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Theseus, Duke of Athens.
Egeus, Father to Hermia.
in love with Hermia. | Demetrius,
Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus,
Quince, the Carpenter.
Snug, the Joiner.
Bottom, the Weaver.
Flute, the Bellows-mender:
Snout, the Tinker.
Starveling, the Tailor.
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus. Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander. Helena, in love with Demetrius.
Oberon, King of the Fairies.
Titania, Queen of the Fairies.
Puck, or Robin-goodfellow, a Fairy.
Characters in the Interlude per-
formed by the Clowns. Lion,
Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.
SCENE, Athens, and a IVood not far from it.
SCENE I. Athens. A Room in the Palace of
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and
Theseus. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace; four happy days bring in Another moon: but, oh, methinks, how slow This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires, Like to a step-dame, or a dowager, Long withering out a young man's revenue. Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow
New bent in heaven, shall behold the night
"Of our solemnities.
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.-
[Exit PHILOSTRATE. 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.
Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with
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
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, gawds, 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;
One that compos'd your beauties; yea, and one
"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
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 sister all your life,