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Prin. We have receiv’d your letters, full of love; Your favours, the embassadors 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
Long. So did our looks.
We did not quote them so.
A time, methinks, too short To make a world-without-end bargain in: No, no, my lord, your grace is perjur'd 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 go 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 their 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, challenge me by these deserts, And, by this virgin palm, now kissing thine, I will be thine; and, till that instant, shut My woeful self up in a mourning house;
and thin weeds,] i. e. clothing. and last love;] Means, if it continue to be love.
Raining the tears of lamentation,
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 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 me? Kath. A wife! A beard, fair health, and ho
nesty; With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
Dum. O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
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
you for a man replete with mocks;
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, Deafd 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, 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
That's too long for a play.
Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,-
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.
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.
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-white,
Do paint the meadows with delight,
cuckoo-buds -] Cuckoo-buds must be wrong. I believe cowslip-buds, the true reading. FARMER.
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
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 Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
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,
doth keel the pot.] i. e, cool the pot.
the parson's saw,] Saw seems anciently to have meant, VOL. III.