SCENE II. Another part of the wood.
I wonder if Titania be awak'd;
Then, what it was that next came in her
Which she must dote on in extremity.
Here comes my messenger.--How now, mad spirit?
What night-rule now about this
My mistress with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a
Intended for great Theseus' nuptial day.
The shallowest thickskin of that barren
Who Pyramus presented in their sport,
Forsook his scene and enter'd in a
When I did him at this advantage take,
An ass's nowl I fixed on his head;
his Thisbe must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese
that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing
at the gun's report,
Sever themselves and madly sweep the sky,
So at his sight away his
And at our stamp here, o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help
from Athens calls.
Their sense thus weak, lost with their fears, thus strong,
senseless things begin to do them wrong;
For briers and thorns at their apparel
Some sleeves, some hats: from yielders all things catch.
I led them on in this
And left sweet Pyramus translated there:
When in that moment,--so it
came to pass,--
Titania wak'd, and straightway lov'd an ass.
This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd the
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
I took him sleeping,--that is finish'd too,--
And the Athenian woman by his
That, when he wak'd, of force she must be ey'd.
[Enter DEMETRIUS and HERMIA.]
Stand close; this is the same Athenian.
This is the woman, but not this the man.
O, why rebuke you him that loves you so?
Lay breath so bitter on your
Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse;
For thou, I fear, hast given
me cause to curse.
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o'er shoes in blood,
plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.
The sun was not so true unto the day
As he to me:
would he have stol'n away
From sleeping Hermia? I'll believe as soon
This whole earth
may be bor'd; and that the moon
May through the centre creep and so displease
brother's noontide with the antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murder'd him;
should a murderer look; so dead, so grim.
So should the murder'd look; and so should I,
Pierc'd through the heart
with your stern cruelty:
Yet you, the murderer, look as bright, as clear,
Venus in her glimmering sphere.
What's this to my Lysander? where is he?
Ah, good Demetrius, wilt thou give
I had rather give his carcass to my hounds.
Out, dog! out, cur! thou driv'st me past the bounds
Of maiden's patience.
Hast thou slain him, then?
Henceforth be never number'd among men!
Oh! once tell true;
tell true, even for my sake;
Durst thou have look'd upon him, being awake,
And hast thou
kill'd him sleeping? O brave touch!
Could not a worm, an adder, do so much?
An adder did
it; for with doubler tongue
Than thine, thou serpent, never adder stung.
You spend your passion on a mispris'd mood:
I am not guilty of Lysander's
Nor is he dead, for aught that I can tell.
I pray thee, tell me, then, that he is well.
An if I could, what should I get therefore?
A privilege never to see me more.--
And from thy hated presence part I
See me no more whether he be dead or no.
There is no following her in this fierce vein:
Here, therefore, for a
while I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt
sleep doth sorrow owe;
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender
here I make some stay.
What hast thou done? thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the love-juice on
some true-love's sight:
Of thy misprision must perforce ensue
Some true love turn'd, and
not a false turn'd true.
Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man holding troth,
A million fail, confounding
oath on oath.
About the wood go, swifter than the wind,
And Helena of Athens look thou
All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer,
With sighs of love, that costs the fresh
By some illusion see thou bring her here;
I'll charm his eyes against she do
I go, I go; look how I go,--
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of
When thou wak'st, 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?
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;
those things do best please me
That befall preposterously.
[Enter LYSANDER and HELENA.]
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
How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Bearing the badge of faith,
to prove them true?
You do advance your cunning more and more.
When truth kills truth, O
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,
weigh; and both as light as tales.
I had no judgment when to her I swore.
Nor none, in my mind, now you give her o'er.
Demetrius loves her, and he loves not you.
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,
with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
When thou hold'st up thy hand: O, let me
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
O spite! O hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your
If you were civil, and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me
If you were men, as men you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
When I am sure you hate me with your
You both are rivals, and love Hermia;
And now both rivals, to mock Helena:
trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
derision! None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin, and extort
A poor soul's
patience, all to make you sport.
