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SCENE II. Enter OBERON at one door, with his train, and TITANIA, at
another, with hers. Obe. I'll meet by moon-light, proud Titania. • Tita. What, jealous Oberon Fairy, skip hence; I have forsworn his bed and company.
Obe. Tarry, rash wanton ; Am not I thy lord ?
Tita. Then I must be thy lady: But I know
When thou hast stolen away from fairy land,
And in the shape of Corin sat all day.
Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India ?
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Your buskin'd mistress, and your warrior love,
To Theseus must be wedded; and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.
Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania,
Glance at my credit with Hippolyta,
Knowing I know thy love to Theseus ?
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigenia, whom he ravished ?
And make him with fair Æglé break his faith,
With Ariadne, and Antiopa ?
Tita. 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 rushy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb’d our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in 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 morrist 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:
+ Banks which contain them.
* A game played by boys.
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 childing* autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the 'mazed world,
By their increase,t now knows not which is which :
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissention;
We are their parents and original.
Obe. Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
Why should Titania cross her Oberon ?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman. I
Tita. Set your heart at rest,
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a vot’ress of my order:
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side;
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking the embark'd traders on the flood;
When we have laugh'd 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 merchandise.
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.
Obe. How long within this wood intend you stay ?
Tita. Perchance, till after Theseus' wedding-day.
If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moon-light revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Tita. Not for thy kingdom.-Fairies, away: We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
[Exeunt TITANIA and her train.
Obe. 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.
* Autumn producing flowers unseasonably.
Puck. I remember.
Obe. That very time 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,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon;
And the imperial vot’ress passed 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.
Obe. 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,
On 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.
But who comes here? I am invisible;
And I will over-hear their conference.
Enter DEMETRIUS, HELENA following him.
Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Lysander and fair Hermia ?
The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
Thou told'st me, they were stolen into this wood,
And here am I, and wood within this wood.
Because I cannot meet with Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as steel: Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.
Dem. Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair ?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you-I do not, nor I cannot love you ?
Hel. And even for that do I love you the more.
* Exempt from love.
+ Mad, raving.
I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius,
The more you beat me, I will fawn on you:
U se me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love
(And yet a place of high respect with me),
Than to be used as you use your dog ?
Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
For I am sick, when I do look on thee.
Hel. And I am sick, when I look not on you.
1* your modesty too much
To leave the city, and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
To trust the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.
Hel. Your virtue is my privilege for that.
It is not night, when I do see your face,
Therefore I think I am not in the night:
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;
For you, in my respect, are all the world:
Then how can it be said, I am alone,
When all the world is here to look on me?
Dem. I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes,
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story snall be changed;
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tiger: Bootless speed!
When cowardice pursues, and valour flies.
Dem. I will not stay thy questions; let me go :
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius!
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex;
We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
To die upont the hand I love so well. [Exeunt DEM. and HEL.
Obe. Fare thee well, nymph : ere he do leave this grove,
Thou shalt fly him, and he shalt seek thy love.
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
Puck. Ay, there it is.
Obe. I pray thee, give it me.
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where ox-lipst and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with lush* woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania, some time of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enameli'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in:
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove:
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth: anoint his eyes;
But do it, when the next thing he espies
May be the lady: Thou shalt know the man
By the Athenian garments he hath on.
Effect it with some care; that he may prove
More fond on her, than she upon her love:
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Puck. Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so. (Exeunt.
SCENE III.- Another part of the Wood.
Enter TITANIA, with her train.
Tita. Come, now a roundel,t 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 :S Sing me now asleep;
Then to your offices, and let me rest.
1 Fai. You spotted snakes, with double tongue,
Thorny hedge-hogs, be not seen ;
Newts,lland blind-worms, T do no wrong ;
Come not near our fairy queen :
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.
2 Fai. Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence :
Beetles black, approach not near ;
Worm, nor snail, do no offence.
Philomel, with melody, fc.
† A kind of dance.
# Bats. Sports. Efts.