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For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe;
Which now in some light measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.
Obe. What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Some true-love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true.
Puck. Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding 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.
[E.cit. Obe. Flower of this purple dye,
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.
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 befall preposterously.
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.
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.
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, 0 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, perfect, 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: 0 let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss !
Hel. O spite ! 0 hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment.
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 enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
With your derision! None of noble sort
Would go offend a virgin, and extort
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.
Helen, it is not so.
Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby 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,
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?
Lys. Why should he stay whom love doth press to go? 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.
Hel. Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
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 hasty-footed time
For parting us,—0, 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 rent 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 amiazed at your passionate words:
I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.
Hel. Have you not sent 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 perséver, 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!
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 prayers.--
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.
Lys. If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
Dem. Quick, come, –
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!
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, thou burr: 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?
Lys. Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loath'd medicine! hated potion, hence!
Her. Do you not jest?
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, -O, the gods forbid !
In earnest, 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! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
You thief of love! What! have you come by night,
And stoln my love's heart from him !
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 way goes
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,