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the palace-wood, a mile without the town, by moon-light, there we will rehearse; for if we meet in the city, we fhall be dog'd with company, and our devices known. In the mean time I will draw a bill of properties, such as our play wants. I pray you, fail me not.
Bot. We will meet, and there we may rehearse more obfcenely and courageously. Take pains, be perfect, adieu. Quin. At the Duke's oak we meet.
Bot. Enough, hold or cut bowftrings *.
[Exeunt. ACT II. SCENE I. The wood.
Enter a Fairy at one door, and Puck (or Robin-goodfellow)
Puck. H Fai. Over hill, over dale.
OW now, fpirit, whither wander you?
Through bufh, through briar,
Over park, over pale,
Through flood, through fire,
I do wander every where,
Swifter than the moon's fphere;
And I ferve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green;
The cowflips tall her penfioners be,
In their gold coats fpots you fee,
Those be rubies, Fairy-favours,
In thofe freckles live their favours:
I must go feek fome dew-drops here and there,
And hang a pearl in every cowflip's ear.
Farewel, thou lob of fpirits, I'll be gone,
Our Queen and all her elves come here anon.
Puck. The King doth keep his revels here to-night,
Take heed the Queen come not within his fight.
For Oberon is paffing fell and wrath,
Because that he, as her attendant, hath
A lovely boy ftol'n from an Indian King:
She never had fo fweet a changeling;
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forefts wild;
But the per-force with-holds the loved boy,
Crowns him with flow'rs, and makes him all her joy.
• A proverbial phrafe fignifying, without fail, or, in all events.
And now they never meet in grove, or green,
By fountain clear, or fpangled ftar-light fheen,
But they do fquare, that all their elves for fear
Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there.
Fai. Or I miftake your fhape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call'd Robin-goodfellow. Are you not he,
That fright the maidens of the villagery,
Skim milk, and fometimes labour in the quern,
And bootlefs make the breathlefs hufwife churn;
And fometime make the drink to bear no barme,
Mif-lead night-wand'rers, laughing at their harm?
Thofe that Hobgoblin call you, and fweet Puck,
You do their work, and they fhall have good luck.
Are not you he?
Puck. The fame, thou fpeak'ft aright;
I am that merry wand'rer of the night:
I jeft to Oberon, and make him fmile
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal;
And fometimes lurk I in a goffip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roafted crab,
And when the drinks, against her lips I bob,
And on her wither'd dewlap pour the ale.
The wifeft aunt, telling the faddeft tale,
Sometime for three-foot ftool mistaketh me;
Then flip I from her bum, down topples fhe,
And rails or cries, and falls into a cough,
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and loffe,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and fwear
A merrier hour was never wafted there.
But make room, fairy, here comes Oberon.
Fai. And here my mistress: would that he were gone! SCENE II. Enter Oberon King of Fairies at one door with his train, and the Queen at another with bers. Ob. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania.
Queen. What, jealous Oberon? fairies, skip hence, I have forfworn his bed and company.
Ob. Tarry, rafh wanton, am not I thy lord?
Queen. Then I must be thy lady; but I know
When thou haft ftol'n away from fairy land,
And in the fhape of Corin fate all day,
Playing on pipes of corn, and verfing love
To am'rous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the fartheft fteep of India?
But that forfooth the bouncing Amazen,
Your bufkin'd miftrefs and your warrior Love,
To Thefeus must be wedded; and you come
To give their bed joy and profperity.
Ob. How can't thou thus for fhame, Titania, Glance at my credit with Hippolita,
Knowing I know thy love to Thefeus?
Didft thou not lead him through the glimmering night
From Perigyné, whom he ravished,
And make him with fair Ægle break his faith,
With Ariadne, and Antiopa?
Queen. Thefe are the forgeries of jealoufie :
And never fince that middle fummer's spring
Met we on hill, in dale, foreft or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rufhy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the fea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou haft difturb'd our sporty
Therefore the winds piping to us in vain,
As in revenge have fuck'd up from the fea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made fo proud,
That they have over-born their continents.
The ox hath therefore ftretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman loft his fweet, and the green corn
Hath rotted, ere its youth attain'd a beard.
The fold ftands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine-mens morris is fill'd up with mud,
And the queint mazes in the wanton green
For lack of tread are undistinguishable.
The human mortals want their winter cheer,
No night is now with hymn or carol bleft;
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air;
That rheumatic diseases do abound.
And thorough this diftempérature, we fee
The seasons alter; hoary-headed frofts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyem's chin and icy crown
An od'rous chaplet of fweet fummer buds
Is as in mockery fet. The spring, the fummer,
The chiding autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and th amazed world
By their inverfe now knows not which is which
And this fame progeny of evil comes
From our debate, from our diffention,
We are their parents and original.
Ob. Do you amend it then, it lies in you
Why fhould Titania crofs her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman.
Queen. Set your heart at reft,
The fairy-land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a votrefs of my order,
And in the spiced Indian air by night
Full often the hath goffipt by my fide;
And fat with me on Neptune's yellow fands,
Marking th' embarked traders of the flood,.
When we have laugh'd to fee the fails conceive,
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind:
Which the with pretty and with fwimming gate
Follying (her womb then rich with my young fquire)
Would imitate, and fail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But the, being mortal, of that boy did die,
And for her fake I do rear up her boy,
And for her fake I will not part with him.
05. How long within this wood intend you stay? Queen. Perchance 'till after Thefeus wedding-day.
If you will patiently dance in our round,
And fee our moon-light revels, go with us;
If not, fhun me, and I will fpare your haunts.
Ob. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Queen. Not for thy fairy kingdom. Elves, away!
We shall chide downright, if I longer ftay. [Exeunt.
Ob. Well, go thy way; thou shalt not from this grove
"Till I torment thee for this injury
My gentle Puck, come hither; thou remember'
Since once I fat upon a promontory,
And heard a Mermaid on a Dolphin's back
Uttering fuch dulcet and harmonious breath,"
That the rude fea grew civil at her fong,
And certain ftars fhot madly from their spheres,
To hear the fea-maid's mufick.
Ob. That very time I faw, but thou could'nt 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-fhaft fmartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
But I might fee young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chafte beams of the wat'ry moon,
And the Imperial Votrefs paffed 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 flow'r; the herb'I fhew'd thee once;
The juice of it, on fleeping eye-lids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly doat
Upon the next live creature that it fees.
Fetch me this herb, and be thou here again
Ere the Leviathan can fwim a league.
Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes.
Ob. Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when the is afleep,
And drop the liquor of it on her eyes!
• A compliment to Queen Elizabeth: 'as it seems probable that Mary Queen of Scots was pointed at în the preceding Speech of Oberon