« PreviousContinue »
sottish companions are the very springs, the motion of the piece; Demetrius and Helena, Hermia and Lysander are but the hands by which they point out their progress. Had Shakspeare found any romance of Theseus and Hippolyta from which to have borrowed, most likely they would have had a more conspicuous share in the performance.
Theseus, Duke of Athens.
EGEUS, Father to Hermia.
in love with Hermia.
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. Hermia, 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.
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.
Athens. A Room in the Palace of Theseus. Enter Theseus, HIPPOLYTA, PhilosTRATE, and
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
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.
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.-
Hippolyta, I woo'd 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.
Enter Egeus, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and Demetrius.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with
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 rhimes,
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