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Edited by
Wilbur L. Cross Tucker Brooke


Published under the Direction

or THE

Department of English, Yale University,

ON the Fund

Given to the Yale University Press in 1917

BY THE Members of the

Kingsley Trust Association

To Commemorate the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary

OF THE Founding of the Society

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■: The Yale Shakespeare







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Copyright, 1918
By Yalb University Press

First published. September. 1918

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The Text

• •••••




Appendix A.

Sources of the Play


Appendix B.

The History of the Play


Appendix C.

The Text of the Present Edi-

tion ....


Appendix D.

Suggestions for Collateral



Index of Words Glossed


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The facsimils opposite represents the unusually handsome
title-page of the genuine edition of 1600. The photograph is
made from the Elizabethan Club copy, which was formerly in
the Heber, Daniel, and Huth libraries. Seven other copies of
this edition are known.

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A .

Midfommer nights


Asithath beenefundry times pub-
iicJ^Ij oBed, bythe%ight konoura^
ble, the Lord Chamberlauie his

Written By WiUumShaki^eare*

^Impiimed at London, ^Tbtiiuu Fifbtry and are to
bcfouliteacbu(hoppe,ati}ie SigneoftheVAtuccHan,
in Ftcttefirtete. 1 < o o.

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Theseus^ Duke of Athens
EoEus, Father to Hermia

^ ' \ in love with Hermia

Demetrius^ J

Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus

Quince^ a Carpenter

Snug, a Joiner

Bottom^ a Weaver

Flute^ a Bellows-mender

Snout, a Tinker

Starveling, a Tailor

HippoLTTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to


Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander

Helena, in love with Demetrius

Oberon, King of the Fairies

TiTANiA, Queen of the Fairies

Puck, or Robin Goodfellow





Other Fairies attending their King and Qaeen
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta

Scene: Athens, and a Wood near tf.]


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^ MidsuniUerj^ighfs Dream


[Athens. The Palace of Theseus']

Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, with [Philostrate and]

The, Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace: four happy days bring in
Another moon; but O! methinks how slow ,\^

This old moon wanes; she lingers my desires, 4 ^

Like to a step-dame, or a dowager
Long withering out a young man's revenue.

Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in
Four nights will quickly dream away the time; 8

And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

The. Go, Philostrate,

Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments ; 12

Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth ;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals ;
The pale companion is not for our pomp.

[Exit Philostrate.]
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, 16

And won thy love doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.

4 lingers: lelays fulfillment of S, 6 Cf. n. 13 pert: lively

15 pomp: eremonial processton 19 triumph: festive entertainment


^ '-9 "^


JUL -81313 4176S4

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A Midsummer

Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, Lysander,
and Demetrius.

Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!

The. Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with

Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord, 24

This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander: and, my gracious duke,
This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child:
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rimes.
And interchanged love-tokens with my child; 29

Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung.
With feigning voice, verses of feigning love ;
And stoFn the impression of her fantasy 32

With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits.
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth;
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's
heart ; 36

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me.
To stubborn harshness. And, my gracious duke.
Be. it so she will not here before your Grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius, 40

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
As she is mine, I may dispose of her ;
Which shall be either to this gentleman^ ^
Or to her death, according to our law 44

Immediately provided in that case.

The. What say you, Hermia } be advis'd, fair maid.
To you your father should be as a god;

31 feigning; cf. n. 32 fantasy: inmgination; cf. «,

33 g^.^^s'. gewgaws conceits: fancy articles

34 KnsLcks : kntckknacks 45 Immcdisittly: expressly


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Nighfs Dreamy I. i

One that compos'd your beauties, yea, and one

To whom you are but as a form in wax 49

By him imprinted, and within his power

To leave the figure or disfigure it.

Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. 62

Her. So is Lysander.

The. In himself he is ;

But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice.
The other must be held the worthier.

