A Midsummer Night's Dream

MND I.i.1.1 
Enter Theseus, Hippolyta, Philostrate

MND I.i.1.2 
and Attendants



MND I.i.1 
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour

MND I.i.2 
Draws on apace. Four happy days bring in
apace (adv.) quickly, speedily, at a great rate

MND I.i.3 
Another moon – but O, methinks how slow
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me

MND I.i.4 
This old moon wanes! She lingers my desires,
linger (v.) 1 delay, put off, keep waiting

MND I.i.5 
Like to a stepdame or a dowager

MND I.i.6 
Long withering out a young man's revenue.
revenue (n.) 1 income, yield, profit
wither out (v.) cause to dwindle, make less



MND I.i.7 
Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;

MND I.i.8 
Four nights will quickly dream away the time:

MND I.i.9 
And then the moon – like to a silver bow

MND I.i.10 
New-bent in heaven – shall behold the night

MND I.i.11.1 
Of our solemnities.



MND I.i.11.2 
                         Go, Philostrate,

MND I.i.12 
Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments.

MND I.i.13 
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth.
pert (adj.) lively, brisk, sprightly

MND I.i.14 
Turn melancholy forth to funerals:

MND I.i.15 
The pale companion is not for our pomp.
companion (n.) 1 rogue, rascal, fellow
pomp (n.) 1 pageant, ceremony, procession

MND I.i.15 
Exit Philostrate

MND I.i.16 
Hippolyta, I wooed thee with my sword,

MND I.i.17 
And won thy love doing thee injuries;

MND I.i.18 
But I will wed thee in another key:

MND I.i.19 
With pomp, with triumph, and with revelling.
triumph (n.) 1 public festivity, pageant, display of celebration, tournament

MND I.i.20.1 
Enter Egeus and his daughter Hermia, and Lysander,

MND I.i.20.2 
and Demetrius



MND I.i.20 
Happy be Theseus, our renowned Duke.



MND I.i.21 
Thanks, good Egeus. What's the news with thee?



MND I.i.22 
Full of vexation come I, with complaint

MND I.i.23 
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.

MND I.i.24 
Stand forth, Demetrius! My noble lord,

MND I.i.25 
This man hath my consent to marry her.

MND I.i.26 
Stand forth, Lysander! – And, my gracious Duke,

MND I.i.27 
This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child.

MND I.i.28 
Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes,

MND I.i.29 
And interchanged love-tokens with my child.

MND I.i.30 
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung

MND I.i.31 
With feigning voice verses of feigning love,

MND I.i.32 
And stolen the impression of her fantasy.
fantasy (n.) 5 ardent desire, amorous fancy

MND I.i.33 
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gauds, conceits,
conceit (n.) 7 trinket, fancy article, bauble
gaud (n.) gaudy toy, showy plaything, trinket

MND I.i.34 
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats – messengers
knack (n.) trifle, knick-knack, ornament

MND I.i.35 
Of strong prevailment in unhardened youth –
prevailment (n.) prevailing action, power, influence

MND I.i.36 
With cunning hast thou filched my daughter's heart,

MND I.i.37 
Turned her obedience which is due to me

MND I.i.38 
To stubborn harshness. And, my gracious Duke,

MND I.i.39 
Be it so she will not here before your grace

MND I.i.40 
Consent to marry with Demetrius,

MND I.i.41 
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens:

MND I.i.42 
As she is mine, I may dispose of her;

MND I.i.43 
Which shall be either to this gentleman

MND I.i.44 
Or to her death, according to our law

MND I.i.45 
Immediately provided in that case.
immediately (adv.) directly, instantly, without delay



MND I.i.46 
What say you, Hermia? Be advised, fair maid:

MND I.i.47 
To you your father should be as a god;

MND I.i.48 
One that composed your beauties – yea, and one
compose (v.) 1 make up, produce, fashion

MND I.i.49 
To whom you are but as a form in wax

MND I.i.50 
By him imprinted, and within his power

MND I.i.51 
To leave the figure or disfigure it.

MND I.i.52 
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.



MND I.i.53.1 
So is Lysander.



MND I.i.53.2 
                         In himself he is;

MND I.i.54 
But in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
kind (n.) 7 respect, regard, particular
voice (n.) 2 support, approval, good word

MND I.i.55 
The other must be held the worthier.
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without



MND I.i.56 
I would my father looked but with my eyes.



MND I.i.57 
Rather your eyes must with his judgement look.



MND I.i.58 
I do entreat your grace to pardon me.

MND I.i.59 
I know not by what power I am made bold,
power (n.) 4 force, strength, might

MND I.i.60 
Nor how it may concern my modesty
concern (v.) 3 befit, suit with, accord with

MND I.i.61 
In such a presence here to plead my thoughts;

MND I.i.62 
But I beseech your grace that I may know

MND I.i.63 
The worst that may befall me in this case

MND I.i.64 
If I refuse to wed Demetrius.



