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Cob. Cobweb.

Bot. I shall desire you of more acquaintance, good Master Cobweb. If I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you. Your name, honest gentleman ?

Peas. Peas-blossom.

Bot. I pray you commend me to Mistress Squash, your mother, and to Master Peascod, your father. Good Master Peas-Blossom, I shall desire you of more acquaintance too. Your name, I beseech you, sir?

Mus. Mustard-seed.

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.
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 Mustard-seed ?

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 music, my sweet love?

Bot. I have a reasonable ear in music: 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.

* Neif.–Fist.

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 Puck.
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 savors 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, begged 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 were wont to see ;
Dian's bud o'er Cupid's flower

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

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 enamored of an ass.

Ober. There lies your love.
Tit.

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

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

Tit. Music ! ho! music! such as charmeth sleep.
Puck. Now, when thou wak’st, with thine own fool's eyes peep.
Ober. Sound music! (still music.] 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.
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.

[Exeunt.
[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

- Chinese drive Their cany waggons light.

* Sad.-Grave, serious (not melancholy).

THE BRIDAL HOUSE BLESSED BY THE FAIRIES.

Enter Puck.

Puck. Now the hungry lion roars, 6

And the wolf behowls the moon,
While the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,

Whilst the scritch-owl scritching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in wo,

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 churchway 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.

SONG AND DANCE.

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.
So shall all the couples three,
Ever true in loving be;
And the blots of Nature's hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare-lip or scar
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
Shall upon their children be.
With this field-dew, consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless
Through this palace with sweet peace;
E’er shall it in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.

Trip away;

Make no stay:
Meet me all by break of day.

6“ Now the hungry lion roars:"Upon the songs of Puck and Oberon, Coleridge exclaims, “ Very Anacreon in perfectness, proportion, and spontaneity! So far it is Greek; but then add, O! what wealth, what wild rangings and yet what compression and condensation of English fancy! In truth, there is nothing in Anacreon more perfect than these thirty lines, or half so rich and imaginative. They form a speckless diamond.”—Literary Remains, vol. ii., p. 114.

LOVERS AND MUSIC.

LORENZO and JESSICA, awaiting the return home of PORTIA and NE

RISBA, discourse of music, and then welcome with it the bride and her attendant.

Lor. The moon shines bright. In such a night as this,"
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trecs,

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