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Oberon discovers that Puck has mistaken Lysander for Demetrius, and by his magie charms corrects the error.

SCENE.-A Wood.


Lys. Why should you think, that I should woo in scorn?
Scorn and derision never come in tears.

Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
In their nativity all truth appears.

How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?
Hel. You do advance your cunning more and more.
When truth kills truth, O, matchless holy fray!
These vows are Hermia's; Will you give her o'er?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
Your vows, to her and me, put in two scales,
Will even weigh; and both as light as tales.
Lys. I had no judgment, when to her I swore.
Hel. Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
Lys. Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.


Dem. [Awaking.] O Helen, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show

Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow,
When thou hold'st up thy hand: O let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
Hel. O cruel spite! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment.
If you were civil, and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join, in souls, to mock me too?
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;

To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When, I am sure, you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;

And now both rivals, to mock Helena;
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes,
With your derision! none, of noble sort,
Would so offend a virgin; and extort

A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
Lys. You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;

For you love Hermia: this, you know, I know:
And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Whom I do love, and will do till my death.

Hel. Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Dem. Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is gone.

My heart with her but, as guest-wise, sojourn'd;
And now to Helen is it home return'd,

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Dem. Disparage not the faith thou dost not know, Lest, to thy peril, thou aby* it dear.

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 think, 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 bide,
Fair Helena; who more engilds the night

Than all yon fiery oest 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 conjoin'd, all three,
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd
To bait me with this foul derision?

Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd,
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 schooldays' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,

Have with our neeldst 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,

*Pay dearly for it.

+ Circles.

‡ Needles.

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 rend 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.


Oberon directs Puck to cast the lovers into a "death counterfeiting sleep,” and then to disenchant Lysander, so that when they wake, all the mistakes shall seem a dream. SCENE. A Wood. LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS, HERMIA, and HE. LENA, discovered sleeping.


The. Go, one of you, find out the forester ;

For now our observation is perform'd;

And since we have the vaward of the day,
My love shall hear the music of my hounds.-
Uncouple in the western valley; go:-
Despatch, I say, and find the forester.-
We will, fair queen, up to the mountain's top,
And mark the musical confusion

Of hounds and echo in conjunction.

Hip. I was with Hercules, and Cadmus, once,
When in a wood of Crete they bay'd the bear
With hounds of Sparta: never did I hear
Such gallant chiding; for, besides the groves,
The skies, the fountains, every region near
Seem'd all one mutual cry: I never heard
So musical a discord, such sweet thunder.

The. My hounds are bred out of the Spartan kind,
So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung
With ears that sweep away the morning dew;
Crook-knee'd and dew-lap'd like Thessalian bulls;
Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth-like bells,
Each under each. A cry more tunable

Was never holla'd to, nor cheer'd with horn,

In Crete, in Sparta, nor in Thessaly:

Judge, when you hear. But soft; what nymphs are these?
Ege. My lord, this is my daughter here asleep;

And this, Lysander; this Demetrius is;

This Helena, old Neda's Helena :

I wonder of their being here together.

The. No doubt, they rose up early, to observe
The rite of May; and, hearing our intent,
Come here in grace of our solemnity.

But, speak, Egeus; is not this the day

That Hermia should give answer of her choice?

Ege. It is, my lord.

The. Go, bid the huntsmen wake them with their horns.

Horns and shout within. DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER, HERMIA, and HELENA, wake and start up.

The. Good-morrow, friends. Saint Valentine is past;

Begin these wood-birds but to couple now?

Lys. Pardon, my lord.

[He and the rest kneel to THESEUS.

I pray you all stand up.

I know, you are two rival enemies;
How comes this gentle concord in the world,
That hatred is so far from jealousy,
To sleep by hate, and fear no enmity?

Lys. My lord, I shall reply amazedly,
Half 'sleep, half waking: But as yet, I swear,
I cannot truly say how I came here:
But, as I think, (for truly would I speak,-.
And now I do bethink me, so it is ;)

I came with Hermia hither: our intent

Was, to be gone from Athens, where we might be
Without the peril of the Athenian law.

Ege. Enough, enough, my lord; you have enough.
I beg the law, the law upon his head.-

They would have stol'n away, they would, Demetrius,
Thereby to have defeated you and me :

You, of your wife; and me, of my consent;

Of my consent that she should be your wife.

Dem. My lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,

Of this their purpose hither, to this wood;

And I in fury hither follow'd them;
Fair Helena in fancy following me.

But, my good lord, I wot not by what power,
(But, by some power it is,) my love to Hermia,
Melted as doth the snow, seems to me now
As the remembrance of an idle gawd,
Which in my childhood I did dote upon:
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object, and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my lord,
Was I betroth'd ere I saw Hermia;
But, like in sickness, did I loathe this food:
But, as in health, come to my natural taste,

Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it.

The. Fair flowers, you are fortunately met:
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.-
Egeus, I will overbear your will;

For in the temple, by and by with us,
These couples shall eternally be knit.

And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purpos'd hunting shall be set aside.—
Away, with us, to Athens: Three and three,
We'll hold a feast in great solemnity.

Come, Hippolyta.

[Exeunt THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, EGEUS, and rain Dem. These things seem small and undistinguishable, Like far-off mountains turned into clouds.

Her. Methinks I see these things with parted eye. When every thing seems double.


So, methinks:

It seems to me,

And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.


That yet we sleep, we dream.-Do not you think,
The duke was here, and bid us follow him?

Her. Yea; and my father.


And Hippolyta.

Lys. And he did bid us follow to the temple.

Dem. Why then, we are awake: let's follow him;

And, by the way, let us recount our dreams.



SCENE I.-The same. An Apartment in the Palace of Theseus
Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, Lords, and Attendants,
Hip. 'Tis strange, my Theseus, that these lovers speak of.
The. More strange than true. I never may believe

These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,

Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend

More than cool reason ever comprehends.

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet,

Are of imagination all compact:

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;

That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,

Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:

The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven,
And, as imagination bodies forth

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