MND I.i.65 
Either to die the death, or to abjure

MND I.i.66 
For ever the society of men.

MND I.i.67 
Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires,

MND I.i.68 
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
blood (n.) 1 passion, feeling, strong emotion [especially sexual]
know (v.) 1 acknowledge, remember, think [of]

MND I.i.69 
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,

MND I.i.70 
You can endure the livery of a nun,
aye (adv.) always, ever, for eternity
livery (n.) 1 uniform, costume, special clothing

MND I.i.71 
For aye to be in shady cloister mewed,
mew (v.) coop up, confine, shut up

MND I.i.72 
To live a barren sister all your life,

MND I.i.73 
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
cold (adj.) 1 chaste, modest, lacking sensual passion

MND I.i.74 
Thrice blessed they that master so their blood
blood (n.) 1 passion, feeling, strong emotion [especially sexual]

MND I.i.75 
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;

MND I.i.76 
But earthlier happy is the rose distilled,

MND I.i.77 
Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn,

MND I.i.78 
Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.



MND I.i.79 
So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,

MND I.i.80 
Ere I will my virgin patent up
patent (n.) 1 privilege, right, title

MND I.i.81 
Unto his lordship whose unwished yoke

MND I.i.82 
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.



MND I.i.83 
Take time to pause, and by the next new moon –

MND I.i.84 
The sealing day betwixt my love and me
sealing day (n.) day for confirming a contract, wedding-day

MND I.i.85 
For everlasting bond of fellowship –

MND I.i.86 
Upon that day either prepare to die

MND I.i.87 
For disobedience to your father's will,

MND I.i.88 
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would,

MND I.i.89 
Or on Diana's altar to protest

MND I.i.90 
For aye austerity and single life.
aye (adv.) always, ever, for eternity



MND I.i.91 
Relent, sweet Hermia; and, Lysander, yield

MND I.i.92 
Thy crazed title to my certain right.
crazed (adj.) flawed, unsound, impaired
title (n.) 1 [legal] right, claim, entitlement



MND I.i.93 
You have her father's love, Demetrius –

MND I.i.94 
Let me have Hermia's. Do you marry him.



MND I.i.95 
Scornful Lysander – true, he hath my love;

MND I.i.96 
And what is mine my love shall render him;

MND I.i.97 
And she is mine, and all my right of her

MND I.i.98 
I do estate unto Demetrius.
estate (v.) endow, settle upon, bestow (up)on



MND I.i.99 
I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
derived (adj.) descended, in lineage

MND I.i.100 
As well possessed. My love is more than his,
possessed (adj.) 2 propertied, affluent, provided for

MND I.i.101 
My fortunes every way as fairly ranked –

MND I.i.102 
If not with vantage – as Demetrius'.
vantage (n.) 2 advantageous position, place of vantage, superiority

MND I.i.103 
And – which is more than all these boasts can be –

MND I.i.104 
I am beloved of beauteous Hermia.

MND I.i.105 
Why should not I then prosecute my right?

MND I.i.106 
Demetrius – I'll avouch it to his head –
avouch (v.) 1 declare, assert, affirm
head, to one's to one's face, frankly, openly

MND I.i.107 
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,

MND I.i.108 
And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,

MND I.i.109 
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry

MND I.i.110 
Upon this spotted and inconstant man.
spotted (adj.) 1 stained, blemished



MND I.i.111 
I must confess that I have heard so much,

MND I.i.112 
And with Demetrius thought to have spoke thereof;

MND I.i.113 
But, being overfull of self affairs,

MND I.i.114 
My mind did lose it. But Demetrius, come;
lose (v.) 3 lose sight of, forget

MND I.i.115 
And come, Egeus. You shall go with me.

MND I.i.116 
I have some private schooling for you both.
schooling (n.) admonition, reproof, counsel

MND I.i.117 
For you, fair Hermia, look you arm yourself
arm (v.) 1 prepare, get ready

MND I.i.118 
To fit your fancies to your father's will;

MND I.i.119 
Or else the law of Athens yields you up –

MND I.i.120 
Which by no means we may extenuate –
extenuate (v.) mitigate, lessen, tone down

MND I.i.121 
To death or to a vow of single life.

MND I.i.122 
Come, my Hippolyta. What cheer, my love?

MND I.i.123 
Demetrius and Egeus, go along;
go along come along, come with me

MND I.i.124 
I must employ you in some business

MND I.i.125 
Against our nuptial, and confer with you

MND I.i.126 
Of something nearly that concerns yourselves.
concern (v.) 1 be important to, be the concern of
nearly (adv.) closely, particularly, especially



MND I.i.127 
With duty and desire we follow you.

