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Midsommer Nights Dreame.

Enter Theseus, Hippolita, with others.



COW faire Hippolita, our nuptiall houre

Drawes on apace : foure happy daies bring in
Another moone : but oh, me-thinks, how Now

This old moone wanes : fe lingers my defires
Like to a step-dam, or a dowager,
Long withering out a young mans reuenew.

Hip. Foure daies will quickly steepe themselues in nights
Foure daies will quickly dreame away the time:
And then the moone, like to a siluer bow,
Now bent in hauen, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

The. Goe Philoftrate,
Stirre vp the Athenian youth to merriments,
Awake the peart and nimble spirit of mirth,
Turne melancholy foorth to funerals :
The pale companion is not for our pompe.
Hippolita, I woo'd thee with my sword,
And wonne thy loue, doing thee iniuries :
But I will wed thee in another key,
With pompe, with triumph, and with reuelling.

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Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, and Lysander,

Helena, and Demetrius.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke.
The. Thanks good Egeus. What's the newes with thee?
Ege. Fuli of vexation, come I, with complaint
Against my childe, my daughter Hermia.

Stand foorth Demetrius.
My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.

Stand foorth Lysander.
And my gracious duke,
This man hath bewitcht the bosome of


childe :
Thou, thou Lysander, thou hast giuen her rirnes,
And interchang'd loue tokens with my childe:
Thou hast by moone-light at her window fung,
With faining voice, verses of faining loue,
And stolne the impression of her fantasie,
With bracelets of thy haire, rings, gawdes, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegaies, sweet meates (messengers
Of strong preuailement in vnhardened youth)
With cunning hast thou filcht my daughters heart,
Turnd her obedience (which is due to me)
To stubborne harshneffe. And my gracious duke,
Be it so the will not here before your grace,
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient priuiledge 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,
Immediatly prouided in that cafe.

The. What say you Hermia? be aduis'd, faire maid,
To you your father shoud be as a God :
One that compos'd your beauties; yea and one,
To whom you are but as a forme in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power,


To leaue the figure, or disfigure it :
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

Her. So is Lysander.

The. In himselfe he is.
But in this kinde, wanting your fathers voyce,
The other must be held the worthier,

Her. I would my father lookt but with my eyes.
The. Rather your eyes must with his íudgement looke,

Her. I do intreate your grace to pardon me.
I know not by what power I am made bold,
Nor how it may concerne 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 abiure
For euer the society of men.
Therefore faire Hermia, question your desires,
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether (if you yeeld not to your fathers choyce)
You can endure the livery.of a nunne,
For aye to be in shady cloister mew’d.
To liue a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymnes to the colde fruitlesse moone..
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood,
To vndergo such maiden pilgrimage,
But earthlier happy is the rose distild,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorne,
Growes, liues, and dies, in single blessednesse.

Her. So will I grow, fo liue, fo dye my lord,
Ere I will yeeld my virgin patent vp.
Vnto his lordship, whose vnwished yoake
My foule consents not to giue fouerainty.

The. Take time to pause, and by the next new moone, The sealing day betwixt my loue and me,

For everlasting bond of fellowship:
Vpon that day either prepare to dye,
For disobedience to your fathers will, .
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he wold,
Or on Dianaes altar to proteft,
For aye, austerity, and fingle life.

Dem. Relent sweete Hermia, and Lysander, ġeeld
Thy crazed title to my certaine right.

Lyf. You haue her fathers loue, Demetrius:
Let me haue Hermias : do you marry him.

Egeus. Scornfull Lyfander, true, he hath my loue;
And what is mine, my loue shall render him.
And she is mine, and all my right of her
I do estate vnto Demetrius.

Lyf. I am my lord, as well deriu'd as hee,
As well posseft : my loue is more than his :
My fortunes euery way as fairely ranckt
(If not with vantage) as Demetrius :
And (which is more than all these boasts can be)
I am belou'd of beautious Hermia.
Why should not I then profecute my right?
Demetrius, le auouch it to his head,
Made loue to Nedars daughter, Helena,
And won her soule : and the (sweete lady) dotes,
Deuoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
Vpon this spotted and inconftant man.

The. I must confesse, that I haue heard so much,
And with Demetrius, thought to have spoke thereof;
But being ouer full of selfe-affaires,
My minde did * lose it. But Demetrius come,
And come Egeus, you shall go with me,
I haue fome priuate schooling for you both.
For you faire Hermia, looke you are your felfe,

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To fit your fancies to your fathers will ;
Or else the law of Athens yeelds you vp
(Which by no meanes we may extenuate)
To death, or to a vow of fingle life.
Come my Hippolita ; what cheare my loue ?
Demetrius and Egeus goe along :
I must imploy you in fome businesse
Against our nuptiall, and conferre with you
Of something, neerely that concernes your felúes.

cili ka Ege. With duty and desire, we follow you. Exeunt.

Lyf. How now my loue ? Why is your checke so pale? How chance the rofes there do fade lo falt ?

Her. Belike for want of raine ; which I could well
Beteeme them, from the tempest of my eyes.

Lyf. Eigh me; for ought that I could euer reade,
Could euer heare by tale or history,
The course of true loue neuer did runne smoothe,
But either it was different in bloud;

Her. O crosse! too high to be inthrald to loue. }
Lyf. Or else misgraffed, in respect of yeares ;
Her. O spight! too olde, to be ingaged to yong.
Lyf. Or else it stood vpon the choise of friends ;
Her. O hell, to choose loue by anothers eyes.

will Lyf. Or, if there were a simpathy in choise, Warre, death, or ficknesse, did lay siedge to it;

;. Making it momentany, as a found;

"T) Swift as a shadow; fhort as any dreame; Briefe as the lightening in the collied night,

TO That (in a spleene) vnfolds both heauen and earths And ere a man hath power to say, behold, The iawes of darknesse do deuoure it vp: So quicke bright things come to confufion.

Her. If then true louers haue bin ever crost, It stands as an edict in destiny:


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