List iconA Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Act 4, scene 1
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Act 4, scene 1


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Scene 1
With the four lovers still asleep onstage, enter
Titania, Queen of Fairies, and Bottom and Fairies,
and Oberon, the King, behind them unseen by those

 Come, sit thee down upon this flow’ry bed,
  While I thy amiable cheeks do coy,
 And stick muskroses in thy sleek smooth head,
  And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
BOTTOM 5Where’s Peaseblossom?
BOTTOM Scratch my head, Peaseblossom. Where’s
 Monsieur Cobweb?
BOTTOM 10Monsieur Cobweb, good monsieur, get you
 your weapons in your hand and kill me a red-hipped
 humble-bee on the top of a thistle, and, good
 monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret
 yourself too much in the action, monsieur, and,
15 good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break
 not; I would be loath to have you overflown with a
  honey-bag, signior. Cobweb exits. Where’s Monsieur

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ACT 4. SC. 1

BOTTOM 20Give me your neaf, Monsieur Mustardseed.
 Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.
MUSTARDSEED What’s your will?
BOTTOM Nothing, good monsieur, but to help Cavalery
 Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber’s,
25 monsieur, for methinks I am marvels hairy about
 the face. And I am such a tender ass, if my hair do
 but tickle me, I must scratch.
 What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?
BOTTOM I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let’s
30 have the tongs and the bones.
 Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.
BOTTOM Truly, a peck of provender. I could munch
 your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire
 to a bottle of hay. Good hay, sweet hay, hath no
35 fellow.
 I have a venturous fairy that shall seek
 The squirrel’s hoard and fetch thee new nuts.
BOTTOM I had rather have a handful or two of dried
 peas. But, I pray you, let none of your people stir
40 me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.
 Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.—
 Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.
Fairies exit.
 So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
 Gently entwist; the female ivy so
45 Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
 O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!
Bottom and Titania sleep.

Enter Robin Goodfellow.

 Welcome, good Robin. Seest thou this sweet sight?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
 For, meeting her of late behind the wood,
50 Seeking sweet favors for this hateful fool,
 I did upbraid her and fall out with her.
 For she his hairy temples then had rounded
 With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
 And that same dew, which sometime on the buds
55 Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls,
 Stood now within the pretty flouriets’ eyes,
 Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
 When I had at my pleasure taunted her,
 And she in mild terms begged my patience,
60 I then did ask of her her changeling child,
 Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
 To bear him to my bower in Fairyland.
 And now I have the boy, I will undo
 This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
65 And, gentle Puck, take this transformèd scalp
 From off the head of this Athenian swain,
 That he, awaking when the other do,
 May all to Athens back again repair
 And think no more of this night’s accidents
70 But as the fierce vexation of a dream.
 But first I will release the Fairy Queen.
He applies the nectar to her eyes.
 Be as thou wast wont to be.
 See as thou wast wont to see.
 Dian’s bud o’er Cupid’s flower
75 Hath such force and blessèd power.

 Now, my Titania, wake you, my sweet queen.
TITANIA, waking 
 My Oberon, what visions have I seen!
 Methought I was enamored of an ass.
 There lies your love.
TITANIA 80 How came these things to pass?
 O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

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ACT 4. SC. 1

 Silence awhile.—Robin, take off this head.—
 Titania, music call; and strike more dead
 Than common sleep of all these five the sense.
85 Music, ho, music such as charmeth sleep!
ROBIN, removing the ass-head from Bottom 
 Now, when thou wak’st, with thine own fool’s eyes
 Sound music.Music.
 Come, my queen, take hands with me,
90 And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.
Titania and Oberon dance.
 Now thou and I are new in amity,
 And will tomorrow midnight solemnly
 Dance in Duke Theseus’ house triumphantly,
 And bless it to all fair prosperity.
95 There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
 Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.
 Fairy king, attend and mark.
 I do hear the morning lark.