Her. I would my father look'd but with my
eyes. 66

The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment

Her. I do entreat your Grace to pardon me.
I know not by what power I am made bold, ^^^
Nor how it may concern my modesty 60

In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;
But I beseech your Grace that I may know
The worst that may befall me in this case.
If I refuse to wed Demetrius. 64

The. Either to die the death, or to abjure
For ever the society of men.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
Know of your youth, examine well your blood, 68

Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice.
You can endure the livery of a nun.
For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd.
To live a barren sister all your life, 72

Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood.
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd.


51 disfigrure: destroy 54 kind: respect, i.e., as husband

60 conceTn: befit 71 mew* d: shut up

75 pilgrimage: the journey of life 76 distill'd: reduced to essence

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A Midsummer

Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows^ lives^ and dies^ in single blessedness.

Her, So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord.
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up 80

Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.

The, Take time to pause; and, by the next new
moon, —
The sealing-day betwixt my love and me 84

For everlasting bond of fellowship, —
Upon that day either prepare to die
For disobedience to your father's will,
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would; 88

Or on Diana's altar to protest
For aye austerity and single life.

Dem, Relent, sweet Hermia; and Lysander, yield
Thy crazed title to my certain right. 92

Lys, You have her father's love, Demetrius ;
Let me have Hermia's : do you marry him.

Ege, Scornful Lysander ! true, he hath my love.
And what is mine my love shall render him; 96

And she is mine, and all my right of her
I do estate unto Demetrius.

Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he.
As well possess'd; my love is more than his; . lOO
My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,*
If not with vantage, as Demetrius' ;
And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia. io4

Why should not I then prosecute my right?
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head.
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,

80 virgin patent: privilege of virginity

89 protest: vow 92 crazed: unsouni

98 estate unto: bestow upon 100 possess'd: endowed

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Nighfs Dream, I.

And won her soul ; and she, sweet lady, dotes.
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry, 109

Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

The. I must confess that I have heard so much.
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke there-
of; 112
But^ being over-full of self-affairs.
My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
And come, Egeus ; you shall go with me,
I have some private schooling for you both. lie
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
To fit your fancies to your father's will.
Or else the law of Athens yields you up.
Which by no means we may extenuate, 120
To death, or to a vow of single life.
Come, my Hippolyta: what cheer, my love?
Demetrius and Egeus, go along:
I must employ you in some business 124
Against our nuptial, and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.

Ege, With duty and desire we follow you.

Exeunt. Manet Lysander and Hermia.

Lys. How now, my love! Why is your cheek so
pale? 128

How chanTie the roses there do fade so fast?

Her. Belike for want of rain, which I could well
Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes.

Lys. Ay me ! for aught that ever I could read, 182
Could ever hear by tale or history.
The course of true love never did run smooth ;
But, either it was different in blood, —

113 sclf-afFairs: my own concerns 125 Against: in preparation for

126 nearly that: that closely

127 S. d. Manet: (t.e., manent) remain 131 Beteem: grant

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A Midsummer

Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall'd to low. 136
Lys. Or else misgraffed in respect of years, —
Her, O spite! too old to be engag'd to young.
Lys, Or else it stood upon the choice of friends, —
Her. O hell ! to choose love by another's eye. 140
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice.
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it.
Making it momentany as a sound.
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, 144

Brief as the lightning in the coUied night.
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth.
And ere a man hath power to say, 'Behold!'
The jaws of darkness do devour it up: 148

So quick bright things come to confusion.

Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd.
It stands as an edict in destiny:

Then let us teach our trial patience, 162

Because it is a customary cross.
As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs.
Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers.

Lys. A good persuasion: therefore, hear me,
Hermia. 156

I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ;
And she respects me as her only son. 160

There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. If thou lov'st me then.
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night,
And in the wood, a league without the town, 165

Where I did meet thee once with Helena,

137 mis^T^Q^^'. hadly matched 143 momentany: m^^m^w^ar^r

145 collied: blackened 146 spleen: sudden -fit of passion

149 confusion: ruin 150 ever: always

155 i&ncy's: love's 160 respects: looks upon

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Nighfs Dream, I. i -2W

To do observance to a morn of May, '

There will I stay for thee.

