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At courtship, pleasant jest and courtesy,


As bombast and as lining to the time :
But more devout than this in our respects

Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
In their own fashion, like a merriment.

Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest.
Long. So did our looks.


We did not quote them so.

King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour,
Grant us your loves.

A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in.
No, no, my lord, your grace is perjured much,
Full of dear guiltiness; and therefore this:
If for my love, as there is no such cause,
You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
There stay until the twelve celestial signs
Have brought about the annual reckoning.
If this austere insociable life

Change not your offer made in heat of blood;
If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
But that it bear this trial and last love;

Then, at the expiration of the year,

Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts,
And, by this virgin palm now kissing thine,

I will be thine; and till that instant shut

My woeful self up in a mourning house,
Raining the tears of lamentation

For the remembrance of my father's death-
If this thou do deny, let our hands part,
Neither intitled in the other's heart.
King. If this, or more than this, I would deny,
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!

Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.
[Biron. And what to me, my love? and what to me?
Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are rack'd,
You are attaint with faults and perjury:

Therefore if you my favour mean to get,

A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest

But seek the weary beds of people sick.]

Dum. But what to me, my love? but what to me?

A wife?




Kath. A beard, fair health, and honesty;
With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
Dum. O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?
Kath. Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a day
I'll mark no words that smooth-faced wooers say:
Come when the king doth to my lady come;
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
Kath. Yet swear not, lest ye be forsworn again.
Long. What says Maria?


At the twelvemonth's end
I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.
Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.
Mar. The liker you; few taller are so young.
Biron. Studies my lady? mistress, look on me;
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble suit attends thy answer there :
Impose some service on me for thy love.

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my Lord Biron,
Tfore I saw you; and the world's large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks,
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts,
Which you on all estates will execute
That lie within the mercy of your wit.



To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
And therewithal to win me, if you please,
Without the which I am not to be won,

You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day


Visit the speechless sick and still converse

With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,

With all the fierce endeavour of your wit

To enforce the pained impotent to smile.

Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?

It cannot be; it is impossible :

Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,

Whose influence is begot of that loose grace

Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools:

A jest's prosperity lies in the ear

Of him that hears it, never in the tongue

Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,

Deaf'd with the clamours of their own dear groans,
Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
And I will have you and that fault withal;
But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Right joyful of your reformation.


Biron. A twelvemonth! well; befall what will befall, I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.

Prin. [To the King] Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.


King. No, madam; we will bring you on your way. Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play; Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy

Might well have made our sport a comedy.

King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day, And then 'twill end.


That's too long for a play

Re-enter ARMADO.

Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,-
Prin. Was not that Hector?

Dum. The worthy knight of Troy.


Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plow for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in praise of the owl and the cuckoo? it should have followed in the end of our show.

King. Call them forth quickly; we will do so.
Arm. Holla! approach.

900 Re-enter HOLOFERNES, NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and others.

This side is Hiems, Winter, this Ver, the Spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.

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When shepherds pipe on oaten straws
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,


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When icicles hang by the wall

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail
And Tom bears logs into the hall

And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

Tu-who, a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow.
And coughing drowns the parson's saw
And birds sit brooding in the snow

And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring ow?,

Tu-who, a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of

Apoll. You that way we this way,




THESEUS, Duke of Athens.
EGEUS, father to Hermia.
LYSANDER, in love with Hermia.

PHILOSTRATE, master of the revels
to Theseus.
QUINCE, a carpenter.
SNUG, a joiner.
BOTTOM, a weaver.

FLUTE, a bellows-mender.

SNOUT, a tinker.

STARVELING, a tails..

HIPPOLITA, queen of the Amp

zons, betrothed to Theseus.

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Other fairies attending their King and Queen. Attendants on The reas and Hippoi»«.

CENE: Athens, and a wood near it.


SCENE I. Athens. The palace of THESEUS.



The. Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace; four happy days bring in Another moon: but, O, methinks, how slow

This old moon wanes ! she lingers my desires,

Like to a step-dame or a dowager

Long withering out a young man's revenue.

Hip. Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;

Four nights will quickly dream away the time;

And then the moon, like to a silver bow

New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night
Of our solemnities.

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Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments;
Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth:


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