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But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy
Lie further off; in human modesty
Such separation, as, may well be said,
Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid:

So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend:
Thy love ne'er alter, till thy sweet life end!

Lys. Amen, Amen, to that fair prayer, say I; And then end life, when I end loyalty! Here is my bed: Sleep give thee all his rest! Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd. [They sleep.

Enter Puck.

Puck. Through the forest have I gone,
But Athenian found I none,
On whose eyes I might approve
This flower's force in stirring love.
Night and silence! who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he, my master said,
Despised the Athenian maid;

And here the maiden, sleeping sound,
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul! she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, kill-courtesy.
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw

All the power this charm doth owe:

When thou wak'st, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eye-lid.
So awake, when I am gone;
For I must now to Oberon.

Enter Demetrius and Helena, running.

Exit.

Hel. Stay, though thou kill me, sweet Demetrius.

Dem. I charge thee, hence, and do not haunt me thus.

Hel. O, wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so. Dem. Stay, on thy peril; alone will go. [Exit Demetrius.

Hel. O, I am out of breath in this fond chase!
The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.
Happy is Hermia, whereso'er she lies;
For she hath blessed and attractive eyes.
How came her eyes so bright? Not with salt tears:
If so, my eyes are oftener wash'd than hers.
No, no, I am as ugly as a bear;

For beasts that meet me, run away for fear:
Therefore, no marvel, though Demetrius
Do, as a monster, fly my presence thus.
What wicked and dissembling glass of mine
Made me compare with Hermia's sphery eyne?—
But who is here ?-Lysander! on the ground!
Dead? or asleep? I see no blood, no wound!-
Lysander, if you live, good sir, awake.

sake.

Lys. And run through fire I will, for thy sweet [Waking. Transparent Helena! Nature here shows art, That through thy bosom makes me see thy heart. Where is Demetrius? O, how fit a word Is that vile name, to perish on my sword? Hel. Do not say so, Lysander; say not 30: What though he love your Hermia? Lord, what though?

Yet Hermia still loves you: then be content.

Lys. Content with Hermia? No: I do repent The tedious minutes I with her have spent. Not Hermia, but Helena I love: Who will not change a raven for a dove? The will of man is by his reason sway'd: And reason says you are the worthier maid. Things growing are not ripe until their season; So I, being young, till now ripe not to reason; And touching now the point of human skill, Reason becomes the marshal to my will, And leads me to your eyes; where I o'erlook Love's stories, written in love's richest book. Hel. Wherefore was I to this keen mockery born?

When, at your hands, did I deserve this scorn? Is't not enough, is't not enough, young man, That I did never, no, nor never can,

Deserve a sweet look from Demetrius' eye,
But you must flout my insufficiency?
Good troth, you do me wrong, good sooth, you do,
In such disdainful manner me to woo.
But fare you well: perforce I must confess,
I thought you lord of more true gentleness.
O, that a lady, of one man refus'd,
Should, of another, therefore be abus'd!
Lys. She sees not Hermia :-Hermia, sleep thou
there;

And never may'st thou come Lysander near!
For, as a surfeit of the sweetest things
The deepest loathing to the stomach brings;
Or, as the heresies, that men do leave,
Are hated most of those they did deceive;
So thou, my surfeit, and my heresy,
Of all be hated; but the most of me!

[Exit.

And all my powers, address your love and might, To honour Helen, and to be her knight!

[Exit. Her. [starting.] Help me, Lysander, help me! do thy best,

To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast!
Ah me, for pity!-what a dream was here?
Lysander, look, how I do quake with fear!
Methought a serpent eat my heart away,
And you sat smiling at his cruel prey!-
Lysander! what, remov'd? Lysander! lord!
What, out of hearing? gone? no sound, no word?
Alack, where are you? speak, an if you hear;
Speak, of all loves; I swoon almost with fear.
No?-then I well perceive you are not nigh:
Either death, or you, I'll find immediately. [Exit.

ACT III.

SCENE I.-The same. The Queen of Fairies lying
asleep.
Enter Quince, Snug, Bottom, Flute, Snout, and
Starveling.

Bot. Are we all met ?

Quin. Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous conve. nient place for our rehearsal: This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tyringhouse; and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the duke.

Bot. Peter Quince,

Quin. What say'st thou, bully Bottom?

Bot. There are things in this comedy of Pyramus and Thisby, that will never please. First, Pyramus must draw a sword to kill himself; which the ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?

Snout. By'rlakin, a parlous fear.

Star. I believe, we must leave the killing out. when all is done.

Bot. Not a whit; I have a device to make all well. Write me a prologue: and let the prologue seem to say, we will do no harm with our swords: and that Pyramus is not killed indeed: and, for the more better assurance, tell them, that I Pyramus am not Pyramus, but Bottom the weaver: This will put them out of fear,

Quin. Well, we will have such a prologue; and it shall be written in eight and six.

Bot. No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.

Snout. Will not the ladies be afeard of the lion ? Star. I fear it, I promise you.

Bot. Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves: to bring in, God shield us! a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing: for there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion, living; and we ought to look to it.