You are unkind, Demetrius; be not so;
For you love Hermia: this you know I
And here, with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermia's love I yield you up
And yours of Helena to me bequeath,
Whom I do love and will do till my
Never did mockers waste more idle breath.
Lysander, keep thy Hermia; I will none:
If e'er I lov'd her, all that
love is gone.
My heart to her but as guest-wise sojourn'd;
And now to Helen is it home
There to remain.
Helen, it is not so.
Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby
Look where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double
Thou art not by mine eye, Lysander, found;
Mine ear, I thank it, brought
me to thy sound.
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
Why should he stay whom love doth press to go?
What love could press Lysander from my side?
Lysander's love, that would not let him bide,--
Fair Helena,--who more
engilds the night
Than all yon fiery oes and eyes of light.
Why seek'st thou me? could
not this make thee know
The hate I bare thee made me leave thee so?
You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Hermia! most ungrateful
Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd,
To bait me with this foul
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, is all
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
We, Hermia, like two
Have with our needles 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
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Two of the first, like coats in
Due but to one, and crowned with one crest.
And will you rent our ancient love
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the
I am amazed at your passionate words:
I scorn you not; it seems that you
Have you not set Lysander, as in scorn,
To follow me, and praise my eyes and
And made your other love, Demetrius,--
Who even but now did spurn me with his
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
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, so
But miserable most, to love unlov'd?
This you should pity rather than
I understand not what you mean by this.
Ay, do persever, counterfeit sad looks,
Make mows upon me when I turn my
Wink each at other; hold the sweet jest up:
This sport, well carried, shall be
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an
But fare ye well: 'tis partly my own fault;
Which death, or absence, soon
Stay, gentle Helena; hear my excuse;
My love, my life, my soul, fair
Sweet, do not scorn her so.
If she cannot entreat, I can compel.
Thou canst compel no more than she entreat;
Thy threats have no more
strength than her weak prayers.--
Helen, I love thee; by my life I do;
I swear by that
which I will lose for thee
To prove him false that says I love thee not.
I say I love thee more than he can do.
If thou say so, withdraw, and prove it too.
Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Away, you Ethiope!
No, no, sir:--he will
Seem to break loose; take on as you would
But yet come not. You are a tame man; go!
Hang off, thou cat, thou burr: vile thing, let loose,
Or I will shake thee
from me like a serpent.
Why are you grown so rude? what change is this,
Thy love! out, tawny Tartar, out!
Out, loathed medicine! hated potion,
Do you not jest?
Yes, sooth; and so do you.
Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
I would I had your bond; for I perceive
A weak bond holds you; I'll not
trust your word.
What! should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her,
I'll not harm her so.
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
Since night you lov'd me; yet since night you left me:
Why then, you left
me,--O, the gods forbid!--
In earnest, shall I say?
Ay, by my life;
And never did desire to see thee more.
Therefore be out
of hope, of question, doubt,
Be certain, nothing truer; 'tis no jest
That I do hate thee
and love Helena.
O me! you juggler! you cankerblossom!
You thief of love! What! have you come
And stol'n my love's heart from him?
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!
Puppet! why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath
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.
I pray you, though you mock me, gentlemen,
Let her not hurt me. I was never
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice;
her not strike me. You perhaps may think,
Because she is something lower than
That I can match her.
Lower! hark, again.
Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I evermore did love you,
Did ever keep your counsels; never wrong'd you;
Save that, in love unto
I told him of your stealth unto this wood:
He follow'd you; for love I
But he hath chid me hence, and threaten'd me
To strike me, spurn me, nay,
to kill me too:
And now, so you will let me quiet go,
To Athens will I bear my folly
And follow you no farther. Let me go:
You see how simple and how fond I am.
