Imatges de pÓgina

Her. So is Lyfander.

The. In himfelf he is;

But in this kind, wanting your Father's Voice,
The other muft be held the worthier.

Her. I would my Father look'd but with my Eyes.
The. Rather your Eyes muft with his Judgment look.
Her. I do intreat your Grace to pardon me,

I know not by what Power I am made bold,
Nor how it may concern my Modesty
In fucha Prefence here to plead my Thoughts:
But I beseech your Grace, that I may know
The worst that may befal me in this Cafe,
If I refufe to wed Demetrius.

The. Either to die the Death, or to abjure
For ever the Society of Men.

Therefore, fair Hermia, queftion your Defires,
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 fhady Cloifter mew'd,
To live a barren Sifter all your Life,
Chanting faint Hymns to the cold fruitlefs Moon.
Thrice blessed they that master so their Blood,
To undergo fuch Maiden Pilgrimage.
But earthlier happy is the Rofe diftill'd,

Than that which withering on the Virgin Thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in fingle Bleffednefs.

Her. So will I grow, fo live, fo die, my Lord,

E'er I will yield my Virgin Patent up

Unto his Lordship, to whofe unwish'd Yoak

My Soul confents not to give Sovereignty.

The. Take time to paufe, and by the next New Moon, The fealing Day betwixt my Love and me,

For everlafting Bond of Fellowship,

Upon that Day either prepare to die,
For Difobedience to your Father's Will,
Or else to wed Demetrius as he would,
Or on Diana's Altar to proteft,

For aye, Aufterity and fingle Life.

Dem. Relent, fweet Hermia, and Lysander, yield

Thy crazed Title to my certain Right.

B 3


Lyf. You have her Father's Love, Demetrius;
Let me have Hermia's; do you marry him.

Ege. Scornful Lyfander! true, he hath my Love;
And what is mine, my Love fhall render him.
And he is mine, and all my Right of her
I do eftate unto Demetrius.

Lys. I am, my Lord, as well deriv'd as he,
As well pofleft: My Love is more than his;
My Fortune's every way as fairly rank'd,
If not with vantage, as Demetrius:

And, which is more than all these Boafts can be,
I am belov'd of beauteous Hermia.

Why should not I then profecute my Right?
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
Mide Love to Nedar's Daughter, Helena,
And won her Soul; and fhe, fweet Lady, doats,
Devourly doats, doats in Idolatry,

Upon this spotted and inconftant Man.

The. I must confefs, that I have heard fo much,
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;
But being over-full of Self-affairs,

My Mind did lofe it. But Demetrius come,
And come Egeus, you fhall go with me,
I have fome private fchooling for you both.
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm your felf,
To fit your Fancies to your Father's Will;
Or elfe 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 Hippolita, what Cheer, my Love?
Demetrius and Egeus go along,

I must employ you in fome Bufinefs
Againft our Nuptials, and confer with you
Of fomething nearly that concerns your felves.
Ege. With Duy and Define we follow you.
Manent Lyfander and Hermia.


Lyf. How now, my Love? Why is your Cheek fo pale? How chance the Roles there do fade fo faft? Her. Bel k for wart of Rain, which I could well Ber-em them from the Tempeft of mine Eyes. Lyf. Hermia, for ought that ever I could read,


Could ever hear by Tale or History,

The Course of true Love never did run finooth.
But either it was different in Blood

Her. O crofs! too high to be enthrall'd to Love.
Lyf. Or elfe mifgraffed, in refpect of Years
Her. O Spight! too old to be engag'd too young.
Lyf. Or elfe it ftood upon the choice of Merit
Her. O Hell! to chufe Love by another's Eye.
Lyf. Or if there were a Sympathy in Choice,
War, Death, or Sickness, did lay Siege to it;
Making it momentary as a Sound,

Swift as a Shadow, fhort as any Dream,
Brief as the Lightning in the collied Night,
That in a Spleen unfolds both Heaven and Earths
And e'er a Man hath Power to fay, Behold,
The Jaws of Darkness do devour it up;
So quick bright Things come to Confufion.

Her. If then true Lovers have been ever croft,
It ftands as an Edict in Destiny:

Then let us teach our Trial Patience,
Because it is a customary Crofs,

As due to Love, as Thoughts, and Dreams, and Sighs, Wishes and Tears, poor Fancy's Followers.

