Lion and Moonshine.
    --- and a Lion.
    Lion.
    You Ladies, you whose gentle hearts do fear
    The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
    May now, perchance, both quake and tremble here,
    When Lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
    Then know that I one Snug the Joiner am
    A Lion fell, nor else no Lion's dam;
    For if I should as Lion come in strife
    Into this place, 'twere pity of my life.
    --- of my life.
    Theseus.
    A very gentle beast, and of good conscience.
    --- of good conscience.
    Demetrius.
    The very best at a beast, my Lord, that ere I saw.
    --- ere I saw.
    Lysander.
    This Lion is a very Fox for his valour.
    --- for his valour.
    Theseus.
    True; and a Goose for his discretion.
    --- for his discretion.
    Demetrius.
    Not so, my Lord, for his valour cannot carry his discretion; and the fox carries the Goose.
    --- carries the Goose.
    Theseus.
    His discretion, I am sure cannot carry his valour; for the Goose carries not the Fox. It is well: leave it to his discretion, and let us hearken to the Moon.
    --- to the Moon.
    Moon.
    This Lantern doth the horned Moon present -
    --- horned Moon present -
    Demetrius.
    He should have worn the horns on his head.
    --- on his head.
    Theseus.
    He is no crescent, and his horns are invisible, within the circumference.
    --- within the circumference.
    Moon.
    This lantern doth the horned Moon present;
    Myself, the man i'th Moon doth seem to be.
    --- seem to be.
    Theseus.
    This is the greatest error of all the rest; the man should be put into the Lantern. How is it else the man i'th Moon?
    --- man i'th Moon?
    Demetrius.
    He dares not come there for the candle;
    For you see, it is already in snuff.
    --- already in snuff.
    Hippolyta.
    I am weary of this Moon; would he would change!
    --- he would change!
    Theseus.
    It appears by his small light of discretion, that he is in the wane; but yet in courtesy, in all reason, we must stay the time.
    --- stay the time.
    Lysander.
    Proceed, Moon.
    --- Proceed, Moon.
    Moon.
    All that I have to say, is to tell you that the Lantern is the Moon; I the man in the Moon; this thorn-bush my thorn-bush; and this dog, my dog.
    --- dog, my dog.
    Demetrius.
    Why, all these should be in the Lantern, for they are in the Moon. But silence: here comes Thisbe.
    >>> here comes Thisbe.
    Enter Thisbe.
    --- here comes Thisbe.
    Thisbe.
    This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?
    --- is my love?
    Lion.
    Oh---. [Roar]
    >>> Oh---. [Roar]
    The Lion roars, Thisbe drops mantle and runs off.
    --- Oh---. [Roar]
    Demetrius.
    Well roared, Lion!
    --- Well roared, Lion!
    Theseus.
    Well run, Thisbe!
    --- Well run Thisbe.
    Hippolyta.
    Well shone, Moon! Truly the Moon shines with a good grace.
    >>> a good grace.
    The Lion worries the mantle and exits.
    --- a good grace.
    Theseus.
    Well moused, Lion!
    --- Wel moused Lion.
    Demetrius.
    And then came Pyramus -
    --- then came Pyramus.
    Lysander.
    And so the Lion vanished.
    >>> the Lion vanished.
    Enter Pyramus.
    --- the Lion vanished.
    Pyramus.
    Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
    I thank thee Moon, for shining now so bright;
    For by thy gracious, golden, glittering beams,
    I trust to taste of truest Thisbe's sight.
    But stay! O spite! But mark, poor Knight,
    What dreadful dole is here?
    Eyes do you see? How can it be?
    O dainty Duck! O Dear!
    Thy mantle good, what stained with blood!
    Approach you furies fell!
    O Fates! come, come! Cut thread and thrum:
    Quail, crush, conclude, and quell.
    --- conclude, and quell.
    Theseus.
    This passion, and the death of a dear friend,
    Would go near to make a man look sad.
    --- man look sad.
    Hippolyta.
    Beshrew my heart, but I pity the man.
    --- pity the man.
    Pyramus.
    O wherefore Nature, did'st thou Lions frame,
    Since lion vile hath here deflowered my dear?
    Which is - no, no, - which was the fairest Dame
    That lived, that loved, that liked, that looked with cheer.
    Come tears, confound! Out sword, and wound
    The pap of Pyramus:
    Ay, that left pap, where heart doth hop;
    Thus die I, thus, thus, thus!
    Now am I dead, now am I fled;
    My soul is in the sky,
    Tongue lose thy light; Moon take thy flight!
    Now die, die, die, die, die.
    --- die, die, die.
    Demetrius.
    No Die, but an ace for him; for he is but one.
    --- is but one.
    Lysander.
    Less than an ace, man; for he is dead, he is nothing.
    --- he is nothing.
    Theseus.
    With the help of a Surgeon he might yet recover, and prove an Ass.
    --- prove an Ass.
    Hippolyta.
    How chance Moonshine is gone before Thisbe comes back, and finds her Lover?
    >>> finds her Lover.
    Enter Thisbe..
