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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-faced 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?

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 my love.





829. my] Ff, Q 2;

813. A wife!] Theobald, etc.; A wife? Qq, Ff 1, 2, 3; A wife, F 4; Dum. (line 812)... A wife? Kath. A beard, etc. Cambridge. thy Q I.

813. A wife] Furness is very insistent upon the excellence of the "happy emendation" of the Cambridge editors in shifting back these words to Dumain, in which they were followed by Dyce (1866). But the alteration, besides being wrong in principle, spoils the effect of Dumain's "I thank you, gentle wife."

816. A twelvemonth and a day] "Halliwell ́ gives quotations from Ducange and from Cowell's Interpreter, which shows that this term constituted the full legal year both on the Continent and in England. It is found in Chaucer's Wyf of Bathes Tale (Furness). Hence the common expression "a year and a day."

817. smooth-faced] Shakespeare has this compound twice elsewhere; of

commodity (advantage), in King John, II. i. 573; and of peace, in Richard III. v. v. 33. He may have met it in Greene's Menaphon (Grosart, vi. 41): "Some sweare Love Smooth'd face Love Is sweetest sweete that men can have." It occurs also in The Troublesome Raigne of King John (Hazlitt's Shakes. Lib. p. 263): "A smooth facte Nunne (for ought I know) is all the Abbott's wealth." Shakespeare has at least twenty-five compounds ending in "faced."

823. friend] sweetheart. See line 404 above (note).

828, 829. suit. . . service] See note at line 276. This recognised phrase in courtship occurs in The Shepherdess Felismena, in Yonge's trans. of Montmayor's Diana (Shakes. Lib. p. 289, ed.


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 there withal 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 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.

836. fruitful] fructful Q 1. Jackson conjecture; dire Collier MS.


853. dear] dere Johnson conjecture; drear 854. then] them Rann conjecture, Dyce. 3, and Hamlet, 1. ii. 182 (“my dearest foe ").

1875), 1598: "He should never have got any other guerdon of his sutes and services, but onely to see and to be seene, and sometimes to speake to his Mistresse." A term in Feudalism primarily. 834. all estates] people of all sorts. 842. fierce] ardent, eager.

853. dear] heartfelt; see line 780 (note). Craig parallels Sonnet xxxvii.

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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.

Re-enter ARMADO.


Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,— Prin. Was not that Hector? 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 875 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.

873. years] yeare Q 1.

862. bring you on your way] conduct, accompany you on your way. The expression occurs again in Winter's Tale, IV. iii. 122; and in Measure for Measure, 1. i. 62 (see note in Arden edition).

864. Jack Fill] An old say. ing, occurring in Heywood's Dialogue, 1546 (Dyce); and see Sharman's edition of Heywood's Proverbs, p. 100. And earlier, in Skelton's Magnyfycence (Dyce, i. 234), 1515: “What avayleth lordshyp, yourselfe for to kyll, With care and with thought, howe Jack shall have Gyl." Gosson has " Every John and his Joan" (Schoole of Abuse, 1579). See Ray, ed. 1742, p. 124; Ben Jonson, Gipsies Metamorphosed, etc. 871. royal finger] See above, v. i. 96.

872, 873. hold the plough] See note at lines 712-714 above.

874. dialogue] This use of "dialogue" is not included by New Eng. Dict.

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In The

amongst dialogues set as musical
compositions," the earliest example
being from J. Playford, 1653.
Queen's Entertainment at the Earl of
Hertford's, 1591 (Nichols' Progresses,
iii. 113), there is a song of a similar
structure between "Dem "(and) and

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Resp "(onse), with an echo to take up the closing syllables of each quatrain. It is "The Song presented by Nereus on the water, sung dialoguewise, everie fourth verse answered with two Echoes." Shakespeare's bird-notes replace the already stale echo device..

879. Holla] "a shout to excite attention" (New Eng. Dict.); “a call to a person to come near "(Schmidt). Compare Gascoigne, The Steel Glas (Arber, p. 72), 1577: "But holla; here, I see a wondrous sight, I see a swarme of Saints within my glasse. . . . What should they be (my lord), what should they be? "


This side is Hiems, Winter, this Ver, the Spring; the 880
one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo.
Ver, begin.

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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 ;


.] Enter all Qq, Ff. 884, 885. Theobald; the order is 885, 884 in Ff, Qq. 885. cuckoo-buds] cowslip-buds Farmer conjecture; crocus-buds Whalley conjecture. 886. with delight] much bedight War



881. maintained] represented" (Schmidt)? Rather "backed," " supported." The "support" is more an exercise of the imagination, than a real stage property, as is doubtfully implied in New Eng. Dict., giving no other example. Compare Greene, Penelope's Web (Grosart, v. 217), 1587: "he there complayned of the Collyar, how he had abused him in mayntayning his boy to give him ill language." No doubt the performers imitate the notes of the birds in the song.

