ePub 版

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
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.
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.

Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up

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)
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,


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,
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, 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;
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 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 some business
Against our nuptial; and confer with you
Of something, nearly that concerns yourselves.
Ege. With duty and desire, we follow you.

[ocr errors]

[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,
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:

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;
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.

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 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 ;-
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.


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; 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,
My tongue should 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. Oh, that your frowns would teach my smiles

such skill!

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.


« 上一頁繼續 »