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SCENE I.-Athens. A room in the palace of
Theseus. Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philos. trate, and attendants.
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 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,2 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 inay 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 maid: To you your father should be as a god; One that compos'd your beautics ; yea, and one To whom you are but as a form in wax, By hin imprinted, and within his power To leave the figure, or disfigure it. Demetrius is a worthy gentleman. Her. So is Lysander.
(1) Shows. (2) Baubles.
In himself he is :
The. Either to die the death, or to abjure
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up 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, 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,
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 ; 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 prosecuie 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, Upon this spotted and inconstant man..
The. I must confess, that I have heard so much, And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; 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. For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself To fit your fancies to your father's will; Or else the law of Athens yield 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.
(Exeunt Thes. Hip. Ege. Dem. and train. Lys. How now, my love? Why is your check
so pale? How chance 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. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read,
Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall'd to low!
Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd, It stands as an edíct 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's3 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 ;
(1) Give, bestow. (2) Black. (3) Lovers.