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Which you on all estates will execute,
Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death?
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;
King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
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 great
ness, 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.
others. This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.
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,
Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way. [Exeunt.
Duke of Venice.
Prince of Arragon,
Suitors to Portia. ANTONIO, the Merchant of Venice. BASSANIO, his Friend. SALANIO, SALARINO, Friends to Antonio and Bassanio. GRATIANO, LORENZO, in love with Jessica. SHYLOCK, a Jew. TUBAL, a Jew, his Friend. LAUNCELOT GOBBO, a Clown, Servant to Shylock. OLD GOBBO, Father to Launcelot. SALERIO, a Messenger from Venice. LEONARDO, Servant to Bassanio. BALTHAZAR,
Servants to Portia. STEPHANO,
Portia, a rich Heiress.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice,
Jailer, Servants, and other Attendants.
SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, the
Seat of Portia, on the Continent.