« PreviousContinue »
Turn melancholy forth to funerals,
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 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, gawdst, 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 maid:
To you your father should be as a god;
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 look'd but with my eyes. The. Rather your eyes must with his judgement look.
Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me.
The. Either to die the death, or to adjure 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.
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
The. Take time to pause: and, by the next new
(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
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,
And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
Upon this spotted and inconstant man.
The. I must confess, that I have heard so much, And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof; But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it.-But, Demetrius, come;
Or else the law of Athens yield you up
[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. Ah me! for aught that ever I could read,
Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low! Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years; Her. O spite! too old to be engag'd to young! Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends: Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eye! Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it; Making it momentanyt as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream; Brief as the lightning in the collied night, That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and eartli, 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 cross'd, It stands as an edíct in destiny:
Then let us teach our trial patience,
* Give, bestow.
As due to love, as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs, Wishes, and tears, poor fancy's* followers.
Lys. A good persuasion; therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
My good Lysander!
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves;
Lys. 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 your fair: O happy fair!
Your eyes are lode-stars t; and your tongue's sweet
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,