Imatges de pÓgina
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My heart with her but as guest-wise sojourned;
And now to Helen is it home returned,

There to remain.

Lys.

Helen, it is not so.

Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know, Lest, to thy peril, thou abide it dear.1— 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 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,-O, and is all forgot?

All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,

1 Pay dearly for it, rue it.

VOL. II.

2 i. e. circles.
3 i. e. ingenious, artful-artificiose (Lat.).
6

Have with our neelds1 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 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.

1

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.

2

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

Hel. O excellent!

Her.

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,

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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,-

Her.
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop!
Dem.
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.

2 i. e. such a subject of light merriment.

3 This arrangement of the text is Malone's, who thus explains it:-The words he'll are not in the falio, 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? Hel. 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 loved me; yet since night you

left

me:

Why, then you left me,-O, the gods forbid!-
In earnest shall I say?

Lys.
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! 1 You thief of love! What, have you come by night, And stolen 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 urged her height,
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed 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;

1 A worm that preys on the leaves or buds of flowers.

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, Let her not hurt me. I was never curst;

I have no gift at all in shrewishness;

I am a right maid for my cowardice;
Let her not strike me. You, perhaps, may think,
Because she's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.

Her.

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 fond2 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. 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;

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