Lys. Demetrius: I will keepe my word with thee

Dem. I would I had your bond: for I perceiue A weake bond holds you; Ile not trust your word

Lys. What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead? Although I hate her, Ile not harme her so

Her. What, can you do me greater harme then hate? Hate me, wherefore? O me, what newes my Loue? Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander? I am as faire now, as I was ere while. Since night you lou'd me: yet since night you left me. Why then you left me (O the gods forbid) In earnest, shall I say? Lys. I, by my life; And neuer did desire to see thee more. Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt; Be certaine, nothing truer: 'tis no iest, That I do hate thee, and loue Helena

Her. O me, you iugler, you canker blossome, You theefe of loue; What, haue you come by night, And stolne my loues heart from him? Hel. Fine yfaith: Haue you no modesty, no maiden shame, No touch of bashfulnesse? What, will you teare Impatient answers from my gentle tongue? Fie, fie, you counterfeit, you puppet, you

Her. Puppet? why so? I, that way goes the game. Now I perceiue that she hath made compare Betweene our statures, she hath vrg'd her height, And with her personage, her tall personage, Her height (forsooth) she hath preuail'd with him. And are you growne so high in his esteeme, Because I am so dwarfish, and so low? How low am I, thou painted May-pole? Speake, How low am I? I am not yet so low, But that my nailes can reach vnto thine eyes

Hel. I pray you though you mocke me, gentlemen, Let her not hurt me; I was neuer curst: I haue no gift at all in shrewishnesse; I am a right maide for my cowardize; Let her not strike me: you perhaps may thinke, Because she is something lower then my selfe, That I can match her

Her. Lower? harke againe

Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me, I euermore did loue you Hermia, Did euer keepe your counsels, neuer wronged you, Saue that in loue vnto Demetrius, I told him of your stealth vnto this wood. He followed you, for loue I followed him, But he hath chid me hence, and threatned me To strike me, spurne me, nay to kill me too; And now, so you will let me quiet go, To Athens will I beare my folly backe, And follow you no further. Let me go. You see how simple, and how fond I am

Her. Why get you gone: who ist that hinders you? Hel. A foolish heart, that I leaue here behinde

Her. What, with Lysander? Her. With Demetrius

Lys. Be not afraid, she shall not harme thee Helena

Dem. No sir, she shall not, though you take her part

Hel. O when she's angry, she is keene and shrewd, She was a vixen when she went to schoole, And though she be but little, she is fierce

Her. Little againe? Nothing but low and little? Why will you suffer her to flout me thus? Let me come to her

Lys. Get you gone you dwarfe, You minimus, of hindring knot-grasse made, You bead, you acorne

Dem. You are too officious, In her behalfe that scornes your seruices. Let her alone, speake not of Helena, Take not her part. For if thou dost intend Neuer so little shew of loue to her, Thou shalt abide it

Lys. Now she holds me not, Now follow if thou dar'st, to try whose right, Of thine or mine is most in Helena

Dem. Follow? Nay, Ile goe with thee cheeke by iowle.

Exit Lysander and Demetrius.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book