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The Dramatis Personæ retained in the Condensation are : THESEUS, Duke of Athens. | HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the AmaEGEUS, Father to Hermia.

2018,° betrothed to Theseus. LYSANDER, ? s in love with Hermia.

HERMIA, daughter to Egeus, in DEMETRIUS, í

love with Lysander. PHILOSTRATE,9 Master of the

HELENA, in love with Demetrius. Revelsd to Theseus.

OBERON, King of the Fairies. QUINCE, a Carpenter.

TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies. Snug, a Joiner.

Puck, or Robin Good-fellow. Bottom, a Weaver.

PEAS-BLOSSOM, FLUTE, a Beilous-mender.

COBWEB,

Fairies.

Мотн, Snout, a Tinker,

MUSTARD-SEED,
STARVELING, a Tailor.

Other Fairies attending.
Scene—Athensand a Wood near it.

Theseus, Duke of Athens, is on the eve of marriage with Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. The nuptials are to be celebrated with all the pageantry that usually attends the union of reigning princes. The populace-good-natured souls !-happy that their rulers are likely to be multiplied, and their taxes increased and levied in every shape,-set themselves to prepare all sorts of joyful indulgence.

While Theseus is in his chair of State, discharging his judicial functions, Egeus, the father of the Lady Hermia, appears, to complain of his daughter—who had violated the Athenian law by refusing to marry Demetrius, whom her father had selected as her husband.

With Egeus and his daughter Hermia, Demetrius and Lysander appear. Lysander is in love with Hermia, and is also the lover of her choice. Demetrius is the suitor approved by the father, but by the daughter he is the rejected.

Before the entrance of Egeus, Theseus thus addresses his brideelect: The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour

Draws-on apace;' four happy days bring-in
'Another moon; but, 0, methinks, how slow
This 'old moon wanes ! she lingersø 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 ;

* an anglicized title for Prince. bthe capital of modern Greere (formerly, the chief city of the aucient state of Attica,) on the rivulets Ili-sus and Cephissus; its barbour is the celebrated Piræus. cthe anglicized name for Philostratnis.

dan officer appointed to superintend the amusements of the court. (His duties in England were discontinued in the reign of George III.) ea fabulous race of warrior-women who inhabited the Caucasus mountain-range (between the Black and Caspian seas). "quickly.

& protracts.

Exit

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с

Four nights will quickly 'dream away the time;
And then ... the moon,-like to a silver bow
Newa-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 ;
That 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!
Egeus, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius enter. Egeus speaks :
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 man hath 'witchede the bosom of

my

child;
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. —

Demetrius is a 'worthy gentleman ?
Her. So is Lysander.
The.

In 'himself he is;
But in 'this kind, wanting your 'father's voice, h–

The 'other must be held the 'worthier.
Her. ... I do entreat your Grace to 'pardon me.

I know not by what 'power I am made bold,
In such a presence, 'here to plead my thoughts;

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"great public display. a leader, commander. fby the Athenian law, parents had power of life and death over

happroving vote.

*0. R. now bent. bO. R. the. bewitched.

their children. & condition as a suitor.

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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 ;
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 mewed,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice blesséd they that master 'so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
But earthly happierd is the rose 'distilled,
Than that which, withering on the 'virgin thorn,

Grows, lives, and dies in 'single blessedness.
Her. So will 'I grow, so live, so 'die, my lord.
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.

Demetrius speaks :
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. 'I am, my lord, as well-'derived as he, As well 'possessed ;' 'my love is 'more than his. My fortunes every way as fairly ranked· If not with 'vantage-as Demetrius': And, (which is more than 'all these boasts can be,) I am beloved of beauteous Hermia. Demetrius, (I 'li avouch it to his face), Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena, And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, 'dotes, 'Devoutly dotes, dotes in 'idolatry,

1

Upon this spotted" and inconstant man. *as decreed by law. b distinctive dress. c shut up, confined. 10. R. earthlier happy. e freed from impurity.

fi. e., your father. & the goddess of chastity: her altar was at Ephesus. promise solemnly. silly, impaired.

10. R. head, m polluted (as opposed to spotless).

i descended.

k rich.

&

Exeunt Thes, Hip.,

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 yields you up-
Which by no means we may extenuate-
To death, or to a vow of 'single life.-
Come, my Hippolyta!

[
Lysander and Hermia are alone.
Lys. How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale

How chance the roses there do 'fade so fast? Her. Belike' for want of rain,—which I could well

Beteemo them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Lys. Ah me!" for aught that ever I could read,

Could ever 'hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run 'smooth:
But, either it was different in blood;
Or else misgrafted' in respect of years ;
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends ;'
Or, if there were a 'sympathy in choice,
War; death, or sickness did lay siege to it;
Making it momentary as a 'sound,
Swift as a 'shadow, short as any 'dream ;
Brief as the 'lightning in the collied' night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth
And, ere a man bath power to say,—“Behold!”
The jaws of 'darkness do devour it up:-

'So quick, 'bright things come to 'confusion. Her. If then true lovers have been 'ever crossed,

It stands as an edictk 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's' followers.
Lys. A good persuasion :" therefore, hear me, Hermia.

I have a widow-aunt,—a dowager * personal business.

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• probably. permit them to flow freely. d Eigh me (in the quarto). • race, family. funsuitably matched (grafted), 0. R. misgrafféd.

ho, R. momentany. i dark (as if blackened with coal).

m argument to persuade,

80. R. merit j sudden outburst. k fixed decree,

love's.

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Of great revenue,--and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ;
And she respects me as her only 'son.
There, gentle Hermia, 'may I marry thee;
And, to 'that place, the sharp 'Athenian law
Cannot pursue us.

If thou lov'st me, then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And in the Wood, a league without the town,-
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
To do observance to a morn of May,—

There will I stay for thee.
Her.

My good Lysander!
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow;
By his best arrow with the 'golden' head;
By the simplicity of Venus' doves;
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves;
By all the vows that ever 'men have 'broke,
In number more than ever 'women 'spoke;
In that same place thou hast appointed me,

To-morrow, "truly will I meet with thee.
Lys. Keep promise, love. -Look, here comes Helena.

The lady Helena is the victim of unrequited love. In order to regain the affections of Demetrius, she forgets the dignity of a high-minded woman- 1-who

" Should be wooed, but not unsought be won.” Her. Heaven speed fair Helena! Whither away? Hel. Call you 'me fair? that fair again unsay.

Demetrius loves your fair :' O happy fair!

Your eyes are lode-stars, and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
O, teach me 'how you look! And with 'what art

You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart?
Her. Take comfort: he no 'more shall see my face ;

Lysander and myself will flyk this place.
Lysander endeavours to comfort the love-lorn maiden by ex-
plaining his arrangement with Hermia :
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold:
To-morrow night, when Phoebe' doth behold

cbeyond. the harbinger of Spring, is one of the most popular rustic holidays in 1: a Queen is chosen to preside over the various sports and pastimes. vido), the son of Jupiter and Venus, the god of love : a winged boy, v and quiver. f he had two kinds of arrows: one tipped with gold, the other with lead, to kill it.

10. R. remoued

o steal forth from.

d

h goddess of love, Cupid : her chariot was drawn by doves. beauty. į leading pole-star, attracting and guiding.

ginnocence.

k flee from.

the moon.

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