Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Suzanne Westfall
Not Peer Reviewed

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


A Midsommer nightes dreame.
I am a right maid, for my cowardize:
Let her not strike mee. You perhaps, may thinke,
Because she is something lower then my selfe,
That I can match her.
1340Her. Lower? harke againe.
Hel. Good Hermia, do not be so bitter with mee,
I euermore did loue you Hermia,
Did euer keepe your counsels, neuer wrongd you;
Saue that in loue, vnto Demetrius,
1345I tould him of your stealth vnto this wood.
He followed you: for loue, I followed him.
But he hath chid me hence, and threatned mee
To strike mee, spurne mee; nay to kill mee to.
And now, so you will let me quiet goe,
1350To Athens will I beare my folly backe,
And follow you no further. Let me goe.
You see how simple, and how fond I am.
Herm. Why? get you gon. Who ist that hinders you?
Hel. A foolish heart, that I leaue here behind.
1355Her. What, with Lysander?
Hel. With Demetrius.
Lys. Be not afraid: she shall not harme thee Helena.
Deme. No sir: she shall not, though you take her part.
Hel. O, when she is angry, she is keene and shrewd.
1360She was a vixen, when she went to schoole:
And though she be but little, she is fierce.
Her. Little againe? Nothing hut low and little?
Why will you suffer her to floute me thus?
Let me come to her.
1365Lys. Get you gon, you dwarfe;
You minimus, of hindring knot grasse, made;
You bead, you acorne
Deme. You are too officious,
In her behalfe, that scornes your seruices.
1370Let her alone: speake not of Helena,
Take