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That mint.

That columbine. Arm. Sweet Lord Longaville, rein thy tongue. Long. I must rather give it the rein, for it runs against Hector.

Dum. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound.

Arm. The sweet war-man is dead and rotten; sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried: when he breathed, he was a man. But I will forward with my device. [To the Princess] Sweet royalty, bestow on me the sense of hearing. 670 Prin. Speak, brave Hector: we are much delighted.

Arm. I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper. Boyet. [Aside to Dum.] Loves her by the


Dum. [Aside to Boyet] He may not by the yard.

Arm. This Hector far surmounted Hannibal,Cost. The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two months on her way. Arm. What meanest thou?

680 Cost. Faith, unless you play the honest Troyan, the poor wench is cast away: she's quick; the child brags in her belly already: 'tis yours.

Arm. Dost thou infamonize me among potentates? thou shalt die.


Cost. Then shall Hector be whipped for Jaquenetta that is quick by him and hanged Pompey that is dead by him.


Dum. Most rare Pompey! Boyet. Renowned Pompey! Biron. Greater than great, great, great, great Pompey! Poinpey the Huge! Dum. Hector trembles. Biron. Pompey is moved. More Ates, more Ates! stir them on! stir them on! Dum. Hector will challenge him. Biron. Ay, if a' have no more man's blood in's belly than will sup a flea.

Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee. Cost. I will not fight with a pole, like a northern man: I'll slash; I'll do it by the sword. I bepray you, let me borrow my arms again. Dum. Room for the incensed Worthies! Cost. I'll do it in my shirt.

Dum. Most resolute Pompey! Moth. Master, let me take you a button-hole lower. Do you not see Pompey is uncasing for the combat? What mean you? You will lose your reputation.

Arm. Gentlemen and soldiers, pardon me; I will not combat in my shirt. 711

Dum. You may not deny it: Pompey hath made the challenge.

Arm. Sweet bloods, I both may and will. Biron. What reason have you for't? Arm. The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt; I go woolward for penance.

Boyet. True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of linen: since when, I'll be sworn, he wore none but a dishclout of Jaquenetta's, and that a' wears next his heart for a favour.


Mer. God save you, madam!

Prin. Welcome, Mercade;

But that thou interrupt'st our merriment.

Mer. I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring Is heavy in my tongue. The king your fatherPrin. Dead, for my life!

Mer. Even so; my tale is told. Biron. Worthies, away! the scene begins to cloud,


Arm. For mine own part, I breathe free breath. I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of discretion, and I will right myself like a soldier. [Exeunt Worthies.

King. How fares your majesty?
Prin. Boyet, prepare; I will away to-night.
King. Madam, not so; I do beseech you, stay.
Prin. Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious

For all your fair endeavours; and entreat,
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe
In your rich wisdom to excuse or hide
The liberal opposition of our spirits,
If over-boldly we have borne ourselves
In the converse of breath: your gentleness
Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord!
A heavy heart bears not a nimble tongue :
Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
For my great suit so easily obtain❜d.


King. The extreme parts of time extremely



All causes to the purpose of his speed,
And often at his very loose decides
That which long process could not arbitrate:
And though the mourning brow of progeny
Forbid the smiling courtesy of love
The holy suit which fain it would convince,
Yet, since love's argument was first on foot,
Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it
From what it purposed; since, to wail friends lost
Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
Prin. I understand you not: my griefs are


Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief;

And by these badges understand the king.
For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
Play'd foul play with our oaths: your beauty,

Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours
Even to the opposed end of our intents:
And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous,
As love is full of unbefitting strains,
All wanton as a child, skipping and vain,
Form'd by the eye and therefore, like the eye,
Full of strange shapes, of habits and of forms,


Varying in subjects as the eye
doth roll
To every varied object in his glance:
Which parti-coated presence of loose love
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
Have misbecomed our oaths and gravities,
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies, 780
Our love being yours, the error that love makes
Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false,
By being once false for ever to be true
To those that make us both,-fair ladies, you:
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
Thus purifies itself and turns to grace.

Prin. We have received your letters full of love;


Your favours, the ambassadors of love;
And, in our maiden council, rated them
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.

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We did not quote them so. King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour, Grant us your loves. Prin. 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 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,
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.

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 Come when the king doth to my lady come; Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some. 840 Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.

Kath. Yetswear not, lest ye 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 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, Before 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 Without the which I am not to be won you please,

You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day | Visit the speechless sick and still converse


With groaning wretches; and your task shall be, if
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit

To enforce the pained impotent to smile.
Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of


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Will hear your idle scorns, continue then, And I will have you and that fault withal; 820 But if they will not, throw away that spirit, And I shall find you empty of that fault, Right joyful of your reformation.

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?

Biron. A twelvemonth! well; befall what will befall, 880

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.


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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 owl,

Tu-who, a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.



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SCENE I. Athens. The palace of THESEUS. Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, PHILOSTRATE, and Attendants.

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.

