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To whom you are but as a form in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power
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 look'd but with my eyes.
The. Rather your eyes must with his judgement look.
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 may befal 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 mew'd,
To live a barren fifter 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 distillid,
Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.
Her. So will I grow, fo live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship, whose unwilhed yoke
My foul 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 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 unto Demetrius.
Lyf. I am, iny 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 thefe boasts can be,
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia :
Why should not then profecute my right?
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
And won her fouł; and the, sweet lady, dotes,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,
Upon this spotted and inconstant man.
The. I muft confess, that I have heard so mucli,
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
But, being over-full of self-affairs,
My mind did lose it.-But, Demetrius, come ;
And come, Egeus ; you shall go with me,
I have some private schooling for you both..
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
To fit your fences 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 fingle 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 defire, we follow you.
[Exeunt Thes. Hip. Ege. Dem. and train. Lyf. How now, my love? Why is your cheek fo 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.
Lyf. Ah 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 enthrallid to low!
Lyf. Or else misgraffed, in respect of years ;
Her. O spite ! 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 sympathy in choice,
War, death, or fickness did lay siege to it;
Making it inomentany 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 edíct 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 persuasion; therefore, hear me, Hermia.
I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and the hath no child :
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues ;
And she respects me as her only fon.
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,
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 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 your fair : O happy fair !
Your eyes are lode-stars; and your tongue's sweet air
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear,
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Sickness is catching; 0, 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 Tould catch your tongue's sweet melody.
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
The rest I'll give to be to you translated.
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
Her. I give him curses, yet he gives me love.
Hel. O, that my prayers 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 folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.
Hel. None, but your beauty ; 'Would that fault were
Her. Take comfort; he no more shall see my face;
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 Phæbe doth behold