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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library - Digital Library-A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Dispatch, I say, and find the forester.
We will, fair Queen, up to the mountain’s top, And mark the musical confusion Of
hounds and echo in conjunction.

HIPPOLYTA I was with Hercules and Cadmus once When in a wood of Crete they
bay’d the bear With hounds of Sparta; never did I hear Such gallant chiding, for,
besides the groves, The skies, the fountains, every region near Seem’d all one mutual
cry. I never heard So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

THESEUS My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind, So flew’d, so sanded; and their
heads are hung With ears that sweep away the morning dew; Crook-knee’d and dew-
lapp’d like Thessalian bulls; Slow in pursuit, but match’d in mouth like bells, Each
under each. A cry more tuneable Was never holla’d to, nor cheer’d with horn, In Crete,
in Sparta, nor in Thessaly.

Judge when you hear. But, soft, what nymphs are these? EGEUS My lord, this is my
daughter here asleep, And this Lysander, this Demetrius is, This Helena, old Nedar’s

I wonder of their being here together.

THESEUS No doubt they rose up early to observe The rite of May; and, hearing our
intent, Came here in grace of our solemnity.

But speak, Egeus; is not this the day That Hermia should give answer of her choice?
EGEUS It is, my lord.

THESEUS Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.
[Horns and shout within. The sleepers awake and kneel to THESEUS]
Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past; Begin these wood-birds but to couple
now? LYSANDER Pardon, my lord.

THESEUS I pray you all, stand up.

I know you two are rival enemies; How comes this gentle concord in the world That
hatred is so far from jealousy To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity? LYSANDER My
lord, I shall reply amazedly, Half sleep, half waking; but as yet, I swear, I cannot truly
say how I came here, But, as I think-for truly would I speak, And now I do bethink me,
so it isI came with Hermia hither. Our intent Was to be gone from Athens, where we
might, Without the peril of the Athenian lawEGEUS Enough, enough, my Lord; you
have enough; I beg the law, the law upon his head.

They would have stol’n away, they would, Demetrius, Thereby to have defeated you
and me:

You of your wife, and me of my consent, Of my consent that she should be your wife.

DEMETRIUS My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth, Of this their purpose hither to
this wood; And I in fury hither followed them, Fair Helena in fancy following me.
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