By Eleanor Reed,2014-06-22 18:03
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Scene: A forest, early morning. Enter Lysander

    followed by Hermia. Demetrius and Helena follow after.

    Hermia: Lysander, whereto tends all this? Lysander: Away, you Ethiop?

    Demetrius: No, no, sir,

     Seem to break loose, take on as you would follow,

     But yet come not. You are a tame man, go. Lysander: Hang off, thou cat, thou burr! Vile thing, let loose,

     Or I will shake thee from me like a serpent. Hermia: Why are you grown so rude? What change is this,

     Sweet love?

    Lysander: Thy love? out, tawny Tartar, out;

     Out, loathed medicine! O hated potion, hence! Hermia: Do you not jest?

    Helena: Yes, sooth, and so do you.

    Lysander: Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee? Demetrius: I’ll not trust your word.

    Lysander: What? Should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?

     Although I hate her, I’ll not harm her so.

    Hermia: What? Can you do me greater harm than hate?

     Hate me? Wherefore? O me, what news, my love?

     Am I not Hermia? Are you not Lysander?

    Lysander: Ay, by my life;

     And never did desire to see you more.

    Tis no jest

     That I do hate thee and love Helena.

    Hermia: (To Helena)

     O me, you juggler, you canker-blossom,

    You thief of love! What, have you come by night

     And stol’n my love’s heart from him?

    Helena: Fie, I’faith!

     Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,

    No touch of bashfulness?

    Fie, fie, you counterfeit, you puppet, you! Hermia: ‘Puppet?’ Why so? – Ay, that way goes the game.

     Now I perceive that she hath urged her height.

    Are you grown so high in his esteem

    Because I am so dwarfish and so low?

    How low am I, thou painted maypole?

    I am not yet so low

    But my nails can reach unto thine eyes.

    Helena: I pray you, thou you mock me, gentlemen,

    Let her not hurt me. You perhaps may think

    Because she is something lower than myself

    That I can match her.

    Hermia: Lower? Hark, again!

    Helena: Good Helena, do not be so bitter with me.

    I evermore did love you, Hermia,

    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 fond I am. Hermia: Why, get thee gone! Who is’t that hinders you?

    Helena: A foolish heart that I leave here behind. Hermia: What, with Lysander?

    Helena: With Demetrius.

    Hermia: Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena. Demetrius: No, sir. She shall not, though you take her part.

    Helena: O, when she is angry she is keen and shrewd;

    She was a vixen when she went to school,

    And though she be but little, she is fierce. Hermia: Little again? Nothing but low and little?

    Why will you suffer her to flout me thus?

    Let her come to her.

    Lysander: Get you gone, you dwarf,

    You minimus of hindering knot-grass made,

    You bead, you acorn.

    Demetrius: 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.

    Lysander: Now she holds me not

    Now follow, if thou dur’st, to try whose right,

    Of thou or mine, is most in Helena. Demetrius: Follow? Nay, I’ll go with thee, cheek by jowl.

    (Exit Lysander and Demetrius)

    Helena: You, mistress, all this coil is ‘long of you.

    Nay, go not back.

    Helena: I will not trust you, I,

    Nor longer stay in your curst company.

    Your hands that mine are quicker for a fray;

    My legs are longer, thou, to run away!


    Hermia: I am amazed, and know not what to say.


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