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THESEUS, Duke of Athens.
EGEUS, an Athenian Lord.
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia.
DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia.
QUINCE, the Carpenter.

SNUG, the Joiner.

BOTTOM, the Weaver.

FLUTE, the Bellows-mender.

SNOWT, the Tinker.

STARVELING, the Taylor.

PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus. HIPPOLITA, Princess of the Amazons, betrothed to Thefeus, HERMIA, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lyfander. HELENA, in love with Demetrius.

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OBERON, King of the Fairies.
TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies.

Puck, or ROBIN-GOODFELLOW, a Fairy.




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Other Fairies attending on the King and Queen.

SCENE Athens, and a Wood not far from it.







Enter Thefeus, Hippolita, Philoftrate, with attendants,
TOW, fair Hippolita, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon: but oh, methinks, how flow


This old moon wanes! fhe lingers my defires
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 filver bow

New bent in heaven, fhall behold the night
Of our folemnities,

The. Go, Philoftrate,

Stir up th' Athenian youth to merriments,
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth ;
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
Hippolita, I woo'd thee with my fword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries:
But I will wed thee in another key,

[Exit Phil,

With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.
Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lyfander, and Demetrius,
Ege. Happy be Thefeus, our renowned Duke!

The. Thanks, good Egens; 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 confent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lylander. And, my gracious Duke,
This hath bewitch'd the bofom of my child:
Thou, thou, Lyfander, thou haft giv'n her rhymes,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child :
Thou haft by moon-light at her window fung,
With feigning voice, verfes of feigned love,
And ftol'n th' impreffion of her fantafie

With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nofegays, fweet-meats, (meffengers
Of ftrong prevailment in unharden'd youth)
With cunning haft thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harfhnefs. And, my gracious Duke,
Be't fo the will not here before your Grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
As fhe is mine, I may difpofe of her:
Which fhall be either to this gentleman,
Or to her death, according to our law,
Immediately provided in that cafe.

The. What fay you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair maid, To you your father should be as a God;

One that compos'd 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 Lyfander.

The. In himfelf 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.

The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment look.
Her. I do intreat your Grace to pardon me:

I know not by what pow'r I am made bold,
Ner how it may concern my modesty

In fuch a prefence here to plead my thoughts:
But I beseech your Grace, that I may 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 fociety of men.

Therefore, fair Hermia, queftion your defires,
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether, not yielding to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun;
For aye to be in fhady cloifter mew'd,
To live a barren fifter all your life,

Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice bleffed they that mafter so their blood,
To undergo fuch maiden pilgrimage!
But earthlier happy is the rofe diftill'd,

Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in fingle bleffedness..

Her. So will I grow, fo live, fo die, my Lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

Unto his lordship, to whofe unwith'd yoke

My foul confents not to give Sov'reignty.

The. Take time to paufe, and by the next new moon, (The fealing day betwixt my love and me,

For everlasting bond of fellowship)

Upon that day either prepare to die,
For difobedience to your father's will;
Or elfe to wed Demetrius, as he would;
Or on Diana's altar to proteft

For aye aufterity and fingle life.

Dem. Relent, fweet Hermia, and, Lyfander, yield

Thy crazed title to my certain right.

Lyf. You have her father's love, Demetrius

Let me have Hermia's; do you marry him.
Ege. Scornful Lyfander! true, he hath my love;
And what is mine, my love fhall render him.
And fhe is mine, and all my right of her
I do eftate upon Demetrius.

Lyf. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,
As well poffeft my love is more than his ¡


My fortune's ev'ry 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 profecute my right?
Demetrius (I'll avouch it to his head)
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
And won her foul; and the, fweet lady, doats,
Devoutly doats, doats in idolatry,

Upon this spotted and inconftant man.

The. I must confess that I have heard fo much,
And with Demetrius thought t' have spoke thereof 3
But being over-full of felf-affairs,

My mind did lofe it. But, Demetrius, come,
And come, Egeus; you fhall go with me;
I have fome private schooling for you both.
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
To fit your fancies to your father's will;
Or elfe the law of Athens yields you up
(Which by no means we may extenuate)
To death, or to a vow of fingle life.
Come, my Hippolita; what cheer, my love?
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along;

I must employ you in fome business
Against our nuptials, and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns your selves.
Ege. With duty and defire we follow you.


SCENE II. Manent Lyfander and Hermia. Lyf. How now, my love, why is your cheek fo pale?

How chance the rofes there do fade fo faft?

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

Lyf. Hermia, for ought that ever I could read,

Could ever hear by tale or hiftory,

The courfe of true love never did run fmooth,
But either it was different in blood

Her. O crofs! too high, to be enthrall'd to love!
Lyf. Or elfe mifgraffed, in refpect of years.
Her. O fpight! too old, to be engag'd to young!
Fyf. Or else it flood upon the choice of friends


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