MND I.i.127 
Exeunt all but Lysander and Hermia



MND I.i.128 
How now, my love? Why is your cheek so pale?

MND I.i.129 
How chance the roses there do fade so fast?



MND I.i.130 
Belike for want of rain, which I could well
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems
want (n.) 1 lack, shortage, dearth

MND I.i.131 
Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.
beteem, beteene (v.) allow, permit, let, grant



MND I.i.132 
Ay me! For aught that I could ever read,
aught (n.) anything, [with negative word] nothing

MND I.i.133 
Could ever hear by tale or history,

MND I.i.134 
The course of true love never did run smooth;

MND I.i.135 
But either it was different in blood –
blood (n.) 7 nobility, breeding, gentility, good parentage



MND I.i.136 
O cross! – too high to be enthralled to low.



MND I.i.137 
Or else misgraffed in respect of years –
misgraffed (adj.) badly grafted, ill-matched, unsuited



MND I.i.138 
O spite! – too old to be engaged to young.



MND I.i.139 
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends –
stand upon (v.) 4 depend on, rely upon, hinge on



MND I.i.140 
O hell! – to choose love by another's eyes.



MND I.i.141 
Or if there were a sympathy in choice,
sympathy (n.) 1 accord, agreement, harmony

MND I.i.142 
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,

MND I.i.143 
Making it momentany as a sound,
momentany (adj.) momentary, transitory, fleeting

MND I.i.144 
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,

MND I.i.145 
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
collied (adj.) 2 blackened, darkened, murky

MND I.i.146 
That in a spleen unfolds both heaven and earth,
spleen (n.) 5 impulse, caprice, whim
spleen (n.) 1 temper, spirit, passion [part of the body seen as the source of both gloomy and mirthful emotions]
unfold (v.) 1 display, reveal, show

MND I.i.147 
And – ere a man hath power to say ‘ Behold!’ –

MND I.i.148 
The jaws of darkness do devour it up.

MND I.i.149 
So quick bright things come to confusion.
quick (adj.) 1 living, vital, full of life



MND I.i.150 
If then true lovers have been ever crossed
cross (v.) 1 prevent, thwart, forestall

MND I.i.151 
It stands as an edict in destiny.

MND I.i.152 
Then let us teach our trial patience,

MND I.i.153 
Because it is a customary cross,

MND I.i.154 
As due to love as thoughts, and dreams, and sighs,

MND I.i.155 
Wishes, and tears – poor fancy's followers.
fancy (n.) 1 love, amorousness, infatuation



MND I.i.156 
A good persuasion. Therefore hear me, Hermia:
persuasion (n.) 1 conviction, principle, opinion

MND I.i.157 
I have a widow aunt, a dowager,

MND I.i.158 
Of great revenue; and she hath no child.

MND I.i.159 
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;

MND I.i.160 
And she respects me as her only son.

MND I.i.161 
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

MND I.i.162 
And to that place the sharp Athenian law

MND I.i.163 
Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me, then

MND I.i.164 
Steal forth thy father's house tomorrow night,

MND I.i.165 
And in the wood, a league without the town –

MND I.i.166 
Where I did meet thee once with Helena

MND I.i.167 
To do observance to a morn of May –
morn (n.) morning, dawn

MND I.i.168.1 
There will I stay for thee.



MND I.i.168.2 
                         My good Lysander,

MND I.i.169 
I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow,

MND I.i.170 
By his best arrow with the golden head,

MND I.i.171 
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
simplicity (n.) 2 innocence, harmlessness, guilelessness

MND I.i.172 
By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,

MND I.i.173 
And by that fire which burned the Carthage queen

MND I.i.174 
When the false Trojan under sail was seen,
false (adj.) 2 disloyal, faithless, inconstant, unfaithful

MND I.i.175 
By all the vows that ever men have broke –

MND I.i.176 
In number more than ever women spoke, –

MND I.i.177 
In that same place thou hast appointed me

MND I.i.178 
Tomorrow truly will I meet with thee.



MND I.i.179 
Keep promise, love. Look – here comes Helena.

MND I.i.180 
Enter Helena



MND I.i.180 
God speed, fair Helena! Whither away?



MND I.i.181 
Call you me fair? that ‘ fair ’ again unsay.

MND I.i.182 
Demetrius loves your fair. O happy fair!
fair (n.) 1 fair face, beauty

MND I.i.183 
Your eyes are lodestars, and your tongue's sweet air
air (n.) 1 melody, tune, strain
lodestar (n.) guiding star, beacon

MND I.i.184 
More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear
tuneable (adj.) tuneful, musical, melodious

MND I.i.185 
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear.

