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The worst that may befall me in this case,
The. Either to die the death, or to abjure
For ever the society of men.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Unto his lordship, to whose unwish'd yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
The. Take time to pause: and, by the next new
(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
For everlasting bond of fellowship)
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,
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, As well possess'd; my love is more than his; My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,
If not with vantage, as Demetrius';
And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes, 110 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 thereof; But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it. But, Demetrius, come;
(Which by no means we may extenuate)
To death, or to a vow of single life.-
I must employ you in some business
[Exeunt THES. HIP. EGEUS, 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 I could ever 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 misgraffed, in respect of years; 139 Her. O spight! too old to be engag'd to young! Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends: Her. O hell! to chuse 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 momentany as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the colly'd night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
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:
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross;
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 :
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
Her. My good Lysander!
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow;
By the simplicity of Venus' doves;
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves; And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen, When the false Trojan under sail was seen;
By all the vows that ever men have broke,
In number more than ever women spoke ;-
Lys. Keep promise, love: Look, here comes Helena.
Her. God speed, fair Helena! Whither away?
Demetrius loves your fair : O happy fair!
Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when haw-thorn buds ap
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,
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
Hel. Oh, that your frowns would teach my smiles
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
Hel. Oh, that my prayers could such affection
Her. The more I hate, the more he follows me.