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And ten ler me, forsooth, affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent ?
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
But miserable most, to love unloved ?
This you should pity, rather than despise.
Her. I understană not what you mean by this.
Hel. Ay, do, perséver, counterfeit sad looks,
Make mows upon me when I turn my back;
Wink at each other; hold the sweet jest up.
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument.
But fare ye well. 'Tis partly mine own fault;
Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy.
Lys. Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse.
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!
Hel. O excellent!
Sweet, do not scorn her so.
Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat;
Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.--
Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do.
I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
To prove him false, that says I love thee not.
Dem. I say I love thee more than he can do.
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw and prove it too.
Dem. Quick, come,
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!
No, no, he'll - Sir, Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow; But yet come not. You are a tame man, go!
Lys. Hang off, thou cat, thou burr. Vile thing, let loose; Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.
Her. Why are you grown so rude? What change is this, Sweet love?
Lys. Thy love! Out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine! Hated potion, hence !
Her. Do you not jest?
Yes, 'sooth; and so do you. Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
Dem. I would I had your bond; for, I perceive, A weak bond holds you. I'll not trust your word.
Lys. What! should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead ? Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.
Her. What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
lIate me! Wherefore ? O me! What news, my love i
Am not I Hermia ? Are not you Lysander ?
I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
Since night you loved me; yet since night you left me.
Why, then you left me,-0, the gods forbid !
In earnest shall I say ?
Ay, by my life;
And never did desire to see thee more.
Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt,
Be certain nothing truer. 'Tis no jest,
That I do hate thee, and love Helena.
Her. O me, you juggler! you canker-blossom
You thief of love! What, have you come by night,
And stolen my love's heart from him ?
Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue ?
Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
Her. Puppet! Why so? Ay, that way goes the
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height,
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.-
And are you grown so high in his esteem,
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak;
How low am I ? I am not yet so low,
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me. I was never curst;
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice;
Let her not strike me. You, perhaps, may think,
Because she's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.
Lower! Hark, again.
Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I evermore did love you, Hermia,
Did ever keep your counsels, never wronged you;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
He followed you: for love, I followed him.
But he hath chid me hence, and threatened me
To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no farther. Let me go:
You see how simple and how fond I am.
Her. Why, get you gone? Who is't that hindere you?
Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.
Her. What! with Lysander ?
Lys. Be not afraid ; she shall not harm thee, Helena.
Dem. No, sir; she shall not, though you take her part.
Hel. 0, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd.
She was a vixen, when she went to school;
And, though she be but little, she is fierce.
Her. Little again? Nothing but low and little ?
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus ?
Let me come to her.
Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus of hind'ring knot-grass made;
Yon bead, you acorn.
Dem. You are too officious
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone; speak not of Helena ;
Take not her part; for if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.
Now she holds me not.
Now follow if thou dar’st, to try whose right,
Or thine, or mine, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow? Nay, I'll go with thee cheek by jole.
[Exeunt Lys. and Dem. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you. Nay, go not' back. Hel
I will not trust you, l; Nor longer stay in your curst company. Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray; My legs are longer though, to run away. [Exit. Her. I am amazed, and know not what to say.
[Exit, pursuing HELENA. Obe. This is thy negligence; still thou mistak'st, Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
And so far am I glad it so did sort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
Obe. Thou see'st, these lovers seek a place to fight.
Hie, therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheror;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep.
T'hen crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with his might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend
With league whose date till death shall never end
Whilas I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with haste.
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger,
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to church-yards. Damned spirits all,
That in cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;
For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
They wilfully themselves exile from light,
And must for aye consort with black-browed night.
Obe. But we are spirits of another sort.
I with the Morning's love have oft made sport;
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay :
We may effect this business yet ere day. [Exit OBERON.
Puck. Up and down, up and down,
I will lead them up and down.
I am feared in field and town;
Goblin, lead them up and down. Here comes one.
Enter LYSANDER. Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius? Speak thou now. Puck Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art thou ? Lys. I will be with thee straight. Puck.
Follow me, then, To plainer ground. [Exit Lys. as following the voice.
Enter DEMETRIUS. Dem.
Lysander ! speak again. Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Speak. In some bush?
In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head ? Puck. Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars, Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars, And wilt not come ? Come, recreant; come, thou child, I'll whip thee with a rod. He is defiled, That draws a sword on thee. Dem.
Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.
[Exeunt. Re-enter LYSANDER. Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on; Wien I come where he calls, then he is gone. The villain is much lighter heeled than I. I followed fast, but faster he did fly; That fallen am I in dark, uneven way. And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!
[Lies down. For if but once thou show me thy gray light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.
Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.
Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, why com’st thou not ?
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar’st; for well I wot,
Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place;
And dar’st not stand, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou ?
Come hither; I am here.
Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this
dear, If ever I thy face by day-light see. Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me