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To make a world-without-end bargain in.
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
Hence ever, then, my heart is in thy breast. Biron. And what to me, my love? and what to
Ros. You must be purged too; your sins are rank ; You are attaint with faults and perjury; Therefore, if you my favor 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 threefold 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
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
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.
Biron. Studies my lady? Mistress, look on me;
Ros. Oft have 1 heard of you, my lord Birón,
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 endeavor 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,
Deafed with the clamors 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. 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. Biron.
That's too long for a play.
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.
1 Dear; used by ancient writers to express pain, solicitude, &c.
And lady-smocks all silver white,
Do paint the meadows with delight,
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
1 Gerarde, in his Herbal, 1597, says that the flos cuculi cardamine, &c. are called “ in English cuckoo flowers, in Norfolk Canterbury bells, and at Namptwich, in Cheshire, Ladie-smocks.”
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
Joan doth keel the pot.? Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way.
? This wild English apple, roasted and put into ale, was a very favorite indulgence in old times.
2 To keel, or kele, is to cool.
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.