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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 unlov’d? This you should pity, rather than despise.

Her. I understand not what you mean by this.

Hel. Ay, do, persever 43, counterfeit sad looks, 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.

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,
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, sir: he will 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! Her. Do you not jest?

Yes, 'sooth; and so do you. Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.

Hel.

Lys.

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 leftme:
Why, then you left me,-0, the gods forbid!
In earnest, shall I say?

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 mel you juggler! you canker-blossom!
You thief of love! what, have you come by night,
And stol'n 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 urg'd her height; And with her personage, her tall personage, Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.

Imfie! you co why so? Ay, made comp

ow 1 percepet? why so?, you puppet,gue?

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;
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 wrong'd you;
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth unto this wood:
He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd him.
But he hath chid me hence; and threaten’d 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 further: Let me go;
You see how simple and how fond I am.

Her. Why, get you gone: Whois'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;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made 49;
You bead, you acorn.
Dem.

You are too officious,
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone; speak not of Helena;
Take not her part: for if thou dost intend
Never so little show of love to her,
Thou shalt aby it so,
Lys.

Now she holds me not;
Now follow, if thou dar’st, to try whose right,
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Dem. Follow? nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.

[Exeunt Lys. and Dem. Her. You, mistress, all this coil is ’long of you: Nay, go not back. Hel.

I will not trust you, I; Nor longer stay in your curst company. Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray; My legs are longer though, to run away. [Exit. Her. I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.

[Exit, pui suing Helena.

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