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HERMIA ‘Little’ again! Nothing but ‘low’ and ‘little’!
Why will you suffer her to flout me thus? Let me come to her.
LYSANDER Get you gone, you dwarf; You minimus, of hind’ring knot-grass made;
You bead, you acorn.
DEMETRIUS You are 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 Never so
little show of love to her, Thou shalt aby it.
LYSANDER Now she holds me not.
Now follow, if thou dar’st, to try whose right, Of thine or mine, is most in Helena.
DEMETRIUS Follow! Nay, I’ll go with thee, cheek by jowl.
Exeunt LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS
HERMIA 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 than mine are quicker for a fray; My legs are longer though, to run away.
HERMIA I am amaz’d, and know not what to say.
OBERON This is thy negligence. Still thou mistak’st, Or else committ’st thy knaveries
PUCK Believe me, king of shadows, I mistook.
Did not you tell me I should know the man By the Athenian garments he had on? And
so far blameless proves my enterprise 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.
OBERON 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, To
take from thence all error with his might And make his eyeballs 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 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.
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,
wand’ring here and there, Troop home to churchyards. 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 exil’d from light, And
must for aye consort with black-brow’d night.