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THESEUS, Duke of Athens.
EGEUS, Father to Hermia.
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia.
PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus.
QUINCE, the Carpenter.
SNUG, the Joiner.
BOTTOм, the Weaver.
FLUTE, the Bellows-mender.
SNOUT, the Tinker.
STARVELING, the Tailor.
HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus.
HERMIA, Daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander.
HELENA, in love with Demetrius.
Other Fairies attending their King and Queen. Attendants on
SCENE. Athens, and a Wood not far from it.
SCENE I. Athens. A Room in the Palace of Theseus.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE and
Theseus. 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,
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young man's revenue.
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.
Stir up the Athenian youths to merriments;
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals;
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key,
With 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 Hermia.-
Stand forth, Demetrius; -my noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.-
Stand forth, Lysander;-and, my gracious duke,
This hath bewitched the bosom of my child.
Thou, thou, Lysander thou hast given her rhymes,
And interchanged love tokens with my child;
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
And stolen the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats; messengers
Of strong prevailment in unhardened youth.
With cunning hast thou filched my daughter's heart;
Turned 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 advised, fair maid. To you your father should be as a god;
One that composed your beauties; yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power
To leave the figure, or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
Her. So is Lysander.
But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
The other must be held the worthier.
Her. I would my father looked but with my eyes.
The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.
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,
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.
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;