883. When daisies pied, etc.] Furness writes: "Whalley speaks of this song 'which gave so much pleasure to the Town, and was in everybody's mouth about seven years ago.' This must have been about 1740. Genest records no production of Love's Labour's Lost at or about this date, or in fact at any date. But we know that this song was introduced into As You Like It; which, Genest says, was acted in November, 1740, for the first time for forty years. It had an unusual run of twenty-five nights. This is probably the occasion which made the song so popular." Whalley's remark was in connection with his proposed "crocus-buds " (line 885).

884. lady-smocks] The flowers of Cardamine pratensis, or Cuckoo-flower; probably a corruption of “Our Lady's

smock," like "Lady's Mantle," "Lady's Bedstraw." A general provincial name. It occurs in Ben Jonson's Pan's Anniversary: "kingspear, holyhocks, Sweet Venus-navel, and soft Lady-smocks." New Eng. Dict. quotes Gerard's Herbal.


885. cuckoo-buds] Britten and Holland, English Plant Names (Eng. Dialect Soc. 1886), give this name from Northampton and Sussex Ranunculus bulbosus, or Crowfoot, one of the first buttercups to bloom. In Co. Donegal (S.W.) the name "Cuckooflower" is applied to Lotus corniculatus, the Bird's-foot Trefoil. See Appendix to my Flora of Donegal. Schmidt decides in favour of the cowslip, for which there is not the slightest proof or evidence. The choice lies between buttercup and bird's-foot (both called also crowfoot or crowtoe), and I am rather inclined to the latter, as a spring meadow flower. Its buds are more numerous and more worthy of a special name than those of buttercup. Has not the "yellow hue" here a special force of jealousy, appropriate to the context? Nym's yellowness, in Merry Wives of Windsor, I. iii. III, will be recalled.

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887, 888. cuckoo .. thus sings he] See note at "cuckoo birds do sing,' Merry Wives of Windsor, 11. i. 124 (Arden ed. p. 71).

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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,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,




905. foul] fall Q 1. 907, 908. Tu-whit; Tu-who] Qq, Ff; Tu-who; Tu. whit, to-who Capell.

892. pipe on oaten straws] Compare T. Watson, Eclogue upon Death of Walsingham (Arber, p. 163), 1590: "An humble style befitts a simple swain, My Muse shall pipe but on an oaten quill." And Golding's Ovid, i. 842: Some good plaine soule that had some flocke to feede And as he went he pyped still upon an Oten Reede" (1567). Spenser speaks of the shepherd's "oaten pipe" in Shepheard's Calendar for January (1579). Gabriel Harvey quotes the expression from Spenser, in a letter (1580), in Grosart's Harvey, i. 92.

893. larks... clocks] "rise with the lark" occurs in Lyly's Euphues and his England (Arber, p. 229), 1580; and "up with the lark in Greene's Never Too Late (Grosart, viii. 124).


902. blows his nail] wait patiently while one has nothing to do. Schmidt says "to warm his hands," an accidental property of the saying, arising out of idleness in cold. The expression occurs again as descriptive of listlessness in 3 Henry VI. 11. v. 3. A few examples must be quoted: "hee was driven to daunce attendaunce without doores and blowe his nailes" (North, Doni's Philosophie [edited Jacobs, p. 231], 1570); "who sate all

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the while with the Porter, blowing his nailes" (Fests of George Peele [Hazlitt's repr. p. 276], 1607); "there was a time when nothing would have been denied her but that heat being cooled, she may blow her nails twice before it kindle again" (Letter of Chamberlain, in Court and Times of James I. ii. 56 [1617]); “knocke her knees and blow her nailes at the doore like a poore black-bitten stal-creeper (Thos. Brewer, Merry Devil of Edmonton [prose] [repr. of 1631 ed. p. 48], 1608). We have Cotgrave to explain this in v. ceincture: "pull straws, pluck daisies, pick rushes, or blow their fingers; generally the phrase imports an idle and lazie fashion, or posture." In Churchyard's Challenge (Nichols, iii. 178), 1592: 'picke your fingers' endes, Or blow your nailes, or gnaw, and bite your thumbs," is descriptive of being out of employment of any sort; while in verses by Campion from Davison's Poetical Rhapsodie, 1611 (quoted by Nichols, iii. 350), cold is specified: "But in their brests, where Love his Court should hold, Poor Cupid sits, and blowes his nailes for cold." And see Todd's Spenser, vii. 236.

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907, 908. Tu-whit; Tu-who] Holt White refers to Lyly's Mother Bombie

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