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But, fare


well : 'tis partly mine own fault;
Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy.

Iys. Stay, gentle Helena ; hear my excuse;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!

Hel. O excellent !
Her. 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

Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do;
I swear by that which I will lose for thee,

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,-
Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!

Dem. No, no, sir, he'll
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

Sweet love?

Lys. Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!
Her. Do you not jest?




Hel. 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?

480 Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love? Am not I Hermia ? Are not you Lysander ? I am as fair now, as I was erewhile. Since night, you lov'd me; yet, since night, you left

me :

Why, then you left me,- the gods forbid !-
In earnest, shall I say ?

Lys. 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,

490 That I do hate thee, and love Helena.

Her. O me! you jugler! oh, you canker-blossom! You thief of love! what, have you come by night, And stol'n my love's heart from him ?

Hel. Fine, i'faith! 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 ! 499 Her. Puppet! why so ? Ay, that way goes the game.



Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures, she hath urg'd her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd 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, gentle-

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.

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 wrong'd you ; Save that, in love unto Demetrius, I told him of your stealth unto this wood : He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd him. But he hath chid me hence; and threaten'd 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 further : Let me go : You see how simple and how fond I am.





Her. Why, get you gone : Who is't that hinders

530 Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind. Her. What, with Lysander? Hel. With Demetrius. 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 ?

440 Let me come to her.

Lys. Get you gone, you dwarf ;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made;
You 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 shew of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.

550 Lys. 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 jowl.

[Exit LYSANDER and Dem. Her. You, mistress, all this coyl is 'long of yoy : Nay, go not back.





Hel. I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away.
Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.

[Exeunt : HERMIA pursuing HELENA.
06. This is thy negligence : still thou mistak'st,
Or else commit'st thy knaveries willingly.

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 enterprize,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes :
And so far, am I glad it did so sort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

06. Thou seest 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 Acheron;
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 sometimes rail thou like Demetrius ;
And from each other look thou lead them thus, 580
'Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep :
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error, with his might,


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