Snout. Therefore, another prologue must tell, he is not a lion.

Bot. Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect,-Ladies, or fair ladies, I would wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble: my life for yours.

If you think I come hither as a lion, it were pity of my life: No, I am no such thing, I am a man as other men are: and there, indeed, let him name his name; and tell them plainly, he is Snug the joiner.

Quin. Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard things; that is, to bring the moon-light into a chamber for you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moon-light.

Snug. Doth the moon shine that night we play our play?

Bot. A calendar, a calendar! look in the almanack; find out moon-shine, find out moon-shine. Quin. Yes, it doth shine that night.

Bot. Why, then you may leave a casement of the great chamber-window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in at the casement.

Quin. Ay; or else one must come in with a bush of thorns and a lantern, and say, he comes to disfigure, or to present, the person of moon-shine. Then, there is another thing; we must have a wall in the great chamber; for Pyramus and Thisby, says the story, did talk through the chink of a wall.

Snug. You never can bring in a wall. What say you, Bottom ?

Bot. Some man or other must present wall: and let him have some plaster, or some lome, or some rough-cast about him, to signify wall; or let him hold his fingers thus, and through that cranny shall Pyramus and Thisby whisper.

Quin. If that may be, then all is well. Come, sit down, every mother's son, and rehearse your parts. Pyramus, you begin: when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake; and so every one according to his cue.

Enter Puck behind.

Bot. Why do they run away ? this is a knavery of them, to make me afeard.

Re-enter Snout.

Snout. O Bottom, thou art changed! what do I see on thee?

Bot. What do you see? you see an ass's head of your own; Do you? Re-enter Quince.

Quin. Bless thee, Bottom! bless thee! thou art
translated.
[Exit.
Bot. I see their knavery: this is to make an ass
of me; to fright me, if they could. But I will not
stir from this place, do what they can: I will walk
up and down here, and I will sing that they shall
hear I am not afraid.
[Sings.

The ousel cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tarney bill,
The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill;

Tita. What angel wakes me from my flowery
[Waking.

bed?

Bot. The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,
The plain-song cuckoo gray,
Whose note full many a man doth mark,
And dares not answer, nay;-

for, indeed, who would set his wit to so foolish a
bird? who would give a bird the lie, though he cry
cuckoo, never so?

Tita. I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again:
Mine ear is much enamour'd of thy note,
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me,
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little

Puck. What hempen home-spuns have we swag. reason for that: And yet, to say the truth, reason

gering here,

So near the cradle of the fairy queen?
What, a play toward? I'll be an auditor;
An actor too, perhaps, if I see cause.

Quin. Speak, Pyramus :-Thisby, stand forth.
Pyr. Thisby, the flowers of odious savours sweet,-
Quin. Odours, odours.

Pyr.

odours savours sweet.

So doth thy breath, my dearest Thisby dear.But, hark, a voice! stay thou but here a while, And by and by I will to thee appear. [Exit. Puck. A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here! [Aside.-Exit. This. Must I speak now? Quin. Ay, marry, must you: for you must understand, he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.

This. Most radiant Pyramus, most lily white of hue. Of colour like the red rose on triumphant brier, Most brisky juvenal, and eke most lovely Jew,

As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire, I'll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny's tomb.

Quin. Ninus' tomb, man: Why you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Pyramus: you speak all your part at once, cues and all.-Pyramus enter; your cue is past; it is, never tire.

Re-enter Puck, and Bottom with an ass's head. This. O,-As true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.

Pyr. If I were fair, Thisby, I were only thine :-Quin. O monstrous! O strange! we are haunted. Pray, masters! fly, masters! help!

[Exeunt Clowns. Puck. I'll follow you, I'll lead you about a round. Through bog, through bush, through brake, through brier;

Sometime a horse I'll be, sometime a hound,
A hog, a headless bear, sometime a fire;
And neigh, and bark, and grunt, and roar, and
burn,

Like horse, hound, hog, bear, fire, at every turn.
[Exit.

and love keep little company together now-a-days: The more the pity, that some honest neighbours will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.

Tita. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful. Bot. Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine

own turn.

Tita. Out of this wood do not desire to go;
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit, of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state,
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep⚫
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.-
Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed!
Enter four Fairies.

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3 Fai.
And I.
4 Fai.
Where shall we go?
Tita. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries;
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries;
The honey bags steal from the humble-bees,
And, for night-tapers, crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise;
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moon-beams from his sleeping eyes:
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
1 Fai. Hail, mortal!

2 Fai. Hail!

3 Fai. Hail!

4 Fai. Hail!

Bot. I cry your worship's mercy, heartily.-I be seech your worship's name.

Cob. Cobweb.

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, And kill me too.

good master Cobweb: If I cut my finger, I shall The sun was not so true unto the day, make bold with you.-Your name, honest gentle-As he to me: Would he have stol'n away

man?

Peas. Peas-blossom.

