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Shall we their fond pagcant scc?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!

(They retire aside.


Lys. 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.
Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more.
These vows are Hcrmia's; will you give her o'er?

Lys. I had no judgment, when to her I sworc.
Demctrius loves hier, and he loves not you.

Dem. (Awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine !
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eync ?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!

Hcl. O, spite ! O, fury! I see you're all bent
To sct against mc, for your merrinicnt.
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 gentlc lady so :
To vow, and swear, and superpraise ny parts,
When, I am sure, you hate me with your licarts.
You botlı arc rivals, and love Hcrmia,
And now both rivals, to mock Helena :
A trim cxploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's cycs .
With your derision ! None of noble sort
Would so ofsend a virgin ; and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.

Lys. You are unkind, Dcmctrius: be not so:
For you love Hermia ; this, you know, I know;
And herc, with all good will, with all my heart,
In llermia's love I yicld you up my part;

And yours of lIclona to mc bequcatlı,
Whom I do love, and will do to my death.

llel. Never did mockers waste morc idlc brcath.

Dem. Lysander, kccp thy Hermia; I will nonç:...
If c'er I lov'd lier, all that love is gone. : .....
My licart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd; :
And now to Helen is it home return'd,

There to remain. . Lys.

Helen, it is not so.
Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dcar.—.
Look, where thy love comes ; yonder is thy dear.


Her. Dark night, that from the cye his function takes,
The car morc quick of apprchcnsion makes ;
Thou art not by minc cye, Lysander, sound;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound.
But why unkindly didst thou Icave me so ?

Lys. Why should he stay whom love doth press to go?
Her. What lovc. could press Lysander from my side ?

Ly's. Lysander's love, that would not let him bidc;
Fair Helena; who morc cngilds the night
Than all yon fiery ocs and cycs of light.
Why scck'st thou mc? could not this make thice know. ..
Thc hatc I bcar thcc niade mc Icavc thcc so? . ,'

Hir. You speak not as you think, it cannot be.

Ilcl. Injurious Hermia! most ungratcful maid !
Have you conspir’d, have you with thesc.contriv'd
To bait me with this roul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'di :: ::
The sisters' vows, the hours that we liave spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us,-0, and is all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocencc
So we grew together,

Like to a double cherry, sceming parted;
But yet a union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem :
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend ?

ller. 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 lovc, Demetrius,
:- (Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,)

To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial ? Wherefore speaks hc 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 miscrable 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 mouths upon me when I turn my back,
Wink cach at 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 mc such an argument.
But, fare you well: 'tis partly mine own fault,
Which dcath, or absence, soon shall remedy.

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

Hel. O, excellent!

Sweet, do not scorn her so. ::
Dem. If shc cannot entreat, I can compel.

Ly's. Thou canst compel no more than she entreat ; Thy threats have no more str.gth, than her weak prayers. · Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do;

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I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
To prove himn false that says I love thcc not.

Dem. I say I love thcc more than he can do..
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too. .
Dem. Quick, come,

Lysander, whereto tends all this? . .

. [Clings to him.
Lys. Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vilc thing, Ict loose;.
Or I will shake thec from me, like a serpent !

Her. Why are you grown so rudc ? what change is this,
Sweet love?

Ly's. Thy love ? out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathid medicine ! O, hated potion, lience !
Her. Do you not jest ?

[Again clinging to him.

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 wcak 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!
Since night, you lov'd me; yet, since night, you left me:
Why then you left me,-0, the gods forbid !
In carnest, shall I say?

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! [10 HEL.] you juggler! you canker-blosson !
You thief of love ! what, have you come by night,
And stolen my love's heart from him ? [Advancing on her.

Heli I pray you, though you mock mc, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me; I was never curst;

[Retrcats behind the men.
I have no gist at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice; [HERMIA advances. ..'

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Let her not strike me.
Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with mc.
I evermore did love you, Hermia, .
Did cver 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 liath chid me hence; and threaten'd me
To strikc mc, spurn mc, nay, to kill mc 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 scc how simple and how fond I am.

Her. Why, get you gonc : who is't that hinders you · Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.

Hcr. What, with Lysander ?

With Demetrius.
Ly's. 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 ;
Slic was a vixen, when shc went to school.

Her. Why will you suffer her to flout mc thus ? Let me come to her.

[LYSANDER interposes. Den. [To him.] You are too officious. Take not her part: for if thou dost intend Never so little show of love to her, Tho! shalt aby it. | Lys.

Now she holds me not; .
Now follow, if thou dar'st, to try whose right,
Or thine or minc, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thce, chcek by jole.

[Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIHS. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you: Nay, go not back. lici.

I will not trust you, I ; Nor longer stay in your curst company. .

[HERMIA pursulcs and nearly ovcrtakes her, and HELENA finally escapes and exits..


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