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Home > Midsummer Night's Dream > ACT III - SCENE II. Another part of the wood.

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ACT III - SCENE II. Another part of the wood.

1    I wonder if Titania be awaked;
2    Then, what it was that next came in her eye,
3    Which she must dote on in extremity.
Enter PUCK
4    Here comes my messenger.
5    How now, mad spirit!
6    What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
7    My mistress with a monster is in love.
8    Near to her close and consecrated bower,
9    While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
10   A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
11   That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
12   Were met together to rehearse a play
13   Intended for great Theseus' nuptial-day.
14   The shallowest thick-skin of that barren sort,
15   Who Pyramus presented, in their sport
16   Forsook his scene and enter'd in a brake
17   When I did him at this advantage take,
18   An ass's nole I fixed on his head:
19   Anon his Thisbe must be answered,
20   And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
21   As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
22   Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
23   Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
24   Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
25   So, at his sight, away his fellows fly;
26   And, at our stamp, here o'er and o'er one falls;
27   He murder cries and help from Athens calls.
28   Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears
29   thus strong,
30   Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
31   For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
32   Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all
33   things catch.
34   I led them on in this distracted fear,
35   And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
36   When in that moment, so it came to pass,
37   Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.
38   This falls out better than I could devise.
39   But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
40   With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
41   I took him sleeping,--that is finish'd too,--
42   And the Athenian woman by his side:
43   That, when he waked, of force she must be eyed.

44   Stand close: this is the same Athenian.
45   This is the woman, but not this the man.
46   O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
47   Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
48   Now I but chide; but I should use thee worse,
49   For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse,
50   If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
51   Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
52   And kill me too.
53   The sun was not so true unto the day
54   As he to me: would he have stolen away
55   From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
56   This whole earth may be bored and that the moon
57   May through the centre creep and so displease
58   Her brother's noontide with Antipodes.
59   It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;
60   So should a murderer look, so dead, so grim.
61   So should the murder'd look, and so should I,
62   Pierced through the heart with your stern cruelty:
63   Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
64   As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
65   What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
66   Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give him me?
67   I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.
68   Out, dog! out, cur! thou drivest me past the bounds
69   Of maiden's patience. Hast thou slain him, then?
70   Henceforth be never number'd among men!
71   O, once tell true, tell true, even for my sake!
72   Durst thou have look'd upon him being awake,
73   And hast thou kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
74   Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
75   An adder did it; for with doubler tongue
76   Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
77   You spend your passion on a misprised mood:
78   I am not guilty of Lysander's blood;
79   Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
80   I pray thee, tell me then that he is well.
81   An if I could, what should I get therefore?
82   A privilege never to see me more.
83   And from thy hated presence part I so:
84   See me no more, whether he be dead or no.

85   There is no following her in this fierce vein:
86   Here therefore for a while I will remain.
87   So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
88   For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe:
89   Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
90   If for his tender here I make some stay.
Lies down and sleeps

91   What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite
92   And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight:
93   Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
94   Some true love turn'd and not a false turn'd true.
95   Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
96   A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
97   About the wood go swifter than the wind,
98   And Helena of Athens look thou find:
99   All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer,
100  With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear:
101  By some illusion see thou bring her here:
102  I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.
103  I go, I go; look how I go,
104  Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.

105  Flower of this purple dye,
106  Hit with Cupid's archery,
107  Sink in apple of his eye.
108  When his love he doth espy,
109  Let her shine as gloriously
110  As the Venus of the sky.
111  When thou wakest, if she be by,
112  Beg of her for remedy.
Re-enter PUCK

113  Captain of our fairy band,
114  Helena is here at hand;
115  And the youth, mistook by me,
116  Pleading for a lover's fee.
117  Shall we their fond pageant see?
118  Lord, what fools these mortals be!
119  Stand aside: the noise they make
120  Will cause Demetrius to awake.
121  Then will two at once woo one;
122  That must needs be sport alone;
123  And those things do best please me
124  That befal preposterously.

125  Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
126  Scorn and derision never come in tears:
127  Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
128  In their nativity all truth appears.
129  How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
130  Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?
131  You do advance your cunning more and more.
132  When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
133  These vows are Hermia's: will you give her o'er?
134  Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh:
135  Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
136  Will even weigh, and both as light as tales.
137  I had no judgment when to her I swore.
138  Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
139  Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
140   O Helena, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
141  To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
142  Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
143  Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
144  That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow,
145  Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
146  When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me kiss
147  This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
148  O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
149  To set against me for your merriment:
150  If you we re civil and knew courtesy,
151  You would not do me thus much injury.
152  Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
153  But you must join in souls to mock me too?
154  If you were men, as men you are in show,
155  You would not use a gentle lady so;
156  To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
157  When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
158  You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
159  And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
160  A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
161  To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
162  With your derision! none of noble sort
163  Would so offend a virgin, and extort
164  A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
165  You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
166  For you love Hermia; this you know I know:
167  And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
168  In Hermia's love I yield you up my part;
169  And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
170  Whom I do love and will do till my death.
171  Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
172  Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
173  If e'er I loved her, all that love is gone.
174  My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
175  And now to Helen is it home return'd,
176  There to remain.
177  Helen, it is not so.
178  Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
179  Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear.
180  Look, where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
Re-enter HERMIA