 Then, my queen, in silence sad
100 Trip we after night’s shade.
 We the globe can compass soon,
 Swifter than the wand’ring moon.

 Come, my lord, and in our flight
 Tell me how it came this night
105 That I sleeping here was found
 With these mortals on the ground.

Oberon, Robin, and Titania exit.

Wind horn. Enter Theseus and all his train,
Hippolyta, Egeus.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Go, one of you, find out the Forester.
 For now our observation is performed,
 And, since we have the vaward of the day,
110 My love shall hear the music of my hounds.
 Uncouple in the western valley; let them go.
 Dispatch, I say, and find the Forester.
A Servant exits.
 We will, fair queen, up to the mountain’s top
 And mark the musical confusion
115 Of hounds and echo in conjunction.
 I was with Hercules and Cadmus once,
 When in a wood of Crete they bayed the bear
 With hounds of Sparta. Never did I hear
 Such gallant chiding, for, besides the groves,
120 The skies, the fountains, every region near
 Seemed all one mutual cry. I never heard
 So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.
 My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
 So flewed, so sanded; and their heads are hung
125 With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
 Crook-kneed, and dewlapped like Thessalian bulls;
 Slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bells,
 Each under each. A cry more tunable
 Was never holloed to, nor cheered with horn,
130 In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.
 Judge when you hear.—But soft! What nymphs are
 My lord, this is my daughter here asleep,
 And this Lysander; this Demetrius is,
135 This Helena, old Nedar’s Helena.
 I wonder of their being here together.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ACT 4. SC. 1

 No doubt they rose up early to observe
 The rite of May, and hearing our intent,
 Came here in grace of our solemnity.
140 But speak, Egeus. Is not this the day
 That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
EGEUS It is, my lord.
 Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.
A Servant exits.
Shout within. Wind horns. They all start up.
 Good morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past.
145 Begin these woodbirds but to couple now?
Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, and Lysander kneel.
 Pardon, my lord.
THESEUS  I pray you all, stand up.
They rise.
 I know you two are rival enemies.
 How comes this gentle concord in the world,
150 That hatred is so far from jealousy
 To sleep by hate and fear no enmity?
 My lord, I shall reply amazèdly,
 Half sleep, half waking. But as yet, I swear,
 I cannot truly say how I came here.
155 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,
 Without the peril of the Athenian law—
160 Enough, enough!—My lord, you have enough.
 I beg the law, the law upon his head.
 They would have stol’n away.—They would,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Thereby to have defeated you and me:
165 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 followed them,
170 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 gaud
175 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 betrothed ere I saw Hermia.
180 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 forevermore be true to it.
 Fair lovers, you are fortunately met.
185 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,
190 Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.
 Away with us to Athens. Three and three,
 We’ll hold a feast in great solemnity.
 Come, Hippolyta.
Theseus and his train,
including Hippolyta and Egeus, exit.

 These things seem small and undistinguishable,
195 Like far-off mountains turnèd into clouds.

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ACT 4. SC. 1

 Methinks I see these things with parted eye,
 When everything seems double.
HELENA  So methinks.
 And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
200 Mine own and not mine own.
DEMETRIUS  Are you sure
 That we are awake? It seems to me
 That yet we sleep, we dream. Do not you think
 The Duke was here and bid us follow him?
205 Yea, and my father.
HELENA  And Hippolyta.
 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.
Lovers exit.
BOTTOM, waking up 210 When my cue comes, call me,
 and I will answer. My next is “Most fair Pyramus.”
 Hey-ho! Peter Quince! Flute the bellows-mender!
 Snout the tinker! Starveling! God’s my life! Stolen
 hence and left me asleep! I have had a most rare
215 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
220 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
225 dream. It shall be called “Bottom’s Dream” because
 it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ACT 4. SC. 2

 latter end of a play, before the Duke. Peradventure,
 to make it the more gracious, I shall sing it at her
He exits.