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The shallowest thick-skin of that barren fort,
Who Piramus presented, in their sport,
Forsooke his scene, and entred in a brake,
When I did him at this aduantage take,
An asses nole I fixed on his head.
Anon his Thisbie must be answered,
And forth my * minnock comes: when they him spy,
As wilde geese, that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russed pated choughes, many in fort
(Rising and cawing at the guns report)
Seuer themselues, and madly sweepe the sky:
So at his sight, away his fellowes flye,
And at our stampe, here ore and ore one falles ;
He murther cryes, and helpe from Athens cals,
Their fenfe thus weake, lost with their feares thus strong,
Made senselesse things begin to do them wrong.
For briars and thornes at their apparell snatch,
Some sleeues, fome hats, from yeelders all things catch,
I led them on in this distracted feare,
And left sweete Piramus translated there :
When in that moment (so it came to passe)
Tytania waked, and straightway lou'd an asse.
Ob. This falles out better than I could deuise :
But hast thou yet + lacht the Athenians eyes,
With the loue iuyce, as I did bid thee do?
Rob. I tooke him sleeping (that is finisht to)
And the Athenian woman by his side,
That when he wak’t, of force she must be reyde.
Enter Demetrius and Hermia.
Ob. Stand close, this is the same Athenian.
Rob. This is the 'woman, but not this the man.
Dem. O why rebuke you him that loues you so ?
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe.
Her. Now I but chide, but I should vse thee worse.
For thou (I feare) haft giuen me cause to curse.
If thou hast Naine Lysander in his sleepe,
Being ore shooes in bloud, plunge in the deepe, and kill me
The sunne was not so true vnto the day,
As he to me.
Would he haue stollen away,
From sleeping Hermia ? Ile beleeue as soone
This whole earth may be bor’d, and that the moone
May through the center creepe, and so displease
Her brothers noonetide, with th’Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou haft murdred him,
So should a murderer looke, so dead, so grim.
Dem. So should the murdere looke, and so should I,
Pierst through the heart with your stearne cruelty :
Yet you the murdered looke as bright, as cleare,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering spheare.
Her. What's this to my Lysander ? where is he?
Ah good Demetrius, wilt thou giue him me?
Dem. Ide rather giue his carkaffe to my hounds.
Her. Our dog, out curre, thou driu'st me past the bonds
Of maidens patience. Hast thou Naine him then ?
Henceforth be neuer numbred among men.
Oh, once tell true,
Durst thou haue lookt vpon him being awake ?
And hast thou kild him, seeping? O braue tutch:
Could not a worme, an adder do so much?
An adder did it. For with doubler tongue
Then thine (thou ferpent) neuer adder ftung.
Dem. You spend your passion on a mispriz’d mood,
I am not guilty of Lysanders bloud :
Nor is he dead, for ought that I can tell.
* Tell true even
Her. I pray thee tell me then, that he is well.
Dem. And if I could, what should I get therefore ?
Her. A priuiledge, neuer to see me more,
And from thy hated presence part I, see me no more,
Whether he be dead or no.
Dem. There is no following her in this fierce vaine, 17
Heere therefore for a while I will remaine.
So sorrowes heauinesse doth heauier grow.
For debt that bankrout flip doth forrow owe,
Which now in some slight measure it will pay,
If for his tender heere I make some stay.
Lie downe. Ob. What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite, And laide the loue iuyce on some true loues sight : Of thy misprision, must perforce ensue Some true loue turn’d, and not a false turnd true.
Rob. Then fate ore-rules, that one man holding troth,
A million faile, confounding oath on oath.
Ob. About the wood, goe swifter then the winde,
And Helena of Athens looke thou finde.
All fancy sicke she is, and pale of cheere,
With fighes of loue, that costs the fresh bloud deare.
By fome illusion see thou bring her heere,
Ile charme his eies, against the do appeare.
Robin. I go, I go, looke how I goe,
Swifter than arrow from the Tartars bowe.
Exit. Ob. Flower of this purple die, Hit with Cupids archery, Sinke in apple of his eye, When his loue he doth espy, Let her shine as gloriously As the Venus of the sky. When thou wak'st, if she be by, Beg of her for remedy.
Pucke. Captaine of our fairy band,
Helena is heere at hand,
And the youth, mistooke by me,
Pleading for a louers fee.
Shall we their fond pageant sée ?
Lord, what fooles these mortals be!
Ob. Stand aside : the noyse they make,
Will cause Demetrius to awake.
Puc. Then will two at once wooe one,
That must needs be sport alone :
And those things do best please me,
That befall preposterously.
Enter Lysander and Helena.
Lyf. Why should you think that I should wooe in scorn?
Scorne and derision neuer come in teares :
Looke when I vow I weepe; and vowes so borne,
In their natiuity all truth appeares.
How can these things in me, seeme fcorne to you?
Bearing the badge of faith to proue them true.
Hel. You do aduance your cunning more and more,
When truth kils truth, O diuelish holy fray !
These vowes are Hermias. Will you giue her ore ?
Weigh oath with oath, and you will nothing weigh.
Your vowes to her, and me (put in two scales)
Will euen weigh, and both as light as tales.
Lys. I had no iudgement, when to her I swore.
Hel. Nor none in my minde, now you giue her ore.
Lyf. Demetrius loues her, and he loues not you.
Deme. O Helen, goddesse, nimph, perfect, diuine,
To what, my love, shall I compare thine eine !
Christall is muddy, O how ripe in showe,
Thy lips, thofe kissing cherries, tempting grow ! That pure congealed white, high Taurus snow, Fan'd with the easterne winde, turnes to a crow, When thou hoidst vp thy hand. Olet me kisse This princesse of pure white, this seale of blisse.
Hell. O spite! ô hell! I see you all are bent To set against me, for your merriment. . If you were ciuil, and knew curtesie, You would not do me thus much iniury. Can you not hate me, as I know you do, But you must ioyne in soules to mocke me too? If you were men, as men you are in show, You would not vse a gentle lady fo; To vow, and sweare, and superpraise my parts, When I am sure you hate me with your hearts., You both are riuals, and loue Hermia; And now both riuals, to mocke Helena. A trim exploit, a manly enterprize, To coniure teares vp in a poore
With your derision, none of noble fort,
Would fo offend a virgine, and extort
A poore foules patience, all to make you sport.
Lyfan. You are vnkinde Demetrius; be not lo.
For you loue Hermia ; that you know I know;
And heere with all good will, with all my heart,
In Hermias loue I yeeld you vp my part;
And yours of Helena, to me bequeath,
Whom I do loue, and will do to my death.
Hel. Neuer did mockers waste more idle breath.
Deme. Lysander, keepe thy Hermia, I will none: If ere I lou'd her, all that loue is gone. My heart to her, but as guest-wise foiournd, And now to Helen it is home return’d, There to remaine.