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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 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 me? 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 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.
At the twelvemonth's end,
Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón,
You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day
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,
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
But, if they will not, throw away that spirit,
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal,
Prin. Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave. [To the King. 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.
Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,-
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 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.
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.
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver white,
Do paint the meadows with delight,
Cuckoo, cuckoo,—O word of fear,
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
cuckoo-buds-] i. e. Cowslip-buds, from the French herbe cocu.
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,
Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way.
doth keel the pot.] i. e. Cool the pot.
i the parson's saw,] Saw seems anciently to have meant, not as at present, a proverb, a sentence, but the whole tenor of any instructive discourse.- -STEEVENS.
k bowl,] The bowl must be supposed to be filled with ale; a toast and some spice and sugar being added, what is called lamb's wool is produced.MALONE.
1 In 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 which 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.
END OF VOL. II.
Printed by J. F. Dove, St. John's Square.