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The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
to go? Her. What love could press Lysander from my
side? Lys. Lysander's love, that would not let him
Fair Helena; who more engilds the night
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,-0, and is all forgot? All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence? We. Hermia. like two artificial2 gods. Have with our neelds3 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, 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 : (1) Circles. (2) Ingenious. (3) Needles.
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
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 perséver, counterfeit sad looks,
Lys. Stay, gentle Helena ; hear my excuse; My love, my life, my soul, fair Helena!
Hel. O excellent?
Sweet, do not scorn her so.
(1) Wry faces.
Lys. Thou canst compel no more than she en
treat; Thy threats have no more strength, than her weak
Dem. I say, I love thee more than he can do.
No, no, sir :-he will
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.
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 lov'd me; yet, since night you left
me : Why, then you left me,-0, the gods forbid !In earnest, shall I say?
Ay, by my life;
Her. O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!!
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.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;2 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:
(1) A worm that preys on buds of flowers.
He follow'd you; for love, I follow'd him.
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 are too officious,
Now she holds me not;
(2) Anciently knot-grass was believed to prevent the growth of children.