Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
Lys. What? should I hurt her, strike her, kill her dead?
Although I hate her, Ile not harme her so.
Her. What? Can you do me greater harme, then hate?
Hate mee, wherefore? O me, what newes, my loue?
1305Am not I Hermia? Are not you Lysander?
I am as faire now, as I was ere while.
Since night, you lou'd mee; yet since night, you left mee.
Why then, you left mee (? the gods forbid)
In earnest, shall I say?
1310Lys. I, by my life:
And neuer did desire to see thee more.
Thefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt:
Be certaine: nothing truer: tis no ieast,
That I doe hate thee, and loue Helena.
1315Her. O mee, you iuggler, you canker blossome,
You theefe of loue: what, haue you come by night,
And stolne my loues heart, from him?
Hel. Fine, I faith.
Haue you no modesty, no maiden shame,
1320No touch of bashfulnesse? What, will you teare
Impatient answeres, from my gentle tongue?
Fy, fy, you counterfait, you puppet, you.
Her. Puppet? Why so? I, that way goes the game.
Now I perceiue that she hath made compare,
1325Betweene our statures, she hath vrg'd her height,
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height (forsooth) she hath preuaild with him.
And are you growne so high in his esteeme,
Because I am so dwarfish and so lowe?
1330How lowe am I, thou painted May-pole? Speake:
How lowe am I? I am not yet so lowe,
But that my nailes can reach vnto thine eyes.
Hel. I pray you, though you mocke me, gentleman,
Let her not hurt me. I was neuer curst:
1335I haue no gift at all in shrewishnesse:
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