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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.
OBERON enters unseen.
And kiss thy fair large ears, my gentle joy.
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
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.
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.
OBERON advances. Enter Puck.
From off the head of this Athenian swain ;
(Touching her eyes with a herb.)
Hath such force and blessed power.
Tit. My Oberon! what visions have I seen!
How came these things to pass ?
Ober. Silence awhile. Robin, takes off this head.-
Tit. Musick! ho! musick! such as charmeth sleep.
hand with me,
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,*
Tit. Come, my lord, and in our flight
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
- Chineses drive Their cany waggons light.
THE BRIDAL HOUSE BLESSED BY THE FAIRIES.
Puck. Now the hungry lion roars,
And the wolf behowls the moon,
All with weary task fordone. .
Whilst the scritch-owl scritching loud,
* Sad.-Grave, serious (not melancholy).
Puts the wretch that lies in woe,
In remembrance of a shroud.
That the graves all gaping wide,
In the church-way paths to glide :
By the triple Hecate's team,
Enter OBERON and TITANIA, with their train.
Ober. Through this house give glimmering light,
Tita. First rehearse this song by rote:
SONG AND DANCE,
Ober. Now, until the break of day,