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SCENE I. Athens.
A Room in the Palace of Theseus. Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE,
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
with thee. 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 child: 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 stoln 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;
1 A triumph was a public show, such as a mask, pageant, procession, &c. In 'The Duke of Anjou's Entertainment at Antwerp,' 1581 : Yet notwithstanding, their triumphes [i. e. those of the Romans] have so borne the bell above all the rest, that the word triunphing, which cometh thereof, hath beene applied to all high, great, and statelie dooings.'
? Duke, in our old language, was used for a leader or chief, as the Latin Dux.
3 The old copies read, “This man hath bewitched.' The alteration was made in the second folio for the sake of the metre; but a redundant syllable at the commencement of a verse perpetually occurs in our old dramas.
Baubles, toys, trifles.
To you your
Turn’d her obedience, which is due to me,
father should be as a god; One that compos'd your
beauties; yea, To whom you are but as a form in wax,
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 :
Her. I would my father look'd but with my eyes.
know The worst that
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.
5 This line has a smack of legal common place. Shakspeare is supposed to have been placed while a boy in an attorney's office; at least he often displays that he was well acquainted with the phraseology of lawyers.
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
The. Take time to pause: and, by the next new
(The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius;
Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my love,
? Earthlier happy for earthly happier, which Capel proposed to substitute.
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, 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
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 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 desire we follow you. [Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS,
DEMETRIUS, and Train.
8 As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked. So in Caverdish's Metrical Visions :
• The spotted queen causer of all this strife.' and again:
• Spotted with pride, viciousnes, and cruelty.'