181  Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
182  The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
183  Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
184  It pays the hearing double recompense.
185  Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
186  Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound
187  But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
188  Why should he stay, whom love doth press to go?
189  What love could press Lysander from my side?
190  Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,
191  Fair Helena, who more engilds the night
192  Than all you fiery oes and eyes of light.
193  Why seek'st thou me? could not this make thee know,
194  The hate I bear thee made me leave thee so?
195  You speak not as you think: it cannot be.
196  Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
197  Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
198  To fashion this false sport, in spite of me.
199  Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful maid!
200  Have you conspired, have you with these contrived
201  To bait me with this foul derision?
202  Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
203  The sisters' vows, the hours that we have spent,
204  When we have chid the hasty-footed time
205  For parting us,--O, is it all forgot?
206  All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
207  We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
208  Have with our needles created both one flower,
209  Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion,
210  Both warbling of one song, both in one key,
211  As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds,
212  Had been incorporate. So we grow together,
213  Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
214  But yet an union in partition;
215  Two lovely berries moulded on one stem;
216  So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
217  Two of the first, like coats in heraldry,
218  Due but to one and crowned with one crest.
219  And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
220  To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
221  It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly:
222  Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
223  Though I alone do feel the injury.
224  I am amazed at your passionate words.
225  I scorn you not: it seems that you scorn me.
226  Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
227  To follow me and praise my eyes and face?
228  And made your other love, Demetrius,
229  Who even but now did spurn me with his foot,
230  To call me goddess, nymph, divine and rare,
231  Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
232  To her he hates? and wherefore doth Lysander
233  Deny your love, so rich within his soul,
234  And tender me, forsooth, affection,
235  But by your setting on, by your consent?
236  What thought I be not so in grace as you,
237  So hung upon with love, so fortunate,
238  But miserable most, to love unloved?
239  This you should pity rather than despise.
240  I understand not what you mean by this.
241  Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,
242  Make mouths upon me when I turn my back;
243  Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up:
244  This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
245  If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
246  You would not make me such an argument.
247  But fare ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
248  Which death or absence soon shall remedy.
249  Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse:
250  My love, my life my soul, fair Helena!
251  O excellent!
252  Sweet, do not scorn her so.
253  If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
254  Thou canst compel no more than she entreat:
255  Thy threats have no more strength than her weak prayers.
256  Helen, I love thee; by my life, I do:
257  I swear by that which I will lose for thee,
258  To prove him false that says I love thee not.
259  I say I love thee more than he can do.
260  If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
261  Quick, come!
262  Lysander, whereto tends all this?
263  Away, you Ethiope!
264  No, no; he'll
265  Seem to break loose; take on as you would follow,
266  But yet come not: you are a tame man, go!
267  Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! vile thing, let loose,
268  Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent!
269  Why are you grown so rude? what change is this?
270  Sweet love,--
271  Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
272  Out, loathed medicine! hated potion, hence!
273  Do you not jest?
274  Yes, sooth; and so do you.
275  Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
276  I would I had your bond, for I perceive
277  A weak bond holds you: I'll not trust your word.
278  What, should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
279  Although I hate her, I'll not harm her so.
280  What, can you do me greater harm than hate?
281  Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my love!
282  Am not I Hermia? are not you Lysander?
283  I am as fair now as I was erewhile.
284  Since night you loved me; yet since night you left
285  me:
286  Why, then you left me--O, the gods forbid!--
287  In earnest, shall I say?
288  Ay, by my life;
289  And never did desire to see thee more.
290  Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt;
291  Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
292  That I do hate thee and love Helena.
293  O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
294  You thief of love! what, have you come by night
295  And stolen my love's heart from him?
296  Fine, i'faith!
297  Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
298  No touch of bashfulness? What, will you tear
299  Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
300  Fie, fie! you counterfeit, you puppet, you!
301  Puppet? why so? ay, that way goes the game.
302  Now I perceive that she hath made compare
303  Between our statures; she hath urged her height;
304  And with her personage, her tall personage,
305  Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with him.
306  And are you grown so high in his esteem;
307  Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
308  How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;
309  How low am I? I am not yet so low
310  But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
311  I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
312  Let her not hurt me: I was never curst;
313  I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
314  I am a right maid for my cowardice:
315  Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
316  Because she is something lower than myself,
317  That I can match her.
318  Lower! hark, again.
319  Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
320  I evermore did love you, Hermia,
321  Did ever keep your counsels, never wrong'd you;
322  Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
323  I told him of your stealth unto this wood.
324  He follow'd you; for love I follow'd him;
325  But he hath chid me hence and threaten'd me
326  To strike me, spurn me, nay, to kill me too:
327  And now, so you will let me quiet go,
328  To Athens will I bear my folly back
329  And follow you no further: let me go:
330  You see how simple and how fond I am.
331  Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?
332  A foolish heart, that I leave here behind.
333  What, with Lysander?
334  With Demetrius.
335  Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.
336  No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.
337  O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!
338  She was a vixen when she went to school;
339  And though she be but little, she is fierce.
340  'Little' again! nothing but 'low' and 'little'!
341  Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?
342  Let me come to her.
343  Get you gone, you dwarf;
344  You minimus, of hindering knot-grass made;
345  You bead, you acorn.
346  You are too officious
347  In her behalf that scorns your services.
348  Let her alone: speak not of Helena;
349  Take not her part; for, if thou dost intend
350  Never so little show of love to her,
351  Thou shalt aby it.
352  Now she holds me not;
353  Now follow, if thou darest, to try whose right,
354  Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
355  Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.

