Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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

A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Against my childe, my daughter Hermia.
30Stand forth Demetrius.
My noble Lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth Lisander.
And my gratious Duke,
35This man hath bewitcht the bosome of my childe.
Thou, thou Lysander, thou hast giuen her rimes,
And interchang'd loue tokens with my childe:
Thou hast, by moone-light, at her windowe sung,
With faining voice, verses of faining loue,
40And stolne the impression of her phantasie:
With bracelets of thy haire, rings, gawdes, conceites,
Knackes, trifles, nosegaies, sweete meates (messengers
Of strong preuailement in vnhardened youth)
With cunning hast thou filcht my daughters heart,
45Turnd her obedience (which is due to mee)
To stubborne harshnesse. And, my gratious Duke,
Be it so, she will not here, before your Grace,
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the auncient priuiledge of Athens:
50As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be, either to this gentleman,
Or to her death; according to our lawe,
Immediatly prouided, in that case.
The. What say you, Hermia? Be aduis'd, faire maid.
55To you, your father should be as a God:
One that compos'd your beauties: yea and one,
To whome you are but as a forme in wax,
By him imprinted, and within his power,
To leaue the figure, or disfigure it:
60Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
Her. So is Lisander. The. In himselfe he is:
But in this kinde, wanting your fathers voice,
The other must be held the worthier.