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Have with our neelds created both one flower,
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 unloved ? This you should pity, rather than despise.
Her. I understand not what you mean by this. Hel. Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
1 i. e. needles.
2 Mr. Douce thus explains this passage :-Helen says, we had two seeming bodies, but only one heart.” She then exemplifies the position by a simile—“ we had two of the first, i. e. bodies, like the double coats in heraldry that belong to man and wife as one person, but which, like our single heart, have but one crest." Malone explains the heraldic allusion differently, but not so clearly nor satisfactorily.
Make mows upon me when I turn my back;
Lys. Stay, gentle Helena ; hear my excuse.
Hel. O excellent!
Sweet, do not scorn her so.
Dem. I say I love thee more than he can do.
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
No, no, he'll—Sir,3 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, loathed medicine! Hated potion, hence !
1 Make mouths.
3 This arrangement of the text is Malone's, who thus explains it :—The words he’U are not in the folio, and sir is not in the quarto. Demetrius, I suppose, would say, No, no, he'll not have the resolution to disengage himself from Hermia. But turning to Lysander, he addresses him ironically: “Sir, seem to break loose," &c.
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?
Ay, by my life;
'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 stolen my love's heart from him ? Hel.
1 A worm that preys on the leaves or buds of flowers.
How low am I? I am not yet so low,
Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Lower! Hark, again. Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me. I evermore did love you, Hermia, Did ever keep your counsels, never wronged you ; Save that, in love unto Demetrius, I told him of your stealth unto this wood. He followed you ; for love, I followed him. But he hath chid me hence, and threatened 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 farther. Let me go: You see how simple and how fond? I am.
Her. Why, get you gone. Who is't that hinders
Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.
With Demetrius. 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;
1 i. e. froward, cross.
You minimus of hind'ring knot-grass made;
Dem. You are too officious
Now she holds me not.
[Exeunt Lys. and DEM. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is ’long of you. Nay, go not back. Hei.
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. [Exit. Her. I am amazed, and know not what to say.
[Exit, pursuing HELENA. Obe. This is thy negligence; still thou mistak’st, Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Obe. Thou see'st, these lovers seek a place to fight.
welkin cover thou anon
1 Anciently knot-grass was believed to prevent the growth of children. 2 Pretend. 3 Aby it, for abide it, i. e. pay dearly for it, rue it. 4 Chance, fall out; from sort (French).