    --- finds her Lover.
    Theseus.
    She will find him by starlight.
    Here she comes, and her passion ends the play.
    --- ends the play.
    Hippolyta.
    Methinks she should not use a long one for such a Pyramus; I hope she will be brief.
    --- will be brief.
    Demetrius.
    A Moth will turn the balance, which Pyramus, which Thisbe, is the better.
    --- is the better.
    Lysander.
    She hath spied him already, with those sweet eyes.
    --- those sweet eyes.
    Demetrius.
    And thus she means, videlicit -
    --- she means, videlicit -
    Thisbe.
    Asleep my Love? What, dead my Dove?
    O Pyramus arise!
    Speak, speak! Quite dumb? Dead, dead? A tomb
    Must cover thy sweet eyes.
    These Lily Lips, this cherry nose,
    These yellow Cowslip cheeks,
    Are gone, are gone! Lovers, make moan;
    His eyes were green as Leeks.
    O Sisters three, come, come to me,
    With hands as pale as Milk;
    Lay them in gore, since you have shore
    With sheers, his thread of silk.
    Tongue, not a word: Come, trusty sword,
    Come, blade, my breast imbrue!
    And farewell friends; thus Thisbe ends;
    Adieu, adieu, adieu!
    --- Adieu, adieu, adieu!
    Theseus.
    Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead.
    --- bury the dead.
    Demetrius.
    Ay, and Wall too.
    --- and Wall too.
    Bottom.
    No, I assure you; the wall is down that parted their Fathers. Will it please you to see the Epilogue, or to hear a Bergomask dance between two of our company?
    --- of our company?
    Theseus.
    No Epilogue, I pray you; for your play needs no excuse. Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be blamed. Marry, if he that writ it had played Pyramus, and hung himself in Thisbe's garter, it would have been a fine Tragedy - and so it is, truly, and very notably discharged. But come, your Burgomask; let your Epilogue alone.
    >>> your Epilogue alone.
    Enter Quince, Snug, Snout, and Starveling, two of whom dance a Bergomask. Then exeunt mechanicals.
    --- your Epilogue alone.
    Theseus.
    The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
    Lovers, to bed, 'tis almost Fairy time.
    I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn
    As much as we this night have overwatched.
    This palpable gross play hath well beguiled
    The heavy gait of night. Sweet friends, to bed.
    A fortnight hold we this solemnity.
    In nightly Revels and new jollity.
    >>> and new jollity.
    Exeunt.
    Enter Puck.
    --- and new jollity.
    Puck.
    Now the hungry Lion roars,
    And the Wolf beholds the Moon;
    Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
    All with weary task fordone.
    Now the wasted brands do glow,
    Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
    Puts the wretch that lies in woe
    In remembrance of a shroud.
    Now it is the time of night
    That the graves, all gaping wide,
    Every one lets forth his sprite
    In the Church-way paths to glide.
    And we Fairies, that do run
    By the triple Hecate's team
    From the presence of the Sun,
    Following darkeness like a dream,
    Now are frolic; not a Mouse
    Shall disturb this hallowed house.
    I am sent with broom before,
    To sweep the dust behind the door.
    >>> behind the door.
    Enter King and Queen of Fairies, with their train.
    --- behind the door.
    Oberon.
    Through the house give glimmering light
    By the dead and drowsy fire;
    Every Elf and Fairy sprite
    Hop as light as bird from brier;
    And this Ditty after me,
    Sing and dance it trippingly.
    --- dance it trippingly.
    Titania.
    First rehearse this song by rote,
    To each word a warbling note;
    Hand in hand, with Fairy grace,
    Will we sing, and bless this place.
    >>> bless this place.
    Oberon and Titania leading, the Fairies sing and dance
    --- bless this place.
    Oberon.
    Now, until the break of day,
    Through this house each Fairy stray.
    To the best Bridebed will we,
    Which by us shall blessed be;
    And the issue there create,
    Ever shall be fortunate.
    So shall all the couples three,
    Ever true in loving be;
    And the blots of Nature's hand,
    Shall not in their issue stand:
    Never mole, harelip, nor scar,
    Nor mark prodigious, such as are
    Despised in Nativity,
    Shall upon their children be.
    With this field dew consecrate,
    Every Fairy take his gait,
    And each several chamber bless
    Through this Palace with sweet peace;
    And the owner of it blest,
    Ever shall in safety rest.
    Trip away; make no stay;
    Meet me all by break of day.
    >>> break of day.
    Exeunt all, leaving Puck alone.
    --- bless this place.
    Puck.
    If we shadows have offended,
    Think but this, and all is mended,
    That you have but slumbered here
    While these Visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream,
    Gentles, do not reprehend.
    If you pardon, we will mend.
    And, as I am an honest Puck,
    If we have unearned luck
    Now to 'scape the Serpent's tongue,
    We will make amends ere long;
    Else the Puck a liar call.
    So good night unto you all.
    Give me your hands, if we be friends,
    And Robin shall restore amends.
    >>> shall restore amends.
    Exit Puck.
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