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With Ariadne, and Antiope?
Tit. These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And never since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushing brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But in thy brawls thou hast disturbed our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling on the land,
Have every pelting river made so proud,
That they have overborne their continents;
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain'd a beard:
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;
The nine men's morris* is fill'd up with mud;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable;
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown,
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set. The spring, the summer,
The chilling autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension:
We are their parents and original.
Ober. Do you amend it then: it lies in you:
Why should Titian cross her Oberon ?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman,t
* Nine men's morris.-A rustic game, played with stones upon lines cut in the ground.
Set your heart at rest;
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
Her mother was a vot'ress of my order;
And, in the spicèd Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side;
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking the embarking traders on the flood;
When we have laughed to see the sails conceive
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind:
Which she with pretty and with swimming gait
(Following her womb, then rich with my young squire)
Would imitate; and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But she, being mortal, of that boy did die;
And, for her sake, I do rear up her boy :
And, for her sake, I will not part with him.
Ober. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Tit. Perchance till after Theseus' wedding-day.
If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Ober. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Tit. Not for thy fairy kingdom.-Fairies, away:
We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay.
[Exeunt TITANIA and her train.
Ober. Well, go thy way: thou shalt not from this grove,
Till I torment thee for this injury.-
My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou remember'st
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music.
Ober. That very night I saw (but thou couldst not),
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal, throned by the west;*
And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
* At a fair vestal, throned by the west.-An allusion to Queen Elizabeth. See in the Rev. Mr. Halpin's remarks on this passage, published by the Shakspeare Society, a most ingenious speculation on the hidden meaning of it, as a bit of secret court history.
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts:
But I might seen young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watry moon :
And the imperial votaress pass'd on,
In maiden meditation, fancy free.
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell;
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white; now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it Love-in-idleness.*
Fetch me that flower: the herb I showed thee once:
The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb: and be thou here again,
Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth, In forty minutes.
Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes:
The next thing then she waking looks upon
(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
Or meddling monkey, or on busy ape),
She shall pursue it with the soul of love,
And ere I take this charm off from her sight
(As I can take it with another herb),
I'll make her render up her page to me.
Another part of the Wood.
Enter TITANIA and her train.
Tit. Come, now a roundel, and a fairy song;
Then, for the third part of a minute, hence;
Some, to kill cankers in the musk-rose buds ;
Some, war with rear mice for their leathern wings,
To make my small elves' coats; and some keep back
The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots, and wonders
At our quaint spirits: Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.
1st Fai. You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen.
Newts and blind worms, do no wrong;
Come not near our fairy queen.
Chorus. Philomel with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby,
Lulla, lulla, lullaby: lulla, lulla, lullaby;
Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night-with lullaby.
2d Fai. Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence you long-legged spinners, hence:
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.
Chorus. Philomel with melody, &c.
1st Fai. Hence, away; now all is well:
One, aloof, stand sentinel.
Ober.-What thou seest when thou dost awake
[Squeezes the flower on Titania's eyelids.
Do it for thy true love take;
Love and languish for his sake:
Be it ounce, or cat, or bear,
Pard, or boar with bristled hair,
In thy eye that shall appear
When thou wak'st, it is thy dear;
Wake, when some evil thing is near.
Enter BOTTOM, singing; Puck having clapt on him an ass's head
Bot. The ousel-cock, so black of hue,
With orange-tawny bill,
The throstle with his note so true,
The wren with little quill
Tit. What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again;
Mine ear is much enamor'd of thy note;
So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape;
And thy fair virtue's force perforce doth move me,
On the first view, to say, to swear, I love thee.
Bot. Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that, and yet to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days. The more the pity that some honest neighbors will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek* upon occasion.
Tit. Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Bot. Not so neither; but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Tit. Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state,
And I do love thee; therefore go with me;
I'll give thee fairies to attend on thee;
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing, while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep :
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go,
Peas-blossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustard-seed!
Enter four Fairies.
1st Fai. Ready.
Where shall we go?
Tit. Be kind and courteous to this gentleman;
Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes;
Feed him with apricocks and dewberries,
With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries:
The honey-bags steal from the humble-bees,
And for night tapers crop their waxen thighs,
And light them at the fiery glow-worm's eyes,
To have my love to bed, and to arise:
And pluck the wings from painted butterflies,
To fan the moon-beams from his sleeping eyes;
Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
1st Fai. Hail, mortal!
2nd Fai. Hail!
3rd Fai. Hail!
4th Fai. Hail!
Bot. I cry your worship's mercy, heartily. I beseech your worship's