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Theseus, duke of Athens.
SN UG, the joiner.
Bottom, the weaver.
SN out, the tinker.
STARVELING, the tailor.
3in love with Hermia.
HIP PolytA, queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus.
Wall, characters in the Interlude, performed by the Moonshine, clowns.
Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.
Scene, Athens, and a Wood not far from it.
* The enumeration of persons was first made by Mr. Rowe.—Sreevess.
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Scene I-Athens. A Room in the Palace of Theseus.
Enter THESE Us, HIPPo LYTA, PHILost RATE, and
The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour
Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
a triumph, i.e. shows, spectacles. “These triumphs (those of the Romans), have so borne the bell above all the rest, that the word triumphing, which cometh thereof, hath been applied to all high, great, and statelie dooings.”—This passage is from The Duke of Anjou's entertainment at Antwerp, 1581, quoted by STEEvens.
Enter EGEus, HERMIA, LYsANDER, and DEMETRius.
Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke "
The. Thanks, good Egeus: What's the news with thee!
Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Thou hast by moon-light at her window sung,
* With feigning voice, verses of feigning love;
And stol’n the impression of her fantasy
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* — renowned dukes] Theseus is called duke in Chaucer's Knight's Tale and in the same manner Stanyhurst, in his translation of too. of duke AEneas.-STEEvess. In our old language duke had the sense of ditz-commander.
* — gawds, i. e. Baubles, toys, trifles.
d To leave the figure, or disfigure it..] i.e. You owe to your father a being which he may 4 pleasure continue or destroy.—Johnsos.
Her. So is Lysander. The. In himself he is: But, in this kind, wanting your father's voice, The other must be held the worthier. Her. I would, my father look'd but with my eyes. The. Rather your eyes must with his judgment look. Her. I do entreat your grace to pardon me. I know not by what power I am made bold; Nor how it may concern my modesty, In such a presence here, to plead my thoughts: But I beseech your grace that I may know The worst that may befal 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. Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires, 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 shady cloister mew’d, To live a barren sister all your life, Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Thrice blessed they, that master so their blood, To undergo such maiden pilgrimage: But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd, Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn, Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness. Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord. Ere I will yield my virgin patent up 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, For disobedience to your father's will; Or else, to wed Demetrius, as he would:
* Know of your youth,) Bring your youth to the question. to give sovereignty.] i. e. Give sovereignty to. This elliptical modo of expression was common in our author's time.-Malo Nr.
Or on Diana's altar to protest,
s — spotted—) As spotless is innocent, so spotted is wicked.