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Knowing I know thy Love to Theseus?
Didst thou not lead him through the glimmering night
From 4 'Perigyné, whom he ravished,
And make him with fair Ægle break his faith,
With Ariadne and Antiopa?
Queen. These are the forgeries of jealousie:
And never since s 'that' middle summer's spring
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb’d our sport.
Therefore the winds piping to us in vain,
As in revenge have fuck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made so proud,
That they have over-born their continents.
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoak in vain,
The Ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted, ere its youth attain'd a beard,
The fold stands 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 6/cheer,
No night is now with hymn or carol bleft;
Therefore the moon, the governefs of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air ;
That rheumatick diseases do abound.
And thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter ; hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyem's chin and icy crown
An od'rous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is as in mockery set. The spring, the summer,
The 4 Perigenia, or, according to Theobald, Perigane, 6 here old edit. Theob. emend.
The chiding autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries ; and th' amazed world
By their ? 'inverse' now knows not which is which;
And this same progeny of evil comes
From our debate, from our diffention,
We are their parents and original.
Ob. Do you amend it then, it lyes in you.
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my henchman.
Queen. Set your heart at rest,
The fairy-land buys not the child of me.
His Mother was a votress of my order,
And in the spiced Indian Air by night
Full often she hath goffipt by my side;
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow fands,
Marking th' embarked traders of the flood,
When we have laught to see the fails conceive,
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind:
Which she with pretty and with swimming gate
8 /Follying' (her womb then rich with my young squire)
Would imitate, and sail
To fetch me trifles, and return again
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize.
But she, 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 Theseus' wedding-day.
If 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. Elves away!
We shall chide downright, if I longer stay. [Exeunt.
Ob. Well, go thy way; thou shalt not from this grove, 'Till I torment thee for this injury –
My 7 increase
8 Following old edit. Warb. emend.
My gentle Puck, come hither; thou remember'it
Since once I fat 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 fong,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's musick."
Puck. I remember.
Ob. That very time I saw, 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 a Vestal, throned by the west,
And loos’d his love-fhaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the wat'ry 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 flow'r; the herb I shew'd thee once ;
The juice of it, on sleeping eye-lids laid,
Will make or man or woman madly doat:
Upon the next live creature that it fecs.
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.
[Exit. Ob. Having once this juice, I'll watch Titania when she is asleep, And drop the liquor of it ' 'on' her eyes: The next thing which she waking looks upon, (Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,
Or medling monkey, or on busie ape)
She shall pursue it with the foul of love:
And ere I take this charm off from her sight,
(As I can take it with another herb)
Ì'll make her render up her page to me. .
But who comes here? I am invisible,
And I will over-hear their conference.
Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.
Dem. I love thee not, therefore pursue me not,
Where is Lysander, and fair Hermia ?
The one I'll play, the other playeth me.
Thou told 'st me they were stol'n into this wood;
And here am I, and wode within this wood,
Because I cannot meet my Hermia.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
Hel. You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant,
But yet you draw not iron; for my
Is true as steel. Leave you your pow'r to draw,
And I shall have no pow'r 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 and I cannot love you?
Hél. And even for that do I love thee 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 I beg in your love, ,
(And yet a place of high respect with me)
Than to be used as you use
Dem. Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit, For I am sick when I do look on thee.
Hel. i fay, the other fayeth . . . old edit. Thirl. emend.
Hel. And I am sick when I look not on you.
Dem. You do impeach your modesty too much,
To leave the city and commit your self
Into the hands of one that loves you not,
To trust the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desart 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.
Then how can it be said I am alone,
When all the world is here to look on me ?.
Dem. I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes, And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Hel. The wildest hath not such a heart as you;
Run when you will, the story shall be chang’d:
Apollo Aies, and Daphne holds the chase;
The dove pursues the griffin, the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tyger. Bootless speed!
When cowardise pursues, and valour fies.
Dem. I will not stay thy questions ; let me go :
Or if you follow me, do not believe
But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
Hel. Ay, in the temple, in the town and field
You do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius,
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my fex:
We cannot fight for love, as men may
We shou'd be woo'd, and were not made to woo.
I follow thee, and make a heav'n of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.
SC EN E IV.
Ob. Fare thee well, nymph; ere he do leave this grove
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.
Hast thou the fow'r there? welcome, wanderer.