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And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;
The nine-men's morris is fill'd up with mud 29;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter here 30;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest.—
Therefore the moon, the governess 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 Hyems' chin, and icy crown,
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the 'mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes

From our debate, from our dissention;
We are their parents and original.

Obe. Do you amend it then; it lies in you:
Why should Titania cross her Oberon?
I do but beg a little changeling boy,
To be my
henchman 31
Tita.
Set your heart at rest,
The fairy land buys not the child of me.
His mother was a vot'ress of my order:
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night,
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side;

And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive,
And grow big-bellied, with the wanton wind:
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait
Following, (her womb, then rich with my young
'squire,)

Would imitate; and sail upon the land,
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 sake, I do rear up her boy :
And, for her sake, I will not part with him.

Obe. How long within this wood intend you stay?
Tita. 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.
Obe. Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.
Tita. Not for thy kingdom.-Fairies, away:
We shall chide down-right, if I longer stay.

[Exeunt TITANIA, and 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 musick.

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

At a fair vestal 32, throned by the west;

And loos'd his love-shaft 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 vot'ress 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 33.

Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee once;

The juice of it, on sleeping eye-lids laid,

Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
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 PUCK.

Obe.
Having once this juice,
I'll watch Titania when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes:
The next thing then she waking looks upon
(Be it on lion, bear, or wolf, or bull,

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