Hel. Loe, she is one of this confederacy, Now I perceiue they haue conioyn'd all three, To fashion this false sport in spight of me. Iniurous Hermia, most vngratefull maid, Haue you conspir'd, haue you with these contriu'd To baite me, with this foule derision? Is all the counsell that we two haue shar'd, The sisters vowes, the houres that we haue spent, When wee haue chid the hasty footed time, For parting vs; O, is all forgot? All schooledaies friendship, child-hood innocence? We Hermia, like two Artificiall gods, Haue with our needles, 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 mindes Had beene incorporate. So we grew together, Like to a double cherry, seeming parted, But yet a vnion in partition, Two louely berries molded on one stem, So with two seeming bodies, but one heart, Two of the first life coats in Heraldry, Due but to one and crowned with one crest. And will you rent our ancient loue asunder, To ioyne with men in scorning your poore friend? It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly. Our sexe as well as I, may chide you for it, Though I alone doe feele the iniurie

Her. I am amazed at your passionate words, I scorne you not; It seemes that you scorne me

Hel. Haue you not set Lysander, as in scorne To follow me, and praise my eies and face? And made your other loue, Demetrius (Who euen but now did spurne me with his foote) To call me goddesse, nimph, diuine, and rare, Precious, celestiall? Wherefore speakes he this To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander Denie your loue (so rich within his soule) 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 vpon with loue, so fortunate? (But miserable most, to loue vnlou'd) This you should pittie, rather then despise

Her. I vnderstand not what you meane by this

Hel. I, doe, perseuer, counterfeit sad lookes, Make mouthes vpon me when I turne my backe, Winke each at other, hold the sweete iest vp: This sport well carried, shall be chronicled. If you haue any pittie, grace, or manners, You would not make me such an argument: But fare ye well, 'tis partly mine owne fault, Which death or absence soone shall remedie

Lys. Stay gentle Helena, heare my excuse, My loue, my life, my soule, faire Helena

Hel. O excellent! Her. Sweete, do not scorne her so

Dem. If she cannot entreate, I can compell

Lys. Thou canst compell, no more then she entreate. Thy threats haue no more strength then her weak praise. Helen, I loue thee, by my life I doe; I sweare by that which I will lose for thee, To proue him false, that saies I loue thee not

Dem. I say, I loue thee more then he can do

Lys. If thou say so, withdraw and proue it too

Dem. Quick, come

Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this? Lys. Away, you Ethiope

Dem. No, no, Sir, seeme to breake loose; Take on as you would follow, But yet come not: you are a tame man, go

Lys. Hang off thou cat, thou bur; vile thing let loose, Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent

Her. Why are you growne so rude? What change is this sweete Loue? Lys. Thy loue? out tawny Tartar, out; Out loathed medicine; O hated poison hence

Her. Do you not iest? Hel. Yes sooth, and so do you

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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