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Enter Lysander and Helena.
Lyf. Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
Scorn and derision never come in tears.
Look, when I vow, I weep; and, vows so born,
In their nativity all truth appears :
How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Bearing the badge of faith to prove them true ?
Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more,
When truth kills truth, o devilish holy fray!
These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er ?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh;
Your vows to her and me, put in two fcales,
Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.
Lys. I had no judgment when to her I swore.
. Nor none in my mind now you give her o'er. Lyf. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
Dem. [awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine,
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy; o how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kifling cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus’ snow,
Fannd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow,
When thou hold'st up thy hand. O let me kiss
This pureness of pure white, this seal of bliss.
Hel. O spite, o hell! I see you all are bent
To set againft me for your merriment:
you were civil, and knew courtesy, You would not do me thus much injury. Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
must join in fouts to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so:
To vow, and swear, and super-praise my parts,
When I am sure you
You both are rivals, and love Hermia,
And now both rivals to mock Helena.
A trim exploit, a manly enterprize,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
derision! none of noble fort Would so offend a virgin, and extort A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport,
Lyf. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so; For you
love Hermia ; this, you know, I know. And here with all good will, with all my heart, In Hermia's love I yield you up my part; And yours
of Helena to me bequeath, Whom I do love, and will do to my death.
Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Dem. Lyfander, keep thy Hermia; I will none;
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise lojourn’d;
And now to Helen it is home return'd,
There ever to remain.
Lys. It is not so.
Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Left to thy peril thou abide it dear.
Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes :
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
the hearing double recompence.
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound.
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so ?
Lyf. Why should he stay, whom love doth prefs to go?
Her. What love could press Lysander from
Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
Than all yon fiery o's, and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?
Her. You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
Hel. Lo, she is one of this confed'racy;
Now, I perceive, they have conjoin'd all three,
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia, most ungrateful maid,
Have you conspir’d, have you with these contriv’d
To bait me with this foul derision ?
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd,
The sisters vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hafty-footed time
For parting us; 0, and is all forgot?
All school-days friendship, childhood innocence ?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Created with our needles both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion ;
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds,
Had been incorp'rate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
Or with two seeming bodies, but one heart,
Two of the first", like coats in heraldry,
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rend our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly;
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.
Her. Helen, I am amazed at your words :.
I scorn you not; it seems, that
Hel. Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me, and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius
(Who even but now did spurn me with his foot)
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial? wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates ? and wherefore doth Lysander
Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
And tender 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 unlov’d?
you should pity, rather than despise.
Her. I understand not what you mean by this.
Hel. Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
:,A term used in blazoning, when two coats of arms are quarter'd together, and the second is the same
Make mouths upon me when I turn my back,
Wink each at other, hold the sweet jest up:
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
you 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, foon shall remedy.
Lyf. Stay, gentle Helena, hear
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 pray’rs.
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.
Lyf. If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
Dem. Quick, come.
Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiope.!
Dem. No, no, he'll seem
To break away; take on as he would follow,
But yet, come not; you are a tame man, go.
Lyf. Hang off, thou cat, thou bur; 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!
Lyf. Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out;
Out, loathed medicine; hated poison, hence !
Her. Do you not jest?
Hel. Yes, footh, and so do you.
Lyf. 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.