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Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
pomp, with triumph', and with revelling. Enter Egeus, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke ! The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news
with thee? Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter HermiaStand forth, Demetrius; — My noble lord, This man hath my consent to marry her: Stand forth, Lysander ;-and, my gracious duke, This hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child: Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, And interchang'd love-tokens with my child : Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung, With feigning voice, verses of feigning love: And stol'n the impression of her fantasy With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits, Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweet-meats; messengers Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth: With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's
heart; 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, 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, Immediately provided in that case.
The. What say you, Hermia ? be advis'd, fair
Her. So is Lysander.
In himself he is:
Her. I would my father look'd but with my eyes.
know The worst that may befal me in this case, If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
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, Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice, You can endure the livery of a nun; For aye3 to be in shady cloister mew'd, To live a barren sister all 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 distillid,
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
moon, (The sealing-day betwixt my
love and me, 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 : 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.
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; 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; 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: Why should not I then prosecute my right? Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head, Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
The. I must confess, that I have heard so much,
go I have some private schooling for you both. 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) 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 Against our nuptial ; and confer with you Of something nearly that concerns yourselves. Ege. With duty and desire
we follow you. [Exeunt Thes. Hip. EGE. Dem. and train. Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek
so pale ? How chance the roses there do fade so fast ? Her. Belike, for want of rain; which I could
well Beteem 5 them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read,
Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall’d to low!
5 Give, bestow.
Her. O hell ! to choose love by another's eye! Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it; Making it momentany 6 as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream; Brief as the lightning in the collied 7 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 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, Because it is a customary cross; As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's 8 followers. Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me,
Hermia: 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. 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, Where I did meet thee once with Helena, To do observance to a morn of May, There will I stay for thee. Her.
My good Lysander! I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow; By his best arrow with the golden head; By the simplicity of Venus' doves;