Act 1 - Scene 1
Athens. The palace of THESEUS.
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendants
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Draws on apace; four happy days bring in
Another moon: but, O, methinks,
This old moon wanes! she lingers my desires,
Like to a step-dame or a dowager
out a young man revenue.
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
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;
melancholy forth to funerals;
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another
With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.
Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS
Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke!
Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee?
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,
man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child;
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,
love-tokens with my child:
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung,
With feigning voice verses of feigning
And stolen the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, 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
to her death, according to our law
Immediately provided in that case.
What say you, Hermia? be advised fair maid:
To you your father should be as a god;
One that composed
your beauties, yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax
By him imprinted and within his power
leave the figure or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
So is Lysander.
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