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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; 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 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.
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.
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,
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 Marian's nose looks red and raw,
To-whit, to-who, a merry note,
Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs
of Apollo. You, that way; we, this way.
DUKE of Venice.
Suitors to Portia.
Prince of Morocco,
Friends to Antonio and Bassanio.
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.
BALTHAZAR, Servants to Portia.
PORTIA, a rich Heiress.
NERISSA, her Waiting-maid.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice,
SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, the