Lyf. A good Perfuafion; therefore hear me, Hermia, I have a Widow-Aunt, a Dowager,

Of great Revenue, and the hath no Child;

From Abens is her Houfe remov'd feven Leagues.

And the refpects me as her only Son:

There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,

And to that Place, the tharp Athenian Law
Cannot purfue us. If thou lov'ft me, then

Steal forth thy Father's Houfe to Morrow Nigh;
And in the Wood, a League without the Town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,

To do Obfervance for a Morn of May,

There will I ftay for the.

Her. My good Lyfander,

I fwear to thee, by Cupid's ftrongeft Bow,
By his Beft Arrow with the Golden head,
By the Simplicity of Venus Doves,

By that which knitteth Souls, and profpers Love,

B 4


And by that Fire which burn'd the Carthage Queen,
When the falfe Trojan, under Sail, was feen;
By all the Vows that ever Men have broke,
In number more than ever Women spoke,
In that fame Place thou haft appointed me,
To Morrow truly will I meet with thee.
Lyf. Keep promise Love.

Look, here comes Helena.
Enter Helena.

Her. God fpeed fair Helena, whither away? Hel. Call you me fair? that fair again unfay, Demetrius loves you fair; O happy fair!

Your Eyes are Load-ftars, and your Tongue's fweet Air,
More tunable than Lark to Shepherd's Ear,

When Wheat is green, when Haw-thorn Buds appear.
Sickness is catching: O were Favour fo,

Your Words I'd catch, fair Hermia, e'er I go,

My Ear fhould catch your Voice, my Eye your Eye,
My Tongue fhould catch your Tongue's fweet Melody.
Were the World mine, Demetrius being bated,
The reft I'll give to be to you tranflated.
O teach me how you look, and with what Art
You fway the Motion of Demetrius Heart.
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me ftill.
Hel. O that your Frowns would teach my Smiles fuch
Her. I give him Curfes, yet he gives me Love. (Skill.
Hel. O that my Prayers could fuch 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 none of mine.

Hel. None but your Beauty, would that Fault were mine. Her. Take Comfort; he no more fhall fee my Face, Lysander and my felf will fly this Place.

Before the time I did Lyfander fee,.

Seem'd Athens like a Paradife to me.

O then, what Graces in my Love do dwell,
That he hath turn'd a Heav'n into Hell?

Lyf. Helen, to you our Minds we will unfold,
To Morrow Night, when Phabe doth behold
Her Silver Vifage in the wat'ry Glafs,
Decking with Liquid Pearl the bladed Grafs,


A Time that Lovers Flights doth still conceal,
Through Athens Gate have we devis'd to steal.
Her. And in the Wood, where often you and I
Upon faint Primrofe-beds were wont to lye,
Emptying our Bofoms of their Counfel fwell'd;
There my Lysander and my felf fhall meet,
And thence from Athens turn away our Eyes,
To feek new Friends and ftrange Companions.
Farewel fweet Play-fellow, pray thou for us,
And good Luck grant thee thy Demetrius.
Keep Word, Lyfander, we must starve our Sight
From Lovers Food, 'till Morrow deep Midnight.

[Exit Hermia.

Lyf. I will, my Hermia. Helena adieu,
As you on him, Demetrius doats on you. [Exit Lyfander.
Hel. How happy fome, o'er other fome can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as the.
But what of that; Demetrius thinks not fo:
He will not know, what all but he doth know.
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's Eyes,
So I, admiring of his Qualities:

Things bafe and vile, holding no quantity,
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 tafte;
Wings and no Eyes, Figure unheedy haft.
And therefore is Love faid to be a Child,
Because in Choice he often is beguil'd.
As waggish Boys themselves in Game forfwear,
So the Boy Love is perjur'd every where.
For e'er Demetrius lookt on Hermia's Eyne,
He hair'd down Oaths that he was only mine.
And when this Hail fome Heat from Hermia felt,
So he diffolv'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
Purfue her; and for this Intelligence

If I have Thanks, it is a dear Expence.
But herein mean I to enrich my Pain,

To have his Sight thither, and back again.



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