Go, Philostrate,


The. Stir up the Athenian youth to merriments; Awake the pert and nimble spirit of mirth: Turn melancholy forth to funerals; The pale companion is not for our pomp. [Exit Philostrate. Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword, And won thy love, doing thee injuries; But I will wed thee in another key, With

pomp, with triumph and with revelling. Enter EGEUS, HERMIA, LYSANDER, and DEMETRIUS.

Ege. Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke! The. Thanks, good Egeus: what's the news with thee?


Ege. Full of vexation come I, with complaint Against my child, my daughter Hermia. Stand forth, Demetrius. My noble lord, This man hath my consent to marry her. Stand forth, Lysander: and, my gracious duke, This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child: Thou, thou, Lysander, thou hast given her rhymes

HERMIA, daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander.

HELENA, in love with Demetrius.

OBERON, king of the fairies.
TITANIA, queen of the fairies.
Puck, or Robin Goodfellow.




Other fairies attending their King and Queen. Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. SCENE: Athens, and a wood near it.


And interchanged love-tokens with my child:
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung
With feigning voice verses of feigning love,
And stolen the impression of her fantasy
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gawds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, nosegays, sweetmeats, messen-

Of strong prevailment in unharden'd youth: With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter's heart,

Turn'd her obedience, which is due to me,
To stubborn harshness: and, my gracious duke,
Be it so she will not here before your grace
Consent to marry with Demetrius,

I beg the ancient privilege of Athens,
As she is mine, I may dispose of her:
Which shall be either to this gentleman
Or to her death, according to our law
Immediately provided in that case.



The. What say you, Hermia? be advised, fair maid:

you your father should be as a god;


One that composed your beauties, yea, and one
To whom you are but as a form in wax
By him imprinted and within his power
To leave the figure or disfigure it.
Demetrius is a worthy gentleman.
Her. So is Lysander.
In himself he is;
But in this kind, wanting your father's voice,
The other must be held the worthier.

Her. I would my father look'd but with my

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The. Either to die the death or to abjure For ever the society of men.


Therefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
Know of your youth, examine well your blood,
Whether, if you yield not to your father's choice,
You can endure the livery of a nun,
For aye to be in shady cloister mew'd,
To live a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
Thrice-blessed they that master so their blood,
To undergo such maiden pilgrimage;
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
Than that which withering on the virgin thorn
Grows, lives and dies in single blessedness.


Her. So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord,
Ere I will yield my virgin patent up
Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke
My soul consents not to give sovereignty.

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Beteem them from the tempest of my eyes.

Lys. Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But, either it was different in blood,--

Her. O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low. Lys. Or else misgraffed in respect of years,— Her. O spite! too old to be engaged to young. Lys. Or else it stood upon the choice of friends,Her. O hell! to choose love by another's eyes. Lys. Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, Making it momentany as a sound,

The. Take time to pause; and, by the next Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;

new moon

The sealing-day betwixt my love and me,
For everlasting bond of fellowship-
Upon that day either prepare to die
For disobedience to your father's will,
Or else to wed Demetrius, as he would;
Or on Diana's altar to protest

For aye austerity and single life.


Dem. Relent, sweet Hermia: and, Lysander, yield

Thy crazed title to my certain right.

Lys. You have her father's love, Demetrius; Let me have Hermia's: do you marry him.

Ege. Scornful Lysander! true, he hath my

And what is mine my love shall render him.
And she is mine, and all my right of her
I do estate unto Demetrius.

Lys. I am, my lord, as well derived as he,
As well possess'd; my love is more than his; 100
My fortunes every way as fairly rank'd,
If not with vantage, as Demetrius';

And, which is more than all these boasts can be,
I am beloved of beauteous Hermia:
Why should not I then prosecute my right?
Demetrius, I'll avouch it to his head,
Made love to Nedar's daughter, Helena,

And won her soul; and she, sweet lady, dotes,
Devoutly dotes, dotes in idolatry,

Upon this spotted and inconstant man.

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The. I must confess that I have heard so much,

Brief as the lightning in the collied night,

That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say 'Behold I'
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:

So quick bright things come to confusion.

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Her. If then true lovers have been ever cross'd,
It stands as an edict in destiny:
Then let us teach our trial patience,
Because it is a customary cross,

As due to love as thoughts and dreams and sighs,
Wishes and tears, poor fancy's followers.

Lys. A good persuasion: therefore, hear me,

I have a widow aunt, a dowager


Of great revenue, and she hath no child:
From Athens is her house remote seven leagues;
And she respects me as her only son.
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee;
And to that place the sharp Athenian law
Cannot pursue us. If thou lovest me then,
Steal forth thy father's house to-morrow night;
And in the wood, a league without the town,
Where I did meet thee once with Helena,
To do observance to a morn of May,
There will I stay for thee.


My good Lysander!
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow,
By his best arrow with the golden head,
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,


By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
When the false Troyan under sail was seen,

And with Demetrius thought to have spoke By all the vows that ever men have broke,

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