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Stand forth, Demetrius : My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry

her. Stand forth, Lysander :-and, my gracious duke, This man hath witched the bosom of


child. Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes, And interchanged love-tokens with my child; Thou hast by moonlight 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? be advised, fair

maid. To you your father should be as a god;

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One that composed your beauties; yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By bim imprinted, and within his
To leave the figure or disfigure it.-
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.

Her. So is Lysander.

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

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


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;
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 blesséd 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 to 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 For aye austerity and single life. Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia ;-and, Lysander,

yield Thy crazéd 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 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.
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

The. I must confess, that I have heard so much, And with Demetrius thought to have spoke there

But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it.-But, Demetrius, come;
And come, Egeus : you



I have some private schooling for you both. -
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
To fit
fancies to


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 : what cheer, my love ?
Demetrius and Egeus, go along :
I must employ you in some business
Against our nuptial, and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
Ege. With duty and desire we follow you.

[Exeunt THES., 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. Ay 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,

Her. O cross ! too high to be enthrall’d to low !
Lys. Or else misgrafféd in respect of years,
Her. O spite! too old to be engaged to young !
Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,
Her. O hell ! to choose love by another's eyes !

Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it
Making it momentany as a sound,

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