A midsummer night’s dream the lovers’ fight

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream - The Lovers’ Fight

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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