MND I.i.186 
Sickness is catching. O, were favour so,
favour (n.) 1 [facial] appearance, countenance, features, looks

MND I.i.187 
Yours would I catch, fair Hermia, ere I go.

MND I.i.188 
My ear should catch your voice, my eye your eye,

MND I.i.189 
My tongue should catch your tongue's sweet melody.

MND I.i.190 
Were the world mine, Demetrius being bated,
bate (v.) 3 except, omit, leave out of consideration

MND I.i.191 
The rest I'd give to be to you translated.
translate (v.) 1 transform, change, alter

MND I.i.192 
O, teach me how you look, and with what art

MND I.i.193 
You sway the motion of Demetrius' heart.



MND I.i.194 
I frown upon him, yet he loves me still.



MND I.i.195 
O that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!



MND I.i.196 
I give him curses, yet he gives me love.



MND I.i.197 
O that my prayers could such affection move!



MND I.i.198 
The more I hate, the more he follows me.



MND I.i.199 
The more I love, the more he hateth me.



MND I.i.200 
His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine.



MND I.i.201 
None but your beauty. Would that fault were mine!



MND I.i.202 
Take comfort. He no more shall see my face.

MND I.i.203 
Lysander and myself will fly this place.

MND I.i.204 
Before the time I did Lysander see

MND I.i.205 
Seemed Athens as a paradise to me.

MND I.i.206 
O then, what graces in my love do dwell

MND I.i.207 
That he hath turned a heaven unto a hell?



MND I.i.208 
Helen, to you our minds we will unfold.

MND I.i.209 
Tomorrow night, when Phoebe doth behold

MND I.i.210 
Her silver visage in the watery glass,
glass (n.) 1 mirror, looking-glass
visage (n.) 1 face, countenance

MND I.i.211 
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass –
bladed (adj.) many-bladed, abounding in shoots

MND I.i.212 
A time that lovers' flights doth still conceal –
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually

MND I.i.213 
Through Athens gates have we devised to steal.



MND I.i.214 
And in the wood, where often you and I

MND I.i.215 
Upon faint primrose beds were wont to lie,
faint (adj.) 5 pale, lightly coloured
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of

MND I.i.216 
Emptying our bosoms of their counsel sweet,

MND I.i.217 
There my Lysander and myself shall meet,

MND I.i.218 
And thence from Athens turn away our eyes

MND I.i.219 
To seek new friends and stranger companies.
company (n.) 3 companion, associate, comrade
stranger (n.) foreigner, alien, outsider

MND I.i.220 
Farewell, sweet playfellow. Pray thou for us;

MND I.i.221 
And good luck grant thee thy Demetrius.

MND I.i.222 
Keep word, Lysander. We must starve our sight
starve (v.) 3 withhold [from], diet, be sparing with

MND I.i.223 
From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight.
morrow (n.) morning



MND I.i.224.1 
I will, my Hermia.

MND I.i.224 
Exit Hermia

MND I.i.224.2 
                         Helena, adieu!

MND I.i.225 
As you on him, Demetrius dote on you.

MND I.i.225 
Exit Lysander



MND I.i.226 
How happy some o'er other some can be!

MND I.i.227 
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.

MND I.i.228 
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;

MND I.i.229 
He will not know what all but he do know.

MND I.i.230 
And as he errs, doting on Hermia's eyes,

MND I.i.231 
So I, admiring of his qualities.

MND I.i.232 
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
base (adj.) 3 poor, wretched, of low quality
quantity (n.) 2 equal amount, same proportion

MND I.i.233 
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
transpose (v.) change, alter, transform

MND I.i.234 
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,

MND I.i.235 
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

MND I.i.236 
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste;

MND I.i.237 
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
figure (v.) 1 symbolize, represent, portray
unheedy (adj.) unheedful, headstrong, reckless

MND I.i.238 
And therefore is love said to be a child

MND I.i.239 
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.

MND I.i.240 
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word
waggish (adj.) playful, mischievous, impish

MND I.i.241 
So the boy love is perjured everywhere;

MND I.i.242 
For ere Demetrius looked on Hermia's eyne
eyne (n.) [archaism] eyes

MND I.i.243 
He hailed down oaths that he was only mine,

MND I.i.244 
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,

MND I.i.245 
So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
dissolve (v.) 3 melt, liquefy

MND I.i.246 
I will go tell him of fair Hermia's flight.

MND I.i.247 
Then to the wood will he tomorrow night

MND I.i.248 
Pursue her; and for this intelligence
intelligence (n.) 1 information, news, communication

MND I.i.249 
If I have thanks it is a dear expense.

MND I.i.250 
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,

MND I.i.251 
To have his sight thither, and back again.

MND I.i.251 

Next scene