356  You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
357  Nay, go not back.
358  I will not trust you, I,
359  Nor longer stay in your curst company.
360  Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray,
361  My legs are longer though, to run away.

362  I am amazed, and know not what to say.

363  This is thy negligence: still thou mistakest,
364  Or else committ'st thy knaveries wilfully.
365  Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
366  Did not you tell me I should know the man
367  By the Athenian garment be had on?
368  And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
369  That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes;
370  And so far am I glad it so did sort
371  As this their jangling I esteem a sport.
372  Thou see'st these lovers seek a place to fight:
373  Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night;
374  The starry welkin cover thou anon
375  With drooping fog as black as Acheron,
376  And lead these testy rivals so astray
377  As one come not within another's way.
378  Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
379  Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
380  And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
381  And from each other look thou lead them thus,
382  Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
383  With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep:
384  Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
385  Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
386  To take from thence all error with his might,
387  And make his eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
388  When they next wake, all this derision
389  Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision,
390  And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
391  With league whose date till death shall never end.
392  Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
393  I'll to my queen and beg her Indian boy;
394  And then I will her charmed eye release
395  From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
396  My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
397  For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
398  And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger;
399  At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,
400  Troop home to churchyards: damned spirits all,
401  That in crossways and floods have burial,
402  Already to their wormy beds are gone;
403  For fear lest day should look their shames upon,
404  They willfully themselves exile from light
405  And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
406  But we are spirits of another sort:
407  I with the morning's love have oft made sport,
408  And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
409  Even till the eastern gate, all fiery-red,
410  Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
411  Turns into yellow gold his salt green streams.
412  But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
413  We may effect this business yet ere day.

414  Up and down, up and down,
415  I will lead them up and down:
416  I am fear'd in field and town:
417  Goblin, lead them up and down.
418  Here comes one.

419  Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.
420  Here, villain; drawn and ready. Where art thou?
421  I will be with thee straight.
422  Follow me, then,
423  To plainer ground.
Exit LYSANDER, as following the voice


424  Lysander! speak again:
425  Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
426  Speak! In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy head?
427  Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
428  Telling the bushes that thou look'st for wars,
429  And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
430  I'll whip thee with a rod: he is defiled
431  That draws a sword on thee.
432  Yea, art thou there?
433  Follow my voice: we'll try no manhood here.


434  He goes before me and still dares me on:
435  When I come where he calls, then he is gone.
436  The villain is much lighter-heel'd than I:
437  I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly;
438  That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
439  And here will rest me.
Lies down
440  Come, thou gentle day!
441  For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
442  I'll find Demetrius and revenge this spite.


443  Ho, ho, ho! Coward, why comest thou not?
444  Abide me, if thou darest; for well I wot
445  Thou runn'st before me, shifting every place,
446  And darest not stand, nor look me in the face.
447  Where art thou now?
448  Come hither: I am here.
449  Nay, then, thou mock'st me. Thou shalt buy this dear,
450  If ever I thy face by daylight see:
451  Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
452  To measure out my length on this cold bed.
453  By day's approach look to be visited.
Lies down and sleeps

Re-enter HELENA

454  O weary night, O long and tedious night,
455  Abate thy hour! Shine comforts from the east,
456  That I may back to Athens by daylight,
457  From these that my poor company detest:
458  And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
459  Steal me awhile from mine own company.
Lies down and sleeps

460  Yet but three? Come one more;
461  Two of both kinds make up four.
462  Here she comes, curst and sad:
463  Cupid is a knavish lad,
464  Thus to make poor females mad.
Re-enter HERMIA

465  Never so weary, never so in woe,
466  Bedabbled with the dew and torn with briers,
467  I can no further crawl, no further go;
468  My legs can keep no pace with my desires.
469  Here will I rest me till the break of day.
470  Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!
Lies down and sleeps

471  On the ground
472  Sleep sound:
473  I'll apply
474  To your eye,
475  Gentle lover, remedy.
Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER's eyes
476  When thou wakest,
477  Thou takest
478  True delight
479  In the sight
480  Of thy former lady's eye:
481  And the country proverb known,
482  That every man should take his own,
483  In your waking shall be shown:
484  Jack shall have Jill;
485  Nought shall go ill;
486  The man shall have his mare again, and all shall be well.

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