Her. So will I grow, so liue, so die my Lord, Ere I will yeeld my virgin Patent vp Vnto his Lordship, whose vnwished yoake, My soule consents not to giue soueraignty

The. Take time to pause, and by the next new Moon The sealing day betwixt my loue and me, For euerlasting bond of fellowship: Vpon that day either prepare to dye, For disobedience to your fathers will, Or else to wed Demetrius as hee would, Or on Dianaes Altar to protest For aie, austerity, and single life

Dem. Relent sweet Hermia, and Lysander, yeelde Thy crazed title to my certaine right

Lys. You haue her fathers loue, Demetrius: Let me haue Hermiaes: do you marry him

Egeus. Scornfull Lysander, true, he hath my Loue; And what is mine, my loue shall render him. And she is mine, and all my right of her, I do estate vnto Demetrius

Lys. I am my Lord, as well deriu'd as he, As well possest: my loue is more then his: My fortunes euery way as fairely ranck'd (If not with vantage) as Demetrius: And (which is more then all these boasts can be) I am belou'd of beauteous Hermia. Why should not I then prosecute my right? Demetrius, Ile auouch it to his head, Made loue to Nedars daughter, Helena, And won her soule: and she (sweet Ladie) dotes, Deuoutly dotes, dotes in Idolatry, Vpon this spotted and inconstant man

The. I must confesse, that I haue heard so much, And with Demetrius thought to haue spoke thereof: But being ouer-full of selfe-affaires, My minde did lose it. But Demetrius come, And come Egeus, you shall go with me, I haue some priuate schooling for you both. For you faire Hermia, looke you arme your selfe, To fit your fancies to your Fathers will; Or else the Law of Athens yeelds you vp (Which by no meanes we may extenuate) To death, or to a vow of single life. Come my Hippolita, what cheare my loue? Demetrius and Egeus go along: I must imploy you in some businesse Against our nuptiall, and conferre with you Of something, neerely that concernes your selues

Ege. With dutie and desire we follow you.


Manet Lysander and Hermia.

Lys. How now my loue? Why is your cheek so pale? How chance the Roses there do fade so fast? Her. Belike for want of raine, which I could well Beteeme them, from the tempest of mine eyes

Lys. For ought that euer I could reade, Could euer heare by tale or historie, The course of true loue neuer did run smooth, But either it was different in blood

Her. O crosse! too high to be enthral'd to loue

Lys. Or else misgraffed, in respect of yeares

Her. O spight! too old to be ingag'd to yong

Lys. Or else it stood vpon the choise of merit

Her. O hell! to choose loue by anothers eie

Lys. Or if there were a simpathie in choise, Warre, death, or sicknesse, did lay siege to it; Making it momentarie, as a sound: Swift as a shadow, short as any dreame, Briefe as the lightning in the collied night, That (in a spleene) vnfolds both heauen and earth; And ere a man hath power to say, behold, The iawes of darkness do deuoure it vp: So quicke bright things come to confusion

Her. If then true Louers haue beene euer crost, It stands as an edict in destinie: Then let vs teach our triall patience, Because it is a customarie crosse, As due to loue, as thoughts, and dreames, and sighes, Wishes and teares; poore Fancies followers

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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