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And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear

A merrier hour was never wafted there.

But make room, fairy, here comes Oberon.

Fai. And here my mistress:-'Would that he were gone!


Enter Oberon, king of Fairies at one door with his train, and the queen at another with hers.

Ob. Ill met by moon-light, proud Titania.
Queen. What, jealous Oberon? Fairy, skip hence;
I have forfworn his bed and company.

Ob. Tarry, rash 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 shape of Corin fate all day,
Playing on pipes of corn, and verfing love
To amorous Phillida. Why art thou here,
Come from the fartheft steep of India?
But that, forfooth, the bouncing Amazon,
Your buskin'd mistress, 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 Periguné, whom he ravifhed?

And make him with fair Ægle break his faith,

With Ariadne, and Antiopa?

Queen. These are the forgeries of jealousy :

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And never, fince' that middle fummer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, foreft, or mead,

By paved fountain, or by rushy 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 sport.
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 so proud,

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That they have over-borne their continents :—
The ox hath therefore ftretch'd his yoke in vain;
The ploughman loft his fweat; 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-mens' morris is fill'd up with mud
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undiftinguishable;
The 'human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn, or carol bleft:-
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,


1 that middle fummer's fpring,]—the beginning of that midfummer, when our quarrel first commenced.


"As flaws congealed in the spring of day."

HENRY IV, Part 2, Act IV, S. 4. K. Henry.

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nine-mens' morris]-a rural game, on a plot of ground, mark'd out in the form of a chefs-board, play'd with wooden pegs and stones, in which each party had nine men ;-or the place where the Morifco, or maurice-dance was wont to be performed by nine persons.

quaint]-nice, exact, curious.

buman mortals]-fo called to diftinguish mankind from fairies, a clafs of beings between men and fpirits.

winter here;]-their accustomed winter, that feftivity with which it was wont to be celebrated-winter cheer.

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Pale in her anger, "washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound :—
And, thorough this diftemperature, we see
The seasons alter; hoary-headed frofts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rofe;
And on old Hyems' chin, and icy crown,
An odorous chaplet of sweet fummer buds
Is, as in mockery, fet; The spring, the fummer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the 'mazed world,


By their 'increase, now knows not which is which :And this fame progeny of evils comes

From our debate, from our diffention

We are their parents and original.

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Ob. Do you amend it then; it lies in you: Why should Titania crofs her Oberon ?

I do but beg a little changeling boy,

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To be my henchman.

Queen. Set your heart at rest,

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 hath fhe goffip'd by my fide;
And fat with me on Neptune's yellow fands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laugh'd to see the fails conceive,
And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind:
Which the, with pretty and with swimming gate,
(Following her womb then rich with my young 'squire)

washes]-impregnates with unwholfome moisture.

diftemperature,]-irregularity, confufion, perturbation of the eleP chill, thin-hair'd.


a childing]-fruitful, bearing fruit.

increafe,]-their feveral productions.



Would imitate; and fail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But fhe, 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.
Ob. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Queen. Perchance, till after Thefeus' wedding-day.
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.
Ob. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Queen. Not for thy fairy kingdom.-Fairies, away:
We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay.

[Exeunt Queen, and her train.

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'st

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 sea grew civil at her fong;
And certain stars fhot madly from their spheres,
To hear the fea-maid's mufick.

Puck. I remember.

Ob. That very time I faw, (but thou could'ft not) Flying between the cold moon and the earth,

Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took

At a fair veftal, throned by the weft;

mermaid]—a firen.

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Oh, train me not sweet mermaid with thy note."

a fair veftal,]-these lines contain a fine compliment to Q. Elizabeth: fome of the preceding ones are fuppofed to point at Mary 2. of Scots, where the Dolphin's back may refer to her marriage with a Dauphin of France, and certain ftars to the Duke of Norfolk, &c. who fuffered on her account.

C 3


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 watery moon;
And the imperial votress 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 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 swim 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 she is afleep,

And drop the liquor of it in her eyes :

The next thing when the waking looks upon,
(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
On meddling monkey, or on bufy ape)

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She shall pursue it with the foul of love.
And ere I take this charm off from her fight,

(As I can take it with another herb)

I'll make her render up her page to me.
But who comes here? I am invifible;

And I will over-hear their conference.

* fancy-free.]-unaffected by love.


y I'll put a girdle &c.]-a phrafe expreffive of the fairy's quick despatch. the foul of love.]—the most ardent affection.


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