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 To leave the figure, or disfigure it. Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
In himself he is, But in this kind, wanting your father's voice, The other must be held the worthier.
So is Lysander.
Rather, your eyes must with his judgment look.
I would my father looked but with my eyes.
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 befall me in this case If I refuse to wed Demetrius.
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 mewed, To live a barren sister all your life, Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. Thrice blessèd they that master so their blood, To undergo such maiden pilgrimage; But earthlier happy is the rose distilled Than that which, withering on the virgin thorn, Grows, lives, and dies in single blessedness.
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, Or on Diana's altar to protest For aye austerity and single life.
So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, Ere I will yield my virgin patent up Unto his lordship, whose unwishèd yoke My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
You have her father's love, Demetrius, Let me have Hermia's. Do you marry him.
Relent, sweet Hermia; and Lysander, yield Thy crazèd title to my certain right.