Shakespeare Piece of the Day (05/12/14)

05/12/2014 — Leave a comment

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?                                  [love?

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

night,

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

game.

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

him.—

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-

men,

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

you?

Hel. A foolish heart that I leave here behind.

 

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