Page images
PDF
EPUB

Lys. Thy love ? out, tawny Tartar, out ;
Out, loathed medicine ; hated poison, hence!

Her. Do you not jest?
Hel. Yes, footh, 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.

Lyf. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead? Although I hate her, I'll not harm her fo.

Her. 7 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:
Why then you left me-- (O the gods forbid !)
In earnest, shall I say?

Lyf. Ay, by my life,
And never did desire to fee 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, oh, you canker-bloffom,
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 way goes

the

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, the hath prevail'd with him. And are you grown fo high in his esteem, Because I am so dwarfish and so low? How low am I, thou painted maypole ? speak, VOL. I.

I

How 2 Wbat, can you do me greater harm, than hate?

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 shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardise :
Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
Because she's something lower than my felf,
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 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 you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear iny 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.
Lyf. Be not afraid, she will 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 fuffer her to flout me thus ?
Let me come to her.

Lyf. Get you gone, you dwarf,
You's 'Minim, you' of hind'ring knot-grass made,
You bead, you acorn.

Dem. You are too officious
8 Minimus, ...old edit. Theob. emend.

In her behalf that fcorns your services,
Let her alone, speak not of Helena,
Take not her part : for if thou dost intend
Never so little Thew 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 coyl 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.

Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say. (Exeunt.

S Ç E N E IX.

Enter Oberon and Puck.
Ob. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,
Or else committ'st thy knaveries willingly.

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 At benian's eyes;
And so far am I glad it did so fort,
As this their jangling I esteem a sport

.
Ob. 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;

I 2

And

And sometime rail thou like Demetrius ;
And from each other look thou lead them thug,
'Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting neep
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 thenee all error with its imight,
And make his eye-balls rowl with wonted light
When they next wake, all this derifion
Shall feem a dream and fruitlefs vision ;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend i 101
With league, whose date 'till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee imploy,
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 Ahall be peace.

Pack. My fairy lord, this must be done with hafte,
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 foods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone,
For fear lest day should look their Thames 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-blessing' beams,
Turns into yellow gold his falt-green streams.
But notwithstanding, hafte, make no delay,
We may effect this business yet ere day. [Exit Oberon.

Puck. "'Up and down then, up and down, I will lead them up and down:

I am 9 fair blessed . . old.edit. Warb. emend. • i Up and down, up and down,

up

I am fear'd in field and town.
Goblin, lead them

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.

Enter Demetrius.
Dem. Lyfander, speak again ;
Thou run-away, thou coward, art thou fled ?
Speak in some bush, where a 'thou dost' hide thy hea:t.

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.

Lys. He goes before me, and still dares me on;
When I come where he calls me, then he's gone.
The villain is much lighter-heeld than 1:
I follow'd fast, but fafter he did fly;
That fall'n am I in dark uneven way,
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day: [Lyes docen.
For if but once thou shew me thy gray light,
I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spight.

Enter Puck and Demetrius.
Puck. Ho, ho, ho, coward 3'why then com'st 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?

Puik, 2 dost thou 3 why com'At thou not?

[ocr errors]

I 3.

« PreviousContinue »