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Obe. This falls out better than I could devise. But hast thou yet latched the Athenian's eyes With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?

Puck. I took him sleeping,—that is finished, too, And the Athenian woman by his side; That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.


Obe. Stand close ; this is the same Athenian.
Puck. This is the woman, but not this the man.

Dem. O, why rebuke you him that loves you so ?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
Her. Now I but chide, but I should use thee

worse ;
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.
The sun was not so true unto the day,
As he to me.

Would he have stolen away
From sleeping Hermia ? I'll believe, as soon,
This whole earth may be bored, and that the moon
May through the centre creep, and so displease
Her brother's noontide with the Antipodes.
It cannot be, but thou hast murdered him:
So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.

Dem. So should the murdered look; and so should I,
Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty.

the murderer, look as bright, as clear, As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.

Her. What's this to my Lysander? Where is he? Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?

Dem. I had rather give his carcass to my hounds. Her. Out, dog! Out, cur !

Thou driv'st me past the bounds Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then ? Henceforth be never numbered among men!

1 Latched or letched, licked or smeared over.


O! once tell true, tell true, even for my sake.
Durst thou have looked upon him, being awake,
And hast thou killed him sleeping ? Obrave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.

Dem. You spend your passion on a misprised ? mood.
I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.

Her. I pray thee, tell me then that he is well. Dem. An if I could, what should I get therefore ?

Her. A privilege, never to see me more. And from thy hated presence part I so, See me no more, whether he be dead or no. [Exit.

Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vein; Here, therefore, for a while I will remain. So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow, For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe; Which now, in some slight measure, it will pay, If for his tender here I make some stay. [Lies down. 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 turned, and not a false turned true. Puck. Then fate o’errules; that, one man holding

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 3
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 doth appear.
Puck. I

I go; look, how I go;
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. [Exit.
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.


1 A touch anciently signified a trick.
2 “ On a misprised mood," i. e. in a mistaken manner.
3 Cheer here signifies countenance, from cera (Ital.).

4 Alluding to the ancient supposition, that every sigh was indulged at the expense of a drop of blood.

Re-enter Puck.
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, O 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, per-

fect 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's snow,
Fanned with the eastern wind, turns to a crow,
When thou hold'st up thy hand. O let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss !

Hel. O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me,


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 ?

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 so offend a virgin, and extort
A 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 loved her, all that love is gone.

1 i. e. join heartily, unite in the same mind.

My heart with her but as guest-wise sojourned ;
And now to Helen is it home returned,
There to remain.

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

Enter HERMIA. 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 bideFair Helena, who more engilds the night Than all yon fiery oes 2 and eyes of light. Why seek'st thou me ? Could not this make thee

know, The hate I bear 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 conjoined, all three,
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid !
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
To bate me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us,-0, and is all forgot ?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence ?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,

1 Pay dearly for it, rue it.

2 i. e. circles.
3 i. e. ingenious, artful-artificiose (Lat.).


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