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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. I desire you more acquaintance, good Master Mustard-seed.

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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 Mustardseed ?

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 musick, my sweet love?

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

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

* Neif:-Fist.

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.

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.
0, how I love thee! How I dote on thee!

[They sleep.

OBERON advances. Enter Pock.

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 savours 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, begg'd 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 wert wont to see;
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower

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 enamoured of an ass.

Ober. There lies your love.

How came these things to pass ?
0, how mine eyes do loath his visage now !

Ober. Silence awhile. Robin, takes off this head.-
Titania, musick call ; and strike more dead
Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.

Tit. Musick! ho ! musick! such as charmeth sleep.
Puck. Now, when thou wak'st, with thine own fool's eyes peep.
Ober. Sound musick! [still musick.] 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.

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

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.

[Horns sound within.

5 Come from the farthest steep of India. Shakspeare understood the charm of remoteness in poetry, as he did everything else. Oberon has been dancing on the sunny steeps looking towards Cathay, where the

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Puts the wretch that lies in woe,

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 church-way 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,
To the best bride. bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue there create
Ever shall be fortunate.


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