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Biron. And what to me, my love? and what to me?

Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are rank; 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 my?

Kath. A wife! 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-fac'd wooers say: Come when the king dotli 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 you be forsworn

again. Long. What says Maria? Mar.

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 ege, What humble suit attends thy answer there; Impose some service on me for thy love.

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón, Before I saw you: and the world's large tongue Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks; Full of comparisous and wounding flouts; Which you on all estates will execute, That lie within the mercy of To weed this wormwood from your fruitful bruin ; And, therewithal, to win me, if

you please (Without the which I am not to be won), You shall this twelvenjonth term from day to day Visit the speechless sick, and still converse With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,

your wit:

246

LOVE'S
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit,
To evforce 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 ivfluence is begot of that louse 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 deart 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 reformation.
Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will

befal,
I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.
Prin. Ay, sweet niy 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 twelvemopthi and a

day,
And then will end.
Biron.

That's too long for a play.

your

[To the King.

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247 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 plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you bear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckoo ? it should have followed in the ead of our show.

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

Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, Moth, Costard, and

others.

This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring; the one maintain'd by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.

SONG.

Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,

Do puint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,

Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo,-0 word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

II.
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,

And merrylarks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and dawa,

Andmaidens bleachtheir summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every trec,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,

Cuckoo;

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Winter. 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,
I\hen blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who;
Tu-whit, to who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel* the pot.

IV.

IT hen all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sits brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabst hiss in the bowl.
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who;
Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the

of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way.

songs

[Ereunt.

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Iv this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must be confessed that there are many

passages mean, childish, and vulgar: and some whicli ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare.

JOHNSON.

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