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And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine,
I will be thine; and, till that instant, shut
My woful self up in a mourning house,
Raining the tears of lamentation
For the remembrance of my father's death.
If this thou do deny, let our hands part;
768 Neither intitled in the other's heart.
King. If this, or more than this, I would deny,
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast. 824
Ber. And what to me, my love? and what to


And by these badges understand the king.
For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
Play'd foul play with our oaths. Your beauty,
Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours
Even to the opposed end of our intents;
And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous,-
As love is full of unbefitting strains;
All wanton as a child, skipping and vain;
Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye,
Full of stray shapes, of habits and of forms,
Varying in subjects, as the eye doth roll
To every varied object in his glance:
Which parti-coated presence of loose love
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
Have misbecome our oaths and gravities,
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,
Our love being yours, the error that love makes
Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false,
By being once false for ever to be true 781
To those that make us both,-fair ladies, you:
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.


784 Prin. We have receiv'd your letters full of love;

Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are

You are attaint with faults and perjury;
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get, 828
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest,
But seek the weary beds of people sick.

Dum. But what to me, my love? but what to

Kath. A wife! A beard, fair health, and honesty;

832 With three-fold love I wish you all these three. Dum. O! shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife? Kath. Not so, my lord. A twelvemonth and a day

788 I'll mark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers say:

Your favours, the embassadors of love;
And, in our maiden council, rated them
At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
As bombast and as lining to the time.
But more devout than this in our respects
Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
In their own fashion, like a merriment.
Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much
more than jest.


Long. So did our looks.
We did not quote them so.
King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
Grant us your loves.


A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in.
No, no, my lord, your Grace is perjur'd much,
Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this:
If for my love,-as there is no such cause,- 800
You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
Remote from all the pleasures of the world; 804
There stay, until the twelve celestial signs

Come when the king doth to my lady come; 837
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till

Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn
Long. What says Maria?

At the twelvemonth's end
I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.
Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time
is long.

Mar. The liker you; few taller are so young. Ber. Studies my lady? mistress, look on me. Behold the window of my heart, mine eye, What humble suit attends thy answer there; Impose some service on me for thy love.


Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my Lord

Before I saw you, and the world's large tongue

Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks;
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts, 852
Which you on all estates will execute
That lie within the mercy of your wit:

To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
And therewithal to win me, if you please,- 856
Without the which I am not to be won,-
You shall this twelvemonth term, from day to

Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit 861
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.
Ber. To move wild laughter in the throat of

It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.


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years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in praise of the owl and the cuckoo? it should have followed in the end of our show.896 King. Call them forth quickly; we will do so. Arm. Holla! approach.


This side is Hiems, Winter; this Ver, the Spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.


When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue

Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo ;

Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!





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And Marian's nose looks red and raw, When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-who; Tu-whit, tu-who-a merry note, While greasy Joan doth Keel the pot. Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way: we, this way.


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HERMIA, Daughter to Egeus, in love with

HELENA, in love with Demetrius.

PHILOSTRATE, Master of the Revels to Theseus. OBERON, King of the Fairies.

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TITANIA, Queen of the Fairies.
PUCK, or Robin Goodfellow.

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HIPPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed Other Fairies attending their King and Queen. to Theseus.


Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.

SCENE. Athens, and a Wood near it.

SCENE I.-Athens. The Palace of THESEUS. Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendants.


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 man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child:
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rimes,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child; 29
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,

The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace: four happy days bring in
Another moon; but O! methinks how slow
This old moon wanes; she lingers my desires, 4 With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
Like to a step-dame, or a dowager
Long withering out a young man's revenue.
Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves
in night;

Four nights will quickly dream away the time; 8
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.


And stol'n the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messengers
Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth;
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's


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
12 Consent to marry with Demetrius,

Go, Philostrate,
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.



Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke! The. Thanks, good Egeus: what's the nows with thee?

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.



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In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;
But I beseech your Grace, that I may know
The worst that may 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,
Whe'r, 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.
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.


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Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.

Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my

And what is mine my love shall render him; 96
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,
As well possess'd; my love is more than his; 100
My fortunes every 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.

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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.
DEMETRIUS, 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


Beteem them from the tempest of mine eyes. Lys. Ay me for aught that ever I could


Could ever hear by tale or history,


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Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, Making it momentany 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 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 cross'd, It stands as an edict in destiny:



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I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote 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'st me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night,
And in the wood, a league without the town, 165
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
To do observance to a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.

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 souls and prospers loves,
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage

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Lysander and myself will fly this place.
Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me:
O! then, what graces in my love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a heaven unto a hell.
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
To-morrow night, when Phoebe doth behold 209
Her silver visage in the wat'ry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass,-
A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal,-
Through Athens' gates have we devis'd to steal.

Her. And in the wood, where often you and I
168 Upon faint primrose-beds were wont to lie,
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet, 216
There my Lysander and myself shall meet;
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
Farewell, sweet playfellow: pray thou for us;
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius! 221
Keep word, Lysander: we must starve our sight
From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.


When the false Troyan under sail was seen,
By all the vows that ever men have broke,-
In number more than ever women spoke,- 176
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.

Lys. Keep promise, love. Look, here comes


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! and your tongue's
sweet air

More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear, 184
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching: O! were favour so,
Yours 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

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As you on him, Demetrius dote on you! [Exit.
Hel. How happy some o'er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she;
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
He will not know what all but he do know; 229
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity, 232
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 is so oft beguil'd.
As waggish boys in game themselves 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 some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight:
Then to the wood will he to-morrow night
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
197 To have his sight thither and back again. [Exit.


Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
O! teach me how you look, and with what art
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart. 193
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 prayers could such affection





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