Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III, Scene II (Cont’d), pg. 165
SCENE II. (Cont’d)—Another part of the Wood.
Lys. Demetrius, I will keep my word with thee.
Dem. I would I had your bond; for I perceive
A weak bond holds you; I’ll not trust your
word. [her dead?
Lys. What! should I hurt her, strike her, kill
Although I hate her I’ll no harm her so.
Her. What! can you do me greater harm than
Hate me! wherefore? O me! what news, my
Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as fair now as I was erewhile. [left me:
Since night you lov’d me; yet since night you
Why, then, you left me,—O, the gods forbid!—
In earnest, shall I say?
Lys. 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.
Her. O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom!
You thief of love! What! have you come by
And stol’n my love’s heart from him?
Hel. 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!
Her. Puppet! why so? Ay, that way goes the
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urg’d her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail’d with
And are you grown so high in his esteem
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, though painted maypole? speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
Hel. I pray you, though you mock me, gentle-
Let her not hurt me. I was never curst;
I have no gift at all in shrewishness;
I am a right maid for my cowardice;
Let her not strike me. You perhaps may think
Because she’s something lower than myself,
That I can match her.
Her. Lower! hark, again.
Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with me.
I evermore did love you, Hermia; [you;
Did ever keep your counsels; never wrong’d
Save that, in love unto Demetrius,
I told him of your stealth unto this wood:
He follow’d you; for love I follow’d him;
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 back,
And follow you no farther. Le me go:
Her. Why, get you gone: who is’t that hinders
Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.