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To join with men in fcorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly;

Our fex, as well as I, may chide you for it;
Though I alone do feel the injury.

Her. I am amazed at your paffionate words:
I fcorn you not; it feems that you fcorn me.
Hel. Have you not fet Lyfander, as in scorn,
"To follow me, and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Demetrius,
(Who even but now, did fpurn me with his foo
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celeftial? wherefore fpeaks he this
To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lyfander
Deny your love, fo rich within his foul,
And tender me, forfooth, affection;
But by your fetting on, by your confent?
What though I be not fo in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, fo fortunate;
But miferable moft, to love unlov'd?
This you should pity, rather than defpife.

Her. I understand not what you mean by this.
Hel. Ay, do, perfevere, counterfeit fad looks,
Make mouths upon me, when I turn my back;
Wink each at other, hold the fweet jeft up:
This fport, well carried, fhall be chronicled.
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me fuch an argument: (8)
But fare ye well, 'tis partly mine own fault,
Which death or abfence foon fhall remedy.
Lyf. Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excufe;
My love, my life, my foul, fair Helena!
Hel. O excellent!

Her. Sweet, do not fcorn her fo.

Dem. If the cannot intreat, I can compel.

Lyf. Thou canft compel no more than the entreat;

Thy threats have no more ftrength, than her weak


Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do;

(8). Such an argument :] Such a fubject of light merriment.

I fwear,

I fwear, by that which I will lofe for thee,
To prove him falfe, that fays, I love thee not.
Dem. I fay, I love thee more than he can do.
Lyf. If thou fay fo, withdraw and prove it too.
Dem. Quick, come-

Her. Lyfander, whereto tends all this?
Lyf. Away, you Ethiope!

Dem. No, no, he'll feem

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 burr; vile thing, let loofe; Or I will fhake thee from me, like a ferpent. Her. Why are you grown fo rude? What change is Sweet love!

Lyf. Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out; Out, loathed medicine: hated poison, hence. Her. Do you not jest?

Hel. Yes, footh, and fo 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 truft your word. Lyf. What, fhould I hurt her, ftrike her, kill her dead?

Although I hate her, I'll not harm her fo.

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 Lyfander?

I am as fair now, as I was ere-while.


Since night, you lov'd me; yet, fince night, you left Why then you left me-(O the Gods forbid it!)

In earnest, fhall I fay?

Lyf. Ay, by my life;

And never did defire to fee thee more.

Therefore be out of hope, of queftion, doubt;

Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jeft;

That I do hate thee, and love Helena.

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

Hel. Fine, i'faith!

Have you no modefty, no maiden fhame,

H 3


No touch of bafhfulness? what, will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie, you counterfeit; you puppet, you.

Her. Puppet? why, fo: ay, that way goes the


Now, I perceive, that the hath made compare
Between our ftatures; fhe hath urg'd her height;
And with her perfonage, her tall perfonage,
Her height, forfooth, the hath prevail'd with him.
And are you grown fo high in his esteem,
Because I am fo dwarfish and fo low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak,
How low am I? I am not yet fo 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 curft;

I have no gift at all in fhrewishness;

I am a right maid, for

Let her not ftrike me.



You, perhaps, may think,

Because she's fomething lower than myself,

That I can match her.

Her. Lower! hark, again

Hel. Good Hermia, do not be fo bitter with me;
I evermore did love you, Hermia,

Did ever keep your counfels, 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 ftrike me, fpurn me, nay, to kill me too;
And now, fo you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly back,
And follow you no further. Let me go.
You fee, how fimple and how fond I am.

Hr. Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you
Hel. A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
Her. What, with Lyfander?

Hel. With Demetrius.

Lyf. Be not afraid, fhe fhall not harm thee, Helena. Dem. No, Sir, fhe fhall not, though you take her



Hel. O, when she's angry, fhe is keen and shrewd; She was a vixen when she went to fchool; And though the be but little, the is fierce. Her. Little, again? nothing but low, and little? Why will you fuffer her to flout me thus? Let me come to her.

Lyf. Get you gone, you dwarf,

You (9) Minimus, of hind'ring knot-grafs made; You bead, you acorn.

Dem. You are too officious,

In her behalf that fcorns. your

fervices. Let her alone, fpeak not of Helena,

Take not her part: for if thou dost intend
Never fo little fhew of love to her,

Thou fhalt aby it.

Lyf. Now the holds me not;

Now follow, if thou dar'ft; to try whose right,
Or thine, or mine, is moft in Helena.

Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thee cheek by jowl.

[Exeunt Lyfander and Demetrius.

Her. You, miftrefs, all this coil is long of you: Nay, go not back.

Hel. I will not trust you, I ;

Nor longer stay in your curft company:

Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray;

My legs are longer, though, to run away.

Exeunt: Hermia pursuing Helena.


Enter Oberon and Puck.

Ob. This is thy negligence: ftill thou mistak'st, Or elfe commit'ft thy knaveries willingly.

Puck. Believe me, King of fhadows, I mistook. Did not you tell me, I should know the man

(9) You Minimus,-] Shakespeare might have given it, You Minim you.

i. e. You diminutive of the creation, you reptile, as in Milton.

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By the Athenian garments he had on?
And fo far blameless proves my enterprize,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
And fo far am I glad it did fo fort, (1)
As this their jangling I efteem a fport.

Ob. Thou feelt, thefe lovers feek a place to fight;
Hie, therefore, Robin, overcaft the night;
The ftarry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fogs, as black as Acheron ;
And lead thefe telty rivals fo aftray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lyfander, fometime, frame thy tongue,
Then ftir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And fometime 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 Lyfander's eye,
Whofe liquor hath this virtuous property, (2)
To take from thence all error with its might;
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted fight.
When they next wake, all this derifion
Shall feem a dream, and fruitlefs vifion;
And back to Athens fhall the lovers wend
With league, whofe date 'till death fhall 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 monfters view, and all things fhall be peace.
Puck. My fairy lord, this must be done with hafte,
For night's fwift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder fhines Aurora's harbinger;

At whofe approach, ghofts wand'ring here and there,
Troop home to church-yard; damned fpirits all,
That in cross-ways and foods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;

For fear left day should look their shames

(1)-fo fort,] So happen in the issue.


(2) virtuous property,] Salutiferous. So he calls, in the Tempelt, Poisonous dew, wicked dew..


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