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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.

Get you gone, you dwarf;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot grass' made;
You bead, you acorn.

You are to too officious,
In her behalf that scorns your services.
Let her alone; speak not of Helena;
Take not her part: for if thou dost intend.2.
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,
Or thine or mine, is most in Helena. !
Dem. Follow ? nay, I'll go with thee, cheek by

[Ereunt Lys, and DEM,
Her. 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.
Your hands, than mine, are quicker for a fray ;
My legs are longer though, to run away.

[Exit. Her. I am amaz’d, and know not what to say.

[Exit, pursuing HELENA. Obe. This is thy negligence: still thou mistak'st, Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.

Puck. Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook. 1 Antiently knot-grass was believed to prevent the growth of children.

2 Pretend,



Did not you


I should know the man
By the Athenian garments he had on?
And so far blameless proves my enterprize,
That 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.
Obe. 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 Acheron;
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
Like to Lysander sometime frame thy tongue,
Then stir Demetrius up with bitter wrong;
And sometime rail thou like Demetrius;
And from each other look thou lead them thus,
Till o'er their brows death-counterfeiting sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings doth creep :
Then crush this herb into Lysander's eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property, 4
To take from thence all error, with his might,
And make his eye-balls roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream, and fruitless vision ;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,5
With league, whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her Indian boy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.

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Puck. 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 church-yards : damned spirits all, That in cross-ways and floods have burial, Already to their wormy beds are gone; For fear lest day should look their shames upon, They wilfully themselves exíle from light, And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night.

Obe. But we are spirits of another sort :
I with the Morning's Love have oft made sport;
And, like a forester, the groves may tread,
Even till the eastern gate, all fiery red,
Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams,
Turns into yellow gold his salt-green streams.
But, notwithstanding, haste; make no delay :
We may
effect this business yet ere day.

Puck. 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.


Lys. Where art thou, proud Demetrius? speak

thou now. Puck. Here villain ; drawn and ready. Where art


6 Cephalus, the paramour of Aurora.

Lys. I will be with thee straight.

Follow me then To plainer ground. [Exit Lys. as following the voice.

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Lysander! speak again. Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? Speak. In some bush? Where dost thou hide thy

head ? Puck. 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


I'll whip thee with a rod.: He is defil'd,
That draws a sword on thee.

Yea; art thou there? Puck. Follow my voice; we'll try no manhood here.


Re-enter LYSANDER.

Tys. He goes before me, and still dares me on; When I come where he calls, then he is gone. The villain is much lighter heeld than I: I follow'd fast, but faster he did fly; That fallen am I in dark uneven way, And here will rest me. Come, thou gentle day!

[Lies down.

*For if but once thou show me thy gray light, I'll find Demetrius, and revenge this spite. [Sleeps.

Re-enter Puck and DEMETRIUS.
Puck. Ho, ho! ho, ho! Coward, why com'st thou

i not?
Dem. Abide me, if thou dar'st; for well I wot,
Thou’runn'st before me, shifting every place;
And dar'st not stand, nor look me in the face.
Where art thou ?

Come hither; I am here,
Dem. Nay, then thou mock'st me. Thou shalt

buy this dear,
'If ever I thy face by day-light see:
Now, go thy way.

Faintpess constraineth me To measure out my length on this cold bed. By day's approach look to be visited.

[Lies down and sleeps.

Hel. O weary night, O long and tedious night,

Abate thy hours: shine, comforts, from the east;
That I may back to Athens, by day-light,
From these that my poor company

detest:And, sleep, that sometimes shuts up sorrow's eye, Steal me awhile from mine own company.

[Sleeps. Puck. Yet but three? Come one more, Two of both kinds makes


Here she comes, curst and sad:-
Cupid is a knavish lad,
Thus to make poor females mad.

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