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THESEUs, Duke of Athens.
SNUG, the Joiner.
Bottom, the Weaver.
SNouT, the Tinker.
STARVELING, the Tailor.
}in love with Hermia.
HIPPoLyra, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus. HERMIA, Daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander. HELENA, in love with Demetrius.
OBERoN, King of the Fairies.
Characters in the Interlude performed by the Clowns.
Other Fairies attending their King and Queen. Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
SCENE. Athens, and a Wood not far from it.
SCENE I. Athens. A Room in the Palace of
Enter THESEUS, HIPPoly TA, PHILosTRATE, and Attendants.
Theseus. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
The Go, Philostrate,
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword,
Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, Lys ANDER, and DEMETRIUS.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke The. Thanks, good Egeus. What's the news with thee P 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 bewitched” the bosom of my child. Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, And interchanged love tokens with my child; Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung, With feigning voice, verses of feigning love; And stolen the impression of her fantasy With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds”, conceits, Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats; messengers Of strong prevailment in unhardened youth. With cunning hast thou filched my daughter's heart; 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 o Be advised, fair maid. To you your father should be as a god; One that composed your beauties; yea, and one To whom you are but as a form in wax, By him imprinted, and within his power
1 Duke, in our old language, was used for a leader or chief, as the
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 looked but with my eyes. The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment 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 befall me in this case, If I refuse to wed Demetrius. The. Either to die the death, or to abjure Forever 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 mewed, 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 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, 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,
1 As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked.