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My heart with her but as guest-wise sojourned;
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.1—
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 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
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,
Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
1 Pay dearly for it, rue it.
2 i. e. circles.
3 i. e. ingenious, artful-artificiose (Lat.).
Have with our neelds1 created both one flower,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it;
Her. I am amazed at your passionate words.
(Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,)
Her. I understand not what you mean by this.
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. 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,
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
Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent.
Her. Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,
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 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? Hel. Yes, 'sooth; and so do 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
Why, then you left me,-O, the gods forbid !—
Ay, by my life;
And never did desire to see thee more.
Therefore, be out of hope, of question, doubt,
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
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urged her height,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevailed with him.-
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
Let her not strike me.
Because she's something lower than myself,
That I can match her.
You, perhaps, may think,
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;
I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
Let me go:
You see how simple and how fond2 I am.
Who is't that hinders
Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.
Her. What! with Lysander?
Lys. Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee,
Dem. No, sir; she shall not, though you take her
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.
Get you gone, you dwarf;
1 i. e. froward, cross.