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Lyf. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.
Her. What greater harm can you do me than hate?
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 ere-while.
Since night, you lov’d me; yet, since night, you left me:
you left me - (o, the gods forbid !) In earnest, shall I say?
Lyf. 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 jugler, o, 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 !
Her. Puppet! why so ? ay, that
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 prevaild 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.
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 into the 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
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 you ?
Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.
Her. What, with Lysander ?
Hel. With Demetrius.
Lys. Be not afraid ; she will not harm thee, Helena.
Dem. No, fir, she shall not, though you take her part.
Hel. O, 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.
Lyf. Get you gone, you dwarf,
You minim, you, 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 doft intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.
Lys. Now she holds me not;
Now follow, if thou dar’st, to try whose right
Of thine or mine is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow? nay, I'll go with thee cheek by jowl.
[Exe. Lysander and Demetrius. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is long of you : 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.
Ob. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st, Or else committ'it thy knaveries willingly.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook. Did not you
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 fort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
0b. 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, 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;
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with its might,
And make his eye-balls rowl 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.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy ;
And then I will her charmed 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, wandring 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 exile themselves from light,
And must for aye confort with black-brow'd night.
Ob. But we are spirits of another fort;
I with the morning-light have oft made sport;
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Ev’n ’till the eastern gate all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with far-bléffing beams,
Turns into yellow gold his falt-green streams.
But notwithstanding, haste, make no delay;
We may effect this business yet ere day.
Puck. Up and down then, up and down,
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in field and town.
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.
Enter Lysander. Lyf. 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.
Dem. Lyfander, speak again;
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou Aled?
Speak in some bush, where thou dost hide thy heado
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 defild
That draws a sword on thee.
Dem. Yea, art thou there?
Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here. [Exe.
and still dares me on ;
When I come where he calls me, then he's gone.
The villain is much lighter-heeld than I:
I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
That fall'n am I in dark uneven way,
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day:
[Lyes down. For if but once thou shew me thy gray light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite.
Enter Puck and Demetrius.
Puck. Ho, ho, ho, coward, why then com'ft thou not?
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'ft: 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?
Puck. Come thou hither; I am here.
Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me; thou shalt buy this dear,