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For aye to be in shady cloister mewed,
To live a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold, fruitless moon.
But earthlier happy is the rose distilled,
Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,.
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
The. Take time to pause, and, by the next new moon, (The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
For everlasting bond of fellowship,)
Upon that day either prepare to die,
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;
For aye, austerity and single life.
Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia; - and, Lysander, yield 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,
Lys. I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
I am beloved of beauteous Hermia.
Why should I then not prosecute my right?
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,
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,
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
I must employ you in some business
[Exeunt THESEUS, HYPPOLYTA, EGEUS, DEMETRIUS, 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 ever I could read, Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth!
Her. O cross! too high to be enthralled to low!
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
The jaws of darkness do devour it up.
So quick bright things come to confusion.
Her. If then true lovers have been ever crossed,
It stands as an edíct 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 revénue, and she hath no child.
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
To do observance to a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.
My good Lysander!
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow;
By the simplicity of Venus' doves;
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves;
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 air
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go.
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,
Her. I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.
Before the time I did Lysander see,
Lys. Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.
[Exit HERMIA. Lys. I will, my Hermia.-Helena, adieu. As you on him, Demetrius dote on you!
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
SCENE II. The same. A Room in a Cottage. Enter SNUG, BOTTOM, FLUTE, SNOUT, QUINCE, and STARVELING.
Quin. Is all our company here?
Bot. You were best to call them generally, man by man, according to the scrip.
Quin. Here is the scroll of every man's name, which is thought fit, through all Athens, to play in our interlude before the duke and duchess, on his wedding-day at night.
Bot. First, good Peter Quince, say what the play treats on; then read the names of the actors; and so grow on to a point.
Quin. Marry, our play is-The most lamentable comedy, and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby.
Bot. A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry. Now, good Peter Quince, call forth your actors by the scroll. Masters, spread yourselves.
Quin. Answer, as I call you.-Nick Bottom, the weaver. Bot. Ready. Name what part I am for, and proceed. Quin. You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus. Bot. What is Pyramus? A lover, or a tyrant?
Quin. A lover, that kills himself most gallantly for love. Bot. That will ask some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes; I will move storms, I will condole in some measure. To the rest. -Yet my chief humor is for a tyrant; I could play Ercles rarely, or a part to tear a cat in, to make all split.
"The raging rocks,
And make and mar
The foolish fates."
This was lofty!-Now name the rest of the players. This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein; a lover is more condoling.