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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.

And I.

1st Fai. Ready.

2nd Fai.

3rd Fai.

And I.

4th Fai.

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


* Gleek.-Banter.

Cob. Cobweb.

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master Cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you.

Your name, honest gentle

man ?

Peas. Peas-blossom.

Bot. I pray you commend me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good Master Peas-Blossom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?

Mus. Mustard-seed.

Bot. Good Master Mustard-seed, I know your patience well. That same cowardly, giant-like ox-beef hath devoured many gentlemen of your house. I promise you your kindred hath made my eyes water ere now. desire you more acquaintance, good Master Mustard-seed.


OBERON enters unseen.

Tit. Come, sit thee down upon this flowery bed,
While I thy amiable cheeks do coy

And stick musk-roses in thy sleek smooth head,
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
Bot. Where's Peas-blossom?

Peas. Ready.

Bot. Scratch my head, Peas-blossom. Where's Monsieur Cobweb?
Cob. Ready.

Bot. Monsieur Cobweb, good monsieur, get up your weapons in your hands, and kill me a red-hipped humble bee on the top of a thistle; and, good monsieur, bring me the honey-bag. Do not fret yourself too much with the action, monsieur; and, good monsieur, have a care the honey-bag break not; I would be loth to have you overflown with a honey-bag, signior. Where's Monsieur Mustard-seed?

Must. Ready.

Bot. Give me your neif,* Monsieur Mustard-seed. Pray you, leave your courtesy, good monsieur.

Must. What's your will?

Bot. Nothing, good monsieur, but to help Cavaliero Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me I must scratch.

Tit. What, wilt thou hear some music, my sweet love?

Bot. I have a reasonable ear in music: let us have the tongs and the bones

Tit. Or say, sweet love, what thou desirest to eat.

Bot. Truly a peck of provender. I could munch your good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay. Good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.

* Neif.-Fist.

Tit I have a venturous fairy, that shall seek the squirrel's hoard, and fetch thee new nuts.

Bot. I had rather have a handful or two of dried peas:-but, I pray you, let none of your people stir me; I have an exposition of sleep come upon me.

Tit. Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms.
Fairies, begone, and be all ways away.

So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle
Gently entwist ;-the female ivy so
Enrings the barky fingers of the elm.
O, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!

[They sleep.

OBERON advances.

Enter Puck.

Ober. Welcome, good Robin. See'st thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity:
For meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savors for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her:
For she his hairy temples then had rounded
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers;
And that same dew, which sometimes on the buds
Was wont to swell, like round and orient pearls,
Stood now within the pretty flowret's eyes,
Like tears, that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had, at my pleasure, taunted her,
And she, in mild tones, begged my patience,
I then did ask of her my changeling child;
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my bower in fairy land.
And now I have the boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And, gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That she awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair,
And think no more of this night's accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of a dream.*
But first, I will release the fairy queen.
Be as thou wert wont to be;

(Touching her eyes with a herb.)

See, as thou were wont to see;
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower

* But as the fierce vexation of a dream.―This fine stray verse comes looking in among the rest like a stern face through flowers.

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Hath such force and blessed power.

Now, my Titania; wake you, my sweet queen.
Tit. My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
Methought I was enamored of an ass.

Ober. There lies your love.
How came these things to pass?
O, how mine eyes do loathe his visage now!

Ober. Silence awhile. Robin, take off this head.—
Titania, music call; and strike more dead

Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.

Tit. Music! ho! music! such as charmeth sleep.
Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own fool's eyes peep.

Ober. Sound music! [still music.] Come, my queen, take hand
with me,

And rock the ground whereon these sleepers be.

Now thou and I are new in amity,

And will to-morrow midnight, solemnly

Dance in Duke Theseus' house triumphantly,

And bless it to all fair posterity:
There shall the pairs of faithful lovers be
Wedded, with Theseus, all in jollity.

Puck. Fairy king, attend and mark;

I do hear the morning lark.

Ober. Then, my queen, in silence sad,*
Trip we after the night's shade.

We the globe can compass soon,
Swifter than the wandering moon.

Tit. Come, my lord, and in our flight
Tell me how it came this night,
That I sleeping here was found
With these mortals on the ground.

[Exeunt. [Horns sound within

5 Come from the farthest steep of India.

Shakspeare understood the charm of remoteness in poetry, as le did everything else. Oberon has been dancing on the sunny steeps looking towards Cathay, where the

Chinese drive

Their cany waggons light.

* Sad.-Grave, serious (not melancholy).


Enter PUCK.

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,6
And the wolf behowls the moon,
While the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,

Whilst the scritch-owl scritching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in wo,

In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night

That the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the churchway paths to glide:
And we fairies that do run

By the triple Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolick; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent, with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door.

Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their train.

Ober. Through this house give glimmering light,
By the dead and drowsy fire:

Every elf and fairy sprite,

Hop as light as bird from brier;

And this ditty after me

Sing and dance it trippingly.

Tita. First rehearse this song by rote:

To each word a warbling note,

Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing and bless the place.


Ober. Now, until the break of day,
Through the house each fairy stray,

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