Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quarto 1, 1600)


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Winke each at other, holde the sweeete ieast vp.
This sport well carried, shall bee chronicled.
If you haue any pitty, grace, or manners,
You would not make mee such an argument.
1270But fare ye well: tis partly my owne fault:
Which death, or absence soone shall remedy.
Lys. Stay, gentle Helena: heare my excuse,
My loue, my life, my soule, faire Helena.
Hel. O excellent!
1275Herm. Sweete, doe not scorne her so.
Dem. If she cannot entreat, I can compell.
Lys. Thou canst compell no more, then she intreat.
Thy threats haue no more strength then her weake praise.
Helen, I loue thee, by my life I doe:
1280I sweare by that which I will loose for thee;
To prooue him false, that saies I loue thee not.
Dem. I say, I loue thee more then he can do.
Lys. If thou say so, withdrawe, and prooue it to.
Dem. Quick come.
1285Her. Lysander, whereto tends all this?
Lys. Away, you Ethiop.
Dem. No, no: heele
Seeme to breake loose: take on as you would follow;
But yet come not. You are a tame man, go.
1290Lys. Hang of thou cat, thou bur: vile thing let loose;
Or I will shake thee from mee, like a serpent.
Her. Why are you growne so rude? What change is this,
Sweete loue?
Lys. Thy loue? Out tawny Tartar, out:
1295Out loathed medcine: ? hated potion hence.
Her. Doe you not ieast?
Hel. Yes sooth: and so doe you.
Lys. Demetrius, I will keepe my word, with thee.
Dem. I would I had your bond. For I perceiue,
1300A weake bond holds you. Ile not trust your word.
Lys.