From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon, This whole earth may be bor'd; and that the moon Bot. I pray you, commend me to mistress Squash, May through the center creep, and so displease your mother, and to master Peas cod, your father. Her brother's noon-tide with the Antipodes. Good master Peas-blossom, I shall desire you of It cannot be, but thou hast murder'd him; more acquaintance too.-Your name, I beseech | So should a murderer look; so dead, so grim. you, sir? Dem. So should the murder'd look; and so

Mus. Mustard-seed.

Bot. Good master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well: that same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many a gentleman of your house: I promise you, your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. I desire you more acquaintance, good master Mustard seed.

Tita. Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.

The moon, methinks, looks with a watery eye; And when she weeps, weeps every little flower, Lamenting some enforced chastity.

Tie up my love's tongue, bring him silently. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Another Part of the Wood.

Enter Oberon.

Obe. I wonder, if Titania be awak'd; Then, what it was that next came in her eye, Which she must dote on in extremity.

Enter Puck.

Here comes my messenger.-How now, mad spirit?
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
Puck. My mistress with a monster is in love,
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play,
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
Forsook his scene, and enter'd in a brake:
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's now I fixed on his head;

Anon, his Thisbe must be answered,

should I,

Pierc'd through the heart with your stern cruelty:
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
Her. What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me ?
Dem. I had rather give his carcase to my hounds.
Her. Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past
the bounds

Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him then?
Henceforth be never number'd among men !
Oh! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake;
Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake,
And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
Dem. You spend your passion on a mispris'd
mood:

I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;

Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well. Dem. An if I could, what should I get therefore? Her. A privilege, never to see me more. And from thy hated presence part I so: See me no more, whether he be dead or no.

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And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight: Of thy misprision must perforce ensue

And forth my mimick comes: When they him spy, Some true-love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true.

As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky;
So at his sight, away his fellows fly:

And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.
Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus
strong,

Made senseless things begin to do them wrong:
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some, sleeves; some, hats: from yielders all things
I led them on in this distracted fear, [catch.
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
When in that moment (so it came to pass)
Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass.

Obe. This falls out better than I could devise. But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?

Puck. I took him sleeping,-that is finish'd too,-And the Athenian woman by his side; That when he wak'd, of force she must be ey'd. Enter Demetrius and Hermia.

Obe. Stand close; this is the same Athenian. Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man. Dem. O, why rebuke you him that love you so? Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.

Her. Now I but chide, but I should use thee

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Puck. Then fate o'er-rules; that, one man hold

ing troth,

A million fail, confounding oath on oath.

Obe. About the wood go swifter than the wind, And Helena of Athens look thou find : All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear. By some illusion see thou bring her here; I'll charm his eyes, against she do appear. Puck. I go, I go; look, how I go;

Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. [Exit.
Obe. Flower of this purple die,

Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye!
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.-
When thou wak'st, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.

Re-enter Puck.

Puck. Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,

And the youth mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover's fee;
Shall we their fond pageant see?

Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Obe. Stand aside the noise they make,
Will cause Demetrius to awake.

Puck. Then will two at once, woo one;
That must needs be sport alone;

And those things do best please me,
That befal preposterously.

Enter Lysander and Helena.

Hel. Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd, all three,

Lys. Why should you think, that I shonid woo To fashion this false sport in spite of me.

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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 scales,
Will even weigh; and both as light as tales.

Lys. I had no judgment, when to her I swore.
Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
Dem. [awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, per-
fect, divine!

To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show

Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow,
When thou hold'st up thy hand: O let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
Hel. O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me, for your mertiment.
If you were civil, and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join, in souls, 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 superpraise my parts,
When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts.
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,
With your derision! none, of noble sort,
Would so offend a virgin; and extort

A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
Lys. 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. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone.
My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd;
And now to Helen is it home return'd,
There to remain.

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Her. Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,

The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense :-
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? [to go?
Lys. Why should he stay, whom love doth press
Her. What love could press Lysander from my
side ?

Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee
know,

The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so?

Her. You speak not as you think; it cannot be.

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 sister's vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us,-O, and is all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence ?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our neelds created 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 incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted;
But yet a union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem:
So, 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. I am amazed at your passionate words:
I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.
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?
This you should pity, rather than despise.
Her. I understand not what you mean by this.
Hel. Ay, do, persever, 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.
If 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, soon shall remedy.

Lys. 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; [prayers.-

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,-

Her.

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

Dem.

No, no, sir :-he will
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, thoú burr: vile thing
let loose;

Or I will shake thee from me, like a serpent.
Her. Why are you grown so rude? what change
Sweet love!
[is this,
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?

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,-0, 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,
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 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!

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
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, 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.
[Exit, pursuing Helena.
Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,
Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.

[Exil.

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 so did sort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport.

[fight:

Obe. Thou seest, these lovers seek a place to
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,

Her. Puppet! why so? Ay, that way goes the As one come not within another's way.

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, 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.

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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
you?

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

Hel.

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 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.
Whiles 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-brow'd 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,
With Demetrius. 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.

Lys. Be not afraid: she shall not harm thee,
Helena.

Dem. No, sir; 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.

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 show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it.

[Exit Oberon.
Puck. Up and down, 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.

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