Her, My good Lysander! 168

I s"wear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head.
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
And by that fire which bum'd the Carthage

queen, 173

When the false Troyan under sail was seen.
By all the vows that ever men have broke, —
In number more than ever women spoke, — 176

In that same place thou hast appointed me.
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.

Lys. Keep promise, love. Look, here comes


Enter Helena,

Her. God speed fair Helena ! Whither away ? 180
Hel, Call you me fair.^ that fair again unsay.
Demetrius loves your fair: O happy fair!
Your eyes are lode-stars ! and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, 184

When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching: O! were favour so.
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go ;
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye.
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet
melody. 189

Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated.
The rest I'll give to be to you translated.
O ! teach me how you look, and with what art

173 Carthage queen: Dirfo 174 Troyan: ^neas

1S2 isLit: beauty 183 lode-stsirs: guiding-stars

184 tuneable: tuneful 186 favour: charm

190 bated: excepted 191 translated: transformed

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8 A Midsummer

You sway the motion of Demetrius* heart. 198

Her, I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.

Hel. O! that your frowns would teach my smiles
such skill.

Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.

HeL O! that my prayers could such affection
move. 197

Her, The more I hate, the more he follows me.

Hel, The more I love, the more he hateth me.

Her, His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.

Hel, None, but your beauty: would that fault were
mine ! 201

Her. Take comfort: he no more shall see my face;
Lysander and miyself will fly this place.
Before the time I did Lysander see, 204

Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me :
O ! then, what graces in my love do dwell.
That he hath tum'd a heaven unto a hell.

Lys, Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold 209

Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass.
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass, —
A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal, —
-Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal.

Her, And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie.
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet, 216

There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes.
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us;
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius ! 221

206, 207 Cf. n. 209 Phoebe: the moon

212 still: always 215 faint: pale (f), faintly perfumed (/)

216 coyxnsftli inmost thought

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Night's Dream, I.

Keep word, hysanderfwe must starve our sight >uf
From lovers* food till morrow deep midnight.

Exit Hermia.

Lys, I will, my Hermia. — Helena, adieu: 224

As you on him, Demetrius dote on you !

Exit Lyiander.

Hel. How happy some o'er other some can be !
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she;
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so; 228

He will not know what all but he do know ;
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.

Things base and vile, holding no quantity, 282

.Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, V
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste: 237

And therefore is Love said to be a child.
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear.
So the boy Love is perjur'd everywhere; 241

For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne.
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt.
So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight: 246

Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain, Y 250

To have his sight thither and back again. ^ Exit

232, 233 Cf. n. 240 game: jest 242 eyne: eyes

248 intelligence: information 249 dear expense; cf. n.

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10 A Midsummer

Scene Two
[A Room in Quince's House']

Enter Quince the Carpenter, Snug the Joiner, Bottom
the Weaver, Flute the Bellows-mender, Snout the
Tinker, and Starveling the Tailor.

Quin. Is all our company here?

Bot. You were best to call them generally,
man by man, according to the scrip. 3

Quin, Here is the scroll of every man's name,
which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play
in our interlude before the duke and the duchess
on his wedding-day at night. 7

Bot, First, good Peter Quince, say what the
play treats on; then read the names of the
actors, and so grow to a point. 10

Quin. Marry, our play is. The most lament-
able comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus
and Thisby. 13

Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you,
and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call
forth your actors by the scroll. Masters, spread
yourselves. 17

Quin. Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom,
the weaver.

Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and
proceed. 21

Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for

Bot. What is Pyramus.^ a lover, or a tyrant.^

Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gal-
lantly for love. 26

2 generally; cf. n. 3 scrip: written paper

1 1 Marry : an oath from the name of the Virgin Mary

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Night's Dream J I. ii 1 1

Bot, That will ask some tears in the true per-
forming of it: if I do it, let the audience look to
their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole
in some measure. To the rest: yet my chief
humour is for a tyrant. I could play Erdes
rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all
split. 88

*The raging rocks
And shivering shocks
Shall break the locks 86

Of prison gates:
And Phibbus' car
Shall shine from far
And make and mar 40

The foolish Fates.'
This was lofty! Now name the rest of the
players. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a
lover is more condoling. 44

Quill. Francis Flute, the bellows-mender.
Flu. Here, Peter Quince.
Quin. You must take Thisby on you.
Flu. What is Thisby } a wandering knight }
Quin. It is the lady that Pyramus must love.
Flu. Nay, faith, let not me play a woman; I
have a beard coming. 51

Quin. That's all one: you shall play it in a
mask, and you may speak as small as you Will.
Bot. An I may hide my face, let me play
Thisby too. I'll speak in a monstrous little
voice, 'Thisne, Thisne!' *Ah, Pyramus, my lover
dear ; thy Thisby dear, and lady dear !* 67

31 Ercles: Hercules 32 tear a cat: rant

38 Phibbus* : Phcebus*, the sun-god's

54 An: if 56 Thisne; cf. n.

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12 A Midsummer

Quin. No, no; you must play Pyramus; and
Flute, you Thisby.

Bot. Well, proceed. 60

Quin. Robin Starveling, the tailor.

Star. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. Robin Starveling, you must play This-
by's mother. Tom Snout, the tinker. 64

Snout. Here, Peter Quince.

Quin. You, Pyramus's father; myself, This-
by's father ; Snug, the j oiner, you the lion's part :
and, I hope, here is a play fitted. 68

Snug. Have you the lion's part written.^ pray
you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study.

Quin. You may do it extempore, for it is no-
thing but roaring. 72

Bot. Let me play the lion too. I will roar,
that I will do any man's heart good to hear me;
I will roar, that I will make the duke say, 'Let
him roar again, let him roar again.' 76

Quin. An you should do it too terribly, you
would fright the duchess and the ladies, that
they would shriek; and that were enough to
hang us all. 80

All. That would hang us, every mother's son.

Bot. I grant you, friends, if that you should
fright the ladies out of their wits, they would
have no more discretion but to hang us; but I
will aggravate my voice so that I will roar you
as gently as any sucking dove; I will roar you
an 'twere any nightingale. 87

Quin. You can play no part but Pyramus;
for Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper
man, as one shall see in a summer's day; a

87 an 'twere: as if it were 89 proper: fine, handsome

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Nigh f 8 Dream J I. ii 1 8

most lovely, gentleman-like man; therefore, you
must needs play Pyramus. 92

Bot. Well, I will undertake it. What beard
were I best to play it in?

Quin, Why, what you will. 95

Bot. I will discharge it in either your straw-
colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your
purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown
colour beard, your perfect yellow. 99

Quin. ^ome of your French crowns have no
hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced.
But masters, here are your parts; and I am to
entreat you, request you, and desire you, to con
them by to-morrow night, and meet me in the 105
palace wood, a mile without the town, by moon-
light: there will we rehearse; for if we meet in
the city, we shall be dogged with company, and
our devices known. In the meantime I will draw
a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I
pray you, fail me not. llO

Bot. We will meet; and there we may re-
hearse more obscenely and courageously. Take
pains; be perfect; adieu.

Quin. At the duke's oak we meet.

Bot. Enough; hold, or cut bow-strings. 115


96 discharge : perform

9S purple-in-grain: fast-dyed purple French-crown colour: color of

a gold coin 104 con: learn by heart

109 bill:/«* lis Cf.n.

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14 ^ Midsummer


Scene One

[^4 J^oorf near Athens']

Enter a Fairy at one door, and Robin Goodfellow at

Puck. How now, spirit! whither wander you?
Fai, Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough brier.
Over park, over pale, 4

Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen, 8

To dew her orbs upon the green :
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;

1 3 4 5 6 7

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