(Middle of) Act 3, Scene 2
Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye.
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky.
When thou wakest, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.
Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand;
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover's fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Stand aside: the noise they make
Will cause Demetrius to awake.
Then will two at once woo one;
That must needs be sport alone;
And those things do best please me
That befall prepost'rously.
Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.
122Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
123Scorn and derision never come in tears:
124Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
125In their nativity all truth appears.
126How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
127Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?
128You do advance your cunning more and more.
129When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
130These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
131Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
132Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
133Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.
134I had no judgment when to her I swore.
135Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
136Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
137O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
138To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
139Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
140Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
141That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
142Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
143When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
144This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
145O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
146To set against me for your merriment:
147If you we re civil and knew courtesy,
148You would not do me thus much injury.
149Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
150But you must join in souls to mock me too?
151If you were men, as men you are in show,
152You would not use a gentle lady so;
153To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
154When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
155You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
156And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
157A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
158To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
159With your derision! none of noble sort
160Would so offend a virgin, and extort
161A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
162You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
163For you love Hermia; this you know I know:
164And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
165In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
166And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
167Whom I do love and will do till my death.
168Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
169Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
170If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
171My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
172And now to Helen is it home return'd,
173There to remain.
173Helen, it is not so.
174Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
175Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.
176Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
177Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
178The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
179Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
180It pays the hearing double recompense.
181Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
182Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound
183But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
184Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?
185What love could press Lysander from my side?
186Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
187Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
188Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.
189Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
190The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?
191You speak not as you think: it cannot be.
192Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
193Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
194To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
195Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
196Have you conspired, have you with these contriv'd
197To bait me with this foul derision?
198Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
199The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
200When we have chid the hasty-footed time
201For parting us,—O, is it all forgot?
202All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
203We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
204Have with our needles created both one flower,
205Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
206Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
207As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds,
208Had been incorporate. So we grow together,
209Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
210But yet an union in partition;
211Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
212So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
213Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
214Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
215And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
216To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
217It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
218Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
219Though I alone do feel the injury.
220I am amazed at your passionate words.
221I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.
222Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
223To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
224And made your other love, Demetrius,
225Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,
226To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
227Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
228To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
229Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
230And tender me, forsooth, affection,
231But by your setting on, by your consent?
232What though I be not so in grace as you,
233So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
234But miserable most, to love unloved?
235This you should pity rather than despise.
236I understand not what you mean by this.
237Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
238Make mouths upon me when I turn my back;
239Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up:
240This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
241If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
242You would not make me such an argument.
243But fare ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
244Which death or absence soon shall remedy.
245Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse:
246My love, my life my soul, fair Helena!
247Sweet, do not scorn her so.
248If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
249Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
250Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.
251Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do:
252I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
253To prove him false that says I love thee not.
254I say I love thee more than he can do.
255If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
256Lysander, whereto tends all this?
257Away, you Ethiope!
257No, no; he'll
258Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow,
259But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!
260Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
261Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!
262Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
263Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
264Out, loathed med'cine! hated potion, hence!
265Do you not jest?
265Yes, sooth; and so do you.
266Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
267I would I had your bond, for I perceive
268A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.
269What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
270Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.
271What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
272Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
273Am not I Hermia? are not you Lysander?
274I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
275Since night you loved me; yet since night you left me:
276Why, then you left me—O, the gods forbid!—
277In earnest, shall I say?
277Ay, by my life;
278And never did desire to see thee more.
279Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
280Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
281That I do hate thee and love Helena.
282O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
283You thief of love! what, have you come by night
284And stolen my love's heart from him?
285Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
286No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
287Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
288Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
289Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
290Now I perceive that she hath made compare
291Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
292And with her personage, her tall personage,
293Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
294And are you grown so high in his esteem;
295Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
296How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
297How low am I? I am not yet so low
298But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
299I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
300Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;
301I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
302I am a right maid for my cowardice:
303Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
304Because she is something lower than myself,
305That I can match her.
305"Lower"? hark, again.
306Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
307I evermore did love you, Hermia,
308Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
309Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
310I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
311He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him;
312But he hath chid me hence and threaten'd me
313To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
314And now, so you will let me quiet go,
315To Athens will I bear my folly back
316And follow you no further: let me go:
317You see how simple and how fond I am.
318Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?
319A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
320What, with Lysander?
321Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.
322No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.
323O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!
324She was a vixen when she went to school;
325And though she be but little, she is fierce.
326"Little" again! nothing but "low" and "little"!
327Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
328Let me come to her.
328Get you gone, you dwarf;
329You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
330You bead, you acorn.
330You are too officious
331In her behalf that scorns your services.
332Let her alone: speak not of Helena;
333Take not her part; for, if thou dost intend
334Never so little show of love to her,
335Thou shalt aby it.
335Now she holds me not;
336Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
337Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
338Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jowl.
[Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS.]
339You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
340Nay, go not back.
340I will not trust you, I,
341Nor longer stay in your curst company.
342Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
343My legs are longer though, to run away.
344I am amazed, and know not what to say.
[For the entire play, click here.]