The misfortune happened in this way. Helena tried to keep up with Demetrius when he ran away from her so rudely, but she could not continue this unequal race for long, since men are always better runners in a long race than women. So Helena soon lost sight of Demetrius and while she was wandering around in a sad and lonely way, she arrived at the place where Lysander was sleeping.
Ah ! Said she. This is Lysander lying on the ground. Is he dead or asleep? Then, gently touching him, she said, ‘ Good sir, if you are alive, awake.’
Lysander opened his eyes, and as the love juice began to work, immediately spoke to Helena words of the wildest love and admiration; he told her that her beauty was even greater than Hermia’s and that he would run through fire for her. Helena, knowing Lysander was her friend Hermia’s lover, and that he had promised to marry her, was very angry when she heard herself and addressed in this manner, she thought ( as one can imagine) that Lysander was making a fool of her.
Oh ! She said angrily why was I born to be laughed at by everyone ? Is it not enough, is it not enough, young man, that I can never get a sweet look or a kind word from Demetrius? Must you now, sir, must you pretend in this cruel manner to love me ? I thought, Lysander, you were too kind for that. ‘ she ran away and Lysander followed her, completely forgetting his own Hermia who was still asleep.
When Hermia awoke, she was sad and frightened at finding herself alone. She wandered through the wood, not knowing what had happened to Lysander, or which way to go in search of him. While this was happening, Demetrius, not being able to find Hermia and his rival Lysander,and tried after his useless search, fell asleep and was found by Oberon. Oberon had learnt as a result of some questions he had asked Puck, that his helper had put love juice in the wrong person’s eyes. Since Oberon had now found the person he had intended to help, he touched the eyes of the sleeping Demetrius with the love juice.
The young man woke immediately; and since the first thing he saw was Helena, he, like Lysander before him, began to make loving speeches to her. Just at the moment Lysander made his appearance, followed by Hermia (because of puck’s unlucky mistake, it was now Hermia (because of puck’s unlucky mistake, it was now Hermia’s turn to turn after her lover). Then each in the power of the same strong spell, begged Helena to pity the strength of their love for her.
What next ?
Tale ! To be continued !