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SCENE 1.– A Wood near Athens.
Neighing in likeness of a filly foal:
And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl, Enter a Fairy, and Puck, from opposite sides.
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And “tailor” cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips, and laugh,
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear
A merrier hour was never wasted there.-
Fai. And here my mistress.— Would that he
were gone! In those freckles live their savours : I must go seek some dew-drops here,
Enter OBERON, from one side, with his train, and And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
TITANIA, from the other, with hers. Farewell, thou lob of spirits : I'll be gone.
Obe. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania. Our queen and all her elves come here anon.
Tita. What, jealous Oberon! Fairy, skip hence: Puck. The king doth keep his revels here to-night. I have forsworn his bed and company. Take heed, the queen come not within his sight; Obe. Tarry, rash wanton. Am not I thy lord ! For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Tita. Then, I must be thy lady; but I know Because that she, as her attendant, hath
When thou hast stol'n away from fairy land, A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king:
And in the shape of Corin sat all day, She never had so sweet a changeling;
Playing on pipes of corn, and versing love And jealous Oberon would have the child
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here, Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild; Come from the furthest steep of India, But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy, But that, forsooth, the bouncing Amazon, Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy: Your buskin'd mistress and your warrior love, And now they never meet in grove, or green,
To Theseus must be wedded ? and you come By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen, To give their bed joy and prosperity. But they do square; that all their elves, for fear, Obe. How canst thou thus, for shame, Titania, Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there. Glance at my credit with Hippolyta, Fai. Either I mistake your shape and making Knowing I know thy love to Theseus ? quite,
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite,
night Call'd Robin Good-fellow. Are you not he, From Perigenia, whom he ravished ? That frights the maidens of the villagery;
And make him with fair Æglé break his faith, Skims milk, and sometimes labours in the quern, With Ariadne, and Antiopa ? And bootless makes the breathless housewife churn; Tita. These are the forgeries of jealousy: And sometime makes the drink to bear no barm ; And never, since the middle summer's spring, Misleads night-wanderers, laughing at their harm? Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead, Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, By paved fountain, or by rushy brook, You do their work, and they shall have good luck. Or on the beached margin of the sea, Are not you he?
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, Puck. Thou speak'st aright;
But with thy brawls thou hadst disturbid our sport. I am that merry wanderer of the night.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain, I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made so proud,
Obe. Do you amend it then; it lies in you.
Set your heart at rest:
Obe. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Tila. 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.
Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Tita. Not for thy fairy kingdom.-Fairies, away! We shall chide downright, if I longer stay.
[Exit TITANIA, with 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. Puck.
I remember. Obe. That very time I saw (but thou could'st not) Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm’d: a certain aim he took
Puck. I'll put a girdle round about the earth
(Erit Puck. Obe.
Having once this juice,
Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.
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. I am your spaniel; and, Demetrius, The more you beat me, I will fawn on you: Use 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 1 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.
Dem. You do impeach your modesty too muca, 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.
Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you. Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd; 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. S'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell, To die upon the hand I love so well.
(Exeunt DEMETRIUS, and HELENA. Obe. Fare thee well, nymph: ere he do leave
Puck. Ay, there it is.
I pray thee, give it me.
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.
2 Fai. Hence, away! now all is well. One, aloof, stand sentinel.
[Exeunt Fairies. TITANIA sleeps.
Enter OBERON. Obe. What thou seest, when thou dost wake, (Squeezes the flower on TITANIA's eyelids.
Do it for thy true love take;
This is he, my master said,
me thus. Hel. O! wilt thou darkling leave me? do not so.
Enter LYSANDER, and HERMIA. Lys. Fair love, you faint with wandering in the
wood; And to speak troth, I have forgot our way: We'll rest us, Hermia, if you think it good,
And tarry for the comfort of the day.
Her. Be it so, Lysander: find you out a bed, For I upon this bank will rest my head.
Lys. One turf shall serve as pillow for us both: One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth.
Her. Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear, Lie further off yet: do not lie so near.
Lys. O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence ; Love takes the meaning in love's conference. I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit, So that but one heart we can make of it: Two bosoms interchained with an oath; So then, two bosoms, and a single troth. Then, by your side no bed-room me deny, For, lying so, Hermia, I do not lie.
Her. Lysander riddles very prettily. Now much beshrew my manners and my pride, If Hermia meant to say Lysander lied. But, gentle friend, for love and courtesy Lie further off; in human modesty Such separation as may well be said Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid : So far be distant; and good night, sweet friend. Thy love ne'er alter till thy sweet life end !
Lys. Amen, amen, to that fair prayer, say I; And then end life, when I end loyalty ! Here is my bed : sleep give thee all his rest! Her. With half that wish the wisher's eyes be press'd!
[They sleep. Enter Puck. Puck. Through the forest have I gone,
But Athenian found I none,