Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
100Deme. Relent, sweete Hermia, and, Lysander, yeeld
Thy crazed title to my certaine right.
Lys. You haue her fathers loue, Demetrius:
Let me haue Hermias: doe you marry him.
Egeus. Scornefull Lysander, true, he hath my loue:
105And what is mine, my loue shall render him.
And she is mine, and all my right of her
I doe estate vnto Demetrius.
Lysand. I am my Lord, as well deriu'd as hee,
As well possest: my loue is more than his:
110My fortunes euery way as fairely rankt
(If not with vantage) as Demetrius:
And (which is more then all these boastes can be)
I am belou'd of beautious Hermia.
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
115Demetrius, Ile auouch it to his heade,
Made loue to Nedars daughter, Helena,
And won her soule: and she (sweete Ladie) dotes,
Deuoutly dotes, dotes in Idolatry,
Vpon this spotted and inconstant man.
120The. 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 loose it. But Demetrius come,
And come Egeus, you shall goe with mee:
125I 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)
130To death, or to a vowe of single life.
Come my Hyppolita: what cheare my loue?
Demetrius and Egeus goe along:
I must employ you in some businesse,
Against our nuptiall, and conferre with you
Of