Why, get you gone: who is't that hinders you?
A foolish heart that I leave here behind.
What! with Lysander?
Be not afraid; she shall not harm thee, Helena.
No, sir, she shall not, though you take her part.
O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd:
She was a vixen when she went
And, though she be but little, she is fierce.
Little again! nothing but low and little!--
Why will you suffer her to flout
Let me come to her.
Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made;
bead, you acorn.
You are too officious
In her behalf that scorns your services.
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.
Now she holds me not;
Now follow, if thou dar'st, to try whose right,
thine or mine, is most in Helena.
Follow! nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by jole.
[Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS.]
You, mistress, all this coil is 'long of you:
Nay, go not back.
I will not trust you, I;
Nor longer stay in your curst company.
than mine are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away.
I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.
[Exit, pursuing HELENA.]
This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st,
Or else commit'st thy
Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me I should know the
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprise
I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes:
And so far am I glad it so did sort,
As this their
jangling I esteem a sport.
Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight;
Hie therefore, Robin,
overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as
And lead these testy rivals so astray
As one come not within another's
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous
To take from thence all error with his might
And make his eyeballs roll with
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream and fruitless
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend
With league whose date till death shall
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall
My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,
For night's swift dragons cut the
clouds full fast;
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger,
At whose approach ghosts,
wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards: damned spirits all,
cross-ways and floods have burial,
Already to their wormy beds are gone;
For fear lest
day should look their shames upon
They wilfully exile themselves from light,
for aye consort with black-brow'd night.
But we are spirits of another sort:
I with the morning's love have oft made
And, like a forester, the groves may tread
Even till the eastern gate, all
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay:
We may effect this
business yet ere day.
Up and down, up and down;
I will lead them up and down:
I am fear'd in
field and town.
Goblin, lead them up and down.
Here comes one.
Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak thou now.
Here, villain; d drawn and ready. Where art thou?
I will be with thee straight.
Follow me, then,
To plainer ground.
[Exit LYSANDER as following the voice.]
Lysander! speak again.
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled?
In some bush? where dost thou hide thy head?
Thou coward, art thou bragging to the stars,
Telling the bushes that thou
look'st for wars,
And wilt not come? Come, recreant; come, thou child;
I'll whip thee
with a rod: he is defiled
That draws a sword on thee.
Yea, art thou there?
Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.
He goes before me, and still dares me on;
When I come where he calls, then
he is gone.
The villain is much lighter heeled than I:
I follow'd fast, but faster he
That fallen am I in dark uneven way,
And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle
For if but once thou show me thy grey light,
I'll find Demetrius, and
revenge this spite.
[Re-enter PUCK and DEMETRIUS.]
Ho, ho, ho, ho! Coward, why com'st thou not?
Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot
Thou runn'st before me, shifting
And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou?
Come hither; I am here.
Nay, then, thou mock'st me.
Thou shalt buy this dear,
If ever I thy face
by daylight see:
Now, go thy way. Faintness constraineth me
To measure out my length on
this cold bed.--
By day's approach look to be visited.
[Lies down and sleeps.]
O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hours! Shine comforts
from the east,
That I may back to Athens by daylight,
From these that my poor company
And sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye,
Steal me awhile from mine own
Yet but three? Come one more;
Two of both kinds makes up four.
comes, curst and sad:--
Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.
Never so weary, never so in woe,
Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with
I can no further crawl, no further go;
My legs can keep no pace with my
Here will I rest me till the break of day.
Heavens shield Lysander, if they
mean a fray!
On the ground
To your eye,
[Squeezing the juice on LYSANDER'S eye.]
When thou wak'st,
In the sight
Of thy former
And the country proverb known,
That every man should take his own,
waking shall be shown:
Jack shall have Jill;
Nought shall go ill;
The man shall
have his mare again, and all shall be well.
[Exit PUCK.--DEMETRIUS, HELENA &c, sleep.]