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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.
Lyf. 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 upon Demetrius.
Lys. I am, my lord, as well deriv'd as he,
As well possest: my love is more than his :
My fortunes ev'ry 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?
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 t' have spoke thereof;
But, being over-full of felf-affairs,
My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
And come, Egeus; you
go I have some private schooling for
For you, fair Hermia, look, you arm yourself
your fancies to your 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 Hippolita; what cheer, my love?
Demetrius, and Egeus, go along ; -
I must employ you in fome business
Against our nuptials, and confer with you
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
Ege. With duty and desire we follow you. [Exeunt.
Manent Lysander and Hermia.
Lyf. How now, my love? why is your cheek so pale ?
How chance the roses there do fade so faft?
Her. Belike, for want of rain, which I could well
Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes.
Lys. Hermia, for ought that euer 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 love !
Lyf. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years
Her. O spight! too old, to be engag‘d to young!
Lyf. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends
Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eye!
Lyf. Or, if there were a fympathy in choice,
Nar, death, or fickness, did lay siege to it;
Making it momentary as a found,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heav'n and earth;
And ere a man hath power to say, behold !
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to.confusion.
Her. If then true lovers have been ever croft,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach our trial patience;
Because it is a customary cross,
As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and fighs,
Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's followers !
Lys. A good perfuafion; therefore hear me, Hermia:
I have a widow-aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child;
From Athens is her house remov’d seven leagues,
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. If thou lov’ft me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And, in the wood, a league without the town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena
To do observance to the morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.
Her. My good Lysander,
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
By that which knitteth fouls, and prospers loves,
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
When the false Trojan under fail was seen;
By all the vows that ever men have broke,
In number' more than ever women spoke;
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Lyf. Keep promise, love. Look, here comes Helena.
Her. God speed, fair Helena! whither away?
Hel. Call you me fair ? that fair again unsay:
Demetrius loves you, fair ; o happy fair !
Your eyes are load-stars, and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching: oh, were favour so,
Your's would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go ;
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'd give to be to you
O teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
Hel. O, that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill !
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
Hel. O, that my pray’rs could such affection move!
Her. The more I hate, the more he follows me.
Hel. The more I love, the more he hateth me.
Her. His fault, o Helena, is none of mine.
Hel. None but your beauty; would, that fault were mine!
Her. Take comfort; he no more shall see my face;
Lysander and myself will fly this place.
Before the time í did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens like a paradise to me.
O then, what graces
in my love do dwell, That he hath turn'd a heaven into hell ?
Lyf. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold;
To-morrow night, when Phæbe doth behold
Her silver visage in the wat’ry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass
(A time that lovers Aights doth still conceal)
Through Athens' gate have we devis’d to steal.
Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lye,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsels sweet;
There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
And thence froin Athens turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends, and stranger companies.
Farewel, sweet play-fellow; pray thou for us,
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius !
Keep word, Lysander, we must starve our fight
From lovers’ food, 'till morrow deep midnight. (Exit Hermia.
Lys. I will, my Hermia. Helena, adieu ;
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you ! [Exit Lyfander.
Hel. How happy fome, o'er other fome, can be !
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not fo:
He will not know, what all but he do know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity:
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind;
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind :
Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child,
Because in choice he often is beguild.
As waggish boys themselves in game forswear,
So the boy love is perjur'd every where.
For ere Demetrius look'd on Hermia's eyne,
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine;
And when this hail fome heat from Hermia felt,
So he diffolv’d, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's Alight:
Then to the wood will he, to-morrow night,
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expence.
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his fight thither, and back again.
SCE N E IV.
Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snowt, and Starveling.
S all our company here?
Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the fcrip.