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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 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 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 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 Birón,
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:

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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 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 your reformation.

Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal,

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 will end.
Biron.

That's too long for a play.

Enter Armado.

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

• Vehement.

+ Immediate.

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.
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 paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
Cuckoo ;

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

II.

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, The cuckoo then, on every tree,

Mocks married men, for thus sings he,

Cuckoo;

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Cuckoo, cukoo,—O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married car!

III.

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,
When 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.

When 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.

• Cool.

Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way.

[Exeunt.

+ Wild apples.

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.

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