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ACT I. SCENE I.
ATHENS. A ROOM IN THE PALACE OF THESEUS.
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate, and Atten
[Exit Philostrate. Hippolyta, I wood thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
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, 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
In himself he is :
Her. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes.
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:
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
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?
The. I must confess, that I have heard so much,
[Exeunt The. Hip. Ege. Dem, and train. 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 Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Lys. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read, Could ever hear by tale or history,