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Theseus, Duke of Athens.
Egeus, Father to Hermia.
Lysander, lin love with Hermia.
Demetrius, i
Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus.
Quince, the Carpenter.
Snug, the Joiner.
Bottom, the Weaver.
Flute, the Bellows-mender.
Snout, the Tinker.
Starveling, the Tailor.

Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to

Theseus. Herinia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander. Helena, in love with Demetrius.

Oberon, King of the Fairies.
Titania, Queen of the Fairies.
Puck, or Robin-goodfellow, a Fairy.
Peas-blossom,
Cobweb,

į Fairies.
Moth,
Mustard-seed, )
Pyramus,
Thisbe,

Characters in the Interlude perWall,

formed by the Clowns. Moonshine,

Lion,

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. SCENE, Athens, and a Wood not far from it. "The enumeration of persons was first made by Mr. Rowe.

STEEVENS.

MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM.

ACT I. SCENE I. Athens. A Room

Theseus.

in the Palace of

Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, Philostrate, and

Attendants.
The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon: but, oh, 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.
The.

Go, Philostrate,
Stir up the 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.-

[Exit PHILOSTRATE. Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries;

LOSTRATE.

But I will wed thee in another key,
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.

Enter Egeus, HERMIA, LYSANDER, ånd Deme

TRIUS.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news

A

ge. Furth theepood Egeus:" renowned

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 stoľn 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

maid: To you your father should be as a god; '— gawds,] i. e. baubles, toys, trifles.

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 Lysander.
The.

In himself 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 judgement

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 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 aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,
To live a barren sister all your life,
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,
Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,

? To leave the figure, or disfigure it.] i. e. you owe to your father a being which he may at pleasure continue or destroy.

Know of your youth,] Consider your youth. * But earthlier happy - perhaps, earlier; or, earthly huppy.

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Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.

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, 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,
Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

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spotted -] As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked.

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