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MIDSUMMER-NIGHT's

DRE A M.

THESEUS, Duke of Athens.

EGEUS, an Athenian Lord.

LYSANDER, in love with Hermia.

DEMETRIUS, in love with Hermia.
QUINCE, the Carpenter.

SNUG, the Joiner.

BOTTOM, the Weaver.

FLUTE, the Bellows-mender.

SNOWT, the Tinker.

STARVELING, the Tailor.

PHILOSTRATE, Mafter of the Revels to THESE US.

HIPPOLITA, Princess of the Amazons, betrothed to THE SEUS. HERMIA, Daughter to EGEUS, in love with LYSANDER. HELENA, in love with DEMETRIUS.

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SCENE Athens, and a Wood not far from it.

A

MIDSUMME R-NIGHT's

DREA M.

ACT I. SCENE I.

ATHEN S.

Enter Thefeus, Hippolita, Philoftrate, with attendants.

N

THESE U s.

O W, fair Hippolita, our nuptial hour

Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon: but o, methinks, how flow
This old moon wanes! fhe lingers my defires
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager,

Long withering out a young man's revenue.

Hip. Four days will quickly fteep themselves in nights; Four nights will quickly dream away the time:

And then the moon, like to a filver bow

New bent in heaven, fhall behold the night
Of our folemnities.

The. Go, Philoftrate,

Stir up th' 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.
Hippolita, I woo'd thee with my fword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries:
But I will wed thee in another key,

With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.

[Exit Phil.

Enter

Enter Egeus, Hermia, Lyfander, and Demetrius.
Ege. Happy be Thefeus, 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, Lyfander. And, my gracious duke,
This hath bewitch'd the bofom of my child:
Thou, thou, Lyfander, thou haft giv'n her rhimes,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child:
Thou haft by moon-light at her window fung,
With feigning voice, verses of feigned love,
And stol❜n th' impreffion of her fantasy

With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nofegays, fweet-meats; meffengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth :
With cunning haft thou filch'd my daughter's heart,
Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness. And, my gracious duke,
Be't fo fhe will not here before your grace
Confent 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 cafe.

The. What say you, Hermia? be advis'd, fair maid.
To you your father should be as a god;

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 Lyfander.

The.

The. In himself he is;

But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice,

The other muft be held the worthier.

Her. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes.

The. Rather, your eyes must with his judgment look.
Her. I do intreat your grace to pardon me:

I know not by what pow'r I am made bold,
Nor how it may concern my modesty

In fuch a prefence 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, queftion your defires,
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether, not yielding to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun;
For aye to be in fhady cloister mew'd,
To live a barren fifter all your life,

Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice bleffed they that master so their blood,
To undergo fuch maiden pilgrimage!
But earthlier happy is the rofe diftill'd,

Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in fingle bleffedness.

Her. So will I grow, fo live, fo die, my lord,

Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

Unto his lordship, to whofe unwifh'd yoke.

My foul confents not to give fovereignty.

The. Take time to pause, and by the next new moon, (The fealing 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 elfe to wed Demetrius, as he would;

Or

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